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Allergen-Free Pre-Made Foods: Ian’s Alphatots

I found a brand for us to pay attention to at Whole Foods Market (and elsewhere): Ian’s. Ian’s foods are clearly and boldly marked “Allergen Free” and “no wheat or gluten, no milk or casein, no eggs, no nuts, no soy”. You can imagine my excitement when I found a whole case of products with this claim. My iPhone was handy so I snapped a shot:

Ian’s products, found at Whole Foods Market

In the photo are chicken tenders, chicken patties, chicken nuggets, space nuggets, mac and no cheese, fish sticks, popcorn turkey corn dogs, alphatots, and chicken nuggets kids meals. I piled a stack of these into my cart (and then put a few back when I realized I wouldn’t have room in my freezer for all of them).

Tonight my son and I ate Alphatots, with chicken left over from last night, as well as steamed broccoli and carrots.

Ian’s Alphatots, fried in safflower oil and salt

The Alphatots were so easy to make. I’d never fried any potatoes before, so I was having my own little adventure in the kitchen. I fried them in safflower oil and salt for about 4 minutes. Then I dabbed them in some paper towels to remove the excess oil. They were moist and crispy at the same time. And they tasted soooo good.

My son’s plate

My 3-year old and I took turns stealing the letters off of each other’s plate. Seriously…we did! I was hoping he’d get full so I could eat whatever he didn’t eat. Meanwhile, he got a chance to show off that he knew his letters. Well…not quite…but it provided me with a valuable teaching moment at the dinner table. Win-win.

My plate

In case you’re wondering, the Alphatots contained the following ingredients: potatoes, modified palm oil, rice flour, salt, modified cellulose. I’m certain those ingredients are better than those in the fries at McDonald’s. Ha! This makes me happy.

In Wellness.

Hooray for In N Out! Soy-free and milk-free options

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Thank God for In N Out.

A few days ago, my brother and I went to lunch. We were both craving a burger and fries and after my recent research about the menus of McDonald’s and Jack in the Box (see last week’s blogs), I was afraid to go to ANY fast food joint. I am learning that most fast food menu items are universally made with soy. I plan to write a blog soon with a comprehensive summary of how to order soy and milk free at most Southern California fast food joints. Until I finish my research, I will worry about eating out anywhere, else my body revolt against me after partaking in the quietly soy-laced food.

Last week, I mourned the loss of french fries in my diet after having an allergic reaction to the fries at Jack in the Box. Those things are usually made with soy and/or fried in soybean oil. However, In N Out has come to the rescue. The fries are freshly cut from potatoes, right at the store, and fried in COTTONSEED OIL. The frier is only used for the fries, so you don’t need to worry about cross-contamination. The french fries are safe! Whew.

You’ll need to order the hamburger protein style (using lettuce in place of a bun). The bun contains soy, but no dairy. But read on. The hamburger patties themselves are safe too. But, when you order, tell them you have allergies. They will clean a dedicated grill for you as well as the spatula to avoid cross-contamination. Beware that the spread is mayo-based, so it contains soy, and it contains a dairy ingredient. You may request ketchup instead.

So, this was my order: “I have an allergy to dairy and soy. I need a protein burger (no cheese) with no spread, but added ketchup, and an order of fries. And a diet coke.” They are pretty serious about the allergy burgers and the staff seemed happy to accommodate my request. The burger was tasty. I’m so glad! In N Out has always been my favorite, anyway.

My brother’s order was a completely different story…as a former In N Out employee, he knew to order a 2 X 4 (two patties and four slices of cheese). Fortunately, we don’t share the allergic-to-soy-and-milk gene.

Happy eating, fast foodies!

Rena