Struggling with Lyme disease

A personal blog about nightshades, grains, dairy, Lyme Disease… oh my!
Also see my listing of Nightshades

Category Archives: Cooking > General Information

About using spices for the spice impaired


Okay, so, now that you have to throw out all of the recipes you used growing up, what do you do?  You first remove all of the spices you can no longer eat like paprika, cayenne, and pretty much every “combination” spice there is. 

Now what are you left with?  How do you pick somethign that goes well together?  Well, here’s what I found out works for me.  Go to your spice shelf and stare at them  :-)   Okay, that’s not so helpful.  What you need to do is SMELL THEM.  Not all at once!  Yeesh, that could have been a disaster.

Think about the meat (or soy product) you’re wanting to cook.  What do you think might go on something like that?  The other night I wanted to cook a Tilapia fish fillet, but could no longer use the Mrs. Dash that I always used in the past.  So, think… think… think.  Maybe garlic would be nice?  So, I grabbed the Garlic Salt and sniffed it. That’s nice, but it could use something else.  So, I went back to looking at my spices. 

Hmm… what does Basil smell like?  I dunno.  So, I grabbed it and sniffed it.  That seemed nice.  Now, what would these two spices smell like together?  I took them both (caps off) and moved them back and forth under my nose at the same time.  Yeah, that smells okay.  And, voila!  It actually turned out really tasty!  I don’t think my significant other would think so as he smokes, and really can’t smell anything unless it’s pretty spicy, but it was great for me.

Another useful thing that I thought of is that, if you haven’t actually thrown away those combination spice bottles that you liked, you can look at the ingredients in them and see what they are putting together.  You might be able to mimic most of it without the nightshades.  Might turn out weird, though, so be sure to smell them together before putting it on your meat/veggies.

I’ll post more spice combinations as I come across them.  Happy spice sniffing to all!

What do you do about margarine in recipes?


So… what do you do about margarine in recipes?  The non-dairy margarine that I had found and had been using, contains a potato based ingredient (vitamin A palmitate).  sigh.  I can’t use real butter yet because I’m not well enough to challenge it.  And, since I don’t have my daughter on the diet yet, I’m still keeping her at the non-dairy point.  It would be cruel for me to make things with real butter only to turn around and tell her she can’t have it. 

I wonder if Earth Balance sticks have potato?  I stopped using them because they really didn’t taste very good.  But, if I just use them for baking, maybe it won’t be as noticable?  Here are the ingredients for the Buttery Sticks:

Expeller-pressed natural oil blend (soybean, palm fruit, canola and olive oils), filtered water, pure salt, natural flavor (derived from corn, no MSG, no alcohol, no gluten), soy protein, soy lecithin, lactic acid (non-dairy, derived from sugar beets), colored with beta-carotene from natural sources. Contains soy.

It looks okay?  Has anyone super sensitive to nightshades tried it and reacted to it?

Cooking for the muscle and energy impaired


If you’re anything like me, then cooking anything just seems like waaaay too much work.  If a recipe has more than a handful of ingredients or a handful of steps, I most likely will get exhausted just thinking about it.  With the memory problems, and the inability to concentrate, even the most basic tasks seem overwhelming.  Talking with people about what I can no longer eat can sometimes result in them saying “oh, well, you can make that yourself!  Just do A, B, C, D, E…”.  Yeah, I’m not gonna do that much less remember it!

Not only that, but if you grew up in a household like mine, you now have to pretty much throw out every single recipe you got from your mother along the way.  Unless you’re a good cook (which I’m not) and are able to adapt them to the nightshade free diet.  I live in Minnesota, USA, and everything my mother made seems to have potatoes or paprika in it.  You know, because paprika makes those beige meals seem more exciting.  Yeah, thanks.

So, I’m going to do my best to gather all of my basic recipes together for those of you who are exhausted or just plain cooking impaired – like me!  :-)