Monday, May 23, 2011

Peanut Dipping Sauce: Allergies Unwelcome

Sweet readers! Thanks very much for being so patient with us last week while we got drunk on Jagermeister worked on work-stuff. It was fun doing the wayback recipe thing - I hadn't looked at some of those in quite awhile, and it made me want lassis.

I had a different post set up for today, but instead, my entire body has been possessed by a zombie demon a nasty case of hives. So, instead of going to work and bringing home the bacon (mmm...bacon) like a boss, I'm sitting at HOTUS' computer, awaiting a swift and merciful end to my pain callback from the doctor. It's very exciting, unbelievably itchy, and also kind of weird, because this has never happened before, and I don't have any allergies, as far as I know.

And now there's one on my face. ARG.

Considering the circumstances, I figured this was as good a time as any to broach the subject of allergic reactions, especially since today's dish, Peanut Dipping Sauce from Catherine Walthers' Soups + Sides, should not be eaten by those with an aversion to nuts (doy). For those without allergies, it's an easy, relatively inexpensive sauce that pairs well with satay, vegetables, and dumplings, and makes for a nice changeup to straightforward soy sauce. One batch lasted us three different meals, and I'd make it again right now if I wasn't furiously attempting to scratch my elbow off my body.

Anyway, back to that allergy thing. It's a topic we've covered only briefly here on CHG, but a very important one, since it affects the way some buy, prepare, bathe in, and consume food. I know several people with dairy issues, one or two with severe peanut allergies, and I grew up with a girl who was allergic to sugar. At the time, her condition seemed inconceivable and tragic (NOTE: I was eight), but now similar immune system reactions are pretty commonplace.

Happily, there are more foods and food products available for folks with allergies, though there can always be more. We'll hit that topic in tomorrow's Ask the Internet, but in the meantime: Do you have any food allergies yourself, or have loved ones with shellfish, nut, soy, or similar issues? How do you cope?

And with that, I'm off to find a spiky hairbrush, so I may vigorously remove my epidermis. Happy Monday!


If this looks dang tasty, you will also find mucho happiness with:

Peanut Dipping Sauce
Serves 6
Adapted from Catherine Walther's Soups + Sides

6 tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter
½ cup light coconut milk
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1-2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (optional)

Mix everything thoroughly in a small bowl until smooth. Add more of any ingredient to taste as needed.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price Per Serving
110 calories, 8.7 g fat, 1 g fiber, 3.9 g protein, $0.30

NOTE: These calculations are without sriracha.

6 tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter: 540 calories, 48 g fat, 6 g fiber, 21 g protein, $0.62
½ cup light coconut milk: 75 calories, 7 g fat, 0 g fiber, 1.5 g protein, $0.85
1 tablespoon soy sauce: 8 calories, 0 g fat, 0.1 g fiber, 1 g protein, $0.09
1 tablespoon brown sugar: 34 calories, 0 g fiat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.01
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice: 3 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.13
1-2 teaspoon grated ginger: 2 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.10
TOTAL: 662 calories, 52 g fat, 6.1 g fiber, 23.4 g protein, $1.80
PER SERVING (TOTAL/6): 110 calories, 8.7 g fat, 1 g fiber, 3.9 g protein, $0.30

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S said...

Your cynicism was warranted, even at 8. There is no such thing as a "sugar allergy." There are conditions in which people may have adverse reactions to the consumption of certain sugars, but they are not immunologically-mediated, and therefore not technically allergies. I'm not just being pedantic here -- it's important to understand the difference between an intolerance and a true allergy, as they differ quite drastically in the extent to which the sufferer needs to avoid the trigger, and also in treatment.

Nony said...

in my late 40's, i developed an allergy to almonds and hazelnuts--the wheezing and asthama variety. i guess they can just come on and whollop you. i had the dreadfully itchy hives reaction to penicillin when i was pregnant back in the day. ugh. sorry you are a scratching fool. i mean, itchy.

Ebroe said...

Although I am deathly allergic to peanuts and have been an epi-pen carrier for nigh 10 years, I'm tempted to try this with almond or pecan butter. As for dealing with the bad allergies, I just ask if there are peanuts, peanut oil, peanut flour in any food at a restaurant or friend's house before I eat it. At the sign of any uncertainty, I eat something else. I rarely have a problem.

Anna said...

I just clicked through from the feed reader to say SO SORRY about your hives. :( I hope you can figure out what's wrong.

Kris said...

Thanks, you guys. Hope it's figured out soon. Y'all are very awesome.

Jeanie said...

Peanut sauce is my very best friend. Thanks a bunch. I haven't tried it with coconut milk, which sounds lovely lovely lovely.

Ash said...

I developed an allergy to shrimp (or more specifically, the iodine in shrimp) at 23. In one weekend I stopped being a New Orleans girl who ate shrimp more often than chicken and turned into a New Orleans girl who gets those sympathetic looks from her friends and family as they tear into their shrimp po-boys because if I eat one I'll get hives so bad I'll look like I was attacked by a hive of very angry mosquitoes. You can wait for the doc to call, but really the only solution is a dose of Benadryl and the drug-induced sleep that comes with it. Trust me, been there, done that.

A friend of mine almost died in a restaurant because of a sudden soy allergy. Her favorite cuisine was Chinese food and she ate it all the time. One night she went to dinner with her family, to the same Chinese restaurant they always went to and ordered her usual. A few bites in her throat swelled shut. Fortunately someone else in the restaurant had an Epi pen and rescued her. It's scary to think that one day your body could just reject what you're putting into it and you'll have no warning.

Gabrielle said...

I have no allergies whatsoever, but my 3 month old baby appears to have food allergies of some sort. As his nursing mother, I'm going through the process of eliminating foods in my diet to find out the cause of the bad eczema outbreaks he has been getting. I think I have it narrowed down to diary or peanuts.

As far as allergies go, dairy is frustrating to eliminate, but doable. So far, I've been developing a taste for almond milk. The difficulty lies in my love for cheese and mexican food.

Stephanie said...

The catering staff at every catered event I've ever been to have been super-helpful. I pull someone discreetly aside, tell them I'm allergic to shellfish, and ask if there's anything I need to avoid. No need to be all high-maintenance with asking the bride ahead of time - there's always something tasty, and no one wants me jabbing my Epi-pen (always with me) into my leg. I also usually eat something ahead of time, just in case.

Gretchen said...

I have severe allergies to corn and peanuts and milder ones to apples and carrots. I carry an epi-pen for the peanut allergy and for beestings which I also have an allergy to. In addition I have celiac disease, so I can't have any wheat, rye, barley, or oats.

I find that if I keep clear of allergens in general that I can usually tolerate an accidental exposure pretty well, and benadryl is really good for damping down reactions -- I carry it everywhere, and if I'm using it to counteract a strong reaction it doesn't even make me very sleepy. I actually have to be more stringent about gluten than I do about most allergens, because it does longer lasting damage to me. I haven't had to take epinephrine "in the wild" so far, though I've had a shot at my allergist's after a bad reaction to my allergy shots, and it's not my favorite thing in the world (definitely better than the alternative, though!) Usually my allergy shots just make me very sleepy, though, which is a small price to pay for having less chance of wheezing and a better time with allergies overall.

Allergies can come on later in life; while my asthma and hay fever started in my teens, the food allergies and gluten intolerance didn't develop until later.

Obviously this has drastically changed what I can eat, but I'm actually eating much healthier food now than I was before, so there's a silver lining. Even though I can't eat some common foods, I still love food and I have a huge list of foods I can eat. We eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and we eat with the seasons.

Oh, and while I have no problems with tree nuts so often use almond butter in place of peanut butter, I find that sunflower seed butter is an even better replacement taste and texture wise, substituting easily into any recipe calling for peanut butter. Pumpkin seed butter is also very tasty.

Kate said...

My hubby is deathly allergic to peanuts and pinenuts, and has been since he was a wee baby nearly 40 years ago.

I, on the hand, never had allergies growing up, so it's been quite an adjustment.

Hubby carries and epipen around 24/7, always always always asks if there are peanuts/peanut oils/pinenuts in the food or used around it, and we check the ingredients list of anything we buy at the grocery store with a fine-tooth comb.

He has an issue about every 18 to 24 months this way, usually as a result of human error:

1) Went to a restaurant in Chicago, ordered the fish. The waiter went back and forth between him and the kitchen like 5 times, inquiring about sesame, sesame oils, etc. He had an allergic reaction the second he took a bite. Turns out the chef had forgotten that he had put a "teeny weenie" bit of peanut butter in the glaze for texture.

2) Pomegranate-blueberry popsicles from the grocery store. The package didn't say "maybe contain peanuts". Turns out the company had misprinted the box.

3) Probably the most egregious: A local baery near us crushed up peanuts and soaked them in almond extract before using them as a cookie filling. Assured my MIL that they didn't have peanuts in them. Hubby ate half a cookie before he realized it was peanut paste (thanks to the strong scent of the extract); spent 4.5 days in the ICU.

As for me, I went to Thailand and took a Thai cooking course so I could come home and cook peanut-free Thai for said very-loved husband. I had really missed the Thai restaurants before that...

Kristen » said...

If I just straight out listed the weird foods I'm allergic to, it will make me sound like a nutter, soooo here's a post I wrote about how much it sucks to be a food blogger with food allergies:

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Kat said...

I have been dealing with hives for over 3 months, so I feel your pain.

As for food allergies, while I don't have one, I seem to have a wheat intolerance. I just try to avoid it, but if I have a trace amount, I'm ok. More than a slice of bread and I'm feeling terrible the next day. :(

Ashleigh said...

That looks delicious! I'll have to attempt it :) Have you ever tried Organicville's sriracha? It is truly delicious and is gluten free, preservative free, and vegan!