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November 1999 Issue
Coping with Food Allergies
by Ronda L. Halpin
Table of Contents | Single-page view

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If you are allergic to milk protein, you may find it helpful to choose Kosher foods at the supermarket. Since Orthodox Jews are required to keep milk and meat products separate, a Kosher symbol on a food product is a clear indication of the product's dairy content. The term parve or pareve after the symbol of the Kosher agency that evaluates the contents means there is no dairy food in the product. For example, the terms K pareve and U pareve signify that no dairy foods are used in the product. A D after the Kosher agency that evaluates the food means the product contains dairy products. For example, KD or UD means dairy is present. The symbols usually appear on the front label next to the product name. If a product does not have a D or the word pareve or parve next to the Kosher agency symbol, read the ingredients list before assuming that the product does or does not contain dairy.

Putting It All To Work

Once you determine -- with the help of a physician -- that you have a food allergy, it becomes very important to eliminate the allergen from your diet. Some suggestions for helping you in restaurants and at the market were made earlier in this article. However, for those people allergic to common foods like milk, eggs and wheat, some extra help in the kitchen might be needed. To get you started, here are some recipes that focus in on eliminating some of these ingredients. Check out some of the larger bookstores in your area or online for cookbooks that focus on your particular allergy too.


Corn and Black Bean Salsa

This vegetable dip is great served with low fat tortilla chips or pita wedges. It's also safe for people with dairy, egg and/or wheat allergies, so dig in!
  • 2 cans of black beans, drained
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 2 c. frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 c. picante sauce
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Mix the above ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve chilled.
  • Yields: 8 cups salsa
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes, plus chilling time


Red Pepper Soup

Treat your family and friends to this gourmet, first-course soup that's egg and wheat free!
  • 4 small onions, chopped
  • 4 large red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 potato, peeled, grated
  • 3 c. low sodium vegetable broth
  • 12 oz. can evaporated skim milk
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 T. snipped fresh dill
Sauté onions and red peppers in olive oil in saucepan for 30 minutes. Add potato and broth. Cook for 15 minutes.

Puree in batches in blender. Combine puree, evaporated milk, lemon juice, salt and pepper and snipped dill in saucepan. Heat to serving temperature.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour


Milk-Free Scalloped Potatoes

You don't need milk to make terrific scalloped potatoes! These favorites are good for those who need to keep dairy, eggs and/or wheat products out of their diets. Make sure that you use Yukon Gold potatoes -- they have a creamy texture all their own!
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 2 large white onions, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 1/4 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
Combine the water, onions, bay leaves, thyme and garlic powder in a large frying pan. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until onions are soft. Remove the bay leaves.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a blender. Liquefy, gradually adding enough cooking liquid to make a light sauce or medium-thin gravy. Blend in the oil.

Peel potatoes and slice thinly into a large bowl. Pour the onion sauce over the potatoes, and stir to mix. Pour into an oiled 2-quart casserole or 9-inch square baking dish. Cover, and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

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