Friday, August 25, 2017

Allergy Friendly Picnic Food


Fried chicken, potato salad, apple pie…yes, it’s end of the summer picnic season! But when you have food allergies, quite often the fried chicken and everything else seems off limits. Except that now it’s not. I’ve managed to come up with some good recipes and ideas for picnic food for those of us with food allergies, too.

ALWAYS REMEMBER TO KEEP YOUR FOOD ON ICE…take coolers and ice so you don’t give yourself food poisoning.

First, I love fried chicken. I used to be KFC’s golden customer. I still miss them (I know, I know, but hey, I loved the flavors). But the gluten, dairy, and seasonings they use? No longer an option. I’ve tried using corn flake crumbs for frying chicken and don’t like it. Almond meal? Nope, don’t like it either. But I now make a good fried chicken that is tasty, crispy, and satisfies my craving for it.


Yasmine’s Easy Fried Chicken
  • 8 chicken thighs (I like using thighs because they cook evenly and don’t take that long)
  • 1 cup of white rice flour
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp each: thyme, oregano, dill
  • Optional (I would add these if I could): ½ tsp black pepper, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp onion powder
Spray two large skillets with a heavy layer of coconut oil spray or other cooking spray
Mix flour, salt and herbs in a plastic bag.
Rinse thighs and pat dry with paper towel.
One at a time, drop thighs in bag and shake. Remove and place into skillet (four per skillet, do not let touch).
Cook over medium heat for about 18 minutes. Do not move thighs around in pan while cooking—if you need to shift the pan on the heat, that’s fine, but the more you move the chicken around, the more chance the coating will come off.
Turn thighs once. Cook another 14-18 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to test doneness (160° F).

As far as potato salad, well, I’ve never liked potato salad to be honest—I hate mayonnaise, detest egg yolks (for American potato salad), and cannot eat anything with vinegar. So I’d rather serve my cucumber-tomato salad and save the potatoes for chips. (Sadly, I can no longer have tomatoes, but this is wonderful.

Cucumber-Tomato Salad
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes (or ripe slicing tomatoes)
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Optional if you can have them: ½ tsp lemon pepper, 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese, ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
Peel and dice cucumbers.
Dice tomatoes.
Mix in big bowl. Add herbs and salt. Add in cheese and pine nuts if you can eat them and toss everything lightly with the olive oil. We love this salad, though I do long for the days when I could eat lemon pepper and feta! But it’s good either way.


Want to make a good pie but iffy on the crust? I use Glutino’s gluten free crust, and since I can’t have dairy, I use coconut oil shortening in place of butter. I can’t have vinegar either so I omit that from the recipe and it seems to do fine without it. The thing to remember: ALWAYS chill it before using, and you can’t roll it out very easily. You have to press it into your pie pan. But it’s a tasty crust and I like it.

Or, if you want to take a cake, I suggest Pamela’s Gluten free cake mixes—I made a lovely marble cake not long ago using the vanilla and the chocolate mixes. It didn’t even need frosting—I just dusted it lightly with powdered sugar. Just follow directions and marble the two batters together (makes twice as much cake so don’t try to fit it all in two pans—I used a bundt pan, which is a lot deeper, for it). Speaking of frosting and cake, another tip. Are you allergic to corn, so can’t use powdered sugar? Then I’ve got the answer. Wholesome Organic Powdered Sugar is made with tapioca starch instead of corn starch!


Or, if you want to take a cake, I suggest Pamela’s Gluten free cake mixes—I made a lovely marble cake not long ago using the vanilla and the chocolate mixes. It didn’t even need frosting—I just dusted it lightly with powdered sugar. Just follow directions and marble the two batters together (makes twice as much cake so don’t try to fit it all in two pans—I used a bundt pan, which is a lot deeper, for it). Speaking of frosting and cake, another tip. Are you allergic to corn, so can’t use powdered sugar? Then I’ve got the answer. Wholesome Organic Powdered Sugar is made with tapioca starch instead of corn starch!

Other picnic ideas that are easy to take: carrot and celery sticks along with any dips you like. Chips, of course. Fruit—in season fruit is always tasty. Crackers and (if you can eat it) cheese. Sliced lunch meats. Rice tortilla wraps make a handy ‘bread’ if you can’t have most gluten free breads like me (due to a yeast allergy). They do work best when heated up for 30-60 seconds, so if you have a fire, toast them briefly—very briefly—and they become much more pliable.



If you can have gluten free bread, then I recommend Udi’s French bread or dinner rolls. Very tasty! I liked them a lot but my yeast allergy is just too strong for my body to safely handle them.
Have a happy picnic before summer’s over!  What are some of your favorite picnic foods?

 

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