Thursday, August 19, 2010

Food allergies on my mind and coleslaw

I'm always on the look out for recipes that are similar to what is out there at chain or family restaurants, specialty restaurants (like Chinese, Italian or Thai), small homemade eateries, the supermarket or wherever they sell food that looks good that our family member(s) with food allergies can never have. It's always cooked in this or next to that which is an allergy problem. There is never much available for options except for french fries. I'm not kidding it happens too often. Even if we do get lucky at an establishment the situation has to be explained no cross contamination for example I can't just pick out the nut or cheese or no that can't be cooked with butter or peanut oil or what's in the bread. Sometimes the server will bring out the package so I can read the ingredients. In the best of circumstances something can be specially made after the explaination. Usually I throw my hands up and don't bother going out too eat it's not worth the fuss or extensive research for one meal. It's a good thing I like to cook and bake because usually what happens is I can cook or bake that at home.

It doesn't seem fair to me that the kid(s) with the allergy is singled out at mealtime. Also that they get to watch this beautiful food passby that smells good but can't have any. Even the individuals we eat with have make sure hands and mouths are wiped to prevent cross contimanation during play time or kissing on the cheek.

Usually when a family finds out that a child has a food allergy the child is a baby or toddler. The parent learns about epi pens and reading labels and some resources. Sure it's overwhelming but then things change. If a family is lucky the child grows out of it and that's a huge weight that's been lifted. (It's happened with one of our kids.) But for some like myself I have little people that are no longer toddlers but older children and more food passed under their nose of how good it smells but can't have any. I almost miss the toddler and baby years because then it was less obvious in some situations.
Now it's obvious when eating out and at parties, family/friend functions how much more one kid can't have or try. It's disheartening to hear "That looks or smells good. I wish I could try that. I wish I could have cheese it looks good. Am I allergic to this?" That's why I'm always on the look out for recipes and how to take the main stream stuff that the rest us can have and make it allergy friendly and taste good.

Today's post was supposed to be about a coleslaw but I guess had to share what's been on my brain about food allergies in a growing family.

One of the recipes on my radar has been coleslaw. From time to time I find a coleslaw recipe that I like but it is never a hit with the whole family. I've tried them with vinegars & lemon and they were yummy and had no dairy or eggs. But my family really likes the KFC or Popeye's coleslaw which doesn't work for someone who has an egg and dairy allergy. The last recipe I tried seems to be as close as it's going to get to KFC and most of the family liked it. Its modified from Household Ways and tastes just like KFC's coleslaw. We used a Trader Joe's 1 % mayonaise because it has no eggs and soy milk. There is a veganaise out there without dairy or eggs. I should tell you that this does come out watery so you have to scoop it out with a spoon with holes. It may need to be modified again because of that but at least the taste is good.

Dairy-free and Egg-free Coleslaw
1 head of cabbage shredded
about 1/4 cup carrot shredded
2 Tab. minced red onion
1/2 mayonnaise (Trader Joe's reduced fat 1% or veganaise)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
2 1/2 tablespoon. lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 tea.spoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
In a blender or food processor chop coleslaw, carrots and onion till it's minced. This may need to be done in batches. In a bowl mix the rest of the ingredients and then pour over the cabbage. Refrigerate 4-6 hours or overnight. I make this in the morning for dinner. The flavor is really good the longer it sits but it will be watery because of the substitutions.

Enjoy as a side to a meal or just eat with a slice of bread :)


Grace said...

My daughter has a severe milk allergy (has grown out of her others!) and cannot eat wheat. We just don't bother going out to dinner. It is not worth the effort. On the rare occasions we do go out, I have to take her food so I still have to make something!

I envy your love of cooking. The food allergy issues sucked all my enthusiasm for cooking away. I used to enjoy cooking and it relaxed me. Now it is more of a chore. I keep thinking I will love to cook again some day but that day has not come yet!

Funny though, I just made coleslaw for my daughters lunch. We are able to use egg mayo though, making it simpler.

smilinggreenmom said...

I love your post. Our son has had food allergies and intolerances since he was a baby that gave him awful eczema all over his body. It has been a long hard road with not much support from professionals. It seemed like all of his docs were confused and did not have any answers except steroids and potent meds and creams with side effects. We were so frustrated and sad for him because you are does not seem fair and it's heart breaking to see them want some yummy food they cannot have.

We have really changed our lifestyle to adapt to this so we can all eat foods that he can enjoy or I make similar ones for him. I just wanted to share though that we decided to try a children's chewable probiotic called Belly Boost and it has been amazing for him! It has helped him dramatically and not only has his skin really cleared up, but he can now tolerate so many foods that we never thought possible! We do still carry his Epi for allergens, but this has been so incredible for all the other food issues. Maybe this could help you family?

Anyway - wonderful post! I have a "green" mom blog if you ever want to visit! I would love it :)

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