Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Special diets

My eldest daughter, Briony was diagnosed with coeliac disease about 3 years ago. She had been so poorly for quite some time and we couldn't work it out. Eventually, whilst channel hopping one evening, I stumbled across some food programme on channel 4 and realised that's what she had. A few tests later, we had our confirmation. It was a steep learning curve initially. You wouldn't believe what items contain gluten!! However, we seem to have it sussed now and I even have a completely separate area of the kitchen for 'gluten preparation' - even the slightest contamination can make people very ill.

Just as I had got to grips with the coeliac, she announced that she had become a vegan! Alana, my second daughter, then went vegetarian, leading me to a whole new set of challenges in the kitchen!
On the plus side, there are some major benefits:- Briony is feeling better than she has in years and has lost weight and is looking great; my food bill is considerably less; I too have lost weight and my digestion is much improved; we produce very little food waste and what we do produce goes on the compost heap and we are definitely reaching the 'five a day' target!!

I try not to use too many specialist ingredients which are pricey, but rather focus on using normal basic ingredients and avoiding gluten and animal products. We have meat or fish on a Sunday for the four of us who are still resolutely carnivorous and share the vegetables. Frankly, our roasts have always been more about the vegetables anyway! The non-meat eaters will have a nut cutlet, vegetarian sausages or veggie burgers with their veg quota.

This weeks menu:-
Butter bean cake and salad
Mushroom and bean hotpot
Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding
Thai vegetable curry and rice
Curried tofu burgers and chips
Spiced bean and vegetable stew
Lentil chilli and vegetable rice

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