Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Can you go vegetarian when you've got peanut/nut allergies?

I'm what you might call a vegan voyeur (boy am I asking for trouble from Google searches with that phrase). What I mean is that my Google Reader is filled with the feeds of countless vegan and vegetarian bloggers. I love reading about tasty vegan and vegetarian meals (and I even like reading the rants of hardcore vegan, non breeders - they are so in your face!).

But with a peanut allergy in our house, I never really thought that going vegetarian was an option for us. B isn't allergic to soy, so we can definitely have that, which is great, but a suggested protein in vegetarian diets is often nuts (like peanut or almond butter) or a main ingredient in dishes (like this delicious looking dairy free pasta - cashews make up a part of the sauce). At this point I would say that 60% of our meals are vegetarian. After reading the recent article about ground beef contamination in the New York Times, I can't even bring myself to eat red meat, much less feed it to my daughter. So we are leaning more and more towards eliminating meat from our diet. Could we eliminate it completely from our diets? Possibly. But honestly, I thought it would be too difficult and that a chicken wing would have to make an appearance now and then.

But then Kathy from Healthy.Happy.Life waltzed in to my reader today with this:

Ask Kathy: Can I go 'Veg' with my food allergies?

Kathy gives some great, realistic ideas for dishes you can make, and given that we only have the peanut/nut allergy to deal with, we can add her suggestions to all the soy/egg options as well.

Take a look and let me know what you think - it was great to see this issue addressed without having someone say "you can't eat peanut butter? eat almond butter instead!". I HATE seeing that - folks just don't realize that most peanut allergic folks are told to avoid all nuts due to cross contamination issues. Gah.

So thank you Kathy for the great advice!!!


ChupieandJ'smama said...

The boys (all 3) won't go veg, they are serious meat lovers. I could throw a carcass on the table and they would go to town. But me on the other hand: Not a big meat eater and I really don't eat red meat at all. And it's funny you brought up this topic because I just bought an eating "raw" cookbook from amazon last night. I'm just not sure what to do about all the tree nuts. I guess I'll just skip all that part or sub seeds or something. There was a recipe for vegan pumpkin pie (which I already make) but with a hazelnut/coconut crust (gluten free too). Sounds yummy except we can't do hazelnuts. Can I sub sunflower seeds with the coconut? I'm willing to try and see. Or maybe pumpkin seeds? I can't wait for the book to get here. I don't know if I can go totally "raw" but even if I do 2 out of 3 meals I think that will be an accomplishment and then vegan on the 3rd.... I'm willing to try:)

The Food Allergy Coach said...

Great article! I am not vegetarian, though I try to incorporate some veg meals into our weekly menu. I have attempted some raw recipes substituting sunflower and pumpkin seeds for nuts. It's a different taste, but often works well. I'm also loving hemp!

scowan said...

Love the sunflower alternative! Try www.sunbutter.com - tastes great!

Tommie said...

There are plenty of hardcore raw vegans who never eat nuts or peanuts. (Actually, peanuts are a legume and not a nut at all but you probably already know that.) I'm not quite that hardcore. I do eat nuts but I've gone without them with no ill effects for weeks at a time. Nuts and seeds really aren't essential for good health.