BBQ Bean Sammies & Dairy & Egg Free Coleslaw

Y’all!  The Local Vegan has an amazing recipe!  It has become one of our family favorites.  I’m not gonna write out Bailey Rae’s recipe but instead tell you the changes I made for our family.

BBQ Sammie

Back in Iowa we had safe store bought buns.  I miss those buns.

BBQ Sammie 2

On Toasted Homemade Bread

Here is the original recipe, which I follow almost to a T.  I don’t make the green beans and I omit the poppyseeds in the slaw.  I usually serve roasted carrots or OreIda french fries because SG loves them.  And hey, it’s safe.  What can I say?

I use Randall’s white northern beans, but feel free to use pinto beans as the original recipe does.  I make my own BBQ sauce because I have to.  Lately, all store bought BBQ sauce makes MY tongue tingle and as a food allergy mom I know that is not good.

Here is the homemade BBQ sauce recipe I make from Once a Month Meals.  I omit the Worcestershire sauce and add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid aminos (just like soy sauce) instead.

I have not found safe store bought bread in SC so I make my own.  We have used this homemade regular white bread (toast first in the toaster or else the bread gets soggy) and I’ve also served this on these amazing homemade dinner rolls.  My fave is on the dinner rolls, but more often we use the homemade white bread because it’s a lot easier to make.

Homemade Rolls

Homemade Dinner Rolls

Homemade Bread

Homemade Dairy & Egg Free Bread 

Let’s talk about the beans!  If I am making enough for one dinner I use a 24 oz jar (roughly 2 cans) of beans.  Today for the first time ever, I used a 48 oz jar of beans and I ended up with double. I did not even have to make double BBQ sauce because I use 1.5 cups of homemade sauce per recipe.  Woot woot!  One 8×8 dish of BBQ beans is in the freezer right now.  I cannot tell you how tickled pink I am about that.  I love my freezer meals!

Freezer BBQ Beans

I hope y’all enjoy this recipe.  We sure do.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Allergy Friendly Chickpea Cutlets

Chickpea Cutlets with Homemade Gravy over Baked Potatoes (mashed) and Grilled Asparagus.  Plant Strong Comfort Food!

Chickpea Cutlets with Homemade Gravy over Baked Potatoes (mashed) and Grilled Asparagus. Plant Strong Comfort Food!

I was very skeptical when I first made Isa’s Chickpea Cutlets from her website the Post Punk Kitchen. I thought cutlets made from chickpeas? How weird. But man, was I wrong!

I made a few changes to Isa’s recipe to fit our diet. In the end, my version doesn’t quite look like hers.  But that’s okay.  I think it’s because I don’t use vital wheat gluten.  I was nervous because I read through the recipe and comments and it seemed the recipe had to have vital wheat gluten. My HyVee carries it, but it is made in a facility that also processes milk. Can’t do it. Not safe.

So, I crossed my fingers and subbed plain ole unbleached white flour. And I made my own breadcrumbs from our frozen bread ends. I swapped the soy sauce for liquid aminos. And I’m just not a thyme girl. I kind of HATE it. I used poultry seasoning instead of thyme. The recipe called for sage and sage and poultry seasoning just go together in my mind. It worked!

As a matter of fact, these cutlets are AMAZING! They have become a family favorite.

These are also super budget friendly!!! I purchased my jarred glass of Randall’s Garbanzo beans for just 99 cents. We get 2-3 meals out of each cutlet batch. That’s 33 cents to 50 cents for our protein per meal. Our grocery budget needs a little breathing room, and these cutlets provide that.

I have found an amazing vegetarian gravy recipe that pares well with this recipe. I use vegan butter and liquid aminos in this gravy recipe. I also use an immersion blender to blend the onions in the gravy and make it smooth and creamy. My 4 year old has no idea there are onions in her favorite gravy. She doesn’t like onions. Hehehe!!! Click here to see the gravy recipe.

I’ve also discovered these cutlets make an excellent “Cutlets Parmesan.” That post is in the works.

For now, here’s how I make my new favorite food, chickpea cutlets.

Chickpea Cutlets
(Adapted slightly from Isa’s Chickpea Cutlets. Click here for the original recipe.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 15/16 oz jar/can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup plain homemade breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup liquid aminos (or soy sauce if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 4 cloves garlic or 2 teaspoons of jarred minced garlic

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. If you use store bought breadcrumbs, skip to step three. If not, start with making homemade breadcrumbs. I usually use frozen ends of bread I keep in the freezer for just this purpose. Set the oven to Broil on High. I use 4 slices of bread. Watch them closely. The bread will burn quickly if let in too long. By too long, I mean 2 minutes on one side. I usually set a timer for 60 seconds. Check. If crisp enough, turn bread and set timer again for the other side. If the bread isn’t crispy enough, set timer for 20-30 second intervals. Once the bread is crisped enough, rip them into about four pieces each and put in a small food processor. Put all four slices in and grind and chop until the bread turns into breadcrumbs. This should make just over a cup. Measure out the cup you need and put it into a bowl.
  3. Add the flour, poultry seasoning, paprika and sage to the breadcrumbs and give it a good stir with a fork to spread the spices. If using store bought breadcrumbs, don’t forget to add them in this step.
  4. Use the same small food processor to grind up your fresh garlic. If using minced garlic, you can add it to the food processor with your chickpeas. Add the rinsed chickpeas to the food processor. I pulse it continually until it looks like tiny chickpea rocks. I hope that makes sense!
  5. Add the chickpea and garlic mixture to the dry ingredients in the bowl.
  6. Add the olive oil, vegetable broth and liquid aminos and stir with a fork.
  7. Use your hands to knead the mixture in the bowl a little bit. I do it for maybe 30-60 seconds.
  8. You need a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for this next step. I take blobs of the cutlet mixture and spread them out with my fingers into circle shapes. I try for a school cafeteria chicken patty shape. 🙂 The mixture is very sticky and doughy. But it all comes together in the end.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping the cutlets once after 15 minutes.
Uncooked Cutlets

Uncooked Cutlets. I usually get 11-12 of these per batch.

Uncooked Cutlets

Close Up of the Uncooked Cutlets

Here’s what my cutlets look like cooked on top of the noodles for “Cutlets Parmesan.” I’ll share that recipe in the future.

Cooked Chickpea Cutlets.  I forgot to take a close up pic of just the cutlets.  Sorry y'all!

Cooked Chickpea Cutlets in my Cutlet Parmesan recipe. I forgot to take a close up pic of just the cutlets. Sorry y’all!

The Huzz also thinks these will make great sammies. As soon as I buy some lettuce, we want to try these as sandwiches with lettuce, tomato and onions. Mmmm! Can’t wait.

These also freeze beautifully.  I love having these babies ready to go in the freezer.  It makes me happy. Happy is good.

And we certainly LOVE these! We hope you love these cutlets, too.

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?

Looking Well to the Ways of My Household

image

 

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!

image

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.

image

 

image

 

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.

The Freezer is my Best Friend Part 3: My Favorite Way to Cook Chicken

image

I hope I’ve made it clear how much I love my freezer. I’ve recently been on a chicken drumsticks kick. I keep finding them at different stores for GREAT prices.  I’ve been making our favorite 20 to 40 clove garlic chicken recipe one night and the second night either making Ally’s stir fry or my chicken and rice soup. The Huzz recently remarked how much more flavorful this chicken meat is compared to when I simmer chicken breasts and cube them for future freezer meals.

Yesterday I found two more good deals on drumsticks. (Not as good as this deal, but 99 cents a pound is not bad.) I made a big batch of drumsticks and tonight I portioned it all out.

Here’s the link to my favorite drumsticks recipe.

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2009/04/crockpot-20-to-40-clove-garlic-chicken.html

Here’s how much chicken I ended up with for $5.35. And here’s how yummy it looks!

image

I let it cool overnight. The next day I chopped it up (The Huzz does not like shredded chicken but you could also shred it. I just chopped it.)

image

Then I portioned it into 1 cup servings. I bagged each one individually and then put them all in a gallon ziploc freezer bag for extra protection. I don’t want my hard work to get ruined with freezer burn!!

I ended up with 6.5 cups of portioned and chopped chicken. That’s 82 cents per meal for the chicken! Hollah!!!

Be on the lookout for a future post about what to do with all of this yummy deliciousness!!

The Freezer is my Best Friend Part 2: More Easy Ground Beef Recipes

image

Since we decided to sell our house in June, my menu planning has been non-existent. It’s funny that I wrote about getting my groove back, only to have it all go haywire again.

Now that we are in the new house, we are not quite settled in. Actually, we don’t even have a pantry or space in our new small kitchen for food. This is our current pantry… Gasp! It’s terrible. I.DO.NOT.LIKE.IT. Actually, it’s not even a pantry- yet!

image

I love organization so this has been driving me crazy. The new pantry we ordered to extend our kitchen cabinets cannot ARRIVE FAST ENOUGH. (Floor to ceiling double pantry cabinets that will match the kitchen cabinets!) Until then, I remain feeling unsettled. Out of sorts.

Thank goodness for my freezer. It really is my best friend. It has saved me almost everyday.

I had a brilliant little spurt a few weeks ago where I found great deals on ground chuck (4 pounds!), flank steaks, and chicken. I had a mini-freezer cooking frenzy. I marinated a few chicken breasts and froze them. We marinated a few flank steaks and froze them. We browned and seasoned all four pounds of ground chuck and portioned them into eleven ziplocs.

Almost everyday between 4-5pm, I realize I don’t have a thing planned for dinner. Why does this sneak up on me EVERY SINGLE DAY lately? The ground chuck is by far the most versatile for last minute meals. (In my opinion)

Besides spaghetti, here’s what we’ve had for dinner lately, thrown together at the very last minute.

Chili:
At around 5 pm last week, I googled “Easy Chili.” This was the first recipe I read, and just went with it. Click here to see the recipe. I did omit the beans and added more than a pinch of the chili powder and other seasonings. It was quite good. I wouldn’t say it was the best chili ever, but I’ll make it again. I also made Jiffy cornbread mini-loaves. I have a little mini meatloaf pan and like to use that for our cornbread. To make the cornbread dairy free and egg free, I used almond milk and Ener-G Egg Replacer. It turned out to be a great (last minute!) meal. And it fed us for a few days. Score!

Here’s a pic of the chili (with safe crackers and not the cornbread.)

image

 

Picadillo:

You will need to first make sofrito.

Ingredients:
1 lb or so of ground beef, chuck, round (whatever!)
Green pepper (Optional, I didn’t use it last time bc I didn’t have it.)
2-3 cubes of Sofrito (I freeze mine in ice cube trays. 1 cube=approx 1 ounce)
Either 3 TBS tomato paste OR 5-6 oz tomato sauce
1/2 to 1 cup of water
Lots of oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper
Adobo seasoning (Go light handed on this one!!)
2 tsp olive juice
As many or as little of green Spanish olives as you like (I use a lot!!)

Note: This is one of those family recipes that really don’t have measurements. The measurements are approximate and my mom and I have worked together to create these measurements as a guideline because I need measurements! However, this is a taste and add more if needed recipe.

Directions:
1. Dump frozen pre-cooked ground beef into a heated pan. Add all of the ingredients, bring to a boil and let simmer. Taste and adjust according to your preference. This is supposed to taste very seasoned- not bland. So be very generous when adding your seasonings! As it simmers, you may or may not need to add more water. You don’t want the picadillo to be too soupy or too dry. You want a little bit of liquid but not too much.
2. Serve over rice. (This is where the liquid is delicious- flavoring the rice!)

Here’s what my most recent picadillo looked like.

image

The freezer has really been a lifeline lately. You fellow food allergy mamas know we can not just order take out. We have to have a plan or at least something frozen that can save us from insanity (or sadness. There, I said it. I had a moment this week where I felt sorry for myself because I was tired, the Huzz was traveling for work, and I wanted to pick up a $5 Little Cesaer’s pizza. I couldn’t and didn’t, of course. I ended up making the picadillo. I was rewarded when my toddler said, “I like this beef and rice!”) But I digress…

If you want to see my recipes for other ways to use ground beef and freeze it, click here.

If you have some recipes to share, please do! I need more things to cook today in an hour and a half when it’s dinnertime… Thanks! 🙂