allium palliative
May 4, 2011 5:52 PM   Subscribe

My wife has temporarily cut out alliums from her diet. No garlic, onion, leek, scallion, shallots, etc. Also eggs. And broccoli, but that's not quite such a big deal. She isn't the sort to have lots of sandwiches and prefers hot meals. How the heck do I cook for her?
posted by rouftop to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Here are some ideas.
posted by John Cohen at 5:56 PM on May 4, 2011

Beef stew, chili, various seafood dishes? I love onions and garlic, but I imagine that if I had to, I could replace them with other flavorful things in my favorite dishes like peppers and spices -- rosemary, oregano, paprika, cumin, curry, etc. But then, I'm the experimental type.
posted by Gator at 5:58 PM on May 4, 2011

Jains use asafetida instead of alliums.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:03 PM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

Some nursing women cut out alliums (and broccoli, and other gas-producing or strong-tasting foods) so that might be a fruitful avenue for googling. In my early nursing days, when I was avoiding all the "makes your milk taste weird or gives your baby gas" foods (before we realized my baby could not have cared less), I recall having a lot of chicken dishes (chicken parmesan, chicken-with-cream-and-mushrooms, etc.) that were basically a chicken breast in a sauce, usually with some form of cheese. Shocking lot of these types of dishes have no alliums.

On a somewhat boring food note, one of my favorite comfort foods ever is brown rice with some shredded cheddar cheese on top and some soy sauce. It's delicious.

You can do a lot of different sorts of veggie pastas without garlic or onions, just very fresh veggies and some herbs for flavor, along with sauce-of-choice. (But make sure the sauce is allium-free too!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:11 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Here's what I would cook for hot meals without alliums, eggs, or broccoli.

One of these:
Baked chicken breasts (bone-in chicken breast, sprinkled with salt and pepper, baked at 350 for, oh, 45 min or until done), seared pork chops, grilled steak--a simple piece of meat can be really tasty if it's cooked carefully and nicely seasoned.

  • mashed potatoes, rice, or egg-free bread (many breads are egg-free)
  • steamed or sauteed vegetable--maybe with a squeeze of lemon juice or tossed with a little sesame oil or sprinkled with chopped fresh herbs
  • salad--oil and vinegar dressing, add some soft cheese if you're feeling fancy

posted by Meg_Murry at 6:18 PM on May 4, 2011

The Peaceful Cook has recipes which are sans onions, I think. I had met the woman who wrote this book. . .she is since deceased. Apparently onions and garlic enflame the passions, which is a bad thing, according to some (not me).

Anyway, check it out before you buy, but it may have some ideas.
posted by Danf at 6:31 PM on May 4, 2011

I never eat any alliums, I make soup with frozen peas, frozen edamame in pods, tofu, cardamom and spices, yams, and various available vegetables like zucchini, etc. I also like brown rice with sauteed vegetables & cardamom. Never liked alliums & don't miss them!
posted by rainy at 6:46 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Followers of Jainism don't eat any root veg (they're strict vegetarians; harvesting root veg kills the plant as well as the many micro-organisms in the soil on and around the root), so if you like Indian food, you're in luck.

Here's one site that has quite a few recipes, although it looks like you'll have to dig a bit to find entrees.
posted by smirkette at 6:48 PM on May 4, 2011

She has been linked on MeFi before: Manjula!
posted by oflinkey at 7:03 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Mushrooms can provide a conplex base flavor in place of onions in many sauces.
posted by mercredi at 8:15 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Do you like Indian food? Lord Krishna's Cuisine by Yamuna Devi contains hundreds of Vedic vegetarian recipes, meaning no eggs or alliums. They're not vegan, since dairy products are used generously, but that doesn't sound like a problem for you. I don't think there's any broccoli in the book, but cauliflower is featured a lot.

The recipes are excellent, with detailed instructions and descriptions of ingredients. It's one of my favorite Indian cookbooks all around, and I'm not even a vegetarian.
posted by Quietgal at 8:58 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you're making soup or stew, carrots and celery are nice to saute at the start instead of onions and garlic.
posted by zinfandel at 9:28 PM on May 4, 2011

Jains use asafetida instead of alliums

Careful with asefetida though - I've never used it myself, but my parents had some around the house for a while, and had to get rid of it because the smell was so strong. Just make sure you keep it packaged really well.
posted by one little who at 10:46 PM on May 4, 2011

I also came in to recommend Jain cooking and Manjula- her recipes are really flavorful even without the alliums.
posted by rmless at 6:43 AM on May 5, 2011

I temporarily gave up alliums and I mainly ate meat and veg and starch, plainly prepared. When I did add spice. Mustard seeds are a great alternative to adding flavour whether to meat or in a salad dressings. Also cumin, chilies, coriander, rosmary, tyme, basil, etc.

How strict is her diet? I still never eat raw alliums, but can add a couple cloves or garlic or some cooked onion to a dish. Even easier for me to handle is the small amounts of powdered garlic and onion that are in stock and curry powder. This has made it a lot easier for me to eat.
posted by Gor-ella at 7:02 AM on May 5, 2011

My husband was freaking out last night because he'd planned to cook stir fry and discovered too late that we only had one clove of garlic in the house (as opposed to the 5+ he normally uses) and his scallions had gone bad in the fridge. You'd think the world had ended. How could he possibly have stir fry without garlic and scallions?!?! He was going to refuse to cook, or default to mac and cheese, but I told him to suck it up and deal.
I will say it was not a memorable dish, but it was also perfectly acceptable. A lack of allium did not make it taste terrible; in fact I probably wouldn't have noticed if he hadn't gone into panic mode. I think he added extra ginger to keep things spicey. It was good.

So in short, do get recipes that pertain to allium-free cooking, but don't give up on a dish you like to cook just because it usually has a couple of cloves of garlic in it. Leave them out, and maybe you'll still like it fine.
posted by aimedwander at 7:38 AM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

FWIW, I find pressing a sandwich turns -- effectively -- into a hot meal, more than just a sandwich. So you could consider getting a panini press, too.
posted by jeather at 12:47 AM on May 6, 2011

Preserved lemons are a nice flavor boost you might try as an allium substitute.
posted by judith at 10:38 PM on May 8, 2011

« Older Cello-tuning-filter   |   There's my clicky... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.