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.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cornbread Stuffing

4 strips of non-cured nitrate/nitrite free bacon, sliced in 1/2 inch strips
2 grilled chicken cutlets, sliced
3 apples, skinned, cored, sliced and diced
rosemary, tarragon to taste
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cornbread, crumbled

Fry bacon strips in a large skillet at high heat for about 5 - 10 minutes. Add sliced chicken and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Add apple dices. Add rosemary and tarragon. Turn heat down to medium. Stir fry apple/chicken/bacon mixture until apple is getting soft.

Add crumbled cornbread to apple/chicken/bacon mixture. Mix thoroughly. Add chicken broth. Turn heat down to low. Cover skillet and let mixture bake for about 15 minutes.

Transfer stuffing mixture to rectangular Pyrex baking dish. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Bake stuffing for 30 minutes. Makes great left-overs.


1/2 of 24 oz bag of Red Mills Whole grain corn flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
6 tbsp olive oil
1 1/3 cup of half and half mixture of plain almond milk and chicken broth

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Spray a Pyrex 9 inch baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.

In mixing bowl, mix corn flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.
In separate bowl, wisk eggs and olive oil.
Add egg mixture to dry corn flour mixture.
Add half-and-half mixture of almond oil and chicken broth to corn flour/egg mixture.

Mix thoroughly. Pour into Pyrex dish. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
Let cool. Cornbread can be served as is (yummie with raspberry jelly), or use for cornbread stuffing.

Thanksgiving Turkey

1 Turkey
sea salt, pepper
Nantucket Off-shore Seasonings Prairie Rub

Rub outside and inside of turkey with sea salt, pepper and Prairie Rub. Roast turkey in 350 F oven for the required time.

Cranberry Sauce

Really easy to make...

1 bag frozen cranberries
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
2 tbsp honey

Empty bag of cranberries into sauce pan. Add water and sugar. Bring to a boil. Let boil for about 10 minutes until berries start to burst open. Turn low and boil for another 5 to 10 minutes. Take heat off and let sauce cool down (it will start to gel as it cools down).

Once cooled down, add honey to taste.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Last Night's Dinner

For dinner the boys had:

broiled flounder (yes, I do allow fish on occasion)
fresh blueberries (Salamander)
shredded carrots (Potatey)
steamed green beans (Potatey; Salamander had some left over baked beans)
sugar snap peas (both)
apple (Salamander)

The boys ate this all up faster than I could get it on the table....
I would call this a successful 'fruits and veggies' dinner..

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Spinach Omelet

I made a spinach omelet earlier this week that Salamander really liked (once again, Potatey opted out - he just does NOT like mixing foods; it's a texture thing. So what I do for him is to give him all the ingredients I plan on mixing separately. Yes, a little more work. But I do end up getting all the 'good stuff' into him that way).

Both boys were asking for spinach on Tuesday morning (yeah, THAT surprised me too; although it shouldn't have. Both of them will ask for specific foods that may surprise you, when their bodies have a need for a particular constituent of said food). So spinach they got...

I am a bit short on time right now.. so consider this a teaser. The full recipe will go up later today as soon as I have a moment.

Bacon, crisped and crumbled (I use my microwave for crisping bacon - works well)
Left over grilled chicken
1 large box of organic baby spinach, sliced into small strips
garlic salt, olive oil to taste
chives, washed and cut into small pieces
dried parsley flakes
4 eggs
organic chicken broth

"Simple" Lasagna

Made this last nite. Potatey is not a big fan of 'mixing food groups', so he didn't go for it. Salamander however LOVED it (and I had some for dinner too.. Yum, yum)

Ketchup (I use my home made ketchup)
Browned ground beef
1 large can (28 oz) Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes
Tinkyada Brown Rice Lasagna

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In rectangular Pyrex baking dish (told you I love my Pyrex dishes), pour layer of ketchup, sufficiently to cover bottom of baking dish.
Sprinkle ground beef over ketchup.
Place single layer of Lasagna on ketchup/beef mixture (try to NOT have the Lasagna sheets overlap too much; overlapped areas take longer to cook and can get 'chewy').

Cover Lasagna with Diced Tomatoes (you want the tomato juices too; it'll help cook and soften the lasagna).
Sprinkle ground beef over diced tomatoes.
Place single layer of Lasagna on diced tomatoes/beef mixture.

Cover Lasagna with Diced Tomatoes and sprinkle ground beef over diced tomatoes.
Place single layer of Lasagna on diced tomatoes/beef mixture.

Cover Lasagna completely with ketchup. Sprinkle ground beef on ketchup.

Place baking dish in oven and cook for 50 minutes to 1 hour (the ketchup/diced tomato/tomato juices need to be bubbling) unit the Lasagna is soft and you can 'cut' things with a fork.

Let cool a bit and serve. Makes great left overs.

(when we're back in zucchini season next year, I'll add sliced or shredded zucchini in with the diced tomato/beef layers. I'll let you know how THAT turns out)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

GFCFetcF Chocolate Chip Cookies

Check out these guys, I found their cookies in my "local" Whole Foods Market.

I picked up their Chocolate Chip Cookies, and my boys are loving these. So much in fact, that the box of 12 simply "disappeared" overnite. The cookies are individually wrapped, so make great lunch box treats.
It really took me by surprise how much my guys like these, as neither of them is a big quinoa fan.

The company makes several other "flavors" too. I have to take a good hard look at the ingredients listing for the other flavors; needless to say the coconut versions and the orange flavor versions are out.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Your Vote is Needed..

As I said previously, I am trying very hard to content of my various blogs separate...

But I am absolutely passionate about the Lend4Health concept that I have gotten involved in, so I am making an exception for any and all things related to Lend4Health. Please read this post on my OurTravelsInBiomedLand blog..

[more recipes soon.. I promise.. things have been crazy busy here, so I've stuck to my tried and true recipes and haven't had much time for new kitchen chemistry..)