Allergy-free holiday appetizers

Red Pepper Hummus
Yield: 3 cups


  • 1 can canned organic garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/4 C. tahini
  • 1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 C jar of roasted red peppers, drained
  • 4 sprigs fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. oregano, dried
  • 1-2 tsp. smoky paprika
  • 1/4-1/3 C. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. soy-free Chili paste or hot sauce
  • 1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
  1. Place all ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth.

  2. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

  3. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve
Buffalo, Herb, & Cranberry Meatballs (or 1 meatloaf)
Yield: about 2 dozen meatballs or 1 meatloaf

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 small yam, grated
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 - 2 tbsp. dried marjoram
  • 1/2 C. dried cranberries (plumped in hot water)
  • 1/2 C. roasted pine nuts, smashed
  • 2 Tbsp. Merlot or other red wine
  • 1/2 - 3/4 C. GLUTEN FREE breadcrumbs (home-made, Kinnikinnick brand, or almond meal)
  • 1 pound Ground buffalo meat (may substitute lean ground beef)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in medium heat. Sauté onions, yam, garlic and marjoram until tender. Cool slightly.

  2. Place mixture in a large mixing bowl, then add the remaining ingredients.

  3. Mix by hand or large spoon until well combined.

  4. Form small meatballs and place on ungreased baking sheet.

  5. Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes, until meat is cooked through.
Fruit and No-Nut Bar
Yield: 18 servings


  • 15 Organic dates, pitted
  • 1 C. Organic, Raw sunflower seeds soaked, drained
  • 1/3 C. Organic Raw pine nuts, roasted
  • 1/4 C. Organic ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 C. Organic raisins
  • 1/8 C. Organic shredded coconut
  • 1/2 C. Organic gluten free oats
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground cloves
  1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy-duty mixer or food processor such as Cuisinart (metal blade) or Kitchen Aid.

  2. Process all ingredients until well blended.

  3. Spread mixture into a lightly oiled 8 inch square pan.

  4. Bake in 350° oven for 10 - 15 minutes.

  5. Cool. Cut into 18 equal portions to serve.
About Bonnie Presti:

Bonnie Presti, founder of The Sensitive Diner, is a certified Nutrition Educator and certified Lifestyle Educator. She has a healthcare background dating back to 1973. As a life-long 'foodie', she always loved creating fabulous meals for friends and family.

But, for years, she suffered from exhaustion and continual digestive issues. By sheer luck soon after her 40th birthday, a nutritionist finally figured out what was wrong. Bonnie was diagnosed with Celiac disease as well as intolerance to soy, eggs, dairy, and other foods. Her immediate reaction was…"what can I eat now?"

To her dismay, Bonnie found the availability of allergy-free food to be a sore disappointment. This discontentment quickly became the catalyst which ignited her cooking creativity. She began developing recipes that filled all of her needs: foods that were allergen-free, delicious, and nutritious.

While working through her own healthcare issues, Bonnie recalled the value of the food allergy information given to her by the nutritionist. She therefore decided to return to school where she earned her certification as a Nutrition Educator. Now, she is able to combine her formal nutrition training with her passion and expertise in allergen-free cooking to help others achieve and maintain optimal wellness.

Bonnie offers highly individualized nutrition-based programs for a wide variety of conditions. She is available for consultations with individuals, groups, and corporations.

Bonnie is a guest on radio talk shows, teaches cooking classes at Whole Foods Markets, and seminars on nutrition & cooking around the bay area. She is the author of Allergy-Friendly Cooking, an invaluable book, complete with delicious, healthy, easy-to-follow recipes, tips, and resources.

For more information, visit

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