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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Thursday
Sep152011

Gluten-Free Thai Noodles with Turkey

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Studious readers will remember that I moved to a new apartment only two months ago. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be - the basement leaked and I believe the house is riddled with mold and other environmental contaminants. Within two weeks of moving in, I was dealing with a constant headache, congestion, a burning throat, swollen glands, foggy headedness and fatigue. My Lyme and Babesia symptoms were flaring up, and I was starting to suffer anxiety attacks. I could barely function at work and had no energy left when I returned home at the end of the day. I finally resorted to spending as much time away as possible, housesitting for two weeks, camping for 5 days, and staying with friends for 2 1/2 weeks. Inevitably, after being away from the house for a few days, I would experience a total clearing of the additional symptoms. When I would go back, the symptoms would return. I knew I had to get out of that place for good; I've worked too hard the last 3 1/2 years to get to this point in my health, and I can't let my living situation drag me down. After negotiating with my landlord (and calling over the city inspector), I broke my lease and moved out. Now all my stuff is in storage and I'm staying out in the 'burbs with my aunt and uncle.

This experience has opened my eyes to the importance of having a safe place to call home. I dreaded going back there each day, knowing that it would make me feel sick. Although staying other places made me feel physically better, it wore on me emotionally. I yearned for quiet, for privacy, for my normal pattern of cooking dinner and working in my garden and being able to rest whenever and where ever I wanted. After being on the move for the better part of two months, I am worn down and feeling drained. My lack of pattern made it hard for me to eat the way I need to and stick to my rigorous and ever-changing schedule of medications and tinctures and supplements. This wore me down even further, and made me realize that no matter what I need to put my health first and do whatever I need to do to stick to my patterns. 

I had always seen myself as someone with a strong gypsy streak, someone who is comfortable traveling and moving about, but I have realized that I need a space to call my own. Maybe that space could be a modern-day gypsy wagon, but I definitely need my own wagon and can't be solely reliant on the wagons of other people. 

Adding insult to injury, I ruined my MacBook two weeks ago. I poured water on the keyboard and fried the electrical system. My laptop is 6 years old and just barely does what I need it to do, so investing the large sum of money necessary to fix it seems ridiculous. After being computer-free for two weeks and unable to complete loads of important professional and personal communication, I finally broke down and called the Apple people to order a new laptop. Although I am super excited to get a new machine, I am feeling bummed about throwing down the money right now. 

Truly, through this all, I have felt incredibly grateful. When my friends and family heard of my troubles, many of them offered their couches and spare bedrooms. I ended up spending nearly 2 1/2 weeks at my friends' house, sleeping in their 6-year-old's bunk bed. Now I am staying with my aunt and uncle, who offered to take me in while I look for a new place in the competitive Minneapolis rental market. I feel incredible blessed to be able rest on the kindness and generosity of others during this transitional time; my friends and family gave me a home when my own made me sick. Without this support, I'd be sleeping in my car somewhere (seriously).

Now that I am settling into my aunt and uncle's house, it feels good to know I can stay there for a while. I have been craving the ability to settle in a cook a real meal, and on Tuesday night I finally had my chance - I hadn't really cooked in weeks. I was in the mood for the fresh taste of Thai food, and whipped up my own version southeast Asian noodles. I found stability and comfort in the familiar actions of chopping and stirring and seasoning, making a home in muscle memory and instinct. 

I hope you make yourself at home, where ever you are, and sit down with people you love to enjoy this meal. 

Thai Noodles with Turkey

yield 4 large servings

  • 12 oz. rice noodles (I used Jovial brand brown rice cappellini)
  • 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red Thai chili, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast or thigh
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce 
  • juice of 1 lime

Cook pasta according to instructions on package.

While pasta is cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add sesame oil. Once hot, add garlic, onion, and chili and saute until onion is soft. Then add turkey and about 2-3 tablespoons of water - the water helps to break up the meat. Break up turkey, and saute until the crumbles are cooked through and most of the liquid has cooked off. 

Drain and rinse pasta, then add back to pot. Add turkey mixture to the pasta, along with fish sauce, lime juice, and chopped cilantro. Toss lightly to combine. Serve with additional fish sauce, cilantro, or lime juice, as desired. 

Leftovers are also good cold or room temperature, served with sliced cucumber. 

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Reader Comments (5)

Hello from a fellow Minneapolis healthy-food-loving blogger! Just discovered your blog a couple months ago and have loved peeking through your recipe index!

That's terrible news about your apartment, but I am inspired by your positive attitude. It reminds me of a line from one of my favorite books, OFF THE MAP:
"…we are playing house here, but more than that we are playing home. we have transformed space and lived in it. we would do this anywhere. anywhere we go we will clean a little or a lot, make some food and make some magic, learn about love and revolution from whatever surrounds us. anywhere we go, we will make gardens with whatever seeds are available to us.” (p. 71)

Keep your chin up!

Hi,
Yes,I totally get what you are saying about mold exposure.I have Lymes Disease and I live in an old home with mold issues.I have been diffusing Thieves Oil twice daily and this is hopefully cleaning the air.Thieves Oil is a wonderful blend .I would only recommend using Young Living Oils.Thieves Oil when diffused kills 99% of the mold.I have also started taking Ocotea oil.A few drops twice daily.It is very good for candida problems.I also use Thieves Household Cleaner which is incredible for cleaning bath tiles,etc.You can check out the studies they have done with Thieves and mold removal.

September 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmbie Hay

Hi!
I just found your blog, and this comment doesn't relate to this post, but I didn't want to stick on some super old post where it would get lost. Anyway, I found your blog because I was trying to find anti-candida recipes...because I have lyme! So when I saw a mention of a post about cooking when chronically ill, I thought I should check it out. Imagine my surprise to see that you have Lyme disease as well! (I hope you are doing ok now?). I am lucky like you- I've never been completely debilitated, but gosh has it ever made me change my life! I am 22, but right now I don't drink (or stay out late...or, right now, go out at all), don't eat sugar, and know more about health and nutrition than anyone I know! But I am still terrible at making my own recipes, so thank you so much for sharing yours!

September 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Hi Kim , I normally leave my comments for you directly on your blog , but I have had lots of trouble seems the site is viral ? disables my laptop and causes it to become unresponsive each time I visit ? Anyway Oh dear girl I am so sorry to hear things did not work out for you with your move , Boy I can sure relate to the stress you speak of and YES it certainly does take it's toll , thank God for the kindness of your family ( Aunt and Uncle ) and your dear friends that have extended their heart felt welcome to you during your time of transition . I will pray that you will find a great place ASAP and that you will regain your health back quickly . Thank you for sharing all you've been going through . Good to know you are doing "Okay " . Take care of yourself and try to get plenty of rest so you will regain your strength to be able to do what you need to . Big hugs ~BYE XOXO~Also
congrats on your new purchase :)

September 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

Wow, Kim, so sorry to hear about the apt woes! And boy, your body sure does tell you immediately when something is wrong. . . good that you listened. I hope that the symptoms will be gone for good, now. And glad you got to cook something yummy! :)

September 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRicki
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo