Thank you all so much, and so sorry you're going through your own physical troubles, GeneMachine. Thank goodness for the internet and being able to connect up to other people like this! Helps so much finding advice when one is in need, yes?
And thank you all for the advice on techniques rather than recipes, especially in the Asian traditions; that makes a lot of sense.
I had kind of started down that road with baking when I had to go gluten free, but then lost all my grains and stopped. I think partly because I was looking at a lot of Western-centric books when it was all going downhill, so my main focus whenever I saw something was 'I can't eat any of this.' Kind of blinded me to 'I can use this technique on something I CAN eat.'
I like your idea of making a list, KaiqueKuisine, especially with styles of cooking - I think that would help. Probably help when a food changes but there is one similar that I can use the same techniques on, especially.
Eastshores - I'm not entirely sure I understand the question about where my kitchen is concerned. Is that the kitchen itself, like what equipment I have, or is it more in terms of what I can use in the kitchen in terms of food? I figure I'll answer both, so either way it's answered. ^_~
I have an electric stove (boy do I miss the gas one), a solar oven, and a microwave. I've also got a juicer, a food processor, a big mortar and pestle, and an electric ice cream maker. I have some generic cast iron, stainless steel, and glass pots, pans, and casserole-type dishes. Small bamboo steamer. Wok doesn't work well on my stove. Can use silicone. Can't use anything non-stick.
- For most ingredients, I have to get it in season, which is often some of the challenge. I am still adjusting to only being able to have a fruit or veggie for a few weeks out of the year. I can freeze some for future use, but often there are very limited quantities so it only extends my ability to use it by a few extra meals-worth of that ingredient.
Fats - rendered beef fat or extra virgin olive oil (organic, from a specific family run operation, but they don't make any that is not extra virgin).
Sweeteners - stevia leaves (from the garden), reduced apple juice, other fruits on my good list (can only find apples in enough bulk to reduce) (I have tried ever sweetener and syrup I know of without success, from every store and ethnic market I could find. I kind of liked my sweets. >_<)
Herbs, spices, and seasonings - (CAN'T have onions, garlic, pepper, mustards, nutmeg, cinnamon, anise, cloves, or paprika.) I can have sea salt. I can have ginger, turmeric, and galangal. And otherwise, if I can grow it myself, I can have it. I have the basic herbs like parsley, cilantro (and coriander), oregano, sage, rosemary, marjoram, thyme. I also have basil, lemon grass, thai basil, savory, burnet, green shiso, bay laurel, pineapple sage, fennel (fronds), dill, Mexican tarragon, onion seeds (which I don't react to, oddly enough), and German chamomile. Managed a tiny bit of fenugreek and am still working on growing cumin. Might be able to eventually get some other Asian spices to grow, so if anyone has some that you like to use in your cooking, I'd appreciate the suggestion to go explore if I can grow it. :-) Oh, I also have chiltepines and chile peppers of all kinds.
meat - salmon (filets) or organic, grass fed beef (meat or organs) or bison (meat only).
beans - Heirloom chickpeas, cranberry beans, and tepary beans. Maybe a few other varieties, but not black, white, kidney, or pinto.
Seeds - if I grow/process them myself - sunflower, squash seeds, melon seeds, bell pepper seeds, chile seeds
nuts - organic pecans, about 10-15 pounds a year.
Fruits - apples (cameo, pink lady, gala), red or d'anjou pears, cantaloupe, watermelon, or honeydew, pomegranates, prickly pear fruit, saguaro fruit. Everything else I've tried so far has bombed, from simple things like plums to buddha's hand and dragon fruit.
Vegetables - (CAN'T have any alliums like leeks or onions, or any brassicas, like broccoli, cauliflower, mustards, bok choy) I can have sorrel, varieties of lettuce, bell peppers (just not dried), persian cucumbers, zucchini, carrot, broad beans/green beans, yellow squash, and winter squashes. In small quantities, I can have sweet potato, potato, avocado, eggplant, and some mushrooms. I may be able to have more exotics, like gobo root, jicama, or true yams, but I am still looking for safe sources to try, or how to grow. Any suggestions of some interesting veggies to check out would be greatly appreciated!
And...hopefully one of those two was what you were looking for, Eastshores...it was actually really helpful for me to just write it down so I can see it all. Make me realize just how many herbs I have that I haven't played around with in a while!
This has been so helpful, and it's making me feel really hopeful about improving my meals. Thank you so much, you guys, truly.