Being allergic to wheat, gluten grains, and corn, I do 98% of my cooking from scratch. I get the usual reactions from people; “What CAN you eat?” or, “I wish I had an allergy so I could be as skinny as you!” or, “Oh, you’re trendy!” or “Why? What does eating it do to you?” or “Well don’t you deprive that sweet baby of a cookie!” (Yes, my son does show symptoms of gluten intolerance) Or my personal favorite, “You poor thing! It must be so difficult and unpleasant for you.” …As if my only joy in life could be derived from eating contraband doughnuts or pizza.
I’ve learned since the allergies surfaced not to take any of their comments personally (although some I probably should have). But some of the questions are valid. What does eating it do to me? Everything from a runny nose and headache from walking down the grocery store bread isle to 4 months of constipation and writhing in agony on the floor as if feels like shattered glass is moving through my intestines all from simple cross contamination at a salad bar. (Gosh darn it, the croutons have their OWN set of tongs!) No, you don’t want a food allergy. You don’t want to be “skinny” for the reasons I am. You don’t want to have experienced malnutrition or infertility in spite of your best efforts to eat healthily. You don’t want your hair to fall out from nutrient deficiency. I’m pretty sure wearing my blue plastic rimmed spectacles is what makes me trendy, not my avid label reading and social gathering anxiety over being asked 14,000 times to try the cheese dip. I can eat fruits, vegetables and meats! Which tends to follow the paleolithic diet. And I’ll make sure my son’s diet is nutritionally sound, sans cookies for any number of reasons including but not limited to: I’m his mother, childhood obesity, family history of diabetes, his intolerance of wheat cereal, and generally because it’s not anyone else’s business how I feed my kid (especially Michelle Obama.) And if my only joy in life was eating a doughnut, then I’d have bigger and deeper issues than food allergies.
So rant aside, our stove top broke two weeks ago! How was I supposed to cook for my family without a stove??
Very simply. The 3 tools that saved me were 1) my slow cooker 2) my cast iron skillet and 3) my oven being separate from the cooktop. Yes, I realize the 3rd is mostly luck. Also luckily, I already cook in bulk so my husband has lunches through the week
and all I have to do for myself is grab something quick from the fridge and reheat it. Which is convenient since I have to keep up with my little squirt, who’s increasingly more mobile and impatient.
And until I can afford to fix or replace the stove, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.
Below are some of the better recipes I used.
Pork and Chicken Stuffed Squash
This recipe I got from www.paleoleap.com fabulous website/blog! Highly recommend it. I did modify it a bit and did everything in my cast iron skillet in my oven set to broil.
1) diced and cooked 10 strips of bacon first (because bacon makes everything better)
2) added in veggies, covered with foil, let them broil until they were soft, then I put them aside,
3) then added the sausage and let it broil until browned.
This time instead of serving it inside a buttercup squash, I served it over top of rice I had made the day before in my slow cooker.
Teedle’s Baked Apples
Teedle is an unfortunate nickname we gave my son at birth and it stuck…sorry, dude.
Preheat oven to broil
1) peel, core and cut 8 apples of any variety (we like Jonagolds or Pink Lady)
2) spread apples in greased glass baking dish, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon, and cover with foil.
3.) Broil for 3 hours
Slow Cooker Rice
2 cups uncooked rice
4 cups water
4 Tbsp butter (I have a hard time incorporating enough fats into my diet so I do eat a lot of butter and coconut oil)
1 Tbsp kosher salt
Cook on high setting for 2.5 hours, fluff and serve!
Slow Cooker Chicken
8 lbs chicken (breast or thigh, your choice)
4 Cups water
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp onion powder
Cook on high for 4 hours. If you want, you can combine the rice recipe at the 4 hour mark so total cook time is 6.5 hours.
Potato Pancake- no picture, because my husband ate it all
2 Cups mashed potatoes
1 Cup Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking Mix
2 large eggs
1 to 2 Cups whole milk, until batter is pourable(again, my body needs the fat and vitamin D of whole milk, feel free to sub this out for your personal preference)
1Tbsp paleo cooking fat/ olive oil
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1) preheat the oven to broil with the seasoned cast iron pan in it
2) mix batter until smooth and pourable
3) pour into hot skillet, broil until. Fluffy and cheese is melted and golden brown
These have been lifesavers, especially the chicken and rice because it is so versatile! Add curry powder, or maranara, or queso blanco, or guacamole, or really any other topping and serve alongside any microwaveable vegetable (hint- they’re all microwaveable) and viola! You’re a superhero…. Or at least, I felt like a superhero. Saving my family money and curbing their hunger, one brilliant makeshift recipe at a time!