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Allergen-free recipes for Chinese New Year

February 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Milk, eggs, nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat are foods that are responsible for 90 percent of food allergies and they're found in a lot of Chinese foods. That leaves those with food allergies taking a pass on Chinese New Year favorites. We'll show you some celebratory foods that are allergen-free.

"I really wanted to create some delicious allergy friendly Asian recipes, Chinese recipes, because that's actually something that's generally hard for people to find," said Cybele Pascal, author of "Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking."

In her book, Pascal made smart ingredient swaps, starting with SunButter Dan Dan Noodles.

"People traditionally eat long noodles on the Chinese New Year because they represent longevity, long life," said Pascal.

The longer the noodle, the longer the life, so don't cut it. Use sunflower seed butter in place of peanut butter. In lieu of soy sauce or tamari, she uses an alternative of coconut amino acids, which has 65 percent less sodium and made from fermented coconut sap.

Canola replaces peanut oil and quinoa corn linguini is used instead of standard wheat pasta. Ginger, garlic, onion, cilantro, cucumbers and sunflower seeds make the dish tasty and authentic.

"These are wonderful gluten-free noodles, and they really hold their shape," said Pascal.

They closely resemble traditional egg noodle color, although brown rice pasta can be used.

"Not only is this a 30-minute meal that is free of all top eight allergens and gluten-free, it's really simple to make ahead of time," said Pascal.

Her lettuce cups have dark meat chicken, chopped up veggies, water chestnuts for crunch and a homemade soy-free, wheat-free, gluten-free Hoisin sauce.

The finale is a lightning quick dessert, nature's candy.

"Oranges represent also prosperity, new growth and the sweetness of the New Year, which I think is a lovely concept," said Pascal.

The Coconut Amino Acid and SunButter can be found at Whole Foods or other Natural Foods Markets, and the Sunbutter can also be found at Trader Joe's.

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