Parents' nuggets of wisdom

Times of change, challenge and triumph…


The past couple of years have been about constantly reminding myself to keep walking though personal conflicts and challenges have constantly threatened to derail me. A landmark Birthday came and went but my spirit could not rejoice and I packed on a whopping 15 pounds. Now, when I look back – I feel humbled and thankful for how far I have come even though its still a long road ahead.  To celebrate, recently I threw myself a much delayed birthday party recently with a few of my dear friends in one of my favorite cities in the world…New York City 🙂

Snowflakes, joy and friends!
Snowflakes, joy and friends!

I also have gone back to my older self of working out and eating right with an occasional drink 😉 That tub of ice cream neither makes you feel better nor does it make you look better the next day!

Continue reading “Times of change, challenge and triumph…”

Recipes

Dari-free Chocolate Fudge-Caramel ?! :-)


One of the best perks of being part of the blogosphere is the amazing people I get to meet from across the world – people I would have never had the good fortune of meeting otherwise. One such person is Ms. Chithra Vishwanathan who writes http://www.askChitVish.com (Facebook page: Ask Chitvish). I adore her recipes because it takes me back to my roots in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu – the dishes tantalize my olfactory senses and transport me instantly to my avva’s (grandmother) kitchen. I still miss avva so, so, so much – even in the ICU her worry was if others had remembered to pack my favorite dish for my lunch box. What can I say – I was an indulged granddaughter 🙂 I have never met Ms. Chithra in person but even online she emanates the graceful strength, modesty and beauty synonymous with the quintessential beautiful Indian woman! I have adapted many of her recipes to make it Allergy Friendly and one such recipe that I re-invented over the holiday season was the Chocolate Burfi.

Burfi is an Indian dessert and has a consistency akin to a fudge and in its most essential form it is made with dairy and sugar. It has numerous variations and of course the one with cocoa powder is my fav…

Cocoa + Sugar + Dari-Free = Candy Nirvana!
Cocoa + Sugar + Dari-Free = Candy Nirvana!

Continue reading “Dari-free Chocolate Fudge-Caramel ?! :-)”

Ingredient, Recipes

Allergy Friendly Buckwheat unleashed…


Buckwheat pancakes, savory steamed Buckwheat cake and more – this post is the 1st part that attempts to begin unleashing the powerful Buckwheat…

Ok – call me boring but one of my favorite things to do is walking down the aisles of grocery stores and discovering lesser known food items! And, if it is a small store with an informed owner manning it – even better! One such store that I love to visit on a lazy afternoon is ‘Bhavani Cash & Carry’ in Green Brook, NJ. The co-owner, Bela Patel is informed, helpful and an all-round good human being.

Over summer, she let Arjun and his dear friend Jack and fav cousin Soumya set up a Lemonade stand in front of the store and they raked in a tidy sum – half of which went to the FAI (Food Allergy Initiative) and FAAN (The Food Allergy Anaphylaxis Network). By the way, these two amazing organizations have joined forces to form FARE – ‘Food Allergy Research & Education’. Pheww – FARE would have been thrilled seeing 2 little boys chase down potential customers with a cup a lemonade 🙂

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Continue reading “Allergy Friendly Buckwheat unleashed…”

Uncategorized

AF Sauteed Broccoli Slaw with sprouted Mung Beans


I love days when I get a simple Allergy Friendly brainwave and it works as a tasty, healthy and novel dish for everyone. This was one such dish! After a big party – I had an extra packet of broccoli slaw laying around in the fridge. Suddenly it struck me – here is a packet of delicately cut cabbage, carrots and broccoli…just saute it and make it come alive! Presenting AF (Allergy Friendly) Sauteed Broccoli Slaw with sprouted Mung Beans…

Allergy Friendly Sauteed Broccoli Slaw with sprouted Mung Beans…

Continue reading “AF Sauteed Broccoli Slaw with sprouted Mung Beans”

Parents' nuggets of wisdom, Useful Links & Articles

Sometimes mommy ‘DOES NOT’ know best…


‘Mommy – aren’t you glad that I saved myself from dying today?!’ – these words will echo in my ears for a long time to come. Ironic that I should file this post under ‘Parents’ nuggets of wisdom’ 😉

Much as I would like to think that I am an awesome mom who has always ensured that her boy is safe – I have made many, many mistakes. This post needed to be written to demonstrate how carelessness, overconfidence and sheer ignorance can cost a food allergic child his life! As my son, Arjun is growing up and we are getting comfortable managing allergies – we are slowly slipping into a comfort zone and that’s the moment to watch out for…

Continue reading “Sometimes mommy ‘DOES NOT’ know best…”

Recipes

Mung Bean flour Spaghetti, Pappardelle Pasta et al – Panfusine inspired!


Every once in a while, I come across a recipe which just thrills my heart and I can’t rest an Allergy-Friendly version has been tested and proven a success by my taste-buds.  ‘Khandvi deconstructed.. Chickpea flour Spaghetti & Pappardelle Pasta’ by Niv Mani of Panfusine fame was one such recipe.

Khandvi is an appetizer native to Gujrati cuisine. Niv describes a khandvi delectably, ‘a beautiful, almost impossible vision to behold, gossamer thin, jellied strips of chickpea flour & sour yogurt, tiny miniature savory Swiss rolls that delightfully wobble in your mouth before delicately disintegrating & gliding  down your throat, making way for…the next little morsel!’ 

Continue reading “Mung Bean flour Spaghetti, Pappardelle Pasta et al – Panfusine inspired!”

Recipes

A Birthday Toast to an avid Allergy Foodie supporter


2012  marks a hallmark birthday year for a very dear friend so this blog post is dedicated to Akhila – an Allergy Foodie supporter from Day 0!

We met as wide eyed teens in our Freshman year of college – Akhila and I. She – the graceful  beauty charmed us all with her soft-spoken demeanor and haunting eyes. We belonged to the same group of friends…partied together, got into mischief and so much more. The last vivid memory I had of her was that of a bashful, happy bride in the final semester of college. After that, we parted ways sure that we would never meet again.

Years rolled by and Mark Zuckerberg re-introduced us at a Facebook party 🙂 It was so much fun reconnecting as adults and the non-stop girl-talk forged a bond between us that had never existed before. She patiently listened to my many woes especially when it came to my challenges with food allergies. She has always been amongst the first few to support me in all my initiatives – she was one of the first to contribute to my annual FAAN walk for food allergy, she was one of the first subscribers to my blog and to my Facebook page, she was also one of my many friends who diligently voted every single day for 3 weeks to ensure that AllergyFoodie.org earned a spot on the Top 25 food allergy mom blogs organized by Circle of Moms and so much more. But I am most thankful to her for one precious gift she continues to give everyday – she keeps egging me on to take baby steps towards my goals. Thanks to that, not only this blog but I as a person have survived some of the toughest challenges life has presented me with.

One of my favorite memories with her was when she made the effort to visit me in New Jersey all the way from North Carolina. Laughter, tears and memories reigned the day – a memorable meet after 17 loooong years 🙂 Since then we have taken a trip together to India to meet all our college friends and hope to take many more in the years to come…

A giggly, teen meet after 17 years 🙂

Continue reading “A Birthday Toast to an avid Allergy Foodie supporter”

Useful Links & Articles

AllergyFoodie.COM is now AllergyFoodie.ORG!


The past 2 months have been one of HUGE change for me. After 8+ years as a homemaker and mom, I re-joined corporate America. It’s been great trading in comfy mommy pants for work suits. Even more so because I am back to ‘Sales & Marketing’ – my childhood love when it comes to professional life! On the flip side – it’s been a crash course on time management.  Hence, my absence from the blogging arena…

The absence cost me big-time 😦 Imagine my utter shock when a reader wrote in to me a couple of days back because they were unable to access my blog. I am not ashamed to admit that I bawled like a baby – the domain name AllergyFoodie.com had expired and someone else had bought it within a couple of days of it going on sale for the express purpose of reselling it to the highest bidder. All on the very weekend when I had managed to get my schedule under control and make time for my blog – what an irony! Right now I am trying to buy back my domain name. My 7 year old is so distraught because he knows that AllergyFoodie.com was a testament of a Mom’s abounding love.

However, all’s well that ends well. This debacle seems to have set the stage for renaming the blog to AllergyFoodie.ORG to reflect the larger purpose of the blog.

An earnest request to all my readers – please spread the word through your blogs, tweets et al. Each small blog like mine helps make this world a safer place for food allergy sufferers.

So, AllergyFoodie.COM gracefully gives way to AllergyFoodie.ORG…

Uncategorized

Allergy Friendly Watermelon Pancakes!


Its been a while since I have sat down to write a post but its been a busy and fun-filled few weeks – the upcoming blog posts will feature a lot of that excitement. But, for now a fresh summery allergy friendly pancake…’watermelon pancakes!

Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Peanut-free, Tree nuts-free, Fish and Shellfish-free and also free of a few other major allergens like mustard seeds, sesame seeds, chickpeas etc. So what does it contain?!? 🙂

Continue reading “Allergy Friendly Watermelon Pancakes!”

Recipes

Allergy Friendly Flat Chicken from ‘Food Allergy Chronicles’


Thanks to Circle of Moms search for the ‘Top Food Allergy Mom Bloggers’ in North America, I met Susan, the blogger at ‘Food Allergy Chronicles’. The food allergy blogging world is like one big happy family with a high sense of camraderie. It’s quite simply because our objective is simple – ‘make the world a safer place for food allergy sufferers’. To that end – we are constantly learning from each other…

What I love best about her blog is – Susan writes about her experiences raising 2 sons with food allergies – field trips, school, vacations and more. My son is much younger than hers so I learn a lot about what to expect through her experiences.

Of course her recipes are also delish and her baked good are supremely decadent!!! All her recipes are healthy, nutritious, dairy-free and nut-free. And this particular recipe is free of all the top 8 food allergens too. But, what makes it extra special is that it is also free of 2 other allergens that are becoming increasingly dangerous – sesame seeds and mustard seeds.

Thank you Susan for letting me share this kid-friendly delicious post on Allergy Foodie 🙂

The Food Allergy Chronicles

This weekend, I embarked on writing on the topic of cross-contamination. As a parent with children with food allergies…it is one of my greatest fears.

The more I wrote, the more I realized how much a factor it plays in my daily life. Cross-contamination touches so many parts of my life the story seemed to take on a life of its own.

I am going to take my time with it and present it as a series. In the meantime, this weeks posts will be a series of simple allergen free dinners that our family enjoys.

To start off the week, I am offering one of my boys’ favourite dinners…‘Flat’ Chicken.
Below is Michael’s finished masterpiece.

Michael's flat chicken dinner with rice and peasNamed appropriately as my boys enjoy flattening the chicken themselves!

This is a great hands on recipe for children to experience a start to finish meal. This recipe also offers children an opportunity to try new flavours by…

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