Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Giveaway Contest

This could be yours! Time is ticking! There's only 1 day left to enter and win three 16oz baking mixes from Bob's Red Mill! Details here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Few Soba Recipes

A recent reader comment lead me to search for soba recipes. King Soba noodles are one of my favorite gluten free noodle, but like my reader, I get tired of just having them as spaghetti. Here are some ideas for more authentic Asian cuisine. 

Cold Soba Salad #1
Soba Salad #2
Simple Soba Soup

There are also various recipes on the 101 Cookbooks website. You can adjust most of these recipes to accommodate allergies or food sensitivities. I recommend researching prepared sauces (soy sauce, oyster sauce, etc...) before using them to avoid unintentionally adding an allergen. 

This is a recipe for a basic soba sauce. 
Soy dressing:
1/4 c. light soy sauce (or gf soy sauce)
1/4 c. mirin
2 Tbs. seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 garlic clove finely chopped

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Look At The Week 7/29-8/4

Here's a look at what's coming up this week:
Recipes for:
  • Soba - what to do with those rice noodles
  • Breakfast Skillet
  • Drunken Chicken

  • New information about oral immunotherapy
  • Corn cracker review

And as always:
  • Tuesday's Tip
  • Friendly Fridays

Saturday, July 28, 2012

15 Allergy Friendly Snack Ideas

I'm gearing up for a trip in a few weeks, which has my search engines working in overdrive trying to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. I plan on bringing snacks with me to have on the plane, but what exactly? Here are some ideas for allergy free snacks that travel well!

  1. Make your own bag of allergy free trail mix with your favorite allergy free cereals, dried fruits, nuts, chocolate, or yogurt drops. 
  2. Fresh fruit
  3. Apples or celery with peanut, almond, or sunflower butter
  4. Rice crackers
  5. Lentil chips
  6. Potato chips
  7. Jerky (be sure to read the ingredients)
  8. Pumpkin seeds
  9. Popcorn
  10. KIND nut and fruit bars
  11. Breakfast Bars (get the recipe here)
  12. Rice or popcorn cakes (caramel is my personal favorite)
  13. Wasabi Peas
  14. Cherry tomatoes (believe it or not, they're pretty travel hardy & don't need to be kept cool)
  15. Roasted Chickpeas (get the recipe here)

Friday, July 27, 2012

FRIENDLY FRIDAYS: P.F. Chang's - Gluten Free

P.F. Chang's has a fairly extensive gluten free menu and if you choose items that are vegetarian as well you can pretty much avoid all the major food allergens. They do warn, as is the case in almost all restaurants, their food is all prepared in a common kitchen where other food allergens exist. If you are highly sensitive, consider yourself warned. I ate at the P.F. Chang's in Austin, TX and I have to say, I was impressed with both how accommodating they were and how knowledgeable our waiter was! He was able to offer me suggestions and personal opinions about the dishes. I had the GF Singapore Street Noodles, which consists of shrimp, chicken, vegetables and rice noodles stir-fried in a gluten free sauce. They were delicious and filling. I even splurged and had their GF Triple Chocolate Mousse Mini, which has three layers of chocolate ganache, milk chocolate mousse and flourless chocolate cake. It wasn't completely allergy free for me, but it didn't upset my stomach too much... and it was heavenly! 

P.F. Chang's is a great option for those of us with special dietary needs. They are knowledgeable. If you have someone in your party with other special dietary concerns ask to speak with a manager or the chef, and they will try to accommodate them as best they can. 

Giveaway Contest

Do you like FREE?! Then enter the Bob's Red Mill Giveaway Contest now. It's quick, painless, and costs nothing!

Get the details here!
Get all your baking needs from Bob's Red Mill!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Breakfast Bars

These little gems can be customized to meet your allergy needs, and they travel well! Great for a quick bite on your way to work or a packable snack for your next road trip!

From WholeLiving.com
1 tablespoon walnut oil, plus more for pan
1 1/4 cups spelt flakes
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup sproated or ground flaxseeds
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachios
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Black Bean Cakes

Adapted from Mia's Domain. This site has some WONDERFUL recipes! Check it out!

Crispy Black Bean Fritters:
3 cups black bean, cooked
1 large yellow pepper, remove seed, chop into small pieces
1 small white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large tomato, chopped into small pieces
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons gluten free flour (see recipe here or use your favorite store bought version)
2 eggs, room temperature (1/2 cup Egg Beaters or equivalent amount egg replacement product)
Sea salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil (for frying)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

TUESDAY'S TIP: Malnutrition & Food Allergies

Finding the Right Balance

How do you ensure you're getting the right nutrients when you have to avoid certain, possibly nutrient-rich, foods? When you have a food allergy... or multiple allergies like me, it can be difficult to find alternatives or replacements for foods we can no longer eat. I know I can't be the only person who has looked up and down the grocery store aisles in search of an acceptable snack, lunch item, or ingredient to alter a recipe. If you're like me, you probably get frustrated too and end up saying something like, "Forget it! I'll just get a candy bar... that's got nutrients, right?" No? OK, well... maybe it's just me.

If you have to avoid certain foods for health reasons, and you don't eat enough of the right foods, you could be lacking vital nutrients. So what do you do? We need to have carbohydrates, protein, fats (yes, fats), vitamins and minerals in our diets to get everything our body needs to function properly. Let's take a look at these individually.

Monday, July 23, 2012

10 Ways to Cook Quinoa

This is a great page from Nature Moms! I've tried quinoa once and wasn't really impressed, but that was because I cooked it myself and didn't know what to do with it. There are some great recipes here that have me excited to try it all over again... the right way!

Bob's Red Mill Giveaway Contest!

This contest has ended....
Visit Bobsredmill.com for all your baking needs!
It's here! It is time to start the Bob's Red Mill Giveaway Contest! Are you excited, because I know I am!!!

This is your chance to win 3 - 16oz packages of Bob's Red Mill GLUTEN FREE mixes! One lucky winner will receive a package of Gluten Free Pancake Mix, Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix, and Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix! For a few short minutes of your time you could have a free breakfast, lunch/dinner and dessert! These products retail between $4.09-$4.53, but you can get them for FREE!

Here's how it works. Leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite Bob's Red Mill product or your favorite tip for eating healthy. No anonymous comments please. Extra comments will not get you extra entries, BUT you can get bonus entries for:

  1. joining my blog
  2. blogging about this giveaway
  3. reblogging this post
  4. tweeting about this contest and tagging me in your tweet @kimbellies. 

If you blog about this post, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.
All entries will be entered into a spreadsheet and assigned a number. At the close of the contest one lucky winner will be chosen at random by a random number generator.

This giveaway contest ends at 11:59 pm CST on August 1! The winner will be announced August 2!
Good luck!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Breakfast Sausage Recipe Review

This morning I decided to try my hand at making the breakfast sausage recipe I posted previously.  I substituted ground turkey, and in my opinion it didn't turn out too bad. My husband, however wasn't a fan of this recipe. He prefers spicier sausage. If you're like him, I would recommend eliminating or reducing the amount of brown sugar and adding 1 - 2 tsps each of garlic and onion powder as well as 1 tsp of cayenne pepper (or however much you like). If you're looking for a traditional breakfast sausage the original recipe will fit the bill. I would imagine you could replace the brown sugar with maple syrup if you wanted a maple sausage. I have made these substitutions on my original post as well.

Refrigerator Cucumber Salad

From Recipes We Love - This site has images to guide you through the steps.

4 thinly sliced cucumbers
1-large  sliced red onions
1-large  sliced green peppers
1-tbsp salt
2-cup white vinegar
1 1/2-cups sugar
1-tsp celery flakes
1-tsp red pepper flakes

Mix cucumbers, onions, peppers and salt; set a side. Put vinegar, sugar, celery flakes and pepper flakes  in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and  add 2 handfuls of ice until melted. Place all veggies in large mouth canning jars (2 quarts or 1 half gallon jar). Pour mixture over cucumbers,  store in refrigerator. Will keep up to 2 months. Makes 2 quart jars.

A Look At The Week 7/22-7/28

Here's a look at what's coming up this week:
Recipes for:
  • Refridgerator Cucumber Salad
  • Black Bean Cakes
  • Breakfast Bars

  • 10 Ways to Cook Quinoa
  • 15 Allergy Friendly Snacks

And as always:
  • Tuesday's Tip
  • Friendly Fridays

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Giveaway

I have nailed down the details for the Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Giveaway Contest! Watch for the big announcement MONDAY, July 23!

Gluten Free Noodle Debate

There are a few different gluten free pastas out there. I have tried King Soba, Sam Mills, Thai Kitchen, and Tinkyada brands. Some were better than others and price point definitely plays a part in my decision, but here's what I think about these gluten free options.

King Soba is my favorite spaghetti type pasta. I've tried the brown rice, brown rice & wakame, black rice, buckwheat, and sweet potato buckwheat varieties. Admittedly, the color of some of these can be a little off-putting, but it was fun freaking out my husband with black noodles in our spaghetti! I honestly didn't notice a huge difference in the flavors. Perhaps that was because I had them with various sauces that masked their individual flavors. I can get these noodles for around $1.99 a package at my grocery store (HEB), which is a pretty good deal. These noodles cook up quickly and can be easily overcooked... which turns them to mush, so take care when cooking them.

Sam Mills produces a great corn pasta that is gluten free, egg free, dairy free, cholesterol free, and has a low glycemic index. This line of pasta is my newest find. It has a great texture, especially if you're looking for a good hardy pasta for some comfort food. They offer a variety of pasta shapes and at $1.99 a bag, this brand is a good buy. See my review, "This Pasta is so Corny" for more information.

Thai Kitchen makes two different pastas, stir-fry rice noodles and thin rice noodles. I bought these in a pinch because I was at a store other than my regular grocery, and the only gluten free offerings they had were a box of... well I honestly couldn't tell you the name because I didn't look any further than the $6.00 price tag before moving on and Thai Kitchen Thin Rice Noodles. They're gluten free, dairy free, and vegan.  These noodles cook up quickly and have a nice smooth, firm texture. The only thing I didn't care for was their size. They're about the thickness of angel hair pasta... not my favorite. Angel hair has always been a bit too stringy for me. Their stir-fry noodles are a bit wider (like a lo mein noodle), which I might have liked better. All in all they're a decent, although I'm sure they're better suited for their intended Asian cuisine. I got mine for about $3.00 a box, which is a little pricey for pasta, but they served their purpose, and I was able to enjoy a nice spaghetti dinner with family and friends.

Tinkyada was the very first rice pasta I ever tried and I have to say it is a great product. The packaging states that it is not mushy, and I have to agree... as long as you cook it properly. Like all rice pastas, it cooks quickly, so don't leave it alone for too long. I have had their brown rice spaghetti, but they offer a wide variety of pasta shapes. They even have brown rice vegetable spirals and a brown rice spinach spaghetti if you like colorful pasta. The only drawback I found to this pasta was it's price. At my grocery it cost around $4.00 a package. If you can find it cheaper, buy it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Recipe Links Fixed

It appears I had a problem with my links on the Recipes page. I have remedied the problems and the links should be working again. Sorry for the inconvenience!

There are no words...

Bob's Red Mill Giveaway Contest Coming Soon!

I'm on pins and needles! I have confirmed my choices and information with Bob's Red Mill! Check back for details & dates!! One lucky reader could get some FREE products!!!

Spicy Baked Chickpeas

Another great travel food!
From Steamy Kitchen

One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Spice blend of your choice


I fell in love with Freebirds when my husband and I lived near Austin, TX. They have great food without the yuppy Chipotle vibe. Now that I have to be careful of what I eat Freebirds has become one of my favorite places to eat! Their website has allergy information under the "Food" tab. You can also find information from this 2008 report from the Dallas Fort Worth Gluten Intolerance Group. If you have problems with wheat and dairy like me, I recommend their tacos. I prefer mine on the soft corn tortillas, but crunchy tacos are another GF option.  Their queso, BBQ sauce, and salsa have wheat in them, but guacamole, pico de gallo, veggies, and hot sauces are all GF! Their allergen list does not include their carnitas or ground beef, but for sure their chicken is safe. Nachos and burrito bowls are another good option for the gluten free diner. Now we have the "Freedom to Choose" at Freebirds!
*Note: All Freebirds foods are prepared in a common kitchen.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Allergy Free Breakfast Sausage

I'm always happy when I can find recipes that meet my dietary needs, but I know how incredibly frustrating it can be to not find what you're searching for. A good friend of mine has a son with food allergies and while she's been a great resource and support for me, I feel frustrated for her when she responds, "but is it soy free?" Well, my friend, this is a SOY free, WHEAT free, GLUTEN free, DAIRY free, EGG free breakfast sausage recipe I found on Yummly. This recipe originally came from AllRecipes. Hope this helps!

2 tsps sage (dried)
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper (ground)
1/4 tsp marjoram (dried)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (crushed)
1 pinch ground cloves (optional)
2 lbs ground pork (You can substitute ground turkey) 
*For a spicy sausage add 1-2 tsps each garlic and onion powder and cayenne pepper to taste. You may also want to consider reducing or eliminating the amount of brown sugar. 
*For maple sausage replace brown sugar with 1-2 tbsps maple syrup.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Great News From Bob's Red Mill!

Well, I just got word from Bob's Red Mill that they are going to provide me with some gluten free products to review and give away! Be on the look out for my very FIRST GIVEAWAY!

Thank you Bob's Red Mill!

Chipotle Turkey Breast

Spice is king in my house and chipotle is one of our favorite flavors. I'm really excited to try this recipe!

This recipe came from Yummly... originally posted on Food.com

2 chipotle peppers (rehydrated stemmed and seeded)
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves (peeled)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper (fresh ground)
1 tsp olive oil
4-6 lbs turkey breast (fresh)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

TUESDAY'S TIP: Allergy Free Vacations

It's summertime, and you know what that means... vacation! While most vacationers concern themselves with where to go, what to see, and what to pack, the number one priority for those with food allergies/sensitivities is ensuring access to allergy free food. I know one of the things I most enjoy about going on vacation (aside from relaxing) is not having to cook! However, eating on the road has become particularly difficult since my food allergy diagnosis. So what do you do?

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Sensitive Eater's Lament

Adjusting to food allergies, sensitivities, intolerances, is not easy. Thankfully, I'm blessed to have a very supportive and loving husband who considers my struggles with food when he makes his own food choices. When we go out to eat, he often refuse to order foods he knows I can't have because he doesn't want to eat them in front of me. (I know... Awwww!) I think it's incredibly sweet that he wants me to be successful and doesn't want to taunt me with the very foods I crave. I guess he's noticed me drooling as I watch others munch on their cheesy, doughy, goodies. Now I can tell myself until I'm blue in the face that those foods aren't healthy anyway, but they just look sooo good sometimes... and I think they know it. I swear I saw a cupcake wink at me the other day! Cheeky confection!

So, while I'm thankful for a loving husband, I hate the idea that I'm depriving him of foods he's able to eat. It seems ludicrous to me that he should eat according to my needs. What's a girl to do? Thankfully my cravings for such temptations is beginning to subside. Hallelujah! So, when I say, "No, it's OK. I don't really want it." I mean it... well most of the time. The other part of the time I'm just saying it out loud in an attempt to convince myself that I don't want or need it. In the meantime I suppose it's just going to be a balancing act... and I'm not very graceful. As I quietly mourn the foods I crave, I will continue to encourage my husband to eat as he normally would... and he will continue not wanting to tempt me. Sigh... The bright spot in all this is that at least it's a pretty benign problem to have.

Allergy Eats

I was soooo excited to stumble upon this website! Allergy Eats is a 2012 About.com Reader's Choice site that allows you to search for restaurants across the country that can accommodate your dietary needs. The site is a peer review site, which means the ratings are given by people like you and me. You can select your allergens and location, and the site will generate a list of eateries in your area with allergy friendliness ratings based on 3 criteria: how comfortable was the rater with the establishment's ability to meet your needs, was the restaurant able to accommodate your needs, and how knowledgeable was the staff about food allergies. You can even view restaurant information like maps and directions, nutrition, ingredients, and allergy information (where availible). 

The site offers dining tips, links to other allergy friendly sites, and has their own blog to share information. If you're planning a trip to Disney World see their Allergy Eats Disney World section! Registration on the site is free and you receive email updates from them as well. BONUS: this site has an APP!!! SCORE!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"I like celery... it's like crunchy, green water."

Shop Well

I've always thought this whole food allergy thing would be a whole lot easier if there was an app to help me. I found one or two, but their capabilities were limited, as were their databases. Shop Well is WONDERFUL app and website! The app is free and so is registration on their site! Either part can be used separate from each other, but you can get the most out of their product by using the app and site together.

When you begin (either on the app or the site) you are prompted to create a profile in which you select your dietary needs. There are some preset choices like no gluten, no eggs, less sodium... but if you have a food intolerance or allergy not listed, you can enter in any individual food you choose to avoid.

The Week Ahead

calendar-icon.png (256×256)
July 15-21
Here are some of the posts you can look forward to in the coming week!

  • New websites with apps to help find allergy free options!
  • New Recipes! 
  • "The Great Noodle Debate"
  • TUESDAY'S TIP: Allergy Friendly Vacationing
  • FRIENDLY FRIDAYS: Check back to see what new eatery has allergy friendly options!
And more! 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Picky Eater Who Came to Dinner (NY Times)

This article from the New York Times made me angry! With the rise in food allergies and intolerances more people have a legitimate need for dietary restrictions, but even if you make them by choice, it is YOUR responsibility to meet those needs, nobody else's. I don't expect people throwing a party to learn how to cook for my needs. How is that fair to them, and why would I want to risk them making a mistake? If I find myself in that type of situation, I make sure to bring at least one dish I know I can eat. Where restaurants are concerned I either research the restaurant beforehand to make sure they have allergy safe choices, try to find something on the menu that would require the fewest number of substitutions, or I don't go out to eat. Plain and simple. 

I hate to be the one to break it to ya, but the world owes us nothing, and we really aren't entitled to have our needs met by anyone else but ourselves. When people get an attitude about their food because they're trying to make some kind of statement, or take a stand, or just assert their personal beliefs... they put people with legitimate, even life threatening, food allergies in danger. The more difficult they make things, the less accommodating people will be in the future. Let's have a little more consideration for each other and be a little more responsible for ourselves, please.

Friday, July 13, 2012


We all know fast food is not healthy food, but in my quest for information I'm finding out just how unhealthy it is. I'm also learning how few options there are for people with food allergies. Thankfully Chick-Fil-A has made an effort to make a healthy kid's meal that just so happens to be an allergy free option for many people. Their grilled chicken nuggets are tasty and free from all major allergens. They sell them from the kid's menu in a 4 and 6 count. You can make it a meal by adding waffle fries, a fruit cup, or Buddy Fruit (applesauce in a squeezable pouch). This kids meal is by far the healthiest kid's meal of all the fast food kid's meals, and it was surprisingly filling. 
You can go to Chick-Fil-A's Allergen Information page where they have a quick reference list. The list shows which items contain the major allergens, but there are links for the ingredients of every entry, so you can check for unlisted allergens. I like that they offer it in a printable PDF as well.


Fridays will be my day to feature allergy friendly restaurants or other foodie places. Be sure to check back and don't be afraid to comment and share your favorite allergy friendly establishment!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Medicine Net

This site has a wide variety of food allergy information. You can find everything from definitions of food allergy and food intolerance, to symptoms, to diagnosis, and treatment. In fact, there are no less than 20 links to articles on the first page alone. Medicine Net is a great resource for anyone who has, suspects, or knows someone with a food allergy.

Medicine Net: Food Allergy Information

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Allegry Free Recipe Resource

yummly_logo.png (406×148)
Yummly is a wonderful recipe search engine. You can select your dietary needs and it will find recipes to meet them. Definitely a site to bookmark!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

TUESDAY'S TIP : Allergy Free Breakfast

cereal.gif (491×426)I have issues with wheat, oat, rye, dairy, and eggs. Although it's difficult sometimes to plan meals in general, I find that breakfast can be the most challenging. I tend to find two or three foods that work and rotate them, but it gets boring. Some recent reader comments prompted me to seek out some alternatives. Here's what I came up with.

Of course you can always check out your gluten free section of the supermarket and pick up some allergy free frozen waffles, or box mixes for pancakes and such, but be careful to read the ingredients. Not all GF foods are created equal. See my post about "Free From" foods to get some tips on what to look out for. One of my favorites is a buckwheat waffle with honey and peanut or almond butter (you can try sunflower seed butter if you're allergic to peanuts and/or tree nuts). 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Basic Frittata Recipe

2 tbsp olive oil
1 baking potato (peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick)
6 eggs beaten (or egg beaters)

Heat oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Spread potato slices across bottom of the pan and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides. Remove slices from pan and drain.When all potato slices have been cooked, return them to the pan. Turn heat to high. Pour on the beaten eggs and season with salt and pepper. Tilt the pan so that the eggs flow to the bottom of the pan. Turn heat to medium low. Cover pan with a plate and flip pan so that frittata is turned out onto plate. Slide the frittata back into the pan with the uncooked side down. Cover and let cook another 2 minutes.When all potato slices have been cooked, return them to the pan. Turn heat to high. Pour on the beaten eggs and season with salt and pepper. Tilt the pan so that the eggs flow to the bottom of the pan. Turn heat to medium low. Cover pan with a plate and flip pan so that frittata is turned out onto plate. Slide the frittata back into the pan with the uncooked side down. Cover and let cook another 2 minutes.

This recipe can be easily adjusted to suit your taste. Add whatever meats, vegetables, or cheeses you like. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

FAAN Walk for Food Allergy

The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) hosts allergy walks each year in selected cities around the country. It's purpose is to raise money for food allergy awareness, advocacy, education, and research programs. It also allows people affected by food allergies to network with each other. Check out their website (link above) to donate or find a walk near you!

Taco Bell's Fresco Tacos

Taco Bell crunchy Fresco taco
I started typing this review with the intention of praising Taco Bell's crunchy Fresco tacos. They're free from cheese and sour cream, which is a plus since I can't have dairy, and they're on corn tortillas. Seems like its a win-win for me! No wheat, no dairy... score, right? Well after looking at their Allergies & Sensitivities page, it clearly says that they have wheat and soy in them. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Are "Free From" Foods Really Better?

Since my food allergy diagnosis I have struggled to find foods that taste good and aren't going to make me sick. Unfortunately, most foods that are gluten free or dairy free have a lot of other things in them that aren't very good for you. Sure they'll keep me from spending my evening in agony, but am I harming myself in another way? Bottom line, most gluten free foods are gluten free junk food, and just like any processed food, they should be consumed sparingly. In my post "Where's My 7-Kinds-of-Fiber Cereal" I ranted about the lack of nutritional value in gluten free cereals. They're often full of sugar and have very little fiber. So what's a girl to do? It's a no brainer that I SHOULD eat fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts & lean meats. That's a pretty safe bet for most people. It's how we really should eat to be healthy, but if you're going to indulge in some bread, muffins, cookies, pasta, etc... I encourage you to at least educate yourself about what exactly you ARE eating. A little knowledge can go a long way.  "The Price of 'Free' Foods" from the Chicago Tribune has great information and tips! Check it out before you snack on that $6 bag of gluten free cookies you just bought!

Step Away from the Sanitizer!

Triclosan18.jpg (235×244)I work with kids... who don't always do the proper thing when they have a booger hanging from their nose or an itch in an inappropriate location. Sanitizer is my friend! Some days I wish I had a biohazard shower installed in my classroom, because honey, with all I've seen and encountered... there's just not enough Purell on the planet! Well, now thanks to a recent study by Johns Hopkins Children's Center, it seems that I might just have to join a 12 step program and kick my antibacterial habit. Their research looked at 860 children between the ages of 6 and 18 to examine the level of antibacterial chemicals and certain preservatives in their urine versus the amount of IgE antibodies in their blood (there are higher levels of these antibodies in people with allergies). Increased levels of these chemicals correlated to an elevation of IgE antibodies. The results don't point to sanitizers as a cause for allergies, but rather that they effect our immune system. So I guess my parents were right all these years! A little dirt and a few germs may not be so bad. You can read more about this research by visiting the Food Allergy Initiative, or the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dairy Free Rice Pudding

3/4 cup white rice
1/3 cup raisins
4 cups vanilla soy milk
3 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla

Place all ingredients in a 3 qt pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and Cook uncovered 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until rice is tender; remove from heat. Cover; let stand 5 minutes. Serve warm or chilled with additional brown sugar and soymilk if desired. Cover; refrigerate any remaining pudding.

This pudding is wonderfully sweet and creamy, just like my grandma used to give me when I was little. *I added 1/2 tsp nutmeg to mine.

Calcium & the Dairy Free Girl

calcium.jpg (400×300)

Making the switch to dairy free is not as easy as just avoiding dairy. Just as with any restrictive diet, you have to make sure that you still get enough nutrients. One of my major concerns is that I'm not getting enough calcium. I had a hard time shaking the image of my bones and teeth crumbling because I don't get enough calcium. So, that prompted me to do some reading, and I was surprised to find out just how much our bodies need calcium! We need calcium not only for strong bones and teeth, but also for proper vascular, muscle, and nerve function as well as proper hormone secretion. GREAT! Now my bones are going to crumble and my blood vessels, muscles, and hormones aren't going to work right too! Oh, and if you're like me and enjoy soda... it kinda works against you because it actually leeches calcium from your bones. Ugh! Well I found out that the

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Food Allergy Assistant: Food Allergy Treatment Options

Food Allergy Assistant: Food Allergy Treatment Options: For over a decade we've been told strict avoidance is the only "treatment" for food allergy. Finally we are hearing about, and starting to...

Just Moved In!

I've just finished switching platforms from Tumblr, and I'm excited about the opportunities here on Blogger. I'm still in the process of organizing my pages in a more user friendly format, so keep checking back to see what changes have been made. Feel free to comment and share information! Take a look around! Pull up a chair, make yourself comfy, and read a while!

Giada's Tuscan Mushrooms

From Food Network

Picture of Tuscan Mushrooms Recipe


  • 1/2 cup diced jarred roasted red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced pitted green olives
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano
  • 2 scallions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Chicken & Mushrooms with Swiss Chard

Boneless skinless chicken breast with white wine mushrooms and Swiss chard.
This is a 30 minute meal- pretty easy peasy.  Preheat the oven to 400 (I know it’s summer, but our grill is charcoal so not really week night user friendly).  You start out with the chicken and make a slurry (fat and flour).  To make the slurry, I use a gluten free flour mix with rice, sorghum, millet, and potato flours; it only takes a heaping spoonful.  Mix it with about two tablespoons olive oil and seasonings you like.  Stab the thick end of the chicken breast and then coat it with the slurry.  Pan fry until brown on both sides and then toss in the oven.  Once the chicken’s in the oven add white wine to the pan and scrape up the brown bits.  Add the mushrooms some salt and some pepper then cover until the mushrooms are tender.  Once they are soft, remove the lid and let the wine reduce.  While that’s going on sauté the Swiss chard with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Once all the veggies are done, the chicken should be done too (but check internal temp).  Voila!  It’s all done in 30 minutes.  Adjust the portions to make one, two, or four+ servings. 

Boneless skinless chicken breast with white wine mushrooms and Swiss chard.
This is a 30 minute meal- pretty easy peasy.  

3-4 Boneless skinless chicken breast 
1 pkg button mushrooms
1 heaping spoonful gluten free flour mix
Seasonings of your choice
olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 - 1/2 cup white wine
Swiss chard

Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread

1 1/3 cups mashed very ripe bananas (2 large) 
2/3 cup sugar 
1/4 cup milk 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
 3 eggs 
2 2/3 cups Gluten Free Bisquick® mix 
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Strawberry Pineapple Lime Pops

Strawberry Pineapple Lime Popsicles

Makes 4-6 popsicles, depending on the size of your popsicle mold


1 cup diced strawberries
1 cup diced ripe pineapple
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons honey (optional)

Chunky Vegetarian Chili

Recipe of the Day: Chunky Vegetarian Chili!
Vegetarian, Gluten-Free!
Nutritional Information here 
Beans are good for your heart, and the veggies in this chili are a great way to get your fill of antioxidants, which help fight disease.
Serving size: 1 cup. Makes 8 servings
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Loafing Around

I am in LOVE with this bread! I first had Udi's at Willy Burger. I was so excited to have a burger on a gluten free bun, but worried that it would be dry and/or tough like most of the other GF breads I've tried. This was actually good. The bread was soft and yummy! SCORE! A local store had a few products... and a coupon! Woo hoo! As you can see, I couldn't even wait to take a picture before having some. Actually, I've had most of this loaf (sheepish grin). Korry laughs at me because I get so excited when I realize I can have toast or garlic bread, or a sandwich. I am one happy girl, and Udi's gets 5 Happy Bellies! I can't wait to try more, and thanks to their website I now have a coupon for my next purchase!!

Lemon-Kissed Blueberry Ice Cream

 (No ice cream maker required!)
This ice cream is a great summer treat. Light and fruity, it offers a pleasant diversion from the heavier, cream-laden ice cream flavors.  Top with a few more fresh berries for a lovely presentation.
3 cups (750 ml) fresh blueberries
2 Tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp (15 ml) water
30-40 drops lemon or plain stevia liquid, to your taste (I used NuNaturals lemon stevia)
2/3  cup (110 g) raw cashews


Ok... I'm normally a positive person, and I give kudos to anyone trying to live a healthier life, but I can't help but be frustrated by people who complain how difficult it is to give up gluten or dairy... or whatever else their new fad diet is telling them to try. I'm sorry it's aggravating to you that there's nothing you can eat now, but see... the difference is, I didn't choose this! You can go back to eating what you want, but me... well, that slice of whole wheat bread you crave, that glass of milk that would be sooooo good with that cookie? I crave them too, but I can't eat them because they will make me SICK. You would think that would make it easier. I mean talk about a reinforcer! Who wants to be sick? Problem is, I wasn't always that way. I LOVE cupcakes and bread and ice cream and cheese, but the love is not returned. By the way, you might think that gluten free is the next best thing, but the truth is, your whole wheat bread is probably much healthier for you than my $6 gluten free bread.

Check it out gluten free vs whole grain

Salsa Chicken Nachos

1 jar salsa
1 can Rotel
pkg taco seasoning
1can black beans
1 c corn
2-3 chicken breasts
1/4 c chopped cilantro
Juice from 1 lime
Tortilla chips

Place salsa, Rotel, beans, corn & taco seasoning in a large pot. Cook over med heat for about 1 hour or until chicken is easily shredded. Reduce heat. Add cilantro & lime juice. Serve over tortilla chips with guacamole. (Can be served over rice, as tacos, or as burritos as well.)

This recipe can also be made in a crock pot on low heat for 6 hours.