The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook

200 Gourmet and Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family

allergy cookbook

Monday, April 23, 2007

Dear readers:

I know, I've been MIA, but I have not forsaken my blog forever. Things have just been a little crazy....

First, we had school break. We took our boys to Disneyland, which to our dismay, they hated.
The above pic was taken halfway through the FIRST line. Suffice it to say, we didn't last long. 3 Rides. Yup, that's it. We bolted after Peter Pan, holing up in a diner in Anaheim.
So sad, since my husband and I had such rosy memories of Disney as kids. Maybe when they're older....

I'll come back next week and write a proper post, but in a nutshell, I'm single parenting again for 5 weeks while my husband is working out of town. I've been absentee due to deadlines, working on a new cookbook, a little dedication to my other career as a drama writer, and familial illness. My 3 year old has the dreaded hand foot and mouth disease. Don't ask.... it sounds worse than it is, but it still requires A LOT of attention for a couple of weeks.

But to backtrack a second.... I am writing another cookbook. So if any readers here have special requests, please make them. Are there certain foods that you say, "darn, I just wish I could find an allergen-free version of blankity-blank!" ? And how important is gluten-free to those of you with food allergies? Do you wish you could find more comfort foods? What would be helpful, useful, necessary... awesome???

Personally, I wish I could replicate all the horrific kid-food that is soooo seductive to kids with something healthy and wholesome, but equally seductive. These lolly's were confiscated. And you know what? My boys were actually cool with that. They said, "Oh, I know, they have artificial color!" Ah, I've trained them well!


  • At 7:12 AM, Anonymous Madeline said…

    I'm sorry to hear about all of your recent problems. Your boys still manage to look cute.

    Is there something awful about artificial colors even in small doses? I understand they are not something children (or anyone) should be consuming regularly, but I can't imagine they'd cause any serious damage once in awhile.

  • At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Cara said…

    Hi! I recently purchased your book, and actually have a request for the new book. My boy Alec has allergies to M, E, N, and Sesame. Since sesame isn't listed on foods in the US, it is a BIG problem (it is in Canada and Europe I beleive). If you would, it would help so much to consider sesame problems, since it is a fast growing allergen.

    Also, I have limited choices of oils, and wonder if it would be OK to replace safflower oil with vegetable oil. Safeway foods sell to Canada and list sesame, so it is the only oil I found so far that is safe for Alec. I am dying to make the banana bread and pancakes, but both use safflower oil. I know you're busy, so I will await a response patiently.:) Thank you for devoting time to these cookbooks! Such a help to Moms like me!

  • At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Malia said…

    Hello! Thank you so much for your book. I first learned of it through a friend who uses it as her bible. She has severe allergies to almost everything... from nuts to food coloring. She got me hooked; I absolutely adore your recipies!

    That being said, you will please have to excuse my utter lack of knowledge when it comes to food allergies as I ask this question.

    I am fortunate enough to have very few allergies in my life. I have, however, self-diagnosed an allergy to high fructose corn syrup. Any beverage containing it causes me to have pretty awful aches in my joints and muscles, especially in my shoulders. Other corn syrups, however, cause me no grief.

    I was wondering if you have encoutered an allergy to high fructose corn syrup before, and if my symptoms are common among food allergies. I have myself never encountered anyone in a similar situation, and don't really know what I can do, if anything, to lessen the effect (besides total avoidance, which is what I do now).

    Thanks so much again for your book!

  • At 11:14 PM, Blogger Robin said…

    those boys are getting cuter everyday, sorry Disney was such a bust. when you go next time, you should NOT go during a school break or week end . I always took my kids out of school and we went on a Tuesday or Weds. Also, go when they first open up, its less crowded and it makes all the difference. They probabley won't want to go back for awhile now. I love that place and still go back when I can every couple of years. So happy to hear there's a new book coming out,that is great news. best of luck. we'll get back to you on any ideas or requests. take care, Robin

  • At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Ellen said…

    glad you are back...too bad about Disneyland-my kids loved it to the tune of 11 hours in one day. Maybe your reader can try rice oil-works for most people. When is your cookbook coming out??

  • At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Joanna said…

    Sorry about Disneyland!!
    I look forward to your blogs. If you ever get the chance (if you haven't already), do come out to Melbourne. It's a lot less crowded than Sydney, Australia and the plays at the Arts centre are brilliant.
    I've found it very inspirational just going to the MTC ( plays. I recently saw "The Ghost Writer". (Ross Mueller wrote it, and I remember seeing his play Colloseum back in 2001. He's an Australian playwright I love because I feel he magnifies really complex things in a very simplistic way without being pretentious.He's lauded by David Williamson).
    Wow I'm selling it here. I'm just very passionate about plays that's all and I would love to see one of yours one day :-)

  • At 9:46 AM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    Hi readers! Glad you're back!

    Thanks for the note. The problem with artificial color is that many people are allergic to red dyes (myself included). I don't think artificial colors cause any serious damage if they are eaten every once in awhile, but they give my son Lennon really bad headaches. Given his history of allergic disease, I prefer to avoid them. In addition, artificial anything is kind of a "no-go" in my house. But I sub out so my kids don't feel deprived. For example, I got them jelly beans for easter, just ones that use natural dyes for color.

    The new book will be sesame free! And yes, you can swap out whatever mild vegetable oil is safe for your family in my recipes. Safflower is just like canola, sunflower, rice bran, etc. Very mild. Let us know how the recipes go.

    Thanks for the compliment! Re: high fructose corn syrup, if you can eat other forms of corn, then it's probably not a food allergy. However, high fructose corn syrup can cause inflammation in the body, which is what it sounds like you're experiencing in your joints. Other foods known to do this are highly processed foods with white flour, white sugar, hydrogenated oils (trans fats), etc. My advice to you is to keep on doing what you're doing. Avoid the bad stuff.

    Thanks for the pic of your adorable dog! And yes, i know, it was totally idiotic for us to try going to do disneyland over spring break. Live and learn!

    Thanks for the tip. I'm not sure when my book is coming out. My first book was recently bought by a new publisher, Square One Books, so that's my new home. We're still in the early stages. Soon, i hope!

    Wow, would I love to go to Melbourne. I've heard your theater is really great. I remember years ago a friend visiting Australia and coming back with talk about this wonderful young theater actress, "Kate Blanchett". It was before her film career. I know you've got wonderful actors and writers. Must be very exciting. LA is a wasteland for theater.

    Hope you all have a great weekend!



  • At 5:59 PM, Anonymous Rei said…

    That is really too bad about Disney...But from what I rember, I didn't really enjoy it when I was young. I went when I was 3ish and while I have very fond memories of it, I rember the fact that I didn't want to go on any rides or anything. They will more than likely enjoy it when they are older. But you and Adam do have two of the cutest little boys I have ever seen, and I dont like kids. lol. Simply adorable!!

  • At 8:58 PM, Anonymous lauren said…

    if you want suggestiongs for your new book, we've been looking for a recipe for allergy free irish soda bread for a long time! :) every recipe we find either uses buttermilk or sour cream and we dont know how to substitute either of those.

    you can actually buy lollipops that dont have artifical color in them. i have a whole bunch in my bedroom where the only ingredients are sugar and water. they're kind of like rock candy on a stick. i think you have to get them from a website... i didn't buy them, someone gave them to me.

  • At 1:04 AM, Anonymous Carrie, said…


    I cannot tell you how earnestly [composedly, of course!] ecstatic I am that you are creating a new cookbook. Heck, even an update of the one you have would merely be building excellence upon excellence! (FYO, I'm very interested in gluten-free possibilities.)

    Would it perchance be possible to email you? (I don't mind waiting till June for a response if need be :-). I ask because I wish to ask a few questions about your writing career/freelancing? (I am currently researching career changes, and the two which I'm convinced would best incorporate my talents/passions are writing and the culinary arts. (I daydream about opening a cafe in Southern CA with food so great that anyone can love it... yet that is safe for food allergic people.)

    At any rate, I can see you currently have your hands full and only wish to add the flipside of what so many of your spouse's fans tend to write: Your husband is so incredibly lucky and blessed to have a wife like you. Thank you for all that you do!



  • At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Please give gluten free a chapter in your next book. I can't wait for it's arrival as we use your cookbook often. My 2yr. old is allergic to eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, citrus and peanuts. You never know what might be eliminated next so it's good to have options. I try to cook one meal for the three of us but you know those 2yr olds, sometimes you just can't get them to try anything new. My husband and I always enjoy your recipes and I don't feel like I'm in chemistry class when looking for ingredients. We'd like to see holiday inspired desserts. Also, how would you cook pheasant breasts (boneless). Maybe some sauce ideas for fowl?? Venison steaks and roasts??
    Our Disney experience was fabulous when she was 21mo. First vacation after diagnosis and very anxious about others preparing meals. We have nothing but positive praise for Disney's chefs.

  • At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I would love it if in general you gave more options for substitutes. There are some things we are restricting like mustard that I cannot figure out a sub for. Also, gluten free is important to us so would love if you came up with a mix - I haven't use a lot of the breakfast recipes b/c other books have better fit for us.

    I really appreciate your book and love that it coverers the whole menu not just desserts. Thank you Cybele.

  • At 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    More Vegan - More Vegan - More Vegan. I would love to see more vegetarian options. You may have sold out my dear, but there are some of us surviving on a vegetarian diet, with allergies.

  • At 11:35 PM, Blogger Robin said…

    now, now, play nice. I really appreciate Cybele's approach to healthy cooking and eating. it's fun and informative. this blog has been so helpful in so many ways, to each their own, but i like meat too.yum!

  • At 2:15 PM, Blogger Katie Stop said…

    A new blog!! I missed you!

    You're kids are soo adorable!! I know I say that every time you post a picture of them, but they are just soo cute. I hope Monte's feeling better. The little girl I babysit recently had the hand foot and mouth disease which is ironic because she has food allergies as well. Sorry about Disneyland. I've never been, but I love Disney World. They'll probably enjoy it more in a couple of years.

    I'm looking forward to your new cookbook! I wish I had ideas but I can't think of anything. I'll get back to you.

  • At 9:23 PM, Anonymous Kim said…

    My name is Kim, I live in California with my husband and two sons. My youngest(Adrian, 7 months)has serious allergies. I thought I had things under control(after losing 30+ lbs on the "mommy allergy free diet") until the numerous asthma and severe allergy attacks hit, followed by the diagnosis of severe peanut and egg allergy as well as moderate cow's milk and tree nuts. I've been in a state of paranoia and have been feeling very isolated. A co-worker of my husband's reached out to us and suggested your book. The first thing I made (last night) was the Chicken Pot Pie....a big hit with both my husband and older son (August, 6 years)

    Anyway, just wanted to thank you for the book. It's a wonderful guide, even aside from the recipes. My older son who is having a difficult time adjusting to our new family diet is looking forward to us cooking something with "eggs" in it from your book.

    I noticed you're looking for requests for your next book.Here's one:

    Our family tradition is to make Sunday morning Popovers (recipe found in the Joy of Cooking). It relies heavily on egg, but wondering if the egg replacer would do the trick?? I would be forever grateful to give this tradition back to my son...

    Thank you!

  • At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Katy said…

    Hi Cybele,
    I have a question regarding sugar in your recipes. You wrote that you have eliminated refined sugars like brown, white and confectioners' sugars and substituted them with honey, molasses, maple sugar, fruit juice, etc. I am a person who is very sensitive to high glycemic foods, and try to stay away from sweeteners - natural or not - when I can. I know that honey is pretty high on the glycemic index, and I am wondering if you and your family still face the sugar highs and lows after eating it.

  • At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Andrea said…

    OOH another book, that is such great news. I'm thrilled.

    I second the "seed-free" request, or at least keep it to a minimum, for our daughter Amelia, we're being asked to avoid all seeds for now (she's only 18 mos) until she gets older, so that's no sesame, mustard, or poppy.

    And perhaps some "easy" stuff in the back, like "in a rush dinner" type of thing -- kind of like your fried bananas in the current cookbook. for us less-than-amazing chefs, those types of dishes are so fun and easy to do and can help us dip our toes in to the bigger stuff.

    Thanks for all that you do!

  • At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Gee I wonder who bought those looy pops for the kids....LOL Hmmm am I right? did the daddy by them?

  • At 9:52 PM, Anonymous Sarah said…

    MORE PICS OF THE KIDS.....and Adam too I guess I don't mind looking at his face all day long...HMMMM WHAT what where we talking about? LOL ANYWAY Im so happy you have a new book comming out the one you have out now has been a God send cause I LOVE LOVE LOVE to cook and my friend is highly allergic to alot of the foods that I cook.. so In honor of you and this book it has to be said I love you... hey can I borrow Adam sometime? LOL JUST KIDDING...SORT OF

    Your kids are too cute LOL Poor Lennon did not look like a happy camper in that first picture like "Get the camera out of my face" and Montie (Love that name by the way!) just looked like he was freaking out LOL But yeah thay are probably too young to enjoy themselves

  • At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Sarah said…

    Okay...seriously I think you should have a cooking show

  • At 3:53 PM, Blogger Undiscoverd said…

    Hi Im new here but I bought your cookbook and it's awsome I love it I don't have many food allergies except some kinds of sea foods and Im not really sure if you can really say it's an allergy because I can eat them it's justI can't eat alot of itor I'll get sick well a couple of months back I was an idiot and did what I did anyway (I had a party to go too and thier was lobster now I love Lobsterand shrimp and I LOVE both so I wasnt really paying attention to what I was doing and ate like ALOT of the shrimp cocktail and I got REALLLY sick Im not going to go into detail but it was gross~ Yeah yeah I know you all are gonna yell at me for not listening when Im told NOT to do something~ LOL But my question to you is .... Do you think it could possibly be something in the cocktail sauce also that may have caused me to get so sick..?

  • At 6:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I wish you had more veggie recipes--side dishes or vegan main dishes. You said something about trusting people had many recipes for veggies already but *your* recipes are so very good I would love to know you you cook veggies even if they are things I might find in another cookbook. Really, even though I'm vegan I would have loved your cookbook even if our son didn't have food allergies. It is great. So, I wouldn't stick *only* to things that are substitutes of things with allergens.

    Also, Cara is right about sesame. that is our most difficult allergy to avoid. Any allergen that isn't top 8 means you have to call the company every time before using a product to be sure it won't have X-contam. Otherwise you are taking your chances with getting some of the products out there that have enough x-contam of your allergen to cause a reaction.

  • At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Okay here is a possibly weird question, where you ever on a Mr Clean comercial? I could have sworn I saw you in one


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