Wednesday, May 6, 2009

So What Do You Do For Snacks???

This is a question I get asked over and over again. "So with all those dietary challenges, what do you do for lunchbox snacks, what do you take with you when you travel with the kids?"

So I figured I may as well put a list out there of stuff that is working well for us for snacks. I do try to buy organic as much as possible, to buy fruits/veggies that are in season, and to eliminate as many artificial ingredients (i.e. stuff that's been cooked up in a lab) as I possible can.

This list is a work in progress, as I am sure I'm forgetting things. I'll also add webby links to the various products and companies when I have more time.

Here goes:
Fresh fruits are big here - green and red seedless grapes, strawberries, banana (Potatey only), apple, kiwi, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries.

Organic baby carrots - Salamander loves them with some Cedar's Organic Original Hommus. For Potatey I'll make a "quick dip" using Hain Lite Safflower Mayonnaise [this one does have a few *funny* ingredients, so I do limit this], olive oil and organic dried parsley flakes

Sliced fresh cucumber

Celery Sticks w Almond Butter (or the *quick dip* I just mentioned)

Bubbies(R) Bread & Butter chips (Salamander LOVES these)

Dried fruits (make sure no sulfites/sulfates added; preferable no sugar added either), bought in bulk at Whole Foods Market - cranberries, banana slices (Potatey only), mango slices, papaya slices, pineapple slices

Sun Maid(R) Natural California raisins - the 1 1/2 oz. small boxes only. I was told, way back in the days of starting dietary changes, that this size is the only size that's gluten free

Woodstock Farms Organic Apple Sauce, 4 oz cups

Shelled Pistachios

Enjoy Life(R) Caramel Apple bars

ANDI BAR(TM) Chocolate Shake bars

Enjoy Life(R) Snicker Doodle cookies, Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies, Double Chocolate Cookies

Andean Dream(R) Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies

Brownies, or chocolate cup cakes I bake using Namaste Foods Brownie Mix or Chocolate Cake Mix

I almost always have some "my own recipe' mini muffins or sweet breads floating around.

Ruffles(R) Natural Sea Salted Reduced Fat Potato Chips

Tostitos Natural Yellow Corn Chips, Tostitos Natural Blue Corn Chips. Salamander loves these with either hommus or with EatSmart (Snyder's of Hanover) Garden Style Sweet Salsa

EnerG(R) Wylde Pretzels (I only buy the one that is soy free in addition to gluten free, dairy free, etc. I wish they would develop a pretzel that's corn free as well)

Honey Acres HoneySuckles Honey Snack

Bare Fruit Bake-Dried Apple Chips, Bake-Dried Mangos

Sensible Foods(R) Crunch Dried(R) Fruit Snacks

And yes, with the snacks too, I rotate, rotate, rotate (e.g. boys don't get the same snack two days in a row; I try very hard to space things 7 days apart and/or to link up with the *starch of the day*).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Buckwheat/Millet/Hazelnut Flour Pancakes

We are always, always, always trying new pancake recipes here. They make for a fun breakfast food, and left overs are great for lunch (or the next morning).

Tricky part with pancakes here? I need to balance Salamander's desire for fluffy, puffy ones with Potatey's need for stretchy, chewy ones (gotta love those oral sensitivities).
Yeah, no kidding. Hard to find a middle ground...That's why I frequently end up making TWO batches of completely different pancakes. LOL

But occasionally I manage to come up with something that hits middle ground. Like these.

1/4 cup Buckwheat flour
1/2 cup Millet flour
1/4 cup Hazelnut flour
1 tbs egg replacer
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbs maple syrup (agave syrup works too)
1 tbs safflower oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
water to turn batter a thin yogurt consistency
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Place buckwheat, millet, hazelnut flours and egg replacer in large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add vanilla, maple syrup, safflower oil and apple sauce. Blend thoroughly. Stir in chocolate chips.

Add sufficient water to make batter look like a thin yogurt.

Heat up griddle. Pour batter (I have a small sauce ladle, which I fill up about 2/3) on hot griddle. My griddle allows me to cook about 6 pancakes at a time.

You do need to watch these while they cook. They appear to go slow at first, but then, watch out. It's easy to burn their *bottoms*. I will flip mine over as soon as the top appears dry (but hey, you're all pancakes baking pros right, so I don't need to tell you a thing).

The boys will eat these *plain*, or with a little raspberry jelly (Potatey) or almond butter (Salamander).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chocolate Chip Muffins

I stared making these for the boys when my previous waffle maker decided to take an early retirement (and my replacement hadn't come in yet). They were a rip roaring success (so much so that the boys now ask me to alternate between waffles and muffins. LOL).

2 1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 eggs (or if you need to stay egg free, replace with 1/3 cup of apple sauce)
1/4 cup chocolate chips (we only use the Enjoy Life chocolate chips) (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In large mixing bowl, mix together almond flour, baking soda, salt. Add honey, vanilla, vinegar and eggs (or apple sauce). Mix well and stir in chocolate chips.

Lightly grease muffin tins, or place paper liners in tins.

Spoon batter into tins, filling half full. Makes about 9 muffins.

Place muffin tin in oven. Place baking sheet under muffin tins (in case batter rises above muffin tins and spills over, it's happened to me a few times.. LOL).

Bake for about 20 minutes (may need to bake a little longer if using apple sauce instead of eggs).

My boys love 'em hot, with a little jelly or honey drizzled on top. They make great lunchbox snacks too (but do check with your child's school regarding their nut free policies).

Monday, March 16, 2009

Meatballs - Version Two

Tweaked my original meatball recipe for a friend who has to be tomato-free for a while. Here goes:

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground turkey
sufficient Pacific Natural Foods Free Range Chicken Broth to 'bind' the ground meats together

Blend beef, turkey, salt, pepper, paprika and Chicken Broth well in a food processor.

Roll into balls (size is entirely up to you).

Fry/bake in a large skillet in mixture of olive oil and Chicken Broth until thoroughly cooked and starting to brown.

Let cool, store in a Pyrex dish in refrigerator. They easily keep for a week.

[make great meatballs for a "meatball sandwich" too. I use the EnerG Tapioca HotDog Buns]

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mama's Chili

To my surprise and absolute delight, this Chili recipe came out really good. Salamander couldn't get enough of it (but alas, as legumes are glutamate bombs, I did have to limit his portion sizes), and even Potatey, who typically won't go for anything that includes foods mixed together, had some.

It's a crock pot recipe. The original recipe called for 8 hours at the lowest setting. I think I had my chili in the crock pot well over 10 hours at its lowest setting (I kinda forgot about it).

1/2 lb of already cooked beef stew chunks (I had some leftovers from beef I had cooked for a beef stew a few days ago; I used grass fed beef this time, and OMG, what a difference in flavor and tenderness)
1/2 lb ground beef, browned
4 strips of organic, uncured bacon, cut in 1/2 inch pieces, browned and crisped
1 can organic black beans
1 can organic red kidney beans
1 can organic cannellini beans
1 large can Muir Glen diced tomatoes
1 can Muir Glen no salt added tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
2 scallions, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in crock pot, mix well. Cover and cook chili on lowest setting for at least 8 hours (but as I said, I cooked mine longer than that).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Potato & Hazelnut Pancakes

It's been a long time since I've posted a new recipe. So sorry. Things have been 'nutty' here (pun intended) and I've stuck with the tried and true stuff.

But nonetheless, I had some time for experimenting this morning. Potatey loved these. They make for very flexible crepe-like pancakes, I may try making "jelly rolls' out of the left-overs.

1/2 cup Potato Starch
1/4 cup Hazelnut flour
1/4 cup Cherrybrook Kitchen Gluten-Free Pancake & Waffle Mix
1 tbs Cocoa Powder
1 tbs Cane Sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tbs Sunflower Oil
1/2 cup Apple Sauce
1 1/2 cup Water

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir ingredients together well. Will make a fairly thin batter.

Heat up griddle.
Pour batter on hot griddle - I have a small sauce ladle that I fill up about half.
Batter is thin and runny, so pour out slowly. Pancakes do set up quickly.

Serve hot, but make great 'sandwiches' for lunch and dinner too.