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The Joys of Cooking for a Picky Allergic Child: My Top Five Egg, Dairy, and Nut Free Recipes

If you are at all like me, you have been blessed with an incredibly picky eater. You know what I'm talking about: the foods can't touch each other on the plate, any new recipes are met with severe suspicion if not open hostility, and there is quite a limit to what will actually cross her lips. When she was two, for the entire year she literally ate only four specific foods: pasta, garlic hummus, cereal, and little orange fruit cups, and often TOGETHER. Can you imagine how that combination tastes? Whenever we would go out, as most allergy families do, we would tote her little bag of food around, wafting of pungent smells. My pretty, little girl, had full-on, adult-level, offensive garlic breath everyday. Well, after feeding therapy, and a good year of constant struggle, I finally convinced her to eat a larger variety of foods. She still eats all of the originals, but we've expanded into new territory, and I've been working to compile the list of egg, dairy, and nut free recipes that are reasonably quick to prepare and approved by my picky eater. Here are my top 5! If my child will eat them, there is a good chance yours might too. None of these are my original recipes; they are all from different websites and blogs. I've included the links. Enjoy!

1. Korean Beef Bowl

This recipe is featured on Damn Delicious which I love! It is 10-15 minutes from start to finish! Really! The great thing about the sauce, is that you can use it to marinate chicken, salmon, or steak tips also. It is very versatile and delicious! Below is a link to the original posting of the recipe, and instructions.

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, or more to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and ginger.

  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat.

  3. Stir in soy sauce mixture and green onions until well combined, allowing to simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.

  4. Serve immediately, garnished with green onion and sesame seeds, if desired.

2. Quinoa Fried Rice

This recipe was shared with me by a dear friend. I love it! It is loaded with vegatables and healthy grains. Below is a link to the oringal posting of the recipe and instructions. I add two tablespoons of brown sugar to the sauce, (just my preference).


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger

  • 2 carrots, diced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1/2 cup frozen corn

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 4 cups cooked quinoa

  • 2 cups shredded Brussels sprouts

  • 1 cup b]diced Jones Dairy Farm ham [/b], like [cranberry sweet chili ham

  • 1/2 cup snap peas, cut in half

  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large, flat-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger; cook 3 minutes, or until soft.

  2. Add the carrots, corn, and water; cook until the water evaporates and the carrots begin to soften – about 5 minutes. Add the quinoa, Brussels sprouts, ham, and snap peas. Cook 5 minutes.

  3. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, 2 tablespoons water, and sesame oil. Pour the sauce into the pan, mixing well to combine. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.

3. Roasted Chicken thighs

This recipe is a great standard and easy recipe to prepare chicken thighs. My picky eater loves it. The original link is below as well as the instructions.


  • 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 475°. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12" cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Nestle chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high; continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging chicken thighs and rotating pan to evenly distribute heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Transfer skillet to oven and cook 13 more minutes. Flip chicken; continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate; let rest 5 minutes before serving.

4. German Potato Salad

This recipe is a GREAT alternative to traditional potato salad that usually contains eggs. It takes me about 30 minutes to make and it is delicious. Note* You may want to add in the vinaigrette slowly because you may not need it all. It will make your salad too soggy if you over dress it!

  • 3 pounds new potatoes

  • 1 yellow onion, quartered

  • 1/2 pound bacon, diced

  • 1 large red onion, diced

  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 cup canola oil or olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 8 green onions, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves


Watch how to make this recipe.

Preheat the grill to high. Place potatoes in a large pot with the yellow onion and cover with cold water. Cook, on the grates of the grill, or on a burner, until tender. Drain, discard the onion, and cut the potatoes into cubes when cool enough to handle. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and cover to keep warm.

Place a large saute pan on the grates of the grill. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Add the red onion to the rendered bacon fat and cook until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully add the vinegar and mustard and cook for 2 more minutes. Whisk in the oil and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add the hot dressing to the potatoes and toss gently to coat. Fold in the green onions and parsley. Season again with salt and pepper, to taste.

5. Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I LOVE Beef Bourguignon, but three hours (!) who has time for that?! This recipe from The Food Network is a great alternative, just add more red wine, and less broth. Prep time is only 20 mins! Note * I do not serve with the garnish of sour cream, but the original recipe does.


8 hr 40 min


20 min


8 to 10 servings



  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, plus more for garnish

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for coating

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 pound small white potatoes, halved

  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, halved

  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 cup red wine

  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, chopped


Toss the beef with the paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Coat in flour and shake off any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook undisturbed until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, turning the beef as needed, until mostly browned, about 3 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the beef to the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker; add the potatoes, mushrooms, carrots and onions and stir to combine.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and stir until the oil begins to turn brick-red, about 1 minute. Add the flour and wine and whisk until thick (it's OK if there are some lumps). Add the beef broth, thyme, caraway if using, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a simmer, whisking; continue simmering and whisking until the gravy is smooth and thick, about 4 minutes.

Pour the gravy into the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. The meat and vegetables should be tender.

Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley. Serve the stew in bowls, sprinkle of paprika.

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