My boyfriend suffers from seriously heinous food allergies. On top of that, he's vegan. No yeast, no wheat, no corn, no blueberries, no cheese, no eggs, no poultry, no meat, no oranges or citric acid for that matter, and the list goes on and on. I, on the other hand, am utterly in love with food. I love the sensation of different flavors dancing on my tongue from all over the foodie spectrum. Balsalmic vinegar strawberry gelato? Yes please! Roquefort cheese? Mmm, of course. Brazillian garlic steak? Yes! Yes! Orgasm in my mouth! For a moment he thought he was allergic to garlic, which would have just
ended our relationship right then and there, but we managed to check
that one off the list without injury.
I wondered how we'd be able to get along, considering I've got a stomach made of steel and his trembles at the sight of rye bread. The compromise of dinner has actually become a fun part of the new routines we've been establishing as a couple. We take trips together to our local natural food store and dissect every ingredient on every box, veering away from the bakery and deli. Instead of being a thorn in my side, I find his particularities more and more endearing every day, each allergy presenting itself with another challenge.
Being that this relationship is still relatively new, I'm eager to surprise him with a delicious new meal. Maybe it seems a bit antiquated to express my affection for him in such a domestic way. Lord knows his idea of cooking is rice a roni with fried tofu with Braggs Aminos; just thinking of him eating the same dish night after night just curdles my tongue… hurts my soul… makes me sad. The only way I'll be happy is if he eats my cooking and likes it.
The first dinner I ever cooked for him was one that I'll never forget. I'd asked him to send me the list of things he couldn't eat, and then brought the list with me to the grocery store. I delicately picked out my ingredients, triple checked my list, went to two different stores and when I got home, put on some Sade and got down to business. I was so nervous and excited to introduce him to my kitchen, my culinary world.
That night, I made Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. I broiled the 'shrooms, but you can also grill them and they'd be delectable for a stomach as sensitive as my man's.
- 4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
- 1 cup chopped FRESH herbs of your choice (I prefer rosemary, oregano&thyme)
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice
- olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- salt&pepper to taste
- Cook your rice in a rice steamer. You'll want to add a little more water than usual so that the rice flowers.
- Chop the herbs.
- Brown the garlic and sauté the onions in olive oil until the onions are transparent.
- When the rice has finished cooking, stir in the garlic, onions and herbs. Set to the side.
- Fire up the broiler or the BBQ. Prepare your mushrooms, drizzle each with a bit of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Broil or grill the mushroom caps until the meat of the shroom is tender, like a nice steak (about 15 minutes, just keep your eye on them)
- When mushrooms are done, fill the center of the mushroom where the stem had been removed with a mound of the rice mixture.
I served these with a fruit salad and mixed vegetables.
He loved the meal, and furthermore, I didn't kill him! We sat on my lawn and had a nice candlelit dinner on a warm summer night, the smell of earthy mushrooms and fresh herbs mingling with the cut grass and evening dew. The night was a success and marked a real beginning for the first relationship that I'd had in a very long time, and with someone who seemed to be my complete opposite. From our bellies to our hearts, we're very different, but I'm hoping that we'll find a middle ground somewhere in more than just the kitchen.