Dec. 4th, 2014

emgrasso: (raptors logo)
Last spring I was diagnosed (via blood test) as allergic to:
wheat and its relatives
milk (cow, goat, sheep)
eggs (chicken and duck)
yeast (baker's and brewer's)
vanilla (natural, not imitation)

This eliminates most of the foods I have eaten for most of my life, and most of the foods likely to be available at any social gathering or restaurant.
Cooking used to be one of my hobbies, and I baked my own bread for years.

I had previously (via prick test) tested allergic to:
cow's milk
green beans (but not dried beans
which were not picked up by the blood test.

So I was already dealing with some dietary limitations. (Read labels of baked goods watching for malt... it's everywhere!)

And I avoid peanuts and peanut products because I occasionally have allergic reactions (From the pattern, I suspect I am allergic to something like stale and processed peanuts but not fresh... sort of the opposite of the beans allergy).

Buckwheat tests marginal, but I had a really bad reaction one day -- maybe there was something else I was also reacting to.

Tried some stevia in some herbal tea and nearly died -- not sure if that was the stevia or the other herbs or a combination, but stevia is related to ragweed, and I get hayfever.

Not going to risk either buckwheat or stevia again.

Shopping is interesting these days (and not in the good sense). I read the labels and eliminate the packages with ingredients I know are problematic and there isn't much left in the store.

Comfort foods and holiday traditions are gone from my life. So are problems breathing and swallowing, mostly, buts it is still depressing. I have largely stopped traveling or socializing.

I found a recipe for a Mexican/Native American stew that I can eat:
Posole. It's mostly pork, corn and chile peppers and some flavorings, but the classic flavorings don't have a lot of depth.

I leave out the cilantro (don't have the gene that makes it taste good), and in the latest batch I used a small can of Chiplotles in Adobo Sauce intead of the jalapenos, to add some complexity. And I use boxed chicken stock as some of the liquid.

The result is spicy-hot but not richly flavored, though the smokiness of the chiplotles helps some. Still seems flat. Ish. One batch of posole fills my five quart crock pot, so I'm going to be eating this for a while.

I added some bitter (vanilla-free) chocolate with a dash of cinnamon to one of the freezer containers of the leftovers. I put some garam masala in one of the other freezer containers. And ras al hanouf in another one. (That still left several meals' woth of plain posole.) The flavors will blend more slowly while things are frozen, but it still should be better than adding the spices right before re-heating.

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