If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know that my mother has lupus, and a list of food allergies about as long as my leg.
She seemed a little depressed when she was first diagnosed–after all, it’s not fun to hear that a lot of the foods your taste buds love are bad for the rest of your body. She came to my house the first Thanksgiving after her diagnosis.
Cooking for her was not as easy as I thought. One of her triggers was corn, and as we know now, pretty much *everything* has corn syrup in it! That includes every brand of bread, as well as every bag of bread crumbs (this was the late 90s–the field may be better now).
I ended up making my own bread, then toasting it in the oven to make the stuffing for our meal. I’ll tell you–I felt very close to the Pilgrims that day! (I know, I know…they didn’t have an oven. But seriously, I felt very homesteader-y!)
Anyway, all of that is to say that I get that special diets are important. And I honestly believe that you don’t have to go off that diet when you go on vacation.
Making Special Meals for Special People
We recently had guests at our St. Augustine bed and breakfast who had a very specific meal plan–no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, no meat. I certainly couldn’t argue with the results of their diet–the wife had lost 50 pounds and the husband had lost 30 pounds!
I corresponded with them a bit to better understand their needs, and then experimented a few times to come up with something for them. A vegan oatmeal parfait won all of our taste tests.
The result was pretty, as well as delicious. It was so pretty, in fact, that when I carried the parfaits to their table, the guests at the next table asked what they had to do to get that “fancy thing”! The best part? Our guests felt special, and felt as if they were truly on vacation. Because going on vacation doesn’t have to mean taking a vacation from healthy eating!
Please Ask–We’re Here to Help
If you have any food issues–whether it’s an allergy, a special diet, or just a personal preference–please let us know about a week before you come. If you’ve ever seen our kitchen, you know that it’s not much bigger than a home kitchen…we don’t have room to keep everything you might need on hand. But we’re happy to get it for you with a head’s up!
If you have a specific dietary request, please send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to accommodate your request!
Soaked Vegan Oatmeal Parfait (serves one)
1 ripe banana
1-1/2 tsp. cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli so it would be really rich)
1/2 c. old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 c. vanilla unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp. chia seeds
1-1/2 T. peanut butter*
*I used natural peanut butter for our guests–no sugar added. But when I took the above photo, I used a regular creamy peanut butter because I thought it was more photogenic. If you don’t mind a little sugar, you can do the same!
Mix oatmeal, almond milk and chia seeds together. Set aside.
Mash banana and cocoa powder together until the cocoa is incorporated. Place half of the banana mixture in the bottom of a pretty glass or parfait cup. Layer half of the oatmeal mixture on top.
Repeat layers. Cover with clear plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight, or at least 8 hours.
In the morning, remove the plastic wrap and top with peanut butter. Serve immediately.