Limited Ingredient Diets

Limited Ingredient Diets

I’m one of those people who nags others to go to the doctor as soon as possible, but rarely go myself. It’s a bad habit that I really need to work on. It’s why it took me a long while to finally visit an allergist for a few persistent issues I’ve been dealing with. They ended up drawing some blood to see if I have any major food allergies.

The test results won’t be back for a bit, but this got me thinking about recipes and resources for people who do have to avoid certain kinds of foods. Here are some of the more excellent food blogs I came across during my research:

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An excellent selection of dairy and gluten-free recipes.

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An extremely thorough selection of recipes that are free from gluten, dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, AND shell fish.

LTEAFBannerwithFood
Delicious recipes from a mom dealing with eosinophilic esophagitis.

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Thoughtful recipes that focus on balancing flavor with dietary restrictions.

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Great recommendations and awesome recipes.

 

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Do you have any favorite allergen-free recipe blogs? Please share them in the comments!

Candied Pecans

Candied Pecans

I’m not a big fan of nuts.

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Sure, I can eat a handful of honey roasted peanuts now and then, salted cashews are starting to grow on me, and I like my peanut-butter crunchy, but I despise Jordan almonds and think that nuts ruin perfectly good fudge. I hate nuts in stuffing, I hate nuts in trail mix. They’re usually bitter and make my teeth feel weird.

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But these Candied Pecans might as well be some illicit drug with how addicted to them I am.

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I would go as far as to say that besides for the allergic, these would convert even the most ferocious of nut-haters.

candied pecans

They’re so easy to make and perfect to have on hand for the holidays. I’ve served them for our last three holiday movie parties, and several years ago I even made festive little baggies of them as gifts.

Candied Pecans
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 20 servings
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces pecan halves
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat to 300 degrees and line a large baking tray with wax paper.
  2. Whisk the egg white, vanilla, and water together in a large bowl until its thicker and frothier.
  3. Add in the sugars, cinnamon, and salt, and then mix thoroughly until the pecans are well covered.
  4. Spread evenly over the wax paper-lined baking tray and place in oven for 45 minutes.
  5. Stir the pecans every 15 minutes.
  6. Cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.
  7. Stores well in cookie tins.

 

You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t give them a chance.

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Our humble party spread featuring the candied pecans, kettle corn, movie-theater popcorn, hummus and veggies, hot cocoa and fresh whipped cream, eggnog, pomegranate punch, salted caramel cookies, various candies, and a delicious cabbage salad courtesy of my brother and his girlfriend.

 

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Holiday shorts and cartoons before our main feature during our Holiday Movie Party

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

You heard me right. Gluten-free Thanksgiving.

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(With the exception of those Hawaiian sweet rolls, everything on this table is gluten-free).

And to redeem my table decorating skills, here’s what it looked like when I actually served dinner:

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I dove into this adventure because a dear, dear friend ended up joining us for turkey day last year and they have a pretty rough time with gluten. I resolved to make sure they could have as yummy a day as the rest of us.

To be clear, gluten-free basically means nothing that might have gluten in it — that’s wheat, barley, rye. It’s in most flours, and it’s often used as a thickening agent in other foods. A LOT of foods, actually.

Going into a gluten-free Thanksgiving had me kind of freaked out, if I’m super honest. I wanted to make absolutely certain that I didn’t accidentally poison my friend. This lead to hours of Googling and researching the bajesus out of all these new recipes I could try out.

In the end, it wasn’t hard. I eventually threw out those new recipes and returned to what I had already been making.

That’s right. A gluten-free Thanksgiving required minimal changes from what I was already doing. Who knew?

Mashed potatoes with cream, cheddar, bacon, and garlic? Gluten-free.

Corn starch instead of flour in the gravy and boom, gluten-free.

Cranberry sauce… no gluten there.

The sweet potato casserole I’ve been making for the last eleven or so years? Gluten-free.

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Green bean casserole? With a few modifications, it tasted just as good as any other year and BOOM — gluten-free. Just swap out the french fried onions for something homemade:  slice up a medium onion, dip onion slices in buttermilk, then shake off and place in a zip-loc bag with gluten-free Bisquick, salt, and pepper. Shake to cover and then put those onions in the deep fryer. They’re done when they are golden and crispy and work great in the recipe below.

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The amazing corn casserole that Adam brings? Swap out one ingredient and it’s delicious (as usual) AND gluten-free.

Our Brussels sprouts? GLUTEN-FREAKING FREE.

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The gluten-free stuffing mix we bought from the neighborhood market was delicious. I expected it to be a little off-putting or weird, but it turns out that gluten-free products have come a long, long way.

Pie was probably the biggest challenge, and it still ended up being pretty easy. All it required was picking up a few gluten-free shells to fill with our normal pie choices.

To save time, we admittedly also just picked up a pre-cooked turkey, splurging on one from Whole Foods. That was an amazing choice and freed up time to focus on making and cooking the tasty side dishes.

If you need to put on your own gluten-free turkey day, don’t be intimidated. It’s easier than you might think — just double check your canned goods and broths to make sure they’re gluten-free, too.

Happy eating!

Tater Tot Nachos – or – Totchos

Tater Tot Nachos – or – Totchos

I don’t know about you, but Tater Tots are probably my favorite form of potato. Those little nuggets that are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside just speak to my soul.

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Brandie requested cheesy tots for this last Friday night Qwerty meal, and then Cat made the best suggestion of her entire life; tater tot nacho bar.

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It was divine. The tots were the perfect cheese, quac, onion, meat, sour cream, etc receptacle.

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And then the leftovers for breakfast the next day was more than a girl could dream of.

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Tater Tot Nachos - or - Totchos
 
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Ingredients
  • Tater Tots - 1 cup "scoop" for each person served
  • Suggested toppings:
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Nacho Cheese
  • Seasoned Ground Beef
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • Jalapenos
  • Olives
  • Purple Onion
  • Green Onion
  • Diced Tomatos
  • Enchilada Sauce
  • Bacon Pieces
Instructions
  1. Bake tater tots per packaging directions
  2. Prepare toppings while tots are baking, including shredding and chopping.
  3. Place tots in a bowl and cover with your favorite toppings!
  4. Enjoy

 

Bonus kitty close up:

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Slow-Cooker BBQ Pork Ribs

Slow-Cooker BBQ Pork Ribs

To pair with our Loaded Baked Potato Bar the other night, I knew I wanted some kind of meat.

So, I went to our local grocer and took at look at what was on sale, annnnnnd…. it was pork ribs!

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I got two racks and because wanted to get as much lazing around time on my weekend as possible, decided to throw em in the slow-cooker.

slow cooker bbq pork ribs

They were perfect! Fall of the bone tender, and moist and delicious! Also, so easy.

Slow-Cooker BBQ Pork Ribs
 
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Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 racks of pork ribs
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 10 ounces BBQ Sauce
Instructions
  1. Cut each rack into thirds, or whatever size will comfortably fit to layer in your slow-cooker.
  2. Combine your spices and pat into each section of rib.
  3. Place a section of rib in the bottom of the slow-cooker and splash with a teaspoon of the Worcestershire sauce and cover with a a bit of the BBQ sauce.
  4. Repeat with each section of ribs. I had to pile mine up high and then place one section on either side to get them all to fit.
  5. Pour the rest of the BBQ sauce in the slow cooker, retaining two ounces for later.
  6. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours.
  7. - You can be done here, and just enjoy your delicious meat, OR continue with the next steps.
  8. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  9. Section each rib individually and place on a foil lined baking tray.
  10. Brush each rib with the remaining BBQ sauce and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  11. Serve warm and enjoy!

Finishing them in the oven is not required, but it gives the ribs that traditional wonderful sticky finish.

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These are sure to please.

Loaded Baked Potato Bar

Loaded Baked Potato Bar

This last Friday Brandie had the genius craving for potatoes and I thought a loaded potato bar with some kind of meat would be perfect.

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Bake a large russet potato for each person, and put out plenty of your favorite toppings, and you’re done!

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This meal was so satisfying and so delicious and so easy!

Oven Baked Potatos
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 Large Russet Potato for each person
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Scrub the potatoes clean and pat dry.
  3. Rub the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle the skin with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Pierce each potato with a fork a couple of times.
  5. Cover large baking tray with tin foil and place the potatoes on that.
  6. Bake in oven for 50 minutes or until inserting a fork, the insides are tender.
Notes
For Loaded Baked Potatoes:
Prepare your favorite potato toppings; we included butter, seasonings (garlic and onion powder, salt, pepper and Spike), sour cream, green onions, and fresh bacon pieces.

 

This is a great meal for a weeknight as well because the most effort you have to put forward, is scrubbing the potatoes!

 

Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes

Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes

For the last few days I’ve been staring at our super ripe bananas trying to decide what to make with them. Every morning I contemplate a Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie, but have gone with a bagel or cereal instead, or I’ve thought about some of Brandie’s Cinnamon Streusel Banana Bread or those Banana Muffins I liked so much, but it just didn’t feel like the choice.

So this morning I decided to make some gluten-free banana pancakes; low carb, low fat, natural sugars, and high in taste.

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Not that health is usually a decider in my dietary choices, but it’s a nice side affect for something so delicious.

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These were a great use of old bananas, super simple to make, and very tasty.

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Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes
 
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Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 very ripe (brown) bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet on medium heat until a drop of water placed in the center will sizzle and dance, but not immediately evaporate.
  2. Use a small amount of the butter to grease the pan in a medium sized circle, and then using a ⅓ cup scoop, pour some of the batter onto the pan.
  3. Cook until the top of the pancake starts to make bubbles and holes, and checking under the edge the bottom is golden brown.
  4. Flip and cook on the other side until it is also golden brown.
  5. Stack and serve with maple syrup, butter, jam, powdered sugar, or whatever your preferred pancake topping is.
Notes
To create a fluffier pancake, add 2 tablespoons of gluten free "flour" or pancake mix to the batter.