Q & A: How to Create Allergy-Friendly Recipes?

When people first find out about the food allergies in my home, they respond in astonishment,

How do you cook anything? You must have to do a lot of extra work!

My response is usually the same,

It’s not too bad.  I’ve figured it out over the years.

Cooking with food allergies does include a lot of trial and error.  But for every bad dish, there are a dozen good dishes.   So, how do I create allergy-friendly recipes?

  1. I stick to the basics.  I cook foods that are naturally allergy-friendly, like meat, vegetables, starches and fruit.  You’re not going to find a lot of casseroles in our allergy home.
  2. I am constantly searching for recipes online, in cookbooks, in magazines, or wherever.  I look for recipes that are not only already allergy-friendly, but recipes that can be easily “recreated” into an allergy-friendly dish.  I am not afraid to change up recipes so much that they no longer resemble the original.  The texture or look might be a little different, but I deem it successful if the taste is good.  The recipe calls for milk; I use almond or rice milk.  The recipe calls for butter; I use canola or coconut oil.  The recipe calls for wheat; I find a gluten-free flour that I think will be the best substitute.  The recipe calls for corn starch; I use arrowroot flour.  You get the idea…
  3. I create entirely new recipes.  I think about the chemistry behind ingredients and how the combination will meld together.  I look at the ingredients I have on hand, and go from there.  I have created a number of delicious dishes as a result.  I have also made a number of flops as a result.  I keep a recipe journal in the kitchen for my successes.

There are so many inspiring websites out there now that can help you become a better allergy-friendly cook.  Just don’t be afraid to take risks in the kitchen (with the recipe, not the allergy).

Tomorrow, I am sharing a recipe “recreation” that was a huge hit.  On Friday, I am premiering a new series that I am sure many of you will enjoy.  It may be a little challenge to get you out of a cooking rut, but challenges are good and the results usually better.

Are there any methods that you employ when cooking, either regular cooking or allergy-friendly?  Please share with us any tips you have!

Shared at Real Food Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday and Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

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4 Responses to Q & A: How to Create Allergy-Friendly Recipes?

  1. Linda says:

    Those are great tips and are exactly what I do. When I was gluten-free only, I was able to recreate some favorite casseroles and come up with new ones. Now that I’m dairy free, casseroles are not the same without real cheese, and I have made them much less often. Though sometimes I have found that they are just as good without cheese. Like you said, the texture or look might be different, but if it tastes good, it’s a success.

    • Cook says:

      Thanks Linda. I have made some pseudo-casseroles, but real casserole people would never consider them to be so, I’m sure. I have made some successful comfort foods gluten, dairy, egg, etc.-free, like chicken & dumplings, chicken biscuits, etc. Yum! It’s chilly and rainy here today…I think I need to go make some comfort food 🙂

      Thanks for chiming in!

  2. Jane Anne says:

    I enjoyed this post so much! I am book marking your site. Although the food allergy my family deals with is easy to work around in regards to cooking, I love connecting with other allergy families. I’m bookmarking your site.

    My Wordless Wednesday post: A Little Whipped Cream on Top?

    • Cook says:

      Thanks for your comment, Jane Anne. I peeked at your site and I think I’ll go make the Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins now. Let me know if there is anything you’d ever like covered by The Willing Cook. You can subscribe to my site as well to receive post updates.


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