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Gourmet Food for Gourmands with Allergies!

 
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natalie



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 9
Location: CT, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 4:08 am    Post subject: Gourmet Food for Gourmands with Allergies! Reply with quote

Anyone out there that loves food and cooking as much as me, but is allergic to one or more common ingredient?

I have recently been diagnosed with gluten allergy, so I can no longer eat anything containing wheat, rye, spelt, or oats. Even a little bit of flour or gluten is out of the question.
This rules out a lot of foods -- bread, pasta, soy sauce, beer, most pre-prepared foods, a lot of sauces and canned goods. A lot of additives contain gluten, which narrows the "Can eat" list a lot.

It also means that I cannot eat a lot of foods that I used to love to cook.

I really love to cook, (which is lucky, because eating out is hard!) but it's not always easy finding fantastic new recipes that are gluten free. There are gluten free cookbooks, but the best recipes are always the ones that had no gluten (or very little) to start with (like flourless chocolate cakes, and chocolate mousse, and many souffles).

I'd love to hear from anyone who is, or has, been cooking for someone with allergies...How do you find good recipes? How do you go about altering old recipes? And any tips!
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clotilde
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Natalie,
Sorry to hear about your allergy, I can imagine how hard it can be to deal with it! Just wanted to tell you, I have a dear friend who's also allergic to gluten, and it is "for her" that I had made the Rochers à la noix de coco I posted about a little while back. So no tips (yet) about altering recipes, but this is one recipe I believe you can make. It's really easy and scrumptious...
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Aspiring Chef



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 3
Location: San Francisco, California, USA, World :)

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to be a huge fan of shellfish. Sometime during college, I realized that every time I ate shellfish, I got horrendous stomach aches, which I hadn't experienced previously. I still don't know how I developed this shellfish allergy and if it's an allergy at all, but I regretfully cannot eat any sort of shellfish (shrimp, scallops, crabs, lobsters, muscles, clams, oysters, etc.) In fact, currently, I have to restrict my seafood intake to fish alone, and only some fish at that. From experimenting with my responses to various fish, I have found tuna, salmon, bass, cod, and mackerel to be fairly dependable. So, anytime a recipe calls for a shellfish, I try to substitute the fish with the most similar texture. The flavor of shellfish is impossible to imitate by substituting with fish, but it's the best I can do.

This method seems to work okay for me, but I find that when I want to cook something with shellfish for my friends and family, I can't taste the dish, and I have to enlist a couple of taste testers to be in the kitchen with me while I'm cooking (of course, nobody seems to mind..)
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azmuse



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 4
Location: in a blue moon...also, Philadelphia, PA :)

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

natalie, does your local health food store have any pastas made with quinoa? finding pastas with alternative grains might be a start...i don't know recipes that call for cooking with, say, rice flour.

um...i just googled - here is a link for you, if you scroll down, there's some yummy-looking stuff: http://www.glutenfree.com/recipes.htm

this one's very busy looking, but when i clicked on "cakes" i was surprised by the wonderful array! http://allrecipes.com/directory/586.asp

here's a blueberry coffee cake recipe...it looks as though the amount of rice flour is the same as regular. Smile http://www.care2.com/channels/solutions/food/546

good luck!
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Albacore



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 8
Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Cook's Thesaurus gives definitions and substitution options for hundreds of ingredients. I don't normally make these kinds of substitutions, though, so I can't vouch for how good the suggestions are.
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natalie



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 9
Location: CT, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:01 am    Post subject: thankyou thankyou thankyou!! Reply with quote

Thankyou azmuse and albacore for the suggestions! I had not seen The Cook's Thesaurus before., and the blueberry coffee cake looks like a winner!
And thankyou Clotilde for the link to the macaroons, as well as all your other scrumptious recipes on this site (I love your Zucchini Polenta Tart -- no substitutions necessary!)

I do have a wonderful local wholefoods store with a variety of rice, potato, and quinoa pastas (some better than others!), and a lot of different gluten-free flours (including rice, fava and chickpea, buckwheat flour, and different mixes that work beautifully), and baking mixes. I am still working on the texture thing in my cooking, though -- gluten gives the elasticity in pasta and dough, so gluten free recipes can be a bit chewy...

My favourite recipe finding technique is still scrolling through regular websites, magazines and cookbooks to find recipes with no flour to start with. Italian and French cookbooks are surprisingly fruitful. As are Asian foods (after obtaining wheat free soy sauce).
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Andree
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 3:54 pm    Post subject: a few more suggestions Reply with quote

natalie, do you like Indian food? Pretty much all of it is gluten-free, except for some of the flatbreads. There are however some types of flatbreads made with things like chickpea and lentil flours. One of the cookbooks I'm using a lot right now is "1001 Indian Recipes" by Neelam Batra. There aren't any pictures, but the recipes are fantastic.

You could also try Middle Eastern and North African cookbooks; "A New Book of Middle Eastern Food" by Claudia Roden is fantastic.
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PazzaRagazza



Joined: 27 Oct 2004
Posts: 3
Location: Minneapolis, MN

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 7:13 pm    Post subject: shellfish allergy! Reply with quote

I too have a terrible shellfish allergy i developed around the age of 10. I have to carry around an epi-pen in case i accidently eat shrimp, clams, lobster etc and struggle to cook in replacement of those marvelous wonders that kill me (at the current age of 22 I have vague memories of eating clam chowder and lobster bisque and my family's infamous clam dip. The only substitution that makes me think I'm cheating nature is louis kemps crab/lobster delights. they have allergy information at their 800 number on the back of the label, and for simple recipes (the "delightful"crab replaces the clam in our holiday crab dip that's made just for me). If you find more adequate substitutions let me know! Trips to the emergency room sadly outweigh my love for shellfish
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You poor thing. I am lucky that I can have small amounts of gluten, but a BIG blowout will make me unwell. It is oranges, clementines, madarins and pineapple that will kill me, and they are pretty easy to avoid. Feel quite lucky now.

It is hard to give up pasta and bread. I love eating fresh homemade pasta, nothing beats it. But you have to be sensible as well.

Have you tried the ceoliac association?(think I have spelt that wrong, but am having on of those days where everything looks like it is spelt wrong - sorry) They have branches in most countries and I am sure they would have something on the internet. I know that in some supermarkets in Australia (such as Woolworths) you can buy gluten free flours and baking mixes. There is also a line of ready made pastas, snack foods and condiments. Not exactly the same as the usual, but close enough that you can have something if you are really craving.

There is apparently a supplement you can buy in chemists and healthfood stores which helps you to digest small amounts of gluten. My mother in law takes it when she is really craving and MUST have something with gluten. Not sure what it is, but maybe you could ask a naturopath?

Good luck!
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