The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook: Two Hundred Gourmet & Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family

The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook: Two Hundred Gourmet & Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family

by Cybele Pascal

Paperback(Second Edition)

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The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbookis the first cookbook to eliminate all eight allergens responsible for ninety percent of food allergies. Each and every dish offered is free of dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. You’ll find tempting recipes for breakfast pancakes, breads, and cereals; lunch soups, salads, spreads, and sandwiches; dinner entrées and side dishes; dessert puddings, cupcakes, cookies, cakes, and pies; and even after-school snacks ranging from trail mix to pizza and pretzels. Included is a resource guide to organizations, as well as a shopping guide for hard-to-find items.

If you thought that allergies meant missing out on nutrition, variety, and flavor, think again. With The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook, you’ll have both the wonderful taste you want and the radiant health you deserve.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781890612450
Publisher: Square One Publishers
Publication date: 06/19/2014
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 826,649
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Cybele Pascal grew up in a family of outstanding cooks. The family’s large organic garden provided the fresh ingredients for many of their meals, and inspired in Cybele the love of a wide range of cuisines. She first learned about hypoallergenic cooking when her son was diagnosed with severe food allergies, and she rose to the challenge by making each family meal a delicacy.

Table of Contents




How to Use This Book

Whole Foods

Basic Supplies


• Pancakes

• Muffins

• Scones

• Biscuits

• Breads

• Cereals


• Soups

• Salad Dressings

• Green Salads

• Hearty Salads

• Spreads

• Sandwich Ideas

About Cooking Oils


• Red Sauces

• Pasta

• Risotto

The Benefits of Organic,

Free-Range and Wild Meats

• Meat Entrees

About Cooking Beans

• Vegetable Entrees

• Side Dishes

Eliminating Refined

Cane Sugar


• Pudding

• Cupcakes

• Cookies

• Fruit Combos

• Cakes

• Pies


• Bars, Balls, and Rolls

• Trail Mix

• Popcorn

• Fruit Delights

• Pizza

• Pretzels

Metric Conversion Charts




General Index

Recipe Index

Author Biography


If you’re reading this, either you or someone close to you has probably already been suspected of, or diagnosed with, food allergies. And if you’re reading this, you probably already know that it’s tough finding foods you can eat. At times, it may seem difficult to eat out at restaurants, or at friends’ houses, or even at school. And cooking up meals for the food-allergic family may seem downright impossible. A severe food allergy can make you or your child feel isolated and self-conscious—just think of the peanut-free tables in school cafete rias, Medi-alert bracelets, the ever-present Epi-pens, special instructions for teachers, school nurses, babysitters, other parents, and relatives . . . and then, of course, the “special” meals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s enough to take the joy out of the whole eating experience for anybody. How tragic, given that food is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But having food allergies doesn’t have to mean not enjoying food. I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to feel deprived! In fact, with a little recipe revision, you can eat just about anything you want.

You can have multiple food allergies and still enjoy wonderful meals with incredible variety—meals that really are delicious and satisfying for the whole family. So to those of you already enduring the restrictions of a hypoallergenic diet, I would like to stress that this is a real cookbook with scrumptious foods that everyone in your household will want to eat. Some are adaptations of old recipes I used to make before food allergies came into my life and others are things I’ve always made, which luckily are still okay. But all are delicious foods that I would still eat with pleasure, even if I weren’t being forced to by a little troublemaker called “allergic response.”

Though hypoallergenic cooking is relatively new to me, I am not a novice cook. This doesn’t mean I was trained at a culinary institute, or that I have my own show on the Food Network. What it does mean is that I have a lifetime of experience cooking easy home-style meals. I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of standing alongside my grandmother as we kneaded bread and flipped pancakes on the griddle. During my teens, I went to a boarding school that stressed the value of labor and was given the job of cooking the nightly vegetarian meal for the school’s fifty vegetarians. I learned then and there that simpler is better, especially when you’re thrown into the trenches. But simple does not have to mean tasteless. Simple does not mean buckwheat noodles with kelp and a few sesame seeds. Simple to me means easy to prepare which is the goal of every one of us raising families or juggling busy careers.

The recipes in this book are an eclectic mix, as my culinary influences are varied. In addition to an ancestral hodgepodge that includes Southern, Italian, and Jewish food, I have worked at many wonderful restaurants over the years, learning the cuisines of France, the West Indies, traditional New England, eclectic Nouvelle-America, and Japan.

I love food, and I have always loved to cook. So when it came time to revise my menus, I knew I could make it fun.

Sadly, the idea for this cookbook came to me out of necessity several years ago when my then four-month-old son Lennon was diagnosed with severe dairy and soy allergies. My poor baby had a stuffy nose and had been spitting up, burping, hiccupping, and having chronic bloody diarrheafor two months. He also had rashes, eczemabehind his ears, and hives. I was breast-feeding—supposedly the best thing for him—but wheneverhe nursed, things only got worse. I tried formula,both dairy and soy, both of which resulted inprojectile vomiting. His pediatrician first put himon antibiotics, “just in case,” then
stopped thetreatment and suggested that maybe the baby wasintolerant to the lactose in my breast milk. When Isuggested that maybe Lennon was allergic tosomething I was eating, he said he’d never heard ofsuch a thing.

My husband Adam and I were at our wits’ end,and little Lennon was unhappy, to say the least.After testing for bacterial infec tions and viruses,and ruling out lactose intolerance, we finally arrivedat the food allergy diagnosis, first throughthe research we did ourselves on the inter net,and then through the expert advice of severalwonderful physicians. I was put on a strict “MaternalAvoidance Diet” and, lo and behold, Lennon’sbloody diarrhea stopped. It was miraculous.

All of a sudden I realized what a normal babydiaper looked like. And this wasn’t all—the spittingup, the hiccupping, the audible stomach rumblings,the stuffy nose, the rashes—all of it stopped.I was so relieved at first, I didn’t even notice thatI was subsisting on nothing but fruit and chicken.But after a couple of weeks, it suddenly dawnedon me as I scanned the cupboards in hungry desperation: “What in God’s name am I supposed toeat?!” Lennon was blissfully nursing, but I wasdropping dress sizes.

You see, for those of you new to this, whenyou have a food-allergic child whom you’re breastfeeding,the AAP recommends that you stay awayfrom all the foods that the child is allergic to, aswell as potentially dangerous allergens (as specified by your allergist and/or pediatrician) becauseexposure to the proteins from the trigger foodscan wreak havoc on the baby’s already susceptibleimmune system. So, to avoid creating additionalallergies, it is often suggested that the breast-feedingmother steer clear of all the major allergenic foods.This means no dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, treenuts, fish, and shellfish. Additionally, your littleone may very well be on this diet for his or herfirst three to five years. On top of this, if you havea family history of allergies, especially on bothsides, you may be advised to cut out several ofthese allergenic foods while you’re pregnant, too.

So, this potentially means many years of cookingwithout dairy, soy (which goes by many namesand is used as a filler everywhere), eggs, peanuts,tree nuts, shellfish, fish, wheat, and then whateverother allergens you have been told to cut out ofyour diet.If you’re anything like I am, this sounds likeliving hell. I’m one who reads cookbooks in bed atnight. I have subscriptions to Cook’s Illustratedand Saveur. I grew up tugging at my mother’s apronstrings as we baked apple pies and discussed themerits of Chicken Marsala. And though I’m a writer,I was very happy cooking for a living after graduating from college, and sometimes secretly wish I’dfollowed that other path. On top of all this, I makea homemade meal (albeit often a very simple one)every single night for my husband who returnshome late and likes nothing better than a steaming plate of homemade cheese manicotti. “Thisis going to be impossible,” I thought to myself.“What a horrible, horrible thing. . . .”Or was it? I’ll admit I found it daunting at first,but I rose to the challenge for the love of my child.

Of course there was a period of adjustment, ofmuch trial and error. There was even a period ofdenial in the beginning. I thought that maybe Lennon’s system was just immature, and that it hadsomehow matured coincidentally at the same timeI had stopped these foods—and God did I miss mymorning latte. “Maybe just a quarter cup of milkwon’t hurt,” I thought to myself, and against theadvice of our doctors, I tried milk in my coffee.Within a couple of hours, Lennon’s stomach wasin a terrible uproar. I learned my lesson and stopped experimenting. This doesn’t mean I didn’t slipup once in awhile, but it was always when I waseating out or at somebody else’s house and thewaiter or cook or friend just didn’t realize thatwhen I said, “no dairy, no soy, no . . .” I meant it.And I always knew when there was a slip-up,because Lennon suffered the consequences.Figuring out what’s happening to you or yourloved one may take time. It certainly did for me. Itwas only after close observation, and some realdigging into our family histories, that I began toput the pieces together.

First, I discovered that I had been prone to rashesand hives as a child. Then my mother revealed thatshe had developed horrible rashes on her handswhile working as a tomato picker on a kibbutz inIsrael years ago; she was told it was an allergy. Iremembered that my grand father was said to be“intolerant” to many foods, which caused him toshy away from eating any where but at home (Irealized he probably had food allergies), and mybrother swells up like a balloon from bee andwasp stings.

My husband Adam comes from a family where itseems just about everybody suffered from chronicdiarrhea for the first year of his or her life. Whilehis sister was pur port edly raised on iced tea andJell-O until she was twelve months old because shecouldn’t tolerate formula and her mother wasn’tbreast-feeding, his cousin is allergic to eggs, nuts,dairy, and cat dander, and has had chronic intestinalproblems her entire life.

After thinking about all these factors, it finallydawned on me that Adam and I, without realizingit, both had family backgrounds with a highincidence of food allergies.

Now that I know this, it’s clear that my childrenhave a higher chance of developing allergies, andI need to take precautions, such as practicing prevention. My experience with my first child led meto eliminate shellfish, tree nuts, and peanuts whileI was pregnant for the second time. But when myson Montgomery developed colic, eczema, andreflux in his first couple weeks of life, I realized itwas once again time to take the plunge.Our familyallergist said, “Colic, eczema, reflux? Sounds likeallergy.” I was instructed to cut out dairy, soy, eggs,and fish, in addition to the shell fish, tree nuts, andpeanuts I’d already omitted. The colic stopped, thereflux stopped, and the eczema is gone.Had I realized years ago that it could be so easyto provide relief for my infant by modifying mydiet, I would have tried it when I first began nursing Lennon. So, I encourage you to inform yourself if you suspect that you or your children mayhave a predisposition to allergies. Ask family members some key questions, such as, has anyone hadasthma? Is anyone seemingly intolerant to certainfoods? And remember, seasonal allergies counthere too. If you find a lot of affirmatives, you maywish to try this diet.

Looking on the bright side, and I promise thereis one, following this diet has given us some wonderful rewards. I’m not going to lie; it’s hard to goout to dinner sometimes when all you can order isthe chicken breast (“without the sauce, please”).But I’ve discovered that eating this way has beenreally great in many respects. First of all, I lost mythirty-five pregnancy pounds by Lennon’s sixthmonth. Second, my own occasional bouts of eczemadisappeared, I stopped getting migraines, and themysterious red rash that would appear on thesides of my nose on a fairly regular basis has beencompletely gone ever since I started this diet. Ifeel great! Additionally, my husband lost fiveunwanted pounds and lowered his cholesterol. Hesays he doesn’t even miss the Parmesan on hispasta anymore. In fact, the lack of cheese lets youreally taste the other ingredients.

Do not be discouraged if it takes you a littlewhile to navigate the grocery store or think up agood dessert. It takes time to adjust your eatinghabits. I’ve spent years figuring out what I canand can’t eat. So after all this trial and error,I’ve written down what I’ve learned in the hopethat I may spare you some of the hassle.In the begin ning, I looked to cookbooks forguidance myself, but they all seemed specific to acertain food allergy—for example, how to bakewithout eggs or make desserts without dairy. Andthen I’d find books supposedly for dairy-allergicpeople that listed butter as an ingredient. Bookspurported to be allergen-free were full of recipeswith nuts and fish. Additionally, most of the bookswere geared toward feeding your food-allergicchild—a won derful thing, but what about the restof the family? I just couldn’t find a comprehensivecook book for those of us out there (and we aremany, I assure you) who can’t eat any of a long listof foods, but who want to eat together.

Over 12 million Americans have food allergies,and that number is rising rap idly. There are manyquestions about why this is occurring, but thisbook is not intended to answer those questions.Rather, this book is about all the wonderfulhealthy and delicious foods you can eat. After acouple of months, you’ll hardly notice that you’vebeen on a special diet.

This book is not intended to diagnose, treat,cure, or prevent disease, so please check with yourdoctor before trying this diet, and with a dietitianabout balanced nutrition. However, if you sufferfrom food allergies, or if you are breast-feeding,and you come from a family with a history of foodallergies (or any allergies), I strongly advise youto follow this plan (as personalized by your physicians). It can spare you a lot of heartache andprotect your child from potential illness. I alsorecommend you use it for an allergic child andany other allergic mem bers of your household.Additionally, it can be used by people who arefollowing an elimina tion diet to find out whatthey’re allergic to. Food-allergic or not, The WholeFoods Allergy Cookbook has been designed to beenjoyed by the entire family.

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