Friday, February 28, 2014

Allergy-Friendly Spaghetti and Mini Meatballs

My mom is from a small town with a large Italian American population. My grandma and mom learned Italian cooking from their many Italian friends. Lucky me, I grew up eating a lot of the food that my grandma and mom always loved to make!

This is probably my all time favorite comfort food meal. My husband is part Italian, so he loves it too. It's really simple to adapt to make it allergy friendly and it's just as delicious. I make huge batches of the sauce and meatballs to freeze. The best days are sauce making days because the house smells amazing all day long!


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).

Mini Meatballs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef or buffalo
1/4 cup oat flour
1/4 cup homemade tomato sauce, or your favorite allergy friendly store bought sauce
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt

In a small pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add the onions and cook until just soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Let cool completely.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a mixing bowl combine the onions, garlic and the remaining ingredients.
Shape into 1 inch meatballs and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes until cooked through.

Tomato Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh, chopped oregano
1 large can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Sauté the onions until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomato sauce and oregano.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
Simmer, covered over low heat for at least 30 minutes, but the longer, the better!
Remove from heat and stir in basil.
Adjust seasoning.
Serve the tomato sauce and meatballs over your favorite gluten-free, allergy friendly pasta.

Here is my little sous chef helping!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Favorite Food Allergy Resources

New to food allergies? I know how overwhelmed, scared and isolated you feel as a parent when your child is diagnosed with food allergies. Luckily now there are several great online resources for information, support and products.
I want to share some of my favorites with you.

FARE Food Allergy Research and Education
The website is very easy to navigate and has so much helpful information. Go to Tools and Resources for excellent guides, forms and information sheets. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter and alerts. The newsletter always has the latest news and alerts notify of any allergen related recalls.

Kids With Food Allergies Foundation
KWFA has great information, recipes, discussion forums and free webinars with food allergy experts.

Allergy Home
Allergy Home has excellent educational tools. Be sure to check out the Living Confidently With Food Allergy Handbook.

Enjoy Life Foods
All of their foods are gluten and top 8 allergen free! We especially like the chewy bars, Plentils chips and cookies.

Peanut Free Planet
They make it easy to buy allergy-friendly foods in one place. All foods are peanut and tree nut free AND made in dedicated peanut and nut free facilities. The also have a lot of foods that are free of the other major allergens.

They have cute allergy and asthma alert jewelry and wristbands for kids. Also many other items like, epinephrine and inhaler carrying cases, lunch bags, stickers and more.

Be sure to find out there's a local food allergy support group in your town. Mine has been a great source of local information like school information and policies and they also host some great local events.

Hope this helps!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Allergy-Friendly Valentine Brown Sugar Cookies

Here's another allergy-friendly sweet treat for your favorite valentine.

I had another recipe for brown sugar cookies that I have been wanting to try, so I used it for these cookies.

For the heart use cherry or strawberry jam. Take the cookies out 2-3 minutes before they are done. Use your pinky finger to make a heart shaped well in the cookie. Fill with just a little bit of jam and bake for the remaining 2-3 minutes. Some of my hearts look more like Mickey Mouse, but that works too!
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.

Brown sugar cookies

Makes about 20 cookies

1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups oat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the shortening and brown sugar. 
Stir in the applesauce and vanilla.
In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
Drop teaspoonfuls of the dough onto a baking sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Allergy-Friendly Strawberry Lemon Pancakes

Want something to make your favorite valentine feel extra special tomorrow morning? Try these delicious pancakes and a heart shaped cookie cutter. For topping, set aside some of the fruit purée and mix with a little maple syrup.

Cody and I occasionally have special pajama days. If we're feeling under the weather, or it's a rainy day I tell him it's a pajama day. We stay in pajamas and have a lazy day of reading lots of books, watching a movie and cuddling!

The first time I made these was for a pajama day and they were a hit! Cody loved them and now they're my favorite too!

Enjoy and have a safe and happy Valentines Day!

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.

Lemon and strawberry pancakes 

Makes about 8 pancakes

5-6 large strawberries
1 1/2 cup oat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup oat milk
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 vegetable oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
Zest from 1 small lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

Purée the strawberries in a blender or food processor.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, bakng powder and salt.
In another bowl combine the strawberry purée and the remaining ingredients.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or skillet over medium heat.
Use a ladle or measuring cup to pour about 1/4 cup batter on the skillet or griddle.
Cook until bubbles appear and the bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Flip using a spatula and cook until the other side is golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Place on a plate and keep warm in a 200 degree oven.
Repeat until the batter is gone.