Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Normal food: Bundt Cakes

Got a NordicWare Original 10-15 Cup Bundt Pan for Christmas (thanks, J & D!) Elder Daughter insisted I make a pound cake to try it out . . . now!

After searching the NordicWare website, we settled on Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Poppyseeds. We left out the raisins, because Younger Daughter only likes them plain, not in things. The recipe said to wrap in foil and refrigerate for 2 days to let the flavor improve. Silly people. Of course we ate some right away; we can see if the flavor improves two days from now. Kind of like a scientific experiment, right?

-- use butter, not margarine
-- grease the pan by brushing melted butter or palm-oil shortening (like Spectrum) inside the pan, then dusting the whole thing with flour. We used butter.
-- the NordicWare site itself says don't use a lecithin-based cooking spray--which we wouldn't because most commercial lecithin is soy-based--because it is gooey and builds up a coating on the pan. They recommend Baker's Joy which has flour in it, but is also made from soy oil, according to their website faq's.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Cookbook for Christmas: 1000 Italian Recipes

Got a new cookbook for Christmas and tried a recipe from it 2 nights ago. The recipe is called Chicken with Gorgonzola and Walnuts; you can find an article about it in the Washington Post here. (note: we used onions instead of shallots because that's what we had on hand.)

The recipe was really good, pretty fast, and easy. There are no soy considerations to keep in mind. However, like the slightly ADD person that I am, I forgot to take a photo.

The method for cooking chicken cutlets in butter and olive oil worked so well that the next night we used the same recipe as a basis for making Chicken Parmesan. We used a jar of sauce and some smoked mozzarella cheese we had found in Safeway. Both suppers were a big hit.

In any case, I have 3 books from the 1000 Recipes series--Jewish (for the Israeli stuff), Mexican, and Italian, and they are surprisingly good. No pictures, but I haven't tried a bad recipe yet. I am really looking forward to trying the Italian cookies. . . .

Recipe: Hawaiian Bread

Adapted from a recipe found on the internet (don't remember source) after I came home from a trip to Hawaii where I could not try the great-looking breads in the hotel.

Very good in a sandwich with chicken salad!

Hawaiian Bread
makes one 1 1/2-pound loaf

3 cups bread flour
1 egg
1 yolk (save white)
1/2 cup pineapple tidbits with juice (1 snack pack serving)
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp dry yeast

Put all the ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order recommended in your manual. Process on dough mode. When the dough is ready, shape into a ball and put on a pizza pan that has been greased or lined with parchment paper. [Alternatively, pat into a 9" by whatever" rectangle, roll up like a jelly roll, and put into a greased 9" x 5" loaf pan.]

Let rise until doubled. Take the reserved egg white, beat it a little with a fork, then brush it over the bread. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

none, if you make sure you grease your bread pan with canola oil or palm shortening. No PAM!

Recipe: Oatmeal Honey Bread

Oatmeal Honey Bread
makes one 1 1/2-pound loaf

3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup water
1 egg
3 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp canola oil [* see note below]
1/4 cup honey [wild flower honey is good in this]
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast

Place all the ingredients in the pan in the order recommended in your manual. Process on dough mode. Grease a 9" x 5" bread pan by putting a little oil in the bottom, then spreading it around with a pastry brush or a piece of waxed paper wrapped around your fingers.

Flatten the dough by hand on a floured board to a rectangle about 9 inches long by any width. Roll up like a jelly roll and place in the greased pan. Let rise until doubled, 1/2 hour to an hour.

Bake at 375F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove and finish cooling on a rack.

* note: after you measure the oil, put it in a 1/4 cup measure and swirl it around. Dump into the bread machine pan, then measure the honey in the 1/4 cup measure. This helps the honey come out.


Six-day Weekend, Five Loaves of Bread

25 December: Finnish Coffee Braid
26 December: Oatmeal-Honey Bread
27 December: Hawaiian Bread
28 December: none
29 December: All-Whole Wheat Bread
30 December: Sesame Semolina

Finnish Coffee Braid
recipe from mom, who got it from a college friend
we usually had this for Christmas breakfast
adapted for the bread machine
makes 2 small loaves

3 cups bread flour
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup soft butter
5 whole cardamom pods, seeds removed and pounded with a mortar and pestle, or whirled in a coffee grinder
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
1/3 cup quartered candied cherries
scant 1/4 cup raisins
sugar for sprinkling
chopped almonds for sprinkling

Put all the ingredients up through the yeast in the pan of the bread maker in the order specified in the manual. Process on dough mode. If you have a raisin "beep", put the candied cherries and raisins in then. If not, knead them in when the dough is done.

Put parchment paper on a baking sheet. [I like the two-layer kind with the air between for bread.] Divide the dough in half, then each half into thirds. Spin each third between your palms until you have a rope about 12" long. Lay out the ropes parallel to each other and braid, tucking the ends under. Repeat with the other 3 ropes. Let raise until doubled.

Brush each loaf with slightly beaten egg. Sprinkle with sugar [coarse sugar is pretty] and chopped almonds. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

note: check the dough in the bread machine after it has mixed for a while. If it is really gummy, add a tablespoon or so of flour. If it is dry and lumpy, and the motor seems to be working to hard, add a tablespoon or so of water.


Update to the Sweet 100

Sister-in-law baked Red Velvet Cake for Christmas dinner, so I get to bold another entry on the Sweet 100 list.

Hers was from, (without the berries) and was delicious.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Signature Christmas Cookie: Sunflower Seed Butter Mice

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Sunflower Seed Butter Mouse

Back before my adult-onset soy allergy, we used to make Peanut Butter Mice, from a Woman's Day magazine back in the 80's, as one of our Christmas cookies. Then one year, I developed a rash and breathing problems while making them, prompting me to stop eating peanuts and peanut butter. I have since eaten a peanut or 2 by accident with no reaction, so I think the peanut butter must have had soy oil in it. Most of them--most of the non-"natural" kind--do. [Peter Pan does not, at least not as of this posting.] In any case, we have gotten used to making the Mice Cookies with other nut and seed butters, and this year it was sunflower seed butter.

Sunflower Seed Butter Mice

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup sunflower seed butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For decoration:
sunflower seeds or pignoli nuts
candy decors (for cake decorating)
red licorice laces, cut in 3" lengths

1. Beat butter and peanut butter in a large bowl with electric mixer until creamy. Add sugars and beat until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until well blended.

2. Measure out the 1/2 tsp baking soda into the bottom of a 1-cup measure and put flour on top of that. Dump the flour, plus the other 1/2 cup flour, into the mixing bowl and beat on low until blended. Cover and chill about an hour, until the dough is firm enough to handle.

3. Heat oven to 350F. Shape level tablespoons of dough into 1" balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Press your fingers onto one end of each ball to make a teardrop shape. Gently push 2 decors into narrow end for eyes, then 2 sunflower seeds or pignoli above the eyes, for ears. With a toothpick, make a 1/2" deep hole in the tail ends.

4. Bake 8-10 minutes, rotating halfway through. Immediately after you take them out of the oven, stick in the licorice lace lengths, before the cookies get hard. Cool 5 minutes on the pans, then remove to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Soy-free considerations:
Candy decors: check for lecithin (usually not a problem).
Soy-free licorice whips: these can be hard to find. I check candy counters all year long for them. Fortunately, they last a long time, so you can buy them way before Christmas. Unfortunately, Twizzlers Pull 'n' Peels, the most common kind out there, have soy oil in them. The ones we used this year are by Haribo, the same company that makes Gummi Bears.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tukpa: Tibetan Noodle Soup

I know the subtitle of this blog says "cooking and eating normal food" but this *is* normal food for my family

One of our relatives was once married to a Tibetan, and one time she made soup for us. It was so good, I tried to recreate it soon thereafter, and succeeded well enough that it has become one of my kids' favorite suppers. The recipe I based mine on has been around the internet, though everyone credits the original as coming from The Kopan Cookbook by Betty Jung. Her version was vegetarian; mine has beef, as our relative's did.

[BTW, our relative subsequently forgot what she made us, and has asked me for my recipe. :-> Here it is:]

Tibetan Noodle Soup (Tukpa)

Serves 4

1/4 C. butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh ginger root, minced, or use half as much grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh garlic, minced
1/2 lb thin strips of top round or flank steak
1 c. red onion, diced
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. commercial garam masala
1 c. potato, parboiled and cubed
1 c. fresh tomatoes, chopped, or substitute about 3/4 cup canned
1 quart beef broth
1 cup water
1/4 lb. fresh flat egg noodles (or use a 9-oz. plastic pkg. egg linguine)
1-2 c. sliced bok choy
1-2 Tbsp. soy-free Worcestershire sauce [original had soy sauce]
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1. Melt butter in a dutch oven over medium heat.

2. Add ginger, garlic, and red onion. Stir-fry over medium to medium-high heat for l minute.

3. Add beef and stir-fry for another minute.

4. Add turmeric, curry powder, chili powder, and masala. Mix well and stir fry for 1/2 a minute.

5. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and tomatoes.

6. Add egg noodles and boil for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

7. Add bok choy and boil for another 1-2 minutes. If soup is too thick, add more water.

8. Season with Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

P.S. [added 20 Dec] My kids call this "Yellow Soup," not because it's yellow, but because if you spill it on your clothes, it stains everything yellow from the turmeric.

--use Worcestershire sauce or liquid Maggie seasoning instead of soy sauce.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Update to the Sweet 100 -- Nanaimo Bars

"We have nothing sweet to eat," Dear Husband (DH) complained yesterday. So, in exchange for his playing taxi driver for Younger Daughter, I knocked another entry off the Sweet 100 list.

Nanaimo Bars. Oh. My. (Ahem . . .) Goodness. (We are a family-friendly blog here.) What are Nanaimo Bars? Are they a (no-bake) bar cookie? Are they candy? Are they both, like KitKat or RitterSport? I vote both. They have a graham cracker-nut-coconut crust on the bottom, a custard-powder enriched buttercream in the middle, and a chocolate layer on top. If you make them, cut them small. As noted before, we at the Soy-free Kitchen tend to be gourmands, but DH and I each ate only one small piece last night before falling into a sugar stupor.

--Soy-free graham crackers. New Morning brand is a good one. Make sure you don't get the cinnamon ones.
--Soy-free chocolate. We used 4 ounces of Kosher-for-Passover chocolate chips we had lying around the pantry. They were Mishpacha brand, and I believe we had ordered them online, perhaps from, in the runup to Passover last year, or perhaps even the year before.

We had Bird's custard powder in the house, although a poster on Cakespy says you can use vanilla pudding mix in a pinch.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Day After Thanksgiving, Soy-free Kitchen Style

The blog Choosing Voluntary Simplicity has a good essay on how to have a soy-free Thanksgiving. For the day after Thanksgiving, I have two words:

White Chili

about 2 Tbsp olive or canola oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 minced jalapeno pepper (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tablespoon)
1 lb leftover turkey, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 14 to 16-oz can cannelini beans or chickpeas, drained but not rinsed
1 10-oz box frozen corn
1/2 cup (about) chicken broth or leftover turkey gravy
1 4-oz can chopped chilis, not drained
1 1/2 tsp soy-free Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce

Heat the oil in a Dutch overn and cook the onions and green pepper over medium-high heat until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the turkey, beans, corn, broth or gravy, chilis, and seasonings. Turn down the heat to medium or medium low (depending on your stove) and simmer 20 minutes.

Serve with light sour cream and chopped fresh cilantro. Salsa is optional.

Eat leftover pie for dessert.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Joe Froggers Revisited

The Yankee Magazine Joe Froggers were more successful than the "authentic" recipe.

They were easier to roll and they didn't spread anywhere near as much.

And they tasted better, too.

Glee Soy-free Gum

Good news! (for me, I mean.) The Whole Foods near me just started carrying Glee soy-free gum.

As my daugher in first-year Spanish says, "me gusta!"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Potluck 2: Texas Sheet Cake

The office is having a going-away party tomorrow. The honoree decided he wanted a potluck lunch, which means I will be able to eat at least one thing there--the dessert, because I am bringing it. Potlucks mean either Cherry Cobbler (see here) or Texas Sheet cake because they are both made in a jelly-roll pan and serve a lot.

There are recipes for this all over the web. Some leave out the word "Texas". Epicurious calls it a Chocolate-Buttermilk Sheet Cake. Some are baked in a 15x10" jellyroll pan and are thin. Some are baked in a 13x9" pan with the same amounts and they are thicker. They are all about the same. Here's mine:

Texas Sheet Cake

1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, or milk soured with a couple teaspoons of vinegar
2 large eggs


1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
3 Tbsp cocoa
1/4-1/3 cup milk (depends on whether whole milk, 2% or skim, and the weather)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pound powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (soy-free)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch jelly-roll pan. Put water, 1 stick butter, cocoa powder, vegetable oil, vanilla and baking soda in large microwave safe bowl. Microwave by 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until the butter is melted and the cocoa is mixed in. Whisk in sugar, flour, salt, then buttermilk (or equivalent) and eggs. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cake in pan to a rack.

Meanwhile, melt remaining stick of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in with a wooden spoon: powdered sugar, milk (start with 1/4 cup), the 3 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add more milk if you need to to make the frosting spreadable--not so thick that it will rip up the top of the cake.

Spread frosting over warm cake. Sprinkle with nuts and mini chocolate chips. Press in slightly. Cool cake (and carry it to your party) in pan. Cut into 24 pieces.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Chicken Pot Pie

Here's a good fall recipe, and it is not too hard to make if you have 1/2 pound leftover chicken and use frozen vegetables. The original recipe came from a Weight Watchers cookbook and used a small tube of (five) biscuits, each split in half, on top, which made it really easy, but they have soy oil. If you can eat soy oil--I can't--go ahead and use them, but use the cooking temperature and time on the biscuit tube.

This is a real favorite of my kids.

Chicken Pie with Biscuit Top
Serves 5 in our family

4 teaspoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs, such as Italian blend or Herbes de Provence
1 1/2 cups milk (skimmed milk works fine)
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever kind you like)
8 ounces cooked chicken, cut in 1/2" cubes
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules, or a crumbled chicken bouillon cube (read label to avoid soy)
1 tsp grainy mustard (optional)
1 cup thinly sliced carrots (* see note)
1 cup sliced mushrooms (* see note)
1 cup green beans (* see note)
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

For biscuit top:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups milk

1. * First, steam or parboil the vegetables until they are tender-crisp. Put aside. (Skip this step if using frozen vegetables.)

2. Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan or large skillet. Add the flour, mustard, and herbs. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the milk, a little at a time, stirring to blend. Let the sauce simmer until it has thickened, maybe 3 minutes. Add the cheese and stir while it melts. Add the chicken, bouillon and optional mustard, stir, then add the vegetables.

3. Put into a lightly oiled casserole.

4. For the biscuit top: mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Work in butter with tips of fingers, two knives, or a pastry blender. Add the milk gradually, mixing with a fork until you have a soft dough.

5. Drop the biscuit mixture over the top of the casserole in heaping tablespoons, then smooth slightly to cover the entire surface.

6. Bake at 450F for 12-15 minutes.

*Note: you can substitute 3 cups of frozen mixed vegetables for the carrots, mushrooms, and beans. Or use a drained 8-oz can of sliced mushrooms and 2 cups of frozen vegetables. You don't have to pre-cook the frozen or canned vegetables.

[photo to be added]

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Sweet 100 -- Joe Froggers

Well, we tried the Marblehead Joe Froggers recipe, not entirely successfully.

The cookies tasted good, but the dough was so soft that refrigerating it didn't work; we had to freeze it. That was moderately successful.

Then the cookies spread. They ended up almost twice as big as they were cut out. I think maybe it was the fault of the Spectrum palm oil shortening I used. I have had trouble making pie dough with it, too. The pie dough was too soft to work with.

Next time I am going to try the recipe on the Yankee Magazine website here. It uses butter.

Finally, since the recipe supposedly dates back to the early 1800s, wouldn't it have been made originally with lard?

The Soy-free Kitchen Goes on the Road, part 4

My dear husband and I spent Thursday and Friday night in Baltimore, courtesy of my generous MIL, who was in town prior to taking a cruise. This involved a stay in a very nice Marriot on the harbor, but with no kitchenette. Meals went like this:

Thursday dinner--Seafood restaurant (Oceanaire, very nice, but pricey). Steamed clams and steamed broccoli. The best steamed clams I ever had--not chewy, not sandy, and a great wine-and-garlic broth.

Friday breakfast--in the hotel. Shredded wheat, banana, and coffee. (I had a box of Total Raisin Bran in the room in case there was no cereal I could eat.)

Friday lunch--turkey sandwich, chips and fruit bought at Whole Foods (!) a block away from the hotel (!)

Friday dinner--Veal Marsala, at La Scala, an Italian restaurant a couple of blocks away in Baltimore's "Little Italy. I give this restaurant a B+. The food was good (and plentiful) but the decor was old and a little lame. It was homey rather than glam. The prices were great, however ($19.95 for veal!?!) Recommended.

Saturday breakfast --in the hotel again.

No incidents! We had called La Scala ahead of time to make sure they were soy-free, and they were. And we lucked out that there was a Whole Foods a block away.

Next installment: We make something we haven't tried yet from the Sweet 100.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Soy-free Kichen Goes on the Road, part 3

I should have posted this last week, but better late than never.

Last weekend we visited Elder Daughter at college. We booked at the Residence Inn in Richmond where we've stayed before. (Just found out that there is a Whole Foods and a newly-opened Trader Joe's just blocks from the place, woo-hoo!) This time we brought our entire dinner with us: lasagna, salad, salad dressing, and bread. Residence Inns have ovens, so we could bake the lasagna. We did have to bring an extra place setting, because there were 4 of us, and we invited a friend of Elder Daughter's to eat with us.

The lasagna was not my usual recipe, which takes 2 days to make. I used one from Epicurious, and it came out nearly as good as the old standby. In my opinion, it had slightly too much ricotta, and, like a lot of comments on the site said, it needed more sauce. I made 2 times the sauce recipe, but didn't use it all, so I think 1 1/2 times would be enough (but extra sauce can be useful.) Also, I like slices of sausage in my lasagna, and this recipe crumbles up the sausage with the ground beef. But, homemade lasagna is very rarely a bad thing (although Elder Daughter's father said he once ate one made with too many onions and cottage cheese instead of ricotta that was not worth eating). Here's Epicurious's Three-cheese Lasagna with Italian Sausage.

Oh, yes, and we left out the spinach. Spinach makes Younger Daughter gag.

The Soy-free Kitchen tries The Sweet 100

If you have been reading this blog, you may have gotten the idea that the Soy-free Kitchen is run by a gourmande--and you would be right. If you need proof, keep reading.

This list comes from, which is not a cooking site, but an eating site--they review bakeries--although there are some recipes on it. The photography is wonderful and quirky. In any case, the list seems to have become a meme on several other sites, so here goes:

1) Copy this list into your site, including the instructions!
2) Bold all of the sweets you've eaten--or make them a different type color.
3) Cross out any of them that you'd never ever eat.
[because I can't figure out how to cross out, I'm going to bracket]
4) Consider anything that is not bold or crossed out your "To Do" List.
5) Optional: Post a comment here linking to your results--or just post a comment letting us know how many you've tried, or what you're going to try next!
*6) My addition--I've asterisked the ones I've made myself

1. Red Velvet Cake
-- update as of 26 Dec
2. Princess Torte
3. Whoopie Pie
-- update as of August 2011--#2 daughter has taken to making these like a fiend
4. *Apple Pie either topped or baked with sharp cheddar
5. Beignet
6. *Baklava
7. Black and white cookie
8. *Seven Layer Bar (also known as the Magic Bar or Hello Dolly bars)
9. Fried Fruit pie (sometimes called hand pies)
10. *Kringle
11. *Just-fried (still hot) doughnut
12. Scone with clotted cream
-- *have made the scones. had them with cream in London
13. Betty, Grunt, Slump, Buckle or Pandowdy
-- I'm from New England, so I've probably had at least one of these, but can't remember
14. Halvah
--Joyva brand in the supermarket has soy, others don't
15. Macarons
16. Banana pudding with nilla wafers
-- only soy-free if you make your own vanilla wafers
17. Bubble tea (with tapioca "pearls")
18. Dixie Cup -- careful! some of these have lecithin
19.*Rice Krispie treats
-- these are soy-free if you make them with butter
20. Alfajores
21. *Blondies
22. Croquembouche
23. Girl Scout cookies
-- alas! they have soy
24. Moon cake
25. Candy Apple
26. Baked Alaska
27. *Brooklyn Egg Cream
28. *Nanaimo bar
--update as of 6 Dec 08
29. Baba au rhum
30. *King Cake
31. *Sachertorte
32. Pavlova
33. *Tres Leches Cake
-- the recipe from 1000 Mexican Recipes is to die for!
34. *Trifle
35. *Shoofly Pie
36. *Key Lime Pie (made with real key lime)
37. Panna Cotta
38. *New York Cheesecake
39. Napoleon / mille-fueille
40. *Russian Tea Cake / Mexican Wedding Cake
41. *Anzac biscuits
42. *Pizzelle
43. Kolache
44. Buckeyes
45. Malasadas
46. Moon Pie -- have soy
47. Dutch baby
48. *Boston Cream Pie
49. *Homemade chocolate chip cookies
-- see entry on Cookies for College Students
50. *Pralines
51. Gooey butter cake
52. Rusks
53. Daifuku
54. Green tea cake or cookies
55. Cupcakes from a cupcake shop
56. *Crème brûlée
57. [Some sort of deep fried fair food (twinkie, candy bar, cupcake) ]
-- soy, soy, soy. Fried in soy oil.
58. *Yellow cake with chocolate frosting
-- #2 daughter's favorite cake
59. Jelly Roll
-- I've made Buche de Noel; does this count?
60. Pop Tarts
-- contain soy oil
61. Charlotte Russe
62. An "upside down" dessert (Pineapple upside down cake or Tarte Tatin)
-- am I the only person in the world who doesn't like Tarte Tatin?
63. Hummingbird Cake
64. *Jell-O from a mold
65. *Black forest cake
-- one of these days I'll post my prize-winning recipe for this cake.
66. Mock Apple Pie (Ritz Cracker Pie)
-- Ritz Crackers are made with soy oil
67. Kulfi
68. *Linzer torte
69. Churro
70. *Stollen
71. *Angel Food Cake
72. *Mincemeat pie
73. Concha
74. Opera Cake
75. Sfogliatelle / Lobster tail
-- these are supposed to be made with lard, but often it's (soy-based) shortening
76. Pain au chocolat
77. *A piece of Gingerbread House
78. Cassata
79. Cannoli
80. Rainbow cookies
81. Religieuse
82. Petits fours
83. Chocolate Souffle
84. *Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)
85. Rugelach
86. *Hamenstashen
87. Homemade marshmallows
88. Rigo Janci
89. [Pie or cake made with candy bar flavors (Snickers pie, Reeses pie, etc)]
-- soy, soy, soy
90. *Divinity
91. Coke or Cola cake
92. Gateau Basque
93. *S'mores -
-- you have to look around for soy-free grahams and chocolate, but it can be done.
94. Figgy Pudding
95. Bananas foster or other flaming dessert
96. *Joe Froggers
-- update as of 2 Nov 08
97. Sables
98. Millionaire's Shortbread
99. Animal crackers
-- the regular ones have soy oil, but you can find them without.
100. *Basbousa

--Have eaten: [60] [61] [62] [63] 64(update as of August 2011)
--Have made: [35] [36] 37 (update as of 6 Dec 08)
--Would never try: 2

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chef Cards--a Great Idea for When You Eat Out

This morning I was reading an article on called Food allergies: Strategies for dining out. It had a great idea in it: Chef Cards. These are cards from the Mayo Clinic, preformatted with some introductory text, which you can fill out with information on your food allergy and give to the restaurant server to give to the chef. They come four to a page; you print them, cut them out, and fill in the blanks. The text starts:

Attention Chef!
I have a severe allergy to _______________________.
A life-threatening reaction could occur if I eat this or related products, including:
(Here follow several more blanks you can fill in.)

Check it out!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

No-Soy Cookies for College Students, part 2

Elder daughter was home from college again this weekend (again?! yes, again.) Her favorite cookie is the Italian pignoli cookie made with almond paste. Here is a very good recipe from Here's another website that uses the exact same recipe, only this one has a photo. I include this because mine weren't photo-worthy.

Note: I made the dough the way they said to in the recipe, but I refridgerated it overnight. Then it is stiff enough to roll into little balls, then roll in a bowl of pignoli nuts (you will need more than one cup if you do it this way) instead of flattening them out and just placing some nuts on top of each cookies. Also, 350 degrees is too hot; they burn on the bottom and get too brown on the top. Other pignoli cookie recipes say to bake them at 325 and this seems right.

Soy-free considerations:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Asthma and Allergy Foundation's Survey

From their website:

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America is asking people with food allergies and their caretakers to take an online survey.

The purpose of the survey is to find out how people use the labels on foods that list ingredients and the warnings that a product may be contaminated by a known allergen. AAFA wants to become better informed about the impact of these labels.

Currently, federal law requires food manufacturers to include any of eight major allergens in the ingredients list on the label if the allergens are present in a food product. Advisory labels, saying that a product may contain an allergen, are not required, although many manufacturers use them. However, the wording of these advisories varies. If you would like to participate in this short, online survey, please click the link below and make sure to complete the survey before October 31, 2008!

Thank you for completing the survey and providing AAFA with this important information!

Plain Pringles Now Have Soy Oil

They didn't used to.


Cookies for College Students

Our elder daughter is a freshman in college this year, about 90 miles away. She comes home every few weeks and we make cookies for her to bring back. Her favorite is Oatmeal-Chocolate Chunk (recipe below) but we are branching out. This week she is getting Connecticut Nutmeg Hermits from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies. This book is out of print, but you can still get it online from several places, including Amazon. If you are interested, you might like to go to the blog My Little Kitchen. Cathy, the blogger, has a feature called Mondays with Maida--every Sunday she made cookies from the book, then took them to work on Monday and let her coworkers rate them. She went through the entire book in order. I am not going to post any Maida Heatter recipes (nor does Cathy) due to copyright and respect for the author but I heartily recommend both the book and the blog.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 24 big cookies

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon vinegar, white or cider
6 ounces soy-free semisweet chocolate*, cut into chunks
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted

1. Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and vinegar, beating to combine. Add dry ingredients and beat until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Cover dough and chill 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let soften slightly before continuing.)

2. Arrange 2 racks in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Form dough into balls, using 1/4 cup dough for each. Place on prepared sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. (I could only fit 6 cookies on each cookie sheet.) Flatten with hand to 3 1/2-inch rounds.

3. Bake 8 minutes, then rotate sheets. Bake until cookies are golden brown around the edges and firm in the center, about 4 minutes longer. Cool on sheet 5 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool completely.

* I used Trader Joe's. I also think this recipe needs more chocolate; next time I will use 9 oz.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Soy-free Gum and Chocolate!

Good news! Soy-Free Sales, at, has soy-, nut-, peanut-, lactose-, dairy-, wheat-, gluten-, casein-, egg- and yeast- free gum!!! It comes in peppermint, cinnamon, bubblegum, and tangerine.

They also have a good selection of chocolate, including chocolate chips in bulk. The Soy-Free Kitchen will be testing these out shortly. . . .

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Moo Goo Gai Pan

sThe last time I went to a Chinese restaurant I was sick before we left, even though I had ordered only steamed shrimp, steamed rice, and sweet-and-sour sauce on the side. I blame cross-contamination in the kitchen (probably someone used a spoon that had been in another dish.)

But I love Chinese food.

So, to a avoid a long story and get straight to the recipe, here is our home-made:

Moo Goo Gai Pan

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken, cut into 1" pieces
2 Tbs cornstarch
3/4 cup chicken broth (or 3/4 cup water + 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder)
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce, or 1 Tbs each Worcestershire and Maggi seasoning
1 tsp dark (Asian) sesame oil
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger (do not pack)
8 oz sliced button mushrooms (you can buy this amount in a carton in the produce section)
1/4 lb fresh snow peas (or 3/4 cup frozen green beans)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 medium onion, sliced the long way (not into rings)
2-3 tsp canola oil

Hint: start rice before you start this dish. Brown rice: start 20 minutes before, white rice: start just before.

1. Combine the chicken with 1 Tbs of the cornstarch in a medium bowl; toss well to coat and set aside. Combine the broth with the remaining 1 Tbs cornstarch, Worcestershire (or Worcestershire and Maggi) sauce, and sesame oil in a 1-cup glass measure; set aside.

2. Heat a 12" skillet (or a wok if you have one) over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles. Swirl in the canola oil, then add the chicken. Stir-fry until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

4. Add the mushtooms, snow peas or green beans, bell pepper, an onions, and stiry-fry until tender, 3-4 minutes.

5. Add the broth mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until it boils and thickens, and the chicken is just cooked through, 1-2 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Germany is practially soy-free. A German berry dessert

Elder daughter and I spent just came back from 11 days in Germany. I ate out every meal with no problems. Germans use sunflower and canola oil for the most part--even in their mayonaise.

The plane back was British Airways, though, and eating was a problem. The good thing was, the entrees had the ingredients on the covers. A flight attendant kindly checked through all the entrees and found me an extra vegetarian moussaka that had no soy. It was pretty tasty for airline food, too.

By the way, if you liked the cherry-berry pie, from a May post below, you might like a dessert we had in Germany called Rote Gruetze (Red Groats--name goes back to antiquity and probably means it was originally thickened with grain.)

Rote Gruetze

3 (14-16 oz) bags frozen mixed berries
1 (1-lb) can sweet or tart cherries, reserve juice (recipes I have seen have used either)
4 cups (approximately) cran-raspberry or red grape juice*
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup sifted cornstarch

Thaw and drain the berries, reserving juice. Puree one bag of berries with the reserved berry and cherry juices and add enough of the fruit juice you are using to make 1 quart. Put in a large saucepan and add 2 more cups of juice, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring often.

Combine the cornstarch with one more cup of juice* and stir to completely combine. When the mixture in the saucepan starts to bubble, pour in the cornstarch mixture, stirring all the while so you don't get lumps. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Mixture should be clear. Stir in the other 2 bags of mixed berries and the cherries and cook 1 more minute. Cool to room temperature, then put in a large bowl and refridgerate until cold.

Serve with vanilla sauce, whipped cream, plain heavy cream, or ice cream. Serves 8.

*Variation: replace 1 cup of juice with red wine

Vanilla Sauce

2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
3 eggs, large or extra-large, lightly beaten

Heat milk, sugar, and vanilla beans in a heavy saucepan over low heat just until the mixture steams, about 10 minutes. Whisk a little of the milk into the beaten eggs, then whisk the eggs back into the milk. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not boil--it will curdle. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla beans into the custard, and discard the pods. Pour through a seive and serve hot or cold.

Adapted from The New German Cookbook, by Jean Anderson and Hedy Wuerz

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Cookout--Potato Salad

My potato salads tend to be good, not great. But here's one, adapted from, that is out-of-this-world.

Potato Salad

2 lb equal-size Yukon Gold potatoes, still in their jackets
1/4 cup cider vinegar plus 1 teaspoon salt OR:
[1/4 cup dill pickle juice ]
3/4 cup chopped celery (chop small)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (scallions) OR:
[1/4 cup finely chopped chives ]
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (Italian if you can get it)
3 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped
3/4 cup canola mayonnaise (preferably Hains)
1/2 tsp Old Bay Seafood Seasoning, or celery salt
freshly ground pepper

1. Scrub potatoes. Using a 3-quart saucepan, cover the potatoes by 2 inches with cold water to which you have added 2 tsp of salt. Simmer uncovered until just tender, 15 to 25 minutes. They are done when you can pierce them to the middle with the tip of a paring knife. Drain in a colander and cool slightly.

2. Whisk together vinegar and salt in a large bowl until salt is dissolved. (Or just place the pickle juice a bowl.)

3. When potatoes are just cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 3/4-inch pieces, adding to vinegar mixture as you cut them, and toss gently with a rubber spatula so each piece ends up touching the vinegar.

4. Let cool to room temperature, then add remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine. Chill.

Serves 8, unless somebody goes for seconds.

The Soy-free Kitchen Bakes Pie

Memorial Day calls for cookouts and all-American food; my husband likes pie. So, mixed berry pie is on the menu. (Red, white, and blue.)

Pie crust is not as hard as some things to make soy-free. You can't use Crisco, a mixture of soy and cottonseed oils, and my pie-dough experiments with Spectrum, a palm-oil shortening haven't turned out so well. Nor have all-butter crusts. However, since our grocery stores have begun stocking more Hispanic foods, lard is easy to come by now, and lard makes great pie crust.

But, you say, pie crust is hard, and I never make it! I know. Lots of times I don't want to make it, either. Pillsbury comes to the rescue. Their refrigerated pie crust works just fine, and is made with lard, not shortening. I seem to remember that Cook's Illustrated magazine taste-tested pie dough mixes and ready-made crusts, and, while they didn't l-o-v-e the end results, they thought the Pillsbury refrigerated was the best of the bunch. (The frozen pie shell bottoms are not as good.)

Cherry-Berry Pie

Pastry for a 2-crust pie, homemade or commercial
1 egg, optional
1 1-lb (or close, like 14 1/2 oz.) can of tart cherries, reserving 1/3 cup juice
1 1-lb (or close, like 14 1/2 oz) bag of frozen mixed berries
2 full and 1 scant tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon juice (use balsamic vinegar if you don't have any lemons)
1/4 tsp almond extract

1. Preheat the oven to 425F.

2. Line a 9" pie plate with dough. Brush the dough with a glaze made from 1 egg mixed with 1 Tbs water, if desired. This seals the dough so it doesn't get as soggy later on, but it is not required. Put the pie plate in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

3. In a large bowl, combine the cherries, unthawed frozen berries, tapioca, salt, sugar, lemon juice and extract. Stir, then let sit for about 5 minutes. Fill the pie plate with the fruit.

4. The top crust can be whole, have decorative holes cut into it with small cookie cutters, or be a lattice. Wet the bottom crust rim with water and then seal the top crust down by pressing the times of a fork all the way around. Trim the edges by running a paring knife all the way around the pie plate. You can also egg-glaze the top crust, if you want.

5. Bake in the lower third of the preheated oven 40 minutes. Check it after 20 minutes or so to see if you need to put foil over the edges so it doesn't get too brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Serves 8.

In my opinion, this pie is best at room temperature, not warm, and tastes awesome with vanilla ice cream.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Shakshuka--my new favorite Friday-night supper

I went to Israel last year and am still fascinated by Israeli food. It's kind of a Middle-East fusion thing, with dishes from all over. I bought Joan Nathan's The Foods of Israel Today and decided to try some recipes for things I hadn't already had in Israel. The first one we tried was Shakshuka. I loved her recipe, but of course had to tinker with it (based on some other online versions.) So here's mine:

Shakshuka Recipe
Yield: 3 large servings

2 medium onions, chopped
1 (each) 28-ounce can tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, roughly diced
1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup olive oil
4 - 6 large eggs

1. Heat the oil in a frying pan (12" if you have it) and heat it. Cook the onions until shiny and translucent but not brown. Add the tomatoes, garlic, salt, paprika, and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, over low heat until thick, maybe 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Make indentations in the tomatoes and break the eggs into them. Break the yolks. Cover and continue to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes (maybe longer, depends on how hard you like your eggs), until the eggs are set. Serve with pita bread.

note: I also think this would be good with fresh parsley sprinkled over the whole thing.

Soy-free considerations:

Sunday, April 13, 2008

On the Road (part 2) and Sauce Bolognese

We visited another college this weekend, and our trip was a little more successful, foodwise, than the last time. I planned more, in other words.

I made some Bolognese sauce using a recipe I adapted from an old (pre "points") Weight-Watchers cookbook, then mixed it with cooked macaroni and carried it with us. It worked out well, because our trip was longer this time, and we were tired when we got in and didn't feel like searching out an allergy-friendly restaurant. We had booked a room with a refridgerator and microwave, but no stove (and, it turned out, no plates or silverware) so we could heat up the pasta. We used the coffee mugs that did come with the room, and borrowed silverware from the downstairs restaurant. We had also brought some fruit. And oh, yes, the brand of microwave popcorn that Marriott supplies is made with palm, not soy, oil, hooray!

The college had a continental breakfast on the schedule. I ate some macaroni for breakfast, anticipating that they would have commercial products with no ingredient lists (true) but they did have fruit and coffee, which I helped myself to.

We got home in time for a late lunch (and a nap), so, all in all, a successful trip. In case you have to be away from home for lunch, too, bring some soy-free bread and you can buy sandwich meat and baby carrots or chips at any grocery store. I like to make hamburger roll-type sandwich rolls, because you can cut them in half at home and bring them in a gallon-sized ziplok bag.

In case you're interested, my daughter used the college trips to good advantage. Her pre-trip #1 choice ended up being #3; pre-trip #2, #2; and pre-trip #3, #1.

Sauce Bolognese

1 tbsp (or so) olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
a 4-oz can or 4 oz fresh mushrooms, chopped (optional. I added this.)
8 oz. lean ground beef (ground veal in the original)
1/2 cup milk (skimmed was called for; whole or lowfat is fine)
1 28-oz can chopped Italian tomatoes OR tomato puree
1 tsp crushed fennel seeds (use a mortar and pestle, or a coffee grinder) (optional. I added this.)
1 tsp Italian herb mix (I added this.)
up to 1 tsp salt
dash each black pepper and nutmeg (I forgot this and it tasted fine.)

Heat oil in a saucepan; add onions and saute until translucent. Toward the end of this process, add the garlic. If you add it at the same time as the onions, it gets too brown. Add the celery, carrots and mushrooms and saute about 2 minutes; add beef and cooked, stirring until the meat is crumbly and loses its pink color. Add milk and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until some of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and sommer, stirring occasionall, until sauce is thick, about 30 minutes.

Note: You can make this with ground turkey, but it is a little bland, so I usually skip the salt and add 1 to 2 teaspoons of beef bouillon powder (equals 1 -2 cubes).

Enough for 1/2-3/4 lb pasta

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Soy-free Kitchen Goes on the Road

Traveling is hard. You have to plan. I didn't plan when we visited two colleges with my older daughter this weekend, and I literally did not know where my next meal was going to come from. However, I decided it was not going to be a problem because I still have to lose--ahem--a few pounds.

Friday morning I drank coffee and ate a bagel and got into the car. At the last moment I grabbed some bread from the house. We visited one college Friday morning, and they gave my daughter a free pass to their cafeteria. My husband and I paid to eat there, too. For $8.05, I found 1.) cottage cheese, 2.) canned peaches, and 3.) Diet Coke. I could have had 4.) milk, but I didn't want any since I was eating cottage cheese.

Friday afternoon we drove to the town where college #2 was, checked into a Marriott Residence Inn, with a kitchen in case I had to cook. [Hint: book a place with a kitchen when you travel. It costs more but it evens out because you (can) save money on eating out.] We checked the tourist-y literature and picked a nice restaurant in the downtown. Good choice, they had a broiled seafood platter with steamed vegetables and soy-free mashed potatoes, and a very nice motherly waitress who made sure I could eat and not get sick. Score!

My husband and daughter each ordered dessert. There was nothing I could eat, so I had an Irish coffee. Those are always soy-free, as far as I can tell.

The breakfast at the Marriott turned out to have boiled eggs, oatmeal, V-8 and fruit juices, and of course coffee. Score again. [Hint: make sure you get to breakfast early at these places so people haven't dipped serving spoons from things you can't eat into things you can. Remember the cross contamination problem.]

We stopped off at a grocery store on the way to the second college open house and bought some cheese and whole-wheat crackers. [Hint: bring ziplok bags when you travel. ] I put some crackers in one ziplok and some cheese in another and stashed them in my pocketbook. Good thing. The only thing I found to eat at the second college's cafeteria was Diet Coke and an apple.

We came home and had whole-wheat waffles and turkey breakfast sausage for supper. College #1 had had a waffle iron right near where I was sitting, and boy, did they smell good! But waffle mix has soy, and so does the non-stick spray.

Lucky for me I came down with this adult-onset food allergy after I got out of college. I don't know what I would have done if I had had it during my college years.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Easter Bunny doesn't bring soy-free chocolate

I promised a chocolate post some time ago.

I didn't get any chocolate eggs for Easter, because the Easter bunny doesn't bring soy-free chocolate. If there was a Passover bunny, he could, because Passover chocolate is soy free--something to do with certain Ashkenazim not eating legumes during Passover. So I ordered mini-chocolate chips, chocolate "buttons" with nonpareils on them, and peppermint patties from (!!!)

I also got some Hostess-cupcake-like things at our local Giant grocery store. They weren't so hot. Oh, well. The Giant either didn't have the usual complement of chocolate this year, or I was too late.

You can also get soy-free chocolate at Soy Free Sales, Chocolate Emporium,, and, according to Uncle Phaedrus, at the Soy-Free Chocolate Company, which doesn't seem to have an active website.

My daughter made a chocolate-cherry cake yesterday from an old Betty Crocker cookbook (baking chocolate is soy-free), which refused to come out of the pan, so we ate it with Bird's custard sauce flavored with maraschino cherry juice and called it cottage pudding.

In case you can find soy-free chocolate chips, here's my grandmother's recipe for:

Congo Bars

2/3 cup butter
1 lb light-brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 cup flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate bits
1 cup broken walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Cool to almost room temperature. Stir in the brown sugar, then the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.

3. Sift together the dry ingredients, or stir together in a bowl. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Fold in the chocolate bits and walnuts.

4. Spread into a 9" x 13" pan. Bake 25-30 minutes (recipe says "32" but that's too much), or until it starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. You can also do the toothpick test, but if you hit a chocolate chip, it throws it off.

5. Refridgerate. When cold, cut into bars.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Cross-contamination Problem

Eating away from home is tough if you're soy-allergic.

I make a point to go to the same neighborhood restaurants over and over, so the owners and cooks get to know me and will watch out for me. But this is not foolproof.

One time I had cultivated a neighborhood Chinese restaurant. I told them I was allergic to soy. I only ordered steamed shrimp, steamed rice, steamed vegetables, and sweet-and-sour sauce on the side, while the family ordered what they wanted. Everything was fine for months until the staff apparently forgot WHY I only ordered plain steamed everything. I can only guess that they used a spoon to serve my food that had already been in something else. I was sick before we left the restaurant that night. I won't go into details, but it wasn't pretty.

Another time I started getting asthma 2 or 3 times a week at the end of the workday. I couldn't figure out what was doing it, until I realized I had been buying fat-free pretzels out of the machine in the break area on those days. Those pretzels had no oil, but the company that made them made a non-fat-free version made with soy oil, and I am willing to bet they were run on the same machines without cleaning them in between. I stopped eating the pretzels, and I stopped getting asthma.

Last week I realized that a Swiss Bakery had opened a few doors down from my Tae Kwon Do studio. I stopped in after work before the evening rush to talk to the owner. She readily identified the rolls and bread and even cakes that had no fat or only butter in them. But as she kept talking, she realized that everything is rolled out on the same tables, and they run everything through the same mixer, starting with the lightest color and ending with the darkest. So everything in her bakery, potentially, could have some amount of soy in it.

Right now my favorite neighborhood restaurant is a Pho place. Pho, for those of you who don't know, is Vietnamese soup, and it is made with fish sauce, not soy sauce. It's very good, and comes in different varieties, including chicken, beef, seafood, and other things I am not familiar with. But, good as it is, Pho gets old, so I asked the manager about soy in his other dishes. It was quite a production, with the language problem and the manager going back and forth to the kitchen to talk to the cook. It eventually turned out that everything else on the menu, with the exception of the uncooked rice paper spring rolls, had soy in it, usually in the form of what the manager called "soybean vegetable salad oil."

Oh, well. Like I said, Pho is good.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Names for Soy

Remember our motto, check every label, every time? I have collected some key words --in alphabetical order--to look for if you are avoiding soy:

Abura-age – sliced deep-fried tofu
Atsu-age – deep-fried tofu
Bac-O's – Brand name for imitation bacon bits
Bacon bits, imitation
Bean curd
Emulsifier 322 (this is lecithin in Europe)
Gan-modoki – soy dumpling
Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP) – (source may be soy)
Hydrolized soy protein (HSP)
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) – (source may be soy)
Kinako (Japanese for soy flour)
Kouridofu (not sure what this is)
Koya tofu (freeze-dried bean curd)
Kyodofu (freeze-dried bean curd)
Lecithin – can be made from soy, eggs, or corn. You can call the manufacturer, but I just avoid it. It is very cheap to make lecithin from soy because they can use the leftovers from making soy oil.
Natto – a Japanese food made from fermented soybeans
"Natural flavoring" -- you have to call the manufacturer to make sure this isn't soy
Nimame - boiled soybeans
Okara (soy pulp)
Olean – brand name for Olestra
Olestra – the stuff they use to make "fat free" chips
Uno-hana -- same as Okara
Protein extender
Protein filler
Sobee (brand name of a soy-based baby formula)
Soy (duh)
Soy bran
Soy butter
Soy cheese
Soy flour
Soy grits
Soy milk
Soy nuts (or soynuts)
Soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolate
Soy sauce
Soy sprouts
Textured soy flour (TSF)
Textured soy protein (TSP)
Textured vegetable protein (TVP) – (source may be soy)
Tofurky -- brand name for a soy-based artificial turkey product
Vegetable broth – like in the tuna cans
Vegetable gum
Vegetable protein – (source may be soy)
Vegetable oil (often soy oil if it is not labeled as something specific like safflower or canola)
Vegetable shortening (usually a blend of soy and cottonseed oil unless labeled otherwise)
Vegetable starch – can be soy
Vitamin E - here I am talking about the kind in the capsule suspended in oil. What kind of oil do you think that is?
Yuba (tofu skin)

Note: some websites say to avoid MSG and mono- or di-glycerides because they can be made from soy. I am VERY allergic--one Whitman's chocolate and I am wheezing from the lecithin--but I have never had any problem with either of these. But, just so you know.

Here's a good website from Canada:

Monday, January 14, 2008

Avoiding Soy While Losing Weight

I have decided to lose--ahem--a few pounds. In a way this is easy, because I control all the food I eat, anyway, taking my own supplies to work.

Of course, in other ways, this is hard. One way it is hard, is, even if I wanted to, I couldn't use some of the commercial diet plans.
- Jenny Craig food has soy.
- Nutrisystem food has soy.
- L.A. weight loss uses your own food, but they sell you energy bars with soy in them. (I understand they are optional.)
- Weight Watchers uses your own food, but their commercial products tend to have soy.
- Lean Cuisine has soy.
- I am not sure about Diet to Go, but. . . .

My favorite radio and online doctor is Gabe Mirkin. He recommends a modified DASH diet, in which you eat per day:
About 8 servings of WHOLE grains
At least 5 vegetables
At least 5 fruits
Up to 3 fat free dairy products
Up to 2 servings of seafood (avoid meat and poultry)
Beans or legumes (no limit)
1-2 tablespoons nuts or seeds
Up to 3 teaspoons olive oil (optional)
Minimal added sugars (none if diabetic or trying to lose weight)

I think that 1.) for me, this is too much food, and 2.) with the soy allergy, I tend to avoid beans and legumes lest I get allergies to these related foods, too. So, I will be eating meat and poultry, as well as fewer grain servings. But overall, this is what I am shooting for.

P.S. Yes, I exercise.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Pizza, Pizza Dough, White Potato Pizza

My neighborhood pizza restaurant sold out.

No, I mean, really sold out--the Egyptians (!) who owned it, and made their dough without oil from scratch, and their sauce with olive oil from scratch--sold to a Hispanic owner who first used frozen crusts then discontinued pizza altogether.

Bummer. I asked at some of the nearby pizza places and can't find one who doesn't use soy. I called Papa John's and they very nicely sent me their ingredient list and it is chockablock with soy. So now, if I want pizza, I have to go downtown into Washington D.C., or make it at home. Going to New York is good, too, but not convenient.

My husband and I have been experimenting with pizza for years. Some of ours have been good, but none have been great. You just can't reproduce that 800-degree oven effect at home. But our latest experiment approaches it. We preheat the oven to 450 with a cast-iron griddle ($12 at Good's Clothing and Hardware in Lancaster County) in it, then slide individual pizzas onto the griddle and bake for 10-15 minutes. We use Barilla marinara sauce with a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes added to it, part-skim mozzarella, and any of a variety of toppings:
-- sauteed onions and peppers (if you put them on raw, they get watery)
-- black olives
-- canned or sauteed mushrooms (ditto for the raw ones getting watery)
-- Canadian bacon (good with mushrooms and pineapple, though I can't believe I like this.)
-- pepperoni
-- cooked Italian turkey sausage
-- jalapeno slices

Pizza Dough in the Bread Machine

1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, or use all bread flour
1 1/4 cups water
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp Italian herb mixture (optional)
1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1 tsp chopped garlic (optional)
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast

Process on dough mode.


1. Cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll each one into an 8" (or so) circle.
2. Put onto a cutting board sprinkled with cornmeal and put on sauce, then half the cheese, then toppings, then the other half of the cheese.
3. Slide however you can onto the hot griddle in the 450-degree oven.
4. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges are crunchy.

White Potato Pizza
Had this in Connecticut one time. Another one I can't believe I like.

Pizza dough
Light sour cream
Gruyere, or emmethaler, or Monterey jack cheese, grated
Cooked sliced red potatoes with the skin on
Red onion slices
Broccoli florets

Roll out the pizza dough as above, and spread with sour cream. Sprinkle with the cheese, and add toppings. Bake as above.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Fish to go with that Tartar Sauce, and Cole Slaw

Because a large percentage of prepared foods have soy in them somewhere--I read it's upward of 65%, but I can't prove it--you have to learn to cook more when you're soy-allergic. For example, I have to make my own dried bread crumbs. I let some bread get stale, then whirl it in the blender. For really fine ones, I shake them through a sieve. Store in the freezer or they get rancid or buggy. It doesn't seem to matter to the recipes I use them in if I mix some whole wheat or rye in with the white crumbs.

Being from New England (see the post on Tartar Sauce, July '07), I love fish. Even fish sticks, which I can't eat anymore (even if I wanted to.) But I learned to pan-fry fish by misremembering a recipe in I read in one of my cookbooks. Like some of the others I've posted, it's more of an idea than a recipe . . . here goes:

Pan-fried White Fish

1.) Choose rather thin (1/2 inch or less) filets of white fish--flounder, tilapia, catfish, etc.
2.) Mix homemade fine bread crumbs in a shallow bowl or pie plate with some flour (use about a quarter as much flour as crumbs) salt, paprika, and dried herbs or Old Bay Seafood Seasoning.
3.) Put milk in another shallow bowl.
4.) Heat a frying pan and add a shallow layer of canola or other cooking oil--enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
5.) Dip the fish filets in the milk first, then the bread crumb mixture. It will go faster and easier if you use one hand for the milk dipping, and the other hand for the crumb dipping.
6.) Fry fish over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, turn, and cook until the fish flakes. The time will depend upon the thickness of the fish.
7.) Serve with Tartar Sauce [July '07 post], Oven Fries [October '07 post], and Cole Slaw

Cole Slaw

4-6 cups shredded cabbage and carrots (the amount depends on if you like your cole slaw drier or soupier)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (Hain is best here, too. Hain Light is fine.)
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

1. Measure 1/4 cup mayo in a 1-cup liquid measure.
2. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and stir to combine.
3. Pour over the cabbage and mix.

You can also use a bag of shredded broccoli in this too, for Broccoslaw.