food anxieties

Ah being a host. The challenges of making someone feel at home, when they’re clearly not. I’ve written about dealing with other people’s food limitations before (here, if you want to revisit). And as I said there, ISHI has a whole boatload of food limitations, but clearly a small dinghy compared to others.

We had a couple with a yachtfull of issues today. They gave me a chart, what’s not okay and what’s good for them to eat.

Our Super Picky Diet – “But it won’t be like this forever”




Wheat Tofu Cranberries Chocolate
Spelt Beans incl. garbanzos (humus) Melon Fresh garlic, fresh onions
Barley Tahini, sesame, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds Grapefruit or oranges Hot spices (black pepper, ginger, cayenne, curry)
Rye Dairy (cow, goat, sheep) Spinach Soy milk, almond milk
Oats Other soy products Winter squash Olives
Udi bread or other store-bought gluten-free bread Nuts Hot peppers (e.g. chili peppers) Brewer’s yeast
Lentils Jerusalem artichokes
Eggs Raw tomato
Pineapple and mango
                                                                                              GOOD TO EAT
Rice and rice noodles Tempe Lemon Coconut
Quinoa Chicken Summer squash All other spices
Potatoes Fish (any kind but Haddock) Apples, berries, pears, Rice milk
Millet Beef Salads, sweet peppers
Sweet potatoes Mung beans Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, parsley, coriander, fennel, peas,
Corn (in moderation)
All other fruits and veggies














I printed it out. I had it on my recipe holder. I re-read it carefully to plan my menu and shopped. I also asked them for clarification–if you can eat tempe, and that’s made out of soybeans…

“Yes, it’s an anomaly.”

I’m not sure she used that word, but I was going with it. We had challah; they had rice cakes. But for everyone I made magaricz, my eggplant spread that’s made without sesame or tomato, pea soup, green salad (yay! they can eat hearts of palm!), a huge bowl of roasted veggies, including potatoes, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, salmon, and then I was making a huge pot of rice and red quinoa pilaf. I had sauteed the onions and mushrooms, added the tempe, added the rice and red quinoa and was letting them all get nice and cozy with each other. That’s when I usually add my shoyu (soy sauce), so I made sure that I had my bottle without any wheat and started pouring that in and then

did I scream out loud or just in my own head?

It was definitely very loud in my head.

(UPDATE: ISHI says I screamed out loud.)

Yes, soybeans are on the no good part of the list.

So what would you do?

I stopped the momentary panic, added the water and let that cook. I took another pot, added white quinoa and let that cook. I put salt in that one.

Today, before the meal, I told them what happened and they said, “Great! You used the non-wheat shoyu! No problem!”

“But soybeans???”

“Yeah, it’s fine.”

So was the olive oil that I had poured on practically everything.

Except the brownies. I have to have something for me.

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