One Dish Cuisine Allergy-Friendly Food (image courtesy of One Dish Cuisine)
Maureen Burke had health problems her whole life, including severe gastrointestinal disorders, migraines, recurring sinus, ear and bladder infections, extreme fatigue, anemia, arthritis and blistering skin rashes. For years, doctors couldn’t diagnose – or cure – her myriad of medical issues and Maureen was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Frustrated by her illnesses, a gastroenterologist put her on an elimination diet to determine what was wrong, and things pointed to an issue with gluten. (Celiac disease was not well known and there were no blood tests or biopsies for this condition back then.) In fact, she was on several different elimination diets, beginning in 1988. She could eat boiled rice, boiled chicken, peas and water, which she pureed into baby food, and then could add one new food every three days. She still wasn’t getting full relief, and in 1994 was referred to an allergist who confirmed a milk allergy rather than just a lactose intolerance. Little was known about food allergies or celiac disease at that time, and there were few resources for her to access. Gluten-free products weren’t yet available, so Maureen made her own foods as the only guarantee that she’d know exactly what was in them. Once she completely cut gluten and dairy from her diet, her health improved significantly.
Years later, when her young nephew, Devin, was diagnosed with autism, his mother opted for a gluten, dairy and casein-free diet, rather than medication. Maureen used her cooking skills to make healthy meals that Devin could safely enjoy. The diet seemed to have a positive impact on Devin’s behavior, and when he ingested gluten or casein (milk proteins) his old behaviors returned quickly.
In 2010, based on her needs and the needs of her nephew, Maureen founded her company, One Dish Cuisine, providing gluten and allergen-free meals to hospitals and grocery stores. In 2012, Maureen opened One Dish Cuisine Café, Deli and Bakery (completely gluten-free, certified gluten-free, allergen-friendly and vegan-friendly) in Ellicott City, MD.