Allergy-Friendly Food for Families
author: from the editors of kiwi (the bi-monthly magazine)
publisher: Andrews McMeel
soft cover: 240 pages
chapters/sections: Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner - Dessert - Snacks - Parties
fun features: Ask the Experts section at the front of the book in which common food-allergy related questions are answered. Fun tips on pages throughout the book such as Easy Ways to Make Any Snack Special, Recycle Your Favorite Foods! Five Ideas for Leftovers, Five Fun Ways to Serve Fruit, and All About Sugar. There are also Cooking with Kids pages tucked here and there with basic techniques and ideas that encourage you to get the kids involved in the kitchen with topics such as Teach Your Child to Melt Chocolate, Teach Your Child to Shape Gnocchi, Teach Your Child How to Juice and Zest a Lime, Teach Your Child to Roll Out Pizza Dough, Teach Your Child How to Bake a Sweet Potato, and Teach Your Child to Frost a Layer Cake.
(a few of the many) recipes destined for my kitchen: brown rice breakfast pudding, frankenstein sweet potatoes, garden wrap-n-rolls, buddha bowls, corn chip-crusted tofu fingers, coconut no-cream pie, sunset pops, spiced carrot fries, black bean brownie bites
my thoughts/review: I consider myself very fortunate that I don't have any food-allergies in my family. As a mother, I can only imagine how scary that must be. That said, over the years, my kids have had friends in class with food-allergies (mostly nut) and so I'm not completely ignorant of the fact that they exist and they are serious. I've found this book to be a fantastic resource in helping me familiarize myself with "options" that I can include when cooking/baking for someone with food allergies. But what's even better, is that this book is filled with food that I would (and will) make anyway because it sounds and looks great.
It is also filled with fantastic tips, suggestions, and advice. It includes a section in the back of the book entitled Building a Natural, Allergy-Free Pantry that lists a number of things you can keep in your pantry with allergy-free cooking in mind. The majority of these things are basics that I already keep in my pantry such as dried beans and legumes, grains, fats, and dried fruits, nuts, and seeds. But also included are ingredients that may not normally be in a house that isn't required to think about food-allergies on a regular basis such as Xanthan Gum, Sorghum flour, and gluten-free oats.
Although there are more food-allergies out there, this book focuses on the five most common food allergens - gluten, dairy, nuts, eggs, and soy. Each recipe page has bold, colorful markers down the side indicating which allergens the recipe is free of (labeled with gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, egg-free). Many recipes include "options" in which easy substitutions are listed to make it safe for a particular allergen. Another great thing is that aside from the regular Index in the back of the book, there is also a Recipe Index by Allergen so that you can easily scroll through and find the recipes safe for a particular type of food-allergy.
I've tried two recipes so far, but don't plan on stopping there. I can't wait to explore some of these new-to-me styles of recipes. I would recommend this book for any level cook, especially one cooking with and for children, and those concerned with food-allergies (of these 5 varieties), or just someone who likes good food, educating themselves on this subject, and being prepared (because you never know).
recipe(s) I have already tried:
|Banana Chocolate Shakeroo|
Crispy Cheese Bites w/ Bean Salsa
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Keywords: bake appetizer cheese snack gluten-free nut-free soy-free vegetarian cheese beans
Ingredients (serves 6)
- ½ lb. Monterey Jack cheese, sliced ⅛" thick
- 1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
- ¼ c. diced white onion
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
- pinch crushed red chile flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- freshly squeezed lime juice
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.
Line the cheese slices up on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about an inch or so in between each.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is golden-brown all over with crispy edges.
While the cheese is baking, stir together all of the ingredients for the bean salsa (salt, pepper, olive oil, and lime juice to taste).
When cheese is done, use a thin spatula to remove it to a tray lined with a couple layers of paper toweling to absorb any excess fat.
When cool, serve crispy cheese bites with bean salsa.
adapted from Allergy-Friendly Food for Families
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*I received a free copy of this book to review from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% mine.
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