Got a food allergy in the family? Always on the lookout for recipe ideas that everyone can safety eat? You’ll find 300 of them in The Everything Food Allergy Cookbook by Linda Larsen (Adams Media, 2008).
Larsen, who has a B.S. degree in food science and nutrition, points out in her intro that while food manufacturers and preparers are creating more and more options for folks with food allergies, ultimately it’s up to you to be on the lookout for problem ingredients. But she promises that if you “take control of the situation” your family can have a wonderful, varied diet.
The book focuses on six allergens that, according to Larsen, account for nearly 90% of food-based allergic reactions: nuts, milk, wheat, eggs, fish and soy. After a good, basic introduction to food allergies that covers allergy testing, various allergens, reading labels, cooking tips and eating out, Larsen launches into the recipes. And with categories ranging from breakfast to breads, substitutions to soups and salads, beef and pork to vegetarian – and of course ending with cookies, candies, cakes and other desserts – there’s no shortage of ideas.
Symbols at the top of each recipe page list the allergens you won’t find there, and a strip at the side lists the calories, fat, carbs and sodium per serving, along with the ingredients. The recipe itself is in the center, and is often followed by handy tips (like advice on how to peel and slice mangoes under the Mango Chutney recipe, or an explanation of the term “al dente” under the Broccoli Penne recipe).
Between the straightforward delivery Larsen uses in the recipe directions and these helpful tips, even parents who feel less-than-confident in the kitchen can likely turn out appetizing allergy-free meals for the family.