Dairy and Citrus Free, Conveniently

Speaking of dairy free foods, they are difficult to find anywhere, not just in restaurants. Even your run-of-the-mill prepared or packaged foods contain dairy: breads, crackers, soups, frozen meatballs, salad dressing, etc. Add a citrus allergy and then it seems you are going to die of starvation. As a result of nursing a baby who was allergic to both, I’ve had to find the right recipes and make a lot of my own items from scratch. However, since I’ve never had the time to make everything from scratch, I’ve also ferreted out some dairy and citrus free convenience items. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but since it is common for small babies to be allergic to these foods, I thought it might be helpful to others. Just be sure to double check the facts if you have a serious allergy. Then enjoy!

Takeout food

Asian cuisine: Some Southeast Asian cuisine heavily features lime but most Chinese or Japanese food is citrus free.

Burgers: Burger buns usually have dairy product in them. But Ruby Tuesday‘s buns are free of the allergen. Some burgers come with cheese so be sure to ask for no cheese. For a list of other entrees from Ruby Tuesday that are dairy free, see its allergen info here. And of course there are the vegan burgers at Crazy Burger.

Dessert: Pastiche has macaroons and homemade dark chocolate made without dairy. Crazy Burger has vegan options. And Keenwah on Broadway has a fantastic vegan brownie.

Fast food: McDonald’s buns and featured salads contain allergens so I get the Chicken Selects with a side salad.

Mexican cuisine: Avoid Taco Bell; there are virtually no options there. Look for a local spot that doesn’t marinate meat in lime juice. I found SAPO Freaky Burrito, which has pretty plain meats. El Perrito has a variety to choose from and uses fresh corn tortillas (which means no citric acid as a preservative).

Pizza: I haven’t found a chain which makes pizza dough without dairy and/or citric acid but locally, there’s Mama Leone’s. I order my pizza with extra sauce and no cheese. Just be careful about the toppings; lots of sausages and pepperonis contain citric acid so ask about them or avoid them.

Pockets or wraps: The good news is pockets or wraps don’t contain dairy. The bad news is most Mediterrean cuisine features yogurt or lemon so it’s out. One exception may be meat pies. I’ve never had a problem with the meat pies from Sam’s Bakery in Fall River. Also try the Steak Bomb from D’Angelos with no cheese. I’m pretty sure it’s also citrus free since I’ve never had a problem with it.

Sandwiches: An Italian grinder from Marzilli’s or Marcucci’s in Fall River. Hold the cheese.

Pre-packaged food

Breads and buns: You can almost never go wrong with the store brands, which use the least amount of ingredients. As a general rule, go for freshly baked, light and fluffy. Calise & Sons is another option for buns and rolls.

Breakfast sausage, frozen: Jones Breakfast Sausage.

Chicken tenders, frozen: Perdue Breaded Chicken Tenders.

Dessert: Dairy free ice cream such as So Delicious. Oreos, Junior mints, Peeps and Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups. Many brands of dark chocolate.

Meatballs, frozen: Cooked Perfect Turkey Meatballs.

Pasta sauce: Ragu or Bertolli Tomato and Basil varieties.

Pizza crust: Top This Pizza Crust is one of the very few brands that does not contain dairy and/or citrus. It’s made in Rhode Island.

Jelly/jam/preserves: Sorrell Ridge is the only fruit spread I know of which does not contain citric acid.

Salsa: Nature’s Promise, Brad’s Organic, Victoria’s and Mrs. Renfros basic varieties.

Sausage: Aidell’s Cajun Andouille Sausage. This takes like chourico, which is a bonus, because chourico is made with dried milk.

Tortillas: Chi Chi’s is the rare tortilla which does not contain citric acid.

Other Resources

Avoiding citrus: Vicki Clarke’s Citric Acid Intolerance Site

Avoiding dairy: GoDairyFree.Org

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Pastiche

Whenever I go out and whatever I’m doing when I go out, I always think it’s a perfect idea to end the event with a slice of bakery goodness and a cup of tea or java. There are just a few problems with this plan. One is, if you haven’t noticed, I’m kind of picky. Another is that there are few cafes open at night so this option is only viable during the daytime. Finally, I find that I have virtually no options left when I need to go dairy free. (That is, when I am nursing, since both my babies turned out to be allergic to cow’s milk.)

In discussing the first problem, I’ll just say that I haven’t found many coffee desserts locally that are as amazing as I can imagine them to be. As far as being open at night, about half the coffee shops around here close by the time afternoon rolls around. So if I have the time and I’m in Providence, I go to Pastiche, which is renowned for it’s fine European desserts and is open until 11 or 11:30 p.m.

On my latest trip to Pastiche, my nursling was allergic to dairy, so I wasn’t sure I could even have dessert but I wanted to linger somewhere after dinner.  I prepared to have a nice cup of decaffeinated tea but look with envy at the dessert counter. Much to my surprise and delight, however, I was also able to have the macaroons and chocolate, which just happen to be a couple of my favorite things. I had the mararoons with my tea – brewed perfectly – and they were soft and moist and delicious. The chocolate bar came home with me and when I opened it I experienced creamy, Belgianlike chocolate, even though it was dairy free!

Pastiche is usually a sure bet and now you know it is worth the trip even if you are going dairy free.