Allergic? Staying alive and healthy

Allergies suck.  Lots of people don’t tolerate milk, or wheat, or some kinds of fish.  Me, I got all three.  Wheat gluten — I itch, I ache, and the next day I’m serial killer crazy.  Shrimp —  I puff up and die.  Milk, never mind what happens.  You don’t want to know.  So I’ve had to develop some serious strategies to stay alive and healthy.  I share them because you might have some of the same issues — or your guests might.  Nothing kills a dinner party faster than a trip to the emergency room.
Here are two recipes with my favorite gluten-free grain, quinoa (keen-wa), the ancient grain of the Incas.  Easy to prepare, and filled with vitamins and protein.
Home cooking — allergic-style
This one has no dairy, no gluten, no corn, no shellfish, no peanuts, no soy.
Equipment:
wok,  wooden spoon
plates, forks, napkins
Ingredients (figure out the amounts based on how many people you’re cooking for):
chicken, cut in chunks
red pepper, cut up
green onion, cut up
cashews (T. Joe’s lime/chili are awesome — failing that, plain cashews, lime juice, chili powder)
brown rice and quinoa mix, pre-cooked (Seeds of Change has a really nice one — or pre-cook your own mix)
raw spinach
Get out the wok.  Heat it up, add a dab of coconut oil.  (Wok cooking is done fast and hot, constant stirring — so don’t wear your good clothes, or find an apron.)
Add chunks of chicken, sear them, cook them almost to done, then take them out and keep them aside.
Throw in chunks of red pepper, sear them. Stir them up.
Add green onion. Sear it.
Throw in some lime/chili cashews. Still stirring.
When it’s almost cooked, put the chicken back in.
Add brown rice/quinoa mix.  More stirring.
At the very end, top with a lot of spinach, stir it up until it’s wilted.
Add some Himalayan Pink Salt if you need to, and plate it up.  Sit down.  Eat.
Pot luck — allergic-style
Here’s what to bring when you don’t want to poison yourself or anyone else who has food sensitivities.  Again, no on the dairy, gluten, corn, shellfish, peanuts, soy.
Equipment:
saucepan, strainer, bowl
Ingredients:
red quinoa (try to get pre-washed, way easier — Ancient Harvest is an excellent brand)
organic Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or other tart apple
yellow or white onion
walnuts
Cut up apple and onion, toss them in a mix of boiling water and no-salt organic chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you like), and cook them until slightly underdone.
Strain them out, put them aside, reserve the broth.
Cook quinoa according to package directions, using the broth and adding water if necessary to get the amount right.
When the quinoa is cooked, fluff it, and add the apple/onion/walnut mix.
Put it in your carry container, and reheat slightly before serving.
See?  There we are.  We all lived.  Nobody scratched, nobody sneezed, nobody got CPR, and we all got fed.  Nicely done.

Allergies suck.  Lots of people don’t tolerate milk, or wheat, or some kinds of fish.  Me, I got all three.  Wheat gluten — I itch, I ache, and the next day I’m serial killer crazy.  Shrimp —  I puff up and die. Milk, never mind what happens.  You don’t want to know. So I’ve had to develop some serious strategies to stay alive and healthy.  I share them because you might have some of the same issues — or your guests might.  Nothing kills a dinner party faster than a trip to the emergency room.

Here are two recipes with my favorite gluten-free grain, quinoa (keen-wa), the ancient grain of the Incas.  Easy to prepare, and filled with vitamins and protein.

Food Allergy

Food Allergy

Home cooking — allergic-style

This one has no dairy, no gluten, no corn, no shellfish, no peanuts, no soy.

Equipment:

  • wok,  wooden spoon
  • plates, forks, napkins

Ingredients: (figure out the amounts based on how many people you’re cooking for)

  • chicken, cut in chunks
  • coconut oil – or canola if you like, but it has no flavor
  • red pepper, cut up
  • green onion, cut up
  • cashews (T. Joe’s lime/chili are awesome — failing that, plain cashews, lime juice, chili powder)
  • brown rice and quinoa mix, pre-cooked (Seeds of Change has a really nice one — or pre-cook your own mix)
  • raw spinach
  • Himalayan Pink Salt (soooo good, flavorful, you just need a little)
  1. Get out the wok.  Heat it up, add a dab of coconut oil.  (Wok cooking is done fast and hot, constant stirring — so don’t wear your good clothes, or find an apron.)
  2. Add chunks of chicken, sear them, cook them almost to done, then take them out and keep them aside.
  3. Throw in chunks of red pepper, sear them. Stir them up.
  4. Add green onion. Sear it.
  5. Throw in some lime/chili cashews. Still stirring.
  6. When it’s almost cooked, put the chicken back in.
  7. Add brown rice/quinoa mix.  More stirring.
  8. At the very end, top with a lot of spinach, stir it up until it’s wilted.
  9. Add some Himalayan Pink Salt if you need to, and plate it up.  Sit down.  Eat.

Pot luck — allergic-style

Here’s what to bring when you don’t want to poison yourself or anyone else who has food sensitivities.  Again, no on the dairy, gluten, corn, shellfish, peanuts, soy.

Equipment:

  • saucepan, strainer, bowl, carry container

Ingredients:

  • red quinoa (try to get pre-washed, way easier — Ancient Harvest is an excellent brand)
  • no-salt organic chicken or vegetable broth
  • organic Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or other tart apple
  • yellow or white onion
  • walnuts
  1. Cut up apple and onion, toss them in a mix of boiling water and no-salt organic chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you like), and cook them until slightly underdone.
  2. Strain them out, put them aside, mix in the walnuts, reserve the broth.
  3. Cook quinoa according to package directions, using the broth and adding water if necessary to get the amount right.
  4. When the quinoa is cooked, fluff it, and add the apple/onion/walnut mix, add a little pink salt if you need to.
  5. Put it in your carry container, and reheat slightly before serving.

See?  There we are.  We all lived.  Nobody scratched, nobody sneezed, nobody got CPR, and we all got fed.  Nicely done.

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8 Responses

  1. This is a great post! Thanks Bob.

  2. OMG, i thought i was the only one with weird allergies…thanks for the post. This is awesome!!!

    • Hope you are finding good healthy ways to cope. Allergies are strange – and the tendency to have them is inherited, though the specific allergens are not. My poor child, allergic to white grapes, green peppers, and rope. My dad, ragweed and cucumbers. In any case, glad I could help.

  3. …man, i have to say, i’m blessed, i’m only allergic to fish. great article. when did you know you were allergic to all of the above?

    • The dairy and gluten allergies appeared over time, in my 30’s and 40’s. The shellfish allergy came on in a rather dramatic near-death experience in my 20’s. Think of all the fun I would’ve missed had I eaten one more bite of that scampi…

  4. I’m not allergic, but my husband is, so this is very helpful. Thank you Bob!

  5. hey bro! thanks for sending me the prize..love that thing, ipod+
    bob great post and tim – way to go on the guest writers so far, looking forward to more.

  6. Two of my favorite things: Sea salt, and quiona!

    I get my Himala Salt @ http://sustainablesourcing.com/

    LOVE it!

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