After my post last week about the elimination diet, I took a friend’s suggestion and checked out cookbooks from the library. Unfortunately, I thought I would also get some I had been wanting to check out anyway, like Mark Bittman’s collection. Who knew that man wrote enough to fill multiple encyclopedias? When I went to pick up my selections at the library, I had a note on the shelf directing me to a huge pile of books stacked on the bottom because that was the only place they would fit. It took two trips to take them to my car. It would probably take me months to go through all of them. I prioritized.
Three have served me best for my menu planning: Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Vegetables, Maya Kamal’s Savoring the Spice Coast of India, and Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.
As I suspected, our diet will primarily consist of legumes, rice, quinoa, veggies and fruit.
Deborah Madison’s book has quinoa salad recipe similar to one I received from a friend including dried fruits and nuts. She also has a few creative ways to cook lentils I plan on trying. I was excited to find a recipe for chard rolls filled with winter veggies. As well as a Spanish rice bake that seems simple and filling. These will certainly make it to a dinner menu.
Maya Kaimal’s use of spices and coconut is perfect, rarely using “no” ingredients from our list and requiring few adaptations. Indian food is a territory I haven’t fully explored, but I feel far more capable after her guidance.
Today’s shopping trip will be to get non-perishable staples for our cupboards:
Star anise Cardamom
Grated unsweetened coconut Quinoa
Potatoes Various types of rice
Almond and cashew butter Rice Noodles
Gluten-free oatmeal Lentils and dried beans
Coconut milk Safflower and flax oil
Multiple heads of garlic Nuts and dried fruit
Tahini paste Herbal teas
Stevia Acorn Squash
We are starting the diet on Thursday, so I plan on stocking up on the needed fresh ingredients on Wednesday night after the preparation class.
Green Beans Cucumbers
Tomatoes/cherry tomatoes Carrots
Cilantro, dill, mint Hot Peppers
Frozen Fruit Almond Milk
Cabbage Bell Peppers
Here are my general meal ideas:
Breakfast: fruit smoothies (banana, frozen fruit, apple juice), homemade granola bars (here’s the recipe), oatmeal with dried fruit, nuts and agave, and weekend breakfast risotto (almond milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla)
Lunch: homemade hummus with veggies, apples with nut butters, salads, and leftovers
Dinners: deconstructed cabbage rolls, stuffed squash, red beans and rice, roasted vegetables, rice noodles and marinara sauce, and curries
I certainly feel more confident than last week. I think it was helpful to have time to think about recipes I already used, ways to filling the Philosopher without his foundational staple of boxed cereal, exploring the cooking genius hidden in books new to me, and finding new and creative cooking styles that will challenge and expand my foundation.
Countdown to diet: 4 days, 9 hours and 19 minutes. But whose counting, really?