• December 21, 2014

Cooking gluten, yeast and dairy free: Substitutions made easy

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Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:14 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Bethany Greenway

Killeen Daily Herald

Even if you cannot eat wheat, yeast and dairy, food can still taste good.

Yeast

There are many ways to create sauces, dressings and spreads without using vinegar, wine or soy sauce. For example, instead of deglazing a pan with white or red wine, try using lemon juice or chicken stock. If you're making a salad dressing, substitute the vinegar for lemon, lime or grapefruit juices. What about a teriyaki sauce? There is an answer for that, too - Bragg, a non fermented tamarind sauce that tastes similar to soy sauce. So you want mayonnaise? Simply substitute the vinegar for lemon juice.

Dairy

Butter makes everything better. I have heard this from so many cooks and chefs. Butter is not the only answer, there are so many wonderful oils out there that are made from various nuts and seeds. Of course, you cannot forget the old reliable extra virgin olive oil. What about cream and milk? There is rice, soy, almond and even hemp milk. For cream, try coconut milk. Each one of these milks has their own individual flavor profile. So substitute carefully depending on what you are cooking or baking.

Wheat

Now that gluten allergies have become more common, food manufacturers have begun making rice pastas and breads as well as gluten-free baking mixes. Cooking without wheat is all about personal taste and experimentation. Thickening sauces and soups is the easy part - use cornstarch mixed with water. As the cornstarch cooks, it will thicken. For baking, there are many flours that can be used instead of wheat flour. Just remember every flour has its own flavor profile, so substitute carefully.

Cooking

Let's say you have decided to make a dinner for someone with food allergies. The best way to go about figuring out your menu is to get a list of their allergies. Feel free to ask them questions about how they cook and what they cook, this is especially helpful if you feel lost and constrained by their condition.

Here are a couple of my favorite staples:

Vinegar-free mayonnaise

Ingredients

2 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable or olive oil

Pepper to taste

Directions

Using a whisk or emersion blender (I prefer the emersion blender) combine the egg yolks, lemon juice and salt. While blending or whisking gradually add the oil slowly. As the ingredients combine they will begin to thicken and turn into hard peaks. Season with pepper to taste.

Option: Add fresh herbs like basil or cilantro then spread on tomato slices for a refreshing snack.

The mayonnaise will keep in the refrigerator for about one or two days unlike the store bought stuff that will last an immeasurable amount of time because it is loaded with preservatives.

Green herb salad dressing

Ingredients

1/3 to ½ cup lemon, lime or grapefruit juice

1 cup extra virgin olive oil or flax seed oil

1 small clove of garlic, chopped

1 shallot minced

1/3 cup basil, cilantro, dill, parsley or thyme

Directions

Combine all ingredients and blend together until smooth.

The salad dressing will last in the refrigerator about a week.

This has only scratched the surface of cooking for people with food allergies. Next week, learn more about dairy substitutions. Enjoy and happy cooking!

All recipes have been modified from the "Joy of Cooking."

Contact Bethany Greenway at bethanyg@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7549.

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