June, 2016

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Free and Friendly Foods Carrot Cake

Light Carrot Cake with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

We met some very interesting people at the Maker Faire last month, and someone asked about carrot cake. This has been on my list of things to do for a while. What you see here is my first time making carrot cake, and according to everyone that ate it, I did a great job. I chatted with someone about “traditional” carrot cake, and there are options for raisins, currants, pineapple and more. I did a little experimenting, but we all agreed that my first version (below) was the best.

I’m told that this carrot cake is light, fluffy, just the right amount of sweet, and melt in your mouth delicious. The Papa tells me that it reminds him of something that he tried somewhere, so he could have a point of reference. He really feels that this recipe is up there with all of the pros, and better than some of the commercial options available. So, here it is. Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly, Carrot Cake. And pictures too 🙂

Allergy Status: Wheat/Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free*, Nut Free*, Peanut Free, Sesame Free, Legume Free, Vegan

*All dairy free cream cheese options commercially available contain either major or less/common allergens. If you cannot have coconut, almond, and soy, you’ll need to use a standard vanilla frosting (which is still delicious).

05/17 Update: As some of you may know, we have a top 8 allergy free bakery here in the SF Bay Area. This is not the recipe that we use in the bakery, for those of you that may wonder why they taste different.
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Free and Friendly Foods Taco Inspired Stuffed Peppers

Taco Inspired Stuffed Peppers

I feel like I’ve been on an international kick as of late in the kitchen… I wanted something that had a South of the Border feel, so taco inspired peppers were on the menu.

Fun story: originally, I was going to add sprouted red rice to these peppers, but the rice didn’t cook. It boiled, and when we put the lid on to let it simmer, apparently it did nothing. So the rice was hard and had to be left out. In the end, I think it worked out better. Remind me to tell you about how the stove exploded… I’ve been cooking on a portable induction hot-plate like item for weeks… Back to the recipe.

More than anything, I was SOOOO thrilled and somewhat feeling proud that I had the kids eating OUT OF peppers!!! I asked them to try their first bite with the pepper itself, and as always, they were willing to go along with my crazy idea for a bite or two. Well, Kid Three and Kid Four loved the pepper bowl. Kid Two, not so much, as he’s very sensitive to spicy things. Either way, it was a total win, win, win, and they all went back for seconds, and they were super happy when I pulled out their favorite potato chips so they could eat it dip style if they wanted.

As if that’s not enough, I also had the joy of introducing the kids to ramps. I hadn’t heard of them before this season. I’ve been seeing them on Good Eggs, an online marketplace that delivers in our area. After seeing them for a while with the leaves, then as bulbs only with the warning that this was the end of the season, I decided to make the jump. When they arrived, I couldn’t stop smelling them. Uh-MAZE-ing. Kid two was like, eh. Kid Three, he so totally got me on this one. He was into the smell just as much as I was. What made me really happy though was that after everything was cooked and Kid Two tried a cooked ramp piece on its own, he was in love with them too! What more could I possibly have asked for? On to the recipe and photos!!!

Allergy Status: Wheat/Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Nut Free, Peanut Free, Yeast Free, Corn Free, Cane/Refined Sugar Free, Sesame Free, Diabetic Friendly, Vegan, GAPs Compatible
For GAPs: Use navy beans instead of black beans. The flavor will change some, but still tasty.
For Corn Free: Make sure you source safe ingredients. It is possible, but will take some work.

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Free and Friendly Foods Indian Inspired Spiced Vegetables

Indian Inspired Spiced Vegetables

The inspiration for this dish came from several places. First, we had some potatoes that needed attention. I hate wasting food, so they needed to be used asap. We also have this new rule in the house: if I can’t take a picture of it (for a book or a blog) then I’m not cooking and you have make something yourself. No one was around to do the cooking, so I had to get inventive.

Lately I’ve been wanting to do more with traditional Indian spices. I’ve dabbled a little, but have been wanting the kids to experience new flavors. In the past, I’ve done many variations of “pan/baked potatoes” and wanted to do them again, but with more colour and well, just different. I had recently purchased Indian spices and had the kids try them (with frosting), and decided to go on an adventure. Kid Two and Kid Three went with me, and seriously wanted to eat them all. They had to wait for The Papa and Kid Four to come home, and for some strange reason, couldn’t stop asking when they’d get here so dinner could be served.

Allergy Status: Wheat/Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Nut Free, Peanut Free, Yeast Free, Corn Free, Cane/Refined Sugar Free, Sesame Free, Legume Free, Diabetic Friendly, Vegan, Paleo Compatible
For Paleo: Use peeled Japanese Sweet Potato instead of Gold Potatoes.

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Free and Friendly Foods Watermelon Cake

Watermelon Cake!

I was so tickled on the inside because I told the kids they were having watermelon cake for breakfast. Kid Three was MORE than happy to volunteer to help me make it, until his friend came over to play; then he was no where to be found. It was just me and Kid Two. He too thought this was the weirdest thing he had heard of, and kept trying to tell me different things about what he didn’t like about watermelon, and I had to keep saying, “you’ll see.”

After the first cookie cut of the watermelon, he finally saw the light and was excited to see how it was coming together. About half way through making this, Kid Three wandered in and said…” OHHHHHHHH. Watermelon Cake.” I cracked up. I just lost it at that point. I told him what I knew all along, and how I knew he had the wrong idea, but that I also knew they’d get it eventually. Not only did they get it, they were fighting over who got to devour the big slice after we took photos.

Allergy Status: Wheat/Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Peanut Free, Yeast Free, Corn Free, Legume Free, Sesame Free, Nightshade Free, Vegan, Paleo Compatible, GAPs Compatible, AIP Compatible, Nut Free Compatible, Cane/Refined Sugar Free Compatible

For Paleo, GAPs, AIP, Nut Free, Cane/Refined Sugar Free: The So Delicious whip topping is not safe for you. Make a fresh cream at home in your blender using safe ingredients.

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Image Testing by The Allergy Chef

Testing a new image method

I completely recognize that this is a first world problem, but I have a serious issue with these digital techie appity things. I know, it’s weird coming from someone that has a degree in IT, and has worked in the field for years.

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LEGO Cafe Corner Scaled MOC by The Allergy Chef

A MOC Copycat

Some time ago, a nice person on the internet shared an LDD file of a 1/4 scale (I think) version of the Cafe Corner modular building. While I do have 2 of the Mini Modular sets that LEGO released several years ago, I don’t have a full sized Cafe Corner. The mini modulars were a nice release in that both the Cafe Corner and Green Grocer were represented. Those make a little town square on my desk, and I have added to it over time as new ones are released. Read More

Top 8 Free Pizza from The Allergy Chef

Chicken Apple Maple Bacon Pizza Recipe

So I decided to try something TOTALLY different tonight, and the results were very interesting. I’ve included reviews from the kids at the end of the post for your enjoyment. I will share this upfront: we all agreed that the sauce is going to need some work, however, they all felt that it was still beyond delicious to eat, just more runny than expected. I asked them about serving the mix as a pasta instead, and everyone still wanted it as is, as a pizza.

A little more full disclosure: This is a long read, and a very involved recipe. However, it’s worth every bit of time. 🙂

Chicken Apple Maple Bacon Pizza with Bell Peppers and a Honey Cream Basil Sauce. Gotta love those long fancy titles…

Allergy Status: Wheat/Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free*, Nut Free*, Peanut Free, Yeast Free*, Cane/Refined Sugar Free*, Sesame Free, Legume Free*, Diabetic Friendly, Paleo Compatible, GAPs Compatible

*For Yeast and Cane/Refined Sugar Free, choose the appropriate crust.
*For Soy, Nut, and Legume Free, choose your dairy free substitutes carefully.
For Paleo & GAPs: Notes are below with each section. Read More

Creamy Turkey Noodles Recipe by The Allergy Chef Gluten & Dairy Free

Creamy Turkey Noodles Recipe Gluten & Dairy Free

Last week we started The Weekly Challenge. Anyone can email us, contact us through our website & blog, or via social media to give us a challenge. You let us know what random ingredients you have, and we’ll help you make a delicious meal. There are a few websites that I’ve seen that do this, and I thought it would be really fun to have one that thinks about people with food allergies. Be sure to let us know if you have any when you submit your ingredients.

Our very first challenge comes to us from James, via email.
Ingredients: Brown Rice Noodles, 1 pound of Ground Turkey, Green Onions
Allergies: Wheat, Eggs

Our Creation: Creamy Turkey Noodles
Allergy Status: Wheat/Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Yeast Free, Cane/Refined Sugar Free, Sesame Free, Legume Free, Nut Free Compatible, Soy Free Compatible, Vegan Compatible

On to the recipe and pictures! Substitutions and notes are listed at the end of the post. Read More

So Much Has Changed, and We Won a Ribbon!

Shall we talk about the change, or the ribbon first? Well, let’s save the best for last.

Change. Lots of it! Our business is now up and running as an official LLC. We’re called Free and Friendly Foods now. I love the story behind the name… You know what it’s like trying to tell people that we’re gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, soy free, yeast free, GAPs friendly, and paleo friendly, and sometimes corn free, oh and vegan too. My fingers are tired just typing all of that. So, Free and Friendly. I thought it would be a great way to shorten things up a bit. Funny thing is, people without allergies, and sometimes older people ask jokingly if the food is free.

Besides the business launching, and do so much faster than I could have ever imagined, we PUBLISHED TWO BOOKS!!! Can you believe it? After years of working on them, they are the culmination of a lot of what we’ve learned. In addition to the books, we have another that will be released later this summer. We have a line up of 13 more books after that, including Pizza and Ice Cream.

Kit Cards are official too!!! The first ten cards have been released. I like to call these old school solutions to phony apps. They’re super glossy, so if you spill, you don’t ruin an expensive screen. They have all the ingredients pictured, so it’s easy to know what you’re looking for when you’re shopping. The first ten are items that have been very popular among the taste testers.

We had a booth at the San Mateo Maker Faire. Remember that thing about it all happening so quickly? Yes, it’s true. In a little over EIGHT weeks, we had the books done, kit cards done, business all official, and put together a booth at the Maker Faire. It if weren’t for our awesome friends and kids that came to help, there’s simply no way this could have all come together. It was so amazing to see how God was able to pull so much together. It was all nothing short of a wonder miracle, and blessing of course.

OK, so the ribbon. At the Maker Faire, we had the pleasure of meeting so many people with food allergies. Not many had multiples, but I simply had no clue we would meet that many people. There were several parents on the verge of tears when they learned I had something their child could eat. Towards the end, we were approached by Sonia, a wonderful lady, who had selected us for an Editor’s Choice ribbon. It was such an honor.

So what’s next? We have so many things that we would like to do. Seeing that we were so well received, we now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that people need what we know. We have plans to bring knowledge, resources, and food to people with (and without) food allergies.

Be sure to check out freeandfriendlyfoods.com. We have a write-up of the Maker Faire there, as well as books and kit cards that are for sale. We will also be hosting workshops here at our office in July. There’s so much on the horizon, so be sure you check back often.

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