The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook

200 Gourmet and Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family

allergy cookbook

Sunday, October 01, 2006



Okay, have you tried Amy's new products? As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I got a chance to sample the gluten-free, dairy-free pizza and it was awesome. Same holds true for this new tasty easy dinner sensation. Lennon LOVED it, and even uttererd,
"you know, I'm actually really enjoying the peas". That's no small thing for a kid who has always hated peas. This dish is a great option for people on allergen-free diets, as it's free of all top allergens, except for SOY. If you can't eat soy, this one is out for you. :( It's also great for vegans. Or anyone for that matter.

Next week I'm going to start trying the new Amy's Low Salt dishes. For those of you who don't know about these products, Amy's makes a lot of frozen vegetarian dinners, which are usually made with the most basic simple ingredients -- very close to homeade, and now that she's introduced the low-sodium line, they're even healthier.

I'd like to know how many of you are on a gluten-free diet, or know somebody on a gluten-free diet. Please leave comments. Do you think this is a fad? Do you think people are going gluten-free when they don't have to? Or are there many many more people with celiac than we realized? And also, your thoughts on the relationship between autism and gluten and casein would be helpful. Any feedback at all on this would be helpful.

And speaking of gluten-free, I made gluten-free banana pancakes this morning, and they were totally yummy. I like to use Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-free Baking Flour because it's nutritious and full of fiber. So here's the recipe.


1 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-free Baking Flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. egg replacer mixed with 2 Tbsp. Rice Milk
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. Rice Milk
1 tsp. honey or light agave nectar (low on the glycemic index and suitable for diabetics)
1 Tbsp. Safflower oil, or Canola oil, or Rice Bran oil, or Sunflower oil
1/2 cup fruit of choice
cinnamon (optional, depending on fruit you choose)

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, Combine egg replacer, rice milk, honey/agave, and oil. Make sure honey has been whisked in thoroughly. Whisk wet ingredients into dry. Add fruit and stir gently to combine. Cook pancakes on a lightly oiled medium-hot griddle or skillet. When bubbles appear around the edges and have popped, flip, and finish cooking till golden on both sides. Two things to note, first don't flip them too early or they'll stick, and second, gluten-free pancakes take a little longer to cook, so if necessary, turn heat down to medium-low to continue cooking pancakes in the center without burning them on the outside. Serve with maple syrup or light agave nectar. Makes about 9 medium pancakes. Double if you want to feed a larger group.

What is light agave nectar, some might ask. Agave nectar is made from cactus (juice). It's like cactus sap, and I believe it has a rich tradition in Native American cuisine. It's really good. I now use it in baking, and put it in oatmeal. As mentioned, the light version is great for diabetics. It's one downside is it has a short shelf life, so products made with agave nectar must be eaten quickly. I discovered this last year at Expo West, the natural products expo. One woman I met had developed a cookie line with agave, only to learn that all her products went rancid on store shelves. But don't let that little story scare you away from cooking with it yourselves. Trust me, you won't be dissapointed. Look for it at health food stores, whole foods markets, and ask for it at your local supermarket -- maybe, just maybe, they'll order it!


  • At 10:15 AM, Blogger elleine08 said…

    Yay! A gluten-free recipe. I'll have to let my friend know about this. And yay for agave nectar. My voice teacher is diabetic, so I'll have to let her know about this. Thanks so much for the update! I'm glad Lennon likes his peas, now. That was always the one that I liked a lot. Of course, now I'm obsessed with steamed broccoli. I haven't heard anything about the relationship between autism and gluten. I'll have to look that up.

  • At 2:59 PM, Blogger loiseaujoli said…

    My mother is gluten-intolerant. She's on the gluten-free diet, but obviously this is NOT by choice. She would probably find it laughable that some people partake in it because it's a fad! She doesn't have celiac sprue, she was tested for it, and I'm not really sure anyone knows /what/ exactly she has...
    Any good gluten-free recipies you could point me towards would be great, though. She's always trying to find a bearable substitute that she can eat, because she does a lot of baking, and you can just imagine how fun it is to bake pies and breads and have to eat this /other/ gluten-free stuff. :P

  • At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Ren said…

    For the most part it is a fad, but I think what it really does is get people to eat more vegetables and then they feel better because of it.

    My mom also can't eat foods w/ gluten. She went to a specialist and he said she doesn't appear to have celiac (or isn't likely to develop it) and told her to take beano and ordered some more tests. I have started reading about candida/yeast overgrowth (another fad) but it seems like that might be what it is in her case. At first she couldn't eat foods w/ yeast in it, then it progressed to other gluten-containing foods. She has been on a lot of antibiotics for sinus infections in the past year. She has also been treated for several vaginal yeast infections. This sounds like yeast overgrowth in the gut to me (by what I've learned so far). I have just started telling her about it, so she hasn't done anything about it yet. The yeast free diet is really tough. It's not just avoiding yeast, it's avoiding anything that could feed it.

  • At 6:45 PM, Blogger Nancy said…

    Hi Cybele,

    My nephew is allergic to gluten. He just started college and my sister is worried about him because he is never interested in eating. He's really skinny. I guess he'd rather avoid eating than try to find things that are gluten-free. A doctor felt that he showed signs of mild Aspergers Syndrome. He's brilliant but has little common sense.

    I wouldn't doubt that there is a link between autism and food allergies. My sister is intolerant/allergic/sensitive to alot of foods (including gluten) and has profound mental retardation, Retts syndrome and autism.

    Studies are linking so many disorders these days.


  • At 7:03 PM, Blogger Nancy said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 7:14 PM, Blogger Nancy said…


    I emailed an article to you from an organization that supports people in eliminating casein and gluten from the diets of autistic individuals.

    'hope it helps :)


  • At 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My son has life threatening food allergies to many things, including wheat, oats, rye, and barley. I was really excited to buy your new cookbook but then dissappointed to see many of the recipes use spelt, oat, or barley. What flour substitutes have you had success with? I have often baked with rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, and a tiny amount of xantham gum. I am not always happy with the results. Also, if you have any suggestions for a decent cupcake or cake without gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, chocolate, flax or seeds... please tell me. My four year old would be so grateful.

  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    Dear anonymous:

    I'm sorry you're dissapointed, but The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook is not gluten-free and never claimed to be. It eliminates the top 8 food allergens as identified by the FDA. And when it went to print, Spelt had not yet been declared "wheat" and was considered to be a great option for many people who could not tolerate wheat. I also provide a wonderful substitute for spelt in any recipe that lists spelt as an ingredient, and the option comes second not because it doesn't taste as good, but because it's not as easy to find as spelt flour. However, this is not of any help to you, since your son can't eat oats or barley. I have found Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Flour to be a pretty good option in gf baking. I also do 3/4 cup white rice flour to 1/4 cup tapioca flour for any 1 cup flour in a given recipe. This often works well, but not always.

    Let me fiddle with my banana cupcake recipe and I'll get back to you. Do you read Living Without magazine? They have so many great allergen-free and gf/cf recipes.

    All the best,

    Cybele Pascal

    ps, my next book will have a gf option for every recipe.

  • At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Although I don't know any real specifics, I believe the relationship between autism and gluten is on a child-by-child basis. Having worked with children with autism for years, I've seen some who's behaviours drastically alter when placed on a gluten-free diet and some who show now change at all.

  • At 2:22 PM, Blogger Angela Davis said…

    Yay! This is great, I babysit a gluten-intolerant child, and they always refuse to eat whatever I give them. I keep my fingers crossed. If it worked on lennon, it might work on them.


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