“Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking” by blogger and food allergy mom, Cybele Pascal, with excellent color photography by Chugrad McAndrews, will quickly become the essential guide for any parent dealing with multiple food allergies who wants to create family-friendly food within 30-minutes. Thanks to recent strides in food manufacturing, our community now has Daiya Cheese, which is used throughout Cybele’s book in the recipes for Chicken Parmesan, Chili Mac, Mac & Cheese, Linguini Vessuvio, Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese, and Broccoli and Cheddar Soup. Sunbutter, a peanut-butter and nut-butter alternative made from sunflower seeds, is used in the Chicken Mole Soft Tacos and Sunbutter Dan Dan Noodles. Cybele successfully creates recipes that are free of gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and sesame. She doesn’t rely on one flavor profile and does an excellent job of giving the food allergy family choices that range from Chinese, to Cuban to traditional American and English fare.
The book is easy to navigate and is broken up into seven sections: Soups and Stews, Pasta and Noodles, Casseroles and Potpies, Chicken and Turkey, Beef, Pork and Lamb, Takeout at Home and Vegan.
Because we deal with coconut allergies, as well as other off-label food allergies, I chose the Chicken Parmesan recipe to test on my family. I used my own version of ‘breadcrumbs’ here in my recipe for fried chicken. My family loved the dish so much I’ve made it three times in one week. I made the red sauce with crushed tomatoes and basil instead of adding the basil to the recipe, and we omitted the Daiya Cheese. The recipe was excellent, I was able to serve it to the entire family (after convincing husband that it wasn’t really ‘fried’) and our daughter really enjoyed it. The cutlets are fried for 3 minutes each side, and after that are finished in the oven, where, if you were using the cheese you could place the sauce and melt the Daiya Cheese on top. I used the leftover red sauce as a pizza sauce a few nights later.
Cybele lists extensive product brands in her resources section and gives substitution information on several of her recipes. Additionally, one of my favorite things is on the back page of her book – measurement conversions. One note on Cybele’s note, most traditional mole recipes used in restaurants contain wheat/gluten as they’re made with crackers and/or stale bread.
I will be doing a book giveaway within the next few weeks – please check back soon for instructions on how to enter for a free copy of this book.
Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking: 30 minute meals without gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and sesame
by Cybele Pascal
Photography by Chugrad McAndrews
Published by Ten Speed Press