When visiting family that have eating habits that are polar opposites to yours, knowing how to make a meal with what they have on hand is necessary!
In my case, I am currently visiting my dad’s side of the family. They have no food restrictions, and nary a vegetable in the house, save for frozen bags of them. There is a bit of fruit, and plenty of meat in the freezer, along with frozen tater tots, instant oatmeal, canned goods…
You know, everything I can’t eat?
Though the combination of gluten-free and vegan is difficult at times, I have few tips for making it through relatively unscathed:
tip #1 Bring a few emergency staples. Either that or find a natural food store (or a grocer with gluten-free stuff) and take a little shopping trip as soon as you get there. When bringing lots of snacks for the car ride (or flight) to your destination, bring extra so you have them when you arrive. A few staples to also bring include gluten-free grain (cream of rice or kasha mix, gluten-free oats), perhaps some dry beans (that you can soak), nuts, and nut butters.
tip #2 Go through the cupboards and freezer. You may surprised at what gems you’ll find! In addition to finding canned beans in the cupboard, I found a bag of frozen edamame beans that looked like they had been sitting forever (maybe they were bought on accident– the picture on the front looks like green beans)! Don’t assume your host have nothing to eat, but also read every label, even on those foods that look safe to eat. You never know.
tip #3 You won’t be able to eat as healthy as at home (or perhaps it’s the opposite for some?). In any case, salt, sugar, and a few preservatives are likely to find their way into your food when you eat out of other people’s cupboards and freezers– it’s not forever, so don’t sweat it. Also, I just condemn myself to creating a lot more waste than usual (what with cans, bags, and labels that have to be discarded).
Here is an example of a “dish” I put together yesterday, out of what I found in my grandpa’s kitchen:
Eaten as lunch with some oatmeal I cooked in the microwave (guilty pleasure– I am a closet microwave cooking fan). I also half half bag of edmamae I found in the freezer, shared with my little sister (who ate tator tots– a girl not after my own heart).
Any tips of your own?