Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cooking Without

Honestly, I do love to cook and it is a good thing. While I was nursing my first daughter, I had to avoid dairy. She still continued to scream for hours on end and not sleep. I was at my wits end with her. She screamed inconsolably until she was about a year old. Everyone who knew me then was shocked that I would even consider having another, let alone actually go through with it.

I was shocked when my 2nd daughter arrived 6 weeks early. Placenta previa was the culprit and let me just tell you, it's a scary ending to a pregnancy. Because she was a preemie, we visited every pediatric -ologist you could imagine. Neonatologist, pulmonologist, opthamalogist, and lastly gastroenterologist. When she developed blood in her stool it was the gastroenterologist that shed light on not only her problems, but the problems with my previous infant. She had what he described as a classic case of protein intolerance. This diagnosis severely impacted my diet. I was told to eliminate soy, dairy, beef, eggs, chocolate (yes, really), and nuts. Within a week the problems all cleared up and she was a happy, smiley baby again. If only I had known the first time around.

Fast forward 9 years and they have outgrown all their issues. It was just a case of an immature digestive tract, not a life long problem. I began eating all my usual favorites again. I began having terrible digestive problems. It seems my body forgot how to digest dairy products and not just lactose, it is a cannot digest dairy protein problem. That was soon followed by trouble with soy, onions, and garlic. The onion I can live without, the garlic has been rather hard. The trick is that either dairy, soy, or onion is found in all processed foods. That eliminates cookies, salsa, Italian cuisine, Mexican cuisine, fast food, flavored rice or couscous, potluck dinners, the list goes on and on.

This is where the love of cooking has come in handy. I have been cooking dinner since we first got married. We rarely eat out because I'd rather eat at home. I have developed work arounds for most cuisines and recipes that allow me to eat what I want without consequence. Last night dinner was Baked Chimichangas. I will give the recipes for dairy/soy, onion, and garlic free Mexican over the next 2 days. If you can have those things, by all means add 1/4 C salsa and 2 cloves of garlic to the Enchilada sauce, First up Red Enchilada Sauce and Rena's Black Beans...

Red Enchilada Sauce
1 can diced tomatoes, pureed
1/2 tsp oregano
2 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp basil
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 C water

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered 15-20 minutes.

Rena's Black Beans
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 C water (or chicken broth)
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer, stirring occasionally and mashing beans with the back of a spoon. Be careful to not burn the bottom. If it gets too thick, add more water. Mine looks close to refried bean consistency when I am done.

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