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A blog about all things allergen-free and delicious

Entries in nut-free (13)


Roasted Sweet Potato Chips with Nutmeg & Cinnamon


This is the ultimate, healthy, B, C, and A Vitamin, Beta-Carotene-loaded, and anti-inflammatory-ily spiced side dish.  The fat of the olive oil actually, according to Worlds Healthiest Foods, enhances your bod's ability to absorb the beta carotene.  Cinnamon is one of the most studied spices for its anti-inflammatory benefits, too.  Another side benefit of this side, is the sweet potato's high content of tryptophan, which might make those late night rummagings a sleep-supporting win. 

Plus, if you need some lovin', this recipe is a quickie. 


Preheat Oven to 425 degrees


2 large sweet potatoes

1-2 TBS of olive oil

1-1/2 tsp sea or kosher salt

3 tsp of cinnamon (approximate - size of potatoes vary a great deal)

1/4 tsp of fresh grated nutmeg (approximate - just kiss each potato as you grate the nutmeg on the top)


Combine & Roast

On a sheet pan, place a sheet of parchment paper.  I like to use parchment because it helps veggies brown and caramalize, saves the pan (and if you place it correctly, you don't have to wash the pan... shhhh.  Don't tell anyone).

Slice the sweet potatoes to be about 1/4 inch thick for soft potatoes and quite thin for actual chips.  The thinner you slice them, the crispier the potato chips will be.   Both are really good.

Place the chips on the parchment lined pan, then pour about 1 TBS of olive oil in your hand.  Massage the oil over each sweet potato chip - tossing with your hands.  Then sprinkle the salt evenly over the chips, and again toss the chips in your hands to spread the salt to both sides of the potatoes.  Add more oil & salt if needed - depending upon the size of your tubers.

Evenly space the potatoes on the parchment - you want each chip's little bottom to be on the parchment (don't double up).  this way the bottom will be browned.  Sprinkle the cinnamon evenly over the top of each chip.  You can use a sifter to be exact, if you like.  I tend to use my fingers to pinch a little over the top of each.  Then grate a kiss of fresh nutmeg over each chip.

Place into the pre-heated oven and roast for 30-40 minutes.  Serve hot.

Makes a great partner to soup or roast chicken, or your favorite gluten-free sandwich.



Add a pinch of cayenne to your cinnamon for a little kick.  Thanks Marti & Lori!



According to FAAN (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network), Is nutmeg safe?

"Nutmeg is obtained from the seeds of the tropical tree species Myristica fragrans. It is generally safe for an individual with a tree nut allergy."



Recipe: Chimichurri Steak Salad


Our House

Our house in not air-conditioned, so during the sweltering days of summer, I resist spending hours cooking over a hot stove. This is a very fast recipe that can be made indoors or out, over the grill. It came to me out of convenience: I had a few chimichurri-marinated steak kabobs and a sliced vegetable pack from my local market and simply put it all together. Much of the flavor of the dish comes from the chimichurri sauce, and the balsamic-glazed grilled vegetables add a nice piquancy. If you can find the vegetable pre-sliced (I bought mine at Trader Joe’s), and marinated steak kabobs, by all means take the shortcut. Dinner will be ready that much sooner! If you want to make the dish from scratch, it doesn’t take much longer, and it tastes elegant enough to serve to company. Best of all, it’s naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free and nut-free and perfect for your TenderFoodie!

© Kyra Bussanich, 2012

Serves 2 hungry TenderFoodies!


Chimichurri sauce (recipe to follow)
8 ounces steak bits
8 ounces washed lettuce or salad mix
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
½ red onion, sliced
4 ounces sliced crimini mushrooms
½ bunch (about 12 spears) baby asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

Chimichurri sauce (recipe from

1/2 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons (packed) fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt


Put it Together


Add all ingredients to a food processor bowl fitted with a blade. Puree until uniform in texture (should not be a paste, but rather have some lumps and texture to it).

Place the chimichurri and the steak bits in a plastic bag, seal the end and squish the meat around to coat it with the chimichurri sauce. Meanwhile, wash and slice the vegetables and divide the salad between 2 plates. Set the salad aside. On the stove top or grill, heat a large sauté pan with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the mushrooms and red onion slices, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat until the edges of the mushrooms and onions start to caramelize and the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and the balsamic vinegar and sauté until the asparagus is tender, about 3 more minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside. Pour the chimichurri sauce and steak bits into the pan and sauté until the steak is done to your tastes, about 2 minutes.

Add the vegetables to the steak and toss to coat the veggies in the remnants of the chimichurri sauce, and divide the contents of the pan over the two salad plates.



About Kyra

Kyra Bussanich is the owner of Crave Bake Shop, and the first gluten-free winner of the Food Network's Famed, "Cupcakes Wars".  Kyra graduated with honors from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu patisserie program, which gave her a solid foundation of knowledge about classical French baking techniques which she was able to apply toward baking gluten-free.  Kyra was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder when she was 20 years old. Part of staying healthy meant switching to a gluten-free diet, avoiding all wheat and overly processed foods. Whenever possible, she uses local ingredients, and serves customers with multiple allergies, as well.


A Day of Meals for Tender Foodies!

Soy-, Dairy-, Gluten-, Nut-, and Egg-free




In keeping with the meal planning tips from Chef Jenny Brewer, here is the article I wrote for Women's Lifestyle Magazine's March Foodie issue.  This day of meals is free of the top 8 allergens and then some.







Variety is a "Must Have"

Variety is the spice of life.  Did you know that variety is also necessary for a healthy body? As we eat, each nutrient performs a set of very specific, highly complex tasks that keep us walking, talking and vibrant. Our bodies use magnesium, for instance, in over 300 biochemical reactions (according to The National Institutes of Health*).  

When you have multiple food allergies, it isn’t so easy to find the food that you need to be fabulous. You have to reject some habits and learn to cook new and different foods. Recipes that require no adaptation are scarce. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an entire day’s worth of recipes that are free of the top 8 most common allergens?  I asked Jenny Brewer, nutritionist and chef, to lend a hand in this delicious one-day meal plan.  Each recipe, even the dessert, is packed with nutrients.  Give it a try!

Quinoa Power Breakfast

From Elisabeth Veltman

See original post on

Prep Time:  5 Min.
Cook Time:  15 Min.
Serves:  2-4

Soak 1 cup of quinoa in water for 5 minutes. Run through a very fine strainer until the water is clear. Place quinoa into a medium to large saucepan. Add to 2 1/4 cups of water and bring the entire mixture to boil. Then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. White halos will appear around the grains when the quinoa is done. Keep a little liquid in the cereal to soak up the flax seed.

Add in 1/2 cup of ground flax seed.
Add 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon (add more, to taste)
Organic black raisins, organic dried cherries or cranberries
Continue cooking for 1 more minute until the flavors are mixed and the raisins warm.
Spoon into bowls with fresh strawberries, sliced (or your favorite fruit).
Top with 1 or 2 TBS of real maple syrup.  (Grade B or C.  No high fructose corn syrup should be anywhere on the label.)
Leftovers will keep 2-3 days. 

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Soup

From Chef Jenny Brewer

See original post on

Prep Time:  
20 Min.
Cook Time:  
35 Min.
Serves 6-8

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 Anaheim pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sweet potatoes (1 1/2 lbs), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 28-can whole plum tomatoes
1-cup water or vegetable stock
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
1 dried chipotle pepper (smoked jalapeño), seeded and chopped (easiest to do with scissors)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onion, pepper, garlic, and sweet potato chunks. Sauté, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
 Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon. Add water or stock, beans, chipotle, cumin, and chili powder, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Lamb Chops

Adapted from

See original post on

Prep Time: 12 Min.
Cook Time: 16 Min.
Yield: Serves 2 to 4

4 loin lamb chops, about 1 1/2 inches thick
½ cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper (optional)

Combine the vinegar, rosemary, garlic and salt in a large glass bowl (or an 8x8 shallow pan). Slowly drizzle and simultaneously which in the olive oil. Place chops in bowl and turn repeatedly to coat well. You could put all of the contents into a Ziploc bag, too. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours. Once marinated, remove chops from fridge and bring to room temperature (15 minutes). Preheat grill or grill pan for medium-high heat. Remove chops from marinade and place on a lightly oiled grill rack. Cook for 8 minutes on each side. Remove from heat, and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes.  Serve.

Not Your Mama’s Chocolate Mousse Tart

From Chef Jenny Brewer

See the original post on


1 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted*
½ cup popped millet**
½ cup raisins
1/3 cup dates, pitted
2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed mixed with 4 Tablespoons water and left to gel for 3-5 minutes           
Pinch of salt
In a food processor bowl, pulse pumpkin seeds and millet until seeds are ground. Add raisins, dates and pinch of salt and chop until everything is ground together. Add in flax mixture and pulse until sticky. Wet your fingers and press the mixture into 8-inch pie pan and keep refrigerated while you prepare the filling.

Chocolate Mousse Filling

2 LARGE ripe Haas Avocados 
(if your avocados are small, add another avocado or more and adjust the ingredients, since avocados vary quite a bit in size.)
1/2 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
3-4 TBS maple syrup (taste after 3 and add to taste)
1 TBS vanilla extract 
Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
Spread into crust and chill until ready to serve.

If you would like more naughtiness, double the filling for a more voluptuous tart.

*To toast pumpkin seeds, place them in a dry skillet over medium high heat, stirring until brown, about 5-7 minutes, being very careful not to burn.

**To pop millet, place in a dry, hot skillet over medium heat and stir constantly until you hear consistent popping.  Don’t burn.

Visit the recipes on for videos and more information.


About Elisabeth Veltman

Writer, owner of Blue Pearl Strategies, and lover of all culinary delights, Elisabeth is a Tender Foodie. She started The Tender Palate, a website for foodies with food allergies where she consults with experts from every area of the Tender Foodie life. She believes that everyone should live deliciously and have a healthy seat at the table. Find her at


Love is In the Air… Valentine Ideas for Your Food Allergic Child


Great ideas from Guest Blogger, Melanie Potock of


Allergen-free Cookies from Cybele Pascal


Recipe from Cybele Pascal
This weekend,  kitchen tables everywhere will be piled high with home-made Valentine cards or frosted with flour and cookie cut-outs as everyone prepares for the traditional Valentine’s Day Party at school. For kids with food allergies or sensitivities, new ideas for alternative crafts or treats are plenty and I’d love to share some of them here with you!
Let’s get right to it: cookies, that is.  I mean, you have to have a heart shaped cookie on Valentine’s Day…I’m pretty sure there’s a law about that.  When I laid eyes on these delectable allergen-free “melt in your mouth” cookies from Cybele Pascal, I knew I had found the perfect little hearts to share with you. 

Fun Valentine Cards & Activities


Speaking of little hearts, here’s a clever idea for a Valentine’s Day card that is not only from your child’s heart, but direct from his tiny hand! created this easy tutorial where you take a photo of your child with their hand reaching toward the camera and then simply put the token of your choice in his hand as a special Valentine treat!  Allergy free options might include an organic lollypop, a Starbuck’s card (for teacher!) or a one-word, handwritten message in your child’s own lettering, such as “KISS”.


Another option for cards takes a bit more time and definitely adult supervision, but I loved these “dotty valentines” using precision Q-tips™.  The Crafty Crow recommends acrylic or tempura paints (contains egg) but another option would be Allergen Free Non-toxic finger paints either homemade or from  India Tree Natural Decorating Colors , which are made from vegetables.  As always, check ingredients to ensure that your child is safe and consult with for craft supplies that may contain allergens.


Continue to challenge your kiddo’s fine motor skills with this lacing activity! Looking for an inexpensive class activity that doesn’t involve scooping up as much sugar and candy as little fists can hold and then piling it all on top of a processed cookie in less than 15 seconds?  This Valentine craft will keep tiny hands busy and the poor teacher won’t have to deal with 25 kids in a sugar coma after the party has ended.

Cupcakes!  GF, DF, Egg-free, Nut-free, Soy-free

Let’s do the teacher, the kids and the other parents a favor and bring in a sweet pink treat that can’t be beat…wait for it…yes, “Beet-iful Cupcakes by Gluten Free Gigi.  Bright reddish-pink cushions of heaven, thanks to the natural color of a roasted beet!  These are gluten, dairy, egg, soy and nut free, sweetened with honey and delish!

Gifts of Service

What I loved most as I explored all the options for Valentine’s Day, was this post that I felt gave the best examples of how we can express our love, even to those that we have yet to know.  Reach out to an army family, visit a nursing home, bring art supplies for Valentines to your local children’s hospital or write a message to the kids to help them heal... just like someone did here in the freshly fallen snow in Colorado!
It will warm your heart…and theirs.  
"Get Well Kids" written in the snow....
Happy Valentine’s Day Tender Foodies!

About Melanie

Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLPMelanie is speech language pathologist who specializes in feeding.  Her work brings her into the homes and schools of her clients, kids, who for various reasons have difficulty with food or with eating. She works with kids and their parents to develop effective strategies that help children become “more adventurous eaters”.  At least 50% of her clients have food allergies or intolerances, and for them, “adventurous eating” takes on a special meaning.  Melanie is also the author of Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids” and the executive producer of “Dancing in the Kitchen.”



More Posts from Melanie

How Can Parents Feel Less Stress with a Food Allergic Child in School?

Review:  The Magic of the BellyFULL Kit from the Hopeful Company





RECIPE: Black Bean & Sweet Potato Soup (Vegan, DF, GF, Nut-free, Soy-free)

Here is another great recipe from Chef Jenny Brewer, that uses the winter powerhouse called "Sweet Potato".  Chef Jenny will start guest blogging for us in March (2012), with cooking tips and recipes for Tender Foodies of all kinds.  I'm very excited to have Chef Jenny lending her expertise! 



Serves 6-8
Preparation Time:  
20 mins
Cooking time:  
35 mins



1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 anaheim pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 sweet potatoes (1 1/2 lbs),peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 28-can whole plum tomatoes

1 cup water or vegetable stock

2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained

1 dried chipotle pepper (smoked jalepeno), seeded and chopped (easiest to do with scissors)

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves



Warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onion, pepper, garlic, and sweet potato chunks. Saute, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon.  Add water or stock, beans, chipotle, cumin, and chili powder, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender.  Stir in cilantro and serve.


About Chef Jenny Brewer

Jenny Brewer is a nutritionist and chef who believes eating healthy should be easy, delicious and fun! She inspires individuals to stay committed to eating healthy with her free healthy eating resource, Tasty Bites with Chef Jenny available at





More Recipes from Chef Jenny

Not Your Mamma's Chocolate Mousse Tart (super allergen-free, healthy & delish, delish, delish)