Why we're here...

The quick version :) We are a family of 6 (plus 5 if you count pets) living with severe food allergies (thus far dairy and beef, thinking the baby might add some to the list) and as vegetarians (mostly vegan), organically, and I generally attempt to do everything as quickly and easily as possible (think one bowl everything!).

The long version... This journey officially started one Saturday in April (2011) when my husband decided to let me (his very pregnant wife) "sleep in" and took our 18 month old son downstairs. The minute I fell asleep again they came back up, my husband said that Jake seemed tired again and wanted me. Byebye sleeping in. We settled back in bed, Jake on top of me, I dozed for a minute and opened my eyes admiring my boy. He sleepily opened his eyes and threw up all over my face, head, back (no idea how), pillows, you get the idea! To which I said "Change Jake, I'll be in the shower!" At which point my husband admitted "oh I gave him milk". At this point we knew only that he didn't like milk.

When I told his doctor this story in passing at his 18 month appointment she felt that was an unusual reaction and he should be seen by an allergist. Jake had never touched a milk product willingly, but we figured maybe an intolerance or preference. Clearly we were wrong when I brought him to be tested and the doctor said "he's allergic to milk". By the look on his face he did not think I was entertaining when I replied "Oh come on, that's ridiculous". Thus... I had to remove milk from his diet, as well as my own because he was still nursing. Which at first was tough due to my unnatural obession with ice cream, but there are enough milk substitues to deal with that. However, later this summer he was still having symptoms. Brought him to get tested once more and found he was allergic to eggs as well (again my "Are you kidding?!" was met with a quiet smile). (2014 Update: he's fine with eggs now, his milk allergy severity has sky rocketed, as well as a new beef allergy. and too many environmental allergies to list! But seriously, who cares if he cannot own a horse!)

Moral of this, I had a lot to change in the cooking department! I attempted to use vegan recipes. Thus, these recipes were born, and further, this website. Apparently allergies are occurring more and more but it is very difficult to find recipies to accomodate. My goal is to help that cause by providing ways to work around that and still eat well (and by well, I mean food that my chicken-wing-addicted-husband-who would-never-eat-anything-that-grows-in-the-ground-if-his- obnoxious-wife-does-not-nag-him-until-he-gives in- will actually eat. (2014 Update-This man has become a near vegan at home for his little man! He's a fabulous father! However, I learned quickly to cook for him!)

2016 update! we now have four children ages 6 to 6 months. Only one has confirmed allergies, but it's looking possible that this may increase by one or two (currently we are just watching and waiting :) Please don't take our peanut butter away!!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Get Your Kids to Eat What you Cook!!

Well, what a year...  baby number 5 surprising us (or will be in Oct/nov) , I have not made any headway into spending less on groceries. Or on this blog obviously! But we are recovering from losing a pet, and possibly one more being terminal, my father's cancer (he will be home soon for a bit before surgery. well not my home, 10 hours from here) and many other things.

 I have however, found the key to getting the kids to eat more vegetables, and foods that I cook, in general. Here's the (probably familiar? ) background...

Dinner Time!! What are we having?! I want this! I don't want this! I don't like this! Can you make this?  Me: head spins and I lose it. I decided that I would never again make more than one dinner!!! FREEDOM!!!!! I prewarned the kids. I informed them that dinner is dinner and whatever I make is dinner and they would be expected to try it. If they choose not to eat it, they are able to get a banana, or other fruit, but not a whole other separate meal, and they can get it themselves.

Guess what happened..... For two days they tested... and now they have found out they actually like things they didn't know they did! what?!?!?! My life got much easier!!! The only exceptions are that each of my children has a true dislike for one or two things (lets say that we found out my 6yo lady may possibly vomit on the table when forced to take a bite of sweet potato... um the end...). If I am making something exclusively those truly disliked foods (ie. chili, my 3 almost 4 yo has a reaction no one wants to see with beans.... and since we are vegan, chili is beans!) I will substitute something I decide and something easy. (said almost 4yo loves sweet potatoes and will make that his whole dinner)

And guess what else? They don't complain and aren't so "picky". So pretty much I learned that that was my fault and not theirs. Special... add it to the list. haha....

I also make lunches now primarily vegetable and fruit based and am trying to keep them from as much bread (though we do use Ezekiel which is the best). But seriously, my 6yo daughter would eat toast for every meal if I let her (with Earth Balance butter). So probably missing some nutrients. And, while I didn't mine making breakfast or dinner, lunch was driving me crazy. So  no I have 5 compartment plates that I fill with whatever I feel like and see what happens. The kids think it's fun (they even call them the "cool cool plates") and it's easier than taking 4 lunch orders.

Next up: I have mastered (almost) living in a regular hotel room with the inability to go out to eat bc of allergies. (which by the way, now my current youngest cannot have bananas, that's fun. But bc she's not anaphylactic, we do let others eat them. Important when your husband has braces and he's whining about being hungry :). I will post that soon!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Merry Christmas and Other Holidays!! And vegetables!

My thankfulness on Thanksgiving was a little premature.. Upon further testing, my father does have a slightly serious form of cancer and is getting his first chemo as I type. It is surely time for scientists to start working on why cancer is occurring at the rates it is as well as the cures!! In doing so, I want to start focusing on a healthier plant based diet for my family. Time to invent new recipes with vegetables that my kids will eat!! This is a daunting task, that I sometimes feel tired about. hahaha... But it's what needs to happen! If I could give up most things in a package I would. But I'm not that daring yet! I first want to attempt to invent some type of vegetable based dip or cracker... something picky kid appealing. If I actually find something that 3 of 4 of my kids eat, I will consider it a huge win!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Very Thankful Thanksgiving!! And Menu..

As I sit here and blog.... I am reminded of so many things I am thankful for! My family being first! My dad's tumor is benign! He has to have a major surgery because it needs to be removed and is very large, but still.... It brings to mind others who did not get that same news. My kids are wonderful, sweet and smart (except from about 4:40 to 6 which I lovingly call the not happy hour)
Also as I sit here, I am reminded of why I actually shouldn't be sitting here and that I have so may things to do and far less time than required to do them. hahahaha...

Here's our Menu for tomorrow... (in your head, pretend someone is whining about everything I type)

Lentil/Bean (and secret ground up mushroom- please don't tell my husband) Loaf
Mashed potatoes (and cauliflower- see above, change husband to kids)
gravy (that only my husband will eat)
Stuffing (adults only, I'm sure)
green bean casserole (vegan zed, freshized, and probably just for the adults, and also, my husband will not be thrilled that I could only find cut green beans, hahahaha... cue complaint about chewing with braces)
Rolls (cue everyone cheering and begging to only eat these with butter, me thinking I should have skipped making them. ha)

strawberry shortcake (a two layered white cake with strawberry in the middle and whipped frosting)
pecan pie (kind Arthurs version with no corn syrup)

All of this can be made free of any allergens needed. And it's clearly low carb. hahaha... just one day. although, my son has made comments to suggest I had better get working out (I AM thankful for my kids. right?!). guess who needs a bigger health plan ? me. but not tomorrow.

I do not know when my children who would eat everything and no one could believe it, became so picky that I actually do not want to make them dinners. here's what they sill eat without complaining right now..... potato chips, bread rolls............... toast....the.. end... (and maybe a few more things for the three year old, who otherwise is a crank pot)

I keep telling myself it's a phase..... Oh wait, they also enjoy those vitamins that taste like candy.

But there's so much to be thankful for. And in the very long journey to find out what was wrong with my father, I've learned that, while difficult, it's up to us as individuals to suck the wonderful out of life!! So give thanks everyday!!

Monday, November 14, 2016


As we move on towards Thanksgiving (a very vegan thanksgiving here!) (and also I didn't realize that American thanksgiving is next week..) there is plenty to be Thankful for. But it's been tough. The blog, and other such things in life, have taken a second place to life. My father was recently diagnosed with cancer (in the past few weeks). As we come to terms with this and what it means, they are 1000 miles away in hopes of receiving the best medical care. We are blessed they can do that. but it's hard to be so far away. And frankly eating has been the last thing on my mind. But thanksgiving is coming....  roasted Root veggies and Brussel sprout?  Mashed potatoes? (k, btw my kids hate these?!?!?) maybe a lentil/bean loaf... I really want a stuffing... we shall see... There is truly always much to be Thankful for. Sometimes we need to look for it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I was going to post about vacation but... Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!!!

We went on vacation! Myrtle beach was wonderful. The ocean is very much my Zen! although we learned a few things... never take anxious kids on a walk when they are tired and it's very dark and they are unfamiliar with the area. Yikes... Also, the baby loved the sand, to eat... which was great, didn't have to feed her as much! Ha! Also, cleaning, cooking and doing laundry is way better on the beach!!

But also, though, I seriously have to thank Cheeseburger in Paradise in Myrtle Beach for making our first time going out to eat in 5 years (with the kids, and I still brought food for the kids) way less anxiety inducing than expected! I told them that I don't eat dairy or meat. They checked with me several times about a few things, they took precautions and had the manager bring out me and my husbands. I really appreciated their attention and consideration! (we were with my parents, hence the cheeseburger :) The very name says ER in paradise to us considering our oldest is allergic to every part of a cheeseburger. But I did not get milk (i'd have been quite ill) and they had a great veggie burger!

So, since then we've done about a thousand things. We love the Buddy Walk that supports Down Syndrome. Our oldest had a birthday, and I've taken over the job of hosting the annual Halloween party for the Food allergy support Group here. YIKES!! Had I known..... So apparently with 4 weeks left it's not so easy to find a place to hold it (not by my choice, it's when I was given the job). So apparently, as much fun as it is to go to, no one wants to volunteer to work at it. It's a 2 hour, food free kids party. One has only to stand at a game and hand out a prize...... Here's hoping there's some high school kids left around with volunteer requirements that are available in 1 week... haha...

K, yum, I invented (though it's probably been done before, but this can be completely allergy free) a pumpkin pie smoothie. I'm off the expensive protein powder that I've not quite used all of. I started to think it does more harm than good. I wanted a quick smoothie and made this wonder...

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie smoothie

1.5 cups of milk (I use unsweetened cashew)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg
smaller sprinkle of cloves
tablespoon of hemp seeds
maple syrup to taste (start with a teaspoon, maybe none if using sweetened milk)
tablespoon (and a ooops more) of dark chocolate chips
small grab of pecans (optional)

Blend in high speed blender (not sure the chocolate chips will blend otherwise)
Enjoy!!! sooo gooodd! If only I had more pumpkin!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Allergies on Vacation.. and paleo muffins...

Ahh vacation..! A time to relax, smell the salty sea air, lay in the warm sand letting the sun's ray wash over you, taking a cool dip in the ocean or pool when you get too hot. Cleaning up for the day and going to a nice relaxing dinner, lounging in the hot tub at night...

BAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Just kidding! I have kids. And kids with allergies. so pretty much vacation is being home, at the beach, except not in your own zone. I cook, I do laundry, and I freak out when the baby crawls on the floor of the hotel, and wonder how much sand is a serving. But, it's nice to see the water as I run by or from the pool deck because someone doesn't want to touch sand. However, the beach is my Zen and it's been a very long time. We do always get a condo because we do not chance restaurants. This is hard for me, I'm use to vacation including being waited on and not doing all the work! But, for the kids, we do anything we need to eh? Not to mention, now that we are veganish AND have to be 100% dairy free, it's easier to make everything myself. Although, I also must bring half my kitchen because it's not safe to use stuff others have used. ya hoo. So, I generally make a huge batch of muffins for breakfasts and snacks. Makes at least one meal easy.

Paleo muffins. What is Paleo? Big trend, however, I'm not that into it. For one, not eating animal products makes it's tough. Two, I'm not great at history but I'm about 100% positive our "paleo" ancestors did NOT use coconut flour, and butter. No? But here's a muffin recipe anyway. Low carb, good fat. Some allergies free. It's neigh impossible to exclude every allergy, but substitutes could be made. I'll warn, these are best eaten with a fork. Oh and to further warn.... my husband loved these but I got this text (my favorite EVER)... "what was in those muffins, I barely made it to work?!" and lets just say, he's never had a GI concern in his life. Which makes one wonder how my 2yo ate about 6?!

                                                     Paleo Blueberry Muffins (what's a paleo?)

preheat oven to 425 F.

cream 1/2 c. butter (earth balance, or probably any)
1 c. coconut sugar

2 c. almond flour
1 c. oats
1/2 t salt
1/2 c ground flax
1/4 c hemp seeds
1t baking powder

mix in 2/3 c canned coconut milk (or other)
squeeze of lemon

fold in 1 c. blueberries

bake for 15-22 minutes. start checking at 15.

P.S. enjoy! I will not be making these for the car!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Motivation and rambling

My motivation to work out and lose the stubborn baby weight from my fourth child (which is apparently the only one I'm actually going to have to work to lose-but don't ask my mother, she will remind you that I never got back to what I was when I got married! FIFTEEN years ago, before life when I actually had time to do anything I wanted, plus could apparently eat most anything I wanted without too much of a problem. so I both worked out and had a metabolism and no kids. thanks mom) comes from my daughter who is five. I am not sure what God was thinking when he created 5 year old girls, but I think he added in sass a little too soon. I am truly starting to rethink our motivations behind teaching our children that honesty is best. At any rate, I bought myself a new mom bathing suit (that I truly hope I won't wear forever!) and was feeling... not gooood per say, but somewhat tucked in. My sweet girl says "well, you look okkkaaaaayyyy. but just not great." Thanks honey. I suppressed the urge to snap back about it starting with her (after my oldest I lost the pregnancy weight plus 20, probably because he cried all the time and I was CONSTANTLY bouncing. thanks unknown allergies. lost most after the 2nd and 3rd. But the struggle is serious now!) At any rate, I don't believe in hitting children, lucky for her. Though I may have given her my best squinty eyes, as I debated how to slide in the pool without anyone seeing me at swimming lessons. I am now motivated to not eat sugar or junk food. :) yay her. hahaha...

Or, I could just think of my son who woke us up this morning by randomly vomiting on himself. the heck is that?! who invented this stuff?

So, I suppose, after losing a favorite pet, we have a big hole in our family, but are getting back to our crazy version of normal. We went mini golfing and no one got injured. And we only lost one or two balls. If you see me mini golfing, please don't ask why my pockets are full of balls. Now you know.

Spent the weekend eating different versions of the spring roll no rolls. Great for the budget! Which for my husband included mayonnaise (is vegan except for helmanns a new term? cause he has a problem. and quite honestly, I've tried all other versions. He was annoyed with me this morning because there are 5 kinds of mayo in the fridge. every other one we have tried has the same weird taste that helmanns probably hides with some nasty chemical) and a tortilla and some version of condiments. Which, technically, is a roll.

I'm also getting use to matcha, but I'm not magically in love like people seem to be. I got a free sample from Viva Naturals, for an honest review, and honestly, it's so sour and bitter I was surprised. Where's the fairies and the sparkles I hear about? I throw it with unsweetened almond milk, ice, vanilla and a touch of sugar and it makes a tasty afternoon treat. I have decided to quite protein powder because I have come to finally figure out that it's the protein powder making my face break out. No idea why.

Anyway, I am suppose to be getting ready for our much needed vacation to the beach Friday. or at the very least, watching my children. Clearly neither are happening. But I needed a break. All my kids want banana muffins and bananas are outlawed until after vacation when the baby has a new doctor. and we are close to a hospital we know. ha. gotta love allergies!!

PS muffin recipe coming soon