Oh for Heaven’s sake, NOW what do you eat?!

If any of you are wondering what the title’s about, you should check out my past series on questions I’ve gotten over the years.

I’ve actually been asking myself the above question over the past couple of months. I’ve been a lil’ slow with my recent posts because I’ve been having a tricky time re-learning how to cook. After almost a decade of being vegan, everything seemed so simple. I never had to think about any of it. If a recipe called for cheese, no sweat! I had a handful of tasty alternatives (home-made or bought) to choose from. Baking with “eggs” was easy-peasy with any number of terrific substitutes that are not only easy to find, but generally kept on-hand anyway. Even eating out was a cinch because so many main-stream restaurants now offer vegan or easily veganizable dishes, and the number of vegan or vegetarian restaurants is skyrocketing. Life was good.

Enter what I’m pretty sure is an intolerance to gluten. I’m still waiting for the results, but my tummy and head have already told me that they get mega-angry when I eat gluten. Part of me wonders whether it was the decade of enjoying seitan that did it, but the other parts remind that part that there are any number of factors that enter into the equation, and that ODing on seitan isn’t necessarily the reason. There are other parts of me still (yes, I’m a woman of many parts) that enjoy the versatility and delectable-ness of seitan, crusty french bread and the ability to eat a ton of easily made items made from flour that doesn’t cost an arm or a leg. So much so that I often think: “hell, that loaf of fresh bread or panko-crusted seitan is worth the discomfort later, screw it, I’m diving in.” Needless to say, I curse myself for that cavalier attitude later on.

I’m hoping that this “oh screw it” attitude is just due to the rather steep learning curve associated with changing my diet (again). Because of course a life of discomfort isn’t worth a loaf of bread, no matter how fresh and crusty it is (I’ll be honest, I’ve now made myself drool thinking of fresh baguette). The key, I suppose, will be to find all those delicious things that I can eat and enjoy just as much if not more than the originals. I’ve done it once before, I can do it again, right? I think it’ll just require the same amount of research that went into my decision to become vegan. I’ll need to look into (and perhaps develop my own) easy substitutes, experiment with different recipes and learn from my failures. Oh, and keeping an open mind of course.

At least I won’t be going at it alone: I have the support of my Darling (though he has been known to complain about the lack of bread of late), my  family, friends and fellow bloggers. I’ve been having a great time saving tons of recipes for me to test my GF-legs out on. Here are a few blogs that seem particularly awesome, which I’ll be visiting quite a bit and hopefully drawing inspiration from:

Gluten-free Vegan

Manifest Vegan

Clean Eating Chelsey

For the Love of Food!

So, for now, I’ll say thanks for making me feel a little less alone in this, and for letting me know that there is delicious food to be had at the end of the vegan-GF-rainbow. Oh, and thanks for your future patience too – it may take me a while to figure out the 10 new flours I have in my freezer. So far I’ve learned that chickpea flour is NOT a good substitute in dessert. Yech. Hopefully, in the end, I’ll be able to edit and rehash all my old recipes so that they’re vegan and gluten-free, not to mention easy and fabulous. Fingers crossed fellow foodies, fingers crossed.

Fingers crossed, paws crossed, same thing really… My boys are supporting my GF ways too, I swear.

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