GFCF Recipes

GFCF Recipes

2.28.2006

Eggless recipes


How do you cook without eggs? As long as you can tolerate potato, this is the answer. Ener-G makes an egg replacer powder that can be used in most recipes. It's not a sub for fried eggs or scrambled eggs. It's to be used as a sub in recipes, like cakes, cookies, etc. All you do is mix a little powder with water, stir and add. I've used it and it works well. And, one box goes a long way. I buy this at a local food co-op, but I imagine it's also available at Whole Foods, etc. You can also order it online at Ener-G's website.

2.26.2006

Fufu 4 u

Here's another experiment that I'll be trying in March. Fufu flour is a specialty flour made either from cassava or plantains. The box shown at the left is made by Tropiway and contains cassava and elephant's ear plant tubers. This may seem strange to you and me but it's standard in Africa and parts of South America. You can find it at an Asian or Latin American grocery. I paid $3.45 for the box. Fufu really is like a dumpling and served with a meal. It's also very simple to make. So, I plan to try variations. Like, could it become the base for a pancake mix? What about rolls? Could I use it to make a gravy mix? What about a bisquick-type mixture? Lots of possibilities. I'll update on my successes and failures.

2.24.2006

Got milk?



People with dairy allergies or on a casein-free diet, like many autistic children, can't drink milk. But there are alternatives.

Many people drink soy milk (like WestSoy or Silk) or almond milk (Almond Breeze). You can easily find these, even at regular supermarkets. If not, try Whole Foods or a food co-op (find a local one here).

However, soy and nuts also are common allergens, meaning many food allergy sufferers cannot turn to these options. Don't worry, there are other alternatives.

-- A good one is rice milk and Imagine Foods' drinks are common on store shelves. WestSoy also makes a rice milk. People intolerant of gluten should know that Imagine Foods' Rice Dream is made using a process that exposes it to gluten. Some people do not react to this, while others say they do.

-- Another option is Darifree, by Vance's Foods. This is potato-based -- no soy, no rice, no gluten. It's harder to find and comes in a powder. You can order it at the company's website. My younger daughter cannot have rice, so I have used Darifree in recipes.

2.23.2006

French fry lawsuits

Thought I'd update the McDonald's fries issue, since I think this is just going to grow.

Anger sizzles over seasoning used in McDonald's fries

By Lylah M. Alphonse,
Globe Staff February 22, 2006

Kathleen Fischbach's 6-year-old son, Andy,
has autism as well as celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder triggered by
gluten, the protein found in wheat and many other grains. He is also sensitive
to casein, a dairy protein. On his strict gluten- and casein-free diet, known as
GFCF, anything with wheat or dairy in it -- bread, pasta, cheese, almost all
fast food -- is off limits. But McDonald's french fries were a ''safe"
treat.
Not any more.
As news broke last week that the fast-food giant has
been using wheat and dairy ingredients to flavor its fries for years, people in
the celiac and autistic communities were up in arms. As of Friday, at least
three lawsuits had been filed against McDonald's. For those with celiac disease,
even a trace of gluten can lead to severe intestinal damage; for many autistic
children, gluten and casein cause hyperactive behavior and a host of
gastrointestinal problems.
''Parents of children on the GFCF diet drive
themselves nuts checking and rechecking every ingredient in every item they
buy," says Nicole GuBrath of Colorado Springs, Colo., whose 5-year-old son has
been on the diet for about three years. ''I am furious that McDonald's was able
to lie for so long and poison our children with known allergens when we work so
hard to keep them away."
Lynne Monnett, who grew up in the Boston area, lives
with her husband and six children in Central Florida. All of them suffer from
celiac disease, and they used to stop at McDonald's for french fries. ''My
children have various food allergies in addition to celiac, and they've been
increasing instead of decreasing," she says. ''McDonald's fries were one item
they were always allowed to have, that we thought was safe.
''My life and my
childrens' lives were unnecessarily toyed with," Monnett says. ''And I'm pretty
upset about it."
McDonald's acknowledged on Feb. 13 that a seasoning agent
containing beef, wheat, and dairy ingredients -- previously listed as ''natural
flavor" -- is added to the oil at the factory where the potatoes are precooked
by the supplier. McDonald's director of global nutrition Cathy Kapica told the
Associated Press that the supplier removes all wheat and dairy proteins from the
flavoring. ''Technically, there are no allergens in there," she said.
The
disclosure was in response to new rules by the Food and Drug Administration for
the packaged foods industry, including one that requires that the presence of
common allergens -- including milk, eggs, wheat, fish, and peanuts -- be
reported. Because it is a restaurant, McDonald's does not have to comply with
the new regulations but is doing so voluntarily.
''We knew there were always
wheat and dairy derivatives in there, but they were not the protein component,"
Kapica said. Those who have eaten the french fries in the past without an
adverse reaction should be able to continue to do so, she said.
Nonetheless,
McDonald's early this month removed the fries from its list of gluten-free
offerings.
Fischbach, who lives in Minneapolis, says she caught wind of the
change the day after the Super Bowl -- which was also the day after she had
taken her son to McDonald's. She contacted the company, based in Oak Brook,
Ill., to see if the rumors were true. ''I called three times," she says, ''I
spoke with three different people and got three different answers."
On
Friday, Debra Moffatt of Lombard, Ill., who has celiac disease, filed a lawsuit
in Cook County Circuit Court accusing McDonald's of misleading the public. The
lawsuit seeks class-action status. McDonald's Corp. senior vice president Jack
Daly said in a statement that the company has not yet reviewed the case, but is
testing its french fries for gluten through a food allergy research program at
the University of Nebraska.
Also on Friday, Mark and Theresa Chimiak of
Juptier, Fla., sued McDonald's, claiming that their 5-year-old daughter has a
gluten intolerance. Nadia Sugich of Los Angeles filed a suit on Wednesday since
she is a vegan and would not have eaten the french fries if she had known they
contained dairy products.
In 2001, several lawsuits were filed after
McDonald's confirmed that it had used beef tallow to season its fries since the
early 1990s, even though McDonald's told consumers the fries were vegetarian.
Others would consider joining class-action suits. ''I think the thing that makes
me the most angry is that they promoted the fries as gluten free," says GuBrath,
whose 4-year-old son has been on a GFCF diet for years. ''I would like to see
[McDonald's] give a substantial donation to autism and celiac causes."
Lylah
M. Alphonse can be reached at alphonse@globe.com.

2.22.2006

It'za nightmare

Here's another restaurant nightmare.

This time it's Pizza Hut and the story comes from NOTmilk (website: http://notmilk.com & newsletter: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/notmilk/.

Got Pizza Hut? Got Silicone!Once upon a time, it used to be a beautiful day
inthe neighborhood...that no longer applies to theworld of 2006.Good morning,
boys and girls. Can you say:Polydimethylsiloxane?Polydimethylsiloxane is a
substance that is manufactured byDow Chemical and is primarily used in
food-manufacturingfactories as a de-foaming agent for commercial
boilers.Polydimethylsiloxane is not approved for use as a foodadditive, yet,
Pizza Hut is using this silicone-basedchemical as a stabilizer for cheese on its
patentedpizza products. Some of those pizzas go directly to yourchild's schools
and are served at lunchtime.In order to preserve their frozen pizzas, Pizza
Hutclaims that their silicon emulsifier is a necessarypreservative and
emulsifier.Although the package does not list its own secret formula,it does
list "other additives" under the guise of this patent:Patent # 4894245A review
of the United States Patent Office website confirmsthis story that was first
reported on page 5 of the February,2006 issue of Pete Hardin's "Milkweed." The
actual patent:http://tinyurl.com/7d6t8The
following is included in the online patent:"A silicone emulsifier (Dow Corning
FG-10) is mixed with waterto form a 0.05% emulsifier solution. This solution is
sprayedon the frozen cheese granules at a rate of 1.75 parts ofsolution per 100
parts by weight of cheese."Our children are eating silicon in school
cafeterias.Silicon is not an approved substance for human consumption.Neither is
Polydimethylsiloxane, or formaldehyde whichresults as a byproduct when frozen
silicone-sprayed pizzais subjected to heat. Polydimethylsiloxane breaks down
intoformaldehyde when subjected to heat in excess of 150 degreescentigrade.
As guardians for all children, should we continue allowingschool kids to naively
ingest silicone and formaldehyde?How dangerous is formaldehyde? The National
Cancer Institutereports:"Formaldehyde has been classified as a human
carcinogen(cancer-causing substance) by the International Agency forResearch on
Cancer and as a probable human carcinogen by theU.S. Environmental Protection
Agency." Write a letter to your local school board. The healthof our children is in great jeopardy.http://themilkweed.com/Current.htmRobert
Cohenhttp://www.notmilk.com/

McDonald's gluten fries

I'm going to post a copy of an article just written on the McDonald's fiasco regarding the dairy and wheat in its french fries that it had not disclosed to the public. This is very disturbing. My daughters cannot eat wheat or dairy and have serious reactions to both. McDonald's claimed its fries were clear of both allergens. My family has spent countless hours trying to figure out why my daughters were breaking out with rashes, getting sick, etc. We ruled out the fries based on the company's info. I'm also concerned about the type of oil the fries are cooked in. I believe, based on seeing the oil firsthand, that it contains soy, which the company does not disclose. Here's the article:

Fury At Milk And Wheat In McDonalds' French Fries

20 Feb 2006 -- When McDonalds serves its French Fries, everyone believes
they contain just potatoes and cooking oil - even people who are vegan (eat no
animal product at all) or allergic to wheat. We trust the company and believe
everything they say. Because that is what they have been saying - that their
fries are gluten-free. It has been revealed that McDonald's fries do contain an
animal product - Milk. They also contain wheat. There are thousands and
thousands of people around the world who are allergic to wheat (mainly because
of the gluten in wheat). Surely, out of respect for people who get ill when
consuming wheat, the company could have let us know that wheat and milk were
being added to its French Fries. So far, three people in the USA are suing
McDonald's because of this. Debra Moffatt, from Chicago, has celiac disease. She
cannot consume gluten, which is present in wheat. If she consumes wheat she
experiences serious gastrointestinal problems. Mark and Theresa Chimiak have a
5-year-old girl who is gluten-intolerant. The little girl, Annalise, became
seriously ill after eating French fries in McDonalds. Mark and Theresa, from
Florida, are also suing McDonald's. Nadia Sugich, a vegan, is also suing
McDonald's. Vegans do not eat any animal products at all (vegetarians include
dairy and eggs in their diet, vegans don't). Had she known the product contained
milk she would not have touched them. What many people find incredible is that
McDonald's claimed its fries were free of gluten and milk. It has just added in
its web site that its fries do, in fact, contain wheat and milk ingredients -
now that people are starting to take it to court. What is the consumer to do if
claims made by fast food centers are completely untrue? How can a parent protect
a child if that child has a serious allergy? One minute they claim something is
not present, then they say it is after lawyers start saying they are going to be
sued. Now, McDonald's Vice-President is saying that wheat and milk were added to
enhance the flavour of the French Fries. There is nothing wrong with that. What
is wrong is not telling people about it. Even worse, is telling people there is
no gluten in a product when there is - that is dangerous. Apparently, there is a
third ingredient we knew nothing about in McDonald's French fries - a trans fat.
Here are some comments from our readers:“I am vegan. I have eaten their
vegetable burger with fries for many years. I will never do it again. I really
hope their vegetable burgers were animal free.” “I really do not know where to
take my children any more. I thought these companies had to work under certain
rules - rules laid down to protect the public.” “I cannot believe they would
deliberately add a potentially dangerous ingredient and still claim their
product is free of it. I cannot eat gluten, I get very ill if I do. Each time I
go out to eat now, I am going to feel uneasy.”

Written by: Christian Nordqvist Editor: Medical News Today


2.20.2006

Snowflake fries

Yep, the lotus root worked. I promised to update how some of my potato alternatives worked and I'm happy to report that the lotus root was successful (see my previous post, "Potato or potato," from 2-17-06). The lotus root, as you can see from the photo, has air chambers, giving it a pinwheel or "snowflake" shape if sliced. So, I decided to fry some and call them snowflake french fries. The lotus root is easy to work with. You cut off the ends, slice it like a potato and then cut as you desire. Most people stir fry them, enjoying them as a crunchy addition to their meals. I may try that next time. Frying is trickier because they cook quickly and it's easy to overcook. I fried in a pan set at medium-high for about 4 min. each side, thinly sliced. Actually, I turned them when I could see the edges starting to brown. You want that tan-brown color rather than the deep brown. Add some sea salt and ketchup.

2.17.2006

Potato or Potato?

So, I've been on a mad quest to find alternatives to potatoes for my daughters' diets. The reason is one cannot eat rice due to an intolerance. They can handle quinoa 1x or 2x a week, but no more. One's very fussy about the gfcf breads I've tried -- so, no stuffing. And, due to the rice intolerance and a corn intolerance, standard noodles aren't an option either (we are trying some Asian noodles now -- tapioca, sweet potato, etc. -- and I'll post more on that later).

The kids just can't eat potatoes everyday. One, I'm afraid they will build up an intolerance to the potatoes if they eat it 3x a day. And two, I don't want to get stuck on a food. Thus, my search for potato alternatives.

I've found some and am in the middle of experimenting. I thought I'd share.


Taro root: found this at the Asian grocery. You peel this, plunge in cold water, boil, and then slice thinly, dice or cut into sticks to cook. I fried these like french fries and the kids didn't notice the difference. Yep, it worked. These are a little tricky to handle. I've read they can irritate the skin while handling in the pre-cooked stage, so I wore plastic gloves. No rash. Also, they tend to get sticky when they cool. I served these warm so I didn't encounter that problem either. I don't know if it would make much difference though if I had prepared mashed taro root. I plan to try it. I paid $1.49/lb for these.

Malanga: have not found this yet, but 2 local Asian grocers carry it. From what I've read, this may be the most promising as it closely resembles a potato, without the fussiness of the taro root. I'll let you know when I get them. Also, priced at $1.49/lb.

  • Lotus root: I just bought a few of these to try but have not yet cooked them. I believe these have "air chambers" in the middle, so if you were to slice one, it might appear like a snowflake. I'm hoping the fun snowflake appearance of these entices my kids, or that I can mash them. I'll be experimenting this week. Also found at the Asian grocery at $1.49/lb.

Plantains: a restaurant owner I came across in the Asian market told me about these starchy vegetables. These also look promising and might be sold in an Asian or Latin American grocery. I've also seen them in big cans at the Latin American grocery.

Yucca: The same restaurant owner also suggested yucca, which is very similar to potato. These are sold at both Asian and Latin American markets.

So, I'll post again as I experiment and discover which ones work and what doesn't work.

Quinoa stuffing


I was involved in a message board discussion yesterday and today at GFCFrecipes about how to get more protein in a child's diet if they're picky about meats. One way is to introduce the quinoa or amaranth grains into the diet -- if you can find a good recipe for the child. I haven't mastered amaranth yet, but I do make a quinoa recipe that the kids love. It's called "broccoli circles." This is from my posting:

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup quinoa grain
  • 1 cup broth -- I use homemade chicken broth.
  • 1 cup water
  • margarine -- I use ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 3-6 celery stalks (depends on preference - I use 3)
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper (I skip this)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes

Now, bring water and broth to boil. Add quinoa. Bring to boil. Cookover medium heat for 12 minutes OR until quinoa has absorbed all theliquid. (When cooked, quinoa will "pop" open, thus creating the "circles.") In a skillet, melt the margarine or ghee, cook chopped onion and celery about 10 minutes. (I dice the celery in smaller pieces) In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, onion mix and the spices.

I got this recipe from Bob's Red Mill's website. It says you can use this to stuff a turkey. However, my kids used to love eating broccoli pieces but cannot anymore because of one daughter's food intolerance. When this recipe cooks, the parsley pieces sticking to the celery gives the appearance of broccoli. When the kids saw it, they called it broccoli and then they saw the quinoa and said, "circles." So, "broccoli circles."

2.16.2006

The co-op shop

So I've talked a lot about good products to use in cooking special meals. Here's a good way to find these foods and others in your neck of the woods. Find a food co-op in your area by using the Co-op Directory Service, an online guide that lists food co-ops in each state. You'll find it at http://www.coopdirectory.org/.

At most co-ops, you'll pay an annual or quarterly fee to join the co-op. That entitles you to a discount, say 2 percent for example, on all purchases. At many co-ops, you can by products in bulk and save much more. At mine, I save 20 percent on bulk purchases, which is one way I can afford to buy special foods for my girls on a tight budget. I'll post more later about the other places I shop and find good deals. If money is not a problem for you, shop at Whole Foods all you want. If I shopped there for everything, I'd go broke.

2.14.2006

Gee, Ghee!


Ever hear of ghee? What about clarified butter? Well, that's what ghee is. It's essentially butter without the dairy. It's very popular in Indian cooking and can be found at an Indian grocer. I also find it at my local food co-op.

I think ghee is best used to saute. It holds up well in the pan, unlike other fake margarines. It smells great, too. And, it's gluten-free, dairy-free (casein-free), hormone free, non-hydrogenated, free of transfatty acids and salt free. So, for us folks on strict diets due to allergies and other medical resaons, this stuff really fills a cooking void.

The only downside to ghee is that it really isn't a spread. It's actually very hard. And, I don't think it has much taste. My kids don't have much alternative, so I melt some ghee and brush it on a roll or bread for them.

I buy Purity Farms brand ghee for about $10.

2.13.2006

Breading


So, what can you use for a good breading if you can't eat gluten -- anything with wheat, which means any common flours. Also, my kids can't handle corn yet -- too hard to digest. So, I found this stuff. It's called manioc flour and it's made from the yucca plant and very common in other parts of the world. I'm told it's as common to a South American household as pancake mix is to us. The flour is a little grainy, just like corn meal is. I mix this with a lighter flour, like tapioca or chickpea, some onion powder and sea salt. I found this in a local Mexican/South American grocery in our city. If I couldn't get it there, I'd also look in our Asian market, then even the ethnic section of our local supermarket (even talk with the manager there), or lastly ask the local food co-op if they can special order it. The bag wasn't expensive. I think maybe $2.

2.12.2006

Fake rice


Since one daughter has an intolerance to rice, I've tried to find a substitute. She really liked rice, even more than potatoes. I've tried quinoa (keen-wah) and amaranth, which a lot of people turn to. Quinoa is OK -- it's much different than rice and certainly doesn't look like it. But, my daughter liked one recipe I tried (I'll post "broccoli circles" later). Amaranth is much different than either rice or quinoa. It's very sticky and small. Maybe good for a hot cereal mix but not mock rice. After much trying, I've found my answer: white sorghum. Yep. Maybe you've heard of sorghum flour. This is the grain. I found the grain in a local asian grocery. A 2 lb. bag cost just $2. It looks like a round rice, which is what I called it in front of my kids. The sorghum I bought is "white sorghum," so it's even colored like rice. You soak the sorghum overnight. Then, cook it like you would regular rice. I make mine with homemade chicken broth, sea salt and chopped onion. The kids love it. They renamed it "big rice," because it puffs up a little bit in cooking. I think you still have to watch your kids for intolerances. Sorghum can cause reactions similar to corn. I'm still monitoring my one daughter for such a reaction -- rash. You can also look for this in your local health store or CO-OP. I've also found it sold online through flour mills in the midwest, where sorghum is grown everywhere.

2.11.2006

Fake bacon

That's right. Fake bacon. Believe it or not there is a way to cook fake bacon and your kids will like it. And, you'll save money in the process. I should start by telling you why I did this. Between my two daughters -- ages 4 and 2 -- they're allergic/intolerant to gluten, dairy (casein), rice, cabbage family, peas, beans, soy, corn, tomatoes, chocolate, pineapple and a few others. We limit the bad stuff too -- like preservatives, hormones, etc. And, bacon can cost more than $4 a pound, especially the healthier brands, like Applegate Farms. So, I buy kosher hot dogs -- Best's Kosher does not have soy (Hebrew National does). And, I buy it in bulk at a local restaurant supply store in our city's wholesale district. I'll bet your city has one too. So, I get the hot dogs at about half price of retail (about $2 a pack rather than $4). So, take a hot dog, slice it down the middle lengthwise. With each slice, slice it again lengthwise about 3-4 times, making long slivers of hot dog. Bunch them together and then cut them up into small diced pieces, like bacon bits. Toss them in a pan to cook for a few minutes. There -- bacon pieces. I add diced potato that's already been cooked and salted. I call it "bacon taties." They eat it for breakfast a couple of times a week. I know -- the recipe is overly simple. But, finding things for my kids to eat that they actually like is tricky. I know you know what I mean.

Hello

I know there are a lot of people out there with food allergies. And I know there are a lot of parents out there wondering how to feed children with food allergies. I'm in that boat. Two daughters with a list of allergies and intolerances that's endless. But, I'm doing it and even finding clever ways to do it on a tight budget. That's why I started this blog. Sharing is crucial. My wife and I got a lot of help from others and we want to do our part. We're not experts, not nutritionists, not doctors. Just parents who've learned a few tricks. So, feel free to jump in anytime to talk about your situation, ask questions, share recipes, etc.