Finding allergy free recipes is just one of the pieces to the puzzle of eating well with food allergies. It is an important piece, though, since food allergies usually cause us to cook more meals from scratch. Most of us need recipes to do that on a regular basis.
How to find them? Here are a few places to track down allergy free recipes:
Your favorite cookbook
One of my favorite cookbooks is the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.
It contains all of the classic recipes, many of which are pretty easy to adapt. If you don't own a cookbook, I would start with this one.
Also, check out the Food Allergy Store for a selection of cookbooks written for those of us with food allergies.
Once you find a cookbook that you like and a recipe or two to try, check out the Allergy Free Substitutes page.
You can find anything on the Internet and, of course, great recipe sites are no exception. The recipe sources online are seemingly endless! Following are some of my favorites:
I love Allrecipes because it has a great feature...ingredient search! You can type in ingredients you want and ingredients you don't want (i.e. those containing your allergens) and get recipes that meet your needs. You have to be a little creative, however, as it isn't set up to search by allergen. For example, if you type in "dairy", you wouldn't have much luck narrowing recipe choices down since since "dairy" isn't a common ingredient. Instead, search for ingredients that might contain the allergen like "cheese", "cream" or "milk".
Not much of a cook? Don't know a tablespoon from a teaspoon or a saucepan from a skillet? Check out Food Network's website where you can learn all sorts of things about cooking. And you don't have to be a beginner to reap the benefits of this site since their recipes are rated from beginner to expert. Are you going to be throwing a baby shower or Super Bowl party? You can find menu ideas for just about any event here, too.
A lot of food companies have websites with recipe databases that are search-able. They all include recipes made with their products, of course, so some of them are more useful than others. It all depends on which allergens you are avoiding.
For me, these sites mainly just serve as inspiration for dishes that we can have. Many of the recipes you'll find have an ingredient or two that can be substituted or omitted with good results.
Here are just a few of these sites:
Magazines are another great source of inspiration for "allergy-free" cooking. Again, many recipes will contain foods you and your family are avoiding but may be just fine with a substitute or two. Some food companies offer free quarterly magazines full of recipes and nutrition tips. Look on their websites to sign up.
If you're looking for some other cooking magazine suggestions, contact me and I'll let you know my favorites (which change often!)
You've got some recipes...now what?
Well, isn't it obvious? Get cooking! Here's a challenge - try a new recipe every week. Then, as the weeks go by, you will have discovered more and more options that your family can have. I've talked to a lot of people who are managing food allergies and most of them say that they eat a lot of the same dishes over and over (and over!) Keep your taste buds interested by trying new things (and don't forget to have some fun with it)!
Return to Meal Planning