Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The First of the Elimination Recipes-- Burritos!

I love burritos and other such foods. As a vegetarian, they tend to pack a lot of punch when they are loaded with a variety of beans, quinoa and delicious veggies. This recipe does have a lot of variations (of course-- you know me!) so please check out the notes at the bottom for ways you can jazz up or change up this recipe.

This recipe makes six nice sized burritos--- I divided it in half and put one half in N's skillet with diced chicken breast (about a pound) and the other half went into my skillet. If you don't know how to wrap a burrito, I consider it very similar to swaddling a baby. If you don't know how to swaddle a baby, then I suggest you marry a man like N who used to make burritos for his job in high school. He is the champion baby swaddler and burrito wrapper!

Baby-to-Be Burritos
6 large dairy free soy free tortillas (or free of whatever you need)
1/2 can of black beans (or other safe bean)
1 cup sliced peppers
1/2 cup mixed veggies (I chose carrots, red peppers and broccoli)
1 cup dry quinoa (cooked before added to skillet)
3 small tomatoes, diced OR 1/2 can of diced seasoned tomatoes
1 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 tsp of cumin
1 lb of meat of choice (I didn't use this but N liked it with chicken)
1 Tbsp safe oil (per skillet)
1/2 tsp salt (per skillet)
1/4 tsp ground black peppercorn (per skillet)
1 bag of shredded safe cheese (Daiya is top 8 free and rice free)
1 cube of Rapunzel Vegan Bouillon with Sea Salt and Herbs  (or make your own!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If doing two separate meals, divide ingredients in half and prepare two skillets. If not, use a large skillet or wok for preparing this meal.

Measure out one cup of dry quinoa and two cups of water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce heat until all liquid is absorbed (usually takes around 10 minutes or so). Set aside.

Heat skillet(s) on medium heat. Add oil to each. Add in beans and quinoa (and meat if desired). Stir often with large wooden spoon. or other large utensil. Cook for about five minutes and then add in veggies except for tomatoes. Cook for another five minutes and then add in seasonings (you can always omit seasonings or add in different ones for variety) including bouillon cube (no extra water needed, just add as is and keep stirring). Continue to stir with wooden spoon regularly. Cook until meat is prepared to your liking and to appropriate safety standards. For those going meat-free, cook for 5-10 minutes after adding seasonings, once all seasonings are worked in to the mixture. If there is extra liquid in the mixture, you can continue cooking until the excess is absorbed.

Remove skillet from heat (don't forget your burners! haha) and set aside. Begin preparing your burritos! Have a large glass/metal baking dish ready. (You can line it with parchment paper if you wish!) On each tortilla, place desired amount of filling and then top the filling with cheese (if using cheese/cheese alternative). Roll burrito-style (For burrito rolling help). As you roll each burrito, place it in the pan seam down until they are all neatly lined up. Once the pan is full, warm in the 350 degree oven for about 5-8 minutes, essentially until the tortilla "seals" itself and the cheese melts. If you need to leave them in the oven for a bit longer (due to dealing with toddler woes), cover with foil and turn off the heat after 5 minutes.

And as promised, some suggestions for alterations!

1. For the filling .  . .  you can use rice, amaranth, millet or any other grain/pseudo grain that cooks up similarly to quinoa. For those of you on elim diets, quinoa and amaranth pack a bit more punch that the others. Be sure to check out Ancient Harvest Brand quinoa and Bob's Red Mill Amaranth.

2. You can use fish as your meat of choice-- just be sure to monitor the heat and cooking for safety!

3. If it is safe, sliced avocado would add a great protein boost, or you could make your own guacamole to add to the filling.

4. Other seasonings to consider.  . . cilantro. Need I say more?!

5. Other ways to use the filling other than burritos: filling for stuffed peppers, layer in a casserole dish with safe tortilla chips (may I suggest Green Mountain Gringo? You can also make your own if you are super industrious-- more on that later), serving by itself or baked in a casserole with added cheese or alterna-cheese.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

T minus 8 Weeks

In eight weeks, we start again. I will be 30 weeks pregnant and I will be starting the elimination diet roller coaster once more. And here is my plan:

At 30 weeks preggers, I will eliminate any and all forms of dairy, soy and rice from my diet in an effort to "clear" my breast milk. I have begun my recipe database and actually, the first recipe I created, is just above. Keep in mind that I am also vegetarian so all of the elim recipes will be meat free.

Once the baby is born, I will be keeping a food journal of what I eat and anything that may seem to be a reaction (reflux, GI symptoms, skin issues, etc). I will try to eliminate by way of what lines up with the food journal (if there is need of course), but if my 6-8 weeks old, our new little one seems to be reacting to my breast milk with the planned elim diet, I will go on a Top 8 plus rice, oats and squash elim diet. If by 12-16 weeks old, I still haven't noticed enough reduction of symptoms, I will go to a bare bones TED type diet and build from the ground up.

Why am I presuming so much already? Why don't I just assume that this little one will be allergy free? Well, they aren't official, but the general stats in the FPIES community groups are not super promising. It seems like siblings born after the child with FPIES tend to often develop FPIES themselves. Not always, but there are a decent amount of families that I know of or actually know that deal with this. And what is a mama to do, but to be prepared?!

If, on a happy note, our new little one shows no signs of reacting to my milk, I will slowly start adding in dairy after 6 weeks of age. If nothing develops, I will add in soy oil and soy lecithin after 12 weeks of age. I will stop watching my diet for hidden forms of soy flour or soy protein after 20 weeks of age (I will not however return to my vegetarian ways of eating occasional tofu or drinking soy milk--- B is still so strongly reactive to soy and has recently had a few contact reactions to kisses on the cheeks to heaven knows what. .  we are reducing our risk where ever possible!). I might add in rice after this little one is about 6 months old but to be honest, we just don't keep rice in the house anymore so it really isn't a huge deal going without it.

So for some elimination diet recipes, please stay posted. I have begun my research and have been compiling links from other sites and I will be creating several recipes of my own. Enjoy!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A New Snack Recipe for Those Fruity Toddlers!

Strawberry Cereal Bars
1 3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1/4 cup millet flour
2 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cup spectrum palm oil shortening (or safe butter/shortening/coconut oil)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 12-16oz jar of For The Love of June Strawberry Preserves
1-2 Tbsp water
Brown sugar for sprinkling on top

Grease a small brownie/lasagna pan and set aside (I lined mine with foil and then greased the foil. Much easier for removing the bars!) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix all flours and quinoa flakes in a large bowl. Blend in sugar and baking powder. Set aside.

Melt the shortening/butter. Blend melted shortening with flour mixture until it becomes crumbly, almost like graham cracker crumb pie crust. Add in honey and vanilla--- mix thoroughly with a pastry blender.

Divide the mixture in half and press the first half into the bottom of the prepared pan. In a small bowl, mix the preserves and water until well blended and a spreadable texture. Pour over top of the pressed-in-pan layer and spread evenly. Once even, add remainder of shortening/flour mixture, spread evenly and press firmly. Once set, add a sprinkling of brown sugar over the entire pan.

Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until edges are firm and bars are becoming golden brown.

Remove pan from oven and allow to cool completely. Remove foil and set on cutting board. Cut bars into desired size with a very sharp knife. Use a spatula to separate.

These can be frozen and to do so, I individually wrapped each one in press and seal after cutting. When ready to serve, simply remove as many bars as desired and reheat in the microwave, or heat on low temp in the oven on a cookie sheet. These would be great topped with a safe vanilla ice cream (larry and luna's coconut bliss anyone?)


375 degrees F for 20 minutes

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chocolate--- It's What's For Dinner

I made B some delicious Christmas chocolate lollipops and candies for her stocking this year. And I am finally getting around to sharing the recipe with all of you! Really, it is a very simple recipe. If you want it to be a little sweeter, I would suggest adding a few Tablespoons of powdered sugar, but otherwise, it was sweet enough for my little choco-holic. I used the lollipop and candy molds from AC Moore--- just really simple plastic ones. I did lightly oil them before pouring in the chocolate and I used palm oil shortening for this. Here we go:

B's Chocolate Christmas Candies
2 cups Enjoy Life chocolate chips
4 Tbsp (1/4cup) coconut milk
2 Tbsp shortening/butter (I used spectrum palm oil shortening)
1 tsp vanilla

On medium to medium low heat, melt shortening in a small saucepan. Stirring continuously, slowly add in Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (or chunks). Add in the vanilla. Once fully melted, reduce heat and add in coconut milk. Continue stirring and turn off the burner. Once slightly thick, pour into prepared candy molds/small muffin cups. (If making lollipops, be sure to have sticks already in the molds before pouring in chocolate). Chill in freezer until firm. Once firm, wrap as desired and keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator. A note--- I did have about 1/3 of the chocolate pieces out in a candy dish, wrapped, for several days and at room temp, they maintained their shapes well.

If you wish to make layered treats, fill muffin cup halfway with chocolate and allow to firm in the freezer. Take muffin cups out and add a firm filling to the center (more on this later, but you can use sunflower seed butter, cherries, puffed amaranth etc) Cover with more melted chocolate, smooth the top flat, and then firm in freezer once more.

These were a big hit and I will definitely be making more with greater variation for the coming year. They were super duper easy to make. Really, the only thing you need to be on the watch for is the temp you melt the chocolate at--- it can be easy to burn chocolate if not done properly. If you have a good handle on your microwave temps, you could easily melt your ingredients in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl.

Happy chocolate-ing! I am saving this one for my elim diet list of treat recipes (if chocolate is safe for the next little one!)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Gingerbread House and Gumdrop Picture Show!

Our holiday creations! Gingerbread house with homemade gum drops and store bought smarties!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Not so Gingery Gingerbread Houses

Since B has no safe spices so far (cinnamon was a big bust so we have steered clear of others for now), I came up with a recipe for chocolate gingerbread houses. It works beautifully for house making and it makes a great cracker/crisp cookie. Just be sure to let the gingerbread cool on the pans before moving! It will break if you move it while it is too hot but if you wait, it holds together beautifully. Also, my non FA niece who is almost two LOVED this recipe just as much as B did! Kid approved!

Chocolate Gingerbread Houses
2 cups sorghum flour
2 cups quinoa flakes
1 1/2 cups millet flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup shortening (I used spectrum palm oil shortening)
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup fruit puree or 1/2 diced pear
1 Tbsp water/ safe milk (I used coconut)
2 tsp vanilla (optional)

Blend the first 6 ingredients well in a large mixing bowl. This makes a lot of dough, so be prepared! Set aside.

Cream the brown sugar and shortening in a separate bowl. Add in molasses and puree (or diced fruit-- I used the diced pear), blending well with an electric mixer or a pastry blender. Continue blending and add milk and vanilla.

Fold the brown sugar mixture into the flour mixture slowly, blending until all ingredients are well mixed. (Again, I used a pastry blender. I got two new ones for Christmas too! Hooray!). Now it gets a little messy. I found that since the dough gets pretty darn thick, kneading it with your clean hands is the best way to get it into a nice smooth ball. Once you form the ball, wrap it up in saran wrap and place it in a clean dry bowl in the refrigerator. Let it refrigerate at least 3 hrs but no more than 24 hrs.

Once refrigerated, unwrap the dough and cut in half. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Take half of the dough and roll out slightly thicker than 1/4 inch thick, between two pieces of parchment paper. Once the dough is even, cut into shapes best suited to your project. You can actually find templates for gingerbread house designs, such as this one . Of course, you can use this recipe for cutout cookies as well and it works rather nicely.

Bake at 325 F for 8-11 minutes for small shapes, 15 minutes or longer for gingerbread pieces, depending on size. I simply checked on  the cut outs after 10 minutes and then again every five minutes thereafter. They should puff up a little bit and have a cakey cookie look. Once they are done, place cookie sheets aside to cool. Cookies need to remain on baking sheets until relatively cool! If you move them too early, they will break. If you want them to cool more quickly, you could bake the cookies on parchment lined sheets and then lift the parchment paper with cookies on it off of the sheets and onto wire racks for cooling.

For frosting, I used a simple pseudo "buttercream" recipe---- 2 cups powdered sugar, 5 Tbsp palm shortening, 2-3 Tbsp coconut milk, 1 tsp vanilla. (For a firmer frosting, you could use coconut manna instead of the shortening). I spread the frosting onto the joints of the house, adhered the pieces together, cleaned my edges, and then piped additional frosting over top of the joints to make it pretty. We decorated with smarties and the homemade gumdrops. I made a little person cookie with the leftovers and frosted it, decorating with enjoy life mini chips.

I will post pictures soon! More recipes tomorrow!