Category Archives: Allergen-free



IMG_4658Most people do not get super excited when they see fruit like this in the store. But I do!! These are not just old, bruised bananas, these are plantains, and they are just perfect for frying. Plantains look like bananas on steroids, but you can’t eat them raw. They are delicious cooked. I like them best when the skins are getting black and the fruit inside is turning golden. When they look like that, I have to fry them up! Where I grew up in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, fried plantains are called alloco, and you can buy them on the side of the road for a tasty snack.

So to make fried plantain, you peel the fruit by cutting off one end and pulling the skin off. Then cut the fruit across to make chunks that are about 4 inches long. The slice the chunks up lengthwise so it looks like this. Don’t slice too thinly, or you’ll get crunchy plantain, which is ok, just not as delicious. The fruit may be very slippery, so be careful. IMG_4659As you’re getting towards the end of slicing, start heating some vegetable oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. You want the oil to be about an eighth inch deep. When the oil is nice and hot, put your slices in the skillet. If the oil sizzles when you put the plantain in, then it’s hot enough. IMG_4663Let it cook on that side until the edges turn golden and flip over. Cook on that side until the fruit is turning a dark gold color. Take out and place on paper towel covered plate. Let cool! Plantains retain a lot of heat, so really make sure they’re cool enough to eat before taking a bite. Molten plantain in your mouth is not so pleasant!

IMG_4668We enjoy lots of international food around here, and I love the opportunity to expose my kids to the flavors of many of different cultures. I think it’s a great way to begin encouraging a global world view, as well as giving my kids some connectors as we pray for people all over God’s world. If you’re wanting to do the same, this is an easy recipe to use for much of West Africa and even the Caribbean.





2 {Allergen-Friendly} Recipe Reviews


Levi’s multiple food allergies have pushed me to completely change the way I cook, and also to explore new recipes. I always wish I could know if a recipe will work before I try it out, especially because the special ingredients can be pricey. So, I’m probably going to attempt to review new recipes every so often, in the hope that it will help someone in a similar situation.

Zucchini Brownies

This first recipe, I’ve made a few times now. It’s surprisingly delicious. They don’t taste exactly like traditional brownies, but I really like the flavor and texture. I’ve even taken it to a church meal and only came back with crumbs, which means they must be good brownies.  I amend it to be more chocolatey (of course), and add 1/2 cup cocoa to the batter. I really like the spice flavor that this recipe gives to the brownies. These were Levi’s first brownies. And I think I’ll be making them often for quite a while. I also like that they’re a bit more healthy than regular brownies.

Pumpkin Bread

This is a new recipe that I actually just tried tonight. It was pretty good. The flavor was not quite what my family likes, but the texture was really good. I think next time I’ll add more of each spice and maybe include some ginger, as well as a little extra salt and probably some more sugar. I just glanced at a few other pumpkin bread recipes, and they all included more spices and more sugar. I think this recipe is a good starting place, and am thankful to have found one that makes a good bread.



In both of these recipes I use a “flax egg” instead of the egg. A flax egg is ground flax seed and water mixed together. This makes something with an egg-like consistency, and has worked pretty well for me so far. Flax seed is also supposed to be really good for you, so that’s an added benefit.