Welcome to Safe & Scrumptious: Food-Allergy-Free Life on a Budget (No Dairy, Eggs, Nuts, Sesame or Mustard). I’m a cartoonist, illustrator, graphic designer, knitter, sewist and mom. My three-year-old daughter Z is an amazing little girl with severe eczema, asthma and life-threatening multiple food allergies to dairy, eggs, sesame, tree nuts (except almonds) and mustard. I have no food allergies myself, but have been lactose intolerant since the age of 13, so avoiding milk products is nothing new for me.
I started this blog because I’m obsessed with cooking, baking, pickling and stir-frying up healthy, delicious, low-cost allergy-free meals from scratch, sourcing hard-to-find safe ingredients, and planning meals on a budget. I love making and eating whole grain sourdough bread, raspberry scones, whole wheat chocolate chip pancakes, dumplings, tacos, scallion pancakes, banh mi sandwiches, miso soup, stir fries, fruit leather, soups and stews, fresh pasta and … I could go on. And on.
Although I work full time and am mother to a small sleep-averse child, I can often be found in our small Brooklyn kitchen in the wee hours mucking around with jars of pickles, piles of chopped vegetables, and bowls of sourdough starter… or sitting at my computer firing off hopeful allergen-information request emails to various food manufacturers (“Is your product X totally free of contamination from sesame, dairy, eggs, tree nuts AND mustard?”)
Z is very sensitive to cross-contaminated ingredients, so restaurants, bakeries and take-out aren’t even an option (ever found a bakery without sesame seeds flying everywhere? I sure haven’t!). And many allergen-friendly convenience and processed foods are way out of our super-tight budget.
My recipes are all free of dairy, eggs, tree nuts, sesame and mustard. Most are also free of peanuts, fish, and shellfish. Some are free of soy. Many foods featured here are plant-based or vegan. But please note that I do bake and cook a lot with wheat and gluten-containing products.
My daughter passed in-office food challenges to peanuts, almonds, and shrimp, so she now has to eat those foods on a regular basis, but I don’t plan to feature them heavily here since they are such common allergens.
I currently live in Brooklyn, New York with my daughter Z and my cartoonist husband Masheka Wood.
Welcome and happy allergy-free cooking!