Allergen-Free (zer) Cooking

Allergen Free(zer) Cooking - Intentional By Grace
I just recently began the venture into freezer cooking. I really had no idea what this meant! Do I cook it and freeze the leftovers? Do I buy it, prepare it and freeze it raw? Do I need to buy lots of Tupperware for storage? How long do things keep?

Thankfully, we have answered these questions. However, one big question still loomed:

How do we accommodate allergies?

Most of these resources are geared to your everyday average Joe(anne). If you are like me, you have at least one person in your family with allergies. In my family it is Karli. She is 19 months old and severely allergic to dairy and eggs. So if you are in the allergy-club, here are some tried and true freezer recipes!

My Allergen-Free (zer) Cooking Arsenal:

Dinners:

{Dairy-Free Lasagna} Make lasagna noodles, brown ground beef and defrost/open spaghetti sauce. Also set aside some Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Get two 8×8 or 9×9 containers (foil disposables from the grocery store work well so you don’t run through your casserole dishes). Make one with dairy and one without. Sprinkle nutritional yeast between the layers of the lasagna for some additional cheesy flavor and lots of extra nutrition!

Budget saver: Mix in 2-3 cups of sprouted lentils with the ground beef. Now 1 pound of beef can get stretched to 2 pounds! Nice on your grocery budget!

After assembling and before cooking, cover tightly with foil and freeze. Defrost overnight and cook at 350 for an hour (or until it is cooked all the way through). You can freeze, thaw and cook any lasagna recipe you desire!

{Thai Chicken Enchiladas}

I loved these and so did my kids. My husband thought they were too coconutty. So if you have a coconut-sensitive member of the family you may want to skip this one. I thought it was delish. Use shredded chicken that you already have in your freezer. Make the recipe as shown on the website, but before baking, cover dish with foil and freeze. Thaw, bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Yum. And aren’t her pics so pretty!?

{Lime and Orange Pork Chops} Pork chops + lime juice + salt and pepper. Throw them in a gallon zip log bag and let them stay there, together, in perfect harmony! Combine the glaze ingredients, except I make them with orange marmalade because I can’t find peach preserves anywhere in my small town! We wouldn’t change a thing! Freeze the glaze in individual portions and toss that bag into the bag of pork chops. Defrost, discard marinade, grill and baste with glaze. Happy dance.

{Corn Chowder} This is a labor of love people. But quadruple the batch, spend half a day and it will pay great dividends all fall when you have fresh corn chowder for dinner. We love every. single. bite. of this. Oh man. Sorry, back to the recipe. Sub coconut oil for butter, almond milk (not vanilla!) for milk and omit cheese. Splendid.

{Quinoa} Turns out this side dish is so handy to have around. Make it in a large batch and freeze in gallon or quart bags (once cooled). Defrost the night before or morning of and make it into any cold salad your heart desires, or use as filling for burritos!

{Chicken Breast Fajitas} Follow this recipe (so easy) for either chicken or steak. We chose chicken (have you seen beef prices?). Throw it into a gallon bag to marinate and just freeze it that way. Cut up your peppers ahead of time and freeze as is or buy for this meal when you are ready. Thaw, discard marinade, grill, cut to fajita size, devour. Mmmmmmm. Good. (Should have used that one for the corn chowder, oh well).

{Dairy-Free Mac & Cheese} Make homemade mac and cheese but don’t. Let me explain. Take a look at this recipe and then come back here. Follow the same guidelines for the process but sub olive oil for butter and almond milk for dairy milk. Add some extra milk and then some nutritional yeast . Stir well. Remove portion, if you aren’t all dairy free. Set aside. Sprinkle lots of cheesy goodness to remaining mac and cheese, if you desire. Otherwise the whole thing can be dairy free.

{Egg-Free Meatloaf} Make any meatloaf recipe you desire and leave out the eggs. Add an extra squirt of ketchup and some soaked oatmeal (about 1/2 cup wet oats) and bake as directed. It isn’t rocket science…its meatloaf. It don’t have to look pretty to taste like home!

{Chicken Stock} This is key to any healthy diet. Also, it freezes well (here is a chicken stock tutorial) and is handy to have around for any recipes that need extra flavor since sometimes taking out the butter can leave ya’ hanging. :)

Tips for modifying recipes to make them dairy/egg free:

I usually just skip recipes that I know are overly cheesy. Sometimes if you take all of the cheese out it just isn’t worth it (cheese-less ravioli anyone?). Here are my steps to modifying:

1. For a recipe that does call for eggs, omit up to 2 eggs in a recipe. Sometimes they can simply be omitted all together (meatloaf). Other times you need to replace.

  • 1 TBS ground flaxseed and 3 tbsp water = 1 egg.
  • 1 TBS vinegar + 1 tsp baking soda = 1 egg.
  • 1 TBS cornstarch + 3 TBS water = 1 egg.
  • 1 mashed banana = 1 egg.

So as you can tell, I don’t let eggs keep me from making a recipe. There is always a little trial and error when substituting ingredients. The egg either binds, fluffs, or does both. So take a guesstimate as to what you are wanting the egg to accomplish when substituting.

2. I never let milk slow me down! I substitute original almond milk for any milk in a recipe. 1 for 1. Easy peasy.

3. Fats. Oy this can be tricky. If you are a really healthy eater you probably already use a lot of coconut oil. This is a good thing. It makes it easy to cook dairy-free.

  • Butter substitutions can be palm shortening and cold coconut oil (solid).
  • You can also use olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter if it calls for melted butter.

If you are making mashed potatoes go for olive oil plus bacon grease. Oh my it makes dairy free mashed potatoes amazing. You will wish you had a milk allergy growing up (did I just say that?). It is THAT good.

4. When all else fails, add a tablespoon of cold water, a tablespoon of vinegar and double the baking soda or powder. It just works.

5. Accept imperfection! Your dishes may be slightly more crumbly, or maybe they won’t rise as well. But with a few simple changes you can be certain you won’t be missing any flavor! What you lack in style you make up in taste. :)

Ask away! I think I have made most every dish imaginable dairy free and egg free. I don’t always write it down so I can’t share all of them right now, but I will in the near future.

Any allergy-friendly recipes you have really been dying to try?

Freeze Your Way to Freedom with these Allergen Free Meals!

This post is linked to Frugal Tip Tuesdays, Time Warp Wife, Works for Me, Healthy 2Day Wednesdays, Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday, Homemakers Challenge, Your Green Resource, Full Plate Thursday.

This post contains my affiliate links. See my full disclosure here.

 

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