I often need to modify a recipe to eliminate or substitute an ingredient that can cause inflammation and an allergic response in my body. My recipe inputs-guidelines have health and non-inflammatory before flavor. But taste and variety are really important to me, so that I enjoy my food. Sometimes to combine healthy and appealing requires a little work and creativity.
I love to cook and love to read recipes. I have a bookcase full of cookbooks. Too many to count! I buy them read them then stash them away. I almost never follow a recipe exactly or read it when I am preparing food.
Instead, I combine ingredients I have with a general result in mind. I get ideas from the recipes I read, but I cook using input from the the 5 senses and 6 tastes. I use all my senses cooking, but I really like to play with how the food smells tastes and looks as I am preparing it. If I am not excited to eat whats in the pan, I am very likely to change things up at the last minute to add a missing color or flavor. I want each recipe I construct to satisfy and nourish my body mind and spirit.
Here is a link with examples on how to engage your senses as you cook. This link is great for anyone who has trouble making things taste good in the kitchen. Cooking with the 5 senses is also a fun way to explore cooking with your kids or grand kids.
I use general recipe guidelines from Ayurveda and clean eating, to help me create food that is high in energy. Food that keeps me healthy. The 6 tastes come from Ayurveda. (Here is a You tube link on the 6 tastes and Ayurveda from my teacher Cate Stillman.)
When I get bored by my current cooking pallet, or the season and ingredients change, I re-read cook books looking for a new perspective or a novel ingredient or a new combination of foods in a recipe. I explore my own kitchen creations using my senses to fine tune my result. Have fun!
Over the past few years my pantry of ingredients has shifted away from food that can trigger a reaction in my body to non-inflammatory choices. One of the ingredients I have struggled with replacing is tomato. Nightshades, tomatoes among them are connected with inflammation and joint pain in people with sensitive immune systems. Because of this, I haven’t eaten any tomato based recipes or products in quite a while.
I miss tomatoes way way more than doughnuts or cookies.
Tomato is used ubiquitously in Italian, Greek, and American cuisine. It often the base flavor for many soups and sauces. When you need to take it (tomato sauce, paste, fresh tomatoes, dried tomatoes), out of everything, the little cherry tomatoes in the salad at restaurants are the least of your problems.
I was excited to discover a cook book that took this missing link head on. Cherry Barbecue Sauce is a recipe from The Autoimmune Paelo Cookbook, that I make right off the page. It is so good and fills a niche of flavor so well that I don’t need to mess around with it.
I tend to make this recipe during cherry season, when they cost a little less. Then I freeze it for use in grilling all summer long. Here is the link for the recipe. I have the cookbook a good option if you or someone you know is trying to moderate inflammation or control food allergies. (no affiliate link)
It is heartwarming to find others faced with the challenge of inflammation respond with joy and creativity to make yummy satisfying foods. I have learned to engage my senses, balance tastes and greatly enjoy creating my own recipes while staying away from inflammatory foods. The journey has made me a better and more thoughtful cook.