A couple of years ago, after having some recurring health problems, I was tested for food sensitivities and found that I had allergies/sensitivities to gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and yeast among other things. I went on an elimination diet avoiding all of these foods for a month and all of my health issues seemed to miraculously disappear, so I decided to stick with my new diet. It wasn’t easy getting started, and eating in restaurants or at other people’s houses can still be a minefield, but I’ve actually found it quite easy to avoid all of these foods without feeling deprived when I cook at home. I’m more conscious of what goes into my meals, and I pay more attention to what I am eating to make sure I’m getting all the right nutrients.
I chose the name “Resourceful Kitchen” for its double meaning. On the one hand, resourceful means “quick-witted, ingenious and capable of handling difficult situations.” I like that my diet pushes me to be adventurous and creative in the kitchen. I actually think I’m a better cook working with my restrictions than I was in the old days when I just threw cheese in everything and called it a meal. I also like that “Resourceful Kitchen” suggests a kitchen that’s full of resources. I want to celebrate all the wonderful foods that I enjoy eating.
I’m not trained as a chef, but I love to cook and bake and have over 15 years of experience cooking for myself and others on a daily basis. I believe everyone can and should learn to cook healthy foods. We all have a responsibility to take the best care of ourselves that we can. I don’t have a gourmet kitchen or cook with fancy equipment (I live in a fourth floor walk-up apartment, and the fanciest things I have are a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and a slow-cooker), so almost of my recipes can be made with basic pots, pans and utensils. My attitude is to be flexible. If I don’t know how to cook something new, I dive in and experiment. I’m not afraid to get a little messy. And I certainly have my share of “learning experiences,” some of which I’ll detail here.
There are so many different diets these days that it can be tough to navigate the food maze. I don’t evangelize for the diet I follow—It’s the right fit for me, not for everyone—and I want everyone to feel welcome. I want to eliminate feelings of exclusion or of being a burden on your dining companions experienced by those on restricted diets. For example, what do you cook when your vegan cousin and your gluten-free aunt come to visit you and your paleo boyfriend? Greek-Style Ratatouille (just maybe skip the honey)!
My goal is for everyone to find something to suit his or her dietary needs here, and maybe to provide some solutions for those moments where seemingly conflicting diets collide. My recipes will never include gluten, dairy, eggs, soy or yeast. In addition, I try to keep saturated fat low and to avoid refined sugar and added sodium as much as possible. Because my diet eliminates several common protein sources, I do eat small quantities of meat and fish and a lot of nuts and I will include them in some of my recipes. However, I am sympathetic to vegans. I try to eat vegan meals several times a week and plan to have many plants-only recipes. In most of my recipes, I will try to include variations to accommodate vegans and those who are nut-free. If you are following a diet with special restrictions and you don’t see something here that fits your needs or are missing something particular that you used to eat, tweet me (@ResrcfulKitchen) or send me your comments—I’d love to try to help you out!
Happy, stress-free eating to all,