The Ultimate Food Allergy Cookbook and Survival Guide

Allergy Cooking with Ease

Easy Bread Making for Special Diets

Easy Cooking for Special Diets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Allergy and Celiac Diets With Ease
Money and Time Saving Solutions
for Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Diets


Table of Contents

Foreword...........................................................................................
Introduction to the Revised Edition......................................................
What’s to Eat?....................................................................................
The How and Why of Your Diet.........................................................
Money Saving Solutions.....................................................................
Time Saving Solutions.........................................................................
Cooking with Ease..............................................................................
......Shopping and Stocking..................................................................
......Use Your Appliances and Gadgets................................................
Organization, Planning and Other Money and Time Savers...................
Know Your Ingredients.......................................................................
Baking with Ease.................................................................................

Recipes
Dinner in a Jiffy...................................................................................
Dinner’s in the Oven............................................................................
Dinner’s in the Crock Pot....................................................................
Dinner’s in the Freezer........................................................................
Microwave Marvels............................................................................
Super Soups.......................................................................................
Simple Salads and Dressings...............................................................
Easy Side Dishes.................................................................................
Breads, Muffins, Crackers and More...................................................
Quick and Easy Desserts.....................................................................
Special Desserts and Cookies.............................................................
Beverages, Snacks and Fun Foods......................................................

References
Using Commercially Prepared Foods..................................................
Special Diet Resources.......................................................................
Sources of Special Ingredients, Products, and Services........................
Safe Food Handling Practices..............................................................
The Spelt-Wheat Debate.....................................................................
References: Helpful Books and Websites.............................................
Table of Measurements.......................................................................
Index to Recipes by Grain Use............................................................
General Index.....................................................................................

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Foreword

When you pick up this book, you really are getting two books: one of information about food allergy and celiac diets and how to live on them without breaking the bank and also a book of recipes that you can use on your diet. In the first book you can benefit from Nickie’s vast experience to quickly gain information that it would take years to gather on your own. This part of the book provides an understanding of food allergies and celiac disease, the importance of your special diet and of food safety to long-term health, and information about economizing, shopping, organizing, and cooking with ease.

The second part of the book is recipes tailored to make your meals tasty while also loaded with nutrition. Aware of the time and financial pressures of busy modern lives, Nickie has streamlined all recipes to make cooking easier. The reference sections offer added information about where to find gluten-free and allergen-free foods. The many easy recipes in this book should go far to reducing the stress of a difficult diet.

Anyone can learn from the ideas presented. Do you need motivation to tackle and implement a food allergy or celiac diet? Be sure to read the section, “The How and Why of Your Diet.” This section, as well as the reference section on food safety, can make dining out a safer and more healthy experience. The “Time-Saving Solutions” chapter gives information that will help those with celiac disease or food allergies find a restaurant that can prepare the gluten-free or allergen-free food they need and have a pleasant dining-out experience without a reaction. The “Cooking With Ease” and “Baking With Ease” chapters tell how to get organized for cooking and baking and do it with the least amount of time and effort. These chapters are loaded with gems of information from Nickie’s more than thirty years of experience in cooking for special diets.

All of us would be healthier and more energetic if we incorporated some of the alternative foods this book presents such as nutritious non-grains and non-sugar sweeteners into our diets. Put this book to good use and you will find not only that your health will improve but that you are also saving money and time on preparing your meals. You will enjoy your meals – and life – more.

Ann Fisk, B.S., R.N.
Founder of An Ounce of Prevention

Introduction to the Revised Edition

The original Allergy and Celiac Diets With Ease is about a year old at the time of this writing. I never expected to revise a book this soon because I normally lack enough new information for a revision to be important in less than several years.

The information available for this book has not changed much in the last year, but the circumstances we Americans find ourselves in have changed dramatically. Our financial crisis has deepened into a recession with the dreaded “D” word on everyone’s mind across the globe. As I have watched the changes and listened to peoples’ reactions to them, I realized that I’m old enough to know some things that keep me from being adversely affected by the changes as much as many younger people are.

Because my parents grew up during the Great Depression, I, as a child, was immersed in Great-Depression-born habits and ways of doing things. I have retained many of these habits and applied them to all areas of my life, including my special diet. These 75-year old ideas are “up to the minute” and exactly what we need now. I had them a year ago when I finished the first version of this book, but I did not include most of them because I did not realize readers would need them in the near future. Since these ideas are relevant now, this revision was written to share the wisdom of my forbears.

What’s to Eat?

“What’s for dinner?” This perennial question becomes more difficult to answer when you or a family member must follow a diet that eliminates wheat, gluten, milk, yeast, corn, soy or other foods that are the basic ingredients of standard fare. When you combine the demands of a special diet with financial pressure and the hurried pace of modern life, making dinner (or breakfast, or lunch, or muffins that “fit” your diet) may seem nearly impossible at times.

This book will help you cook for your special diet as economically, quickly, and easily as possible but in ways different from other sources you may have consulted. If you look in other cookbooks for quick ways to make a meal, the advice you may find can sound like this:

A can of this,
A can of that,
A can of mushroom soup,
Some biscuit mix,
Some processed cheese,
And there’s your dinner, made with ease!

Can this really be a recipe for dinner or is it a recipe for fake food? Even though it is made at home, the component ingredients are so highly processed that you don’t get optimal nutrition. And of course this food usually does not conform to an allergy or celiac diet; a recipe like this is a serious threat to health for some of us. Real food is good for everyone’s health (even those who are not on special diets), tastes better, and is more economical. We just need to know how to cook it in our limited time and purchase the ingredients we need with limited money.

So how can we economize and stay on our special diets without spending all day in the kitchen? First, accept the fact that you will be doing some cooking. Learn to enjoy the creativity of it rather than regretting the time spent. Then organize and simplify. Use money and time-saving practices, appliances, gadgets, and wholesome ingredients. (This book will introduce you to these helpers). Finally, use the right recipes. This book contains recipes for simple, wholesome foods, simply but flavorfully prepared. Skip recipes with dozens of ingredients. Skip the cream of mushroom soup and other highly processed foods. As you follow this book, you will find yourself saving money and enjoying simple wholesome foods while you enjoy improved health.

The How and Why of Your Diet

People who have been recently diagnosed with food allergies or celiac disease respond to the news of their condition in a number of ways. The most common reaction I hear is that of being overwhelmed by the complexity of the diet they are supposed to follow and the changes it will make in every day life. They ask the question, “How do I do this?” (This question will be answered in the next several chapters). Another reaction is relief that a cause for their poor health has been found and that the prognosis is not serious as long as they stay on the diet.

Some patients also ask, “Why do I have to be on this diet?” Learning the answer to this question will help motivate you to be diligent about staying on your diet and will get you going when it is time to cook. For both celiacs and those with food allergies, the most convincing way for you to answer this question for yourself is to stay on your diet diligently for a few weeks or months and see how you feel. The improved health you are likely to experience – sometimes after just a few days on the diet – is the most basic and important reason, and one that even children understand and find motivating.

Celiac disease is more well defined than food allergies, both in the diagnosis and understanding of the illness and in the uniformity of the diet. The medical definition of celiac disease is a genetic condition in which the patient has antibodies to gluten. These antibodies cause an immune response in the intestine when gluten is eaten, which results in damage to the intestinal villi. This damage leads to maldigestion, intestinal distress, and malabsorption of nutrients. Although blood tests are used to detect the presence of antibodies to the components of gluten, the first part of the gold standard test for celiac disease is having an intestinal biopsy which shows the characteristic damage to the intestine.

The malabsorption of nutrients caused by celiac disease can lead to other problems such as anemia, osteoporosis, fatigue, weakness, muscle cramps, neurological symptoms, and even some forms of cancer. (This list is included here because it will motivate you to stay on your diet!) The only treatment is lifelong strict avoidance of gluten. After the patient has avoided gluten for several months, the intestine heals and the effects of the disease are reversed. The reversal of symptoms is the second part of the “gold standard” criteria for the diagnosis of celiac disease. If improvement does not occur or is not complete, the possibility of intolerance to other foods such as milk may be considered.

The celiac diet is “simple” to the doctor who tells you to follow it – just avoid gluten. The more helpful doctor will elaborate by telling you to avoid wheat, rye, barley, and possibly oats. While not simple in practice, at least the celiac diet is easily defined. This makes it possible for health food producers and supplement manufacturers to make products for the gluten-intolerant. The August 2007 issue of Better Nutrition reported that more than 2500 gluten-free products line the shelves of health food stores. Restaurants which cater to the gluten-intolerant are springing up in large cities as more and more people are being diagnosed with gluten intolerance. If a person with celiac disease has enough money to regularly purchase commercially prepared gluten-free foods (which is unlikely in these tough economic times), does not have or develop any other intolerances (such as to rice, the basic ingredient of most gluten-free food), and lives in a city large enough to support gluten-free restaurants, life can go on as before diagnosis with some relatively minor changes and modification. However, if your budget is restricted or you live in a small town, you will need to learn new ways of cooking and eating.

Food allergies pose a different situation. They are a poor cousin to celiac disease in terms of respect from the conventional medical community. In my opinion, this is because food allergy is a diverse problem which usually does not have a well-defined or easy solution. The immunological mediators of food allergies (often called sensitivities if they do not involve IgE antibodies) are diverse, the foods a person is likely to be intolerant of can be a long, complex list, and the conditions that may caused by food allergies are many. Average doctors (who practice as though “for every ill there is a pill”) find this overwhelming so they often make light of food allergies. However, food allergies are just as real as celiac disease, and they also can result in malnutrition, anemia, osteoporosis, and other serious conditions. For more about the definition, diagnosis, treatment, and conditions that can be associated with food allergies, see The Ultimate Food Allergy Cookbook and Survival Guide.

Another question people recently diagnosed with allergies often ask themselves is, “Why am I doing all this cooking?” Even if they can afford to purchase commercially prepared foods routinely, people with multiple food allergies usually must be able to do some cooking for themselves because there are not enough people with the same combination of food allergies to support a special segment of the health food industry as there is for celiacs. The more foods allergy patients are allergic to and the more complex their diets are, the more they will be unable to rely on commercial food producers and restaurants for their meals. Celiacs who do not want to spend over $6 for a small loaf of bread also will benefit from cooking for themselves. In addition, some celiacs develop intolerance to rice, milk, or other foods. In these cases, they are faced with the same challenges as people with multiple food allergies. Finally, the wisest celiacs learn from the experiences of others and cook for themselves instead of relying solely on commercially prepared foods so that they can eat a variety of grains and grain alternatives rather than eating rice-containing foods at every meal. Thus, they lessen their chances of developing sensitivity to rice and probably will be able to preserve their ability to eat out occasionally and eat commercially prepared foods when they are temporarily too busy to cook.

The best reason to cook for yourself is because that is the only way to have real control of your diet. As the restaurant dining tip sheet of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America says, “The only person who really knows what went into a dish is the person who made it!” If you are the cook, and you are starting with known ingredients, then and only then can you know that you are totally safe.

Although the next chapter offers information on how to eat in a restaurant, it never possible to be 100% certain that you are really getting what you asked for. I have had reactions after eating only plain buffalo and a plain uncut baked potato in a restaurant. This means that something was not plain! Most restaurants cater to normal customers and are staffed by healthy people who taste what they serve and possibly cannot believe that anyone would want meat as dry as some buffalo. I suspect that they shop around until they find “buffalo” that is more tender, and that they thus inadvertently purchase meat which has been larded with beef or pork fat. Or perhaps it is marinated or otherwise chemically tenderized without the knowledge of the staff member who assures you that it is plain.

In addition, if you find a restaurant that is special-diet-aware, you cannot relax your diligence. You must remind them every time of exactly what you need. A restaurant that is good today may not be good tomorrow. Staff turnover may occur, and the restaurant is only as good as its weakest employee.

A final important reason for everyone – even the healthy and wealthy – to cook for themselves most of the time is the prevention of illness. Usually the food borne illnesses acquired in restaurants are mild. However, some of the most allergic people I talk to developed food allergies after a bout with a parasitic disease. These people are often allergic to chemicals as well as foods, must live in isolation, and have little hope of ever recovering even partially. With global travel and immigration, you do not have to visit a Third World country to contract a parasite. The world and its parasites will come to you.

It is estimated that 80% of people with food allergies suffer from some degree of impairment of hydrochloric acid secretion by their stomach. (James Braly, M.D. in Dr. Braly’s Food Allergy and Nutrition Revolution Keats Publishing, New Haven, CT, 1992, page 73.) In addition to its role in the digestion of food, hydrochloric acid serves to nearly sterilize food before it enters the small intestine. Therefore, due to no or an inadequate level of hydrochloric acid, most people with food allergies have much less defense against parasites and other food borne illnesses than a healthy person.

I do not eat anything in a restaurant that is not cooked just before serving and served piping hot because my food allergies were probably triggered by a parasitic infection. I never left the country, but I did eat in restaurants where I had no control over the hand-washing habits of the employees, some of whom were undoubtedly from parts of the world where the parasite I contracted is endemic and is carried by almost every member of the population without major ill effects.

Restaurant employees are not the only possible contributors to food borne infections. If you eat at a salad bar, you have no control over what other diners might have put into the salad fixings before you got there. Recent scares with E. coli on pre-washed table-ready fresh vegetables implicated a very reputable organic farming corporation. You cannot be too safe with your food. At our house produce which will be eaten raw is decontaminated by soaking in a sink full of water plus Nutribiotic™. For more on eating out safely and about safe food handling practices at home, see Allergy and Celiac Diets With Ease.

In addition to microbial food safety, ingredient control, and strict kitchen food separation habits to eliminate gluten or allergen contamination of foods, there are other food health issues which are beyond the scope of this book. They include pesticides on food and genetically engineering of foods which may introduce a gene from a food to which you are allergic into a food that appears to be one of your safe foods. (For more information about this, see Chemical-Free Kids: The Organic Sequel). The best way to control exposure to these factors is to shop carefully and cook for yourself most of the time.

Eating out when you are on a special diet is like flying. If what you eat is likely to be safe from infectious organisms (i.e. freshly prepared, thoroughly cooked, and served piping hot), you have celiac disease but no other intolerances, and you are eating at a restaurant awarded three stars by the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program (described in the book) at a less-busy time of day, it is like flying in a commercial aircraft – likely to be safe. If you have multiple food allergies or eat unsafe foods, eating out can be like flying a glider near the Rocky Mountains where there are unpredictable updrafts. Although it is fun and relaxing to eat out occasionally if your diet and budget allow, it is best for your health to cook at home most of the time. The less often you fly (or eat out), the less likely you are to crash (have a reaction or contract a food borne illness). Cooking for yourself routinely is not as difficult or time consuming as you may think. Allergy and Celiac Diets With Ease will show you how to do it more easily.

Recommended by Experts:

This book is a treasure! Having it in the kitchen is like having your best friend stop by to chat and share her experiences. Clearly Nickie has been around the block with special diets in her own family and knows what she is talking about. Her ideas and suggestions are both practical (money, time, and energy saving) and creative. I especially liked her section on oven dinners – entrées, side dishes, and even desserts. That’s what I call “getting it together”! The amazing thing is how good everything tastes!

- Marjorie H. Jones, B.S, R.N.
- Author of The Allergy Self-Help Cookbook
and The Yeast Connection Cookbook

With this book you can benefit from Nickie’s vast experience to quickly gain information that it would take years to gather on your own. The money-saving advice, sources for commercially prepared foods and many easy recipes should go far to reducing the stress of a difficult diet.

- Ann Fisk, B.S, R.N.
- Founder of An Ounce of Prevention

 

Disclaimer
The information contained in this website is merely intended to communicate material which is helpful and educational to the reader. It is not intended to replace medical diagnosis or treatment, but rather to provide information and recipes which may be helpful in implementing a diet and program prescribed by your doctor. Please consult your physician for medical advice before changing your diet.

There are no warranties which extend beyond the educational nature of this website. Therefore, we shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person with respect to any loss or damage alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly, by the information contained in this website.

Copyright 2011 by Allergy Adapt, Inc. The books from which this website was excerpted copyrighted in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.