Thursday, July 05, 2012
I was reading an article online recently about someone who was going camping with a dozen people or so and there were lots of food restrictions - vegetarians, vegans, folks who can't have gluten, folks who couldn't have soy - and most of the comments were not supportive of these restrictions, but were tirades about how "back in the day you just ate what was put in front of you and sucked it up." I was so angry. Yes, people did suck it up. And people died (what kind of reason for death was wasting disease? - a lot of them were probably people with undiagnosed celiac). Environmental factors, food supply factors, increased diagnoses, and genetics all play a role in this explosion of food intolerance and allergies. Argh.
Not too long ago, I wrote a post about our trials and tribulations with food. Basically, it comes down to the fact that my husband has a lot of food restrictions and malabsorption issues, so we need to get him a lot of calories in creative ways. But I am not creative enough.
Let's recap. He is gluten intolerant - no wheat, rye, or barley. He also has a lot of mild food allergies. We have, for the most part, ignored these mild allergies because we figured we had bigger issues on hand. But he hasn't been feeling great recently and he's had some problems with swallowing and reflux so we looked at the list again.
He's allergic to cherries, peaches, plums, strawberries, walnuts, peanuts, eggplant, carrots, celery, spinach, tomatoes, and cauliflower (along with some others he's never eaten in his life - jack fruit?). He had equivocal results (not positive, but not exactly negative) to almost everything else they tested him for and the most important of these are squash, white potato, sweet potato, soybeans, and corn.
I just want to take a moment to let that sink in: no wheat, rye, or barley because of gluten and no corn or potato because of allergies. The grains we have left are rice and quinoa. And we only have those grains because they didn't actually test for them.
I just looked through our list of common dinner recipes and I'm stumped. Beef stew minus carrots I can do. No to the frittata with ham and spinach. No to tacos. No to polenta. No to squash/potato soup. No to chili. Risotto we can still do. I can put together a salad with lettuce, cucumbers, and some sort of protein (eggs, chicken, whatever), but I don't want to feed him a salad for dinner every night. It doesn't take everything off the table, but it does take off more than half.
So, my food savvy friends. Any rice-based recipes you'd like to share?