A Note About Ingredient Substitutions

Nearly everyone I know has some type of food allergy, sensitivity, or dietary restriction that they adhere to. When preparing meals to share with one another, it's of vital importance to find out whether the recipe you're putting together will poison the recipient, or otherwise be inedible for them. Few things are as heartbreaking as being given a gift that can't be enjoyed for health reasons or personal ethics, so please please, do your research before cooking for another.

Whenever possible, I will provide alternative ingredients to the recipes shared here so that they can be adapted to a variety of different dietary requirements.

I have firsthand experience with this: I mostly adhere to the autoimmune paleo protocol (also referred to as the AIP diet or AIP Paleo) as I have Celiac disease and allergies to nightshades, dairy, and legumes, whereas my husband is a lacto-ovo vegetarian who thrives on the diet his Mediterranean ancestors have been eating for thousands of years.
Needless to say, we get very creative when it comes to making meals that both of us can enjoy.

Normally, this involves coming up with a dish that we'd both like, and then augmenting it accordingly. For example, when I make chicken soup, I create faux chicken for him by shredding up medium-firm tofu and marinating it in poultry seasoning and veggie bouillon for a few hours. The soup base is usually a leek/onion broth made with caramelised onions so it has the savoury sweetness we're both so fond of, and after the vegetables added to it have softened, I divide it into two pots: mine is full of chicken and spiralised zucchini noodles, his has tofu “chicken” and gluten-free pasta. Everybody's happy.

Substitutions that I've used in the past have included:

- Flaxseed or tapioca gel in lieu of eggs in baked goods (for vegans and those with egg allergies)
- Pureed cannellini beans or potato to thicken soups and make them "creamy" without adding dairy
- Pumpkin, squash, or carrot puree instead of tomato sauce
- Mashed chick peas in salads that ordinarily call for chicken or turkey
- Almond meal and cassava flour instead of grain-based flour for baked goods
- Coconut aminos or concentrated, salty beef bone broth in place of soy sauce
- Nut-based cheeses instead of dairy cheeses
- Cauliflower and rutabaga mash in lieu of potatoes

...you get the idea.

Basically, the recipes shared here can easily be adapted with just a tiny bit of creativity. Comforting, nourishing food can be enjoyed all the more when we know that it's safe for us to eat.

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