Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Vegan Waffles

Oh my heart!  School started today.  I have mixed feelings about it.  This year my boy is starting first grade at a different school than last year- and- he is riding the bus.  I was excited and nervous for him, relieved for him to be back in school but also sad because summer is now "over".  He is going to be just fine.  I think I am having a harder time than he is.  He didn't even say goodbye- he just hopped on the bus along with the other kids while I'm running after the bus waving and blowing kisses. I can't wait to hear how his day went when he comes home.

So for the past few weeks I have been absorbed in pinterest looking at fun ideas for breakfast and healthy school lunches. (Now let's be serious here, I'm not the mom who cuts sandwiches into shapes and makes palm trees out of carrots and broccoli)  But I did make a rotation (which looks great on paper)-- but we'll see how well I can stick with it.  :)  I love menu planning so it is fun for me.  It's difficult with an egg and nut etc etc allergy to think of a variety of healthy breakfast ideas


Speaking of breakfast, I came across this recipe from Mr.  We've made them several times since.  Nicknamed "yellow waffles" by my kids, they are the closest in texture to "real" waffles that I have tasted.  Topped with syrup and butter (I know, I know- no butter if you are eating these because you are a for real vegan-- we just like them because they are eggless), you can hardly tell they don't have eggs or milk.  I already have an egg free waffle recipe on my site, which I think freezes/stores better than these vegan waffles, but I find myself going to these more and more because of how simple the ingredient list is and again for the texture.


Vegan Waffles
From Mr. Breakfast, slightly adapted by Egg Free Bakery

2 cups flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
4 tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
2-1/2 cups water

Preheat waffle iron.  In a bowl combine flours, sugar, salt and baking powder together with a wire whisk.  Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients.  Pour water and oil in the center and give a quick stir, then mix with the dry ingredients just until combined.  Lightly spray preheated waffle iron with cooking spray.  Pour about 1 cup of batter into iron and cook according to manufacturer's directions, cooking 30-60 seconds longer than recommended.  Remove from iron, top with butter and desired toppings and serve IMMEDIATELY.  These are best eaten hot of the press.  Yield 4 waffles.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lemon-Herb Zucchini Fettuccine

August and September I think zucchini.  And if I had a garden I would grow zucchini and if I had a green thumb they would be growing out of my ears and I wouldn't know what to do with all of them.  But I don't have that problem so I graciously help my neighbors with their zucchini overload.  Hey.  I'm just nice like that.  You have too many zucchini?  Sure, I'll take some.  It's the least I can do.  :)

Here's one of my FAVORITE summer dishes that uses up zucchini.

Find the recipe for Lemon-Herb Zucchini Fettuccine at Our Best Bites

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Egg Free Blackberry Pie Bars

These might look familiar if you've seen my "What to do with Blackberries" post from last year. I found this recipe at wit and vinegar.  I thought they looked so tasty I just had to try them.  It's a genius idea really.  It's a pie, only it a bar form (and I don't know about you but I have a hard time trying to get a pie to look appetizing).  I simply replaced the egg with water.  You could probably use any kind of filling here-- blueberry, cherry, raspberry....

Egg Free Blackberry Pie Bars
From Wit & Vinegar, adapted Egg Free by Egg Free Bakery

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/4 cup cold water
1/8 tsp salt
Zest and juice of one small lemon
1-1/2 cup blackberries
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease an 8 x 8 glass baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and lemon zest.  Cut in butter with pastry cutter or 2 butter knifes until it is crumbly. (If you don't have a pastry cutter-- get one.  I went for 8 years with out one and finally bought one.  I think it was less than $10 and it has changed my butter-cutting life) Add water and stir.  The dough will still look like crumbs- like moistened crumbs.  It will not be a "dough".  Don't worry. In another bowl combine lemon juice, cornstarch, and sugar. Add blackberries and toss gently.  Pat half the flour/crust mixture into the pan. Top with blackberries, then sprinkle the rest of the flour/crust mixture over the dough. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top is golden brown.Let cool completely and put in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Caribean Spiced Pork Chops with Mango Salsa

Ooh. Pretty.  And it tastes as good as it looks.  And it's healthy- which is good for me. And it takes relatively little amount of time.  So it's like a win-win-win-win.  Serve with a side of brown rice and/or veggies.

Pork Chops with Caribbean Rub and Mango Salsa 
From Our Best Bites & Cooking Light October 2011

1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
4 pork chops
1/2 cup peeled mango, diced
1/2 cup Roma tomato, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Combine spice in a small bowl.  Rinse pork chops with pork chops and pat dry with paper towel.  Rub pork chops with spice mixture. Heat an outdoor bbq grill.  Grease grill with and Add pork; grill 3 minutes on each side or until a thermometer registers 145° (slightly pink.). Meanwhile, combine mango, tomato, cilantro, red wine vinegar, and olive oil in a small bowl; toss gently.  Serve salsa over pork.  Yield 4 servings. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I'm baaaaack.

I'm back!  Well... sort of.  I thought I'd check in and schedule a few posts that I had waiting to be shared from awhile ago.  We've been taking it easy this summer since baby girl was born. Transitioning from 2 kids to 3 kids wasn't as bad as I thought it would be... but I was also expecting it to be really hard.  All my friends would tell me about how hard it was going to three kids, but we've been doing ok.  

All things considered I think I kept my kids pretty well entertained this summer for not really leaving the house 5 out of 7 days of the week.   

We made homemade bubbles and glitter play-doh, played in the sprinklers A LOT, and, well, I'll be honest here, my kids have "The Lego Movie" and "Hotel Transylvania" memorized word for word. So you can imagine what else we have been doing a lot of too. 

It's definitely busier with three kids.  I'm in a never ending battle with dishes and laundry. Sleep has become infinitely more important than some of my beloved hobbies such as cooking, blogging and reading.  That being said I can already tell that I won't be able to experiment with recipes and post as frequently as I had been.  Like I mentioned earlier, I have a few posts scheduled for you but after that my posting will probably be random for a little while.

I do have a recipe for you today- S'more Bars!  I tried two different recipes and I liked these ones the best.  Even my hubs who is not a s'more/marshmallow fan said these were good.

Egg & Nut Free S'more Cookie Bars
From Averie Cooks, adapted Egg free by Egg Free Bakery

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 full-size graham crackers, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
1 heaping cup mini marshmallows
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped up Chocolate Hershey's Bar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8 X 8 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Remove from microwave and place cream cheese in the melted butter  Allow to cool for a minute.  Add brown sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth and combined.  Add the flour and stir to combine.  Fold in chopped up crackers, marshmallows and chocolate. Spread batter into prepared baking pan.  Bake about 22-25 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from pan and slicing into bars.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Egg & Nut Free Old Fashioned Chocolate Sheet Cake

I'm going to be taking a break from my blog for a little as I am days away from having my baby!  I know I will be busy taking care of baby girl and spending time with my family.

I thought I'd leave you with this yummy and classic chocolate sheet cake recipe before I head out. It's the perfect dessert for your summer parties, potlucks and BBQs.  No one will even guess it is egg free!

I'll be back soon!  Enjoy!

Egg & Nut Free Old Fashioned Chocolate Sheet Cake
From Egg Free Bakery

½ cup butter   
½ cup shortening 
4 tbsp cocoa 
1 cup water 
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar 
1 cup buttermilk 
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp vanilla
Dash salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a saucepan mix together butter, shortening, cocoa, and water over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring til smooth. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour and sugar.  After butter mixture has come to a bowl, remove from heat and pour mixture over flour and sugar mixture.  Mix well.   Add buttermilk, soda, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt and mix well.  Pour into a greased 10 x 15 inch pan.  Bake 18-20 minutes.  5 minutes before cake is done baking, prepare frosting.

½ cup butter   
4 tbsp cocoa 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
6 tbsp milk 
4 cups powdered sugar

Melt butter; add cocoa, vanilla and milk.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add powdered sugar.  Mix together until smooth.  Pour frosting over cake while still hot.  Let cake cool before slicing and serving.  Yields about 2 dozens servings

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Quick & Easy Dinners

Just as important as it is to learn how to replace allergens (like eggs) in cooking and baking, it's also important to learn how to cook in general as eating out and eating prepackaged convenience food may not be an option for those with food allergies.  It is not for us in our family.  With Baby #3 on the way, I've realized I am going to need to have some quick and easy dinners up my sleeve for when I turn into new-baby-mom-zombie.  Cuz pulling out a frozen pizza or going to McDonalds isn't happening in this family.  And we can only eat Kraft Macaroni and Cheese so many times.

There are SO many neat ideas and recipes out there.  I've come across some great tips that have helped me prepare freezer meals.  Some things that are handy to have in the freezer for us are: 

cooked shredded chicken
cooked ground beef
rolls/hamburger buns (they only keep for 1 month though)
pizza dough
pizza sauce
alfredo sauce
cookie dough  :)

to name a few.  One neat tip I found that I am trying now that we are approaching summertime is to assemble uncooked meat and freeze with a desired marinade.  When ready to cook, remove from freezer a day or two in advance to thaw.  It will marinate as it thaws and then just grill as instructed.

As I've been preparing for our new little one to come, I've been stocking up my freezer with a few of these things:  (Free of eggs, nuts, soy, mustard and legumes)

Crockpot: (Meat from these dishes can be cooked & then frozen, or you can assemble uncooked with seasoning ingredients & freeze.  When ready to eat, throw in the crockpot all day)

Freezer/Make Ahead:
Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
Baked Chicken Strips (watch out for a recipe to come soon)
Italian Meatballs (with or without sauce) serve over pasta or in hoagie rolls with mozzarella 
Pizza Dough + Pizza Sauce 
Pork Chops with Garlic & Herbs
Hamburger Patties
Italian Lasagna Rolls (omit egg) 
   *Be sure to slightly under cook pasta noodles if you are going to be freezing
Freezer Burritos (omit beans, if necessary)

*Soups are another good freezer/make ahead meal.  I haven't made any because we are heading into summer and "soup season" is so totally over.  But these are some good ones to try freezing:

Creamy Tomato Soup
White Chicken Chili

Breakfast Freezer Meals:

Quick & Easy: (For nights when you are short on time-- or energy.  Make even quicker by using cooked meat from freezer)

Beef Tacos (with this tasty homemade taco seasoning)
Spaghetti with garlic & oil (also from Food Allergy Mama's Easy, Fast Family Meals Cookbook-- you can beef it up by adding diced chicken or ham) 
Chicken & Veggie Quesadillas (once again from Food Allergy Mama) 
Pizza Burgers
Hawaiian "Pizzadillas" 
Regular Roast Beef Sandwiches 

This list is going to be a work in progress and I will add things as I come across them, but this is what I have for now.  Feel free to add suggestions or links in the comments if you've found something that has worked well for your family.