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)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Recipe: Strawberry Thyme Quick Jam, Vegan, Nut-Free

As part of my January #cook90 challenge with Epicurious (they’re running another one in May 2017, too) I wanted to use more herbs and spices in my cooking.

I stopped a few years back because, well, you know, those scary cumin tree nut and peanut recalls.  Ugh, I love cumin. But, now, given that those recalls are long over, I need to rejoin my spicy, herby life. So, I’ve been adding fresh herbs, dried herbs and spices back into my cooking (without allergy issue).

And one discovery: berries and herbs, who knew they loved each other so hard?! I made this blackberry thyme chocolate bark, sensational!  

I had some thyme left over from a lamb dish, this one, and thought they might pair well with strawberries. Oh they do, they do! It’s a subtle herby note to this jam, that would go swirled into plain yogurt, like I did here, or I could see it slathered with mayo on a turkey sammy (!), in a frosting for cake (recipe soon on that one) or in a cake itself. The variations and uses are endless.


Recipe: Strawberry Thyme Quick Jam, Vegan, Nut-Free

16 ounces (or 1 light pint) of strawberries, washed, topped and hulled
½ lemon, juice squeezed and reserved
¼ cup of turbinado sugar
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, rinsed, leaves removed

In a large nonreactive pot, on medium high heat, bring all ingredients to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes until the strawberries fall apart. You can also help them my mashing with a fork or spatula whilst they simmer but I like whole pieces of berries in my quick jam. After about 10 minutes, have a taste; if it need more sugar you can add, if it’s too thin let it continue to cook down, if you want more of an herby not, add some more fresh thyme. Place into a jar or non-reactive container to cool. Try to avoid spooning 12,000 tastes but do ladle over some buttered bread, yogurt or ice cream just to make sure it’s delicious. (Oh yes, it will be.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Review: Dale Chihuly, New York Botanical Garden, April 22, 2017 – October 29, 2017

This is THE spring art show to see. Wow, what a serious blockbuster.

I had the pleasure of going up to the Bronx on this rainy, cool, overcast spring day to take in the glorious, new exhibit, two years in the making, at the New York Botanical Garden. Outdoor glass sculpture in the most glorious garden setting, 25 minutes from Midtown Manhattan.

If you don’t already know about master glassblower and artist Dale Chihuly – you need to.  I was introduced to his work during in the mid-1990s through this documentary about his 1996 installation and exhibition in Venice, Italy. Fairly mind-blowing artistry, I’ve tracked his career ever since. He’s been working steadily and creating for over 40 years. Here’s more about him on his site and through NYBG

What’s so special about this exhibit is the interplay between nature and the work, you can see the curation was a deeply considerate one, pairing pieces with plants and physical spaces like a sommelier would pair a fine wine with an excellent meal. Except you’re having dozens of meals, all at once and instead of being *just* bombarded by beauty, which you are, these works feel so natural and part of the entire whole that walking the grounds of this show is like one luxurious multi-course meal where the chef has taken pains to make sure your appetite – oh, ah, I’m stretching the metaphor way too thin. This is a glorious exhibit, pure joy in a setting of peace at the New York Botanical Garden. Go and fall in love.

PRO TIP: for my allergic friends, go on a rainy day, pollens are lower as are crowds.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Recipe: Easy, Three-Ingredient Tomato Sauce, Vegan, Tree Nut-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

Three ingredients happily bubbling away

I got a cold the week of Christmas. Yuck. And during that week, at home, I found a really simple tomato sauce recipe that used only three ingredients, which I had in my pantry. I made it, thoroughly enjoyed it and posted pictures of it. Comfort food, ahhhh. 

GF pasta with fresh mozz and my 3-ingredient sauce

And it’s like an Ur-sauce, usable for so many dishes. I used it for pasta with mozzarella but I’m sure you can cook any protein with it. And as it’s doesn’t have any spicing you can add spices later to change it up: Italian spices, curry spices, jerk spices, anything!

After December and after my cold abated, I went to check my records, look at the recipe and make it again and but I couldn’t find it. It was not on any of my regular and go-to recipes sites. Was it Food52? Or Epicurious? Or Simply Recipes? Or the New York Times? Nope. Did I dream it? I doubt it. But was so easy I had memorized it. So here it is. Without attributions. Also with some changes by me. Apologies to whomever created this.


Recipe: Easy, Three-Ingredient Tomato Sauce, Vegan, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

2 cans of diced organic tomatoes (28 ounces)
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 T olive oil

In a heavy-bottomed pot, sauté the onions in the olive oil on medium heat until translucent. Whilst onions are sweating, puree the tomatoes and their juices in a Tupperware with a hand blender until the tomatoes are smooth (a few remaining diced pieces are fine). Add the tomatoes to the sautéed onion and cook on medium heat. At 20 minutes, taste for doneness, cook longer for a more concentrated flavor. Add salt and pepper as needed. And that’s it. Really. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Recipe: No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Nut-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free

I love mint chocolate chip ice cream, like LOVE love. So, it was a no-brainer to adapt the classic no churn ice cream recipe to suit my mint chocolate needs. Here's The Kitchn's version of the no-churn ice cream recipe as well.

I’ve talked about these ingredients before in the salted caramel ice cream post (OMG yes!) but will again below.


Heavy cream – let’s talk. Most commercial heavy creams have gums and stabilizers, even the organic ones. And that’s fine, I’ve used these brands to make whipped cream my entire life without issue. Typically, gums/stabilizers aren’t nut or fish based. which are my severe allergens. (Check with manufacturers directly about your needs.) But. Given a choice of creams, I prefer a cream that’s just cream, especially if I can pick it up at my local store. And luckily, most regular grocery stores do carry many heavy cream options. My point here is read the labels of everything, even if it seems counterintuitive (how is milk not just milk? Sigh, often it’s not just milk); read the labels every time, because even heavy cream can have more than one ingredient. I’ve been loving heavy cream Natural By Nature, of late. Some store carry local dairy brands, go for that too. 

Sweetened condensed milk. I use what’s on sale, like the big brands: Eagle Brand, Nestle’s Carnation, Magnolia. Feeling nervous, you can make it yourself, easily, here’s a recipe from Food52

Chocolate. Divvies and Enjoy Life Foods are my go to eating and cooking brands. There are more options depending upon your needs, use a safe for you brand.

Flavorings/Extracts: Nielsen Massey has been my go to for, oh, at least 15 years or more. I love them. The Tahitian vanilla, ugh so good! Here’s their allergen information, too! 

Make this recipe, it’s so easy and it means you can have safe for you ice cream ANY TIME!


Recipe: No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

1 pint (two cups) of heavy whipping cream 
1 fourteen-ounce can sweetened condensed milk 
½ cup chocolate chips (more or less depending on you!)
1 teaspoon of vanilla 
1-2 teaspoons of peppermint flavor 

Whip the cream into soft peaks. Fold in the condensed milk. Mix thoroughly until completely combined and no streaks. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1-2 teaspoons mint flavor and mix thoroughly. Add the chocolate chips and give a few folds of the spatula until evenly distributed.  Pour mixture into a container with a cover. Lay  saran wrap directly on top of the mixture to ensure no air gets in. Freeze 6-8 hours or overnight. Try not to eat it all at once. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Recipe: Red Wine Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops With Mashed Potatoes, #top8free, #allergenfree [Sponsored]

Between you and me I wanted to make lamb for Passover but was out voted. I get it, not everyone likes lamb (OK, one person who will not be named) and because I want all my dinner guests to be happy, I made short ribs and roasted chicken and they were BELOVED. 

But still wanting some kind of lamb something, I searched around for options. After the art exhibit at the Met yesterday, I walked into the nearest Fairway on East 86th. They had shanks which looked yum and huge roasts, also yum but hours of cooking and really I wanted something smaller, more manageable. On trays, waiting to be shelved, I saw lamb shoulder chops with bone in.

I’ve had shoulder chops once before in recent memory, made by my then-boyfriend who threw a braise together with what I had in my pantry and I arrived home to serious, falling off the bone goodness. I wanted to recreate that. 

Since I have no idea what he did (and neither did he, it was years ago, I asked) I made it up, with basically pantry items, leftover wine from the short ribs last weekend, and the gorge shoulder chops I picked up at Fairway Market all of which to say, you can throw this together in a snap, too!


Recipe: Red Wine Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops

Yields 15 ounces cooked lamb
Cooking time 1.5 -2 hours


1.25 pounds lamb shoulder chops (bone-in)
Kosher salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots chopped
1.5 cups red wine
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 dried bay leaf
Handful of fresh thyme sprigs

Heat oven to 350°. Pat lamb dry; season with salt. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or other large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Brown lamb, on each side, approximately 5 minutes each; transfer to a plate.

Add shallot and carrots to pot, and sauté for about 5 minutes until fragrant and cooked through. Add minced garlic, sauté for 1 minute until softened and also fragrant. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half, 5 minutes. Add bay leaf, thyme, diced tomatoes and lamb to pot. Bring to a simmer, cover pot and transfer to oven.

Braise until lamb is fork-tender, 1½–2 hours. Check halfway through, if there doesn’t seem to be enough liquid, add up to 1 cup of water.  

Once fork tender, transfer lamb to a clean plate. Cook sauce down until it is thick and velvety, approximately five minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve over mashed potatoes (or rice or pasta) and with a steamed green veg and salad and enjoy!


BONUS: Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes

To go along with my Red Wine Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops of course I wanted some mashed potatoes. To make it super inclusive, I thought I’d try to recreate chef Kelvin’s dairy-free mash. I didn’t have a chance to ask him how he made it more than what he told me originally: potatoes, olive oil and salt and pepper.  So that’s what I did.

The potatoes do make a difference here. Yukon Gold, on sale at Fairway Market
are ideal for mashed: they boil up easily and break down easily once cooked and whip up in a yellow billowy fluffy mass of hearty potato happiness.

I follow this potatoes boiling techniques by The Kitchn: wash, peel, cube, place in big pot of cold salted water, bring to a boil and boil for an additional 5 minutes or until desired doneness. Drain, place into a bowl and then mash with a fork or potatoes masher if you have one. 

To that I added two glugs of olive oil and kept mashing and fluffing with a fork.  Added two more glugs and kept mashing until all of sudden the potatoes became creamy. I tasted for seasonings, added some more salt and some fresh ground pepper and ta-da, “creamy” mashed potatoes, dairy-free and top allergen free!


Thank you Fairway Market for sponsoring* this delicious allergen-friendly recipe!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Review: The Roof Garden Commission: Adrián Villar Rojas, The Theater of Disappearance, #CantorRoof

I look forward to The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden’s Roof Garden Commission every year. This year marks the 30th anniversary of this special temporary exhibit. Not every year is a winner but even if you don’t love the artwork displayed, the roof is a spectacular way to see the city after a lovely stroll through the Met Museum.

Yesterday, I avoided the New York Times article with backstory about how Adrián Villar Rojas created "The Theater of Disappearance" exhibit (Art and Bacchanalia on the Met Roof) and went during press day to see myself.

I walked around each piece multiple times; they need to be seen from all angles. 

I couldn't help but think of the Terry Gilliam movie Time Bandits, a British film from 2918, that looking back upon it now, is a bizarre film that we all liked it at the time. The badie in that film that was the character of "Evil", played by David Warner and he and his henchmen looked like a mash up of plastic skull and spines parts, catheter tubes, clear trash bags and horns, which, given the low budget of the film, I’m sure that’s exactly what it was. 

There was an element of that feeling in this show for me: a mashup of historical periods, art genres and art pieces that don’t belong and are on the edge of scary but also funny. There is almost a flippant apocalyptic vision of what would happen if the city was under siege by super trendy 20s somethings and the art was taken out of its mint-in-box-condition-behind-the-glass-reverent-spot and played with, irreverently. There’s an edge of play, but also an edge of something darker, sadder, more ominous. 

Upshot: I don’t know if I liked it; I don’t know that it’s there to be liked. I liked the concept of the art taken out of the glass and also re-imagined. The pieces definitely engendered thought and forced interaction, which is positive and can be the role of art. It left me feeling a little disturbed and also smiling.

The New York Times thought the artist, Adrián Villar Rojas, didn’t go far enough for this exhibit: A Mini-Met Mashup on the Museum’s Roof, With Summer Views 

See for yourself starting April 14, 2017.

Exhibition Dates:
April 14–October 29, 2017 (weather permitting)
Exhibition Location:  
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, Gallery 926

Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas has created a site-specific installation for The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. The Roof Garden Commission: Adrián Villar Rojas, The Theater of Disappearance will be on view from April 14 through October 29, 2017 (weather permitting). Villar Rojas—known for his large-scale installations—has transformed the Cantor Roof. Sixteen sculptures that fuse human figures with replicas of nearly 100 objects from the Museum’s collection, occupying a new black, white, and gray tiled floor, the installation also encompasses an environmental transformation of the space, including an extension of the existing pergola and new plantings, public furniture, and a newly designed bar.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Recipe: Italian Herb Home Fries, #Vegan, Top 8 Allergen free

I shop at Costco bi-weekly for produce; I just go through much lettuce in one day. (#healthyaf) Every now and then, I’ll buy the 15-pound bag of Russet Idaho potatoes and dream of making all the things. Then of course, life. So, as soon as I get home from Costco, as part of my weekly meal prep, I’ll scrub and bake three HUGE potatoes right away. I have baked potatoes with steamed broccoli and mozeralla on that first day. And then all the days that week, I make duh-licious home fries. 

Breakfast potatoes

Steak and potatoes

So easy. Here’s my recipe. 

Recipe notes:
--This is not a diet dish, you need plenty of oil, dry home fries are simply sad. But not too much oil, you are not deep frying but sautéing.
--Also, this is a diet dish, kind of. It's portion controlled, half a baked potato is only 100 calories and you control the oil. So there’s that.
--I’m making this with already cooked potatoes, which cuts down cooking time considerably. I had a boyfriend who made these from scratch with raw potatoes and lots of oil, they were phenomenal but at least 30 minutes of cooking. This is 4-5 minutes.

Recipe: Italian Herb Home Fries, Vegan, Top 8 Allergen-Free
1 portion (double, triple as necessary)

6 ounces Cooked Russet potato, skin on
2 T Olive Oil
.5 t of Italian herb blend (1 t each of dried thyme, basil and oregano)
.5 t kosher salt

In an 8-inch skilled, on medium high heat, heat the herbs, salt in the oil. While that is heating, slice the half potatoes into cubes. More surface area equals more sides to get golden brown. But keep the potato square-y and chunky, cooked potatoes can become crumbly and then you have a hash situation (also good but not what we’re going for here). 

Add the potatoes to the hot oil, listen to them sizzle, give them a swirl to get them all coated with oil and herbs and then cover with a lid that fits tightly over the potatoes.

And then let them do their magic, that is let them sit. After 2 minutes check them, swirl to mix them up, get different side browning and then cover them again and do something else for 1 minute. The cover helps them cook through (ie steam) and the hot oil helps them get brown. 

It’s now been about 3 minutes. Swirl and flip potatoes again, getting al sides to brown. They should be fragrant and luscious looking.

Give them 1 more minute, covered. 

If all sides are golden brown and smelling fragrant, you’re done! Taste one and adjust for seasonings.

First swirl

Second swirl
The tight fitting lid

Monday, April 03, 2017

Review: prAna clothing [Sponsored Post]

Ever put on a pair of yoga-dance-softest-things-ever-pants and become Ann Reinking from All that Jazz? Legs for days and days and all the best Fosse moves

That happened to me when I put on the prAna Juniper Pants. Seriously, slim, toned dancers legs for daaaaays! I’m 5’2”, 120 pounds and not a dancer, at all, but I put these pants on and just wanted to Fosse Fosse Fosse and maybe some Martha Graham!

Some background:
prAna reached out to lifestyle bloggers and influencers asking for product reviews and I said yes. Frankly, I was curious. I love my Lululemons from a decade ago, even my Danskins are still great but as I often work from home, my preferred at-home outfits are yoga togs and I'm always looking for more comfy things to wear. I love soft, stretchy, comfy to cook, nap, workout, blog, even talk to patients clothing. I also want outfits that are very flattering because I will totally run around in NYC in these or even rehearse with my musical improv team. 

Luckily, I was thrilled with what prAna sent me; who doesn't want to feel like Ann Reinking in the prAna pants!

What I Received: prAna sent me the Juniper Pant (53% Hemp / 42% Organic Cotton / 5% Spandex), in solid gray, size extra small, which fits perfectly in the waist (they need to be hemmed but that’s usual for this petite flower) and the Cleo T in gray - (76% Polyester / 24% Cotton) crazy soft, snuggly but I could definitely see wearing this with skinnies for runaround weekends.

About prAna:
prAna offers organic, hemp, sustainable, and fair trade items...” Who doesn't love that?! More about prAna

NOW EXPIRED: Discount For You:
Want some prAna at 15% off? Use this exclusive discount code (b4pSM ) for 15% off anything you purchase from from now through 4/20/17. Remember: when you check out, use this promo code: b4pSM

Please Note: 
I received a sample of prAna clothing; I was not paid to write this post. More about my policies regarding sponsored posts here.