Sunday, November 30, 2014

Gluten-Free Cock-A-Leeky Soup

     Cock-a-leeky soup is a traditional Scottish soup that usually contains barley. Barley is a great soup ingredient, providing both flavor and texture.  Unfortunately, it also contains gluten. Whole  buckwheat groats are an excellent replacement. Buckwheat, despite its name, is not related to wheat and contains no gluten. You can get the groats  either toasted or untoasted: the toasted ones have a stronger browned flavor; the untoasted ones are milder. Both work well in soup, but I like the milder, untoasted groats better in cock-a-leeky. 

     It is traditional to cook chopped prunes into cock-a-leeky soup; an allergy to yeast is a brilliant excuse for doing no such thing.

     1-1/2 lb. boneless chicken, diced to 1/3” or so
     oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     12 c. chicken stock (See Broth in the Glossary)
     5 c. washed, chopped leeks 
     2 celery stalks, washed and sliced
     leaves from a dozen sprigs of thyme (See Produce in the Glossary) or a 
          good sprinkle of dried thyme leaves (See Spices in the Glossary)
     leaves from ½ bunch parsley, chopped (See Produce in the Glossary)
     good sprinkle of black pepper (See Spices in the Glossary)
     2/3 c. buckwheat groats (either toasted or untoasted)
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)

     Saute the chicken in a bit of oil.  Add the stock, leeks, celery, thyme, parsley and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the buckwheat groats; bring back to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Salt to taste.

     Alternatively, if you have leftover cooked chicken: Bring the chicken stock, leeks, celery, thyme, parsley and black pepper to a boil, add the buckwheat groats, bring back to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add 3 cups of diced cooked chicken and simmer for another 15 minutes. Salt to taste.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Creamy Cauliflower Soup

     The rice in this recipe adds all the thickening and “creaminess” you would look for in a cream soup, and you can still serve cream and/or nondairy milk on the side as condiments. Since the milk or cream in a cream soup is only added at the end anyway, this represents no major change in the recipe for anyone who does add cream to their soup. In fact, this ploy has one spectacular advantage: there is no danger of curdling the leftover soup if you later go to reheat it.

     1 onion, sliced
     2 Tb. oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     2 quarts chicken stock (See Broth in the Glossary)
     1 cauliflower, cut in pieces
     1/2 cup rice (See Rice  in the Glossary
     2 tsp. dill (See Spices in the Glossary)
     1 tsp. mint (See Spices in the Glossary)
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     black pepper (See Spices in the Glossary)

     Saute the onion in the oil on medium heat with a good sprinkle of salt until translucent.  Add the chicken stock, cauliflower, rice, dill, mint and a sprinkle of black pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer until the rice is thoroughly cooked.  Puree in a blender.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Corn-Free, Yeast-Free Mustard

Brown mustard

      Prepared mustard generally contains white vinegar, which is made from corn and, being fermented, is likely to contain some traces of yeast. However, it is very easy to prepare your own mustard using lemon juice. First get some yellow, brown or black mustard seeds.  Yellow mustard is the mildest; black mustard, the hottest. Feel free to add spices or a bit of horseradish sauce to this basic recipe.

     1 c. mustard seeds
     1 c. cold water
     opt. 1 clove garlic
     1 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (See Juice in the Glossary)
     1 tsp. salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     1/4 c. olive oil (See Oil in the Glossary)

     Mix the mustard seeds with the water and refrigerate overnight. Food-process thoroughly with the garlic. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients and use the food-processor to grind it all up. Add a small amount of water if you need to adjust the thickness.  Allow to steep at room temperature for a few hours if you want it to mellow; store in airtight containers and refrigerate.

Yellow mustard: if you want it to be the
 familiar bright yellow,you need to stir in 
a bit of turmeric.

Pasta Salad Without the Usual Allergens

     The archetypal American macaroni salad consists mainly of macaroni and mayonnaise, with a bit of celery or something tossed in.  Besides having a variety of allergens from the mayonnaise, it’s pretty heavy and usually has a chemical aftertaste.  This recipe is more of a classic antipasto, complete with a fair dose of veggies.  Feel free to change the vegetables around a bit according to what you’re okay with and what you happen to have in the fridge.  You can easily substitute grilled zucchini or yellow squash for the mushrooms if you have a problem with mushrooms, skip the onions, or add a few sliced sun-dried tomatoes, a cup of peas or a half cup of chopped Parmesan if you’re okay with those ingredients.

     1 lb. rice elbow macaroni (See Pasta in the Glossary)
     2 cups broccoli cut into small florets
     2 portabello mushrooms
     2 bunches green onions, washed, trimmed and sliced
     3 oz. sliced pepperoni, cut into ½” squares 
     1 batch Lemon Italian Dressing 
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)

    (Note: Most processed meats contain corn syrup and other allergens, so read the label for the pepperoni. Applegate pepperoni contains dextrose (from corn?) but no corn syrup. It is also gluten-free and dairy-free.)

    Boil a large potful of water; add some oil, salt and the macaroni. Bring back to a boil, and simmer until the macaroni is cooked. The macaroni should not be al dente: as rice pasta cools, it stiffens back up to a surprising degree, so it needs to be really thoroughly cooked. Of course, it should not be mushy or starting to crumble. Getting this right may take a few tries. Use a timer, and determine the right cooking time for your altitude and choice of noodles. I use Tinkyรกda Brown Rice Pasta Elbows (with rice bran). The instructions say to boil these noodles for 15 or 16 minutes, which I find about right if they are to be served hot, even though I live at an altitude of about 5000 feet, where the boiling point is a bit lower. I find it necessary to boil them for 30-35 minutes if they are to be served from the refrigerator. Drain the noodles, rinse them thoroughly with cold water, and allow them to drain thoroughly. 

     Prepare a large bowlful of cold water. Parboil the broccoli for one minute; strain it and immediately dunk it into the cold water to stop it from cooking. Once it is thoroughly cooled off, drain it. Cut each mushroom into 3 or 4 strips and cut each strip into slices that are 1/8” or so across. Stir the broccoli, mushrooms, green onions, pepperoni and Lemon Italian Dressing into the pasta. Adjust salt to taste.

Nonallergenic Honey-Mustard Dressing

     Commercial honey-mustard dressing mostly consists of soybean oil (soy), vinegar (corn, yeast), corn syrup (corn) and chemicals (corn? soy?) In principle, you can easily avoid most of this allergen load by mixing it up yourself using olive oil (or other oil to which you are not allergic) and lemon juice. Note that commercial prepared mustard contains vinegar: if the amount of vinegar lurking in the mustard is a problem, you can make your own with lemon juice. 

     Also note that some honey is adulterated with corn syrup, a fact which is not likely to be indicated on the label, and that beekeepers often feed bees corn syrup: if you are allergic enough to corn to need to avoid white vinegar, you need to either go to the trouble of sourcing your honey carefully or make maple syrup/mustard dressing instead. That's good too. Just be sure to use pure maple syrup: not pancake syrup, which is maple-flavored corn syrup. 

     Honey can also be contaminated with soy if the beehive was located near a soybean field. Again, know your beekeeper or make maple syrup/mustard dressing.

     juice of 1 lemon (See Juice in the Glossary)
     1/4 c. good mustard
     1/4 c. honey
     1 c. olive oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     opt. 1/4 c. fresh dill (or other herb), with stems removed, washed, and chopped 
          fine (See Produce in the Glossary)
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     black pepper (See Spices in the Glossary)

     Whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, and honey. Whisk in the olive oil and stir in the herb if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like this best with dill, but mint and basil are also excellent.

Lemon Vinaigrette and Lemon Italian Dressing

     Commercial bottled salad dressings typically have very long lists of chemical ingredients and a distinctly chemical aftertaste.  Many are weirdly sweet and gloppy. All contain allergens (corn, soy, yeast...) Dressing salads with simple vinaigrettes is an improvement, one that allows us to actually taste the vegetables in our salads. I generally use lemon juice because I'm avoiding vinegar; if you're allergic to citrus, use vinegar.

Lemon Vinaigrette

     freshly squeezed lemon juice (See Juice in the Glossary)
     olive or other oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     black pepper (See Spices in the Glossary)

     Mix 1 part lemon juice with about 3 parts oil.  Add a pinch of salt and/or a bit of black pepper if you like. 

Lemon Italian Dressing

Lemon Italian Dressing

     1/3 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice (See Juice in the Glossary)
     1 cup olive or other oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     1 tsp. salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     ½ tsp. oregano (See Spices in the Glossary)
     ½ tsp. basil (See Spices in the Glossary)
     ¼ tsp. thyme (See Spices in the Glossary)
     1/2 tsp. black pepper (See Spices in the Glossary)
     2 cloves garlic, minced

     Whisk together.

Tuna Salad With Very Few Allergens

     This tuna salad contains no mayonnaise or vinegar and thus doesn't have the allergens that they introduce. If you can't tolerate the amount of vinegar in a spoonful of commercial mustard you can either 1) leave it out or 2) make your own prepared mustard, using lemon juice.  This is surprisingly easy to do. This recipe calls for a can of tuna: if you have some cooked fresh tuna, by all means use that instead! Note that canned tuna often contains ingredients such as "vegetable broth" that are likely to contain soy: read every label, every time.

     1 Tb. good brown mustard
     1 Tb. olive oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     1 Tb. freshly squeezed lemon juice (See Juice in the Glossary)
     sprinkle of salt, if desired (taste the tuna first) (See Salt in the Glossary)
     1 can tuna in water (4 or 5 oz.), flaked with a fork (break up the big 
          chunks). Check the label for soy, yeast or other allergens
     1/2 thin sliced celery stalk
     2 green onions, thin sliced

     Whisk together the mustard, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Stir in the remaining ingredients.  This is good on greens, or with plenty of lettuce in a sandwich.

Chicken Salad With Very Few Allergens

     This chicken salad contains no mayonnaise or vinegar and thus doesn't have the allergens that they introduce (egg, soy, yeast, corn).  It can be dressed up, if you like, by stirring in a bit of brown mustard if you have some that you're not allergic to, or garnishing with pomegranate seeds and/or toasted pine nuts, if you're not allergic to them.

     6 T. olive oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     juice of 1/2 lemon (See Juice in the Glossary)
     pinch of tarragon (See Spices in the Glossary)
     pinch of white pepper (See Spices in the Glossary)
     1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste (See Salt in the Glossary)
     3 cups diced cooked chicken (1/3 inch or so)
     1 cup sliced celery
     6 green onions, sliced

     Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, tarragon, pepper and salt.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Cucumber Salad

     This salad contains very few ingredients and therefore very few allergens. It is corn-, soy- and dairy-free, provided the cucumbers are peeled. Besides being extremely simple to make (especially if you use a food-processor to slice the cucumbers), it is refreshing and light, the perfect salad on a hot day. 

     4 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin (See Produce in the 
     6 green onions, sliced
     juice of 2 small limes (See Juice in the Glossary)
     salt to taste (See Salt in the Glossary)

     Stir all ingredients together.  Chill thoroughly.

Egg Salad With No Corn, Soy or Dairy

     Most egg salad is made with mayonnaise, which usually contains soybean oil (soy) and white vinegar (corn, yeast). Some egg salad contains sour cream (dairy, corn, yeast). These allergens are unnecessary: you can easily make excellent egg salad whose only allergen is the eggs themselves. 

     6 peeled hard-boiled jumbo eggs
     1 Tb. freshly squeezed lemon juice (See Juice in the Glossary)
     2 Tb. olive oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     1 celery stalk, chopped small
     1 green onion, sliced
     chopped leaves from 2 sprigs of parsley (See Produce in the Glossary)
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)

     Chop the eggs fairly small. Stir in the lemon juice, olive oil, celery, onion and parsley. Adjust lemon, and salt to taste.

Hypoallergenic Mushroom Salad

     Note that some people who are allergic to yeast and mold are also allergic to mushrooms. I'm not, so this simple salad works for me.

     1/4 c. oil 
(See Oil in the Glossary)
     3 Tb. freshly squeezed lemon juice (See Juice in the Glossary)
     1/2 tsp. salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     1/4 tsp. black pepper (See Spices in the Glossary)
     1 lb. mushrooms, sliced thin

     Blend the oil, lemon juice, salt, and  pepper in a large bowl, then stir in the mushrooms until they are thoroughly coated.  Serve on a bed of spinach leaves if you like.

Yeast-Free, Corn-Free Carrot Salad

     Carrot salad can easily be hypoallergenic, but it often contains raisins, which have yeast on their surface. It may also contain vinegar, which is a fermented product and therefore a source of yeast.  White vinegar, of course, is made from corn.  Leave the raisins out: carrots are already fairly sweet and don't need further sweetening. Carrots also pair beautifully with savory vegetables such as  green onions and celery. Add a bit of diced radish for crunch if you like.

     This simple salad is colorful on a bed of chopped greens.

     2 lb. carrots--washed, peeled and grated
     12 green onions, sliced thin
(optional) handful chopped parsley or cilantro (See Produce in the 
     1 stalk of celery, sliced
     1/4 cup olive oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     juice of 1-2 lemons (See Juice in the Glossary)
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)

     Stir the vegetables and olive oil together.  Add lemon juice and salt to taste.

Variation:  Make daikon salad by simply replacing the grated carrot with grated daikon. (Squeeze the excess moisture out of the grated daikon.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hypoallergenic Cucumber-Avocado Dip

Cucumber-avocado dip with rice tortilla strips toasted on a griddle

     Cucumbers and avocados complement each other well, and this is a beautiful, smooth dip. It is also hypoallergenic if you're not allergic to avocados, citrus or garlic.

     1 cucumber, peeled and cut into a few pieces 
(See Produce
 in the 
     2 ripe medium avocados, peeled and seeds removed (See Produce in
          the Glossary)
     1/3 c. freshly squeezed lime juice (See Juice in the Glossary)
     3 cloves of garlic
     3/4 tsp. dill (See Spices in the Glossary)
     sprinkle of mint (See Spices in the Glossary)
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)

     Place all ingredients except salt in a food-processor; puree thoroughly. Salt to taste.

Hypoallergenic Guacamole

     Commercial guacamole can contain soybean oil or other allergenic additives.  Always check the ingredients list if you buy it ready-made.  The other option is to make it yourself, which is extremely easy to do. 

     1 large ripe avocado (See Avocado in the Glossary)
     juice of ~½ small lime (See Fruit in the Glossary)
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     1 clove garlic, crushed

     Peel the avocado and remove  the seed.  In a medium bowl, sprinkle the avocado with a squeeze of lime juice, a pinch of salt and the garlic. The point here is to get lime juice onto the avocado immediately to prevent it from browning. Mash thoroughly with a fork, and adjust the lime juice and salt to taste.  You can dress guacamole up a bit by adding a dash of cumin and/or cayenne or stirring in a few chopped cilantro leaves or something, but this really isn’t necessary.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Deviled Eggs with No Corn, Soy or Dairy

These are garnished with a bit of paprika. Fresh dill and mint leaves
are good garnishes for deviled eggs too.


   Most deviled eggs are made with mayonnaise, which usually contains soybean oil (soy) and white vinegar (corn, yeast). Some deviled eggs contain sour cream (dairy, corn, yeast). These allergens are unnecessary: you can easily make excellent deviled eggs whose only allergen is the eggs themselves.

     6 chilled hard-boiled jumbo eggs
     1-1/2 Tb. freshly squeezed lemon juice (See Fruit in the Glossary)
     3 Tb. olive oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     salt to taste (See Salt in the Glossary)
     (optional) mustard
     (optional) 1 celery stalk, chopped small

     Peel the eggs and cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop the yolks into a bowl. Mash them together with the lemon juice and olive oil.  Salt to taste, and if you like, add mustard to taste if you have some around that you are not allergic to. Stir in the celery if you would like to have some crunch. Spoon the egg yolk mixture back into the egg white halves.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

     Freshly roasted pumpkin seeds are delicious and are one snack food that doesn't contain multiple allergens. Do note that some people are allergic to pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed allergy is even likelier among people allergic to nuts and/or peanuts. If you're not sure whether you are allergic to them or not, talk with your allergist. 

     2 cups raw pumpkin seeds in the shell

     2 c. cold water
     1/4 c. salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     (optional) 2 Tb. red pepper (See Spices in the Glossary)

     Dissolve the salt in the water, and stir in the pumpkin seeds and the red pepper if desired.  Allow to soak for half an hour; stir the red pepper back up into the water; drain; spread out in a single layer on a cooky sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, turning several times.

ready for the oven