Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Milk Free

Recently we have become a milk free household. The road to finding out Henry was lactose intolerant was a long one. I'll spare everyone the gross details but we figured out pretty quickly that whenever henry had dairy he had blood in his stools.

Henry nursed until he was 18 months old and because he refused to drink milk or cheese I didn't think anything of it because he was getting enough calcium and vitamin D from nursing. However as soon as he stopped nursing his blood work showed a huge vitamin D deficiency. Not only was Henry not eating any dairy but he was starting to refuse to eat meat as well. So we put Henry on vitamin d supplements and really tried to push the dairy on him and well mayhem arose.

As a mom I just had this feeling and knew that dairy was the culprit so I took the milk and cheese out of his diet and made an appointment with the doctor. Henry was tested and although he didn't have a milk protein allergy the doctor is 99% sure he is lactose intolerant. I was glad to finally have a diagnosis but it brought up a whole slew of issues. Now that I knew he was lactose intolerant I had to figure out just how sensitive he was to dairy.

Most lactose intolerant children just have to avoid dairy like mik, cheese and ice cream. They can have foods like hard cheese and yogurt though. However with Henry once the main culprits were out of his diet I found he would still have 'episodes'. We had a cookout and henry ate a hotdog on a bun. The next day was just awful and I couldn't figure out why. My friend did some googling and then I found out a slew of products contain lactose in order to help perserve them better. Bread, hotdogs, luncheon meats, shortening, salad dressings along with lots of processed foods.

It has become quite a frustrating task. Although once Henry has had a true non-dairy day I have realized what his diapers should look like. I do feel lucky that he is not deathly allergic and the most severe we have to deal with is gas, diaper rash and a very sore bottom.

The most difficult thing now is that everything should really be made from scratch. I've been in the kitchen experimenting and have made dairy free bread as well as muffins. I think I have checked out just about every vegan and non dairy cook book available at the Library. The good news is I have lots more recipes just waiting to be shared here. The best part being that they are all dairy free and Henry approved!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Curry Rice

I consider Henry a fairly adventurous eater. He'll typically try anything and has always been one of those kids who likes 'non' kids food. Some of his favorites being avocados and guacamole, hummus, beans, fish tacos, cobb salad and now curry rice. My mother in law introduced me to a curry rice that you can get in the freezer section at trader joes. Henry loved it so much that I figured I would save some money and just make my own version at home.

This is one of those recipes that just worked from the getgo. I do a lot of experimenting in our kitchen and often I have to tweak something after the first try or my husband will kindly ask me to never make a dish again (like my disastrous greek orzo pasta salad). I have to say I am not a curry fan at all but this rice is off the charts delicious. It's also super easy and fast to make.

Here are the ingredients:

3 cups Cooked Jasmine Rice
1 cup frozen Peas
1 cup frozen Corn
1/2 cup raisens
1/2 cup Yellow Curry Sauce (I got mine from Trader Joe's)

The Directions:

1. Follow the directions on your package of rice to allow for 3 full cups of cooked rice. (I buy my rice in bulk so I simply measured out the amount of rice and water needed to make 3 cups. I boiled the water and then added in the rice and simmered for 12 minutes.)
2. Once the rice is done cooking remove the pot from the heat and set the rice aside.
3. Place an empty pan on the stove over medium heat. Add 1 TBS of oil.
4. When the oil is heated through add the frozen peas and frozen corn to the pan.
5. Sauté the pees and corn together for about 5 minutes until they are cooked through.
6. Next add in the raisens, curry and rice to the veggies.
7. Thoroughly mix everything together and let it all cook for another 5 minutes or so to make sure everything is heated through.
7. Serve and enjoy!!

I absolutely love this super simple rice dish and trust me it is also super yummy as well. I served mine alongside a roaseted chicken. Here is what the rice looks like when its done:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Baking Adventure


As Henry gets older I am really starting to enjoy all the things we are able to do together now. I love to bake and I'm hoping Henry will also share that love with me. Henry has always been fascinated with me cooking in the kitchen. When he was an infant I would sit him in his high chair and do a cooking show for him each night as I made dinner. Now that he is almost two I thought it was time for me to start letting him help out a little in kitchen and get involved. Up until now though I hadn't found a recipe or food that I thought was a good introduction.

I had picked up some vegan cookbooks at our weekly trip to the library and saw a banana muffin recipe that sounded delicious. We found out Henry is lactose intolerant (That blog post is coming soon) so in an effort to broaden my culinary skills I figure vegan cookbooks were the best route to go since I know there will be no dairy in those recipes.

While I was thumbing through the cookbook it dawned on me that a vegan muffin or cookie wouldn't have any eggs in it either thus making it the perfect batter for Henry to play with. Henry had so much fun pouring all the ingredients in and mixing it all together. I enjoyed not having to worry about him tasting the batter or ingredients.

I wanted to amp up the banana muffins with some blueberries and well lets just say it all went downhill from there. Henry didn't agree with me that blueberries would taste oh so good in the muffins and stirring turned into flinging which ended up with a little time out session. Meltdown 2 happened when the stirring was over. Apparantly pouring batter into muffin pans is traumatic for an almost two year old. So I popped the muffins into the oven and attempted to rectify the toddler situation.

Over an hour later Henry was happy and fine but my poor muffins were not. I had completely forgotten to set the timer and then just flat out forgot I put muffins in the oven. I actual thought my neighbor was cooking something on the grill because there was this faint burning smell and it was then that I realized what I had done or forgotten to do.

So unfortunately I can't share my Banana Blueberry Muffin Recipe because I never got to try them. However I can share some pictures of Henry's first time baking. I'm hoping to retry this muffin recipe soon and I'll be sure to share the recipe and finished product with all of you.