The Benefits of Being Allergic to EVERYTHING

Another of my passions came from something I have no control over: I am allergic to everything. And before you say anything, I can have gluten, nuts, eggs and all the other common allergens. I actually only have 5 food allergies: dairy, soy, corn, canola oil and sulfites. For those of you who aren’t used to reading ingredients labels, these are in approximately 90% of processed food. For the most part, I cook from scratch and know a few brands of packaged food I can eat. On top of that, one of my best friends is the manager of a non-profit farm cooperative that uses organic methods, and has rubbed off on me with “organic” and “certified humane”.

When I actually started caring about the condition animals were kept in before they arrived at the grocery store, my grocery bill kept increasing. As both a budgeting and a weight loss strategy, I decided to cut my consumption of animal products back to one meal per day. Within a couple weeks, I started skipping my “meat meal” that day. These days, I tell people I’m a “part time vegan”. Now, here I must explain before the trolls start having fun at my expense. I have no problem with eating meat, it is the natural evolution of homo sapiens to be omnivorous. What is not natural, however, is torturing animals in factory farms where they live their entire life in a cage too small to turn around in. It is not natural evolution that they have been bred to contain so much muscle (meat) that their heart will fail if they are not slaughtered by a certain age. Give me a rifle or a fishing pole and take me out to “the wild” and I have no problems killing and eating an animal, but I prefer my dinner is not tortured before I eat it.

I frequently experiment with recipes, and when they turn out good I like sharing them. Sometimes it may be a recipe As-I-Found-It, but usually it will have some alteration from the original recipe. One thing I cannot stand is when people make a simple substitution, such as “vegan cream cheese” or “egg substitute” and call it a brand new recipe. Please let me know if you try a recipe, especially if you find ways to improve it!

Offering to Cook Was Selfish of Me

My friend decided to have a party on Saturday at her house. She wanted to do dinner & a movie marathon. She asked if anyone wanted to help cook, and selfishly I jumped at the chance.

Selfishly, you ask? Remember that I’m extremely intolerant to soy, dairy, corn, canola oil & sulfites. So basically, if I don’t cook, I probably can’t eat it. I tried to come up with something vegan for me, but satisfying for everyone else. However, there was a recipe I discovered a few years back that sounded really good. Everyone at the party told me it was great, so I’ll share it here, scaled down for 2-4 people:

Tequila Lime Chicken

  • 2 large chicken breasts, sliced fajita style
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 onion, chopped in fajita style chunks
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped fajita style
  • Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime, or other spices
  • 1 cup uncooked rice + 2 cups water
  1. Using your favorite method, cook rice.
  2. Slice chicken. Marinate in 1/2 cup lime juice for at least 3 hours
  3. Pour oil in skillet. Fry chicken until no longer pink, but not cooked all the way through. Add spice as desired
  4. Add 1/2 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup tequila and 1/4 cup honey to skillet and let simmer until liquid is reduced. This will boil off most of the alcohol so the dish should be safe to feed to minors.
  5. Chop bell pepper & onion.
  6. In a separate pan, add oil and onion. Cook onion until it turns translucent. Add bell pepper and saute for 3 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup tequila, 1/4 cup honey and spices. Simmer at least 10 minutes, or until desired texture is achieved.
  7. Serve chicken & veggies over rice, adding some liquid for extra flavor.

It is much quicker to use two separate pans for the chicken & veggies. If you prefer, you can cook the chicken then cook the veggies in the same pan. Chicken should be cooked to at least 160 degrees F, alcohol boils at 173 degrees F, and water boils at 212 degrees F.  Other veggies can be added according to desire. You can serve it on tortillas, though the sauce is very drippy. Another option is to prepare a dipping sauce with more honey than this recipe (or it will be runny). Let me know if you find any alterations you enjoy!