Today, a guest post from my sister-in-law, Kim. She is my husband's sister and one of my favourite people. She and her family are currently waiting on paperwork before returning to international work and are living with Mom and Dad.
There are lots of challenges that come with cooking for three generations and individuals with very specific dietary needs.
Our lives changed drastically last May with my dad's leukemia diagnosis, and we quickly learned a new lifestyle: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and avoiding a number of foods that my dad had allergies to.
This has resulted in a huge campaign by Mom and me to cook amazing food that conformed to all of the "new rules". We seldom go to restaurants now, and not just because of the diet restrictions that dad has, but because we've found food that just plain rocks: full of flavor and completely healthy.
The last two weeks I have been modifying muffin recipes to send to school with my little guy, and because there are so many allergies there among his classmates, the challenge was even greater, but we have been successful now with two kinds of muffins! The best part is that Dad can eat a treat for once, too.
Today I had a special challenge in that Dad is in surgery to remove some wisdom teeth. However, the surgeon suggested that in order for Dad to heal faster, he needed a diet heavy in protein. That's not easy when you're vegan. So, I had 5 minutes before I had to get a kid dressed and two other kids back to school, and came up with stovetop muesli.
It was awesome.
RECIPE: "Free" Stovetop Muesli
3 tsp. grapeseed or sunflower seed oil
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup hemp hearts
1/8 cup flax, ground
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans, but am going to use almonds next time for variety)
> Toast it all together in a skillet on med-high heat, moving constantly to avoid burning
> Toast until the fragrance of the nuts comes out and oats start to get a little golden
> Remove from heat
> If your family can use honey, drip about 1/8 of a cup over the mixture and mix to "bring it all together"
> Let cool a little before eating
My kids eat dairy, so I plopped a big gob on some unsweetened yogurt with about 1/3 cup of frozen blueberries, and voila, dessert. Really, the variations are endless -- same as with the muffins. We are going to blend the muesli (minus the honey) and fruit together with rice or almond milk to make smoothies for Dad for after his surgery.