|Lentil Tuna Salad|
So, I had my food allergies retested after 9 months of severe food restrictions, and would you believe, my mold allergy is actually worse?! I find mold allergies the hardest to deal with of all my food allergies, because there are so many hidden sources of mold in our food supply. The mold allergy is also the most difficult to explain to people because hardly anyone has ever heard of it.
The specific mold that is the worst for me is aspergillus niger, which is often found on ground crops like peanuts and onions, and is also used to create certain food additives like citric acid and some binders used in medicines and vitamins. Some digestive enzymes and bread dough conditioners are created using aspergillus niger, and processed juices and tomato products are often full of it, owing to the less-than-perfect fruits and veggies used in them.
Mold allergies have a lot in common with histamine allergies and also amine allergies; they may in fact be one and the same. Some days I feel as though I'm living in an era just prior to the one in which the food allergy mystery will be solved ... sort of like living before the advent of polio immunizations. I can see the pieces of these puzzles swirling overhead, but I suspect that the puzzle itself won't be solved until I've lived most of my life dealing with it on my own.
In any case, I went to see a nutritionist this week for help putting together a reasonably healthy meal plan without the dozens of mold-containing items on my list. There are actually 42 separate items on my list of foods to avoid, ranging from canned beans and chocolate to grapefruits and green olives. Cider and soy sauce and sausage, oh my! And did I mention that leftovers are forbidden? No more cooking a nice dish on Monday and planning to eat some for lunch for the next few days :(
So I've steeled myself to cook even more dishes from scratch, and I'm starting today with a new lunch salad made with brown lentils, tuna, asparagus and lemon juice, among other things. The original recipe called for vinegar and mustard, which are both off-limits for me now. Let me know how you like it!
Lentil Tuna Salad
1 cup dry lentils
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 can tuna, drained
1 small bunch thin asparagus, cut in 1" pieces
juice of 1 - 2 lemons (or 1 lemon, 1 lime)
1 Tbsp dried dillweed (use more if you have fresh available)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium pot on the stove, combine lentils, water, bay leaf, garlic and onion. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes, until just tender. Drain and discard bay leaf.
Meanwhile, steam the asparagus until just tender. I put mine in the microwave for 3 minutes with a Tablespoon of water, but feel free to cook yours any way you like.
In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and dill. When all the components are ready, add lentils, tuna and asparagus to the bowl and mix well to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm or cold. Makes about 4 servings.
Shared with Allergy Free Wednesday at The Tasty Alternative and Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet and Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Hearth and Soul Hop at Premeditated Leftovers and Allergy Friendly Friday with Cybele Pascal and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.