Main Dishes, Side Dishes, and Meals
Main and side dishes can range from very simple foods containing only one or two ingredients to complex gourmet creations. For people with multiple food allergies, the simple dishes are better because there is less chance of getting something you will react to. Also, if you are in early stages after your food allergies are diagnosed when you may still be discovering problems with foods that you were not tested for, the less foods you eat per meal, the easier it is to pick out the problem food(s) if you have a reaction after a meal.
Plain meat and vegetables are also easier to prepare than complex dishes. If you need instructions for these types of dishes, see Easy Cooking for Special Diets. This book contains recipes for broiled and roasted meats, broiled, oven-baked, and poached fish, and roasted and oven-baked poultry, as well as more complex main dishes. It also has information about shopping for produce (how do you know when a pear or cantaloupe is ripe? or asparagus is old?) as well as a chapter listing over 40 types of vegetables and how to cook them in the oven, on the stovetop, or in the microwave.
Keeping meals simple saves time. For a meal that is both nutritious and easy, serve meat or a vegetarian entree, one or two vegetables, a salad and fruit for dessert.
When you serve quick-cooking entrees, such as broiled meat or broiled or baked fish, serve quickly-cooked vegetables. When your entree has to bake in the oven for a longer time, also cook oven-baked grains, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, or other vegetables that can bake in the oven at the same time as the entree. Some vegetables that we normally think of as quick-cooking, such as carrots and cabbage, are delicious when baked. For recipes for oven grains and oven vegetables see How to Cope with Food Allergies when You’re Short on Time, Easy Cooking for Special Diets, and The Ultimate Food Allergy Cookbook and Survival Guide.
To make a complete oven meal, bake an entree, a grain or starchy vegetable (such as white potatoes, sweet potatoes, or winter squash), a non-starchy vegetable, and dessert all together in the oven. (See How to Cope with Food Allergies when You’re Short on Time for dessert recipes such as easy fruit tapioca baked in the oven or no-sugar baked apples or pears). If your oven has a time-bake feature, you can even be gone while your meal is cooking. When you get home, you will not have to spend more time in the kitchen before dinner than it takes to make a salad.
Make use of your crock pot. You can prepare the ingredients for a crock pot meal such as stew or soup ahead of time, refrigerate them overnight, and then start cooking them in the crock pot before you leave for a busy day. When you get home, simply make a salad and add fresh fruit for dessert and you have a complete meal. For crock pot stews, soups, and main dishes such as roast, see Easy Cooking for Special Diets, Allergy Cooking with Ease, and The Ultimate Food Allergy Cookbook and Survival Guide.
Finally, plan and shop for ingredients for meals ahead of time. If you come home at 6 p.m. with nothing thawed and ready too cook you will almost certainly “cheat” on your diet. Getting and staying healthy must be your top priority. For more on planning, organization,
and wise and economical grocery shopping, see Easy Cooking for Special Diets.
The information on this page is abridged from
Easy Cooking for Special Diets ($24.95 eBook $13) © 2007
The Ultimate Food Allergy Cookbook and Survival Guide ($24.95, eBook $13) © 2007
Allergy Cooking with Ease ($19.95, eBook $10) © 2007
How to Cope with Food Allergies when You’re Short on Time ($4.95 eBook $3) © 2006
For more information about these books, click on the book's title above.
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