Sunday, December 9, 2007

Soy allergies and your friends. A chicken salad recipe.

One thing I didn't expect when I became allergic to soy was that it would prove to be a test of sorts for my friends (and family, more below.) Some people I barely know go out of their way to accomodate me, and some people I didn't expect don't try at all.

For example, there was one woman I worked with, and was work-friendly with (but nothing more), who would go out of her way to check in with me before office parties so I could eat what she made. She made a killer bean salad, and one time made a special trip to the store for olive oil so I could have some. (Thanks, Peggy!)

I am visiting a highschool friend for Christmas, and I got an email this week from her cousin (!) sending me a list of ingredients for some bruschetta she is making, so I could check them out. How wonderful is that?

However, someone related to me, who shall remain nameless, used to routinely "forget" what might have soy in it, which made eating with this person a minefield.

Another relative, who shall also remain nameless, used to buy things like bagels at the bakery with no ingredients label, tell me "oh, I'm sure they're all right," then get angry when I would pass on them to be safe. (BTW, I checked on those particular bagels later and they had soy flour AND soy oil.) The rule, check every label, every time means: if there is no label, you can't eat it.

One last story. One of my friends bought Hain's Safflower Mayonnaise so I could eat something at her house, and when she tried it, she decided she liked it better than the famous brand. So now that's what she buys.

Every once in a while, having a soy allergy has a positive effect on your life--or in this case, somebody else's. (The rest of the time, you strive to make it merely neutral.)

Here's what my friend was making with the Hain's mayo:

Chicken Salad with Walnuts and Grapes

Cut-up cooked chicken
Red seedless grapes, cut in half
Walnuts, broken or coarsely chopped
Mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

Amounts are all to your taste. Some people like more mayonnaise in this salad than others. Needless to say, this tastes better with Hain's mayo than with other kinds, but you can use the other kinds if that is all you have. I recommend a little lemon juice in it if that is the case.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I totally know what you mean! Just last weekend my Abuelita (grandmother) literally jumped through hoops to make sure that I could eat the meal she made, even though she is recovering from hip replacement surgery. But then some other family members expected me to help with cooking and cleaning for family meals, but didn't even THINK to ask if I could eat thing there.

Also, my friends and I did a potluck thing for the holidays and I had everyone come to my house with fresh ingredients or things still in jars/containers. So, we all cooked together (ok, I did like 95% of it), but I could be there to "supervise" and make sure no one slipped in banned ingredients. :-)

Some people really do surprise you!