Five Best Tips for People with Food Allergies to Travel

Five Best Tips for People With Food Allergies To Travel

Picture of a beautiful beach with ocean waves lapping a sandy beach.
Traveling? Worried about how you are going to eat along the way? The destination is the reward, but how will you enjoy it? Read my five tips.

Since I am on vacation in Maui, HI,  I’ll keep this post brief, but I promise, you’ll still find it entertaining. I am ever the Sensible Celiac, and I am all about making food fun again!

This post is focused mainly on point-to-point travel by airplane and car versus a long road trip or relying on public transportation in rural areas. One of these days, I’ll post more about how I navigated two weeks at Burning Man! But I digress.

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Allium-Free Risotto With Bacon and Lemon Pepper

Did I ever tell you I’m in love with my Instant Pot?

A fast, high pressure cooker is a gift to the person with food allergies or autoimmune disease. But I personally think any home cook would want an Instant Pot to take permanent residence in their kitchens.
A fast, high pressure cooker is a gift to the person with food allergies or autoimmune disease. But I personally think any home cook would want an Instant Pot to take permanent residence in their kitchens.

Many years (and a lifetime ago), I was making risotto for over seven people in the South of France. I had stumbled upon an old cookbook (yes, all in French!), and it was my job to coordinate a meal that everyone would enjoy. Surprise! There was a risotto recipe that accompanied a meat dish, and everyone was eager to eat this meal. Only, I underestimated the cook time for the large amount of rice, and I ended up with a mostly cooked, gloppy mess. After we scraped what we could out of the pot and ate the meal, I  had to clean the pot with a sad little sponge while the others drained the rest of the wine.

Fail.

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Lamb With Tamarind Sauce

Recently, I discovered that my favorite lamb seasoning from Atkins Farms contains dehydrated alliums, so I wanted to create a tasty sauce to accompany lamb loin chops.

American Lamb Board at the 2015 IFBC presented juicy slices of seared lamb for their "Curriculamb" seminar. I couldn't have any of the other lamb dish, as it was not gluten free. What's a Chinese Celiac girl to do?
American Lamb Board at the 2015 IFBC presented juicy slices of seared lamb for their “Curriculamb” seminar. I couldn’t have any of the other lamb dish, as it was not gluten free. What’s a Chinese Celiac girl to do?

Tamarind is a common Asian legume that tastes like a tart fruit; in fact, we commonly refer to it as a fruit. It surprisingly meets my occasional craving for soy sauce, as it has both an umami flavor with a fruity undercurrent. Since I cannot have tamari or Bragg’s Amino (I am also allergic to soy), tamarind was an easy substitute after I had finished a round of being on the Autoimmune Protocol to clear up Leaky Gut.

For those on the AIP, legumes are usually restricted until you are asymptomatic. Work with your healthcare professional or AIP knowledgeable dietician if you would like to see if tamarind can work for you.

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Finding The Sweet Spot

Sugar (bah bah bah bah–bah bah), uh, Honey Honey bah bah bah bah — bah bah), you are my Candy Girl, and you got me wanting you.

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Breakfast parfait, anyone? The Sensible Celiac asked what was in the parfait, and as suspected, she could not partake because of the yoghurt. Read here how to parse the world of food for the food-sensitive or allergic individual. Yes, even at a food blogger conference.

I couldn’t help singing this song by the Archies under my breath as I walked into the ballroom of the Seattle Sheraton Hotel, where the 2015 International Food Bloggers Conference 2015 was just about to have its morning keynote address. Breakfast had already been laid out, and I timed my arrival at about fifteen minutes before the keynote, so I could take a voyeuristic peek at what was served after I had already breakfasted myself at home. This is my usual practice: to not arrive hungry. It is how I roll.

What is it like to be the self-described “Sensible Celiac” behind MyAllergyAdvocate, a website that will be dedicated to the autoimmune disease and food allergy community, and to enter room after room, food and wine receptions, and special breakout sessions… and not be able to eat? Almost all processed gluten-free food does not work for me, and after countless times of getting sick (from mild GI distress to hospitalization), I am healthy and safe when I limit my eating out ventures to what I can carry with me in a bento box.

How do I do attend a conference like this and enjoy myself, you ask?  Well, you find the sweet spot. And then, you bring it home and share it with others.

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Fast Cooked Beef Stew With Slow Cooked Flavor

Have you had Beef Stew made at home in less than 35 minutes, but it tasted like slow-cooked goodness? If not, here's how!
Have you had Beef Stew made at home in less than 35 minutes, but it tasted like slow-cooked goodness? If not, here’s how!

During a visit to my mother’s kitchen, I was surprised to see an old ‘frenemy’: a stove-top pressure cooker. It’s one of those heavy steel monstrosities that require two hands  to lift it when it is full of food and liquid, and a dowel or rolling pin to awkwardly hammer sideways  on the lid to open it after the steam is released. Mom would fill this old pressure cooker with pig’s feet, soy sauce, garlic, and anise, and within the hour, the house would be filled with the rich smell of that licorice anise and soy sauce.

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There Is A Chef’n for That

Nearly a decade ago, I found myself in my mother’s spacious kitchen, doing my best to convince her that now was the time for her to teach me how to make Chinese steamed buns. Baozi (包子) was this heavenly meat and vegetable stuffed “meal in a bun with a bellybutton” that my mother prepared when we anticipated many guests for evening soirees. After rising early to knead the dough, let it rise, and punch it down a time or two, I would watch her roll out hundreds of bun shells in floured stacks, stuff them with pork and cabbage using a pair of chopsticks, and magically never end up with either extra shells nor extra filling! She never measured anything, and to this day, I still think it’s one of her best kept secrets.

No matter how lovely the party, no matter how bright and colorful my mother’s party frocks of the 1970’s could be (and oh, they were bright!), and no matter how many ooh’s and ahh’s and lip-smacking sounds were emitted from the guests, the feeling after the party ended was always the same:

Isn’t there an easier way to do this? 

My mother would declare that it was the last time she would cook like that for so many people. So much chopping! So much punching and kneading and rolling and cutting and stuffing and steaming. And there would be nothing left, not even a measly crumb.

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