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Allergy Awesomeness by Allergyawesomeness@gmail.com - 5d ago

Just because you’re dairy-free and egg-free, doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to creamy, ranch potato salad this summer! So full of flavor, it slaps you in the face, not once, but TWICE. Dotted with crispy bacon and green onions, this savory side dish will win over any BBQ–no matter your food allergies or food restrictions. This Instant Pot Dairy-free Ranch Potato Salad is free of: wheat, gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut & tree nuts. It’s also top-8-free and is vegan is you swap out the bacon for vegan bacon crumbles!

This post contains affiliate links.

Ranch is basically nectar of the God’s, so saying goodbye to dairy meant saying goodbye to one of my favorite dips and dressings. Long are the days of buying the seasoning mix packets at the store and adding it to Greek yogurt or sour cream and making a homemade dip–which made making a Ranch Potato Salad seem impossible.

Trust me, I’ve searched high and low for a store-bought ranch packet–and the closest I’ve found is the dressing Hampton Creek Just Ranch (unsponsored.) Which is great when you’re in a pinch and you want something from the store. It’s really been great, but it’s not thick, like you want when you’re coating something like potato salad.

So, what was a ranch-loving girl supposed to do? While I love regular potato salad, a ranch potato salad was my jam. It’s truly the best side dish for any and all BBQs.

I went to my previous trusty blogger, Pioneer Woman, because while she basically bathes in butter, she knows how it goes to be out of an ingredient. While I’m not “out” of an ingredient because I live on some remote ranch, I have to cook without store-bought ingredients and from scratch constantly due to food allergies and dietary restrictions. I found her homemade ranch mix packet and tweaked it to be allergy-friendly.

Since you don’t use buttermilk or any other way of watering it down, the ranch results in a super tangy, super flavorful ranch unlike you’ve ever had. Seriously–it may have ruined me, because other ranches may just seem blah after this. I’ve been dipping sugar snap peas, carrots and cucumbers in the remaining ranch and it has been pure heaven!

Potatoes are quickly made in the instant pot (or not) for a painless dish.  And, if you’ve been following along, you know that I am instant pot obsessed. I actually just turned in my manuscript for my allergy-friendly instant pot cookbook–so to say I use it a LOT is an understatement. (If you don’t have one, buy one now so you’re ready for when my cookbook comes out spring 2019!) I love using the instant pot, because I often feel when I have to boil a large pot of water, it ends up making my kitchen feel hot and steamy–which isn’t a welcomed feeling when it’s already the dead heat of summer. The instant pot is able to tenderize the potatoes in just 8 minutes of cooking time (plus coming up to pressure and releasing the pressure).

SUBSTITUTION HELP FOR DAIRY-FREE RANCH POTATO SALAD:
  • Feel free to use any mayo you need. If you can have eggs, use regular. If you have a favorite vegan/egg-free mayo, use that. Either will work, and use you can use it at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Feel free to use vegan bacon if you want this to be completely vegan.
  • Chives can replace green onions, if you have those on hand instead.
  • You can boil the potatoes until fork tender if you do not have an instant pot.
  • You can purchase bacon crumbles, if you don’t want to cook your own. I’m just a sucker for hot, fresh bacon!

I hope that this helps you bring a side dish with some pride to the next pool party or BBQ you attend. People will not realize this is an allergy-friendly side dish and I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s the first to go–I mean, ranch AND bacon–come on! Match made in side dish heaven. Happy cooking and eating of my Instant Pot Dairy-free Ranch Potato Salad.

Instant Pot Dairy-free Ranch Potato Salad
 
Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
8 mins
Total time
18 mins
 
Author: Allergy Awesomeness
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 12 oz bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 pounds red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ Tablespoon dried parsley
  • ½ Tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • ½ tsp dried chives
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 cup vegan mayo
  • 2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced--both the green and white parts
Instructions
  1. Open the lid to the instant pot and hold several pieces of bacon over the pot. Using kitchen shears (these are my FAVORITE), cut the bacon into bite sized pieces and let it fall into the pot. Do this until you've cut all of the bacon. Hit "saute" and cook the bacon until it's extra crispy. This takes around 5 minutes, while it's cooking stir it occasionally. While it's cooking, wash and dice your red potatoes and set them aside.
  2. Turn off the instant pot, and remove the bacon and set it on several paper towels to absorb excess grease.
  3. Carefully pour the grease out into a safe container (I like to save mine). If you do not save yours, you can throw it away once it's cool.
  4. Wash, or wipe out your instant pot to remove any leftover grease..
  5. Add one cup of water. Place your trivet on top of the water (or if you have a steamer basket, this works even better!). Place the potatoes on top of the trivet or steamer basket. Close the lid and move the valve to "sealing".
  6. Hit "manual" and use the plus and minus buttons until you reach 8 minutes.
  7. While the potatoes cook, combine all of the spices: parsley, dill, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt and pepper. Add the vegan mayo and stir well to combine. Set it aside.
  8. Once the potatoes are done cooking, move the valve to "venting" to quickly release the pressure. Drain the water and add the potatoes to a large bowl. Gently stir in the spiced mayo mixture, using a little bit at a time, until it's coated to your liking.
  9. Dice your green onions and add them, along with the crumbled bacon to the potato mixture. Serve immediately, or keep cold until you're ready to serve.
  10. If there's any leftover ranch mix, it's fabulous as a dip with bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, sugar snap peas and cucumbers!
Notes
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman. Also inspired by The Recipe Critic
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Looking for other allergy-friendly side dishes to bring to summer potlucks? Here are some of my favs:

Gluten, Egg & Dairy-free Avocado BLT Pasta Salad

Apple, Bacon & Spinach Salad with Sweet Red Onion Vinaigrette

Allergy-friendly Tuscan Pasta Salad

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A gluten and dairy-free pasta salad that no summer should be without. All the best parts of a BLT: bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado, along with a filling pasta and creamy dressing that is delicious on its own as an entree, or perfect as a side dish for potlucks and BBQs. This Avocado BLT Pasta Salad is free of: wheat, gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut and tree nuts. It’s top-8-free and can be vegan if you use vegan bacon crumbles!

This post contains affiliate links.

Forgive me for not posting this Gluten, Egg & Dairy-free: Avocado BLT Pasta Salad recipe sooner. We started eating this last summer and we just gobble it up so fast I can’t keep my family away long enough to snap a picture.

My mom has been staying with me for about the past month because 1.) she is a saint and 2.) to help raise my children while I worked wildly on the cookbook to get it sent to the publisher by the deadline.

This was one of her FAVORITE recipes I made for her last year and so she requested it again. And, guess what a bad daughter I am??!! We had it without her.

I know, I know. I bought all of the ingredients with good intentions, but ended up not making it while she was here because that week was crazy and I totally over estimated how much time I’d have to make a fresh dinner–so instead we ate cookbook shoot leftovers. My mom left to stay with my sister for the weekend since she lives about 40 minutes away. And, I realized that the avocados were NOT going to make it until she came back. So, I went ahead and made this in her honor. But now, she has it written down so she can make it for herself too once she gets back home. I’m so sorry mom! But, my mom did get to eat many of the delicious cookbook recipes while she was here, so hopefully that makes up for it!

The other thing that I love about this allergy-friendly pasta salad is that my boys ACTUALLY ate the lettuce. Seriously this never happens. They do not like salads and if there’s lettuce or spinach in something they typically pick it out. I’m not into making different meals for them, so I figured they’d just have to eat around it. But to my surprise they were gobbling. SERIOUSLY GOBBLING this down. My son had an extra helping and he’s already asking when I can make it again–to which I will gladly oblige.

While some may feel it’s not the healthiest because of the bacon–I still feel like this is a total mom win with the fresh tomatoes and lettuce in it, both of which vegetables my kids aren’t huge on. Sneak some carbs and some pasta and it will work magic. I swear!

SUBSTITUTIONS FOR THE AVOCADO BLT PASTA SALAD:
  • If you need this to be pasta salad to be vegan, since the mayo is already a vegan mayo, it’d be an easy switch to use vegan bacon instead and ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom, my vegan friends can have this as well!
  • And, if you’re not an avocado fan (seriously, how is that even possible??!) and you don’t want your salad to be extra creamy, then you can omit that too for a straight BLT salad instead of an avocado BLT pasta salad.
  • If you don’t need it to be gluten free, go ahead and use regular pasta–the same amount.
  • If you don’t need it to be egg free, go ahead and use regular mayo–same amount.
  • If you don’t want to cook the bacon (I get it, it’s hot and it’s summer!) you can buy pre-bought bacon crumbles.
  • If you don’t want to do romain, any other green can be substituted–same amount.
  • If you want to use more or less of the veggies, you can do that too.
  • If you don’t want to lead a happy, fulfilling life, don’t make this salad.
  • POINT IN CASE: this salad is very tweakable and forgiving.

I hope this helps you feel some pride when you go to a picnic or potluck, knowing that even if what you bring has to be allergy-friendly or tweaked for certain diets, that it can still be DELICIOUS. Hope you’re all having a wonderful summer friends!

Gluten, Egg & Dairy-free: Avocado BLT Pasta Salad
 
Prep time
25 mins
Cook time
10 mins
Total time
35 mins
 
A gluten and dairy-free pasta salad that no summer should be without. All the best parts of a BLT: bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado, along with a filling pasta and creamy dressing that is delicious on its own as an entree, or perfect as a side dish for potlucks and BBQs. This Avocado BLT Pasta Salad is free of: wheat, gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut and tree nuts. It's top-8-free and can be vegan if you use vegan bacon crumbles!
Author: Allergy Awesomeness
Recipe type: Entree Salad
Serves: 5 servings
Ingredients
  • SALAD:
  • 12 oz box of gluten-free short pasta. cooked according to direction to al dente
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 12-oz package of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 carton of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 heart of romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  • DRESSING
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • ⅔ cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (approx 2 cloves)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • optional: fresh chives for garnish
Instructions
  1. Boil the pasta until it's al dente, following the directions on the box for the kind you get. Rinse the pasta off in cold water and drain well. Add the pasta to a large mixing bowl.
  2. While the pasta boils, cook your bacon--either by doing it in a cast iron skillet on your stove top over medium high heat and turning until both sides are crisp, or by cooking it in the oven. If you cook it in the oven, place aluminum foil on a cookie sheet, lay the bacon without overlapping it on the aluminum foil. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes, until the bacon is crisp.
  3. Either way you bake the bacon, once it's cooked lay it on a paper towel to drain excess fat. Once it's cool enough to handle, crumble the bacon and add it to the large mixing bowl.
  4. Wash and chop the lettuce and halve the cherry tomatoes. Add them to the large mixing bowl.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients: finely chopped red onion, vegan mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste--season well. If the dressing is too thick for you, you can thin it a little with some rice milk.
  6. Dress the salad with the dressing, starting with just using half the bowl and working your way up, until it is coated as much as you like. Be sure to stir and incorporate the dressing on all of the salad, tossing as you go.
  7. Mince fresh chives and cube the avocado. Top the salad with the avocado and chives. Serve immediately. Great at room temp or refrigerated. If I refrigerate mine a few hours before serving, I like to reserve a little dressing, so that it's freshly dressed again, as the pasta can soak in the dressing and it can dry out a little and I like my salad a little more wet.
Notes
My husband says to mention that he likes to add to his salad some red pepper flakes for additional flavor and a kick of heat.
Inspired by: Bless This Mess & Kelsey Nixon's BLT Pasta Salads
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Looking for other allergy-friendly summer salads? Here are three of my other favorites:

Allergy-friendly Tuscan Pasta Salad

Roasted Cauliflower Pasta Salad

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If you miss marinating your chicken in store-bought Italian dressing (I sure did!), then this homemade version will satisfy that craving. A dairy & gluten-free version, this infuses chicken with flavor and juiciness. Easy to assemble and worth the wait while it marinades, this will be your go-to chicken flavoring all grilling season long! This marinade is also free of the top-8-free allergens!

This post contains affiliate links.

During the summer months my mom would often grill chicken that she’d marinated in store-bought Italian dressing. It was a dinner I looked forward to as it added lots of zest and flavor to the chicken. Depending on the brand of Italian dressing, it will have wheat/gluten and it always has dairy–which is a problem if you have to avoid both due to food allergies like we do.

I knew there had to be a way to make Italian dressing dairy-free, so I set out a few years ago and we have loved this allergy-friendly recipe ever since! I’m sorry I’ve sat on it for so long!

This recipe has even been featured on a local talk show, Fox 13’s The Place.  Check it out, if you’d like to see how to make it:

Not only do I make this gluten & dairy-free chicken recipe all summer long, but I even make it in the winter months using my indoor grill pan. This recipe is just too good to only enjoy for a few months out of the year!

The great thing about this recipe is that it uses all pantry staples, at least for me. If you’re new to dairy-free cooking, the only thing you might have to get would be some nutritional yeast. You’re going to want to go ahead and get some now anyways–because it’s the best seasoning if you want that cheesy flavor. I know it sounds odd, but since learning about it, I use it in a ton of recipes. It won’t give you that same texture, but it is like a thickener (think a yellow powder) that gives the taste of cheese in sauces. In fact, here are two other recipes you can use it on: Gluten & Dairy-free Spinach Sausage PastaEgg & Dairy-free Frittata Cups.

As with all marinades, the longer the chicken can marinade the better. I love to do mine overnight, or at least throw it together in the morning. I’d say 8 hours minimum, but I’m a flavor junkie. Another way to help the chicken really get maximum flavor is by trimming and cutting it before you marinade it. I used to just throw in the large chicken breasts straight from the store, but the marinade can only penetrate so much. Now, I go ahead and butterfly the chicken breasts (or smaller, since we have kids) into what I’ll actually be grilling, instead of waiting to cut it right before I grill. Try it! It’s the best grilling secret I’ve found in awhile!

The lemon, garlic and traditional Italian seasonings bring back all of the original flavors of the store-bought version in my homemade recipe. I hope that this helps bring back classic grilling flavors into your summer.  Who says you can’t have your childhood favorites just because you have food allergies and restrictions?

I’ve made this many times for family get togethers and everyone enjoys it–food allergies or not!

Remember–sharing is caring, so if you know someone that needs a gluten & dairy-free chicken recipe, be sure to share this with them!

PS–If you’re wondering what else we like to have at allergy-friendly BBQs, I often do my German Potato Salad, watermelon, baked potato chips, corn on the cob and baked beans…but sorry–the baked beans recipe is in my upcoming cookbook, so you’ll have to wait until spring 2019! And for dessert, we love for a crowd my chocolate sheet cake.

Dairy-free Homemade Italian Dressing Marinated Chicken
 
Prep time
8 hours
Cook time
15 mins
Total time
8 hours 15 mins
 
If you miss marinating your chicken in store-bought Italian dressing (I sure did!), then this homemade version will satisfy that craving. A dairy & gluten-free version, this infuses chicken with flavor and juiciness. Easy to assemble and worth the wait while it marinades, this will be your go-to chicken flavoring all grilling season long! This marinade is also free of the top-8-free allergens!
Author: Allergy Awesomeness
Recipe type: Grilling
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (this really doesn't add much heat-I promise!)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts (you can use chicken thighs too!)
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients, except the oils, in a blender. With the lid slightly ajar (enough to pour something in, but enough to keep splatters out) hit blend and slowly pour the oils in while the machine is going. This helps the oils incorporate.
  2. Trim and cut your meat (the thinner, the faster it will grill, and the more flavorful it will be). Place it in a zip top plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken.
  3. Lay the bag full of your chicken and marinade flat (this ensures even marinating) in your fridge for 8-24 hours and allow it to marinade. (I like to set it on a plate, just in case the bag opens and spills.)
  4. When you're ready to grill, discard any marinade and cook until the chicken registers 165 degrees F.
Notes
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Looking for more dairy-free chicken recipes? Here’s some of my favorites:

Oprah’s Unfried Chicken Made Allergy-friendly!

Dairy & Gluten-free Creamy Lemon Chicken

30 Minute Dairy-free Creamy Tuscan Chicken

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A grain-free, gluten-free, vegan pizza crust that only requires a few ingredients, no egg replacer, no crazy gluten-free flour blends and is SUPER simple to make. This recipe is life changing. Talk about allergy friendly!

This post contains affiliate links.

Holy crap. Could it be true? An easy, delicious, flavorful crust recipe that only takes a handful of ingredients and doesn’t use any specialty egg replacers or gluten-free flour blends? Doth my eyes deceive me?

No. No they do not!

If you haven’t heard of socca, I hadn’t either until a few weeks ago with The Kitchn did an article on it. It’s a street vendor food in France. Once I heard that it instantly gained my trust because the French know their food! Because let’s be honest–I’ve been burned with gluten-free crusts, and don’t even get me STARTED on gluten-free vegan crusts. I’ve got PTSD man. So I needed something that sounded trustworthy to get me to want to even attempt this.

Then, when I saw it only had one type of flour (not a blend!) and all six ingredients were already in my pantry I was invested!

Plus, the fact that my foodie friend that I’ve mentioned before, Gianna, tried it and said she was making it weekly–I was basically chomping at the bit to make this!

The original recipe just used this as a flatbread–but what is flatbread, but an untopped pizza? I knew I wanted to throw in some savory herbs and try this puppy out.

And it did NOT disappoint.

The dough is soft, like a breadstick…and did I mention I’ve missed those sooo bad? The flavor is so, soooo good. So, don’t let the fact that it uses chickpea flour scare you. It really is a great base that lets the italian herbs shine through. Plus, you can use the rest of the chickpea flour to make my egg-free fritata cups. Double win!

You could top this with whatever you like. I loved the simple pizza sauce, basil and black olives. That was what I had on hand. If you can do meat (which we do) I plan on putting italian sausage on it and maybe a sprinkling of vegan cheese (because my son has a gluten, dairy & egg allergy, among others). My son has already called dibs on that next rendition.

Let me know what toppings you try and what you think!! I’m excited to hear other peoples exploration of this fantastic french food that is free of: gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanuts & tree nuts and is top-8-free!

Grain-free, Gluten-free & Vegan Skillet Pizza (Socca)
 
Prep time
30 mins
Cook time
8 mins
Total time
38 mins
 
A grain-free, gluten-free, vegan pizza crust that only requires a few ingredients, no egg replacer, no crazy gluten-free flour blends and is SUPER simple to make. This recipe is life changing. Talk about allergy friendly!
Author: Allergy Awesomeness
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 slices
Ingredients
  • SOCCA CRUST:
  • 1 cup (4½ ounces) chickpea flour (also known as garbanzo bean flour)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • TOPPINGS:
  • Jarred pizza sauce (or marinara will do too)
  • Black olives, sliced
  • Fresh basil
  • Kosher salt & freshly cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. Turn your oven to 450 degrees F and adjust your oven rack to 6-8 inches from the top broiler.
  2. Whisk together all of the crust ingredients. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.
  3. When there is five minutes left on the crust resting, place your cast-iron skillet in the oven to heat for the final five minutes.
  4. Carefully remove the hot skillet with oven mits and place 1-2 teaspoons of additional olive oil in the pan and swirl it around to cover the entire surface.
  5. Pour the crust batter into the greased and hot skillet and spread evenly.
  6. Adjust your oven from 450 to broil.
  7. Broil the crust for 6-8 minutes, or until the edges are a golden brown and the center is set. The crust will be flexible, but cooked.
  8. Take the crust out and top with your favorite toppings. Cut into wedges and carefully remove with a heat safe spatula. Best eaten fresh.
Notes
Adapted from: The Kitchn
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Looking for other gluten-free & allergy-friendly Italian dishes? Here are some of my favs:

Allergy-friendly Ragu 

Pizza Soup

30 Minute Sausage & Peppers

 

The post Grain-free, Gluten-free & Vegan Skillet Pizza (Socca) appeared first on Allergy Awesomeness.

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This chocolaty, but not too rich, dairy-free “buttercream” is the kind of frosting that makes me look forward to eating the edges of the cake! Allergy-friendly, this frosting is free of: gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanuts & tree nuts. It’s vegan and top-8-free too. Soft, and pipeable, this is great for piping or just eating with a spoon!

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Would you like a little sneak peek into my crazy life? Today is my baby’s (sniff, sniff…OK, not so “baby” anymore) 2nd birthday. I knew I wanted to make him chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, because this kid is crazy about chocolate. What can I say, the baby’s got great taste!

I’m attending a food blogging conference this weekend, so I’ve been frantically trying to work ahead for my blog, get ready and pack for the conference, and finish up some freelance writing. It’s been a hectic week.  Top that off with my husband was out-of-town last weekend, and I’ve been feeling stretched thin! And, of course, as we mother’s do–I’m meal planning for my husband, grocery shopping and stocking the pantry, writing a note for the babysitter and making sure all is well before I leave.  I’m not entirely sure why I do this. My husband is completely capable and willing, but it makes me feel better to know I’ve left things in good order.

Add to that, that my husband’s work schedule has been off-kilter because of him taking time off so he can be with the boys while I’m at the conference, so we’re all hardly home at the same time!

It didn’t hit me until last night, that we literally had no time when we’d all be home together to cut his cake and blow out his candles.  I was totally torn! My four-year-old thinks singing “Happy Birthday” and “helping” blow out the candles is SO MUCH FUN, whether it’s his birthday or not…so I didn’t want to do it while he was at pre-school.  But, I didn’t want my husband missing out either–he’s half the reason my baby is here!  My husband is already missing going out to dinner for his birthday tonight (I thought about postponing that–but there’s literally not one day this week we’ll all be home for dinner).  So I didn’t know what to do!

Around 11 p.m. last night, my husband and I decided we’d get up, do a nice breakfast, keep my son home from school for a bit, and do the cake and blowing out of candles early.  Then, we’d take my son in late to school, and my husband would go off to work.

Needless to say, you don’t have to talk little boys into being OK with eating chocolate cake early in the morning!  Bed head and all he was quite happy to be sung to at 8 a.m!

The hard part, was that I made the cakes late last night (again–crazy schedule) so I couldn’t frost it, because it was too hot!  So, this morning, while the bacon was cooking, and the hashbrowns were browning, I was frantically trying to frost the cake.  As you can guess–the bacon got a bit done.

Then, because I’m insane, I wanted to share the buttercream frosting with you guys.  Which meant I had to squeeze in taking photos of it early this morning too!

Because my photography is still growing, I baby myself and always take photos late afternoon when the lighting is better.  So I was DYING trying to take photos in the hot morning sun.  Bear with me!

Also, just for a fun mental picture, I was in such a hurry that I literally was in my backyard taking photos of the cake in my bathrobe.  You’re welcome neighbors!  But, I got a few photos snapped, and we got my freshly turned two-year-old sung to, my other son off to school, and I’m here hurriedly typing this up now and it’s not even 11 a.m. my time!  #Winning!

Now, if I run out of steam for the other 14 things on my  list (that number is totally true) I can swipe some frosting, or eat some double layer chocolate cake to give me a sugar high and keep plowing through.

A bit about the frosting, and not about my crazy life–I know when you see shortening in it, you might think gross.  I used to think so too, because store-bought frostings usually have shortening in them and they’re sickly sweet.  But, this is tempered with some coconut oil, so it’s just right! I love this chocolate frosting.  It’s obviously perfect for cakes, but it’s also great on safe graham crackers.  YUM!!!

I seriously look forward to the edge of the cake and save it for last so my final bites are rewarded with the thick outer layer of frosting. I hope you like it too!

And a note, while my baby only has allergies to peanuts and tree nuts, I like to always cook to the lowest common denominator (my older son has way more) so that the entire family can enjoy the treat–especially for holidays so we can make those lasting memories.  So, I decided to make the cake and frosting free of the top eight allergens: wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish, peanut and tree nut.

Happy birthday to my sweet baby! May this year be wonderful to you!!

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MAKING DAIRY-FREE FROSTING:

  • Why do I need to keep this frosting covered?
    • Because of the coconut oil, this frosting will set up and get hard (unless it’s kept somewhere very warm–in which case it could melt). To keep the frosting soft, I keep it covered with plastic wrap or in an air tight container. If it’s frosted on something, I make sure to cover the entire cake or cupcakes in a cake saver to avoid it getting too hard.
  • I don’t want chocolate frosting, do you have an allergy-friendly vanilla frosting?
  • Where do I find the cupcake recipe shown in the picture?
  • Can I use regular shortening?
    • Absolutely! If you do not have a soy allergy, or are not vegan, feel free to use whatever type of shortening you like. If you need an allergy-friendly shortening, the cleanest, vegetable based one I’ve found is spectrum.
  • Why do you combine the oils with the cocoa first?
    • I find that if I add the cocoa anytime after that, it’s harder to incorporate. If I really cream the oils with the cocoa (being sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl multiple times throughout) that it really helps make a rich, smooth, chocolaty taste!
  • Why don’t you just use all coconut oil, or all shortening? Why do you use a combo?
    • I find if I use all shortening that it feels very greasy in my mouth. If I use all coconut oil, it’s very temperamental to temperature and can melt easy because coconut oil has such a low melting point. I find the combo of the two gives a great texture and the structure is better for piping.
  • Can’t I just sub in vegan butter for regular butter?
    • You can, but I find vegan butter hard to find, expensive and it has a bit of an after taste. I prefer the combination or shortening and coconut oil because they have milder tastes (just be sure you use refined coconut oil, so it doesn’t taste like coconut…unless you like that.)

Chocolate "Buttercream" Frosting (GF, DF, Egg, Soy, Peanut, Tree nut Free, Top 8 Free)
 
Prep time
10 mins
Total time
10 mins
 
This chocolaty, but not too rich, dairy-free "buttercream" is the kind of frosting that makes me look forward to eating the edges of the cake! Allergy-friendly, this frosting is free of: gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanuts & tree nuts. It's vegan and top-8-free too. Soft, and pipeable, this is great for piping or just eating with a spoon!
Author: Allergy Awesomeness
Serves: Frosts 12 cupcakes
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the oil and shortening with the paddle attachment. Once combined, add the cocoa. Incorporate completely. You'll find the cocoa really adhere's to the bottom of the bowl, so use a spatula and make sure everything is scraped and incorporated before moving on. Then, add the vanilla and salt. Mix. Then, alternate the rice milk and powdered sugar until you've used them all. Feel free to add more powdered sugar if you need it stiff, or a bit more rice milk if you want it thinner. I find this frosts 12 cupcakes great, but if you want to frost a double layer cake, I'd make one and a half batches. Keeps well in the fridge, covered.
3.5.3208

Adapted from: “The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook” by Cybele Pascal

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Moist, dense chocolate cake that is topped with a rich, silky chocolate buttercream makes for the perfect birthday cake or cupcakes for any allergy kiddo. This is the one recipe every allergy mom needs up her sleeve. This recipe is free of: gluten, dairy, egg, peanut and tree nuts.

These are truly the best allergy-friendly chocolate birthday cupcakes you’ll ever have!

Most of the time I make things because they sound delicious! That, or my son wants it, and there are no safe alternatives.

And this time, I still made something because it sounded absolutely DIVINE…but also because it was a PREGNANCY craving!

If you haven’t been following my Instagram (Why not?? There’s so many fun behind-the-scenes Instagram stories!) Then you’re probably in the dark that I’m expecting. True story–I actually broke the news to my Instagram friends before some of my family. That’s benefits!

Last Tuesday we went in to find out the gender. Finding out the gender always makes the baby feel so much more REAL. Instead of this belly that looks like I ate too much, and feeling nauseous and exhausted all the time, you get to see that there is a REAL HUMAN BEING in there…causing all that raucous.

I decided since we’d be celebrating this baby’s birthday in a few months to finally share my favorite cake and frosting for all birthday celebrations. I know many allergy moms who don’t care to bake, but once a year you gotta pull out something. EVERY allergy mom needs a good birthday cake and frosting up her sleeve. I make this for all birthdays, and even friends and neighbors and family members without allergies like it. I don’t feel I have to say sorry, or an excuse. when I serve it to “regular” eaters.

The cake is moist and dense. The frosting is silky and rich. Chocolate on chocolate is my favorite combo. I know sprinkles look better on white frosting, but I NEED my chocolate frosting!

NOTE: Because this frosting has coconut oil in it, the frosting will harden if kept in colder temperatures, or melt in really high temperatures. I keep mine room temperature, covered, to keep it the best consistency so it doesn’t dry out. That is–if you don’t inhale it in the first sitting!

As you can see it pipes great over cupcakes (makes 12) or makes a 13×9–because let’s be honest, sometimes you just need to dump the whole thing in pan and just write “Happy Birthday” on it some years. Am I right??

I hope this recipe helps you celebrate many fun birthdays to come, special occasions, or “just because I need chocolate”.

And, if you missed the announcement, I showed two cupcakes: one with blue sprinkles and one with pink. Here is the one that won:

Bring on the pink! I have two boys, so this will be a switch, but it will be a fun switch up.

How do I make cupcakes allergy-friendly and free of the top-8-allergens?
  • To ensure that these are gluten-free and wheat free cupcakes I used my favorite gluten-free baking blend. I prefer to make this, because it’s cheaper to buy the individual packets and blend them than buying a store-bought version. If you’re in a pinch, or don’t do that much baking, you can use a store bought 1:1 gluten-free baking mix.
  • To make these birthday cupcakes egg-free I use flax eggs. These are a great egg substitution and you’ll see directions for it in the recipe!
  • To make these allergy-friendly cupcakes nut free I make sure that I don’t use any peanut or nut butters and that my ingredients are not cross contaminated or have “may contain” warnings on them.
  • To make these cupcakes for allergy kiddos dairy-free you’ll see that I suggest using vegan butter. There are lots of kinds of vegan butter and pick one that works for your allergies. For us, that’s Earth Balance buttery sticks.
  • I’ve had people ask what to do to make these cupcakes soy free. I’ve had a reader comment that she used applesauce instead of the soy cream cheese and they worked out great. You could also try using a coconut based cream cheese.
  • The best part about these allergy-friendly cupcakes is that they are also vegan cupcakes. That’s right–gluten free. dairy free and vegan cupcakes!

****Also, if you don’t care to have children (I was there for a LONG time), or you cannot have children–thank you for bearing with me while I am in this stage of life and for your grace in letting me share something personal with you, that you might not share in right now. I love all of you–despite your child situation.****

The BEST Allergy-friendly Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes (Gluten, dairy, egg, peanut & tree nut free; vegan)
 
Prep time
15 mins
Cook time
30 mins
Total time
45 mins
 
Moist, dense chocolate cake that is topped with a rich, silky chocolate buttercream makes for the perfect birthday cake or cupcakes for any allergy kiddo. This is the one recipe every allergy mom needs up her sleeve. This recipe is free of: gluten, dairy, egg, peanut and tree nuts.
Author: Allergy Awesomeness
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12 cupcakes
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease your pan with non-stick cooking spray, (if doing a 13x9). Or, line your cupcake tin with cupcake liners (makes 12).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake’s dry ingredients.
  3. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt your butter. Add your water, cocoa powder, and dairy-free sour cream and stir to incorporate. Take off the heat and add your flax eggs, vanilla, and then whisk in your dry ingredients. Stir until smooth.
  4. Pour the batter into your pan or cupcake tin.
  5. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes for cupcakes, and 20-25 minutes for the cake. Or, until the middle of the cake springs back when you touch it, and it's slightly pulling away from the edges.
  6. Allow the cake to cool.
  7. While it's cooling, make the frosting.
  8. Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cake.
  9. Keep covered at room temperature, to keep the frosting from drying out.
Notes
Because this frosting has coconut oil in it, the frosting will harden if kept in colder temperatures, or melt in really high temperatures. I keep mine room temperature, covered, to keep it the best consistency so it doesn't dry out. That is--if you don't inhale it in the first sitting!
3.5.3208

Don’t forget to pin it, so you don’t lose it. Also, be sure to check out my other allergy-friendly Pinterest boards.

Looking for more chocolate treats? See some of my other favorites below, or go to my index:

Gluten-free Vegan Double Cherry Chocolate Cake (Gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut & tree nut free; top-8-free;vegan)

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An allergy and EOE mom’s advice on how she’s navigated the 504 process for her son with multiple food allergies. Her exact 504 plan accommodations are listed to give you an idea of what to ask for, and to give you a starting place to build out your own 504 plan.

This post contains affiliate links.

If you’ve followed me for even a hot minute–you know that I LOVE to share in real time what’s going on in our allergy world via Instagram stories.

We recently moved, which meant my son has to start all over at a new school. While that alone can be an unnerving process, it’s extra anxiety inducing because as an allergy mom, you now have to worry about training a new teacher on how to handle food allergies, educating and setting up processes to keep your allergic child safe while they’re out of your care. The best way to do that is through a 504 plan.

I was talking about attending my 504 meeting at my son’s school when I got a lot of direct messages about 504 plans–so naturally we decided to do our following live allergy-life Q&A all about 504 plans. (We do those every Monday at 9 pm Mountain Time–join us!) It was a fantastic live with thoughtful questions, helpful examples from other allergy parents and was just all around great. I seriously can’t tell you enough that these lives, where we get to interact and hear FROM YOU, are one of my absolute favorite parts of blogging. I’ll link to the live replay. It’s about an hour long, and really in depth and has some great pointers. Be sure to watch! Plus you get to enjoy looking at my ghostly white knees the whole time since we haven’t figured out the best spot to do a live from in our new house! Yay you! (Seriously–why is it so hard to find a screen shot!)

I’ve tried to include official definitions, as well as the way I’ve learned and see how things work. If you’d like more official clarification, at the bottom of the post I included other resources.

What is a 504 plan? And, can you get a 504 plan for food allergies?

If you’re new to 504 plans, I love this definition from understood.org: “504 plans are formal plans that schools develop to give kids with disabilities the supports they need. These plans prevent discrimination and protect the rights of kids with disabilities in school. They’re covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which is a civil rights law.”

Now, I know some of you might wonder if food allergies fall under “disabilities” and in this instance, they do! I’ve heard moms ask things like: “Well, we just have one food allergy, so do we need one?” My answer to that is always yes! To me, I see it as a legal, binding document that holds the school accountable for the way they will safeguard my child. I’m not sure why anyone wouldn’t want that. It also allows you, if heaven forbid something happen that harms your child, to have some recourse if they have broken their end of the deal.

My understanding is that a 504 plan is a national document, and that any school who receives any type of federal funding can do a 504 plan.

We fill one out every year, and then have a sit down meeting with the school principle, school nurse and the teacher to assess if there need to be changes or updates depending on my son’s medical history that year, his level of maturity and any other changes that happen as kids grow. I plan to do one all of the way until college.

I’ve also heard that parents are nervous if their child goes to a charter or private school. I’ve heard that even those schools often receive funding–it’s just not as obvious, but that they often receive grants and other aid and governmental donations for their school, which then qualifies them.

How do I get a 504 plan?

I have simply called the school and asked to schedule a 504 meeting with the principle, that I am self referring, and asked that when I come he/she include the teacher and school nurse and to let me know when that availability is. I let them deal with coordinating between all of them.

However, many places require the request in writing–and it is ALWAYS good to have everything in writing. That way, if your requests are denied you have a paper trail showing your pursuit of getting a meeting.

Documentation for food allergies 504 plans

Recognize that for us, we have had to have our allergist fill out forms. so be prepared to be able to get these from your allergist. They’re usually simple forms that have the allergist state what their allergies are, and if the allergist feels they can self carry and/or self administer their medications. It also usually includes an emergency action plan. Be sure to discuss with your allergist what you’d like filled out. For example, our allergist had said he was fine with the epi-pen being kept in the nurse’s office. I was not, since the nurse only works part-time at the school. So, I had him re-fill it out stating that it could be in my son’s backpack at all times, so it can always be close by and easily accessed, in case the nurse’s office is ever locked when she’s out.

I’m nervous for the 504 meeting. How do I set myself up for success?

That is understandable! Recognize that most teachers want to keep the students safe too. It can feel overwhelming to advocate for your child, but from a formerly shy person who hated feeling like they were “asking too much” or didn’t want to be “that parent”…that it can be done with grace. I had to realize and understand the difference between being brazen and being assertive–I used to think they were one in the same and they are not. I had to give myself permission to be firm and to be OK with saying no. Some people have that similar personality. Perhaps, you’re the opposite and you feel it’s easier to come out swinging. Either way–I think it’s helpful to make sure you are centered and calm before the meeting and find a happy medium whether that’s pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, or trying to stay cool. Take a few minutes before the meeting for some deep breathing, or calling a confidant to role play–make sure you’re in a good state of mind before you go in.

I’ve also found it fun and a lighter way to start the meeting by bringing in my son’s safe chocolate for everyone to have and enjoy while we go over it. The meeting doesn’t have to be painful. I think by stating that you want open communication, you’re here to help and that it’s a win-win for everyone if your child is safe is a great place to start form.

One book that I HIGHLY recommend is a book called “Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when the stakes are high” which can really help you learn how to handle these sometimes stressful meetings.

Remember–you can do it! And, no meeting is set in stone. If you walk away uncomfortable, you can always think on it and then ask to revisit or amend it. At the end of the day, you should feel safe and secure knowing your child is able to be taken care of. And, if you feel the school isn’t listening and it’s really not getting to where you need it to go–that’s the beauty of it being under the disabilities act. You can always ask for your district 504 coordinator to attend the meeting. This is someone who is over 504’s, is used to knowing how they should be run and can be a good 3rd party to make sure things are going as they should.

What should be the school’s responsibilities and accommodations for food allergies?

In the official form, it is broken down into three areas: school responsibilities. parent involvement, and student responsibility. Obviously the younger the student, the more that is on the school. It will obviously change as the student gets older and more mature.

Here is what we have down for our 504 plan for food allergies under the school’s responsibilities and accommodations:

  • Soap and water hand washing for all students at the beginning of class. Also, soap and water hand washing for all students after lunch.
  • Epi-pens and asthma inhaler will be carried by teacher, trained staff or Carter (in his backpack) when leaving the classroom for an extended period such as field trips. They will stay in his backpack, in the classroom otherwise.
  • Teacher and specialty teachers will be Epi-pen trained. Megan will be notified when this is done.
  • All subs and specialty teachers will be notified of the 504 plan and accommodations.
  • If Carter is feeling unwell, an adult must accompany him to the bathroom or office.
  • Only an adult can administer the Epi-pen.
  • Megan will receive a phone call 24 hours in advance if food will be served so she will have time to find a safe replacement.
  • If unsafe birthday treats are served, Carter will be given one of his safe treats and hand washing will happen for all students after eating.
  • If food is sent home, Megan will be notified by phone or in person that he has food in his possession so she can check the label.
  • If his safe treat bag runs out, Megan will be notified so she can refill it.
  • If there are crafts/activities that involve handling of food items that he is allergic to, Megan will be given 24 hour notice to provide a safe replacement activity.
  • Megan will be given opportunity to participate in class parties and food functions.
  • If food is served in class, all tables will be wiped down with a bleach wet wipe.

Parent 504 responsibilities:

  • I will cooperate and communicate with my student, administration and school personnel.
  • I will communicate any changes in the student’s condition.
  • I will provided the needed medication, medical supplies and snacks.

Student 504 responsibilities and self-management strategies:

  • Will cooperate, and communicate with parents, administration and school personnel.
  • Will advocate for self.
  • Student will ask teachers when he/she needs additional time or help.
What is my child’s food allergies are so severe the allergen can’t be in the classroom at all?

I’ve had friends whose children are so severely allergic that they cannot even have the allergen in the classroom. They have found work arounds. That is the entire point of the 504 meeting is to figure out how to make the classroom safe for your child. There really is no right or wrong answer. It’s finding an accommodation that the teacher is able to manage that will ensure your child’s safety. For example, my friend’s whose daughter cannot have dairy in the classroom at all, it is banned completely and it not allowed, not even for other children.

Be sure of what levels of security your child needs and start there. Work backwards and I think you’ll find that you can come up with ideas. I’ve seen very allergic children be safe and well cared for–but it’s taken a lot of communication and work on both the parents and school’s part.

Talk to other allergy moms

I thought I had thought of everything, but by talking to other allergy moms, I realized that I did not have the part where it states “he cannot go to the bathroom or office alone if he is feeling unwell.” I had never thought of that, but my friend reminded me that if he were to go to the bathroom alone, and then pass out, the teacher might just think he was taking a long time and that he would need eyes on him to monitor how fast he was going down hill.

Also, I realized when talking to others that I wanted a call or in person requirement for some, as I didn’t want to have an email get unnoticed.

Other allergy moms can help you think of things you might not have, as there are lots of faucets to school–field trips, parties, lunch, rewards…etc.

What is the difference between an IEP and a 504 plan?

My son has had both, and the difference in my layman’s terms is that the IEP is to help with educational strategies to help where your child is lacking. For example, my son had a stutter, so he needed interventions to help bring him up to grade level with his speech. The IEP had goals that they could measure as well as strategies that they would do to pass off those goals.

Whereas, a 504 plan is how your child’s..

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Chewy, fudgy and the best of two classic desserts, these gluten-free vegan chocolate chip cookie brownies, also lovingly known as brookies, will make your dessert indecision a thing of the past. This allergy-friendly treat is free of: gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut & tree nuts. It’s top-8-free too!

Growing up my mom baked a lot. I have many fond memories of sitting in the tall chairs that faced the stove and talking with her while watching her make something delicious. Because of that, I’ve always had a huge sweet spot for baked goods.

My husband on the other hand is a candy man. He can eat handfuls and handfuls of candy.

Unfortunately, now he’s rubbed off on me and I can pretty much down either something homemade or something from the gas station. It’s bad! There is basically only a handful of sugary things I don’t enjoy anymore. Someone send help.

So, don’t mind me if I want a super sweet, doubly delicious dessert combining not just brownies but chocolate chip cookies too. Because, YOLO!

The brownies are perfectly chewy and the buttery (don’t worry though–dairy free!) chocolate chip cookies on top just make for a divine dessert.

I liked to marble these a bit, by pressing the dough flat in my hands and laying it on top of the brownie. You could also simply put a smooth layer on top, but I just think it’s so pretty with little rivers of brownies poking out on top. Because I chose to marble it instead of layer it, I had probably 1/4 of a cup of chocolate chip cookie dough left. My kids gladly obliged eating it, and man was it good all on its own! One of the few perks of eating egg free is no guilt cookie dough devouring.

We’ve been having a lot of leftovers lately since we’re moving next week and trying to clean out our fridge and pantry (EEK! I can’t wait…and I also can, because moving is going to be the death of me!), so I am so grateful I made these so that I can have some bribery to talk my kids into eating that leftover chili…AGAIN. “But if you eat a good dinner, you can have a brookie!”

Honestly, my kids and I have inhaled them so fast, and because my husband has been working so much (and taking two classes) that I don’t even think the poor guy has had any. Good thing I can just give him some of the leftover Starburst jelly beans and he’ll be satisfied (mostly because he won’t know what he’s missing out on!).

So, if you need an impressive dessert, these vegan gluten-free brookies are the dessert to bring to a party…and I promise you no one will know they’re so allergy-friendly. The texture is spot on with crisp edges and a fudgy center–just like the kind my mom used to make.

PS–did you notice the bit of grease on the paper bag? That’s when you know it’s good! BAM! A little grease never hurt nobody, and before you go feeling all guilty about it…it’s coconut oil for Pete’s sake.

And lest you think it might be difficult to make two batters, they both are super simple. I made the brownie one first, and then didn’t even rinse out my kitchenaid and made the chocolate chip cookie dough in the same mixing bowl. And, since the brownies have to bake for 10 minutes first, you can make the cookie dough while the brownies are cooking, so you’d be standing around waiting for them to cook anyways! It’s really no additional time! And, you’ll already have out a majority of the ingredients anyways. So…have I convinced you yet to make these top-8-free brookies yet?? Huh? Huh?

Did I mention it’s almost my birthday? I think this could almost count instead of my birthday cake, because this is going to be really hard to top!

I hope you and your food allergic family can also enjoy these gluten-free vegan brookies!

Gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies (AKA Brookies)
 
Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
20 mins
Total time
30 mins
 
Chewy, fudgy and the best of two classic desserts, these gluten-free vegan chocolate chip cookie brownies, also lovingly known as brookies, will make your dessert indecision a thing of the past. This allergy-friendly treat is free of: gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut & tree nuts. It's top-8-free too!
Author: Allergy Awesomeness
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9 bars
Ingredients
  • BROWNIE LAYER:
  • ¾ cup gluten free flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your gluten free flour has this in it)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 flax eggs (4 Tablespoons of ground flax mixed with 10 Tablespoons of warm water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE LAYER:
  • 1 stick vegan butter (1/2 cup)
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Ener-G egg (1 and ½ teaspoons Ener-G replacer + 2 Tablespoons water)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 and ⅛ cup gluten-free flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegan/dairy-free chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients for the brownies: gluten-free flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, xanthan and salt.
  3. Next, add the melted coconut oil, the flax eggs and the vanilla. Stir to combine. The dough will be thick, be sure you mix well.
  4. Smooth batter evenly with greased hands into a greased 9x9 baking dish.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes.
  6. While the brownies are baking, make your chocolate chip cookie dough layer.
  7. In the same mixing bowl (the brownie batter should have come out cleanly, if not, they will mix together anyways,) mix the vegan butter and the sugars. Cream until they're fully mixed.
  8. Next, add the rest of the wet ingredients: Ener-G egg and vanilla.
  9. Add in the baking soda, xanthan and salt and mix well.
  10. Next add in your gluten free flour and combine.
  11. Finish by stirring in your chocolate chips.
  12. After the brownies have cooked for ten minutes, pull them out and layer the cookie batter on top. I did this by grabbing about a Tablespoon's worth at a time, and pressing it in between my hands to flatten it and then layering it on top of the brownie mixture. Be careful as it's hot! You can either marble it like I did, so you have some brownie showing through, or use all of the dough and make a thicker layer. My kids were happy to eat about the ¼ cup of leftover cookie batter I had.
  13. Bake for the final ten minutes.Or until the top is golden brown and the edges are set.
  14. This is the hard part, but allow the brookies to cool completely before cutting and enjoying. Note that it will puff up a bit while cooking and will settle a bit while it cools.
  15. Keep covered room temperature for 1-2 days--if they can last that long!
Notes
Brownie layer adapted from my The Best Gluten-free Vegan Allergy-friendly Brownies.
Cookie layer adapted from Pinch of Yum.
3.5.3208

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If you’re looking for more allergy-friendly brownies and cookies…look no further:

Triple Layer SunButter Brownies (Top 8 Free!)

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Allergy Awesomeness by Allergyawesomeness@gmail.com - 3M ago
Yes, it can really be done! An egg-free and dairy-free frittata is possible! Thanks to some smart substitutions this brunch staple is now allergy-friendly. Plus, it’s still got a cheesy flavor thanks to nutritional yeast, and it doesn’t have any nuts either. This top-8-free breakfast classic can now be enjoyed whether you have food allergies or are vegan. These scrumptious Egg-free & Dairy-free Frittata Cups are free of: gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut & tree nuts.

This post contains affiliate links.

Holy crap. Holy crap. HOLY CRAP! This recipe makes me more excited than I’ve been in a long time. I mean…can you even? An egg-free and dairy-free frittata?!?!?!?! Who knew such a magical, mythical creature could exist? What are you going to tell me next, that there are real unicorns?

(Funny story, my son’s school has several horse fields by it, because…well…#Utah, and every time my younger son sees a white horse he says “Look! A Unicorn!” haha.)

I used to LOVE making frittatas on Christmas morning, because it’s such a filling breakfast that is loaded with veggies. So, when my son got an egg allergy, that was a huge bummer.

And just in time for Easter–one of the biggest brunches of the year, the Easter bunny comes and brings me this gift. And, when I say Easter bunny I mean my good friend Gianna. She is my foodie friend that is so great and wonderful at sending me recipes and is a recipe genius herself in trying substitutions. She sent me the idea and I only had to slightly tweak it to make it work for our allergies.

So, how do you make a frittata egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free and vegan?
  • Use garbanzo bean flour for the egg
  • Use rice milk instead of milk
  • Use nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor
  • Fill the rest with your favorite vegetables, since those are naturally allergy-friendly!
  • I was sure to use lots of garlic and onion to really flavor these babies!

So easy, right? I made these while my son was at school and was just dying for him to get home and try them. My husband even had one with his dinner! So much for them lasting until the next morning. I wouldn’t even mind these cold, but just keep them stored in an air tight container and reheat as needed!

And the best part–there’s no nuts, for those who have nuts allergies. So many cheese substitutes are made of cashews and other nuts. So, I was thrilled that this did not need any kind of peanuts or tree nuts. Hooray for an allergy-friendly hot breakfast option! And, it’s naturally gluten-free too. WINNING!

Since we are not strictly vegan (just dairy allergies and egg allergies), and my son was not thrilled about having lots of spinach in his (kids, am I right? He just doesn’t get how pretty it makes it!) I think next time I’ll try adding little pieces of cubed ham. This concept opens up a whole new world of possibilities for breakfast options! Hip, hip hooray for a hot breakfast idea that is allergy-friendly and free of the top-8-allergens!

These egg-free & dairy-free frittata cups are soft and perfect finger foods. I see me making a lot of these for breakfasts on the go with busy school mornings. Garbanzo bean flour is a great source of protein, so between that and it’s flavor it’s a great substitute for eggs. And, if you haven’t had nutritional yeast, it will be your best cheese flavor substitute to make your dairy-free life so much easier and tastier.

Happy baking and may the Easter bunny bring you something as safe and delicious as well. Also, don’t forget to also make some allergy-friendly muffins to go with your Easter brunch, or some delicious sweet lemon bread with lemon icing. You’re allergy-friendly and vegan Easter breakfast is going to be BOMB.

Egg-free & Dairy-free Frittata Cups
 
Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
20 mins
Total time
30 mins
 
Yes, it can really be done! An egg-free and dairy-free frittata is possible! Thanks to some smart substitutions this brunch staple is now allergy-friendly. Plus, it's still got a cheesy flavor thanks to nutritional yeast, and it doesn't have any nuts either. This top-8-free breakfast classic can now be enjoyed whether you have food allergies or are vegan. These scrumptious Egg-free & Dairy-free Frittata Cups are free of: gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut & tree nuts.
Author: Allergy Awesomeness
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 8 frittata cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, nutritional yeast, salt, thyme, rice milk, lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil, and the diced red bell peppers. Mix and set aside.
  3. Over medium heat in a saute pan, heat the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil and add the diced onions. Cook until they're softened, 2-3 minutes. Next add in your garlic and frequently stir until it's fragrant, around 1 minute. Finally, add in your spinach and cook until it's wilted, stirring frequently. Add in this cooked mixture to your mixing bowl and stir well to combine all of the ingredients.
  4. Spoon into a greased muffin tin.
  5. Cook 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the center is set. Allow them to cool for five minutes in the pan. Then, take a knife and loosen the edges and pop them out. Serve warm, or keep refrigerated in an air-tight container for 2-3 days.
Notes
Tweaked from Califiafarms
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Looking for other breakfast ideas? Be sure to check these out:

Dairy & Gluten-free Bacon Breakfast Potatoes (Top 8 free too!)

Vegan Gluten-free Banana French Toast 

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Allergy Awesomeness by Allergyawesomeness@gmail.com - 4M ago
A dairy-free and allergy-friendly way to enjoy this McDonald’s cult classic. Free of the top-8-allergens, this creamy mint shake has the flavors you remember without any dairy. Easy to assemble, with all store bought ingredients, simply blend and pour to enjoy green treat this St. Patrick’s day! This Dairy-free & Allergy-friendly Shamrock Shake is free of: wheat, gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut & tree nuts. Contains coconut.

This post contains affiliate links.

I wasn’t going to do it. I thought, “Oh well if I don’t have a lot of St. Patrick’s day recipes on my site…it’s not like I’m Irish and I just don’t have the time to squeeze in a specialty/holiday recipe.”

Then the craving struck. Man oh MAN did some chocolate and mint in a frothy, cold glass sound mighty tempting. So, last minute I ran to the store, gathered up my materials and was back in my kitchen before I knew it.

Sometimes the holidays get the best of you and you find a sudden urge to make a traditional treat. And, while I could have swung through a McDonald’s drive through and just gotten myself one while my son was at school, I wanted him to experience his first Shamrock Shake too. The only problem is that he cannot have dairy thanks to a severe food allergy–so that’s where I set to work finding allergy-friendly substitutions.

Thankfully a shamrock shake is pretty simple and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, so I figured I could find some dairy-free alternatives.

For allergy-friendly food coloring:
  • I’ve been asked by many what food coloring I use. So, confession: I used Wilton’s food coloring gels long before I was smart enough to check their label. I don’t know why I didn’t think food coloring might have something in it! I have called Wilton before, and the person I talked to said they’ve added a “may contain” label if there is something in the same facility.  So, we’ve used it and never had an issue–BUT–only do what you’re comfortable with for your own food allergies and go with what your allergist tells you. I’ve heard (but not personally tried) that AmeriColor has allergy-friendly food gels.
For the gold sprinkles:
  • I thought it’d be fun to put some gold sanding sugar on top, to play off the gold coin concept of St. Patrick’s day. This is optional, but sanding sugar is cheap and it’s always fun to add a little sparkle. I used this CK Sanding Sugar, but beware–the longer it sits on the ice cream, the more it turns from hard crystals into just colored specs. So don’t put this on until you’re ready to serve.
For the dairy-free milk substitution:
  • You could use about any safe milk you typically use in baking. We like to use rice milk, because I find it has the least amount of after taste. Depending on your allergies you could use coconut, almond, cashew, soy or any number of milks. Just pay attention to how thin they are compared to regular milk. For example, the original recipe said to use 1 and 1/4 cups milk, and since rice milk is thinner, I only used 1 cup. Feel free to add your milk slowly, until you reach your desired consistency.
For the mint extract:
  • I just used Watkin’s, but I’ve also used McCormick, and for those who need to be very sensitive to possible gluten from the alcohol I’ve heard Olive Nation is good, though I’ve never personally used it.

For the dairy-free whipped cream:
  • The was the only disappointment in this recipe, was how flat the dairy-free whipped topping turned out. I’ve actually used this before to create beautiful swirls (like on my pumpkin mousse pie), but either it was too warm that day, or I was in too big of a rush but it was either too cold to pipe, and when I got it warm enough to pipe out the piping bag it immediately melted. So, did it have the tall swirls that I was hoping to recreate from the classic? No. Did it still taste amazing? Yes. I used So Delicious Coco Whip (not sponsored!). I stirred it until it was workable enough to put in a bag, put a star frosting tip on and piped it. I’ve heard that Trader Joe’s has a non-dairy spray that would have probably worked better, but we don’t have a Trader Joe’s by us. #thelifeofanallergymom I had already gone to two stores for these ingredients and I was not about to drive 45 minutes each way for some whipped cream. I know you feel me. If you cannot do coconut, feel free to just omit the whipped topping–it’d still be great!
For the dairy-free chocolate sauce:
  • This obviously isn’t typical to shamrock shakes, but I just think that mint and chocolate is the best combo! So, to put a little spin of it of my own, I decided to put about a tablespoon of Hershey’s syrup in the bottom of each glass. That way, the person could stir it together when they got their drink. Finding out that Hershey’s syrup was dairy-free was a huge highlight in our dairy-allergy journey. We use it on ice cream, brownies, you name it. We almost always have a bottle on hand.
For the dairy-free vanilla ice cream:
  • Thankfully. there are a lot of dairy-free ice creams out there. None of these are sponsored, but here are a few that are easy to find for me. You’ll have to check your local grocer to see what options you have. There’s So Delicious, Coconut Bliss and Nada Moo is you can do coconut (which we can, thankfully.) There’s also Breyer’s Oreo (so it wouldn’t be exactly like a shamrock shake, but the addition of oreos could still be yummy if it works for your allergies!) if you can do almond milk. And, there’s Tofutti and Soy DREAM if you can do soy. There are other brands of non-dairy ice cream, but those are all of the ones I’ve been able to find that are vanilla flavored.

Now onto the recipe! I hope that this top-8-free, dairy-free & allergy-friendly Shamrock shake helps you and your family re-create a classic treat and celebrate St. Patrick’s day in a yummy and safe way! I know my boys sure loved it and were thrilled to come home to this colorful surprise.

*And, I should correct that while we’re not totally Irish (my husband is Haitian after all!) I do have some Irish way back in my line, and my husband’s adopted father, Richard Calvin Lavin, was Irish. So, I dedicate this recipe to our favorite Irish man, my sweet father-in-law. We think of you often. Rest in peace.*

Dairy-free & Allergy-friendly Shamrock Shake!
 
Prep time
15 mins
Total time
15 mins
 
Author: Allergy Awesomeness
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: St. Patrick's Day
Serves: 3 small glasses
Ingredients
  • 1 pint dairy-free vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • ½ teaspoon mint extract
  • green food coloring, to taste
  • 1 container of dairy-free whipped topping
  • Green or gold sprinkles for topping, optional
  • Hershey's syrup for the bottom of the glasses
Instructions
  1. In a blender place the rice milk, mint extract and then dairy-free ice cream. Put as many drops of food coloring as you like (I did between 4-6) and then blend until everything is combined.
  2. In a glass place a Tablespoon or so of the chocolate syrup. Then, gently pour the blended mint ice cream mixture on top. Top with a scoop of dairy-free whipped topping.
  3. If so desired, top with gold sanding sugar, or green sprinkles. Place a green straw in it and immediately serve, or keep in the freezer until you're ready to serve.
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Looking for other allergy-friendly frozen treats? Check out my other favorites:

Frozen Raspberry Pie (Gluten, dairy, egg, peanut & tree nut free; vegan)

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