Friday, October 9, 2009

Living with dietary restrictions means learning how to avoid emotional triggers - it's not as simple as "oh, just don't eat those things." A friend of mine - who has been a huge influence in me tackling this bravely - has described the internal struggles as conversing with her NoNoGrrl - the teenager who does exactly what you tell her not to, in order to prove her independence.

K has a NoNoGrrl who used to throw her vitamins out the window. Used to take as many quarters as she needed for the vending machine in exchange for eating greenbeans and then stop. She ate a full ten vegetables - corn, creamed corn, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots... I can't think of many others.

Bread, cheese, sour cream. These things are important to her NoNoGrrl. Ice Cream became a crutch when corn syrup and many mass produced desserts went on the no list. Suddenly, all the things she was soothing with are gone - I suspect this will make our relationships with food healthier and less neurotic, but it's work. Psychotherapy by way of elimination diet.

One of the things I've used to make cheese-free less painful is to add peanut butter to our standby of zucchini-tomato-chickpea/whitebean stew. Usually, the dish gets feta. The peanut butter gives it a substantial mouthfeel, and makes it creamy. This is HUGE when leaving dairy suddenly.

Our stew:

2 zucchini, chopped
two red onion, chopped
three cloves garlic, crushed
tomato - either juice, chopped fresh, canned.
herbs - whatever moves you.
one or two cans of either white or chickpeas.
peanut butter
lemon juice

toss the onions in a pan and when they start to wilt, toss in the zucchini. add the tomato when the zucchini starts to melt.
stir in the garlic, the peanut butter, the lemon juice, the salt and your herbs. Sage with white beans, rosemary or thyme - I love to just throw open the cabinets and shake some of whatever looks good into the mix.

You'll note the lack of amounts - I cook by feel and will work on getting better about recording amounts.

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