Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Great Cheese Experiment

My son has had food allergies for 10 years now. He is allergic to raw cheese, milk and yogurt but is fine having cooked cheese (grilled cheese, pizza). My daughter is a cheese-monster and will eat every piece put in front of her.

Recently, over the past several months, I have noticed that my daughter has complained of her stomach hurting. At first, I thought it was because she was trying to stay home from school. Then, I realized that it was more often during the school week than at home. This lead me to wonder if it was something she was eating at snack time at school. We went to the family's for a get together and behold- the cheese tray. My daughter was in Heaven...until later and the next day when she was going back and forth between running to the bathroom with near misses to saying her stomach hurt again.

This summer, I have restricted her diet and we have been trying to keep her both cheese and gluten free. It hasn't been too difficult considering both my husband and myself have Candida allergies so we no longer use dairy milk, yogurt or cheese. My daughter has adjusted to the non-dairy milk that we use and because there is no cheese in the house, there is no problem. But, she is not taking well to having her tuna with very crunchy, gluten free crackers.

This all being said, I decided to open up my never-ending folder of "Recipes to try". There is a Vegan Cheese Sauce that has been staring at me for months. Tonight, we made open-face gluten free burritos and I secretly made the Vegan Cheese Sauce to see what would happen.

The sniff test does not pass for cheese but the chip test went well. The recipe was easy to follow, easy to prepare and the consistency was very similar to a nacho cheese sauce. While the kids were in the other room, I filled up their dishes and placed them at the table. My son was excited and said "Is this cheese?" I just said "Yep" from the kitchen and waited.

I decided to pretend to be taking pictures of my guacamole for my blog and I snapped a few of the kids while they were wolfing down dinner and saying how awesome it was. By the time I went in, my son was almost done with his plate!

I sat with my plate, watched them devour dinner and saw how excited they were to be eating cheese! My daughter paused and I knew she was wondering if it would catch up with her later on. I assured her she would be ok with this cheese. She finished and my son made a second plateful. When he left, he said he was full (which never happens) and again said how awesome it was. I thanked them both.

Then, after they were done, I asked them to come and sit at the table with me to talk about something. I turned the camera on and told them both "There was not one ounce of cheese in that sauce."

<-------------   (These were their reactions)

Now I know this might not have been the nicest thing to do but as a mom, you know that there are only so many times during your child's life when you can silently torture them and sit back to enjoy it. You know that your mom did it to you when you were a child and someday, hopefully, your children will pass it onto their children as well. The circle of life continues as it should. All are happy and there is peace in the world once more.

As for the recipe for the Vegan Cheese Sauce, I do have to be honest and say that this was not my recipe. This was a recipe that I found at Food Allergies on Ice at http://foodallergiesonice.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/vegan-better-than-cheese-sauce/ . (We used the SunButter option rather than the yeast option)

Thank you Food Allergies on Ice! You made our family's night!



  1. I'm so checking out that recipe. My son loves cheese, but can't have it. And we try to leave it out of our diets as much as possible for health reasons. But, a cheese-less sauce that tastes like it has cheese, I'm all over that.

    Can your son have cooked milk as well? We tried cooked milk with Tristan and he reacted, so I suppose it would be same with cheese, but we've never tried.


    1. As an FYI, the recipe calls for either Sunbutter or yeast. We used Sunbutter.

      My son's dairy allergy is t uncooked cheese but I have not tried cooked milk for awhile simply because we don't even use dairy milk anymore. He can't have raw cheese or yogurt be he's fine with cooked cheese, like a grilled cheese or pasta with melted cheese.
      - Tracy

  2. This is so funny! That's always the best way to get an honest reaction though, people can be so biased if they know ahead of time!

    1. Plus, it's my parental right to amuse myself by seeing how my kids will react :)