What I've been watching: The Voice (on Hulu, not live, no spoilers). Last night I watched All About Eve. This weekend, I was hanging out with a group who all wanted to see some nouveau horror flick at the Brattle, and I don't really do horror, indie or no, so I went and saw The Art of Getting By instead. This was interesting: it's a teen movie, not a comedy but a straight romance, and clearly marketed to hipster types. It was like, sponsored by Urban Outfitters. It's predictable on every possible level (there's even a scene where you know, from the beginning, that the protagonist is going to vomit on somebody's shoes before it's over; turns out it's his own shoes), but I still kind of liked it. Who doesn't like watching pretty people walk around New York?
What I've been eating: Not much. I finally bit the bullet and admitted to myself that I've developed a variable intolerance to nightshades. I figured out a while ago that eggplant was a no-go, but that was no major tragedy. I like eggplant, but it was hardly a staple of my diet. Much, much harder was admitting that tomatoes are problematic, particularly in condensed form, as in sundried tomatoes or a thick sauce (the latter being their most delicious incarnation). See also potatoes, again to varying degrees. See also peppers, all forms.
I've felt sick many times after eating, say, lasagna or enchiladas, but convinced myself that gluten must have gotten in there somehow. But in my heart I knew there wasn't any, because I made them myself. In fact I think gluten is just a subset of the things that make me sick. I was carrying around a list of problematic foods in my head, and I believed they were all unrelated. (What does gluten have to do with eggplant or tofu or sundried tomatoes?) Then at some point I ran across a list of foods that contain high amounts of lectin, and there were all those seemingly unrelated foods: all grains, not just gluten grains (I gave up on oats, quinoa, sorghum, etc. months ago); nightshades (eggplant, potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes); and legumes, especially soybeans. Tofu has been on my shit list for a long time too, taking all fake meat off the table. (Quorn is made from a fungus, but almost all the Quorn products contain some gluten too.)
The other night, I had a reaction from eating peanut sauce (peanuts are a legume); this has forced me to contend with the lectin theory. Now, I seem to more or less tolerate some of the items on the lectin list, but if I suck it up and stop basing meals around nightshades, that wipes out most of my favorite vegetarian meals (i.e., anything with tomato sauce, and most Mexican food: enchilada sauce, whether red or green, is pretty much lectin city). So I'm trying to figure out if it's even worth trying to further restrict my diet, to see if that gets me 100% back to normal, as in feeling as good as I did before the onset of gluten intolerance. Cutting out gluten got me 80-85% of the way there, but I've never been able to figure out what was causing the remaining 15% of the trouble, if not simple cross-contamination.
Anyway, in an effort to at least cut back on the nightshades (and eat something other than gummi candy), I've been eating non-vegetarian meals, such as a variation on this kimchi fried rice (with more vegetables and the eggs scrambled in), seared tuna steaks with chimichurri sauce (I had been craving tuna steaks forever but held off until they fell under $20 a pound, which happened on Father's Day), and sushi salad, which I made up. Recipe below. All ingredient amounts are approximate/to taste.
Sushi rice, cooked and cooledB.T. Dubbs, so far I have no problems with soy sauce, provided it's the wheat-free kind, probably because it's fermented and consumed in small quantities.
Asparagus, cooked and cooled
Nori (toasted seaweed)
Salt & pepper
Chop or tear everything into bite-size pieces and throw in a big bowl with the rice. Make a vinaigrette with rice vinegar, salt, pepper, a good dash of sugar (the rice in sushi is slightly sweet), a small splash of soy (you don't want to turn the whole dish brown) and oil. I used olive because that's the only kind of oil we had around, but use peanut oil or something if you're a purist. Toss the vinaigrette with the other ingredients. Voila, it's Nippon in a bowl.