March 16, 2009,
S.F. asks from Corvallis, OR on March 14, 2009
Seeking Wheat and Egg Free Recipes
So the Ig/G food allergy tests are back and our family is avoiding some combination of wheat, eggs and dairy. Needless to say, our eating habits have been turned upside down. Any ideas for bread recipes, stir fried veggie rice, breakfast cereals etc? The phrase of the week is "good golly".
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So What Happened?™
Thank you all so much for your advice. It's a huge relief to find so many people willing to share what they know...and if I'm honest - that we're not alone.
Here's a recipe our lovely neighbor came up with for non-wheat flour:
6 c. rice flour, 2 c. potato starch, 1 c. tapioca flour, 1 or 2 T. xanthan gum. She keeps that much in the kitchen in an airtight container and extra ingredients in the freezer.
D.D. answers from Seattle on March 15, 2009
There are bread mixes that are free of the three allergens you mentioned. Also, if you have a bread maker, as we do - Cuisinart bread machines have recipes for gluten free, egg free and dairy free recipes.
My daughter is celiac, and wheat free by itself is a challenge. however, you can also find a lot of recipes online. Also, because I can't have wheat or dairy, I have a lot of rice cakes, mainly because I don't like my "bread" to be sweet.
I also cook a lot of beans and rice. Beans are great! You can make chili too!
The nice thing about stir-fry, is that you can put anything in it or leave anything out of it that you want.
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A.H. answers from Portland on March 15, 2009
My greatest sympathy for having to deal with such a big issue as allergies. I have many myself and it is very overwhelming when you first try to change your whole life over to allergy free and functioning.
Here are a few sites you might find helpful.
A vegan site to give you ideas on how to cut out eggs and dairy
celiac web site
Here are replacement ideas for eggs in your cooking
Commercial Egg Replacer
Ener-G is an incredibly versatile and easy to use commercial egg replacer available in most health food stores and larger well-stocked grocery stores. I find that despite the instructions on the package to mix Ener-G with two tablespoons of water, some recipes will need a bit more moisture when replacing eggs using Ener-G, so you may need to compensate with an extra tablespoon of water or soy milk. Ener-G and other store-bought egg substitutes are relatively flavorless and work best in baked goods, such as cookies, muffins and cakes, and can also be used to bind ingredients together in a vegan casserole or loaf. Ener-G is vegan and certified kosher, but be sure to read the labels carefully on other brands, as some may contain egg whites.
Bananas and Applesauce
Smash up or blend about a half a banana or 1/4 cup applesauce to use as an egg replacer in baked goods such as muffins, pancakes or yeast-free quick breads, such as pumpkin bread, and of course, banana bread! Bananas and applesauce add the perfect amount of thick moisture, like eggs, but they won't help your dishes rise or turn out light and fluffy, so be sure the recipe you are using includes a bit of baking powder or baking soda to help it rise if needed. Substitute 1/2 of a mashed ripe banana or applesauce plus 1/4 teaspoon baking powder for each egg.
Tofu is the best way to substitute eggs in dishes such as a quiche, fritatta or egg salad. The texture of silken tofu or crumbled regular tofu is surprisingly similar to boiled or cooked eggs when used in a similar recipe and, by adding a bit of mustard, turmeric or nutritional yeast to your dish to give it a yellow hue, your eyes will be tricked as well as your taste buds! Because other recipe adjustments are probably needed to make an egg-free fritatta, for example, its best to follow a recipe rather than just replacing the eggs with tofu.
Silken tofu is also an appropriate egg substitute in baked goods. To use, blend 1/4 cup silken tofu with liquid ingredients until tofu is smooth and creamy. While it won't alter the flavor of a recipe, using tofu as an egg substitute will make baked goods a bit on the heavy and thick side, so it works well in brownies and pancakes, but wouldn't work well in something like an angel food cake that needs to be light and fluffy. Substitute 1/4 cup tofu for each egg.
flaxmeal (Make flaxmeal by grinding flaxseed in a blender until it has the consistency of cornmeal. Use two tablespoons flaxmeal plus 1/8 teaspoon baking powder plus 3 tablespoons water for each egg called for in recipe.
gelatin (To replace each egg: Dissolve 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin in 1 tablespoon cold water, then add 2 tablespoons boiling water. Beat vigorously until frothy.)
cornstarch (Substitute 1 tablespoon cornstarch plus 3 tablespoons water for each egg called for in recipe.
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K.C. answers from Seattle on March 15, 2009
We're dealing with wheat/egg allergies, too. She's only 15 months old, so I was lucky not to have to take much away from her. I posted a similar question a few weeks ago and have received some helpful responses. Here's the link for that thread:
Also, my mom and I have done some brainstorming for more options. We've discovered that Rice Chex is now free of wheat (haven't checked store brand), and Kix cereal is all corn and oat. Rice Krispies do have wheat as an ingredient. Cheerios have "wheat starch" as one of the last ingredients on the list, but have never triggered a reaction in my daughter, although her sensitivity to wheat doesn't seem to be very severe.
As far as "regular" grocery ingredients go, we've figured out some good alternatives through products that have rice or corn as a base. I found rice noodles on the Asian food aisle to substitute for spaghetti. They're very sticky, but they work. Mixing corn starch with a cold liquid can take the place of flour as a thickener in sauces or gravies (the box has substitution amounts). Corn tortillas can take the place of bread to make wraps or roll-up sandwiches. My daughter likes barley mixed with vegetables, chicken and cheese. It seems to be a little more filling than rice. I'm also planning to try some cornmeal mush with her this week for breakfast (recipe on the cornmeal box).
If you're looking for speciality products, I have heard of a company called Ener-G Foods. They're based in downtown Seattle, I think, have an online store and sell products in groceries/health food stores. They sell recipes for breads and other foods in addition to ready-made foods (breads, cookies, pretzels, etc.) and ingredients (including an egg replacer for baking). I haven't tried any of their products yet, but I have checked out the website:
Best wishes to you and your family. I know that the "well, now what?" feeling is a little overwhelming, but I'm finding the allergies to be more of a minor inconvenience and an interesting challenge than anything else so far.
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K.C. answers from Portland on March 16, 2009
You have a lot of good info here. I just wanted to add that liquid Aminos is a great soy sauce substitute. It's made from soy beans and is really good for you. It tastes the same to me but a little can go a long way.
We are wheat free and my son also can't have dairy. It does get easier. Hang in there.
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A.D. answers from Portland on March 15, 2009
This is one of my favorites. You can control how hot it is by adjusting the red curry paste:
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K.S. answers from Yakima on March 15, 2009
I live with pretty severe Celiac Sprue and have found that with a little practice the diet is very easy (I was diagnosed at age 30). In the beginning I found that it was easiest to purchase products that were labled "gluten free" as opposed to standing around and reading each label and since you have the addition of avoiding eggs you may find it easy to go to the gluten free product then read to see if it contains eggs! There are hundreds of web pages that offer gluten free products www.glutenfreemall.com is the one that I think I ordered the most from (if you are a soy or teriyaki sauce person, the only one that I ever found that was really gluten free was La Choy - there may be others but I've not found them. So as to your fried rice...just substitute in the La Choy soy sauce and omit the eggs)
As to foods that are available at the grocery store, once you look around you'll find it really easy. Most have an aisle for these specialty products where you can find pastas, cereals, and bread mixes. My overall opinion of these alternative flour options is that most are not worth spending the money on ~ some are good like Pam's Naturals and Bob's Red Mill.
When cooking at home I keep the Bob's Red Mill all purpose flour on hand and any recipe that calls for flour I just substitute in this product (it does not work 100% of the time, but, I would say I have about a 90% success rate)
When traveling I just bring my own food with me.
Best of luck!
**I just wanted to add that at first this seems really really hard but with some practice you'll wonder why you ever fretted about it! Good luck!!
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L.T. answers from Portland on March 15, 2009
My son is allergic to eggs...and honestly, I think it is the easier of the allergies to deal with. Most companies are finding it easier to use soy lecethin instead of egg in their products...but ALWAYS be causious and read read read the labels. I have found some of my favorite foods at Fred Meyer in their health food section. They have a ton of Egg Free/Gluten Free products that make cooking so much easier. My favorite product so far though is Ener-G's Egg Replacer. It makes baking ANYTHING pretty much a breeze. I make cupcakes for birthdays and pancakes for breakfast. Fred Meyer has Gluten Free pancake mix, Gluten free cookies...etc. You will find that you have to pay a little more unfortunately...but there are a LOT more products these days to make our lives a bit less of a struggle...which is nice.
The Egg Replacer box actually has lots of recipes on it...including an Egg Free Quiche (which I always thought funny). Whole Foods is another wonderland of Gluten Free/Egg Free products. I have found that most vegan foods (even the prepackage kind) tend to be the safest...but again, READ the labels.
As everyone else said though...it is overwhelming at first...and you will probably make life harder for yourself than necessary for a little while until you get the hang of it (I know we did). Once you figure out the routine though...you will wonder why you freaked out in the beginning at all. I have actually found it kinda fun to try my hand at the new cooking techniques. Oh...and a good website for egg free (and occasionally gluten free) meals/recipes is www.egglesscooking.com
*HUGS* Best of luckand welcome to the food allergy family there is more support out there than you think for us...and of course, don't hesitate to drop a note. I have a list somewhere of great websites and cook books and products. It helps me keep track if I am trying to do something specific that I use to love. (also...I live by www.allrecipes.com and just modify to suit us)
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T.R. answers from Bellingham on March 15, 2009
I have the exact same allergies and I find it best to simply make all or most of my own food. Rice flour is a great substitute for wheat flour in most recipes. Processed packaged foods you are better off avoiding because most have hidden milk and wheat in them, and most are also made with genetically modified corn or soy. www.tropicaltraditions.com has a lot of gluten free recipes if you scroll down to their recipes tab. But use the internet and google egg free recipes, or gluten free milk free etc... Egg is a tough one to avoid but with practice it will get easier. It just makes it really hard to bake anything. But I have a great apple pie recipe that is wheat/milk/egg free. I got coconut flour from tropical traditions, and coconut oil from the same and I make the crust out of that. But you could use any nut flour. The food coop carries a good variety, or trader Joes. I put a little coconut flour and pumpkin pie spices in the apples with a tablespoon of sugar and it makes a great pie. The crust wont be crispy like flour, but it is still pretty good, especially if you put a little vinegar in the crust and in with the apples.
Ironically this allergy forces you to eat the way we really are supposed to be eating. I make a lot of vegetable/rice/meat stir fries which make great breakfasts as well as any other meal. I just season with salt, pepper and a little paprika and put in lots of different veggies. Nuts can make a nice accent for it as well. I most often eat left over dinner for breakfast which is usually a meat and a salad. Salads are a great opportunity to include a lot of different veggies. In fact I never even make a cooked veggie with dinner anymore, I just chop it up and put it in the salad. Then I mix in some dried fruit and a sliced orange or apple or whatever fruit I have handy. It makes a wonderful salad and your friends will rave. It is so good it doesn't even need dressing, but Newmans olive oil and vinegar is my favorite to put on it. Both of my kids love my stir fries and salads.
I have a convection bbq called a Traeger that you can smoke your own foods on so I get my meat from a local farmer and smoke my own bacan, ham, fish, turkeys and chicken, everything tastes wonderful smoked and slow cooked. Joes sporting goods carries them if you are interested. Their temperature controls allow you to bbq below 200 degrees, which is the ideal temp to cook all meat because if cooked about that temp, your body actually forms an immune response against it. Your crock pot will become your friend too. Or cook in your oven below 200. A great roast recipe is season some water with salt pepper and whatever seasonings you like. I personally am never without garlic and onion powder and put them in everything. Or chop up the real things. Paprika and chili powder also taste great on all meats. Anyways, put in your roast at least 12 hours before you want to eat it, 24 hours is better, it just gets more and more tender. Then put the roast in the pan and the water should come all the way to the top of the roast, but not completely cover it. Then just forget about it and it will come out the best tasting most tender roast you have ever had. If you like, a few hours before serving throw in some carrots celery and potatoes too. yum!
Soups and stews are easy and delicious and can be made in the crock pot or on the stove with the left over water from your roast. A whole chicken can also be cooked the same way, then use the broth for chicken vegetable soup. There are a few gluten free cereals, but it is really better to just have dinner for breakfast, and cheaper.
As for bread, it is pretty much impossible to make wheat free bread. Trader Joes sells a rice bread, but it doesn't taste very good lol. But it is an option. Making tacos with corn tortillas is one of our favorites. I will give you my taco meat recipe too that I got from a mexican cook and it is wonderful, also makes great salsa and guacamole seasoning as well. So for a pound of hamburger, hopefully from a local grass fed cow, not the supermarket to avoid antibiotics and hormones, add 1-2 tsp of sea salt, 1 tsp pepper, paprika, chili powder, onion and garlic powder (or chop up the real thing) and last but very important, a half a tsp of cumin. In place of the cheese I would normally put on a taco, I put a generous helping of guacamole. I have not been successful in finding organic corn taco shells, but I keep a look out.
For drinking I like the coconut milk I get at Trader Joes because it doesn't have any preservatives in it. But it tastes the closest to milk if you add a little bit of salt. If you add a little bit of cocoa powder (unsweetened) and a little vanilla and stevia (a natural herb sweetener also from Trader Joes) it makes a lovely chocolate milk which the kids will love. Or Trader Joes also has almond milk in a variety of flavors, your kids won't even miss milk. Diabetes is my issue that came from my allergies because when you eat something you are allergic to it attacks your pancreas cells. So I developed type 1 diabetes. So be aware that it is a possibility if you find you cheat too much on the diet. But as long as I follow the milk/wheat/egg free diet, my pancreas works fine. But that is why I use Stevia instead of sugar. But with 1 in 3 people being diabetic or prediabetic, it is never a bad idea to cut down on sugar. Anyways I hope some of these ideas help.
We get a half or a whole cow at a time from Roger Barteld a local farmer and he grass feeds his cows. If you want his # let me know but it is cheaper than the store and better quality. We get a lot of hamburger so we make tacos a lot, as well as hamburgers, which I season with the Traegar brand beef rub I get at Joes sporting goods. It doesn't have any chemicals or fillers in it and is great on any meat. I just mix it in with the hamburger, no egg or fillers and it makes the best hamburgers you ever tasted, especially when I smoke them for an hour on my grill. :) I sound like a salesman for Traeger lol. But I just love my bbq. Home made bacon is so much better than anything you find in the store and no nitrates that way. I just brine it overnight in salt and pepper and smoke it 4-6 hours. Good health and good eating :)
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C.P. answers from Seattle on March 15, 2009
I'm sorry to hear you are going through that. I have a son with a life threatening peanut allergy and a minor egg allergy and through that, I have found the most wonderful group of food allergic families. The organization is a non-profit and is called Washington FEAST which stands for Food Allergy, Eczema, Asthma Support Team. They have a list serve where you can ask just these types of questions and you get responses from all the experienced families. Plus, their website is full of useful information. And they have numerous files on their Yahoo group site, including allergen free recipes. Check them out at www.wafeast.org.
Also see the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network website at www.foodallergy.org. Invaluable information for families with food allergies. Recipes there also.
There are tons of resources, many more than I've listed here. You can also Google recipes - just type in egg-free muffins or whatever you want.
It's a challenge dealing with food allergies, but you can do it! Please do join the WA FEAST group - they have been so invaluable to me. Great learning to be had there.
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