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)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Recipe: Homemade Lactose-free Yogurt, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free

UPDATE: Here another method, very similar, via Food52.
UPDATE: I've been straining my results, WOW! Strained = Greek yogurt or even Labneh. So good!

I saw this recipe in the New York Times food section a year ago (February 2016) and it’s taken until now (February 2017)to make it. Don’t you wait that long to try this out. I’m a yogurt fan, I usually have a portion as a mid-morning snack. I also make quick jams often as swirl-ins. But making yogurt from scratch? Don’t you need a machine? Or special equipment? Nope and nope. Just this genius recipe from Melissa Clark and the New York Times.

As Melissa says: “…I found the most accessible and complete guide in a book called “Yogurt Culture,” by Cheryl Sternman Rule, published last year. Her book made homemade yogurt seem not only easy, but also kind of essential. She persuaded me that making my own yogurt was one of those techniques that, like baking bread, every passionate cook should try at least once — if for nothing more than to connect with an ancient tradition.”

Ancient tradition connection made! PS Here’s Rule’s method on her website, Team Yogurt

Some recipe notes: I adapted the recipe slightly for my amount needs (4 cups not 8 cups) and lactose intolerance needs (I used Lactaid milk) and what yogurt I had on hand (Dannon Plain Whole Milk yogurt). I was concerned about the keeping it warm in an off oven with just the light. The NYT help line said this: “For this recipe, 'warm' means anything above 70 degrees, which can usually be achieved on top of the fridge. If you're not sure, take a quick check around the house with a digital kitchen thermometer for a good spot.” Melissa Clark on Twitter also wrote to me suggesting that I preheat the oven to 200 degrees and then turn if off and put the yogurt in, if I was concerned about warmth. I tried the completely off oven with the light on for 8 hours (one batch) and 10 hours (another batch). Both were perfection.

In future, I might try with whole Lactaid milk and might try straining it. But for my first try out of the gate, this works!  NB: Cheryl Sternman Rule has some options for non-dairy options on her site.

Creamy Homemade Yogurt
Adapted from #NYTCooking

4 cups Lactaid milk %2

In a heavy pot add milk and bring to a bare simmer, until bubbles form around the edges (190 to 200 degrees), stirring occasionally as it heats. Remove pot from heat and let cool until it feels pleasantly warm when you stick your pinkie in the milk for 10 seconds, (110 to 115 degrees). Transfer 1/2 cup of warm milk into a Pyrex measuring cup with spout and whisk in ½ cup yogurt until smooth. Stir yogurt-milk mixture back into remaining pot of warm milk. Cover pot with a large lid, wrap it in a kitchen or tea towel and move to your off oven with the oven light turned on. Let yogurt sit on the off oven for 8 hours, have a peek at 8 hours. It should have thickened, and smell like yogurt. (I left one batch in for 8 hours and another for 10 hours. Both were yum.) Transferred the pot to the refrigerator and chill for at least another 4 hours as it continues to thicken. Decant into clean Tupperware and use, all the time! Stir in your favorite mix-ins and enjoy!


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Monday, February 20, 2017

Recipe: Easy, Candied Orange Slices, Vegan, Tree Nut-Free, Gluten-Free

After I made that glorious blackberry thyme chocolate bark, I felt inspired to try another flavor combination, something with orange and an herby note. But how to get the oranges into chocolate without being too wet? Yes, I could zest, but since pushing myself during the #cook90 Epicurious challenge, I thought why not try something one step beyond that: candied orange slices. I’ve made candied orange peel before and dipped it in chocolate, heavenly. But not in a million years. So, I searched and found many super easy recipes and combined two and created this recipe below. 

My food allergen tip, scrub the peel really well as you’re going to be eating it.

Recipe: Easy, Candied Orange Slices, Vegan, Tree Nut-Free, Gluten-Free

Barely adapted from Food & Wine & The Repressed Pastry Chef

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar in the raw (turbinado sugar)
1 cara cara navel orange, sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices

In a medium skillet, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the orange slices and cook over moderate heat, turning them occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and the orange slices are translucent, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until the syrup is thick and the slices are tender but still intact, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer the orange slices to a rack to cool. Reserve the syrup for another use.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Recipe: Orange and Cinnamon Scented Beef Stew: Nut-Free, Gluten-Free, Fairway [SPONSORED]

"Dontcha wish your dinner was sweet meat like me?"

I really, really wanted a beef stew with the spice of cinnamon and the sweetness of oranges and dried fruit. And I looked and looked and could not find anything in all of my cookbooks and online that was exactly what I was looking for. So I made this version up, using tried and true braising methods and all of the flavors that I wanted: tender, melt in your mouth beef from Fairway Market, made even more tender by red wine, adding a little heat from cinnamon, sweetness from the carrots and raisins all in a luscious brown sauce - this is the stuff of dreams. 

It's also top 8 allergen free!

Happy plate for beef stew for days!

After the first 10 minutes or so, it's two hours of cooking, all hands off. Easy! Everything, but the meat, which I purchased at Fairway Market, you probably have on hand in your fridge and pantry. (If not, it's a quick trip to any market for these common ingredients.) I love recipes like that, don't you? Items you already have on hand, no special ingredients - easy! And as it’s Valentine’s Day 2017, *if* you’re so inclined and have the time, you could start cooking this dish this afternoon and have dinner on the table for your honey, tonight. Easy!


Orange and Cinnamon Scented Beef Stew with Carrots and Raisins

One Pound Wine Braised Beef Stew
Makes around 13 ounces of beef stew

One pound cubed chuck beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 T tomato paste
1 dried bay leaf
1 cup red wine
2 cups water (add more if needed to cover but not submerge meat)
.5 t ground cinnamon
1 cara cara orange, zested and juiced
½ cup raisins
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and make room on the middle rack. Heat two tablespoons of EVOO into a large Dutch oven/ceramic pot on medium high heat. Dry the meat cubes, salt them on all sides and add the meat to the hot pan in batches as to not overcrowd, and brown thoroughly on all sides. (If the pot it needs more oil, add it and make sure the fond doesn’t burn.) 

When the meat is all browned and sitting on a platter, resting, sauté the onions until translucent and fragrant. (If you need more oil, go ahead and add a glug). Once the onions are fragrant, add garlic and sauté for one minute until fragrant (do not burn the garlic!). Add the tomato paste, cinnamon and orange zest. Stir and heat for 30 seconds. Then add wine and bay leaf and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom. Boil the wine mixture until slightly reduced. Add the meat back into the pot with any juices. Bring the mixture a boil and then take off the heat and place into the 350 degree oven with the lid on the pot. 

While meat is cooking, add orange juice to raisins to rehydrate.  

About 1.5 hours into cooking, add chopped carrots and rehydrated raisins with any residual OJ. 

Let the mixture cook for another 30 minutes, until the meat is tender - a total of two hours.

Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. 

Serve over the grain or pasta of your choice with a side of salad and some yummy steamed greens.

Served with a side salad and oranges for dessert (uh...and a yoga block). #healthyhabits!

Enjoy and thank you, Fairway Market*.

(NB: *My policies regarding sponsored posts.)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Recipe: Vegan chickpea chili, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free, Top 8 Allergen-Free

Vegan chickpea chili over rice - yum
 I’ve been making this recipe, or aversion of it, since college. It’s economical, easy, high in nutrition but low on calories/fat, it’s made from pantry staples that you probably have on hand, it whips up in ten minutes or less which all means that you can walk in the door any night and be sitting down to this nutritious plate of yum in two shakes.

A few recipe notes: Chili powder is a mix of spices like cayenne, cumin, oregano, chiles, salt, pepper and other spices. Worried about allergens? You can easily make your own, here’s a recipe from The Kitchn.  Also, I like a little sweet in my chilis, even meat chili; maple syrup in particular, it’s totally optional but you should try it.


Recipe: Vegan chickpea chili, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free, Top 8 Allergen-Free

1 15 ounce can Goya chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can organic chopped tomatoes
1 shallot, peeled and minced (or small onion peeled and chopped)
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
Chili powder to taste (I started with two healthy shakes and then taste)
1 glug of maple syrup (or another sweater like brown sugar or honey)
Lucini EVOO
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté shallot in evoo until translucent and fragrant. Add garlic and sauté for one minute, then sprinkle chili powder, and stir until spices are fragrant. Add tomatoes and maple syrup, stir and let everyone meld for a few minutes. Add the chickpeas and let warm through. Taste and adjust for seasons. Serve over steamed rice and a side of green salad or steamed greens and enjoy!

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Monday, February 06, 2017

Recipe: Easy Rice Pudding, Lactose-Free Tree Nut-Free, Egg-Free

When I was in junior high school, one of my best friends was Venezuelan and after school, we’d raid her fridge. Two things they always had for after school snacks were rice pudding with raisins and empanadas, both nut-free and both so beyond yum. (They also had Nutella, this was in the mid-80s, which they brought from South America. Of course, I didn’t touch that.)

Every time I think of making rice pudding for myself and I look up recipes, they involve so much milk and/or cream and/or sugar and/or sweetened milk condensed and/or evaporated milk and/or a custard base and/or a house of stirring. Ugh, the work and I’m hungry when I wake up in the morning.

So, one morning while doing the #cook90 challenge by Epicurious, I thought hmm, what if I warmed up day old rice in milk, added raisins, topped with cinnamon and finished it with maple syrup, what might happen? Quick and easy rice pudding happened and IT IS GLORIOUS!

Recipe: Easy Rice Pudding, Lactose-Free Tree Nut-Free, Egg-Free
Makes one portion, scale up for your needs

.5 cup cooked white rice
.25 - .5 cup Lactaid milk 2%
Handful of golden raisins to taste
Cinnamon for sprinkling
Maple syrup to taste

In a heavy saucepan, on medium heat, cook the rice in the milk until the milk has been absorbed. Taste for texture, add more milk if needed. Plate in your favorite bowl, sprinkle on cinnamon, add a glug of maple syrup and enjoy!