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#1 Sat 09 Nov 13 2:13pm

divring

Member
Member since Sat 09 Nov 13

cooking without the onion family

Hi Jamie,

As many do, I enjoy your recipes. Mine never come our looking as nice, but I am glad we enjoy savoring all the same. I have a sever allergy to the onion family. I can tolerate garlic, (if I accept being uncomfortable for about a week.) I am finding that I am getting boring in my cooking of late. I stick with the same vegetables and the same meats, because I think I am not enjoying the product as much. What I have done to replace onion (and its derivatives) is I have added ginger. For the most part it turns out quite nicely, but other times, like if I wished to make stuffing, or a nice salsa, it comes out tasting quite strong.  My question for you is, would you have a suggestion or an alternative - just to give me some cooking options (note I live in France - so fancy imports are not easy to find). 

My son is also allergic to peanuts.

Any suggestions would help and thank you, sincerely, in advance.

N

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#2 Sat 09 Nov 13 3:11pm

koukouvagia

Forum champ
From New York
Member since Fri 12 Dec 08

Re: cooking without the onion family

Sorry to hear about your dilemma.  Ginger is a good insert but it doesn't work for every application.  Celery would work texturally in sauces.  Parsnips, turnips and other root vegetables will provide some texture and flavor so that you don't always have to use ginger.  And use plenty of herbs and spices.

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#3 Sat 09 Nov 13 8:25pm

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: cooking without the onion family

Welcome to the forum divring smile

I think it would depend on the recipe that you were cooking .
Celery is one thing that came to my mind  and also fennel .
You could peel down the celery to remove the fibers .
Fennel could be blanched to help reduce the flavour.

Have you tried the single bulb garlic , it's just  one large round bulb , I find it milder than normal garlic .

You might find that easier to tolorate and possibly if you blanch it for a few minutes that also might help . It's sometimes called Chinese garlic.
I buy it occasionally from Lidl .

How do you normally cook your meats and what types of vegetables do you mostly eat ?

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#4 Sat 09 Nov 13 8:36pm

MsPablo

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Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: cooking without the onion family

You might look at some Japanese or Indian recipes for inspiration and ways to combine things with miso, sesame oil, bonito flakes, toasted seaweed, sesame seeds, chili peppers and spices.  Vinegars, oils, lime, lemon, wine, tomatoes - the astringent and sour things add a lot to a 'flat' tasting dish.  I would start with traditional recipes and omit the onion, rather than adding one magic ingredient such as ginger to everything.

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#5 Sat 09 Nov 13 8:45pm

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: cooking without the onion family

Can you tolerate scallions? They are milder than "onion onion" (and easier/ quicker to prepare).


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#6 Sun 10 Nov 13 12:04am

divring

Member
Member since Sat 09 Nov 13

Re: cooking without the onion family

Thank you all for the suggestions - the onions = all onions which includes anything in powder form, chives, lovely leeks, scallions - I have learnt to stay away from anything which lists spices as a general ingredient, most store bought sauces (even ketcup and mayo, barbe q sauce - which I have to make from scratch - and some soya sauces have traces of onion or garlic).

I have never tried the one bulb garlic - I will pick one up if I do find one - but the variety or ethnic or imported foods that I find in the area I live in France is not that great. (EG. the local grocery store lists tortillas - but no chillies to be found, and el gato wine in their World section, but no tofu.)

I don't shop much at Lidl, because it is quite far from my house, however, thank you for the suggestion mummza I have made note.

I have been experimenting with different kinds of food 'spicer uppers' for about 5 years now - but my affection to ginger is relatively new.

I like most veggies - (i don't like green peas - and don't love turnip) - I try to eat seasonally, so right now it is squash, root vegetables, broccoli, spinach, peppers - right now in the fridge I have mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, salad, eggplant, avocado, celeri, beets, and a red cabbage. The meats we eat - rabbit, lamb, beef, chicken, pork, fish - some dried meats - duck, ect...

I don't add ginger to everything, but I am finding it not satisfying my need for texture and depth in food - how the wonderful family of onion can make food sing sometimes smile.

However, I reiterate, I really appreciate your comments - using celery, and parsnip, lemmon and lime, sesame (I completely forgot about that), to name a few- I would stay away from miso.. as it has traces of onion and garlic - I am actually looking forward to my next shopping trip. smile. Like spinach with sesame and butter ... num num. ... or roasted pork with sweet potato and parsnip with rosemary - smile... keep the suggestions coming!!! I am getting truly inspired.

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#7 Sun 10 Nov 13 12:37am

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: cooking without the onion family

Tamarind to add sourness?


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#8 Sun 10 Nov 13 12:56am

MsPablo

Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: cooking without the onion family

I'll toss out some random ideas even if you can't find them all, maybe on a trip to an Asian market you could at least get some of the non perishable ones - dried mushrooms, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, sun dried tomatoes, homemade pesto without the garlic, smoked peppers - such as Nora or chipotle, smoked paprika, preserved lemons (easy to make yourself if you can't find them), citrus peel - not just the usual choices, try something different like tangerine or grapefruit

I love coconut milk and think you could do so much with it and just leave out the onions and garlic . . . doesn't have to be spicy if you don't care for the heat, but it is a great sauce base for fish, meat and vegetables.

As for replacing the flavor and textures of the allium family, it may be more satisfying to cook something that doesn't even use those ingredients, for instance, Jamie does a nice Indian style battered vegetable fry with chickpea flour, can't recall it containing any alliums.  It didn't come up when I searched, but if you look on the net, you'll probably find that recipe more quickly.

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#9 Sun 10 Nov 13 1:29am

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: cooking without the onion family

Just remembered you have limited access to "ethnic" food so tamarind was not appropriate hmm.


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#10 Sun 10 Nov 13 11:36am

Ashen

Forum champ
Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: cooking without the onion family

Not sure how much this will help as the ingredients for these cuisines might be hard for you to source , or may be outside your comfort zone, but Jain vegetarianism and most buddhist cuisine does not use the allum family.  There are many recipes that can be googled, and adapted as you see fit.  I say adapted because they also do not eat root vegetables and since you don't have a problem with those it wouldn't apply.

also the spice asafoetida could be an option.  It isn't to my taste but it is used in Jain cooking in place of  garlic,onion flavour.   It is very aromatic(read stinky) but it does tone down when cooked.


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