Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Disney's Be Our Guest lunch fast pass pre order with allergies - wheat and dairy free

 With an upcoming trip to Walt Disney World, I was excited to try out the new Be Our Guest restaurant. I was unable to secure a reservation at this popular destination for dinner, but I did manage to grab a lunch fast pass reservation. To bypass one step upon ordering, you have the option of selecting your meal in advance. I was curious if this was something that would work for people with basic food allergies, and here is what I uncovered.
When you have a fast pass reservation for lunch, you will have the option to choose lunch menus for your party. There is a "Filter" button on the bottom of the ordering screen. Click that button to see the window titled "Allergens". If your allergens are among this list, then you may feel comfortable pre ordering. There is an allergen disclaimer at the bottom, and I am sure you are welcome to wait and order at the restaurant where you can speak to a chef and ensure safe meal options.

 I selected 2 filter items, Wheat and Milk. I preceded to the next screen on entrees where I found several choices that would work for those allergy restrictions. I chose the Quinoa salad.
By adding the menu item from this "filter" window, it tags the foods as "wheat free" and "milk free" on the summary page to follow. If you order the same entree item without first applying the filters it will not mark it as "wheat free" or "dairy free". So, I would definitely do that step and ensure that label appears (see photo below for orange triangle followed by warning of "Does not contain: Wheat").

While there was a wonderful option for a gluten free dessert, there was nothing that came up as wheat free and milk free.  I did find two sorbet options that are marked dairy free and no sugar added (lemon and raspberry).
So, for others who were wondering if there is a process for those of us with basic allergens, the answer appears to be yes. However, note that they don't declare "gluten free" or "dairy free", so we will still have to discuss our options with a chef to ensure safety. We look forward to trying out this new restaurant experience and I will definitely come back with photos of our gluten free and dairy free final selections.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Corn Coconut Ginger Soup gluten free dairy free vegetarian version

My sister has made this soup for us over the years, and it is a family favorite. I'm posting the recipe here so that I don't have to keep bugging her for it each fall, when the weather cools. Now I can just grab and go. We love the gentle spice from the ginger and the sweetness brought in from the corn. I hope you like it, too!

  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely 
  • 2 cans natural coconut milk (not light)
  • 4 cubes of Edward and Sons Not Chick'n mixed with 8 cups hot water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen sweet corn
  • 3 tablespoons dried ginger
Saute onions and oil in pan for 3-5 minutes over medium low heat. Add chopped red peppers and saute 3-5 more minutes. Add chopped garlic. Mix in dried ginger and stir well. Cook for 1-2 minutes more before adding 8 cups of broth, followed by coconut milk. Add salt, pepper, corn and stir. Let cook over low heat additional 30-45 minutes and serve.

Of course you can use any broth in place of the Not Chick'n. This just makes for a very easy to put together and delicious soup when you are serving vegetarians who need a gluten free safe soup. Enjoy.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Gluten Free Chicken Fried Rice Lunch Dairy Free lunches

My youngest likes chicken fried rice in her lunch, and what an easy quick lunch to throw together the day after we have had chicken and rice with supper.
In the morning, I take 1-2 cups of leftover cooked rice and start warming it in the pan with a splash of water. I add in thin sliced carrots and gluten free soy sauce. When the temperature is up, I mix in a raw egg, stirring as it cooks. Super easy. Once the egg is cooked, I then top with green onions and mix them into the fried rice.  This pairs nicely with a side of fresh fruit or a fruit smoothie in a thermos.

Squash Pie gluten free dairy free paleo option

This is one of my favorite desserts, ever.I just love the Garden of Eating recipe for Squash Pie, found here on Rachel's blog. I simply my preparation even a bit further by just cooking a whole butternut squash for 1 hour in the oven, then scooping the flesh into the VitaMix. I add these slightly modified ingredients
  • (3/4 C coconut milk, 
  • 3 eggs, 
  • 1/4 cup honey plus 
  • 1/4 tsp stevia, 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tapioca starch which can be swapped for nut flour if you are going starch free, 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, 
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 
  • dash of salt 
 into the blender and mix. I dump it into my baking dish and bake at 350 for 1 hour. It's so easy, and so delicious! I recommend letting it cool completely, as the cold serving brings out the natural sweetness. Enjoy! I even love this more than homemade pumpkin pie, and that is high praise coming from me :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sushi and school lunch gluten free dairy free

So, I will be adding some new school lunches this year, now that my youngest is joining the middle school ranks.  She is currently requesting a variety of Asian food delights, and we have had fun making some new things together. For our first try, we made these Maki rolls. It is a very simple list of ingredients:
  • Sushi Rice
  • Nori sheets
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Water
  • Sliced cucumbers, carrots, leftover chicken or any filling you like
I bought 1 bag of Lundberg Sushi Rice and I followed the instructions for cooking 2 cups of rice, which involved
Lundberg Sushi Rice Directions:
2 cup sushi rice, rinsed well and soak for 30 minutes. Drain. Add
2 1/4 cup water and bring to boil with lid on.
Simmer 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and let sit another 10 minutes (leave lid of throughout).
Add mix of 1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar, 1/2 Tablespoon salt, 1/2 Tablespoon sugar or honey. Stir into rice and let rice cool.

Now that the rice is ready, you can cut your veggies and proteins. You will need a bamboo mat to roll the sushi easily. I picked mine up at a bookstore for $5 with a step by step book on how to make sushi. I would imagine these are available at local Asian markets as well.

I laid the Nori sheet on the bamboo mat and layered with rice, leaving 1/2 inch space around the edges. I kept my hands wet with water to press the rice down without it sticking. I recommend you look up images of how to do this if you don't have a book, as I didn't think to take step by step photos this time. My youngest rolled the sushi and they turned out great and easy to make. You will need to wash your knife between each roll to continue clean cuts. This was a fun way to make another gluten free dairy free lunch option that travels nicely.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Betty Crocker Hershey's Gluten Free Cookies and Cream Frosting and Smores!

Ok, so I do love to bake and it seems as though we have had many reasons to whip up desserts around here lately. My favorite cake mix is the King Arthur gluten free chocolate. I make these, frequently, when I'm bringing a dessert to share with others. While I love baking, I am not the best with frosting. Often, I make my own, and it's good, but sometimes I am just in a hurry and I want to pick up something that is ready to use. Imagine my delight when I saw these new flavors from Betty Crocker that were labled gluten free? Additionally, they do not add dairy to the ingredients, which is a bonus for us. I was further pleased that the fat was not a hydrogenated oil, as if often found on frosting labels. It is palm shortening. These frosting containers come with a topper of crumbles to sprinkle on the cakes. The base ingredients for the crumbles are rice and tapioca. I am so pleased for this quick option that is sure to be fun for kids. My own daughter has very limited exposure to cookies n creme, but I can attest that the frosting does taste like that cream filling. The cookie crunch is a nice touch.
So, while homemade butter cream is still a tastier choice, enjoy this quick fix for the times you are in a hurry.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Blueberry Lover - A Blueberry Crisp gluten free dairy free SCD option

 Ok, be warned, this is a blueberry crisp for true blueberry lovers. If you are imagining those diner style crisps with a burst of sugar and granular explosion upon first bite...this is not that. This is a subtle sweetness, bit of crunch, but primarily, blueberry overload for those of us who just love blueberries. Now that we have that all cleared up, and you're still with me, enjoy the recipe!

Ingredients (with SCD variation):
  • 5 Cups blueberries
  • 1 C gluten free oats (For SCD version, use ground nuts or nut flour of choice)
  • 1/2 Cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 Cup maple syrup (for SCD version, use honey)
  • 1/3 Cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tablespoon water (for SCD version, omit)
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup (for SCD version use honey)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons tapioca pearls (for SCD version, omit)
Pour your rinsed blueberries into a 9x13 cake dish. In a bowl, mix 1 C oats, 1/2 C almond flour, 1/3 C pecans, 1/2 tsp salt. Add coconut oil and mix. Add 1/4 cup maple syrup and mix. Set aside.
In second, smaller bowl, mix 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup with 1 Tablespoon water. Pour that 3 Tablespoon liquid mix over blueberries and stir around.  Sprinkle the tapioca pearls among the blueberries  as shown in photo. This will help thicken the liquid as it cooks and then cools.
Top with oat/nut mixture and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes, covered.  Remove cover and bake additional 20 minutes.

Let cool before serving. This is a subtle flavor and a very yummy blueberry overload for those times of year when blueberries are calling to you.

Variations: Want more topping? I know, everybody does. You can double the recipe for the topping to make this a more traditional crisp. Just cut your serving size down to help compensate. Also, consider cutting the berries back to 2 cups and adding 3 cups chopped peaches.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Lime Garlic Skirt Steak, Cuban Mojo, Cilantro Slaw gluten free dairy free

Click Here for Cookbook linkLunch at our house was delightful today thanks to my husband. He marinated a tri tip steak (flank or skirt works as well) in garlic and lime juice per the recipe found in the Artisanal Gluten Free Cooking book by Kelli and Peter Bronski. I have been asked many times, over the years, what is my favorite gluten free cookbook. While I do have a favorite basic cookbook that focuses on the foundations of healthy eating (The Garden of Eating Diet by Rachel Mastez), my favorite gluten free specific cookbook has been this Artisanal Gluten Free Cooking for the past 5+ years. The recipes span the globe with a variety of taste profiles while managing to maintain usability in an average American kitchen. The staples are great, the gluten free flour mix is very good, and everything I make from this book is a winner.
The lunch we had today included this simple steak recipe, which is primarily lime juice and garlic marinade. The topping of Cuban Mojo is a mixture of green bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, and more lime juice. We found that this combination was delightful with a Coleslaw recipe found in the book that features cilantro.
While I love these, our family made a couple minor modifications.  For one, we would cut the salt back to 1/2 tsp on the Cuban Mojo and we would add the juice of 2 limes to the coleslaw. Such a great flavor combination!
I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book (click book image, or here), and try the above as well as the German potato salad, the scones, and the apple crisp. Those are my favorites!
Also, this would be a terrific meal to serve leftover for a lunch salad that would pack nicely cold and topped with tomatoes! School starts soon!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gluten Free Dairy Free School Lunches

Lively Lunchboxes - That kids will eat!

As a mother of young children, I know how it is to be on the go and in need of some quick foods from time to time. In addition, we want a healthy diet to be a positive experience for our children so that they are encouraged to stick to it as they grow older.

Sending school children off with gluten and dairy free lunches may sound like a challenge, but here is a great link to help you get started. Click here to see more of Bean's Gluten Free, Dairy Free lunches. In addition, you'll notice her lunches are free of artificial dyes or coloring agents. Furthermore, many if not all of the lunches can be made without soy and egg, if needed. Enjoy!

Pictured: This lunch includes a fresh fajita salad, utilizing leftovers from the night prior. Bean likes cabbage and cilantro in place of lettuce, but you can use whatever you like! Sides include carrots, Pirate Booty, all natural fruit roll up and Honest Kids juice.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Japanese Noodle Soup - gluten free dairy free vegetarian option

 These kids love soup! It's summer, and the house is full so this seemed a perfect time to push along some veggies in a fun vehicle. My kids love Ponyo and we referred to this as our Ponyo supper (minus the ham that she gets so excited over in the movie).
  • 5 green onions, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sheets Nori or Lavar, sliced
  • 4oz spinach, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 pack organic firm tofu, chopped into small cubes
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, cooled and sliced in half
  • 2 packages rice stick noodles (3 wedges of dried noodles per pack)
  • 8 cups veggie broth (I used Edward and Sons gluten free veggie broth cubes)
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (omit for vegetarian option)
  • 2 tsp tamari gluten free soy sauce
  • additional tamari or salt to taste
Eggs: Have your eggs cooked first. Consider cooking more for egg salad the next day. You can bring to boil  for 1 minute, rolling boil, then turn off heat. Leave eggs covered for 15 minutes. Cool in ice bath and peel.

Soup: With all veggies chopped and ready, the rest goes quickly. 
In a large pot, bring water to near boil and turn off heat. Add rice stick noodles and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. You can use any other noodle of choice, and follow package cooking instruction.
While noodles sit, heat veggie stock in separate large pot and add all veggies and tofu as well as tamari and fish sauce. Heat stock and veggies for the 10 minutes, covered, over medium heat.

Dish one serving of noodles into each bowl, then top with veggie and broth.  Add egg and enjoy!
The kids all enjoyed eating this dish, and some tried using chopsticks for the noodles. A fun soup that would be a great addition to a lunch thermos.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Better Tuna Salad - gluten free dairy free with variations for vegetarians

Tuna salad. It's a mush that goes on bread, mayo and canned fish, right? Well, not around here. This method adds a burst of flavor that will please any palate. First, if you're using tuna, I recommend looking for chunk light tuna in water (no broth added). Wild caught, dolphin friendly is best. 3 small cans can easily feed 4-6 people when added to this recipe.

If tuna is not your favorite option, consider using sardines for a great boost of Omega 3 and protein (chill this to cut the strong scent of sardine). You can also use chicken, turkey, eggs, or even a vegetarian option through the use of ground up steamed tempeh. All of these work great. Concerned about mercury levels in fish? Check the ever changing FDA guidelines here, and be sure you are purchasing wild caught sources from reputable companies.

  • 3 small cans chunk light tuna in water - no added broth (or other protein of choice)
  • 5 stalks celery, cleaned and sliced
  • 4 small dill pickles, diced
  • 1 green onion stalk, cleaned and chopped
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4-1/2 cup mayo of choice (homemade is fantastic, but you can use any type you prefer)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • dash of salt
Stir ingredients together and serve over celery, lettuce leaves or bread of choice. We often top a bed of greens with this tuna, or we wrap it in small butter or Romain lettuce, taco style.