Thursday, January 25, 2007

The best salmon ever (orange-ginger salmon)

Well, the title pretty much says it all. This is perhaps one of the healthiest things I've ever made. The non-allergic husband rated it a 10 (poor guy, I pester him to rate new recipes...though he offered willingly this time). To my credit, I can't remember the last time I've had anything rated under a 7, but enough about my culinary prowess. Try this, and you won't be sorry. Guaranteed. (heck, this is a blog, it's not like I'll have to put my money where my mouth is!)

1-1/2 lbs. of salmon, boneless and skinless, cut into 1/4 lb. pieces and rinsed clean
marinade: About 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, 2 Tbsps. of dijon mustard, splash of orange juice, 1/8 cup of cooking white wine, and ginger to taste (i used about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons)

This was served over brown rice (mea culpa - the SUCCESS boil-in-bag kind) and steamed fresh broccoli. For added flavor, pour a little of the leftover marinade over the rice before serving.

Start by mixing marinade ingredients together until mustard is not lumpy.

Pour marinade into large skillet and place salmon on top of it. Heat on medium setting. After about 6 minutes or when you see the edges of the bottom begin to turn whitish-brown, flip the salmon and cook an additional 6-7 minutes on the other side. Should be done in 15 minutes total. Salmon will be brown with a slightly crispy outside, but still moist inside. Enjoy!
The next time I make this I will not be so hungry and rushed, so I will photograph and post what a colorful plate this makes.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Not just for Thanksgiving

I told my non-allergic husband last night that if I were to ever leave him, it would be for stuffing. Now, stuffing cannot kiss me goodnight, or scrape the ice off my car in the morning, but it is just SO darn good. Especially on these damp, chilly days.

Homemade stuffing is by far the best, but on those nights where everyone at work has made you crazy all day, and you have to figure out something for dinner but have no mental capacity left to do so, enter the Stove Top. The nice, kind people at Kraft also go so far as to give you quick & easy recipes on their websites, which contrary to lots of popular cookbooks with the same title, ARE ACTUALLY QUICK & EASY!
Case in point: I did not get home from the supermarket until close to 6:30 last night, but I had a healthy, balanced, non-allergic meal on the table at 7:00 (and yes, the groceries were unpacked and put away by then as well).

My new, fabulous find for the quickest, yummiest recipe around... from the Kraft&Stove Top website, tweaked a bit for the allergic consumer....

1 package thin-sliced boneless/skinless chicken breast
1 cup. frozen peas/corn or other veggies as you like
1 box stove top chicken stuffing or stove top low sodium stuffing
1 can low sodium chicken broth
4 tbsp. margarine (substitute soy butter for lactose-free meal!)

In large skillet, melt 2 tbsp of margarine over medium heat and place chicken in pan. Saute in hot margarine for 2 minutes, then turn over and saute 2-3 min. on the other side. When chicken is sufficiently cooked (Note: it will NOT be cooked all the way) add 3/4 of the can of chicken broth and other 2 tbsp. of margarine, and frozen veggies and bring to a boil. Pour in stove top, stir well and cover, cooking over reduced heat for another 5 minutes.

It's that take the lid off the pan, and presto, a LOWFAT meal with starch, vegetable and protein is completely cooked AND all in one pan. On a busy night, it doesn't get much better than that! Thank you Stove Top for a wonderful non-allergic meal. Ahh, stuffing.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The allergic diner HIGHLY recommends...

Last evening, your allergic diner and the non-allergic husband treated the non-allergic in-laws to a special anniversary dinner in celebration of their 35 years of marriage. We took them to KC Prime, a steakhouse in central New Jersey that was well worth the drive. We made reservations and were taken promptly to our table. When it came time to order, our waiter was affable, knowledgeable, and did not faint, nor even utter a sigh, when it came time for my infamous allergic diner requests. "Can you make this steak without seasoning, butter or oil?" "Can you please tell the chef to reserve, at all costs, his urge to make it look pretty and send it out with additional garnish?" "Can I substitute the bourbon-mashed sweet potatoes for a good old-fashioned boring baked potato?" "Can you make that as plain and boring as possible as well?"
Well, dear readers, not only did he accommodate all these requests, but the steak was the best the allergic diner had eaten in months. The non-allergic husband and mother-in-law very much enjoyed their prime rib orders, and the non-allergic father-in-law spoke glowingly of his NY strip steak order. All in all, KC Prime is highly recommended to diners of all allergies (and non-allergies!). It was a lovely evening with no cause for discomfort. Thanks KC Prime!

Monday, January 15, 2007

The best beef stew ever (a crock pot recipe)

This recipe is dairy free!

one 2 lb. roast (bottom round works wonderfully and is less expensive)
one can low-sodium beef broth
3 stalks celery, washed and thickly chopped
3/4 bag of baby carrots, washed
4 medium white or russet baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch thick pieces
1 large yellow onion, sliced (do NOT dice/chop)
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, washed
1/2 - 1 Tablespoon minced garlic (choose based on taste preference)
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of cornstarch

Place the thick potato slices in bottom of slow cooker and cover bottom with potatoes. Then rinse the roast and place the meat directly on top of the potato slices. Around the sides place the carrots, and then the celery on top of the carrots. Then, pour ONLY HALF (equal to one cup) of the beef broth into the slow cooker. Dispose of the other half. Rub garlic into top and exposed sides of beef and top beef with onion slices (should cover the meat).Top with mushrooms and place lid on slow cooker. Cook for approximately 8 hours (may be faster or slower depending on your slow cooker) on LOW.
At the end of cooking time, remove the roast and carve, then carve the slices you have in half. Put the cornstarch into the slow cooker WHILE THE MEAT IS OUT AND BEING CARVED (this will thicken the broth for stew-like consistency). Replace the meat and let sit for approximately 5 minutes (NO MORE OR MEAT WILL TOUGHEN). Serve immediately after. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Easy Risotto

A recipe for an easy risotto, great on a night you want a home cooked meal but don't have a lot of time!...makes 3-4 portions for a side dish; 1-2 for a main dish

2/3 chopped onion (from a medium onion)
1 small can mushrooms (cooks faster than fresh for this recipe)
2 tablespoons margarine (you can use soy butter to make this dairy-free)
2/3 cup uncooked arborio rice
2 cups of chicken broth (usually equivalent to 1 can - reduced sodium works just as well as regular)
salt/pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, melt the margarine. When melted, add chopped onion and stir occasionally until tender. Add the rice and stir approximately 2 minutes with hot margarine and onion, or until rice begins to turn toasty color. Add the chicken broth and bring to boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for approximately 20 minutes. 5 minutes before the rice is done, stir in mushrooms and then replace cover. You know its ready when the rice has a creamy consistency and has absorbed most of the liquid.
Let stand for a few minutes, then serve and enjoy!
(you can add many different kinds of vegetables to this recipe - if they're fresh, add them in the beginning. If frozen, add them about 10-12 minutes into cooking the rice. If canned, add them 5 minutes before the end)

The recipes are coming!

To those of you who have been faithfully checking this blog, I apologize for the lag of late. The problem is, the allergic diner and her non-allergic husband have just booked a vacation, so we are dining out less in an effort to save extra spending money. However, I have found a solution. Beginning this evening, I will post several of my allergy-proof recipes and include several easy substitutions so the finished product can be eaten by most anyone with an allergy. I'll be back soon!

Thursday, January 04, 2007


And no, though it sounds like a haz-mat warning, it is something an allergic consumer is all too aware of. Those of us with severe allergies need to take precautions that our food does not so much even TOUCH a food we are allergic to before we eat it, otherwise we put ourselves at risk.
Yesterday I visited my local Saladworks. This has always been an allergy-friendly place because each ingredient is kept in a separate container, and each salad is made to order right in front of your eyes. I have never had a problem and willingly fork over too much money (seriously, $8 or $9 for lettuce and a few veggies....maybe it's that fresh-baked roll, but i digress).
I ordered my salad and didn't have hard-boiled egg added like I usually do because I could see that the eggs were littered with those evil red intruders, the tomatoes. Several other bins of ingredients had been accidentally mixed as well (cheese in the mushrooms, etc). I understand the lunch rush and that these things happen, but rest assured they aren't throwing out the ingredients that mix, simply separating them and putting them back in the proper location.
ANYWAY, as my non-allergic husband is away on business, i picked myself up an expensive salad, put on garbage TV, my fuzzy slippers, and ate dinner college-style (on the couch). I was halfway through a delicious salad when I discovered that somehow, there were several pieces of pepperoni in my salad! I removed the pepperoni, and all of the salad touching the unwelcome guest, and then finished my salad, fearful of accidentally having eaten the pepperoni. He and I do not get along, to put it mildly.
I was fine, thankfully..but it leads me to ask this question. HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO MAKE A SALAD? I've learned my lesson, Saladworks, next time, the Allergic Diner is making her own.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A neighborhood italian joint called "Domino's"

First off, let me start by wishing all of my allergic friends a very happy 2007!
For my first review of the new year, I would like to tell you the story of a little neighborhood italian joint named "domino's" (mea culpa: i ripped that line off from the King of Queens).
My non-allergic husband and I have been travelling every weekend for the better part of the month. We decided, quite simply, to spend the weekend of New Year's Eve at home. No driving, no shopping, no family, no restaurants. But who wants to cook dinner on New Years? So we attempted to order in pizza (always anxiety-inducing, understandable if you have read my earlier posts about the pizza cutter). I called Domino's and asked for a white pizza "please hold the oil and the seasoning." I genuinely confused the poor guy on the other end of the phone. He was polite enough to reply "ma'am, we do not season your pizza." He told me that Domino's does not use oil under the cheese or any oregano! When I asked him not to cut the pizza, just in case I told him about my allergy to tomatoes. He responded with "I personally promise you that your pizza will not be cut by us. I'll make sure of that. We don't want you getting sick."
Lo and behold, when the pizza arrived, it was piping hot and uncut, with no additional anything on it - just the way I like it!
Thank you Domino's, the allergic diner HIGHLY recommends your chain to anyone with a food allergy. I have pizza back!