Mashed Potatoes and Meal Planning

First let us start with mashed potatoes. I have missed them. The creaminess from the butter and the milk. Mmm. Almond milk really can’t do this very well. I’ve tried and it just doesn’t cut it for me. This time I went a little crazy and it was delicious! I used red potatoes and boiled them with a sprig of rosemary and oregano and lots of salt. I then sautéed an onion with some more rosemary and oregano and salt and added it to the potatoes with a little almond milk and some “butter”. I was in heaven! G was in heaven too. Out of all of my kids he is my potato lover. S doesn’t mind them and B could probably never have another and not care. Both of them LOVE sweet potatoes though. This will definitely be on the menu for G and I more often!!

As for the meal planning. Ughh. I plan my meals out every 2 weeks. I try and think up breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I use to love meal planning and than cheese and cream was removed from my life and now I dread it just a little. Part of me realizes how much of those two items we ate and I’m a little appalled. It was definitely not in moderation! In moving to the dairy/soy free diet, we have also moved to a cleaner eating diet. Soy is in almost every processed food item we use to buy. It is crazy to me what all soy can be found it. Everything from bread to vegetable oil to crackers to soup has soy in some form in it. We are now so much better at actually looking at the ingredients of what we eat instead of just the name. However, because of that and our food budget, I now dread sitting down and figuring out what to eat. I posted on Facebook this time around and got some great ideas from friends that I am going to try out this 2 weeks. I would also like to say that without Pinterest out food life would be spaghetti, tacos and bbq chicken. I’m going to try some new stuff and we will see how it goes. Stay tuned for either some positive or not so positive reviews from my food critics who give it straight every time!

Rosemary and Oregano Dairy free Mashed Potatoes

8 red potatoes

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

3 sprigs fresh oregano

2 garlic cloves

almond milk

1 tablespoon butter (I use Earth Balance dairy/soy free spread)

salt

Directions:

Fill pot with water and salt generously. Bring to boil. Add potatoes (peeled and cubed) to water with 1 sprig each of rosemary and oregano. When potatoes are done strain and keep herbs aside. Dice onion into small pieces and chop rosemary and oregano (including ones from pot) finely. Mince garlic. Add onion, herbs and garlic to heated pan with olive oil. Sautee until soft. Add to potatoes with almond milk (add small amounts until you get the consistency you desire) and butter. Mash well and serve!

French Toast with Pinapple Syrup

Oh My Word! We had French Toast for lunch and I wanted to make something to go with or on it. Unfortunately I forgot to pick up bacon at the store so, I had to do some thinking. We’ve had some frozen pineapple in the freezer and after looking at different ideas on Pinterest I came up with this sauce that was AMAZING! Like I’m licking the plate amazing! I asked my husband if he wanted some on his and he made a face and said no. Well he tried some and actually told me “I was wrong”. That’s how good this stuff is! Unfortunately only Steven, G and I are up to eating. All three kids were feeling so bad we skipped church and put them down for naps at 9:30AM. S woke up from her feeling a little better and B woke up a little later not feeling good at all. G slept for over 3 hours! He was able to get 1 1/2 slices down. B is back asleep on the couch and S ate a few bites and is now cuddled with me on the recliner. I’m hoping after a good night sleep they will all be better tomorrow morning.

French Toast:

Bread- We use Rudi’s bread if I haven’t made any. I love the sourdough but they were all out so I got the Country White.

8 eggs

3/4 cup milk (We use unsweetened almond milk)

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Earth Balance Soy/Dairy free butter or Olive Oil spray for pan

Pineapple Topping:

Half a bag of frozen pineapple

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup orange juice

2 teaspoons Earth Balance soy/dairy free butter

For the French Toast- whisk eggs and add milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Heat pan over slightly over medium heat and add butter/spray.  Soak bread slices in egg mix and place in pan (Don’t soak for too long or the bread will fall apart.) Cook until brown on each side.

For the topping- Place pineapple and half the brown sugar in a saucepan over medium until thawed. Add the rest of the brown sugar and orange juice and bring to a boil. Keep at a boil for 3-4 min and add butter than boil for 3-4 more min.

Add topping to French toast and enjoy as is or add a little maple syrup. The topping is sweet enough on it’s own in my opinion! I also cut the kids into sticks to dip. They loved it! Hope you all enjoy!

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I’m back! Dairy, soy and peanut free chinese food!

So I’m back! Took a little break, but I’ve been trying lots of new recipes :). One of our new favorites as a family is egg rolls and lo mein. Since G is allergic to soy as well as dairy we have pretty much given up on Chinese food. It has been very sad and Steven, S and I have really been wanting some lately. I decided to do a little research and have been trying out different soy substitutes. There have been many um…well…not so great substitutes. Finally I took a little from here and there and got a version that we like (recipe to follow)!

I’ve done a few things with it, but hands down the favorite was egg rolls and vegetable lo mein. B loves to “roll, roll, roll” some egg rolls! S likes to be a big helper also! I found a recipe and worked it up a little. Since we had ground pork in the egg rolls, I have been serving it with vegetable lo mein. Steven would prefer it to be “meat” lo mein, but I’m cooking on a budget, so 1 meat per meal is all I’ve got. Here are a few pictures of the meal as it is being made and the recipes to go with it!

Egg Rolls:

Egg Roll wrappers

1 pound ground pork

2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

4 cups cabbage

2/3 cup shredded carrots

1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon water (paste to hold egg roll together)

canola oil for frying

Directions:

Cook ground pork and add 2 teaspoons each garlic and ginger to meat. Shred cabbage and carrots. The first time I used Napa cabbage and didn’t worry about cooking it slightly before. This time I used green cabbage and sautéed it with the carrots and 1/2 teaspoon each of the ginger and garlic. Mix all together and salt to taste.

Pour oil into pot and heat on medium high.

Add 1/3 cup of mix to middle of egg roll wrap. Fold both sides in and pull top down. and roll down. Add some flour paste to the bottom corner and press to egg roll to “glue” together.

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Once you have “roll, roll, rolled” everything, check and see if the oil is ready. I normally drop a small drip of water off my fingers. If it bubbles immediately it is ready, if not wait a few min. When the oil is ready, carefully drop the egg roll into the pot. I use tongs to make sure I’m not splattered. When it starts to look brown on the bottom flip them over. Now this is not as easy as you might think. Some flip and stay that way. In my experience most try and flip back over. It’s annoying, but you get the hang of it eventually!

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They will only take a couple min. About 2 on the first side and 1 on the other. Once you are all done frying, you end of with a yummy plate full of

IMG_7157EGG ROLLS!! B completely devoured his and will most likely ask for another for lunch tomorrow! These would be great to freeze and have on hand for quick lunches and snacks. You could reheat in the oven or microwave. Be sure to cover with a paper towel in the microwave though.

Now for the Vegetable Lo Mein!

2 servings lo mein noodles (my brand comes with 4 servings separated in the pack)

1 broccoli head

1/2 cabbage shredded

2/3 cup shredded carrots

1/2 chicken broth

soy sauce substitute

sesame seed oil

salt and pepper

Cut up broccoli, cabbage and carrots and place in pan over med heat with 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Cook for 2-3 min and add chicken broth. Lower to med-low and allow to cook until soft and tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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You could really add any veggies you want to this. I wanted some sugar snap peas for it but they were out at the commissary. Some mushrooms would be yummy to and would be some nice meaty texture. Steven and S aren’t big on them, but maybe next time I add some for me and the boys and just keep them big enough to pick out!

Follow the directions on the lo mein package. Mine take around 3 min to cook! Love fast noodles 🙂

While your veggies are cooking this is a great time to make your soy sauce.

Soy Sauce Substitute

3 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chicken stock

1 Tablespoon Sherry cooking wine

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons molasses

Combine all and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 min until reduced in half.

Most recipes use beef stock, but I think the taste is better with chicken. That is completely up to you and whatever stock you have available will do the trick.

When veggies, sauce and noodles are done. Combine and salt to taste. IMG_7163The kids thought it was great! Egg rolls are a great way to get the whole family involved in cooking. Hope you enjoy!

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