Coping with Food Allergies: Starter Chicken Curry Recipe (Guest Post)


My friend Kristen discovered that her twins were allergic to both eggs and milk products. I sympathized with her when she would tell me the stories about how hard it was. But I never truly understood until I threw my first party that they were invited to when the kids were older. I was going to try to make several things that didn’t have eggs or milk and then I realized….it seemed like everything has eggs and milk in it! I’ve asked Kristen to do a guest posting series for me once a month, sharing tidbits of her story and some recipes that she’s found that not only work well, but taste good. Take it away Kristen…..

Hi Everybody, I apologize for getting this posting together late in the month. It has been an eventful one so far! I have not been feeling very well for some time now, and I am sure my friends and family are weary from hearing me say how tired I am and that I just don’t feel well at all anymore…Blah blah blah. Well I finally went to my primary care physician and had a physical. And thanks to the advice of my friend and her Mom– I requested to have the Dr. order a Celiac Disease panel. Last week I received the results and sure enough that’s what I have! On one hand I am relieved that now I know what is wrong with me, on the other hand now I am worried about my children since Celiac Disease is hereditary… but that is another posting altogether :)

So, now I am embarking on yet another facet of culinary restrictions! I am so thankful to my friend Cassandra who has lent me a great book (and other resources) to help me figure out how to deal with this disease. This book is an easy read and has been very helpful, it’s called The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide by Elisabeth Hasselbeck Co-host of The View. I had no idea that Celiac is actually an autoimmune response to gluten and not an allergy. In a nutshell, the body cannot break down the gluten into the amino acids to digest and the gluten then builds up to toxic levels in the body creating all sorts of havoc if left untreated. Yikes! There is no cure and the only way to combat the disease is with a gluten-free diet.

Basically my challenge is to make tasty food for the family that is milk, egg and now gluten free too. We are still staying away from nuts and fish because of suspected reactions. Not an easy feat! For right now I am practicing making gluten free recipes just for myself and making a separate meal for everybody else. I have already lost 5 lbs! (No, it’s not because my cooking is bad! lol) In light of this news, it was hard for me to decide which recipe I wanted to share with you this month! In the end I decided on one of my more recent favorites–Starter Chicken Curry. This recipe appeared in the Spring 2010 Penzey’s catalog and I have modified it to suit my family’s needs. I like that I can cook it all in just one pot–easy clean up! Even if you haven’t ever had curry, I think you will enjoy this one very much. There is not much heat and the raisins give the dish a nice sweet offset. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!! And yes my kids do enjoy this recipe! I even tweaked it so now it is gluten-free… taa daa…

Starter Chicken Curry (modified from Penzey’s Spring 2010 catalog)

3 boneless, skinless all natural chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

¼ Cup Rice flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground White Rice Flour)

1 Tbs Penzey’s Sweet Curry Powder

½ tsp salt

4 Tbs Extra light olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

½-1 Cup raisins (I like using a full cup)

2/3 Cup uncooked Jasmine rice

3 Cups water (Chicken broth does give a richer flavor but I wanted to cut down on sodium)

½ Cup shredded coconut, optional

1) In a zip-top bag, combine the rice flour, Curry Powder, and salt. Add the chicken pieces and shake evenly to coat.

2) Heat the extra light olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, turning once, until they are browned well.

3) Add the onion, raisins and jasmine rice and stir to blend.

4) Pour in the water (or chicken broth). Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the onions are soft.

5) Top serving with shredded coconut. (I haven’t tried it with the coconut yet but I like to serve it with broccoli. YUM!).

Enjoy!

Thanks for sharing your story and recipe, Kristen! I know a lot of you out there also have to eat a Gluten-Free diet and I am doing what I can to find deals and coupons on those products for you. I’m hoping that you’ll find a good new meal in the recipe that Kristen shared. More to come soon!

Coping with Food Allergies: Egg and Milk Free Cake Recipe (Guest Post)


My friend Kristen discovered that her twins were allergic to both eggs and milk products. I sympathized with her when she would tell me the stories about how hard it was. But I never truly understood until I threw my first party that they were invited to when the kids were older. I was going to try to make several things that didn’t have eggs or milk and then I realized….it seemed like everything has eggs and milk in it! I’ve asked Kristen to do a guest posting series for me once a month, sharing tidbits of her story and some recipes that she’s found that not only work well, but taste good. Take it away Kristen…..

Hi, my name is Kristen and I am the mother of 3 beautiful children–twins Jimmy & Serafina whom just turned 5, and Chloe is almost 3. They are the joys of my life and all 3 have multiple food allergies. Imagine my surprise when it came time to introduce solid foods to my babies and found out they had so many food allergies and restrictions! It turned out that the twins were severely allergic to Milk & Eggs, Fish and Soy were also positive, and the Allergist said not to give them Shellfish, Nuts or Tree nuts either until they turned 3 yrs old. (Chloe is following in her big brother and sister’s footsteps.) I was in complete shock, and panic… What in the world was I going to feed my children?? How was I going to keep them safe from having an anaphylactic reaction? The Allergist did not give me any other advice besides don’t let them eat or come in contact with any of those foods. Oh, and here’s an EpiPen Jr.

I love to bake but I was not prepared to tackle this challenge. And this news pretty much meant we couldn’t go out to eat at restaurants–at least not for a long while. Luckily I found an amazing Pediatric Nutritionist (through the Early Intervention program Child & Family Connections) who helped us so much. She came to the house and helped with new recipes to try while also making sure they were growing and gaining weight. I am forever grateful for her help. She gave me the strength and knowledge to take charge of my children’s special diet with confidence.

When it came time to celebrate birthdays, store bought cake was out of the question as it always has egg in the recipe. So the first time we went to a friend’s birthday party I felt badly because I knew my children really couldn’t eat most of the goodies. But what I decided to do was bake some cupcakes and special goodies to bring so they did not feel left out and the hostess did not have to worry about accommodating their allergies. I did find some acceptable recipes on the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network site, and I experimented with my own recipes too. Turns out most of our friends really like the milk and egg free versions of our homemade creations!

A couple of years ago, my Mom found this Crazy Cake recipe in a newspaper article… Hallelujah!! Finally, a milk and egg free cake that is soooo chocolatey and delicious! This is the only cake my kids ask for now for their birthday. I hope you try it….. my children know you will like it!

Crazy Cake

1 ½ Cups all purpose flour
1 Cup sugar
1/3 unsweetened cocoa powder (I like using Penzey’s Dutch Process Cocoa)
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 Cup cold water
1/3 Cup vegetable oil
1 Tbs distilled white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla (Use a really good one like Penzey’s Mexican vanilla. It won’t taste very good if you use imitation vanilla. Can you tell I like Penzeys ?)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place first 5 ingredients in square 8 x 8 x 2” non-stick metal pan.

Combine 1 cup cold water, oil, vinegar and vanilla in large glass measuring cup.

Pour liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a fork to stir until smooth.

Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

If you don’t want to serve the cake right out of the pan, be sure to grease and dust with cocoa powder your pan of choice and mix your ingredients in a separate bowl. I like to do it this way and
use a whisk instead.

After baking, let cool in the pan at least 20 min. before flipping it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely

If making cupcakes, line cupcake pan with cupcake papers and bake approximately 24 minutes. Makes 12 cupcakes. Cupcakes freeze well. Double the recipe to make a double layer cake. Can be made 1 day ahead. We like to sprinkle powdered sugar on top or use store bought milk free frosting. Enjoy!

A special thank-you to Kristen for sharing her stories and recipes with us. Look for another one from her next month!