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!!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Coming soon...

This season has been very hectic for us as we prepare to visit family in New York. Yup, a 9 or 10 hour car ride with a two year old and a 7 month old. We are crazy! At any rate, as I have been busy figuring out how not to pack clothes in the winter, to save room, and how to possibly make cookies to make everyone happy and potentially that Jake can eat, I have not had a moment to post new recipies. I do however, have one coming that is meatloaf, except with beans. I know, does not sound fabulous, but even my husband (again!) enjoyed it! Until then, think it would be bad for the kids to wear their blankets for a week? OH, I may throw in some cookie recipies too! I have been experimenting with good egg substitutes. Eggs, in my opinion, are the hardest thing to replace. I am open to new ideas too. I do not like to use Ener-G (not because it's not good, but i prefer to use "real food".

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mommy's allergic too...

To Moonsand! Whomever invented the stuff should have two year olds run around their whole house with it! We had a Moonsand disaster on the rug. In case you haven't had the joy of coming into contact with this substance, it's sand with some sort of playdough like, dry, crumbly stuff it's packed in. Jake said "oh no, what appened on da boor?" (his "f"'s tend to come out as b's) Let's just said I was not thrilled to check it out, he pretended he didn't dump it all over. We both knew.....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bubbles...

Just thought I'd share part of what makes Jake Jake. While he may not be in control of what he can eat, he is in control of the household. Don't let the huge smile fool you! This child also loves, as most kids do, bubbles. Everyone's good at bubbles, right?! During last night's bath daddy got the honor of blowing bubbles. Jakey loudly proclaimed "dat's not a good one!" Which made daddy laugh too hard to blow!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Finally... The Best Dessert Ever!*

*Disclaimer: I actually disagree. That's my husband's opinion. While this is delicious, I have always been a huge fan of ice cream; previous to going dairy free in April. Why mess with a good thing? Although SoDelicious makes a great alternative. Still...


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie/Pie

A fabulous dessert for entertaining! Vegan and can be completely allergy free with the substitution of the peanut butter.

Crust:

1/2 c. non-dairy margarine (i.e. soy-free Earth Balance)
1c. Natural Peanut Butter (if you aren't using Natural, you are likely using soy and extra sugar)
     substitution: any other nut butter
1/4c. brown sugar
1c. organic raw sugar
1t. vanilla
1t. baking powder
1/2t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2c. wheat flour
1c. chocolate chips (check to make sure there isn't milk or milk products)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream first five ingredients. stir together dry ingredients add to wet. stir. Mixture will look like sand (don't freak out!) Pat in bottom of 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Press chocolate chips on top (or any kind of chip really!) bake for 25 to 30 minutes until set and light brown. let cool


Pie:

2 c. organic raw sugar
1c. baking cocoa
1/2c. wheat flour (or 1/4 c. cornstarch-possibly preferrable to flour bc of texture)
4 1/2c. rice milk
2T. vanilla
pinch salt


Mix everything except vanilla in a heavy pan. stir stir stir on medium until bubbly. Once mixture is boiling, stir for about a minute or three until thick. remove from heat and continue to stir every few minutes until cooler.


Pour on cookie crust and refrigerate (or eat warm, but we prefer slightly cooled) until ready to serve. Keep in fridge if you don't eat it all. Probably needs a big glass of milk!


P.S. Get your flu shots!

P.P.S. Little edit. Depending on how much pudding you want you may have leftovers. I am considering that instead of using flour to thicken the pudding using half the amount of corn starch so that if you  have leftovers and they are in fridge it doesn't start to taste floury. So, instead of

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Finally a Moment!!

Between the holiday, sick children, and children who don't sleep.... I know my posts have been pretty short. I may add to the previous. And it's certainly time to add a recipe. I will get the "best dessert ever" (according to my super picky husband) up soon. Thanksgiving, though slightly logistically tough to conjure without adding anything my son is allergic to, went quite well! I am so thankful for my family! They are wonderful! Just the four of us this year, but it was nice. I am also thankful for Earth Balance products!! Especially the soy free one! They do everything butter does, have great taste, without the dairy. Between that, rice milk, specially picked bread, and some kitchen magic, I was able to make stuffing, green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes all safe for Jake. Which, in hindsight, was only a slight waste of time since a certain two year old is ridiculously picky right now, and hardly eats a thing! Though he did a couple beans! But, having given up his allergens myself, and also working to make good food healthier (and more vegetarian or accidentally vegan) it all worked out and was both traditional and delicious! This has been a difficult year in many ways, but it is so wonderful to have a day to remind us of everything wonderful that we have been blessed with.

On to the flu... Still a huge concern that we cannot get Jake immunized. I am thinking to both Gymboree and Christmas. The Gymboree that we go to is wonderful and clean, but that does not take the germ out of the child!! We love Gymboree, but the look the pediatrician gave me when I asked how good of an idea bringing him during flu season is was a bit telling. Kind of like "are you crazy?!" Except she did not say it outright, but explained it more in a clinical sense knowing full well that I knew what she really meant. Good chance we will still go. It's not cheap, we aren't rich! Not to mention, a warm place for a two year old to burn off some energy is priceless! Which brings us to Christmas...

Ah Christmas (or as Jake says "Happy Birthday Time Jesus")... pretty lights, family, friends, presents, good food... and a ton of people in small spaces who have been in contact with tons of other people in small spaces who have been in contact with.. you get it. So how does one politely tell every family member who may be in contact with one's son to get the flu shot or don't come to Christmas? Well, one doesn't I suppose. That would be grinchy. Instead one makes suggestions and drops hints like "Weird we can't get Jake the flu shot, Doctor said just to make sure everyone around him has one. Ha ha." And then a mom dresses said child in rain gear and everyone wears masks and the mom tackles people who cough? I don't know, don't have a set game plan yet! I'll let you know! However, I did feel only minimally better when the doctor told me that a child having the flu doesn't GUARANTEE that they will end up in the hospital, just makes it more likely. Oh super! So, I suppose I will pray. And carry hand sanitizer! And possibly be ready to tackle! Coughers beware! So, For the Love of All those who are allergic to eggs (most of which are children) GET YOUR FLU SHOT!!!!:)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Something else to think about!! Avoiding the flu!

After learning Jake is allergic to eggs and speaking with his allergist, the doctor decided that the risk of him getting the flu shot (which is created using eggs) is greater than not. Yikees! Enter mom who runs screaming whenever we are near someone who coughs, as she douses her children and self in hand sanitizer! Just another thing to think about at Gymboree or in the grocery store! But, the best prevention is hand washing. Is there enough soap and water?!

So much to be Thankful for!

Holiday's can be tough to navigate for those with allergies, or their parents. Unless I cook everything myself I never quite trust. Hence why I bring all Jake's food to restaurants at this point. Having asked enough questions to try to find him something, I've come to realize that it's nearly impossible to eat out under the conditions of being 1. allergic to anything 2. not really interested in meat and 3. watching what one eats (having learned that a lot of restaurants grill their chicken with butter!!). That being said, there are typically a few "safe" foods. One being turkey. Often a staple at many holiday gatherings. However, the same cannot be said about ham or other processed meats. These often contain fillers, many of which are soy or milk by products. Yummy! Any fresh veggies are also safe, obviously, unless they have toppings. Almost all baked goods contain an allergen. In the near future I will share my recipe for what my husbad considers the "best desseret ever". Which contains peanut butter, but is otherwise allergen free, and the peanut butter can be replaced. This is also a vegan dessert! Recipe to come.....

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween

Trick or treating... a tough time for children with allergies. We don't really give our two year old candy, but we do like to give him experiences, and he was an adorable puppy for Halloween. This was the first year he really got the whole Trick or Treat thing, and although he only wanted to go to his favorite neighbor's house over and over, he did enjoy the process. (Well not so much the getting in the costume, but once he was there...) Unfortunately, there was no candy that he was able to eat. Most candy has milk, eggs, nuts, or something that he cannot have. The candy without major allergens are generally choking hazards! (and tend to be my favorite!) I did have the foresight to pull out a lollipop for him to pull and bait and switch. However, that really doesn't work once he eats said lollipop! What does everybody else do for children who have allergies? I'm thinking it may be slightly easier once he understands what he cannot have, though still pushing for him to grow out of all of them by then! Perhaps we will be those that trade our candy for something else?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Recipie 1: Starbucks without the Bucks!!!

Our breakfasts are not quite the eggs and toast they use to be! But there are plenty of ways to make them exciting! Jake loves oatmeal and sometimes his "milk cereal" (which are now usually organic O's, Chex or Kix). At some point I will post some of our favorite pankcake recipies which are our usual Saturday treat. Until then...

I love Fall for a few reasons; Halloween (both for the candy and my mom's birthday), apple picking, and pumpkin everything!! Back pre-allergy I would eagerly await the day that the pumpkin lattes showed up, and the pumpkin ice cream. Now, instead of pumpkin latte that costs at least $5 and has caffeine and milk I invented one of my own. Much cheaper and much more delicious!

Mix:
8 oz (or more in my favorite mug!) of "milk" (rice, almond, soy)
2 Tablespoons pumpkin puree (canned or make your own!)
1/4 t. vanilla
sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice
sprinkle of nutmeg and/or cinnamon
sweeter (maple syrup is good- or marshmallows if you are not following a vegan or "real food" diet)
stir really well. heat in microwave, or stove top until warm. about 90 seconds. stir again. Enjoy! Enjoy the fact you didn't pay a lot!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Welcome!

I hope this blog is able to give ideas and help to those of you affected by food allergies! It is difficult at first to figure out how to change a diet. Pretty much all packaged foods have some allergen. You will notice I use mostly "real foods", foods created by nature. I do not always have a perfect diet. I am a completely undecided vegan, meat eater, organic, non organic eater. I prefer not to buy meat but due to Jake's allergies, I am having him eat more chicken (the only meat he will eat) for protein. I also have a husband who, goes with the flow with my food whims, but not without a complaint. Hence my sharp cooking skills! He actually admitted to liking a bean "meatloaf" the other day to other people!

If anyone has any requests for a recipie I will do my best to create one. I enjoy working to create healthy and delicious food that people can eat. When I print a recipie, I will also add substitutions if possible. I also would love feedback and comments!