Are you on a restricted diet due to health reasons? Do you have food allergies or intolerances? Do you sometimes long for a good replacement for a forbidden food?
I do. I am slowly working my way back to being able to tolerate some foods, but am still not eating dairy, wheat, soy, nuts, refined sugar, eggs, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, etc) and try to avoid as many chemicals and pesticides as I can. The longer I am avoiding those things the better I feel and find myself getting more and more creative with meal plans. But, sometimes a craving comes out of nowhere and I have to roll up my sleeves and think outside the box to make what I am hungry for.
Last week I could not stop thinking about spaghetti and meatballs with sauce. Why not give it a go? We try to use rice or rice pasta sparingly, so this was a fun treat for us. I finally settled on a tomato free sauce that I LOVE, made up a batch of dairy free parmesan cheese, whipped up some safe grass-fed beef meatballs and this was the result.
I am a huge fan of adding parsley or cilantro leaves on EVERYTHING, hence the forest of parsley leaves. This was the perfect comfort food for a cold winter day. Everyone’s way of eating is different and this dish can easily be changed up. This would not be friendly to those who practice food combining but with some changes it could be, vegetarians can make their own version of meatballs, rice noodles can be replaced with zucchini noodles, buckwheat noodles, or freshly made organic wheat pasta. Even the ingredients in the sauce can be changed up to whatever you desire! Find what works best for YOU.
This is what I did this time around. I came across this recipe for a tomato free sauce months ago and have been adjusting to our tastes. So far this is my favorite. I sometimes use sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash. I always add a ton of garlic and dried or fresh basil, sometimes I blend it smooth or leave it chunky, each batch is different. I sometimes make a large batch and freeze some in glass jars.
The meatballs were a basic meatball recipe that I adjusted to my dietary needs. These were a treat because I had a few slices of safe bread that I soaked in some unsweetened coconut yogurt and coconut aminos. This batch was amazing!
For me, the most exciting thing about this meal was the dairy free parmesan cheese! This is SUPER easy to make and I keep a jar in the fridge to top various dishes or salads with. What is it? Sesame seeds, garlic, and salt. That’s it. All I do is grind up enough sesame seeds to fill my little jar, add garlic granules or powder, and some sea salt. You can add anything else you would like and make it your own! So simple and SO good!
Don’t worry if your current food list seems to be shrinking and your “no” food list seems to be growing. Just take a deep breath and get creative. Think of a favorite dish and ways you can alter it so it is safe for you to eat. It may take a few tries to get to where you want to be or get it tasting just right. But don’t give up!
You got this!