Thursday, October 12, 2006

Why this blog, and who is Purple_Kangaroo?

I like to cook, and I tend to be a bit of a gourmet.

Unfortunately, I come from a family with extensive food (as well as environmental) allergies and intolerances. That's given me a lot of experience creating and modifying recipes to be appropriate for special diets free of various allergens, sodium, yeast-feeding foods, and other elements.

I really enjoy being creative in the kitchen. Writing a food blog for me is a challenge, as I rarely actually measure anything and tend to throw in "a little of this, and a little of that" and find it difficult to remember or duplicate a dish later unless I write it down right away. So keeping the blog is partly for myself--a reminder to write down what I did when we liked a recipe so that I can duplicate (or at least approximate) it again in the future.

It's very difficult to find resources and recipes for dealing with food allergies, especially to foods other than the top 8 allergens. Since I started this blog, we've gone through some changes in the way we eat, which will be reflected in the recipes from each time period.

I had to learn to be creative to a whole new level for the sake of my highly allergic third child, Baby E. She was very sensitive to corn and soy, and also did not digest sugars (especially fructose) well. She has grown out of all but a mild dietary fructose intolerance (she has trouble digesting large amounts of apples or fresh pears, which have a high fructose-to-glucose ratio).

For a brief period of time Baby E and I were on an elimination diet which her doctor recommended, starting with only chicken, rice, bananas, broccoli and pears (ironically enough, the pears later turned out to be a problematic food because of the high fructose-to-glucose ratio), and then adding and subtracting foods trying to figure out which foods were problematic for her. So there are several recipes here with very limited ingredients.

My oldest child and I are lactose-intolerant, so while we can tolerate some foods like butter, raw goat milk and small amounts of yogurt or kefir, most of the recipes here tend to avoid large amounts of dairy products.

Currently I avoid excititoxins (quite an extensive list of ingredients that includes MSG, modified food starch, "natural flavors", artificial sugars, and prepackaged foods like canned soups, as well as foods naturally very high in aspartates and glutamates such as peanuts, brewer's yeast, seaweed and soy). I am on the sensitive end of the excitotoxin spectrum, but since even natural foods can contain some level of excitotoxins you will have to use your own judgment about whether the recipes are safe for you or not.

Most of the foods we eat are free of refined sugars, refined bleached grains, and artificial or processed foods. In general, most recipes posted here will be corn-free, soy-free and often dairy-free. Many of the recipes here are also free of nightshades, gluten, legumes, dairy, and other common allergens. Some of them are Nourishing Traditions-style recipes (tagged NT-style) with soaked grain, raw ingredients, bone broth and high-enzyme foods.

But since we didn't go excitotoxin-free until late 2009, many of the recipes from before that time will contain excitoxins (such as the modified tapioca starch in the Chebe Bread recipes).

I'm going to start by posting some recipes I've used, created or modified. I'm hoping that eventually readers will pitch in to contribute their own recipes, help test and modify other recipes, and contribute to the conversation. I also envision taking requests to find or develop recipes that fit certain dietary restrictions. Hopefully, this blog will become a helpful resource for those with dietary restrictions and those cooking for them.

Feel free to make requests or suggestions in the comments or by dropping me an e-mail at the address in my profile. I'd also love to hear how the recipes work for you, and enjoy hearing about any modifications you make. E-mails or comments always make my day, and often inspire me to try a new recipe or start posting again after a hiatus.


a. borealis said...

You'll love Blogger in Beta - it is so much better. Much easier.

Amy said...


I thought you might be interested to join a recipe blog exchange another friend of mine has just set up.

Just if you want to check it out!

Name: Camille said...

Hey, I just found your blog and I love it! I am vegan, and allergic to gluten and soy so I just started a blog to keep track of all the recipes I make. It is really great for me to find other people with food allergies and great recipes to accommodate them!

Terri said...

I stumbled upon your blog while searching for "homemade shortening". I've recently found out I'm dairy and soy intolerant and shouldn't mix cane sugars with fruits (so I'm trying to cut out cane sugars). I am so happy to find your blog; I could almost weep with relief.

Thank you for posting your recipes.

purple_kangaroo said...

Thanks, all . . . I love hearing from the people who are reading the blog. I do take requests for recipe ideas, too. :) Haven't been posting a lot lately because I keep forgetting to measure everything and then write it down when I'm cooking.