Fruit Kebabs with Allergy Friendly Creamy Strawberry Dip

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 Fruit Kebobs with Creamy Strawberry Dip

 

Serves 4 to 6

Free of: gluten and all top allergens

 

No picnic is complete without watermelon. But why not jazz it up with some additional fruit on highly portable skewers? Add a little allergy-friendly strawberry vegan dip, and bingo – kid-friendly picnic food!  As an added bonus, my boys like to help me make this treat. Or better yet, to make it for me!  It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow, and I’m putting in a request. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

 

½ cup sliced strawberries

8 oz (¾ cup) plain vegan cream cheese (use Daiya for soy-free)

6 oz plain vegan yogurt (I like So Delicious coconut milk yogurt)

2 tbsp honey, agave nectar or maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

6 cups fruit, such as cubed watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries and grapes

Wooden or bamboo skewers

 

1. Puree sliced strawberries in a blender.

2. Place the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and whip with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add yogurt, honey and vanilla, and mix until smooth and creamy. Add strawberry puree and mix until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. Meanwhile, thread fruit onto skewers, alternating, as you go. Serve skewers alongside dip.

Fruit Kebabs with Creamy Strawberry Dip © 2013 by Cybele Pascal

This recipe first appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of Allergic Living Magazine

 

 

Allergy Friendly Lemonade Cake

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Allergy-Friendly Lemonade Cake

 

Makes 12 ample servings

Free of: gluten and all top allergens

 

Tart, sweet and the perfect finish to a summer meal, get ready to fall in love with this old-fashioned cake.  It can be made a day in advance and lasts for several days, covered at room temperature, but good luck keeping it around that long!

 

Ingredients

¼ cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

½ cup plain rice milk

¼ cup + 2 tbsp vanilla vegan yogurt (I like So Delicious coconut milk yogurt)

1½ tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp lemon zest

2¼ cups Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend or my Basic Gluten-Free Mix

¾ tsp xanthan gum

1⅛ tsp double-acting baking powder

1⅛ tsp baking soda

1⅛ tsp salt

1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar

½ cup + 1 tbsp dairy-free soy-free shortening

2¼ tsp vanilla extract

3½ tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 4½ tbsp plain rice milk

1 recipe Lemonade Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)

 

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Generously grease a 9×13-inch pan with shortening.

2.  Combine lemonade concentrate, rice milk, yogurt and vinegar in a small bowl.  Add zest, and set aside.

3. Measure flour mix by spooning flour into a dry measuring cup, then leveling it off with a straightedge. Whisk flour mix with xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

4. Add sugar and shortening to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add vanilla and egg replacer mixture. Mix on medium speed 1 minute more.

5. Sift the flour mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer in three batches, alternating with the lemonade mixture, mixing after each addition to combine. Transfer batter to the prepared pan, and use an offset spatula to even out.

7. Bake in center of oven 20 minutes until the cake is starting to pull away from sides of pan, top is a lovely golden color, and a skewer or toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

8. Let cool completely in pan on a cooling rack. Spread with frosting using an offset spatula.

 

Lemonade Buttercream Frosting

 

Makes enough to frost one 9×13-inch cake

Free of: gluten and all top allergens

 

¾ cup dairy-free soy-free shortening

Pinch of salt

¾ pound confectioners’ sugar (2¼ cup + 3 tbsp)

¼ cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

¾ tsp vanilla extract

¾ tsp lemon zest

 

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream shortening and salt on medium speed for 2 minutes.

2. Add sugar in three batches, beating after each addition. It will be crumbly. Add lemonade concentrate, vanilla and zest. Beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

 

Allergy-Friendly Lemonade Cake © 2013 by Cybele Pascal

This recipe first appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of Allergic Living Magazine

Allergy Friendly Thanksgiving Tips

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Rockwell-Thanksgiving-218x300-1Delicious, Allergen-Free Turkey Day

On Thanksgiving, we gather and we eat for upwards of four hours, all the way from pre-dinner snacks to post-dessert dessert. But a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is literally one of the most allergen-laden meals possible.Whether this is your first allergen-free Thanksgiving or your twentieth, the following tips will help make it festive, mouthwateringly delicious, and safe.

Talking Turkey:

Did you know that many fresh and frozen turkeys contain hidden allergens? Most conventional, “self-basted” turkeys have been injected with butter, water and salt, and may also contain gluten. If you’re going to go the conventional turkey route, always verify ingredients with the manufacturer before purchasing. A safer option is a “Natural” turkey, which hasn’t been treated with any artificial colors or flavor enhancing ingredients. Look for “Organic” natural turkeys at websites like Local Harvest, or stores like Whole Foods.

Another good option: natural “Kosher” turkey. Guaranteed to have no dairy injected, the benefit of a Kosher turkey is that it has already been salted, and thus doesn’t need brining. I recommend Empire, the taste test winner selected by Cook’s Illustrated Magazine. Empire turkeys are also gluten-free. If you’re a die-hard foodie, take the adventurous (albeit, most expensive) route and look for a “Heritage” turkey, which is one of the pre-World War II breeds of turkey, like Narragansett and Bourbon Red. Slow Food has a great listing of independent farmers raising Heritage turkeys, state by state. Looking for something similar to what our forefathers might have eaten? Save yourself the hunt, check out D’Artagnan, to purchase a wild bird.

Last, to keep your turkey allergen-free, baste with olive oil. There is no need for butter, and in fact I prefer turkey with olive oil.

Savory Side Dishes:

Make baked sweet potato and potato dishes using canola oil instead of butter, and orange juice or rice milk instead of milk or cream. I prefer yams/sweet potatoes without marshmallows, but if like them, look for Allerenergy marshmallows, or try vegan brands like VeganSweets, made without eggs or gelatin, but be forewarned that they contain the allergen SOY. Instead of plain rice, mix and match with old world gluten-free grains like quinoa, millet, brown rice, wild rice, and buckwheat. All of these combine well with legumes like lentils or chickpeas, and are wonderful when enhanced with fresh herbs like thyme and sage. Dip into the plentiful array of winter squash available this time of year–not just butternut and acorn, but delicatared kuri, and sweet dumplings. For an allergy-friendly stuffing, check out my Cornbread Wild Mushroom Stuffing Recipe.

Gravy can be made with olive oil instead of butter, and alternate flours, such as brown rice flour for thickening, instead of traditional wheat flour. See my recipe for Allergy-Friendly Gravy below.

Try making roast brussel sprouts this year instead of drenching them in butter or hollandaise sauce. To roast, cook at 450 degrees on a baking tray, tossed in olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt and pepper, for 25 minutes, shaking once or twice until a crispy golden brown on the outside, and tender on the inside.

For cranberry sauce, omit walnuts (tree nuts), and use thinly sliced tangerines or mandarin oranges, keeping the rind on, to add texture and color.

For Pie, check out my cookbook, The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook for any number of wonderful allergen-free pie, crumble, and crisp recipes, from Pumpkin Pie, to Apple Cranberry Pie. Or see my Allergy-Friendly Sweet Potato Pie recipe, or Cranberry Apple Crisp.

Remember: if you’re only doing a few allergen-free dishes rather than a whole allergy-friendly meal, be aware of cross contamination and cross contact while cooking and serving. Consider labeling dishes with ingredient cards. If the meal is going to be served buffet-style, serve the food allergic person first to avoid cross contamination.

creamgravy-286x300Allergy-Friendly (Gluten-Free) Creamy Gravy

Makes 1 1/4 cups

Gravy is one of those things that everybody loves. Even the thought of gravy can make you smile. In fact, the term gravy, in slang, means happiness, stable goodness, and a state of complacency.Gravy also means cool, okay, and all good, as in “It’s all gravy, baby”. If something is better than gravy, it’s gravy on eggos or gravy on rice. Who doesn’t want some of that coolness poured onto their plate?

But beloved gravy is also highly allergenic. Yup, it’s loaded with no-nos for those with food allergies. Butter (dairy), wheat (gluten), and cream/milk (dairy again). It’s also often chock-full of soy derivatives.So I took on the challenge to convert beloved gravy into something allergy-friendly. Just pour this yummy goodness over rice, potatoes, turkey breast, or do like me, and eat it with a spoon!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup fine brown rice flour

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

pinch of dried thyme

pinch of cayenne pepper

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup warm beef (or chicken or turkey) broth or stock (Kitchen Basics is allergy-friendly)

1/2 cup warm rice milk

 

1. Heat canola oil in heavy pot over medium-high heat.

2. Add brown rice flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, 2 minutes, until golden and aromatic.

3. Add onion powder, pinch of thyme, pinch of cayenne pepper, pinch of salt, and a couple turns of freshly ground pepper. Cook about 1 minute more, stirring.

4. Reduce heat to medium. Using a whisk, whisk in the warm beef broth, in three batches. Whisk vigorously, to smooth out any lumps. Add warm rice milk, whisking, and bring to a simmer. Cook stirring often, until thick and creamy. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Allergy-Friendly, Gluten-Free Creamy Gravy
© 2010 by Cybele Pascal

(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns beforeconsumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.