Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Histamine free blues...

Cooking is a bit of a drag nowadays as my best friend has been diagnosed with histamine intolerance two weeks ago... as I make a lot of fancy new stuff when people visit, it's been really hard since then.
He's an omni but it seems he can't have anything!

Another wave of depression hit me when I opened Firefox one day and all my bookmarks, including lots of recipes to try, were gone and I didn't have a backup...

Anyway, I've been cooking and bentoing a bit.

The Chilli Garlic Tempeh Spring rolls from VeganDad are the best spring rolls I've had in ages! I want to make more, but it seems the asparagus season over here is slowly fading... I haven't seen green asparagus here in over a week.

Finally, once again a bento I'm really proud of, containing a noodle-stir fry with beefy seitan (loosely leaning on the Sezuan fried noodles recipe in Asian Vegan Kitchen), a vanilla-pear-cardamom muffin, cherry tomatoes and Japanese pickled cucumber with wakame, packed in my big one-tier Muji bento. It didn't look so pretty after the tram ride, but uh well, live and learn.

Next time I'll pack any sweets seperately as vanilla-cardamom-pear-sour-wakame is not the greatest muffin concoction on earth.

Apparently, histamine is an enzyme that can cause allergy-like reactions. It's a regular substance of the human metabolism, but some products contain a lot of it or make the body realease more than is good for someone who is sensitive to it.

In our case, that means:
- no tomatoes, no spinach, no celery
- nothing that's been re-heated or pre-packaged or pickled
- absolutely nothing fermented, from soy sauce to beer to red wine, not even vinegar!

PLUS the doctor's put him on a diet for the next month which means: no dairy (all right), no soy products (can be done) , no gluten (impossible for the way I cook normally!)

PLUS other allergies: no citrus fruit, no peppers, stone fruit and no nuts.

Which leaves me with cooking Thai curry without any protein foods and rice, onigiri with cucumber and daal without tomatoes.

Unfortunately, days and days of googling haven't yielded any useful results and there don't seem to be any good cookbooks either. I'd love to hear your recipe ideas!


Alice (in Veganland) said...

I guess he's going to have to keep it very simple... I can't think of anything now, but with a little practice, I think you'll come up with new ideas!
And for the bookmarks... try del.icio.us! Really, really makes my day. There's a plugin for firefox so you can see your favorites in a similar way as before, and it's always on the web and you cannot lose it!

VeggieGirl said...

I"m terribly sorry about your friend's diagnosis; but I"m glad to see that you're still able to make such delicious food!!

Vegetation said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I have a bit of an amine intolerance (which causes me an itchy throat and mouth when I eat certain things like banana and avocado). I have a couple of food intolerance cookbooks but they're unfortunately very meat heavy. Maybe he'll just have to keep it simple with grains and what veggies he can eat. I can certainly empathize, there's so many foods that are on my "can't have" list.

What you have made looks yummy though!

Erin said...

Oh no! Sorry to hear about your loss of recipe links. I had a list of three yesterday that I lost and was upset about that, I can't imagine losing them all! That's why I print everything out. Perhaps it's a bit wasteful, but at least they're not going anywhere. Sorry to hear about your friend too, that has to be tough. No reheating food! Crazy. I don't have any ideas for stuff you can cook for him, but Alice is probably right about keeping things simple.

Tuimeltje said...

That sounds really, really rough! Just right now I can't think of any kind of dish to make with "allowed" foods.

I did recently get me some amazake, a rice product which I've been told can replace soy-ish things in smoothies and the like. I've not tried it yet, but it might be worth checking out.

Aimee said...

Hey, red poppy! Keep your chin up. You're a wonderfully creative cook.

russ said...

That bento box looks great - I don't know why I've never thought of straying out of the realms of sandwich land, but I think I might have to try it!

That's a pretty tough diet to have to cook for, but improvisation is one of the things vegans are best at. It'll be hard to get something really tasty without something sour, seasoning and spices, so you'll probably have to go crazy with the fresh herbs.

How about frying up some onion, garlic and a few whole coriander seeds (3 mins), then throw in some courgette, carrots, potato (cut real small), mushrooms, broccoli and some chickpeas, along with 1 tbs sugar (4 mins). Add one and half cups of rice, and three cups of water, bring to boil, cover and let simmer for 10 mins, then take off heat and leave for another 10 minutes. Mix in a whole load of fresh coriander, and a good handful of cashew nuts before serving.

Quinoa would work nicely instead of rice too. As for a sauce to go on top.... urm...Maybe some mushrooms and more garlic, stewed in some sort of unsweetened rice/nut milk thickened with arrowroot, with some chopped parsley? (Clutching at straws!)

Hope I've managed to inspire you somehow!!