Solving Allergy Free Food Boredom

Recently, my wife commented on how great my cooking is, and how nice it has been to have so many different dishes with such a limited number of foods.  She asked me how many chicken recipes I thought we had with our limited available ingredients, and after naming about 25 dishes off of the top of our heads, we decided to challenge ourselves to write out at least 25 FPIES safe chicken recipes.  Then, I thought I’d do the same for pork, turkey, beef, rice, quinoa, beans, fish, etc.

But what does it mean for a recipe to be “allergy free”?  Technically, it would mean that it avoids the allergies that you have.  Alternatively, it could be considered any recipe that avoids the common allergens.  Since I don’t know what allergies each person who reads this blog may have, by allergy free I suppose I mean my recipes are allergy friendly.

My strategy in making recipes allergy friendly is to:

  1. Use minimum ingredients
  2. Use non-processed foods and ingredients – easy to identify and substitute allergens
  3. Offer suggestions for substitutes

Also, since the primary readership for this blog are concerned with managing FPIES, a non Ige allergy, my recipes focus on avoiding proteins and assume foods like oil, without protein, are safe.  As you read through these lists, please provide feedback or new recipe suggestions in the comments.  I’d love to make each of these lists 100 recipes long.

Balsamic Honey Sauteed Chicken Breast

This is another easy one, but with it’s robust and unique flavors always a welcome dish to give variety to your family’s meals.

Recipe: Balsamic Honey Sauteed Chicken Breast

Summary: With just a few basic ingredients, an impressive meal in minutes.

Ingredients

  1. 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  2. 2-3 Chicken breasts (medium-small thickness, slice if necessary)
  3. Seasoning (as always, I prefer Goya Adoba), salt and pepper are perfect
  4. 1 Med-large sliced onion
  5. 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
  7. 1/2 tbsp honey

Recipe

  1. Heat olive oil over med-high heat in large skillet
  2. Season both sides of chicken breasts
  3. Once skillet hot, but not smoking, add chick breasts so that they do not touch sides or eachother
  4. Let cook uncovered for approximately 5 minutes
  5. Flip and continue to cook uncovered another 4 minutes
  6. Remove from pan and set on plate then cover wth aluminum foil to keep warm
  7. Add sliced onion to skillet with about 1/2 tsp salt
  8. Stir constantly
  9. Add minced garlic, stirring
  10. Once translucent, turn heat slightly higher and add balsamic
  11. Stir for about 3-5 minutes to continue to caramelize onions
  12. Reduce to low, and stir a minute
  13. Add cooked chicken breasts with juices and cover
  14. Cook about 4 minutes, until center of breasts no longer pink when cut.

Notes:

Serve with corn on the cob, sweet potato, baked potato, peas, broccoli, or any vegetable

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

Rating:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © Dayce Schrieber.
Recipe by EverydayICook.com.

My Personal Food Intolerances

I started this blog to help my wife and kids through my kids’ food intolerances, or FPIES food triggers.  It helped me keep track of recipe substitutions that worked when I figured out how to make something with alternative ingredients.

So, I usually write about my kids FPIES food triggers and what we’ve gone through to diagnose and manage FPIES.  Today, I felt like reflecting on my own food intolerances.

While methodically introducing foods and monitoring our children’s reactions, I also discovered that I have many of the same food intolerances as my kids.  This shouldn’t have been as surprising as it was.  I suppose the reason it was surprising was because I always felt like me, until I pulled out certain foods for an extended period of time and suddenly felt like a much better me:

  • More comfortable
  • Eczema cleared up
  • More energetic
  • Less gassy
  • Cleared up sinuses
  • No more stomach discomfort
  • and more

Luckily, my reactions aren’t severe, but they are uncomfortable and make me quite tired.  My reactions to wheat are different for different forms, as follows:

Wheat reactions

  • White bread – No reaction when eaten infrequently and in moderate quantities, such as a sandwich once a week, or so
  • Sourdough bread – Bad reaction.  Upsets my stomach almost immediately and lasts for an hour or more
  • Beer – another bad reaction.  I can tolerate 1 or two but only once every couple of months…usually I go a lot longer.
  • 100% Whole Wheat Bread – Bad reaction.  I haven’t had this in quite a while

Worst = Soy + Egg

I had known for quite a while, since we determined our first son’s FPIES trigger foods, that one of my worst intolerances was soy and egg.  Well, since I’m on the topic of eating those foods I cannot tolerate, I thought I’d mention what I discovered to be the worst reaction I could have.

This had been something I had experienced numerous times when I was a child, but had no idea why.  I am very happy for us that we have figured out our children’s food sensitivities and FPIES, so that they won’t ever have to endure that inexplicable pain.

 

Food Intolerance Day

Today I celebrated the several of the foods that my bod cannot tolerate…by eating them.  I don’t know why I do this to myself. But once every few months, or so, I have a day where I just go overboard.  Well, today I really did it, and earned myself my own room for the night.  Scratch that.  I earned my own floor for the night.  Yes, I’ll be sleeping on the first floor living room.

Gluten Intolerance – Two Violations

1) It started with bagel day at the office.  Every friday, our company provides free bagels to its employees.  I treat that I would have welcomed in my twenties when I was completely ignorant of my wheat intolerance.  Most weeks I ignore the tempting fresh baked goods, but today I just said figured “what the hell, I’ll tolerate a little discomfort for a couple of hours for a fresh baked bagel today.”

2) Later, even though I brought some lunch with me to work and planned to make my usual salad and avocado, I couldn’t decline the invitation to join my department in having some authentic South Philly pizza from Lorenzo’s.  That’s when the real carnage occurred.  I put down half a pie, i.e. 4 slices.  To give those of you not familiar with Lorenzo’s Pizza in South Philly, I’ll take a picture next time, but suffice it to say the diameter of the pie matched the width of the conference table in our company’s board room.  Each slice was as long as my arm.

Dairy, Peanut and Egg Intolerance

I was great at dinner.  Had more of the crock pot shredded chicken I made the other day, with some rice. But afterwards, I needed to polish of the remainder of a delicious Haagan Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream.  As a bonus for my stomach, it contains egg yolk.

Recently, I was the recipient of some tasty chinese take out.  I ate a moderately large portion of pork fried rice and some type of chicken.  The rice, was fried with soy and egg.  Within 30 minutes I found myself curled up in the fetal position on the couch writhing in pain.

So, I’m reflecting on how I let myself over do it so much.  Except for the pizza, everything was moderate.  I am able to consciously decide to not eat these foods and decide to eat them in limited quantities.  But, I think when pizza is actually in my hands and on my palate, I am incapable of deciding to stop.  They key is for my friends to never make more than two slices of pizza available to me because clearly I cannot do that when in the moment.

Allergy Free Sautéed Chicken Breast

Sautéed chicken breasted is ablittle tricky to pull off even though it seems like it should be so basic.  Once you’ve got it, you will have a multitude of recipes at your fingertips to make it easier to manage FPIES or other allergy free diets.

This is a basic recipe that can be taken in a lot of different directions.

Tips:

  • Size matters:  thinner cuts of breasted are
  • easier to cook.  Cut your breasts across the middle to make two thinner breasts if you like.
  • Thick and juicy chicken breasts: if you really want plump breasts that are not dry then the trick is to brown them on both sides in oil or butter then cook low tightly covered.

USE THE FOND

The fond is those brown bits that stick to the pan when you’ve finished cookingbthe chicken. This is your base for a delicious sauce or gravy.

DEGLAZE the pan.  The first thing you need to do is get that fond off the skillet. You can do this with a little more fat (olive oil or butter) and onion. You could do this with various vegetables and vinegar or wine or broth or stock.  Whatever you use, it should be something where you can see the bottom of the pan when stirring so that you know you are picking up the fond instead of sdding to it and hiring it

Ingredients

  • Vegetables for sauteing: medium onion, pepper, zucchini, celery, carrot, etc.
  • 2 or 3 Chicken breasts (only as much as your skillet can hold without the breasts touching)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (I prefer Goya Adoba seasoning)

Recipe for thin breasts

  1. Chop or prep vegetables
  2. Flatten breasts or cut crosswise to make thinner breasts
  3. Heat olive oil in skillet to medium high
  4. Season one side of each breasted and place in skillet seasoned side down
  5. Season other side while on skillet
  6. Cook uncovered about 5 minutes and turn once
  7. Cook uncovered another 5 minutes  and transfer to plate (cover with aluminum foil)
  8. Toss in vegetables, add oil if needed
  9. Stir constantly from this point on
  10. Salt and season (maybe just pepper or get creative with lemon, marinated arctichokes, sales, etc.)
  11. Optional: set heat to high, let heat up and splash with broth, wine, balsamic vinegar

I could keep going with options but want to keep this simple.  Below are the dishes that could result from this just by changing the vegetables, seasoning and liqid you use:

  • Basic Sauted chicken breast with carmelized onion
  • Lemon pepper chicken breast with celery
  • Balsamic honey chicken breast (just use onions and stir in honey at the end)
  • Salsa chicken
  • Herbed chicken breast

Let me know what you think of this recipe by leaving a comment below.

Click here for EverydayICook’s index of allergy free chicken recipes.