Welcome to Allergy Free & Cheap Like Me!

gluten, dairy, egg & soy free

I’m so happy you are here! I hope to create a place for you to find lots of information about food allergies, as well as, lots of goodies to help you not only eat better, but more affordably! Please feel free to share all of your own tips, tricks, and recipes too! Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you again very soon! You can read more about my allergy story here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lemon Artichoke Chicken Penne

This simple but delicious pasta dish is anything but plain. In fact it is so good, I'm sure it will soon become a household favorite! And of course it's allergen free!

1 pound chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts)
3 tablespoons gluten free flour (I used sorghum)
salt and pepper 
1 teaspoon dried basil 
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil 
1 cup white wine 
2 cups GF chicken broth (I use Pacific Natural Foods, check out the link for a coupon!)
juice of half a lemon 
1 jar capers, drained and rinsed
1 jar pitted kalimata olives, drained 
1 can artichoke hearts
1/2 pound of gluten free penne 
Vegan cheese (I used Daiya mozzarella style) - optional-it's very good without.
Gluten Free breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil

How to Make it:
  • Cut the chicken, about 2 large breasts, into 2 x 1/2 inch strips. 
  • In a small bowl combine, flour, salt, pepper, and basil.
  • Coat the chicken strips in flour mixture.
  • Pour the grapeseed oil in a deep, heavy frying pan and heat over medium high heat. Working in batches fry the chicken until fully cooked and browned on both sides. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  • Deglaze the pan with a cup of white wine scraping up all the browned bits. Reduce the liquid by half.
  • Add the chicken stock and simmer until it is reduced by about a third. Add the juice from 1/2 lemon and season with salt and pepper. 
  • While the sauce is reducing, make the penne. Boil it a few minutes short of being done (so if it is supposed to boil for 9 minutes reduce the time to 6 minutes). Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. 
  • Add the penne to the sauce and mix. Add the artichokes (cut into quarters). Simmer, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. If the sauce boils down add some of the pasta water about ¼ cup at a time to keep things moist. Add the chicken pieces and heat another minute.
  • Pour the mixture into a large ovenproof serving dish. 
  • Stir in the drained olives and capers.
  • Sprinkle the pasta with a few tablespoons of vegan cheese.
  • Top with the gluten free breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Place under the broiler for a few minutes until the top is golden brown.
  • Enjoy!

**To make gluten free breadcrumbs at home, cut a few slices of gluten free bread into small pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and seasoning of choice, then fry the bread in a pan or place in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes until toasted!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day Treat!

This Valentine's Day show your special someone how much you love them by treating them to this decadent dessert! What says Valentine's Day better than chocolate! 

Show your special someone how much you love them this Valentine's Day by making this Divinely Rich Mocha Chocolate Cake! It is sure to impress! The best part, it's allergen-free! 

Makes 2-9 inch layers, 3-8 inch layers or 36 cupcakes.

1-cup hot brewed coffee
1-cup cocoa powder
1-cup hot water
3-cups gluten free flour blend (I used 1 cup sorghum, 1 cup tapioca and 1 cup millet)
2-teaspoons baking soda
1-teaspoon baking powder
1-teaspoon salt
1-teaspoon xanthan gum
1-cup dairy free butter or shortening (I used Earth Balance, buttery spread)
2 1/2 cups sugar or evaporated cane juice
4 large eggs*
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

*For egg free, mix 1/2-cup applesauce with 2 teaspoons baking powder in a small bowl. In another bowl, mix 4 tablespoons cold water with 1-tablespoon egg replacer. Add egg replacer mixture to applesauce mixture. Add mixture to the creamed shortening and sugar and proceed with the recipe instructions.

How to Make It:
  • Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease pans
  • In medium sized bowl, whisk together the coffee and cocoa powder. Add hot water and whisk until smooth. 
  • In a bowl blend together flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum. 
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the margarine and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. 
  • Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs or egg mixture. Add the vanilla and mix until creamy. 
  • Blend half the dry ingredients into the batter, followed by half the cocoa mix. Blend in remaining dry ingredients and cocoa mix, mix on medium speed until smooth for about 2 minutes. 
  • Spoon the batter into prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Watch carefully.
  • Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.
  • After completely cooled frost with the "Mocha Buttercream Frosting". 
  • Enjoy!

This versatile recipe makes enough to frost a 3-layer cake. 
**For a wonderful vanilla buttercream frosting omit the cocoa and coffee and add 1-tablespoon vanilla extract.

Makes 8 cups

6 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons sifted cocoa
1/2-teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling hot water
2 1/2 cups shortening (I used Spectrum Organic Shortening)
3/4 cups dairy free butter (I used Earth Balance)
2 teaspoons coffee extract

How to Make It:
  • In electric mixer bowl combine, powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt.
  • With a whip attachment add boiling water and whip at medium-low speed until smooth and cool for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Scrape down the bowl add shortening, margarine, and extract to the sugar. Whip at medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Frost cake or cupcakes!
  • Enjoy!  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


As one of the exciting new things happening at Allergy Free and Cheap Like Me we are happy to announce we are going social! Yep that's right, we are now on Facebook! "Like" us on Facebook to get news about upcoming recipes, tips, and tricks. You will also be the first to find out about exciting new updates and events coming to the blog! Be the first to be "in the know" by connecting with us on Facebook!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Super Yummy Super Bowl Eats!

This Sunday cook up some easy but super yummy Super Bowl eats that will have your guests going home happy no matter who wins the big game!

You just can’t have a Super Bowl party without nachos. Make these super-loaded nachos for your guests and they will go home happy, no matter who wins! Just make sure to have extra ingredients on hand to make more because they will disappear fast! 

Corn Tortilla Chips
Shredded vegan cheese (I used my new favorite, Daiya vegan cheese, cheddar and mozzarella styles)
Black beans, rinsed and drained
Diced tomatoes
Chopped cilantro
Diced avocado
Jalapeno slices
Chopped green onion
Squeeze of fresh lime juice

How to Make It:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place chips on a large oven-safe plate, platter or baking sheet. Top chips with a layer of shredded vegan cheese.
  • Add remaining toppings to the chips-black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, jalapeno, green onion, and lime juice. 
  • Add one more light layer of cheese and bake in the oven until cheese is melted and beans are warm, about 10-15 minutes. 
  • Serve warm and enjoy!

These simple pizza bites are easy to make and great finger food for guests to eat while watching the big game. You can pre-make and pre-bake the crust the day before so come game day all you need to do is add the toppings and pop it into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes!  Decorate the pizza with your teams colors, or go half and half for the Steelers and the Packers using different colored toppings!

Steelers team colors are, black, gold, and white.
Packers team colors are, green and yellow.

Allergen-Free pizza crust (try my yummy pizza crust recipe!) formed into a square shape and pre-cooked. 
Tomato or Pizza Sauce
Sweet onion, chopped in slices or diced
Mushrooms, chopped
Black olives, sliced - (Steelers)
Orange bell pepper, diced - (Steelers)
Green bell pepper, diced - (Packers)
Yellow bell pepper, diced - (Packers)
Shredded Vegan Cheese (I used Daiya Vegan Cheese, both cheddar and mozzarella styles, cheddar for the Packers and mozzarella for the Steelers)

How to Make It:
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spread tomato or pizza sauce evenly on the pre-cooked pizza crust.
  • Add a light layer of both of the shredded vegan cheese styles to the entire pizza.
  • Sprinkle the onions and mushrooms evenly onto the pizza.
  • Cover one half (Packers) with the green and yellow bell peppers.
  • Cover the other half (Steelers) with the orange bell peppers and black olives. 
  • Add another light layer of the vegan cheeses over entire pizza, mozzarella on the Steelers half and cheddar on the Packers half.. 
  • Cook pizza for about 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked throughly and cheese melted. 
  • Cut pizza into square bite-sized pieces.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!

Okay, so this one is not at all allergen-free for me, but it is my absolute favorite recipe from before and my husband loves it. I have always gotten rave reviews every time I’ve served it, and it is a healthier take on store bought dip. So for your non-allergen guests, or if you can have dairy, this is a must make! Serve with bread, veggies, chips, pretty much anything you can dip! 

4 cups baby spinach leaves
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped

How to Make It:
  • Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 1-quart shallow glass baking dish or 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.
  • Place spinach in 2-quart microwavable casserole; add 1/4 cup water. Cover; microwave on High 2 minutes. Drain well, pressing spinach with paper towels to remove excess liquid. Chop spinach. (Or I just put it in a saucepan on the stove and cook for a couple minutes until the spinach is soft since we don’t have a microwave, either way works.)
  • In large bowl, beat cream cheese with spoon until smooth. 
  • Beat in mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, the milk, garlic and basil until well blended. 
  • Stir in spinach and artichokes until combined. 
  • Spread evenly in baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon cheese.
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through.
  • Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Groundhog's Day!

If you are unfamiliar with the tradition of Groundhog Day, it goes something like this; If the groundhog (named Punxsutawney Phil) sees his shadow, we are stuck with six more weeks of winter. If Phil doesn’t see his shadow, we luck out and get an early spring! 
Groundhog’s day is held of February 2 each year and the largest celebration is in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where crowds as large as 40,000 have gathered to celebrate the holiday since 1886. But how did this tradition come about? Well, there are many theories making the origins a bit unclear. It is said to have originated from an ancient European weather lore in which a badger or sacred bear would predict the weather. The holiday also shares similarities to the medieval Catholic holiday of Candlemas, the Pagan festival of Imbolc which is the seasonal turning point of the Celtic calendar celebrated on February 1 and involves weather predicting, and to St. Swithun’s Day in July. 
An interesting side note about Groundhog’s Day since I live in Alaska. Alaska does not celebrate it. Yep, that’s right, instead February 2nd is called Marmot Day. In 2009, then Governor Sarah Palin signed a bill to officially change Groundhog’s Day in Alaska to Marmot Day, it was said to be done because there are not a lot of groundhogs in Alaska. Now before you get too excited about ditching the “groundhog”, technically speaking a groundhog is a marmot, so really it is just one giant squirrel versus another type of giant squirrel. Nevertheless, it kind of takes the excitement out of watching Punxsutawney Phil wander out of his burrow, for some of us Alaskans!

So, this Groundhog’s Day did Phil see his shadow?  No, he has predicted an early spring this year!  Interestingly, Phil as seen his shadow 98 times and not seen it just 16 times since 1887!  Making this year rare!
Did you know, groundhogs are mostly herbivorous, primarily eating wild grasses and other vegetation, and berries and agricultural crops when available. Lets celebrate Groundhogs Day (or Marmot Day for us in Alaska) by following the groundhog and making it a “meatless” day by cooking up our most delicious vegan dishes!
Try my delicious apple stuffing or my homemade potato soup or make a veggie pizza with my yummy pizza crust! Enjoy! And Happy Marmot Day! ;)
Exciting things are happening at Allergy Free and Cheap Like Me!  Check back soon to find out about the new and exciting changes happening to the blog!
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