Friday, March 28, 2008

We Ain't Got No Stinkin' 'Maters!

No, I haven't gone crazy, become a gangster or moved to New York. I am still a confirmed tomato-lover (in season only, please!), and I have no plans to stray over to the dark side. However, I was recently approached by a fellow cook on GroupRecipes for help with cooking for her 3-year-old son, who is allergic to: onions, pecans, carrots, rye, hazelnuts, walnuts, egg whites, wheat, soy, peanuts, cashews... and tomatoes! One of the major problems with this (besides the sheer amount of allergens in general) was that her son loves tomato sauce and ketchup... they were the main condiments in their house. But, could I help with finding some substitutes for those beloved products? I promised her that I'd try, and here's what the products were, delivered fresh for this week's ARF / 5-A-Day over at Sweetnicks.

Now firstly, if tomato allergies are a problem for you and you don't want to cook all your condiments from scratch, I did find a company called NoMato that makes tomato-free products like sauce, salsa and ketchup. Their link is here for more info and if they aren't in your area you can order online.

Since I didn't know about any of the allergens other than the tomatoes at the time, the following recipes don't take them into account. However, I'm sure there are suitable substitutes for those allergens as well... I just ran out of inspiration by the time I typed the response to her! I've highlighted the child's allergens in the following recipes also, for identification purposes when it comes to potential dangers in the ingredients, along with some substitutes that I hadn't thought of when I emailed my new acquaintance.

Tomatoless Ketchup
About 10 servings, 2 tbsp each
It isn't spot-on taste for tomato ketchup, so don't expect it to be, but it is red and full of vegetables... would work for burgers and fries I'd bet.
1 cup diced, overcooked carrots (or 3/4 cup pumpkin puree)
1/3 cup diced, overcooked beets
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or to taste, you may need more or less depending on the beets and carrots)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder (omit)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pinch basil
pinch oregano
  1. Puree until very smooth, adding a little water if necessary.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 14.4
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 24.1 mg
Total Carbs: 3.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
Protein: 0.2 g

Tomatoless Pasta Sauce
Serves 4
This pasta sauce is delicious, smoky and sweet from the roasted peppers that will never have you missing tomatoes on your noodles! It also freezes exceptionally well, so multiply away and throw the extras in the freezer.
5 red peppers, seeded and chopped
1 large sweet onion (or 1 large fennel bulb), chopped roughly
10 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. thyme
salt + pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place peppers, onion (or fennel) and garlic cloves into a 9" x 13" baking pan.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and toss well.
  4. Put in oven and roast for about 45 minutes.
  5. Pour vegetables, all the black bits and the juices into a saucepan.
  6. Add water and seasonings and puree with an immersion blender (alternately transfer everything to a blender and puree smooth).
  7. Heat as for regular sauce and serve.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 140.4
Total Fat: 7.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 6.5 mg
Total Carbs: 18.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.9 g
Protein: 2.7 g

Hopefully, these two products of my research and kitcheny creation will help her and any other sufferers out there with the tomato withdrawl... they are very tasty even if they aren't Ragu or Heinz, and are much better for you - lacking the preservatives and overprocessing that so much of our food undergoes!


  1. Hi Sarah,

    My MIL can't eat tomatoes due to their acidity, so I will be forwarding both of those recipes to her. Thank you!

    I went back through my recipes looking for ones that the mother of the three year old might be able to use or modify. Here they are:

    Easy Sauteed Tilapia (substitute corn meal for the flour)

    Honey Mustard Chicken Strips (omit panko and increase corn flakes, substitute rice flour for wheat in stage 1)

    Swedish Turkey Balls (sub oil for marg, omit onions)

    She would need to make sure everything else listed in the ingredients is safe. They are geared for my year old's allergies and tastes, so hopefully they might help!

    Take care,

  2. I have no problem with tomatoes, but this still sounds great--just for something different! We have pasta with roasted red pepper sauce quite often and really enjoy it (no tomatoes required). ;)


Thanks for the feedback!