Allergy Friendly Pad Thai

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Allergy-Friendly Pad Thai

(Gluten-Free and Top 8 Allergen-Free)

Serves 2

Pad Thai used to be one of my favorite foods, until my allergies to fish, shellfish, and wheat blew up. In fact, in its traditional form, this is one of the world’s most allergenic foods since it contains wheat/gluten, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs, and peanuts.

Not one to be daunted, I decided it was time to conquer this amazing dish, and make it allergy-friendly for us Thai food lovers with food allergies.

This recipe serves two, which is the recommended way to make Pad Thai because cooking a larger batch will make for mushy, clumpy noodles. If you want to double the recipe, you will need to cook the sauce a bit longer than 20 minutes to reduce it, and you will need to cook the Pad Thai in two batches for best results.

Sauce Ingredients

½ cup beef broth [allergy-friendly brand such as KITCHEN BASICS]

½ cup low-sodium chicken broth [allergy-friendly brand such as KITCHEN BASICS]

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

¼ tsp Chinese five-spice powder [try Spicely Organics, which are allergy-friendly]

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tbsp tamarind paste

3 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar

½ tsp Sriracha hot sauce (optional)

 

Main Ingredients

4 oz rice stick (pad Thai noodles)

2 tbsp canola oil

8 oz chicken breast, or pork, or beef, sliced into ¼-inch thick strips, seasoned with a little salt

1 cup chopped green onion, white and green parts divided

3 cloves finely minced garlic (1 tbsp)

1 1/3 cups bean sprouts, divided

½ cup roasted sunflower seeds, chopped, divided

¼ cup chopped cilantro

½ cup carrots, shredded or cut into match sticks

lime wedges

1. Combine beef broth, chicken broth, garlic, and Chinese five-spice powder in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Now add salt, lemon juice and lime juice, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered 20 minutes until reduced to ¼ cup. Strain broth through a strainer or fine sieve, using the back of a spoon to push garlic juices through.

2. Return to the pot, add tamarind paste, palm sugar and Sriracha (if using). Stir over low heat, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Put noodles in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over noodles to cover completely. Use tongs to stir noodles a couple times. Let soak 4 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cool water. Set aside.

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4. Heat a non-stick or well seasoned wok over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the canola oil and heat until almost smoking, swirl around wok, then add the chicken.  Cook, stirring often, about 3 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

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5. Add the remaining tablespoon of canola oil to the wok. Add ½ cup of the green onions and the garlic to the wok, and cook stirring about 10-15 seconds. Do not burn the garlic.

6. Add remaining ingredients in the following order, and toss after each addition: noodles, 3 tablespoons of the sauce, chicken, 1 cup of the bean sprouts, and ¼ cup of the sunflower seeds. Season with a little salt. Toss everything until heated through but no longer than 1-2 minutes. Using two utensils will make tossing a lot easier!

7. Transfer to a serving platter and serve garnished with the remaining ½ cup of green onions, cilantro, the remaining 1/3 cup of bean sprouts, the carrots, the remaining ¼ cup of sunflower seeds, and a few lime wedges.

Pad Thai Tips

• While making your sauce, prep all your other ingredients except the noodles.

• “Chopping” sunflower seeds: Put the seeds in a ziplock bag and bang a few times with a rolling pin or a mallet. Attempting to chop these seeds with a knife is a losing battle.

• To mix evenly and cook through, use two large spatulas or spoons to toss the Pad Thai as you’re cooking it.

• Read the recipe through before making it, so you are ready to add ingredients to the wok quickly.

Allergy-Friendly Pad Thai © 2013 by Cybele Pascal

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

Gluten Free Chicken Vegetable Yakitori

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Gluten-Free Chicken Vegetable Yakitori

(Gluten-Free and Top 8 Allergen-Free)

Serves 4 as a main, 6 as an appetizer

Yakitori is traditional Japanese street food. These tasty grilled skewers are usually dependent on soy and wheat/gluten for their flavorful marinade, but this allergy-friendly version is made with coconut amino acids instead for a gluten-free, soy-free savory, sweet, and tangy sauce.

The skewers are great for dinner, but also good party food, as they are easy to pass and require no utensils! I like making them with wooden or bamboo skewers, but they can also be made with metal skewers.

Marinade

6 tbsp coconut amino acids

2 cloves garlic, finely minced, or pressed

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

2 tbsp brown sugar

3 tbsp dry sherry

3 tbsp mirin

Ingredients

1½ lbs boneless chicken breast, cubed into 1-inch pieces

6 green onions, white and green parts, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces

1 red bell pepper cut into 1-inch pieces

8 ounces small white button mushrooms (halved, or even quartered if larger than 1 ½ inches) trimmed and wiped clean (don’t rinse)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

finishedproductyakitori1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well to dissolve brown sugar. Transfer to a small saucepan, using a rubber spatula to scrape out all sauce from the bowl.

2. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, decrease heat to medium-low and keep at a slow simmer for 18 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and let cool to room temp. (Or place in refrigerator to cool).

3. Combine sauce with chicken in a large bowl, tossing well to coat the chicken. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator 2 hours.

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4. Meanwhile, this is a good time to prep your vegetables.

5. In the final hour of marinating the chicken, soak wooden or bamboo skewers in cool water. You will need about 10 skewers if you are using 10-inch skewers, and 16 if using 8-inch skewers.

6. Thread chicken and vegetables onto the skewers, starting with peppers, alternating chicken and vegetables. Don’t pack too tight. Reserve the remaining marinade to baste the skewers while grilling.

7. Brush skewers with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper, flip, sprinkle other side.

8. Preheat grill to medium. Oil the grill well.

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9. Add skewers, baste with reserved marinade.

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10. Cook for 4 minutes, flip skewers. baste again, and cook 4 minutes. Continue cooking, turning to brown on all sides and until chicken is cooked through, about 16 minutes total. Keep an eye on them, as they need to be turned often. Transfer to a platter and serve warm.

 

Gluten-Free Chicken Vegetable Yakitori © 2013 by Cybele Pascal

This recipe first appeared in the Spring 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.