Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Flaxeed Mayonnaise from The Allergy-Free Pantry

Mayonnaise has gotten a lot of attention lately, especially non-traditional, egg-free mayonnaise. And it makes perfect sense. There are so many ways to make emulsions that taste great, no eggs required. But did you know that it's easy to make mayonnaise at home? Yes, it's a lot easier than you think!

Of all the recipes in The Allergy-Free Pantry, Flaxseed Mayo is one I am most proud of. This is also one of the recipes that I make most often, and use to make so many other recipes, including Ranch Dressing, Mock Caesar Dressing, and Potato Salad.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! And if flaxseeds aren't your thing, check out my recipe for Aquafaba Mayo, another great recipe invention!

Flaxseed Mayonnaise

Makes 1¼ cups (300 ml)

Because this mayonnaise starts with flaxseeds rather than eggs, it has the benefit of being both healthier and tastier than traditional mayonnaise. Even if you aren’t allergic to eggs, this might just be the best sandwich topping you have ever tried!

Use measuring cups with a spout to measure the oil; this will allow you to pour the oil directly into the container for your blender when making mayonnaise.

2 Flaxseed Eggs (2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds (measured after grinding) or flaxseed meal combined with 6 tablespoons warm water)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Mustard, or ¼ teaspoon ground mustard seed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup (120 ml) organic canola oil
½ cup (60 ml) light olive oil

1. Combine the flaxseed eggs, salt, mustard, and lemon juice in a working glass or the container for your immersion blender, blender, or food processor. Pulse four or five times to combine the ingredients.

2. With the blender running continuously, pour a few drops of canola oil into the container. The slower you pour, the better. The mixture will start to become creamy as emulsification occurs.

3. Continue blending and adding oil in a slow trickle until all of the oil is incorporated; add all of the canola oil first and then the olive oil. If the oil starts to pool on top of the mixture, slide your immersion blender up and down ½ inch, or stop pouring until the oil combines.

4. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week. The mixture will set further as it chills.

To substitute
A single oil or any combination of oils (up to ¾ cup/180 ml total) can be used to make this mayonnaise, with the exception of coconut oil or palm fruit oil (which behave differently). Use less oil for a thinner spread.

Credit line: Recipe from The Allergy-Free Pantry: Make Your Own Staples, Snacks and More Without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts, copyright © Colette Martin, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Asthma Is Not Stopping Me, Featuring Fabulous Me, Piper Lee! A Book Review

Did you know that there is a strong connection between food allergies and asthma? A 2011 study found that children with food allergies and asthma are more likely to have near-fatal or fatal allergic reactions to food and more likely to have severe asthma.

I received a complimentary copy of Asthma Is Not Stopping Me, Featuring Fabulous Me, Piper Lee! for review.

The book is written by Tolya L. Thompson, a physician assistant who has done a great deal of work in emergency medicine. The illustrations are by Terence Gaylor.

The book is big, bold, and colorful. The illustrations are detailed, fun, and have an animated feel. The story is simple, upbeat, and inspiring. Piper Lee swims, runs, and dances her way to fun, while managing her asthma symptoms. The book stresses the importance of staying away from triggers, and using inhalers to manage symptoms.

It’s hard not to notice that that lead character in the book and her sidekick are African American. This is significant, and a brilliant choice by the author because twice as many African American children have asthma as compared to white children. Sixteen percent of African American children have asthma. Eight percent of white children have asthma.  It's about time someone focused on this segment of our population with this type of positive story.

The book is appropriate for very young (read-aloud) to early school aged children. Pick up a copy for someone you love!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

AllergyEats Announces the Top Allergy-Friendly Restaurants for 2016

It's not a big surprise, and yet it is. This year's top 10 allergy-friendly restaurants (5 large and 5 small) include returning favorites and some new faces. As in past years, the list is based on crowd-sourced data from the AllergyEats app (which incidentally, has recently undergone extensive changes to make it even easier to use, rate, and find restaurants that might suit your needs).

So, who made the list? 

Most allergy-friendly large chains (50 or more restaurants):

Maggiano’s Little Italy (4.63 rating)
Chipotle Mexican Grill (4.38 rating)
Mellow Mushroom (4.36 rating)
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (4.31 rating)
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro (4.29 rating)

Most allergy-friendly small chains (less than 50 restaurants):

Rainforest Café (4.87 rating)
Burtons Grill (4.74 rating)
Not Your Average Joe’s (4.45 rating)
Joe’s American Bar & Grill (4.41 rating)
Legal Sea Foods (4.39 rating)

Hello, Rainforest Café with an outstanding 4.87 rating! I would not have expected to see them on the list (I can't recall the last time I ate there, if ever, but will now need to seek them out!)

Some of my fave are (not surprisingly) still on the list, including Red Robin, Chipotle, and Legal Sea Foods.  For the first time in 2015 I dined at Burtons Grill (found in the greater Boston area in the Northeast) and am in love with their gluten-free fried calamari! I have been back a half dozen times for that treat:

My favorite on this list continues to be Legal Sea Foods. I was surprised and thrilled to learn that at some Legal Sea Foods they are now making all of their fried foods gluten-free. That's right -- everyone who orders gets gluten-free fried clams, and they are amazing!  (Be sure to check if you go, it may not be all locations and the practices may change.)

Yes, I have a thing for fried seafood (my apologies to those with shellfish allergies).

Note that this list only includes chains. That means that your favorite family-owned restaurant around the corner was not included.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Dairy-Free Ice Cream Pie with Cookie Crust

Pi Day is coming! That would be March 14th, of course. Do you need an excuse to make pie? Not really, but if you do, Pi Day, this pie, and the So Delicious Instagram pie contest (see below) are all the rationale you need!

Dairy-free Ice Cream Pie with Gluten-Free and Top-8 Allergen-free Cookie Crust at Learning to Eat Allergy-Free

So Delicious asked me to create a special pie for them to help kick off this contest. And did I mention that everyone wins because for every photo posted, So Delicious will donate $3.14 (get it?) to Kids with Food Allergies.

Disclaimer: I was compensated for creating this recipe and I am a member of the board of directors of AAFA (of which Kids with Food Allergies is part).

Dairy-free Ice Cream Pie with Gluten-Free and Top-8 Allergen-free Cookie Crust at Learning to Eat Allergy-Free

 For the crust:

32 grams brown rice flour (1/4 cup)
30 grams sweet white rice flour (1/4 cup)
20 grams potato starch (2 tablespoons)
16 grams tapioca starch (2 tablespoons)
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ cup organic cane sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons dairy-free/soy-free shortening (cold)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage (cold)

For the filling:

1 pint So Delicious Cherry Amaretto Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert

For the drizzle:

1 tablespoon dairy-free/soy-free shortening
1/3 cup allergen-free chocolate chips

Combine the flour(s), xanthan gum, sugar, and salt. Cut the shortening into tablespoons-sized pieces, lay them on top of the flour mixture and work the shortening into the flour using a pastry cutter. Add the vanilla and milk and work the liquids into the flour until the dough forms.

Grease a 9-inch pie plate. Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment (as you would if you were rolling a pie crust). Transfer the crust to the pie plate, making sure the dough goes up the edges of the plate. Refrigerate for an hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake for 15-16 minutes. Allow the crust to cool completely. While waiting, take the frozen dessert out of the freezer to let it soften (but don’t let it melt!)

Fill the pie with the softened ice cream. Freeze for at least an hour.

If you plan to serve with chocolate drizzle (highly recommended), melt the shortening and chocolate chips together over low heat. Let it cool before drizzling over the pie.

Mix it up:

98 grams of your favorite gluten-free flour blend may be substituted for the flours.

I used Earth Balance shortening; coconut oil may be substituted.

I used Pascha chocolate chips. Enjoy Life or Divvies chocolate chips would also work well.

Any So Delicious dairy-free frozen dessert flavor may be substituted.
(This would be awesome with chocolate chip cookie dough – my other favorite So Delicious flavor!)

This recipe could also be used to make ice cream sandwich pies (wheels turning…)

If ice cream pie isn’t your thing, check out the Chocolate Mousse Pie I created last year for Pi Day.


Instagram Contest – #Pi4All (by So Delicious Dairy Free)

Post your pie photo on Instagram between March 12-March 14th and tag @So_Delicious as well as #Pi4All with your description of an allergy-friendly pie (homemade or not, your choice!)

Three cash prizes will be awarded – $314 for the first prize, $200 for the second prize and $100 for the third prize. Additionally, So Delicious will be giving away 3 VIP coupons for free products to an additional 10 folks who post their pie recipes. And, for each pie photo uploaded So Delicious will donate $3.14 to Kids with Food Allergies.

Please limit one entry per person per day (3 total). Winners will be selected randomly by So Delicious Dairy Free. All winners will be contacted individually and announced on the So Delicious blog by 5pm PST on Wednesday, March 16th.

Kids with Food Allergies is a foundation that educates families and communities with strategies to manage food allergies, provides kids and parents with practical information and the tools they need to live well and happily. KFA helps save lives and make every day more fun for everyone. We say, #Pi4All!