I began this blog in January of 2016. It was a new year and collecting my favorite gluten free, night shade and dairy free recipes became one of my one of my 2016 projects. It has become my favorite project.
I have always loved great food. You can learn so much about a person or even a culture by how they eat. My Husband and I spent the first 18 years of our marriage wining and dining. As newlyweds, we would save our pennies for months to eat somewhere fantastic. One of our favorite cities is New Orleans… not for the party but for the cuisine. I can remember with incredible clarity every fabulous meal we ever ate from hole in the walls down south to ranches out west to top name chefs in Hawaii. In 2011 we received devastating news, I had serious food allergies. These food allergies were contributing to an autoimmune condition that was destroying my kidneys. I had to make changes. Not only was I allergic to gluten but also: cow dairy, tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. In a nutshell, I was allergic to everything that made food good. For this foodie, that news was almost as bad as the kidney damage.
All of my favorite dishes became instant no-no’s as did our favorite past times, dining out and entertaining. I found what I could eat so miserable that I didn’t even want to subject my family to it. To save them from my new personal hell, I made two meals each evening. I made something delicious for my family and something far less delicious for me. Meals became and exercise in boredom and life was a little less fun for our foodie family. As with any other obstacle in my life, I got mad. I began to look at the limitations as a challenge.
I began looking at recipes that were gluten-free, cow dairy free and night shade free. There was not a lot to choose from and I missed my favorite meals. Then, I studied what made my body react to these ingredients. I learned that cow dairy had very long and complex protein strands. These long strands (made for baby cows with four stomachs) were very difficult for people to digest. Sheep and goat milk was a simpler protein and less problematic. Sheep and goat products are also less manipulated by hormones and other methods to increase production. Nightshades had a naturally high alkaloid content (made worse by cross breeding and genetic modification). Modern wheat is just a hybridized mess. So I began to experiment with our favorite dishes and substitutions.
There was lots of trial and error and a few forced smiles from my family. I guess they were just glad that I was back in the kitchen with any enthusiasm at all. As I continued to experiment, tweak and embrace new ingredients a few standout dishes emerged. My goal became to make dishes so scrumtrulescent, no one missed the traditional version. Over the years I would dare say that most recipes have been “perfected”, even guests can’t tell the difference. All the while, my trusty red stove has been my constant companion… bearing silent witness to the triumphs and the tragedies.
I hope you enjoy: the recipes, a few tips and and every delicious bite of life!