The Odd Allergies

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frying panEvery few months it seems I get on a kick to find new recipes that are safe for my husband and that the kids will eat. I’ll do searches online or I’ll dig through the drawer of cookbooks to see what I can find that could be easily converted. The biggest hurdle is always that one food allergy in our house that’s not so common; tomatoes. While I use a red pepper sauce in place of tomatoes for a few pasta dishes, pizza sauce, chili, and enchiladas in recipes on my website this doesn’t always cut it. To make this allergy even odder is that he can’t be near a tomato plant without his sinuses starting swell and his eyes start to water.

Just the other night my husband was talking about how much he missed chili. He’s also sensitive to legumes on top of all his food allergies and went on and on about beans being the best part of chili, tomatoes were the second best thing about chili. This makes me sad. If there was some way I could create a chili for him that had something that tasted like a bean, but wouldn’t make him sick… I’ll gladly take any suggestions here.

I saw a recipe today for a burrito pie. It looked and sounded amazing as I drooled over the picture and scanned the ingredients, then I got to the tomatoes and closed the page. I should have known better. You would think that one of his other allergies would be more limiting than the tomatoes, but the market for gluten free products and egg replacer has grown like crazy in the past few years along with soy, nut, and sesame free products and we hardly ever ate shellfish before his diagnosis so this didn’t slow us down either. Something about not being able to use tomatoes just seems to ruin our meal possibilities.

I’ve had comments from other food allergy sufferers on their odd allergies as well; pumpkin, mushrooms, pineapple, melon, and even an onion allergy. I would gladly trade any of these to be able to cook with tomatoes again. On the plus side red peppers were on sale this week at the store and I stocked up with plans to freeze some sauce for future use, a new pasta dish maybe. My husband looked at me and said; “or you can make your pizza” with a grin on his face. I’m glad I can at least make this new meal favorite for him. It may not be chili, but it puts a smile on his face.

Do you have any odd allergies not in the top eight that you struggle with? What do you do to get around them or replace them? And do you have any suggestions on replacements for tomatoes or beans in a chili recipe? I’ll take those comments as well!

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