Archive for July, 2010

Meat Loaf Muffins {Dairy/Egg-Free}

I am continuing my quest for healthy meals for our family and here is one that I tried last night. I had a lb of ground beef in my fridge that needed to be used last night and because my family is absolutely sick to death of spaghetti and meatballs, I had to brainstorm. I thought that maybe I could do a meatloaf or something so I googled ‘sugar free meatloaf’ (we are trying to limit the sugar intake and most meatloaf has ketchup in it). Didn’t find anything appealing so I decided to google egg-free/dairy-free meatloaf. That’s when I came up with Meat Loaf Muffins. You can get the recipe HERE. I used less ketchup to lower the sugar grams (Hunts has a ‘No High Fructose Corn Syrup’ ketchup) and I just left the egg completely out of the recipe and it held together just fine. I, also, substituted bread crumbs for the crackers. I like the taste much better. Bread crumbs normally have milk in them, but I buy Panko brand and the one I have has no dairy. They turned out great and take less time to bake than a whole meatloaf. Putting them in muffin tins also provides a great portion size for children and makes them easier to store for later. I served them with steamed broccoli and sweet corn. YUM. The fam loved it. And if you really want to be sneaky, add in some extra finely chopped veggies. Hubs and the children had no idea it had onions and carrots in it. {I love it when a plan comes together!}
*Photo taken from MyRecipes.com

July 30, 2010 at 10:35 am Leave a comment

Allergy Testing

When we first suspected our daughter’s milk allergy (at age 7 months) we knew it was serious. But since she was so young, it was very easy to control her diet and keep her away from any and all milk products. When her 1st birthday rolled around, we were on vacation visiting family on the West Coast and I made sure to find a cake mix with no milk in it. Angel Food cake was what I found. As soon as she ate a few bites, we realized she had more allergies than we had counted on. Needless to say, we flew home a couple weeks later and got to her doctor who referred us to an allergist and had her tested. We went the route of the 40 prick skin test. The results were an off-the-chart milk allergy (the nurses couldn’t even measure it – they said it was the biggest reaction they’d ever seen to a skin prick test), an egg allergy and a peanut allergy which were both in the normal range of a result. I was so surprised and left that office not really knowing the extent to which our lives, especially my daughter’s life, would change. After MUCH research, reading, scowering the internet, etc. I began to feel overwhelmed. The thought of waiting til Kindergarten to have her rechecked seemed like an eternity. I always kept that summer before Kindergarten in my mind whenever I would pray for her to outgrow her allergies. Babies with food allergies have a 75% chance of outgrowing their allergies within 3 years and I was counting on those odds for my girl. She’ll be starting Kindergarten soon and today I took her for her recheck. It has been 4 years since she was first diagnosed and has never been retested until today. I really wasn’t sure what the results would be, but I knew I was hoping for good results. We have been praying about this for 4 years. So, when her tests came back positive to all three allergies again, I was a bit disappointed. We had purposed not to make this a big deal unless she had outgrown the allergies, so she was just a little disappointed, but not distraught. Afterall, this is the only life she has known. She’s been on an allergy-free diet since she started table food so this is her ‘normal’. As she gets older, the journey gets a little more difficult. When I see disappointment in her eyes over having to eat something different than everyone else at social gatherings, my heart breaks. And then, my resolve to make her life as carefree as possible strengthens. Let’s just say, she motivates me. She has the sweetest spirit and a great attitude about her food allergies. She handles it so well and I am amazed at her. As her parent, I want to see her live her life to the fullest extent despite her food allergies. I realize it can be a major source of fear to have your child’s life (or your life) threatened by something you eat. But, I don’t want my girl’s life to be defined by food allergies. Yes, we live cautiously around food, but that is not what our lives revolve around. My goal for her is to make her life as normal as possible without making allergies and limitations the focus. Tonight, I was talking with her and telling her how proud I am of her for being so brave when they ‘itched’ her (as she says – the hives the test caused made her so itchy and she was not allowed to scratch them for 15 minutes). She is ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ according to the Bible. And I loved being able to point out to her that everyone has unique qualities that God allows each us to have. That’s what makes us special. And because our Creator God doesn’t make mistakes, she is exactly the way He wants her to be right now….allergies and all.

Even though we did not get the negative results we were wanting, I was able to get her an excuse from the MMR and Varicella vaccines that she reacted to previously. (They both contain egg and it turns out that egg is her worst allergy now, as opposed to milk.) Her allergist agreed with me that it would not be wise to have those two vaccinations with this food allergy, especially because of her reactions previously. Now that this is behind me, it’s time to finish preparing my girl for Kindergarten! She’ll be in good hands with teachers that will take precautions around her. I’m so thankful for that.

Here’s to praying my girl can outgrow her allergies before her next recheck in 3 years. Until then, we’ll be busy living our lives to the fullest!

My girl enjoying a blue-raspberry italian ice! Yum!

July 26, 2010 at 8:55 pm 1 comment

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…

I’ve been using Ener-G Egg Replacer in baked goods for 4 years and am so glad to have it. I have always used it according to package directions which is 1 1/2 tsp of powder + 2 T warm water substitued for each egg in the recipe. While it works and gets the job done, I have always just settled for ‘okay’ baked products. For example, cupcakes (which I make often and freeze to save for birthday parties, etc.) were yummy the first day, but became crumbly by the next day. Not to mention, the icing never went on well. However, yesterday I was making cupcakes again and because I just got home from vacation and my brain seems to still be on vacation, I used 1 1/2 TBSP of powder vs. 1 1/2 tsp. Let’s just say that was the best mistake I’ve ever made! It made the cupcakes super fluffy and moist! They are hands down THE most delicious cupcakes I’ve made in 4 years. I’ll definitely be using more than the recommended amount of Ener-G Egg Replacer from now on in every baked product. I think I’ll go eat a cupcake.

July 21, 2010 at 2:28 pm Leave a comment

Eating Allergy-Free at Disney World

Last Summer we visited Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL for the first time with our little girls!  It was a fantastic experience, to say the very least! Much planning went into our 1 day adventure to the Magic Kingdom, and I’d say that 95% of that planning revolved around food allergies and where to eat while we were there. I was pleasantly surprised after much research and an email to SpecialDiets@DisneyWorld.com to find out that each restaurant will work with your food allergy needs. If you plan to go to WDW and eat in any of the dine-in restaurants, you will want to email the Special Diets team beforehand to plan out your eating arrangements and let them know of your allergies, etc. However, if you are like us and you decide to eat at the counter service places, let them know at the counter of your specific allergies and they will show you their notebook of menu items and all the ingredients listed there. It gave me great peace of mind being able to see if for myself that there were none of my daughter’s food allergies in what we were eating. And with that kind of peace of mind, I didn’t care too much about paying $50 for hot dog meals for 5!! It was a great experience and I am SO thankful to the Disney Staff who decided to make this type of service available for their food-allergic guests. It made our day so much more magical and worry-free!

You can also check out THIS INFO to find out more about Disney World’s food allergy initiatives. Great resource!!

July 9, 2010 at 12:58 pm Leave a comment

‘Eating Out’ Page Update

Just letting you know I’ve added a couple of new restaurants to the Eating Out page {above}. I will be adding to this list as I come across allergy menus or ingredient lists for different restaurants. Just keep in mind that menus change and ingredient lists may change so ALWAYS double-check to make sure each restaurant list is current before just assuming. I will try to update this list as I become aware of changes, but don’t leave it up to me. Always check for yourself, too!

July 9, 2010 at 12:11 pm Leave a comment

Dairy-free Chocolate Pudding

Today was the last day of VBS {Vacation Bible School} and evidently they saved the best snack for last! Today’s yummy sweet treat was Dirt Pudding with Gummy Worms. So, I made plans for Daughter’s yummy alternative. I’ve tried using Jell-O pudding mix (which doesn’t include milk ingredients, but you have to add milk to it for it to turn out right) and I have used almond milk instead of cow’s milk. However, it doesn’t set up right. It’s runny and globby. Not smooth and silky like real pudding. And because I love Daughter more than McDonald’s $1 Sweet Tea, I wanted her to have the best chocolate pudding she ever laid her lips on. So, I googled dairy-free pudding and found this. All I can say is WOW! It is de-LISH! The ingredients? Well, here they are:

Mix 3T Cornstarch & 2T Cold Water together in a small bowl until dissolved and set aside. Then, in saucepan, mix 1/3 c sugar, 1/4 c cocoa powder, pinch of salt on Medium-Low heat while slowly adding 2 cups of Almond Milk (1/4 c at a time) to this mixture. Constantly mix until smooth. Heat until mixture forms a thin layer on top and steam rises just from the top. (Do NOT boil.) Remove from heat and add 1/3 cup of dairy-free chocolate chips {Whole Foods has their own brand for $2.99}. Let sit for 3 minutes. Then, with wooden spoon, mix the melted chips with the liquid mixture. Put back on Medium-Low heat and slowly add cornstarch mixture. Stir constantly until mixture thickens almost to the thickness you prefer. Remove from heat and pour into individual dishes. Let sit 20 minutes and then cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 2 hours. This is the point that I put my crushed Oreos on the top. I will have to add a pic of that scrumptious pudding later. It’s late and I’m tired. Sorry!

Daughter L-O-V-E-D this!  Big hit! Definitely going to make this again….soon!

July 2, 2010 at 9:06 pm Leave a comment


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