We are fortunate in the Fuss Free household that neither of us has any food allergies; we do have our preferences and there are things that we would prefer not to eat – raw onion and celery both being near the top of the list – but these are dislikes and are trivial when compared to real food allergies where eating the wrong thing can make you very ill or even in the worse case kill you.
I am acutely aware of allergies – one of my friends is allergic to nuts and thus I am very careful when cooking, and to minimise cross contamination I’ll try not to use any nuts in the kitchen for a day or so before she comes over. I would never attempt to cook for someone with coeliac disease – we bake bread several times a week and however carefully we clean the kitchen I could not be confident that a speck of gluten containing flour would not get into their food.
Whenever I need to cook for someone with an allergy I somewhat paradoxically focus on the ingredient I should not be using so much I create an entire meal around it to be served at another time. If I know someone is allergic to, say mushrooms, I immediately conjurer up a dish of home made pasta flavoured with dried mushrooms, served with a creamy wild mushroom sauce and topped with truffle shavings. Certainly a delicious idea for another occasion.
The quarterly Eating Smart magazine from Woman & Home aims to show that eating Free From food need not be boring and can taste amazing. The current issue is brimming with 101 sumptuous gluten and dairy free recipes that can be ready to eat in less than 30 minutes.
What struck me with the magazine was how it focussed on what you can eat – as opposed to what you cannot – which is a very positive way to think about food allergies. I know I’d far rather be eating a delicious kipper hash, or apple soaked porridge for my breakfast rather than the usual toast.
The magazine covers all your meals and occasions, light lunches, to show case entertaining. Meals at home or on the go as well as tasty low calorie meals. I am feeling very tempted by the show stopper cake on the cover, not only gluten and dairy free but also vegan!
It was a hard task to pick a recipe to make from the magazine, I was torn between a Asian belly of pork with stir-fried vegetables from Mary Berry, or gammon steaks with mustard, or tikka masala mackerel skewers. In the end I handed the magazine to Ed to choose and he picked the pan-fired salmon with crispy fried bacon and peas, which not only was incredibly simple to make (only using one pan to minimise washing up), it was delicious, filling and satisfying. (We slightly adapted the recipe and used double the peas and beetroot)
Recipe: Salmon with peas, beetroot and bacon
- 4 rashers streaky bacon
- 2 spring onions sliced
- 225 g frozen peas
- 100 g cooked beetroot (marinated in sweet chilli, diced)
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 x 175g fillets of salmon
- Snip the bacon into pieces with a pair of scissors and fry until crisp. Remove from the pan and place on a piece of kitchen paper to absorb the fat.
- Add the spring onions and peas to the pan with a little water and steam fry until the peas are cooked. Add the beetroot and cook for another minute. Transfer to a serving dish and keep warm
- Add the oil to the pan and fry the salmon for a few minutes on each side until cooked through.
- Put the cooked salmon fillets on top of the pea mixture and serve immediately
If you think you have a food allergy please seek advice from your GP. If cooking for friends with food allergies please do ask their advice and requirements for minimising cross contamination.
This is a sponsored post for Woman & Home Eating Smart Magazine. All opinions are our own.