Christmas Vegetable Tree

Appetizers for an Allergic Foodie

Flashback Tuesday: I’m enjoying the holidays with my family as I hope you are. This post appeared last year. The appetizers from my friend’s party were a hit. Enjoy! And Happy Holidays to you and your family.

It took another Amy–my friend Amy Brown–to teach me it’s okay to serve your nonallergic guests allergy-friendly foods.

Maybe it comes from having a husband who has yet to embrace gluten-free, dairy-free foods (to be fair, he doesn’t have to) that makes me think everyone else will feel the same way he does: Not going to try it if  I don’t have to.

So I often go to the trouble of serving “regular” food at our social gatherings. A few years ago when we moved into our new home, I hosted a potluck open house where everyone brought an appetizer.  As you might guess, there was very little for me to eat.

Then last year I hosted a holiday cookie exchange. I figured this was a fun way for my kids and my husband to get treats without me having to touch a stick of butter or sift flour. Ironically, it was over Christmas break last year that my younger son realized gluten was making him sick and my oldest son gave up everything dairy.

So when this holiday season came around,  I decided to skip hosting a party. With our sons home, I just didn’t want to have foods around that they couldn’t enjoy.  And frankly, I didn’t want to do all the work of preparing both allergy-free and regular foods.

Then I went to Amy Brown’s party.  Take a look at this table of yummy appetizers:

Delicious appetizers for an allergic foodie

Photo by Amy Brown

 

The food was incredible!  Amy and her husband, Brandon, follow a “Whole30” diet, eliminating grains, dairy, sugar, and legumes. This made many of the appetizers free of  gluten, soy, and dairy!  They did include some macaroni and cheese the kids devoured and deviled eggs that my husband devoured.

My favorite appetizer was incredibly simple: A BLT on a toothpick!

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomatoe Appetizer

Photo by Amy Brown

 

Then there were these adorable olive penguins.

Gluten-free treats

And the zucchini wrapped around sausage with pesto and olive oil were fabulous.

Delicious sausage/zuchinnin wraps

Photo by Amy Brown

 

Amy also made several types of dips, including one with eggplant and red peppers that she found at She Cooks . . . He Cleans  (recipe follows). I’m not a big fan of eggplant, but I’ll be making this dip soon.  I eat a lot of veggies and hummus, so–cover your ears, Amy–I wasn’t that excited to try the black bean hummus. But I did, and it was delish!

And who wouldn’t want to eat their veggies when presented this way?

Christmas Vegetable Tree

Amy also served the gluten-free crackers on a separate plate and labeled them!

None of the guests seemed to notice the appetizers were “different” or “allergy-free” or “gluten-free.”  The food was just good . . . actually, better than good.  And oh so cute.

Roasted Egg Plant and Red Pepper Dip

(Note this recipe includes sesame seeds)

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded
  • 4 garlic cloves, whole, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (to start with…)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt; freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • juice of one lemon
  • lots more good extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut the eggplant up into 1-inch square pieces.  (Before cutting, I like to take off some of the skin in stripes around the eggplant.  Up to you.)   Cut the red bell peppers into 1 inch strips.  Toss the eggplant, peppers, and garlic in a large bowl with olive oil, salt, and several grindings of pepper.

Spread the vegetables on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer.  Roast for 35-45 minutes, tossing once during cooking, until the vegetables are soft and lightly browned.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Place the vegetables in a food processor; add the tahini, cumin, cayenne, lemon juice, and another glug (or two) of olive oil.  Process in pulses until blended.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  (Try to avoid over-processing or it will become paste-like in texture.)

Drizzle with more olive oil on top, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Appetizers for an Allergic Foodie originally appeared at Adventures of an Allergic FoodieRoasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Dip originally appeared at She Cooks . . . He Cleans.  Thank you to Amy Brown for sharing these treats and photos.

An Allergic Foodie’s Favorites: Rebecca’s Gluten Free

I’ve really come to appreciate the small family-owned businesses that make food my sons and I can eat. For a long time I hated grocery shopping because all the “allergy-free” packaged foods contained at least one ingredient one of us couldn’t have. Son #1 is allergic to dairy and eggs, son #2 has celiac disease, and I’m the Queen of Allergies including oddball ones like vanilla, nutmeg and guar flour.

Thankfully, there are other allergic folk (mostly women) and parents of little allergic folk (mostly moms) who don’t mind stepping up to the kitchen counter and taking on the painstaking task of developing recipes sans “normal” ingredients and yet taste great. I so appreciate these women because I do not have the patience or the passion to create a batter over and over again until I get it right. These people deserve our applause.

At the recent Food Allergy and Celiac Convention in Orlando, I was incredibly touched by the selfless stories I heard over and over again of people changing careers or starting a home business to help families like mine. These people make it their life’s work to make our lives better.

I’d like to introduce you to  some of  these special people and their companies. Starting with this post, I’ll tell you about my favorite gluten-free and allergy-friendly businesses–everything from computer apps to cookbooks to cookies. I hope you’ll learn about new products as well as enjoy getting to know the incredible people behind them.

Let’s begin with cookies.

An Allergic Foodie's Favorites: Rebecca's Gluten Free

Rebecca’s Gluten Free  (Cookie Mixes)

Some back story . . .

Rebecca Clampitt sent me two of her cookie mixes to try–Coconut and Brownie. I was reluctant at first because they are made with some corn and I sometimes react to corn, depending on the amount. The directions also said to add butter and eggs, which are a no-no for one son and me. I decided to make the coconut ones with egg replacer and Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread.

Rebecca's Gluten Free Cookie Mixes

They turned out perfect and so tasty–like a macaroon but better. I had no reaction to the corn–this is not to say those of you with corn allergies should try!

Coconut Cookie Mix from Rebecca's Gluten Free

Now on to the interview .  . .

Rebecca, please share the story behind Rebecca’s Gluten Free.

Three years ago, when my daughter was  ten, she was very ill with severe gastrointestinal issues and ear infections. I was also having GI symptoms. I wanted her to be tested for celiac disease, but she is afraid of needles and wouldn’t let a doctor get near her. I finally decided to take us both off gluten and we felt so much better. While we’ve never ben officially diagnosed with celiac disease, we are gluten intolerant.

I wanted my daughter to have gluten-free treats for school functions, but most packaged gluten-free cookies didn’t taste that great. As far as mixes go, there were only two choices–chocolate chip and sugar. So I started researching different flours. The cookies would always end up flat and I’d end up in tears. It was not an overnight process!

Rebecca with her beautiful daughter

Rebecca with her beautiful daughter

When I finally got it right and decided to sell my mixes, it was important to me that they be easy and require no more than three additional ingredients. They require eggs and butter, and the Pumpkin Spice requires molasses.  I also wanted to come up with unique flavors. We offer Brownie, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Crinkle, Coconut, Pumpkin Spice and Snicker Doodle.

Where are your cookie mixes manufactured?

I rent space in a commercial kitchen. The kitchen is not gluten-free certified, but I have my own space–no one uses it to cook any other foods–and I make my mixes when no one else is cooking. I also use my own cooking utensils..

Your labels say “tested and approved at 2.5 ppm of gluten.” How do you test for gluten?

According to the FDA, everything in the mixes must be tested, including the separate packets of sugar and coconut included in the package. I send everything to EMSL Analytical Incorporated.  Every new mix flavor I create gets tested. I am working to become Certified Gluten Free through the Celiac Sprue Association.

I noticed the ingredients weren’t listed on the packaging. Why?

Honestly, I couldn’t fit them on the label! In January I will have new packaging that will include ingredients and nutrition labeling. Until then, you can find all ingredients on the website.

The Brownie Cookie Mix was a hit with the College Celiac.

The Brownie Cookie Mix was a hit with the College Celiac.

Are there any other common allergens in your mixes?

All of the mixes have corn and one has coconut. There are no nuts.

How much do your mixes cost, and where can people find your cookie mixes?

They cost $5.99.  Tight now I am only selling through the website. I am waiting to be certified gluten free before pursuing Trader Joe’s and other stores.

For more information about Rebecca’s Gluten Free, visit her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

An Allergic Foodie received Rebecca’s Gluten Free Mixes for free, but An Allergic Foodie’s review is entirely her own.

An Allergic Foodie’s Favorites: Rebecca’s Gluten Free first appeared at Adventures of an Allergic Foodie.

Making Mayo with Colette Martin (The Allergy-Free Pantry)

I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen while growing up so I wasn’t much of a cook when I left home. My husband will attest to that. Most of what we ate came out of a cardboard box, the freezer aisle of the grocery store, or Pizza Hut. Then there was that year, two kids still in diapers, when I got most of our food from the Schwan’s delivery guy. When my husband couldn’t button his pants and I hadn’t lost any post-pregnancy weight, I decided I needed to learn to cook.

Out came the wedding gift crockpot. We ate a lot of beef stew and chicken with potatoes for a long, long time.

No one in our young family had food allergies (that we knew of). While my kids grew into young adults, we blissfully ate all types of foods without any worries—-until yours truly developed multiple food allergies and celiac disease and eosinophilic esophagitis (an allergic esophagus).

That was the game changer.

Suddenly I had to eliminate gluten (wheat, rye, barley, spelt), dairy (no more cheese!), soy, eggs (are there eggless cookies?), and more foods. It was hard. Really, really hard.  What I struggled with most was finding the staples I relied on for decades . . .  salad dressing, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, mustard, and marinades, to name a few. Even the staples that were supposed to be “allergy-friendly” contained at least one of my allergens or were not certified gluten-free.

I was still struggling with my new way of eating and cooking when I met Colette Martin on the shuttle bus heading to the  Food Allergy Bloggers Conference in Las Vegas. Because I knew Colette was the author of a well-respected cookbook on allergen-free baking and because she was pretty much captive on the bus, I complained to her about how I couldn’t find any decent allergy-free mayo.

Turned out she was in the middle of writing her next cookbook and she was working on a mayonnaise recipe! (I didn’t admit this at the time, but I ‘d never even considered making my own mayo from scratch! Who does that?).

Fast forward eight months. A reader’s copy of The Allergy-Free Pantry: Make Your Own Staples, Snacks, and More Without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts (The Experiment, September 2014) by Colette Martin arrives in the mail! Of course, I immediately flip to the mayo recipe.

Oh-oh. Sounds kind of complicated for a novice like me. First, I have to make “eggs” using flaxseed, which I just so happen to have in my pantry because I buy all the food-allergy cooking ingredients but never actually cook with them. I add water to the flaxseed and make the “eggs.”

I follow the steps to make the mayo using a hand-mixer that I’ve moved  into three houses but have never plugged in.

 

Hmmm, not so difficult after all.

Wait!  This mixture is actually starting to look like mayo! Using my finger, I put a little on my tongue. It tastes like mayo. Maybe even a little better than what I remember mayo tasting.

I decide to make Colette’s potato salad. Did I mention I have really missed potato salad since becoming allergic to eggs/mayo?

Allergy-Free Short Ribs and Potato Salad

 

 

I serve the allergy-free potato salad and short ribs to my family. I don’t tell them about the flaxseed, which might turn them off.  No one notices the mayo is eggless or made with flaxseed–they all help themselves to seconds.

_________________________________

Since that fateful day of making mayo, The Allergy-Free Pantry hasn’t left my kitchen island. Using this book, I now make my own allergen-free ketchup and mustard and barbecue sauce. I’m planning to branch out to crackers in a few weeks. For anyone with food restrictions, this cookbook will become your most-used kitchen tool. You can pre-order a copy today at Powell’s, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.  Thank you to Colette Martin for writing this book and for sharing her flaxseed mayo and potato salad recipes (below).

Recipe from The Allergy-Free Pantry: Make Your Own Staples, Snacks and More Without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts, copyright © Colette Martin, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. 

Recipe from The Allergy-Free Pantry: Make Your Own Staples, Snacks and More Without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts, copyright © Colette Martin, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. 

 Potato Salad

Makes 10 to 12 servings

 Friends and neighbors will have no idea that this allergen-free version of potato salad was made without traditional mayonnaise or off-the-shelf salad dressings. Instead, Flaxseed Mayonnaise (page 99) is used to make a salad with added fiber and essential fatty acids—and that tastes marvelous! Add some blue potatoes, if you can find them.

 Even though this potato salad contains no eggs or dairy, be careful not to let it sit out longer than an hour; it’s the potatoes, not the mayonnaise, that contain the bacteria that can make you sick.

10 to 12 medium Yukon Gold and Red Gold potatoes, with skins, cubed

1 teaspoon salt

About 5 cups (1200 ml) water

1 medium red onion, diced

2 tablespoons diced Dill Pickles, optional

½ cup (120 ml) Flaxseed Mayonnaise (see below)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

  1. Place the potatoes and ½ teaspoon salt in a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Lower the heat to medium and continue boiling for 10 to 15 minutes, until fork-tender but not falling apart.
  3. Place the potatoes in a strainer and run cold water over them for 30 seconds to halt the cooking. Drain the potatoes well.
  4. Combine the onion, pickles (if desired), flaxseed mayonnaise, herbs, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the potatoes and stir to coat.
  5. Cover and chill the potato salad for at least an hour before serving. It will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator.

Flaxseed Mayonnaise

Makes 1¼ cups (300 ml)

 Because this mayonnaise starts with flaxseeds rather than eggs, it has the benefit of being both healthier and tastier than traditional mayonnaise. Even if you aren’t allergic to eggs, this might just be the best sandwich topping you have ever tried!

 Use measuring cups with a spout to measure the oil; this will allow you to pour the oil directly into the container for your blender when making mayonnaise.

2 Flaxseed Eggs

2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds (measured after grinding) or flaxseed meal

6 tablespoons warm water

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Mustard, or ¼ teaspoon ground mustard seed

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ cup (120 ml) organic canola oil

½ cup (60 ml) light olive oil

  1. Combine the flaxseed eggs, salt, mustard, and lemon juice in a working glass or the container for your immersion blender, blender, or food processor. Pulse four or five times to combine the ingredients.
  2. With the blender running continuously, pour a few drops of canola oil into the container. The slower you pour, the better. The mixture will start to become creamy as emulsification occurs.
  3. Continue blending and adding oil in a slow trickle until all of the oil is incorporated; add all of the canola oil first and then the olive oil. If the oil starts to pool on top of the mixture, slide your immersion blender up and down ½ inch, or stop pouring until the oil combines.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week. The mixture will set further as it chills.

To substitute

A single oil or any combination of oils (up to ¾ cup/180 ml total) can be used to make this mayonnaise, with the exception of coconut oil or palm fruit oil (which behave differently). Use less oil for a thinner spread.

Variation

Make Chia Seed Mayonnaise by substituting 2 Chia Seed Eggs for the Flaxseed Eggs.

Making Mayo with Colette Martin appeared first on Adventures of an Allergic Foodie.

Musings and Morsels from An Allergic Foodie (8-1-14)

My family often shares what we read with one another. My husband emails links of articles and television news stories he’s come across while traveling for work. If you read the newspaper after me, you’ll likely get one full of holes.  As a nonfiction writer, I have boxes full of clippings (we’ve moved these four times). Even our boys share info they’ve discovered on Facebook and YouTube.

It makes me feel good when someone hands me an article they think I’ll be interested in. To me, this says,”I cared enough about you to take the time to clip this.” Well, unless it’s a story about dieting and losing weight–that’s just plain mean. I also don’t like articles about aging. Will you please stop sending me those, Mom?

I often come across something I know could benefit my food-allergic/celiac disease friends but just doesn’t fit into a post. Maybe it’s a peer-reviewed study you ought to know about, or a book I think you’d like, or I’ve just met someone at a conference I think you should meet. This blog is not a recipe blog or a product review blog, but I’ve often wanted to share a recipe or a product I’m particularly excited about. And, of course, I’ve often cut things out of the paper or seen something on TV I’ve wanted to discuss with you.

So this is the inaugural MUSINGS AND MORSELS.  Think of it as a smorgasbord of information–sink your teeth into whatever looks tasty.

__________________

Have you seen the Maple Hill Creamery yogurts with the label “made from organic milk from 100% grass-fed cows?”

Grass-Fed Yogurt

An article this week in the Wall Street Journal says grass-fed dairy products are gaining in popularity by health-conscious consumers. Those allergic to soy, corn and gluten may benefit from milk that’s come from grass-fed-only cows. Though pricey–$6 for a gallon of grassmilk–the article reports that whole milk from grass-fed cows is Organic Valley’s best-selling item at Whole Foods. We’ll probably start seeing grassmilk cheeses and butter soon.

In case you’re wondering what the difference between “organic” and “grass-fed” milk is: the USDA requires cows to graze on a pasture for a minimum of 120 days during the year and get 30 percent or more of their diet from the pasture to be labeled “organic.” The rest of their food can come from a feed of grain, corn, soy, vitamins, minerals and other ingredients.  “Grass-fed” should mean the cow has eaten only on the pasture–no corn, soy or other grains.  But according to the WSJ article, “Some dairy brands labeled ‘grass-fed’ do allow their cows to eat grain if other food is scarce.”  There is no federal regulation of the term “grass-fed” for dairy products.

Here we go again with that deceiving labeling. If you missed my blog post about grass-fed beef and bison, here it is.

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Also in the news: Did you know Monsanto has recently created the Global Corporate Engagement Team to “debunk myths” surrounding the largest producer of genetically engineered seeds and herbicide? This was reported in the St. Louis Business Journal. They’ve actually hired a “director of millennial engagement” to help the public understand “the story behind Monsanto.” An online comment asks if Monsanto is debunking myths or covering up facts. What do you think?

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A blog you’ll like: Mary Kate and Denise at Surviving the Food Allergy Apocalypse  cook up some  awesome allergy-friendly recipes–not only for food but for soap and toothpaste too!

Also, if you haven’t discovered Freedible  yet, you are in for a treat. Freedible is a valuable tool for the “custom eater”–anyone who has a food restriction for any reason. You’ll find online support groups, recipes, blogs, and much more on Freedible.

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Kudos to  Tracy Grabowski of WheatFreely.com and certified by GREAT Kitchens and DineAware for writing an excellent article, Why Many Restaurants Should Not Offer Gluten-Free Menu Options . . . Yet, published in the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity, Spring 2014. She writes that restaurants must be trained before offering gluten-free items: “The truth is that genuinely gluten-free dishes should be more than just replacing a bun, or using a corn or rice versions of pasta.”  She stresses restaurants need be educated and trained in cross-contamination issues and how to read labels for hidden ingredients.

And with that said, I leave you with a photo of a menu from Ninety-Nine Restaurant & Pub in Williston, Vermont.

Gluten Sensitive Menu

 

This menu does not say “gluten free” but “gluten sensitive.” If you have celiac disease as I do, would you feel safe ordering off this menu?

Musings and Morsels #1 originally appeared at Adventures of An Allergic Foodie.

Friends gathered for Friendsgiving

Friendsgiving without the Turkey

Last weekend I hosted my first Friendsgiving. According to Urban Dictionary, Friendsgiving is “the celebration of Thanksgiving dinner with your friends. This usually occurs on the Wednesday before or the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, since Thanksgiving is usually reserved for family gatherings.”

I’m sorry but who wants to eat turkey and stuffing before Thanksgiving?  And personally, I don’t want to serve my leftovers to my friends.  Maybe when I was in my twenties, but not now.

Thanks to an idea from Udi’s Gluten Free Foods, I hosted a Friendsgiving with untraditional Thanksgiving dishes.  In part, this was because I used the wonderful Udi’s foods  mailed to me in a meal for a bedridden woman with celiac disease.

Friendsgiving

Thank you Udi’s for helping a woman with celiac disease this Thanksgiving!

Of course, being an allergic foodie, everything I served was free of gluten, soy, dairy, and corn–and if I do say so myself, it was all delicious!

Friendsgiving

I had as much fun researching the recipes as I did following them!  Thank you to Oprah and Rachael Ray for the Pomegranate Martini Recipe, Garnish with Lemon for the Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese recipe, Simply Blissful Life for the slow-cooked carrots recipe, Udi’s Thanksgiving Recipes for inspiring the Cranberry Granola Crisp, and for my husband for picking out the wine.  I’ll be posting my slow-cooked short ribs recipe next week as it’s one of my family’s favorites.

I think Friendsgiving will become a new tradition in our house (thank you, Udi’s!).

Friendsgiving without the Turkey first appeared at Adventures of an Allergic Foodie.

Allergy-Friendly Football Chili

Football

Football (Photo credit: The Malones)

Football season is here, which for me means spending Sunday afternoons curled up with magazines and a big bowl of chili and chips while my husband screams at the TV. Now before allergies I was never a big fan of chili mostly because the ones I’d tasted–with names like Burn Your Tongue Beans and Great Bowls of Fire (chili cookoffs are popular in Colorado)–were waaaayyyy too spicy for me.

But then I started reading allergy-friendly cookbooks; chili recipes are a mainstay with these in-the-know authors (see links to some super cookbooks below). When I started making some of these recipes, I quickly realized chili does not have to make you sweat profusely. I now make all types of chili–ground meat, chicken, vegetarian–and not just during the cold months. In the summer I cook chili in the crockpot so it’ll be ready when we get home from the pool or a round of golf.  It’s one of the few allergy-friendly meals my husband and two teenage boys actually ask for–all year round.

For toppings, I use Daiya, avocado, black olives and/or salsa. Since I’m gluten- and corn-free, I can’t dig in with the tortilla chips the guys use, but I’ve recently discovered Plentils (lentil chips), and they are delicious!

The Light Sea Salt Plentils don’t overpower the chili the way some nut chips do, and they are great “scoops” for guacamole and salsa.

Okay, back to my chili.  Here’s what I made this week.

Easy Bison Chili

1 pound grassfed bison (I used Great Range Brand Bison)

1 large organic onion, chopped

1 large organic green pepper, chopped

2 tbsp. and 2 tsp. allergy-free chili powder (I used Penzys Spices Regular Chili Powder; use hotter chili powder, if you like)

2 14-ounce can organic tomatoes with jalapeno peppers (I use Eden Foods)

1 6-oz can V-8 juice

1 can organic chili beans, drained and rinsed (you can use small red beans, or kidney beans, or chili beans)

In a large stockpot, cook onion and green pepper in a little olive oil for about three minutes, then add the bison meat.  Keep stirring until mean is browned and crumbles. Discard any fat, but typically there won’t be much, if any, with bison. Add chili powder and all ingredients except beans. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add drained beans and heat through. Makes enough for six to eight servings.

A Few Food Allergy Cookbooks:

What’s to Eat? and What Else is to Eat?  by Linda Coss

The Whole Foods Cookbook by Cybele Pascal

The Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook by Elizabeth Gordon

More about Bison from the USDA

More Chili Recipes:

Gluten Free Cooking at About.com

Go Dairy Free, Turkey and Vegetable Chili

Please share a link to your favorite chili recipe!

Allergy-Free Pasta Salad

Seems like everyone is trying to get that end-of-the-summer picnic in. Here in Colorado Springs, we lost many summer days due to a horrible, destructive fire. For us, Labor Day weekend is not only an opportunity to celebrate workers but to appreciate what we still have–our families, our neighbors, our beautiful mountains. I hope you will do the same this weekend.

I tested the following pasta salad on friends a few weeks ago.  It was a hit, and they were amazed that The Girl Who’s Allergic to Everything was eating forkfuls. That says it all.

Picture by www.adventuresofanallergicfoodie.wordpress.com

What prompted this recipe was a  box of quinoa pasta (organic rice flour and organic quinoa flour)  I was anxious to try.

Now it’s been a long time since I’ve actually tasted wheat pasta, but I thought these shells were pretty close to what I remember.  My husband confirmed that the flavor and texture were better than “that the awful rice pasta you tried to trick me with.” 🙂

Now on to the recipe.

Amy’s Allergy-Free Antipasta Salad

Cook 8 oz. Andean Dream Quinoa Pasta Shells (or your favorite shells) as directed.  Drain well.

Toss in the following:

Chopped gluten-, dairy-, soy-free genoa salami and pepperoni (read packages carefully!)

Kalamata olives or green olives in olive oil (I used both because I LOVE olives)

Medium sweet onion, chopped

Anything else you have in your fridge that would taste good, such as chopped green and/or red peppers, marinated artichokes, artichoke palms, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil)

Photo from www.adventuresofanallergicfoodie.wordpress.com

Here is what I used. So colorful and tasty!

Organic cherry tomatoes cut in half (unless they are those super tiny ones, of course)

For dressing, I just drizzled extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkled oregano until I was satisfied with the taste.  But you can mix about 2 tablespoons oregano, salt and pepper to taste, 3/4 cup EVOO and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar in a separate bowl, then add to salad.

Eat and enjoy!