It's the first week of school here, and a short week to boot. So, another photo collage blog instead of actual writing. Plenty of time for writing and recipes in the coming weeks (I hope!).
Until then, enjoy pics of what's to come, and please send in any ideas you have for me as I go wheat free (not all-gluten free). You can find me here, of course, and on Twitter, Instagram, Freedible, or FaceBook.
Oh, our happy start to summer! We perfected wheat-filled fruit breads galore and shared recipes and treats with people dear to our hearts. We made chocolate cookie cake---a long-time goal of mine---for birthdays. We even used some of our fresh strawberries for bread and even for barbecue sauce gifts! I thought that I was finally "done" figuring out allergy baking and could put all of our new family recipes together in a collection for good. Then, removing chicken started me on another round of adaptations, starting with pasta bowls of lean veal, fresh carrots, and herbs from our own pots. Tasty...but not the end of the big changes in our kitchen.
Last year, I was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis, or EoE. Looking back, I've had some symptoms since college, at least. I've briefly characterized the emotional impact of different types of allergies before, and I hope to write more about the different types of food reactions, including EoE in adults and older children, in the coming months.
Diagnosis of EoE triggers is trickier than diagnosis of the disease itself. My testing and experiences clearly identified three culprits and suggested a handful of others, including wheat. My first wheat-free attempts weren't bad. They weren't great, either, though!
No poultry. And wheat free. For an Italian cook in a house that already avoids eggs, dairy, nuts, and seeds. And saturated fats. And added salt. Oh my. The summer started out with basics: lean crumbed sausage and brown rice, roasted trimmed pork loin. Salmon, peppers, and crumbled rice crackers salad. Sweet potato fries in olive oil. And, lest we forget, the first attempt at a wheat-free cake: easiest pineapple cake ever (apparently still not on this blog), with Bob's 1:1 GF flour instead of all-purpose...which was alright, but I'm too much of an experimenter to be content with it yet.
My entire family got a break from my grouchiness and had fun outdoors and in the kitchen together when we renewed our summer berrypicking trips. I think we might have enough jam in our freezers to last us until next summer!
Ah, summer. From (not pictured) strawberries through mid-summer blueberries and ending with blackberries and raspberries, we had plenty of fruit to enjoy and experiment with. Everyone preferred Pomona's blueberry-cherry freezer jam; Pomona's cooked raspberry and blackberry jams and the traditional SureJell versions were tasty, too. Pomona's was thick enough to top an oatmeal scone, and the thinner raspberry version was perfect as a wheat-free cobbler filling (only crumbs remained!). To get my crunchy fix, I've resorted to rye crackers (Wasa brand) spread with anything that has more flavor than the crackers alone!
With some help from my girls, we figured out a few recipes that worked for everyone in the house. And a few that made enough leftovers for me to eat happily while everyone else had chicken, sandwiches, and traditional pastas.
Some happy successes so far: Rye flour brownies, Betty Crocker gluten-free cake mix cupcakes, black bean sheet-pan brownies, gluten-free oat-almond mini brownies for friends with celiac, first-try corn fritters, warmed fresh local veggies, baked fresh sweet potato fries, and slow-cooker potato & pepper base for a roast.
Now, my least-favorite, but arguably the most important, part of developing safe recipes: trying them again and again to see if they hold up---and knowing when to stop tweaking and be content.
In a spiral, we're enjoying these repeat successes so far: Corn fritters and sauteed bok choy, squash and black bean salad, wheat-free scones (still crumbly though!), more fresh goodness from Washington Green Grocer, plenty of oat-almond pancakes for protein and whole-grain fiber in the mornings, chocolate coconut macaroon balls with defatted coconut flour, even more fresh veggies in olive oil, and steamed local apples with cinnamon (to avoid itchiness from oral allergy syndrome and keep kitchen time low during vacation).
From my spring testing for food triggers of EoE until now, I've gone through anger, shock, frustration, sadness, more frustration, more anger, etc etc. But with a lot of humor thrown in, and a great amount of family support. Life never stands still, and this is apparently my new adventure!
Hi, I'm Nicole.
ABOUT THE BLOG
An apothecary is a person or a place. Either one implies healing and relates to pharmacy in its truest sense, as a source of treatment and advice.
This blog is my way of uniting my pharmacy training with my efforts to provide a healthy and safe lifestyle for my family. In true apothecary form, I research and prescribe alternative ingredients that work just right in each specific recipe, and I would like to share the results with anyone who needs help making their own family’s kitchen allergy safe and heart healthy.
I made the 2017 Top-40 Food Allergy blogs!
Nicole Van Hoey's books on Goodreads
Bakery Bites: Breads and Treats Without Dairy, Eggs, Nuts, Seeds, or Soy
ratings: 1 (avg rating 5.00)
Kitchen Adventures With Multiple Food Allergies: A Recipe Collection for Celebrations Without Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Seeds, or Soy