Monday, January 4, 2010

Some ideas for people who must also eat soy-free

Last week I had a cooking/baking challenge that opened my eyes to how difficult it is to live with a soy allergy - especially when it's coupled with a dairy allergy. We threw a little New Year's Eve dinner party for friends who, like us, have small children (and thus can't do the traditional stay-up-til-midnight drinking thing). One of the moms who came is eating dairy- and soy-free because her baby has a suspected milk and/or soy allergy. She has been having a really difficult time finding recipes that don't contain one of these allergens as an ingredient. I always knew it would be hard to have both allergies - because most dairy substitutes are made with soy - but buying ingredients to make food that was safe for her made me thankful that we do not have a soy allergy in our house. I have been taking for granted that almost everything I make for Ainsley has soy in it.

I finally landed upon a few recipes that turned out wonderfully. One was the plain cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (see sidebar, "My Favorite Cookbooks", for link to this book). The only substitutions I made were to use rice milk in place of the soy milk and soy-free Earth Balance in place of the regular Earth Balance I usually stock at home. I also made the icing from that cookbook using soy-free shortening (Spectrum, which is 100% palm oil), soy-free Earth Balance, and rice milk (in place of the soy milk).

In addition, I made cookies using this recipe from Kelly Rudnicki's new baking book: http://www.foodallergymama.com/2009/06/02/another-treat-idea-for-end-of-school-year-parties/ . As with the cupcakes, I used soy-free Earth Balance and rice milk.

Both the cupcakes and cookies turned out wonderfully. I got many compliments from non-food-allergic people about how yummy the cupcakes were (one said to me that it was the best cupcake she'd ever tasted).

I also made a dairy- and soy-free pizza for my friend (and Ainsley - for the other people we ordered in from a local pizzeria). I used this pizza dough recipe: http://www.foodallergymama.com/2009/03/08/the-fastest-allergen-free-pizza-ever/ , which contains no soy. For the sauce, I combined 1/2 can of Muir Glen Organic pizza sauce (available at most Whole Foods) with 1 small can tomato paste. For the topping, I browned ~1 lb. of ground chuck in a skillet. When the meat was still a little pink, I added 1/2 chopped green pepper and 1/2 chopped onion. I also added liberal amounts of salt and pepper. After the meat was browned and the veggies tender, I put the mixture on top of the sauce and baked the pizza according to the above recipe's directions. (Note that if you're okay with soy, you could also use Pillsbury refrigerated pizza crust.)

I have to say that this was probably the best dairy-free pizza I've made, and our soy- and dairy-free friend loved it. I sent the leftover pizza and desserts home with her to enjoy. If any of you have any easy soy- and dairy-free recipes you'd like to share, please post them or post links to them and I will be sure my friend gets them!

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