Chef Gary's Alpha-gal Recipes

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RCV Farm Alpha-gal Recipe Index

Dedicated to Elizabeth - recipes especially for Alpha-gal patients

In July of 2012 Elizabeth was rushed to the emergency room in Anaphylactic Shock. Lots of tests. Long story short. She developed Alpha-gal Syndrome or Mammalian Meat Allergy this is a condition carried by deer which is transmitted to humans by the Lone Star Tick.

Bottom Line - Once you get Alpha-gal eating meat from mammals and mammal products like milk, butter, yogurt, gelatin, etc. can be fatal. You can read all about it at the University of Virginia website dedicated to the growing number of infected Americans. Adding Alpha-gal to Elizabeth's existing long laundry list of allergies which include corn, apples, and all the products which contain corn syrup, corn starch and apple sweetener. Plus, Hypoglycemia and a reaction to almost every drug she has ever taken. This has made "What's for supper?" a challenging question around our house. The University system in Virginia, Thomas A. Platts-Mills, MD, PhD, has really pioneered the efforts in identifying this disease University of Virginia News Letter. Additional information: Alpha-gal Research Links. Most recently we have found that Celiac Disease is a common side effect of Alpha-gal, so now we have to add gluten to the very long list of food Elizabeth cannot come into contact with. 

I have put together this special section on our website where I will develop recipes especially for Elizabeth and her fellow Alpha-gal friends in pain. I will attempt to do one or more a week as time permits. If there are any dishes you love and would like me to try to develop an alternate just email Chef Gary. I will try to experiment and develop a tasty alternative for you. Our motto here will be: "NO fat doesn't have to mean no flavor." Plus, I think it is crazy to make two separate meals every day. Although I do add a little butter on my plate or sometimes I just have to have some corn or an apple, but that is easily kept to a side dish.

Additional recipes for people with extreme food allergies can be found at our friends site:Living Without Magazine Elizabeth was recently featured in a Living Without Magazine article. A very good article about the Alpha-gal disease and resources for people with any food borne allergy. Unlisted food additives can cause major issues, check out Understanding Food Additives website. This site is from the University of York, England and the regulations are slightly different in the US, however it is an excellent informational site.

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Full Index of Alpha-gal Recipes

* Note: some of the recipes may have cheese or sour cream as a garnish or alternate item. If you suffer from Alpha-gal these items should be omitted or replaced with a non-dairy alternative. Other recipes may be from our regular list of farm recipes which can be easily adapted using non-dairy substitutes.

FAQ's & ideas to help with your diet

  • Honey & Gluten - Apparently Alpha Gal can trigger other allergies or can intensify existing allergies. If you are having trouble and cannot find the culprit look at these two items next. This also includes molasses.
  • Tortillas or wraps - Many brands of are made with vegetable oil and not lard or butter, giving you another bread option.
  • Ice cream - Most health food stores carry non-diary ice cream. Most are made with rice milk or coconut milk. We have found several to be very tasty I am posting some homemade ice cream recipes on our site..The Lemon Rosemary Sorbet it is amazing.
  • All natural flavors - is used on many ingredients list, this can be a hidden killer. It has made Elizabeth sick many times. Even talking to the manufactures we are often unable to identify the culprit. In general the flavorings are purchased from third parties and even the manufacture doesn't have a complete breakdown of the ingredients. Miniscule amounts of beef or pork are not required to be listed, but as you well know even a fraction of a drop can be enough to send you to the emergency room.
  • Pills with stearates - Most pills and capsules use magnesium stearate in manufacturing process to keep them from sticking to the machinery. Magnesium stearate is just the form of stearic acid. Stearic acid is a long-chain saturated fat that is abundant in beef, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and other natural foods. You have to call the manufacture to find out if your medication uses stearates, and if they are from beef or plant sources.
  • Almond milk, rice milk or coconut milk - are much healthier alternatives than soy milk. Un-fermented soy milk contains an estrogen like substance which can cause hormonal issues. Soy Article
  • Coconut, Safflower & Palm oils - You can find coconut oil and palm oil in the baking section of your grocery store. This is a healthy alternative to hydrogenated oils or lard in baking or frying. Safflower oil is also a good alternative oil that is healthy and does not alter the flavor. I have found that safflower maintains a very good texture to baked goods.
  • Smart Balance - Some spreads are vegan, some are not, they are specifically marked vegan if the lactic acid is not from an animal source. Otherwise, like Elizabeth, you may react to lactic acid which can come from an animal source. Plus, we are not a fan of unfermented soy products.
  • Gelatin - can be an animal product. We know of at least one person who died from capsules made from gelatin. Verify any gel-cap you take, even aspirin or cold medications, are from vegetable sources. Some can be pulled open so that you can take the contents and throw the capsule away.
  • Gelatin Thickeners - can be an animal product, many are made from a mixture of cow, pig and poultry cartilage. Even some toothpaste uses animal cartilage as a thickener.
  • Chocolate chips - Many brands contain dairy. There are several vegan brands available, and they taste good.
  • Earth Balance - We prefer Earth Balance soy free spread we have found it to be the best butter substitute. It also works very well in baked goods. It has a low flash point and is not that good for sautéing. We use coconut oil, olive oil or peanut oil for frying.
  • Casein & Whey - Are both milk products you will see listed in many food product ingredient list.
  • Coco - Chocolate and Coco powder are not necessarily dairy product free.
  • Chicken broth - Elizabeth reacts to canned chicken broth (Swanson Broth & McCormick brand bouillon). We later determined it was the honey in the broth that was causing the reaction. Other products have minute amounts in the "natural flavors" or they may contain small amounts of gelatin or lactic acid.
  • Casein - Many packaged products, even chicken and turkey contain casein. Casein and whey are the primary anaphylactic causing component in sever milk allergies.
  • Lactic acid - Can come from either milk or vegetable sources. The label will say if it is from a vegetable source, otherwise assume it is from milk.
  • Safflower Oil - When baking I had historically exclusively used butter, lard or olive oil. Since experimenting with Alpha-gal recipes I have discovered the wonderful baking characteristics of safflower oil. It produces a very nice texture in bread and cookies.
  • Beans - Can be a great substitute in beef and pork dishes. Don't forget the garbanzo bean, they are great in Mexican and vegetarian dishes. To solve most of the digestion issues with beans soak overnight in salt water with a tsp of Bragg's natural apple cider vinegar added.
  • Broth - Kitchen Basics brand and Hy-Vee vegetable & seafood broths seem to be free of milk products and honey. The vegetable broth is a good option for recipes which previously called for beef broth. Elizabeth has had a problem with the Kitchen Basics chicken broth, it contains honey. The Hy-Vee store brand broths do not contain honey.
  • Chicken sausage - There are a number of chicken and turkey sausages on the market, all I have reviewed use beef or pork casing or have a milk product in the sausage.
  • Lactic Acid in Makeup - Lactic acid is used as a Humectant (A moisturizing agent, often used in cosmetics). If you are having a reaction and can't find the culprit try looking at your beauty products.
  • Other allergies - Since contracting Alpha-gal Elizabeth's other food allergies (apples & corn) have increased her reaction severity significantly. She, like many others has also now become gluten intolerant and allergic to honey and agave', molasses and a number of things we haven't completely identified so far.
  • Toothpaste - One of the members of says she had a problem with her gums and confirmed that Colgate toothpaste contains a beef product. Others may use the same product, I suspect it is a gelatin thickener. Hidden allergens can hide almost anywhere.

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