Remember that kid with the peanut allergies in school? Your teacher was always careful to make sure that if you had peanut butter and jelly for lunch that you did not sit any where near him. Growing up, I was not that kid. I was gorging myself on peanut butter and jelly, feeling bad that my classmate would never get to experience the goodness that is peanut butter. Last year I became that kid, after I began experiencing allergic reactions which ranged from rashes and swollen fingers, to my lips swelling up larger than Will Smith’s in “Hitch!” After several tests, my doctor told me that I was dangerously allergic to soy, peanuts, cashews, sesame, peaches and carrots. She also recommended just staying away from processed foods in general, because of cross-contamination risks.
As a person with food allergies it can be hard to find allergen-free pre-made foods, especially with the way foods are processed today. I am allergic to soy and its derivatives, which is used as a preservative in many pre-made foods, like pasta and many gluten free foods. This means that I have to make almost everything I eat, even snacks. Finding recipes for everything from granola bars to yummy dinners can be hard, especially because a lot of times they are missing the ingredients that make them taste like what I used to eat. Everyone who says almond butter tastes just like peanut butter has either never had peanut butter or is missing their taste buds! I spend a lot of time trolling the Internet, looking at food blogs and finding recipes for stuff I can eat. As people become more aware of the health risks associated with our overly processed diet, more companies and food blogs try to address people with food restrictions. However anyone with food allergies or celiacs can understand that it can be a hard and frustrating adjustment.
Now there are plenty of great websites with gluten, nut, and soy free recipes, you just have to weed through the duds! One of my new favorites is Misofit. This website, created by Cat Puno, a twenty-something I went to college with, is food allergy heaven! She shared with me her reason for starting Misofit: “I love to cook! More importantly, I had to get healthy and lose weight not for vanity purposes but for my life. I have scoliosis and the extra weight on my tiny 4-foot-10-inch frame was causing debilitating back pain. I knew that I needed to make a life change so I started eating right and working out! Soon enough friends and family were always asking for my recipes and I was happy to share them. One day someone, a very dear friend pushed me to start this blog and I really feel like sharing Misofit is the culmination to my health journey!”
While not created for addressing people with food allergies, Cat only uses organic ingredients; even in her pet treats. This means that every ingredient is clean, and I know exactly what is in every meal. You do not have to worry about harmful preservatives or allergens getting into your food. Being able to make my own snacks, like the Squirrel Bars, and not worrying that they might have been cross-contaminated during production, is great! Additionally, every recipe comes with detailed instructions and pictures of the various steps. I love having examples to make sure I am not messing up. The website uses many ingredients not typically found in the average American home, like rabbit and dates. One of my favorite meals is the Cedar Plank Salmon. The recipe is really simple, and we already had most of the ingredients in our pantry. The recipe is basically a sweet and spicy rub, topped with some organic honey to glaze the salmon. Even though the recipe calls for outdoor grilling, I made mine inside on a skillet and it only took about 15 minutes, including prep and cook time. Mine certainly did not look as pretty as the picture posted on Misofit, but it tasted great and that’s really all that matters. While making everything from scratch does take longer, Misofit has some great recipes and I recommend it to anyone who wants to eat healthy, delicious food!
Here are some more yummy recipes: