I really don’t have any intention of turning this blog into my personal food diary multiple times a month, but I just spent 4 days with my sister, brother-in-law, and baby C, and I’ve never cooked or baked so much in my life. I was determined to leave them with enough soup and baked goods to last them awhile, and all that prep got me thinking about my own journey with food. So, here’s my tiny rant: I’m a believer that what you put in your body matters. A lot. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way in the last few years. What I’m still learning is how to eat the things I love without doing damage.
Celiacs disease is under-diagnosed in the U.S.: an inherited, autoimmune disease, as many as 1 in 133 people in the U.S. have celiacs and 97% of them go undiagnosed. (like me.) Like many of these people, I didn’t have many symptoms until i was in my late twenties, and then, well, the s*^# hit the fan (literally) and things went down hill fast. Unfortunately, in addition to celiacs, I have a severe allergy to all cow products and soy. Suddenly all the uncomfortable stomach aches I’ve had over the years are making sense.
Ok, rant over.
Now, onto what I made. My first new year’s goal is to relearn how to cook for myself with my new diagnoses. Interestingly enough, my sister has similar food allergies; therefore, her kitchen is my version of heaven: everything you need to cook amazing treats with no refined sugar, dairy, soy, or gluten. I’m finally beginning to learn the tricks of the trade.
Here’s what I made: roasted butternut squash and rosemary soup, roasted tomato and basil soup, kale and chicken sausage soup, two roasted chickens with veggies, (and two massive pots of chicken stock), almond tomato spread, egg salad, and from the Spunky Coconut’s latest cookbook (which I highly recommend for anyone, not just people in need of alternative ways to bake): 2 batches of rosemary biscuits (this are amazing dipped in my bro-in-laws fancy herbed olive oil recipe), coconut lemon bars, cinnamon rolls, and two pans of coffee cake. All these baked goods are casien, gluten, soy, and dairy free.
Lessons I learned:
1. Navy beans are amazing. They make the most amazing, fluffy cake batter you could ever want. Case and point: coffee cake and vanilla bean cake. Who knew?! Try it for yourself here.
2. Applesauce makes amazing dough AND amazing cinnamin roll filler.
3. When in doubt, almond butter and coconut milk & oil solves all problems. The cinnamin roll recipe called for a cashew glaze, but we didn’t have any cashews. So, I mixed honey, coconut milk, vanilla, and almond butter in a blender and I had a hard time keeping myself from eating all of it.
4. If you have an allergy to cow products, that includes ghee. It took 48 hours of analysis to figure out where the massive stomach pain came from, but we finally figured out it was the 2 tablespoons of ghee in the rosemary biscuits. Turns out, you can just use coconut oil and it tastes just as amazing. Good bye butter, good bye ghee.
The only problem with my new-found knowledge is that after months with no sweets, I can suddenly eat lots of baked goods without getting sick. At least that solves my sweet tooth.
(all photos: thespunkycoconut)