Glorious Tomatos

For about 10 years now, I have become increasingly allergic to onion. Garlic is the only allium I can still eat. For a long time, I couldn’t eat raw onion, but if it was cooked enough, say dehydrated and used as powder, or stewed, I could still eat it, but now, raw onion gives me blisters in the mouth, and any other form of onion makes it feel like I have been eating hot peppers. And as it is a contact allergy, it also, um, causes a lot of GI symptoms, let’s say.

But onion is in EVERYTHING. Every soup stock ever made, rubs, sauces, spice blends. Cheddar flavored chips have onion in them. Goldfish crackers. And whole swaths of cultural cooking are completely out. Mexican, Italian, Thai, Indian, Chinese… And do you know how many places put onion in their hamburger or on their seasoned fries? And you would think something like plain canned tomato paste would be just tomatoes, but you would be incorrect. Most of the name brands of plain tomato sauce and paste have onion in them. No yellow mustard, plain ketchup, or store-bought pickles and relishes, either. My husband is a chef, but he works dinner services, and I am NOT a good cook. I have had to start learning, because if I want to eat food that tastes good, I have to make it myself.

Last summer, my boss brought me dozens of pounds of tomatoes from her garden, after she was sick of canning them herself. So I made myself some tomato sauce, just tomatoes and salt, froze it in portions, and had my husband take it to work and vac-seal it for longevity. It will make a good base for lots of things. I also dehydrated a TON. Three quart jars full, after dehydrating. I can add that bright tomato flavor to sauceless pizzas, without having to make pizza sauce from scratch. And when I was done, I collected the juice off my cutting board, and made myself a fresh-squeezed vodka cocktail.


The onion allergy sounds like a bummer, but the tomatoes look delicious. And a bonus cocktail, too. Sweet!


Nothing so good as home canned tomatoes, they are delish!
Have you heard of hing as an allium substitute? Very tasty, no GI distress.


Mmm! That sauce looks great. Mr. Road makes a mean marinara in this house. So much better than from a jar!

My FIL is allergic to onions and they bother Mr. Road, too. Thankfully dehydrated is still good. We manage to avoid major issues even going out to eat. Good luck!!


I admire your determination so much! An allium allergy would be so hard to work around. Your commitment to making your own tasty dinners while the house chef is at work is commendable.


@Magpie I haven’t heard of allium substitute, but I have been having some luck with a couple of companies that make food specifically for FODMAP diets. They make a decent ketchup. Dijon mustard instead of yellow, and last year I made a delish homemade dill relish. I don’t mind missing the flavor of onion so much.

@Abbeeroad The proteins in allium that can cause allergies get denatured with heat, so the more fully cooked the easier on the body. And like most allergies, it progresses. It was about three years ago when I realized I really couldn’t have ANYthing anymore. Eating out is ROUGH. lol

@TheMistressT Aw, thank you! Right now, what I am really focusing on is sort of cooking staples. Even when my husband is home, he is hogtied by the difficulty in finding basic ingredients with which to make things. So I have also started making homemade stocks on weekends. He can mix spice blends. Then when he IS home to cook, he can make delish things with pantry staples without having to concoct whole new ways of doing things. Which is work he COULD put into it, but I don’t want him to have to. I just need to find a good homemade cream of chicken. It’s the last of the basics he uses to make some of my fave dishes. Lol


That’s a tough allergy to manage. Your tomatoes look delicious!


I love tomatoes! Making your own sauces is a great idea!