Sunday, 24 November 2013

Vote for FABED!

You will have noticed I often link to FABED, a wonderful charity supporting families affected by Eosinophilic Disease. Like many emergent diseases, the general public, education professionals and even health professionals often struggle to get to grips with understanding the implications of this disease on sufferers and families.

FABED does a wonderful job trying to get the word out, providing information on their website and support via their online support groups.But they could do so much more - which is where YOU come in.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Alpro Soya "Nut-gate"

The Interwebs are currently buzzing with the news that Alpro Soya are now printing warnings of potential hazelnut and almond contamination in their soya products as they are altering sites for production of their dairy free alternative milks. Understandably, there is an outcry as many who avoid dairy products choose soya as their dairy substitute and are also allergic to nuts. Alpro responded to concerns on the Allergy UK website. Certainly their measures sound as stringent as anything any parent of an allergic child can achieve by any other means but there are always those who will be affected. This is a production choice Alpro have made and they may indeed lose customers because of it. However, I sincerely believe the bigger issue is being ignored here.

In an increasingly allergic world there are as many combinations of allergies in individuals as there are allergic people. And any reliance on only one substitute can precipitate issues including new allergic responses. The reliance of the dairy free industry on soya is not a long term option, far too many people have IgE and non IgE responses to Soya - and it is one of the "Big Four" to avoid  according to many health professionals. Certainly Gt Ormond Street Hospital advise going "MEWS free" as an important first step when embarking on exclusion diets. (MEWS = Milk, egg, wheat and soy)

Undoubtedly Allergic Disease is almost epidemic at present with the UK topping the world table of incidence of allergic disease. More about that here, information learned when I attended the All Party Group for Allergy at Westminster this Autumn. We should not be complacent in our careful replacement of major allergens from our own or (especially not) from our children's diets. Fortification of alternatives (e.g. calcium and Vitamin D in milk alternatives) is essential, as is careful pricing of worthwhile products, support for new producers and accurate information for consumers. The fact that yet another producer appears to have caved to the litigation-prevention soft option is not good news. It seems a massive fob-off for those shopping for exclusion diets - avoiding the issue of careful checking and stringent manufacturing processes. Or does it?

Friday, 22 November 2013

Duck breasts with Pomegranate and Mint

A great Christmas recipe with lots of flavour!

Ideal if you are having a dinner party and need to provide a free from meal which looks stunning and so simple to cook, or if you have older children on exclusion diets.


4 duck breasts
200g rocket,
watercress and salad chard (Possibly chinese leaves?)
1 Pomegranate (on rotation)
1 small bunch or packet mint ( if the kids don't like mint you could use chives)


Preheat the oven to 220/gas mark 7
Heat a flameproof, oven proof pan on the hob, and then sear the duck skin side down for a minute or so over the high heat. (Remove the skin if not tolerated)
Turn the duck breast over then place in oven for about 15 mins.
Remove the duck breasts from the oven and sit them on a carving board to rest.
Whilst the duck is resting line your meat plate with the salad leaves. Slice the duck breast very thinly on the diagonal and lay on the salad lined dish, pouring any meat juices over them as you go.
Halve the pomegranate and then bash out the seeds from one half to garnish the duck slices.
Squeeze some of the juice from the other half, just by hand over the duck as well.
Sprinkle with mint leaves or chives.

Serve it with mini home made roast potatoes or your choice of potato, rice or pasta.

'Laumuchun' or Turkish pizza

This is from Cheryl on our Facebook group who says
"My kids love this recipe, adapted from a Turkish recipe called 'Laumuchun' or Turkish pizza (it's great as they don't use cheese). Great with humus on the side. "

  • Pack of gluten free pita (these don't contain egg) 
  • 400g grams mince meat or lamb (or mixture of both, also works with chicken) 
  • 1/2 tin of tomatoes Fresh Parley 
  • 1/2 lemon juice grate mushrooms, or corgettes, or peppers (what ever you like really) 
  • Seasoning 


  • Put the pitta in the toaster until they open a bit, then cut in half. 
  • Put all the mixture in a bowl, mix well. 
  • Smother the mixture over the pita and squeeze it down with the fork. 
  • Then pop under a grill until cooked.

Pollo alla Cacciatoria

Another savoury recipe from Michelle at Fabed.
Some of the ingredients might not suit you but many of them you can adapt.

  • 1 x 15ml tbs spoon of oil which is safe(I use garlic oil) 
  • 75g pancetta cubes 
  • 6 spring onions finely sliced 
  • 1 tsp rosemary finely chopped (if tolerated if not use a herb which is) 
  • 500g turkey or chicken fillets( i use turkey but have made it with Chicken also) 
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt 
  • 125ml white wine( I replace it with homemade stock) 
  • 1 x 400g chopped tomatoes 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1/2 tsp sugar 
  • 1x 400g can cannellini beans ( I use chickpeas as we can all tolerate them) optional 

  • Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and fry the pancetta cubes, sliced spring onions and chopped rosemary for a couple of minutes. 
  • Add the poultry (which ever you are using) and sprinkle celery salt 
  • Pour in wine/stock and let it bubble before adding the tomatoes, bay leaves and sugar. 
  • Put the lid on and let the pan simmer for 20 mins. 
  • Drain the beans/peas if using and add to the pan. 
  • When warmed through serve. 

Serves 4

Tuna and Beans/Chick peas mixture.

Another recipe from Michelle over at Fabed. Serves 4-6.
"I love this recipe and we are lucky that 2 out of the three children can eat tuna and the like it."

  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped 
  • 4x 15ml lemon juice ( I only use this on a rotation basis) 
  • 2 x 400g of borlotti beans ( I use chick peas) 
  • 250g can best tuna (200g drained weight) 
  • 2 x 15ml safe oil salt and pepper if can use 

  • Put the chopped onion into a bowl with the lemon juice and let it steep while you get on with the salad. 
  • Drain the beans and rinse to get rid any of the gloop,then place in a bowl. 
  • Drain the tuna and flake it into the beans. 
  • Add the oil and some salt to the onion and lemon juice mixture, whisking to make a dressing, then pour it over the tuna and beans and transfer to a serving dish. 
  • Fork the tuna and bean salad through, seasoning with salt and pepper. 

Serve and enjoy.

Great on rice, jacket potatoes, with pasta or on free from toast.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Turkey Burgers

Turkey is a meat well tolerated by many. This recipe is a few food recipe, and turkey works well in burgers as it sticks together nicely without binding agents like egg.


Minced Turkey 
Chopped onion 
Chopped fresh parsley if desired. 
Rice flour 
Any safe Oil 


Fry chopped onion in a little safe oil. 
Take off heat when soft and mix with mince. 
Season mince and add chopped parsley. 
Make into patties and roll in rice flour. 
Shallow fry for 3 or 4 minutes in a frying pan with safe oil. 

These are great warm, freeze well and are a hit cold in the lunch box. They are also nice with sweet corn added before frying.

Big thanks to Emma from the Facebook group for this delicious recipe :)

Link up your recipe of the week

Friday, 15 November 2013

Honeycomb Recipe

A lovely treat for the festive season, with only 3 ingredients. Many thanks to Michelle from FABED for this recipe!


100g caster sugar,
4 15ml golden syrup,
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda


Put the sugar and syrup in a pan stir and mix together, then put on the heat.

Place pan on heat and let the mixture melt, it will turn to gooey mixture and then to a bubbling mass the colour of maple syrup. This takes about 3 mins to get to this point.

Once at this point take off the heat and whisk in the bicarbonate of soda and watch the syrup turn into a golden colour.

Turn out immediately onto reusable baking parchment. Leave until set then bash it so that it splinters.

Best Ever Falafel mix!

Not suitable for everyone, obviously. However having tried and tested several falafel mixes this is by far the best!

It is by far the easiest to make - just soak in boiling water then form into balls and fry. but the best thing for us about this mix is that it is smooth, with no partially cooked pulses/crunchy bits in it. Given that the main consumer of falafel in this house has swallowing difficulties I am delighted with this find.

Amisa Falafel Mix. Bought locally (Woodbridge, Suffolk) but widely available - Ocado,,, and real .

All details are listed on their website.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

New discoveries!

I was in Woodbridge, Suffolk yesterday, near Ipswich where we live and discovered Rainbow Apothecary . Whilst I am not personally keen on crystals and alternative therapies the shop had me so excited since Jules, the owner, has THE most amazing stock of free from foods and as a medical nutritionist and herbalist has plenty of advice to offer.

Jules is a parent of a child who suffers from non IgE gut allergies and completely understands the importance of careful food sourcing and retailing. I have yet to find another shop with such a unique variety and made several new discoveries.
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