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Dr. Helen

Allergy Free Cooking

August 1st, 2013 - 5:06 am

If you have ever had food allergies, then you know how hard it is to find recipes and put together meals that don’t trigger them. I have some weird food allergies: carrots, pears, apples, and a host of other “good for you” foods that I am not supposed to eat. Luckily, Victoria Mazur’s book Allergy Free Cooking: A Family Friendly Cookbook – No Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Shellfish, or Nuts showed up in our mail the other day and I picked it up to get some ideas.

Unfortunately, I am not much of a cook, my husband does most of the cooking. It’s hard, however, to come up with simple tasteful meals that take into account food allergies and don’t take hours to make. Mazur’s book is a good one for those of us who are not chefs and who need to come up with good meals that are simple and don’t require time scouring the aisles of the supermarket for expensive, hard to find items that are allergy or gluten free.

The book is divided into food categories such as Soups, Poultry, Lamb, Beef, Pork and Fish and even I could follow the recipes. For example, a salmon dish uses only 9 ingredients and has clear instructions: Four 6 oz. salmon steaks, 2 T. olive oil, 1 T. Brown sugar, 1 T. Honey, one-forth cup Dijon mustard, 2 T. lemon juice, 1 T. finely grated ginger and salt and pepper. Basically, then combine all the ingredients (but the fish) and whisk and coat the salmon and cook.

Okay, even I can do that. I will have to try out some of these recipes and help out more with the cooking. For those of you wondering why someone who advocates for equality between the sexes is falling down on the job, I do the laundry and most of the cleaning in our house. But I would like to help out more with meals as it gets tiring for any one person to have to plan meals consistently.

Do you have any food allergies that require special cooking? If so, how do you cope with it? Or share a recipe in the comments.

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All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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I suspect that you are not much of a cook because you don't want to be. It is not exactly rocket science. If your husband enjoys cooking, let him. Some men love to cook, and most great cooks are males.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I use a mixture of Mocha Mix and coconut milk to sub for heavy cream in sauces and soups with varying results. Pretty good in a Bolognese sauce for pasta! O/w I use extra salt and pepper on pasta sauces to make up for the lack of parmesan.

Also, you can reduce your reactions sometimes by giving your gut a break: stay away from raw fruits and veggies and caustic things like carbonated soft drinks and you can tolerate more stuff you normally react to.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gluten is the main offender for my family. I find that shopping the fringes of the store and avoiding anything processed is best. The store bakery looks to me like a death trap now that I know wheat was the source of so much trouble!
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
About ten years ago I developed dermatitis which was set off by eating red tomatoes, oranges or red grapefruit, and red grapes, or anything made with these as ingredients. Very odd, and very annoying. After I finally found all the causes, I strictly avoided them all for at least five years. And now I have begun cautiously consuming them again, and it seems that the allergic reaction has settled down and they no longer bother me. Obviously, if I'd had an anaphylactic reaction instead of a rash I wouldn't have tried them again.

To cope with these odd allergies you have to be a compulsive reader of labels. Those "good for you" foods which cause trouble are hiding everywhere in processed foods.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have celiac disease so watching ingredients is a must for me. Gluten hides.
For a BBQ I am going to tonight, I made a pasta salad made with GF fusilli, grape tomatoes, diced cucumber & GF creamy Italian dressing. I may throw in some shredded cheddar, but it's optional as are the onions & broccoli that put in if I have it around.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
My daughter is allergic to dairy, egg, peanut, and treenut. For a while she was allergic to soy and wheat. We cook mostly simple foods: chili, stew, stir fry, and so on. For me, the great epiphany was looking for food traditions which did not rely on dairy and egg, or which use them as a topping, and staying away from traditions which use cheese, butter or egg as essential ingredients in the recipe.

My chicken chili: onion and garlic, sauteed with 1 lb chicken. Add 1 T chili powder, 1 t cumin and 1/2 t coriander and cook. Add 1-2 cups water, 1 can each white, red and black beans, 1 yellow or red pepper cut up, 1 cup white corn, and juice from 1 lime. I've found that it works well to slightly caramelize the onion and chicken---try making vegan corn muffins while the chicken is cooking so that you lose track of time =)

My favorite cook book is Cybeline Pascal's Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook, but we haven't used it for a while, mostly I just alter recipes I find online.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Most business partnerships divide responsibilities according to the strengths and skills of the partners; why should personal partnerships be different? You don't "fall down on the job" so long as you 1) do your share of the total work, and 2) support your partner. "K?
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
My wife is allergic to both dairy and soy. It's a nightmare to eat out at restaurants and my wife has become increasingly self-concious about grilling our waiter about what's in the food. Almost all store-bought baked goods seem to have soy lecithin or some form of milk e.g., whey, in them and vegetable oil is a crap shoot. I've taken to using lard or coconut oil as a replacement for butter in baked goods which works pretty well as a substitute. Target and Trader Joe's store brands do a good job of labeling allergens though and most of our pre-prepared food comes from them.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I eat strictly gluten free. Lately, I've been making fried chicken using 1/2 corn starch and 1/2 instant potato flakes with very good results.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Growing up in the 70s & 80s, my mom's allergic to fresh fruit & veggies (so everything was boiled to mush), dad's allergic to wheat & poultry, one sister has the peanut allergy, I've forgotten the other sister's allergies, and I can't eat anything with mold in it. Meals were very simple. Now one niece is allergic to the casinate (sp?) protien, not just milk. For get togethers there different dishes.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
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