Why we're here...

The quick version :) We are a family of 7 (plus 5 if you count pets, sadly now 3) living with severe food allergies (thus far dairy and beef, thinking the baby might add some to the list) and as vegetarians (mostly vegan, except pastured eggs occasionally), 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 obsession with ice cream, but there are enough milk substitutes 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 recipes to accommodate. 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!!

2018: We now have 5 children. The oldest is 8, and still seriously allergic to milk, and beef. Youngest is 3 months. and no other confirmed allergies. but the 2 year old can not eat bananas, though sadly she loves them. the baby throws up constantly... but who knows:)

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!!