Do you love cooking shows? There are so many around at the moment and they have sparked a rise in the number of people taking an interest in cooking. I love that more people are starting to get creative in the kitchen and talk about the best ways to create flavour in meals and discussing which ingredients go best in certain dishes, and developing a passion for food – knowing where ingredients come from and taking an interest in how the food affects the body.
But I’m not a big fan of regular reality TV cooking shows because they usually cook dishes that I don’t like or meals that I wouldn’t eat. But what if there was a cooking show that catered for alternatives to animal products, alternatives to soy and nuts and gluten? Well, there is and it’s called Alternative Chef Kitchen.
They cook WITHOUT dairy, soy, gluten, egg and meat and cook WITH veggies and whole foods.
Sounds like the perfect cooking show for me.
The idea behind the show is to help families who sometimes have to cater for multiple intolerances/allergies/diet choices and give them alternatives for regular meals.
Alternative Chef Kitchen was created and produced by Lisa White. Season One premiered in 2015 and Season 2 is just about ready to wrap up. Each episode takes one dish or meal and each of the four chefs show how to adapt it for their particular dietary needs. The idea came from Lisa way back in 2009 when she was watching regular reality TV cooking shows and had a daughter with dairy and soy allergies.
There are four chefs on the show:
Anne cooks without dairy and meat
Lisa cooks without dairy, soy, gluten, egg or meat
Hayley cooks raw vegan – without dairy, egg, gluten or meat
Glenys uses whole food options and cooks without dairy, egg or meat
As you can see four alternatives to one regular recipe. If you have no intolerances or allergies then you get the bonus of having lots of alternatives.
They also have a couple of cookbooks with recipes from their TV show, which can be purchased on their website – ebooks and physical books. I was given a cookbook to review and found it invaluable as it collates four recipes for each dish and lists alternatives for a number of allergens.
The Tasty Alternatives cookbook includes 30 delicious sweet and savoury recipes with extra tips on avoiding allergens and links to watch the episode on their website for even more info. The book details the origins of the Alternative Chef Kitchen, the bios of the four chefs (boy, are these girls qualified!), how to get the most out of the book with all the different allergens as well as how to prepare legumes, nuts and seeds to get as much nutrition form these little pods as possible.
With breakfast recipes, snack bars, savoury meals – hello, no egg curried egg sandwiches, meatless meat balls, BBQ onions and sizzling sausages; as well as desserts – cheesecakes and soft serve. There’s nothing these ladies can’t create.
There is also a link to a comprehensive, go-at-your-own-pace ecourse for those struggling to cater for multiple allergies.
I’m writing this on holidays and with limited access to ingredients and appliances and so I decided to try one of the breakfast porridge recipes – Anne’s Creamy Dairy-Free Porridge. It’s a simple 3 ingredient recipe with only 3 steps and it can be made quickly in amongst the busy morning rush for breakfast or quickly for a lazy holiday breakfast.
I added carrot and pepitas to make it 5 ingredients. Carrots because I had one in the fridge and also it combines well with the cranberries, providing vitamin C and pepitas to help with iron absorption. A few minutes in a saucepan and I’m ready for a lazy day at the beach (or a hectic day in the office).