The kitchen is the heart of every home, especially when cooking with food allergies. This month, we welcome Megan Lavin who shows us a peek into her kitchen for our “In the Kitchen” series.
Everyone manages food allergies differently. Some of us manage multiple food allergies and have allergens in the house, while others keep an allergen-free kitchen. We hope that by sharing our kitchens we learn tips and tricks from each other that will help make cooking more joyful.
Cooking with food allergies
Megan is a cookbook author of the popular book, “An Allergy Mom’s Lifesaving Instant Pot Cookbook; 60 Fast and Flavorful Recipes Free of the Top 8 Allergens” . Megan is also the writer, photographer and recipe developer of the much loved blog, Allergy Awesomeness.
This busy mom of four young kids aims to make family favorites while avoiding her two children’s multiple food allergies. Her oldest has EOE and both boys have asthma. Megan believes life can still be awesome, even with food allergies & tries to candidly show that through her social media, recipes and cookbook.
Megan’s Kitchen Tour
7 Questions for Megan about cooking with food allergies
1. Who cooks, gathers and eats here?
Myself, my husband and my four children. We often have my parents over too!
2. Food allergies you or your family live with?
Wheat allergy, gluten sensitivity, dairy, egg, peanut, tree nut, beef and goats milk.
3. Do you have food allergens in your house? If so, what influenced your decision?
We do. Having so many food allergies, and wanting my second son to have a varied diet, we felt we had to bite the bullet. It was scary at first–having the epi pen at the ready–but we’ve found a groove. It takes a lot of thought and vigilance and a lot of cleaning but with three other children we find it’s worth it for them.
I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer and it’s a very personal choice. It’s one I’m glad we’ve made though.
4. What is the best cooking advice or tip someone gave you?
Cook to the lowest common denominator.
5. Describe a meal you’re really proud of that you’ve cooked in your kitchen?
My chocolate birthday cake and chocolate frosting. I have people who don’t have food allergies say they look forward to my kids’ birthday parties so they can have it. That’s a huge compliment. Plus, I’m a choc-o-holic.
6. What is your favorite cookbook?
Mine, haha, because I poured so much heart, time and effort into it. And because I didn’t just make it for looks. I honestly rely on it and cook out of it every single week. It includes family favorites for sure.
A very close second is Cybele Pascal’s cookbooks because opening her cookbook was the first time I realized we might actually be able to eat “normal” food again. It was like lightning striking. I’ve been on fire ever since.
7. What’s on your menu this week?
- Monday: Homemade pizza
- Tuesday: Apricot chicken
- Wednesday: Apple bacon & spinach salad
- Thursday: Bruschetta & chicken pasta
- Friday: Lemon tilapia
- Saturday: Smothered pork chops
- Sunday: Taquitos and hopefully recipe testing a yellow birthday cake!
Thanks for sharing your kitchen with us!
Want more of Megan? Check her out here:
Shahla is a mom of two girls who live with environmental allergies such as asthma and eczema. Their food allergies include tree nuts, peanuts, sesame and other seeds. Shahla is trained as a Natural Chef who wants to share the comfort that cooking has brought her family. She believes that everyone, regardless of dietary requirements, deserves a plate full of color and flavor.