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Cauliflower cheese sauce for mac n cheeze

I read something the other day that sort of irritated me.  Someone was saying that we shouldn’t try to replicate typical foods in a more healthy manner because we were lying to our children.  I actually read something to that effect in a couple of different places with people commenting on allergy-free paleo type blogs.  

It’s not about “lying” to our children.  My own children know that there isn’t any cheese in their macaroni.  They know that their macaroni doesn’t contain wheat.  They know that we’ve made changes for the overall health of everyone in the house.  That doesn’t change the fact that they’re children and they want the familiar.  I think we all crave the familiar no matter what age we are.  

My grandmother’s spaghetti doesn’t even remotely resemble mine, or even real Italian food.  Sometimes, though, I just want HER spaghetti.  Sometimes you want brickoven style pizza.  Sometimes you crave Totino’s party pizza….you know what I’m talking about…that nasty cracker crust, fake cheese, and ketchup for sauce.  

The important thing is not in fooling anyone, but in making sure you’re making the right choices for your own health.  Health and nutrition is not one size fits all with the exception of the fact that we all should be striving to be eating REAL food instead of chemicals.  

This has been a rough week and a half for my family.  I’ve made it clear that we are not making these changes JUST for Mickey Mouse.  I don’t want Mim or Tinkerbell pointing any fingers.  When we discussed the changes, I let them know that I am allergic to dairy and soy.  Mickey Mouse is allergic to corn, peanuts, and malt.  We do not know if any of us is allergic to wheat.  This is a choice that we’ve made as a family.  

I miss cheese.  I miss it a lot.  I’m almost certain I’m detoxing off of wheat and dairy.  I haven’t felt my best and the cravings are INSANE!  

Anyhow, I wanted to do something special for the kids today so I made macNcheez.  

I worked from this recipe.  I made a few tweaks, though.  

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16oz frozen cauliflower

1 1/2 cups plain almond milk (you can use rice milk or any type of milk that fits your diet)

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 cup of nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika (for the smokey flavor)

1/4 tsp turmeric (for color)

 

I put the cauliflower in the pot with just enough water to boil it.  I boiled it until tender.  Then I drained it and put it in my Vitamix.  At that point I added all the other ingredients to the blender and blended until smooth.  

I poured the sauce back in the pot and scooped my brown rice pasta directly into the sauce without rinsing so that the starch would further thicken the sauce.

 

And done.  Even my 18 year old son said it was good.  SCORE!  It’s a keeper.

 

Posted in recipes, Uncategorized

Sweet potato pancakes

This whole gluten-free and dairy-free thing has been very overwhelming….and expensive.  God has provided just what we need.  I’m not feeling a lot of excess, though realistically I know we live completely surrounded by excess, but I’m trying to focus on having “enough”.  

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about “enough” lately.  I always thought that growing up without many things, left me feeling like I needed to hoard things.  Food included.  Well, my husband didn’t grow up without and he also likes to hoard things.  Despite my desire to stockpile things like food, school books, and clothing for my children I really dislike clutter.  

We’re a military family.  With that comes PCSing, or moving around the country and world.  PCS stands for Permanent Change of Station.  I challenge the army’s definition of permanent.  We’ve moved rather frequently.  LOL  We’ve been at the current duty station the longest and we’ve gotten rather comfortable.  By that I mean, we’ve collected too much stuff.  

Right now we’re realizing that another move is coming our way even though we don’t have any details or even a timeline.  And so it’s time to get rid of the excess.  Stressful times call for comfort food.  For my kiddos that means pancakes.  

I’m only JUST learning to use these different gluten-free flours and trying to find the best options for our nutritional needs.

We are looking to limit and slowly introduce coconut flour to Mim’s sensitive digestive system in the hopes that she’ll adjust to it.  

We’re slowly introducing eggs to Mickey Mouse to see if she’s allergic.

We’re not wanting excessively high calorie meals like you would get if you stuck to just almond flour. 

And finally, we’re looking to respect and maybe even reduce our grocery expense.  

 

So tonight’s dinner was brinner.  Breakfast for dinner.  

This works out to be 134 calories per serving with 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of sugar.  

Depending on your family size and needs, you may want to reduce this recipe.  I always make pancakes with the intention of putting them in the freezer so that the children can help themselves to breakfast during the week.  

This recipe makes about 40 servings of 2 4 inch pancakes each.

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6 cups mashed sweet potato

4 cups Hodgson Mill Multi-purpose Baking Mix Gluten Free (I’ll update later when I use my own baking mix blend)

2 cups almond meal (blanched almonds that I ran through the food processor)

1/4 cup coconut flour

3 tbsp gluten free baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

5 eggs

2 tbsp coconut sugar

2 tbsp cinnamon

1 1/2 cup water (I’ll likely use almond milk in the future)

 

Mix well and spoon onto your hot griddle.  This mixture is very thick and so it didn’t bubble like traditional pancakes would, so watch the edges carefully.  

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Our latest chapter…gluten-free and dairy-free

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Tinkerbell and Mickey Mouse (photo taken by Kelly McGovern Photography http://www.kellymcgovernphotography.com/)

The precious pumpkins have had eczema since they were around 2 years old.  They’re the youngest of our kiddos.  In 2009 we cleaned all the corn, nuts, eggs, and anything containing malt from our home. 

The eczema continued. 

It had been suggested by many of our friends that we eliminate dairy and gluten. That seemed silly to me because they’d been tested and found to not be allergic to dairy or gluten.  We even switched to raw milk. 

Our family chiropractor suggested that we eliminate dairy and gluten.  I responded with my standard “they’re not allergic to that”.  His answer was that allergy testing is not to be trusted.  I remembered the allergist telling me that with the blood testing we would get false positives, but no false negatives.  That really got me to thinking about how ridiculous that statement is.  It’s like saying “We’re going to run this test and the results aren’t reliable, but we’re going to do it anyway.  It’s only flawed in one direction.”  I’m no longer buying it. 

Today is day 4 since we had the talk in our home.  We sat the children down and explained that we were going gluten and dairy free, too.  Tears were actually shed by Mickey Mouse over her beloved cheese. 

The 1st day was painful, for me.  I had to clean our our pantry and fridge after having already spent our grocery budget for this pay period.  I’m a penny pincher.  It HURT. 

The 2nd day was painful, too.  I had to tell my kiddos “nope, there’s no cheese”  “Nope, no yogurt.”  “Graham crackers are gone, too.”  “Nope, tortillas hit the road.”  And on and on.

The 3rd day they were eating fruit and complaining less. 

So, we know they can have almonds.  They’ve been able to have eggs in baked goods.  We’re going to try them on straight up eggs in about a week to see how they respond.  For now the recipes I post will be gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, corn-free, and soy-free.