Friday, January 23, 2015

Best Buckwheat Pancakes

Many of you may know that I was ordered by the doctor to put gluten back into our diet in order to get accurate results on my kiddo's scope for Celiac.  After 4 months of abundant gluten, her screen came back negative.  Hooray for that!

I intend to go back to gluten free living, as I do see that it has a negative impact on her emotional stability. But. Cooking is so easy when gluten is involved.  Being gluten free AND avoiding so many other things (including rice) is hard.

I have some guilt about this.  A lot of guilt. Taking the easy road to dinner above the kiddo's enhanced health.  And I've cut way back on the gluten. I have.....

But this recipe is not gluten free.  Feel free to replace the flour with gf flour and let me know how it works out.

Best Buckwheat Pancakes

1 c whole wheat or spelt flour
1/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 c buckwheat flour
5 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 c apple cider
1/2 c unsweetened hemp milk, or milk of choice
3 Tbsp safflower oil, or oil of choice
1 Tbsp golden flax meal + 2 very warm water, combined and set aside
dash cinnamon (optional)

Whisk together dry ingredients.  Whisk the flask mixture to combine.  Add wet ingredients and flax mixture to the dry ingredients (no need to mix them together first, just measure them right in!) and stir or whisk together.  Let stand 3-5 minutes while pan heats.  Cook on lightly oiled or non-stock skillet over medium heat until bubbles form in center.  Flip and cook a minute longer, until firm. (You know how to cook a pancake, right?!)  Top with real maple syrup and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Menu Plan Monday

I'm not feeling the small talk today.  Let's just get right to why your here: to get the week planned.  Because a plan helps everything run a little more smoothly.

Monday (turkey)
Breakfast: lime muffins
Lunch: turkey burgers
Dinner: turkey a la king

Tuesday (fish)
Breakfast: turkey sausage, sautéed veggies
Lunch: turkey meatloaf
Dinner: ginger glazed salmon, roasted beets, spinach salad with apples

Wednesday (pork)
Breakfast: pineapple coffee cake
Lunch: sunbutter and jelly
Dinner: crock pot cider pork roast, herb roasted potatoes, green beans

Thursday (vegan)
Breakfast: pork sausage, green smoothie
Lunch: pepperoni and fauxfish "lunchables"
Dinner: Lentil soup

Friday (beef)
Breakfast: pumpkin muffins with carob chips
Lunch: hummus and veggies
Dinner: stir fry over quinoa

Saturday (turkey)
Breakfast: berry coffee cake
Lunch: beef dogs
Dinner: turkey cacciatore, peas

Sunday (fish)
Breakfast: cream of buckwheat
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: fish tacos, broccoli

Note: I have posted links to original recipes when possible, which may not reflect the changes I make to a recipe in order to accommodate our dietary restrictions.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Sweet Potato Hash

This recipe was inspired by Alexia's Sweet Potato Saute frozen dish, which was discontinued.  I loved to use it as a super quick and easy breakfast option for an easy way to start the day.  When they discontinued their version I knew I had to start making it myself, as the kids and I love it.  Paired with a green smoothie this gives me the energy to go all morning long!

Sweet Potato Hash

6 c sweet potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 medium onion, diced
1 c corn kernels
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt, to taste
dash turmeric, optional
squeeze of fresh lime juice, optional
chopped parsley, optional
oil of choice for cooking

Chop sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces (I used about 2 large sweet potatoes) and place into microwave safe bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons of water.  Microwave, covered, for 3 minutes.  Stir and microwave an additional 3-4 minutes until tender but not mushy.

Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp of oil to large skillet and heat over medium high heat.  Add onions and peppers and cook 5-7 minutes, until slightly softened.  Add corn and garlic and cook for a minute to release the fragrance of the garlic.  Add sweet potatoes, black beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and turmeric.  Stir and cook 3-5 minutes more.  Remove from heat and squeeze lime juice over all, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

We typically eat it as is, but you could put it in a wrap for breakfast on the go.  If you can have eggs, it is divine with an over-easy egg served on top.  I think it would be lovely served on wilted spinach, but I haven't pushed my kiddos to that point yet!

Super easy, fairly quick, and tasty... my favorite kind of meal.  This recipe is extremely allergy friendly!  It is naturally dairy free, egg free, nut free, gluten free, and soy free.  Most of the ingredients are easily omitted if they are not able to be used in your house, you can add in your favorite replacement or just leave it out.

Let me know how you change it up!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Menu Plan Monday

Today is the first day back to school for my kiddos.  Back to the daily routines, and now it is especially important to have a menu plan!  No time to run to the store for missing pieces to complete dinner.  My menu plan helps me to grocery shop effectively, which saves time AND money.  Win-win.

Monday (fish)
Breakfast: fend for yourself
Lunch: sunbutter and jelly
Dinner: ginger salmon, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted green beans

Tuesday (pork)
Breakfast: cream of buckwheat, carrot/apple/ginger smoothie
Lunch: hummus and veggie wraps
Dinner: ham and bean soup, kale salad with sliced apples and pomegranate arils

Wednesday (vegan)
Breakfast: bacon, roasted butternut squash
Lunch: salami on fauxfish crackers (mock lunchables)
Dinner: veggie burgers on bun, roasted cauliflower, cherry applesauce

Thursday (beef)
Breakfast: sweet potato hash, green smoothie
Lunch: sunbutter and apples/carrot sticks
Dinner: beef stew, quinoa, peas

Friday (turkey)
Breakfast: waffles
Lunch: beef stew
Dinner: turkey meatloaf, herb roasted potatoes, garlicky spinach

Saturday (fish)
Breakfast: millet porridge with dried cherries and toasted pumpkin seeds
Lunch: meatloaf
Dinner: fish tacos

Sunday (pork)
Breakfast: pancakes with stovetop apples
Lunch: fish sticks
Dinner: pork ribs, roasted rainbow carrots, fried cabbage

Monday, December 29, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

I'm loving the holiday break.  Enjoying having a looser bedtime, relaxed mornings, and plenty of family time.  I hope that your holiday season is going well, with plenty of memories making their way into your heart.

Here is my menu plan for the week, because when I have a plan I have less stress.  Which means that I can be more present to enjoy those memories while they are happening!

Monday (beef)
Breakfast: turkey sausage, biscuits, green smoothie
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: chili bake

Tuesday (fish)
Breakfast: waffles with raspberry syrup
Lunch: beef dogs
Dinner: crispy lemon cod, green beans, roasted beets

Wednesday (pork)
Breakfast: cranberry apple coffee cake
Lunch: tuna melts
Dinner: italian sausage with peppers and onions, fried cabbage, herb roasted potatoes

Thursday (vegan)
Breakfast: cinnamon roasted butternut squash, bacon
Lunch: sausage balls
Dinner: carrot ginger soup with lentils, kale salad with pomegranate arils, bread sticks

Friday (turkey)
Breakfast: sweet potato hash
Lunch: hummus wraps
Dinner: turkey pot pie

Saturday (lamb)
Breakfast: apple sausage muffins
Lunch: turkey noodle soup
Dinner: lamb bolognese, peas

Sunday (fish)
Breakfast: french toast
Lunch: leftover bolognese
Dinner: sesame ginger salmon, brussels sprouts, applesauce

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Educate, don't attack, when missteps are made.

There is quite a lot of outrage about an article that was published on Buzzfeed by Quaker.  "50 thoughts every mom has at snacktime."  

It caught the eye of the allergy community in a big way when it included:

 "The kids will be home soon, and they’ll be hungry.  Are they bringing that friend with all of those allergies?  I really hope not. I mean, I like her, but come on."

If you read through the entire 50 thoughts, I think it is a very real flow of consciousness.  It's silly, it's serious, it's distracted, it's an honest glimpse into a mom's scattered thoughts on a chaotic day.  There are no disparaging words said about the child, or her allergies, only the implication that coming up with a snack that would be safe is more effort than she wants to put forth in that moment.  

Let's be real: it *is* hard to feed a child with multiple allergies.  It takes effort and forethought.  That is what I hear from this mom.  Lord knows there are days that I don't want to deal with the effort and MY daughter has multiple allergies.  It's hard.  Especially for someone who doesn't live with it.  I think it's sad that they chose this to use in their ad, but it is a reality for a lot of moms, and their goal was to be relatable.  I hate that it is hard for others to have my kiddo over for a playdate, but I accept that it is a reality for the other mom. 

It's a reality that some of our children are hard to feed.  Quaker pointed it out.  It was not the most elegant or polite way to handle the situation.  Yes, they could have done the same with any disability- they could state that they 'hope the kid with the wheel chair isn't coming because it's so hard to get him up to Tommy's bedroom' and she 'hates bringing all the toys down to the living area', she could state that she doesn't want 'the ESL kid to come because she feels awkward when she doesn't understand what is said'.... All of those things are real thoughts that mothers can have, but we shut them down with a) reality, and b) compassion.  We know that hosting someone who is differently abled can be a challenge, but we typically realize that building a bond of friendship is worth a bit of extra effort, and people who are different are worth it just because they are human.  So it was a stream of consciousness, but it is one that few moms with social etiquette or taste would ever share.  One of those thoughts that may race through your head but you would never give voice to.  We can all acknowledge the truth in it, but there is no need to speak some truths out loud.

As a community we need to step in and call out the insensitivity.  We should ask for an apology, even a retraction.  We should not lambaste them and shame them for making a misstep.  That is not the example I want to show my children.  I ask for mistakes to be corrected, I occasionally ask for apologies, and I try to do it in a way that allows for them to step up and do the right thing, to become aware rather than feel defensive.  

We are quick to demand empathy, accommodation, and acceptance.  We are slow to offer the same empathy, kindness and education needed to raise awareness when there is a public misstep.

Many of the comments on the article were angry, and many were in a tone that I'm certain the author would not use with a person they knew and had to look in the face while speaking in such a manner.  Most wouldn't walk into the school and talk to a teacher about a problem in this manner, and school often makes mistakes that we are in charge of handling.  We talk with a respectful tone.  Make them feel educated, not attacked.  When people feel attacked they shut down and can not hear the message you bring, and this message is too important not to hear.

We can not call for compassion and understanding without offering it.  Quaker spoke an ugly truth out loud.  It is poor form in that it helps to perpetuate bad attitudes toward accommodating those that living with food allergies.  Feel free to educate them. Be kind when you do it. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

I'm always amazed at how much more smoothly my week goes when I have a menu plan in place.  Last week I tried to wing it, and I was a mess!  Trying to come up with a meal three times a day, with the ingredients I have on hand... It's too much stress for me.  When I have a menu plan in place I can coast through the week with grace.  I take the plan with me grocery shopping so that I have all the ingredients I need, and I never have a last minute debate about what to make.  (Of course, I do make last minute changes when life gets crazy, but one or two changes in the plan is pretty easily managed.)

I don't want to stress about my holiday week, so here is my plan.

Monday (vegan)
Breakfast: cream of buckwheat made with hemp milk
Lunch: turkey wraps
Dinner: mushroom stroganoff over pasta, peas

Tuesday (beef)
Breakfast: apple coffee cake (from *the best* allergy friendly cookbook), green smoothie
Lunch: hummus wraps
Dinner: beef burger on bun, roasted beets, garlicky spinach, sliced pears

Wednesday (fish)
Breakfast: buckwheat pancakes with berry reduction
Lunch: sunbutter and jelly
Dinner: fish sticks, rosemary shrimp, roasted cauliflower, applesauce

Thursday (pork) Christmas with the in-laws!
Breakfast: overnight cinnamon rolls
Lunch: sausage balls
Dinner: ham, potato salad, green beans, dinner rolls, veggie tray with hummus, cookies

Friday (lamb)
Breakfast: bacon and sautéed veggies
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: lamb burgers, broccoli, grapes

Saturday (vegan)
Breakfast: sunbutter coffee cake
Lunch: potato leek soup
Dinner: pizza

Sunday (turkey) Christmas with my family!
Breakfast: parsnip muffins, green smoothie
Lunch: hahahaha!
Dinner: turkey with gravy, mashed sweet potatoes, veggie tray with hummus, apple pie with whipped coconut cream, whatever my family brings to share...

I hope your family has a fantastic Christmas!  May it be merry, safe, and surrounded with love.

(As always, I try to link to the original recipe.  It may not reflect the changes I make to adapt the recipe for our dietary restrictions.)