The only way I can actually relax on vacation, is if I do the cooking myself. For that reason, we try to stay somewhere with a kitchen. We have made do with just a minifridge and microwave, but let’s just say it was no gourmet affair. Every year, I try to make a grocery list ahead of time that will allow us to be in and out quickly once we arrive at the store near our location. This year, I’ve decided to blog it so I don’t have to rewrite the darn thing next year- and also to share with you of course! Some items we prefer Publix brand for, but if you know of another brand substitution that is milk, egg, and peanut free- please share!
This is my list for out of town groceries for 5 days for a family of four, with two children allergic to milk, egg, and peanut. We try to stick to simple recipes that hopefully our kitchen-away-from-home will have the tools to execute and just focus on hitting the basic food groups: protein, produce, carb.
- Frosted brown sugar and cinnamon pop tarts
- +/- a box of cereal: Cocoa Puffs, Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Cookie Crisp
- Vanilla soy milk. We prefer Publix Greenwise brand but will use Silk in a pinch.
- 1 loaf of bread. We use Publix honey wheat.
- 1-2 pounds of deli meat. We do not use fresh sliced meat from the store’s deli due to the concern of cross contamination with cheese and meats containing nuts. We use prepackaged Oscar Meyer delifresh honey ham.
- Pepperoni. We use Hormel original.
- 1-2 bags of chips. We like Tostitos original, Rold Gold pretzels, and Lays original or BBQ. We have found milk in some BBQ brands, milk in some Tostitos flavors, and the potential for peanuts with other pretzel brands. Always read the label. The whole label, not just the “Contains” statement.
- Produce: Carrots, baking potatoes, bananas, watermelon, apples, strawberries, blueberries…mmmm.
- Microwave popcorn. At least a 6 pack. We use Orville Redenbacher’s Naturals, Simply Salted variety.
- If we’re lucky: ice cream! We like Tofutti Cuties vanilla ice cream sandwiches, So Delicious brand vanilla or chocolate ice cream, and Purely Decadent’s Cookie Avalanche flavor of dairy free ice cream.
- If not ice cream: popsicles! We like So Delicious brand creamy fudge bars, Popsicle brand plain flavors (although they have recently had a recall where these contained milk so I may be revising my opinion of this brand), PhillySwirlz, and FunPops- the kind grandma always had in her freezer- the all-American brightly colored sugar-in-a-plastic-sleeve type.
- Cookies! We like Oreos. Oreos have recently updated their labeling so that now ONLY the original and double stuffed are safe for us. No more minis or vanilla kind. 😦 We also like Chips Ahoy original chocolate chip cookies. I know the package says contains whey, but for some reason, these have never been a problem for us.
- 1 pound of chicken breast cutlets. 1 pound of lean ground beef. 2 pounds of salmon.
- 1 small box of Bisquick original baking mix (for “breading” oven-baked chicken).
- 1 bottle of Morton Season All, salt and pepper. Or *pack ahead*.
- Canned veggies. We like Green Giant brand green beans and corn.
- Pasta sauce. We use Prego Traditional variety.
- Spaghetti. We use Publix brand.
- Dairy free margarine. We use Earth Balance brand.
- Cooking oil for greasing pans. We use Publix brand vegetable oil, EVOO or canola spray.
- Canned bread. We use Pillsbury brand french loaf or original crescent rolls.
- Tyson brand dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.
- Oreida brand crispy crowns, waffle fries, or crispers.
- Maybe a frozen pizza for Mom and Dad on nugget night. Yes, we sometimes eat what they can’t. We feel the world will be this way for them, and they will have to learn to adjust and take caution for cross contamination in every circumstance. But that’s a whole other blog topic!
- Hmmm. One night left. What to fix? I think I will *pack ahead* (**= reminding myself) a baggy of Ener-G egg replacer and use the rest of my Bisquick box for pancakes. So you will also need:
- 1 package of Oscar Meyer bacon.
- Oreida brand crispy crowns or hash browns.
- 1 bottle of maple syrup. We use Hungry Jack Lite.
- Bottled water, soda
- Plastic baggies to make snacks portable
I know, this is not the absolute healthiest list, but it’s simple and I’ll rest easy knowing it’s safe and they at least got a few more nutrients than a week of fast food would provide.
Also, when we get to our kitchen-away-from home, I always run the dishwasher first to rewash the dishes. That’s just me. I want to know for sure that they have been cleaned properly and are free of cross-contaminants.
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!
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.
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.
I’m sharing this with you all, not because I’m a great salesperson (ha!), but because I’ve found this “tiny scoop of awesome” that is “free of all of the ‘top 10 allergens’, and is not blended in a facility that packages nuts“. Hooray! I was originally searching for something to put in smoothies for the kids to add a punch of nutrition to their already limited diet. Skoop is *not*, however, currently recommended for children under 75 pounds (or pregnant or nursing women). So I tried it just for me. And I LOVE it! I love the way I feel energized by it. I love knowing that I have done something good for myself by nourishing my body with super good stuff. Seriously. Vegetables, greens, fruits, fiber, omega 3s, probiotics, and antioxidants all in one scoop. I mix it in my mid-morning smoothie with half a banana and 8 ounces of soymilk. I find that I want less coffee, feel more energized, and have even used it pre-race for 13.1 miles of super. Anyhow, it’s gluten free, caffeine free, non-GMO, organic, and only 50 calories per scoop.
That is, in a nut-free nutshell, what I love about Skoop. To find out more, visit emily.healthyskoop.com
Remember waffles? I do. My husband and I had the best waffles at this little island restaurant while on our honeymoon in Kawaii. Every now and then I get a craving for them (and the kids beg me). So here we go!
My first word of advice is buy your own waffle maker. Waffle makers are a type of kitchen equipment that can only be cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth. That is not going to cut it (the allergens). Usually waffles are made with milk and eggs. If your waffle iron, or your host’s waffle iron, has been used to make traditional waffles, get a new one. Period. Then, you can enjoy waffles whenever you want- without going to Kawaii!
My recipe comes straight off the Bisquick box. It used to say “1 egg (optional)” but now it doesn’t say optional. But guess what? It still is!
2 cups Original Bisquick mix
1 & 1/3 cup of soy milk (we use Publix Greenwise vanilla soy milk)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
I usually take a fork to the dry mix first to get a head start on getting the lumps out and then add the wet ingredients. Pour onto a hot greased waffle iron (I use Crisco brand shortening) and close lid. My waffle maker tells me when it’s done with a light, but it takes about 5 to 10 minutes and the steaming has stopped.
Serve with dairy free butter (we use Earth Balance brand) and syrup (we use Hungry Jack Lite or Cary’s Premium Maple Syrup).
Why have just regular pancakes when they can be “SUPER” pancakes?! This recipe comes courtesy of the Bisquick Box. Adapted, of course.
2 cups Original Bisquick mix
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp sugar
1 & 1/3 cup vanilla soymilk. We use Publix Greenwise vanilla soymilk
1 tbsp Ener-G egg replacer mixed into 4 tbsp warm water (=2 eggs)
Optional mix-ins: fresh blueberries, Enjoy Life or Divvies brand chocolate chips…
Stir all ingredients together until blended. Pour 1/4 cupfuls onto hot greased skillet. Cook until edges are dry. Turn and cook until golden.
For syrup, we use Hungry Jack Lite or Cary’s Premium Maple Syrup. For butter, we use Earth Balance.
Prepare bacon in a separate skillet, according to package directions. We use Oscar Meyer brand center cut and thick sliced.
Sometimes we’ll also have Ore-Ida toaster hash browns or Jimmy Dean pre-cooked turkey sausage. If you’re looking for scrambled eggs with this breakfast, well, you’re in the wrong house!