Food Tips, Meals

A Little About Substitutions

This is going to be a shorter post than I originally planned, because I’ve literally spent the whole last week recovering from my trip to Arizona.  I usually only visit Phoenix in the winter and 100+F temperatures and I don’t agree with each other any more.

So, a short bit about substitutions.

Over the years, I tried to find things with which to replace wheat, because, while I am not gluten intolerant, I am sensitive to the wheat used predominately here in the US. (More on that in a future post.)

I used to make lovely pancakes from almond meal or hazelnut meal, until I started developing sensitivities to those nuts.  Walnuts have always bothered me. So there went that.

Because I had to have my gall bladder out a few years ago due to an inherited condition, I’ve now become sensitive to oils.  By taking digestive enzymes, I can get by with a tiny bit in a salad dressing. Just enough to get the vinegar to cling to the leaves, which is all right by me, because I love vinegar.

However, I’ve also discovered that I have no such problem with butter.  So, if baked goods call for oils, I just use melted organic butter.  I never touch margarine of any type.  Not only is margarine usually made of inferior oils, the process used to make it is unhealthy.

Two things my cousin and my daughter have experimented with recently are variations on pesto and BBQ sauce.

My cousin can’t eat basil, so she makes pesto from arugula, or rocket as they call it in the UK.   My daughter took a traditional Texas Style BBQ Sauce recipe and turned it into a tomato-free delight.  Both those recipes will be appearing here in the coming weeks.

On a final note, if like me, you have problems with foods high in sulfur, I’ve found that I have much less trouble if I use garlic and onion granules in recipes in moderation, rather than using the fresh items.  It’s sad, because I adore both fresh garlic and onions.

I’ve also found that I tolerate shallots and leeks better than onions and white onions better than red, which are, of course, my favorite. And it’s often completely possible to greatly reduce the amount of fresh onions or garlic and still come out with a delicious dish

Never be afraid to experiment.

Food Sensitivities, Meals, Ramblings

The Nightshades We Eat or… Not

While the actual Deadly Nightshade plant has purple flowers, it’s less toxic relatives have a mix of colors including white, blue, yellow and purple.

The following plants which produce food we eat are:

Eggplant, Tomatoes, Tomatillos, Pimentos, all Peppers, including Bell, Chili, Cayenne and Paprika, and all varieties of Potato. (Sweet potatoes and yams are not true potatoes).

The last surprising plant in this family is Tobacco.

All nightshades contain toxic compounds called glycoalkaloids.  These compounds act as natural pesticides, protecting the plants from a wide range of insects and other disease bearing micro-organisms.

Sensitive individuals may experience various forms of gastric distress after ingesting these foods.

My experience has been that potatoes do not bother me at all.  Tomatoes, which are also high in sulphur, are a problem, as are raw peppers.  I tend to suffer heartburn and indigestion.  I dislike eggplant and pimentos, so no problems there for me.  I use a lot of paprika in my cooking and it has never been a problem.

When I started working on eliminating tomatoes from my diet, I substituted Mediterranean Organic Organic Fire Roasted Red Peppers in my chili con carne recipe and it turned out delicious.

 

 

 

Food Sensitivities, Meals, Ramblings

Welcome

Welcome to Deadly Nightshade:  Living with Serious Food Sensitivities.

After years of battling health problems caused by the food I was eating and being told repeatedly that I wasn’t allergic to anything, I finally decided to approach things from another perspective.  Nutritionists and other medical personnel were just starting to talk about food sensitivities as opposed to allergies.  If you are truly allergic to something you have a respiratory reaction.  That was never my problem.  Constant gastric distress?  Yes.

I get extremely ill when given sulfa drugs (it runs in the family) and one day it dawned on me. I wasn’t truly allergic to them, but I definitely was sensitive to them.  They made me extremely nauseous, followed by extreme hyperactivity.

And, if sulfa drugs are made from sulfur, then what about the sulfur found in so many foods?  It was the early days of the internet and I ran across an article by a woman who was suffering from an extreme auto-immune disease.  In her research, she discovered that the common denominator was sulfur rich foods. When she eliminated them from her diet, her illness went into remission.

Luckily, I’ve found that sulfur sensitivity is usually a saturation issue.  You can be fine for years, then it hits you.  The good news is, you can detox. I was so ill by this time that I chose to follow her recommendations.  I spent two months eating only carrots, celery, pork, potatoes, white meat poultry and organic melons.  I lost weight, because I was no longer bloating and all my gastric problems went away.

This detox made it possible for me to eat again normally for awhile, but the problems kept coming back as my saturation levels rose again.  And I’m no saint.  It’s hard to avoid everything you enjoy.

Eventually, I started to develop work arounds.  Substituting different vegetables for those that caused me the most problems.  Fortunately, a lot of things are ok if they are organic, because they are not picking up sulfur and sulfites from non-organic fertilizers.

So, while I don’t expect anyone to actually poison themselves with Deadly Nightshade, I did decide to use it as a title for my blog, because there are so many foods in the nightshade family that we eat on a regular basis and tomatoes are the bane of my existence.

As I continue writing this blog, I will be including my work around ideas and recipes that my family and I enjoy.  We will also have guest bloggers from time to time, contributing their recipes and stories of their food sensitivities.