Cooked Cheetos

Cooking Gluten Free

Cooked Cheetos

“Cooked Cheetos”

“Cooking is love made visible”

Anonymous

Whenever my family decides to eat out, we tend to have a certain seating order. Usually, my husband and daughter sit together on one side and I sit with my son on the other. Our side is the “food allergy side”. My son has multiple food allergies and I cannot have gluten. It is always a very interesting sight.

At the beginning of all this food allergy craze, it was hard to figure out what meals would work for the family. One day, I was in the mood to make lasagna. Great idea, right? Add in those food allergies and it can complicate things a bit. The first time I made lasagna in my food allergy household, I used a dairy free cheese alternative and gluten free lasagna noodles. I don’t know if you’ve ever used cheese alternative products, but cooking it gives off a peculiar smell. When my husband returned home from work that evening, he was taken back by the smell. I’ll never forget his face when he took that first bite. His exact words were, “This tastes like cooked Cheetos”. I laugh about this story now, but it was frustrating for me then. I wanted to make a meal everyone can enjoy. Why should the allergy-ridden members suffer for something they did not choose to have?

The second time around, I did things a bit differently and this change helped make subsequent meals less of a headache. I still had some leftover cheese alternative in my fridge. By the way, there are a variety of dairy free cheeses. They do not all taste the same. You really have to find what works for your palate. Anyhow, I decided to make lasagna again. This time, I separated my son’s portion from the rest of ours. Except for the cheeses, I cooked everything together. When it was time for the layering process, I had two dishes. I layered the lasagna ingredients with my son’s dairy free cheese alternative in a small dish. In another dish, I layered the same ingredients, but with regular cheeses, for the rest of the family. Everyone was content.

Going out for pizza has been another interesting process. I’ve come to see more allergy friendly options where I live regarding pizza. Not just for the gluten free individuals, but also vegan. One time, we went to a popular pizza chain and decided to get a regular vegan cheese pizza for the kids and a gluten free pizza for me and my husband. My daughter has no food allergies and did not seem to notice the difference with the vegan cheese.

This process has become easier with time and practice. It is a challenge, but it can be fun…especially when you find the perfect recipe/restaurant and groove! I’ve definitely found many things that work through trial and error. I’m sure you have some fun stories to share, as well!

Amy Velazquez
relentlesssurrender@gmail.com
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