Allergy-Friendly, Gluten-Free Sides

These delicious allergy-friendly and gluten-free sides are a compliment to any meal. Some stand quite nicely alone.

Moist & Delicious Allergy-Friendly Banana Bread From a Mix? Yes!

by Allergy Free Kitchens on July 8, 2014

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Our summer of semi-homemade dishes with allergy-friendly products continues with this delicious banana bread mix from Let Them Eat Foods out of Illinois.  I met the team from Let Them Eat Foods at the 2014 Chicago Gluten & Allergen Free Expo and they kindly gave me a bag of their banana bread mix to make and review.  I would later discover what they gave me was a real treat.  Yes, it is possible to get a moist and delicious allergy-friendly banana bread from a mix.

Let it be known, all banana bread mixes and recipes I try are held to a standard.  If the end result can’t compete with my mom’s gluten, egg, and dairy-filled version, they’re out.  Anything that doesn’t taste like hers just isn’t banana bread to me.

I’ve tried making my mom’s recipe using alternate ingredients and (no surprise here) I’ve never quite hit it.  I’ve tried different recipes and mixes and my husband’s reaction is almost always the same, “It’s good, but I don’t really taste banana.”  Ugh!  Sometimes a spice in the mix or recipe overpowered it.  Sometimes the flour blend hijacked the flavor.  It just wasn’t right.

As you might imagine, I was a bit apprehensive when I began to whip up the banana bread mix from Let Them Eat Foods.  The instructions call for egg, so I knew I was already veering off the path of tried and true.  To keep our bread vegan, I simply omitted egg altogether and used another 1/2 of a banana pureed and mixed with 1 tsp of baking powder instead.  I also opted to bake the bread in three mini-loaf pans.  I’ve found that to be helpful when baking gluten-free breads without eggs.  (With my oven and pans, my mini-loaves are typically done in 30 – 35 minutes at 350 degrees.  If you’ve not used mini-loaf pans before, I would begin checking your loaves at 25 minutes.)

When the loaves were finished and had cooled to warm, I did a little something I learned from my mom.  I rubbed a little bit of Earth Balance Buttery Spread (she uses real butter) on the top of the loaves and wrapped them tight in plastic wrap to finish cooling.  The result was heavenly.

Finally, we have a banana bread that ranks right up there with my mom’s, but with the ease of a mix.  Ah, semi-homemade saves the day.

This banana bread is scrumptious on its own, but if you want to do a little something fancy, try this:

  • Preheat a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Slice the bread to 1/2  thickness.
  • Lightly spread both sides of each slice with a buttery spread of your choice.
  • Place the bread in the preheated pan until the sugars caramelize and the edges get a bit crisp.  Flip the bread over and do the same to the other side.
  • Remove the bread from the pan and plate each slice.
  • Top each warm slice with your favorite allergy-friendly vanilla ice cream.
  • Enjoy!

I encourage you to visit Let Them Eat Foods to see the variety of products they offer, find out how and where you can purchase their products, and review their allergen information to determine if their products fit your dietary restrictions.  Please note the following statement provided by Let Them Eat Foods:  “Allergen contamination is something we take very seriously.  We therefore do our best to post allergen information for our source ingredients on our website.  All of our products currently use the same GF flour, which is manufactured in a facility that also uses tree nuts and soy.”

Have you tried Let Them Eat Foods products?  Let me know what your favorites are and what semi-homemade dishes you make with them. 🙂

Livin’ the free life,

Wendy

Disclosure:  As stated in this post, I was provided with a package of Let Them Eat Foods Banana Bread Mix to review.  The views shared are my honest opinions.  

 

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Vegan Mashed Potatoes (with a cheesy twist)

by Allergy Free Kitchens on January 7, 2014

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Like most of the country, it has been COLD here this week.  With windchills below twenty degrees, warm and hearty comfort food just sounds right. For my hubs, that translates into a flavorful pot roast and carrots (like this recipe from The Pioneer Woman).  For me and our little, bring on the yummy vegan mashed potatoes!

In cooking dairy free for nearly six years, I’ve experimented a bit and have a variety of ways to whip up vegan spuds.  This particular recipe has a bit of a cheesy twist that pairs well with or without gravy.  I do use Russet Potatoes for this dish.  We also like Yukon Gold, but that’s a recipe to share another day.

As with any recipe, please be sure you use ingredients deemed safe for your dietary restrictions and always read labels, even if you’ve used the products before.

Vegan Mashed Potatoes (with a cheesy twist)

Serves 4

2 pounds Russet Potatoes (about 4-5 medium size potatoes)

3 tablespoons vegan butter (I use Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks.)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and ends removed

2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese (I use Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese.)

1 tablespoon vegan parmesan (I use Go Veggie Vegan Parmesan.)

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

2 tablespoons rice milk, warmed

salt (I typically use 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.)

freshly ground black pepper

Scrub and peel the potatoes.  Cut them in quarters.  Slice the ends off of the garlic cloves.  Combine the potatoes and garlic and steam according to your steamer’s instructions or boil in a pot of salted water.  When ready, the potatoes will be fork tender, but not falling apart. It usually takes about 30 minutes after the water starts to boil for my potatoes to reach the perfect stage for the way we like them.

While the potatoes are cooking, bring the vegan butter, cream cheese, and parmesan to room temperature.  Heat the rice milk separately, but do not boil.

When the potatoes and garlic are done cooking, drain (if boiled) and place in a large mixing bowl.  Mash the potatoes and garlic with a potato masher or beat with a mixer on medium-high speed just until the texture is uniform.  Add in the vegan butter, cream cheese, parmesan, and parsley.  Whip until all ingredients are incorporated.  Add in the heated rice milk (one tablespoon at a time) and beat/mash until desired consistency is reached.  Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

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Apple Salad – Vegan and Allergy-Friendly

by Allergy Free Kitchens on October 26, 2013

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Apples are a favorite snack in this household.  Honeycrisp, Pink Lady and Granny Smith are among our faves, so it’s no surprise our family’s favorite apple salad has them all.

This recipe is so easy to make and so yum! We serve it as a light dessert.  Others enjoy it as a side dish.  However it fits in your menu, we trust you won’t be disappointed.

As with any recipe, please be sure you use ingredients deemed safe for your dietary restrictions and always read labels, even if you’ve used the products before.

Apple Salad Recipe – Vegan and Allergy-Friendly

2 Honeycrisp apples cored and cut in 1/4″ cubes

1 Granny Smith apple cored and cut in 1/4” cubes

1 Pink Lady apple cored and cut in 1/4” cubes

3/4 cup finely chopped celery

3/4  cup raisins

1/3 cup Vegenaise (soy free is available)

1 lemon cut in half

3 cups allergy-friendly mini-marshmallows (or more if you like a sweeter salad or prefer more cream)

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

Juice one half of the lemon into a small mixing bowl.  Juice the other half of the lemon into a large mixing bowl.

To the smaller mixing bowl add the Vegenaise, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Whisk until smooth

To the larger bowl, add the apple cubes and stir to coat with the lemon juice to prevent browning.  Add the celery, raisins and marshmallows.  Stir to combine.

Pour the lemon juice/Vegenaise mixture over the apple mixture and stir until evenly coated.  Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, stirring after 30 minutes.  Some prefer to refrigerate this apple salad over night to allow the marshmallows to break down into a sweet cream.

Stir before serving.  Enjoy!

This recipe serves 8.

 

 

 

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Pretty Potato Salad – Vegan and Gluten-Free

by Allergy Free Kitchens on August 14, 2013

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Hummus Recipe, Allergy-Friendly

by Allergy Free Kitchens on July 29, 2013

Hummus-Allergy-Free-KitchensI enjoy vegetables roasted, grilled, sauteed, and steamed.  Raw?  Not so much.  If they aren’t loaded in a salad or at least tipped with dip, I’m not a fan.  How do I cope?  Hummus to the rescue.  Peppers, cucumbers, carrots and celery all pair well with this delicious spread, and so will your favorite allergy-friendly chips and crackers.

Although tahini is typically included in hummus, you’ll notice I’ve not included it in the recipe below because it is off limits for those allergic to sesame. Because sesame is safe in our home, I’ll toss in a tablespoon of it every once in a while, but most days we make it just like you find it below, and it goes FAST.

As with any recipe, please be sure you use ingredients deemed safe for your dietary restrictions and always read labels, even if you’ve used the products before.

Hummus Recipe, Allergy-Friendly

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 small garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (add more to taste, if desired)

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon honey or agave (optional)

To your blender or food processor add all of the above ingredients.  Blend on slow for 30 seconds.  Scrape down sides.  Blend on high for 1 minute.  Scrape down sides.  Blend again on high for another minute.  The longer you blend, the smoother the consistency.

To serve, place the hummus in a serving dish, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with 1 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley.  To add a little heat, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper.  (Omit the crushed red pepper when serving it to kiddos.)

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