Celery Root & Potato Au Gratin

Low-amine celery root (celeriac) and potato au gratin

Low-amine celery root (celeriac) and potato au gratin

I have wanted to do an au gratin since… well, forever. But I haven’t before. Also, I’ve wanted to try using celery root (celeriac) for a long time, but never have. Sounds like a good time to try both! This recipe is sourced from Epicurious, but I tweaked it to make it more friendly to amine allergy sufferers. Most au gratin recipes I have seen called for cheddar cheese, which is high in amines. I did mine with Mozzarella (which is low amine), and didn’t miss the cheddar even a little bit.

2 medium red onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 Tbsp canola oil

1/4 C chopped fresh parsley, packed

1/2 large celery root / celeriac (approx 1 1/4 C when sliced), peeled with a knife

6 large red potatoes, peeled (unpeeled potatoes are high in amines, peeled are low)

2 C heavy cream

1/2 C whole milk

3 Tbsp flour (or gluten-free flour)

2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 C grated Mozzarella

8 cloves garlic, peeled

Celery root and potato au gratin, hot from the oven

Celery root and potato au gratin, hot from the oven

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Use a Cuisinart or mandolin if possible to get even slices. It will save you a TON of time, too.
  • Chop garlic.
  • Slice onions in half along the root and end, then slice again to make thin half-circles. Throw the onions and garlic in a medium-high a pan with the canola oil. Toss/stir as necessary until opaque and beginning to brown. I let mine char just a little bit to give it a bit of flavor. Keep them in the pan for now, but remove from heat.
  • Slice all potatoes and set aside.
  • Slice all celery root and set aside.
  • In a large Pyrex pan, lay down your slices of potato in a single layer, followed by a layer of onion. Add a layer of celery root.
  • Add another layer of onion (this should use all your onion up, but do not wash the pan), followed by a final layer of potato.
  • In your onion pan, melt butter on low and add flour. Stir constantly for about 3-5 minutes.
  • A little bit at a time, add your cream to the pan. Stir constantly. You want it to slowly blend together so that there are no clumps of flour in the sauce. Once it has thinned appropriately, add milk and bring up to temp. Stir, stir, stir.
  • Add chopped parsley, salt, and pepper.
  • Slowly mix in grated cheese while stirring, ensuring it is melting into the sauce.
  • Once all the cheese is melted in, pour sauce over the ingredients in the Pyrex pan.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 1/2 hour, then uncover and bake for 1/2 hour (total time: 1 hr).
  • Allow to cook for 5-7 minutes while cheese sets.
Very Low Amine: onion, parsley, celery root, flour, salt, pepper, garlic
Low Amine: butter, canola, Mozzarella cheese, whole milk, heavy cream, potato

Featured on The Gluten-Free Homemaker


Celery Root Fish Soup

Celery Root Fish Soup Photo

Celery Root Fish Soup

It’s fall, and time to celebrate soups! Celery root (celeriac) is in season in the fall, and if you haven’t used it yet, you really ought to give it a try. It’s an ingredient with substantial body, and a mellow, celery flavor. This low amine soup recipe is a sure crowd pleaser.

1 celery root (about 3 C, chopped)

1 lb white fish such as cod

6 C chicken broth

4 C water

1 bulb garlic, peeled and minced

1 1/2 C chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, packed

1 red onion, chopped

1 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp oregano

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 bay leaves

1 big pinch saffron

1 tsp ascorbic acid

3 Tbsp safflower oil

  • Peel celery root and slice into thin pieces about the size of a nickel.
  • In a large stock pot, add oil and saute chopped onions, garlic, and parsley. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add all other ingredients except fish. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add fish, cut into a few large pieces. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Serve hot, garnished with finely minced parsley.
Very Low Amine: celery root, homemade chicken broth, water, garlic, Italian flat leaf parsley, red onion, oregano, salt, black pepper, saffron, ascorbic acid
Low Amine: sugar, safflower oil, white fish
Featured on Gluten Free Homemaker.

“I Hate Cooking:” Easy Meal Suggestions

"You expect me to COOK?" image

Cooking isn't everyone's cup of tea...

I had a reader recently contact me and say, “I love your recipes, but a very simple meal plan is needed, as I don’t really enjoy cooking.”

The thought of not loving to cook is foreign to me (even back when I was a bad cook, I still loved cooking), however, I can sympathize. So for you, low amine readers that hate cooking, this list of suggestions is for you. If you have a suggestion to add, please email me or comment – I’d love to add it to the list! Here’s a few ideas to get you started, though I’m sure I’ll add more as time goes on…

Easy Low Amine Breakfast Suggestions:

  • Steel cut oatmeal, made in advance (here’s a great way to make it in advance for the week)
  • Organic egg whites in a carton, with herbs thrown in. Shake, pour what you need in a bowl, and microwave for two minutes.
  •  Toast with low amine pesto or low amine hummus spread.
  • Potato frittata. You could make something like it and eat it all week (even easier, just use a Cuisinart to scallop your potatoes. Also, I wouldn’t peel them. I’m much too lazy for that)!
  • Frittata with more than just potatoes (if you’re feeling ambitious).
  • Yogurt & blueberries.
  • Baked apple. Core apple, leaving bottom to create a “cup.” Fill with a bit of cinnamon and honey, 1 tsp. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
Easy Low Amine Lunch / Easy Low Amine Dinner Suggestions (I eat the two meals interchangeably or for leftovers, so they’re bundled together for this list):
  • Pasta, made in advance (cook to al dente), with low amine pesto or either no-tomato low amine marinara (made with a beet marinara base, or made with an apple marinara base). Microwave together for an easy low amine meal.
  • Sandwiches! Always a win. Except lunchmeat is a no-no on a low amine diet. I suggest doing up a big hunk of roast beef or chicken breast in advance, slicing it up, freezing it, and using it through the week with onion, lettuce, sprouts, cucumber, mustard, thin green apple slices… The possibilities go on and on.
  • Simple salads with crushed cashews and egg added for protein.
  • Steak! You can do pan-fried steak, broiled steak, or grilled steak. Personally, I prefer broiled or grilled. When grilling, the best way I’ve found is to cook on one side and wait till the blood rises to the surface (you’ll see it start to pool). Flip, and cook for two minutes. Voila!
  • Baked skinless chicken and rice (use a rice cooker for ease, and you can throw in things to flavor the rice, like vegetable broth, beef broth, saffron, herbs, lime juice/ascorbic acid, cilantro, etc).
  • Brussels sprouts. Cut them in half and sprinkle with oil, salt, pepper, and ascorbic acid. Broil until softened and starting to char.
  • Baked potato, substituting sour cream with yogurt.
  • Stir fry.
  • Easy creamed soups. Saute whatever vegetables you have laying around with garlic and onion. Add water enough to cover it and 1″ above, and simmer for an hour or two. Feel free to also add leftovers such as potato, ground beef, noodles. Use an immersion blender when finished and cooled, and you’ll have a great low amine vegetable soup. Add cream if you want. Not necessary.
  • Beans and rice.
  • Quesedilla with cream cheese or mozzarella cheese.
  • Tacos (make enough so you have taco supplies for a few days), using meat, cucumber, lettuce, mango, cabbage, onion, and lime as your filling ingredients.
  • Salads. Or even easier, salad in a jar! Make several at once, and so long as you layer them properly, they’ll keep all week!
  • Very simple lentil soup.
  • Quick chicken corn chowder.
  • Pretty boring, but… you could always just saute chicken breasts.
  • Baked potato eggs (minus the turkey sausage, and substitute cheese with Mozzarella) sound like a tasty breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
  • Asparagus frittata, substituting the cheese with Mozzarella and feta.
  • Butternut Squash.
  • Green Beans in herbs, served without the lemon.
  • Grilled corn on the cob.
  • Crock pot, crock pot, crock pot. Pretty much all crock pot recipes are easy as pie (Much easier, actually – I think the adage could use an update: “Easy as Crock Potting.”). Get yourself a good crock pot cookbook (or look online, and start “setting and forgetting” your meals. Note: if you are extremely sensitive to amines, crock pot cooking is not for you, as it takes a long time to cook the foods, and amines do develop in this time.
Other Easy Low Amine Suggestions:
  • To use low amine seasonings, I would create all your spice blends at once time (less mess, less opening bottles, etc). Create six or seven different low amine herb/spice mixes and bottle them up in old spice containers for later use.
Published in: on October 29, 2011 at 3:01 pm  Comments (2)  
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Low Amine Sinigang (Filipino Tamarind Soup)

Sinigang (Filipino Tamarind Soup)

Low Amine Sinigang (Filipino Tamarind Soup)

I had a random craving that led me down a path of interesting Filipino recipes. I ended on a recipe for Sinigang that looked delicious, but wasn’t very low amine, so decided to tweak it for my own needs. It turned out quite well, thanks to the help of a certain favorite Filipino friend of mine. I have yet to get his verdict on how it came out insofar as authenticity (I have some set aside for him), but it tasted very good!

12 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

3/4 lb skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1/2 lb cod fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces

3 C river spinach (kangkong), chopped into 1″ segments (substitute with bok choy for low amine)

1 C Chinese green beans (the long, long, long green beans), chopped into 1″ segments

1 C taro root, about 2 pieces (gabi), peeled and chopped

3 T tamarind paste (sampalok)

6 cups water

1 Tbsp freshly grated horseradish

2 Tbsp safflower oil

2 Tbsp minced Thai bird chilies

  • In a heavy bottomed stock pot, heat oil to medium high.
  • Add garlic, onion, and chicken. Stir often and cook till chicken has started browning, or about 5 minutes.
taro root

Taro root, shown peeled and mostly unpeeled

  • Add water, taro, horseradish, and tamarind, and Chinese green beans (If using regular green beans instead, omit them at this step and add them when putting in river spinach). Bring to a boil.
Sinigang / Tamarind soup greens: Chinese green beans and kangkong

Sinigang / Tamarind soup greens: Chinese green beans and kangkong

  • Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add river spinach (kangkong). Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add cod fillet pieces, and cook for 3 minutes (5 minutes if fish pieces are frozen).
  • Taste, and add tamarind or lime as necessary for tartness.
  • Serve hot.
Very Low Amine: garlic, onion, chicken breast, Chinese green beans, water
Low Amine: taro, safflower oil, cod, tamarind paste
High Amine: horseradish
Very High Amine: Thai bird chilies, River Spinach (kangkong)

Salicylate Sensitivity

I recently had a reader, Sofia, contact me who had an amine allergy, salicylate allergy, celiac disease, soy allergy, dairy allergy, and egg allergy. My mind was blown. To try to help her come up with foods she could eat, I did my best to guide her with amines, and point her in the right direction for her other allergies.

In my hunt, I realized that the list (at a cursory glance – there is a high probability that there are other less popular foods that aren’t listed that I couldn’t find information on) of foods is very short.

The site with the Salicylate Sensitivity Food Lists was very helpful, but some of the information is outdated, so please inform me if I’m wrong, missing information, or if you have more to add. I’d love to share it here. For a more current list, you’ll want to refer to the Allergy Friendly Food book published by the RPAH.

For a gluten-free, soy free, dairy free, egg free, low salicylate, low amine diet, here’s what I came up with (due to her serious reactions to allergens, all salicylates and amines listed were pulled only from the low or very low columns):

Peas, beans, green beans, celery, cabbage, lentil / dried beans, shallot, peeled pear, cashew, garlic, parsley, chives, saffron, rice milk, gin, whiskey, vodka, bamboo, lettuce, white peeled potato, bean sprouts (mung bean), leeks, chickpeas, canola oil, safflower oil, maple syrup, salt, rice, all non-processed meats if fresh and not organ meat, all baking supplies such as baking soda except cornmeal, white sugar, poppy seed.

Moderate Sals: asparagus, peeled golden- or red-delicious apple
High Sals: other apple varieties

To get a book that has a chart of many ingredients for amines, salicylates, and glutamates, you need this book: http://www.sswahs.nsw.gov.au/rpa/allergy/resources/foodintol/friendlyfood.cfm

Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

How to Cook a Hard-Boiled Egg Perfectly Every Time

How to Cook a Hard-Boiled Egg Perfectly Every Time

How to boil an egg should probably go without saying… But I’ve found more people than not don’t cook their eggs right. Yes, folks, there is a right way and a wrong way. Eggs are a helpful addition to a low amine diet, and you should know how to cook them properly.

  • Put eggs in a saucepan deep enough and large enough to hold eggs in a single layer.
  • Add cold water, covering the eggs by about an inch.
  • Turn heat to high until it reaches boiling, then remove from burner.
  • Cover and let stand for 12 – 18 minutes, depending on size (12: med. eggs / 15: lg. eggs / 18: xlg eggs).
  • Immediately drain and cool completely under cold running water or in a bowl of ice. If you don’t cool right away and completely, you end up with eggs that are hard to peel. Unless you like your eggs shellbound, cool completely and quickly.

Garlic Dill Asparagus

A friend of mine is doing an “Around the World” food tour, taking on a 4.5 year commitment to cook foods from different countries and regions. It’s a beautiful idea, and she’s had great success with it so far. Sadly, there are few dishes that I can eat, due to my amine allergy. But my lovely friend found a country and dishes that were mostly low amine, and we were able to substitute out the things that weren’t amine allergy friendly.

Of the three dishes we picked, the simplest was, by far, my favorite. It was supposed to be green beans we used, but we went with asparagus instead.

Asparagus in a Garlic Dill Low Amine Vinaigrette.

Asparagus in a Garlic Dill Low Amine Vinaigrette.

1 large bundle asparagus

7 medium cloves garlic, pressed

2 Tbsp safflower oil

3 Tbsp blueberry or pomegranate juice

1 Tbsp vodka

1 1/4 tsp ascorbic acid

3/4 tsp loosely packed brown sugar

A few sprigs fresh dill

Pinch salt

4 Tbsp plain yogurt

  • Wash asparagus and snap off tough ends (it will naturally snap clean where it should. You can reserve these for making homemade vegetable stock.)
  • Boil water and add about 2 Tbsp salt to water. When water is boiling, add asparagus. Boil for about 5 minutes.
  • While asparagus is cooking, mix together everything but the yogurt and dill. Mix until all ascorbic acid is well dissolved.
  • Drain asparagus and cool down immediately under running ice cold water.
  • Once asparagus is fully chilled, drop into the marinade (in a flat bottomed tupperware, or Ziplock, etc.) and ensure they’re all well coated.
  • Marinate for 2 – 4 hours if possible. We were only able to marinate for about 30 minutes, and it still turned out good, but I think longer would be better.
  • Serve, sprinkled with finely chopped dill and a scoop of yogurt.


Very Low Amine: asparagus, garlic, dill, salt, pomegranate juice, ascorbic acid

Low Amine: yogurt, vodka, brown sugar, safflower oil

High Amine: blueberry juice (low in tyramines, high in histamines)

Original Recipe:

Sarımsaqla göy lobya – Green beans with garlic

400 g/1 lb green beans (runner beans or French beans)

25 g/1 oz garlic

2 tbsp vegetable oil

75 g/3 oz grape vinegar

a few sprigs of dill


a few spoonfuls of plain yoghurt (optional)

Preparation: Cook the green beans in salted water for 6 to 10 minutes. Strain and set aside to cool. When chilled, add the crushed garlic, vinegar and vegetable and mix thoroughly. leave for 2 to 4 hours for the flavours to penetrate the beans. Sprinkle with finely chopped dill. Serve with plain yoghurt (optional).

Jalapeno Mint Jelly

Lime Basil Chicken with Jalapeno Mint Jelly

Lime Basil Chicken with Jalapeno Mint Jelly

Jalapeno mint jelly is simple, easy, and delicious, and is a nice accompaniment to tart or bitter flavors. The sweet and spicy of the mild jelly create a nice balance.

1 stick “agar agar” (or you can use pectin – see other pectin jelly recipes for amounts)

5 C water

6 Tbsp sugar

2 jalapenos

2 C mint, packed

  • Wash mint and jalapenos.
  • Cut and seed jalapenos (or if you like spice, leave seeds in). Chop into small pieces.
  • Boil water and add mint and jalapenos. Reduce temperature to medium high.
Jalapenos and Mint cooking

Jalapenos and Mint cooking

  • Cook until liquid has reduced by half.
  • Strain out solids and add liquid back to pot.
Agar agar dissolving in jalapeno mint liquid

Agar agar dissolving in jalapeno mint liquid

  • Add agar stick and cook for 15 minutes. It should be completely dissolved.
Agar Agar

Agar Agar

  • Add sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and pour into desired glass container.
  • For faster cooling, put in fridge, or surround in a larger bowl with and ice and water bath.
  • Scoop out and slice while plated when served with dishes, such as Lime Basil Chicken.


Very Low Amine: agar, mint

Low Amine: sugar

Very High Amine: jalapeno

Lime Basil Chicken

Lime Basil Chicken with Jalapeno Mint Jelly

Lime Basil Chicken with Jalapeno Mint Jelly

Lime basil chicken is super simple. Doing it low amine is even simpler – just take the skin off. The only catch with a skinless chicken roast is that you have to baste, and baste often. I basted the lime basil chicken every 20 minutes or so to ensure it had no chance to dry out.

1 whole chicken (5 lbs or so), skin and excess fat removed

1 limes

1 tsp ascorbic acid

1 C finely chopped basil, packed

1 tsp salt

3 Tbsp safflower oil

1 C chicken stock

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set rack to middle.
  • Remove skin from chicken, and rinse off (inside and out) with water.
  • Slice one lime into four quarters and cut each piece to assist juices coming out.
Cut lime wedges open

Cut lime wedges open

  • Mix salt and ascorbic acid together in a ramekin.
  • Set into large Pyrex pan and rub down (all over outside and inside cavity) with salt and ascorbic acid, then basil.
  • Slice one lime thinly into rings. Lay rings onto chicken (I went a bit overkill on mine – I used two. I’d suggest using only one.).
Cover your lime basil chicken with lime slices

Cover your lime basil chicken with lime slices

  • Drizzle oil over the top.
  • Pour chicken stock into pan.
  • Bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, or until done and juices run clear. While you’re baking the chicken, work on the Jalapeno Mint Jelly to accompany it.
Just out of the oven: Lime Basil Chicken

Just out of the oven: Lime Basil Chicken


Very Low Amine: basil, salt

Low Amine: safflower oil, skinless chicken, broth

Very High Amine: lime

Vanilla Glazed Carrots

Vanilla Glazed Carrots with Steamed Clams

Vanilla Glazed Carrots with Steamed Clams

I’ve never been big on sweet things, so I was surprised when I had a sudden craving for something sugary. Given, my version of “sweet” is probably barely on the edge of sweet for most people. As carrots have an earthy sweetness to them, I added minimal sugar and helped enhance the flavor with vanilla.

2 Tbsp  sugar

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

3 Tbsp butter (or butter substitute for dairy-free or vegan)

12 medium carrots

1/2 C water

  • Wash and cut carrots lengthwise, and then in half again to shorten them.
  • Heat butter, sugar, and vanilla in large pan on medium. Be careful to dissolve sugar in evenly – don’t burn it!
  • When fully dissolved, add water and carrots.
  • Cook on medium high for 5 minutes, covered.
  • Remove lid, and cook for 5 minutes on medium, uncovered. Stir often to prevent burning. The liquids should reduce into a light syrup glaze.
  • Serve with a spoonful of the glaze poured over the top.
Very Low Amine: butter (or butter substitute for dairy-free or vegan), carrrot, water, vanilla extract
Low Amine: sugar