When you’re the Mum of a child with severe food allergies, meal times can sometimes feel like more of a chore than usual. There are hardly any allergy friendly “off the shelf” meals we can buy for a quick meal. Actually I’m not sure that’s such a negative really, when you consider some of the rubbish that is included in the off the shelf/frozen/takeaway meals!
As Miss J has severe allergies to dairy, eggs, peanuts, treenuts, takeaway meals are something she has never had. Would I love to drop by the golden arches now and then and not have to worry about cooking dinner? Sure, but in the long run, Miss J, and hubby & I are better for it. My cooking skills have definitely benefitted from Miss J’s allergies!
Before we had Miss J, hubby & I would regularly go to a local market (when we lived in the Hunter Valley we were surrounded by quality markets and local growers), and buy something new to cook for dinner. We would spend an afternoon cooking a goat curry or a crispy Chinese style duck. I still have the recipes, in my pre Miss J recipe folder!
Since Miss J had her first reaction, and subsequent allergy testing I have started a new recipe folder, a Miss J and allergy friendly folder. Every recipe, ones I have found, others I have invented myself, are safe for Miss J. They are free of dairy, eggs, peanuts, treenuts, some are free of soy, from when she was also allergic to soy. I plan to add more allergy friendly recipes to the blog over the coming weeks.
This allergy friendly recipe is one that I also made pre Miss J, and have been able to tweak to make it safe for her to eat also. If you have soy or wheat allergies, you could easily tweak this recipe also to make it safe for your family.
These allergy friendly Chicken Chia & Veggie Patties, which are dairy, egg, nut free, are now part of our dinner roster. At Miss J’s first meal of them she devoured 1 1/2 and tried to steal more from hubby & I!
The recipe uses some items that you might not be familiar with, some can be difficult to find:
Nature First Chia Seeds – We have been using Chia seeds since Miss J was first diagnosed with food allergies, back in late 2012, when she was 5 months old. I was concerned with Miss J not getting enough calcium in her diet with her being allergic to dairy. After much research we decided to give chia seeds a go. Chia seeds contain 630mg of calcium per 100g, compared to dairy having 125mg per 100g, no wonder it is being touted as a super food! We mixed them with rice milk to make a pudding that she had with every meal, just a teaspoon or two. She loves her chia now, mixed with soy milk, and demands it as part of her breakfast smorgasbord every morning! I buy the Nature First Chia at Woollies.
My Life Bio Cheese, Dairy Free – I buy it at Coles, I have recently seen that Woollies is stocking a Cheddar variety of this cheese, but am yet to try it. This recipe uses the plain cheese. It is vegan, dairy & soy free, the full ingredient list can be found on the company website linked above. The cheese has a very mild taste, Miss J loves it, she’ll have it on sandwiches or on it’s own, hubby & I are less enthusiastic, having been cheese addicts pre Miss J!
Orgran Corn Crispy Crumbs – I used to be able to buy these at our local Woollies, but the powers that be at Woollies has seen fit to remove a lot of non Woollies owned brand allergy friendly products, which is a shame. I now buy them at our local IGA, if you have an IGA close by, it is definitely worth a visit, I have found they have the best range of allergy friendly foods, for a “supermarket” not a specialty store. The texture of these crumbs is very fine, I use them in the patties, not as the outside coating, I find they work better that way.
Nisshin Panko Breadcrumbs – If you have never tried the Japanese Panko Breadcrumbs, and are ok to eat Wheat, they’re definitely worth a try. One of my next jobs is to try and make my own panko style breadcrumbs, as I’d like to remove some of the additives, but in small amounts, I’m happy to use these for now. They’re easy to find, being sold by Coles, Woollies & IGA. They’re more expensive than the run of the mill breadcrumbs, but they give a great crunchy texture to the patties. (I have used the Coles website link here as I can’t find a Nisshin site that lists ingredients).
Allergy Friendly Chicken Chia & Veggie Patties – Recipe
- 500g chicken mince
- 1 large zucchini, grated
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic, crushed
- 1 cup crumbs - I used Orgran Corn Crumbs
- 1 cup grated cheese - I used My Life BioCheese (Dairy Free)
- 2 tablespoons oil - I used Ricebran Oil
- 2 tablespoons herbs - I used dried Italian Herbs
- 1 tablespoon of Chia seeds, soaked in 3 tablespoons of water - I use Nature First Organic Chia Seeds
- salt & pepper to taste
- extra crumbs to coat the patties - I used Panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 180c
- Squeeze grated zucchini & carrot to remove excess liquid
- Place zucchini & carrot in bowl with chicken, onion, garlic, crumbs, cheese, oil, herbs
- Mix well with a fork
- Add Chia gel to bowl, mix well again with fork until gel is dispersed throughout the mince
- Shape mix into patties, mine were approx. palm size
- Place extra crumbs in bowl/plate
- Press patties into crumbs, flip over gently to cover both sides
- Fry on medium heat until golden on both sides, then place into oven on a baking tray for approx. 30 mins, turning after 15 mins
I would love to hear from anyone who tries the recipe, any feedback is welcome, I’m open to more recipe tweaking 🙂
Till next time,
Mel – ThisHappyMumma