People who suffer from food allergies face a daily challenge – thankfully there are loads of blogs that offer recipes and ideas to help. One such blog is Rosemary and Pork Belly – a mix of tried and tested recipes, ideas for places to visit, food to try and conversations with people they meet along the way.
Rosemary – one half of the writing duo – has an allergy to cow’s milk and believes that a medical condition or lifestyle choice doesn’t mean you can’t eat well. She and Pork Belly are always on the lookout for tasty alternatives. “Pork Belly and I have the philosophy that you should never apologise for serving food which is ‘special’,” she says. “We recently featured on our website a gluten-free baker whose daughter had just got married. As both bride and mother of the bride had coeliac disease, the whole day’s catering was gluten-free. Nobody even noticed – and that’s just how it should be.”
We asked Rosemary to select some of her favourite specialist diet blog posts from Foodies 100 blogs…
Most food writers are now aware of those of us with different dietary needs so you don’t have to limit yourself to specialist bloggers to get some great recipes and ideas.
I love the simplicity of Louisa’s creations at Eat Your Veg. She has plenty of ideas for feeding a family healthy food that can be made quickly, easily and cheaply and is an advocate of cooking what’s fresh and in season.
Charlyolivia is worth a follow. Writing with the experience of having family members with coeliac disease, she has a straightforward explanation on the difference between wheat-free and gluten-free, which I found helpful. She’s recently posted a recipe for a gluten-free chocolate cake which looks irresistible.
I’m very grateful to Pig in the Kitchen for reminding me it’s time to get back on track after any festive season “food crimes” with a brief summary of some great gluten-free and healthy recipes.
I started my year hunting for dairy-free, low sugar, low gluten alternatives to tempt two teenagers (who prefer sleeping to eating in the morning) to start their day with breakfast. Mamacook has an easily customisable recipe for home-made granola. As she says, it’s great to be able to control what goes in, especially as shop-bought varieties may present a choking hazard to young children – or indeed sleepy teenagers!
It’s often a struggle for people with allergies and intolerances to get cakes for that special occasion – which is where Gemma of Iced Gem Bakes comes to the rescue making fancy bakes such as choux pastry confectionary and meringues that are all “free-from”.
I have a real admiration for people who cope with multiple diet challenges which can make for some tricky and time-consuming recipe modifications. The Intolerant Gourmet is a great blog-site for people in just this situation – with loads of recipes for dishes that are gluten, wheat, dairy and egg-free like this spiced chicken and spinach quinoa pilaf.
If you are catering for youngsters just coming to terms with diet issues you’ll find sympathy and practical support from Vicki – the Free-from Fairy. She always tests her recipes (like this cottage pie with rosti top) before posting them and she’s very creative with leftovers!
I’ve only recently found Ali at AllergyMums who offers recipes for vegan and gluten-free baking, ideas about where to shop for allergy friendly foods and restaurant reviews. She has some good tips on all those “hidden” allergens that can trip up even experienced cooks.
Eating out if you have an allergy or intolerance can be a bit of an issue. Dairy-free Baby and Me has challenged restaurants and pubs to be a bit more “allergy aware” and help us when we eat out. I find most restaurants are very accommodating, but it is pain having to describe what you can and can’t have in advance before even booking a table so her idea of making menus more inclusive is one I applaud. I do think there has been an attitude shift in recent years – I was pleasantly surprised when eating out at a small French restaurant last summer (usually a nightmare of explanations in broken French, much arm-waving and a bit of Gallic shrugging) when the chef popped out from the kitchen, placed the menu in front of me and simply said “oui” to almost every dish.
Finally I’m really looking forward to the results of the January 2014 Treat Petite challenge from Cakey Boi and the Baking Explorer as they chose the theme “free from” to see in the New Year. Guaranteed to find some real inspiration there.
Happy reading, cooking and eating.