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Allergy-Free Recipes for the Nine Days

Allergy-Free Recipes for the Nine Days


When the Nine Days (i.e., the first nine days of the Hebrew month of Av) come, the parent of a food-allergic child tends to get even more creative than usual. In our family, some of the common favorites on menus around the world during the Nine Days are completely off-limits, as we are fish-, dairy-, egg-, nuts- (and a ton of other foods) free. We tend to eat soy-heavy foods, but I have some other alternative recipes as well. Here are some of our favorite recipes for the Nine Days.

Non-Dairy Macaroni and Cheese

  • ½ cup margarine (butter if you can have dairy)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped well (optional, but gives good flavor, and my kids don’t notice)
  • ¼ cup flour (you can use wheat, rice, oat, and probably most other flours. I have made it successfully with these three)
  • A dash of salt
  • 6 cups milk of choice (we have used real milk, soy, rice, oat, and even non-dairy creamer or whip!)
  • 16 oz. noodles (works wonderfully with gluten-free noodles and regular noodles. We like to mix up the shapes)
  • 1–2 packages of Tofutti “cheese” (to get it to melt, stack the slices in a pile and slice along length and then width, making little squares)
  • Veggies of choice

Melt margarine and add in onion. Sauté until they are clear. Add in flour of choice and cook for a few minutes. Add in milk of choice and stir really well. I like to use a whisk for this to get out clumps. Once you have it brought to a boiling point, add in your noodles. Let this cook on simmer until the sauce is creamy and thick and the noodles are cooked through. Add in the Tofutti “cheese” and take it off the heat. Mix until it is fully melted. If you want, you can add in veggies that have been steamed, or put in a baking dish and top with chip crumbs or bread crumbs and bake for a few minutes. Sometimes I slice a tomato really thin and cover the top and bake.

Burritos and Quesadillas

  • Flour or corn tortillas
  • Fillings/toppings of choice (we like to use avocado, Tofutti “cheese,” beans of any kind, tomatoes, pizza sauce, veggies galore. You can also use lentils, split peas, and pretty much anything you have leftover in the fridge)
  • Tofutti “sour cream” (optional topping)

For quesadillas: lay out tortillas on a cookie sheet and put stuffing all over them. Top with another tortilla and bake till all gooey.

For burrito: lay it down, fill center, fold parallel sides and than roll up. (If you want to melt Tofutti inside, put on cookie sheet and bake till warm.)

For corn tortilla toppers, we like to take some corn tortillas and either bake (spray both sides with some cooking spray) to crisp and heat or throw them in a frying pan and crisp up. Set out a wide display of fillers and let everyone top as they eat.

Bean Chili

  • 4–5 cans of beans
  • Imitation ground beef or sausage (optional)
  • 4–6 ripe tomatoes
  • 2–3 onions
  • 3–4 peppers—all colors
  • Spices (chili powder, garlic powder, salt, paprika, pepper)

Sauté onions and place them in a crockpot. Take the imitation meat and roll into very tiny balls, then brown in the same pan that you cooked onions in. Put into the crockpot. Add in the cans of beans with the juice, and add the tomatoes and peppers. Cook on high for about two hours. Once the two hours are over, I turn the heat down to low and add in a drizzle of each of my spices. I mix and walk away. Wait another two hours, and repeat. I do this one more time, and usually things are looking good. I taste and then add in spice as needed. We like it spicy, so I tend to use a lot of chili powder and garlic powder.

We like to serve the chili over noodles. My husband’s favorite is the type of noodles that look like a thick spaghetti but have a hole in the center so they pick up the extra juice. We put some noodles in the bowl, chili on top, fried onions, and than a bit of Tofutti “sour cream.” Sometimes we will even add a bit of fresh guacamole.

Quinoa Stuffed Vegetables

I have used eggplant and zucchinis for this recipe, but you can use peppers, tomatoes, and any other vegetable that can be stuffed!

Cut loads of veggies into small chunks. I tend to use zucchinis, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and sometimes asparagus. Sauté them in a tiny bit of oil. When they are cooked through, add in the quinoa and toast for a few minutes. Add in, as the directions state on your quinoa box, enough water to cook it. Let the quinoa cook.

Prepare your vegetables for stuffing. Core the centers of the vegetables and lay in a baking dish. I try to use the centers of the veggies I am stuffing in the quinoa mix instead of throwing them out. When the quinoa filling is done, stuff the vegetables and top with tomato sauce. Bake till the outer vegetables are cooked through.

I make my own homemade tomato sauce. I take 2–3 large onions, cut them up and sauté a bit. I then add in about 8–10 tomatoes off the vine. I cut those into quarters. I mix it and let it all cook down for a few minutes. I then add a few swigs of sweet white wine into the pot (should be about 3–4 inches from the bottom) to sweeten it up a little more, some salt to taste, and then again mix and let it cook. After about 15–20 minutes I take my immersion blender and blend it down. Once it is smooth, I let it simmer for another half an hour or so, and it’s ready.

Spaghetti and “Meatballs”

A package of fake ground meat. I make little “meatballs” and brown them in a skillet. Cook pasta of choice. I use my homemade sauce from above and add in some Italian spices. Mix it all together, and my kids never even realize that it’s not the real deal.

Potato Bake Night

Cook a number of potatoes, either on the grill (in foil wraps) or in the oven.

Steam any vegetables which your family likes. For some protein, we like to take canned beans, heat them up and then mash them. Tofutti “sour cream” and margarine are also staples for us with this meal. Bring everything out in bowls and let each family member get creative with their toppings.


I learned from a friend to use a white sauce in addition to tomato sauce. This adds a lot of depth to a meat- and cheese-free lasagna.

Sauté any vegetable that you normally would use in your lasagna. We like to use onions, zucchini and spinach. We also will sometimes add in some fake ground meat for some protein. To make the white sauce you need margarine, flour of your choice (oat and rice work!), salt, and water or milk substitute. You need to start by melting the margarine and than adding the flour. Slowly add in your liquids till it is the consistency you want. I like to make it not very thick, but not runny.

Take your tomato sauce and put down a layer in the pan. Place noodles, a bit more tomato sauce, veggie, white sauce, noodle, tomato sauce, fake meat and/or veggie, white sauce (sometimes instead of white sauce in this layer I will chop some Tofutti up and put in there), noodles, tomato sauce. (You can add another layer, or finish it there. I usually put in three layers of vegetables.) On the last layer, put in the noodle, tomato sauce, and then the rest of the white sauce. Cover and bake.

Dairy-Free Pizza

One last dish that is always popular in our home is personal pizzas.

We make small individual pizzas so everyone can have their favorite toppings. You can either leave it with just pizza sauce and toppings, or you can chop up Tofutti slices and top it with that. The Tofutti will melt as long as you chopped it, so don’t put it too close to the edges.

The Nine Days can be a source of a lot of stress and worry for families with food allergies and intolerances. Hopefully these recipes will help you feel more in control of your meals during the Nine Days and give you some good menu options.

Sara Atkins is a stay-at-home mom her five silly and special children in Wynnewood, PA. In her spare time she is the President of Angel Service Dogs, Inc which is a foundation which trains Allergy Alert (TM) Service Dogs and Service Dogs for other needs including Tourettes Syndrome, PTSD, and anxiety.
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Lisa Providence, RI November 19, 2014

Allergy Free Nine Days One of my cousins is gluten free by choice, and I'm glad this website has dishes she can eat! Reply

Sara Atkins July 31, 2014

to substitue for soy For any of the toffuti cheese you can swap it out with Daiya (soy free!). At the time this was written Daiya was not kosher certified. Daiya is a GREAT "cheese" substitute. Reply

Anonymous July 31, 2014

Misleading title. Not allergy free. Soy is a major allergen. Allergy free for specific allergies. Reply

pauline washington fairburn, us November 1, 2010

where can i find this tofutti cheese Reply

Sara Atkins wynnewood, PA July 20, 2010

shani I am sorry Shani, I wish it was so simple. There is no reputable studies that show such a thing. My children have allergies because of genetics. In our family the genetics are very clear. A naturopath will not help someone who has true IgE allergies. In fact, there have been cases of people dying from their treatments. Reply

Shani Jerusalem July 15, 2010

Not sure this is the way to go These recipes call for margarine and other processed foods. Studies have shown that a person's body will many times start rejecting harmless foods (i.e. allergies) when it has too many toxins it needs to attempt to digest and otherwise process. Instead of searching for processed alternatives to dairy etc., which only serve to add further stress the body, I would recommend working with an experienced naturopath in order to ease the allergies and bring the body to a state in which it can naturally heal itself, and the body will frequently stop rejecting "harmless" foods (all the various foods you mentioned to which your children are allergic). This natural path is proven to be very successful! Much hatzlacha and refua! Reply

Sara Atkins wynnewood, PA July 13, 2010

Jolynn, While not helpful for the 9 days, there is a new "cheese" out that is dairy AND soy free. Its called daiya. They are in the process right now of getting kosher certification (I believe OU) and should have new labels in about 2 months. From what I have been told by friends who are not jewish and have FAs- this stuff is awesome and really melts beautifully! Hope that helps. Reply

Sara Atkins wynnewood, PA July 13, 2010

Ms. Weaver My children are deadly allergic. However, when I put up such recipes I want to make sure all different types are capable of making it. Mother's marg. does not contain whey nor does toffuti cheese. Out of my 4 kids my middle two have the most severe allergies (my oldest has outgrown everything, Thank G-d!! and the baby is "only" allergic to peas.). My older of the two is NOT allergic to dairy and I used to make the mac and cheese for him all the time dairy but gluten free as he was anaphylactic to wheat, until my daughter was born. She is deadly allergic to dairy so no, I don't make it dairy anymore. I used rice and oat milk until she outgrew her soy allergy and now use soy milk. So, I have experience making it all different ways and wanted to share with the readers options. I clearly wrote these are options. Thank you though for being concerned about my children. I am extremely careful though as anyone who knows us can attest to. Reply

Ms. ellen Weaver July 12, 2010

Non- Dairy? You say that you are dairy free because of allergies in the family. but your first recipe calls for either margarine or butter. A few ingredients later, you call for milk, although you do mention using soy and other milk substitutes, but also state that you have used the real McCoy. I hope the person who has the allergy is eating at a friend's house that meal.

Unless you are using an oil based margaring such as Promise (and you might as well use motor oil, for all the taste those have) whey is 5 or 6 on the ingredient list. Granted, whey is very thin, (and stinks as bad as Promise tastes) as it is the substance remaining after cheese is made. But most people I know who have a food allergy are very sensitive, and the reactions could mean death. If you just get an upset tummy, as I do with tomatoes, you have a food intolerance and not an allergy. Reply

esther brooklyn, NY July 12, 2010

thanks! we have an egg free person and a dairy free person in our family, I appreciate the recipes, especially the dairy free white sauce! Reply

Jolynn Evans October 13, 2009

your recipes All your recipes look delicious and I would like to use them, but I believe the tofutti has soy, right? My son can't have soy either, so I'm off to search for more recipes, or I could just leave it out? Reply

TJ Chicago July 26, 2009

What's namaste? Is that a brand name? Never heard of it.
Thanks for your answer Reply

Sara Atkins wynnewood, PA July 24, 2009

TJ, you can make it without "cheese" and it is still very creamy. just tastes like a Alfredo I would say. If you can use nutritional yeast you could mix that in for a "cheesy" taste. It tastes a lot like Parmesan. We also sprinkle it on spaghetti squash with a little bit of marg. (not sure if you have available). As for a good gluten free pizza crust- we always used namaste.
Ella- fake ground meat we get at the regular grocery store. Its soy. There are all different brands.
Julia- the sauce would work without. You would need to add some spice to add more flavor. Reply

ella brooklyn, ny July 23, 2009

fake ground meat what is fake ground meat? where do you get it? Reply

TJ Chicago, USA July 22, 2009

Thanks for the recipes I'm delighted to see these recipes, as my son is gluten free, dairy free, and other things (msg, food coloring, nitrites etc.)....Since I now cannot use the Tofutti cheese slices, can I make the macaroni with out it, or what's a good substitute?
Also, do you have a good gluten free pizza crust recipe?
Thanks alot! Reply

Julia Lincoln, UK July 21, 2009

Trying to learn... My attention was caught by the quinoa recipe as I have never used it before, so now might be a good time to try. When you say you add white wine in the sauce though, can you explain for me please how this works for the Nine Days, the book I have been looking at says wine is permitted if it doesnt enhance the dish, I'm not sure how you tell when it enhances a dish or not? Or is it just something one learns to differentiate by practice? ( I sometimes end up avoiding things that are perfectly acceptable because I dont know how to tell the difference, so any explanation on when and when not to cook with wine in the Nine Days would be great , please :) )

PS on the Tofutti question, I can't remember off the top of my head what is on the packs in this country, but maybe there are local differences? Reply

Golda getz Watertown, NY July 20, 2009

cheese not cheese Hi there folks..Thank you Sara for the wonderful recipes. there is a npn-cheese here in the US, in Health food stores, that has an OK( non dairy rennet, I believe) hechsher! Veganrella comes in two parve varieties, Mozzerella and Cheder..both are base in Rice (not soy) and melt nicely. I should have gotten Stock in this company before I wrote this response...Not it will be very popular, B"H Reply

Sara Atkins Wynnewood, PA July 20, 2009

toffuti slices I am a bit confused. I am holding a pack of toffuti slices in my hand and they have never been OU from what I remember or know. They are chof K pareve and have always been. As well they have never contained renet nor do now. Maybe you are looking at a different product and confusing it with toffuti slices. Reply

Anonymous near Jerusalem , Israel July 20, 2009

allergy warning about Toffuti hard cheese slices your recipes include toffuti hard cheese slices - if you look carefully at the package it now says OU-D -- I checked it out with the OU why the change and they said that the ~renet~ is dairy based and that is why the change in the hechsher. In short anyone who is allergic to cows milk CANNOT use this product. Reply

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