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!!


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)

Desserts:
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

life.....

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)
ice
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

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Spirunlina?! and Cheap Groceries... And a new recipe!

So before I start the discussion about the supposed superfood Spirulina, I'd like to take you on the journey of grocery shopping affordably and organically. Done.... that's it. I don't know how. Our grocery bill has been quite honestly more than our house payment by plenty and we cannot afford it. So I'm beginning to delve deeper into the world of budget cutting and cheaper food. We can do this together! I started by deciding that avocados, while a extremely healthy favorite of many in this family, are too expensive for regular consumption, and have been (very sadly) demoted to treat food. We also are using far less plant based milk, which cuts down, but mainly because my children will only drink the full sugar junk. We try not to do tons of sugar, but i'm not convinced they get enough calcium, B12 and other stuff based on the level of picky. I'm continuing to work on cutting down by leaving out processed foods (though the occasional Gardein nuggets pop in). We each so much produce (I'm literally not kidding when I tell you that we only allow our oldest 3 apples a day) that it's hard to cut down more (bananas were a cheaper staple but our youngest may be allergic), but I need to find more ways. I'm going to try to cut our groceries by 1/3 at least.

Tonight's dinner is what I just invented called Spring Rolls no Rolls. I make incredible spring rolls, but here's the difference. Leaving off the "wrapper" saves calories (carbs and fat from the oil from frying or baking) and money! Oh yeah, and the time rolling all those rolls! I'm hoping the kids are fooled (even though I've already been told that my daughter only likes the roll part-she may be hungry!)


Spring Rolls no Roll
feeds about 6-8

shredded cabbage (I use a mix of green and purple) 2 small cabbages
6 shredded carrots
Kale/spinach/broccoli etc (ground up so that your kids don't know what they are)
garlic or onions (ground, see above)
anything else that you want to hide

dipping sauce (adult version)
1 cup seasoned rice vinegar heated for 20 seconds with minced garlic and crushed red pepper (to taste)
mix in about a tablespoon of soy sauce or alternative
scallions if desired


Normally I stir fry these vegetables with a bit of coconut oil. then sprinkle with turmeric and a grind of black pepper to increase the healing strength of turmeric. I sprinkle a bit of seasoned rice vinegar also. then I usually wrap it in the wrappers and either fry them in a coconut/olive oil combo, or brush them with oil and bake them (a much healthier though not as crispy version). Tonight, I am forgoing the rolls (and probably my children eating). Possibly adding bok choy and rice.



WHO decided spirulina is something to eat?! Yikes! I got a free sample from viva foods in a review group. Goodness... It took me 3 days to get it opened without the smell making me ill. (and I use to LOVE seafood before we became vegetarian/veganish). Yikes, then I had to make a smoothie that I thought may have the fortitude to hide it. I have not yet noticed any magical happenings, but I appreciate it's nutritional value. Maybe i'll sprinkle it in the Spring rolls :) ha

Friday, August 26, 2016

Olives and blueberries... and cakes

It's been a very trying two weeks. Our car broke enough that we were forced to buy a new car that we neither wanted, nor were financially ready for. Our sweet friendly dog got sick, and after seeming to get better declined and died. Our baby had a random allergic reaction to what is apparently not the vets (as presumed at first by the doctor, but disproved after spending a lot of time there), and our air conditioner broke. Not been a cheap or happy week here. But this conversation happened..

3year old (pointing to the olive oil container): are those bwueberries?

me: nope, those are olives, it's olive oil.

3yo: but wook, they are bwueberries

me: no sweetie, he's picking olives to squish into olive oil.

3yo: oh look he is picking bwueberries!

me: still olives

3yo: olives taste like bwueberries

me: sure honey. blueberries  ....


We did also celebrate two birthdays during this week of joy. :) My husband's and the baby turned one, which was when we were sitting at a doctors office waiting to see if she needed an ambulance! Even so, I made a cake for her with whole wheat flour, carrots and apples/apples sauce instead of oil. the sugar was maple syrup. And I loved it. Although, I am only going to admit here, that I should seriously have GRATED the carrots rather than shred. However, I also felt less guilty eating the cake because it was (a little too) obvious that we were getting some vegetable too! And that is what happens when one is in a rush and only wants to use one bowl. no do overs!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Kids... And something delicious!

So, after 7 hours of doctors and driving, we have our first cast in the house! Not fun when it's 95 degrees (F) and humid! But it's bright red, so tons of fun! except of course that the color comes off the cast, but not off skin or clothes :)

soo. moving on! I made a smoothie and it was so good! I'd never expected it! It was a run of the mill almond milk, ice, vanilla protein powder  (I use vega protein and greens) and blueberries. I mixed it up, it was tasty... I threw in some basil (strange I know), It was Amazing!! So, try blueberries with basil!! 

I'm going to start really trying to blog more frequently on how to be vegan and practical. People ask all the time what we eat. I'll try to give some more ideas.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tuesday is the new Monday!!

Happy later mothers day! (in the US- but seriously it should be everyday everywhere!) Happy day for those who act as Mothers (not including my 5 year old)! My Mother's Day was spent napping.... HA! Jokes aside, we drove two hours to see a baseball game that got rain delayed for two hours.....a slightly different plan then my get some groceries and grill artichokes...this one included standing smooshed with a zillion people watching it pour on the field, paranoid that someone's hot dog, cheese, ice cream, pizza, or pop corn would touch our severely allergic son, reconsidering whether that was more scary than our exhausted two year old ticking time bomb, debating for 2 hours whether we should just leave and lose our tickets if they did play. packing ourselves into the team store with everyone else to get warm. and a debacle when a guy ended up in the ladies room (he was pretty surprised when he exited the stall to a group of security, and may still not know where he is today..) then driving two hours home, running into the grocery store realizing most stuff was sold out... getting hoe late, making dinner.... but I did it all with my kids and husband! I wouldn't trade it!

We recently started swimming lessons on Monday nights, therefore, today is Monday in spirit.

In an effort to not spend money at the one vegan restaurant we go to (actually Saturday we tried the other one in town, pretty good! more hippie, less junk food), and because we've ordered take out so much since the baby was born (yeah yeah 8 months ago) that I get embarrassed to call, though it's helpful she knows our order before I say it, here's tonight's dinner... fancy I know....

bake potatoes, throw broccoli and non dairy cheese on top... consider chili, decide I'm too lazy to thaw it, figure salsa is pretty much chili, and the jar is already open... consider it would be nice if I had a can of black beans (the dry ones aren't going to soak and cook themselves), figure the kids can have ice cream if they are still hungry... the end... zzzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Peppermint Patty... Please!!

Back in the pre dairy free days, one of my favorite candies (which says a lot since I was pretty much addicted to anything candy like) was peppermint patties. Ahhh York..... I could have been in a commercial. In fact it was always a dream I had to be in a commercial, anyone really. In case you're wondering, that did not work out! But I still had candy. ha. I've been reading peppermint patty recipes for years trying to decide if I  wanted to attempt one. but none seemed quite right. I didn't want coconut shavings, or a variety of other ingredients. I also like to make everything quick and easy. Generally, I also will not make a recipe that requires cooling or freezing before eating. I've acquired a bit more patience though, and as long as it's not more than say, 20 minutes (I said a bit more!) I'm good. Here it is..


Peppermint Patties

1 can coconut CREAM (not milk)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut flour (or any probably)
2/3 cup confectioners sugar ( I didn't want this much, but for consistency)
5 teaspoons of peppermint extract (or peppermint oil, but I'm sure much less!) (start with one teaspoon and taste, I like a lot of peppermint)
chocolate (we use enjoy life)

whisk everything, except chocolate, together..... the end.. see , quick :) actually, you need to freeze the mixture after mixed until firm enough to scoop. then scoop, flatten in disks and refreeze. once frozen, melt chocolate and dip patties in the chocolate, refreeze until dry. These can be kept frozen (my favorite way to eat most anything!) Enjoy!!


So another reason these are fabulous, it's like eating candy brushes your teeth :) Need to run to a meeting? grab a peppermint patty :) And another reason, my kids don't like mint! all mine!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Amazing, Easy Grillable veggie burger!!

I did it!! I made a vegan/vegetarian (and just for anyone!) veggie burger that met two criteria!

1. It can be grilled and 2. My kids eat it! I was (well, lets be honest, still AM) far more excited than I should be about something so silly. I didn't want mushy, I didn't want crumbly. I swear I've made a zillion veggie burgers. I also didn't want soy or anything not real food. As my two year old would say, I weeened!

I love summer! I love cooking out! I don't always have tons and tons of produce to grill and have desperately wanted a quick recipe to be able to throw on the grill. I have tried tons of veggie burgers, none were grillable. I tried this.... magic

the recipe includes, black beans (I have done canned and dried and soaked/ cooked), some nut or seed (I have used sunflower, but may try walnuts next), whole oats (not quick cooking), onion, garlic, grated carrot, and homemade grill seasoning (or any seasoning!). Not too much, not too hard! It does require a food processor and a teech of patience. Lets just say this is best mixed in small batches..... I used three cans of beans (drained and rinsed), and about 1/2 cup of seeds/nuts, 1 grated (and juice squeezed out) carrot (or whatever you want to hide in there), grated onion, juice used, enough oats to make a dryish mixture a bit thicker than cookie dough. Edit: the reason for the nuts/ seeds is the texture. Not really looking for meat persay, but I didn't want such a mushy dense bean texture. I also threw in some mushrooms last time (don't tell my husband! seriously!)

process the nuts/seeds first, remove 1/3. add 1/3 of beans and oats, process to a thick dough. dump, continue. Dump everything into the bowl, mix everything together, form patties (I get about 8). You can grill (they take about 6 minutes on each side), fry, bake (I haven't baked, but i'm certain it would be good). You don't want these to be too thick or they don't' cook well, and will be mushy, but thick enough to stay together.

Add about 100 condiments (we have a problem!), a mac or pasta salad, and green veggie or salad, and our new favorite sliced grilled potatoes (why?? why?!?! didn't I know how delicious these were earlier?!) and some dirty sweaty kids and it's a cookout!!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Eggless??

Whether you forgot to buy eggs, used them all, or are allergic, there's always a moment when we want to make something that needs ("needs") eggs and we forget until we start mixing. There are so many different variations of replacements it's hard to know what to use where. Here's a start...

Things like pancakes and muffins don't really need a replacement. If you feel seriously inclined to replace, try GROUND flax. The general method is 1 Tablespoon of ground flax plus 3 Tablespoons of water, equals one egg. ORRRRRRRRRRRRR.... you dump in anywhere from 1/4 to 1 cup of ground flax in everything because it has health benefits anyway... I should start a one bowl cooking series. I do nearly everything in one bowl, as fast as possible. Generally holding  a child.

Other substitutes are 1/4 cup mashed banana, 1/4 applesauce. Chia gel. (but this adds a bit of a crunch, be aware). There are several products, Ener G, and some new vegan egg product. I tend to lean towards real food products. I cannot forget the new kid on the block, aquafaba (the slimy water from the can of chickpeas). I did attempt to make meringue cookies from these, I do not recommend using cream of tartar, leaves a sour taste and the cookies were a bit of a gummy disaster anyway.

Truth be told, I pretty much always go for flax. Or find a vegan recipe. My son loves banana muffins, but my daughter (when asked what kind of muffins she preferred) responded, "muffins like a cookie". that's my girl!

Monday, April 4, 2016

April Fools.... With a side of mess

I just figured out how to upload pictures, it's like a whole new world! Next step taking decent pictures!

 First, Happy Easter! Hope it was blessed! It was beautiful here and we had family in town. It was great having everyone together and the kids love having their cousins here!

Second, April Fools! My kids are obsesssssedddd with playing "tricks" on us. (thankfully particularly daddy). It takes a certain kind of ability to cope with special situations to find the humor in their "pranks" (i.e. completely taking apart the bed and putting stuffed animals under blankets all over the upstairs). Lets just say I have to prewarn daddy to come home with a good attitude and find the intended humor in a mess that looks like we either were robbed, or hit by a tornado. Thus, in an effort to sweeten that, this was our April Fools dessert creation to "trick daddy" after he waded through the hilarious upstairs mess. I made this gluten, dairy free and vegan. It is white cake (made in one bowl), "buttercream" frosting spaghetti, strawberry sauce sauce, and chocolate cake (the white better mixed with cocoa powder baked in cupcake tins and smooshed into balls) veggie balls. It was a huge hit and daddy played along so well! What tricks do you do? Back in my working days playing pranks was a regular part of office life. My best one ever was post-it noting my co workers entire office! I was so thrilled with myself. Thankfully the CEO (who by the way NEVER came to that building except of course that day and just as I finish my masterpiece, leaving nothing un post-ited) didn't fire me on the spot, and practically cracked a smile. I'm certain he just wished he thought of it first.... or... not.....

P.S. I'm considering a new project involving way more recipes, ideas, and meal planning! share this site with your friends and family! let me know if there's any meals, or anything you'd like to see!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Smoothie Rumors

I heard a rumor that you can use frozen mango instead of banana in smoothies to make them, um, smooth. And my bananas are not frozen yet I wanted a frozenish smoothie. You can. but not unless you actually want some fruity flavor. While I won't waste food and I AM drinking my chocolate mint MANGO smoothie, and it is smooth.... it's not awesome! lesson learned.

Oh, and apparently, after a non eventful yet i'm certain expensive, trip to the allergist (but we did skip last year shhh), we learned that mr child #1 is MORE allergic to milk and beef. They weren't sure one could become MORE allergic to milk than he already was/is, but alas, it happens. First reaction is was disappointment. Not because we have any desire to go back to our former (not mostly vegan) lifestyle, but for his safety. I will need to be sedated when he is old enough to leave the house (with his epi pens!!) on his own! Current feeling is, well nothing different? what's the big deal?! And, we now must consider whether, or not, to have Mr. child#3 and little miss #4 tested due to some clues that they may be showing signs of allergies. However, we arent' taking it lightly, because there are many false positives when siblings of a diagnosed child are tested. (and honestly giving up peanut butter would knock out a major food group for us ;)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

cake smoothie?!

K, I accidentally invented a healthy smoothie that tastes just like birthday cake!! (not a joke! even my very adverse to fruit and vegetable 4 yo girl will drink it!) . It's fast and a whole meal!!

Cake Smoothie- layer in this order

1/4 cup liquid (milk of choice or water)
1/2 cup greens (I tend to use frozen kale bc it's easy, but pick whatever!)
1 cup mango
1 T flax (optional)
1/2 avocado (optional but highly recommended!)
1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder* ( I use vega complete plus greens, but quite honestly rarely use protein powder-I don't think it's necessary, but was curious)
 Fill cup rest of way ( a cupish more with water or milk choice _I use water here and a non dairy milk for the 1/4 cup) with water and blend.

*or some fresh or frozen banana and a vanilla (ha, I almost said a shot of vanilla, but then remembered that actually (technically unless you're in college) means 1 ounce )


Yummy!!

Hey btw! I did the 7 minute workout today! Kids held it together for 7 minutes watching me (unlike my last try with a 30 minute). I had my doubts, (still do) but I do feel it. Still have my doubts about that not being enough cardio. Attempted a dance workout after, all that did was prove I'm barely coordinated at this time to safely get through each day. ha.


I'm also still working on making nearly 100% organic food affordable. I have a tighter budget and less to work with. I don't have all the answers yet! (and I'm getting rather tired of beans! ) but soup and a plan are my starters!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Life Gets Interesting... (and amazing pizza!)

Sooo.... tonight my tiny baby girl (who may almost be 5?!) is going to her first dance with her daddy! I am probably going to cry (and blame it on the postpartum hormones! they are still crazy 6 months postpartum right? ) This little lady is actually sick (I think) but won't tell me because she doesn't want me to make her stay home. Which I, quite honestly, wouldn't do anyway (unless vomit was involved) because I'm quite certain that she won't even be near another child. We run a shy household up to our third. Anyway, she is not allergic to any of the top 8, there is pizza and desserts and food at this. However, she's never had milk in her life, so I'm relatively sure there would be vomit involved if she ate pizza. But it's a strange situation as a parent to make one child do something because of another child who isn't even there. I half considered letting her go and eat whatever, but my husband and I avoid allergen foods as well even if we are out alone. (and again, she may well be quite ill by it) (oh, and as we are rather veganish for ethical reasons, there's that. but we eat pastured eggs at times) (if most of what you write is in parenthesis, should it all just be typed without them?)

Anyway, so we will have pizza before they go. And, I will make cupcakes for them to bring. Explaining that feels weird. "yay, well we have food allergies so she can't have the food." "what is she allergic to?" me: "well nothing really. we just have food allergies. So let her eat my cupcakes, I promise they aren't drugged and she won't share." I have a feeling this won't be the last time I have a weird conversation about why she can't eat what her brother can't. Maybe I'll just go with "We are vegan." Equally as awkward, but far easier to explain. Slightly less deadly to her brother. (well and the animals.)  so onto the worlds best pizza recipe. Disclaimer: my children will not touch this. perhaps yours will. We however don't care because my husband and I love it, so we get more!! And I happily feed my son what is essentially bread with sauce, and the other two bread sauce and some dayia cheese, and carry on eating a whole lot of the best pizza ever! It does take some steps, but is sooo worth it!


Best Pizza Ever

White Sauce;

2T butter (we use Earth Balance)
1.5 cups non dairy milk (or whatever milk)
3 T of flour or cornstarch (or any thickener if gluten free)
garlic
salt and pepper to taste
nutritional yeast (optional)

Drizzle:

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4-1/2 c sugar

Toppings:

spinach, broccoli. kale (whatever veggies you want)

Dough:

use my previous fast recipe or any dough you'd like
will work with gluten free but not the cauliflower dough, it will not hold up!

Instructions.

Get dough/crust ready. It needs to be prebaked because of the topping weight and liquid.

Prepare veggies by sautéing or roasting, they do need a little precooking and will not fully cook on the pizza.

Put balsamic and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer until reduced to a point where it becomes a syrup.

Melt butter in a saucepan, add in garlic and any other spice. Whisk in the flour until bubbly and not so raw. Cook for two minutes. Add in milk all at once, stir until thick. If it doesn't get thick add a bit more flour and whisk. Once it gets thick, it's done.

Once all of the above is done take a big breath, you are almost done and the rest is easy! First spread the white sauce on the crust, add the veggies, and drizzle over the balsamic syrup. I also add more garlic/white sauce if there is any left. I also enjoy crushed red and freshly chopped basil on top.

Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes. Enjoy! Enjoy!

My husband really impressed his co workers taking leftovers too! (the one time we had some)





Monday, February 8, 2016

Celebrate Good Times!!

So. four kids 6-6 months is busy! but we like to celebrate everything!

Thanksgiving we had traditional food with lentil loaf instead of meat. Yum!! Nothing unusual there. Take a meatloaf recipe, trade in cans of beans and lentils. Voila! The worst part was a majorly sprained ankle, but my husband was forced to help cook which I enjoyed. ;)

Christmas was not easy with our dietary restrictions and visiting others, but we made it work. We started the weekend before travelling to family. Started right out with a birthday party for nut allergic children. they planned pizza. When asked how they could make that easier for us (ya know, severe dairy, beef allergy-pizza?) we stated we'd be ok with peanut butter and jelly. the reply "What you can't do that, they have peanut allergies!" Our reply, "yeah, we'll take care of ourselves!" we bolted when the pizza came, and went to a fabulous vegan restaurant in Rochester, NY. We don't get to go out ever, so we went nuts. It was fabulous! I was amazed at what my children were willing to try and ate! When we left, my son said he ate so much he couldn't even buckle his seatbelt. hahaha.. the kid who mostly eats apples! ohoh Christmas eve, made tofu ricotta stuffed shells... put them on the table. Let's just say that two pans got eaten and no one asked a question. hmmm.... shhhh....

Soooo.... We got through, with a slightly less tradition Christmas dinner of baked potatoes and roasted vegetables. But truly enjoyed the family, although not the 6 weeks of illnesses after. Thank you New York!!

And on to the Superbowl!! Here's a recipe for you!! Might I add, that my husband raved. Mr, picky about his formerly loved junky bar foods!! He actually remarked he might just eat it with a spoon (ok he did).


Jalapeno popper Dip


3 tubs of non dairy cream cheese (used Tofutti in the yellow tub)
1 cup dairy free cheddar (we use dayia)
1 cup dairy free mozzarella (we used dayia)
1 cupish dairy free mayo
4 (or to taste) jalapenos chopped (seeds removed unless you like spice)


Mix it, bake it at 350 until brown on top. So easy so delicious! I liked it with celery, my husband liked it with a spoon. But! It is mostly yummy hot, not so yummy cold!!



P.S. We got through a trip with ZERO allergy issues!! yahoo!! But my 2year old hates peanut butter. Only an allergy mom knows the fear of what this could mean. And nuts are a major food group here!