Sunday, November 10, 2013

Korean Cough Remedy: Honey Steamed Pear (Baesuk)

This natural cough and cold remedy has been used for generations in Korea and, with a few simple changes, can be allergy-friendly, too. Traditional Baesuk recipes use fill pears with honey, ginger, jujubes or dates and pine nuts. The honey in this recipe is a critical ingredient since honey is medically recognized as surpressing coughs as well as medicinal cough surpressants ( The ginger also plays an important role in this remedy as ginger is recognized for treating asthma and cold/flu symptoms worldwide ( The recipe is rounded out with a pear which offers about 10% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, known to boost the immune system.

However, not all of the traditional ingredients are beneficial to those with multiple food allergies. My recipe has replaced the dates, which are often cross-contaminated by nuts, and replaced them with prunes. Many cultures hail prunes as having medicinal benefits for colds and asthma. I have also chosen to omit the pine nuts because if you are seed, tree nut, peanut or pine allergic, you may also be allergic to this seed by virtue of cross-reactivity or actual allergy.  If you are not sensitive to pine nuts, you may want to include the pine nuts for added texture and nutritional value.

Honey Steamed Pears (Baesuk)

1 Korean/Asian pear (Anjou or Bose pear)
2 Tbs honey
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or finely sliced
1 prune, chopped
water, amount varies by cooking method

In a steamer:
  1. Fill steam pot with water, place lid, and bring to boil.
  2. Cut the top off of the pear and reserve.
  3. Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out the core from the pear.
  4. Place the cored pear inside the steamer.
  5. Place honey, ginger, and prune inside of pear then place top on pear.
  6. Place steam tray on steamer and cover with lid.
  7. Steam pear until soft to forks touch.
  8. Gently remove pear from steamer and place in a bowl.  Allow to cool.
  9. As it cools, the juices from the steamed pear with settle in the bowl to make a lovely tasting syrup.
  10. Drink syrup and eat pear with its contents to help coughs or colds.

In the oven:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the top off of the pear and reserve.
  3. Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out the core from the pear.
  4. Place the cored pear inside a clay crock.
  5. Place honey, ginger, and prune inside of pear then place top on pear.
  6. Add enough water to reach about 1/3 the way up the pear(s). 
  7. Place lid on crock and place in oven.
  8. Cook pear until soft to forks touch or water has steamed out (about an hour). 
  9. Allow to cool in the oven.
  10. As it cools, the juices from the steamed pear with settle in the bowl to make a lovely tasting syrup.
  11. Drink syrup and eat pear with its contents to help coughs or colds.

NOTE: If your steamer or crock will hold more than one pear, you may cook many at one time.  Just cook until pears are soft or water has steamed out of crock.

TO STORE: Place pears and juices in a bowl, cover and refrigerate.  You may reheat pears or juices in the microwave. You may also pour a little hot water over a cup of syrup to warm it up for drinking.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Homemade grilling rub

This year was an exciting one for us.  My angel is tolerating peppers and it has opened a whole new world of flavors. This rub is perfect for the grill.  Generously rub on a piece of tri-tip or sprinkle over chicken tenders for a simply delicious meal.

Angelic Grill Rub

1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C paprika
1/4 C garlic powder
3 T salt
2 T dried oregano
1 T Chipotle powder (optional)

Mix together ingredients and store in a jar with a shaker lid.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Simple Salsa

This summer was one of many food challenges.  Perhaps the most exciting was the one that showed a tolerance to cooked tomatoes.  WOW.... we had forgotten what we were missing!  Even my angel was thrilled to taste her first tomato sauce, pizza, meatloaf and more.

With school in full swing and football season upon us, this is the perfect time for a quick and healthy snack like Simple Salsa. This recipe is kid-friendly so there are no veggie chunks, easy on the garlic and onion with a touch of sugar to cut the acid.

Simple Salsa

1 box Pomi chopped stewed tomatoes
1/2 onion (may add more to taste)
1/4 red bell pepper
2 t garlic powder (may use 1-2 real garlic pods, if tolerated)
1 T dried chopped cilantro (optional)
2 t salt (add more to taste)
1 t sugar
Juice of one lime (optional)

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Puree ingredients until smooth.
  3. Taste and adjust salt and onion.
  4. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so flavors will blend.
  5. Serve with Bolder Olive Oil potato chips, sliced vegetables, hamburgers, or taco salad.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Adventures in Food and Allergies: My return

Three years ago, I began this blog to share with others our life with an allergic child.  As the world
learned more about children with multiple, severe food allergies, I began my journey as the mother and blogger for one very allergic child. I wanted to share with others the day-to-day struggles that we
call normal. I wanted to answer the questions that bombarded us daily. "What is your angel allergic to?" became the most dreaded question.  As I gave a quick and very abbreviated list of my angels allergies, the person's eyes would glaze over and a look of bewilderment would fill their faces. 5-4-3-2-1- I could count down to the next question, "So, what CAN your angel eat?" followed by, "Ohhhh, poor thing. I'm so sorry." These questions exhausted me. The pity. The bewilderment. These were not words that I associated with my angel.  Admiration. Strength.  This is how I viewed my child and how I wanted her to view herself.

Fast forward 3 years... I am now the confident mother of a very confident allergic child.  We still have days of struggle, weeks of struggle. We still get the questions and I still hate the pity-filled responses.  But, I have gotten better at using my words. I have regained my voice and with it have taught my angel to use hers, as well.

Over the past year, I have not written much.  I needed a break, a time to look inward so that I could look outward again. Cooking became routine and mealtimes often boring. There were hospital visits and food challenges, too many to share in one post. In the end, I have new recipes with newly tolerated foods and plenty of suggestions to go along with it. Although our family is still mostly grain-free, meat-eating vegans drawing from limited vegetable sources, there have been a few changes - changes that dramatically affected our meals. They inspired me. Potatoes, peppers and cooked tomatoes are foods that you can expect to see in my newest recipes... we've tried pizza and pasta and so much more.

For those who have been with me, thank you.  For those who awaited my return, an even bigger thank you. I am back and eager to share our newest adventures in food, allergies and allergy-free living. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rainbow of a Snack

The month of March is a busy one for recognizing the importance of health.  It holds such holidays as National Health Month, National Dental Month, World Kidney Day, Brain Awareness Week, and the list keeps going.  This makes March a great month to raise awareness of these issues and the benefits of eating healthy.

After school is a perfect time to encourage kids to eat healthy.  Instead of turning on the TV and plopping down with a bag of chips, let kids build fruit sculptures.  Ask kids to gather fruits or vegetables to represent the different colors of the rainbow.  Help the kids clean and prepare them then put each kind of fruit in a separate bowl.  Place silpats or plates, toothpicks, and a ball of Dduk dough (colored with beet juice) on each mat.  Now, ask the kids to use the Dduk, toothpicks, fruits and vegetables to build a sculpture.  Who  can build the most colorful sculpture? The tallest? The strongest? The possibilities are endless. Want to double their fun?  Join them!  Nothing is more exciting than seeing the creations, or mistakes, that parents make while playing with the kids. My angels shaped the dough (which they ate before I ever microwaved it) and used fruits to decorate their edible sculptures, eating as many fruits while working as they used in the sculpture itself!  But, the fun didn't end here.... everyone saved their sculptures to eat at breakfast.  You got it!  Afternoon fun for the kids and, with a little dry cereal on the side, tomorrow's breakfast is in the bag!

So, while kids dream of rainbows and search for green leprechauns, encourage them to eat healthy. Roll out some dough and pile on a rainbow of fun to help your angels recognize the importance of eating good, staying healthy, while having fun. Maintaining a balanced diet that includes all the colors of a rainbow helps kids find the true pot of gold - good health!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bullying & Food Allergies

Wouldn't we all love to think that our angels will never be bullied?  Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world where people didn't hurt other people?  Sadly, we don't live in that world.  In our world, some people push others around, intentionally say hurtful things, and regularly threaten their peers.... they bully others.  And, in our world full of allergens, the sad fact is that our angels are often an easy target for those who want to bully others.

Kids with Food Allergies has published many articles to help you and your children deal with food allergies and bullies.  Today's article "Bullying of Children with Food Allergies - How You Can Help" reminds us to talk to our children openly about bullies and what to do if they or others are victims of bullies.

Today, as many of you are home for the holiday, take time to chat with your kids.  Remind them, not only about bullies and what to do as a victim, but also remind them of how they can show kindness.  If our children can recognize kindness, then it will go a long way to helping them recognize unkind, bullying behaviors.

Stop bullying.  Be proactive.