Ramblings about cumin

One thing about switching to a whole foods, plant-based diet: We eat delicious meals.

Another thing about switching to a whole foods, plant-based diet: Holy crap, it takes a long time to chop vegetables.

I spent twenty-five minutes chopping up half a butternut squash, one tiny onion, and a couple of cloves of garlic.  Yes, twenty-five minutes.  How can it possibly take that long? I have no idea. Will was playing outside with the kids, so I can’t even blame them for causing a distraction.

We had black bean & squash enchilada casserole with roasted tomatillo sauce tonight.  I made the tomatillo sauce yesterday, and cooked the beans a couple of days ago.  I tend to make large quantities of beans and use them in multiple dishes over several days.  

I didn’t used to like beans at all, and it took me years to realize why: it was my previously undiagnosed cumin allergy.  I knew I was allergic to a spice, but I never pinpointed it until I was in my mid-twenties.  After that, after I realized it was cumin, I spent the next several years learning about which foods I actually hated, and which foods I only hated because of the allergic reaction that starts with a burning itch in my throat.

Beans were one of the foods I hadn’t liked.  We never ate them when I was growing up, except when my dad made chili.  And when he made chili, he used cumin.  So to me, beans were just another food that I avoided because of that burny itchy taste.  I started eating black beans long before I ate any other kind of bean, and that was because my dad didn’t use them in chili, so I never had that association and never developed that same visceral response to them as I had with the others.

I have to admit, it was a relief to find out I’m not a picky eater.  When you’re a kid and you don’t like something, adults say you’re just being picky, and you should eat it anyway.  My parents always complained about how picky I was, but it turns out, I’m not.  I guarantee that as an adult I eat a wider variety of food than most people, and I’m willing to try almost anything once.  Just as long as it doesn’t have cumin in it.  


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