So I’ve been a food allergy mama for over 11 years, and although I know my way around food allergy cooking, I’ve often been in cooking ruts. Last year, our food allergy situation changed because we added a gluten intolerance to our list of severe peanut and tree nut allergies (see my post about gluten here). By experiencing a new food restriction after several years, I realized there are a few similar feelings that new food allergy mamas and mamas who’ve done this for awhile feel. Let me know if you’ve ever experienced any of these feelings:
- We feel overwhelmed with the time it takes to read labels in the grocery store, and we wish we could just run in and out instead of having to read every label, every time.
- Our old recipe standbys we used to make are no longer safe, OR we’re just sick of what we always make. We need something new and different that’s safe, easy, healthy and that our kids will love.
- We feel a weight on our shoulders because we need to safely feed our family, but we either don’t know where to start OR we don’t know how to get out of our rut. That weight doesn’t leave us because our family needs to be fed EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Because I’m a food allergy mom & business owner, I find that I’m busier than ever. I don’t have the time to go to the grocery store several times a week. I also sometimes feel “stuck” and overwhelmed trying to think of new things to cook for dinner on a daily basis. I’m not one of those lucky girls who has a hubby that cooks. Nope. He has many, many good qualities, but cooking anything other than bbq’d hamburgers or steak are not something that he excels at. So cooking is my duty in our house.
My Food Allergy Cooking Solution
One of the cool parts of my job is that I get to find solutions to problems that I’m having and then SHARE them with you, because I know that a lot of the things I’m going through, you’re also going through. In my business as a Food Allergy Consultant, I’ve been forced to create some pretty demanding meal plans for people who were facing several food allergies in their household. Researching and creating recipes for these people got me thinking how I could help others (and myself) with quality meal plans. It got me looking for alternatives that not only I could use, but my clients who were dealing with even more allergies could use. As I was thinking about these meal plans, it became important that I followed a few objectives:
- Meals that can feed the WHOLE family so you don’t have to cook several meals to accommodate different allergies.
- A month of weeknight dinners, because one month should be a good amount of time to get out of a rut or find your bearings. If not, then we can re-cycle through the month again!
- To create a break from cooking - I included a whole week where every meal in that week makes a double batch so it can be frozen for busy days when there isn’t time to cook (or you don’t want to).
- Delicious recipes that are top 10 (Canada) and top 8 (US) allergen-free or can be made that way using easy substitutions.
- Recipes that are or can be made gluten-free.
- Recipes using simple ingredients so less time spent label reading.
- Recipes using regular ingredients so you don’t have to go to the expensive speciality store.
- Not all allergens are removed from all of the recipes because I not everybody wants to remove every allergen; BUT, if there is a top allergen in the recipes, there will be an easy & delicious replacement suggested.
Recipe Tester/Launch Group Open For Limited Time
With these objectives in mind, I set to work. Creating and refining the recipes has not been an overnight process. I started about a year ago with 1-4 months of dedicated time. What I come up with has been tested & approved by my family, clients and friends. I'm currently testing the recipes with a group of almost 50 food allergy mamas who are helping me make the book the best it can be!
After the test phase, I'll be launching my new allergy-friendly recipe book & meal plans at the end of August 2018. Make sure to come back to www.friendlypantry.com to get it by Sept. 3 since it will be offered for an introductory price. Until then, you can sign up for my free "Simple Delicious Dinners" here:
Share in the comments: are you new to food allergy cooking or have you ever been in a food allergy cooking rut? How does it make you feel?