Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Gluten-Free Feast

I spent the holiday weekend upstate with my best friend Tony. Buddies since college, we now share similar food restrictions so it was great to see the very many options to change up my one note menu.  He cooked his heart out and I was his sous chef for one or two recipes.  We had homemade vegetarian Indian food which included Mooli Koftas (shredded radishes) with a green sauce, Raita, Dhal where we substituted tomatoes with red bell peppers, Chickpeas in a spicy sauce, brown basmati rice…I know I’m forgetting something but it’ll come back to me.  He showed me how to change up and substitute ingredients to get a similar taste and texture from original recipes.  The biggest one was substituting red bell peppers for tomatoes and adding a little lemon juice/citric acid to give it a bite.  I made a lentil dish that’s so delish that I need to make it again as soon as possible.  
BiBamBop-November 2013
Pic taken by Antony Galbraith, Stolen by Lily
 On another night, T cooked up a host of Korean-style side dishes to make BiBamBop.  It included pickled jalapenos, spinach with garlic and sesame seeds, hijiki, cooked pea shoots, fresh bean sprouts, cooked mushrooms, pickled radishes, kimchi that he made from scratch the week before and rice.  He reminded me how easy it is to cook with food restrictions in mind that doesn’t include breads or pastas.  I sometimes get stuck eating one or two meals over and over again because it’s easy and quick to make.  The problem is the lack of variety makes me fall of the horse, reach for a slice of pizza which only causes my symptoms to flare up and pain to hook in.  A slice is just not worth it. 

He even made a modified Thanksgiving feast that included a tasty pumpkin pie without crust topped off with a dairy-free whipped cream made out of coconut milk, yum! We had squash with a mushroom gravy, a bread stuffing made with gluten-free breadcrumbs and parsnip mash. Ooo and a faux wine made with berries, grapes and celery that he juiced...YUMMY!  I did have a freak out moment when the stuffing came out of the oven and it was sitting on the stove and I saw the chunks of bread peeking out it.  I said, “Oh my god, I can’t eat that, it has bread in it.”  T just laughed at me and it occurred to me that it had to be gluten free bread.  His food allergies are a bit more extreme than mine. 

I went home with a small jar of kimchi and a loaf freshly baked bread made from bean flour. I had a cashew butter and jam sandwich last night and it was delish.   I know this whole blog entry revolves around the food that I ate but for the past couple of months I’ve been living in a bubble of all the foods that I am not supposed to / allowed to eat. [No gluten, no dairy, no tomatoes, no potatoes, no peanuts and no alcohol.] So to have a little leeway, to see other possibilities of what this new diet entails helped LOADS!!  A big shout out to Tony for being such a great friend, for cooking up such a feast, and for playing board games until we were cross-eyed. I'll include a pic of our Korean banquet when I get home tonight. 



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