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Cooking without onions, garlic,..., etc.

ChefRobert's picture

I mentioned this in passing on another thread, but are there any CT'rs who face the same problem we do?  My DW is totally intolerant to anything in the allium family, which, of course, includes onions, garlic, chives, shallots, leeks,....  If she ingests even the smallest quantity of solids it causes intestinal distress that turns into a wicked migraine in a matter of hours. This is not a new issue, it was discovered years ago during her first workup for migraines.  Cooking is not an issue since we just do not use any of the offending species.  Needless to say we are very label conscious and eating out can be an adventure, usually meaning a phone call to the chef and discussing the problem.  Some are very accomodating, others have the attitude we must be from some other planet.  Thanks.  Bob

What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!

What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!

RHart18's picture

(post #30891, reply #1 of 11)

Have you looked into digestive enzymes that may help?  Sometimes it's just a lack of a certain enzyme that digest the food properly (sort of like being lactose intolerant).  Does the same thing happen when it's powder?

ChefRobert's picture

(post #30891, reply #2 of 11)

Robin, thanks for the suggestion, but that is not a solution.  She is lactose intolerant and lactase works fine to control it.  No migraine from excess lactose, just gastric distress.  We have tried other digestive enzymes, but they do not work regarding alliums.  Bob

What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!

What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!

courgette's picture

(post #30891, reply #3 of 11)

We have a friend whose husband has the same problem. They eat out only where they know the chef. He has quite a long list including the cabbage family.

ChefRobert's picture

(post #30891, reply #4 of 11)

DW's intolerance is only alliums.  I cannot imagine having problems with cruciferous vegetables.  We have a couple of friends that have a problem with onions, but not to DW's extent.  It is interesting to find others that have food intolerances, these are not allegies, the symptoms are quite different.  Bob

What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!

What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!

pamilyn's picture

(post #30891, reply #5 of 11)

Bob, do NOT let DW have any of the chutney I sent.....Onions in there. Put the chutney in the fridge too. I sent it overnight express (I didn't process it) so there should not be a problem. Lots of vinegar and sugar in it.  Pamilyn

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

ChefRobert's picture

(post #30891, reply #6 of 11)

Pamilyn, thanks for the warning.  I guess I will just have to learn love rhubarb.  I will report back on my impressions.  If I find it a problem I will have to feed it to Elizaram and family when they get here.  Bob

What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!

What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!

samchang's picture

(post #30891, reply #7 of 11)

Sorry to hear this. Have you thought about making more Japanese food or going to Japanese restaurants? The greatest cuisine that doesn't feature alium in its traditional food. And even in soups, it's always easy to request leaving them out since they're just sprinkled on top.

ChefRobert's picture

(post #30891, reply #9 of 11)

Cooking at home is not a problem, herbs, spices and asafoetida make up for no alliums.  And, yes, we occasionally vist a local Japanese restaurant.  Unfortunately they moved a couple of years ago and their prices went way up and the quality went down.  She has never had a problem with Japanese food.  However, other Asian cuisine is another story.  I recall a long time ago, before she really understood her intolerance, we ate at a really good dim sum restaurant in Boston and she thought she was going to die from the resulting headache.  Needless to say Thai is out, and she is really careful at our favorite Chinese and Indian restaurants.  Not a lot of choices.  Bob

What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!

What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!

elizaram's picture

(post #30891, reply #8 of 11)

I read something interesting this week (and can't for the life of me remember where, LOL)... I know you are already familiar with Vedic Hindu cuisine, but apparently Mahayana Buddhists also avoid alliums (for similar reasons). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_cuisine


I don't know where you'd find restaurants or recipes for this particular cuisine, but it might warrant more research!



When I was young, all my friends were imaginary. Now that I'm older, all my friends are virtual.

ChefRobert's picture

(post #30891, reply #10 of 11)

Thank you daughter!  I will pass this along to DW.  Dad

What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!

What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!

chuckkeller's picture

(post #30891, reply #11 of 11)

I remember my Mother and Father, telling me that if God, closes a door, its for a reason. Look across the room! He's opening a window. ( Hay, wait-- that might have been a woman!)

If, at first, you fricascee, fry, fry a hen!

If, at first, you fricascee, fry, fry a hen!