Monday, March 21, 2011

How to Adapt "Normal"Recipes into Allergy-Friendly Recipes

When you live in a household where you have dairy, gluten and soy allergies, you learn very quickly how to adapt “normal” or “classic” recipes into allergy-friendly recipes.

This is one things I have prided myself on over the last few years. I can take just about any recipe and make it not only allergy-friendly, but much healthier.

I was thinking about this today, and I realize that some of you may not have allergies in your home, but have dinner guests who do have allergies, or are raising kids who are just developing allergies and you may not be as well adjusted to this practice.

I wanted to take the time to share with you some really basic substitutions for classic meals that can be allergy friendly and offer some basic substitution recommendations.

Allergy: Gluten


All-Purpose flour – Any Gluten Free All-purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill is the most popular and can be found in most any grocery store) (also, please note you will need either xanthan gum or guar gum to make the flour work)

Pasta – Brown Rice Pasta (can be found at Trader Joes, Fred Meyer, QFC, ect)

Tortillas – Corn Tortillas (make sure they don’t have any wheat in the ingredients)

Chips – Either Corn Chips or Potato chips (make sure the seasoning doesn’t contain gluten in the ingredients on the back of the bag)

Bread – Udi’s Gluten Free Bread can be found at a lot of stores, Fred Meyer, QFC, ect, some times gluten free bread is found in the freezer section, with the organic foods)

Allergy: Dairy


Butter: Coconut Oil (can be found in the natural food section or online) or Vegetable Palm Shorting.

Heavy Cream: Full Fat Coconut Milk

Milk: Coconut Milk, Almond Milk, Rice Milk (I do not recommend soy milk)

Sour Cream: Cashew-Cream 

Cheese: Daiya Shreds (can be found only at Whole Foods, PCC, ect) or Goat Cheese (make sure your guest can have Goat cheese, contains no lactose, but does affect some allergy suffers)

Allergy: Eggs

Substitution: Ener-G Egg Substitute (for baking only), or 1-2 tsp Chai Seed Meal (ground up Chai Seeds) mixed with hot water, combine until stringy, per egg (for baking only)

Allergy: Nuts


Peanut Butter: Sunflower Butter (available at most stores)

Nuts: Seeds!

Allergy: Soy


Soysauce: Coconut Aminos (can be found at health food store of Online)

Soy Milk: ANY OTHER KIND OF MILK (please do this anyway!)

Soybean Oil: Coconut Oil

Allergy: Shellfish

I don’t have any ideas. Probably just to avoid shellfish and eat other types of protein!

Although most recipes can use some of these replacements, not every recipe is going to ideal for guests with allergies. If you are having a guest over who has a dairy allergy, I wouldn’t recommend trying to make a dairy-free lasagna (if you do, and are successful, let me know!) Just as if, you are having a guest over who can’t have eggs, I wouldn’t recommend making omelets with one of the options above!

However, if you are having a guest over for dinner, or have a child with a gluten allergy, making spaghetti with brown rice noodles would be a fabulous replacement. Or, if you are making cheeseburgers for a dairy-free friend, adding goat or Daiya shreds to their burger would be wonderful!

Here is an example of a “classic” recipe that I will change into an allergy-friendly recipe.


Ingredients in the Classic Recipe:
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
Ingredients in the Allergy- Friendly Recipe:
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 -2 Tsp Chai Seed and Hot water (egg replacement)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk (milk replacement)
  • 1 cup Gluten Free Oats (bread crumb replacement)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar ( would also replace this for Turbando to make it healthier!)
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
See? That was so simple, and with a few adjustments, you can make just about any meal for any guest.
Want another example?

Chicken Parmesan:

Ingredients in the Classic Recipe:
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese, or more
  • 1 jar (16 oz) spaghetti sauce
Ingredients in the Allergy-friendly recipe:
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
  • Ener-G Egg Replacer (egg replacement)
  • 1/2 Almond Milk (milk replacement)
  • Gluten Free Bread, cooked and crumbed, or GF flour (breadcrumb replacement)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sliced Goat Cheese or Daiya Shreds (cheese substitute)
  • 1 jar (16 oz) spaghetti sauce

I hope this helps ease the cooking process as you ease into allergy-friendly cooking!

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