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Whether you have food allergies yourself or cook for someone with food allergies, you know how difficult it can be to find recipes that not only taste good but are safe to eat. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, around 20 million people in the U.S. have some type of food allergy — that’s a lot of people in need of tasty recipe ideas that are free from the most common food allergens. Luckily, Food Network star and Girl Meets Farm cooking show host, Molly Yeh, is teaming up with MadeGood, the makers of some seriously tasty allergy-friendly snacks, to curate a set of 10 allergy-friendly recipes.
We were lucky enough to sit down and chat with Yeh recently and she told us all about her new partnership, cooking for people with food allergies, and how to download the 10 free allergy-friendly recipes she crafted for MadeGood.
SheKnows: Molly, can you tell us a little bit about why you decided to partner with MadeGood to create these free-to-download recipes?
Molly Yeh: I’ve been a fan of MadeGood for a while my four-year-old Bernie, she lives off of their birthday cake granola bars. I’ve always felt very strongly about including everybody at my table and making everybody feel comfortable and feel like there are items that they can eat and really enjoy. I personally don’t have allergies, but I have people very close to me in my life that do. So it’s always been something that I’ve been aware of and allergy-friendly cooking has been something that I’ve always been very comfortable with. So when MadeGood asked me to create this recipe collection, I was really excited about it, because I do feel like there is always room for more awareness around allergy-friendly cooking
SK: A lot of people are aware of nut allergies, but what are some of the other common food allergies that more people should be aware of?
MY: Well, of course, there’s gluten and dairy. Some common ones that a lot of people don’t know about are sesame, tahini, and also coconut. So those were all allergens that I avoided in creating these and found some really delicious substitutes.
SK: What are some of the most common misconceptions surrounding food allergies and people who deal with food allergies, and what do you wish people knew instead?
MY: Well, first of all, I think that it’s not understood how widespread food allergies are. There are so many allergies, for example, sesame and coconut. I didn’t even know until recently that those were common allergens, but they are and it’s important to have that awareness so that you can be prepared to cook for your friends and cook for your loved ones. I think it’s important that people know that food is delicious without these allergens, so delicious meals are possible while also being inclusive of everybody.
SK: So speaking of these delicious, inclusive meals, what are some of your favorite allergy-friendly dinner recipes?
MY: So I’m super big into beans. There is a falafel fattoush salad in the recipe collection that I’m actually making tonight. I love it because it’s the ideal balance between fried food and crunchy fresh vegetables. So you get something that you really crave because I love fried food, but then you also get your veggies. Oh, and then Mujaddara was another recipe in the collection that features lentils and rice. And I call it the OG grain bowl because it’s a really traditional Levantine dish. and it’s so flavorful, and it comes together really easily so it’s great for a crowd, and it’s very cozy.
SK: Do you have any tips for creating an inclusive menu for a dinner or an event?
MY: Whenever I’m having people over, even if it’s a good friend that I know, I always ask, what are your dietary restrictions right now? Because it could be an allergy, it could be you know, I have a friend who was vegetarian for years. And then just last week, she told me ‘I ate meat now.’ So you never know when it’s gonna change. You always want to be respectful of that and make people feel as comfortable as possible. I always recommend making a dish that everybody can eat, even if not everybody is affected by an allergy or a dietary restriction. So, so find a dish that everybody can enjoy. And then that way that person doesn’t need to feel singled out.
SK: Where can people go to find the recipes you’ve created?
MY: There’s a link to download the recipes on the MadeGood website.
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