The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook

200 Gourmet and Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family

allergy cookbook

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hi All:

Thanks for all the feedback and requests on recipes for the new book. It's really helpful. And to the vegan who thinks I'm a sellout for eating meat, you too will be accounted for, even though you're a little HARSH!

Here are my feelings about meat: I haven't eaten meat in 5 weeks. I don't always love it either, and believe me, if you read my column on, you'll know I have major issues with meat farmings impact on the environment and our health. I go through phases. But for somebody on a completely hypoallergenic diet, it is very hard to get enough protein if you don't eat meat (especially for a breast-feeding mother!!) If you already can't eat dairy, eggs, soy (which means no tofu, tempeh, or texturized veg protein), wheat (that means no seitan!), tree nuts, peanuts, fish and shellfish, where do you turn? Many people on avoidance diets are also told to eliminate or limit seeds and legumes as well. So what is left? I've racked my brain for alternatives, but came up empty. You just can't eat enough quinoa and broccoli to make up the difference. Truly, give me a high protein source other than meat, and these above mentioned allergenic foods and I will be in your debt forever.

Anyway, speaking of Vegan, for those who CAN eat SOY, try the following yummy recipe, by "Veggie Annie" from Lime. Most tasty tofu recipes are deep fried, so it was wonderful to find a low-fat one like the following. It's dairy-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free. For some strange reason, they don't give proportions, so I adapted it. See my suggestions/ instructions below.

Cut and paste this into your browser to link to this short informative video.

Serves 2
I used 1 package of extra firm tofu, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 1/2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium tamari (tamari is wheat-free, try San-J), 1 medium yellow onion, 5 cloves garlic. I baked it at 375 degrees for 2 hours (instead of the recommended 1 1/2). I also tossed it gently with a spoon every 1/2 hour, to brown on all sides. I served it over quinoa instead of couscous, because quinoa is gluten-free and higher in protein. To make quinoa, combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 10 minutes until water is absorbed and outer ring of grain is visible (you'll know what I mean when you make it). Divide quinoa between 2 plates, top with baked tofu, and then with halved cherry tomatoes (about 1 cup). Sprinkle with fresh herbs of choice. Serve with a green salad. YUM.


  • At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Katy said…

    I am new to this blog, just want to compliment you on your wonderful cookbook. I was actually introduced to your work by a fan of your husband! Anyway, I just got your book from my library a few weeks ago, and it's great. I don't have any food allergies that I know of, but I am highly allergic to almost everything else under the sun - seasonal/pet/mold, etc. As you know, these allergies can also be exacerbated by certain foods, so I find your non-dairy recipes very helpful.

    I was raised (from the time I was in utero!) on a modified vegetarian (seafood, no lobster) and whole foods diet. I understand your turning back to eating meat, because even for someone like me who does not have any food allergies, it is difficult, particularly for women, to get enough iron and protein. So now I eat chicken and turkey, and find that I can substitute that for some of your recipes with darker meat.

    My question for you is that I have a huge sweet tooth and am a big baker. (I was so happy to see that you put a traditional birthday cake in your cookbook, because that's something I love to make but don't like the amount of white sugar that the recipe requires. I think that since I was raised on mostly no sugar - only molasses, honey, etc - I have a low tolerance for it now.)
    Anyway, I have a coworker who is a dessert connoisseur like I am, and loves carrot cake. But she is allergic to all nuts, and says that most carrot cakes have nut products in them. Do you know of any nut-free carrot cake recipes that I could make for her? Thanks in advance,

  • At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm also a former vegetarian who switched back to eating meat for practical reasons. I'm looking forward to more of your meatless recipes. Your cookbook is really wonderful.

  • At 5:15 AM, Blogger Amy said…


    If you are taking more requests, I would love any additional breakfast suggestions and also additional suggestions on batch preparation and/or freezing. I've also gotten hooked on making my own pizzas this year and I will start making my dough ahead of time...I love it because you can put ANYTHING on them...BBQ sauce, pesto, YUM! What's your favorite?

    Thank you again for your dedication and hardwork!

  • At 9:58 PM, Anonymous lauren said…

    i am trying very hard to not eat meat. i haven't eaten it for a few weeks now. i can get protein from my elecare but that's not really an option for everyone.
    but you cna get alot from chick peas and beans though.

    i never ate alot of meat to begin with (just chicken) so it wasn't that big of a switch for me.

  • At 8:11 AM, Anonymous Joanna said…

    Do you have any really good recipes specifically for those with irritable bowel syndrome? I don't have it (yet), but it's in the family. I have a sensitive stomach though. Onions and some spices seem to really aggravate things with me...probably not best to go into detail. What makes it worse is that I really like red onion in salad. Kind of like one of my friends who is lactose intolerant and loves cadbury chocolate. So I guess I am looking for a meal that is tasty, allergen-free, doesn't have onions and is particularly good for those with ibs.
    Warm wishes and thank you so much for being so open about ideas for your new book!

  • At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Have you ever thought of doing a food network show -- i'm a fan but always have to edit out the top 8 with exception of soy & corn. After eating and cooking w/o most of the staples for 3 years, I find traditional foods "too much" - too cheesy, to heavy, etc.

  • At 6:03 PM, Blogger Amy said…

    I second that anonymous re food network show!

  • At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Jane said…

    Now that summer is officially here, I've remembered a handy recipe for leftover corn on the cob. This is very loose and adaptable, and could be made a lot of different ways.

    First of all, remove the corn by slicing down the cob with a sharp knife, and break the strips of kernels into chunks. (I think individual kernels get lost in a salad and a bite-sized chunk of them tastes better.) Mix with a combination of canned beans and cooked green beans or peas. I like dark red kidney beans, chickpeas and green beans, but there are lots of possibilities. Dress with a light vinaigrette - raspberry is my favorite. Add a sprinkling of fresh herbs if you like. This makes a refreshing summer salad that also contains some protein.

  • At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hope you are having a good and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. What are you cooking?

  • At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Cassie Rivera said…

    could you put more gluten free recipes in your new cookbook?Thanks.

  • At 2:20 PM, Blogger Robin said…

    hi Cybele,
    well, the subject of you having a cooking show has come up again. :)Its a great idea, you did such a wonderful job on Martha's show (note to readers: you haven't seen it, its on youtube) and the subject of food allergies is such a timely one. last week end I served at a wedding where eight of the 100 guests had gluten allergies. its just so previlent and the food network would be smart to have a show about living with food allergies and who better that you to be the host. I know you are a busy wife, mother , writer, but perhaps one day. take care, Robin

  • At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I saw you on the Martha Stewart show last year! You were on after Barry Watson from 7th Heaven. It must of been very hard not being able to eat all of those foods due to allergies. Do you still have to avoid that long list of food your son was allergic to?

  • At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Cybele, love your cookbook and use it all the time. I have a request...any new asian flavored recipes, that's hard to find when avoiding peanuts, and sesame. Also when we travel we always have to bring our food so anything that travels well in a cooler!! We are not gluten free, so it's not so important to us. Thanks again for all of your efforts and look forward to the next cookbook. Your little guys are adorable.

  • At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am not the vegan commenter but I'm 99.9 vegan. I turned veggie at age 7 and vegan in my 20s on and off until my son got diagnosed with food allergies. Now I'm totally vegan because of him *except* for a recent addition of fish oil. So, I can no longer claim vegan-status I guess. I am currently also soy-free because I find it gives me very bad GI problems, although I'm not allergic to it. I wanted to tell you how I get my protein. I do a protein shake each morning with both rice protein and either pea or hemp protein powder. Both pea and hemp protein powder are complete protein. I do eat a fair amount of quinoa. I use a *LOT* of nutritional yeast, which has about 8 grams of protein for one tbsp and is complete when combined with legumes or whole grains. I also eat a lot of legumes and hemp seeds. I have calculated how much protein I get to make sure it is enough since I am so used to relying on soy and I find that I easily get more than enough this way. The protein shake really helps as it has almost 30 grams in it alone. But I also think that many recommendations on how much protein we need are way too much. I don't know how much you are aiming to consume in a day.

    Also, my son's allergies include sesame and we were not advised to avoid any other seeds. I did go very, very slowly in introducing other seeds but DS is only allergic to sesame and not other seeds. I do think it is a good idea to be careful with sesame as it is now about the 4th most common food allergen according to Dr. Wood who spoke at the recent Baltimore FAAN conference.

    My DH must have meat or he gets ill. I support however you or anyone chooses to eat. I even cook the meat-type recipes from your cookbook for my DH and he loves them. You shouldn't have to explain why you eat meat now. I admit that I was curious, though, esp because your book contains some really hard-core meat recipes!

    Also I want to thank you for your wonderful cookbook. It is so great! I often read it while I eat. :)

  • At 9:42 PM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    Dear Anonymous who is 99.9% vegan:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your comment! It is really incredibly helpful, not just to me, but for all. It is also incredibly apropos.... just today I made my first shake with Peaceful Planet Rice Protein Energy Shake! Not bad! I added berries, and ice, and it was a good sort of smoothie. I'd had the powder on my shelf for months, bought it for my boys, but they didn't like it. I've been wondering if I could bake it into something? Have you tried that? As I mentioned at one point (I think?), I don't always love meat. In fact, I'm pretty much off meat altogether right now, so am looking for alternate protein sources. I can't tolerate soy protein powder, or whey protein, so I am thrilled to learn of hemp protein powder, and the pea powder. Nutritional yeast does bad things to me... migraine, swelling... They say it has naturally occurring MSG. I wish I could tolerate it. I actually tested positive to a yeast allergy, so I think concentrated forms of it are truly out... I'd like to share your post on the main blog if that's okay with you? I'll wait to hear back before I do so. Thanks again!

  • At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Cybele,

    99.9% vegan here. Glad the reply was helpful.

    Please feel free to use my post on your main page.

    I get my hemp protein powder from Manitoba Harvest because it is supposed to be free of cross-contamination with my son's food allergens. Some health food stores carry other brands, though. I recently saw some at Whole Foods. I also got hemp seeds (which I *love*) from them and hemp butter (to me just OK) from them. I get pea protein powder from Kirkman. They also make a great calcium powder that is easy to add to things and other products helpful for those with food allergies.

    I don't know about baking with protein powders. I think it would vary product to product. If you post at that would be a good question to ask. I'm sure you would get good info in response.

    I also forgot to mention that many people have luck with pumpkin seeds combined with whole grains. I love sunflower seeds and found that Dakota Style are supposed to be free from cross contamination with my son's allergens. I also use SunButter for protein.

    I know you have to combine the rice in your rice protein with seeds or legumes to make a complete protein and that by itself it isn't one.

    That's really too bad you can't eat nutritional yeast. I find it really yummy.

    I wonder if you can do seitan? Even if you can only eat spelt you could make your own. That is really high in protein.

    Oh, and I forgot--Nu-World Amaranth makes *wonderful* (IMO) Amaranth Snackers. I love the BarB-Q ones. They are really high in protein. I also like their Amaranth side dishes. They are super fast and easy to make.

    Truthfully, I find it somewhat challenging to be a soy-free vegan and have thought that if I weren't so emotionally opposed to eating meats it would be a good idea for me now. It is just that having been a veggie since age 7 it would be very difficult for me to start now. I can understand why you need to include it in your diet.



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