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, 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!