“But what do you guys eat?”
Over the years I’ve crafted a variety of responses from the snarky “real food” to the TMI-filled “well just not gluten and dairy because this is what it does to me…” but I was never really happy with how it landed with my audience. So these days I respond “plants and animals, as close to how they were grown as possible”. That seems to do the trick! It comes across as reasonable, it alleviates any fears that I only eat “weirdo food” (as my mom affectionally calls it!), it is way less preachy and it leaves the door open for questions, should someone be interested.
Now a common follow up question is usually along the lines of “ok that makes sense sometimes, but how do you actually live like that? What about with your family, on vacation or at the cottage?” So I thought it would be a good idea to share exactly how we live the way we do!
Last weekend was an annual family get together at the cottage. My parents, my uncles, my aunt & uncle down the lake, my brother, occasionally some cousins, my husband and I all get together for a music-filled bash. It is an epic weekend complete with lots of wine, an over-indulgence in food and dance parties galore. With a variety of individuals staying under one roof, it can be challenging to create a menu that accommodates all of our dietary preferences and palates. This year we hit it out of the park!
First let me state a very important fact: my mom is an incredible cook. I don’t remember there being a time when I wasn’t her sous-chef, and as a result I’ve always been comfortable in the kitchen. Even more incredible, is my mom’s unwavering support and care in complying with our dietary challenges. We are SO grateful for that. I will say however, that I think she enjoys our “challenges” on some level, because it forces her to be extra-creative in the kitchen and has resulted in discovering many delicious dishes!
Now back to the good stuff – the food! Laid out for you below is a gluten free, dairy free party menu. This is exactly how we ate last Saturday! Keep in mind that there were lots of mouths to feed – 8 for brunch and 12 for dinner. Regardless of your numbers, this full-day meal plan can be scaled up or down for the number of people you are serving.
sweet potato hash browns
organic corn tortilla chips or Terra chips
ranch dip from (tip: make her mayo!)
grilled grass-fed flank steak on a bed of arugula with a reduction glaze (Make this allergen-free by using coconut soy-free seasoning sauce – known as coconut aminos in the USA – and substituting honey for the sugar)
Ontario fingerling potatoes
selection of raw and aged goat and sheep-milk cheeses
gluten-free crackers (for those interested)
organic dark chocolate
So there you have it – an entire day of celebratory and guest-filled meals that is 100% gluten-free and cow-dairy free, and almost completely grain-free and paleo! If I haven’t said it before, my mom rocks!
My favourite part about this menu is it looks pretty darn normal and if you didn’t know we had dietary challenges to work around, it just looks like a bunch of awesome meals. Speaking of meals, I will be posting the recipes for the prosciutto-lined mini frittatas and the sweet potato hash browns at a later date because they deserve a post of their own!