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The Question
Sat May 03 17:37:04 EDT 2014

What can I use for a substitute in the recipes with tomatoes, tomato sauce, wine?

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My sister has been a diabetic type 2 since 1990. She has been dealing with breast and bone cancer since 2009 and she is taking chemo pills every other week for the rest of her life. This is to prevent the cancer from taking over. The Dr. wants to keep her alive as long as he can. The pills are working now. However, her appetite has changed so much, I'm at a lost to what to cook her. She also has acid reflux. She can not eat any foods with tomatoes or tomato sauce. We are not wine drinkers. I love some of your recipes I see listed with seafood and meats that have tomatoes and wine, what substitutes can I use to cook these recipes? She does drink Lactaid milk and I use 1% milk. Sometimes I do cook 2 different meals for us. She can not eat the meals all the meals I cook because of the cancer, so I try to do just fish and vegetables. But even that gets boring for her. So I am trying to do some of your recipes that she may be wanting to try and eat. Thank you, Rosanna Faucheaux
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Expert Answers (1)
2014-07-01 22:54:13.0

Dear bayoutechecajun,

Thank you for writing dLife!

How fortunate your sister is to have such a caring cook to help nourish her. 

The wine and onions add flavor and acid to the meals.  There are several things you can do to prepare full flavor meals without the wine and tomatoes.  First, I suggest looking at the recipes which do not contain these items since the flavor balance has been created with other seasonings. 

Also, avoid other recipes with a lot of acid such as citrus juice and vinegar since it sounds like acid foods may be difficult for her to digest.For the recipes with wine, you can simply replace the wine with a low sodium vegetable or chicken bouillon cube or broth.

  For those recipes containing tomatoes you can omit them and boost the flavor with any of the following ingredients which all have the added benefit of containing cancer-fighting compounds:  olive oil, red peppers, garlic, onions, leeks, scallion, and ginger.  If the recipe already calls for these ingredients, you can double the amount to enhance the flavor and color.   

Some other flavor boosters include pure lemon oil (1-2 drops per recipe) and zest.  These are especially good with fish and poultry and will dramatically boost flavor but do not contain the acid that is found in the juice portion of the fruit.  Sofrito is a Spanish tomato-based flavoring, but 2 teaspoons can be used to enhance the flavor of the entire pot and this amount is unlikely to aggravate the reflux.  Miso and grated Italian cheese can also be used in small amounts to add a tremendous flavor boost to main dishes, salads, and vegetables.

Bon Appétit

Accreditations: MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN
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*** All information contained on dLife.com is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our Expert Q&A is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

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