Friday, November 9, 2012

Allergen-Free Cooking Challenge: BRING. IT.

Isn't my diagram amazing? NOT. Sorry. But the reason I share it is that I'm currently faced with the challenge of feeding my family tasty meals that fit right in that tiny shaded middle area.  Ooh,  I love a good challenge...

For the next week, we're staying at my family's house where my parents and little sister live.

My mom, Nancy, is a octo-lavo vegetarian who has allergies to soy, corn and whole nuts (ground and in milk form are fine).  

I am, as you know, gluten free with sensitivities to dairy, so lean towards vegan.  

My sister, Alexis, (isn't she adorable?) just got an allergy panel done and found out she's sensitive to most grains, egg and dairy so she was prescribed the paleo diet.  

Ergo, we are not an easy crowd to cook for.  But I knew it was possible to find some tasty meals, with a little imagination.  Instead of focusing on all the ingredients we CAN'T eat, I decided to focus on all the ingredients we can eat together and see what I could come up with:

  • All fruits
  • All vegetables
  • All herbs and spices
  • Coconut oil, milk, butter, flour
  • Almond oil, milk, butter, flour
  • Cashew cream (life saving ingredient)
  • Potato - whole and flour
  • Amaranth
  • Cocao 
  • Chia

The list seems short, but the first three categories are actually pretty huge.  So here's what I came up with for our first meal together:

Here is my gluten free/soy free adaptation of the Jazzy Vegetarian recipe:

½ to 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 bermuda onion, chopped
8 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces Portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon coconut aminos (sub for soy sauce)
3 to 4 cups vegetable broth, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon potato flour, plus more as needed
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

2 packages of shirataki pasta (made out of mushrooms or yams), cooked and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the Portobello mushrooms, basil, 1⁄2 teaspoon of the coconut aminos, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, adding a bit of broth as needed to prevent sticking. Add the crimini mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the broth. Decrease the heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, adding more broth as needed to keep the mixture very moist.

Put the flour in a small cup or bowl, whisk in 1⁄2 cup of the broth, and stir into the mushroom mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has thickened to form a gravy. Season with the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon of coconut aminos (if desired) and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately over the pasta, garnished with parsley if desired.

12 Brussels Sprouts halved
3 Tbs grape seed oil

Preheat oven to 375.  Toss all of the ingredients together until coated. Spread sprouts evenly on baking sheet.  Bake for 30 mins or until golden on both sides and the centers are soft.

1 fresh pineapple diced
2 tsp honey
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Keep the oven on at 375 after the Brussels Sprouts are done.  Toss pineapple chunks with honey to coat.  Spread chunks evenly in baking dish.  Cover with coconut.  Bake until coconut is toasted - about 5-8 minutes.  Serve warm. 


Everyone left the table full and surprised at how tasty everything was despite our limitations.  The only thing I could have done to improve on this menu was to take pictures of the dishes.  Doh!

Oh, and since it's been awhile, here's a picture of the Gooser enjoying a pumpkin patch:



  1. That sounds like a complicated Venn diagram! But it sounds like you're working out a tasty solution! Happy Weekend!

  2. I am just LOVING your popcorn favor idea! That is just the CUTEST!
    Interesting Forwards


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