Saturday, December 31, 2011

Week Three

Entering into week three, I’m really excited to get to use some new grains. We have a local bulk food store that carries a lot of gluten free grains and almost the entire Bob’s Red Mill grain line. It’s pretty neat. I was able to pick up some Sweet Sorghum Flour, which I haven’t ever baked with before. I’ve heard good reviews for cooking with it, and I think I’ll go back and pick up The coconut flour that I saw. I’ve heard it is HEAVEN :)

Day 15

  • Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal (whole grain brown rice, corn, sweet white sorghum, buckwheat )
  • Roasted Chicken with roasted carrots and onions
  • Pear

Day 16

  • Kix (corn) cereal
  • Cod with olive oil and salt & pepper
  • Strawberries
  • Roasted cauliflower and broccoli with olive oil and parmesan cheese

Day 17

  • Peach juice
  • GF oatmeal
  • Shrimp with rice noodles

Day 18

  • Cinnamon Rice Chex
  • Northern white beans
  • Strawberry Jell-O
  • Celery/peanut butter (snack)

Day 19 (Christmas Eve)

  • Eggs and bacon
  • Ham
  • Bacon wrapped asparagus
  • Peach Jell-O made with peach nectar

Day 20 (Christmas Day – dinner at relatives house) * Because this was a special day, we had a couple of things that I didn’t put on this list, and instead of a normal “breakfast”, we mostly ate  snacks all through until lunch. Mostly fruit, some bacon, and coconut milk/hot chocolate.*

  • Prime Rib (beef)
  • Green beans
  • Raspberry Jell-O
  • Strawberries with marshmallow dip
  • Coconut milk

Day 21

  • Corn Chex
  • Almond milk
  • Roasted Chicken stuffed with onions
  • Corn
  • Pears

This week was definitely a challenge for me. Because we had so many things going on (and weren’t always at home to eat) that sometimes I had to quickly decide what to feed hungry boy from what I had to choose from. And more often than not, it was a repeat of something they had already eaten in the past couple of days. Usually corn.

I have to be honest, I didn’t keep very good track of our meals and I definitely  am late blogging this!

But, I enjoyed the time with the boys and celebrating my favorite time of year :)

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Week Two

Day 8

  • Turkey sausage
  • Roasted broccoli ( beings that hungry boy HATES broccoli, this sworn “win-over-broccoli-haters” recipe from Ina of Barefoot Contessa, should be interesting.)
  • Buckwheat Muffin
  • Almond milk to drink
  • Parmesan cheese

Day 9

  • Coconut milk
  • Corn (Kix)
  • Venison
  • Pecan, date & cranberry sugar plums! (made sugar plumswith honey, pecan, date, and cranberry rolled in powdered sugar..YUM!)
  • Corn noodles with olive oil, salt and pepper

Day 10

  • Pineapple juice
  • Eggs
  • Rice
  • Fish
  • Almond milk

Day 11

  • Beef Smoked sausage
  • Corn Chex (I’m still trying to locate some more grain cereals in our area. I know they are out there, I just have to remember where! lol)
  • Cubed steak
  • Coconut milk

Day 12

  • Pork meatballs
  • Green beans
  • Bacon
  • Almond milk hot chocolate

Day 13

  • Venison backstraps
  • Eggs/bacon (lunch)
  • GF oatmeal (breakfast)
  • Peanutbutter/celery sticks (snack)

Day 14

  • Rice chex
  • Coconut milk
  • Turkey
  • Rice noodles (Mrs. Leeper’s has great gluten free noodles! I have found them at Walmart and some of our local stores.)
  • Rice crackers (snack)

Looking back on this week, I think I’ve gotten more in the swing of the rotation diet. I didn’t have as much trouble coming up with meal ideas, but I am still running into the problem of having corn too often, because I haven’t found/shopped for an alternate replacement.

But, on a good note, we are able to use more rice, because we were able to reintroduce it into our youngests’  diet.

Oh, and the broccoli didn’t go over as well as hoped. I LOVED IT, but hungry boy still would rather get a shot than eat the green stuff.

Wish  me luck with week three! I have to include Christmas festivities in the rotation!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sugar Plums!

We’ve all heard the famous poem,  The Night Before Christmas. And I’m sure that you remember the famous, “visions of sugar plums danced in their heads…” part. For some reason this part always fascinated me. What were these things called sugar plums? Why were these children dreaming about them? Were they really that good? That the night before Christmas, they were dreaming about a food I never heard of before????

I had a lot of questions as a young child.

Anyways, I used to have this recipe I got from health food magazine years ago. It had these neat “energy balls”. Interesting name. Basically, they were a grain free alternative to a granola type snack. This particular recipe called for walnuts and figs pureed into a sticky mess that you formed into balls and froze. They suggested putting them in kids lunches.

So, what does this have to do with sugar plums, you may ask? Because, they are pretty much the same thing!Traditionally, they are made with a selection of nuts and dried fruits, held together with a splash of Grand Marnier or orange juice.

On the Joy of Baking site, I found a recipe for Fruit and Nut Balls (aka sugar Plums!) Here’s the original recipe I went off of and the rest of the article.

Because we can’t have citrus right now, I left out the o.j. and opted for my original “glue” of honey. Here’s my basic recipe:

Sugar Plums (aka a healthy treat in disguise!)sugar plums

1 cup nuts (we used pecans, but walnuts and other nuts work well too)

1 cup dates (dried)

1/2 cup cranberries (dried. * all I had on hand was a tiny box, like the kind you get raisins in, of cranberries, so I just dumped a couple of those in)

a squirt of honey

and a pinch of brown sugar

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until it starts to stick together. Then, having a baking sheet ready, roll them into balls (smooching when needed) and the roll them in powdered sugar. Place them on the baking sheet and let sit for about an hour. Or 45 minutes. Or however long you can withstand eating them. If you have better will power than I apparently do, they keep in the refrigerator for about a month. Pretty good for no preservatives.

A super simple Muffin recipe

Since I needed to integrate another grain in our diet, I decided to make some some muffins. This helps me out not only in getting a new grain mixed in, but for me muffins are a morning lifesaver! I have about 40 minutes from the time I crawl out of bed to the coffee pot, to the time I put hungry boy on the bus.  And these muffins are great to make the night before, heat up and serve with some protein for breakfast. (I’m a meat kinda girl, and really like to have it for breakfast!)


Very Simple Fruit Muffins


1 1/2 cups flour ( I used buckwheat, but any nut flours, coconut flour or amaranth would be equally great! NOTE* Here' is a great equivalent chart for substituting grain for wheat in recipes!

1/2 cup sugar ( I like to mix brown and white equally)

2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk (or a non- dairy like almond, rice (I don’t like to bake with rice), coconut, etc.)

1/4 cup vegetable oil ( I really like to use coconut oil in this!)

1 cup frozen berries (we used raspberries)

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place baking cups in a muffin pan.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in (nondairy) milk and oil.

3. Fold in berries. Pour into baking cups and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Makes: about 8 muffins, Preparation time: 5 minutes, Cooking time: 30 minutes

Video for week one

Week One

This is probably the toughest for me, only because I’m having find new recipes and ingredients aside from the ones I have here at home. Also, there is a pallet curve, as I  call it, for those who are eating. When dealing with kids, presentation is key! Taste is second ;) Third is convincing yourself to try recipes and ingredients that you don’t normally lean to. Like hummus (that I love, but the boys have to learn) and this beet/carrot mock tomato sauce I’m going to brave next week….maybe.

Day One

  • Smoked Sausage  which I know contains beef and pork, but being day one I though tit was ok. (Jon Morrell’s is a great breakfast meat! Theyporkchopsandcarrots are are gluten and MSG Free! Plus they got a food allergy recognition  for no milk, no egg, no fish, no soy and no wheat!)
  • Kix (corn) cereal with almond milk
  • peaches
  • Pork chops cooked in bacon drippings with salt and pepper
  • roasted carrots
  • peaches
  • popcorn for snack

Day Twobreakfast

  • Turkey Links
  • Quinoa flakes with maple syrup and cinnamon
  • pear juice
  • Ground Turkey
  • Curried Quinoa
  • Pears

Day Three

  • Bacon ( I KNOW! pork on day three? Again? Well, I have two sick kiddos and couldn’t make it to the store. So I’m minimeatloafrotating what I have until hungry boy goes back to school tomorrow)
  • fresh strawberries and pecans for snack
  • Mini Venison Meatloaf in muffin tin ( with onion, salt and pepper, pulverized pecans to thicken instead of a grain). Hungry boy had brown mustard in it instead of traditional ketchup or bbq sauce, so we’ll see if he likes it! Also, topped with tiny strips of bacon, because venison is so lean.
  • Pineapple Juice

Day Four

  • Buckwheat muffins with raspberries and pecan (*since I will only use the pecan in thebuckwheat muffin , I decided it was ok to eat again)
  • Coconut hot cocoa
  • venison sausage
  • leaf lettuce salad with olive oil and mustard dressing
  • tilapia fillets dredged in corn starch with olive oil, salt & pepper
  • Coconut milk

(I just notice that I used mustard two days in a row. This is the whole reason that food journaling and meal planning is so important! Now that I’ve noticed where I tend to overlap, I can make/find alternatives instead of leaning on repeats! Lesson one, learn from your mistakes!)

Day Five

  • Cinnamon Rice Chex with almond milk photo-3
  • Chicken and roasted root vegetables (parsnips, turnips and carrots) roasted in canola oil
  • Almond milk
  • Gluten Free Brownies (made with rice flour)

Day Six 

  • beef smoked sausage
  • Flat Iron Steak
  • green beans
  • corn chips and pinto bean dip for snack

Day Seven

  • We are *trying* eggs for the first time in 3 years!eggs (Note* in my video I said that I was going to try GF oatmeal, but I got some free GMO, organic eggs from my brother and sister in law! They were soooo good too!)
  • Pork (bacon with breakfast and pork cutlets for dinner)
  • Northern white beans
  • quinoa

 Wow, what a challenging week! With the start and execution of this rotation diet, plus all of the usual hustle and bustle….it’s almost Christmas. So, that adds the stress just a little bit. Just a little, ha ha.

Anyways I’ve noticed a couple of things after this week.

The first is that I seem to worry about the protein part of the meals first and the grains second. That’s no good.  I really need to change the way I think about a meal. I seem to really rely on corn and milks. Especially in the morning chaos. My goal for next week is to get some more grains in the mix,  come up with some better breakfast options and worry about the protein second. That’s going to be hard for me, but I think if I continue the way I am, we’re really going to have a problem possibly with corn soon. And we can’t have that!

The second is that I need to get more fruit and vegetables in the boys diets. Which is hard when it’s the middle of winter and I’m really pushing for non GMO and organic foods. We are on a very tight budget right now, and it seems like the better quality the food is, the more expensive it is. Which is fine, but I need to buy multiple things, so it’s just adding up. Figuring out how to budget better is a must! And I’m on the hunt for some places to get better produce close by. The food co-op that I belong to has some good selection, but I can walk out with three things and have almost $100 spent. For me that’s just not an option right now. Meijer has a good organic selection, so I’ll be doing some price checking like I used to do. (it’s amazing how lazy I seem to have gotten! wow…..)

Well, now I’m off to work on week two! Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The plan

Years ago, when I first learned about the boys food problems, my world changed forever. The first thing that you do, other than eliminating the foods, is to follow a rotation diet. If you are lazy like me, this is a nightmare. I’ll be honest, I don’t know what I’m going to make until I make it. I have all kinds of ingredients on hand so that I can do just that.

Well, you can’t do that when you are on a rotation diet. You have to plan EVERYTHING  that enters your mouth for at least 4 days. And to tame the mild madness that involves, I came up with a simple and rough idea to get note cards, cut into label size, with one food item listed on it. That way, I would sit down at the table, select an item (say pork) and add it to a day. That way when I went to select a meat for day 2, pork wasn’t there to choose from, and I would choose what was left. It worked well, but it wasn’t real pretty. Which is odd for me since that’s my thing. I think I was so engrossed with the task at hand, I just wanted to eat! It was sooooo overwhelming back then.

Long story short, when I learned that we had to go on another rotation diet (with new foods!), I was thrilled (did I just use that word ?!) when I saw this:


I printed off the free labels and am going to purchase some magnet tape to use them on my fridge! Right there in front of my face! 

I have to admit, I had fallen into using the same ingredients in different recipes for a while now. So, I’m going to have do some looking for some good, diet approved recipe ideas. I’ve got a whole board on pinterest devoted to these recipes, so that I can have a little “fun” with this adventure.

I just want hungry boy to be healthy. So, this is going to happen!

Starting our 6 week Rotation Diet

In the previous post, I gave the list of foods that we have to eliminate from my 8 year old son’s diet for the next 6 weeks.

Because this is such a long list and a rotation diet (especially for kids) is kind of a tricky thing to do at first, I thought I would try and document our adventure! So, over the next 6 weeks, I will post recipes and meal plans that we use. Plus the tools and tricks I pick up along the way.

Wish us luck! and as always, I appreciate any and all advice and encouragement!


Alicia and hungry boy

Monday, December 5, 2011

The new list of no’s.

  • Alfalfa
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Barley
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashew Nuts
  • Cherry
  • Garlic
  • Grape
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Cow’s Milk
  • Goat Milk
  • Mushrooms
  • Orange
  • Sweet Potato
  • White Potato
  • Soybean
  • Spinach
  • Tangerine
  • Tomato
  • Wheat
  • Yam
  • Baker’s Yeast
  • Brewer’s Yeast

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fluffy Vanilla Homemade Marshmallows!

I found this recipe care of Gluten Free Mom and I was so excited that I knew I just had to share it with you!


When you have strict allergy rules to follow, making your own, is sometimes your only option. And these blogs have some great substitutions and recipes! If you get a chance, check out all their yummy and genius recipes.  The Kitchn (where the original recipe and photo above are from) and Heidi over at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom, who re-posted it and added her substitutions along with an amazing dairy-free hot cocoa recipe.

Here is the original recipe and instructions, along with some insightful tips.

Via The Kitchn by Emma Christensen  :

Once you know this basic recipe, it’s easy to adapting it to whatever ingredients or flavors you’re in the mood for. You can add cocoa powder for chocolate marshmallows or use different extracts to change up the flavor. You can press chocolate chips or other candy pieces into the finished marshmallows and coat then them with anything from pumpkin pie spices to toasted coconut.

Marshmallows really aren’t that hard to make at home, but they do require planning and patience. Once you add the sugar base to the gelatin, the clock is ticking because the gelatin starts to set immediately. Make sure that you have all your equipment and ingredients ready to go before you start so that you can easily go from one step to the next.

This is also one of those recipes that gets easier with practice - so go forth and make marshmallows!

2010-10-27-VanillaMarshmallow3.jpgFluffy Vanilla Marshmallows
Gratefully adapted from Marshmallows by Eileen Talanian
Makes roughly 100 marshmallows, depending on size

9x13 baking pan or other flat container
4-quart sauce pan (slightly larger or smaller is ok)
candy thermometer - one that can clip to the side of the sauce pan
standing mixer with a wire whisk attachment - hand mixers just aren’t strong enough, unfortunately
stiff spatula or spoon (as opposed to a rubbery, flexible one)
Optional: Pastry brush

3 tablespoons (usually 3 packets) unflavored gelatin powder
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup water
1 1/4 cup sugar cane syrup or corn syrup
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Spray your baking pan with cooking spray. Use a paper towel to wipe the pan and make sure there’s a thin film on every surface, corner, and side. Make sure the rest of your equipment ready to go.

To bloom the gelatin, measure the gelatin powder into your mixer bowl. Combine the water and vanilla in a measuring cup and pour this over the gelatin while whisking gently with a fork. Continuing stirring until the gelatin reaches the consistency of apple sauce and there are no more large lumps. Set the bowl back in your standing mixer.

Combine the water, corn syrup, salt, and sugar in a 4-quart sauce pan. Place this over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil. As it’s coming to a bowl, occasionally dip your pastry brush in water and brush down the sides of the pot. This prevents sugar crystals from falling into the liquid, which can cause the syrup to crystallize. If you don’t have a pastry brush, cover the pan for 2 minutes once the mixture is at a boil so the steam can wash the sides.

Do not stir the sugar once it has come to a boil or it may crystallize.

Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the sauce pan and continue boiling until the sugar mixture reaches 250°F. Take the pan off the heat and remove the thermometer.

With the mixer on medium speed, gently and carefully pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin. The mixture may foam up - just go slowly and carefully. When all the syrup has been added, cover the bowl with a cloth and increase the speed to high (the cloth protects from splatters). Whip for 10-12 minutes, until it looks like glossy meringue.

When you’re finished mixing, lower the speed to medium and lift the whisk partway out of the bowl so it spins off as much marshmallow mix as possible. Using your stiff spatula, scrape the marshmallow mixture into the pan. This stuff is very thick and sticky, so don’t worry about getting every last bit out of the bowl. Just get as much as you can.

Wet your fingers and smooth the top so it’s even. Let the mixture sit out uncovered for 12-15 hours to set and cure.

Marshmallow Coating
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch

Combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a bowl.

Sprinkle the top of the cured marshmallows with powdered sugar mix and turn them out onto your work surface. Use a spatula to pry them out of the pan if necessary. Sprinkle more powdered sugar mixture over the top.

Using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut the marshmallows into squares. It helps to dip your knife in water every few cuts. Toss each square in the powdered sugar mix so all the sides are evenly coated.

Marshmallows will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks. Leftover marshmallow coating can be stored in a sealed container indefinitely.