To Top it Off….

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Since my last post was about pumpkin pie, I thought it would only be right that the next post be about what to top that delicious pie with!

Before I post my suggestions for delectable whipped topping alternatives, I want to caution you about ‘non dairy’ whipped toppings, such as Cool Whip or the store brand version of the same.

Put simply: DON’T EAT THEM! RUN! RUN FAR AWAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!

Why? Because the package lies. They are not ‘non dairy’.

They contain the evil casein, a protein derived from milk!

And that, my friends, will make you sick.

But don’t be discouraged! Because we have some great alternatives!

Rich’s Whipped Topping – So it’s filled with all kinds of things that must be chemicals and just a little bit of soy lecithin. But it doesn’t contain any dairy, so it’s all good! Hey, once a year (or twice…..or multiple times if you get into the habit of topping your morning coffee with it. But. that. is. all. I swear!) though, you can justify chemical fillers. Right? You will, because this stuff is amazing.

Canned Coconut Milk – I only recommend this is you are a fan of coconut. If you are, this is your baby. And it’s quite easy to prepare! Simply place a can of coconut milk in the fridge for at least one hour. DO NOT SHAKE THE CAN! Open can with a can opener (not a can punch, but take the entire lid off). Next, scoop out the solid coconut, discarding the liquid. In a bowl, blend together a small splash of vanilla extract, your choice of sweetener in whatever amount you normally use for whipping cream and the solid coconut. Blend with an electric mixer until thickened, much like heavy whipping cream. A Magic Bullet works real well with this recipe, whipping it up in seconds.

Rice Whip – This product is much like your traditional canned whipped cream. While it is very tasty, it can also be very expensive. But, hey! It’s the holidays! Splurge! And while no one is looking, you can be a little kid again and spray the stuff right into your mouth. Go on. You know you want to.

Goat Milk – For real. For those of you fortunate enough to tolerate goat milk, you can prepare whipping cream from evaporated goat milk.

Cashew Whipped Cream (I am not making this up. I’ve had a similar recipe and it’s darn good!)

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked 1 hour, drained
  • 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup water, as needed

Combine cashews, agave, vanilla and salt in a food processor; with blade running, puree and gradually add water to machine. Puree in spurts, stopping to scrape down sides with a spatula or long spoon. Add enough water to make a smooth cream consistency. If using as a piping cream, use only ¼ cup water, and chill before using.

So, there you have it! You can have your pie and your whipping cream too!

Ain’t life grand?

Happy Holidays!

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Meanwhile, back on the ranch….

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Missing your fave salad dressing?

If you’re a ranch dressing fan and unable to have eggs or dairy, chances are your salads haven’t exactly been exciting.

But now you can break out the party hats, thanks to the good folks over at Follow Your Heart.

For a yummy allergy-free version of ranch, all you need is one jar of this:

And then follow these steps for a beautiful dressing:

Allergy Free Ranch Dressing

1. Empty the contents of the 16 oz jar into a bowl.

2. Add 1 tsp dill, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp salt and good amount of pepper (cracked is the best).

3. Add a little filtered water until it reaches your desired ‘dressing’ consistency.

4. Put the whole yummy blend back into the jar. Now you have a ranch dressing that is healthy, tasty and allergy free!

(Don’t forget to stir the contents each time you use your dressing as the ingredients will separate.)

Yes, it’s that simple.

Happy Salad Days!

Alfredo Sauce Without the Dairy? But of Course!

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This recipe comes from an original post (June of 2012) at my old blog home.

So, I cannot take all the credit for this scrumptious dish as it was my hubby (coincidentally, also a scrumptious dish!) who actually came up with the idea and made the first batch we ever ate.

But the following is my own rendition that I made for HIM!

Turn about is fair play, as far as I’m concerned.

If you’re not a seafood fan, I won’t pretend to understand you, but you can leave the seafood out.

Simply serve with any other meat you would like to be involved in this Alfredo relationship.

Or if you’re vegan (I…cannot comprehend, but, hey! We’re all food freaks here and respect each others weird, freaky food issues.), just serve it all by itself or with your favorite veggies.

But the recipe is my traditional one. So that means we must begin with the bacon.

Such as:

Fry up half the package in a skillet.

Remove and drain on a towel when the bacon is nice and crispy. When it is cool, crumble it all up.

Drain *most* of the grease and reserve just enough to saute’ mushrooms.

I guess I should warn you at this point that this recipe is in no way, shape or form low fat or pretending to be.

Next, add your mushrooms to all that bacony goodness.

I guess I should also make the disclaimer that while I own a really nice camera, I think I was in just too much of a hurry to fiddle with all the settings and used my crummy phone camera instead. Either that, or I just skipped editing. Either way, we got the pics and that’s all that matters.

Then, add about 1/2 cup of burgundy cooking wine to the skillet. This is optional for those who either cannot tolerate the ingredients or just don’t realize that whatever alcohol is in the cooking wine simply cooks off  anyway, leaving just its awesome flavor behind.

Chop up some green onions and throw them in there too. Do not cover the skillet at any time. Let those shrooms absorb as much of that liquid as possible. And stir up those bacony bits into it also.

The next part is your choice of meats.  Since I was making this for my hubby, he requested shrimp, crawfish, (which he affectionately refers to as ‘sea bugs’. Nice.) bacon and ham.

An important step is to always rinse, thaw and drain any frozen seafood first. Otherwise you will have a big mess of liquids you did not want in your Alfredo.

You may add any other protein you may want here at this point.

Saute’ all the meats (except for the draining bacon) until they are heated through and/or cooked. I also added ham (Hormel Naturals).

Drain off any liquid (toss it!) and transfer the meats/shrooms/onions and bacon into a bowl.

Cover the bowl with foil to keep the meat warm.

Next, you will need an Original Unsweetened milk (almond, hazelnut, etc).

Also, you will need Earth Balance spread and one package of Daiya cheese.

Melt 1/4 cup Earth Balance in the skillet with one to two cloves of minced garlic and a shake or two of pepper.

Next, add 1 1/2 cups of the almond milk. Heat for a few minutes on medium heat.

Then add the entire package of Daiya. See how liquidy it is? Never fear! It will thicken. I promise.

Now it is the waiting game. You will need to stir, stir, stir your milky, cheesy, Earth Balancy mess. I use a slotted spatula so I can squish all the cheese down as it melts and scrape the bottom of the skillet. Keep it on medium heat.

Keep stirring until the mixture thickens.

At this point, turn your heat down to medium low (or low if your range runs hot) just so that the cheesy mixture bubbles. Your cheese will be almost melted.

Once the cheese is melted, add your meats back to the sauce.

Sorry it’s not a Food Network worthy picture. I prefer reality here.

Keep it on low until ready to serve, stirring every few minutes.

Cook up some allergy free pasta….

….and serve your yummy sauce right on top of it.

And then leave a comment telling me of your undying love for me.

Here is the quick run down of ingredients:

Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance Spread
  • 1 1/2 cups Original Unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Package Daiya Mozzarella Shreds
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • Pepper

Meats and Such for the Sauce

  • 1/2 package allergy free bacon (such as Hormel Naturals)
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup cooking wine

Any amount of the following:

  • Green onions
  • Crawfish, thawed
  • Shrimp, thawed
  • Diced Ham (such as Hormel Naturals)

Happy Eating Cheesy Things Again!

Pizza and Allergies: Compatible? You bet!

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One of the first things I thought when the verdict of my food allergy panel was read was, “Pizza! How will I live without PIZZA?”

Well, I did. For a while.

And then desperation won out.

At the time, my boys had to be completely free of yeast in their diet and I was limiting it in my own diet as well.

Also, at the time, Daiya had not yet been invented.

So it really goes without saying that pizza was not much fun back in the day.

But now, thanks to Daiya, and limited introduction of yeast back into our diets, I can enjoy a pizza that rivals any parlor dish out there.

And no one would ever know it is allergy free:

Now, see that guy in the foreground there? See him? He’s the imposter. (He also doesn’t have any pizza sauce on him since I had run out of tomato paste. But that’s okay. He was a tasty little imposter anyway.)

The one in the background is the real deal, except for the fact that his crust is gluten free.

But no one would ever know that about him. He’s that good of an impersonator.

Ummmm….WHY am I referring to these pizzas as living beings?

I have no clue.

Let’s just move on with the recipes, shall we?

Alrighty then.

Here are the two crust versions (one with yeast and one without):

Pizza Crust – No gluten, dairy, soy, egg, yeast or corn

  • 1 cup GF flour
  • 1/3 cup milk (cow or unsweetened alternatives or water works well)
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 (or a little bit more) tsp salt
  • If desired, sprinkle in a little bit of garlic powder and crushed, dried herbs

Combine all ingredients with a mixer and knead for just a few seconds.

On a slightly greased stone or oiled pizza pan (I highly recommend the stone), with slightly oiled hands, press the dough into a pizza crust shape.  Pre-bake for ten minutes at 425.

Remove from oven and top with your choice of toppings. Return entire pizza to oven for another ten minutes or until toppings are ready.

Pizza Crust – No gluten, dairy, soy, egg or corn

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 Tb yeast
  • 1 Tb sugar or alternative sweetener
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 2 cups or more GF flour

Measure yeast into a large bowl and cover with warm water. Stir.

Next add the sugar and stir the mixture. Let sit for two minutes.

Add the salt and oil, then stir.

Gradually add the flour, mixing with a mixer. You may need to add just a little bit more flour until the dough is no longer sticky.

With oiled hands, press the dough onto a slightly oiled pizza stone (recommended) or an oiled pizza pan.

Pre-bake for ten minutes at 425. Remove from oven and top with toppings. Return entire pizza to oven for another ten minutes or until toppings are baked to your desire.

For a homemade pizza sauce, simply blend the following ingredients together in a sauce pot:

  •  12 oz  plain tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup cooking wine (optional, but it really makes the sauce.)
  • 1-2 tsp crushed oregano
  • 1-2 tsp crushed basil
  • 1 or 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • Water to desired consistency*

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pot. Stir over medium low heat, adding water to desired consistency.

*Since tomato paste tends to be real ‘bitey’ , if you prefer your sauce to have a milder flavor, use thin, plain tomato sauce in place of the water. It will tame your sauce.

 

Happy Pizza Parties!

Just Ducky! (Sorry. What a dumb title.)

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Duck eggs.

What can be said but…..thank you?

Thank you, ducks of the world. Thank you duck farmers of the Gem State. Thank you to the person who discovered that if you’re allergic to chicken eggs, the chances are good that you can eat duck eggs.

Just *tears* thank you.

My chicken egg allergy was confirmed through an IgG food allergy test. I already knew I was allergic, but didn’t want to accept the fact. Every time I ate chicken eggs (grocery store, farm fresh…it didn’t matter) my face and arms would break out in an itchy, water filled rash. Nice. So I. just. knew.

So for the last hundred thousand years I have lived without my favorites:

  • Omelettes
  • Crepes
  • Souffles
  • Eggs over easy
  • Scrambled eggs
  • French toast
  • Baked goods that don’t get on the crumbly side
  • Pumpkin pie that isn’t flat
  • Egg dumplings for soup
  • Homemade bagels
  • That super yummy breakfast casserole

But those wonderful ducks changed it all.

I’m told that the protein in a duck egg is entirely different from the protein in the chicken egg, which is why those allergic to one can eat the other. Most of the time. Unless you have an allergy to the duck egg protein. After which you may want to try goose eggs. That was my next step if the duck eggs didn’t fly.

Get it? Didn’t *fly*?

Anyway.

You can find all kinds of different websites by googling about duck eggs. There is a wealth of information out there, including sites about how to raise your own ducks for laying. I’m still toying with that one.

I found where to buy them locally by googling ‘duck eggs’ and my state and city. They can be quite expensive (usually four to six dollars per dozen), but they are worth every penny. Rumor has it that ducks do not lay year round, but I am told that one can ‘stock up’ by simply cracking an egg into a freezer safe bag and they will keep frozen for up to six months.

Also, since they are larger than chicken eggs, if a recipe calls for two eggs, I simply use just one.

So if you have a chicken egg allergy, don’t lose hope!

You may just be able to have scrambled eggs with your bacon once again!

Happy Egg Hunting!

DUCK!!!!

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I ate some of the above this morning.

So far, I have not died.

Or broke out in a rash.

Or developed a sore throat.

They were actually quite tasty. I would have never known they came from different fowl than chickens if they were just served up without announcements.

I’ll keep you posted on the outcome.

I’m so excited at the prospect of bringing eggs back into my life that I would do backhandsprings if I could.

 

Happy New Discoveries!