Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chocolate chip cookies that won’t clog your arteries (or your child’s)

Getting Jordan involved....he has to learn this


note: this is NOT the soy sticks....you will get hockey  pucks with those


I like the cookie scooper to shape these
compare this to butter and traditional shortening.....even if you aren't a vegan-this is so much better


This flour is not the over processed white flour and its use results in a homemade rich flavor





I was a very picky eater during my childhood.  Sometimes my mother had to make two dinners because I refused to eat what she made for dinner for my father.  Later I ended up having one picky child (now known as a foodie and founding food photographer) and one with EE and multiple food allergies.  So for those who believe in karma, this was a natural outcome of what I put my mother through (who was a great cook).  But for those who like to think positive, this actually worked out.  My foodie daughter appreciates my cooking (and cooks some great dishes as well).  She  always praised my cooking; to me this is the ultimate reward for all the work.  Because of my son’s health issues, I learned a lot about ingredients and their impact on your health.  So I vigilantly eliminated some ingredients from our home.  For a while we had to live 'top 8 allergen free' (wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, treenuts).  I learned how to make gourmet meals without these allergens.  Getting wheat, soy and eggs back in Jordan’s diet made life a lot simpler.  But processed flour does not have the same effect on your body as less processed flour.    I’m still avoiding dairy.  If Jordan was able to have dairy, it would only make life easier with respect to not having to worry about cross contamination (‘made in facility with’ or restaurant situations).  Now that I know the effects of dairy (no not just the fat, but the evil casein), I will always cook without dairy.  Substitutions are easy once you experiment with various techniques.

When I did use butter I made cookies with butter only. I hated the ‘side taste’ in margarine cookies or margarine/shortening/butter mix cookies.  These cookies do not have this ‘side taste’-I’m not sure how to describe that taste.

This modified chocolate chip cookie recipe is not loaded with fat and bad protein.  The flour is not as processed either as white flour.  A basic rule is, the less processed food you put in your body, the better off you are with respect to your health and weight.   Yes, there is sugar here, so I wouldn’t eat a dozen of these (although it wouldn’t be hard). 




Recipe

These cookies can also be easily converted to a gluten free and vegan version by another mix of flour (see below) and substituting Ener G Egg Replacer (or the apple sauce mix commonly used) for eggs.

·       1.5 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (I use Enjoy Life-only one guaranteed to be allergen free without cross contamination)

·       1 cup Earth Balance Natural Shortening softened (the one in the GREEN box-2 sticks, although I like Spectrum shortening for some things, I think this works better for cookies, they end up being shaped just like butter cookies.  Don’t use the vegan soy sticks…you will get hockey pucks)

·       3/4 cup sugar (I use organic cane sugar-unprocessed one)

·       3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

·       2 large eggs (I buy the free range ones…they are more nutritious)-if you are avoiding eggs, you can use the Ener G Egg replacer and still get great flavor

·       2 teaspoon(s) vanilla  (again, I use organic)

·       2 1/4 cup(s) unsifted flour-I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat pastry flour (see photo)
·       If you are avoiding gluten, I used to make this with a gluten free flour mix that combined sorghum flour with rice flour (I have to find that recipe….it works great for substitutions)

·       1 teaspoon baking soda

·       1/2 teaspoon salt  

Note:  this is mostly traditional cookie dough mix-the main substitutions are the vegan shortening, the unprocessed flour and the less processed sugar.  With the less processed flour, the cookies end up with a heartier homemade flavor.

Directions
Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside (again, no need to sift).

In large mixing bowl, beat shortening and with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color.   You may need to stop the mixer and scrape sides more often than you do with butter.

Add eggs and vanilla, one at a time. Mix on low speed until incorporated.
Gradually add the dry mixture into the dough while beating at low speed
Stir in chocolate chips.
Use cookie scooper to add to ungreased cookie sheet (or use another method to drop the batter-I like the shape that I get with this technique)
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes.  The cookies are still fairly soft, then with a spatula/flipper, move each cookie to the cooling rack where it will solidify further.

I have a countertop convection oven that I think makes really great cookies (reduce baking time when making in a convection oven).



You can also use this basic cookie recipe for heart shaped cookies or a cookie cake (I will add the slight modification to this blog)

If you are not allergic to nuts, you can add some walnuts to this recipe also.  Unfortunately that is not an option for us now (and nuts are healthy).










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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One updated old world comfort food (and recipe)

The updated lecso

possibly with German Spaetzle noodles

Lecso (prounounced ‘letchoh’)  is a traditional Hungarian dish.  As much as I love Hungarian food (being Hungarian, this is the food of my childhood), it tends to be very ‘rich’ (meat fat used in cooking and dairy cream laden sauces).  Maybe with smaller portions, lots of walking and non factory farmed dairy, it’s not the worst thing.  However, I don’t walk around the streets of Budapest, instead I sit at a desk all day, have a two hour commute, eliminated dairy from my diet, and have a child with dairy allergies.   Yet I love the flavor and smell of Hungarian food.  I would like to expose Jordan to the rich flavors as well.

Over the past few years I realized that with minor modifications we can have my Hungrian food without getting a prescription for cholesterol lowering medication (and of course Jordan can eat it too).  

This Lecso recipe is just one of my  ‘updated’ dishes.

There are many ways of making this dish.  Using the diced tomatoes saves time on peeling and chopping tomatoes.  Italian sausage style seitan adds a great texture and  protein to this dish.  What is seitan (not satan)?  It is a wheat based meat textured source of protein.  It was actually invented by Buddhist monks  as an alternative to tofu.  If you don’t like tofu and can have gluten it’s a great meat substitute (no, I’m not a vegan, but love the flavor and texture of this Italian sausage style seitan and there is no gross fat flavor).  If you are avoiding gluten, then I would suggest adding tofu instead (but marinating/baking to get a better texture).  You can avoid tofu/seitan and add nothing  or add some sort of meat.  But it’s healthier without the meat (and with a growing child, protein is important here) and I like the refreshing flavor.  Even if you aren’t a vegan, many doctors believe that the American diet has too much meat protein. But then this is not a medical blog; free will.

Expeller pressed oil is healthier than processed oil.  This again is not a necessity, but it helps.  I try to keep my ingredients at home the best. I can’t control the ingredients in a restaurant, but I can control it at home.

Paprika must be authentic Hungarian paprika.  If you live in the Chicago area, there is a Hungarian store called Bende that sells it a reasonable price.  Recently I found it on Amazon also.

This dish is fairly easy to make (it’s one of the weeknight dishes here).  Serve it with brown rice, soy buttered spaetzle or tarhonya (another Hungarian specialty).  Clearly brown rice is the best, but spaetzle and tarhonya are not bad alternatives.  Needless to say-it’s loaded with some great vegetables (and it’s not salad).

Lecso Recipe

3 large red peppers julienned or a mix of other ones (but not green…they are VERY bland and just have a waxy contribution)-
2 medium red onions – cut in half and then thinly sliced
1 pckg. of Upton’s Natural  8 oz Italian Sausage Seitan (available at Whole Foods, Woodman’s or other specialty/health store)
2 14.5 oz. Organic Muir Glen Diced tomatoes (not flavored)
3 TBS. Authentic Hungarian Paprika (not durkee or some colored bland powder)
3-4 TBS. Expeller pressed canola oil
2-3 tbs. chopped parsley
2-3 tbs. chopped dill
3 – 4 tbsp. oil (this is approximate-add enough to stir fry, not deep fry).

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the sliced onions on medium high heat for about 5 minutes.  Add the julienned peppers and fry for another 15 minutes.
Add 3+ heaping tbsp. of authentic paprika and stir for 30-60 seconds to roast it a bit (this optimizes the flavor of the spice-I do this with other spices also)
Add diced tomatoes
Add about ½ c water (from canned tomatoes to get tomato residue-it should be saucy not liquidy)
Bring to a simmer and simmer covered 15-20 minutes (stir occasionally to make sure it’s not drying out)

While simmering:
 prepare the side dish

crumble or chop the seitan and pan fry for a minute or two in very little canola oil

After the simmering is completed,  add the parsley and dill and stir for one minute (herbs should always be added at the end for a brief time, overcooking causes a loss in flavor).

Add Italian Sausage seitan and serve.

Enjoy the time you save from researching potential cholesterol lowering medication.

Feel free to ask questions on this recipe.  I like creating dishes a lot more than writing down the detail. If something isn’t clear, let me know. 


I use the Italian Sausage flavor for this dish (not chorizo)







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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Are food allergies, diets and being different causing alienation?

Jordan

Today’s Chicago Tribune actually had two articles about the increase in food allergies and the social impact on kids as they try to fit in.  Some of the ‘ways around’ were also discussed.  As I was reading this article, I realized similar issues exist when you are an adult avoiding certain foods.  While cross contamination is not an issue for an adult who chooses a healthy diet, it is a choice, not something you were dealt (food allergies, celiac, eosinophilic esophagitis), some of the socially alienating issues still apply.  Of course the degree of alienation is not as extreme as for a food allergic child or teen who really wants  to fit in.  Additionally, it’s very different to deal with something out of choice vs. what life has dealt you. And a trace of dairy won’t kill me, but it can kill (or at least make very ill) someone who is truly allergic or has EE.

Even if you are not dealing with these issues directly, a little compassion and understanding goes a long way.  Pity or sympathy is not what you should offer.  Don’t break the person’s spirit and make them feel like they are less than you.  Although well intended, I hear “Oh poor Jordan, he can’t eat normal food, what can he eat?”  First of all, he is not poor; his diet is superior to the typical child his age who can live on convenience processed foods.  As a result, he is less likely to develop health problems form processed food and yes, the evil casein.    These two common situations really apply in all food situations-whether by choice or not (some people try to eat healthy although their friends like them unhealthy).

Restaurant situations  - Jordan can only eat in one restaurant right now at least 20 miles from our home (P.F. Chang so far seems to be the only place that can handle cross-contamination).  And even then there is always the speech to the manager and the tension that something will get messed up.  But it’s worth it to see the look on Jordan’s face that shows ‘yes I’m normal too and can eat out.’  So what can friends and family do to not make things worse?  First, no pity.  Being considerate and not bragging about how great their dish is that contains the allergen is much better.  For example, a friend or colleague should not brag about how great a certain cheese tastes when there is a person with a dairy allergy sitting at the table.  Common sense?  Not really…. I’ve had ‘friends’ that have tried ‘tempt me’ with dairy laden desserts in front of Jordan.  I chose not to eat it, Jordan can’t.  We’re not telling people not to eat dairy and we don’t go into a lengthy speech how unhealthy it is; free will.  However when I encounter such a situation, I’m forced to go into detail about why I chose not to have casein from a factory farmed cow who is forced to stand in its own feces. It’s not good for the cow and it’s not good for me (but good for ConAgra).

School functions – for some reason everything in school is rewarded with dairy (pizza and ice cream).  You reach a goal, time for a pizza party.  Actually it’s the same thing in corporate America.  Want people to come to a special lunch meeting?  Order pizza.  Not much consideration of the fact that we aren’t all alike.  As an adult who chooses not to eat dairy (it does make me somewhat sick, but I won’t die from it), I’m used to it and ignore it.   A vegan, food allergy person, or even someone on a strict Kosher diet cannot have pepperoni pizza.  And the so-called ‘vegetarian pizza’ doesn’t solve the dairy or gluten issue.  So for school functions I run my parallel kitchen and send treats to class that everyone can have so Jordan can feel normal; finally eating what everyone can eat.  I stay up all night baking but it’s worth it; the kids always love what I send.  They don’t even think that there is no dairy in those cookies, cupcakes or popcorn.   They go back for seconds and Jordan loves every second of this-feeling normal again.  Adults at parties are a bit different.  They can say “Oh how can you have such and such with no dairy?” “Oh how awful it must be to be you.”  “Oh this pizza is delicious; I feel so bad for you.” They form expectations that a dish with no dairy or whatever allergen is going to be bland and boring.  So with adults, I don’t even announce that there is no dairy (or whatever allergen) in whatever dish.  Of course if they thought about it, seeing Jordan eating obviously implies that it doesn’t have the offending allergen.

So building awareness among friends, family, school and work is the best one can do regardless of what your role is in this food-driven world.






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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ace of Non Dairy Cakes?

Time to organize and consolidate my recipes and techniques that right now are mostly memorized in my head.


Maybe he will be the Ace of Non Dairy Cakes?
Although it was not Valentine's Day-a Birthday cookie cake all pink (requested)
Home made heart shaped Valentine's Day chocolates


This was designed by Jordan....not really sure about what's going on....
My original decoration until Jordan went wild with some 'abstract concepts'
Well it’s time to get organized (maybe if I state it more than once I will actually do it).  I will be adding the recipes for cookie cakes and the type of frosting that is best for decorating (all with no dairy).  I hope to do this within the next few days.  Although I do use eggs, the standard egg substitutions work great (I had to bake without eggs for a while-used Ener G egg replacer exactly as directed or the apple sauce trick….it worked great).  So with the egg replacer these recipes can also be vegan.

Also, if anyone is interested in making valentine candies, I will post something on to make such chocolates.  I HAVE to make my own because it has to be made in a nut free/dairy free facility to avoid cross contamination.  There is only one supplier that sells shaped chocolates from an allergen free facility and they don’t have these shapes.  What they do carry costs a fortune.
So I buy Enjoy Life chocolate chips (the only ones I trust), made in an allergen free facility so no traces of nuts, dairy or gluten and soy for those who are avoiding it.
I bought the standard molds from Michaels and ordered the heart shaped box and paper on-line.  Then I made the chocolate molds and wrapped each one separately.  I do the same thing for any other holiday candy (just different molds from Michaels).

Heart shaped cookie pans are available even at Target (they usually have a special themed section around the holidays).

I used to be adamant about using only butter in my cookies and frosting….but I actually like this better and the lack of dairy in our diet has huge benefits.

The key ingredients for these items:
  • Bob’s Red Mill Pastry Flour (versus the more processed white flour)
  • Spectrum Shortening
  • Earth Balance Vegan Shortening (not the soy butter sticks-this comes in a green box and so far I only found it at Whole Foods)


I’m not the best cake decorator, so I often try to recruit family members to help decorate.  It’s a fun activity and it gets my son away from his video games.  Maybe he can be he next Ace of Cakes guy.






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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Classic Immortals

Anna Karenina returns
I’m reading more with the Kindle (helps with sanity).  I was expecting this because of the mobility and ease of making last minute decisions on what to read.  What I was not expecting is the selection of books I’ve been reading recently-classics I’ve read in high school.   Flaubert, Hesse and now Tolstoy.  One of my first Kindle books was Goethe (Sorrows of Young Werther)-expected since it is one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors.  But then for some odd reason I decided to read Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse again (classics from Kindle are free).  A completely different experience this time around.  I don’t even remember he had a little boy or how a fateful circle was referenced.   I got so much more out of the book than I did a long time ago.  So I’m going to reread Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.  I’m sure I will get a different perspective for these books.  Thanks to the free classics on Kindle, I get to read books that I most likely would not have even purchased.   For people who love to read, I highly recommend rereading some classics (and they are free).






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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Valentine’s Day desserts don’t have to kill your heart

This cookie cake can also be made heart shaped for Valentine's Day
Again, use different colors and a heart shaped pan to make a Valentine's Day Version

I really don’t like to bake.  Baked goods recipes have to be exact and are very hard to convert if you are picky about your ingredients.  Yet, I love desserts and certain festive desserts are a requirement (in my family) for birthdays, special holidays and even Valentine’s Day.

Although you can now find some cakes that cater to special diets (gluten free, vegan, etc.), they are very expensive and not easily available.   But in my case, these cakes aren’t even an option.   Since we are dealing with multiple food allergies here, I can’t run the risk of something being cross contaminated.   Basically, cross contamination is the possibility of having a tiny amount of allergen in the food since the allergen is present in the bakery.  Bakeries (even gluten free ones) have nuts and dairy in their facility….so I can’t buy any baked goods (not even bread).  As a result, I have to bake everything at home.  As a result, I end up with an allergen free and much more wholesome version of the dessert.

Necessity is the mother of invention; so over the years I learned how to make the celebratory cakes, cookie cakes and cupcakes without any of the bad things. 

As Valentine’s day approaches, it’s time to find the heart shaped baking pans, cookie pans and chocolate molds.

You don’t need to have food allergies to make these special cakes at home.  They really aren’t that hard to make and taste so fresh.

In the next few days I’m going to post recipes for the frosting, cookie cakes and cakes that can be used for Valentine’s Day.   Even if you don’t have to follow a special diet, these sweets will not clog your arteries and pack on the pounds.

Again, because baking is so exact, figuring out the right ingredient substitutions was a challenge.  Friends and family love these cakes.

Let me know which recipe you are interested in first.

related blogs:  
Creamiest mocha frosting with no gross after taste




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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mader's - Makes the Indulgence Worth it



If you live in the Chicago/Milwaukee area, Mader’s in Milwaukee is a great restaurant to visit.
It is one of the last German restaurants around (and is a historical landmark).  In addition to the great food, the place restaurant includes $3 million dollar collection of art, suits of medieval armour and antiques from as early as the 14th century.

I hope they retain the authentic food (menu choices are authentic) and feel. There is also great German beer on tap (much better than bottle).  I’ve seen so many ‘old world’ restaurants go out of business in this area:  Little Europe in Kenosha, Hans Bavarian Lodge in Wheeling, Wunderbar in Antioch and Paprikash in Arlington Heights (formerly in Chicago).  Some say this is because the country is very health conscious.  I find that highly doubtful.  Standard franchise restaurants offer very fattening, bland and unhealthy food; many resembling a bad frozen dinner brand.  If I’m going to indulge in some extra calories, at least it should be for a good cause-a great place and great authentic food.

Winter is a great time to stop in (the Sunday brunch is phenomenal too). 
Mader's




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Monday, January 10, 2011

I completed reading a book!



It has been a long time since I actually completed reading a book.  I’m always too busy and never have time to read.  I’m still busy and the Kindle didn’t miraculously add more time to my day.  It is the convenient features (see previous blog) of the Kindle that enabled me to read more frequently and finally complete this book.

For the first book, I chose Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.  The last time I read this book I was 17.  Reading it at this age was a completely different experience. With the Kindle I was able to highlight and share these notes on facebook (or just reflect after).

If I didn’t have a Kindle I wouldn’t even have read this book since it wasn’t new to me.   But the free classic download (many classics on Kindle are free to download…even Tolstoy) led me to read it.

Prior to owning a Kindle  I didn’t completely get it.   I’m so glad I have one and I can start to enjoy reading again!

Now what do I do with the two hard cover books in progress?  They do look good on a bookshelf








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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Creamy yet healthy – the tools of the trade




Friends have asked me for recipes of my frostings, “but it’s so creamy.”  They can’t believe that it’s dairy free.

I will admit, before I learned about food, I thought a good butter crème frosting was the ultimate.  I still believe that it’s not as bad for your body as hydrogenated margarine or traditional shortening (Crisco).  Actually the culprit in the dairy is not the fat, but the protein (casein).  

Without going into all the technical details, there is a way to get that great buttery taste (yes, it is a great taste) for your frosting.

It took me a while to get this right.  Sure the first version was good and people liked it, but I was looking for that whipped creamy consistency of a butter cream…. perfection.

I started out using the Spectrum Organic Shortening with a little soy milk and the typical frosting ingredients (powder sugar, vanilla, cocoa, etc.)  But it just didn’t have the right consistency.  I’ve never used shortening before (we didn’t have it in Europe) so I had no idea what to expect.  It was good, but just not good enough for me. Spectrum is also great for other baking needs.  It’s not the cheapest, but in the long run, you will save on medical bills because it’s not bad for you.

I’ve seen recipes using soy butter but I didn’t think that would work because soy butter is salted.  When I did use butter (pre 2005) I always used non salted butter.  My mother never even bought salted butter after we moved here from Europe and nor did I.  Salted butter overshadows the flavor and is not creamy.  I’ve been trying to replicate the flavor of that good homemade butter crème that I used to make with Plugra (a European butter).

Recently I tried a different formulation because of a new product  “So Delicious Coconut Milk” (note: it is not a dominating coconut flavor that you get from canned coconut milk).  This milk tastes the closest to real milk in texture and flavor.  It is organic and allergen free (and tested for allergens-so I trust the brand since I’m dealing with dairy allergies at home).

So the key to a good dairy free frosting that still has that buttery flavor we all love:

Spectrum Organic Vegetable Shortening
Ingredients: Mechanically Pressed Organic Palm Oil – and that’s ALL
Where can you buy it?  I find it at Whole Foods (watch for sales) and it's also available on Amazon. Some grocery stores also carry it, but it's a bit pricey (too specialized for the regular stores).
(and you can use this without the soy butter – the frosting is still great, just not as perfect)

So Delicious Organic Coconut Milk- Vanilla-gluten free, dairy free, soy free and vegan
This is a fairly new product.  I use about ½ cup to moisten the frosting (but not more-don’t want the flavor to dominate). Soy milk will also work, but I like the effect of this one more.
Where to find it?  I have only found this at Whole Foods so far.

Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks – dairy free, gluten free, vegan (contains soy)
Sometimes I feel like I’m the Paula Dean of soy butter.  This product is a great butter substitute; I use it for all my butter recipes (not just baking).  They also have a tub that is like whipped butter.  It is reasonably priced too.  It’s available at Whole Foods, some other grocery stores (where it’s a bit overpriced), and Woodman’s for those who live in Wisconsin.

There is a certain ratio for that perfect consistency.   I will include it in my recipes. But it’s basically one cup of Spectrum and half a cup of soy butter stick (along with others).  It’s 100% vegan, dairy free, gluten free too.  If you are avoiding soy, skip the soy butter. 

So my cakes are truly dairy free and no chance of cross contamination with nuts and dairy in my kitchen as I don’t even bring nuts and dairy into my home.






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Saturday, January 8, 2011

One handed reading on my new Kindle

Yes, I broke down and bought one:



Much like my 12 year son, I seem to be more productive if there is a technology gadget involved.

But this is not just a gadget.  I’ve only had a Kindle for three days and I am finally reading again. I have read more in the past three days than I have all year (yes sad).  Why?

Portability:  If I’m relaxing I don’t have to preplan what I will read and bring the books.  Instead, on a whim, I can decide what to read.

One handed reading:  I can hold the Kindle in one hand, drink coffee/tea  or even pet my dogs with the other hand while I’m reading.  Great for my ‘multi tasking’ nature.  The iPad is so much heavier.

Contrast:  The Kindle is easy to read-much easier than some cheaper paperbacks or even some hard cover books.  Reading the Kindle is not an exercise in eye strain.

Highlight phrases:  I love being able to highlight phrases that are relevant to me.  Then being able to post these excerpts on Facebook is an added bonus.

Price of books:  This is related to the spontaneous factor again.  If I want to read a book – in a matter of minutes I can start reading it (free, real cheap or cheaper than the book).  I am in the process of reading three books right now.  Who knows, tonight that might turn into five books in a matter of hours.

There are still many features I haven’t discovered, but so far I love the Kindle. 

I have hardcover books to finish and I’m very tempted to just buy them for the Kindle because I don’t even want to pick them up.



















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You are what you eat and yes-you can eat to your heart’s delight (literally)



Who doesn’t love traditional stuffing?  I remember I made my first allergen (top 8) free Thanksgiving meal in 2005.  This was necessitated when I first found out that my son had various medical conditions, at that time it wasn’t even clear if he could eat food since we were still exploring whether he could tolerate a top 8 allergen free diet or not.    Without going into the complex medical details, I felt that this was the make or break Thanksgiving.  So I made a completely allergen free meal-meaning no dairy, wheat (gluten), eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish.  But how can you make a tasty, traditional meal without all this?

I thought I perfected holiday meals but now it was a new set of rules, still driven by the same goal. 

Stuffing was a challenge-make a gluten free bread (every baked item can be cross contaminated so store brought bread is not an option), substitutions for eggs and so forth.  The meal was a success.  The family was expecting a tasteless bland meal for the “good of the child.” Instead they got a tasty traditional meal but so much better, healthier.  

Since then I’ve added eggs, soy, wheat and fish back because we no longer have to avoid this. 

Many may say “Oh yes, I wish I could eat and provide a healthier diet, but I’m not a full time stay at home mom, so I need my unhealthy processed food because it saves me time.”  Well, I’m not a “stay at home mom” either.  I’m a single mother with a full time career, a long daily commute, with three dogs and a son with all kinds of food related health challenges (my daughter doesn’t have these issues, but she is kind of vegan-so my cooking also needs to make her happy). 

I’ve had five years to master these techniques. I did quit my career for a while and learned all about how to cook without garbage – let’s call it what it is. But now I’m in production mode.  The massive research and experimentation is done.  I still research new foods and ingredients, but it’s not a full time job anymore.

As this new blog evolves (not even a day old), I will share tricks and tips about healthier cooking.  No, you don’t need to have food allergies or special circumstances to live healthier, be at your optimum weight and not develop diabetes coupled with high cholesterol.  It turns out that the old adage: “you are what you eat” is true.






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Friday, January 7, 2011

The Creamiest Mocha Frosting with no gross after effect

This mocha cake is a huge accomplishment.  A dozen organic eggs and no fat or dairy (butter).  It tasted delicious and my dairy allergic son was able to eat it.  It was the creamiest/whipped  'mocha butter cream' I have ever had and I used no butter.  This is the 'parallel kitchen' after all.  With various healthy and tasty substitutions I think I made the best cake I ever made.  Even the guests who could have dairy in their diets agreed that this was better and it didn't bloat them either as the dairy protein casein does.






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Blog to the Next One

What's this blog for?  Hopefully, information, guide, and prescription on the non perfect parallel life that involves motherhood, technology, food and lifestyle challenges and having fun doing it all….somehow.    “We have a real life sitcom,” says my 12 year old son as I try to make a profound entry in this blog.

I’m just testing blogger.com features at this time…….

Why blog?  I think others in similar situations may learn and laugh from my experiences.  After all, my life is a living sitcom.  No time to write a book?  So blog on, as I go  onto the next one…..whatever that may be.






Contents are protected by the U.S. Copyright act and may not be duplicated or redistributed.  All contents are owned by BlogToTheNextOne ©2011