Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 10 - Creativity with restrictions.

I mentioned the other day that I have some food sensitivities; add in my husband's and the tastes of my four year old and cooking around here can get pretty creative.

I had a similar transition on a low oxalate diet as I did when I first went gluten free: a general panic that I can no longer eat ANYTHING and that there is no way to eat a healthy diet by removing all the foods it seems I now need to remove. Of course, there are plenty of foods out there, but my initial reaction was to see the restrictions. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that's pretty typical.

Now, I've had some time to calm down and realize that, no, even though it's easier to remember that they're low oxalate, a diet consisting entirely of meat and dairy is probably not very nutritionally sound. So, I re-examined the list of oxalate content in foods with a different perspective: instead of looking for what I can't eat anymore, I was looking for what I can.

Squash, zucchini, cucumbers, cauliflower, avocado...

Shifting from the attitude of More Things I Can't Have into one of More Things I Can Have, I've found some pretty interesting combinations of foods.

For example, my latest favorite was derived from the fact that it's pumpkin pie season. One night, by chance, my rice pasta was done cooking at the same time as the fresh pumpkin was done boiling (in preparation for the pies my husband cooked immediately following). I glanced over at the spaghetti sauce and various other pasta-ready components that were sitting on the counter, and on impulse, disregarded them, shifted gears, and asked my husband if I could use some of the pumpkin. Pasta, pumpkin, butter, oregano, pepper, garlic: voila. I've made it three times since and I love it.

I tried different spice combinations with an acorn squash for several days in a row.

I plan on trying "zucchini bake" that a friend of ours recommended recently, which consists of sliced zucchini in the bottom of a baking dish, some olive oil, salt and pepper, topped with cheese, then baked.

The phase I went through where I made avocado-based smoothies for breakfast was interesting; I wouldn't recommend blending avocado with blueberries as the color just turns out wrong, but it tasted just fine; bananas and strawberries work much better.

But in general? Now that I'm seeing this with an element of creativity rather than an element of "can't," I'm having fun with cooking (those who know me may fall over dead reading that statement, just sayin'), and I'm discovering new flavors that I never knew I'd like.

What is something in your life that you could use a shift? Instead of the "can'ts," look for the "cans." Let me know what you find, and have fun with it!


notanillusion said...

This reminds me of when you were here... what was it you put on that pizza?

Karyn said...

@notanillusion: I don't remember, but I remember that it was a) out of the ordinary and b) AWESOME. Now I'll be trying to remember it all day...

Karyn said...

@notanillusion: I Googled, found the restaurant, checked the menu and! It was pecans :).

Karyn said...

(which, ironically, are high oxalate)