Call out to creative cooks

annbeck62 Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭

I thought I'd post this just in case anyone has some recipes that could work.

I've been approached to give cooking classes to someone with many food sensitivities. I welcome the challenge. I also appreciate any recipe ideas as the foods I have to stay away from are many - no nightshades, no raw living food dishes, no gluten, no nuts except macadamia, only a little rice, doesn't do well with most grains, only a little beans, can't do a lot of carbs, only oil can do is olive, only a little coconut milk and coconut cream, no vinegar, no dairy, no meat, no poultry, no fish, no fermented foods, only a little mushrooms.



  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,390 admin

    Wow, that is a very restrictive diet. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone with quite so many sensitivities. They must be surviving on nothing but cooked veggies.

    Why is there a restriction on raw foods? Digestive issues?

    It might be easier if we had a list of things the individual can have or tolerate. It doesn't look like they are getting much in the way of protein with no meat products, beans or nuts. Any meat substitutes are likely made from fermented soy products (so out on two counts; fermented and a legume) or from some kind of wheat gluten which is also on the list.

    Strange that rice is not OK. Most times when people are put on an elimination diet, rice is one of the things that is allowed cause it is so neutral.

    Are seeds OK? So substituting sunflower butter for nut butter?

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,753 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Can you eat Quinoa which is a seed? If you can, it is a good source of protein.

    How about wild rice which a grass.

    Also, how about edamame, whole and unfermented soybeans which are also a good protein source.

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    Sounds like someone went on a serious elimination diet to heal their digestive system. When they say no carbs does that include natural carbs in fruits & vegetables as well? When my doctor told hubby to go low carb, he said fruits & veggies don’t count as carbs lol. Others yell at me when I eat a banana. I agree with torey, it may be a lot easier with a list of things they can or will eat.

    I think I would start with some simple vegetable cream soups like butternut squash soup as you can add lots of flavor with roasting the vegetables you add to it. I wish you the best of luck with this challenge.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for your suggestions!

    Foods I've confirmed are ok - all vegetables except nightshades, fruit, macadamia nuts, avocado, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, quinoa :)

    She is looking for simple, creative dishes. She cooks for her family and wants to find things she can and they will eat. For example she can eat sweet potatoes but her son doesn't like them 🙃 But I was thinking I may be able to use them as long as they're hidden in the dish.

    I asked if she takes probiotics &/or digestive enzymes. She tried both without noticing a difference and doesn't take either currently. I was thinking of showing her how to make a simple bitters tonic she can take and see if that will help. Our plan is for me to show her how to make a recipe, she will make it and then report back to me on how she does digestively, how her family likes it, and we'll navigate as we go.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,390 admin

    With so many sensitivities, you'd have to be very careful with a bitters formula. It might be best to try different tinctures individually, that you might put in the bitters formula, to see how she does with each one and then make a formula based on that.

    Going with @gardneto76's suggestion, this is a recipe that came in an email from Susun Weed just awhile ago. You can leave out the tamari as a fermented product and use a homemade veggie stock instead of chicken.

    Winter Squash Soup with Ginger


    3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    4 - 6 cups water, chicken or vegetable stock

    3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced

    1 large onion, chopped

    1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed

    2 - 3 Tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

    ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1 teaspoon ground coriander

    1 tamari to taste

    1 teaspoon or more to taste celtic sea salt

    fresh coriander (cilantro) for garnishing

    In a large soup pot, add the olive oil, onions, and sea salt. Cook over low heat until the onions are transparent and soft. Add the garlic. Let that cook for a few minutes until the aroma of cooking garlic fills the air. Raise the heat to high and add the ground coriander, cinnamon and the squash, stir well and cook for a few minutes making sure to stir often so the spices don't burn. Add the water or broth until it just covers the squash. Bring to a boil over high heat then cover with a lid and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for about 1 hour, until soft.

    Carefully blend the soup until smooth and silky or mash it a little and leave it chunky. Add the ginger... the larger amount if you like it a little spicy. Finish with tamari to taste and sprinkle on top lots of yummy fresh coriander.

    Here's one to hide the sweet potato.

    Beet Soup

    12 small to medium beets

    1 jumbo sweet potato (or yam)

    4 small carrots

    1 medium onion

    2 cloves (or more) garlic, chopped

    2 Tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)

    6 cups homemade veggie stock (or more)

    ½ tsp cumin

    Pinch of cayenne

    Salt & pepper to taste

    Cook the sweet potato, carrots and beets (roast in oven or steam). Cool and peel. Chop and saute the onion for a few minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add seasonings.

    Process the veggies in a food processor. Add the onion mix and process. Transfer to a pot and slowly add the veggie stock, blending with an immersion blender until desired consistency.

    Top with sour cream, creme fraiche or a drizzle of coconut cream and a sprinkle of fresh cut chives.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey thank you for the recipes. Both look like they'll work. Good idea to try individual tinctures instead of a bitters.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,390 admin

    There are several recipes on the internet for avocado chocolate mousse. Some have a bit of milk added but the one I made (which I can't find now) didn't have any milk. But you could always use macadamia nut milk.

    This is another dessert recipe that will also hide the sweet potato. You could make it just as a pudding and leave out the crust as it has oats and coconut in it.

    This is a quinoa recipe from LearningHerbs.

    And a salad dressing without vinegar.

    Avocado Citrus Salad Dressing

    1 whole avocado

    Juice of 2 lemons

    ¼ teaspoon salt

    1 tablespoon fresh cilantro


    Scoop avocado into a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Taste for salt and adjust. Add water for a thinner dressing, if desired.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,390 admin

    Just a thought about the oil situation. Other oils tend to be quite highly processed to give them shelf stability and to make them clear. Perhaps other oils would be OK if they were "virgin" oils, unprocessed in any way. Can she have avocado oil?

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,046 ✭✭✭✭

    @annbeck62 WOW What a challenge to undertake! My mind went totally blank---but it looks like you are getting some good input! Good Luck!

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've made the sweet potato pudding pie many times. It's really good! No one ever knows it's good for them.

    You should look on the plant pure website for recipes.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,127 ✭✭✭✭

    I can't eat grains, but fortunately I don't have that many dietary restrictions. It is taking some time to adjust to the restrictions, but I am working on it.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey yes she sometimes does avocado oil

    These are some great suggestions and have gotten my brain spinning.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭

    As my brain starts spinning, the initial what will work has turned into creative ideas of subbing buckwheat groats for oatmeal and root vegetables for potatoes :)

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,206 admin

    @annbeck62 Not everyone likes parsnip, but these could be mashed similar to potatoes.

    I know someone who can't do nightshades. That in itself can be tough.

    A sweet squash like buttercup could be used as soup or a sauce.

    I agree with trying the wild rice.

    Sometimes nuts can be made into nut butters and that could be part of a base for the sweet potato chocolate pudding pie or combined with something to make a truffle like treat, perhaps somehow combined with certain fruits even? Just a thought.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning yes I agree just having to avoid nightshades is tough. It's amazing how many dishes we eat, spice blends and condiments contain one or more nightshades. I'm really embracing this challenge. It will be hard but will make such a positive difference for her that it's worth it :)

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,206 admin

    @annbeck62 We made our friend a salad that she could have, which we named after her.

    Adjust as required for your friend's needs. It is tasty. We've revised it lots & often since that day to reflect our whims & availability of ingredients. I hope it inspires creative salads.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I know I've got something up my sleeves that can work.🤔 But my tired brain just won't cooperate at the moment. I'll think about it and get back to you. That's going to be quite a challenge.

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,753 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If your friend can it Brassica vegetables, then they can make mash potatoes out of rutabagas.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning your salad looks good :) Do you measure the dressing ingredients or is it more to taste?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,206 admin

    @annbeck62 I just do it to taste.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 1,937 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have used jicama as a potato substitute at one point. Made a half way decent french fry. Probably would have been better had I fried them instead of baking or if I had an air fryer.  Daikon radishes were not bad either. I would think that either could be riced for use as well. Though I never tried that.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,390 admin

    Eggs haven't been mentioned. Are they OK for her?

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey eggs are not ok

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,390 admin

    That's too bad about the eggs. What about in baked goods? Rosalee de la Foret has a muffin recipe in her Wild Remedies cookbook made with flax, chia seeds and oat bran but it has 4 eggs in it.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭

    Not in baked goods either but I can make an egg substitute using flax, chia or aquafaba that I may work in the recipe

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,390 admin

    When you say no raw foods, is that including the raw veg in salads? Can she have lettuce raw?

    Honey-Lemon Glazed Rutabagas and Carrots


    1 1/4 pounds rutabaga, peeled and sliced into matchstick-sized strips

    1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into matchstick-sized strips

    1/4 cup unsalted butter

    1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice

    1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

    3 tablespoons honey

    1/2 cup fresh chives, minced

    Salt and pepper to taste

    In a large saucepan, bring lightly salted water to boil. Add rutabagas and cook for 2 minutes. Add carrots and cook until vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes. Drain. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add lemon juice, zest, and honey. Bring to a boil. Add the vegetables and cook until glazed, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in chives.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,390 admin

    For something a bit different and a bitter to aid with digestion, in the spring you could try the following. You could substitute olives for the cherry tomatoes, adding them at the very end. Toasted pumpkin seeds might go nicely on this for a bit of crunch. I think you could substitute arugula for the dandelion, too.

    Sauteed Dandelion Greens


    1 bunch of dandelion leaves, chopped into 1-2 inch pieces

    1 pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in half

    2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

    2 TBs olive oil or 1 TBs butter

    Salt or tamari

    Optional squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

    Heat your oil in a skillet, cast iron if you have it, or stainless steel. Add the dandelion greens, sautéeing until soft and shiny, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the cherry tomatoes and sauté until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and salt or tamari to taste. Try plain or if you prefer, with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serves 2-4.

    I just found the following recipe online. Haven't tried it but it looks good. I'm not sure what you could use it for as it is intended for pasta. If she can have small amounts of rice or beans maybe she could occasionally have a rice or bean based pasta. Or maybe as a "ketchup" dip for veggie fries.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey thanks both ideas will be really useful. I can serve the sauce over zucchini noodles and she does do a little gluten free pasta. I like the idea of subbing olives for the tomatoes in the greens recipe. Maybe I'll add some shredded beets and carrots for a little color and added nutrition.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 9

    @annbeck62 I was wondering, as I'm looking/thinking through my recipes, is she able to eat chocolate or carob? 🤔

    And it's too bad about the eggs. I was wondering about them also.😕

    I thought I'd start with a suggestion for a dessert/snack seeing as most of the answers have been for meals.

    If she has a Vitamix or Blendtec blender this will be a lot easier. Ninja may work however, I'm not as familiar with it though.

    I take overly ripe bananas, peel them, place them on a wax paper/parchment paper lined sheet pan, and place them in the freezer. I then transfer them to freezer bags for later use. With the bananas, I make dairy-free "ice cream" and shakes.

    This is a favorite of my family:

    Shamrock Shake/Minty Green Smoothie

    1C water

    1/2 avocado peeled and pitted

    A handful or two of baby spinach leaves

    1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract/3-4 drops peppermint essential oil

    2 frozen bananas

    optional 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    optional 1+ tablespoons honey or maple syrup-add to water for easy mixing

    Process all but bananas in a heavy-duty blender until smooth. Add frozen bananas and blend until just smooth. Makes 2 medium-size servings or 1 super-size serving.

    Variation: Add 1 tablespoon carob powder (or 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder and a little more honey/maple syrup) for a chocolate mint version

    I also add ice cubes if necessary to keep it cold, as you're mixing.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,815 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @annbeck62 "Foods I've confirmed are ok - all vegetables except nightshades, fruit, olive oil..."

    So most vegan dishes will work, just remove potatoes and tomatoes from any recipes.

    I suggest you look at some good vegan cookbooks and pick out gluten-free recipes that you think will appeal.

    Sorry I don't have any specific recipes to suggest. Our diet is heavy in all the stuff that she can't/won't eat.