Monday, March 25, 2013

Farewell, Aspertame

I fully admit, I've been a Diet Coke junkie for years. And years. And years.  I've quit several times only to go back again.  I just quit again - and I'm hoping it sticks this time.

It's been 7 days since I've had a DIET soda. I've been subbing normal HFCS laden sodas while trying to get the aspertame out of my system. I've been feeling really quite ill and finally figured out why. It's out of my system now, I think.  And I'm starting to feel better. =)

Now, I just have to figure out a way to get the HFCS laden sodas out of my daily routine.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Almost a year....

Today is 3/24/13. It's been almost a year since I've posted on my blog. I've started and neglected other blogs. I keep coming back to this one, simply because it has history. It began with my culinary journey....and I guess it just needs to continue with it.

Tomorrow is March 25th. Tomorrow, I begin a 30 day journey into a new lifestyle. I'm hoping to make it a habit, we'll see.  Veggies (except corn and potatoes), raw nuts and seeds, well chosen oils - in moderation, flax, chia, avocados....etc.  Incredibly limited grains, no "gluten free" foods, or anything fried.

I'm not sure I'm going to actively share anything I'm posting over the next 30 days. If you happen upon this page, just wish me luck. =)

I can do this. It just takes a little willpower. I don't have much, but I'm willing to use whatever it takes to try to feel better.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Taking Food Allergies to Disney

We are getting ready to take our kiddos to DisneyWorld this summer. It's been  my experience that when most people plan for WDW, it's all about getting the awesome dining reservations and that, aside from actually paying for the trip, is often the most difficult part. But, what happens when you have food allergies?

Thankfully, I do have a little firsthand knowledge of traveling "The World" with allergies. Bean and I went for a short visit back in 2008. Our good friend (and Bean's Celiac Sprue Children's group leader) Jessica was a student cast member for several months. Though, traveling at that time was pretty easy. It was just Bean and I, and Celiac was our only issue.

When we travel this summer, not only will my practically vegetarian 14 year old be with us, but also my 6 year old anaphylactic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, and oats kiddo will be with us as well. Navigating the dining options, thus far, have been exhausting.

As you all know, my oldest son has Asperger's and will require  a whole different type of planning, altogether.

So, I'm looking for some links, hints, tips and anything else that will make planning for my food allergic self - and kiddos easier.  I plan to list what I come up with here... in the helps of helping others prepare for a trip of a lifetime!

If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave me a comment.... I'd surely appreciate it!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Vegan Magic Cookie Bars.

Yes, I said vegan. Seriously. Yum.
This cookie bar thing has been a favorite of mine since childhood. I used to make them with my grandma, and then... naturally, I'd get sick because I'd eat all of them. I really had a wicked craving for these little devils and I wanted to take a treat to our annual Christmas party with our extended family. However, I wanted to be try to myself and my non-dairy children and create something we'd all enjoy.

I started looking for different ways to create the silky sweet texture of sweetened condensed milk. Then it hit me... why not use coconut?  I added some brown sugar to a pan of coconut milk and let it come to a boil. Once that happened, I reduced the heat and let it cook down for about 30 minutes. I let it cool, completely, then stuck it in the fridge till the next day. Alas... sweetened condensed coconut milk.

The next day, I continued the recipe as it's normally made with some slight alterations. I used vegan chocolate chips, and instead of a graham cracker crust, I used crushed pretzels (Snyders Gluten Free) and vegan butter for the crust base. I also left out the nuts, due to the allergies in the family.

They turned out quite amazing. In fact, I had people asking for the recipe *as* I made it, not as they are typically made. I just wish I'd taken a pic, though... they looked exactly like their non-vegan uber unhealthy counterpart. Ahh, they were delicious!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ohhh goodness, gluten free & vegan Eggplant Parm!

I stumbled across an absolutely amazing blog the other day, called Oh She Glows. The very first thing I saw on this blog was vegan eggplant parmesean. Of course, I knew I had to try it. I made a couple simple changes, firstly - I sliced the eggplant lengthwise. I used gluten free Panko, and I made me own "famous" vegan cheese sauce.

I served it with corn pasta and wilted spinach. Oddly enough, my husband loved the eggplant but refused to eat the pasta. Tomatoes get me every time. =)

The picture is crud since I took it with my cell phone. I was too hungry to go get my camera.

I absolutely loved this. But, I do not know how it'll hold up to reheating. My thought is... not very well. We'll see tomorrow.

Vegan French Toast

Oh yes, it can be done!

My disclaimer is this, if you dislike bananas you aren't going to like this very much.
However, I love bananas. LOVE them. And, I love this French toast.

It could not be any easier -
Mash your banana up with non-dairy milk of choice. I used coconut.
Add in some cinnamon, or orange juice... whatever you want to make your toast YOUR toast!

Dip the vegan bread into the banana/milk/cinnamon mixture - toss in a preheated pan (or on a griddle, if you are lucky enough to have one) and fry as you would normal French toast.

I slapped some Coconut butter and pure maple syrup on mine - and it was totally delish, as well as uber filling.

(Note: I used Deland Bakery Millet Zucchini Bread)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Vegan Chilaquiles

This is going to be our dinner this evening. It looks so good, I can't wait to try it!

Chilaquiles Casserole
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. cumin 
  • 1 tsp. oregano 
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 15oz. can sweet corn, drained and rinsed 
  • tortilla chips 
  • 2 cups vegan cheese   (I am going to use Daiya Pepperjack) 
1. Saute onions, garlic and green pepper in olive oil until soft.
2. Add tomatoes and spices. Bring to a boil and then simmer on Low for about 10-15 minutes.
3. Spray a medium baking dish with oil. Spread a small amount of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish. Spread a layer of tortilla chips. Add half the beans and half the corn evenly over the chips. Ladle half the sauce and sprinkle half of the cheese. Repeat with another layer of chips-beans-corn-tomato sauce. Save the other half of the cheese for the end.
4. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
5. Remove foil, turn oven up to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top, return to oven and bake uncovered for 5 more minutes or until cheese melts.
6. Serve with avocado chunks and a dollop of Vegenaise or vegan sour cream.