Please read, before reading

I am saddened by the comments on this blog that often take a judgmental turn. The information is intended to be just that -- information. You need to make your own decisions for your life and be accountable for your actions. I debated closing the blog, but feel there are many valuable items listed for families struggling with food allergies, especially early on.

If you need further information please contact a doctor. If you need to verify a product's ingredients, please look at current labels and contact the company yourself. Note many posts are several years old. Use your best judgment and do not make up comments to scare people.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Awesome Book

I've been reading lots of cookbooks lately on dairy-free cooking and baking.  As I find ones I that are especially helpful, I'll be posting them here.  Remember you can check them out from the library and don't have to buy right away.

Go Dairy Free, by Alisa Marie Fleming is a fabulous book for anyone with dairy allergy or lactose intolerance.  There are some great ideas and recipes for all tastes.  I really like that there are options within the recipe to use one ingredient or the other.  I made two recipes from this book this weekend -- cheesy quakers (crackers) and mac 'n cheese (both non-dairy of course).  Both recipes require the use of nutritional yeast flakes, which have a sutle cheese flavor.  Nutritional yeast flakes are vegan and completely dairy-free.  I found a large container at a health foods store.  My daughter loved the mac and cheese as well as the crackers.  So happy!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Good results

Do not do allergy testing at home unless advised by a doctor.

We know our daughter's dairy reaction, so we test for milk at home. I recently mention our testing plan for milk at home. We haven't tested anything since August, when she turned 2 years old.  No sense in testing often if the child is going to react.  We tend to test every 6 months or so right now.  We are optomistic that she will outgrow the milk allergy because she tolerates it so well in baked goods.  

Yesterday, I made a chicken pot pie.  I used Earth's Balance margarine and 2 percent milk. I used Pillsbury pie crust because it also had no milk and she has had it before.  She had eaten every other item in the chicken pot pie before, so I knew we were just testing to see if she can tolerate a casserole with milk.  

Well, as toddlers go, she didn't eat a lot, but she took several bites.  She licked her finger after placing them in the creamy sauce.  In the past, a reaction occurred shortly after giving her about a teasponn of milk-based icing (not cooked).  She at least had that much last night.  

The results:  No reaction!!  Hooray.  No more making two chicken pot pies.  

**In case you were wondering how I made dairy-free chicken pot pie, I use this recipe and adjust. I replaced rice milk for cow's milk and used dairy-free margarine for butter**

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fried Tofu

Living in the Midwest, we tend to eat a lot of meat, potatoes and of course, dairy.  So, learning about alternative food sources has been really interesting.  I have found that keeping an open mind produces the best results.

Today's experiment: fried tofu.

We have eaten tofu before, but not with much success.  I have just chopped it up (cold) and served with a little soy sauce and ginger.  My daughter ate some, but not every time I served it.  Them I was stuck with all this tofu and didn't have a plan.  I've been reading cookbooks galore about dairy-free eating.  So I have plenty of tofu recipes in hand.  I also have been reading cookbooks that aren't dairy-free (a dairy-free recipe slips in here and there).  I recently read Make it Fast, Cook it Slow , by Stephanie O'Dea and found a great recipe for sweet and sour tofu.  I decided to de-construct it for the first introduction of it.  But after I tasted the sweet and sour sauce I bought from the store, I changed plans completely. Yuck!  I took her directions for frying the tofu and that was all.  I then served with BBQ sauce.  They tasted like chicken nuggets.  Yum and very, very easy!

Fried Tofu
1 inch cubes of tofu (as much or little as you want)
1 Tbsp dairy-free margarine (I used Earth's Balance)
1 Tbsp cornstarch (less if necessary)

1. Melt dairy-free margarine on medium heat.
2. Place tofu and cornstarch in plastic baggie.  Shake.
3. Shake off excess cornstarch and place tofu in butter.
4. Fry for 5 to 7 minutes.  Flip.
5. Fry for 3 to 5 minutes longer. They will be slightly browned.

**Serve with BBQ sauce, honey, sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce, or your favorite sauce.**

Monday, February 22, 2010

Baking Soda Worked for Us

It happened to us and I'm sure it has happen or will happen to you, too.  We didn't read a label and fed something we thought was safe to our daughter.  It read "Made in a facility with nuts..."  Oh, no.  We hoped there wouldn't be a reaction, but she had a messy, messy diaper shortly after eating.  And it took her little tummy about a week to get back to normal -- she was getting over a cold at the same time, too.

I worked as hard as I could to get as much fiber in her as possible: beans, cereal, craisins, raisins, fresh fruit, yogurt, etc.  But what also seemed to help was sprinkling in a little baking soda in her water.  She doesn't like juice, but she drank the baking soda water.  It is an antacid, and I think it's much safer than feeding a toddler "medicine." Just a suggestion to anyone who has a little one with tummy problems.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Tuna Salad Sandwich

Trial and error and the picky toddler.  Yep, it's going to take a few tries to get it to their liking.  I'm still working on this one.  I made the mistake of putting onions in this, and our daughter just doesn't seem to like anything with onions.  Okay, I can adjust.  There are foods I don't like, and I certainly wouldn't want someone forcing me to eat them.  Here is a recipe for tuna salad sandwiches.  You can adjust to your little one's liking.

Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Tuna Salad Sandwich
5 oz can tuna
1 to 2 Tbsp Vegenaise (or dairy-free, egg-free mayo)
1 to 1 1/2 tsp pickle relish or chopped pickles
1/2 chopped carrot stick
1/2 chopped celery stalk
1 Tbsp chopped onion (I'll be omitting this next time)

1. Mix all together and spread on bread. 

**This can also be served on crackers.  Turn it into a tuna melt by spreading on half hamburger bun, top with dairy-free cheese and place in warm oven for 10 minutes. **

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Book Recommendation

I just checked out The Food Allergy Mama's Baking Book, by Kelly Rudnicki from the library.  It is a must read for anyone with food allergies.  This book focuses on baked goods such as, cakes, bread, cookies, etc.  You know all that stuff that normally has milk or eggs or nuts in them.  I can't wait to try some of the recipes. I highly recommend you check it out!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Must Bake

Here is a delicious recipe for Banana Cookies.  We added chocolate chips.  Yum!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Chicken Pasta Salad

Here's another recipe that I posted over at Must Follow Recipes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's ideas

My recipe for Dairy-Free, Nut-Free Chocolate Candy is being featured at  Go and check it out!  My recipe is number 5 of the Top 10 Valentines Day ideas!  There are other great ideas, too.

It's so fun to share ideas!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dairy-Free Rice Krispies Treats

While this recipe might seem really obvious, I will admit when I began to learn about dairy-free food that I had no idea what to do.  I really like Rice Krispies Treats, and I am pretty picky about the flavor.  So changing to dairy-free margarine didn't seem like an easy option.  Then I read on a message board the Blue Bonnet Light was dairy-free.  Really... my margarine of choice for these treats is (dairy-based) Blue Bonnet.  It was worth a try.  I can't justify making two different batches of Rice Krispies just to appease my taste.  The verdict:  PERFECT.

Here's what we did today for Valentine's Day.

  • 6 cups Rice Krispies (I always end up adding more so it's not too gooey)
  • 3 Tbsp Blue Bonnet Light (or another dairy-free margarine)
  • 10 oz marshmallows

1. Heat butter and marshmallows on low on stovetop.
2. Once marshmallows and butter are melted, mix in Rice Krispies.
3. Pour into a pan.  Spray a piece of wax paper with cooking spray (such as Pam, which is dairy-free) and press it to even out the treats in the pan.
4. Shake on sprinkles.  Use a cookie cutter to cut the treats into shapes.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Allergy vs. Intolerance

I think the hardest part of having a food allergy is explaining it to other people.  Many people get confused between an intolerance and an allergy.  The two are often used interchangeably, which is very incorrect.   Many people don't understand than an allergy is more than a discomfort.  Many people don't understand that allergens cause reactions in the smallest amounts.

Here's a really well written (and easy to understand) article from the Mayo Clinic that you can share with friends, family, school, etc.

With that said, I also caution reading articles, message boards, and blogs online looking for the truth.  I often find that many don't distiguish between the two.  Always consult a doctor  for major issues or questions you really need the answer.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Gotta check this out!

I'm now contributing to a blog called Must Follow Recipes.  Check out my first post for a recipe for dairy-free, nut-free chocolate candy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Enjoy Life Coupons

I received the following in an e-mail from Enjoy Life Foods.  Seems like a really good deal to me!  We recently got a sample of the Cinnamon Crunch Granola that came with a package of snack bars, and our daughter loves it in her yogurt. If you go to the homepage there is a coupon for 55 cents off!

Purchase  bag of any of our 3 great-tasting Enjoy Life Granolas (Cinnamon Crunch, Cranapple Crunch and Very Berry Crunch), send in the barcode (on the bottom right, backside of the package) along with a copy of your receipt and receive FIVE $1.00 OFF coupons.

Receipts showing any granola purchase (12.8 oz. size) purchased between February 1, 2010 and February 28, 2010 are eligible for this promotion. In return, you will receive FIVE $1.00 OFF coupons good on future purchases of Enjoy Life products; $5.00 OFF in total! That's like getting the Enjoy Life Granola for FREE!

Please send your barcode and receipt, along with your full name, mailing and email addresses to:
Enjoy Life Foods
c/o JWG
1010 Davis Street
Evanston, IL 60201 USA
Limit one set of coupons per household. Offer only good in the U.S. and Canada. Entries will only be considered if a copy of the receipt and barcode are properly dated and are for the products indicated above. Entries must be postmarked prior to March 15, 2010 to qualify.
Questions? Email our marketing team:

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