The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook

200 Gourmet and Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family

allergy cookbook

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Recipe Updates

Dear Readers:

I tried making my Breaded Chicken Cutlets recipe with Perkey's Nutty Rice, which is a gluten-free and nut-free cereal, and it came out just great! In fact, it might be better than the cornflakes. You may substitute Perky's Nutty Rice in any recipe in which I recommend using cereal.

Now, I tried using the Nutty Rice (no nuts, just a nutty texture)because a reader asked about finding cornflakes that weren't at risk for cross-contamination from soy. As some of you may remember, I went on a cereal hunt for any kind of non-wheat flakes that were risk-free for contamination from allergens. I couldn't find a single brand that was processed in a completely "Dedicated" plant. Even Perky's cereals are processed in a "Facility that also manufactures products containing soy and gluten." But they say, "Strict manufacturing and sanitation practices are employed to prevent cross-contamination".(From their box)and "This product is routinely batch-tested for gluten" (also from their box). Are y'all sick of me talking about labeling yet? Better not be, because I'm just getting started! This whole business of "May contain" on labels has absolutely no regulations, and we in the food allergy community need to change that, because it's causing a lot of fear and confusion.

But back to Perky's for a second. Though they list this disclaimer, (which I believe is to deter litigious consumers), rest assured that this brand is owned by Enjoy Life, one of the premiere allergen-free, gluten-free manufacuters. It just goes to show, you can't avoid this very very very small risk of cross-contamination anywhere, not even with the allergen-free brands. And I'll be back with that article I'm writing on labeling very soon....

On to Gluten-free baking. I tried making my Classic Chocolate Layer Cake recipe with Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Flour, and it came out fine. It tasted great. It's slightly heavier than when you make it with oat flour and barley flour, but surely still tasty. The one thing I would say, is eat it quickly. Gluten-free baked goods don't seem to have as long a shelf life. Next, I tried making my Cherry Pie with this same GF flour. The crust was very hard to roll out, and I found I had to just use my fingers to patch it, and mold it together a bit. It came out tasting good, and was flakey, but personally, I think it's more trouble than it's worth. Again, it had a short shelf life. Something happens to the texture with the GF baked goods after a day or two, they get a little soggy and dense. If anyone has another GF crust recipe they'd like to share, bring it on. And I'll keep experimenting with other GF flours. I have a feeling that crust calls for the potato and tapioca flours/starches, which will have less density.

Here is a new immune boosting, allergen-free salad dressing recipe that's great for summertime. I made it up a couple of weeks ago, and am addicted. Both Pomegranates and Avocados are extremely good for your health. Pomegranates immune boosting properties are said to help guard against premature aging, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer! And avocados are revered for their healthy fats. They are cholesterol free, high in monounsaturated fats, and have 7 fatty acids, including the uber-healthy Omega 3 and 6.


2 Tbsp. Pomegranate Glaze (or any pomegranate reduction you can find -- readily available at supermarkets since this whole pomegranate craze began)
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. Honey
4 Tbsp. Avocado Oil
6 mint leaves, torn or chopped

Combine Pom Glaze, Lemon Juice, Dijon Mustard, and Honey. Add Avocado Oil, 1 Tbsp. at a time, whisking thoroughly to really imulsify the dressing. Add mint. Makes about 1/2 cup of dressing (enough for two of the following salads). Feel free to increase the quantity of the dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds if you wish. It's a matter of taste.

1 bag mixed baby spring mix/field greens/baby greens (all the same thing)
1/4 cup green grapes, halved
2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. roasted pumpkin seeds *

* to roast your own raw pumpkin seeds, which I think is preferable and delicious, heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the seeds. Cook, shaking the pan every so often, until the seeds start to make a popping sound. Remove from heat and toss directly onto salad. It's great when they're still a little warm, because they pair so well with the cool green grapes.

If you can eat goat cheese, you may add a mild goat cheese to this salad as well.

Enjoy! And check back in the next few days for my new Allergen-free Chicken Mole Recipe (mole usually has peanuts and almonds in it, but I've found a way around that.
Also coming soon... recipes for Soccas, the chickpea flour pizza/tortillas I wrote about last month.




  • At 6:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am curious about your article regarding labeling, but i would just like to caution you and plead for you not to assume that manufacturers do this just to avoid law suits. I don't think they are that backwards thinking, as these disclaimers are actually HURTING their sales, but helping some with SEVERE allergies. If anything, it would be to their advantage to leave them off as they are not required to do this.

    My child is so deathly allergic to SO many things that I praise God that some manufacturers disclaim that products may pose cross-contaimination risks with common allergens. There is no law obligating them to do so. While it may hurt their sales, it actually helps individuals such as myself. It allows me to decide for myself whether or not the product is safe, without having to spend HOURS contacting the manufacturer (which I have to do with EVERY product that does not disclaim.)

    Allergies are NOT Black and White. Some people "Avoid" foods, but others have life-threatening reactions. Have you ever had to rush your child to the ER because they ate somthing that unknowingly had a miniscule trace of a peanut in it? As your child swells and works for each breath, and your own heart races and you curse yourself for not being more informed? This child depends on ME for every breath. We are so lucky that God heard our prayers, and we made it to the ER, and that we happened to be 5 minutes away from the hospital when it happened. Because if anyone of these things were not present, my child would not be present with us today.

    The fact that some manufacturers have taken the high road to disclose information regarding cross contamination may not be helpful to you or your book right now, but it saves lives and makes lives easier! IT raises ENORMOUS awareness as individuals without allergies, recognize that a miniscule amount of an allergen can actually kill someone. Not everyone, but to me, it is worth the effort, even if it only saves one life. All i ask, is that you consider this information, before you write-off these disclaimers as anti-litigious tactics.

    These manufacturers don't have to do this. And if they didn't, i would have a career on the phone calling them everyday to see if peanuts are in the plant. We are all human, and accidents happen. For me, i don't EVER want to see my child struggling to survive again. The disclaimers make life easier for some, just as the recent legislation has made life easier for some by defining terminology. If i have any influence, in time, these disclaimers will also become law, and that way, everyone can decide for themselves!

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