Monday, November 29, 2010


I really didn't think a dairy-free gravy was possible and that it would even be edible........thankfully I was wrong.  Here is our Thanksgiving gravy:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 yellow onions sliced
2 tsp rosemary
2 tsp thyme
3 T oat flour - or you could probably use rice flour
dash of red wine vinegar
2 T honey
4 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 T corn starch mixed with a small amount of rice milk

Cook the onions in the olive oil over very low heat for an hour to an hour and a half-yes, that long.  You want the onions to carmelize and they will only do this over low heat, so don't turn the heat up.  Add the rosemary, thyme, and 1 T of oat flour.  Stir while cooking for about 1 minute.  Add vinegar and honey and continue stirring for another 2-3 minutes.  After this step you could set the gravy base aside and keep in fridge until you are ready to make the gravy.  I usually do these first steps the day before I plan to use the gravy since the onions take so long to cook.
Then over medium heat stir in the last 2 T of oat flour.  Add chicken broth and salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened.  If not thick enough, add in the corn starch/rice milk mixture and stir.  Wait another 5 or more minutes until thickened.
This gravy is not a thick, rich cream gravy but it has great flavor with the onions. 

If you want sausage gravy, cook some ground sausage and add the sausage and drippings to the gravy after you add the chicken broth.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I love the holiday season-the cooler weather, the great food, the yummy dessert, the family time.  This year, I'm only getting the family part of all that.........Where we live there is no such thing as "cold" weather.  Now everyone down here would disagree with me as they have pulled out their jackets and stocking caps-for weather in the 50's..........sheesh........And as for the food, well, our holidays will have to be allergy free and just how fun and yummy can that be, right?

But more than that, how can you be safe over the holidays?  How do you not go crazy with worry?  What do you do about everyone else who wants to eat their "normal" food or even family members who can't figure out how to cook for you or won't even try............

Thankfully, our families are very understanding of our allergy issues. And this year, Thanksgiving was at my house and I was in charge of the whole meal.  Scary!  I have never cooked Thanksgiving, much less an allergy-free one!

I have to say that everything turned out surprisingly well.  This was probably thanks to a week-long practice session of cooking all the items at least once to be fully prepared.

But what do you do when Thanksgiving isn't at your house?  Do you bring all your own food?  Do you eat in a separate room?  Do you make everyone wash their hands after they are done cooking and eating?

I'm glad we didn't have to think about these issues for Thanksgiving but now I'm thinking about Christmas........we'll be traveling and won't have the luxury of cooking in our allergen-free kitchen for each meal.  How do I explain the allergies to everyone and how do I keep from panicking when everyone wants to hug Baby Bee?  Why do all holidays have to center around some type of food?

I'll try and post some of our successful Thanksgiving recipes later.  You really can have a normal meal.....and Bee was thrilled and loved everything.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dairy Free

Some dairy-free thoughts............

Dairy-free living
Go dairy free
Eating with food allergies
Kids with food allergies

Cookbook Ideas
Go Dairy Free
More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally
The Milk Allergy Companion and Cookbook
Cooking for Isaiah
Bake Deliciously Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook
I can't personally endorse any of these because of all the other ingredients they contain so many other things that we can't have but I've heard good things about them.

My two favorite cookbooks are:
Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook
The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook
These are free of almost everything that we can't have and are a great resource when you are beginning allergy free cooking.

Milk alternatives:
Rice milk
Hemp milk
Almond milk
Coconut milk

Butter alternatives:
Olive oil
Coconut oil
Spectrum vegetable shortening
Soy free margarine

Yogurt alternatives:
Coconut yogurt
Rice Yogurt

Ice cream:
Sorbet is often dairy free
Coconut ice cream
Rice milk ice cream

Coconut milk creamer

One tablespoon of lemon juice to one cup of rice milk.  Stir together and let sit for 10 or more minutes.

Chocolate chips
Chocolate bars
Baking chocolate
100% cocoa powder should also be free of milk products

A roux can be made using olive oil and your flour of choice and adding unsweetened rice milk. 

We avoid soy as well as dairy, so these are my best soy- and dairy-free alternatives.  I've learned that it is hard to find something non-dairy that is also non-soy.  So you have to be careful when searching for dairy-free or vegan recipes.  I sometimes look for allergy-free resources and cookbooks rather than simply a milk- or dairy-free resource. 
And I have yet to find a cheese alternative but I'm still looking.
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