Hi! My name is Nancy and I am the mother of a child who has food allergies -wheat, soy, dairy, chicken and beef. When I found out I did what any parent would do -I stocked up on cookbooks dedicated to those with allergies and then cleaned out the kitchen of all the offending foods. Afterall, we weren't going to eat lasagna in front of our son while he snacks on a rice cake.

Now nearly a year into this I've figured out how to alter recipes, seperate ingredients and give my family food that they all love (and can eat) without me having to make multiple meals.

Please take advantage of what I've learned!

Friday, December 10, 2010

creamy fettuccine with leeks, corn and arugula

This dish is: Vegetarian, Nut Free, Soy Free
Contains: Dairy, Wheat, Gluten, Corn and Egg

Alternatives:To make this dish wheat/gluten free use a gluten free pasta. I prefer Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta over a rice noodle. Unfortunately, I don't really think there is a good way to make this dish dairy free but am open to suggestions!

Last night I wanted a creamy rich pasta and remembered this delicious dish. Thankfully, I had all of the ingredients on hand. At first the arugula seems like an odd twist but it works. As my husband says it reminds him of a meal that we would most likely get in Ticino, minus the corn.

12 oz fettuccine (3/4 box)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks (white and light green parts), cut into thin half moons
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups baby arugula
1/4 grated pecorino

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir occasionally until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the corn and wine. Simmer another 2-3 minutes. Lower the heat and stir in the cream.

Add the pasta to the pan and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to combine, then fold in the arugula. Sprinkle with pecorino before serving.

eggs in a basket

This recipe is: wheat free, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut free
Contains: Eggs

It was a few years back when I saw this made in a movie and thought that it was brilliant. Now I make it regularly for my son. He loves the entire process and often asks to help. It's easy, delicious and healthy.

1 slice gluten free bread
olive oil (just enough to coat the pan)
salt and pepper

Cut a square in the slice of bread large enough for the yolk to fit in. Grease a non stick pan with the oil. Heat pan over medium, place the bread in the pan and allow to lightly toast, about 2 minutes. Turn the bread over, turn the heat down to medium, and crack the egg into the basket. The yolk should fit into the cutout and while some of the white will stay on top of the bread. Allow to cook, about 2 minutes before flipping. Once flipped allow to cook another 3-4 minutes.  If you prefer the egg less runny cook for a bit longer.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Winter Arugula Salad

This recipe is: Wheat Free, Soy Free, Egg Free
Contains: Nuts, Dairy, Gluten

Alternatives: Possible to substitute the goat cheese for a non dairy cheese or even diced tofu. To make gluten free substitute the dressing.

1 package of arugula
1 pomegranate = approx. 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1 small package goat cheese (can sub feta or bleu)
1/3 cup sweet and spicy pecans from Trader Joe's

3 parts olive oil
1 part balsamic
1/2 part red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Friday, November 12, 2010


This recipe is: Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free
Contains: Nuts

1 bottle of brandy
3 bottles of red wine
2 bottles of port wine
25 whole cloves
20 whole cardamon seeds
1/2 lb blanched almonds
1/2 lb seedless raisins
1 cup sugar
2 oz dried orange peel
2 oz cinnamon stick

Put spices in 1 cup cold water.  Simmer 15 minutes. Let stand at least 2 hours.
Mix port and wine with sugar, raisins and almonds.  Simmer  til sugar dissolves.  Strain, add liquid to wine mix.  Add brandy.  And drink!

Recipe by Julie G.

Mamma's Note: For all of those who were lucky enough to get a taste at our Halloween party you know how amazing this is. For those of you who didn't, trust me, it's delightful! Perfect for a fall/winter party.

Lentil Soup with Lemon

This recipe is: Dairy Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Chicken Free, Egg Free, Nut Free

1 ½ cups dry lentils, washed
7-8 cups water
4 vegetable bouillon cubes
2 medium potatoes
1 large bunch Swiss chard
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 Tbsp olive oil
1 bunch fresh cilantro (or 2 Tbsp dry)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

In a 5 quart kettle, combine lentils, 7 cups water and bouillon cubes. Cover and bring to a simmer.
Dice the potato into ½” cubes and add.
Wash and drain chard. Cut off heaviest part of stems and slice leaves into ½” wide strips and add to soup.
Simmer until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.
In small frying pan, heat olive oil and slowly sauté onion. Stir often until soft and golden-about 12-15 minutes. Don’t brown.
Stir in the ground cumin and cook a minute or two.
Set aside ¼ of the cilantro leaves, finely chop the remaining ¾ and add it and the garlic to the onion and sauté for 5 more minutes. Add to the soup. Stir in salt, pepper, lemon juice and the remaining cup of water if needed to thin the soup.
Serve with the reserved cilantro.
Makes 10 cups

Recipe from Jennifer B.

Mammazen Note: I made this last weekend for my in-laws and it was a huge hit!! Thank you Jennifer for contributing :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pumpkin and Feta Muffins

Contains: Dairy, Wheat, Gluten, Eggs

Alternatives: Possible to make wheat/gluten free by subbing gluten free baking flour. Bob's Red Mill makes a good substitute.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cubed butternut squash, 1/2-inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
1 large handful of baby spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds kernels
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup cubed feta
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup ml milk
2 cups flour (I used white whole wheat)
4 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

Preheat oven to 405F (I recommend 350F), with rack in the top third. Use the butter to grease a 12-hole muffin pan and set aside.

Sprinkle the olive oil and some salt and pepper over the squash. Toss well and turn onto a baking sheet or roasting pan. Arrange in a single layer and bake for 15 - 25 minutes or until cooked through entirely. Set aside to cool.

Transfer two-thirds of the squash to a large mixing bowl along with the spinach, parsley, sunflower seeds, Parmesan, two-thirds of the feta, and all of the mustard. Gently fold together. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and milk together and add to the squash mix. Sift the flour and baking powder onto the squash mix, top with the salt and a generous dose of freshly ground black pepper and fold together just until the batter comes together, be careful not to over mix.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, filling each hole 3/4 full, top each muffin with a bit of the remaining squash and feta (see photo up above). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops and sides of the muffins are golden, and the muffins have set up completely. Let cool for a couple minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack. I like these muffins cooled a bit, served just warmer than room temperature.
Makes 12 muffins.

Mamma's Note: I got this recipe from http://www.101cookbooks.com/ and made a couple of adjustments. In general it is a nice savory muffin loaded with goodies. I might suggest trying a different cheese though since the feta can be a little dry. It's also goes nicely with a hearty salad...yum yum

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spaghetti Bolognese

Makes about 4 regular size portions
1/2 small onion (chopped fine)
1/2 stalk celery (chopped fine)
1 small carrot (chopped fine)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
3 large mushrooms (chopped)
2 tomatoes (chopped)
1/2 lb ground beef
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste
Boil water and cook spaghetti according to directions on package. To make it GFCF substitute regular spaghetti for rice pasta.
Saute onion, celery, carrot and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil to soften, about 5 minutes. Add beef and brown. Add mushrooms and chopped tomatoes. Cook down, 3-5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste. Cook a few more minutes. Add tomato sauce and the other tbsp of oil. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Keep tasting and season as needed.

Mamma's Note: This recipe is based entirely on tasting.

Friday, October 15, 2010


This recipe is: Egg Free, Dairy Free
Contains: Gluten, Wheat

Alternatives: To make this gluten/wheat free sub a gluten free baking flour for the plain flour. Also, there are plenty of options for the "milk". If you're allergic to soy or nuts try cocnut milk.

1 cup Plain Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 cup soy or almond milk or coconut milk
1.5 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
tsp or tbsp of flaxseed meal (optional)

Sift flour and baking soda/powder and salt. (Sifting makes the pancakes fluffier.)
Add sugar. (Whisk these together is you don't have a sifter.)
Add Vanilla and Oil and half the soy milk. Whisk together.
Gradually add the rest of the soy milk until thick pouring consistency.
Heat Frying pan - needs to be reasonably hot. Spray with Pam or other cooking oil if non-stick. Flip when you see bubbles!

This recipe makes wonderful fluffy tasty pancakes! Serve with Earth balance and maple syrup and you’ve got a sure-fire hit with your family!
* Recipe by Jennifer B.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Italian Beef Stew, alla Famiglia Pala

Beef stew recipe:

1 1/2 pounds of stew meat cubed.
1 pound Italian sweet sausage
1 14 oz can of dices tomatoes
3 medium size carrots sliced cross(round not length wise) wise.
3 medium size zucchini sliced cross (round not length wise)wise.
1/2 pound sliced button mushrooms
1 medium size onion diced
5 or 6 cloves of garlic diced
16 oz of light beef bouillon
1 10 inch fry pan

5 or larger quart stew pot....(should be bigger than the pot you have at home)

cooking instructions
Cut stew meat into cubes if not already done so.....coat with flour. Slice sausage (round not length wise).

Put in equal amounts into frying pan olive oil and butter....enough to sufficiently cover the bottom of the pan. Heat oils and put in meats...brown both sides. Remove meats from frying pan place in stew pot.

Take 1/2 of the beef bouillon and put in fry pan put on high heat bring to boil. You are deglazing the pan.

Place the bouillon from fry pan into stew pot....

NOW.....same fry pan (don't wash between) on medium high heat saute diced onions, diced garlic and sliced mushrooms until all is soft and onions have a 'little' color. When finished saute put into stew pot on top of meat.

Open can of tomatoes put into stew pot
add Carrots and zucchini as well to stew pot.
Add remaining beef bouillon.

Cover stew pot and simmer(don't boil) for 3 hours.... after cooking 1 1/2-2 hours check for flavor...you may need to add salt and pepper to taste..(your judgement). If liquid in pot seems thin then half way cover stew pot(turn lid cross wise so pot is not completely sealed) and continue cooking...If liquid appears thick then cover pot completely with lid and continue cooking.

Polenta.... There are no exact measurements. You start with a lot of boiling water (about 8 cups) and then add polenta a little at a time and stir as it thickens you keep adding water until it is creamy. you don't want it to get dry....we add chicken broth for flavor to the boiling water. Remember if you think it is too runny you can always cook it down or if too thick you can always add more water to bring it to where you want it to be. If you aren't comfortable cooking polenta from scratch you can always buy instant. Also, you can serve the stew with mashed potatoes.

*Mamma Zen's Recipe

Mamma's Note: A perfect Sunday meal.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Moroccan Couscous with Saffron

This recipe is: dairy free, nut free, vegan
Contains: Soy, Wheat, Gluten

Alternatives: To make this recipe soy free sub the vegan butter for oil. To make wheat/gluten free try serving over rice.

2 cups peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/4 - 1/2 " cubes (I buy a bag of them in the refrigerated produce section at Trader Joe's)
2 cups yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups carrots, cubed
1 1/2 cups zucchini, cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp Earth Balance butter
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous
2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375.

Place squash, onion, carrots, and zucchini on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once midway through cooking.

While the vegetables roast, bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the butter, cumin, saffron, salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pan and steep for 15 minutes.

Scrape the roasted vegetables and their juices into a large bowl, add the uncooked couscous. Bring the vegetable broth back to a boil and pour over the couscous mixture all at once. Cover tightly with a plate and allow to stand for 15 minutes. Add the scallions, toss the couscous and vegetables with a fork and serve.

* Recipe adapted from The Kind Diet

Mamma's Note: This is a family favorite! Even my carnivorous husband lights up when we have this.to

Summertime Succotash

1 tbsp Earth Balance butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup diced red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (10 oz) package frozen lima beans, thawed
1 cup fresh or frozen corn, thawed
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and oil together. Add the onion, saute for about 5 minutes or until the onion begins to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
Stir in the lima beans and saute for 5 minutes. Add the corn and tomatoes and cook for only 1 more minute, just enough to heat through. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients: parsley, basil and vinegar. Serve warm or chilled.

* Recipe from the Kind Diet

Mamma's Note: I really enjoyed eating this warm over a bowl of brown rice. Also a great picnic item. Serve with a baguette and some fried or roasted chicken.

Graham Cracker Cookies

1 1/2 cups graham cracker cookies, finely crushed
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350

In a medium bowl mix graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder, set aside. In another bowl blend together the sweetened condensed milk and butter until smooth. Add vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients to the wet, stir until smooth. Add chocolate chips and coconut, mix well.
On a lightly greased cookie sheet drop by the teaspoonful. Back for 10 to 13 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool for 5 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 4 to 5 dozen.

GFCF Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup Gluten free all-purpose baking flour (Bob's Red Mill is the brand I think is easiest to find)
1 stick vegan butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp xanthum gum
6 oz gluten free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Mix sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla. Separately mix flour, salt, baking soda, and xanthum gum. Combine both mixtures and add chocolate chips. Do not grease cookie sheet. Make small, about 1 tsp in size. Bake for 9 minutes or until lightly browned.

* Mamma Zen's Recipe
Mamma's Note: These are super yummy and will have everyone going back for more!

Baked Penne with Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
14 oz. crushed tomatoes
28 oz whole tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 bag penne
5 oz baby spinach
2 cups grated mozzarella
1/4 cup grated parmesan

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sun-dried tomatoes, stir for 2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes. Break up whole tomatoes with your fingers and add to pan. Add vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir. Reduce heat to simmer, stir occasionally, until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400.

Meanwhile, cook pasta until nearly done (it will finish cooking in the oven). Drain pasta and return to pot.
Add spinach to sauce. Mix in until wilted, about 1 minute. Pour sauce over pasta and mix.

Pour half of the pasta mixture into a large casserole dish. Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella. Top with remaining pasta. Finally add the 2nd cup of mozzarella and the parmesan to the top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until top is bubbling and beginning to turn brown.

*Recipe from Real Simple Magazine