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.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Simple Replacements for Simple Things

Bread: If you aren’t allergic to yeast, there are plenty of gluten-free (all gluten free products are also wheat free) breads that you can find in the organic section of most grocery stores. There are also gluten-free wraps, pizza crusts, rolls, etc.

If yeast is an issue, especially Baker’s yeast, then bread is not out of the question. There are yeast free/gluten free breads that you can find such as a tapioca loaf. Personally, I didn’t like the taste or texture.

My replacement for bread….... Lettuce! 
Now, I know it sounds kooky; but imagine getting a wrap without the wrap. That’s basically all it is.
Go to your grocery store and buy a head of Iceberg lettuce. It will make tons of “sandwiches” and it’s cheap! Tear off the lettuce in big sections. Put in your meat and condiments and wrap it up.

For one tablespoon of yeast:
•    1 tablespoon baking soda
•    1/2 teaspoon unbuffered vitamin C powder (ascorbic acid) or 1 tablespoon baking soda
•    1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (kept separate until needed)

Milk: I was a huge milk drinker before and still am. There are lots of different lactose free milks. My favorite is soy milk, particularly the “Silk” brand. There is also coconut milk, rice milk and almond milk. Almond milk is probably the closest texture/thickness to cow’s milk so a lot of people prefer this for drinking. I have found it doesn't mix as well with other ingredients, so I prefer soy milk. There is a Dark-Chocolate Almond Milk that is to die for, but there goes my chocolate addiction again.

Egg: The easiest thing to do is buy the “EnerG” Egg Replacer. It is allergy free and works well. You can also use tofu. About 1/4 a up is equal to one egg. Make sure to use silken tofu. Firmer types will not blend well. Make sure you beat or whip it before adding. A ¼ cup of applesauce for each egg also works well.

Butter: There are lots of lactose-free butters. They are usually called “butter spreads.” I like the Earth Balance butter spread. You can always use vegetable shortening or oil in the place of butter as well.

Pasta: There are different types of pastas made from corn, rice or potato blends. “Mr. Leeper’s” is my favorite brand of gluten-free pastas but just try different kinds until you find what you like. Rice pasta is my favorite but it is easily overcooked and turns mushy. Once you get down the cook time though, it is a great alternative for pasta. Another alternative are noodles made from tofu. There are Tofu Shirataki noodles by House Foods that come in a spaghetti-type, fettuccine-type and angel hair-type. Check out this website: http://www.house-foods.com/Tofu/tofu_shirataki.aspx for more options. These types are gluten-free, dairy free and completely vegan. They make a great substitute.

Sweets: “Simply Lite” has amazing dark-chocolate bars. I found them at the local Trader Joes but you can also buy bulk online (which may or may not be good thing, depending on your self-control/indulgence level).  Enjoy life and Lucy’s are great brands for cookies usually found in your normal grocery store in the organic section.

Tips for Carb-withdrawal: If you are like me and quit bread and most pasta, your body will hate you. You will feel weak with very low energy. You can counteract this with different carbohydrates.  Don’t forget your mashed potatoes, made with soy milk and earth balance butter. Eat your rice. White rice is a great source of carbohydrates. Beans are also a good source. Believe it or not, vegetables are great too such as winter squash, corn, peas, lentils, etc.

MILK WITHDRAWAL: This is real! It is not just in your head. I drank cow’s milk constantly before my food intolerance was found out. Make sure you drink plenty of soy, coconut, rice, almond or other non-dairy milk. Only kooky thing with these is that you need to shake the container before you pour as most of the goodies/nutrients settle to the bottom. You can find “fortified” types of these milks which have extra calcium etc., and are closer to the nutrition found in cows’ milk.

Hope this helps!!