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Cooking and baking for those with severe food allergies intolerances/sensitivities


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For my 2c, I have a 2 yr old who is v allergic to egg. My creative solution...

jello. He thinks it is v interesting because of the texture and certainly doesn't mind the sugar.

Watch out for commercial sorbets, because some contain egg whites. Definite downer.

Australians have a no-egg cookie - the ANZAC biscuit. Substitute the butter with margarine and you should be right, mate (as we say down under)


I second the cake with no egg approach - one way of dealing with the dryness that I have read about, but not tried (yet) for what it's worth is to add a gelatin mix. I usually add tofu, but that won't work for you.

I say go the jello. It's a 3 yr old. What's not to love!



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We use fruit instead of fats almost exclusively when we bake. Usually the go to ingredient is applesauce. This makes for a very moist cake, even without eggs.

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  • 2 months later...

I'm cooking for a person with the following allergies (most will cause severe anaphylactic shock with minimal quantities consumed):

Milk, dairy (anything that might contain casein)






Any suggestions for recipes or substitutions that could be used. I'm especially interested if there is a recipe out there for rice bread.


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Will this be regular cooking or just once in a while?

For once in a while, I'd ask the person what they get served a lot of because it's "easy", and if there's anything that is safe that they don't get to eat often. I'd imagine fruit iced desserts (granitas, sherberts, anything milk free) would be a nice treat. Most sauces are probably seen as off limits, but reductions should be fine. Gluten problems can be a pretty big deal... in some cases they pretty much eliminate all grains from the diet.

Be *very* careful in serving processed foods to this person. Gluten is hidden in many processed foods where you wouldn't expect it. Eggs, seafood and nuts are usually pretty identifiable. Casein is probably hiding in a lot of products one wouldn't expect it in either.

I did find this recipe for gluten free pizza dough. It is *not* safe for the person you're cooking for. Searching for celiac pizza on google brings up a fair number of other results. My internet connection is being wonky and won't let me check most of them tho.


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Try http://www.ener-g.com this is a very reputable company. Yes - you can make your own rice bread but I highly recommend buying the company's product if it meets the food profile.

I had a customer similar to yours and she adored these:


4 cups oat flour

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup butter ( you could use the dairy free margarine)

1 1/3 cups apple juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup quick oats

1 generous cup raisins

Beat sugar and margarine together and then add all the rest of the ingredients. Let stand a half hour. Bake at 350 for 10-13 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from the tray.

Edited by Betts (log)
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looks good, I had some problems finding things online that were milk and egg free.

I have some chemicals that could work for sauces.....gums and the like.

I was also thinking of making a mousse or "baked Alaskan" with some carboxymethylcellulose.

We are cooking regularly for this person (every day, 2 meals a day), so it would be nice to be able to branch out. The case is especially difficult because most of these allergies are quite serious. She can't be in the kitchen in someone has the peanut butter jar open, and If I ever cook with peanut oil, she would have to be quarantined from the house because of the aerosolized oil particles. (also means I can't do sautes or sauces with peanut butter or peanuts, which is a bummer cause I love cooking dishes based on peanuts.)

We have been lucky enough to find stores that carry many products specifically for these allergy profiles, but I know I would hate to eat packaged food for any length of time.

Luckily, they are not vegetarian, so any simply marinated meat is good, and there are plenty of alternative grain options (quinoa, spelt??, oats, etc.), but for baked goods I have hit something of a wall.

Edited by s_sevilla (log)
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Stupid question: is it a *nut* allergy or a *peanut* allergy? Both are relatively common, but one means bean dishes are perfectly safe, and the other means bean dishes are potentially dangerous. And if it's just one and not the other, that makes some things safe that I'd been discounting. And if it's both, well, my condolences, because that makes life even more difficult.

IIRC oats contain a small amount of gluten. I'm presuming the problem there is celiac disease, not an anaphylactic allergy. And well, a celiac person generally won't die if they eat a small amount of gluten, but it does affect their long term health in a cumulative way. It's a lot like a diabetic who doesn't monitor their blood sugar closely. Nothing obviously harmful happens, but there's lots of damage that you can't see until it builds up years later.

On the upside, beef fat, duck fat and lard will all work well to give you fat for making treats with gluten free flours. I could see biscuits or popovers made with those fats and water rather than milk, if there's a safe way to give the gluten free flour some structure. And if you can make biscuits, scones aren't far behind :). My chemistry background is just not giving me ideas on how to work around the gluten + casein + egg issues...


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Try GlutenFree.com as a source for gluten-free and egg-free recipes and products. It's fairly easy to get around milk/dairy allergies by substituting soy milk and dairy-free margarine, but is this person also allergic to soy? (Some people with celiac disease are.)

You can also Google "gluten free" + "recipes" and come up with a lot. Many of these do not contain milk/dairy or eggs because of multiple allergies.


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There's a great book here in Ireland called 'what to eat when you can't eat anything' written by chupi and (i can't remember her brother's name) sweetman. you should be able to get it on amazon - .co.uk if not .com, or i can send it to you if you are stuck. there are some great recipes for spelt produce. also darina allen who is ireland's culinary queen produced a book a year or 2 ago called healthy gluten-free eating which is brilliant - i have made loads from it even though i am quite happy with gluten, but not dairy or eggs.

coeliac disease is very common here in ireland, something to do with the mix of viking and celt in our genetic makeup, so people are quite aware of it here.

i have to say that i don't find the egg thing a problem, and if you are eating fresh foods the dairy is fine too, just takes getting used to.

like many things it's often a case of a change of mindset and that's the hardest thing in the world to change. good luck with it!

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thanks for the tips, we are starting to stock up on alternative flours and the such.....I'm trying to approach this as a unique way to broaden the dishes and methods I use in the kitchen. My friend's brother is going to be back in town soon, and he's a fairly accomplished vegan chef, so I will try and get in touch with him about sources for good soy and alternative products. I was looking in some of my ethnic cuisine books, and it looks like there are a few possibilities with Vietnamese cooking that I want to try.

I'll be taking a look at that book. They might even have it in the library collection here.


I've seen people use ground flaxseed as a substitute for eggs, does anyone have any good guidelines for converting and balancing traditional recipes by using this instead of eggs?

Edited by s_sevilla (log)
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Hummmm...that's quite a number of allergies, but I'm glad your friend has someone like you to face all the challenges!

Some initial ideas I have are:


-Polenta made with homemade chicken broth, enriched with oilve oil and flavored with fresh herbs

-Potatoes mashed with homemade chicken broth, fresh herbs s&p and enriched with olive oil

(Roasted garlic would probably flavor both of these nicely as well)

-Fragrant rice (jasmine, basmati, etc)- cooked plain or made into pilaf


-Chicken cacciatore

-Chicken curry (those that don't contain cream or butter additions)

-Chicken piccata done without flour coating (thicken sauce with cornstarch if necessary) or butter (enrich sauce with olive oil if necessary)

-Chicken pieces pan roasted with olive oil, wild mushrooms, fresh thyme and rosemary, thin lemon slices and shallots

-Beef stew (brown meat without flour). Thicken sauce with cornstarch after meat and veggies are cooked so cornstarch doesn't lose thickening power

-Lamb chops pan roasted or grilled with olive oil, rosemary and garlic

-Flank steak rubbed with spice mixture (I combine equal parts of salt, brown sugar, garlic, oregano and chili powder or curry powder- sounds weird but tastes good)

I don't think veggies should pose too much of a problem if they're fresh, prepared simply and accented with fresh herbs, garlic and rosemary.

I'm not much of a baker, unfortunately, but I have substituted flaxseed mixture (1 TB milled flaxseed mixed with 3 TB water per egg- allow mixture to sit for 2-3 minutes before using) in quick breads for egg with no ill effects. It did not work as well for me when I used the substitution in pancakes- they never set up right- so I'm not sure if this substitution works for non-baked goods.

Please let me know if you need more specific recipes- I usually just wing it in the kitchen, but just thought I'd throw out some ideas. :smile: Good luck!

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Is coconut out? Because if not, you could do some cool things like currys and desserts with that.

What about spelt? When I worked at The Spa, we had a regular client who had wheat allergies, and we made things for her out of spelt flour. We also served her spelt pastas.

I would also go for parsnip and potato purees, sweet potato dishes without butter, nice lean cuts of meat.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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I walked by a place in our gourmet ghetto that does Soca, a kind of unleavened pizzeta made of chickpea flour. A google recipe turned up this recipe for Stout Soca, but the place that I saw does them in a brick oven, rather than frying. Does anyone have any variations or tips to share about these things?

Here's the Recipe I found:

12 oz. stout

2 cups vegetable stock

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper

3 cups chickpea or garbanzo flour (available at Italian or Middle Eastern grocery stores)

Vegetable oil for deep frying

Minced parsley for garnish

1. Oil a 9x12 baking dish and line with parchment or wax paper. Set aside.

2. In a gallon stock pot, simmer stock, stout, salt, pepper and oil. Whisking constantly, stir in a slow stream of the sifted chickpea flour. Whisk till smooth- about 30 seconds to one minute - but do not let it boil.

3. Remove from heat and pour into prepared pan. Use a spatula to spread it evenly. Let cool. When set, place in refrigerator and let chill for at least one hour.

4. Cut around edges and turn the pan upside down onto a cutting board. The easiest way to do this is to place a large cutting board on top of the pan, and holding both in place, flip it onto the counter top, so board is on the bottom.

5. Remove the parchment wrap, and cut the chilled soca into sticks about 1 inch wide and 4.5 inches long. In a large deep fryer, place oil to a depth of four inches. Bring to 375 degrees. Drop in the soca sticks in batches of about 4-5, and fry for 4 minutes, turning once to crisp evenly.

6. Remove with tongs to a platter lined with paper to drain. Serve the stout soca with a garlic aioli - terrific with a strong golden Belgian ale.

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  • 1 month later...

This is a bit late in the piece for the OP, but I thought I'd add a comment for others looking in the archives.

Don't serve spelt, Kamut, triticale, oats, etc. to someone who requires gluten free food.

Spelt and kamut are types of wheat, and contain harmful gluten. For what it's worth, many people with wheat allergies also can't tolerate spelt or Kamut.

Triticale is a cross between rye and wheat, and will also contain harmful gluten.

Oats is tricky - technically, oats should be OK for someone who is gluten intolerant. However, nearly all oats is cross-contaminated with wheat or barley, and thus will bring along harmful gluten. Even when special non-contaminated oats is used, a good percentage of sufferers still react to oats, so best to leave them alone.

Obviously, wheat and barley and rye are out, but not so obviously, some derivatives are also out. This is a touchy subject, since some coeliac support groups (notably the UK one) tell you that CODEX wheat starch with < 20ppm gliadin is safe. However, anecdotal evidence shows this not to be true - better safe than sorry, so avoid all derivatives of wheat, barley and rye include malt, starch, modified starch, glucose / dextrose, and maltodextrin.

Further information is available on the Wikipedia page on the gluten-free diet.

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There are many Indian recipes that might work if this is something your friend likes and depending on what spices and seasonings are ok.

For example, a dosa is a type of crepe made from a mixture of rice and urad dal (a kind of bean). These get soaked in water and ground up then left to sit for a while so they ferment. The resulting crepe does not taste bean-y or in any way sour. There are a couple of topics and recipes in the Indian Cooking forum that discuss them.

Another idea might be to look through some of those books for the raw food types. Not that everything would be good because they do tend to use a lot of nuts but you might get some ideas.


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  • 1 month later...

I'm working with a friend whose child has multiple food allergies to help her come up with as many dishes as possible to feed her whole family together. Little Seth has a shorter list of foods he can eat than ones he can't. The hardest thing I'm finding is the prohibition of all alliums -- I can't think of a single cuisine that doesn't use them extensively. Can you?

In case you're interested, here's the list of allowed foods:




potato starch



rice flour

ground nuts (no peanuts or cashews)

rice pasta

gluten-free: bread, waffles, pancakes, etc.

Fruit (in small amts.):









dried fruit: raisins, dates, apricots, figs

juice: apple, apple cider, grape






green beans

salad greens

cooked greens


sweet potatoes






egg replacer up to 2 eggs in a recipe





goat milk



vegetable oil

olive oil



herbs, except mustard

tamari (small amts)

sour cream or yogurt (small amts)



cocoa powder





vanilla flavoring (artificial)

other artificial “extracts”

Ideas are welcome!

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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I'm working with a friend whose child has multiple food allergies to help her come up with as many dishes as possible to feed her whole family together. Little Seth has a shorter list of foods he can eat than ones he can't. The hardest thing I'm finding is the prohibition of all alliums -- I can't think of a single cuisine that doesn't use them extensively. Can you?

Dutch. An onion here and there, but definitely not everywhere :smile: and almost no garlic!

Which makes me think that stamppot (in this case, potatoes mashed with greens, carrots or well-cooked green beans), is a possibility.

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A lot of 'traditional' english cooking would possibly fit with the allowed foods but is not to everyones taste. I was raised on plain cooked roasted joints with potatoes (roast/boiled/mashed) and a boiled vegetable. I still cook a lot of plain beef stews without adding onion and so long as the beef is good they are very tasty.

It is a pity fish is not allowed as a good fresh piece of fish needs very little flavouring added.

Is sugar not allowed? If not you may be able to sweeten with apple concentrate or date syrup? There are some quite good gluten free flours on the market in the UK which allow you to bake a range of sweet and savoury pies.

You may find some interesting pilafs in the Middle Eastern cuisine that allow you to combine rice, chicken, dried fruits and some permitted spices for extra flavour. I use a lot of fresh parsley in hot rice dishes and rice salads which together with a flavoursome olive oil can be far from bland even without any onion or garlic.

Do the family like goats cheese and milk, I know a lot of people that find it too strong.

good luck

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That's not a bad list at all.

It's pretty generous actually.

What about peppers (green, red, chili etc.)?

How old is Seth? Infant, toddler, ?

What does the family like to eat and how

strict is the rest of the family in terms of

being picky about likes and dislikes?

In general, Indian "strict vegetarian" cuisine

(i.e. dairy allowed but no eggs, no onions or garlic = alliums)

seems to meet most of his criteria.

A menu that's usually popular:

1. basmati rice pulao flavored with salt, cloves, peppercorns,

and cumin and cinnamon if allowed. Add peas if allowed.

OR lemon rice (cook rice with turmeric and salt; tarka of

hing if allowed, cumin instead of mustard, almonds or other

allowed nuts instead

of cashews, curry leaves and dry red chilies. Add to rice;

finish with large splash of lemon juice).

2. Raita made with soy (if allowed) yogurt

and cucumbers (if allowed) or grated carrots,

flavored with salt, mint+cilantro finely chopped,

toasted ground cumin if allowed.

I've not tried goat milk yogurt, but maybe that can sub for

soy yogurt.

3. A simple dal (cook red lentils until soft in water or veg broth,

with tomatoes salt to taste) flavored with tarka of: cumin if allowed,

powdered coriander if allowed, cayenne pepper if allowed.

When done, add a squeeze of lemon juice and garnish with chopped


4. Oven roasted fingerling potatoes (rub with olive oil, salt,

cayenne pepper)

Other menus can get more interesting:

* dal-based koftas instead of dal (think like meatballs)

* stir fried veggies maybe with tofu (toddlers usually love tofu; it's

narrow minded adults who get all squiggly at the concept rather than

the reality).

* idlis (with coconut chutney if allowed coconuts, otherwise tomato chutney,

* not traditional but tasty or with sambar if the sambar ingredients

are allowed).

* besan ke cheele (chick pea pancakes/crepes) with tomato chutney....

I've fed all kinds of friends, neighbors, kids' classmates etc.

of all ethnicities with menus such as the above and they have

been very very popular; even with kids whose parents

swear they won't eat X, Y or Z and whose eyes bulge with

astonishment when the said kids scarf down my cooking.......

These are just off the top of my head....

good luck,


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There is a small goat farm out on Rt. 30 west of Gettysburg on LHS outside of town a few miles. She has fresh goat milk and makes her own cheese. She has a sign out on the road. Sorry to say I did not bother to get any info from her when I was there (like her name).

It was very good cheese, and she gave me a tour of her little farm and was full of info about her products.

It's not much, but I hope it is a tiny bit helpful.


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Thank you VERY much for all the replies. To answer a few questions:

chiles are not allowed (or any peppers), though Mom says she has gotten away with very small amounts of chile powder in a big pot of something.

soy is not allowed, except for a small amount of tamari (this info from Mom -- I'm thinking tamari has some soy but I haven't researched)

no cinnamon or other spices in that family (I haven't researched the "family" yet)

no ginger

Seth is five. I'm not sure how adventurous his palate is because of his extremely limited diet (and the limits of his mom's cooking know-how), but I think the whole family is open to trying new things, mainly to have variety. This all came about because Seth's mom told me she was feeling depressed about how difficult cooking has become -- making essentially two meals all the time to accomodate Seth's needs. She mentioned how EXCITED he gets when the whole family can eat the same thing. We talked about the importance/significance of sharing food and why Seth would feel that way, and we also discussed how much easier it would be if she could come up with a repertoir of many dishes everyone can eat and that she can take to potlucks, too.

One thing that did occur to me: if I was Seth's mom, I think I'd keep sauteed onions on hand in the fridge and pass them around at mealtime like the salt and pepper, for those who can have them to stir into the spaghetti sauce or whatever "wants" onions.

I've invited them for lunch on Sunday. I want to make some kind of main dish ahead, plus show her how to make roasted carrots and risotto (with sauteed onions to pass at table). I want to make a dessert ahead, too -- maybe a steamed pudding of some kind?

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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Lori: it's great that you are making the effort to

help out this family. Food is really so fundamental

to psychological comfort and family bonding over and

above the obvious nutrition aspect....



According to some sources e.g.:


cumin and coriander are part of the carrot family.

So if Seth can eat carrots these spices should be OK - per verification.

The cinnamon family includes bark from related trees

(e.g. cassia etc.). So those would be excluded for him.

If the cumin/coriander thing is true, then many recipes become possible, like

pulaos, besan cheelas, etc.

If they can get the green light on cumin and coriander (seeds for

both, and the leaves = cilantro for the latter) then I could

get more specific with recipes....

They are very easy and popular....


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soy is not allowed, except for a small amount of tamari (this info from Mom -- I'm thinking tamari has some soy but I haven't researched)

tamari soy has very little if any wheat in it--if the kid has a gluten allergy, that would probably be the source of the prohibition on regular soy sauce, which has a good amount of wheat in it along with the soy.

i have a friend with similar food allergies who basically eats nothing but steak and pancakes and french fries and noodles with ketchup. his allium allergies are especially severe--one time he had a steak at a bar near our house, and apparently onions had been cooked on the same grill; he spent the next half-hour in the bathroom trying to breathe. (we didn't know it was that bad until he came out and told us what had gone on)

there are several web forums/newsgroups for the no-allium folks--since onions are in almost everything, it's an difficult one to deal with.

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