Using the Internet, Social Media, Networking, and Print Media as Resources
When it comes to changing your lifestyle and diet, it can be tricky, considering that having two food allergies at once limits what a person can eat as opposed to having just one food allergy. For me, navigating the Gluten free and dairy free lifestyle for the last several months has been a bit of a challenge. For those of us who have internet access, it is a wonderful resource in regards to looking for recipes. A good amount of the time that I spend on Facebook these days (when I go on) is looking for recipes. Preferably, I like to read them over first and if they do contain Gluten or diary, I make mental notes in my mind on how to substitute them or I post on my status polling friends the best substitutions for ingredients, specifically ones that are dairy. For example, I found a recipe for “Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes” on Facebook (recipe can be found on Cottagecakes.com) and one of the ingredients that the recipe called for was evaporated milk. The recipe also called for the All Purpose flour, however, was easy to substitute, I had a bag of Trader Joe’s All Purpose Gluten Free flour blend ready to go. Evaporated milk though, well I was stumped in regards to what to use, so I posted on Facebook as to what I could use as a non-dairy substitute. One of my friends suggested Coconut Crème, so I went on Jet and ordered some. The problem with Coconut Crème is that when the temperature changes and it gets cooler, it solidifies and becomes rock solid. The solution (as per the suggestion on the box) was to soak it in a bowl of hot water until it becomes liquid. Probably should have kneaded the bag a little better before I opened it, however, it was just fine. I really wanted to try something different for Thanksgiving this year when I went over to Thanksgiving dinner hosted by my fiancé John and his parents, considering that the cheesecakes that I’ve been making for the last two years were now a no go due to my dairy allergy. It’s not that they couldn’t have it, it was more about me being tempted to sample the batter (after it was scooped into two premade Graham Cracker crusts and set into the refrigerator to chill). The cupcakes turned out to be a hit and John and his parents kept a half a dozen (two per person) and I took two home with me.
In regards to Facebook as a resource for finding recipes, there are recipe sites and friends who post recipe videos on a daily basis. As I’m watching these videos, I am silently reviewing details in my head on either what I can use for substitutions, who I would make this for, who would actually enjoy it, or when I can make it. If I really like what I see, I would go to the actual recipe page and save it on my Pinterest board. Sometimes, I would find that some of my friends will actually tag me in a recipe on Facebook or post it directly to my page, which is nice and convenient. There are also times when I find a recipe that I like and I will share it on my page for my friends, tag a friend who would be interested, or post it to their page. Ever since I found out about my Gluten allergy, my friend Diana and I have been swapping recipes back and forth quite a bit.
Another resource that can be quite helpful is Pinterest. I have a whole board of nothing but recipes. I just recently started to sort out all the recipes that are Glute and Dairy free (or could be modified if not totally Gluten or Dairy free). I have noticed that other Pinterest users have shared some of my “pins” so that makes me glad that others are finding ideas from recipes that I’ve posted, always a good thing. If I find a recipe on Facebook or on one of the search engines, there is usually a button on the site that links the page to Pinterest, if not, I go on and copy and paste the link.
Looking for the information
If you aren’t online, another resource you can always use are newspapers, print magazines and cookbooks. I actually like those, call me old fashioned, but there are times when nothing beats holding an actual newspaper. Magazine, or book in your hand. It is true that we are living in the digital age, but you can always find something in print. One of the first recipes I learned to make and perfect, Eggplant Parmesan, was from a newspaper clipping my father found of a recipe by body builder and actor Lou Ferrigno back in 1992. I have since modified the recipe to fit my current dietary needs and restrictions and it’s absolutely delicious. My friend Diana had also passed along a copy of one of the Gluten Free magazines she had handy as a resource.
Whatever resource you use, digital or print, you can always find something to make. There is that possibility that you may have to modify the recipe to suit your dietary needs and restrictions; that modification can make the recipe yours in a sense. Above all, the hunt for the perfect recipe is all part of the fun!