Cooking from scratch is the only way to know there are no hidden triggers in the food you are eating and feeding your family.
Many readers will not have even read to this second sentence because when they see the words “cooking from scratch” they will immediately roll their eyes and think “There is no way I’m going to be able to make something from scratch”. They are either inexperienced cooks and are intimidated, or think that the time and effort involved makes it impossible, or that their Migraine attacks will keep them from cooking this way. It’s unfortunate, because they won’t have the chance to read this sentence:
I learned to cook from scratch to simplify my life, and I can show you how to do it too!
Believe me… if I can do it, you can do it. I was NOT born a cook and it’s not something I really enjoyed doing, so I have found just about every shortcut imagineable.
The beauty of cooking from scratch is that you are in total and complete control of your food at all times, so eating *clean* is easy. Once you get started with it, most Migraineurs with food triggers will feel so much better that it just gets easier and easier (and cheaper) as you go.
Stock is much more than just broth or soup. It does more than take the place of trigger laden bouillon cubes and soup purchased at the store. Stock is the base and foundation for a large percentage of the food you eat, whether you are aware of it or not. Soup, casseroles, rice dishes, gravy, pot pies… well, the list of possibilities goes on and on and on.
Since it takes as much time to make a large batch of stock as it does a small batch, I make about 2 big batches of stock per year for our family of four. I wait until chicken (or whatever kind of stock I want to make) comes on a super sale, which means I even save money too. I take one easy day to make a batch of stock, but it is time well invested and makes my life so easy once I’ve got it packaged and into the freezer! I just thaw as necessary, using it all through the year.
Stock can be made from almost anything – vegetables, chicken, beef, pork, even fish if that’s your thing. The most important secret ingredient to making good stock is time – the longer and slower it cooks, the richer it will taste and the more nutrients it will retain. This is why pioneers kept a pot of soup on the stove at all times, adding to it through the week.
My personal trick is using a large roaster and making my stock overnight while I am sleeping. The toughest part of the entire process is waiting until it is ready and packaging it for freezing. It fills the house with such wonderful smells that it’s hard not to eat it while I’m making it. Another plus is that I have never yet had a Migraine triggered by those wonderful yet light cooking smells.
Once you have your stock made, there are hundreds of ways you can use it to make cooking fast, nutritious, Migraine friendly and easy. In the next months I’m going to post recipes here to help you. Our family mostly uses chicken/veggie stock, but you can take almost every recipe I’ll give you here with any kind of meat/vegetable as a substitute for chicken.
One of the most important things I want to show you how to make with your homemade stock are what I call Dump Recipes. A dump recipe is a pre-packaged and frozen meal that has been assembled ahead of time. All that is needed is the stock to make it, and a crock pot and a freezer. When you are ready to cook one, you simply put the frozen ingredients from the freezer bag into the crock pot, set it and forget it. What could be easier? These are especially useful on Migrainey days because there is almost no effort involved in cooking it at all, and it’s easy enough that anyone in your family but the smallest children can do it if you’re stuck in bed.
Are you ready to give it a try? I hope so 🙂 My next post will be home cooked chicken/veggie stock, so stay tuned!