When I tell people about Thea's long list of food allergies, the question, "So, what DO you eat?" is usually soon to follow. Since I'm still nursing Thea, my diet also has to exclude her trigger foods. It's made mealtime a bit more challenging.
(In case you're wondering, the list of foods to avoid includes the following: beef, chicken, turkey, apples, coconut, pears, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, pecans, oats, rice, crab, fish, shrimp, milk, black pepper, lima beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, spinach, and sweet potato. In addition, we've also had to eliminate soy, and we're currently doing a challenge to see if she has outgrown the egg allergy she had when she was younger.).
One of our summer staples has been a yummy salad made with quinoa, black beans, corn, and cherry tomatoes. I usually whip up a batch each weekend and we eat it throughout the week.
quinoa salad with black beans, corn, and cherry tomatoes
Here's the recipe:
(or at least as much of a recipe as I can offer - except for the quinoa and broth, I really just whip this up without measuring much of anything)
1 cup quinoa (rinsed) 2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)** black beans to your liking (I usually use about 3/4 of a 15 oz can) 2 ears corn cherry tomatoes to your liking (I love the yellow sungold tomatoes in this recipe, they are soo sweet and
yummy) juice from 1 lime couple tablespoons olive oil 1 TBS (or so) honey
Cook the quinoa (bring to a boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes
or so - until all the liquid is absorbed and the ring around the center of the grain is visible). Let the quinoa cool down before mixing everything
together. Cook the corn and then cut it off the cob. Mix the lime
juice, oil, and honey. Mix the quinoa, corn, and beans. Add the
dressing, mixing thoroughly. I mix in the tomatoes last so they don't
get too beaten up.
**Since celery and carrots must be avoided, I now make this just using water - a slightly different taste, but just as yummy.
So there you have it - I thought I better share the recipe while there are still tomatoes for sale at the farmer's market.
I absolutely love quinoa - and I have many more recipes to share using this super-healthy grain. I'd also love to hear your favorite quinoa recipes. So, do tell...
It feels a bit awkward to begin again after being quiet for so long. But I'm working on making space for writing because it is so good for my soul.
Life has been such a whirlwind. Mostly, I spend my days chasing after Thea and being amazed at how much she grows and changes each day. Watching her self emerge and observing her and supporting her as she learns to navigate the world is such a gift. I am so grateful to spend my days seeing it all unfold. I used to just nod and smile when people would say something about their child being their greatest teacher. But now I completely get it. Each day, she shows me ways that I can grow - how I can be more patient and kinder and more understanding and less focused on myself. And I am learning so much about how the way that I was raised and how my relationships with my parents created the person I am today.
In addition to the business of mothering, I've also been thinking a whole lot about food. This is partly because after 16 months of subsisting primarily on cereal, I'm trying to get myself back into my healthy ways of eating. But mostly, it's because sorting out Thea's food allergies has been pretty consuming. Since she was a few weeks old, we've struggled with feeding her. First it meant altering my diet. Now it means continuing to tweak my diet and experimenting with foods to find out what she will tolerate. We finally had her tested last week and it turns out she is allergic to nearly everything she had been eating. So now, we pretty much have a vegan baby who is also allergic to rice, oats, and a good number of fruits and vegetables. And if that wasn't challenging enough, I recently started eating a gluten free diet. All this means that we're going to be getting a lot more creative in the kitchen.
So, there you have it - a little hello - a small step towards easing back into this space. I'll be back soon.