Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, MFA, MSW, LMSW, Psychotherapist; Specialist in Food Allergy Management, Speaking At Mylan Specialty / EpiPen Event (© Noel Malcolm 2013)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Recipe: Easy, Candied Orange Slices, Vegan, Tree Nut-Free, Gluten-Free

After I made that glorious blackberry thyme chocolate bark, I felt inspired to try another flavor combination, something with orange and an herby note. But how to get the oranges into chocolate without being too wet? Yes, I could zest, but since pushing myself during the #cook90 Epicurious challenge, I thought why not try something one step beyond that: candied orange slices. I’ve made candied orange peel before and dipped it in chocolate, heavenly. But not in a million years. So, I searched and found many super easy recipes and combined two and created this recipe below. 

My food allergen tip, scrub the peel really well as you’re going to be eating it.

Recipe: Easy, Candied Orange Slices, Vegan, Tree Nut-Free, Gluten-Free

Barely adapted from Food & Wine & The Repressed Pastry Chef

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar in the raw (turbinado sugar)
1 cara cara navel orange, sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices

In a medium skillet, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the orange slices and cook over moderate heat, turning them occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and the orange slices are translucent, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until the syrup is thick and the slices are tender but still intact, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer the orange slices to a rack to cool. Reserve the syrup for another use.

Follow me on Instagram @allergicgirlnyc, tag me @allergicgirlnyc and join me on my Facebook feed to see the these recipes as I post them live.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

RECIPE: Orange and Cinnamon Scented Beef Stew: Nut-Free, Gluten-Free, Fairway [SPONSORED]

"Dontcha wish your dinner was sweet meat like me?"

I really, really wanted a beef stew with the spice of cinnamon and the sweetness of oranges and dried fruit. And I looked and looked and could not find anything in all of my cookbooks and online that was exactly what I was looking for. So I made this version up, using tried and true braising methods and all of the flavors that I wanted: tender, melt in your mouth beef from Fairway Market, made even more tender by red wine, adding a little heat from cinnamon, sweetness from the carrots and raisins all in a luscious brown sauce - this is the stuff of dreams. 

It's also top 8 allergen free!

Happy plate for beef stew for days!

After the first 10 minutes or so, it's two hours of cooking, all hands off. Easy! Everything, but the meat, which I purchased at Fairway Market, you probably have on hand in your fridge and pantry. (If not, it's a quick trip to any market for these common ingredients.) I love recipes like that, don't you? Items you already have on hand, no special ingredients - easy! And as it’s Valentine’s Day 2017, *if* you’re so inclined and have the time, you could start cooking this dish this afternoon and have dinner on the table for your honey, tonight. Easy!


Orange and Cinnamon Scented Beef Stew with Carrots and Raisins

One Pound Wine Braised Beef Stew
Makes around 13 ounces of beef stew

One pound cubed chuck beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 T tomato paste
1 dried bay leaf
1 cup red wine
2 cups water (add more if needed to cover but not submerge meat)
.5 t ground cinnamon
1 cara cara orange, zested and juiced
½ cup raisins
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and make room on the middle rack. Heat two tablespoons of EVOO into a large Dutch oven/ceramic pot on medium high heat. Dry the meat cubes, salt them on all sides and add the meat to the hot pan in batches as to not overcrowd, and brown thoroughly on all sides. (If the pot it needs more oil, add it and make sure the fond doesn’t burn.) 

When the meat is all browned and sitting on a platter, resting, sauté the onions until translucent and fragrant. (If you need more oil, go ahead and add a glug). Once the onions are fragrant, add garlic and sauté for one minute until fragrant (do not burn the garlic!). Add the tomato paste, cinnamon and orange zest. Stir and heat for 30 seconds. Then add wine and bay leaf and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom. Boil the wine mixture until slightly reduced. Add the meat back into the pot with any juices. Bring the mixture a boil and then take off the heat and place into the 350 degree oven with the lid on the pot. 

While meat is cooking, add orange juice to raisins to rehydrate.  

About 1.5 hours into cooking, add chopped carrots and rehydrated raisins with any residual OJ. 

Let the mixture cook for another 30 minutes, until the meat is tender - a total of two hours.

Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. 

Serve over the grain or pasta of your choice with a side of salad and some yummy steamed greens.

Served with a side salad and oranges for dessert (uh...and a yoga block). #healthyhabits!

Enjoy and thank you, Fairway Market*.

(NB: *My policies regarding sponsored posts.)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Recipe: Vegan chickpea chili, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free, Top 8 Allergen-Free

Vegan chickpea chili over rice - yum
 I’ve been making this recipe, or aversion of it, since college. It’s economical, easy, high in nutrition but low on calories/fat, it’s made from pantry staples that you probably have on hand, it whips up in ten minutes or less which all means that you can walk in the door any night and be sitting down to this nutritious plate of yum in two shakes.

A few recipe notes: Chili powder is a mix of spices like cayenne, cumin, oregano, chiles, salt, pepper and other spices. Worried about allergens? You can easily make your own, here’s a recipe from The Kitchn.  Also, I like a little sweet in my chilis, even meat chili; maple syrup in particular, it’s totally optional but you should try it.


Recipe: Vegan chickpea chili, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free, Top 8 Allergen-Free

1 15 ounce can Goya chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can organic chopped tomatoes
1 shallot, peeled and minced (or small onion peeled and chopped)
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
Chili powder to taste (I started with two healthy shakes and then taste)
1 glug of maple syrup (or another sweater like brown sugar or honey)
Lucini EVOO
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté shallot in evoo until translucent and fragrant. Add garlic and sauté for one minute, then sprinkle chili powder, and stir until spices are fragrant. Add tomatoes and maple syrup, stir and let everyone meld for a few minutes. Add the chickpeas and let warm through. Taste and adjust for seasons. Serve over steamed rice and a side of green salad or steamed greens and enjoy!

Follow me on Instagram @allergicgirlnyc, tag me @allergicgirlnyc and join me on my Facebook feed to see the these recipes as I post them live.  

Monday, February 06, 2017

Recipe: Easy Rice Pudding, Lactose-Free Tree Nut-Free, Egg-Free

When I was in junior high school, one of my best friends was Venezuelan and after school, we’d raid her fridge. Two things they always had for after school snacks were rice pudding with raisins and empanadas, both nut-free and both so beyond yum. (They also had Nutella, this was in the mid-80s, which they brought from South America. Of course, I didn’t touch that.)

Every time I think of making rice pudding for myself and I look up recipes, they involve so much milk and/or cream and/or sugar and/or sweetened milk condensed and/or evaporated milk and/or a custard base and/or a house of stirring. Ugh, the work and I’m hungry when I wake up in the morning.

So, one morning while doing the #cook90 challenge by Epicurious, I thought hmm, what if I warmed up day old rice in milk, added raisins, topped with cinnamon and finished it with maple syrup, what might happen? Quick and easy rice pudding happened and IT IS GLORIOUS!

Recipe: Easy Rice Pudding, Lactose-Free Tree Nut-Free, Egg-Free
Makes one portion, scale up for your needs

.5 cup cooked white rice
.25 - .5 cup Lactaid milk 2%
Handful of golden raisins to taste
Cinnamon for sprinkling
Maple syrup to taste

In a heavy saucepan, on medium heat, cook the rice in the milk until the milk has been absorbed. Taste for texture, add more milk if needed. Plate in your favorite bowl, sprinkle on cinnamon, add a glug of maple syrup and enjoy!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Allergic Girl: #cook90 challenge by Epicurious: Take-Aways

This month, I joined the #cook90 challenge by Epicurious on Instagram

"The #cook90 challenge is simple: cook three meals a day, every day, for a whole month." - @epicurious 

No biggie for me, basically I already do that so I gave myself more specific goals: use new recipes and be more creative with leftovers, all to get out of a cooking/dining rut. You can read more about my stated goals on my Allergic Girl blog.

Overall, I’d say goals were MEGA achieved and even better than that, I feel like I reconnected to my deep love of food and creating i.e. I got out of my food rut!

I upped my #nextover game: sliced cold chicken with refreshed chicken skin with a side of blackberry jam for dipping – beyond! I made candied oranges and then orange chocolate bark. I used herbs in interesting ways – I’m looking at you chimichurri and blackberry thyme chocolate bark. I made recipes I had been dreaming about: yes, you homemade yogurt. I became the queen of roasted chicken thighs, especially those with Italian herbs. I made easy oven fries that are stupid good. I even made up a recipe all by myself! (That one will be sponsored and on the blog soon.)

What a joyful month of cooking! And I’m going keep it going.

For February, I’m thinking:

Chicken skin tacos

Poached chicken breasts for salads

Lamb with prunes

Suzy-Q cakes (which I’ve never had)

Stay tuned and follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to see what I'm cooking right now!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

ADVOCACY: AAFA Sends ACA Coverage Letter to Congress, Add Your Story

From our trusted colleagues at AAFA, this call to action is from their website:

Congress is moving forward to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a plan in place to ensure that Americans will continue to have access to the health insurance they need.  

The ACA guarantees that people with chronic conditions have access to affordable health insurance, and Congress could take this away.  This means our nation risks going back to a time when people with chronic conditions like asthma and allergies could be denied health insurance or forced to pay outrageous premiums or dropped from coverage just when they need it most.

AAFA needs your help now. Many lawmakers have begun the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Contact your members of Congress (your senators and representatives) and urge them to fight on behalf of you and all their constituents who depend on the Affordable Care Act.  

Tell Congress not to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act until there is a guarantee that you will still have access to equal or better coverage.

Go to this link on the AAFA website for more information to let your voice be heard NOW!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Recipe: Easy Blackberry Jam, Vegan, Tree Nut-Free, Gluten-Free

Blackberry saucy jam on pancakes

If you follow me on on Instagram @allergicgirlnyc or on Facebook you'll see, I've been going gaga for blackberry jam. it's so easy, it's so good and dresses up just about everything.

This is not a stiff, set, jelly like jam. This is runny, saucy and sexy jam. It works as a topping on pancakes (see above). Or a side for cold sliced chicken (see below).

You can swirl it into yogurt (see here), 

Or hot cereal or spoon it over ice cream. I even swirled it into a chocolate bark with great success (look away, it's beyond delish!). 

The uses are endless. 

Recipe note: I don't make mine overly sweet and I err on the side of less sugar, because you can always add more sugar but you can’t take it out. But that’s totally up to you. I also use Turbinado sugar/sugar in the raw as that’s what I have on hand. White sugar is fine here as well.


Recipe: Easy Blackberry Jam, Vegan, Tree Nut-Free, Gluten-Free

Adapted from The Kitchn, Martha Stewart and me

1 pound blackberries, clean and picked through for any leaves or particulate matter
.5 cup Turbinado sugar
½ fresh lemon, juiced (or half a navel orange, juiced)

Combine all in a heavy bottomed bot, cook on medium high heat, stirring for about 10 minutes until thickened. Press fruit to break it down further. Taste and add sugar if more needed. Let cool and transfer into a lidded container and store fridge. Will last about 7-10 days.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Recipes: Week 3 Goals, #cook90, Epicurious

So as part of Epicurious’s #cook90 challenge ("...cook three meals a day, every day, for a whole month." - @epicuriouslast week, I made:

--Candied orange slices (in preparation for orange /some-herb bark that I will make this week) 

--Mint chocolate chip ice cream that I gobbled up (and my rule is only one dessert in my house at a time, so chocolate bark had to wait) 

--Chimichurri fried rice

--Vegan chickpea chilli

--Homemade yogurt 

--Easy morning rice pudding 

(Search for these recipes on the box on the upper left corner box of this blog. 

What I didn’t do: I didn’t use those books as much I thought I would. Turns out I use the Internet far more for recipes and recipe-ideas than I thought. Also I took a break from more making chicken this week.

Moving into this last week of #cook90, my cooking plans are: orange chocolate bark with either fresh rosemary or fresh oregano, maybe some chicken tenders or an orange beef dish or a lamb and prune dish or both/all.

Join me on Instagram @allergicgirlnyc and on my Allergic Girl Facebook feed to see the #cook90 month unfold.  Or tag me at @allergicgirlnyc to cook allergen-friendly with me!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Recipe: Blackberry Jam and Thyme Chocolate Bark: Vegan, Top 8 Allergen Free

One of the benefits of joining Epicurious’s #cook90 challenge ("The #cook90 challenge is simple: cook three meals a day, every day, for a whole month." - @epicurious) had been that I’ve upped my leftover game. Epicurious calls them #nextovers, because the challenge is to transform your leftovers to something new and more delicious, or at least different. I don't usually do that, I make a big batch of something on Sunday -- a soup, a chili and braised meat thing -- and then, well, just dine on that as is. And I’m fine with that, it’s autopilot, it’s safe and delicious for me.

But this #nextovers concept and doing it online (public accountability!) has pushed me to do a bit more than simply reheat what is already delicious. 

Like this. 

Bark ready to be chilled

I made a big batch of blackberry jam (recipe here) the other day. And I had some herbs I had purchased but hadn’t yet used. Part of my personal #cook90 goals are to use more herbs and spices. So I wondered: what blackberry jam and thyme and chocolate would be like together? Pretty terrific, I guessed. I did a quick search online and saw that several others had created desserts using  that combination so I did a test run. 

Chocolate bark, if you haven’t made it before, is so ridiculously easy and it’s a great treat to make and bring to parties or get-togethers. It looks impressive, tastes delicious and for the home cook is a buh-reeze to make. 

Essentially it’s melted chocolate, spread out on a parchment covered pan and then you sprinkle your favorite toppings on top. Chill until it’s hardened, break up it glorious uneven shards, put on a plate and serve and listen as your guests ooh and ahh (which I promise they will.)

The combinations are endless. This is a great kid-cooking project and they (and you) can go crazy with the flavor combinations: sweet, salty, spicy, sour, it can all go with chocolate. Go play!

So here I took it easy on the blackberry jam as you want pockets of juicy fruit, rather than wall to wall, which gets messy and textural boring. I also took it easy with the fresh thyme. You want a hint of it, you want to get the herby goodness but not so much that it’s all you taste. Having said all that, I eyeballed this, it’s barely a recipe.

I melted a .5 cup Enjoy Life chocolate, swirled  in 1.5 T of blackberry jam, had the leaves from three single stalks of thyme and a light sprinkle of Kosher salt. And it was perfect for my tastebuds: the herbs with the jam and the chocolate created an exciting taste profile, something different, juicy, herby, sweet but not wildly sweet and chocolatey. It was so delicious, I had to give half of it away before I ate the whole batch. My tester loved it, too.

Next up I may try orange zest and rosemary and chocolate. What?! Yaassss! Stay tuned.

Join me on Instagram @allergicgirlnyc and on my Facebook feed to see my #cook90 month unfold. Better yet, tag me at @allergicgirlnyc #cook90 to cook allergen-friendly with me!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Recipes: Week 2 Goals, #cook90, Epicurious

Chicken. Ugh. The bones, the blood, the flesh, yuck. But when it’s cooked well, it’s heavenly. And I totally know HOW to cook chicken: a whole bird or parts; I can make braised chicken, roasted, baked, sautéed chicken; I can make chicken stews and soups. 

But, I don’t usually want to.

So, my challenge for week two of #cook90 was to cook chicken. (NB: I didn't get to it week 1 because by the time I was emotionally prepared to tackle the chicken I had purchased, it didn’t smell right. I took it back to Whole Foods and returned it. PS Whole Foods is great with returns, no questions asked, no stink eye.) My chicken didn’t have to be anything crazy fancy or complicated; just something yummy to get back into the habit of cooking chicken.

Monday, I bought chicken thighs (skin and bones included. Yum, crispy chicken skin) and chicken tenders, all by Bell & Evans, one of my preferred brands. I tossed the chicken tenders into the freezer to use next week and turned up my oven to pre-heat. And I also planned on using goal #2: use more herbs and spices daily.

To one thigh, I added an Italian herb-mix-blend I created (dried oregano, thyme, basil, kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper); two thighs received a sprinkle of Kosher salt and one thigh received a Greek yogurt treatment (yogurt, lemon juice and zest, dried oregano, salt and pepper).

They smelled very chicken-y whilst they baked. A good smell, a meaty smell but also a little too chicken-y. 

First lesson of week 2: four thigh of chicken is a lot of chicken for this Allergic Girl to consume in one week.

The first night, I had the Italian herb thigh and it was delicious: crunchy skin, gentle herb notes, with a side of rice and peas. (I cooked it in a 375 degree oven for an hour. I've also cooked thighs in 450 degree oven for 45 minutes. Both worked!)

The next day, I had the plain thigh, sliced, with blackberry jam and sauteed broccoli. I used my homemade blackberry jam like cranberry sauce and OMG what a discovery, cold dark meat chicken with a sweet, sour, jammy sauce was delicious. This needs to happen more often.

The third day, I had cold sliced chicken thigh on a sweet and crunchy salad (chopped carrots, chopped raisins, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper).

And then, I topped out on chicken – too much chicken. That fourth thigh, I couldn't get to it and as it’s been over 4 days, I fear that left over is too left over.

So, what did I learn week two of the #cook90 challenge by Epicurious?

I can totally throw chicken thighs into the oven with easy, on-hand pantry staples (herbs, spices, citrus etc.) any night of the week. And that I probably should freeze two of those thighs for the next week right away, because, ugh, too much chicken. Or enjoy them with my future boyfriend. Or invite friends over.

Next week’s plans: more herby combinations (like orange rosemary chocolate bark, what? yasss!), maybe those now-frozen chicken tenders (I’d love to recreate my teenaged recipe of breaded tenders to dip in honey), redo a meringue (I added twice the sugar, and it didn't bake properly, bah!) and continue playing with #nextovers.

Oh and dip further into those cookbooks!

So much to do, cook, bake eat and enjoy! 

Join me on Instagram @allergicgirlnyc and on my Facebook feed to see the #cook90 month unfold.  Or tag me at @allergicgirlnyc #cook90 to cook allergen-friendly with me!