Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sautéed Bok Choy

I try to introduce my kids to a wide variety of foods.  They are pretty good about at least trying the new food.  I don't force them to eat it if they don't like it but we do strongly encourage them to at least try every thing on their plates, even if it is something that they previously haven't liked.  That approach has served us well because they are both good eaters and sometimes they decided they like something after multiple tries.

I have eaten bok choy when dining out but had never cooked it at home.  This simple sauté was quick, easy and good!  I loved it.  I think my husband found bok choy to be a little boring but he still ate it without complaint.  One out of two kids liked it.  Maybe on our next try, we can convince the other one.  

If you like this recipe, you  may also like Steamed and Sauteed Green Beans (EF, DF, GF) or Thai Shrimp and Cabbage (EF, DF, GF)

Sautéed Bok Choy

1 large head of Bok Choy
2 T olive oil
2 T soy sauce*
2 cloves garlic, minced
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Break up Bok Choy steams, wash and pat dry.  Chop green part of Bok Choy and julienne the white stalks.  Heat oil in large skillet or wok to medium-high heat.   Add Boy Choy, garlic and sprinkle with pepper.  Sautee stirring frequently.  Add soy sauce and stir until fully incorporated.  Sauté until stalk starts to soften and green leaves start to wilt, about 3-5 minutes.
Serves 4-6

* For those on a gluten-free diet, be sure to use a gluten-free soy sauce.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Honey Wheat Cornbread {Egg-free, Dairy-free}

Cornbread is a favorite at my house, especially during the cooler Fall and Winter months.  In my attempt to make our favorite Cornbread (EF, DF) recipe a little bit healthier, I replaced the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour and the sugar with honey.  My kids didn't even really seem to notice!  Yay!

If you like this recipe, you may also like Honey Wheat Pancakes (EF).

UPDATE (01/21/15):  Most people may consider winter time to be 'soup season'.  My oldest child thinks of it as 'cornbread season'.  The best part of having chili or soup for dinner is that Mom makes cornbread!  So, needless to say, I have been making this recipe frequently!  I have found adding one extra tablespoon of milk to the batter helps quite a bit with consistency.  Also, the wheat flour version also doesn't need to cook quite as long.  I always take it out at right about 20 minutes.  I have noted these changes below.  Enjoy!

Honey Wheat Cornbread
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c cornmeal
¼ c honey
1 T baking powder
¼ t salt
1 c + 1 T milk or non-dairy substitute
1/3 c vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425°.  Grease bottom of an 8”x8” square baking pan.  Stir together all ingredients, except for baking powder, until mixed through.  Add baking powder last, mixing until incorporated.  Immediately, pour into prepared pan and bake at 425° for about 20 minutes or until edges brown and top is golden.  Let cool slightly in pan for at least 5 minute prior to cutting.  
Serves 8-9

Note:  If the batter is left to sit for a few minutes, the baking powder starts to rise and makes the batter lumpy.  Adding the baking powder last and baking immediately, keeps the batter and baked cornbread nice and smooth in appearance. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Red Lobster

I haven't complete forgotten about my list of restaurants with online allergen menus . . .  Eventually, I will get a pretty good list going.

A reader recommended Red Lobster.  I just looked up their allergen menu online and it is a good detailed menu and they do have a pretty good list of items for someone with egg allergies.  They also list various cooking options to help reduce allergen risk.  I am definitely adding this restaurant to my list and I am thinking our family may need to dine their soon! 

To find their menu, go to their website at www.redlobster.com.  Click on the tab labeled Seafood & Health.  Then click on the tab Allergy info.  There is a link on that page that takes you to the most up to date menu.

We find it so helpful to be able to plan my husband's meal before we arrive to the restaurant.  What is your favorite restaurant with an online allergen menu? 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Skinny Potato Soup {Slow-cooker}

A friend of mine made this soup for me for lunch years ago.  I wrote down the recipe and just now got around to making it myself.  It is so easy, delicious and pretty healthy!  It doesn't have all of the fat that most potato soups have.  It also smells wonderful while it is cooking.  We had this with a nice salad when another friend came over for lunch!  I also put some in the freezer for later.  

Skinny Potato Soup

6 baking potatoes, peeled and cut up
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, trimmed and diced
4 c chicken broth*
1 T dried parsley
1 t salt, or to taste
1 t black pepper, or to taste
1 12 oz can evaporated milk (I used 2%.)

Place all ingredients, except milk in slow-cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.  Stir in milk during last hour.  Mash potatoes with potato masher before serving.  Top with chopped chives, if desired.

*If on a gluten-free diet, make sure the brand of broth you are using is gluten-free. 

Dairy-free notes:  I think this recipe could easily be made dairy-free by subsituting a non-dairy milk.  Let me know if you try it and which milk you used.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Honey Wheat Pancakes {Egg-free}

Don't most of us start off the new year wanting to be healthier?  Well, I am trying to do that this year.  One way I am doing that is by modifying some of the recipes I make frequently.  Here is the same Pancake (EF) recipe I have been making for years.  I replaced half of the all-purpose flour with whole-wheat flour.  I also replaced the sugar with honey.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much my family liked them.  My kids didn't even seem to notice that they were different.

Maybe that is because I also made most of them with mini chocolate chips!  Before you balk at my adding chocolate to my supposedly healthier pancakes, hear me out.  We normally eat our pancakes with pure maple syrup.  If you use one tablespoon of syrup for two pancakes, that is whopping 100 calories.  But if you use one teaspoon of chocolate chips for two pancakes, that is only 25 calories.  And with chocolate chips in your pancakes, who needs syrup?  It is amazing how a little bit of chocolate can add a lot of rich flavor!

If you like this recipe, you may also like Honey Wheat Cornbread (EF, DF).

 We had our pancakes with fruit and turkey sausage. 

Honey Wheat Pancakes (EF)
1 c whole-wheat flour
1 c all-purpose flour
2 T honey
1 T baking powder
½ t salt
1/3 c cooking oil
2 c skim1 milk
½ c mini chocolate chips (optional)

Mix together both flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Gradually add milk and oil, while blending on low.  Then mix on medium speed until blended through.  Using a large spoon or muffin scoop, pour batter onto a nonstick griddle2 heated to medium-low to medium heat.  Cook on first side until air bubbles come to the surface and edges start to appear dry.  Flip and cook on the other side until golden.

Honey Wheat Pancakes w/ Chocolate Chips (EF)
Mix batter as described above.  Using a large spoon or muffin scoop, pour batter onto a nonstick griddle heated to medium-low to medium heat.  Sprinkle each pancake with about ½ teaspoon of chocolate chips.  Cook on first side until air bubbles come to the surface and edges start to appear dry.  Flip and cook on the other side until golden.

Makes about 20 3 inch pancakes.

1  If I don’t specify on what kind of milk then that means I think it doesn’t matter which kind you use.  In this recipe, I think skim milk works the best.  The thicker higher fat milks seem to not cook as well and the inside of the pancake doesn’t get cooked all the way.
2 I don’t have many nonstick pans but I do have a nice nonstick griddle.  I think it is a must for pancakes.  If you don’t have one, these will likely stick to your pan.

 Honey Wheat Pancakes without and with chocolate chips.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Vegetable Beef Soup {Slow-Cooker}

It has been two years since I started this blog!  By the end of 2012, my blog was up to about 2,000 page views a month.  At that time, I was hoping it would get to 5,000 page views a month by the end of 2013.  As of the end of 2013, I have been getting 7,000 page views a month!  Thanks to you all for following my blog!  My hope it is helping some with food allergies cook and enjoy somewhat normal foods.

Here is a recipe for Vegetable Beef Soup.  It is inspired by the recipe for Amazing Beef Vegetable Soup from The Vintage Mom's food blog.  The recipe says to simmer all day.  Anytime I read this, I think slow-cooker.  That is how I cooked mine.  I also made a few ingredient adjustments and additions, as you can see below.  I love that this warm, comforting soup is so full of so many yummy veggies!

Note:  This recipe makes a lot of soup!!  You need a BIG slow-cooker.  I cooked Mine in a 6 quart capacity slow-cooker and it was almost filled to the brim.  We shared half of the soup with friends and still had enough for two meals for our family.  I even froze a couple of containers for lunches.  

If you like this recipe, you may also like Taco Soup (EF, GF).

Vegetable Beef Soup

1 medium onion, diced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 carton low-sodium beef broth
1 large 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
½ head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 c frozen corn
1 c baby carrots, chopped
1 c frozen peas
1 c fresh or frozen green beans*
5 medium yellow potatoes, cubed
1 packet of Lipton Beefy Onion Soup mix
2 T celery flakes
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1 T ground black pepper
1 T dried parsley

In a skillet, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil.  Move onion and garlic to slow-cooker.  In same skillet brown the beef.  Drain beef and place in slow-cooker.  Add broth, tomatoes, vegetables and all remaining spices.  Cook on low for about 8 hours.  Remove bay leaves prior to serving.

*I used canned green beans, adding them about half way through the cook time because that is what I had on hand.  I also think you could put canned green beans in for the entire cook time.  They may just be more likely to come apart.