The Bit About Natalia
Natalia’s poor face has been covered in varying degrees of eczema, and several of her classic reactions are back. It is getting worse before fully better. Each time the healing regresses it goes to being worse than it was before. I hope it does not get as bad as we have seen it in the past, but it is already effecting what she can eat because her mouth is surrounded by bloody little cracks, as well as having a negative impact on her sleep and behavior.
We have no idea what is causing this, but want to find out before it gets much worse. Like it did winter before last until we went on GAPS.
We will be getting the delayed food allergy and intolerance test, hopefully very soon. I am nervous for two outcomes:
1. I will find out I am a complete nutjob when it comes to her intolerances. Because obviously the last two times we have done an elimination diet and she was a whole new girl (eczema free, happy, and able to relax/sleep) within days of starting meant nothing. Or the last two times she had gluten her breaking out in bumps, screaming, and not sleeping were imagined. Silly as it is…I have lost sleep over it.
2. We will find the new reactions are related to something she loves. Corn is easy for her to avoid as she has no experience with it. But she still remembers the last few things we have had to take out of her diet and asks for butter, cheese, yogurt, and pizza. I am afraid we will find out she can’t have bananas, strawberries, or sweet potatoes. Foods she would live on if given the chance.
Whatever the outcome it is, it is out of my hands. I should not be worrying or stressing about it. Sufficient for the days are it’s own struggles.
I also realize that if we find out that foods we eat a lot of right now need to be cut out we can figure it out. Just like others have, including us.
This is the first time I have ever talked about living with intolerances and (mild) allergies because we do not need to carry an epi-pen. If Natalia eats something she can’t tolerate she is uncomfortable, might get bloody lips, and looses sleep, not the inability to breathe. But, it is where we are right now.
I know it is hard to find foods free of allergens, I have experience with caretakers not following instructions*, and telling a little girl she can’t have the cookies she sees everyone else eating. But not with these things being related to life or death.
*Who gives a toddler a DONUT when her mother says not to!!!!!!?????? Especially someone working in childcare????!!! *end rant*
I make no claim to know what it is like to live with life threatening allergies. I also realize that many of you do, which is why I don’t talk about it. My heart goes out to any of you who deal with this day in and day out.
As I think about the upcoming test I am reminded again of how blessed we are.
To the dear Mommy’s out there dealing with life threatening food allergies, God bless you. Keep up the good work. You are amazing with all you do to keep your children safe! Thank you for those who take the time in raising awareness and for explaining what needs to be done to keep your kids safe.
To the friends who have shown me labels, told me I was doing a good job when we were in the midst of elimination diets, and made Natalia-safe food when we came over, thank you.
I realize this has really nothing to do with today’s recipe. I try to keep the intro about the recipe, but I just really wanted to share where we were right now. Plus, this being about sweet potatoes reminded me of the irrational fear of needing to take out something Natalia loves out or her diet (aka sweet potatoes).
Sausage Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Arugula Sauce
The recipe is of something I have been making lately after discovering sausages at a local store we can have (that doesn’t break the bank). This is a huge deal for me because right now I am not really able to cook dinner until Mark is home.
While I can do something like make rice or bake sweet potatoes ahead of time everything else is done when he can get home and watch the kids.
Since this also means cleaning the kitchen up a bit first, we have been either eating very late, or using more convenience foods. The sausages, onions, and peppers cook up very quickly and in one skillet. While it is balanced meal with bright colors. Just what I need right now!
The sauce takes a bit more effort but with a food processor it is done in a couple minutes. I would hardly say this is the easiest or quickest meal in the world, but it is delicious, comforting with all it’s sweet and savory components, and is incredibly healthy even though not made 100% from scratch.
Recipe Inspired by This Sweet Potatoes with Chicken Sausage
- 8 medium-large sweet potatoes, baked*
- For the filling:
- 1 tablespoon heat stable oil/ghee/fat medium heat
- 8 cooked chicken & apple sausages (I used 2 packages of Aidell's brand**)
- 1 small red pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 large vidallia, frenched
- 1 large pinch salt
- For the sauce
- 5 oz clamshell Arugula
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- *I did this by washing well and poking with a fork then baking at 350 for 1½ hours (or until very soft). This can be done ahead of time.
- **These are safe for our family, but please check and see if they are safe for yours. If not use a sausage that is.
- Preheat the oil/fat in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Thinly slice the sausages into rounds. Put them into the heated skillet. Cook, stirring/flipping until they are nice and golden on the outside. Add the onions and the heavy pinch of salt. Cook and stir the onions until they are starting to be caramelized (turning down the heat if necessary). Add the red peppers and cook until soft and the onions are caramelized. Remove from heat.
- To make the sauce blend everything together, except the oil in a food processor or high powdered blender. Drizzle in olive oil till just combined. Turn off (olive oil turns bitter if over blended).
- Split the sweet potatoes open. Lightly smash with a fork inside the skin with a small pinch of salt per sweet potato. Add 1 tablespoon of the sauce, a good bit of the sausage mixture, and another tablespoon of the sauce.
Gluten Free Wednesday
Real Food Wednesday
Full Plate Thursday