Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Stuffed Peppers (Top 8 Free)

I have not felt very inspired to cook lately, but I also didn't feel like boiling noodles.... again....tonight.  So I dug through my fridge and cabinets, and I pieced this recipe together.  It's nothing fancy, but it was easy to make, and it was a big hit!  That's my kind of meal!


1 c uncooked quinoa, rinsed
3 red peppers
1 large can of chicken, drained
garlic powder
black pepper
sea salt

Bring quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and steam, covered, for an additional 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, half red peppers and remove seeds.  Once quinoa is cooked, mix in chicken.  Sprinkle on garlic powder, rosemary, cilantro, black pepper, and sea salt.  I didn't measure the seasonings, I just dashed some on and mixed it in.  You could use whatever seasonings you like.  Spoon quinoa mixture into red pepper halves.  Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Taco Casserole (Top 8 Free)

My kids love tacos, but you can only have tacos so often.  Bubs asked if we could try the taco casserole I had made years ago (he remembered how good it was).  It has been a while since I made it due to changes we had made in his diet.  But over the past year, we have been able to successfully reintroduce several foods, making my job much easier. :)

This is a super simple recipe to adapt, as the only allergen (for my kids) is cheese.  We use grass-fed only beef, and safe, packaged taco seasoning (use your own taco seasoning recipe if you like).

It's easy to make, and the whole family will enjoy it!

2 lb hamburger
1 pkg taco seasoning
2 1/2 c corn chips
1 15 oz can refried beans
1/2 c shredded milk-free cheese (I used Daiya cheddar)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350º.  Brown hamburger.  Add 1/2 c tomato sauce and taco seasoning.  Stir to mix well.  Line bottom of 9x13 dish with 2 cups corn chips.  Crush remaining chips and set aside.  Spoon meat mixture over corn chips.  Combine remaining tomato sauce and refried beans.  Spread over cooked beef mixture.  Bake 25 min.  Sprinkle with cheese and crushed chips.  Bake 5 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hand Washing After Eating

Today I walked into the Children's room at church to pick up my little (non-food allergic) girls. Cutie was eating a snack, and Curls had just finished eating and was washing her hands. The teacher said she always tells the girls they don't have to wash their hands when they are through eating, but they always insist in washing them anyway (proud mommy moment). I explained that we always wash our hands after eating in our house due to food allergies in our family.

This got me thinking about how I never used to wash my hands after eating.  I would eat greasy, cheesy pizza, wipe my hands on a napkin, and go on my way. Or I'd eat some Cheetos, lick my fingers, and be done. Once we learned about Bubs' food allergies as a baby, we became diligent hand washers. Especially after handling food. Now I can't stand to not wash my hands after eating, even when my kids aren't around. It has become ingrained. It has become natural. It actually shocks me that other people don't wash their hands after eating. But I have to remember that I live in a different bubble than most people. 

I'm glad I had the chance to have a quick teachable moment. Even if it wasn't a full on food allergy education, I hope I got my point across that it is important to wash hands after eating, not just before. I'm glad my girls understand the importance of washing off allergens, even if they can't yet articulate what they are doing or why.  They do, however, know, that they are washing the allergies away. It is my hope in our society that hand washing after eating becomes as normal as hand washing before eating. It will help keep our kiddos safe!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pizza Casserole (Top 8 Free)

One of my all time favorite casseroles is pizza casserole.  I used to make it all the time before we had kids.  But it has been several years since I have made this due to the multiple allergies in our house.

We are currently living in a small townhome while we are having our new home built.  It will be several months before we can live spaciously again, and I have been frustrated with our current kitchen set up.  This frustration has blocked my creativity in the kitchen.  We have been eating a lot of boring, simple meals.  Bubs asked if we could have the taco casserole I used to make (recipe to come), and that got me thinking.  Pizza casserole is so easy to make, and it can easily be adapted to meet my family's special diet needs.  It turned out great, and all four kids loved it!


1 lb ground beef, browned (or pizza topping of your choice)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 box gluten free noodles, cooked and drained
1 lb milk-free mozzarella cheese (I used Daiya)
3 1/2 Tbsp milk-free butter (I used Earth Balance Soy Free)
16 oz pizza sauce
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
Small can of black olives

Saute onion in 1 1/2 tsp butter until brown.  Toss warm noodles in remainder of butter (2 Tbsp) in a 9x13 dish until melted.  Cover noodles with pizza sauce.  Add half the cheese and pizza toppings (meat, peppers, olives, etc).  Add onions.  Sprinkle with oregano and basil.  Top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350º for 20-25 minutes.