Receive 20% off Memberships and Preview the new book!

Get 20% off this Thursday:

A simple and brief announcement today!

Starting this week on Thursday the 16th until next Wednesday the 22nd of December, we’ll be offering 20% off all memberships to the new menu planning website.

If you’ve been curious about the prices for the memberships, here they are:

Pre-order Prices for Basic Membership:

  • 1 month:  $15.96 (normally $19.95)
  • 3 months:  $38.36 or $12.78 a month (normally $47.95)
  • 1 year:  $115.16 or $9.59 a month (normally $143.95)

Plus, we’ll be offering Lifetime Memberships for a great price to people who have purchased a menu planner or e-book from Heart of Cooking in the past.

Click here to subscribe!

Get the Substitutions for Allergy Free cooking ebook for FREE:

I just finished a new e-book called Substitutions for Allergy-Free Cooking, a 72 page guide book for people on limited diets who need help finding substitutions for common and not so common food allergens.

I will be giving it away for FREE this week to anyone who pre-orders a membership during this time frame.

Want a sneak peak of the Substitutions for Allergy-Free Cooking e-book?

You can read the first 11 pages of the book including the following dairy free substitutions and recipes:

  • Butter
  • Recipe for Butter Alternative
  • Butter Substitutions
  • Yogurt
  • Yogurt Substitutions
  • Cheese
  • Recipe for Vegan Cheese Sauce
  • More Dairy Free Cheese recipes
  • Cheese Substitutions
  • Nutritional Yeast Substitutions

Click here to read the first 11 pages

I hope you enjoy the sample!  Have a great week!


Butternut Squash “Risotto”

Welcome to the new website! I hope you find it even easier to navigate and enjoyable to look at.  Also, check out our new video if you haven’t had the chance yet!  You can find the link on the sidebar…  For some reason I can’t figure out how to link to it and will have to ask my wonderful web programmer.

The site was supposed to launch on the 15th so if you’ve been waiting, I apologize for the delay.  After Thanksgiving we’ll be diving into working on the member site portion which will hopefully be done sometime in January.

I am feeling a need for a break from the more technical areas of my work, so I thought I’d post a new recipe for you today!  I am very excited about this one.  I am finding that the cauliflower rice is very versatile and works in so many wonderful dishes you’d normally use regular rice in – like Chicken and Rice Soup.  So I thought I would give Risotto a try and I ended up loving it.  I believe my son would have loved it had I not put so much garlic in it!

If you’ve never made regular risotto with Arborio rice, it is really quite easy and not as hard as it may seem.  The main trick is the heat the stock apart from the rice in a separate pot, and then slowly add it to the rice as it cooks, stirring very frequently.

I used the same idea in this recipe, however I didn’t use nearly as much stock as you’d use in regular Risotto. I didn’t really consider this to be a Thanksgiving recipe but I am sure this would make a lovely addition to the table!

So here you go:

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Pumpkin Spice Cookies (egg-free, grain-free and sugar-free)


My mom created this very yummy recipe for pumpkin cookies and we were both very pleased with them!  I really couldn’t resist them even though I’ve been cutting back considerably on eating honey and dried fruit these days.

She based this recipe on my other grain-free cookie recipe.  But these are much more moist and plump.  If you love soft-baked cookies, these are for you.

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New Menu Planning Member website for people with food allergies and limited diets

42-21091103This is *finally* a proper announcement about what is soon to be changing with Heart of Cooking and the Nourishing Foods Menu Planners for limited diets and multiple food allergies!  I will list the upcoming changes down below, but I will first give you a little background…


When I started creating weekly menu planners for people with food allergies in November of 2008, I quickly learned that making meal plans for people on limited diets is tricky and complex! This is mostly due to the fact that people’s allergy lists are always slightly different.  Add in likes/dislikes as well as vegetarian verses meat eater diets and you get a whole slew of variations of menu plans!


I started to solve this problem in the Spring of 2009 by creating menu planners specifically for certain allergens such as dairy, gluten, soy and nightshade vegetables.  I also included substitution sections where people could reference different foods they could use to replace ingredients in a recipe.

When I discovered the GAPS diet, SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and the Paleo diet, I created menu planners for these specific diets as well.  It’s been great – people have received what they need to a certain extent and I am grateful as my business has grown.


But it hasn’t been enough!  People continually email me and tell me about their long list of foods they have to avoid.  The main problem is I haven’t been able to keep up the requests of creating new menu planners.  Lots of people have been requesting completely vegan or vegetarian menus as well as other specific diet menu planners such as a Candida diet menu planner. Furthermore, people want plans that include breakfasts, lunches and snacks.

So, I decided it was time to go onto my next step of creating a membership site for people with multiple food allergies and limited diets.  The original idea for this came from doing research online for other menu planning services.  The menu planning sites that appealed to me the most were the ones that allowed their members to change recipes within a menu planner or create a custom meal plan for the week.   Also, the shopping list would be updated if someone changed a recipe.

This format seemed to be the solution for creating menu planners for people with specific diets and multiple food allergies because people could change recipes in the plans very easily.

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Ground Turkey and Apple Stuffed Butternut Squash Recipe


I shop regularly at the Common Market, the local food coop in Frederick, Maryland.  Last week they had a new recipe out which looked really good so I grabbed a copy.  I made some adjustments due to time and diet, but I really loved how this recipe turned out.  And Elijah even said, “this is really good, mom!”  very matter-a-factly.

The original recipe had breadcrumbs and an egg in it, but I left these out due to allergies and wanting to keep things simple.  I also didn’t have time to bake the stuffing again in the oven.

Ground Turkey and Apple Stuffed Winter Squash Recipe
This is a great Thanksgiving dish or simply a nice fall dish with wonderful savory flavors!

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Free-Giveaway at Naturally Knocked Up

menu planner

I wanted to let you know that Donielle at NaturallyKnockedUp.com is doing a FREE Give-Away of one of my menu planners!  So if you’ve been meaning to give one of my allergen-free menu planners a try, this is a great chance to take a advantage of this Free Give-Away.

Here is a list of the menu planners I have available thus far:

Meat and Seafood Diets:

Seafood/Vegetarian Diets

So, head on over to Naturally Knocked Up and leave a comment by this Saturday October 23rd by Midnight for your chance to win a free monthly menu planner.

Good luck!


Thanksgiving Allergen-Free and Limited Diet Menu Planner

parsnipcarrotsoupAre you on a limited, allergen-free diet but want to enjoy Thanksgiving with delicious baked goods and foods you would normally eat on a “regular diet”?

You’re in luck! Because last year I created an allergen-free menu plan for Thanksgiving.  I’ve made some minor changes to it and have it available for purchase this season for the same price until October 31, 2010.

After I created the menu planner last year, I realized it was a real steal at $4.95.  So,  starting November 1, 2010, I’ll be raising the price from $4.95 to $5.95.

Click here to go to the sign up page.

It is a yummy and beautiful menu plan for Thanksgiving day that is free of the following food allergens:

no dairy – (butter is used but alternatives are given)

no gluten – all grains and products containing gluten

limited grains – There is a recipe for wild rice stuffing for people who can eat rice. All desserts are grain-free.

no sugar – only natural sweeteners are used, such as raw honey and maple syru

no soy – no soybean oil, lecithin, and other soy products

limited starches – there is a regular mashed potatoes recipe as well as a mashed cauliflower recipe for people who can’t eat starch or nightshades.

no corn

no beans and legumes

Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Crust

Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Crust

egg-free options – there are two egg free desserts and many other egg-free options

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Grain-free Cauliflower Rice

cauliflower-riceThis may not be new to some of you but I wanted to post it for those of you who don’t know about the wonders of cauliflower and how it makes amazing rice!  I first saw the idea to make it at GrainFreeFoodies where Sierra makes an awesome looking Fried Rice with it.  She also recently posted a recipe for Spanish Rice which looks to die for.

Then I saw a simpler version at Mark’s Daily Apple where he flavors it with garlic and green onions.  Most recently, Elana did a posting about it as well where she sautes it with onion and celery.  So, you can see it is just as versatile as plain rice.

You can also cook it a couple different ways.  Many of the above recipes saute the cauliflower rice after the onions or other veggies are cooked, but you can also steam the cauliflower rice by itself like Sierra does in the Fried Rice recipe.

Because I usually make it with another dish like  Chicken Curry, I usually keep the rice very simple and let the flavors of the sauce spice it up.  So I really just add salt, pepper and a little butter or coconut oil to mine.  In the above recipe, I did the same thing – however, it was a little plain by itself with the chicken and wax beans.  So if you plan on making the cauliflower rice as a dish by itself, I would recommend adding some sauteed onions or garlic to it.  Another idea would be to add some pecans or raisins to make a rice pilaf dish.

So, here’s my very simple Cauliflower Rice recipe:

1 head of cauliflower (you can use a hand grater, the grating devise on your food processor, or simply process it with the main blade in a food processor)

salt and pepper

butter or coconut oil


1.  Chop up the cauliflower into medium sized chunks.  Choose your method – hand grater or food processor.  I personally use the main blade on my food processor, but I think the grating devise would work great.  I process it in batches – maybe 1 or 2 cups at at time.  You basically want to process it only just enough to make it into small rice-sized pieces.  Don’t over-process it otherwise it will turn to mush.  Continue method until all the cauliflower is grated or cut up into small kernels.

2.  Place chopped cauliflower rice into steamer basket.  Bring to boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Steam for 5-8 minutes, or until cauliflower is cooked through, but still retains the rice texture.  Drain water and then add salt, pepper and butter or oil to season.

3.  Enjoy with Chicken Curry or any other kind of dish you would enjoy plain rice with.



Review of Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender

Smart+Stick+Hand+Blender+in+Brushed+StainlessI could quickly sum up this review of the Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender by describing it in one word:  Fantastic!  But I will say a bit more about it since I love it so much!

I received this stick blender from the CSN stores in order to do a review of one of their products – thank you very much CSN!  Like I mentioned in my previous review of my Cuisinart Quick Prep Stick Blender, I wasn’t too happy with it’s performance.

A few things that I don’t like about the Quick Prep blender are:

  • It never really got the soup or smoothie really smooth and bits of food would get stuck in the plastic surrounding the blade.
  • It was a pain to clean because the blade doesn’t detach from the motor.
  • Plastic instead of stainless steel.

However, my new Smart Stick blender – the one pictured above – really performs so much better than it’s little brother.

The number one great thing about the Smart Stick Blender compared to the Quick Prep Blender is that it actually gets the food smooth!  Plus, food doesn’t get stuck in the holds on the side of blender like the Quick Prep.  When I make smoothies with it, it blends up the fruit quickly and very smoothly – so yummy!  My smoothies made with the Quick Prep were always a bit lumpy.   Because of this, my son was never very fond of them – go figure!  But yesterday I made a smoothie with the Smart Stick and he said, “I do really love this smoothie, mom!”

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How to stay on a limited diet


Last week I spoke with a lovely woman who was having a hard time sticking to her allergen-free limited diet.  She said she would do great for a while, start to feel healthy and then she would start to eat the things that make her feel bad again.  She  said she missed the carbs and craved breads so this is where she would cheat.

Does this sound familiar?  I personally went through this up and down roller coaster for years before I was able to stay on the diet I’m on now.  It is simply very hard living in a world that offers you food left and right that may taste good to you but will ultimately make you feel sick.

For me, I convinced myself that I could eat wheat and other foods in moderation and that I was okay with this model.  But in truth, I was pretty much in denial because I had a terrible mystery rash on my legs that wouldn’t go away as well as many other physical and emotional issues.

But to tell you the truth, I didn’t want to give up the things I loved to eat.  It seemed too hard, too restrictive and I just didn’t want to go there for a long period of time.  This continued until I came to the point where I either had to change or else go down a road that lead to a lot of misery.

I know this is a big struggle for many of us living with food allergies so I thought I’d make a list of things that help me to stay on the diet I’m on.  If you have more ideas to offer, I’d love to hear from you.

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