Trying to Heal plus Mushroom Stroganoff {Vegan & Gluten free}

These past few weeks have been really hard for me, most people around me probably don’t even realize the amount of pain I’m in or how uncomfortable I have been. I go each day trying my hardest to wear a smile and act like nothing is wrong. There have been days I really wanted to stay home, days I could have just cried, but that’s not an option. Every time I feel bad I can’t just stay home, I can’t just shut people out, that’s not me and frankly it doesn’t help me any. I’m lucky to have a husband who listens and tries to help make me as comfortable as he can, he checks to make sure I’m taking my medicine and drinking enough water. Yes, I’m bad about doing both. He has been and will continue to be my rock through my ups and downs. As hard as it is for me, I know it is also hard on him.

Because I’m currently in a flare up I have been eating pretty bland, trying to do my best to heal. Eating plain white rice, GF white toast, and unseasoned foods gets really boring. As much as I know it is good, I just can’t always do it. I like flavor too much. I also have the worst willpower when it comes to food. It is hard for me to turn down a piece of chocolate, tacos or anything so spicy it makes my nose run. It’s a weakness. I like food. (Granted the fact that I write a food blog may give that away.) Just as a taste, here is my menu for today: GF white toast, a banana, rice cakes, white rice and apple sauce. Exciting isn’t it?
I am almost a year gluten free and being GF has been a blessing and am currently working on dairy free, I’m eliminating foods that are my triggers, or at least seem to trigger my symptoms. Dairy seems to be a big one, but here lies my biggest weakness…cheese. If it wasn’t for cheese I would be 100% dairy free, but I don’t have it in me to turn down ANYTHING smothered in melty, gooey cheese. 
Anyway, I had the urge to end, or at least take a break from, the blandness so I decided to make a stroganoff. While reading the most recent (October/November) Kiwi Magazine, I came across the cooking with kids section where they were showcasing a healthier pasta, Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Stroganoff. My only change was that I made this gluten and dairy free. (I recommend checking out the current issue)

Not a very good picture, I was thinking with my stomach and not my head so didn’t pick a pretty plate or plate nice.

Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Stroganoff
(slightly adapted from Kiwi Magazine) 

1 spaghetti squash
1 cup water
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 tbsp brown rice flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup silken tofu
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 fresh sage leaves, minced
2 tsp parsley
8 oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
4 oz oyster mushrooms, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half length wise, and clean out all the seeds. Add a cup of water to a 13×9 baking dish, place the squash cut side down in the dish and bake for about an hour or until soft. 

Heat 2 1/2 tsp of the olive oil in a pan over medium heat, whisk in the flour and cook stirring constantly, about one minute. Add the garlic and broth, stir well, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Set aside. 

In a small bowl, add the liquid aminos, Dijon mustard, tofu and salt. Whisk well to combine. (you could also use a hand mixer.) 

Add the tofu mixture to the broth mixture, stir well and cover to keep warm.
Heat the remaining oil, add onion and cook until tender. Add the sage, parsley and mushrooms, cook for about 7-8 minutes.  Add the broth mixture to the mushrooms, simmer on low. 

While the sauce simmers, remove the squash from the oven. Using a fork, scrape the flesh until “noodles” form. Transfer the “noodles” to a bowl and top with the mushroom sauce. Garnish with parsley.

    This meal was nice because not only did it not have gluten or dairy, it could also be classified as a Low-Residue (LR) meal. LR foods are really helpful in aiding in the healing of your colon because they are easier to digest. Even though you are baking the squash, you are actually steaming it which is a really good way to cook vegetables, so is boiling, when eating LR. You want to avoid whole grains, seeds and nuts and when it comes to meats you want to stay away from cooking methods that may cause the meat to get dry or tough.

    If you want to learn more about what I am going through or more about a Low Residue Diet, you can check out some of these links:

    WebMD –Low Residue
    CCFA.org
    Companion Magazine for IBD
    Johns Hopkins Medicine – Ulcerative Colitis

    And you can always ask! I am usually pretty open with what I am going through, if you’re willing to hear it. Right now I just really want to take a nap.

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