A thousand ingredients, and not a bite to eat

November 12, 2019 at 7:12 pm (Food, Fully Sick, general life)

There are four people in my family: Chris, my partner, who is more or less normal food-wise; myself, intolerant of FODMAPS and salicylates (ie most fruit, vegetables, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, processed meats, and nuts); Louisette, age 7, who is intolerant of honey and sulphites, and TJ, who is more or less normal except for being 5 years old.

Standing up to make a peanut butter sandwich is enough to give me a sore back, so dinner is a real challenge. I wouldn’t say I’m succeeding, as such. Unless the bar we’re setting here is “no fatalities, no starvation”.

For example, this is what we’re eating for dinner tonight:

Chris: Literally frozen and reheated airplane food (I get some truly weird meals from a charitable food pantry at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Melba; I feed it to him so he gets a bit of variety). As usual, he doesn’t get served any vegetables because it’s too hard (he usually has a carrot at work, and sometimes adds baby spinach to his sandwich). Sad but true. On very rare occasions, I will find something at St Paul’s that the kids will eat. Usually even if they like it once, they don’t ever eat it again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me: Lamb chop roasted with potatoes (and usually sweet potatoes and sometimes carrot, but not today). This is my “safe” meal and I usually eat it about 3 times a week (my doctor said to cut down on starches and red meat, and I just laughed. Then I started taking fish oil tablets). Potatoes, sweet potato, and carrots are all in my top 5 best veggies (potatoes are the only fully safe vegetable for me, which is actually not that awful; potatoes are awesome). The only hazard is the brown flavouring in the gravy. Sometimes I make my own gravy, but not today. Chris will also eat lamb chops, but the kids won’t. (I could have made lamb chops for him today, but I’m on day 3 of the same thing so I thought something else might be good.)

Louisette: Sausages in bread with tomato sauce (a la BBQ sausages). She loves it, and had two full sausages and two slices of bread. Even with no vegetables (does tomato sauce count?) that’s a win: no whining, and a solid meal. Since she’s on Ritalin, she often eats very little and is in danger of losing weight. We worked hard over many months to get her to just sit at the table every night, and even harder to get her to take more than two bites of pretty much anything. And sausages are nice and easy to make. Chris also likes them; Tim has gotten over them; I’m strongly intolerant of sausages.

TJ: “Spicy noodles” ie ramen ie mi goreng ie 2-minute noodles (the kind with several sauces including chili). With grated cheese and ham added. He didn’t eat all that much today (his first time eating beef rendang flavour, which is hotter than the norm and he said it was too spicy but he “don’t feel like a sandwich” so I guess that’s it for him today. Also very easy to make in a single portion (we have a great bowl-and-lid set that has an inner bowl that’s also a strainer, which is perfect for mi goreng), which can be a lifesaver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other meals that we eat:

All of us:

-Eggs… sometimes. Poached, boiled, or eagle eyes. Daddy is usually the chef when it comes to eggs.

-Butter chicken with gnocchi and Greek yogurt. (Somewhat… international, I know.) This is delicious AND I’ve gotten to the point where I can sneak some zucchini (the only green veggie I tolerate well) into the sauce AND TJ will sometimes let me add frozen corn and/or peas to the sauce. Louisette doesn’t eat the butter chicken… but I set aside some of the chicken and add Ayam’s Lemon Chicken sauce, and she loves it. The butter chicken with sauce (but, interestingly, NOT the lemon chicken with sauce) freezes and reheats beautifully, so that can serve TJ or Chris or me again (with a bit of fresh-cooked gnocchi and some yogurt). We’ve been having this 2-3 times a week, so I’m starting to get a bit sick of it (plus spicy probably isn’t great for a sensitive stomach like mine). And I can’t stand chicken breast or tenderloins (unsurprisingly, I’m quite neurotic about food) so I always get boneless thighs and then have to cut them up. Handling raw meat is a lot of work, and gross. Still, for the moment, I can still stomach butter chicken—and it works really well for the whole family. The below photo is a classic scene, with the main pan having butter chicken, the pan on the right having lemon chicken, the bowl on the left cooling down TJ’s gnocchi (removed from boiling water with a slotted spoon so the water and heat isn’t wasted) and the pan at the back right waiting for the second lot of gnocchi to go in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Rice paper rolls. These are unusually healthy for me, including snow peas/cucumber (snow peas for me, cucumber for TJ; Chris is flexible as usual) and carrot. Louisette won’t touch them, but I use a Woolies roast chicken and I give her lemon chicken… ie some of the chicken pieces with the same Ayam lemon chicken sauce. And that works with relatively little effort. But rice paper rolls are a LOT of work and, again, handling the chicken sometimes grosses me out. Even though it’s cooked.

-Mini pizzas. I use English muffins so it’s easy to vary who gets what. The kids both accept basil pesto (tomato paste is anathema even though tomato sauce is ambrosia) and have pineapple and ham. I’m intolerant of pineapple and ham and aware that they’re basically just a sandwich, so I usually make mini pizzas for the kids when Chris and I are eating something completely different. Plus making two instead of 3-4 pizzas means less time spent standing up without a break.

Louisette only: Frozen nuggets and fish (1 meal, with both—but she’s over frozen chips) with tomato sauce, mayo, and lemon juice.

TJ only: Corn on the cob and ham. (Also he apparently eats a wonderful variety and quantity at day care. It will be a real shame to lose that when he starts Kindy in 2020.)

Chris and I only:

Beef stroganoff (although I think it’s awful as leftovers, so I rarely make it—plus I’m highly intolerant of mushrooms, but refuse to leave them out because they’re delicious and sort of a vegetable).

Lasagna/bolognaise (you and I both know they’re the same thing). Great for adding zucchini and carrot (my top veggies), and great for leftovers. Also our thermomix does a good white sauce without needing a human standing and stirring—it stirs and heats at the same time.

Maple marinated salmon with semi-fried rice (I add the leftover marinade to the rice and fry it for a bit). I can deal with frozen corn and peas in this context (mentally, at least). And yes, I know corn is technically a grain. Shut up.

I feel super gourmet sprinkling sesame seeds on top, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that’s where we’re at with meals at the moment. It’s… not great.

I’m about to attempt to get Louisette onto honey carrots (probably made with either golden syrup or maple syrup). Wish me luck.

Oh, there is one bit of good news. Louisette loves to have apple and hommus. She also likes lemon butter and Vegemite.

Parenting is weird, is what I’m saying.

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