Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, MFA, MSW, LMSW, Psychotherapist; Specialist in Food Allergy Management, Speaking At Mylan Specialty / EpiPen Event (© Noel Malcolm 2013)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Men, Food Allergies

Headline: Bristol doc saves nut allergy sufferer on plane

Read the story here, paying close attention to this last line: "He has been advised that he should carry a 'pen' with adrenalin to inject himself. He doesn't carry one – but he will do now."

OK, so I’m asking this in all seriousness: is this a guy thing?

My empirical data suggests that men often do NOT carry their life saving medications for food allergies. But why? Aside from the obvious (men don't want to been seen as weak or ask for assistance) what's going on guys? We want you to be safe...

PS The dude in this new video by the FDA about food allergies puts the auto-injector of epi in his pocket.

Food allergic guys who are reading this, and I know you're out there, let me know what you think either in comments or privately at

Meatless Mondays, Allergic Girl

What is a little known fact about food allergies that everyone should be aware of? Are there any hidden dangers most people may not know about?

There’s a prevailing belief that food allergies are fictitious, or over-exaggerated. This belief is extremely dangerous. Food allergies are real and can be life threatening. A recent study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that the American public still believes that there is a cure (there is not) or that daily medication could help with food allergies (it does not). The only treatment available right now is strict avoidance of the allergen; the only lifesaving medication is epinephrine given if there has been exposure to the allergen. It is that simple.

Read more Q&A with AG on the MM, enjoy!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program, Home Fashions Market Week, 2009

Last week the Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program was in town for Home Fashions Market Week, 2009. [Disclosure: I have a long standing relationship with AAFA and the Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program. It's an allergy-friendly love fest.]

I had an opportunity to talk with Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program and Allergy Standards Limited about their new products (paint and flooring, air purifiers and new Disney plush toys) and meet the Dublin team behind Allergy Standards Limited, the home group for the Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program here in the United States.

(From the Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program website: The asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program, administered by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) in partnership with the international research organization Allergy Standards Limited (ASL), is an independent program created to scientifically test and identify consumer products that are more suitable for people with asthma and allergies.)

Dr. John McKeon, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer told me about the origins of Allergy Standards Limited. When he was an ER doc back in Dublin, he overheard a nurse talking to a mother of a newly diagnosed allergic child. He heard the nurse tell the mother to avoid certain contaminants in the home (along with utilizing common sense cleaning measures and medications) and he heard the mother say, “...but toys aren’t labeled with formaldehyde content or phtalates? How will I know which ones to get?” Thus, the idea of creating a certification standard, a mark that would indicate toys and other items safe for the allergic community, was born.

Allergy Standards Limited and Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program is expanding and growing quickly, but what they need is us. We need to start asking for these products at the large retailers (Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kmart, Walmart, Bloomingdales etc..) because the more we ask (i.e. demand) safe allergy-free products, the more the market will rise to meet those demands.

So, speak up to your local retailers; tell them you want better, safer, allergy-friendly home products and in time they will stock them.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Natural Products Expo East, 2009

What a jam-packed, gluten-free, allergen-friendly day of Expo-ness at the Natural Products Expo East, 2009. I was tweeting my heart out, so I’ll let these pictures say some words now.

Gluten-Free pita from Shabtai:

Kinnikinnick is completely peanut and tree-nut free. Oh yes!

I really love Suzanne's Specialties Ricemellow-Thanks Carl!:

Laughing with CEO Rick of Earth Balance.

Hodgson Mill has a new gluten-free line rolling out very soon:

More news to come.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Seaport Boston, Pure Rooms

I’ve written about Pure Rooms before. When I was treated to an overnight stay at the Sheraton Tarrytown, there were some lapses in compliance. This time, on my dime in Boston, has probably been closer to what a Pure Room stay should be like and I think Mr. Moore is the reason why.

Matthew Moore, Director of Rooms has made my stay at Seaport Boston very enjoyable by ensuring my Pure Room was perfection. What a pleasure to walk into a hotel room with NO SCENT. What a pleasure to walk into a room and the bedding is hypoallergenic (no feathers) and encased in allergy-free encasements. What a pleasure to have no dust on any surface or in the air when you fluff a couch pillow. What about air purifiers purifying 24/7? Yeah, I’m digging this space.

Here's a picture of my room, from my bed, overlooking the harbor:

Where I'm blogging from:

Not Pure Rooms related but just cool, Matt bought these beauties for the ladies: black, make-up removal facecloths. That's some detail-orientation, Matt:

I was a seriously cozy, non-wheezy, non-allergic Allergic Girl on this jaunt to Boston. Thank you Matt Moore and Seaport Boston. PS I’ll probably be back year for Natural Products Expo East, may I book my room now?

Chef Rachel Klein, Seaport Boston Hotel

Former executive chef at Om Restaurant in Harvard Square (Boston MA) and now Executive Chef at Seaport Boston Hotel, Chef Rachel Klein is an allergic girl’s girl (and a native Park Sloper to boot, go BK!). She has peanut allergies as well as other food sensitivities and runs a huge kitchen and staff with an eye to making it as safe as possible. A fan of Ming Tsai and his work to enact new food allergy laws in Massachusetts, she’s strives to emulate that level of allergy understanding among her staff of cooks, servers, managers and staff.

Her big tip for how an allergic diner should approach dining out?

Give the resto a couple of days notice of your needs, and with that they can better serve you.

Chef Rachel says as a chef she wants to make an experience for diners with special requests or dietary needs (not just a plate of steamed veggies for a vegan, for example). Dietary requests, or even limitations, forces her to be more creative and she sees it not as a burden but as a culinary challenge.

Here's the light lunch she made for me today with no notice.

Go Chef Rachel!

Potato with Broccoli and Cheese

I think my eyes were bigger than my stomach on this trip.

I hit Boston forgetting how spread out it is and forgetting how much I have to do at the conference and the hotel. I’m staying at the Seaport Boston and my first meal after several meetings yesterday afternoon didn’t come to around until 730pm. Then, I was super hungry and in no mood to go traipsing into parts unknown with allergies known. So, I hit Morton’s Steakhouse, part of the seaport complex.

Sitting at the bar I did all my usual tricks: smiled, chatted up the bartender and then laid into my allergic girl riff. No dice. There was no grilled plain chicken to be had, I really didn’t want another burger, and the bartender didn’t seem to be listening very closely when I told him about my allergies. My gut said, scoot now. Which I did, ending up back at my hotel.

Earlier in the day I had interviewed Chef Rachel Klein about her allergies (more later) and met the sous chef Kate as well. Lucky for me, bartender Mike pictured below (Hey Mike) was the opposite of the Morton’s Bartender: chatty, smiley and listened to my allergies intently, relaying them to the kitchen.

I also dropped Chef Kate’s name when I asked if the kitchen would make me an easy standby veggie dish: baked potato with steamed broccoli and cheddar cheese. She did and in five minutes I was eating safely at the bar of Tamo.

(Added bonus: the Irish cuties celebrating 10 years with the hotel’s parent company Fidelity Investments and keeping me knee deep in rousing chat about American politics, religion, global responsibility and health care. Thanks Mike and Joe!)

The lesson here: don’t take no for an answer. If one place doesn’t work try another. Or go back to your hotel and drop the name of the chef.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gluten-Free Cooking Spree, Philadelphia

Looks like a fun event, 9/30/09 in Philly. The below is from National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA):

Gluten-Free Cooking Spree Brings Top Chefs, Medical Professionals, and Media Into the Kitchen to Compete for the Best Gluten-Free Dish

WHAT: The Gluten-Free Cooking Spree brings together medical and lifestyle aspects of celiac disease to educate attendees about this autoimmune disorder that affects 1 in 133 people. Watch as ten teams that consist of top chefs and doctors compete to create the best gluten-free dish.

In addition to tasting the latest gluten free foods, attendees will learn more about Celiac disease from prominent speakers including Christina Pirello, Emmy Award-winning host of the series Christina Cooks! and five-time cookbook author.

Other special guests include Chef Bill Orton of Disney and representatives from notable area restaurants Bindi, Distrito and Lolita. Also, Thai Kitchen, a leader in producing naturally gluten-free products, has partnered with the Gluten Free cooking spree to provide some delicious easy-to-follow recipes, so let me know if you’re interested in seeing those as well!

WHY: An estimated three million Americans have celiac disease, but only 1 in every 4700 with the disease receives an accurate diagnosis. Left untreated, people with celiac disease can develop further complications such as other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease and some cancers. This event helps educate and raise awareness for the screening amongst medical professionals, children and adults.

WHEN: September 30, 2009, 6:30–9:00 p.m.

WHERE: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA.

HOW: To attend the Gluten-Free Cooking Spree, online RSVP is available at Admission fees are $100, or $35 for students. The VIP reception is $250.

BACKGROUND: The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding for celiac disease that will advance research, education and screening amongst medical professionals, children and adults. Visit for more information.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

October 2009, WFD

Speaking of allergy-friendly dining, I’m hosting Worry-Free Dinners® at Blue Smoke with two special treats (and absolutely no tricks). Join us, I know you want to! Here's the Worry-Free Dinners® site for more info.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dining Allergy-Free, Boston

I *know* there are people in Boston that dine out allergy-free but are they not blogging or talking or yelping or chowhounding? Yoo hoo, Boston food allergy adults, where are you?

I typed in “allergy-free dining, boston” and MY blog [?!] popped up and not even with a list of places but with the milk desensitization study out of Children’s Hospital Boston. Not what I need and not right at all.

I’m going to Boston this week for the Natural Products Expo East. I haven’t been to Boston in ages and what I remember of dining there as a child, it was (is) a seriously fishy town. As someone with salmon allergies I tend to stay away from fishy places. So that doesn’t seem to leave me with much. I’ve asked on Twitter and the response was thin. Food Allergy Buzz sent over Davios, which looks promising. Food Allergies to Go has a list but many are fish places and Asian spots (not great for my nut and fish allergies).

My search turned up a few gluten-free listings. Here are some from, Boston Globe (via Gluten Free Guidebook, thanks Hil) and Gluten Free Celiac web, and Triumph Dining’s GF restaurant guide. I’m extending my search to Boston vegan restaurants as well.

However, as I have said before, gluten-free does not equal allergy friendly. It’s a start but don’t count on it.

So my plan is to bring lost of snacks, make my list to try, do some internet homework, talk with concierge at hotel, use to make ressies, make sure I have my dining card and medications on hand and polish up my smile!

If you have non-fishy, allergy-friendly recommendations for Boston (not too far from the convention center area) I’m all ears!

Kugel Redux

I talked about making a gluten-free, low-lactose kugel last week. I ended up making two kugels simultaneously. Making the low allergen one first then the “regular” one. The GF/low-lactose kugel had the below recipe substitutions, I bet you could continue to play with rice milk, soy milk, almond milk or hemp milk, coconut yogurt or soy yogurt even. I had low to no tummy troubles post indulging (yay) and the kugel was definitely edible.

Some notes if you're going to try this: it should be eaten the day it’s made. The day after, when it was finally served, the custard was truly all absorbed so it wasn’t as smooth as when it came out of the oven; it tasted more like sweet, cold lasagna. Not unpleasant, just dense and a little drier than I would have liked. When I do it next time, I’ll use slightly fewer noodles, a bit more raisins sprinkled once on the bottom and once after the custard is poured in and I will make it the day we’re eating it. Other than that, for a first attempt, not too shabby.


KUGEL (adapted from "Easiest Kugel", ©CondéNet)

8 ounces wide egg noodles (organic Tinkyada GF lasagna broken up)
1 cup dark raisins (I used only ½ cup)
5 large eggs (organic)
1 cup sour cream (organic yogurt)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled (or 1 stick of Earth Balance)
1/3 cup sugar (raw organic sugar)
4 cups whole milk (Lactaid milk)
3 cups cornflakes, coarsely crushed (Erewhon GF cereal)
1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar (raw organic sugar)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease 8 x 8 glass baking dish.
Spread uncooked GF noodles over bottom of prepared dish and sprinkle with raisins.
Whisk eggs, yogurt, butter (or vegan butter) and sugar in large bowl until smooth. (May separate, it's still okay.)
Whisk in lactose-free milk and pour mixture over noodles.
Let kugel stand 5 minutes.
Mix cornflakes and brown sugar in bowl; sprinkle evenly over kugel.
Bake kugel until set in center, about 1 hour.
Cut kugel into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Serves 8 to 10

The beginning of my mise en place:

Two kugels waiting for custard:

Can you tell which is which?

My third taste of the warm GF/low-lactose kugel:

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Last April, I reported that S’MAC went ALL gluten-free (here’s more from Celiac Chicks and A Gluten Free Guide) but it wasn’t until this week that I had a chance to try myself.

(A side note: I haven’t really delved into many or any milky situations. Even my trial with Lactaid ice cream was fraught with too many urps for comfort. That could have been for many reasons, corn syrup or over indulging, don’t exactly know. Regardless, I knew what I was walking into with the date with mac and cheese, the grandfather of dairy dishes-milk, butter, cheese. Oy. But I just had to try this. I cleared my schedule for any tummy mishaps. I went armed with many, many Lactaid chewables. I dosed before during and after dining, six in total, which seemed to really help. I won't be repeating this experiment often but good to know it could kind of be done).

Sarita, owner of S’MAC treated me to a Mediterranean mac and cheese. Filled with goat cheese, spinach, garlic and olives it was mac and cheese for the grown up in me. The kid in me reveled in the crisp topping created by GF cornflakes. Oh heaven. I brought D. (also GF) who had the Manchego mac and cheese. We didn’t really speak for a full five minutes as we both luxuriated in the goodness that was this hot, bubbly, cheese-y, all gluten-free (and made in a peanut/tree-nut facility) goodness.

Sarita clearly cares about her patrons and their well being and their taste buds. We talked at length about the ingredients, cross contamination and source products. Every effort has been made to ensure that the gluten-free-ness meets Sarita’s (and GIG’s) exacting standards. In Sarita’s hands, I felt safe.

Certainly, if you go, and have any extra allergen or gluten-free questions DEFINITELY email owner Sarita first. Tell her Allergic Girl sent you, and bring your appetite for some serious comfort food, all gluten-free.

Sarita's Macaroni & Cheese

345 East 12th Street, NY, NY 10003
212-358-7912, 212-358-7917

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gluten-Free NYC, David Marc Fischer

On Monday, I went to Lilli and Loo to celebrate the life of fellow blogger David Marc Fischer. David is author of the extremely helpful blog Gluten Free NYC (It’s still up and will still be useful for you GF peeps). He died very suddenly and unexpectedly about a month ago. It’s an understatement to say it was a shock personally as well as a blow to the GF blogger community in NYC and in the blogosphere.

When I started my blog in August 2006, there were only a handful of regularly blogging GF NYC folks and David Marc Fischer was one of them. Erin of GlutenFreeFun, Kelly of Celiacchicks, Catherine of AGlutenFreeGuide and David Gluten-Free NYC welcomed this non-celiac Allergic Girl with open arms (for which I am still thankful).

Since then I would see David at celiac disease events or we’d exchange stories of links through our blogs. The last time I saw him was at the Columbia Thought Leaders Conference and we discussed taking a trip out to Pomegranate in Brooklyn for the GF Passover goodies. (Here’s David’s very helpful resources for GF Passover goodies).

I didn’t know him well and clearly that was my loss as was evidenced from last night’s tribute from Erin, Kelly, Ben (thank you again for reading the yizkor), Dr. Peter Green, Cynthia and many others. I feel a special pang during this time of Jewish renewal in the celebration of the New Year. It’s a time for reflection, for goodbyes and for looking ahead.

So, thank you David for your tireless celiac disease research, your bloggy support of me and my blog and your general menschy-ness. Your voice will be missed.

From GlutenFreeFun:

For those of you who would like to make a donation to the Celiac Disease Center in memory of David – here is the info:

Go to:
At Select a School or Division: use the "Select a School or Division" drop down box, and select
Celiac Disease Center
Enter Gift Amount
Click on NEXT
When at the next page, select "In Memory"
In the Honoree Information box that pops up, enter Honoree name: David Marc Fischer.
There is also a box to enter reason for gift and contact information.

Donations can also be mailed:

Please make checks payable to: Trustees of Columbia University
Please note on the memo line that the donation is in memory of David Marc Fischer
Mail to:
Cynthia Beckman
Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University
Harkness Pavilion
180 Fort Washington Avenue
Suite 934
New York, NY 10032

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kugel, Subsitutions

So I'm considering doing this again: a gluten-free, low lactose, sweet kugel for Rosh Hashanah.

OK, not really again because I never did it last year but this year I'm taking Thursday off to play with kugel.

Here's the base recipe and the planed substitutions in parens. Thoughts, suggestions, I’m all ears. Of course I'll let you know how it turns out.


8 ounces wide egg noodles (GF noodles, either lasagna cut up or macaroni)
1 cup dark raisins
5 large eggs
1 cup sour cream (yogurt?)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled (sticks of vegan margarine like Earth Balance)
1/3 cup sugar
4 cups whole milk (Lactaid milk)
3 cups cornflakes, coarsely crushed (Erewhon GF cereal)
1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

Bon Appétit
November 1998
Anita Hacker, Los Angeles CA ©CondéNet, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

French Meadow Bakery, Gluten-Free

The Hersheypark food manager from last week's interview told me they use French Meadow Bakery as part of their gluten-free program. Even though I’ve seen this product in several stores in NYC, I’ve never tried it so this was a perfect excuse to reach out to them and investigate.

Let me say up front how much I loved pretty much everything from French Meadow Bakery. In addition, I’m so thrilled that this company is creating allergy-friendly foods that are gluten-free and peanut/tree nut free (we all know how rare that is) that I want to give French Meadow Bakery a hug and a “yay!” So what you’re going to read below is pure nit picking about their products.


French Meadow Bakery sent me some samples to try, all gluten-free, casein/lactose-free and peanut/tree nut free: tortillas, raisin cinnamon bread, white bread, wholegrain bread, and individual chocolate and vanilla cakes (cakes are only sold in the main store right now).

The tortilla is tapioca (cassava) based and on the sweeter side. As a GF crepe replacement, this might be fab; if you like your savory with a side of sweet this tortilla will work for you too.

Generally, the bread I tasted (white and raisin) was dense, crumbly (in that GF bread way) but both have a pleasant flavor with no marked aftertastes. The raisin bread had that familiar crucial cinnamon-y fragrance and flavor.

The texture of the cake (both vanilla and chocolate) was more like a pound cake (but not buttery), without a soft crumb and “commercial” tasting, i.e. like a regular supermarket store bought cake (possibly due to the palm oil and corn syrup used). I mean that as a compliment. The chocolate cake had an off smell before tasting and an after taste after consuming. The vanilla cake was the winner for me in taste, texture and presentation.

Pay heed GF brides, I seriously think you could use this for your personal cake if you can’t find a local GF/DF/NF baker.

Allergen statement: At French Meadow Bakery, we understand the seriousness of a food allergy or intolerance. Each of our Gluten-Free products is certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization (, a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group® and is periodically tested by an independent laboratory to verify our allergen claims. All French Meadow Gluten-Free products are guaranteed.

•Gluten/Wheat Free
•Lactose/Casein Free
•Peanut/Tree Nut Free
•0 grams Trans Fat
•Preservative Free

Furthermore, French Meadow Bakery told me that “We do not use any tree nuts in our gluten free facility, there will never be any ingredients or products with tree nuts brought in either. We only test though for peanuts.”

They have a nice coupon on the website for their GF product lines, go, try, enjoy.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Michael Bauer, Born Allergic

The Frank Bruni memoir, Born Round, is bringing up a lot of feelings for the food critic/food writer community, the most public of which is a deeper examination of a professional eater’s relationship to food. I discovered this very interesting account of the San Francisco Chronicle’s long time food critic Michael Bauer’s childhood of food allergies. Here's an excerpt of what Bauer had to say.


Unlike Bruni, who wanted to eat just about everything, I wasn't able to eat much of anything. As a small child I was allergic to many common foods. Twice a week I'd go to the Ashley Clinic for a total of five allergy shots. After years of being a pin cushion and dozens of tests from specialists, I was put on a very restrictive diet.

I was allergic to corn, wheat, chocolate, nuts, eggs, milk and various other things I can't even remember now. No ice cream, popcorn, candy bars or hamburger (because of the bun). Most canned fruits and candy were off my list because of the corn syrup used as a sweetener.


Read more of his account at

Friday, September 04, 2009

Flu Advice, AAAAI


MILWAUKEE – According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 67% of children who died with the new H1N1 flu virus had at least one high-risk medical condition.

Any individual with an underlying respiratory condition such as asthma is more likely to experience serious health problems if he or she contracts the flu, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (

“As with seasonal influenza, people with chronic respiratory diseases such as COPD and asthma are more vulnerable to the adverse consequences of H1N1 infection. Recent data suggest that children with asthma are especially at risk and should heed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations regarding vaccination and treatment options,” said Executive Vice President Thomas B. Casale, MD, FAAAAI.

Is it flu or is it allergies?
For parents of children with asthma or allergies, telling the difference between these allergic disease symptoms and the seasonal flu or H1N1 may be a bit difficult. “Itchy eyes, a scratchy nose or sneezing are symptoms of allergies,” Casale suggests. “But if your child suffers from asthma and develops a fever or nausea and vomiting, consult your physician.”

Food allergies and the vaccines
Vaccinations for both the seasonal flu and H1N1 are among the best prevention tools available to prevent complications from the flu, especially for individuals with chronic conditions such as asthma. But what if you are allergic to a substance in the vaccines?

“Individuals with egg allergy may be at risk for an allergic reaction to H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccines due to the egg content in the vaccine preparations. Before getting vaccinated, review the information posted and consult with your health care provider. In most cases, vaccination can be tolerated if done according to these recommendations,” reports Casale.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Corn Tortillas, Gluten-Free

Maybe I got the idea from our Worry-Free Dinners event at Dos Caminos, where they make masa flour based corn tortillas in-house. Their tortillas are light, fresh, almost fluffy; they were a great, easy and safe choice for the guac, salsa and even for the fresh meaty tacos we had.

At home, I’ve been finding corn tortillas in the ethnic food sections of my locals markets and wondering why did it take me so long to start using these at home? I warm them on the hobs or in a pan and use them to make turkey roll ups, egg “tacos”, "grilled" cheese and even PB&J on tortillas.

Corn tortillas are my new favorite gluten-free thing.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Lactose intolerance, Sixty Percent of Adults

I knew I wasn’t alone but according to this USAToday article, becoming lactose intolerant in my 30s is more the norm than the not.


If you're American or European it's hard to realize this, but being able to digest milk as an adult is one weird genetic adaptation.

It's not normal. Somewhat less than 40% of people in the world retain the ability to digest lactose after childhood. The numbers are often given as close to 0% of Native Americans, 5% of Asians, 25% of African and Caribbean peoples, 50% of Mediterranean peoples and 90% of northern Europeans. Sweden has one of the world's highest percentages of lactase tolerant people.

Being able to digest milk is so strange that scientists say we shouldn't really call lactose intolerance a disease, because that presumes it's abnormal. Instead, they call it lactase persistence, indicating what's really weird is the ability to continue to drink milk.


More information on the symptoms of lactose intolerance from the Mayo Clinic.

Arepas, Mark Bittman

Gluten-free, corn-based arepas. Here’s a video of Bittman making them and here's the arepas recipe.

1 cup yellow cornmeal, finely ground
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, more for serving, optional
½ cup fresh sweet corn kernels, or frozen kernels, thawed
¼ cup chopped scallion
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 small serrano or jalapeño chili, seeded and minced, optional
3 tablespoons corn, canola, grapeseed or other neutral oil
Cooked black beans or vegetables or sour cream for stuffing, optional
Nutritional Information

1. Put cornmeal in a large bowl with salt and cheese. Put milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steam rises, then add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir into cornmeal mixture until a thick batter is formed. Fold in the corn kernels, scallion, cilantro and chili if using.
2. Let batter rest until it thickens into a soft dough, about 15 minutes. Gently form 3- to 4-inch balls from mixture and flatten with palm of your hand to a 1/2-inch-thick disk. (You can cover and refrigerate disks for a few hours if you like.)
3. Heat oil in a large skillet and cook arepas, working in batches, until golden brown, about 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes on other side. When all arepas are cooked and cool enough to handle, carefully slice them through the middle. If desired, serve with butter or stuff with beans, vegetables or sour cream.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Food Should Taste Good Chips

I met the FoodShouldTasteGood peeps at the 2009 Fancy Food Show. They sent me some samples to try, their new line as well as some top sellers. I gobbled up the sweet potato, cinnamon and chocolate chips; the savory flavors like olive and buffalo weren’t my faves.

The FoodShouldTasteGood “chips” are not really what you expect. They don’t have that wonderfully greasy texture like a traditional potato chip but then again I don’t eat fried chips all that often (do blue corn tortilla chips count?)

What FoodShouldTasteGood possibly lacks in fried-goodness (as Bourdain might say) they make up in their own brand of yumminess, a variety of uses and the fact that they are company who has some consciousness when it comes to being non-GMO, gluten-free and lactose free.

You've seen them in your local store I'm sure. So if you're thinking of trying them, here is their allergen statement (sent to me from the company) and some FAQs from the website. Contact FoodShouldTasteGood directly for more information.


FoodShouldTasteGood’s chips are made with allergy concerns in mind. All products are:

-Certified Gluten Free (
-Certified OU-D Kosher (
-Cholesterol & Trans Fat Free
-Dairy/Lactose Free
-MSG Free
-Non-GMO (made with non-genetically modified ingredients)

**Note: Multigrain chips have soy flour, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds in them.**

When it comes to nut allergies, FoodShouldTasteGood sources the highest quality ingredients available and the company does not believe there to be nuts in them or anywhere in the production facility, but please understand that they cannot absolutely guarantee that the chips are nut free. If your allergy is severe, FoodShouldTasteGood recommends that you not eat them, just in case.