Three foods that I ate for the first time, and LIKED, over the past week on the Elimination Diet:
- Cinnamon Chex (thanks to Amanda at Celiac and Allergy Adventures for that suggestion – satisfies my need for a crunchy and flavorful snack)
- Beet greens (Who would have thought…. they have a slightly sweet flavor and go well in a green salad)
- Sunflower seed butter (I still prefer peanut butter, but this is a nice protein snack if you can’t have nuts).
But the granddaddy of excitement in new foods came on the second day when I discovered that I was able to make cake that was dairy free, gluten free, soy free, nut free, potato free, and egg free for this diet. I had seen this Namaste Foods Spice Cake mix on the gluten-free shelf and was thrilled when I realized I could just substitute flax seed for the eggs in the directions. I don’t normally even like cake, but I just wanted to have SOMETHING that said “Hey, I am treating myself”. I put raisins in mine and I have to say it is really good.
No need for eggs – most baking recipes will adapt fine to using flax seed as a substitute. Use 1 Tbsp flax seed to 3 Tbsp water to equal one egg. Stir together and let it sit for a bit before adding to the recipe.
Another “recipe” that was pretty decent and made me feel like I was eating something with some actual variety and substance was this dish of sauteed vegetables over rice pasta (I used DeBoles Rice Fettucine).
It’s no restaurant food, but it was pretty flavorful and much better for you!
I sauteed green pepper, yellow squash, zucchini, mushrooms, and marinated artichokes in some olive oil with sea salt and Italian seasoning and put this over the pasta. Now this is the dish that I was referring to when I mentioned in my last post that I had two suspicions as to what might have made me itch.
When I was reading articles about nightshade vegetables, I only saw potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants mentioned. Now perhaps this is my own fault for not doing more research, but I did not realize that peppers are also included in the nightshade family. If I am indeed sensitive to these plants, I should not be eating peppers and I did eat this dish twice over the past week. So that’s my first suspicion.
My second suspicion is also related to the ingredients in this dish – I have also been reading that some people are sensitive to foods containing yeast/molds. This includes baked goods (most breads), cheese, mushrooms, vinegar, and any condiments or foods with vinegar (such as pickles, mustard, green olives, mayonnaise, and ketchup – gosh, how sad would a hamburger be without these things). Now I can’t say for certain if this is me, but I have eaten mushrooms twice and some other foods containing vinegar, like some of the Whole Foods chicken breast I eat uses it as a seasoning. These are also all foods that I really like/crave, as if you’ve missed my incessant whining about craving pizza over the last, oh, 4 posts. 😉
Another fun way to give rice some variety on this diet and make it more palatable is to make Vegan Sushi.
All you need is to cook up a big batch of brown rice (I use short grain for the sushi), have some nori sheets at the ready, and have some vegetables chopped into long slivers for the filling. In this picture I used baby Bok Choy and Radicchio. Carrots are excellent in this too but I had given them up for the time being on said diet.
Put a nori sheet on a plate and spread a line of warm rice about 1 inch high over the bottom border of the sheet. Lay your fillings in a line upon the center of the rice. Roll up the nori sheet, using a little bit of water on your fingertips as you go (this helps hold it together). Use a few drops of water to seal the nori (just get your finger wet a few times and run it over the border). Place the nori rolls in the fridge for a few hours or overnight, then slice into sushi-sized bites with a sharp knife when you are ready to eat them.
I was also PUMPED to find a gluten free, corn free, soy free, dairy free, egg free pancake recipe. I used this recipe to make Teff Pancakes except I modified it by using flax seed instead of eggs, rice milk + lemon juice in place of buttermilk, Earth Balance Soy Free Vegan butter in place of coconut oil, and then no molasses or bananas on top. You’re not going to fool anyone into thinking these compare exactly to the usual gluten-filled pancake, but they have a very pleasing flavor and consistency. The recipe author says that they have a chocolate-y flavor, which I don’t really taste, but I highly recommend trying them anyway.
Then putting everything together, I was able to still pack lunches for work that were varied, extremely nutritious, and generally vegan, while still adhering to all the Eliminated Foods that I was avoiding. Here is an example of one of my lunches:
Clockwise from center: Teff Pancakes, vegan sushi, a pear, salad with various greens, dried apricots, pumpkin seeds, kidney beans.
I haven’t seen a whole lot of sites with recipes or suggestions for Elimination-Diet friendly foods, so maybe this will help someone else out there and give them some ideas!