If you've happened to notice there's been a slow-down in the "hands of love" entries, it's because our family is once again enjoying the freedom to eat OUT! (woohoo!) It was a looooonng 10 months for a family like ours!
And now that Caroline is no longer on a restricted diet of any kind, the "hands of love" entries now switch over to Daddy! (for whom we cook gluten-free-- piece of CAKE after all we've been through!)
As I (Amy) look back on the past year, one of the hardest challenges I've ever faced was to provide all these meals of allergen-free foods: gluten-free, dairy free, soy free, low sugar, etc. But I DID it! And I tip my hat BIG.TIME. to those moms who continue this type of diet with their families year after year. It is unbelievably tough. I have nothing but respect.
But now that the pro's are telling us Caroline's hairloss doesn't have have anything to do with intestinal issues or delayed food allergies-- just alopecia-- it's been quite the relief (and surprise) to try to cook again without restrictions!! (can you believe it!? in some ways, it's easier to have the restriction! who would'da thought!?) Now it seems there are TOO many choices out there, and meal planning isn't quite as necessary as when your options are narrowed, hence the slow-down in "hands of love."
Even though I look at the last 10 months with lots of unanswered questions remaining, I mostly see it with gratitude.
1. I learned how to cook.
2. I learned about nutrition and REAL food and what's really good for you.
3. My child ate impeccably well. That certainly can't hurt her growing body. Plus, she eats a wider variety of food-- not just "kid food." (I don't know if I was proud or sad when she pointed to the doughnuts in the grocery store and said, "Mommy, what are those?" ha!)
4. Doing the nutritional therapy for Caroline was how we discovered Marc's issues with gluten!
When I say we don't have any restrictions, I guess I should correct myself to say our house is mostly gluten free. (Marc is completely gluten free. Caroline & I are not, though mostly all of the meals we eat at our house are naturally gluten-free)
Here's a few gluten free dinners we've made recently...
Chicken enchiladas with a sour cream sauce. (we used corn tortillas instead of wheat & gluten-free cream of chicken soup)
A grown-up homemade mac n' cheese. (used rice pasta noodles instead of wheat)
Turkey burgers with lemon mayonnaise and sweet potato fries. The burgers were soooo DELICIOUS tasting, although next time I'd serve them on gluten free real hamburger buns! (got the recipe from the magazine 'Real Simple') Here's the recipe:
In a large bowl, combine 3/4 lb. ground turkey, 1 med. zucchini (grated), 1 medium carrot (grated), 2 cloves chopped/minced garlic, 1 large egg, 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, 3/4 tsp. salt, & 1/4 tsp. pepper.
Form the mixture into 4-6 1/2 inch patties. Heat 1 tblsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the patties until no trace of pink remains, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
In a small bowl, combine 4 tbsps of mayonnaise and 2 tsp's of fresh lemon juice. Serve the burgers on buns with lettuce and the lemon mayonnaise.
A chicken/broccoli/orange pepper curry concoction over rice. (was sooo yummy & coconut milk is very good for you)
Once you've learned all this stuff, it's impossible to completely go back to eating like we were. God was gracious to use the challenges of this past year for our ongoing benefit. So the "hands of love" will continue... maybe with just a little less frequency than before. :)