I recently discovered that my body really doesn't like dairy, or egg (whites), or soy.
It's my own fault. When I was in high school and in the depths of my chocolate addicition I said to a friend 'I wish I was allergic to chocolate! Then I'd stop eating it!'. And what do you know? The powers listened! (didn't listen when I said I wanted to be a famous singer.. gee.)
I'm not allergic, I have an intolerance. Which means it's not the end of the world when someone cooks me something with cream or egg in it without realising, I just get very uncomfortable with headaches and eczema.
An intolerance means that if I go completely without for 6 or so months, my body will be able to tolerate these products in small amounts every now and again.
But I've read The China Study by Campbell and Co., and I know that animal products (yep, that's dairy and egg) don't agree with anyone of us, really, and my body won't ever like dairy or eggs in large quantities, so I am rediscovering my love of cooking - and this time it's dairy, egg and soy free!
I also believe that the body doesn't much like guten (I have no gluten intolerance). Even if I'm cooking for those of us who are perfectly happy to eat gluten (or dairy etc.), I'd like my food to be open access for everyone.
I do love to cook with nuts, but most recipes that use them usually work out just fine without.
Similarly, The China Study (and the results of numerous other studies I've read) has made me aware of the vast quantities of animal proteins we load our bodies with and the (mostly negative) effects they have on us.
I am not vegan. But when given the choice I would much rather eat a plate of vegetables than a beef cheek any day. (I do on the rare occasion really crave a great steak.. but we won't go there).
My busy lifestyle means my family often cook for me and they do not follow my everything-free persuasion, however they do ensure there are no soy, egg, or dairy products in my food. My boyfriend also thinks I'm crazy and raises his eyebrows when I present a cake and say 'It's dairy, soy, egg and gluten free!' like it's a mud pie from the garden........ or perhaps a rock. So my challenge, and I choose to accept it, is to rediscover the world of baking (and other cooking) without all these icky things that our bodies don't like, AND make them taste more awesome than any 'normal' food.
So this is a blog of my free-cooking adventures.
Each post will include labels of what its free of. I'm hoping almost all of them will be VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE, EGG-FREE, SOY-FREE, DAIRY-FREE. I haven't had a go at gluten-free replacement of flours but I'm taking on board all I've learnt from great blogs like Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom and Manifest Vegan and cookbooks like Allergy-Free Cooking by Dr Sue Shepherd and think it will be a great success.
I'd love to hear your experiences, tips, criticisms and requests to help me along my way.