Category Archives: Recipes

Bubba’s Birthday

Last night we celebrated Bubba’s birthday at home. We had a safe meal of roasted pork and her favorite vegan mashed potatoes (Tofutti Sour Cream, Earth Balance Buttery Sticks margarine, boiled mashed potatoes, and too much salt). We also had a homemade pineapple cake. This is of some significance because Bubba only recently outgrew her pineapple allergy. Yay!

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She had asked for a pineapple birthday cake for her party a few weeks ago but I confessed to her I was quite sure any attempt on my part would result in something delicious, but not cute at all. I am NOT a baker. We agreed to have ‘fishy cupcakes’ for her pool party (generously made by her Mimi and pictured below) and that I would make a pineapple cake for her actual birthday dinner instead. Soooooo. Pineapple cake? Bubba does not like canned pineapple and anything resembling a pineapple upside down cake would probably not fly. After much Googling and pinning I was able to find a recipe I could tweak (putting it mildly) to make dairy and egg-free. Without further ado, here is how I made Bubba her egg-free, dairy-free pineapple cake.

Pineapple Cake
1 box Duncan Hines Classic White cake mix
1c pineapple juice
3t baking soda
3T white vinegar
1/4c coconut oil

Frosting
I used Food Allergy Mama’s recipe for Creamy Vanilla Frosting but substituted pineapple juice for soy milk and added 1/2c crushed fresh pineapple.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cake pan(s). Well. Vegan cakes are not the easiest suckers to get out of pans. Mix baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl. Mix cake mix, juice, and melted oil in a large bowl. Add vinegar mixture. For a classic layer cake, pour batter equally into two 9-inch greased cake pans. Bake for 23-28 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Follow cake mix directions for alternate pan sizes. Cool cake(s) completely before frosting. I put a thin layer of frosting and crushed fresh pineapple between the layers.

For all my worrying, fretting, and self-criticism I can honestly say the cake was eh. It was very sweet and certainly tasted like pineapple. My normally sweet-deprived kids initially loved it because of the pure sugar content. But then Bubba wasn’t into it at all. Big. Mama. Allergy Sigh. Bubba doesn’t really care yet. Maybe she never will. She’s a pretty easy-going kid about this stuff so far. But sometimes really care. I want easy. And store-bought. And fluffy. How on earth do you make a cake that is not heavily laden with vegetable oil grease? There are ways, I know. I just need to put the time in to experiment and follow vegan cooking recipes. And perhaps not do it when it matters so much to me.

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Mimi’s amazing cupcakes using Duncan Hines boxed mix, Ener-G egg replacer, Pillsbury dyed frosting, and skittles.

One final note in case my list of baking mistakes can help anyone. The cake recipe was not enough for two 9-inch cake pans. Maybe it is with eggs, but you don’t get as much lift in vegan baking. I tried baking soda/white vinegar as my egg substitute this time. I had never tried that. I think I prefer ground flax/hot water or Ener-G egg replacer better. Here’s a good resource for egg replacement options. I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks for the margarine in the frosting and it wasn’t warm enough so I ended up with lumps of cold margarine in my frosting. Yum.

Supplies for supplying your own food

Created by Blogger Tiffany Glass Ferreira

Created by Blogger Tiffany Glass Ferreira

There are actually upsides of food allergies. Our family eats at home more often (which is lovely and also a great deal cheaper), reads ingredient labels, cooks together, seeks out whole real foods, and has learned to diminish the importance of treats (at least in comparison to fun and time with friends and family). I’d venture to guess our kids eat a slightly wider variety of foods than they would otherwise and they certainly don’t eat much fast food (no judgment, just not really an option for us). Here is a brief list of a few of our favorite items in case they can make your life easier too.

 

 

Preparing Food

Cuisinart Mini-Prep Processor – We use a lot of flax seed in our baking and cooking. My meatballs couldn’t survive without them. It has amazing health benefits and also makes a great egg replacer. Ground seeds offer far greater health benefits but only store for 90 days in the fridge. So we buy whole, store them in the freezer, and grind up small batches as necessary. We also use our mini prep for chopping up raw almonds. These are the only safe nut for Bubba so we use them a lot in homemade energy balls (sort of like a Lara Bar), as a yogurt topping, etc. We buy unpasteurized almonds directly from a farm free of cross-contamination with peanuts or other tree nuts.

Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker – There are several really delicious coconut and almond milk ice creams that we like. We’re not crazy about the soy ice creams. Just personal preference. But nothing beats homemade ice cream. Our favorite recipe is Vegan Cherry Garcia (we use Enjoy Life Mega Chunks).

KitchenAid – Although there are ever increasing options for food allergic folks on the market today, yummy baked goods are seriously lacking. It is also hard to find something safe for Bubba that is not unnecessarily restrictive, i.e. gluten-free even though we’re okay with wheat. Plus baked goods are so preservative laden and kids looooooove baking. So we bake at least every couple weeks and keep lots of yummy items on hand in the freezer. Our two staples are Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies and Vegan Banana Muffins.

Jelly Belly Electric Ice Shaver – Hubs and the girls are obsessed with water ice, shave ice, slushies – whatever they call this in your neck of the woods. The girls will actually just eat a bowl of plain shave ice, but usually we get a little more indulgent and put juice on it.

Transporting Food

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Little Green Pouch owner, Melissa, feeding her daughter

Little Green Pouch – perfect for making your own baby food, transporting smoothies, etc. This awesome mama-owned company was started by friends of mine. I love these things. Less wasteful, healthier, and dish-washer safe. Our favorite smoothie is Vanilla Banana Blueberry.

Slim Snack – we use these to make our own yogurt popsicles. They are silicone so frozen smoothies and ice cream can slide right out of them. They also have a handy shape for squeezing other snacks into lunch bags or purses.

Rubbermaid Lunch Blox – stackable, easy to open, dishwasher safe, and they come with their own ice pack.
Hanna Andersson Lunch Bag – pricey, but I can justify the expense for our family. This lunch bag goes everywhere Bubba goes. It carries her Auvi-qs and food for every outing. It’s insulated, snaps easily onto our stroller handle, and has a great zipper for our allergy alert tag. And the Rubbermaid Lunch Blox fit in it perfectly!

Thermos FOOGO – We used these for Bubba for awhile with great success; almond milk stayed nice and cool for hours and the cup didn’t leak. When our baby was making his transition from bottles to sippy cups, we transitioned Bubba off of sippy cups entirely. We didn’t want there to be any confusion in the house over what was safe for her (the baby drinks dairy). So now these are only for him and Bubba drinks from ‘big girl’ water bottles and open cups.

I would love to hear about some of your favorite home cooking supplies. I will add them to my list! If you’re in the market for any of the items above and you purchase through the link provided, Food Allergy Ninja will get a portion of the Amazon proceeds at no additional cost to you. We appreciate your support!

Safe Food / Recipes

New foods require a lot of time at the grocery store. Or maybe they don’t. When I think about it, there are really just whole sections of the store that are off limits entirely. In general, processed foods are hard. We are very lucky that Bubba has always been an amazing eater. She loves to eat and loves herself some meat. No protein issues here!

Bubba eats a lot of fresh fruit (minus kiwi and mango) including avocado (yay for a healthy fat source!). She loves smoothies (I usually add MCT oil for extra heathy fats) and oatmeal for breakfast. She will eat most meats and adores plain pasta (just olive oil and salt), cous cous, or rice. Her milk alternative is almond milk (the only tree nut she is not allergic to). Almond milk is a great source of vitamin D (which she also gets from a multivitamin) and calcium (it provides more than dairy). Almond milk is lower in protein than cow’s milk which is so crucial for toddlers, but as I said, Bubba loves herself some meat.

Here are some common safe foods for us in case you need some ideas of your own. Please always read the labels. You never know when an ingredient or facility warning may change.

Breakfast

We often make smoothies using protein powder, almond milk, and frozen fruit. I usually put in MCT (coconut) oil for extra healthy fats. Please note that the protein powder is dairy, egg, nut, and pea protein free but it does have a facility warning for tree nuts, milk, and egg.

Almond Milk – Original

Shop Rite Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Quaker Oats Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal – Lower Sugar

Thomas’ Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

Earth’s Best Organic Mini Blueberry Waffles

Honeynut Chex

Homemade pancakes and waffles – we make huge batches and freeze the exta

Kirkland Bacon

Lunch/Dinner

Yummy Dino Buddies Chicken Nuggets

Black beans, cubed avocado and a little salt in a bowl. I won the Mommy jackpot with what a great eater Bubba is.

My homemade meatballs

Foster Farms Homestyle Turkey Meatballs (for when I am out of mine)

Brown rice bowls – yep, just plain brown rice. I told you Bubba was a good eater.

Alexia Roasted Straight Cut Fries

Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks

Melt Organic Chocolate Spread

Follow Your Heart Monterey Jack Vegan Gourmet Cheese Alternative

Sunbutter

Applegate Natural Uncured Beef Hotdogs

Homemade marinara

So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Yogurtwatch out for pea protein in all vegan yogurts

Potatoes with margarine and salt

Barney Butter and Jelly Sandwiches – Barney Butter is made from almonds (safe for us) in a dedicated facility. It is guaranteed peanut and gluten-free per the manufacturer.

Homemade pizza using homemade or premade crust (I’ve used Pillsbury, Trader Joe’s, and one from Costco). We use regular marinara sauce and Follow Your Heart vegan cheese (the only one without pea protein). Bubba loves mushrooms and olives for her toppings.

Tacos or Burritos – filled with Tofutti Sour Cream, avocado, black beans, and plain ground meat

PIllsbury Crescent Rolls (“Original”) – we use this to make safe hand pies, meat pies, and mini apple pies

Stroehman Dutch Country 100% Whole Wheat is our usual bread.

BLT sandwiches. Minus the lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. Bubba likes Tofutti sour cream or mashed avocado on hers.

Chicken drumsticks are among her favorite foods. Our favorite recipe is here.

Couscous mixed up with all sorts of things. Whatever is on hand. Olives, leftover steak, veggies, vegan cheese cubes, etc. I usually add a bit of salt and a dash of red wine vinegar. Make a big batch – it keeps well for a few days and travels easily.

Treats

Almond Dream Yogurt

Biscoff with apple slices – be warned…this stuff is ADDICTIVE

Newman’s Own Fig Newmans – dairy-free variety only

Homemade Banana Chia Seed Pudding

So Delicious Dairy Free Chocolate Coconut Milk

Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Enjoy Life Crispy Rice Chocolate Bars

Cherrybrook Kitchen cake mix

Golden Oreos

Immaculate Brownie Mix – I sub 1/2c applesauce for the eggs and use Earth’s Balance baking stick margarine

Frozen cherries

For specials holiday treats – Amanda’s Own Dairy Free Chocolates

Some Pillsbury icings and Duncan Hines cake mixes have been safe for us – read the labels, as always

Candy: Skittles, Starbursts, Haribo Gummi Bears, Charms Blow Pops, Smarties, Jolly Ranchers, Swedish Fish, AirHeads Taffy

Snacks

Date Balls

Kashi Cereal Bars

Earth Balance Vegan Aged White Cheddar Popcorn – note that the “puffs” have white beans in them so they’re not safe for a legume allergy like Bubba’s

Kashi Crunchy Granola & Seed Bars – Chocolate Chip Chia

Ritz Crackers

Honeymaid Graham Crackers

Stacy’s Pita Chips – Cinnamon and Sugar

Original Tings Crunchy Corn Sticks

Bachman Pretzel Stix

Jim’s Soft Pretzels – most soft pretzels are NOT ok because whey is used as a dough conditioner

Fruit – she loves cantaloupe, grapes, watermelon, frozen cherries and now pineapple!