Thursday, February 18, 2010

Allergy-Free Cooking

The sisters of the Coal Creek ward had a delicious and successful night at Shelli’s house eating allergy-free food and learning about Intuitive Cooking techniques from Shelli’s friend, Natural Cookery chef Maia Dalton, who taught us about improvisational, proportion-based cooking that allows you to be creative and use what’s in your pantry and fridge, rather than being a slave to a recipe and fretting when you’re missing an ingredient or two. The technique she taught tonight is called the Grain Marinade. See the red quinoa salad below to get an idea.

Here are the notes from her presentation:

The primary food elements are Grain, Vegetables, and Protein.
Supporting Elements are:
--Cooking oil, which protects food from heat, carries flavor (spices) and adds substance (to sauces, for instance)
--Cooking Liquid (such as vinegar), which adds flavor

--Herbs/Spices (lemon or lime zest, fresh or dried herbs/spices), which add flavor

--Salt, which reflects the flavors you have to create harmony and creates one taste. Salt opens cell walls and allows flavors to blend. If used correctly, you can use less.
--Salty liquid: (such as soy sauce), which adds flavor while salting.

The Marinade Method
-build the dish in your serving bowl
You want 3/4 to 1 Inch of marinade for any bowl that you plan to fill with grain and vegetables.

Your marinade should be composed of 1 part oil to 5 parts cooking liquid (example: 1 part olive oil, 5 parts red wine vinegar and fresh lemon juice).

Taste your marinade with just cooking oil and vinegar, then, with the flavors still on your tongue, smell your spices to decode what will work well. Add your spices.

Salt to Fit—if you taste your marinade after you’ve salted and you still taste the disparate elements, add more salt. The perfect amount of salt will harmonize the flavors. Use REAL salt. Iodized salt is a processed food and will not function or taste like real salt does.

Fill the remainder of the bowl half with veggies, half with grain or pasta.

Resources that Maia recommends:
Nourishing Traditions -Sally Fallon
Intuitive Cooking -Joann Saltzman  (class information)  For local grass fed meat and raw dairy products

In the meantime the sisters had prepared dishes that avoid one or more of the top 8 food allergens identified by the FDA: dairy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish and shellfish. Each recipe below is labeled with which allergens it DOES contain, since everyone did such a great job of avoiding most of them!

FAST FRUIT COBBLER (contains dairy)


1/4 cup butter

1 1/2 C gluten-free Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix

1 1/4 cup fruit juice (add water to complete measure if necessary)

1 cup honey

2 (28 oz) cans of fruit (or less, if you don't want as much fruit)

1 tsp. cinnamon

(Recommended:  canned fruits such as apricots, apples, blueberries, cherries or peaches.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Drain fruit and save juice.  Melt butter in bottom of 9x13 dish.  Place fruit on bottom of dish over butter.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.  Combine baking mix, fruit juice and honey and mix well.  Pour mixture over fruit.  Bake for 35 - 45 minutes or until light brown.  Serves 12 - 16. 


CHICKEN SCAMPI (contains no allergens from the list)



8 ounces Gluten Free Pasta

2 tablespoons Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil

1 1/2 teaspoons Wildtree Scampi Blend

2 chicken breasts cut into small bite size pieces

2 tablespoons Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil

1 teaspoon Wildtree Scampi Blend

Dry white wine (optional)


Cook the pasta using the package directions; drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid. Combine 2 tablespoons Natural Grapeseed Oil and 11/2 teaspoons Scampi Blend in a cold skillet and mix well. Add the chicken and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken is done, turning often. Remove the chicken to a bowl using a slotted spoon and keep warm.
Add 2 tablespoons Natural Grapeseed Oil and 1 teaspoon Scampi Blend to the liquid in the skillet. Add the pasta and cook over low heat until the liquid is absorbed, adding the reserved pasta liquid or dry white wine if the pasta seems too dry. Combine the pasta and chicken in a bowl and serve immediately.





In this recipe soy milk, olive oil and margarine replace the butter, while silken tofu and cornstarch replace the eggs.

3/4 C olive oil

2 C sugar

4 oz. (about 1/2 C) silken tofu

1 1/2 C + 2 Tbs soy milk

2 tsp vanilla

2 C all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

2 Tbs cornstarch

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 C cocoa powder


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place olive oil, sugar and tofu in your blender or food processor and blend for 2-3 minutes. In the meantime mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add milk and vanilla to the oil-tofu mixture and blend until combined.

Pour liquid into large mixing bowl, add dry ingredients and beat until well mixed. Pour into two greased 9-in. round pans, or one greased 9x13 in. pan. Bake 25-30 minutes for round pans, and 30-35 for 9x13. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.


Dark chocolate frosting

1 C dairy-free, non-hydrogenated margarine, such as Earth Balance

4 C powdered sugar

4-6 Tbs soy milk

2 tsp vanilla

2-3 oz unsweetened dark chocolate, melted

2 Tbs corn syrup


Blend margarine and powdered sugar in food processor until ingredients begin to come together. While processing, add vanilla and corn syrup, then soy milk in a steady stream until the desired consistency is reached. Transfer frosting to bowl and beat in melted dark chocolate.


MILLET PILAF (contains no allergens from the list)


4 slices bacon

1 medium apple, cored and chopped

1/8 tsp ground ginger

2 1/2 C chicken broth

1 C uncooked millet

1 green pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

Toast millet in a large skillet over medium heat for five minutes, shaking regularly, until it is fragrant. In the meantime, cook bacon in a large pot until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon, reserving fat in pot. Crumble bacon and reserve.
Add onion, bell pepper, apple and millet to fat and sauté about 5 minutes or until onion is crisp-tender.
Stir in chicken broth and ginger. Heat to boiling; reduce heat.
Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until millet is tender.
Sprinkle with reserved bacon.


RED QUINOA SALAD (contains no allergens from the list)


Recipe Sketch Grain Marinade

Grain.  Red quinoa
1st stage: Boil (1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, boil about 30 minutes or until water is absorbed). Rinse and set aside.

2nd stage: marinade
1 part Oil: olive
Herb/spice: lemon zest and sage
5 parts Cooking Liquid: lemon juice, apple cider vinegar
Vegetables: red onion, red pepper, cucumber
Salt: Earth Salt.

FUDGE BROWNIES (contains gluten, soy)



2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups soymilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Frost with Pillsbury chocolate fudge frosting, which is egg- and dairy-free.


CHOP SUEY (contains soy)



QUINOA BLACK BEAN SALAD (contains no allergens from the list)


Cook white quinoa, 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water plus salt, for about 30 minutes or until water is absorbed. You can add frozen vegetables at the end, which will already be soft, or add vegetables part-way through the cooking process. Add black beans and spices after quinoa is cooked.




*This recipe yields 1 serving (so double, triple or quadruple it for your family) and is about 300 calories.*
4 oz. boneless chicken breast
2 cups fresh broccoli
3/4 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
3 tsp. lite soy sauce
3 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. onion powder (I use 1 tsp. dried onion flakes instead)
1/2 tsp. olive oil (I use grapeseed oil instead)

Rinse and cut up fresh broccoli.  Rinse chicken and cut into strips.  Heat non-stick wok or large skillet with the oil over med-high heat.  Add chicken strips and cook until lightly browned.  Add broccoli and 1/4 cup water, cooking until broccoli is crisp tender, about 5-6 minutes.  While chicken and broccoli are cooking, combine 1/4 cup water with the rice vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch and onion powder in a small bowl.  Add the soy sauce mixture to chicken and cook 2-3 minutes more until mixture thickens.  Reduce heat, and then stir in pineapple.  Cover and cook about one more minute until all ingredients are heated through.




1 package Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix (which happens to be egg- and dairy-free)

1 can of soda (Krista used Sprite)

Mix ingredients and bake according to cupcake directions on package.


VANILLA POUND CAKE (contains dairy, eggs)


1 ½ C Brown Rice Flour Mix (see below)

2 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

3 large eggs

1C sugar

1C plain whole milk yogurt

1/3 C canola oil

2 tsp. vanilla

Confectioners’ sugar for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350’ F. Grease a 9” Bundt pan

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt in a small bowl. Set aside

3. Beat eggs in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed; gradually add sugar 1 TBL at a time and beat until light colored and thickened.

4. Add flour mixture, yogurt, oil and vanilla extract and beat at medium speed for 30 seconds.

5. Evenly spread batter into Bundt pan. Place in center of oven and bake about 50 minutes. Do not open oven for 45 minutes.

6. Cool cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Carefully remove cake from pan and cool completely on rack. Sift confectioners’ sugar over top.

Chocolate chip pound cake version;

Stir in 2/3 to 3/4C chocolate chips before spreading batter in pan.

Brown Rice Flour Mix

Brown rice flour (extra finely ground) 2 parts 2 Cups 6 Cups

Potato Starch (not flour) 2/3 parts 2/3 Cup 2 Cups

Tapioca flour 1/3 part 1/3 Cup 1 Cup



CRANBERRY CORN BREAD (contains dairy and eggs)


1 C butter, softened

2 C sugar

4 eggs

3 C Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking Mix with Leavening

2 C cornmeal

1 Tbs each baking powder and baking soda

1 tsp salt

3 C buttermilk

2 C cranberries, halved


Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, mix well. Combine with baking mix, cornmeal, baking powder/soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Fold in cranberries. Transfer batter to 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes.


Homemade Yogurt





Yogurt starter (I use yogourmet)

Boil 6-7 cups of milk until it reaches 180 degrees. I usually use whole milk and the amount varies depending on how much you want to make. If you are using a yogurt starter follow the amount recommended on the directions.

Once the milk has reached 180 remove it from the heat.

When it reaches 110 degrees pour out a small amount of milk into a separate small container and mix the milk with the starter. You can use a yogurt start you find at the store or use 2 tablespoons of yogurt you previously made. As you mix you want to be gentle to protect the live cultures.

When dissolved pour mixture back into the rest of mix and carefully stir in.

When dissolved completely pour milk into individual containers to ferment in yogurt maker.

Ferment for 24 hours.

If you don’t have a yogurt maker you can follow this tutorial.


Shelli also recommends this gluten-free recipe:


Linzer Cookies

12 cup unsalted butter or non-dairy alternative (e.g. Earth Balance Buttery Sticks), room temperature

23 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1 large egg

12 cup toasted almonds, ground*

1 12 cups Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour

1 tsp. gluten-free baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

12 tsp. salt

confectioner's sugar for dusting

*Toasting Almonds:
Spread ½ cup raw almonds on an ungreased baking sheet, and toast in an oven preheated to 350 F for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown, aromatic and not burned.

Filling Ingredients:

1 cup fresh or frozen and thawed raspberries

13 - 12 cup seedless raspberry jam


Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add in egg and beat. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients: ground almonds, Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix until thoroughly incorporated. Shape dough into a disc and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or until cold and no longer sticky.

Preheat oven to 375° F (static) or 350° F (convection).

Pull off pieces of cold dough and press into the bottom and up the sides of a large tart pan (9-inch) or 4 small tart pans with removable bottoms. The dough will rise when baked, so keep this layer of dough thin. Prick bottoms with a fork in several places to prevent bubbles from forming in the dough. Bake tart pan(s) for 12 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.

Roll out remaining dough onto a clean surface or baking mat lightly dusted with Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour or cornstarch. Roll to the thickness of a graham cracker - approximately 18 - inch thick. Cut out strips to use as lattice or use small cookie cutters to cut out shapes like hearts, circles, stars, leaves ... if using small tart pans, use miniature cookie cutters; if using one large tart pan, the cutters can be 1 - 3 inches. If making a lattice design, skip this bake step and see below. For cookies, place them onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake in still heated oven for 5-8 minutes, depending on the size of your cookie cutters. Remove cookies once golden brown but not crispy. Set out to cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, spoon jam and berries into a small saucepan and warm over low heat, stirring until thinner and pourable. Once warmed, spoon jam over the centers of each tart, creating a 18 - inch thick layer of jam and berries. If making lattice, weave the design on top of the jam-covered tart. Return tart(s) to still heated oven and bake for another 10-12 minutes for smaller tarts, 20-25 minutes for the larger tart.

Lay cookies on top of the jam in a pattern or random design, then dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.


Note: This recipe may also be used for making Linzer Cookies, by cutting cookies with a larger cutters and cutting one small hole in the center of every other cookie. Bake according to cookie directions above. When cooled, spread each cookie without a hole cut in the center with the raspberry filling; top with a cookie with a hole cut out. Dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.

Copyright 2010 Jules E. Dowler Shepard

She also recommends this website for people dealing with gluten sensitivity:

Monday, February 8, 2010


Please take note, starting in March the cooking club meeting will be held on the SECOND Thursday of each month.