Monday, March 24, 2014

Why I don't post anymore.

  I haven't posted any recipes on here in a very long time due to the best possible reason... Jack has outgrown many of his allergies! The end of June last year we had him retested and his blood results came back showing that while his allergy to dogs and cats is still off the charts and his egg and pork allergies were still at a 4 (on a scale of 0-6 in which 0 means no allergy and 6 meant OMG you'll die to look at it!), his milk and beef allergies, previously a 5, had fallen to a 3 and he showed 0 to chicken, soy, rice, or oats! We slowly slowly added those items back in. He seemed to have an EoE type reaction to soy (we made stuffing from a boxed mix that contained soy protein), crying for no other discernible reason after a handful of bites and not really eating for the next few days, so we kept avoiding it but were able to add rice, oats, and chicken back in with no problems. It's been nearly a year and we did another trial with soy two nights in a row this week (adding soy sauce to rice) and Jack has had no reaction whatsoever, in fact he has been eating more than he ever has lately!

 So with that said, we're only avoiding milk, eggs, beef, and pork and those things are pretty easy to cook without. (If you are just starting your allergy journey, they may seem overwhelming to cook without and that's totally valid! I remember when we first started and were only avoiding milk and eggs and I thought that there was NOTHING to eat. It's all relative!) A quick Internet search yields a squillion and one dairy and egg free recipes, and avoiding beef and pork is easy peasy since there is a turkey alternative for pretty much everything. I haven't shared any recipes because I don't want to clutter up my blog which may still be relevant to those with many restrictions with redundant recipes that can be found anywhere.

  I am always available though to help anyone who is having a hard time cooking allergen free, or who is just getting started and feeling overwhelmed, or who is struggling to come up with a particular safe dish, or who just wants some ideas or a shoulder to cry on! Please feel free to comment and I will gladly try my best to help!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Easy Home Made Pasta Sauce + Baked Mini Turkey Meatballs - Dairy/Soy/Egg/Wheat Free

 We signed up for a food Co-op! We pay $15 every two weeks to get a laundry basket full of assorted fresh in-season fruits and vegetables! (You can find out if there's one in your area here

 Anyway, with that said, we've ended up with some produce that we normally would not purchase, namely tomatoes. I hate tomatoes (HATE them!!), but I can eat them once processed, like in pasta sauce. Pasta sauce is so cheap that I usually just buy it in a jar, but since we a. are trying to get away from pre-packaged and processed foods and b. have a bunch of tomatoes to get rid of, I decided to try to make my own. It turned out to be surprisingly easy and so much tastier than purchased sauce. I think I may try to make some in a larger batch and can it. Hmmm...

Easy Pasta Sauce

1 tsp  olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
7 medium tomatoes, coarsely shopped and juices retained

In a medium sized saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the remaining ingredients, including tomato juices, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 30 minutes.

Baked Mini Turkey Meatballs

16 oz 85% ground turkey (you can use leaner meat but you will have drier meatballs)
2/3 cup quick cooking oats (use GF oats if you choose)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chopped fresh basil

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until just mixed. Do not over work the meat mixture or your meatballs may get tough!
Spread about 1 cup pasta sauce on a baking sheet.
Form the meat into balls about the size of large grapes (about 1 Tbsp meat each), to form about 30 meatballs, and place them evenly on the sauced baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

You can then either serve this with your pasta sauce and pasta, or once cooled, place the entire cookie sheet in the freezer. After the meatballs are frozen you can place them in a freezer bag and reheat them in the oven, in boiling pasta sauce, or in the microwave!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Turkey Wellington - Dairy Free, Egg Free

  My husband and I are suckers for all things Gordon Ramsay. We love Kitchen Nightmares, Masterchef, and Hell's Kitchen. We loved Gordon Ramsay's F-Word and we recently watched a docu-series of Gordon in India on Netflix. It seems that in almost every show you see Gordon on though, Beef Wellington is mentioned if not prepared. Beef Wellington is a traditional British dish made from beef fillet coated in pate and mushroom puree, wrapped in puff pastry and then baked. I've never had it, but it looks great!

  Well, Chris requested I try to make a Jack friendly version for Father's Day and, well, I think we were pretty successful! In fact, this was one of my favorite things I've ever made. My ONLY qualm with it, and it's a small qualm, is that it was soggy on the bottom. But it reminded me so much in flavor of a beef french dip sandwich that the sogginess actually seemed perfect. I searched "Turkey Wellington" and actually found lots and lots of recipes, but they were all very different from Beef Wellington, even some that included cranberry sauce in place of the pate. My recipe set out to mimic as closely as possible the ingredients used in traditional Beef Wellington.

  This was adapted from Gordon Ramsay's own recipe and actually only required a few substitutions to fit our needs.

Turkey Wellington

2 Boneless skinless turkey breast fillets 
3 tsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
16 oz package baby bella mushrooms
1/2 lb thinly sliced deli oven roasted turkey breast
2 tsp yellow mustard
1 can Pillsbury Big Flaky Crescent roll dough
1/2 cup melted Earth Balance buttery spread

Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Rub turkey breasts with salt and pepper, being sure to really push the seasonings into the meat. Sear each side of turkey breasts until golden brown, about 1 1/2-2 minutes per side. This is only for color and texture, you are not trying to cook the meat at this point. Remove from heat. Brush turkey with mustard on all sides and set aside.
Coarsely chop mushroom caps and stems. Using a food processor or blender, puree mushrooms. You can also mash them with a fork, but the results won't be as smooth. Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium heat. Saute mushrooms until moisture is released (the puree will become more wet looking). Season with a pinch of each salt and pepper and set aside.
 Lay an 18 inch piece of cling wrap on your work surface. Overlapping slightly, lay half of the sliced turkey breast out. You will be wrapping the whole turkey breast in the sliced breast, so when laying out the slices be mindful the how long and big around your whole breast is and try to make the area covered large enough. I'm sorry if that is hard to understand, but once you are doing it you should understand. Spread half of the mushroom puree evenly over sliced turkey. Lay one whole turkey breast on the slices and wrap the slices around it. Wrap tightly with the cling wrap. Repeat with other breast and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
 On a lightly floured surface, unroll crescent dough. Pinch the perforated seams together along the diagonal lines to form four rectangles. Set two rectangles aside. Pinch the seams between the two rectangles to close the perforations and spread it out large enough to cover the turkey breast. Remove the cling wrap from one turkey breast and wrap it in the dough. Place it folded side down on a baking sheet. Brush with melted butter. Repeat with second breast.
Bake 35 minutes, covering lightly with foil partway through once dough becomes a nice dark golden brown.
Allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing.
Serve with roasted potatoes.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Vegan Deviled Eggs - Egg, Dairy, Soy, Wheat/Gluten Free

  I haven't been posting on here much lately because I've been really sick. I had strep throat that lasted almost a month and a sinus infection thrown in for good measure. My awesome husband stepped up to take care of the boys, keep the house clean, and make sure no one starved while I lay about in a fever stupor, but it turns out he's not a very good cook (sorry, Chris!).
  So now that I'm feeling better, I thought I'd try out an experiment. This recipe came about because, while in the very worst stages of strep, I could not swallow almost anything and only eating popsicles and vegetable broth for weeks was really starting to wear me down. I needed some calories! I'd read that turmeric and garlic both had anti-inflammatory properties, so I thought I'd make some bland mashed potatoes with a dash of each. Well the resulting potatoes were light yellow and tasted just like hard boiled egg yolks. This got my wheels turning. Could I make deviled eggs?? I love love love deviled eggs but haven't had any for years and because of Jack's allergies, how sad that he would never know the joy of a good deviled egg?
  So I set out to find if it could be done. I found a few recipes here and here, which were good starting points but as both contained soy and Vegenaise (which contains rice), I really just used them for reference. The results came out fantastic. I was really shocked by the flavor and texture of the whites! They are so mush like the real thing! I only wish the edges had come out a little smoother from the mold but if I was really looking to impress I could probably clean them up with a sharp knife.

For this recipe, you really must have 3 important things:
  • Black Salt (NOT black sea salt, but Indian black salt also called Kala Namak, which has a sulfurous, egg-y flavor)
  • Agar agar powder
  • a half egg shaped mold, unless you don't care if they are egg shaped or not. (My mold made eight 2 1/2 inch eggs)

So without further ado, here's the recipe!

Vegan Deviled Eggs 

1 cup unsweetened plain coconut milk
1 tsp agar powder
1/8 tsp black salt

1 medium potatoes, skinned, cooked, and mashed (or 1 cup instant mashed potatoes made with just water)
1/3 cup unsweetened plain coconut milk
1 Tbs prepared mustard
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs dill relish (if desired)

Paprika to garnish

In a small saucepan, bring egg white ingredients to a boil, stirring frequently. Try not to create too many bubbles while stirring, as it will just create more work for you later. Remove from heat, pour mixture into egg molds. Using a spoon, scrape any bubbles off of the top. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix all yolk ingredients together, set aside.

Once eggs whites are set, using a melon baller or small spoon, scrape out half sphere holes near the middle of each.
Pop the whites out of the mold by inserting a butter knife or similar object in between one side.
Scoop egg yolk mixture into a zippered plastic bag and cut off just the tip on one bottom corner.  Pipe mixture into holes scraped in egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika and serve or keep refrigerated up to 3 days. These are suitable for an outside picnic as they do not need to be kept cool to retain their shape (something I was worried about) and they won't spoil as easily as their actual egg counterparts.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Creamy Enchilada Casserole - Dairy, Soy, and Wheat/Gluten Free

 I actually already have a recipe for enchilada casserole on this blog, and it is really yummy. However, this recipe is so different that it almost seems like a totally different food than the other, so I wanted to include it. While the first recipe calls for ground turkey, this uses cubed turkey breast. It also includes black beans and corn which give the recipe some texture, while the other is much smoother. And perhaps my most favorite part about this recipe, it calls for the 'sour cream' to be baked right in and something magical happens to cashew sour cream when it's baked; it becomes almost like a cheese sauce... it just totally made this recipe fantastic.

 I adapted this recipe from this post on, although I had to make many changes to make this recipe fit our needs.

Creamy Enchilada Casserole

2 turkey breast tenderloins, diced into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15oz can whole corn kernels, drained
4 medium flour tortillas (or corn tortillas, if gluten free)
1 cup Daiya Mozzarella shreds
1 cup Daiya Cheddar shreds
1 Tbs Mexican seasoning blend (optional)
1 recipe cashew sour cream (see below)
1 recipe enchilada sauce (see below) OR 1 10 oz can prepared enchilada sauce of choice

Cashew Sour Cream
1/2 cup raw chasews
1/4 cup coconut milk + 1/4 cup water OR 1/2 cup water
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
 Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth

Enchilada Sauce
1 5oz can tomato sauce
half can of water
1/2 Tbs chili powder
 Place all ingredients in small sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat until boiling, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Pre heat oven to 375.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook turkey with cumin,coriander, salt and pepper until turkey is fully cooked through, about 6-10 minutes. Stir in cilantro, beans, and corn. Stir occasionally for 1-2 minutes, until beans and corn are heated. Meanwhile, mix Daiya cheeses and Mexican seasonings together in a bowl and set aside.
Spoon 4 Tbs enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Place two tortillas over the sauce to make your bottom layer. Spread the turkey/bean mixture over the tortillas. Sprinkle half of the cheese evenly over the turkey. Drizzle a little more than half of the sour cream over the cheese. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the cheese. Cover with the remaining two tortillas. Top with the rest of the cheese, and drizzle with the remaining sour cream.
Cover dish with foil wrap and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5-10 minutes.
Allow to cool 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Baked Penne and Roasted Vegetables with Smokey Cheese Sauce - Dairy, Soy, Gluten Free, Vegan

  Last week I bought a zucchini, a yellow squash, and an eggplant simply because I liked the colors. I figured I could find something to do with them but inspiration never hit me. This morning I decided to try to do something with them tonight or they were going to end up in the trash; the eggplant was becoming soft and not so bright purple. So then as I was browsing Facebook and saw this recipe from and it was perfect! I used eggplant instead of mushrooms (we didn't have any mushrooms), and really had to scale down this recipe as it was originally made for 12 full grown men. So this is my version, but you can find the original recipe here. This was really yummy, though Chris and I both agreed when we make it again we will probably add some ground turkey.

Baked Penne and Roasted Vegetables

1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 medium eggplant
1 yellow onion
1 bell pepper
1 Tbs olive oil (or coconut oil)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbs Herbs De Provence
1 package GF penne pasta (or regular)
1 cup marinara sauce

Smokey Cheese Sauce:
1 Tbs Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread
1 Tbs GF all purpose flour (or whole wheat flour)
1 cup plain unsweetened coconut milk or other plain unsweetened non dairy milk
2 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes
dash of Tabasco
1 tsp malt vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp each salt and black pepper
1 cup Daiya Mozzarella cheese shreds

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Chop zucchini, squash, eggplant, onion, and bell pepper, being careful to keep them all roughly the same size so they will roast evenly. Toss with oil, salt and pepper, and Herbs De Provence. Roast on large baking sheet until tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter and flour together over medium heat. Whisk in the coconut milk. Add in the rest of the cheese sauce ingredients except Daiya, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in cheese shreds, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions, but remove from heat and drain while pasta is still slightly firm as it will continue to cook in the oven.

Spray a large casserole dish with olive oil. Add drained pasta, roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, and cheese sauce to casserole dish and stir until incorporated.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Cracker Crusted Turkey Breast - Dairy, Soy, Egg Free

  I've read every magazine in the waiting room of my son's speech and occupational therapy office. Recently I found myself waiting without my book, Jack's iPad, and without my phone; essentially without anything to do but re-read a Ladies Home Journal from last September. This time around I read this recipe called Mrs. Potter's Chicken that I had previously skipped right over and it seemed so simple but sounded so good, I decided to try it that night. Of course we had to make adjustments; I used Daiya Mozzarella instead of Parmesan, turkey breast rather than chicken, and Earth Balance soy free buttery spread rather than butter. But this, like the original recipe, still only calls for 5 ingredients, was really easy, and very tasty.

  Cracker Crusted Turkey Breast 

1 lbs turkey breast cutlets
1 sleeve Ritz Crackers (we used the whole wheat ones), crushed
1/2 cup Daiya Mozzarella cheese shreds, crumbled*
2 Tbs Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread, melted
1/8 tsp black pepper
optional: 1/8 tsp salt

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a large baking sheet with foil and set aside.
In a pie pan or shallow bowl, combine crushed crackers, pepper (and salt if using) and cheese shreds.
Pound turkey cutlets between plastic wrap until about 1/4 inch thick. Coat the turkey with melted butter, then dredge through the crumb mixture, pressing crumbs firmly onto turkey. Place turkey on prepared baking sheet, continue with remaining pieces.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown and cooked through.

* Take a handful of cheese shreds and rub them between your hands to crumble.