Q: I have recently developed a sensitivity to chocolate. It's not a serious allergy, but the symptoms are just bad enough to be seriously annoying. My mother has the same sensitivity and her solution is 'don't eat chocolate.' This is highly logical advice that I am finding near impossible to follow!
Q: My roommate is allergic to corn, which while sometimes inconvenient, has been a great motivator to get us to learn to cook our own food. However, I have some recipes I'd like to try that contain cornstarch, like puddings and stir fry recipes. Are there other starches I can substitute?
Q: I was recently diagnosed with a slew of food allergies. Cooking has become a challenge, but I'm managing and am being very much a control freak about what I eat. But I'm facing a big family get-together in a rented vacation home with my in-laws and at this point, I don't want to go because of my food allergies.
It can be confusing and intimidating when you or a loved one starts a restricted diet of any kind. How do you go about preparing meals that fit within the restrictions, but are still satisfying and tasty? This year we tackled many questions about special diets, including the best gluten-free travel meals, diabetes-friendly desserts, good vegan meals that don't rely on meat substitutes, and 20 more, with tons of helpful advice from our readers.
When it comes to cookies, deliciousness usually arrives in the form of ingredients like flour, butter, sugar, nuts, and chocolate. So what happens when you can't eat any of these foods? In my case, you start playing with coconut.
What are the holidays without wheat, dairy, eggs, and refined sugar? Pretty dreary, I imagined — until I came up with this moist, richly flavored gingerbread cake that I will be happily baking for months, if not years, to come.
If you're allergic to soybeans or want to reduce your consumption of soy for other reasons, foods like tofu, miso, and soy sauce are out. A soy-free diet can be even harder if you're a vegetarian or vegan. Check out this list of soy alternatives and leave your own suggestions in the comments.
A few weeks ago after peeling and slicing a butternut squash, the skin of my hands became tight and red, and started peeling a little. It went away within 24 hours and I didn't think about it again, until I happened to read the comments on a recipe for roasted butternut squash pasta from several years ago. Many readers mentioned experiencing the same symptoms after cutting up butternut squash, which led me to some answers about this strange condition, including the best way to manage it.
Q: I'm allergic to mushrooms and have always had a difficult time trying to find a substitute in recipes where mushrooms aren't the star player, but figure prominently in the dish. Is there anything with a similar earthy flavor or meaty texture? I've heard that mushrooms have no equal. Please tell me it isn't true!