A food allergy blog

Tag: allergy friendly

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.

Yeast-free Vegan Flatbread

Yeast-free Vegan Flatbread

This 4-ingredient take on flatbread is a perfect yeast-free substitute for traditional wraps, breads, pitas and more.

Vibrant Beet Hummus

Vibrant Beet Hummus

Oh where to start with beets? You either love them or hate them, in my experience, and it’s not so easy to convert a beet-hater into a beet-lover but it can be done! The most common complaint I hear is that they are too earthy which leads me to believe the person ate beets from someone who doesn’t know how to cook them and makes me determined to change their mind. Obviously, I am in the beet-lover camp.

Here’s the thing, beets really need to be slow roasted. The roasting process brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetable and concentrates the flavors and color. The end product is silky smooth and perfect for tossing in salads, adding to sandwiches, pickling, pureeing for cupcakes (gasp!) and soups, and adding to dips like this beet hummus. There are other methods of cooking beets – quick roasting, boiling, steaming – but the flavor and/or color will suffer from each.

And there are so many reasons why you should be eating beets. For one, in many places they are in season year round, needing temperatures around 50F-60F to thrive. Where I’m at, in NYC, our best beets hit the markets in fall and spring. They also contain a ton of nutrients making them a great health food choice. Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A, B and C, beta-carotene, beta-cyanine, and folic acid, these babies actually help fight cancer, lower blood pressure, aid in the production of new cells and the cleansing of your liver, and can boost the effectiveness of your workout if eaten as a pre-workout snack.

Beets themselves come in many varieties: red, the most common, golden, Chioggia (candy-stripped) and white. I personally prefer red because they have the most flavor. The key when buying beets is to only buy beets that still have their stems in tact. This helps prove their freshness and keep their color and flavor. But, once you get them home you should trim them because the stems will leech nutrients out of the beets. To trim, cut the stems about 2-inches above the beet and either discard the leaves or wash and sauté them if they are in good condition. You also want to scrub the beets clean as they typically have a layer of soil on them similar to potatoes. Once they are dry you can store them in your refrigerator for a few weeks before cooking.

Allergy note: Of course, it is possible to be allergic to beets or have a beet intolerance, though it seems to be relatively uncommon. I can’t find a lot of information on it other than it typically presents itself as a gastro issue. Like with other allergens, your body sees the beet protein as a harmful substance and triggers an allergic reaction. If you’ve experienced this before definitely talk to a doctor. Unfortunately, you just have to avoid consuming beets, which may be a happy situation for some but would be so saddening for me.

A common side effect that you should not be panic over, however, is red coloration of your pee and bowel movements. Don’t worry, it’s not blood! You’ve just consumed enough beets to turn everything a reddish color.

Let’s get cookin’. To roast beets, you need a HOT oven, 400F-450F depending on your oven’s attitude (mine is an opinionated brat) and a long time. Once your beets are clean and dry (skin on!), place them on a large piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with enough olive oil to coat each one and sprinkle with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. For added flavor, add some thyme leaves as well. Then wrap them up so they are completely covered in foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast them for 45-60 minutes, depending on size. Test them with a fork before completely unwrapping to make sure they are done. The fork should easily slide into the beet with little to no resistance.

Let the beets cool for a good 15-20 minutes before peeling to ensure you don’t burn your fingers. Once cool enough to handle, cut the tops and bottoms off then use a paper towel to gently rub the skin off. The skin should easy peel off if the beets are fully cooked. While doing this, make sure to wear an apron – beets stain! Don’t worry about the stain on your skin as it will wash off after a few hand-washes.

Your beets are now ready for any number of delicious uses. But we’re going to focus on a vibrant pink, intensely flavorful beet hummus today. My father in law detests beets and he loved this beet hummus. It’s color is the real draw but the flavor is so, so good. You taste the beet but it’s not overwhelming. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and savory to add to an otherwise traditional hummus base. Other than the time it takes to roast and prepare the beets, it’s a really quick snack to whip up before friends come over or if you just like to keep hummus on hand like I do.

You only need a handful of ingredients: chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, beets and salt and pepper. If you want a little spice you can add in some ground cumin as well. Chop up one and a half of your beets into smallish pieces to be added to the hummus. With the remaining half, carefully chop into little cubes to be used as garnish and set aside. Then add everything into a food processor and blend away!

Notice something wrong with this picture? ^^ Yep, I was so focused on getting a pic that I forgot to add the blade in before I added the ingredients. I’m still getting the hang of this! Anyway, you want to blend until the mixture is smooth and no chunks remain. Transfer the hummus to a pretty dish, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, beet cubes and salt and pepper, admire it’s beautiful bright pink color, and enjoy with veggies, pita bread, or whatever else your heart desires.



Beet Hummus
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This vibrant pink beet hummus is a great healthy snack loaded with health benefits and flavor.
Recipe type: snack
  • 15oz can chickpeas, drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp cumin (optional)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh group black pepper
    For the roasted beets:
  • 2 small beets
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, de-stemmed (optional)
  1. To prepare the beets, preheat oven to 400F, drizzle beets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme leaves. Wrap in foil and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a fork can be easily inserted. Remove and let cool until cool enough to handle. Remove skins and chop: one and half beets into rough pieces and the remaining half into small cubes to be used as garnish
  2. To prepare the hummus, combine beets and remaining ingredients in a food process and mix into a smooth paste. If the mixture is too thick, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
  3. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with olive oil, reserved beets and salt and pepper.

Let me know if you’ve tried this recipe! Comment below or post a photo to instagram with the tag #champagneandfrites.

Celebration, Florida

Celebration, Florida

Every year we spend time in Celebration visiting family. There are two restaurants in town that we always stop by: Cafe D’Angelo and Celebration Town Tavern.

Very Blueberry Pie and Dairy-free Pie Dough

Very Blueberry Pie and Dairy-free Pie Dough

This dairy-, egg- and soy-free blueberry pie is perfect for a summer picnic.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fun fact: my first word was “cookie.” This had nothing to do with watching Sesame Street (I rarely watched the show) and everything to do with me being a fat little baby who loved cookies.

Not much has changed. I still love cookies. Are they my favorite dessert? No. But, they are really more of a snack, and they are my favorite snack. The trouble is, finding delicious dairy-free and egg-free cookie recipes is not so easy. Many I’ve tried don’t taste great or they end up so crunchy you think you might break your teeth just biting into them.

These chocolate chocolate chip cookies are SO GOOD. They are chewy and moist and heavenly. I ate one and suddenly I had eaten three. I considered eating a fourth and would have had I not needed to save the rest for photos. The best thing about these cookies is how quick and easy they are to make. With only seven ingredients there is barely any prep time so you get to bake and enjoy these bad boys in less than 30 minutes. (Hm, these would be a perfect dessert for Chopped!)

Allergy note: these cookies contain almond butter. I would bet that it could be replaced with any nut or seed butter with success. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

Most of these ingredients you probably already have in your pantry with the exception of aquafaba. Actually, you probably have that too, you just don’t know it. Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. In my experience, one 15.5oz can of chickpeas yields about 1 cup of aquafaba. Alternatively, you can make your own aquafaba by cooking dried chickpeas – more about that here.

Mix your wet and dry ingredients separately then fold in the chocolate chips. As you are mixing it’s going to seem like there isn’t enough liquid but fear not, the dough will form into a perfectly thick and sticky consistency.

I suggest rolling the dough into balls slightly smaller than 1 inch. I made mine a little bigger and they oozed into each other while baking. You’ll also get more cookies this way: I got 12 big cookies out of this recipe but if you make them smaller you can get 18-24.

Most importantly, be patient when they come out of the oven! Regardless of the length you chose to bake them, they will seem slightly raw still when you take them out of the oven. They need the 5 minute cooling period to firm up and become transferable. If you don’t let them rest before transferring to a cooling rack you will have quite the mess on your hands!

If you make this recipe, let me know! Post a photo to Instagram and tag me #champagneandfrites.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Flourless, super chocolatey vegan cookies that come together in less than 30 minutes.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 14
  • 4 Tbsp aquafaba
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat your oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix together your wet ingredients: aquafaba, almond butter and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together your dry ingredients: sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder and baking soda.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and gently mix together until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Roll into 1 inch balls and bake for 10 minutes for softer cookies or 12 minutes for crunchier cookies. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
*If you are allergic to almonds, replace the almond butter with any nut or seed butter that you can eat.

Recipe from www.zenanzaatar.com.