Allergens Included:
Gluten/Wheat, Lactose, Milk, Egg and Yeast

Please keep in mind that my "Allergy-Free" recipes are geared toward these food allergies only and to the best of my knowledge, do not contain these allergens.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Allergy Cooking Aides

Before finding out about my food intolerances, processed foods were my thing.  I'm sure this is true with most insanely busy people or people that have no interest in being a gourmet chef.  You come home from work, pop a pre-made lasagna in the oven and wait an hour.  Now, all you have to do is call the kids for dinner.

I have a small kitchen so I'm not big on appliances but I have found some incredibly useful.  So here are my four recommendations:

  • Food Steamer.  This is the particular one I bought; although there are many different kinds and sizes.  For my kitchen, this was small enough but also big enough to hold everything I need at once.  It comes with a rice holder which eliminates the need to also buy a rice cooker.  This cooks your food and keeps it nice and moist in the meantime.  You can use it to make a stir-fry without having to stand and "stir-fry" it.  You put your food in, set the timer and don't worry about it. It has a guide on which foods take how much time, etc.  Once the time is up, it switches over to a hold-warm mode.  So if you are in the shower, it does not dry out your food.  This is one of my favorite ways of cooking because everything stays moist.  I put my rice on the bottom in the rice container, surround that container with vegetables, put my meat on top with more vegetables and that's it.  You can always heat up your sauce while the steamer is going. My favorite is Trader JoesCurry Simmer Sauce.  I just put in the rice and chicken,simmer the sauce and throw it all together when it's done.  Yes, even this girl skips her vegetables periodically.  

  • Blender.  I can only recommend the items I have and use.  This is an awesome blender.  Its cheap BUT works well.  :)    I use my blender for protein shakes in the morning with supplements and soy milk.  Fruit smoothies are a great option and very filling.  There are tons of recipes for smoothies that you can alter to make allergy friendly.  Most of them are allergy friendly to begin with.  Just add your favorite fruit and ice.  You can add sugar and/or juices if you're a sweetaholic like me.  You can also try making vegetable juice and fruit juice to your liking.  The great part about this is that you can keep tweaking it until you find your perfect blend.  If you are a health buff or have been through boot camp, you can make entire meals in a blender. I will let you figure that out for yourself since I have no experience in either.  On a yummy note, there are also amazing dairy/lactose-free icecreams.  I love the coconut ice-cream mixed with dairy-free milk which makes an awesome milkshake.  There are lots of different kinds of dairy-free ice-creams available.

  • Oh George, Do I love you.  Protein, protein, protein.  There is not much to be said about what you can do with this.. other than meat meat meat.  Don't forget the seasonings!  Emeril's steak rub is my absolute favorite.  His Original Essence is great on chicken or pork chops.  When buying a grill like this, there are certain things that make life easier which is why I picked this particular one.  It has removable plates.  I'm going to let that set in for a second............ ................................................................................................................  Okay.  So after you are done grilling, you don't have this bulky appliance you are trying to clean.  You take the plates out, put them in the sink or dishwasher and you can put your George Foreman away.  No more greasy grossness sitting on the counter until the dishes are done. 

  • Old Faithful.  I honestly can't tell you what brand of crock-pot I have because I have had it for awhile.  This is a great way to cook your meals for dinner or even breakfast.  Two nights ago I put potatoes, carrots, onions and beef in there with beef broth and seasoning.  Then I left it on low all night and when I woke up, I had something to take to work.   Its great for when you need food for a specific time period but don't have time to cook around that time.  There are TONS of crockpot recipes that you can eat that I am sure I will be sharing with you later.  

I hope this helps a little bit in the kitchen.  I know that not being able to whiz through a drive-thru when you are starving can be frustrating.  So I hope these turn out to be time savors for you and also produce enough left overs for hunger emergencies.  But don't take my word for it, try it out!