Our son recently had a blood test to see where his allergies were at, the good news was that lentils have made a significant decrease, but the elusive and more valued dairy, egg and nuts have continued to be stubborn and have gotten, slightly worse. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. I remember asking our specialist […]
My son is a bit over the rustic salmon balls I make, he has this dish once a week to keep the allergy troll away; high allergy foods need to be given regularly, so you can understand how you can get bored with the same ol’ dish every week.
I came up with a Salmon Bake. This dish is quick and easy and you will most likely have these ingredients in your pantry & fridge.
Salmon Bake Recipe – makes enough for 4-5 small ramekins
- 1 tin of salmon – I use John West Pink Salmon
- 1 celery finely chopped
- 1 garlic finely chopped
- 1/2 zucchini grated
- 3 florets of broccoli finely chopped
- 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes chopped into quarters
- pinch of salt
- a twist of pepper
- pinch of dried herbs (or fresh if you have them)
- tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 cups of macaroni or penne pasta
- 1 cup of breadcrumbs (I just use our regular bread and crumb it in the thermomix)
- 1/2 cup of dairy free cheese (or dairy cheese if you are lucky enough to be able to eat this!)
Place the celery and garlic in a pan with the olive oil and saute, add the zucchini, salt, pepper and herbs, stir fry until the zucchini is translucent.
Add the broccoli and cherry tomatoes and continue to stir, until they soften, add the salmon (mash it up before adding to pot) and mix.
Add the pasta to the pot and mix through.
Place the mixture in a ramekins (for individual serves) or casserole dish.
For the topping I use a dairy free cheese – Cheesly, but if you are lucky enough you can use parmesan, I mix this through with the breadcrumbs and then top the casserole dish. I then pop into the oven – on a grill setting for about 5 minutes until the top is golden brown. Just make sure you make this in advance as it can be quite hot for little mouths.
My son loves this dish, and I get to pack in a few vegies in addition to the fab omega 3 dose in the salmon. Would you give this dish a try?
Above, taking the plunge with large easter moulds…very tricky – I used white chocolate on the detail and chocolate for the rest (all dairy free by Sweet William)
I made some rice chocolate using rice puffs and dairy free chocolate – these turned out quite tasty!
Strawberry hedgehogs, dipped in white chocolate and chocolate chips (all dairy free by Sweet William)
Some examples of the white chocolate and chocolate truffles I made, with a few sultanas for garnish.
This year I decided to be a bit more adventurous with the Easter treats for my dairy allergic son; you can see the results above. For some reason things taste better when they look different to the norm, and when they are packaged in gold foil!
What I love about essjay’s recipe, is that the buns are light almost like Italian Panettone, and importantly very delicious! I made a big batch for Easter presents – for my son’s teachers, it took a bit of work but I wanted to give them something home-made, something special, to show my appreciation for their inclusiveness and understanding of my son’s allergies.
My son’s teacher uses cooking as a tool for literacy and numeracy and he (like most children) is happy to write stories about food. The head teacher has consulted me along the way and I have used recipes from my blog (very handy!), from gingerbread, pancakes, muffins and chocolate biscuits – all allergy free. My son is having a great time at school and he loves being part of all the action, especially cooking and eating! PS he is having so much fun he hardly notices that he is learning to read and write!
Magnet takes her first bath – the wheelbarrow was my son’s idea – ingenious!
After many requests from our son for a dog, we finally got one! What a dog she is, an absolute delight!
We have nicked named her ‘Magnet’, because wherever we go, she draws a crowd, people stop her for a pat, she is taken off for photographs with children and families, little children line up to take her for a short walks, talk about celebrity!
Many a child and parent are heard to fondly yell out “there’s Schnitzel Von Krumm” – meaningless to you unless you have read the much-loved, Lynley Dodd‘s ”Hairy Maclary” series of books; ‘Schnitzel Von Krumm’ is a feisty and endearing character, immortalised in many of Lynley Dodd’s children’s books.
We were a bit nervous getting a dog given the allergies and asthma our son has, and the notion of having a dog, seemed to be a stretch and perhaps a recipe for disappointment. We talked to our son’s Allergy Specialist who suggested we take the dog on a trial basis, to see how he goes allergy/asthma wise. In short our strategy was to tell our son that we were just looking after the dog whilst the owner was on holiday – brilliant idea! If it didn’t work out our son would be none the wiser and he wouldn’t be devastated to give the dog back.
I started researching a low shed, low allergy dog, I was quite keen on a ‘oodle crossbreed that is one of the Labradoodle, Spoodle, Cockerspoodle doggy types; these breeds have a curly coat (low shed) which is good for allergy/asthma sufferers. My husband was aghast! He wanted a big dog, a Labrador! Well that wasn’t going to work because of the amount of shed that happens with their coat, so we compromised with a Dachshund.
A bit of research later (many conflicting reports) and I discovered that short-haired Dachshunds are also low shed and some allergy/asthma sufferers found they had no problems with this breed. We found an awesome breeder who understood our situation and was happy to take the dog back, if for any reason she didn’t work out. I am happy to say eight weeks later, all is well and we are keeping Magnet!
My son adores her, he wishes she could swim and fetch – but we can slowly teach her that. Magnet is an older dog having had three litters, she has come to our home as part of her retirement plan : )
She likes nothing better than be next you, she loves going for walks – but not too far with those little legs! She loves chasing the swans (who are so much bigger than her), ducks and seagulls at the river, and yes she has small dog syndrome – she barks at the big dogs!
Most of the photographs shown have been taken by my son – who clearly is documenting almost every day of her time with us.
We hope that we will enjoy Magnet for many more years, and watch her grow up with our son, fingers crossed it will all work out, allergy and asthma wise.
Wish us luck!
One more week of school holidays and my son goes back to school, he is very excited. I am really pleased he loves school, given his life threatening allergies he handles himself really well, and at 5 1/2 he knows not to eat food that is not prepared by me. My son’s awareness about food […]
Last year, I remember it being around August, I set myself the challenge of producing a photography book of our son’s life – around 5 years of images, it was going to be a special gift for my husband, a Father’s Day present. Of course when I embarked on this challenge I had no idea that it would take sooo much time, I don’t know if you are the same, but we take a great deal of pictures, store them to computer and never print them. So you can imagine covering a time span of birth to 5 years, it is a long time, two laptops, three hard disk storage bricks, it’s huge!
The process of going through thousands of photographs, was joyful, many tears of gratitude, it made laugh at moments forgotten, I smiled when I remember how fragile my son was when he was born, and now he is this robust, confident and happy child.
As I looked at the start of this year, I reflected on the year that had been, there was no greater reminder than my son’s life, the gratitude I have for this person, this unique being on the amazing planet, this creation – his is indeed, a miracle.
So I start this year feeling very grateful for the joy of having this little boy and sharing it with this awesome person, my husband. I would also like to thank a friend of ours – Mark, who gently asserted that he should take some photographs of our son at the tender age of 9 weeks and then at the age of three. Mark did this for free, his work was professional, beautiful and now such a special memory of how tender, precious and fragile our son was, and he now stands before us a confident, 123cm, 24 kilo 5-1/2-year old; where did the time go?
So thank you Mark for this gift you have given us, we really didn’t want to do it, but now we fully appreciate what you did and we are forever grateful.
And if you are wondering how you can convert your digital photographs into a publication, there are so many company’s that offer this online, I chose blurb.com. The pages for our book weighs in at 224 pages – it will print out like a coffee table book, no photographs falling out or fading, just an enduring publication of our son’s start to life.
I have now set myself the challenge of doing a book a year – because there are just too many photographs to go through if you only do it every five years; too many red eyes to fix!
As I head into 2013, I don’t have any New Years Resolutions, just a feeling of gratitude, appreciation for the life I have and I would like to say thank you God, for all the blessings in my life.
It’s official, we are having a heat wave, 6 days and counting – with temperatures over 38′C (over 100′ F), there is good reason to have air conditioning or to find a hobbit hole and dwell!
My recent kitchen gadget purchase, a Zoku - ice cream maker, has come in handy and I love the way that it takes around 8 minutes to create an ice treat (once you have prepared your mix).
I am also enamoured with new-found ability to create a hard-core chocolate shell for the paddle pop – so now my dairy allergic son gets to enjoy the experience of having a chocolate coated ice cream – he is very happy with that!
I turned to the fabulous Vegan Ice Cream Paradise blog for her chocolate ice cream recipe – it is a winner! I used my much-loved Valhrona Cocoa – just remember to reduce the amount as it is stronger in taste and complexity. And I omitted the raspberries, but please feel free to add them back in! Another tip, with all ice cream making, make sure you place your ice cream maker into the freezer 24-36 hours before you plan to use it, and always make sure your ingredients are chilled before placing into any type of ice cream machine.
You will see in the recipe that it calls for soy creamer, I can’t find this in the store so it is pretty easy to make my own, just check my strawberry ice cream recipe on how to do it.
For the hard chocolate shell, I just use a double boiler and melt some dairy free chocolate with a teaspoon or so of coconut oil – let it cool and then using the Zoku chocolate station, place the frozen paddle pop in, and ta da, chocolate coated ice cream. It sets instantly so you could eat or place it in the Zoku storage station for eating, later.
And just in case you think I am in love with the Zoku range, well yes I am and I am not even paid to say that!
I don’t know about the rest of the world, but in my small part of the planet Trifle is a dessert that is synonymous with Christmas. My Mother in Law makes a killer trifle. If you don’t know what’s in a trifle, please let me enlighten you on our version; in a large glass bowl you place a base of sherry soaked jelly roll (sponge cake rolled upon itself with a jam interior), a layer of jelly (jello) with seasonal fruit, a layer of custard and to top it off, a fluffy light blanket of cream. So with every scoop, you need to excavate vertically, carefully, so you obtain a little bit of all of the layers, and it looks like a riot of colour on your plate, very Christmas!
After a large Christmas Eve dinner, I crave trifle, not the plum pudding and brandy butter – although that is also very good. But as you can imagine here in Western Australia, Christmas Eve temperature is forecasted to be 35′C or 95F - so I crave cold comfort food to cool me down.
Now my little 5 1/2 year old is allergic to almost everything in a trifle except for the jam, jelly and fruit. Loving a cooking challenge, I set my self the task of creating an allergy free version of my much-loved trifle, safe for him to eat. I have to thank many a blogger for helping me to accomplish this, so with each step I have acknowledged gratefully these wonderful cooks and chefs for giving me the inspiration and the recipes to make something special for our little guy.
Bobby’s Trifle – Dairy and Egg Free
This sponge cake is based on a Fluffy White Cupcake recipe from Shmooed Food; I have used this recipe many a time and it is a wonderful base for birthday cakes and is delicious and moist. I made this cake in a flat baking tray, I was careful to only half fill it. When the cake was cooked I used the baking paper to gently roll it – alas it did crack and didn’t do a smooth roll, I quickly wrapped it in cling film in its rolled position and put in the fridge. For the trifle I just cut a slice and placed it in the bottom of the glass and placed a teaspoon or two of orange juice (to replace the sherry).
The traditional trifle has a vanilla custard, last time I made this it was not such a big hit with my son, who prefers all things chocolate. So to guarantee a winning combination I made a chocolate custard. I found a great recipe here by Veggieful. After making the custard and before putting it in the fridge my boy had a taste, and of course he wanted to eat the rest of the bowl!
The easiest part of the dish besides the fresh fruit, I used Aeroplane Jelly - Raspberry flavour.
I used strawberries, blueberries and seedless grapes.
Typically trifle is gently entombed with fresh cream. I was contemplating using a whipped coconut cream but thought about the heaviness of this for a little 51/2 year old stomach, so elected to do a shaved white chocolate – thank you Sweet William for making dairy free chocolate!
My son has witnessed the assembly of his trifle and now there is a countdown to eating this dessert as well as Santa’s delivery - “how many more minutes Mum”?!
A special thank you to all the people who inspire me – my son, my husband and my family, bloggers, readers, commentators, likers, face book friends, blog readers, thank you! I hope you and your family have a safe and happy festive season, Charmaine x
And for my allergy friends – here’s to dreaming and wishing for an allergy free Xmas…..one day soon xxx
Image above: Fruit Mince Pies photographed near our Australian native Holly Shrub (only one red berry on the whole tree!)
I love discovering new recipes, and found a great one for Fruit Mince Pies in the local newspaper, you can find it here. Unfortunately because of the dairy and egg allergies in our house I could only use this recipe as an inspiration to tweak my version of this Christmas treat.
I also thought I’d try out my new Vegan Shortening recipe – this is very easy to make and does improve your pastry markedly; it’s all about the food chemistry and the incorporation of air. A must ‘go to’ site is Vegan Baking and the Vegan Butter and Vegan Shortening pages. I used my mini cup-cake silicone baking tray to set my shortening in the freezer - you can also use an ice cube tray.
I added jam and black strap molasses to the fruit mince and dutch pressed cocoa to the pastry. It turned out very well!
Image above: Vegan Shortening (home made)
Fruit Mince Pies
Short Crust Pastry Recipe
1 cup Atta Flour
1/2 plain flour
3 tbsp of chickpea flour (besan flour)
1 tbsp of coconut flour
2 tbsp of dutch pressed cocoa powder
2 tbsp of icing sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
150 grams of Vegan Shortening
2-3 tbsp of iced cold water
In a food processor, pulse the dry ingredients until uniform in appearance, add the shortening and pulse until the mixture starts to look like breadcrumbs, slowly add the cold water and continue to pulse until the mixture forms a dough ball. Remove from food processor and roll into a ball and wrap in cling film, allow to rest in fridge for at least 1 hour. After an hour roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper, cut out base of each pie and stars for tops. I used a mini cup cake baking tin, but you can make whatever size you prefer.
- 200g raisins chopped
- 200g currants
- 200g sultanas
- juice of one orange
- 1 tsp mixed spices
- 2 tbsp of black strap molasses brown sugar
- 1 apple, peeled and grated
- zest of 1 lemon
- 40g coconut oil melted
- 50g jam – strawberry
Mix all the ingredients together and place in an air tight container, best to do this first thing in the morning to give the fruit a chance to absorb the liquid.
To make up the fruit mince pies, cut out the base from the pastry, place a spoonful of mince in each pie, garnish with a pastry star and bake in a moderate/hot over around 180′C for around 10 minutes.
If you have any fruit mince over, you can place it in an airtight jar in the fridge for about a week or so.