Welcome to the first installment of The Willing Cook!
We are so glad you are here and hope that you will find this blog helpful, intriguing and good.
So, let’s get started…
Do you know that cooking for someone (or yourself) who has food allergies or other dietary restrictions does not have to be a frightening experience? I understand that the fear of hurting a loved one can cause worry, but in the arena of cooking, there is room to breathe as long as you are willing to make sacrifices and adjustments in your life and routine.
Here are 5 easy ways to lesson your anxiety, and ultimately, produce good food and a content home:
1. Know your limits. From the beginning, get in the mindset of what you cannot have. Then, think of the endless possibilities of what you can have. If you cannot have dairy, don’t consider making lasagna for dinner. Think of an alternative instead; perhaps a “cheeseless” lasagna or simply go with spaghetti. Keep in mind that there will be some dishes that you simply can no longer have…period. In our home, we have become accustomed to the fact that we can no longer have casseroles or pizza and that is just the way it is. These are the sacrifices a willing cook has to make.
2. Know your ingredients. Have you heard of R.E.A.L.? It stands for Read Every and All Labels. You have to be vigilant about reading food labels. All labels. All the time. (Even on medication.) You can go to great lengths to fix a meal, only to later discover (after some sort of negative reaction) that one of the ingredients you used had a hidden ingredient that was on your “no” list.
3. You don’t have to only shop at health food stores. In fact, grocery stores have come a long way and continue to improve in the area of providing alternative foods for customers. Furthermore, you don’t have to shop only in the “natural food” section of the store. Future posts on The Willing Cook will give you many ways to find staple items right on your local store shelf and budget-friendly tips on how to make it more affordable.
4. Be willing to experiment. With experimenting, comes failure. Don’t be afraid of it. Pick yourself up, (throw out the dish and the recipe) and try again. When you create a successful experiment, remember to right down the recipe. I keep a recipe journal for such successes.
5. Visit The Willing Cook everyday. You will want to try some of the recipes that will be posted here, almost weekly. And there is much more to come on the website that we hope you will find helpful.
So, do you feel less stressed yet about cooking with food allergies? Don’t worry. Come back to The Willing Cook tomorrow and see what is in store for you.