Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A New Adventure


After 6 years of living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, I decided it was time for a change. I have such a long list of things I avoid eating I could write a book (or a long blog) and am tired of having to cancel social events because of pain and other unfortunate symptoms. I asked around and found that a family friend in the area is not only a nutritionist part time but is also incredibly knowledgeable about IBS. Our meeting and her suggestions have sent me a new food journey which has also renewed my vigor for writing about new recipes.

Though I came away from our first meeting with a veritable laundry list of suggestions, good foods and bad foods, the biggest take away so far is that the amount and type of gluten and soy in my diet could be a huge contributor to the imbalance in my GI system. So the first order of business is to cut out refined grains, gluten products and the mass amounts of soy milk and tofu that I eat. I'm hoping that this is only temporary because really, a life without bread? I'll take the bloating and cramps, thank you very much.

Month One of the new diet has included a lot of recipes which I'll start recounting over the coming weeks. The real trick though is replacing some items like bread, pasta, crackers, etc that I get from the farmers market with other local items. This first recipe was very easy because Windy Hill has an amazing selection of sausage, there are lots of butternut squash still available, and Queen City Pantry just started selling vegetable stock. I also got most of the spices (as well as almost all the spices in my kitchen) from the Savory Spice Shop.

A note about meat: avid readers will know that for 2-3 years, I have been avoiding meat except for locally-grown or other conscientious meat options and even those only rarely. One suggestion from my nutritionist is to introduce small amounts of meat on a regular basis. Thus, you'll see some more meat recipes, all of which I plan to make with locally-available protein options.

Roast Butternut Squash Soup with Sausage (LPO)

3-4 pounds butternut squash,

2 large carrots

1 small onion

3 cloves garlic, peeled

Olive oil as needed

1/2 pound sausage (I used Chorizo but the book suggests mild Italian)

4 cups broth or stock

1/2 teaspoon of each: cinnamon, ground ginger and allspice

1 bay leaf

Toast almonds as garnish (optional)

  1. Cut the squash, carrots and onions into 1" pieces. Combine them and the peeled garlic into a large bowl, coat with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Bake them on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the squash is easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Put the sausage on the stove in a large stockpot, turn on medium and cook through.
  4. While sausage is cooking, put all veggies from the oven into a blender and blend about half way. Put half the broth/stock in the blend and blend completely.
  5. Combine the remaining stock and the veggie puree with the sausage in the stock pot, adding the spices and bay leaf.
  6. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes and serve. 
Recipe source: Against all Grain by Danielle Walker