In October 2008 a friend brought her 2-year-old son to my home so I could babysit. She put his Epi-Pen (epinephrine auto injector in case of anaphylaxis) on the kitchen counter and said he was allergic to gluten, eggs, and nuts. She showed me how to use the Epi-pen and then said she would be back in 2 hours. It was at that point I felt like I needed to use the Epi-Pen on myself because I was in shock at the thought of hurting this little boy from something I might feed him. I didn't even know what gluten was. Was it in an apple? A graham cracker? My friend said her son wouldn't need to eat because she fed him right before he came over, which was good, because I knew I wasn't going to give him anything but water. That was the day I realized I needed to become an allergen aware cook- not for me, but for him and anyone else who came to eat in my home.

Be Free Cooking is a collection of 80 recipes from my journey learning about food allergens- 40 "Be" or traditional recipes, along with 40 "Free" recipes that don't contain gluten, wheat, dairy, casein, egg, nut, corn, and soy. "Be" and "free" recipes are side-by-side to make selecting the right recipe simple and easy. I cook "Be" for my family and myself and I cook "Free" for anyone who needs allergen-safe meals. Having both recipes in one cookbook made it my ideal reference to cook for any food situation. And I hope you find it your ideal reference, too.  

My Story

Customer Raves

Christina Gray is an award-winning photographer and founder of Bella Luna Studios Photography based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. Having no food allergies herself, she often found herself cooking for family and friends that had them. In an effort to learn more about food allergens and understand how to cook delicious allergen-safe meals, she began a culinary journey. Be Free Cooking is a collection of recipes from that journey. She carefully documented her favorite recipes and converted each one into an allergen-safe version. Be Free Cooking is a collection of 40 traditional recipes, along with 40 allergen-free counterparts. Christina highlights eight allergens in her cookbook: gluten, wheat, dairy, casein, egg, nut, corn, and soy. Her goal is to help people who do not have food allergies be empowered to cook for people who do, while simultaneously enjoying the comfort foods they love.  (925)998-1171

Be Free Cooking is a heart-warming and delicious cookbook that brings everyone together for a meal. Food allergy or not, Be Free Cooking is a remarkable go-to guide for making everyone happy at the dinner table."

Ingrid Hoffman, Food Network TV star and author of Simply Delicioso and latin d'lite.


“Choose the delicious "Be" recipes or their allergen-free versions. Either way you won't feel deprived.” 

–  Terri Pischoff Wuerthner, DC, CCP, author of Food for Life, the Cancer Prevention Cookbook.


“I am often asked to make things "free" at the restaurant. I am happy to see a cookbook that embraces both the traditional and the new way of allergen-free cooking". ” 

Mark Dommen, Chef and Partner, One Market Restaurant, San Francisco

"I love the concept of this cookbook. Be Free Cooking is clever, original, and delicious."

- Bruce Ray, San Luis Obispo Tribune

"Be Free Cooking is the first cookbook that will help with my 'dual household' food preparation. Be Free is a valuable tool for families (and their friends) who are trying to accommodate various dietary needs. This cookbook is on my recommended reading list for my clients. 

- Kim Rice, Certified Health Coach and Gluten Practitioner,