rainbow pasta from allergies, away!

Recently, Mr. Cornelius and I finally made one of the recipes from the Park Sisters’ new cookbook, Allergies, Away!: Creative Eats and Mouthwatering Treats for Kids Allergic to Nuts, Dairy, and Eggs (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013).

We wanted to whet your appetite for their upcoming visit next month and share a few details about their mouthwatering, kid-friendly collection of 70+ recipes — dishes your entire family can enjoy making and eating, whether they have food allergies or not.

Credit: Teddy Wolff/WP Express

If you remember when Frances and Ginger stopped by to tell us about their beautifully written, heartfelt memoir (Chocolate Chocolate: The True Story of Two Sisters, Tons of Treats, and the Little Shop That Could, 2011), you know that they own Washington, D.C.’s, premier chocolate boutique. Imagine how disheartening it must have been when they discovered that Ginger’s one-year-old son, Justin, had severe food allergies, making it too risky for him to even visit their shop!

When Ginger was pregnant, everyone assumed her child would be the proverbial “kid in a candy store.” Though Justin had to stay far away from chocolate covered peanuts, he did grow up eating a nice variety of tasty, nutritious meals and snacks, thanks to the conscientious, resourceful efforts of his mother and aunt.

With Ginger as chief food scientist, Frances as sous chef, and Justin as discerning food critic, they were able to replicate many typical childhood favorite comfort foods using vegan cheeses and mayo, soy milk and tofu, and dairy-free sour cream, cream cheese, and chocolate chips. Just because you’re allergic to dairy, nuts and eggs doesn’t mean you have to miss out on pizza, mac and cheese, onion rings, pancakes, lasagna, brownies, biscuits, and bagels — and none of it has be bland or boring!

Justin (now a teenager) has given all the recipes in Allergies, Away! his highest five-star rating. These days he makes pizza for all his friends. It’s likely they also enjoy polishing off his favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies and a bowl of White Bean Turkey Chili with Oh-So-Sweet Cornbread Muffins on the side.

For our first test recipe, Cornelius and I decided to go for something light, since we’re still in summer mode here in Virginia. Rainbow Pasta fit the bill perfectly.

This sweet and savory pasta makes a perfect lunch entrée or potluck dish. We had ours with barbecue chicken. Len immediately asked for seconds and Cornelius bragged to the other furry kitchen helpers about how easy it was to prepare. If you’re able to get your hands on some homegrown plum tomatoes, even better. Yummers all the way!🙂

* * *


8 ounces penne pasta
1/2 cup red grapes, halved
6 large pitted black olives, sliced
4 plum tomatoes, diced
3 cups sliced romaine lettuce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons soy butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to the package instructions, until al dente.

Put the red grapes, olives, tomatoes and romaine into a large bowl. Drain the pasta and pour over the grapes and veggies in the bowl. Mix in the olive oil, soy butter, soy sauce, and pepper. Add the vegan mozzarella cheese and toss. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yields 4 servings

* * *

Chapters featuring Yummy Starters, Ultimate Sides, Marvelous Entrées, Mouthwatering Treats, Yay Cookies and Muffins, and Desserts are interspersed with sequential Allergy Reports, tracking Justin’s doctor visits and progress from Ages One to Thirteen. Each recipe is prefaced with an interesting family story or anecdote — a nice personal touch that invites you into their close-knit fold and makes this book a genuine pleasure to read.

Of course Ginger and Frances have included quite a few chocolate recipes — should I try the Chocolate Breakfast Muffins, Deep Dark Chocolate Pudding, or Justin’s 5-Star Truffles next? Oh, and did I mention the Creamy Tomato-Basil SOUP and the Seoulful Half-Moon DUMPLINGS?! This is a cookbook after my own heart.🙂

So, stay tuned for my chat with Frances and Ginger. Meanwhile, check out the Allergies, Away! Facebook Page for lots of recipe photos and links to other reviews and articles. You can also see more sample recipes in this book preview. For information about all the Park Sisters’ books, visit their official website.

* * *

by Ginger Park and Frances Park
published by St. Martin’s Griffin, May 2013

Paperback original, 240 pp.
*Also available as an eBook

* * *

nonfiction_mondayToday’s Nonfiction Monday Roundup can be found at Stacking Books. Cruise on over and check out the cool posts being shared in the Kidlitosphere this week.

* * *

wkendcookingiconThis post is also being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share their food-related posts. Put on your favorite bib and join the fun!





Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

25 thoughts on “rainbow pasta from allergies, away!

  1. This book sound mahvelous! And good for adults with food allergies too. I suffer from dairy allergy. Although my allergy is thankfully not life-threatening, eating something with dairy can make me pretty miserable. I’ll have to get a copy of this book. Of course, the first recipe I try will be something chocolate. I like the idea of finding a chocolate pudding recipe that I can actually eat. — I’ll be anxious to read your upcoming blog about these two sisters and their inspiring book.


  2. Hi Terri,

    If you can tolerate soy milk you can make the pudding! These days there are good alternatives for those allergic to dairy — both soy and almond milk work well especially in baked goods. I remember 10-15 years ago, when soy milk was chalky and inedible. They’ve come such a long way, thankfully, in making it both versatile and delicious. I love soy ice cream, too🙂.


    1. Jama, I use almond milk all the time. I’m not crazy about soy milk, because there is some controversy about it being high in estrogen and increasing breast cancer. — But almond milk is fine and I like the coconut milk ice cream alternative. It’s very rich and yummy.


      1. Yes, I also like the coconut milk ice cream — very creamy and delish.

        Because there is some controversy about soy milk, I like to alternate what I use. I’m not allergic to dairy per se, but have some sensitivity to it. So for me, it’s a little soy milk, a little almond milk, a little 2% cow’s milk. I think moderation in anything you eat is a good rule. I also don’t drink all my water from the same source.🙂 Have you tried to make puddings with almond milk?


      2. No, I haven’t tried pudding with almond milk, but I do find other recipes that I can substitute it for the milk. — Yesterday I made chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting and substituted coconut oil for the butter. The were good but the coconut taste overpowered the peanut butter in the frosting. I think it’s a good switch sometimes, but you have to realize whatever you make will taste coconutty. (I know that’s not a real word.) You know, I just thought about it and I could have just subbed peanut butter for the butter. — Next time.


  3. This is going to be a great find for some parents who have allregic kids. I am sure they would love to have this handy! DD will find the chocalte recipes interesting though🙂 Thanks for sharing at Non Fiction Monday.
    -Reshama @StackingBooks.com


    1. Yes, this is definitely a great resource especially for parents with kids newly diagnosed with food allergies. Best part is that these recipes are Mom and kid tested; nothing better than hearing from a family sharing their personal experiences. I imagine it can be very intimidating and frustrating at the beginning wondering what to cook, how to cook things the child will actually eat!


    1. Happy Monday, Margie! Thanks for the tweet! Ben was nice enough to give me permission to use his cover illustration for my blog header for September.🙂


  4. I like rice milk too🙂. Mr. Cornelius claims he’s allergic to liver and vegetables, but I think he’s just saying that because he doesn’t like to eat them.


  5. Now I’m hungry just looking at the photographs here. Seems like a wonderful read, Jama. Husband though does not have much use of recipes as he prefers youtube (hehe), I am a recipe-kind-of-girl though. Will check this one out.


  6. What a great book. That pasta dish looks wonderful — so pretty. I can’t wait to suggest this book to friends with allergies or who have kids with allergies.


  7. That does look like a delicious salad – I wouldn’t have thought of that combo as working, but clearly it did! A good way to use all of the grapes that are on sale this week!


Comments are closed.