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.
Over the next few months I’m going to talk about my personal enemy number one, the kryptonite to my Super(wo)man, the Mojo Jojo to my Bubbles: Yeast.
Yeast is really where my food allergy story starts (kinda funny since yeast isn’t a food). While I’ve had several food allergies since a young age, my entire outlook and behavior towards them changed dramatically in 2012 when my allergist finally solved my health puzzle.
After more than a year worth of increasingly horrible stomach pains, gastro issues, lethargy, joint pains and general discomfort, I made appointments to see my primary care doctor and my allergist. In my mind, I had one of two problems: I was slowly dying of some horrible disease or I had developed new food allergies. (I’m not dramatic at all…….)
My primary care doctor did some blood work and sent me to the GI who insisted I have a colonoscopy to check for issues like ulcerative colitis, bleeding, tumors, etc. I set it up for the following week, drank the massive jug of nastiness they give you to clear out your system (only a few months later a much better tasting and easier drink came out and I’m still angry about it), quickly nodded off as an unexpectedly handsome doctor was gearing up to examine my colon, and woke up an hour later loopy as hell to be told I have a beautiful colon with no problems. I’m pretty sure the whole thing was a ploy to make more $$. Anyway, with that done and no issues, I knew that allergies had to be the problem.
My allergist did the standard skin prick test on my back as a starting point, knowing that whatever was going on would probably require more testing. I hadn’t had my allergies tested in at least 5 years so there was a good chance they had changed and I was unknowingly eating something(s) my body was rejecting. While I don’t find allergy skin tests to be painful, I do find them to be extremely annoying. The little pricks almost tickle in some places and the burning, itching sensation that immediately follows and gets progressively worse as you sit there, unmoving for 15-20 minutes, really gnaws at your psyche.
Body: ITCHY BACK, ITCHY BACK, IT’S ON FIRE, ITCH IT
Mind: Don’t move a muscle or this test could get screwed up and you’ll have to do it again.
Body: JUST ITCH IT ALREADY OR I’M GOING TO HAVE A MELTDOWN
Mind: Deep breaths, only a few minutes left.
Mind: OH F*$@K, 13 more minutes to wait.
And so it goes on until finally the doctor comes back in and, if your allergies are as severe as mine, calmly states how badly you’ve reacted to basically everything and that after measuring all 72 pricks they will apply some steroid cream to help lessen the itch. But the issue is, that cream really does nothing if you have reactions like mine, so your best bet is to hurry home, take a Benadryl and pass out until the next day. THIS is what I’m talking about…
For most people, the hives will go away within a few hours. For me, they last anywhere from 3-7 days, depending on the severity. It’s amazing. I digress.
After examining the results, my allergist decided to do a more intense panel on molds, which I had reacted to the worst. Because this was a custom skin test, not a standard prick test, full blown needles were used. Now, I don’t have any issue with needles or shots, but this involved getting 18 “shots” in an extremely short period of time, and any sane person would start to sweat at that idea. I had two control shots in my right arm and 16 different types of mold and fungus shots in my left arm. While I reacted to all of them pretty badly, my worst was to yeast. (Lucky for you guys, I can’t find the lovely picture of this test.)
I was sent home 45 minutes later, after an observation period to ensure I wouldn’t go into anaphylaxis, with a new diet regime that excluded yeast from my diet entirely and limited the amount of sugar and carbs I could eat. I had mixed feelings: I was happy to have the answer to my health problems and I was entirely defeated by the intensity of this new diet that removed pretty much all of the foods I loved.
So, it’s been five years since I had a slice of real pizza, a sandwich, a freshly baked croissant, truffles shaved on top of my pasta, beef bourguignon (or any other delicious dish that uses mushrooms in the base), a hamburger with bun like a normal person, and so many other things. At first it was really difficult. Watching people eat bread from the bread basket at dinner or strangers eating a slice of pizza on the street made me want to cry with jealousy. I was still at a point where I could taste what they were eating even though I wasn’t eating it. But now I can smell the yeast in bread and pizza and it grosses me out. The whiff of a truffle being shaved at the table three tables down from mine makes me want to gag. I not only have forgotten what these things taste like entirely, but the smell of them doesn’t even appeal to me.
That’s not to say I don’t miss these foods, though. I miss the convenience and ease of pizza or a sandwich on the go. I miss the accessibility of food options when I’m traveling or at an event. I miss not having to constantly worry about what I’m going to eat and if I should eat before I go to brunch.
Whenever I’m in a particularly nostalgic mood or just craving carbs, I’ll make my yeast-free flatbread. Before my dairy allergy popped up last year, this recipe was not vegan and I never would have thought to change it. With a few easy substitutions, it is now dairy-free and vegan. Honestly, I think it tastes better than it did before!
Sometimes I’ll eat it plain while it’s still warm. Other times I’ll dress it up with hummus and veggies, almond butter and jelly, mayo-free chicken salad, or banana and honey with chia seeds sprinkled on top. It’s really the perfect base for any number of toppings. Best of all, it’s extremely easy to make and only has a four ingredients: flour, salt, olive oil and non-dairy milk.
To start, mix together the flour and salt, then add in the oil and non-dairy milk. Stir everything together until well combined and a dough forms.
Sprinkle a work surface with flour then knead the dough roughly 10 times, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
If you’d like larger flatbreads (as pictured here), cut the dough into four even pieces. For smaller flatbreads, cut the dough into eight even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball then roll them out on a floured surface until they are roughly 1/8in thick. The shape really doesn’t matter unless you really want circles or squares for something specific. Just make sure that the shape and size will fit into whatever pan you plan to use.
Heat a little bit of olive oil in a shallow pan over medium heat. Once hot, place a flatbread in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until air pockets start to form and the base turns golden brown.
Transfer each flatbread directly to a clean tea towel and wrap up to keep warm and to keep from becoming hardened. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days. I’d recommend reheating the flatbread before eating to get the best flavor.
- 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- ½ tsp salt
- 3½ Tbsp olive oil
- ¾ cup non-dairy milk
- oil for cooking
- Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add in olive oil and non-dairy milk then stir to combine until a dough forms.
- Transfer dough to a floured work surface and knead 10 times, adding more flour if the dough is sticky. Then wrap in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Unwrap the dough and cut into 4 even pieces for large flatbreads or 8 even pieces for small flatbreads. Roll each into a ball then, using a rolling pin, roll out into circles approximately ⅛in thick.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in one flatbread and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until air pockets form and the bottom is browned.
- Remove from skillet and wrap in a clean tea towel to help maintain warmth and to keep soft while you cook the rest. Serve immediately or store for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Let me know if you’ve tried this recipe! Comment below or post a photo to instagram with the tag #champagneandfrites.
Happy National Blueberry Pie Day! I love pie and I love blueberries, so this “fake” holiday is one that I can really get behind.
Before we get into all things pie, I want to fill you in on the past few weeks and why I haven’t posted anything. We were down in Florida visiting family for the Easter holidays and my birthday. I took that time to really listen to feedback I’ve received and shape the mission and goals for this blog. I bought a new notebook (not like I need more stationary…) and wrote a full blown business plan. I have a lot of work before all of my ideas come together but I’m back home now and super excited to get started. I’m not going to spill the beans on anything specific just yet but I will let you in on my mission: I believe that all people should be able to eat delicious and healthy food regardless of their allergies. It seems so simple and straight forward but I promise you, it’s not (which I’m sure you already know if you’re reading this!).
Now, let’s talk about pie! Pie is a sort of institution in my family. I think most of us would chose pie over other dessert options given the choice. My older sister even had pie at her wedding in place of a wedding cake! Liking pie certainly is not something you learn but making it, on the other hand, definitely is. We grew up with our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother whipping pie together like it was NBD, so we learned the art of pie baking at an early age almost like it was an essential skill like learning how to ride a bike. Because of that, we are all expert pie makers, something I didn’t realize was special until I started talking to friends.
Pie usually is not an allergy friendly or vegan food, sadly. Pie dough can contain butter and wheat and is brushed with egg, and the filling will often have a few dollops of butter on top to give it creaminess and flavor. BUT, all of these problems can easily be solved.
First, let’s remove the dairy aspect. My family has never used butter in pie dough. You may think it’s gross, but I’m telling you right now, vegetable shortening is the way to go. It produces an easy to work with and flakey crust and tastes pretty much the same if not better. Crisco is the most common vegetable shortening on the market but it’s made with soy, another allergen for me. I use a brand called Spectrum that is made from organic palm fruit oil. You can also use vegan butter (contains yeast) or coconut oil in it’s solid form. For the filling, simply leave out the butter, et voila, you have a dairy free pie!
Now, the egg: every pie you see that is a perfect glossy, golden brown has been brushed with egg. That’s great if you’re not allergic to egg, and you should definitely brush an egg wash on your pie if you can. But, if you are allergic to egg like me, you’re out of luck. Nothing I’ve tried works like egg to create such a perfectly browned crust. I’ve tried brushing the top with melted coconut oil, coconut milk, almond milk, grapeseed oil, and none of them work. If you know a trick then please let me know it!
If you have an allergy to gluten, substitute all-purpose flour for your preferred gluten-free flour mix.
With a few simple steps and some patience, you are going to be on your way to making pie like a pro in no time!
Pie dough is where most of my friends have claimed pie is too difficult to make or that they just can’t get it right. I promise you, it is much easier than you think. Some recipes say to use a food processor. Don’t do that. Get out your handheld, manual pastry blender and get your hands dirty! First mix together your flour and salt it a medium bowl. I use the pastry blender like it’s a whisk and just mix it all around for a few seconds. Then add in your shortening and cut it with the pastry blender until the mixture resembles a bowl of peas. To form the dough, add in ice cold water one tablespoon at a time and blend until you can form a ball. Be careful not to add too much water! The dough should not be sticky.
Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. While it is chilling, prepare your pie filling.
I always prefer to use fresh fruit in pies whenever I can. Whoever planned #nationalblueberrypieday is not on my side, though, and did not take into account that blueberries are not in season in April so my options were either making a $50 fresh blueberry pie or using frozen blueberries. I opted for the latter.
When you’re using frozen fruits make sure to completely thaw them beforehand. I like to empty the fruit into a colander placed over a bowl so that the juices can drain and be used for another purpose. By doing this you are ensuring you will not get a runny, messy pie filling.
My blueberry pie is very fruit forward with very little added other than sugar to help bring out the sweetness. I also like the warmth of cinnamon so I add in a dash of it along with some flour to help thicken up the filling. Throw it all into a large bowl, mix it together, and set aside to macerate.
Alright, back to the pie dough! It should now be chilled enough to roll out. Remove the plastic wrap and cut it into two even pieces, setting one to the side and rolling the other into a ball. Dust your work surface with flour then flatten the ball of dough onto it and begin to roll out. I use a silicon pie mat with size guides on it to make sure I roll the dough to the proper size. This isn’t necessary but it is very helpful.
You don’t want the dough to be too thick so that it easily bakes through. I roll mine to about 1/8″ or a little thinner. To make sure the dough doesn’t stick to your work surface, flip it over about half way through, re-dusting the surface with flour.
Roll the dough onto your rolling pin and transfer to a pie plate. By rolling the dough onto your pin you will keep it from tearing and potentially having to roll it out again which will result in a tough crust.
Trim off the excess dough around the edges and use it to fill in any gaps using a little water to help it stick together. Place any remaining dough to the side. Pour in your pie filling and set to the side while you roll out the pie top the same way you rolled out the bottom.
Once you’ve topped the pie, roll together the edges of the top and bottom crust and crimp with your fingers. Cut a few lines into the top to allow for steam to escape while baking. You can create any pattern you’d like: stars, hearts, arrows, etc. Brush the top with dairy-free milk and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Bake the pie at 375* for 30 minutes then lower the heat to 350* and bake another 20 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown.
When the pie is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool for several hours before serving. The filling needs time to solidify before you cut into it. This will test your patience but you’ll be happy you waited. If you’d like to serve the pie warm, put it back into a 200* oven for 15 minutes just before serving.
If you’ve done all of this and your pie filling is still runny, it happens. Fruit can be a finicky thing! Adjust the recipe next time to have more flour in the filling or a little bit of corn starch to help it thicken.
Please let me know if you’ve tried this recipe by commenting below or posting a photo to instagram with the tag #champagneandfrites.
- 1 Dairy-free double pie crust (recipe below)
- 5 cups blueberries
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- dash of salt
- ¼ cup flour
- If using frozen blueberries, thaw blueberries in a colander for several hours to release excess water.
- Mix together blueberries, sugar, cinnamon, salt and flour in a large bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes to macerate.
- Pour blueberry mix into prepared pie plate and top with pie crust. Cut a few holes into the top crust to allow steam to escape during baking.
- Bake at 375 for 20 minutes then lower heat to 350 and bake for another 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
- 2 cups flour
- ⅔ cup vegetable shortening
- 1 tsp salt
- 6-7 Tbsp ice cold water
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour and salt.
- Add in vegetable shortening and cut with a pastry blender until the shortening is the size of peas.
- Slowly add in water one tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms a dough.
- Place in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes before rolling out.
I’m FINALLY over the cold/sinus infection/grossness that took me out last week. I actually think I would have recovered faster had I not eaten something Friday night that set off an allergic reaction, but c’est la vie. Just another week in the life of severe allergies.
Since I was essentially a sloth over the weekend, I didn’t get around to any of the yummy recipes I wanted to test out. A few weeks ago, however, I made these stupidly delicious vegan chocolate cupcakes. They were so good I hand delivered a box to a girlfriend at her office because I needed to get them out of my house.
I’ve always had a huge sweet tooth. There are two problems with that now: 1, since yeast feeds off sugar I have to limit my sugar intake (I really shouldn’t be eating any at all!), and 2, finding delicious vegan desserts that also fit all of my allergies isn’t the easiest task.
These vegan chocolate cupcakes are the result of mixing a few recipes and trial and error. I’ve reduced the total amount of sugar in them while still keeping them sweet and streamlined the amount of ingredients to keep them as simple as possible. And the cherry on top: it takes less than an hour to whip up and bake these babies.
I topped them with a chocolate coconut creme frosting. While it did turn out well, it required a bit of refrigeration to set and a TON of powdered sugar. I’ve included the recipe below but I’m still on the hunt for a good, simple vegan frosting that does not require vegan butter (vegan butter contains yeast extract, listed as “natural flavors” to give it the buttery flavor).
The cupcakes themselves have less than 10 ingredients. I used my trusty Kitchenaid mixer but you could use a hand mixer or even mix everything by hand if you prefer. To make sure everything is evenly incorporated, mix all wet ingredients and all dry ingredients separately, and then slowly combine.
The batter will be a little runny but that’s OK. It just makes it easier to distribute! You’re going to get 12 cupcakes out of this, maybe less if you constantly eat spoonfuls of batter like I do.
My oven is a finicky little lady. The cupcakes should bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. It took mine a bit longer than that so just make sure to test yours with a toothpick at 20 minutes and then every 5 minutes after then until the toothpick comes out clean.
Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to allow to cool. Do not frost until they have cooled completely! You’ll have a melty, runny frosting mess on your hands otherwise.
While the cupcakes are cooling, whip up your frosting. Combine all your ingredients into one bowl and whip with a hand whisk until smooth and slightly airy. If you prefer fluffier frosting, use a handheld beater or stand mixer. Let the frosting sit, covered, in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. To frost the cupcakes, spoon frosting into a piping bag, or a ziplock bag with one corner cut off, and pipe onto each cupcake.
The frosting looks like flattened poop emojis but I promise it tastes nothing but delicious!
If you try this recipe, let me know! Comment below or take a picture and tag it #champagneandfrites on Instagram.
This recipe was featured on the feedfeed in the allergy-friendly and vegan feeds!
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- ¾ cup cane sugar
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
Chocolate Coconut Creme Frosting
- 2 cans full fat coconut cream
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- pinch fine sea salt
- 2+ cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350. Prepare your cupcake tin with cupcake liners or a quick spray of baking-safe oil.
- Melt coconut oil in almond milk over medium-low heat on the stove, being careful not to bring to a simmer. Combine mixture with sugar, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low until fully combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining cupcake ingredients until no clumps remain. Slowly add dry mix to the wet mixture and beat on medium until just smooth.
- Pour batter into the cupcake tin until each is ¾ full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center is cleanly removed.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- While cupcakes cool, prepare the chocolate coconut creme frosting.
- To make the frosting, transfer only the thick, creamy portion of the coconut cream to a bowl, leaving the thin, watery portion in the can. Add remaining ingredients and beat with a handheld mixer.
- Store in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use. Spoon into a piping bag or use a knife to frost cupcakes.