I've been forced to get creative around here with literally every single thing that goes into our mouths. And while it's a whole lot of work, and frankly sometimes, a whole lot of money, I am for the most part thankful. Obviously, I am thankful that Bubble Boy is doing so much better. But even more so, I am thankful that our whole family is eating better, widening our horizons, and paying attention to our health.
Personally, my tastes are changing and no one is more surprised than I am. I can't even think about eating most fast food anymore. And last month, I was at the store and Keebler cookies were buy one get one free. I bought some Deluxe Grahams and Grasshoppers and got them home and found that I couldn't even force them down. I had absolutely no taste for them
So without further ado, here are some of the new recipes I've been trying!
Let's start with side dishes. I was killing myself looking for main courses that didn't include chicken, beef, or shrimp, and finally I realized that if I found enough healthy sides, we could make a meal out of side dishes!
The whole family likes this garlic parmesan orzo--a little more tasty and sophisticated than your regular mac and cheese. Bubble Boy gobbles it up! Last night, we had quesadillas and I made this quinoa and black beans. Now Bubble Boy didn't like this one, which is just as well, since he is allergic to both corn and onions (I kept him a small serving out before I added those ingredients), but I thought it was delicious! Not to mention that the Carnivore gobbled up 2 servings. This will be a great, healthy, hot lunch for him during the school year. Sweet potato biscuits (from the recipe book "Appetite for Reduction") were a great side dish one night when we got pork barbecue from Whole Foods for dinner. Neither of the boys were crazy over them, but they ate them without a battle, and since they won't tolerate sweet potatoes otherwise (even sweet potato fries--they're crazy!), I count it as a victory.
I only have two main courses to share with you, but they are both great. First off, is Snobby Joes. A vegan take on Sloppy Joes--but don't worry, no fake meat involved. Green lentils are used in lieu of ground beef. I made them sans onions so that Bubble Boy could have some. Not surprisingly, he didn't jump on board, but it wasn't really up his alley, taste-wise, so I wasn't too disappointed. I loved them and while I served them on bread the first night, I ate the leftovers on tortilla chips and melted shredded cheddar on top. Delicious! Tonight we grilled out some wild Alaskan salmon on wood planks. Expensive, yes. But when Bubble Boy's dinner plate goes from this (and that's the garlic Parmesan orzo):
it makes it so worth the splurge!!
So now for the really fun part--the baking. Bubble Boy is allergic to eggs and chocolate, which puts a dent in baking, for sure. While I do seek out vegan recipes, because they've already accounted for not using eggs, I have gotten brave enough to start doing my own substitutions with other recipes. Friday afternoon, I made Banana Oat Muffins, but I kinda did my own thing with the recipe, and they came out beautifully! Here's the way I did it:
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 tbsp wheat germ
2-3 tbsp ground flax seeds
1single serve container of organic unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas (which for me was 2 medium bananas)
Mix the dry ingredients. Mix the "wet" ingredients. Add the dry ingredients in and mix. Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes. My version of the recipe made 14 muffins.
We have also been making a lot of pumpkin recipes (muffins and cookies), but I seem to change the recipe up every time, so I don't have it down to an exact science.
Then today, I made these Peanut Apple Pretzel Cookies from the recipe book "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar". Since Bubble Boy is allergic to peanuts, I used sunflower seeds instead, but only about 1/4 cup. They're great and hearty like a granola bar. The Blackstrap Gingersnaps from the same book are simple and delicious, but I favor this gingersnap recipe because it turned out crunchier. I had to do an egg substitution here (I think I subbed some oil and one Ener-G egg replacer).
I always love to hear about new recipes. If you have a good one to share, feel free to leave it in the comments or email me at email@example.com.