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Feed Me Friday: Roasted Sumac Broccoli with Tahini and Pine Nuts

by Alison Landolt

I have anxiety. General anxiety, a little bit of social anxiety, and definitely anxiety about talking on the phone. I also worry about inconveniencing people and being a burden. After ten months of eating gluten-free, I finally called my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant to ask someone to go over their menu with me. Maybe it’s silly to worry so much over gluten in a menu full of cheese and fat, but gluten is the easiest trigger for me to cut out. It’s about baby steps, not perfection. I have to keep telling myself that because perfectionism is part of my anxiety. I hold so much of that anxiety, physically, in my pelvis. Releasing that tension is something I’m working on. I’m also working on realizing that having needs doesn’t make me a burden --

especially when I am paying someone to meet my needs. I think we struggle with this a lot as chronic illness patients. Worries about burdening our families or our doctors, or settling for “what the doctor ordered” instead of what we asked for. Running a nonprofit and a support/education community, I often see endo sufferers talking about how their doctors ignored their complaints, dismissed them, and even laughed at them for expressing their needs. Just like at a restaurant, you are the paying customer. You have a choice in where you go and in who you give your business to. I think we forget that because doctors are supposed to be the experts. Society grants them so much authority that we can feel helpless against them. I won’t eat at a restaurant that can’t meet my dietary needs. I won’t continue to see a doctor who can’t meet my healthcare needs. Find someone who serves you. You’re not a burden, and your needs matter.  Lucky for me, my 10-month Tex-Mex fast ended with gluten-free options aplenty. After a weekend of gorging myself on deliciousness, I didn’t even complain when my boyfriend made us quinoa and lentils for dinner. I made this broccoli recipe to go with it.  Roasted Sumac Broccoli with Tahini and Pine Nuts

2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves (not ground)

½ teaspoon ground sumac ½ teaspoon kosher salt Generous sprinkle of black pepper 1-2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

Tahini Sauce: 1 clove of grated or finely minced garlic The juice of half a lemon (feel free to decrease this amount/add to taste) 3 tablespoons tahini 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons hot water Preheat oven to 425 F.  Toss broccoli florets with olive oil, salt, pepper, sumac, and thyme. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast 15 minutes, turning over florets halfway through.  Meanwhile, combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Drizzle overcooked broccoli. Note that you will probably only use about half of the sauce. The tahini sauce will stay good in the refrigerator for a few days and makes a great dip for veggies. Top with toasted pine nuts and serve. 

Alison Landolt is an EFHou founder.

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