30 Days of Dairy & Egg Free Dinners

Sautee chopped carrots & zucchini in olive oil until tender.  Add spaghetti sauce & serve over noodles.

Sauté chopped carrots & zucchini in olive oil until tender. Add spaghetti sauce & serve over noodles.

Life has been happening lately.

I’ve been following my latest two menu plans, but haven’t had time to share them and link them up- until today!

So instead of a 15 or 16 day menu plan, I’ve combined them to make a 30 day menu plan!

My Thanksgiving post is still in the works, so I’ll have that up soon- I hope!

Randomness from last menu: I never tried the fish like I planned to last time. I chickened out. PLUS, I couldn’t find a tilapia that seemed to be safe. What brands do y’all use? Please and thank you!

This menu has chicken, turkey, pork and meatless meals. I’m starting to really enjoy our meatless meals. I’d love to eat more veggies and less meat. We shall see…

Here’s my latest only 30 day menu plan!!!

1. Taco Crescents & Steamed Broccoli

2. Sweet & Sour Chicken (sub flax eggs & liquid aminos), Rice & Steamed Broccoli

3. Honey Mustard Pork Chops & Baked Potatoes

4. Coconut Vegetable Curry Soup with Rice (I’ve linked to this several times & FINALLY made it. It is yummy! Even SG liked it!)

5. Mexican Stuffed Peppers (Sub ground turkey breast, use homemade taco seasoning, & make own tomato paste) & Cilantro Lime Rice

6. Crockpot BBQ Drumsticks, Baked Potatoes & Carrots

7. 0 Point Soup & Homemade Bread

8. Mojo Pork Tenderloin, Tater Tots & Zucchini

9. Arroz con Pollo & Puerto Rican Flavored Black Beans

10. Arroz con Pollo Leftovers

11. Chicken Tacos (Can make ahead & freeze. I did!)

12. Meatless Veggie Spaghetti

13. Chicken Curry (make homemade cream of chicken), Rice & Carrots

14. Mexican Pizza Bites (Sub ground turkey breast, use homemade taco seasoning, homemade refried beans & Daiya “cheese”)

15. Crockpot Lentil Soup

16. Chicken Salad Sandwiches & French Fries

17. Picadillo Tater Tot Casserole (I’ll share this new recipe soon!)

18. Maple Pumpkin White Bean Quesadilla

19. Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops, Baked Potatoes & Steamed Cauliflower (make of cream of chicken & use homemade ranch mix)

20. Turkey Nachos (season ground turkey like picadillo)

21. Garlic Chicken Drumsticks, French Fries & Broccoli

22. “Cheesy” Taco Crescents (use leftover chicken from day 21) & Leftover Broccoli

23. White Bean Lemon Potato Soup & Homemade Bread (use bread link from Day 7)

24. Leftover Soup or Arroz con Pollo Soup & Bread & Vegan Butter

25. Baked Ranch Pork Chops (make homemade ranch: see note at bottom of menu, coat chops in ranch, coat in safe panko bread crumbs), Baked Sweet Potatoes & Sautéed Zucchini

26. BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Tater Tots & Steamed Spinach

27. Thanksgiving!!!

28. Soymilk Ice Cream for Dinner!!!!

29. Coconut Vegetable Curry & Rice (see link for Day 4)

30. Lentil & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Here are the links to the subs & homemade mixes:

Homemade Ranch Dry Mix

Homemade Ranch Dressing
(For Dressing, use the above Ranch Dry Mix link and use Just Mayo or other vegan mayo & sub non-dairy milk. I use SO Delicious Original Coconut Coffee Creamer. It’s very neutral in taste and the ranch flavor shines through.)

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

Homemade Taco Mix

Also, you may be wondering why on Black Friday we are having safe ice cream for dinner. It is SG’s birthday and I told her she can have whatever she wants for dinner- even ice cream. So of course, that’s what she chose! I’m guessing the Huzz and I will gorge on Thanksgiving leftovers, anyway. You only turn 4 once- may as well live it up! 🙂

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The Freezer is my Best Friend Part 5: Homemade Pizza

It’s not delivery. And there’s no way it’s DiGiorno’s. (Did I even spell that right?)

But sometimes (ummm- a lot of times!), us food allergy families want an easy dinner.

We occasionally enjoy Daiya “cheese” pizza, but at almost $10 for a small frozen pizza, it’s quite spendy. It’s worth it, though, for the sake of ease and convenience.

A friend of mine blogs over at Ally’s Sweet and Savory Eats. She wrote about a way to freeze homemade pizza. I pinned it and finally gave it a go.

Ally’s recipe needed a few changes to adapt it to our diet.

Here’s how I made dairy, egg, and beef free pizzas for our freezer.

Homemade Pizzas for the Freezer:
(Freezer instructions come from this recipe. Thanks Ally!)

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Click on the homemade pizza dough recipe above. I don’t follow their instructions. I put it all in my bread machine and press the “dough” button. In an hour and a half, I have gorgeous homemade pizza dough!
  • Click on the homemade pizza sauce recipe above. Double the recipe.
  • Prepare your toppings. I like to use chopped onion, chopped green bell peppers, and olives.
  • Once the pizza dough is ready, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Flour large surface. Separate pizza dough into 4 equal parts (Or 8 if you want smaller pizzas). Flour your rolling pin. Roll each portion of dough into a round circle. Use a fork to prick the raw dough. Place onto a round pizza pan or pizza stone. (I use $3.99 pizza pans with holes in them. They work great.) Bake for 6 minutes. Repeat with each pizza dough. (I always have a few pizza dough bubbles and prick them again with the fork.) Let the partially baked pizza crusts rest on a cookie rack while you pre-bake them all.
  • Spread pizza sauce on each pizza. I didn’t measure it. I just eyeballed it. If you like really saucy pizza, you might have to make more pizza sauce.
  • Spread cheese on the pizzas. I generally use 1/2 bag per pizza.
  • Add toppings.
  • Flash freeze in the freezer for 45 minutes. (The tricky part is finding space to flash freeze them. You flash freeze the pizzas unwrapped.  I put the pizzas on a cookie sheet in the freezer.)
  • Wrap the pizza in plastic wrap several times and label and date with reheating instructions.
  • Ally’s reheating instructions are to bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Vegan Cheese Pizza

Vegan Cheese & Veggie Pizzas

Random Notes:

I almost ran out of vegan cheese because I did this on a whim and wasn’t quite as prepared as I should have been. I will add a bit more cheese to the cheese pizzas when I bake them.

Also, I decided to make 2 of the 4 cheese pizzas. I can add toppings later if I want or leave them as just cheese.

I made two normal size round pizzas and four smaller ones. The smaller ones are above in the photos.

The Daiya “cheese” is $4.99 a bag, but even at that price, these pizzas still come out cheaper than the store bought Daiya frozen pizzas ($9.59 at my HyVee.) The cost of the other toppings are minimal and are always in my pantry or fridge as staples, so I don’t really count that towards the final price of cost savings. (One onion, one bell pepper & a jar of olives maybe cost $3.00. Add the two bags of “cheese” and the cost for all of the pizzas are maybe $12.98. This is my best quick estimate. I’m not figuring in the pizza dough or pizza sauce.) By this rough estimate, each pizza costs about $3.25!

I’m so EXCITED to have 4, that’s right 4, homemade and SAFE pizzas in my freezer right now. I almost don’t want to use them because then I’ll have three… I know, that doesn’t make sense. I wish I would’ve made more!

Right now, I’m one happy mama!

I’d love to know:  What are your favorite pizza toppings?

The Closest We Get To Take Out: “Flex” Meals

I like to call the nights when I skip the menu plan and whip up something easy and quick “Flex Meals.” Really, it’s my way of almost not cooking- it’s as close as we can get to the convenience of take out.

Because y’all know…we don’t eat out anymore as a family! If it weren’t for our date nights or girl’s night out, I’d never eat out. SG doesn’t.

So, here’s how I’m able to throw together a flex meal, without doing much work.

1.  I keep a stocked freezer that includes cooked and cubed chicken portioned in one cup portions and pre-cooked and seasoned ground chuck, portioned in about 1/4 pound bags. I also keep Hormel cubed ham in the freezer.

Bags of pre-cooked and seasoned chicken & ground chuck

Bags of pre-cooked and seasoned chicken & ground chuck

2.  I always keep Mission flour fajita sized tortillas and Mission tortilla chips in the pantry.

Tortillas

3. I keep frozen Daiya cheddar style shreds and Daiya mozzarella shreds in my freezer.

4. I keep frozen broccoli florets in the freezer- the steam in the bag kind.

5.  I keep Dole fruit in the little individual plastic containers stocked in the pantry.

These are the basics for my flex meals. With these, I can create:

  • Chicken & cheese nachos
  • Beef & cheese nachos
  • Ham & cheese nachos
  • Chicken & cheese quesadillas
  • Beef & cheese quesadillas
  • Ham & cheese quesadillas
  • Cheese quesadillas
  • Ham & cheese pizza tortillas

I can quickly and easily steam some broccoli in the bag and serve alongside any of the above. If I’m out of fresh fruit, then some drained Dole fruit will work.

These also make great lunches!

I put the ham and cheese in the tortilla frozen.  The skillet defrosts and heats it all.

I put the ham and cheese in the tortilla frozen. The skillet defrosts and heats it all.

I used leftover Mojo Pork Tenderloin & Daiya cheddar shreds in this quesadilla.

I used leftover Mojo Pork Tenderloin & Daiya cheddar shreds in this quesadilla.

Here’s how I pre-cook and stock my freezer with our favorite chicken recipe.  On the days I cook this chicken, the next day I always make a batch of this chicken and rice soup for the freezer.  I freeze it in portions big enough for me and SG to eat for lunch. Homemade frozen soup is another easy flex meal.

Here’s how I pre-cook and stock my freezer with ground chuck.

I know the days I’m knee deep in cooking, cubing, portioning, and freezing chicken or beef, I will appreciate it in the days to come.  And when I’m not feeling so hot or am just plain tired, I am so grateful for the meat I’ve cooked and frozen.

Do you have any easy “Flex Meals” to share?

Meat & “Cheesy Ranch” Rollup

Have y’all visited Once A Month Meals yet? Here’s their website:

onceamonthmeals.com

They have amazing recipes and they are all freezer friendly. Y’all know how much I love my freezer. It’s my best friend!

I saw a recipe on their site yesterday and I just had to try it right away. With modifications, of course!

Click here for the original recipe.

Here is how I made a dairy and egg free version of the Ham & Cheese Rollup.  Let’s call it Meat and “Cheesy Ranch” Rollup, though, because I think it will be just as yummy with shredded or cubed cooked chicken. I also omitted the broccoli, the healthiest part of the recipe. Feel free to add some broccoli or any other veggie you think will pare well with the ingredients.

This recipe calls for ranch dressing. And y’all! I made dairy and egg free ranch for the first time ever!!! And it was good! (This pic is not that great, but still, you get to see it. Doesn’t it look like ranch?)

Dairy & Egg Free Ranch!

Dairy & Egg Free Ranch!

So here is how we enjoyed a meat and “cheesy ranch” rollup kind of calzone looking thingamajig.

Meat & “Cheesy” Ranch Rollup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 recipe of homemade pizza dough (I throw it in the bread maker and use the “dough” setting.)
  • 2 cups of protein (I used cubed ham the first time. Next time I will use cubed chicken. Here’s how I cook and freeze my chicken.)
  • 2 cups of dairy free cheese (We use Daiya cheese. I made one with their “cheddar” shreds and one with the “mozzarella” shreds. The mozzarella one was better and I will only use mozzarella from now on. However, the cheddar was good, too. You decide!)
  • 1/2 cup of homemade dairy and egg free ranch (Use this recipe from OAMM. I used Just Mayo, a vegan mayo, to make it egg free. Click here to read how to find Just Mayo for just a dollar! I also used SO Delicious Original Coconut Milk Creamer for the milk. You can use any unflavored non-dairy milk.)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Split the homemade pizza dough into two equal parts. Flour your surface. Roll out two rectangles. I rolled until the dough seemed thin enough. I honestly don’t have a specific here.
  2. Spread out one cup of the meat and one cup of the cheese leaving a little space around the edges. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of ranch.  Repeat for second rectangular dough.
  3. Roll the pizza dough up like a jelly roll. OAMM has a nice photo showing how to do this. I didn’t take one. Sorry. 🙂
  4. Pinch the edges and squish them up tight. Flip your gigantic log seam side down. (Trust me on this. The first one I baked the seam was facing the side and a bunch of toppings spilled out!)
  5. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Mine ended up perfect at 28 minutes.
  6. Slice pieces off as needed and enjoy! I didn’t slice it all at once, which was perfect because we reheated it today for lunch in the oven. It was easier to reheat as a partial giant log instead of leftover slices.

This recipe yielded two generous “logs.”

Here’s what my final product looked like:

Ham, Mozzarella & Ranch Rollup

Ham, Mozzarella & Ranch Rollup

This one was NOT baked seam side down.  Oops!

This one was NOT baked seam side down. Oops!

A little slice of cheesy ranch deliciousness!

A little slice of cheesy ranch deliciousness!

Not pretty, but yummy! And HOMEMADE! Can we just all cheer please? NEVER in my life did I think I would make so many things from scratch. I was domestically challenged. Not so much anymore. 🙂

Anyway, this has inspired me to maybe try this on a smaller scale like hot pockets size. I’d love to have these frozen and ready to go for quick lunches. Maybe I’ll try it soon and I’ll let you know how it works.

In the meantime, break out the bread maker and try this recipe. You won’t regret it!

 

 

16 Days of Dairy & Egg Free Dinners!

I took stock today of what meats I had in my freezer. At first I just wanted to know what was in there. When I saw my list, I had this crazy idea of trying to only plan dinners based on what meats I have on hand. Of course, I’ll buy the fresh items needed for each meal.

As you can see, we eat chicken, pork, and beef. SG tested negative to fish and shellfish, but I’ve yet to give her any. And I don’t like fish anyway. I digress.

Here’s my list of meats in my freezer.

All of these were on sale or were discounted. All SUPER deals!

All of these were on sale or were discounted. All SUPER deals!

Here’s our menu plan from tomorrow through the end of the month. It took me about two hours total from taking inventory of my meats to planning my meals. I menu planned my way! 🙂

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Click on this photo to see my printed menu.

Here are the links to my dinners. Not all of them have links. Some of these recipes need adapting. If an egg is needed, I usually sub a flax egg. I sub almond milk or coconut coffee creamer for cow’s milk, and safe margarine or shortening for butter. Some of these recipes are tried and true, and some we’ve never had before.

Without further delay…

June 2014

Sunday (15th): Mojo Pork Tenderloin, baked potatoes, & roasted carrots

Monday (16th): Pork Burritos and Burrito Bowls: Shred leftover pork, seasoned rice, lettuce, tomato, and Daiya cheese

Tuesday (17th): Crockpot Garlic Chicken, roasted cauliflower (P- OAMM), and baked sweet potatoes
**Make chicken & rice soup to freeze for lunches and portion and freeze the rest.**

Wednesday (18th): Grilled Lemon-Rosemary Pork Chops & grilled carrots, onions, and zucchini

Thursday (19th): Crockpot Shredded BBQ Chicken on hamburger buns, french fries, and steamed spinach

Friday (20th): Homemade Hawaiian Pizza

Saturday (21st): FPU/Date Night. Spaghetti & Meatballs

Sunday (22nd): Sweet & Sour Chicken (P), white rice, steamed broccoli

Monday (23rd): Sloppy Joes (BP), tater tots, roasted carrots

Tuesday (24th): Maple Dijon Chicken Kabobs (P) & cauliflower tots (P)

Wednesday (25th): Chicken & Dumplings (P)
**Make biscuits. Use homemade cream of chicken. Use frozen cooked chicken.**

Thursday (26th): Date Night. Leftovers or Spaghetti & Meatballs

Friday (27th): Spicy Black Bean Burgers (P) or Grilled Black Bean Burgers (P) & grilled carrots, potatoes, & onions.
**Soak and cook black beans.**

Saturday (28th): FPU. Nachos- tortilla chips, refried beans or frozen chicken, Daiya cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, olives

Sunday (29th): Picadillo, rice, platanos maduros, & fruit

Monday (30th): Slow Cooker Carnitas (pork tenderloin), flour tortillas, lettuce, tomato, & fruit salad

I know I sometimes get stuck in a rut when it comes to our dinners.

I hope this helps your dinner planning.

Enjoy!

Looking Well to the Ways of My Household

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I’m sitting here enjoying a nice cup of coffee (with Silk french vanilla soy coffee creamer!) and making a list of things I’d like to accomplish this week.  My list is a little ambitious, but I think I can accomplish most of it.  I thought I’d share it with you and share the links to all of these delicious recipes.

Did you notice most of my to do list revolves around food?  Safe food?  Because us food allergy parents must always be prepared!  Always.  We don’t have the luxury of last minute take out.  I wish I did!  Can a vegan restaurant please come to my town???  I promise we’ll eat there at least two times a week.  🙂

Here’s what I’m working on this week (and possibly next week!):

Chocolate chip cookies
https://blessedlittlefamily.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/delicious-homemade-chocolate-chip-cookies-dairy-free-and-egg-free/

Bagel Pizzas for the Freezer
(I now add Daiya mozzarella shreds to our pizzas.)
https://blessedlittlefamily.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/dairy-free-and-egg-free-lunch-ideas/

Homemade “Cheesy” Crackers
(I sub Daiya cheddar shreds for the cheese. I’m thinking about also adding a tablespoon or so of nutritional yeast this time to make them a bit cheesier tasting.)
http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/03/23/recipe-easy-cheesy-crackers/

Homemade Freezer Biscuits
(I’m making one of these recipes- I haven’t decided which yet.)
http://moneysavingmom.com/2013/02/homemade-freezer-biscuits-recipe.html
OR
http://www.favoritefreezerfoods.com/homemade-biscuits.html
Both recipes will need a substitution or two.

Cream of Chicken
I use plain coconut coffee creamer for the milk and safe margarine.
http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/12/crockpot-chicken-and-dumplings-soup.html

Homemade Tomato Soup
I think I’ll sub coconut coffee creamer for the milk.
http://onceamonthmeals.com/slow-cooker-tomato-soup/

This week I added to my list “find meatless meals.” We are not vegetarian or vegan but the Huzz and I have decided to have at least one meal a week meat free. I now need to find meatless meals! I know beans are a great source of protein, but because the Huzz has intestinal issues, he can’t really eat whole beans. Which is why we love these refried beans I made recently!

Do you have some meatless meals to share with us?

What’s on your to do list this week?

I’m trying to put the needs of my family first and long to be as the Proverbs 31 woman. I find so much encouragement from her.

“She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
Proverbs 31:27

The Freezer is my Best Friend Part 4: Refried Beans & Freezer Burritos

I’ve been lazy in the blogging department lately. I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head but haven’t sat down and tapped them all out.

My little blog has even quietly passed the one year mark. Happy blogging birthday to me!

Anyway, yesterday and today I’ve been motivated to get back into freezer cooking. Yesterday I made a batch of my delicious homemade soup for dinner and froze the rest for future meals. Hooray! (Click here for the recipe.)

Today, I made these delicious and oh so EASY refried beans from Ally’s Sweet and Savory Eats. Click here for her recipe. The only adaptation I make is to omit the red pepper flakes. SG and I don’t do spicy anything!

Seriously, if you like refried beans, you NEED to make these. Even if you “don’t cook”, these are super easy and a great place to start.

In the end, the refried beans recipe yielded 12 cups of refried beans! Wow. Such little effort for so much yummy goodness. I pretty much pureed my beans because the Huzz has ulcerative colitis and needs the beans pureed. You can have chunkier beans. Whatevs!

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I froze the refried beans in one cup portions…8 bags of them!!! I also used 4 cups of these beans to make homemade bean, “cheese”, and rice burritos. I used a few pins from Pinterest to inspire me. In the end, I made my own recipe. Here’s how I made my safe burritos.

Bean, Vegan Cheese, and Rice Burritos:
(Inspired and adapted from these blogs: Pennies and Pancakes & Money Saving Mom)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of Homemade Refried Beans
  • 2 cups of dry rice cooked and seasoned (I truly don’t know how much this yields. I use my rice cooker and the measuring cup it came with. I make two cups of dried rice which yields much more.)
  • 2-3 cups of Daiya cheddar shreds
  • Mission Tortillas

Directions:

  1. Make the rice. I do a VERY generous sprinkling of Adobo seasoning and a less generous sprinkle of dried cilantro.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the homemade refried beans & seasoned rice together.
  3. Put 1-2 tablespoons of bean and rice mixture in the tortilla. Top with a generous sprinkle of Daiya cheddar shreds. Roll the tortilla and place it seam side down on a cookie sheet.
  4. Heat the burritos until browned in the skillet or flash freeze in the freezer for a few hours. When the burritos are mostly frozen, wrap in plastic wrap or foil and then put them in a freezer ziploc bag or just double bag the burritos. Label, date, and freeze. When it’s time to eat, unwrap burritos, and heat these in the oven, on a skillet, or in a microwave.
  5. Serve with salsa for dipping.

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I ran out of plastic wrap.  Oops.

I ran out of plastic wrap. Oops.

This recipe yielded 27 burritos! I do use the smaller fajita style tortillas because I just love that size. If you use the larger burrito size tortillas, you’ll need to add more filling to your tortilla and end up with less burritos.

I’m so happy that I now have a few more healthier options for our lunches and dinners. In two days, I’ve stocked our freezer with homemade soup, refried beans, and homemade grab and go burritos that are safe for our little family.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do.