Consider the Coconut (Aminos)

My kids love the movie Moana. On any given day, our 4-year-old can probably be found somewhere singing the big movie anthem, “How Far I’ll Go.”Over and over and over. Admittedly, I love the music from the movie, too. It’s moving, it tells a story, and I love how they had people from the pacific island cultures involved in the song writing. It made things, while still very Disney, very genuine as well.  One song in particular has been running through my head today.  It’s called “Where You Are,” but the line in particular that keeps running through my head says “Consider the coconut; consider its tree; we use each part of the coconut; that’s all we need.”

I love coconut.  I like the water (best when you drink it straight from a green coconut right off the tree), I like the meat, I like coconut milk, and there are few things more satisfying that knocking down a coconut, sharp machete in hand, and opening it up to find the goodness yourself. But there is something a coconut can give that I never even knew about until recently: coconut aminos. Continue reading

Super Easy Vegan (aquafaba) Mayonnaise

A great man once said, “We never buy what we can make.”  That great man was Alton Brown.

Vegan Mayo (small)

I love mayonnaise.  I know there are a lot of people out there (eg. my sister) who do not agree with me, but I can always find a use for mayo.  It’s great on a sandwich, ideal in the bun with a smoked sausage, perfect for mixing into veggie/chip dips… and my little MegaMan can’t have it.  He’s two, so he doesn’t really know what he’s missing, but come on, man… no chip dip?  I mean, what’s the point of eating potato chips if you can’t dip them in something? Continue reading

Moving house (plus a “guest” recipe!)

So we are moving!  Moving is at the same time stressful and exciting.  There is something about a new place that bring a feeling a freshness.  Don’t worry, though.  The kids will find a way to make it un-fresh really quickly!

Because we are moving, I’m taking a short break from posting recipes.  I just can’t put it all together while moving house.  So in the meantime, I wanted to share a recipe I found on Garnished.  Completely allergy-safe, and so easy!

Check it out here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySuSFNRmkCU

If you make this, let me know how it turns out for you!

Mystery Blogger Award

Oh my goodness, you guys.  I’ve been doing this for 2 months.  Never did I expect this: I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award!  Thank you so much to Roda from Growing Self for nominating me.  The fact that another blogger has decided to recognize me is pretty amazing.  Please go check out her blog at http://growingself.blog.  She has great stuff about farm life, gardening, and a great series she calls Be Still…  Check it out!

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“The ‘Mystery Blogger Award‘ is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion” ~ Okoto Enigma.

Continue reading

Food Detective: A game changing app?

I can feel it.  Every time.  It starts as a slight discomfort, a minor pressure. It’s as if someone is taking their thumb and lightly pressing it on the back of my head. If allowed to continue, though, the intensity of the feeling increases. A creeping feeling of tension on the neck, an uneasiness in the air, the knowledge that someone else is there.

It’s not the beginning of a young writer’s first attempt at a thriller; it’s what every food allergy parent (or anyone with food allergies themselves) experiences every time they go to the grocery store.  Because every time you stop to read an ingredient list, someone comes up behind you, trying to get to the thing that you are standing in front of.  You do everything you can to be as out-of-the-way as possible, but no matter where you are, you are going to block someone from something.  Reading food labels gets really old really fast. So someone has set out to change that.

 

my food detective

My Food Detective is a **free** app that is designed to help navigate the aisles of the grocery store. No more reading ingredient lists; just scan the bar code, and bish-bash-bosh, you know if it’s safe or not!

It starts out with several allergens already in place.  You can set your own specific allergens, deleting those you don’t need, adding those you do.  In our case, the list includes peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs, dairy, strawberries, and pineapple.

After all your allergens are set, just click “scan” and position the bar code in the scanning area.  Based on your selected allergens, the app will let you know if it is safe or not.

This app has the potential to be a game changer for those of us dealing with food allergies.  However, there are certain things to watch for.  First of all, it’s only available for iOS right now (no problem for me, but for you Android people, you’re out of luck for now). The allergens are incredibly specific.  “Peanuts,” “peanut,” and “roasted peanut” are all different.  Or rather, they all have to be entered differently, because the app will look specifically for what’s in the list and doesn’t know how to look for other things. “Tree nuts” needs to have all tree nuts listed. However, and seemingly a contradiction of what I just said, we got a few “false fails.”  Our little MegaMan can’t have soy protein, but he can have soy lecithin and soybean oil.  Despite going through the allergens as thoroughly as I could, I couldn’t find a way to delete soy oil and lecithin while retaining soy protein and soy flour. A few things that I know are safe came out as a fail.  Enjoy Life chocolate chips didn’t pass, and I can’t figure out why.  The best I can figure is that the app got confused by “chocolate,” but that doesn’t seem to make sense.  Now, it is very possible that I just need to explore it more, but I was disappointed to see something I know to be safe get a big ol’ fat frowning face.

BOTTOM LINE: Check out www.myfooddetectiveapp.com to find out more. If you have an iOS device, get the app. It is brand new (as in just came out in the past two weeks at the time of this writing). If more people get it and give suggestions for improvement, the developer may be able to tweak it to make it even better. Explore the app thoroughly and try it out.  I’m excited to use this app more to see if it really can make grocery shopping easier.

Once you try this app out, comment below and let me know how it goes!  I would love to hear what you think of it. And if you figure out how to deal with the issues I had, let me know that too!

Mother’s Day: A dad’s take

I posted this on Facebook a couple years ago, but it’s worth repeating:

As a father, I have to say I have it pretty easy. Our world doesn’t expect much from fathers. We are allowed to be, in fact, almost expected to be a bit clueless and slightly inept. It’s mothers who are expected to hold everything together. Run the calendar, cook the meals, clean the house, do the crafts, wash and fold the clothes, plan the parties… It’s a bit overwhelming. No, it’s REALLY overwhelming. And wholly unfair. Why is it that fathers are allowed to be unskilled, yet mothers are expected to be perfect? Pinterest moms give us great ideas, but I think they may have taken the place of the magazine models in setting unrealistic expectations. Let’s allow the moms in our lives to be who they are: human.

To my wife: thank you for making my job as a father so wonderful. Thank you for taking care of our daughters and our son. I don’t care if our house isn’t perfect, or if we eat leftovers sometimes. I love you and appreciate you for who you are.

To my mom: thank you for supporting me and for never giving me the opportunity to doubt your love for me.

To my friends and family who are mothers: you have one of the hardest jobs in the world, and when you’re doing it right, few seem to notice. Please know you are loved and appreciated, both for what you do and who you are.

To everyone else: tomorrow is Mother’s Day. If your mom is still around, it’s a great time to thank her for all she has done and all she is. But please, don’t do it only then. Tell her in August, when there’s no other holiday. Tell her on Tuesday, just because it’s Tuesday. Tell her whenever you can, because we don’t tell her enough.

Thank you, moms, and happy Mother’s Day.

When Your Kid Won’t Eat

I have never had a problem eating.  Ok, I shouldn’t say never.  I had food poisoning once, and I had a really hard time eating for a few days after that. But throughout my life in general, eating has never been an issue. I have friends who claim they forget to eat sometimes. Uh…. How on God’s green earth does that happen?!?  I forget to not eat sometimes… on more than one occasion I have had to reschedule medical tests because I ate when I wasn’t supposed to.  But forgetting to eat?  I don’t buy it. Continue reading

Dairy-free, Egg-free Chicken Nuggets

I’ve made chicken nuggets before.  Never like this!Chicken Nuggets (small)

You know, ostensibly this is a blog about the food I make for my kids. Truth be told, though, I love “kid food.”  Corn dogs and pigs-in-a-blanket are my top favorite foods. Chicken nuggets (good chicken nuggets) are pretty high on that list. I’m that guy who, despite being a grown man, will go to a restaurant and order chicken tenders.  So when my wife Michelle suggested trying to come up with a chicken nugget recipe that would be Reese-safe, I jumped at it.  I had to start things the night before, though.  I mean, after all, today was Free Comic Book Day!  I couldn’t miss out on that! Continue reading

It’s Coming!

Sometimes, it’s nice to take a break from thinking about EOE and food allergies and all that junk.  To forget about replacing eggs and dairy.  To not think about peanuts and tree nuts. To not worry about reading the labels of everything to see if soy protein has been somehow slipped in. And this weekend, my friends, is the perfect time to take that break:

fcbd

Check out http://www.freecomicbookday.com for more info

It’s Free Comic Book Day!  Comic books are truly an American art form.  Comics haven’t always been accepted as “legitimate literature,” but when Art Spiegelman was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for his graphic novel Maus, people began to sit up and take notice.

Whether superheroes, or cartoons, or graphic retellings of classic pieces (Don Quixote, for example), comics and graphic novels are a great way to enjoy reading.  Or even to introduce your kids to reading.  I will be taking my kids to our local comic book store this weekend for Free Comic Book Day… what about you?

Aquafaba

So, maybe I’m late to this party, but I have recently been introduced to something called “aquafaba.”  Have you guys heard of this? Apparently it’s taking the vegan/food allergy world by storm.

Why is it called aquafaba? Well, because “bean water” just sounds gross.
But that’s literally what it is.  Bean water.  In fact, that’s what the name means – aqua is Latin for water and faba is Latin for bean. aquafaba Continue reading