Eating With Food Allergies Newsletter

March/April 2009

In this issue...
  • Mexican Cuisine
  • Food Find of the Month: Cookies!
  • Recipe of the Month: April Fools

Mexican Cuisine

¡Buenos Dias!

As I mentioned in last month's newsletter, we took our spring break trip last month to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. While we were there, I was inspired by all of the delicious food including something called a sope or masa boat. If you're like me and have never heard of them, they are like a tortilla but thicker and they have pinched sides forming almost like a pizza crust.

Sopes are made from masa harina, a corn flour that is treated with lime juice which is also used to make tortillas. I found the flour at my regular grocery store (a 4 lb bag for under $2 - a bargain compared to rice flour!) and was happy to find a recipe for sopes right on the back. The recipe that I tried had three ingredients: masa harina, water, salt and oil for frying (I used canola). After mixing the dough, I divided it into 20 balls and used a pan to flatten them to about 3 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick. I cooked each one over medium high heat in a skillet coated with canola cooking spray for about a minute on each side. Then, I coated the bottom of the skillet with canola oil, heated it up, and fried the sopes on each side until they were golden brown.

I'm still learning the best method to make these so if you know how, send me some tips! I would love to hear how you make them and what toppings you like.

Speaking of toppings, that is the best part of sopes! For someone who can't eat wheat bread, they serve as a delcious vehicle for all sorts of toppings (you are only limited by your imagination!) My son isn't a big fan of wheat free bread and, while he was skeptical of the first sope I gave him, he became a fast fan of them.

So, our trip to Mexico introduced us to some new foods and opened up some new "allergy free" meal possibilities. I know many are allergic to corn and, obviously, this would not be an option for you. For those with wheat allergies, however, this is another option that doesn't require a lot of special ingredients. ¡Buen provecho!

Eat Well,

The Food Find of the Month

The "Allergy Free" Cookie Jar

I love to bake so I don't often buy packaged cookies, however, each year an enterprising young lady stops by our house and tempts us with cookies of the Girl Scout variety. This year was no different and, like every year, when they arrive I feel terribly guilty consuming them knowing my food allergic son can't have them (and loves sweets more than his mom!) My guilt-filled indulgence led me to take a closer look at the specialty food store cookie aisle.

ELF Cookies

The first box that I picked up was an offering from Enjoy Life Foods. The shelf had several options from Enjoy Life including Snickerdoodle and "Happy Apple" but we chose the Soft Baked, Double Chocolate Brownie variety. All of Enjoy Life's products are free of the top 8 allergens (wheat/gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish) but are not free of flavor! The Chocolate Brownie cookie is a sure thing to cure a chocolate craving and eating them will have you craving a glass of ice cold milk (whatever variety you drink) as well.

While it was difficult for me to move beyond the Enjoy Life cookie offerings (there are so many to choose from!), I did come across some chocolate sandwich cookies (think Oreos) that were free of all of the top 8 allergens except soy.

Josef Cookies

As with all wheat free baked goods, the texture of Gluten Free O's Sandwich Chocolate cookies by Josefisn't exactly like Oreos, they do come pretty close in appearance and taste. My son has never had an Oreo but he couldn't get enough of these sandwich cookies. His favorite way to eat them? Crushed and sprinkled on top of his So Delicious ice cream. Yum!

The Recipe of the Month: April Fools!

Show your family that you have some tricks up your sleeve this April Fool's Day by serving up these savory "cupcakes". They are easy to make, tasty and you'll have almost as much fun making them as you do watching your kids' reaction when you tell them they're having cupcakes for dinner! Happy April Fool's!


1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons warm water
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup rice milk
1/3 cup rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper


1) Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray a muffin tin with canola cooking spray.

2) Combine the flaxseed meal and warm water; set aside for about 10 minutes. Combine all of the ingredients, including the flaxseed meal mixture in a mixing bowl; mix well. Measure 1/4 cup portions and place them into the muffin tin. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

3) "Frost" with mashed potatoes (to save time, try instant mashed potatoes). For sprinkles, place 2 T sea salt in a small container and add a drop or two of food coloring, stirring and adding color until the desired color is obtained. Sprinkle over the potato "frosting". To serve, place in paper cupcake liners.

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