Welcome to No Dairy No Cry!
My name is Laila. I’m a wife to a supportive and loving husband and a mother to two wonderful kids, Munsur and Sofia. They’re the inspiration behind the recipes you see on this site, and the reason why I spend countless hours in the kitchen covered in flour and grease and all that good stuff.
Anywhere we go, food surrounds us; whether on vacation, at home, at work, at restaurants, on the streets..I could go on and on. The point is, food and our love for it is everywhere. Besides the obvious fact that we need food to survive, we enjoy eating. Most of us are fortunate enough to be able to eat everything with no trouble. However, there are some who are unable to enjoy the same things most of us take for granted. And this is where this blog comes in.
When Munsur was just under 18 months, he was diagnosed with colitis, anaphylaxis to dairy and beef; with absolutely no family history to any of them. And although we were told about his allergies, we had no idea what encompassed ‘dairy’. Turns out, it’s a lot of things, even foods you’d never expect dairy to be present in. We found out the hard way when he ate something that was laced with goat milk, his reaction started off with an itchy throat, then slowly turned into more shallow breathing, and finally his eyes swelled up so badly, one of them completely shut. I became a total mess (on the inside of course; I couldn’t have him see me so scared). And the poor thing couldn’t tell us how he was feeling because of his young age. We rushed him to the hospital and thankfully the nurses acted quickly to control his reaction. The second we got home, I cleaned out my fridge and cupboards of anything dairy or anything labelled with the warning: may contain dairy or made in a facility that also processes dairy. It’s a decision that came naturally to both me and my husband. Besides, who needs dairy when you have healthier and tasty alternatives out there?
We’d also discovered that Sofia has food allergies, only hers are to eggs and cashews (to which she is anaphylactic). It was a terrifying experience when we found out about her cashew allergy. We were out of town and decided we would try out a vegan restaurant. She loved this ‘sour cream’ dip which was primarily cashew-based. Within seconds her entire demeanour changed, from a happy quiet little girl, to a nervous, antsy, and terrified girl. The hives quickly spread over her entire little body and her eyes swelled up and once her coughing started, I panicked. We rushed her to the hospital, and the next few hours seemed like an eternity. Our allergist confirmed her allergy and advised us to also stay away from pistachios and mangoes since they’re related (they all belong to the poison ivy family). With mangoes specifically, we were told she might display signs of dislike for the fruit, in which case we would avoid it. But thankfully, she is ok with them. Thank goodness at least cashew is an expensive nut…not to mention quite fatty!
As a result, I’ve been creating recipes as well as have modified certain favourites of my own. It’s challenging but so much fun trying and failing and trying again until you get it just right. When the end result is a successful one, it’s as if I’ve won the lottery….. I’ve never won the lottery in actuality so I’m only assuming it’s a great feeling…the point is, it’s a day made. :)
It’s become my mission to provide the most normal of lifestyles for my kids so they never have to feel like they’re unable to have something because of their allergies.
This site is an outlet for anyone who’s looking for delicious, wholesome, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free (wherever possible), peanut and nut-free options, cashew free, and beef-free foods, with a Middle-Eastern flair where applicable. Not to mention a place where I can keep all my recipes neatly organized! It will also provide useful information on the products I find and use, that are dairy-free, egg free, and nut free! I will show you how you can transform dairy-laden and other allergen foods into delicious allergen friendly goodness. You won’t tell the difference; I promise!
If I can help one person going through a similar situation, feel a sense of relief that delicious allergen friendly/free foods can and do exist, then I’ve fulfilled my goal.
Hope you enjoy my approach to a healthy, allergy-free lifestyle!