Tomato Basil Pizza: Dairy Free

Dairy Free Tomato Basil Pizza

Dairy Free Tomato Basil Pizza

I love Pinterest. I recently found this pin and was inspired. I knew I could make a dairy free version.

Add to the fact that my local Hy-Vee recently added an entire non GMO line of tomatoes of all shapes and sizes, and I knew that I could rock this pizza!

I used my regular pizza dough recipe, pizza sauce recipe and just added sliced tomatoes, Daiya mozzarella shreds & some fresh basil. Easy peasy!

Tomato Basil Pizza:
(adapted from this recipe from The Prudent Homemaker)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 recipe of this pizza dough (I throw it in the bread maker and press dough.)
  • 1 recipe of homemade pizza sauce (I add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast)
  • Daiya Mozzarella Shreds to Taste
  • 4-5 Sliced Roma Tomatoes
  • 5-6 Sliced Yellow Tomatoes (mine were smaller than the Romas- Sunset brand)
  • 2 Handfuls of Fresh Basil, torn

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces for thin crust pizza. Divide dough into 2 equal pizzas for a thicker crust.
  3. Use a floured rolling pin to roll out the dough into circles. Prick with a fork and bake each crust for 5 minutes.
  4. On partially baked crust, add sauce to your liking.
  5. Add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (optional.)
  6. Add Daiya cheese.
  7. Add tomato slices, making an AB pattern with the tomatoes. (Former 1st grade teacher here!) 🙂 Fill the pizza with tomatoes.
  8. Top with torn basil.
  9. Bake for 14-15 minutes.
  10. This recipe yields 2 pizzas.  (If you make 4 crusts you need to double the toppings and sauce.  I always freeze the extra 2 crusts for pizza night the following week.)

SG helped me make the entire pizza.  This is great for little hands.  She made the pizza sauce, added the vegan cheese, placed the tomatoes & tore the fresh basil and placed it on the pizza.  She has never been so excited for dinner to be ready.

And the Huzz declared this my best pizza ever!

Hurray for yummy new recipes!

“Ranch Chicken” Pizza: Dairy & Egg Free

Yummy!

Yummy!

I have decided that Friday nights are now pizza nights. It’s fun to create traditions and oh yeah, it makes menu planning that much easier!!!

It also means that I have to get creative or we will eat the same pizza every week.

This week I tried my hand at creating a “ranch chicken” pizza.

The quotation marks are because:

The ranch is homemade and dairy and egg free

and

I’m not really using chicken. I’m using Hillary’s Veggie Bites for the chicken.

I found Hillary’s Veggie Bites a few months ago, called about the facilities (dairy & egg free!), bought them and let the veggie bites sit in the freezer for a few months. Why? Introducing new foods to SG is super stressful. She was fine with them. As a matter of fact- she LOVES them. However, she refuses to let me call them veggie bites. She calls them nuggets.

They have a great crunch to them (kind of like Ian’s chicken nuggets.) So the lightbulb went off in my head. No need to use real chicken. Just sub the crispy, crunchy veggie bites!

Here’s how I made our pizza.

Ranch Chicken Pizza:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pizza crust (I use this recipe. I cut the recipe in half, throw it in the bread maker and use the dough setting and make 4 thin crust pizzas from half the recipe. Also, you can have two thicker crust pizzas from half this recipe.)
  • 1 recipe of homemade ranch (Click here to see how I make homemade ranch)
  • 9-12 Hillary’s Veggie Bites
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • Daiya Mozzarella Shreds
  • Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Directions:

  1. Prepare and pre-bake homemade pizza crust at 415 for 4-5 minutes.  (See link in ingredients)
  2. Bake Hillary’s Veggie Bites. (takes 20 minutes)
  3. Prepare safe homemade ranch dressing.  (See link in ingredients)
  4. Spoon ranch dressing on pre-baked pizza crust. Eyeball it.  I didn’t use all of my ranch dressing.
  5. Sprinkle the Daiya mozzarella shreds on the pizza. Use more or less Daiya according to your preference.
  6. Sprinkle the green onions on the pizza.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 6-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and everything is bubbly.
  8. Cut veggie bites to bite sized pieces. Add to pizza.
  9. Sprinkle Frank’s Red Hot Sauce for the grown ups (or brave kids.)
  10. Serve extra ranch on the side as a dip for the pizza or sprinkle more ranch on top of the pizza.
Ready to go in the oven

Ready to go in the oven

Bake until it looks like this.  It took about 7 minutes with my oven.

Bake until it looks like this. It took about 7 minutes with my oven.

Add the "Chicken"...HIllary's Veggie Bites!

Add the “Chicken”…Hillary’s Veggie Bites!

Add Frank's Red Hot Sauce if you dare...

Add Frank’s Red Hot Sauce if you dare…

Notes:

  • This makes 1 pizza.
  • I make a half recipe of the pizza crust and make 4 thin crust pizzas. We use two crusts per meal/pizza night. I freeze the other two crusts for the next week. This saves me time and work every other week.
  • You can sub real chicken, store bought ranch for the veggie bites, and real mozzarella cheese if your diet allows.

This was a winner in our house and is sure to make more appearances in our Friday night pizza rotation.

17 Affordable Dinner Ideas

Budget Friendly Pineapple Fried Rice with Ham.  I now omit the ham and it tastes just as good!  This recipe makes a lot!

Budget Friendly Pineapple Fried Rice with Ham. I now omit the ham and it tastes just as good! This recipe makes a lot!

Our grocery budget is a monster.  Do y’all food allergy parents know what I mean?  I mean, it’s CRAZY!  And ya know what makes it even crazier?  We don’t even eat extravagantly.  Our safe foods are just THAT expensive.

I sat down and tried to brainstorm the most budget friendly tried and true recipes I could think of.  We are in Financial Peace University again as table leaders and really have budgeting on the brain.  I really want to cut our grocery bill each month.

My recipes might start looking a lot like these from now on since I’m trying to trim the giant grocery bill.

(These prices are what I pay at the grocery store and I don’t price out every item in this list.  Some are just my best guesstimates.)

If you want to get ahead of the menu planning game and like freezer cooking, the recipes that have stars are freezer friendly.

Meatless

  • Pineapple Fried Rice (1-2 pineapple cups {$1}, 2-3 carrots & 1-2 zucchinis {$2.50}, omit ham- can get 2 dinners from this & possibly 1 lunch)
  • Veggie Pizza** (1/2 bag Daiya {$2.50}, 1/3 green pepper {33 cents}, 1/3 green onion, olives)
  • Refried Beans, Rice & “Cheese” Burritos**
  • Rice & Beans (and maybe fruit to round out the meal)
  • Bean & “Cheese” Quesadillas (use homemade refried beans or black beans)
  • Veggie Spaghetti (1 zucchini {$1} & 1 carrot, sauce {$2.50} & noodles {$1}- can get 1 dinner and 1 lunch from this recipe)

Chicken

Turkey

  • Picadillo (1/2 pack ground turkey {$1.50} & rice)
  • Picadillo Tater Tot Casserole (1/2 pack ground turkey {$1.50} & approximately 1/2 bag of tater tots {$1.50})
  • Spaghetti (1/2 pack ground turkey {$1.50},  sauce {$2.50} & noodles {$1}- can get 1 dinner and 1 lunch from this recipe)

The chicken tacos are probably the most expensive dinner on this list because of the type of chicken we like and because of the fresh toppings.  I can plan another dinner or two that also uses those fresh produce ingredients like nachos or soup and salad night.  That helps lower the cost of the grocery bill & helps fresh produce not to go to waste.  I can also stretch the budget by stocking up on the chicken when it goes on sale.

I also buy dried beans.  It’s easy to soak and cook the beans.  I think I get 6-8 cups from one bag of dried black beans (my memory is a little fuzzy on this number.)  The beans cost $1.18.  Much cheaper than canned!  I freeze my beans in one cup portions and pull them out as needed.  A quick defrost in the microwave and the beans are good to go!

Do you have some food allergy & budget friendly dinner ideas?  Please share in the comments below.

Thanks!

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

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

Picadillo Tater Tot Casserole

Picadillo Tater Tot Casserole

28 Days of Dairy & Egg Free Dinners

Dairy, Egg & Beef Free Recipes

Dairy, Egg & Beef Free Recipes

I have been working hard on this menu- on and off since early January.  It’s finally ready, y’all. Whew!

We had the roasted broccoli from Day 1 last night (see, I’m already off schedule!) and the Huzz declared it restaurant worthy!!! I’m going to start roasting broccoli, folks, instead of steaming it. It was SO good!

The Sticky Chicken on Day 17 (from Once A Month Meals) was another recipe the Huzz declared a hit. He said I could make it EVERY WEEK!  That’s high praise.  So, it’s making its way into this month’s menu again.  I love finding good recipes that are worthy of repeats and adding into my regular rotation of meals.  This one was SUPER easy to make, too.  Thanks Once A Month Meals!  (Can you tell I love OAMM?  I really do!)

  1. Garlic Chicken, Baked Potatoes & Roasted Broccoli
  2. Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wraps (use leftover chicken from day 1 & make homemade ranch)
  3. Mexican “Beef” & Beans Casserole (sub ground turkey, black beans & add 1 cube of sofrito)
  4. Easy Lo Mein (sub zucchini for snow peas & use safe spaghetti noodles & liquid aminos for soy sauce & omit Sriracha)
  5. Tangy Slow Cooker Pork Roast, Baked Potatoes & Roasted Carrots (make enough carrots for 2 days)
  6. Southwest Crispy Pork Wraps & Leftover Roasted Carrots (sub homemade “sour cream” & Daiya vegan “cheese”)
  7. Allergy Friendly “Beef” Enchiladas (sub black beans for beef & make this new enchilada sauce)
  8. Ranch Chicken Tenders, Ranch Mashed Potatoes & Buffalo Cauliflower Bites (make homemade ranch dressing {see link on day 2}, dip raw chicken strips in ranch and roll in safe bread crumbs, bake at 400 degrees until cooked through, about 20-30 minutes- I haven’t figured out the exact cook time yet)
  9. Flex Meal
  10. The Best Fried Rice & Homemade Potstickers (for rice: omit the egg, sub vegan butter, omit oyster sauce, sub olive oil for sesame oil.  for potstickers: sub garlic powder for garlic paste and sub olive oil for sesame oil)
  11. Easy Tuscan Bean Soup & Bread & Vegan Butter
  12. One Pan Enchilada Pasta (use homemade taco seasoning from 100 Days of Real Food, enchilada sauce from day 7 & Daiya “cheese”)
  13. Veggie Pizza
  14. Nana’s Ribs, Baked Potatoes & Grilled Asparagus- Heart Shaped Wacky Cake for Dessert
  15. Flex or Leftovers
  16. Pasta E Fagioli with Rosemary Olive Oil Drizzle (use fresh tomatoes)
  17. Sticky Chicken, Baked Sweet Potatoes & Roasted Broccoli (see link on day 1)
  18. Ranch Turkey Burger Sliders with Homemade Rolls, French Fries & Sautéed Zucchini
  19. Spaghetti with Ground Turkey & Bread & Vegan Butter (I use jarred spaghetti sauce)
  20. Garlic Chicken, Garlic Ranch Potatoes & Slow Cooker Southern Collard Greens (use link from day 1 for chicken recipe & sub homemade dry ranch mix- link on day 2)
  21. The Best Chicken Soup Ever (use leftover chicken from day 20, use fresh tomatoes, omit corn, sub zucchini or chopped carrots)
  22. Pineapple Fried Rice
  23. Leftovers- Hurray!
  24. One Pan Spicy Lemon Chicken & Tomato Pasta (sub Daiya mozzarella shreds)
  25. Loaded Baked Potato Soup
  26. Easy Chicken Tacos (sub 2 tsp of homemade taco seasoning instead of store bought packet- use link from day 12)
  27. BBQ Chicken Pizza
  28. Mojo Pork Roast, White Rice & Black Beans

There ya have it friends… our menu for the month of February. Happy eating!

Vacationing with Food Allergies: Easy Breakfast & Dinner Ideas & A Few Other Tips

Vacationing with Food Allergies

I’m a planner. And it’s a good thing, too, because going on vacation is no vacation. Not when we don’t eat out. I just don’t trust anyone else to prepare SG’s food. I cook even on vacation. And ya know what? It’s not bad. If I plan ahead, it can even be easy!

Here are a few of my tips for preparing in advance for all of the cooking on vacation.

Make a yummy but easy menu plan for meals on vacation. Either bake and freeze foods in advance (muffins, pancakes, freezer meals, etc.) or prepare the dry mixes in baggies, pack and prepare at destination.

Here are some of my favorite breakfasts, meals and shortcuts for vacation:

Breakfast Ideas

  • Vegan Muffins & Pancakes– I’ve baked and frozen the muffins for past vacations. Next vacay I’m preparing the dry mix at home and baking them fresh in our suite. We have a full kitchen in our hotel suite. I’ve found it’s a must have for us when vacationing.
  • Oatmeal- I measure 1/4 cup of dry quick oats in a baggie. I store lots of them in a larger baggie and write the directions on the larger baggie. Directions: Add 1/2 cup “milk” & microwave for 90 seconds. I add a little plastic bowl of drained peaches to our oatmeal. Easy, fast and healthy!
  • Pumpkin Bread– I’ve also baked and frozen these in the past. They travel well. However, since I’ve discovered how EASY it is to make fresh loaves if I prepare the dry mix beforehand, I will make these fresh on vacation.
Vegan Muffin Mix

Vegan Muffin Mix

Pancake Mix

Pancake Mix

Oatmeal Packets

Oatmeal Packets

Pumpkin Bread Mix

Pumpkin Bread Mix

 

Dinner Ideas

Garlic Chicken Spice Mix & Pizza Sauce Mix

Garlic Chicken Spice Mix & Pizza Sauce Mix

If you don’t already have a “Vacation Tub,” I highly recommend one! In addition to my vacation tub items, I’m packing every small appliance that I think I might need. I’m so paranoid about using someone else’s appliances due to cross contamination. Y’all milk allergy moms get it. 🙂 I’m not crazy. I’m just not taking any chances.

Next vacation I’m packing my:

  • Bread machine
  • Rice Cooker
  • Wok
  • Griddle
  • Mini Loaf Pan
  • Microwave Popcorn Bowl
  • Hand Mixer
  • Crock Pots
  • Pizza Pans
  • Rolling Pin

We are obviously vacationing for a while and I’m in charge of all the meals for us and my parents, who will eat our diet while we are in town. So, pretty much, I’m taking tons of appliances. However, if you are going for a shorter vacay, I’d suggest taking a crock pot and toaster. And a rice cooker if you like rice. We have a toaster we leave at my parent’s house that no one can use except us, so I don’t have to pack that.

I also pack spice mixes in addition to all of my bread and muffin mixes. I premix the spices and put them in small labeled baggies.

Here are the spice mixes I like to have while on vacay:

Popcorn Seasoning, Homemade Taco Seasoning & Homemade Ranch Mix

Popcorn Seasoning, Homemade Taco Seasoning & Homemade Ranch Mix

I’ve linked to recipes when possible.  Please also click here and read my Recipes Substitutions page for more links to things like the recipe for the homemade taco mix, dry ranch mix, etc.  

15 Days of Dairy & Egg Free Dinners: Part 4

My menu plans are always my ideal and what I strive for. But let’s be real… sometimes I don’t have the energy or the desire to cook. That’s why I depend on my homemade freezer pizzas and flex meals to get me through some days.

Here’s my latest 15 day menu plan. I’m already behind my schedule because it’s day three and I haven’t used this menu yet! Oh well.

I shall try my best to stick to this plan.

Here’s my menu plan for the first half of October:

1. Sweet & Sour Chicken (Sub 3-4 flax eggs), White Rice & Steam in a Bag Broccoli

2. Baked Tilapia, Sautéed Spinach & Sautéed Zucchini

3. Tomato Herb Soup & Homemade Bread

4. Ranch Turkey Burgers (Use 2 Tbs. of this homemade ranch seasoning), French Fries & Grilled Asparagus

5. Taco Crescents & Steam in a Bag Broccoli

6. Pineapple Fried Rice

7. Veggie Pizza

8. Smothered Italian Chicken  (Sub Daiya for the Mozzarella & Omit Parm) & Noodles

9. San Francisco Chops, Rice & Sautéed Zucchini

10. Coconut Vegetable Curry Soup

11. Healthy Turkey Meatballs, Baked Potatoes & Roasted Carrots

12. Sticky Chicken, Vegan Mashed Potatoes & Green Beans

13. Mojo Pork Tenderloin, Rice & Beans

14. Mojo Pork Burrito Bowls

15. Flex Meal

Did you notice I included a recipe with fish??? That’s major!

If you have any easy and yummy fish recipes, please share! I’m in desperate need of some. The easier the recipe, the better.  😃

Sweet & Sour Chicken

 

I don't use ground beef anymore.  I use chicken.  Ground turkey or black beans would work well as the protein, too.

Taco Crescents.  I don’t use ground beef anymore. I use chicken. Ground turkey or black beans would work well as the protein, too.

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?