The Philosopher has been seeing a physician at The Ohio State University Center for Integrated Medicine for a few months. The Philosopher has struggled with psoriasis for the past few years and decided to seek other ideas for treating the problems that involved less medication. He has enjoyed the experience and has valued their work to look at his entire lifestyle and the impact of diet, exercise, and environment all have on his overall health.
After his first visit, we ran out to buy various supplements –including a smelly mixture prescribed by an Ayurveda specialist, part of India’s traditional medical system. He was also instructed to remove yeast-products from his diet (goodbye sourdough starter and beer) and reduce his cheese intake. Subsequent visits led to the purchase of a humidifier, creating a routine sleep schedule, and an increased exercise routine. All these changes were reasonable. I tried to use cheese in our meals no more than once per week and leavened bread was almost completely eliminated (a guy’s gotta have his pizza sometimes!).
Then last week he came home with a packet titled “Elimination Diet Support Group”. The physicians run a support group to help patients taking on a detox diet a few times per week. The packet includes lists of foods one can and cannot eat, recipes, suggestions, etc. Since The Philosopher has been editing for one of the physicians at the Center for Integrated Medicine, I assumed he was going to edit this as well. Wrong.
The Philosopher and I will be attending a class on March 2 to learn about the diet and will begin on March 3. Foods to exclude are long: oranges, dairy and eggs, wheat, corn, red meat and pork, soy products, peanuts, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, honey, maple syrup, chocolate, and soy and teriyaki sauces.
Now, some of these aren’t too difficult. We don’t eat red meat or pork. There are plenty of fruits and veggies we eat outside of oranges and corn. I once gave up chocolate for Lent with an ex-boyfriend, I can do it again.
On the other hand, going completely gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free will be hard. I don’t use a lot of refined sugar, but relying only on agave to sweeten will be difficult. Can anyone spot the food/kitchen items that will be off-limits soon?
Oh yea, did I mention no alcohol? Seriously? How am I supposed to write rough drafts of papers without a glass of wine? It’s going to be the end of the quarter!
So, I have decided that the next 1 1/2 weeks will be our time of plenty. I made biscuits Friday with flour, baking powder, salt, butter and 3 cups of cream! These are perfect with homemade sweet potato and apple butter. I purchased a few bottles of wine and beer. I also began to plan the next few meals with the idea of enjoying some of our favorite ingredients.
Time of Plenty
Tonight’s menu; dill and lemon roasted salmon, smashed potatoes with kale (and more of that cream), and butter garlic roasted mushrooms (keep reading for the recipes)
Monday: carmalized onion and kale frittata
Tuesday: stir-fried veggies in a spicy peanut sauce
Thursday: tofu and veggie fajitas
Friday: out for pizza
Saturday: Swiss Chard and Onion Panade
I also began to think about the week of want. I am simmering vegetable stock while writing and am thinking of some of my favorite bean-based meals. I have a pretty good foundation since this is fairly representative our our winter diet. Unfortunately, The Philosopher will not be eating a veggie pita with yogurt for lunch. Since he has a nearly bottomless stomach, I am going to need some ideas for new, filling recipes that do not require meat beyond fresh fish. Also, I am guessing we will not be eating out until this diet is over.
Here are my initial ideas:
Coconut curry with beans and rice
Hummus and veggies
Red beans and Rice
I predict the biggest challenges will be to ensure that The Philosopher has enough in his lunch. He does not like vinegar, making salads with a traditional dressing a no-go, so rice or quinoa salads will be necessary. We also love having bread to sop up broth, so I won’t be able to rely solely on soup for success.
I plan on perusing my vegan cookbook for ideas and all my gathered recipes from over the years. I will also probably search the online blog-o-sphere for other meal plans. Readers, we are going to need a little more help. This could last a few weeks and I would love some ideas and recipes. Within those tight parameters, do you have any favorites out there? Please, comment away! I am sure other readers will greatly benefit from the combined wisdom. I am going to try to post as many of the recipes I use during the elimination diet so that others can benefit in the future.
Most importantly, does anyone know a good replacement for the evening glass of red wine?
Here’s recipes for tonight’s meal of plenty:
I mixed ~ 1T of Dijon mustard, one minced garlic clove, a splash of lemon juice, and a good helping of fresh dill with a few tablespoons of butter to make a compound butter. After applying kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to the salmon fillets, I layered the compound butter on top and baked at 400 for ~15 minutes. Careful, the butter will melt and you may end up filling your oven with smoke. I suggest putting the salmon on a cookie sheet with a lip, unlike my cookie sheet choice.
I diced and boiled 4-5 yukon gold potatoes (leaving their skins on) until nearly soft. Before finished, I added loosely chopped kale to the water and potatoes. After everything had softened, I strained the water. To smash, I used my stand mixer, but a good potato masher would work. I added 1 stick of butter, fresh pepper and salt, and a few tablespoons of heavy cream while mixing.
I simply used this recipe and made no changes. With spoon-licking results.
While this was far from the most heart-healthy meal I have ever posted, it was certainly delicious. Especially with a beer.
Damn, this is going to be hard! Help please!