No Wheat, No Dairy, No Problem
Culinary expert develops recipes for those like her with food allergies and sensitivities
Bay Area Bites Blog
by Stefanie Rosenbaum
Diagnosed seven years ago with allergies to wheat and dairy, Lauren Hoover was thrilled. Finally, she had a reason for the stomachaches and congestion that had plagued her for decades. All she had to do was cut every last bit of wheat and dairy out of her diet. How hard could it be, especially for a smart foodie and trained chef?
“I didn’t think I ate a lot of processed food, but the first time I went to the supermarket after my diagnosis, I stood outside in the parking lot and cried,” Hoover relates. Everything, it seemed, had some sneaky remnant of wheat or dairy in it. “I thought, what am going to eat, besides chicken, fish, fruit and vegetables? I decided right then that I wasn’t going to live the rest of my life without the foods I love.”
As a professional pastry chef trained at the California Culinary Academy, Hoover was better equipped than most to start tinkering with her favorite recipes. Having worked at numerous high-end hotels, resorts, and restaurants including San Francisco’s La Folie, she didn’t want to ditch her pot pies and chocolate cakes for quinoa and sprouts. Instead, she wanted her meals to be healthy but normal– the sort of thing anyone would be happy to eat, whether or not they had food sensitivities.
What began out of necessity turned into a mission. Returning to college to pursue a psychology degree, she had dreams of becoming a child-advocacy lawyer. In between classes, though, she kept baking, bringing wheat, dairy, and soon sugar-free treats to her study buddies. Friends clamored for her cupcakes and other goodies, and finally an enthusiastic friend insisted that she share her recipes in a cookbook.
“This has become my legacy, the way I can help people who are suffering,” says Hoover. The 150 sweet and savory recipes in her new book No Wheat, No Dairy, No Problem are the result of seven years’ worth of experimenting, testing, and teaching. She’ll be celebrating with a launch party on Saturday, July 18 at 3pm at Noe Valley’s Omnivore Books.
So, what are the must-haves for the wheat- and/or dairy-free kitchen? Since Hoover doesn’t cook with refined sugar, agave nectar is high on her list, although she also likes date sugar, sucanat, and maple syrup for sweetening. “Along with agave nectar, I’d say oat flour, olive or grapeseed oil, and some kind of milk substitute– I like coconut and almond milks, but you can use rice or soy milk, too,” she notes.
Making her book accessible, even to novice cooks outside the well-stocked environs of the Bay Area, was very important to Hoover. “I’m not interested in using a lot of weird ingredients; I think people should be able to make these recipes whether or not they have a Rainbow Grocery down the street.”
Accordingly, her recipes offer plenty of suggestions for substitutions, along with instructions for whipping up homemade basics like raw almond milk.
The back of the book also offers a crash course in supermarket label-reading, including a 4-page list of often-overlooked wheat and dairy derivatives, from whey protein to modified food starch.
Having seen too many food-sensitive friends give in to momentary brownie or pizza cravings only to suffer the consequences for days on end, Hoover promises that “with this book, you can have everything you love without having to suffer.” The hardest thing for her to leave behind? “Triple-creme cheese, and yogurt,” she sighs. “But I know, for me, it’s just not worth it.”
Nods on other blogs:
Go Dairy Free tested out some of the recipes here.
|No Wheat, No Dairy, No Problem|
|As a professional pastry chef with a resume that includes several high end hotels, resorts, and restaurants, including San Francisco’s La Folie, Lauren Hoover wasn’t going to settle for less when she found out she was allergic to wheat and dairy. She wanted to enjoy all of her favorite meals without the least bit of sacrafice in taste. The result was 150 sweet and savory recipes compiled into her new cookbook, No Wheat, No Dairy, No Problem.The image below was my first peak at the cover, so I can’t yet comment on the layout of the book, functionality, flow, etc., but I did have the opportunity to view the recipes before the book went to print, and of course, taste test a few …When I am approached by a chef with a new cookbook, I typically have a general expectation for the food concepts I will find. This includes unique (and often too unique) flavor pairings, some new-to-me ingredients, and some special skills I will need to master in the kitchen. But Lauren Hoover’s recipes are refreshingly familiar. She focuses on whole foods and producing time-tested favorites (such as crab cakes, pot pie, and meatloaf), yet without wheat (spelt and oats are used, so this is not a gluten-free recipe book), dairy, or refined sugars. I would certainly define her style as basic homestyle cooking, with a focus on healthy ingredients.As for those recipes, I wanted to start with a flour-based recipe and a “creamy” recipe.
Since the basic “Cream” Sauce is utilized for several recipes within No Wheat, No Dairy, No Problem, it seemed like the obvious first choice. The sauce was very light in the “cream” aspect, but full of flavor. The author offers a few options in preparation, but I chose to use the chicken stock, I added 8 ounces of mushrooms, and some cooked, sliced chicken for a delicious cream of chicken and mushroom dish over rice. I look forward to trialing her suggestion for “creamed” tuna, which sounded so much like a childhood favorite.
To test out the wheat-free, and in this case gluten-free, aspect of this cookbook, I sampled the Rice Flour Pancakes. They turned out light, fluffy, and just a wee bit crumbly … nothing a good dousing of maple syrup wouldn’t fix though. I did opt to reduce the salt in this recipe, and would lower it even a little more, and I had to increase the liquid a bit to make it pourable, but I do live in a dry climate. In the end, I was seriously impressed with the taste, texture, and how easy the pancakes were to make. In fact, these were some of the easiest pancakes to flip, ever!
Of course, I couldn’t resist testing them out as waffles too …
The cookbook also offers another pancake recipe which is just wheat-free, for those who can handle some gluten, and dozens of baked goodie recipes that I have yet to dive into!
Agave nectar, a natural extract from the cactus plant with minimal processing, has a low glycemic index (eliminated the highs and lows associated with refined sugar) and tolerated by most diabetics.
There has been a lot of confusion about oats not being gluten-free. The oats are actually gluten free, but most are contaminated with gluten in the manufacturing process. Now there are companies such as Bob’s Red Mill, (www.glutenfree.org) that have gluten free oats available.
|Lauren’s peachy-pear crisp Photo Susie Iventosch|
|Summer Fruit Crisp
I look forward to summer fruits all year long. Who doesn’t like
warm fruit with a crumbly topping with vanilla ice “cream”?
Yields: 1 (9×12) pan or 2 quart round soufflé dish-serves
3 pounds of stone fruit
(nectarines, peaches, apricots, plums), 1 inch slices
½ cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon tapioca starch or 2 tablespoons oat
or barley flour
1 cup oat or barley flour, sifted
½ cup date sugar or maple sugar or sucanat
(I substituted organic turbinado raw cane sugar)
1 stick vegan Earth Balance, cold or frozen and diced
zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla powder, optional
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds)
½ cup old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash lemons and fruit with vegetable wash. Do you know how many people have handled that fruit? Trust me, you don’t want to know…just wash it and rinse well with cold water! Slice fruit and put in a large bowl and add the rest of the filling ingredients to the fruit, stir well. Place fruit mixture into a 9×12 glass baking dish or a 2-quart round soufflé dish or something equivalent-it can be a different shape, but the same size. Set fruit aside.
For the topping, place all ingredients into a food processor with the “S” blade (Sabatier chopping blade) and pulse until it is crumbly and the size of cherries. This can also be done with a pastry cutter in a bowl. Pour evenly over fruit and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Cool for one hour.
*Can prepare crisp ahead of time and freeze to bake at a later time. If frozen, increase baking time to approximately 1 hour.
SoL™ Sunflower Beverage Introduces Food Allergy Friendly Cupcake Recipe Just in Time for Back to School Parties
Free from the wheat, dairy, and peanuts that allergic reactions in millions of children, SoL’s latest creation allows more kids to enjoy traditional classroom celebration treats
SoL Chocolate Cupcake
Wheat, dairy, eggs, and peanuts are some of the most common allergens among food allergic children….We worked with pastry chef Lauren Hoover West to develop a delicious food allergy friendly cupcake recipe devoid of those ingredients.
Hope, MN (PRWEB) August 21, 2012
For the more than 6 million American children who suffer from food allergies, normal back-to-school jitters are magnified by the fear of accidentally eating something while at school that will make them ill – in some cases so ill that immediate medical attention is required. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 to 18 percent of children with food allergies have had allergic reactions to accidental ingestion of food allergens while in school. Furthermore, the classroom is reported to be the most likely location for a reaction to occur.
“Food allergic children often feel left out when other students bring in birthday party cupcakes or other treats to share with the entire class,” said Tina Nelson, vice president of Sales & Marketing, Consumer Products, SunOpta Grains & Foods Group and Sunrich Naturals, makers of SoL Sunflower Beverage. “Wheat, dairy, eggs, and peanuts are some of the most common allergens among food allergic children – and are also frequently featured ingredients in cupcakes and other baked goods. To offer kids and their parents a safer choice for classroom sharing and prevent food-allergic children from feeling excluded, we worked with pastry chef Lauren Hoover West to develop a delicious food allergy friendly cupcake recipe devoid of those ingredients.”
Hoover-West, author of No Wheat, No Dairy, No Problem Cookbook, was challenged to create kid-friendly cupcakes made with SoL™ Sunflower Beverage that are vegan, dairy-free, peanut-free and gluten-free.
The result is an irresistible, fudgy, and moist chocolate cake with a silky smooth chocolate ganache frosting that both kids and adults will love. The SoL™ Chocolate Cake or Cupcake recipe, can be foundhere.
With 8% of U.S. children suffering from food allergies, and 40% of those kids having a history of severe reactions, parents and schools are looking for a greater selection of foods and beverages that are free from common food allergens. SoL™ Sunflower Beverage, made from wholesome sunflower seeds grown on American family farms, is naturally free of the eight most common food allergens including milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and wheat. SoL™ lends itself well to recipes and can be enjoyed in place of dairy or nut milk any time of the day.
In addition to being allergy friendly, SoL™ is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, Phosphorus, Folic Acid, Calcium and Vitamin D. Available in three varieties – Original, Unsweetened and Vanilla – each 8 oz. serving of SoL™ provides 50% of the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin E, 30% for Calcium, 25% for Vitamin D, and 20% for Folic Acid.
To learn more about SoL™, visit http://www.sunrich.com.
Sunrich Naturals is a brand of SunOpta Inc., a leader in natural and organic ingredients, raw materials and consumer products and the largest sunflower processor in the United States.