Saturday, January 17, 2009

Entertaining without (much) cooking

My son recently had a birthday. Along with this birthday came the task of feeding larger the my family sized groups and still including foods my daughter and I (and some of our friends) could eat.

For the first gathering we went with Subway. Subway white bread is milk and egg free. The turkey is safe also. So plain turkey sandwiches on one tray, assorted "normal" meat and cheese sandwiches on an other, plain cheese sandwiches for the vegetarians, a veggie tray to dress the sandwiches and your main course is set. Add plain chips, a fruit salad, and drinks and you have our menu. Not the healthiest, but it is a party.

For our second gathering I picked up a big bucket of extra crispy chicken from KFC (crispy only! original has both egg and milk), made my own mashed potatoes and gravy, poured baked beans in a dish and voila. I was going to add a veggie, but I forgot and I don't think anyone really noticed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Weekly Dairy Free/ Egg Free Dinner Menu Plan 1

Let me preface this by noting the obvious. I am not a gourmet cook. I try to serve relatively balanced, relatively healthy meals, but I also like to take advantage of short cuts when I can. I can make a marinara sauce from scratch, but 9 times out of 10 I find the jarred variety works just fine for me. If you see some of my short cuts and feel like taking the homemade path, feel free! The benefit of making your own stuff, of course, is that you know exactly what is in everything, which can be extra helpful in Allergyland.

When I first started adapting our eating habits to Addie's (and mine until she weans) diet I was kind of lost. Short of plain meat, rice, and fruits and veggies what else could we eat? I searched for menu plans and found a lot of vegan plans, but not willing to give up meat also, I found limited inspiration.

So here is the menu plan I wish I had found after Addie's diagnosis.

I based the plan off of the "give each day a theme" formula. Thank you to the wise mom who shared how that formula system works. Basically, you give each day of the week a theme like "beef", "Mexican", "soup", ect. Then each week you fill in recipes that fit that description.

My formula is as follows: Monday/Crock pot, Tuesday/Chicken, Wednesday/Pork, Thursday/Easy, Friday/Beef, Saturday/Leftovers, Sunday/Soup and or Sandwiches. Future menu plans will follow this formula also.

Lentil and Wild Rice Soup
French bread
Bagged Salad w/ dressing
Fruit of choice

Honey Chicken
Broccoli w/ smart balance light

BLT Salad
Fruit of choice

BBQ Kielbasa
Fruit of Choice

No Fuss Fajitas
Fruit of choice

Fruit of choice
Salad w/ dressing

Campbell's Ham and Split Pea Soup
Fruit of choice

The grocery list for the dinners would look like this:

  • 1 pound round or skirt steak
  • Package of bacon
  • Package of reduced fat turkey kielbasa
  • 2-4 Chicken breasts

  • A dairy free taco seasoning packet
  • Salsa
  • Slivered almonds
  • Paul Newman's reduced fat balsamic vinaigrette
  • Dried lentils
  • 6 oz. package of long grain rice blend w/ spice pack
  • 14 oz can of chick broth
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Wheat germ
  • Honey
  • Dijon mustard
  • Apricot jam
  • Soy sauce
  • Rice
  • "Premium" brand crackers
  • 2 Cans Campbell's Chunky Split Pea Soup

  • Tortillas
  • Dairy free French bread (most bakery sections have this you just have to look around and read labels)

“Dairy” Aisle
  • Tofutti sour cream
  • Almond or soy milk
  • Smart balance light

  • 2 bags shredded lettuce, possibly 3 if you have a salad loving family or older kids who will eat salad
  • Fruit of choice for 7 meals

  • Edamame or peas
  • 10 oz package of frozen veg mix
  • Broccoli
  • Peas

No Fuss Fajitas

What this dish lacks in smokey, grilled goodness it makes up for in ease of preparation. It is another dish that is so easy there really isn't a recipe.

  • A 1 inch thick chuck of beef. We use round steak because it comes in the meat bundle we get from the butcher. (Which by the way is no more expensive then buying your meat at the Evil Empire. Plus you get the benefit of it being fresher since they do the butchering on site. Not to mention you are supporting a local business.)
  • A dairy free taco seasoning packet
  • Tortillas
  • Tofutti sour cream
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Salsa
  1. Place frozen meat in crockpot and sprinkle it with taco seasoning.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Slice thin against the grain.
  4. Serve on tortillas with condiments.

BLT Salad (minus the t please)

This name is a bit of a misnomer since no one in our house eats raw tomatoes. (Blush.) We all eat them in sauce or in *cough* ketchup form, but no one will eat them in their uncooked state. For me it is a slimy texture issue. That and I think they taste like poison. :P

So, anyways, here is my recipe for BLT salad, minus the "T".

  • Cooked Bacon (2-3 pieces per person)
  • Bagged shredded lettuce
  • Slivered almonds
  • Defrosted edamame or peas
  • Paul Newman's reduced fat balsamic vinaigrette

  1. Um, mix it all up.
Mmm. Bacon.

Lentil and Wild Rice Soup

I got this from a Crockpot cookbook and did some tweaking. You could easily make it vegetarian by using vegetable stock. No meat makes it budget friendly. Dried lentils are pretty inexpensive. If you need to thicken it, mashed potato flakes work well.

  • ½ cup dried lentils sorted and rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 oz. package of long grain rice blend w/ spice pack
  • 14 oz can of chick broth
  • 10 oz package of frozen veg mix
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk

1. Cover lentils with water and soak overnight or for 6-8 hours. Drain and discard soaking water.

2. Put all ingredients into slow cooker, including 3 cups fresh water. Mix well

3. Cook on low in a crockpot for 5-8 hours.

BBQ Kielbasa

So simple it really isn't a recipe. Eaten by everyone in the family, which can't be said about a lot of things, however.

  • One package reduced fat turkey kielbasa, cut into bite sized chunks (we use Kroger brand, make sure your brand is dairy free.)
  • About 1/2 cup of bbq sauce (once again, make sure yours is dairy free, many are not, we use Kroger brand.)
  • Water to thin the bbq sauce.

  1. Place kielbasa chunks in skillet. Cook til they start to shrink and get brown.
  2. Cover with bbq sauce. If your sauce is thick, add water.
  3. Serve over french rolls (or whatever dairy free bread you have lying around your house.)

Honey Chicken

This is part of a menu plan. I am going to post all the recipes separately so that they can be searched easier. We tried this last Monday and it is pretty decent. I am not the biggest honey fan and, um, I forgot the soy sauce which I think would have made it much tastier. I am kind of notorious for not following recipes, so I am sure that my mom thinks the fact I have a cooking blog is kind of amusing. Necessity is the mother of invention, and all that...


  • 3 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apricot jam
  • 3/4 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 6 bone-in skinless chicken breast halves (trimmed of fat)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the wheat germ, honey, mustard, apricot jam, and soy sauce until well blended.
  3. Arrange the chicken pieces, bone side down, on a baking sheet.
  4. Spread the wheat germ mixture evenly over the chicken breasts.
  5. Bake until the chicken is opaque throughout and the wheat germ mixture has formed a crust, 35-40 minutes.