Dinner Ideas

Need help finding dinner for a child (or an adult) on a limited diet?  Here are some dinner ideas and links to recipes that are all wheat, soy, eggs, dairy, nuts (and coconut) free.

 

DINNER 1:

Meatlover’s Potato Soup

Veggie crisps to dip in the soup (see examples of chips/veggie crisps that are safe here)

 

DINNER 2:

(Dinner in a hurry)

Gerber Chicken and veggies soup with quinoa noodles (see pictures here), with steamed carrots and chopped black olives mixed in (I keep a batch of steamed carrots in the freezer so I can add them to things like this).

Sweet potato chips (peel sweet potato, slice into 1/4-1/2 inch slices, toss with avocado oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder and bake for about 10 minutes on 425. Turn over, bake for a few more minutes, until crispy. Regrigerate and pop in a toaster oven for quick reheated)

 

DINNER 3:

Tangy Salmon Tacos (if your child does not care for these, you can jazz it up a bit by wrapping it like a burrito and frying in avocado oil until browned and crispy. My daughter will eat pretty much anything if I wrap it and fry it!

Peas & corn (I take out some frozen sweet peas and corn and microwave them in rice milk. My daughter loves them this way!)

 

DINNER 4:

Indian Fry Bread topped with pinto beans & ground pork sausage, chopped lettuce, black olives, and allergy friendly ranch (My version of these recipes for Navajo tacos)

 

DINNER 5:

Fried shrimp  (use gluten free all-puprose flour mixed with a 1-4 ratio of cornmeal, salt, pepper, and lots of Old Bay

Fried okra

Sliced cucumber, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes mixed with ranch dressing

 

DINNER 6:

Winter Comfort Soup served with brown rice

 

DINNER 7:

Moroccan Lamb (see my link to this recipe and how I slightly modified it here)

Honey roasted carrots (There is a recipe somewhere on Google for these; basically toss baby carrots in honey and bake)

 

DINNER 8:

Spaghetti w/ Elk Veggie Meatballs

Quinoa/corn noodles

 

DINNER 9:

Bacon broccoli stir fry

Fun-shaped quinoa noodles

Sweet potato chips

 

These are dinners that I make for my daughter fairly often. Stir fry meals are super easy. I use the same basics for the bacon broccoli stir fry (rice milk and chicken broth, or sometimes just rice milk and I add about a tablespoon of GF flour at the end to make a thicker sauce), and I change it up with different veggies and different meats, like shrimp, or even crawfish tails.

I do try to make sure that okra, shrimp, salmon, and a gamy meat (elk or lamb) are a regular part of my daughter’s diet. The first three are for calcium and vitamin D, which are not found in very many sources when a child cannot have dairy (I also add lots of spinach during the day, either in a wrap, or in a smoothie).  And the gamy meats have more zinc and iron than your average red meats, which is also important for a child on a limited diet.

 

If this post is helpful for you, please like, share, and comment!

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Not Ya Momma’s Chocolate Chip Muffins (Allergy Friendly)

These muffins are so good, you’ll never believe they are actually good for you! Well, maybe not good for you if you’re on a low calorie diet.  But if you need veggies, fat, protein, and other important nutrients in your diet (like a growing child does), WITHOUT having to eat an egregious amount of sugar, these are great! Don’t get me wrong, these do have sugar in them, of course. But it is quite a bit less than most chocolate muffin recipes you’ll find.

And believe it or not, these muffins are also allergy friendly. They are wheat, nut, soy, dairy, coconut, and egg free (as all my recipes are).

Loaded with protein, they make a great addition to breakfast or a great snack.  My daughter LOVES them broken into little pieces topped with apple sauce and fruits.  My husband also decided that even though he has no dietary restrictions, HE would love to have these on a normal basis because he is addicted to chocolate and loves these! So enjoy in whatever way you like, for whatever reason you like. And please let me know if you do!

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups GF all-purpose flour *
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup amaranth flour **
2/3 cup unsweetened, cocoa powder (make sure it is DF)
2 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/2 cup carrots chopped enough to measure
1 cup of rice milk
1 ripe, mashed banana
1/2 avocado, mashed
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/2 cup raw honey (I use local; which REALLY adds to the flavor because it’s so good!)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (check the label for GF, SF, DF, etc.)

NOTES:
*I use a local bulk version, but Bob’s Red Mill has the same GF flour mixture at some stores, it is a mix of garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca, sorghum, and fava bean flour.

**Amaranth flour has a very “grainy” taste. If you are not used to that, or you’re afraid you’re child will not eat it with that flavor (it is similar to a corn flavor), try either adding more chocolate chips to cover it up, or just replacing that ingredient with the GF mix, which does not have a particular flavor. My daughter doesn’t mind it and my husband and mom say they don’t notice it, so either way is worth a try, but amaranth is a good addition to grains on a limited diet.

 

DIRECTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, add the first 9 ingredients (flour through brown sugar). Mix well with a fork, mashing the brown sugar chunks into the flour.

In a blender cup, add the carrots, spinach, and 1/4-1/2 of the rice milk, and blend until smooth. You can also use a food processor.

In a small mixing bowl, mash and mix the banana and avocado. Add the avocado oil & honey and mix until combined. Now add the vegetable puree, the remaining rice milk, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar and mix well. A handheld mixer works well here.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix on low with a handheld mixer until it is smooth and combined. Do not under mix; GF flour needs a little more help to combine with the liquids than wheat does, so mixing enough is important. You should not need to mix for more than 1 minute, however.

Let the batter rest for about 20-30 minutes and preheat your oven to 375 F.

After at least 20 minutes of rest time, whisk the batter just one time. It should look like chocolate mousse, with a fluffy texture to it.

But even though this batter looks super tasty, spare yourself; don’t taste it! Garbanzo bean flour tastes HORRIBLE raw, but once it’s cooked, you would never know it! (I would know, I gave into the temptation here, and let me tell you, it is not pleasant!)

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Pour into a greased muffin pan or muffin cups and bake for 15-18 minutes, depending on your oven. If your oven heats things fast, like mine does, 15 will be perfect, but if it is usually spot on with recipes, you may want to let them cook for 18 minutes.

Remove the muffins from the oven and let them sit in the pan for at least 10 minutes. They may be a little wet on the inside (just enough that a toothpick test won’t work) when you first pull them out. That’s normal with GF baking. It just needs to sit and finish melding together.

 

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Last step, enjoy!  Serve with a side of pork sausage links and fruits for breakfast, a side of sorbet to make a semi-healthy dessert, or just eat by themselves.

To store, wrap in freezer paper and freeze for up to 2 months. To reheat, place in a moist paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds, or until soft.

 

If you enjoy this recipe, please let me know about it!  And check out my other recipes (all allergy free), like, comment, and share with friends. Thanks!

 

Delightfully Sweet Pancakes (Allergy-Friendly)

These pancakes are so sweet, you won’t need syrup! They’re so good, my daughter was running into the kitchen yelling “Pay!! More!!” (she can’t say pancakes yet).  They do have a few sources of “sugar”, including banana, brown sugar, and honey, but not much of each. And with the garbanzo bean flour, they also have protein and magnesium, and the sorghum adds a nutritious grain to a little one’s diet.

I make these for my daughter who cannot have wheat, soy, eggs, dairy, or nuts, so they are allergy friendly.  She eats pancakes with a side of 2 pork link sausages and some fruits. It is a breakfast that I know she will gladly eat!

You will notice that these pancakes are flat, not fluffy. They will not rise very much at all, but that is actually part of what makes them taste so great. Cook them with extra oil to make them crispy and add some fats for your growing kids. They may even be considered crepes by some, but either way, they taste great!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/8 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 1/8 cup GF all-purpose flour (Garbanzo flour mix works best for me)
  • 3 TBS brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 large, ripe banana*
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup rice milk
  • 1/4 cup vanilla hemp milk**
  • Avocado oil for cooking

 

DIRECTIONS:

Add dry ingredients (first 6) into a large mixing bowl and mix well. I use a handheld mixer to break up all the brown sugar bits.

Mash the banana in a separate, smaller mixing bowl. Add honey and oil and beat with the handheld mixer, or whisk well by hand. Add the milk and vanilla and mix well.

Add about a TBS and a half of avocado oil in a skillet big enough to cook 4 pancakes at a time (less oil for a smaller skillet, but enough to coat the bottom) and heat on medium-high heat.

Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the wet ingredients in the well. With a handheld mixer, mix just until smooth.

 

Add 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake to the heated skillet. When bubbles form throughout the top, flip and cook until golden brown on both sides.

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Add about 1/2 to 1 TBS for each batch to keep the bottom of the skillet coated.

 

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NOTES:

*I freeze ripe bananas and then microwave them when I am ready to use them. That makes them more sticky as an egg replacer.

** You can just add 1 cup of rice milk if that is what you have. The hemp milk adds a good flavor, but is not essential.

The longer the batter sits out, the more fluffy the pancakes will be, although they will never truly be fluffy with this recipe. If you want thinner, crispier, crepe-like pancakes, cook them right away. If you want them to have more of a pancake-like texture, let the batter rest for at least 20 minutes before cooking.

 

If you like this recipe, please comment and share with friends! Also check out more recipes in the tab to your right!  Thanks for visiting!

 

Meat Lovers Potato Soup

This recipe was the result of an experiment, as usual. I wanted to make potato soup for the whole family, but I just have a hard time sticking to recipes that I find, not to mention, I like a lot of meat in my soups. So, I originally planned to make this potato soup recipe, but I changed it quite a bit.

This soup is actually more of a Cajun version. I was born in Lafayette, LA to a mother who passed down gumbo and other Cajun recipes that are my favorite recipes to cook (I will be adding a gumbo recipe soon).  But my uncle, who was raised in southern LA, made a soup just like this, although I don’t know the name of it. I actually did not realize I was replicating it until my mom told me that it tasted just like his!  So, Cajun potato soup, meat lover’s potato soup; whatever you would like to call it, here is a nice fall/winter soup to enjoy in this cold weather!

A few helpful notes: I did forget to add the onion in the picture, so please don’t leave that out of your ingredients list! It will change the flavor.  Also, if you are making this for the whole family, try adding a little more rice milk for the little ones (you can add it in their bowl). It makes it more “creamy” and a little more sweet. My daughter LOVES it this way; she loves the “juice”!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 TBS avocado oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup GF all-purpose flour (I use a garbanzo flour mix)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 5 small stalks (or 3 large stalks) of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 8 half slices of bacon (4 long slices straight from the package), cooked lightly and cut into small pieces
  • 6 medium/large red potatoes, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 lb ground turkey sausage, cooked and drained
  • 3 cups original, enriched rice milk
  • 1 bunch of green onions, thinly chopped
  • Seasonings:
    • a pinch of saffron
    • 1/2 teaspoon basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

 

DIRECTIONS:

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat for at least 1 minute. Add the avocado oil and heat for another minute.

Meanwhile, mix the flour with 1/2 cup of chicken broth and set aside.

Add the onions, carrots, and celery and 1/2 teaspoon of salt** to the heated skillet. Saute for at least 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened and the onions translucent.

Now add the minced garlic and bacon pieces and saute for about 3 minutes, until the garlic sends off a nice aroma and the fat begins to seep out of the bacon.

Add the potatoes, turkey sausage, the remaining chicken broth, the rice milk, the chicken broth/flour mixture*, and the seasonings.

Give the soup a good stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.

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NOTES:

* The original recipe says to add the flour mixture after the potatoes cook. I made this in a hurry and accidentally added it first, but the soup came out really good, so for this recipe you will want to add it with the rest of the chicken broth and let it all cook together.

** There will be a total of at least 1 teaspoon of salt. Some added to the vegetables and some with the seasonings. You can also add more to taste. The sea salt that I use is very flavorful, so I do not need to use as much as I would if I were using regular iodized salt. If you are using regular salt, you will need to add more.

 

Rickets: Is Your Child At Risk?

Like most moms whose children have food allergies, I am always trying to make sure that the limited foods my daughter eats are nutritious enough to make up for the foods she cannot have. For this reason, we met with a dietitian, and I have continued to experiment with many recipes to try and make foods my daughter can not only eat, but enjoy–hence the reason that I blog and share what I have learned.

But one very important piece has been lacking in my daughter’s diet puzzle; something I did not know about, and our dietitian did not even mention to us. Of all the doctor’s we have seen, it was Dr. Google–of all places–that finally brought up the importance of vitamin D and Calcium in a child’s diet, and the consequences when these needs are not met. I found this out after my daughter began complaining about pain in her knees, and then woke up screaming and crying in pain, holding onto her knees.

 

What Is Rickets?

According to the American Family Physician’s website, “Rickets is a bone problem that affects children. It happens when your child’s bones do not form correctly. Rickets can make your child’s bones hurt, and the bones can bend and break easily”. And it affects many kids in the knees.

The cause, according to the same site, can either be genetic or due to a nutritional deficiency–specifically of vitamin D and calcium. Nutritional rickets can presumably be treated by fixing a child’s diet, but that of course would take time while your child is in pain. So, it is obviously best to just try to avoid it in the first place.

 

How Can I Prevent My Child From Getting Rickets?

If there is a family history of rickets, I do not have an answer for that. But if your child is on a special diet and cannot have things like dairy and eggs, then it is very important to ensure that your child has enough calcium and vitamin D.

Some allergy-friendly sources of calcium according to Webmd, include spinach, kale, okra, collard greens, salmon and other fish, white beans, fortified orange juice, and cereals fortified with calcium (and vitamin D).

Allergy friendly sources of vitamin D are harder to come by, however. Dairy and eggs are the main sources other than the sun for most children. But for a child like mine with developmental allergic colitis, who cannot have dairy or eggs, the sources are very limited. The only allergy friendly sources of vitamin D that I have found are salmon, shrimp, fortified orange juice, and fortified rice milk.

 

Take Away Lessons

So, if your child has food allergies, should you be concerned about rickets? Well, I like to go by the “better safe than sorry” motto. My daughter’s doctor believes she is a little young to be experiencing growing pains, but since vitamin deficient rickets is cured by diet change anyway, we are giving it time to get better before going any further medically.

But that woke me up to the reality of how important it is to make sure your child has a balanced diet; and that scared me. The last thing any of us want is for our children to be in pain or to have serious health issues. If my daughter did not have food allergies, I would not have to worry about this because milk and eggs for breakfast and cheese sticks for snacks would fill most of the nutritional needs that she is now lacking.

But when a child has food allergies, essential nutrients become much more of a reality, and it is imperative that parents think outside that box and provide their child with the things they need to grow and develop normally. It is a lot of work. It takes a lot of planning. It is not easy. But our children are worth it. And if you need ideas to get these important vitamins (and others) in your child’s diet, please keep reading and check our my other blogs with recipes and information.

 

Toddler Food Ideas Rich in Calcium and Vitamin D

These are foods things that I now make sure my daughter gets:

  • Fortified rice milk at least a couple times a day
  • Fortified orange juice in the morning with breakfast
  • Salmon at least twice a week
    • See my recipe for salmon tacos here.
    • Salmon is great because it is also high in fat, which is so important for a growing child, and unlike many types of fish, it is low in mercury.
  • Fried shrimp a few times a month
    • Bread thawed, raw shrimp in GF all-purpose flour mixed with fair amounts of Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper for flavoring. Fry in avocado or canola oil.
  • Fried okra at least once a week.
    • Bread halfway frozen okra okra with GF all-purpose flour & cornmeal (3-1 ratio), mixed with a fair amount of onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. You will not need an egg-replacer because the okra itself is slimy. And if it is only halfway thawed, it will be just slimy enough for the breading to stick, but not so slimy that it makes a mess. Fry in avocado or canola oil.
    • My daughter will eat fried okra dipped in (allergy friendly) ranch like she’s eating Pringles; she can’t stop.
  • Spinach and other leafy greens at least 3 times a week.
    • I add spinach and romaine or other lettuce to all of her tacos and wraps. And since she cannot have normal bread, she eats tacos and wraps regularly throughout the week.
    • Another way to add leafy greens is to add them in a soup. Try my Winter Comfort Soup and replace half of the Swiss chard with spinach (or all of it, if you’d rather). Just add the spinach closer to the end of cooking since it wilts much faster than Swiss chard.
  • Homemade hummus with navy beans and garbanzo beans
    • I do not have a recipe for that online yet, but I have in the past just blended navy beans, garbanzo beans, avocado oil, lemon juice, herbs, and paprika together to make a hummus for my daughter to dip her veggie crisps in.
    • Navy beans are a white bean, so they are high in calcium.
  • Indian Fry Bread tacos occasionally
    • See my blog here, for the recipe.

 

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article or benefited from it, please like and share, and check out more of my blogs. Thanks!

Tangy Salmon Tacos

I made this recipe to try and add more calcium and vitamin D to my daughter’s diet in a way that she can enjoy.  It is sweet and refreshing, with a little bit of tang. Fish tacos meet sweet salmon. My daughter enjoys these. And as always, it is gluten, dairy, soy, nut, and egg free.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • For the Salmon Fillets
    • 2 salmon fillets (2-3 oz each)
    • A touch of brown sugar
    • A pinch of sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon of avocado oil
  • For the Tacos
    • 2 white corn tortillas
    • 1/8 cup diced cucumber
    • 1/8 cup finely chopped spinach
  • For the Sauce
    • 2 mandarin orange segments (see picture below for reference)
    • 3-4 mango squares (frozen mangoes), or about 1 1/2 TBS fresh mango
    • 1 teaspoon honey

Other toppings you could add to the tacos include orange cherry tomatoes, shredded, steamed carrots, or cabbage.

 

DIRECTIONS

For the Salmon:

Preheat your oven to 400 F, or use a toaster oven like I did–no preheat necessary.

Rinse the salmon fillet and pat dry.  Rub them down with avocado oil, mostly on the side without the skin. Season with a pinch of sea salt and touch of brown sugar and rub the seasonings into the oil on the fish.

Line an oven safe pan with foil and place the fillets skin-side down on the foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes; until the meat flakes easily with a fork. Ovens vary and thin fillets cook faster than the thicker ones, so check it at about 8 minutes just to be safe.

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For the Sauce:

Heat the mangoes in the microwave for a few seconds, just to thaw if frozen. Chop into very fine pieces and place in a small bowl.

Squeeze as much juice as you can with your hands from the mandarin segments into the bowl with the mangoes. Discard the flesh.

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Add the honey and stir until the honey thins out and mixes with the rest of the sauce.

 

For the tacos:

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add one tortilla at a time and cook for about 30 seconds up to 1 minute on each side.

Place a very small amount of the sauce on the tortilla, top with salmon, a little more sauce, then cucumbers, spinach, and another small layer of sauce. Enjoy.

Note: Some corn tortillas will tear very easily, so you will want to find the kind that do not. I use Don Ponchos.

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If you enjoy this recipe, please comment, like, and share with your friends. Check out more of my recipes and experience-based information on children with food allergies.

A Nuisance to Society

I recently had a conversation with someone who complained to me about a nuisance they had in their life. A nuisance who was an inconvenience to this person’s lifestyle. Why? They were needy. How dare they fall into hard times and not have enough money to care for themselves? How dare they lose someone they love and struggle now to provide for their family? How dare they have children with needs or have health issues themselves that limit what they can do to provide? What a nuisance.

And what about Joe down the street that lives in a trailer park? Speaking of those nuisances to society and to my life, that trailer park really is an eye sore. But do you know Joe? The guy who lost his job because of a battle with cancer. The guy who had no family to help when he became disabled and lost his home. The guy who is in constant pain, barely surviving off of his disability check, and rarely able to make it to the store to buy what he needs with it. The guy who has lost it all and is just trying to survive within the means that he has until the cancer finally takes his life. A nuisance.

When did the less fortunate among us become so odious to those of us who just happen to have more? We did not make the air we breathe, or the water we drink, and yet we ALL need them to survive. Some of us may be more financially well off. Some of us may live in a nice house on a hill with a view–like myself. But how does that make me better than Joe? Why is my house so much nicer to look at? Because it’s more expensive? If we’re honest with ourselves, how do we define a “nice” neighborhood? Is it not how expensive the houses look and how well “kept up” they are because this and that homeowner could afford a gardener? Does it not all revolve around how much money we have? And yet someone like Joe is more genuine, kind, and caring than most human beings who live in those houses with a view. He has more life experience. He has actually been humbled enough to notice others around him.

When did the poor and needy become a nuisance? What ever happened to caring for those in need; not looking down on them. What ever happened to compassion? For a society that claims this “right” and that for all these different groups, and equality in all things, what are we actually doing to provide equality? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about giving up all of your money per se. It all starts with an attitude.

If we truly wanted to help the needy, it would not be for political gain, to make me feel good about myself, or to look better in the eyes of others. It would be because I CARE for the person I’m helping. It would be because I see myself as EQUAL to them. Different circumstances, sure, but human. We are all human. We are all frail in one way or another. And in one way or another, we are all odious to someone. We all have our failures and our shortcomings.

That is compassion. Not looking at Joe’s trailer as an eye sore, but seeing him as a fellow human being who has a much harder life than I do. Someone who is just like me–just living within his means and trying to survive this world of hate and deception that so deceitfully pretends to care.

Try that on for size. Don’t just help someone. CARE for someone. See them as your equal, no matter what their circumstances are or how much money they have. I dare you: have compassion on your fellow human beings.