I can’t tell you how many times I have gone out to eat at a restaurant with promises and hopes of being able to order like a normal person. Without having to pull the waitperson aside and explain my “situation”.
You see, I’ve learned over the years that it is best to make friends with the person serving my food and then let them in on my dirty little secret. That way, instead of thinking of me as that annoying picky person at table 12, I’ve become that endearing quirky girl who can’t have dairy or gluten, the poor thing!
Several times over the years, I’ve gone out to a new restaurant at the behest of people who know my deitary restrictions. So often, they will excitedly exclaim, “KATIE!! They have suchandsuch and its gluten free!!!“
Or, “Look at this Katie – A whole page of vegan options!”
Here’s the truth: I hate it when this happens. I want so badly to be as excited as they are, but 99% of the time, whatever it is that they are so excited about is either gluten or dairy free. Rarely is it both.
Then comes the awkwardness.
I won’t even begin on the subject of those who doubt the reality of food intolerances, because….I won’t.
Back when I was trying to determine what was causing all of my intestinal *ahem* distress, I consulted many many (many) people, giving them far too much personal information than they probably wanted. Some never responded.
Alisa Fleming created a website devoted to sharing information and recipes that are primarily dairy free, and she did this back when dairy free wasn’t something most people knew about. Her website (and her brain) contains such a wealth of information on product reviews, tips on eating out and shopping, recipes, and so much more that I can’t even begin to talk about here. But check out her website, it truly is fantastic.
She is my go-to for dairy-free, gluten-free, allergen-free, and general nutritional information. (Not to mention, the girl makes some bomb cookies and is hysterical and just a general awesome lady.)
I got her first cookook Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook several years ago, and my copy is ratty looking indeed – covered in splatters and spills, pages dogeared, full of hand-written notes.
That is the sign of a good cookbook.
I’ve made savory recipes – soups (seriously, the Broccoli Cheeze soup is worth the price of the whole on its own), stir fries, sauces, dips, salads – and sweet – fudge, cookies, muffins, and puddings – and I have never once been disappointed. Not once. (No, she isn’t paying me to say this and is probably right now blushing while reading this.)
You can read my review of that cookbook here, but what I really want to talk about is her latest cookbook: Dairy Free and Gluten Free: A Whole Food Starter Guide and Cookbook.
Her latest is a collaboration with Hallie Klecker and not only are all the recipes dairy free, but they are also all gluten free. A cookbook made for ME. (Okay, not really. But yeah. ME!!!)
My cooking style is decidedly no-fuss and the easier the better, and the whole food approach is 100% in line with my cooking and eating philosophy, and I really can’t wait to dive into the delicious sounding recipes. I’ve already got my first few picked out:
- Garlic and Herb Baked Fish and Zucchini
- Colorful Cabbage Slaw
- Sole-ful Blackened Fillets
- Broccoli Bowl with Rich Thai-Spiced Sauce
- Chewy Dark-Chocolate Brownies
- Mango-Orange Sherbet Bars (Are you kidding me with this one?!?!)
- No-Bake Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- …..and so many more!
In addition to the recipes, there are menu plans organized by season, an introduction to dairy-free and gluten-free basics, how to get started, and a huge list of resources for any question you could possibly have.
You don’t have to be plagued with gluten or dairy intolerances to love this book either. The recipes are just flat out GOOD. Not “good for dairy free”. Good.
And for the bargain price of $7.99, you can have these 75 recipes on your Kindle in seconds.
No-Bake Chocolate Chunk Cookies
If you need more proof that Alisa knows what she is talking about (aside from everything else I just mentioned), she recently became the senior editor at Allergic Living magazine where she gets to share even more of her knowledge with us mere mortals.
Do you have a favorite dairy and/or gluten free recipe? Feel free to post a link in the comments.
Do you have food allergies/intolerances? Does anyone else suffer from the “maybe its just in my head complex”? About twice a year I start to wonder if I am making this all up, so I’ll go on a dairy and gluten bender and ever time I do….well….bad things happen and I am satisfied that it isn’t just in my crazy head.