If onion is a trigger for you, how in the world do you stay away from it?
Recently I was flipping through an ethnic cookbook, and found that almost every recipe contained onion. For many people, onion contributes to that next migraine attack. If you want to cook but are being confronted by an onion on every page of your cookbook, here are some ways to fight back:
- Reduce: You may find that having only a small percentage of onion in your food isn’t a problem. What I’ve done is cut the amount of onion in the recipe in half. If there was a lot of onion, you can sometimes replace what you take out by adding a little more of the other vegetables in the recipe.
- Replace (option 1): There are actually a lot of "onion-like" vegetables that you can use in the place of the onion. One popular and easy choice is garlic (though depending on the recipe you may want to use less garlic than you would have used onion). But there are other things more like onions that you may be able to use. Though many people find onion to be a trigger, far fewer seem to have problems with leeks, scallions (spring onions) and shallots. Try using these in your recipes instead of onion.
- Replace (option 2): You could flavour your food with Asafoetida. Asafoetida is sold as a powder, and when cooked in a recipe adds a flavour similar to onion.
It has added benefits, because it is believed to help with digestion, and helps to lessen gas from things like beans and lentils. If you live in the Middle East or India, you shouldn’t have trouble finding it. If you don’t, you may be able to find asafetida in an Indian market, or with the ethnic foods in your grocery store. Often people who are alergic to onion will use asafetida.
- Avoid: Of course, you can avoid onion altogether. Some people find that raw onions are a problem, but cooked onions are all right. Many recipes really just use onion as extra flavour – most of the time you can simply take it out and the recipe will still work fine.
Do you find onion to be a trigger? What have you done to solve the problem?