Scrounging Around

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:

Canned tomato, frozen corn, canned white beans- all thrown in a pot and heated!

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).

A little grey and worse for where, but delicious nonetheless.
Hey, it was green– I’ll take it!

Any tips of your own?

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6 Responses to Scrounging Around

  1. Kayla says:

    GREAT post! I love how the only veggies are forgotten frozen vegetables! That seems to be a common theme now a days!

  2. Great tips! I’m not gluten free or vegan, but I have an allergy to peanuts that can make eating a chore (seriously, there are traces of the blasted things in like EVERYTHING). When I went to stay with my family in Europe a few summers ago, I basically had to pack half a suitcase full of food to get me through. I went shopping for veggies and fruit and dairy in the stores over there, but I had to bring my own nut butter, bars, cereals, and snacks. So my tip would pretty much be to pack some staples.

  3. Stephanie says:

    thanks for the tips! Gluten and dairy make my stomach turn into knots for a minimum of 3 days! Ugh.
    unfortunately theres always wheat flour in stuff like burgers, sauces etc. So I have to keep a lot of canned or dried beans, frozen veg, fruit, soy flour, nut butters etc.

  4. Ah, yes, I have the (often invasive) habit of rummaging through kitchens when no one’s looking… It’s just so curious to see what others eat, and thus how they live, really. It really says a lot about a person to see what they have in their cabinets!

    • VEGirl says:

      hehe– I do that, too. Even when I’m not trying to find something to eat, I like to read the ingredients on everything in their kitchen. I TRY (sorta) to make sure no one is looking 🙂

  5. Pingback: Scrounging around | Janetbosshart

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