Garlic & Herb Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

_DSC0783

I make this delicious dinner in my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker. Love that thing! It’s like magic for meats, whether in the microwave or oven, they come out soooo moist. If you don’t have one, you could still roast it in the oven in a regular roasting pan.

Ingredients:
1 whole chicken, thawed, rinsed, inside stuff removed (of course!)

1/2 cup of dairy free butter. I use Earth Balance brand.
1-2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced

Red potatoes, washed and diced. Enough to serve your party size.

Mix butter and seasons together and spread over, under, inside, and beneath skin of chicken.
Place potatoes in bottom of pan. Place chicken directly on top, breast side up.

Bake at 400F for 1 hour, or until meat thermometer placed in meaty party of thigh reads at least 165 degrees and meat is no longer pink.

The juices from the chicken make the potatoes so moist and flavorful and the leftover chicken can be frozen and saved for use in other dishes like chicken and dumplings.

Advertisements

Fresh Picked Blueberries! (and Easy Fruit & Honey Oats)

_DSC0339 _DSC0781

Being a Floridian my entire life, there are several things I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never done.  I’ve never been to the Florida State Fair, the Strawberry Festival, Sweetfield Farms famous corn maze, or blueberry picking.  Well, now I can cross blueberry picking off the list!  I had the pleasure of spending a quiet afternoon, camera in hand, picking blueberries at BlueYouth Berry Farm.  The people there were very friendly and helpful and it was a perfect spring day.

With food allergies, the best thing about picking it myself, is that I know what’s in it.  I don’t have to worry that it was “processed in a facility with…”  or that it “may contain…” anything other than delicious, fresh off the bush, larger than life, bursting with flavor Florida blueberries!

Mmmmmmmm

The friendly folks at BlueYouth even helped me pick out a few blueberry bushes to take home and nurture for my very own!

I keep my blueberries in a dish on the kitchen counter, so they can continue to ripen and so I can steal a handful now and then as I walk by. 😉  Today’s blueberry recipe is pretty simple, as it was early in the season and I didn’t come home with more than a little over a pound.  But never fear, I will be back and report to you all of my delicious allergy-friendly blueberry goodness.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Quaker Old Fashioned Oats

1 cup water or vanilla soy  milk

dash of salt + dash of cinnamon

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 banana, sliced

honey for drizzling

 

Combine oats, water or milk, salt, and cinnamon then microwave for 2 minutes.  Top with sliced banana and fresh blueberries.  Drizzle with honey.  Mmmmmmenjoyyyyy.

 

 

 

Beefy Tomato Macaroni Soup

The original recipe that inspired this one can be found at http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/10/tomato-macaroni-soup-recipe.html

Thank you Six Sisters for sharing your yummy recipes with the world!  When I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I pinned it to my “allergy friendly” board to remind myself to try it out sometime.  I think I am going to start forcing myself to do 1 Pinterest recipe per week.  My Pinterest boards are starting to overflow with ideas and projects!  I altered the original recipe just a bit to suit our tastes.  As always, remember to check your labels!

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
48 oz beef broth (I use Swanson’s 100% Natural Beef Broth)
14 oz can diced tomatoes
6 oz can tomato paste
1 large carrot, shredded
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (I use Publix brand)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
1  cup elbow macaroni, UNcooked  (I use Publix brand)

Saute the ground beef, along with the onion and garlic, until browned.  Drain.  In a large saucepot, add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.  Then simmer on low for 10 more minutes.  That’s it!

Dinner’s ready!  We served ours with some leftover Pillsbury French Loaf bread slices slathered in Earth Balance dairy free margarine. Mmmm.

_DSC0779

Allergy Friendly Easter Basket Tips

_DSC0316

I thought I would share some of our favorite Easter basket candy and non-candy goodies.   Holidays can be more difficult to manage with food allergies than every other day of the year.  We food allergy parents have to stick together and share our ideas!

As the kids get older, it becomes more difficult to find *useful* things to add to there Easter baskets.  I highlight useful here because I just can’t bring myself to add another chintzy plastic doo-hicky to their Easter baskets!  Those things were great when they were younger and easily entertained, but once you start finding plastic bugs, bracelets, and bouncy balls in every nook and cranny, you start to dread bringing any more home for fear they will multiply.   A few of my ideas, I got from my own awesome, yet practical,  Mom.  🙂

Here are some practical, non-candy ideas:

  • Cool new hairbrush or  hair accessories
  • Battery operated toothbrush  (I figure, what they hey, it’s a holiday!  Splurge!)
  • Books!
  • CD’s or movies
  • Craft supplies.  The sky’s the limit here.  Markers, colored pencils, chalk, paints, loom bands, play dough…
  • Perfume, lotion, bubble bath, etc.
  • Wall  or window decals
  • itunes gift card
  • Headphones
  • Lego packs
  • Jewelry
  • Gardening gear like gloves and seed packets.
  • Nail polish
  • Baseball cards, Pokemon cards, Garbage Pail Kids cards…

With candy, you have to be very careful and always read labels.  From year to year, we see changes in “may contain” labeling statements that are important to take note of.   We make it a rule to not trust off-label candies, especially the ones that are made outside of the U.S., where the same labeling laws and quality may not apply.  Also, be careful even with the candies you’ve known to be safe in the past.  Sometimes a different package size, different store, or even a different lot of the same thing may NOT be safe from your allergens.

Candies we like:

  • Skittles
  • Airheads
  • Cotton Candy
  • Starburst original candies and jelly beans
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Jolly Rancher
  • Dum-Dums
  • Yummy Earth organic lollipops
  • Surf Sweets gummy worms, Trolli Crawlers gummy worms
  • Swedish Fish
  • Big League Chew
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Twizzlers
  • Lifesavers orginal, mints, and Big Ring Gummies
  • Peeps
  • Dots
  • Mentos
  • Fun Dip
  • Dubble Bubble gum
  • Saf-T-Pops
  • Fluffy Stuff Cotton Tails cotton candy

 

 

Sausage Pasta

This creamy, flavorful pasta dish is a good substitute for the creamy pastas you may be daydreaming about if you’ve ever had a good bowl of fettuccine alfredo. This is not an alfredo based dish, but it has the same satisfying quality to it.

Ingredients:
1 package (about a pound) of Publix Greenwise brand chicken sausage, mild or hot variety.
1/2 cup of Toffutti brand Better than Sour Cream.
1/2-1 red bell pepper, diced.
14.5 oz can of corn (drained). I use Green Giant brand. (some canned vegetables “may contain” peanuts!)
1/2 lb (1/2 bag) Publix brand “Extra-Wide No-Egg Pasta Ribbons” or safe pasta of your choice.

I start by removing the chicken sausage from it’s casing and sauteing until done. While that is working, add in the diced red pepper to the same pan to soften while the sausage cooks. At the very end, add the can of corn just so it is warmed through with the rest. When the sausage is done, don’t drain it! Save those yummy juices. Meanwhile, in a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions and then drain all but the last bit of water. Add the sausage, pepper, corn, juices and all to the pot with the drained pasta. Then add the 1/2 cup of “Better than Sour Cream”. Stir gently to incorporate the sour cream substitute, pan juices, and last bit of starchy pasta water into a flavorful, “creamy” sauce.

Enjoy!

_DSC0764

Wacky Cake

_DSC0758

This cake is quick, easy, delicious, and requires very few ingredients.  I’ve run across the term “wacky cake” on a few different allergy boards and have been meaning to try it.  I found the recipe I used at: http://southernfood.about.com/od/chocolatecakes/r/bl01018c.htm.

The wacky part is that my daughter, who normally dislikes anything chocolate- LOVES it.  Her non-allergic friends do too.  In fact, I got three requests for this to be someone’s birthday cake the first time I made it!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I use Publix brand)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (I use Hershey’s brand)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cold water

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Then, make three wells in the dry mixture.  Put the vanilla in one of the wells, the vinegar in one, and the oil in the third.  Pour the water into the bowl, then stir until everything is incorporated.  I used a greased 9 inch round pan to bake in at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until center springs back when touched.

For icing, I made a powdered sugar and water mixture to use as a drizzle/glaze.  Fill a small cup with powdered sugar and slowly add small amounts of water until desired thickness.  Then pour or drizzle over the cooled cake.

Dairy Free Baked Ziti

I made traditional baked ziti one night to take to a friend who’d had surgery, but I was determined not to have to come home and cook another dinner for my own family.  So I made two pans (very carefully!): one with dairy and one without. It was a hit at both houses!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup dairy free cream cheese substitute. I use Tofutti brand Better than Cream Cheese.

1/2 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp thyme

1 pound ground beef, browned and lightly seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. You could use real onions and garlic, but that would not go over well with my youngest.

16 oz box of ziti, cooked as package instructs, then drained.  I use Publix brand which is safe for us.

24 or 32 oz jar of spaghetti sauce. I use the Prego brand Traditional variety.

Approx. 1 cup Keebler brand Townhouse Toppers Garlic and Herb flavored crackers, crushed/chopped/or food processor-ed into chunky bread crumb size pieces.

Preheat oven to 350F

Stir just enough sauce into the ziti to coat it lightly, then pour the remainder of the sauce into the pan holding the browned and seasoned ground beef.

In a 9×13 glass baking dish, place a thin layer of the meat sauce, then half of the ziti, then another layer of meat sauce.

Stir together the basil, oregano, thyme, and the dairy free cream cheese substitute (that’s a mouthful!) until it’s softened and well combined.

Dollop mixture by teaspoonfuls onto the meat sauce layer and then smush/spread it in a bit.

Top with remaining ziti, then remaining meat sauce, then sprinkle with cracker crumbs.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
Enjoy!

_DSC0762