Pizza and Ice cream? No Problem.

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On more than one occasion, several in fact, we have been invited to birthday parties serving pizza and ice cream.  It’s pretty common party fare.  The first time this happened, I was a little overwhelmed with how to either A: create a milk, egg, and peanut free (and fabulous) version of these, or B:  convince my child that a safe alternative was just as good as what “everybody else” has.  Well, after many years of practice, here is what we do now.

For pizza, we use Pillsbury Original Crescent rolls for the crust.  Simply unroll the can and separate each triangle.  Viola-  pizza slices!  Then we spread a small amount of pizza sauce on each triangle.  We use Publix brand.  Now you could add your favorite dairy free cheese, such as Daiya, but my kids, having never had cheese, think replacements are just… weird.  Then, we apply 1-2 slices of pepperoni each.  We use Hormel or Oscar Meyer brand.  You could also add other toppings such as mushrooms, peppers, etc, but alas, we don’t like those either.  Bake according to crescent package directions.

For ice cream, see the recipe we use here.  In a pinch, we also love a few store bought dairy free brands, including So Delicious, and Tofutti.  Be careful to avoid flavors that may have your allergens, such as peanut butter varieties.

For cake, see the recipes we use here.  I make batches of cupcakes ahead of time, then freeze them without the icing on.  I also freeze cupcake-sized servings of icing in sandwich baggies.   When it’s time to leave for the party, I take the cupcake out of the freezer, place it in a storage container, snip the corner off a baggy of icing, add that to the container, and go.  If I won’t be at the party with them to pipe the icing on at the last minute, I’ll pipe it on before putting it in the container.  This method sometimes results in the sides of the container wearing most of the icing.  I’ve tried to stabilize it by jabbing toothpicks in before I put the lid on, but I haven’t perfected traveling with pre-iced cupcakes yet!

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Garlic & Herb Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

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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.

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.

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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!

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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!

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Pancake Chicken

This dinner includes no pancakes and tastes nothing like pancakes.  Why the name, then?  When my son was younger he was so, so, so, sooo very picky.  We tried to convince him that he would like this because it had the same stuff in it we used to make pancakes.  Ever since then, the name stuck and it’s been a family favorite.

In a large plastic storage bag, mix together:

1&1/2 cups of Bisquick Original Baking Mix

1 Tbsp oregano

1 Tbsp basil

1 Tbsp paprika

1 Tsp garlic powder

1-2 lb boneless, skinless, chicken breast cutlets, cut in half width-wise to make smaller pieces.

Place chicken into bag with dry mix, seal and shake well.

Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil (fewer dishes!), gently place chicken pieces on foil, and drizzle tops with melted dairy-free butter. We use Earth Balance brand.

Bake for 12-15 minutes at 450F, or until chicken is cooked all the way through and no longer pink in the center.

 

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Barbecue Beef Sandwiches

Two words.  Easy and yum.   Making barbecue beef sandwiches is something my Mom started doing as something easy that serves enough to please a crowd.  Everybody loves them and we serve them with chips or french fries and corn on the cob. I usually buy 1/2 pound per person of whatever cut of beef roast is on sale, but this last time I bought a shoulder roast and it turned out nicely.

Place the roast in a slow cooker and add enough water to cover about half of the roast.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or if you’re like me and wait until noon to decide what’s for dinner- cook on high for 2 hours, then on low for 4 hours.  Turn meat over at the half way point to keep both sides moist.  When done, drain water and shred beef using two forks to pull apart.  Meat should be tender but no longer pink.   I usually put the shredded beef in a storage bowl, mix in the desired amount of barbecue sauce, then put the lid on and refrigerate or freeze until needed.  I use Bulls-Eye Original brand barbecue sauce, Publix brand hamburger buns, and Ore-Ida brand crispy fries or waffle fries.

Milk, Egg, and Peanut Free* Barbecue Beef Sandwiches