A food allergy blog

Vegan Loaded Banana Bread

Vegan Loaded Banana Bread

Dairy-, Egg-, Soy-, Peanut-, Yeast-free and optional Treenut-free

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Vegan Loaded Banana Bread

Vegan Loaded Banana Bread

This vegan and allergy-friendly banana bread is loaded with flavor and tastes just as good if not better than the real deal. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, dessert or just as a snack, it will be your new go-to quick bread!

Paris: Healthy Spots and Juice Shops

Paris: Healthy Spots and Juice Shops

My guide to the best juice shops and healthy spots in Paris for when you need a break from all the cheese, wine and bread!

Paris: Coffee Shops

Paris: Coffee Shops

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m not a morning person. Some people aren’t morning people but when they travel they suddenly get up at the crack of dawn because there is so much to do and see. That’s not me. I like to begin my day leisurely. After all, I am on vacation.

I also am not a coffee drinker. I LOVE the smell however I hate the taste. In general, my bitter taste buds never developed. Coffee, Campari, grapefruit, bitter greens, not my thing.

So, why do I have a full post dedicated to coffee shops: my husband. He is a coffee snob and needs it to function. Plus, he doesn’t always allow me to sleep in so I need at least a tea to help me get going, preferably a matcha latte if it’s available.

Whenever we travel, I do a ton of research regardless of whether or not we’ve been to that destination before. Living in a large city, I know how quickly things can change in the restaurant scene. When I look for coffee shops they have to hit at least two of the following criteria:

  • matcha on the menu
  • decent tea list, hopefully with jasmine green tea
  • excellent coffee

Without further ado, my favorite coffee shops in the City of Light that have passed both my standards and my husband’s very high coffee bar.

Café Kitsuné

Located along the Palais Royal, in the 1st, this tiny coffee shop is hands down my favorite in the city. It is our first stop every time we are in Paris (well, after checking-in to the hotel) to fuel up for a day of walking around on no sleep. Not only do they serve an excellent matcha latte, the hubs says the coffee drinks are spot on. Best of all, they have two non-dairy options: soy and almond. While they do have a few snacks as well (cakes, cookies), none are vegan but a few are gluten-free. Some other things worth noting: this place is super popular and can get crowded on the weekends, when the weather is nice they have outdoor seating right along the park, there is free WiFi but it’s best if you are sitting inside.

In terms of finding this place, you need to walk inside of the park. Google Maps placed it on the small side street that lines the park when we first went a few years ago and it took us a little while to figure out just where it was. That error does seem to be fixed now, though.

(No, that buttery fox cookie was not allergy friendly. Yes, I ate it. Yes, my stomach felt a little off afterwards but when you’re hangry you must eat…)

Café Kitsuné – 51 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 Paris, France

 

Shakespeare and Company Café

This is the café of the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore in the 5th, just a block from the Seine and across the bridge from Notre-Dame Cathedral. There are several things to love about this place: location, drinks, food, atmosphere, and the super friendly staff. They really have left no stone unturned. Seriously.

When it comes to drinks, I suggest their matcha latte, which can be made with your choice of almond, soy, or regular milk. They also have a great list of coffee options, teas and juices. Thanks to a partnership with Bob’s Bake Shop, there is a wide selection of pastries, salads, and either items that are allergy-friendly or vegan (as well as options that are not, for our travel buddies).

The best part, in my opinion, is hanging around to enjoy your drink rather than taking it to go. Why? Because of the Proust questionnaire that lines their serving trays. The last time I stopped by I was with a girlfriend after her bachelorette party. We were exhausted and needed to sit for awhile so we sat down at one of the communal picnic tables out front and went through all the questions. It was so much fun and so relaxing. Yelp says there is free WiFi, but I couldn’t tell you if that’s true because, Proust questionnaire….

Shakespeare and Company Café – 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France

 

The Broken Arm

The Broken Arm is a concept store in the Marais: half clothing store, half café. The café, on the corner of the block, has seating both inside and outside, and is a popular neighborhood spot. You can expect to see a lot of friends grabbing a quick lunch together or young mothers chatting over coffee with their babies happily sleeping next to them in their strollers.

Since the area is pretty quiet, with only the sounds of children playing in the park, it is a great spot to start your day with a pastry, coffee, and one of the newspapers scattered around the café, or for a delicious and inexpensive lunch while shopping in the area. They keep things pretty basic when it comes to drinks: great coffee with regular (dairy) milk only or a small selection of teas. The food menu changes often and is updated on their website daily. I believe they have WiFi but I think it only works in the store, not the café.

The Broken Arm – 12 Rue Perrée, 75003 Paris, France

 

Hardware Société

This highly instagramable Aussie café is located in Montmartre just down a flight of stairs to the side of the Sacré-Cœur. They serve breakfast all day with items like avocado toast (GF available), bircher, and all sorts of eggs. It is not the most allergy-friendly place if you have to avoid eggs, but you should be able to find a few items regardless of your allergies. The staff was very friendly and helpful and did everything they could to alter dishes.

What really drew us here was their matcha latte. Their non-dairy milk option was oat milk (surprisingly popular in Paris) which lent the latte a unique taste that I was really on the fence about at first. Coffee verdict: A+ from the hubs. WiFi: sadly, no.

Hardware Société – 10 Rue Lamarck, 75018 Paris, France

Boot Café

Boot Café now has two locations: the original, on the Right Bank in the Marais, and it’s newer and larger spot on the left Bank in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

This spot is definitely more for your coffee-loving, non-allergic travel partner. They serve great coffee drinks but stick to regular (dairy) milk and their food options aren’t necessary allergy friendly (but they look so delicious!). We always stop by so the hubs can get one of their delicious coffees while I have a pot of jasmine green tea.

If you want to sit down, you’re better off going to the location in Saint Germain as their other location is tiny!

Boot Café – 19 Rue du Pont aux Choux, 75003 Paris, France or 26 Rue des Grands Augustins, 75006 Paris, France

 

KB Café Shop

The last of the coffee shops on my list is KB Café Shop in South Pigalle. They roast their own beans in house, have a great food selection (even though it’s not so allergy-friendly), offer two non-dairy milk options: soy and oat, and the atmosphere is great.

We stopped by on a chillier day after walking all over Montmartre when I was just dying for a hot cocoa to both warm me up and fill me more than a hot tea would. Luckily, they were able to make me a completely dairy-free option with oat milk. It’s pretty uncommon to find a coffee shop that has safe cocoa so that was a great surprise. The hubs had a cappuccino that was very good and was gone in record time. We sat outside enjoying the people watching from one of their many outdoor tables while resting our feet.

KB Café Shop – 53 Avenue Trudaine, 75009 Paris, France

Other coffee shops in Paris that are worth looking up:

If you have any favorite coffee/tea shops in Paris, let me know in the comments!

 

An Introduction to the Paris Guides

An Introduction to the Paris Guides

Paris is by far my favorite city in the world and it’s great for those with food allergies. Take a peak inside my guides to learn more!

Pumpkin Pecan Scones

Pumpkin Pecan Scones

These vegan and allergy-friendly (maybe) scones are full of warm fall spices and flavor, perfect for everyday breakfast or a fall afternoon tea party.

Berry Peach Galette

Berry Peach Galette

There’s something you should know about me: I love pie (I mean, I really, really love it). I’ll chose pie over cake any day of the week. Feeling too lazy to make a full pie? No problem, I’ll take a tart or galette and be just as happy. When it comes down to it, they are the sisters to pie so it all works out. Just don’t be a cheat and make it on puff pastry because that is not the same thing. I won’t throw it at you but I will accidentally drop it on the ground (jk, I’d never do that!).

Because my love of pie runs so deep I am always thinking about it. I can’t walk through the produce section of the grocery store without thinking about what fruits, and sometimes even vegetables, would make a delicious pie. I make a lot of apple and blueberry, because they are my absolute favorites, but love to explore other options.

I was walking through the Union Square Greenmarket a few weeks ago and was drawn to a huge display of peaches. I usually avoid peaches because they can make my mouth itchy when in raw form but for some reason I had to have these peaches. They were perfect and fragrant and I wasn’t walking away without a bag. As I stood there waiting to pay, I started to think about what to do with them. I looked around at the other vendors and spotted a table full of fresh berries and a bell went off in my head: peach and berry pie!

I got home and got to work: I whipped up a double pie crust, washed all my fruit and went through my spice rack to decide what should go into the filling. I decided not to add much to let the flavor of the fruit really shine through. I also decided that I’d go heavier on the berries than the peaches just because, well, berries. Once I started putting everything together I made a decision to turn this into a galette…mostly because I hadn’t made enough filling and I was too lazy to make more.

The first galette I made was SO GOOD. Scott and I ate the entire thing in two days……..that’s normal, right? Of course, I didn’t measure anything. My first attempt to replicate it was ok but not great; it was too sweet and too runny. My second attempt to replicate it was amazing. No, it was AH-MAZZZZIINNNGG. Better than the first one with the perfect balance of sweet and tart, a little hint of spice, and the perfect filling texture: not too running and not too thick. Hands down, this is my new go-to summer dessert. Invite me for dinner? Guess what, I’m bringing you this galette. Want to go on a picnic? Sure, I’ll make this galette. Drinks and gossip on the roof? Galette is the perfect pairing! You get it.

Allergy note: this recipe uses my double pie crust recipe which is completely vegan and can be made gluten free. If you are allergic to stone fruit, swap the peaches for apples or just increase the amount of berries overall. Both would be delicious options! I use cornstarch is a thickening agent but if you’re allergic to corn, you can substitute it with arrowroot starch, tapioca flour or all-purpose flour (these may not all be 1:1 substitutes so please read the guidelines on the packaging).

Let’s do this!

You don’t need a lot for this recipe because it sticks to my philosophy of the simpler the better. Delicious food does not need a million ingredients! You only need your peaches and berries, sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and lemon, plus your pie dough: flour, salt, shortening and water.

Even when I get my fruits and vegetables from the greenmarket I give them in good wash and let them soak in a vinegar solution to help kill any surface yeasts that may be hanging around. Organic options may be safe from pesticides but they are not safe from mold and bugs! Let your berries dry completely before proceeding so that you don’t add extra liquid into the filling.

To make each bite easier, I like to cut the peaches into slices and then halve the slices. I can’t stand it when I go for a bite and end up dragging out half the filling in the slice because it was all attached to one big piece of peach. I also advise cutting the strawberries into slices so they mix better with the rest of the filling. Once you’ve cut up the peaches and strawberries, add them to a bowl with the raspberries, blackberries and blueberries then add in the rest of your filling ingredients and stir it up.

BTW, I got this mini pink rubber spatula at Williams Sonoma a few months ago and am obsessed! One, it’s pink, two, it’s the perfect size, three, it has a mate that is more of a scrapper perfect for cleaning out jars. I love them so much I got a grey set, too. Grey for savory dishes, pink for sweets! (I’m just a little OCD…)

Anyway, now that your filling is prepped and macerating, start rolling out your pie dough. If you were making a pie you’d roll out half the dough. But since we’re making a galette, roll out about 3/4 of the dough to a 1/8″ thickness in a circle 3-4 inches larger than your pie plate for more overlap on the filling. If you just thought, “pie plate? I thought we were making a galette?,” let me explain. Galettes are round freeform pastries that are not meant to be perfect like pies. But I find a pie plate to be a wonderful mold to make sure your galette has a nice, uniform roundness and to help catch any spillage that would otherwise destroy your baking sheet or oven bottom. I leave the imperfections only to the rustic edges of the crust.

So grab your pie plate, lay your dough in it as evenly as possibly, pushing the dough into the plate, and get to filling! As you are filling, be careful to reserve 1-2 tablespoons of the filling liquid to brush on top of the crust. Since it contains all sorts of goodies in it, this will help the crust get nice and golden brown that otherwise can’t be achieved without an egg wash. (Or, if you can eat eggs, skip this and just brush the top with an egg wash.) Once your filling is evenly distributed, fold the edges of the galette over, overlapping where necessary. Using a pastry brush, brush the reserved filling liquid on the edges then sprinkle with sugar.

Bake this beautiful galette at 375F for 45-60 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the bottom is fully cooked (another benefit of using a pie plate, if it’s glass, is that you can check the bottom). Take it out and use all of your self control to let it cool for several hours, or even over night, so that the filling has time to fully set. If you cut it too soon you’ll have a runny mess on your hands. If you want to eat it warm, simply reheat it in a 200F oven.

While this makes a wonderful dessert, it makes a delicious breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea, too. It is also perfect as an afternoon snack. Actually, just eat it for all your meals until it’s gone and then make another and repeat.

 

Summer Berry Galette
 
Prep time
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A fresh galette highlighting the best of summer fruits that is perfect for any occasion.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 slices
Ingredients
  • one double pie crust
  • 2 cups sliced peaches
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • ½ cup blackberries
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • juice from ½ lemon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Prepare pie dough according to recipe and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together fruits, ¼ cup sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to macerate.
  4. Roll out ¾ of the pie dough into a large circle and transfer to a pie dish making sure dough hangs over the edges of the dish. Fill the dish with the peach and berry mixture, reserving 1-2 Tbsp worth of liquid. Fold the pie dough edges over the top of the filling.
  5. Brush the top of the dough with the reserved filling liquid then sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
  6. Bake the galette for 45-60 minutes, until the crust has turned golden brown and the bottom is cooked through.
  7. Let the galette cool for several hours before serving to allow the filling to set.

Let me know if you’ve tried this recipe! Comment below or post a photo to instagram and tag me @champagneandfrites!

Fried Squash Blossoms

Fried Squash Blossoms

The perfect appetizer for any summertime affair, these crispy fried squash blossoms will certainly be a crowd pleaser and leave you with requests for more!

Delicious Vegan Waffles

Delicious Vegan Waffles

Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these waffles are yeast-, dairy-, and egg-free and could easily be made gluten-free as well. They make a wonderful breakfast or dessert when dipped in chocolate.

Crispy Baked Pommes Frites

Crispy Baked Pommes Frites

In honor of National Fry Day (I know, it was yesterday and I’m late to the game), I’m sharing my method for making crispy, fluffy, delicious baked french fries that will satisfy any fry-connoiseur’s demands. I can say this because I myself am addicted to fries.

Now, I’m not saying that baked fries are anywhere near as good as those twice-fried in duck fat, but for a “healthy” homemade version, these are the crème de la crème. Over the years I have tried many different recipes trying to get a fry that has a crispy outside and creamy inside like true french fries but always failed. The reason why this recipe works so well is because it combines many processes together to produce the perfect final product: crispy golden brown on the outside with a light and airy fluffy center. It may seem like a lot of steps but I promise, it is well worth it.

Not much is needed, just potatoes, olive oil and salt, plus whatever seasoning you’d like on your fries. I chose to add some fresh rosemary to mine but you could use cajun seasoning, garlic, paprika, herbs or anything else you’re craving at the moment. I also suggest using Yukon Gold potatoes, not Idaho Russet potatoes. Yukon Golds have more flavor than Russets while still having enough starch to give you a tender inside.

While you can buy special french fry cutters, I prefer the old-fashioned method: cutting the fries by hand. It really doesn’t take more than a few minutes and it allows you to adjust the size of the fry easily. Plus, who really has room in their kitchen for yet another gadget? If you decide to peel the potatoes (I always do simply because the skin, even with a good washing, can hold on to molds), peel them first and then cut a slice off one side in order to give the potato a flat, steady surface for cutting.

Next, place your fries in a bowl of cold water and let sit for 30 minutes. By soaking the potatoes you remove excess starch making for a crispier final product. You’ll notice the water turn a mirky, cloudy color as the starch leeches out.

The first step in the cooking process is to boil the fries to help them get tender on the inside. Strain out the starchy water then place the fries in a medium sized pot. Cover the fries with 1-2 inches of fresh water and cook on high for 10 minutes. If the water starts to boil before 10 minutes, reduce the heat to a simmer. Carefully drain the fries and spread them on a clean towel to dry completely before baking. You want to ensure all excess moisture has been removed or else they will not crisp up!

Once fully dried, place the fries on a baking sheet along with olive oil, salt and whatever other seasoning you choose. Toss together to fully combine and coat the fries on all sides. Bake in a 450F oven for 20 minutes, remove and flip, then bake for another 5 minutes, and repeat until the fries are browned. (I usually flip 2-3 times.)

Immediately transfer the fries to a paper towel lined cooling rack and sprinkle generously with salt. Do not let them cool before salting! Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (ketchup, mustard and hot sauce mix for me!) and enjoy!

 

Crispy Baked Pommes Frites
 
Prep time
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Crispy golden brown on the outside with a light and airy fluffy center, these baked french fries will satisfy any fry-lovers craving for fries.
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 4 large Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 sprigs rosemary (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450F. Peel potatoes then cut into ¼-1/2 inch sticks. Place in a bowl of cold water and let sit for 30+ minutes.
  2. Strain potatoes then add to a medium pot. Cover with 1-2 inches of fresh water and cook on high for 10 minutes. If the water starts to boil before 10 minutes is up, reduce the heat to a simmer.
  3. Carefully strain the potatoes and spread on a clean towel to dry completely.
  4. Remove rosemary leaves from stems and scatter over a large baking sheet. Place fries on top then drizzle with olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Toss together to fully coat each fry. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Remove, flip, and cook for another 5 minutes, repeating until the fries are perfectly browned.
  5. Transfer to a paper towel lined cooling rack and immediately sprinkle with more salt before they cool. Serve and enjoy!

Let me know if you’ve tried this recipe! Comment below or post a photo to instagram and tag me @champagneandfrites!

Flying with Food Allergies + What Foods to Pack

Flying with Food Allergies + What Foods to Pack

Flying with food allergies, especially on long-haul flights, can be excruciating and embarrassing. Ward off the hanger with my tips on what foods to pack that are TSA friendly and will keep you full and happy.