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My view on food: A shifting paradigm

This will be the first of what I’m sure will be many posts on this subject.  As I mentioned in my post, “You’re allergic to what?!?!?!“, after being diagnosed with my food allergies I had to fundamentally change how I viewed food.  Gone were the days of “I don’t want to eat that because I don’t like it/don’t want to”.  I no longer could just eat whatever was offered to me without asking multiple questions: “Are there nuts in there?” “What did you use to make this?” “Can I get ______ as a substitue for _______?”.

Early on, before I was 100% accustomed to thinking about food in an active instead of a passive way, I would get into things I was allergic to – almonds on a cheese ball, carrots in salads, tomato based pasta sauce – and pay the price.  Thankfully, I’ve gotten a lot better and haven’t had to take benedryl in a long time (*knocks on wood*).

As a part of the learning process about my new relationship with food as well as an increased interest in food and cooking, I started to read a number of books.  These books made me do a lot of thinking as well as gave me inspiration to try to eat more local, in-season food, as well as seeking out grass-fed beef and other sustainable organic meat options.  These choices were not only about my personal health but also about how these choices impact the greater society.


Gobble. Gobble.

I’m hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year, kinda.  It’s only going to be my mom, my pops, and my roommate (as of right now). 

There are a few items that I know we will include in our menu: turkey, dirt rolls (family tradition), & green bean casserole.

Apart from this, I need to find some other options.  Since I’m allergic to most of the traditional side items, I’m having to be a bit more creative.  I am going to test run some mashed rutabags this weekend, and will likely do some stuff with sweet potatoes, but other then that I’m drawing blanks.

Here’s where you all get to play along – I want your suggestions!  Comment below or send an email to me at with a recipe. 


Quiet night – perfect time for some baking

Made it home after the GOTV Rally at the U with President Obama.  It was a good time and I will have plenty of pictures soon.

Decided I wanted to have quiet night at home – maybe watch a movie with the pup, do some stuff around the house, and bake some brownies. 

Last summer when I was on an elimination diet during the Great Allergy Hunt of 2009, I had to eat gluten free.  Since then, I’ve still kept some of those items in my pantry, not because they are gluten free but because they are super tasty (plus I have a friend that can’t do gluten, so I like to be accomodating when I can).  One of these items is a gluten free brownie mix.  They aren’t dry as many gluten free (GF) baked good tend to be and I often time make my own litte tweaks to make them my own and not just your standard mix out of a box.

In the past, I’ve added GF chocolate chips or strawberry-rhubarb compote.  Tonight I decided to go with replacing the oil called for with some of my homemade applesauce.  Bascially, the recipe is: 1/4 cup applesauce, 1/3 cup water, brownie mix, extra chocolate chips and a bit of cinnamon.  They remain GF and turn out pretty fudgey.  I’m a bit nervous about the applesauce, but I’m sure it’ll turn out.

The homemade applesauce has pretty much turned me off of buying it at the store for two main reasons: 1. it is ridiculously cheap and easy, and 2. IT TASTES AMAZING.  I chose to do it in the crockpot – which took a bit longer, but was worth it in the end.  I also used apples from the farmer’s market, as a part of my quest to eat seasonally and locally.

Basically the recipe is:

  • enough apples to fill the crockpot or pot 3/4s of the way (~8-10 apples) cored & chopped into roughly the same size pieces (do not peel them!)
  •  3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or to taste)
  •  1/2 cup water

Put it all in the crock pot (either on high or low), stirring occasionally, until it cooks down and the apples are able to be smashed by a spoon.  I then used a food mill to get rid of all of the peels and smooth it out. 

So good. So simple.