Archive | July 2012

Thai Inspired Warm Broccoli Salad, Peanut Allergy Friendly :)

First off, I apologize for the crappy cell phone pics; I took one picture with my real camera and the battery died.  Thankfully my husband is an Eagle Scout because I was a Brownie drop-out and am often hopelessly unprepared.

I have been craving Thai food forever, at least it feels like forever!  Two years ago my son, Wilson,  had an anaphylactic reaction after his first  peanut exposure, needless to say there have been no peanut products in our lives since.  Since Thai uses so much peanut, it also had been dropped from our menu.  Recently, the craving has been getting stronger.  This morning I went out into our garden and was greeted by an enormous head of broccoli, some beautiful peppers and tons of sweet cherry tomatoes.  Looking at those gorgeous veggies, I decided I was having Thai for lunch!

This morning’s haul!

I needed to make a a sauce as satisfying as that slightly spicy peanut sauce I love, but also safe for our household.  We recently found out that Wilson’s tree nut allergies are improving; at this point he is only allergic to cashews and pistachios – woohoo!  Our allergist also told us to start adding the other tree nuts into his diet to test the waters (rather terrifying thing to say to a Mom who saw her 18 months old have an anaphylactic reaction!).  I went in search of a nut butter we could use and found nearly all are made in facilities with peanuts or cashews, and then I found Barney Butter! Barney Butter is processed in a facility that only uses almonds, making it is safe for us!

To make the sauce, in the bowl of my stick blender/processor, I combined :

2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (it wasn’t very spicy, I’ll do more next time)
The juice of 1 lime (about 1.5 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon hot water
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1.5 tablespoons sesame oil

Pulse that until nicely combined

The almond butter sauce

Next I cut up:

the large head of broccoli (about 8 cups)
2 peppers, thinly sliced (I had one red and one green from the garden)
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced

Heat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large skillet – I love the smell of coconut oil – YUM!

add 4 cloves of garlic minced, saute for about 30 seconds before adding the veggies.

Saute the veggies until tender-crisp and then add

1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved

Let the tomatoes heat through and get a little soft before transferring all of the veggies to a large bowl and tossing with the almond butter sauce.


Thai Inspired Warm Broccoli Salad for the peanut allergic!

The recipe makes about 3 servings at 317 calories, 23g of carbs, 25g of fat and 4g of protein, 3g of fiber and 202mg of sodium.  This is if you eat all of the sauce, I had a good amount of sauce at the bottom of my bowl.


What to do with charm packs?

I am one of those lucky girls to have a wonderful mother-in-law.  She is kind, thoughtful, considerate, doesn’t offer unsolicited advice  and never forgets a birthday.  On one such birthday she gave me a gift card to a fabric shop and a cute little pack of triangle charms.

Of course the pack came with a little pattern for a bag, but it didn’t thrill me.  When I looked at the little triangles I kept thinking of those strings of flags you see hung at cheesy car dealerships or old time family picnics.  Now, this image probably only exists in my romantic nostalgia (of a time I never lived, LOL), I kept seeing a 1950’s family: Dad smiling over the grill and Mom serving watermelon wedges to the perfectly tidy kids, who are patiently and gleefully sitting at a plastic covered picnic table anticipating a family meal.   That scene probably never happened (seriously,  tidy, happy children patiently waiting for a meal??? even in my 1950s daydream it is a stretch), how I arrived there from a pack of triangle charms we’ll never know, I must need more sleep!

This little delusional vision resulted in a super easy and super cute and quick summery wall hanging!

I paired up the triangles and sewed down two sides.

Flip the triangles right sides out and press

I cut off the little bunny ears and then sewed them to strips of fabric which were 2.5″ wider than the triangles were long.  This gives some space between the rows and allows for the 1/4″ seam allowance.

Sew the three rows together and viola!

A fun fast wall hanging with a little 3D flair!

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

I swear my 3 y/o asks me to buy bananas just so I will make these muffins. It must be his plan because each time I buy a bunch he eats ONE and the rest sit until they are threatening to become a fruit fly colonization zone. This morning I spied one such pile of bananas on my counter, I picked them up to inspect and they fell apart in my hands: perfect for muffins!

These bananas are just begging to become muffins

As I mentioned in my previous post, we are working on adding baked egg to my son’s diet. You can only make so many cakes and muffins before starting to question yourself a bit. Questions like, is feeding my child a boat load of sugar really worth helping him overcome his egg allergy? With that in mind, I am constantly on the lookout for healthy recipes I can use for him. I came across these banana muffins , I made a few tweaks and then made a pumpkin recipe using the same idea. We pretty much always have these muffins in the house.

These can be gluten free *if* you purchase the correct oats, most oats are coated in flour to prevent sticking, however there are some varieties which are gluten free. You will use some of the oats whole and some to make oat flour; I have a cheapo Oster stick blender and it does the job just fine!

This recipe does use 3 bowls, something I would typically not be thrilled by (who needs more dishes with kids in the house!?!) but these muffins really are worth it!

Now on to the show, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In bowl #1 combine and let soak for about 10 minutes:

1 1/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2/3 cup milk

This should soak for about 10 minutes, never a problem in my house since baking is generally interrupted by infants scaling gates and toddlers needing to use the potty.

After the kids allow you back in the kitchen, combine in bowl #2:

1 1/2 cup oat flour – you can make oat four by processing about 2 cups of rolled oats in your food processor or blender
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Bowl #3 is a fun one and will have little volunteers climbing your legs to help:

mash 4 average size bananas, and add
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Add the banana mixture to the soaking oats and combine, next add the dry ingredients and combine. Sometimes I toss a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in for a little extra fun. Scoop the batter into 24 prepared muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.

These muffins are super moist! I make them small because that is the size my kids like. Each muffin has about 130 calories (with the chocolate chips), so as an adult 2 (or 3) would be just fine for breakfast!

Calories: 131, Carbs: 18.6g (Fiber: 2g, Sugars 8.1g), Fat: 5.7g (Saturated: 3.8g), Cholesterol: 9.6g, Protein: 2.9g, Sodium: 97.9mg, Potassium: 91.9mg

Mmmmmmmmm, Waffles.

Time for a tasty breakfast

As a family with a food allergic child, we have learned to make some sacrifices.  My son has life threatening allergies to peanuts, tree nuts and eggs.  We have become very accustomed to substitutions, modifications and creative cooking.  Eggs can sure be a toughy, they serve so many purposes in cooking!  Over the past few years I have learned to make some pretty incredible egg-free edibles, from cookies to cakes, breads to baked chicken.  One thing I have not been able to master is the an egg-free waffle.  I tried all of the substitutes I could think of. They were pretty good at times,  sometimes nearly perfect after a crisping up in the toaster oven, but I just couldn’t get that light, crisp waffely goodness we remembered.

Then a few months ago our allergist suggested we do an egg challenge.  We were given a formula, commonly called a “recipe” by the rest of us, for banana muffins and told to return to the office muffins in hand.  The challenge went beautifully!  My son, Wilson, ate an entire muffin with no reaction.  Our allergist told us to start feeding him baked eggs daily; he could have 1/3 of an egg per serving (or less) baked at 350 for a minimum of 20 minutes.  I began making cakes and breads constantly, to the thrill of my son and the demise of my diet.  Last weekend, as I set out to make our traditional Saturday morning breakfast of bacon and waffles, so very very healthy, I thought perhaps it was time to try.  Things had been going very well with the baked eggs, and while waffles were not cooked for 20 minutes the portion of egg was so small, I thought it was worth the risk.

With epi-pen, Benadryl and nebulizer ready I pulled out my trusty yellow Gourmet cookbook and made some waffles.  I added a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and vanilla to the batter and Oh My, …..Heaven.  They were perfectly light, crisp, delicious and best of all resulted in NO REACTION!  My son who never finishes one, asked for seconds.  We froze the extras and enjoyed them throughout the week with cut up fresh strawberries and a touch of whipped cream.

Oh, sweet waffle, welcome back to breakfast!


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