Chicken Baltimore with Glazed Carrots and Butter & Herb Shells

We named this dish Chicken Baltimore because we made it, cramped in a hotel kitchen with minimal ingredients on hand, while on a family trip to Baltimore.  Note: When you have a kitchen in your hotel room, always wash the dishes before using them!  (because they sometimes don’t- ew)

For the chicken, you will need:

  • 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken cutlets
  • 1/2 cup of Original Bisquick baking mix
  • 1&1/2 Tbsp of Season All
  • 2-3 Tbsp of Earth Balance dairy free butter

Melt the butter on medium-high heat in a skillet large enough to hold all your chicken.  Mix the Bisquick and Season All in a small “chicken cutlet-sized” container.  Dredge the chicken cutlets in the seasoning mixture, then cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until done (no pink in the center!) and coating is nice and brown.

For the carrots, you will need:

  • 1-2 carrots per person, peeled, and chopped into bite size pieces (or use baby carrots and make life easier!)
  • 2 Tbsp of Earth Balance dairy free butter
  • 3 Tbsp of brown sugar
  • pinch of salt

Boil or steam the carrots on the stove top until fork-tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain, then stir in brown sugar, butter, and salt.

For the Butter & Herb Shells, you will need:

  • Small pasta shells, free of your allergens.  We use Publix brand.
  • 2-3 Tbsp of Earth Balance dairy free butter
  • 1 Tsp each of your favorite herbs.  We use thyme, basil, oregano, and sometimes rosemary.
  • 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 Tsp of salt

Boil pasta until done, about 8-9 minutes, or according to package directions.  Drain.  Melt butter in a small dish, then add herbs, lemon juice, and salt and stir into pasta.

Voila!  Less than 30 minutes prep and cook time to a balanced family  meal.

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When Labels Lie

Here’s a perfect example of why you have to do more than read the label.  (Every time!)

I found a bag of a popular seasoned tortilla chips in a flavor that read ok for us.  In other words, the ingredients list on the back did not contain any milk, egg, or peanuts.   Warning- when it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  Because I know they make nacho cheese variations of these chips, I was suspicious and went to the company website to double check.  NOT on the nutrition page, NOT on the product info page, but in the FAQ section, I found a link answering questions about allergens which then contained a link to “Products Not Containing Milk Ingredients”.  Above this list it states,  “The … products included here do not contain milk.”   Below the list (which included the product I was researching), it states, “The above products do not contain milk; however, they are produced on the same line as our products that do contain milk. Although the lines are washed between batches, a slight residue may remain on the line. Individuals who are extremely sensitive may be affected.”

Grrrrr.  Be very, very careful!

According to the FDA, in the U.S., if a product contains any of the 8 major allergens (milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and soy), the company is required to include this on the ingredients label.  It doesn’t have to be in the “Contains” section, it could be stated in the “Ingredients” section, or sometimes it’s in both places. HOWEVER, if the allergens aren’t in the recipe, but may be present from cross-contamination during processing, i.e. processed in a facility or on the same lines, it is NOT required to be on the label.  In other words, they do have to put it on the label if it “Contains” it, but NOT if it only “May Contain” it.  Clear as mud?  Exactly.  Some manufacturers (God bless them!) have a policy of always using a “May Contain” statement on the label if cross-contamination is possible, but unfortunately, they are not the majority.   Always, always, (always), check!

For further reading on Food Allergen Labeling, visit http://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm079311.htm

Simple Steak Dinner

Here’s a dinner that’s sure to please the meat-lovers out there.  Going out for  a steak dinner with food allergies is like going out for anything else, risky!  Cooking it for yourself at home, is quick, saves money, and grilling uses fewer dishes!  When we have steak, we usually serve it with microwave-baked potatoes and steamed broccoli.

I start by coating a fresh top sirloin steak with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and McCormick’s Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning.  Then I place it in a storage bag and marinate the steak in worcestshire sauce.  We use either Publix or Lea & Perrin’s brand.   I try to do this at least a day in advance or save time by doing it on grocery day and sticking it in the freezer, already marinating itself, so all I have to do on steak night is thaw it out.   Grill the steak for 6-9 minutes on each side, checking it for desired doneness.  (A note about grilling: make sure your grill hasn’t been used to make anything like cheeseburgers etc or has been thoroughly cleaned to avoid allergens.)

I rinse and cut the fresh broccoli, place in a steamer basket, then place the basket in an pan with just about a half inch of water in it.  Cook on medium high for 7-10 minutes until desired tenderness.

For the baked potatoes, scrub them well under hot water with a vegetable brush, poke a few times with a fork on each side to vent, then place on a clean plate in the microwave for 7-9 minutes each.  When done, slit down the center, pinch the ends to open it up, and slather on your dairy free butter or sour cream.  We like Earth Balance brand of dairy free butter and Toffutti brand Sour Supreme.   For variety, substitute a sweet potato with dairy free butter, cinnamon, and maybe a sprinkling of brown sugar.  nom-nom-nom…..

In less than 30 minutes of prep and cook time, you’ve got a classy, money-saving, SAFE, and simple dinner!  Win!

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“Sarah’s Snacks”

My very first guest writer happens to be my biggest fan and also the main reason for this blog.  My daughter Sarah is 10 years old and allergic to milk, eggs, and peanuts.  I adore this creative, beautiful, smart and funny little ball of energy that is Sarah and I want this blog to be a handy resource for her and her brother that holds all of their favorite snacks and recipes… and she is super-duper excited to share them with you!!!  She also wants to remind you to read our blog disclaimer and be sure to read labels to see if these products are safe with your allergies.  So, without further ado, I present “Sarah’s Snacks”.

“If you are allergic to milk, eggs, and peanuts, these snacks are recommended by me.  Rold Gold pretzels, which are great school lunch snacks and Orville Redenbacher’s Naturals Simply Salted popcorn is a movie time favorite.  I also think these snacks are perfect ways to eat fruits: strawberries and sugar are so tasty you can’t even tell if it is a strawberry or candy!  You could also try bananas dipped in Jello powder.  Those snacks are just a few in the large world of milk, egg and peanut free snacks just waiting to be discovered.”

Disclaimer

Read the label.  Every time!  Then, even if the label appears to be free of your allergens, check the company’s website and/or call them to rule out cross-contamination.  Every time!  The intent of this website is not to provide nutritional or medical advice.  It is up to you to decide what’s best for you and your family.  Also, I am not one to adhere to strictly organic, non-GMO, whole, clean, paleo, vegan, etc.  Granted, they are good for you!  In our home, we do what we can to keep things easy and as close to normal as possible.  Lastly, I would love for you to enjoy and share my blog.  Please remember that all content on this blog, created by me, belongs to me.  (copyright implied here)  Likewise, all content on this blog borrowed from others, belongs to them and will be credited as such.  Thank you!

Woo-hoo I have a blog!

Thanks for visiting my page!  No, really.  Thanks!!!!  Life is busy, so I’m honored you’d stop by.

I’ve decided to create this blog to share milk, egg, and peanut-free recipes and tips for eating healthy, and most importantly, safely when navigating the world of serious food allergies.  I have two children who are BOTH severely allergic to milk, eggs, and peanuts.  What I post here will be about our day-to-day recipes, products, and challenges.   I thought about creating a cookbook for them when they leave home so they can take with them all of the great family meals we’ve created over the years (that they actually liked!) as well as favorite products, tips for eating out, reading labels, etc.  Someday I might.  (Stay tuned!)  But for now, wherever they are, as long as they have access to the internet, they’ll have this blog.  And you can use it too!