Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sesame-free hummus

We don't yet know if Cody has any problem with sesame, but I do know that sesame is a fairly common allergy, so we haven't tried it yet.

I decided to make him a sesame-free version of hummus. I have not been able to get him to eat beans, so I thought I'd try a different approach. I just used cannellini beans, olive oil,  a little bit of garlic and lemon juice.

I tried it and I think it's yummy. I use it on sandwiches and I add some to buffalo burgers for moisture and extra flavor.

Cody is still not quite sure about it. He takes a couple nibbles of it on a piece of bread, but that's about it. Actually, for him, that's a good sign!

This is really easy to make. Here's the recipe. Enjoy!

Sesame-Free Hummus

1 can low sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper

Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.
Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute until soft and fragrant.
Let cool and add to a food processor with the remaining ingredients.
Blend until smooth.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cody's first burger!

I am really excited that Cody ate a burger!

We had burgers last night, so I made him a mini beef patty. Earlier this week I tried making mini oat flour hamburger buns, so I used one of those. And I put a piece of vegan rice cheese on it, but he took that off and threw it on the floor. :)

He liked the beef patty so much that after a couple of tastes, he shoved the whole thing in his mouth, which about gave us a heart attack. Apparently I have to break it up into smaller pieces next time!

Makes me a very happy mama that he's starting to be able to eat the same things we eat!

Friday, May 24, 2013


From Kids with Food Allergies Foundation, here's a link to their website containing information on how to send allergy friendly food, elemental formula, or monetary donations to help families with food allergies affected by the tornado in Oklahoma. It also has a link to donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Allergy-Friendly Blueberry Waffles

I made these for all of us last weekend and they turned out really good! I have a mini waffle maker that does perfect Cody size waffles.

You can freeze extras and put them in the toaster for a quick and easy breakfast.


Blueberry waffles

1  1/2 cups rice or oat milk
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup blueberries
2 cups oat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl combine the oat/rice milk, applesauce, oil, maple syrup, vanilla and blueberries.
In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the blueberry mixture to make a batter.
Follow the directions on your waffle maker. 
Serve with maple syrup or fruit topping.

This recipe is egg free, dairy free, peanut/tree nut free, wheat free, soy free and vegan

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My little chef in training part 2

Cody has taken to wanting every kitchen utensil we own, including the ones I'm using, to play with.

Cute, but it was starting to drive me crazy. I cleared out one of the kitchen cabinets and put a bunch of kitchen stuff in it that I don't use very often.

So far he's thrilled with his own cabinet! Hopefully this continues to work.

Monday, May 20, 2013

My little chef in training

Obviously I spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen. I try to make sure it's not too much, but Cody has noticed.

He loves pretending to cook. He empties toy baskets and asks for spoons and measuring cups. He pretends to stir, taste and then says, "mmmm!" It's pretty funny.

I'm looking forward to having a little helper when he gets older.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Food Allergy Awareness Week: Bullying

Did you know that about one third of children with food allergies have experienced bullying because of their allergies? Click on the link below for FAREs PSA on food allergy bullying and links to resources.

Cody's Favorite Foods: Easy Oven Baked Fries

Cody loves these, we love them and they're so easy to make!

Easy Oven Baked Fries

1 sweet potato
1 yukon gold potato
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut potatoes in half and then cut into 1/4 inch strips.
Toss the potatoes with the olive oil in a large bowl.
Place sweet potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
Bake for about 25 - 30 min minutes until tender and golden brown.

Feel free to play with seasonings. Try adding garlic powder, paprika, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, or any seasoning you like.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Food Allergy Awareness Week: Life Saving Steps

See link below for a six steps that save lives educational poster from Allergic Living:

Making oat milk

So I made oat milk. Here's the link to the recipe I used:

I made a few changes. I soaked the oats overnight and all I added to the oat milk was a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of maple syrup. It worked out pretty well! I think it tastes good and Cody likes it, but it's a little gritty for him and it does have a bit of a grassy taste. I'm going to try this again using cooked oats and cheesecloth to strain.

Below are some pictures of the process including one of Cody watching the blender. He loves the blender!

As for the leftover oats, I am going to put them in the food processor to further pulverize them to use in bread or muffins. I also saw someone mention the idea of making crackers which sounds yummy.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rice milk, oat milk, hemp milk

I am going to attempt to make oat milk. I saw a great recipe online and it looks pretty easy.

Check it out at Oh She Glows:

I have never really been happy with rice milk as the dairy replacement option for Cody. And he won't drink it. I heard about hemp milk, so I decided to try that. When I was at the store I saw oat milk, so I bought some of that also. I gave some to Cody and he likes it! I've been mixing it with the hypoallergenic formula he still has to drink and I hope to transition away from the formula completely.

Has anyone tried oat and/or hemp milk and what are your thoughts? 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Food Allergy Awareness Week: Epinepherine

The most important point made in this article from Allergic Living:

" If there’s one thing we can all strive to do this Awareness Week, it’s to get the message out that: in anaphylaxis, seconds count and epinephrine – not antihistamines, not an asthma puffer – is the first-line medication and the allergic person’s lifesaver. Use it."

Grandma's Allergy-Friendly Tortillas

I grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I have so many childhood memories of my grandmother making beans, chile and especially her homemade tortillas. I decided to try to modify her recipe to make oat flour tortillas for Cody. 

The first one was a disaster, but I kept making changes until I finally managed to make a tortilla that really looked and felt like a tortilla. My husband and I used them to make chicken tacos and they actually stayed in one piece! Oh, and Cody loves them.  He calls them toto cookies!

I'm so happy with these I can hardly contain myself and I think Grandma would have been proud.


This recipe is free of the top 8 allergens (egg-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free, soy-free, fish-free and shellfish-free) and vegan.

Grandma's Tortillas

2 cups oat flour                                
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 - 2 1/4 cups water
2 tsp. baking powder                    

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder.
Stir in the oil and water to make a batter.
Heat a griddle or pan over high heat. Pour or ladle about ¼ cup of the batter for each tortilla. Cook for 2 minutes, you should see bubbles forming. Turn and cook on the other side for 2 minutes. Continue to turn frequently and press occasionally with a spatula to brown evenly.     

Monday, May 13, 2013

My mom and my allergies

Since yesterday was Mother's Day, I've thought a lot about my mom and how she handled my food allergies.
I had no idea until recently the things my mom did when I was a child to manage my food allergies. And I probably would not have ever known if not for Cody's allergies. 
She has told me about the conversations she had with teachers and other parents. And this was at a time when food allergies were really uncommon. I'm so surprised to hear about this now, but also grateful for what she did. It's also nice to have someone close to me who understands what we're going through with Cody and who I can talk to about it. I feel very lucky.
She said that she never wanted to make me feel like I was different or sick. Well, she certainly succeeded. I never felt that way at all and I hope to do the same for Cody.
Thanks Mom!

Food Allergy Awareness Week

This week is food allergy awareness week. Did you know that 1 in 13 children have food allergies? Here is some great information and links to other resources from FARE:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all you great moms out there! 
Here are my two reasons for celebrating today, my little guy and my mom.
Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cody's favorite foods: allergy-friendly smoothie

A few weeks ago I decided to try to make a smoothie for Cody. I wasn't terribly optimistic since he has never been much of a fan of fruit. I used a frozen banana as the base, added some other fruit, applesauce, juice and rice milk. I gave it to him in a cup with a straw and he took a sip and said, "mmmm!" Wow! I couldn't believe it. Now he helps me make a smoothie every day and we share it.


This recipe is free of the top 8 allergens (egg-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free, soy-free, fish-free and shellfish-free) and vegan.

Fruit smoothie

1 ripe, peeled banana frozen overnight
1/2 cup applesauce
1 /2 cup fresh or frozen berries, peaches, or other fruit of choice
1/4 cup apple or white grape juice
1/4 cup oat or rice milk

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Some days

Most days you would never know Cody has food allergies. Most days I see a healthy, happy, active little boy.

Then there are some days like today. 

Something as simple and innocent as a kiss on the forehead after eating yogurt causes him to break out in a red rash and hives. I'm shocked by the reaction to such minimal contact with dairy. I wash his forehead and put some hydrocortisone on it. I calmly (on the outside) watch him like a hawk for the next few minutes hoping the hives will go away and not get bigger and spread. I also keep an eye out for any other symptoms. I hate this feeling of fear and helplessness.

Thankfully the hives go away and the rash disappears. He has no idea. He's been playing this whole time.

Tomorrow will go back to most days and we'll move forward having learned from some days like today.

Auvi-Q article

Great article about the new Auvi-Q epinephrine auto injector. Have you heard about this? It was created by twins who both have severe food allergies. Here's the link to the article:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Allergy-Friendly Sweet Potato Bread Recipe

This is Cody's favorite bread. I like using maple syrup instead of sugar, but feel free to use sugar if you like.


This recipe is free of the top 8 allergens (egg-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free, soy-free, fish-free and shellfish-free) and vegan.

Sweet Potato Bread
1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons oat or rice milk
1 ¼ cups oat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl mix the sweet potatoes, oil, maple syrup and milk.
In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the sweet potato mixture.
Pour into a loaf pan and bake for 50 – 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool completely then slice.

Bread and muffin day

Today I am making Cody's favorite, sweet potato bread. I also tried out some changes to my pumpkin muffin recipe. The muffins are still rising and falling. I'll make changes and try again another time. They still taste good though!
I'll post the recipe for my sweet potato bread shortly.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Zucchini Sauce

Below is my recipe for zucchini sauce that I use as tomato sauce replacement since tomatoes make Cody itchy and rashy. I have used it on pizza and as a pasta sauce. I plan to also use it to make tacos and sloppy joes. It is never going to taste exactly like tomato sauce, but I think it's a pretty good substitute.


Zucchini sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 garlic clove chopped
10 medium zucchinis diced
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (if desired)
Salt and pepper

In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium high heat.
Add the onions and sauté until softened, about 4-5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook for another minute.
Add  Lemon juice and zucchini.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer covered for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally until the zucchini is soft.
Stir in the chopped basil.
Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe is egg free, dairy free, peanut/tree nut free, wheat free, soy free, corn free gluten free and vegan.

The Challenge of wheat, egg, dairy and nut free Baking

My husband recently reminded my that I always used to say that I cooked, but I didn't bake. Well, now I bake. Cody can handle small amounts of wheat, but too much makes him itchy and he gets hives. And I'm actually starting to enjoy baking and the challenge of making wheat, dairy and egg free breads.
The reason I started baking is because Cody was at a point where he would only eat vegetables, so he wasn't getting a lot of calories. Have I mentioned he's picky? He won't even eat applesauce unless it's mixed with vegetables! I wanted to find a way to get some good calories in him, so I figured putting veggies in homemade bread might work.
I started with some of his favorite vegetables and made zucchini-carrot oat bread and sweet potato oat bread. They were a hit! I liked the idea of using oat flour because of the health benefits, plus I tasted other gluten-free breads and I like the taste of the oat breads best.
I then bought a mini muffin pan and decided to try some pumpkin mini muffins and dried cranberry mini muffins which were also a hit. I'm still adjusting the recipes.
Then I got ambitious and decided to try sandwich bread, hamburger buns and pizza crust. The first loaf of bread I made was a sad, little brick (see photo). I realized I had to make some major adjustments to cooking with oat flour, but I am determined to make it work. And so began my research into leavening agents. I'm learning a lot and am trying different combinations.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Allergen Free Pizza

One of the things that was discouraging to my husband and me was to think that Cody might not be able to have a common favorite food among children and adults, pizza. The crust is a challenge because of wheat sensitivity, the cheese a challenge because of dairy allergy and the sauce a challenge because tomato makes him itchy and rashy.

Italian food is our favorite food. How could our child possibly be sensitive to tomato? I couldn't believe it. Hopefully he will grow out of it, but in the meantime, I started brainstorming about how to replace tomato in recipes and make a substitute sauce for pizza and pasta.

I looked online and basically found that it was impossible. I don't like impossible, so I decided to try anyway and I had a few ideas. My first thought was carrot, mostly because of color and consistency and I thought I would add vinegar for acidity. It was completely wrong and actually pretty gross! I didn't realize just how acidic tomato is until I started comparing it to other vegetables.

My next thought was zucchini and lemon juice. I tried a small batch, then a bigger batch and I think it works! I put it on pasta and it's good. My husband, who is part Italian, liked it also.

Next I made some mini pizza crusts with oat flour (still needs work) and put the zucchini sauce and some vegan rice cheese on top. It's pretty good! It will never taste exactly like tomato sauce, but it's pretty close. It almost made me want to cry that I successfully made pizza for my son.

I gave it to him and he made the face and noise he makes when something is just awful! Picky boy. Oh well. I'm still excited about it and I'm sure he'll come around. Maybe after about 30 tries!

The pizza is pictured below. I know its not the prettiest pizza you've seen!
I'll post my zucchini sauce recipe shortly.

Monday, May 6, 2013



I'm Tara and I'm the mother of Cody who has multiple food allergies and sensitivities. He is allergic to eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, dairy and possibly soy. He is sensitive to wheat, tomatoes, corn, turkey and chicken. And on top of that, he's a typical, picky toddler!

He was diagnosed when he was six months old with food allergies and eczema, and later with asthma. My husband and I both have severe food allergies (fish, shellfish and some tree nuts) and I have asthma. When I was pregnant we found out that our child had a 50% chance of having food allergies because we were both food allergic. Although I had managed my food allergies my whole life, I felt completely unprepared to handle my son's multiple allergies. 

I am very comfortable with, and actually passionate about, cooking good and nutritious food. Before Cody was born I considered going back to school for a culinary degree because I had come to love food and cooking so much. Also, as the daughter of a dietician who worked in the food industry, I felt I had a strong understanding of nutrition and food preparation that my mother passed on to me. 

Still, I felt completely overwhelmed by this new challenge of preparing meals for my son. I was also starting to feel very alone in having a child with food allergies. I knew there were others out there facing the same challenges, so I decided to start this blog. I want it to be a place where parents of kids with food allergies and anyone with food allergies and intolerances can come together, share stories, information and recipes. 

Welcome to my adventures in cooking for Cody!