2014-03-17

Garlicky Grilled Kale

Perfect as a side, in stir-fries or tossed with pasta 
Ingredients
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 large bunch kale
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Heat a grill to medium-high. Line a heavy baking sheet with foil, or use a disposable foil baking sheet. Coat the foil or baking sheet with cooking spray. 

2. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Set aside

3. Trim off and discard the thick stems from the kale. Coarsely chop the kale leaves, aiming for pieces about 2 to 3 inches. Place the chopped kale in a large bowl, then drizzle it with the oil. Use your hands to toss the kale to coat evenly with the oil. Sprinkle half of the seasoning mixture over the kale, then toss again.  Sprinkle the remaining seasoning and toss again. 

4. Spread the kale in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet directly on the grill and cook with the grill covered for 7 minutes, or until the kale is crisp and begins to brown. Serve immediately. 


Adapted from Metro newspaper; credited to THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 

2014-02-24

First cruise experience with Disney Cruise Line

Just returned from a 7-day disney cruise (DCL ship Fantasy).  Dealing with multiple allergies wasn't quite as smooth as we are used to with Royal Caribbean (we've already cruised with them four times and the learning curve for this different ship AND company was quite high).

Overall experience was good, but tiring.  Pre-ordering special meals for two fussy kids was a long process, and they were well beyond their patience limits.
LOTS of ice cream on the pool deck. Sometimes kids would wade into the pools or try the waterslide still wearing some...

more to come after kids are in bed and another opportunity arises...!

"The Best Gluten Free Vegan Bread"

This recipe from Hope's Kitchen was recommended within the Ottawa Anaphylaxis Support Group.  Copying it here with extra bits (from posted comments) for future reference.

Variations:
Don't use buckwheat as substitute.  
Can reduce millet flour by 1/2 c. and use a multi-grain blend to make up the difference. 
Savory: Bake one loaf of bread and one pan of rolls adding a teaspoon extra of salt and one tsp. each garlic powder, minced dried onion and Italian seasoning to the roll batter.
Sweet: monkey bread.  
Also makes fabulous buns, hamburger buns

The Best Gluten Free Vegan Bread

Winter days can really impact how much your bread will rise. Might have to work a little harder at it in the cold months: 

  1. First of all, make sure ALL your ingredients are at room temperature before starting. 
  2. Warm up your mixing bowl and loaf pan before starting. 
  3. When measuring your ingredients, spoon them gently into the measuring cup and then level with a knife. 
  4. Mix by hand a long time - until batter like.  Unlike traditional baking, letting your batters beat for a while will incorporate air and help with leavening! 
  5. Cover with plastic wrap during the 30 minute rise.
  6. Make sure to close the oven gently, if it closes hard/with a bang/gets bumped, it will make the bread fall.
  7. After the loaf finishes baking place it in a warm, more humid spot in your home to cool to help prevent it from falling. E.g., cover with a tea towel on a wire rack, and keep it in a warm place.  Altn, turn off oven 20 minutes early and leave it in.


3 cups GF Flour Mix - I used Paula's GF Flour Mix - see below for her recipe
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp sugar 
1 tsp dry yeast  (Fleischman's or Red Star dry yeast work well. Dry yeast means measuring the yeast as it comes out of the jar as opposed to adding water to it).  Can also use breadmaker/instant yeast.
2 tsp coconut oil (melt before measuring) OR Grapeseed oil
1.5 cups + 2 Tbsp warm water

1. Grease and dust with GF flour an 8×4 loaf pan (OR line with parchment paper).  Heat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Combine GF Flour Mix, xanthan gum, salt, sugar, and dry yeast in a medium sized bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
3.  In mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil and warm water together and then add the dry ingredients. Mix on high for 2 minutes, this activates the yeast. It should resemble a thicker cake batter.
4.  Pour batter into prepared pan and cover with a tea towel.  Turn OFF the oven and set the covered bread in the warm oven to rise. Carefully shut the oven door.
5. The bread will take about 30 min. to rise to just below the top of the pan.  Take the bread out carefully and set aside. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
6.  Place bread in preheated oven and bake 45-55 minutes.  After the first 10-15 minutes, tent tinfoil over the bread for the remainder of the baking time to prevent the crust from darkening too much.
7. Test the bread with a toothpick. After you’ve removed the bread from the oven, immediately rub the top with butter (or to keep it vegan, try a little melted coconut or olive oil). Remove loaf from the pan to a wire rack to cool.
8.  Let cool completely before cutting.   This makes a big difference on how well it will slice and stay together.

This is great for Sunflower Seed Butter sandwiches, paninis, grilled cheese, toast, or fresh with Homemade Strawberry Jam.   

Enjoy!

Paula's Gluten Free Flour Mix (this makes enough for 2 loaves of bread plus 1 extra cup)
1 1/2 c. millet flour
1 1/2 c. sorghum flour
1 c. tapioca flour
1 c. potato starch
1 c. arrowroot powder  

Another GF flour mix that works well: 
2 cups of Shauna Ahern's gf mix, 70% whole grains/30% starch by weight (Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef), 
1 cup tapioca starch.

2013-11-11

Beet-Dill Salad

Delicious salad, from to a colleague at work (thanks AMM!)
 
1/2 c quinoa, cooked as per instructions and cooled ( or another grain - millet also works well)
2 medium raw beets, grated
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 or 2 bunches of fresh dill, chopped
2-3 dill pickles, chopped
lemon-garlic dressing
juice of one lemon
1-2 gloves of garlic, finely minced
olive oil
salt and pepper
 
Mix dressing together and add to all the other ingredients and mix well.

2013-11-02

Prevention planning in elementary schools

Had a chat with my kids school principal yesterday, in part about how last year's incident could have been avoided  (I haven't posted about that incident because of investigations that were underway, and honestly, I was too angry).  She also received my suggestions well and supported my idea to help facilitate prevention planning in elementary schools.
Two things all institutions (schools, hospitals, fundraisers, etc) need to do when placing special orders for an event
  1. FAX (don't phone) special orders, and specify you want detailed ingredients and allergy information.
  2. Have your order DELIVERED (federal labelling regulations don't apply if you or someone on your behalf pick up in person). That'll make for a proper paper trail and hold the bakery/deli/etc responsible, while giving you something to review before allowing your kid to eat it.
The principal recognized the order should have been faxed, and was shocked that large orders are not covered by labelling regulations unless delivered.  These are elements that should be mandatory elements of a prevention plan.  After four years of asking for one, and last years incident, the conditions are about right to develop one.

The principal agreed, and suggested a standardized prevention plan (best practices, checklist, guidelines, etc) would help parents and principals negotiate how they can best accommodate individual students with severe food allergies in the school environment (as required under Sabrina's law and board directives). Such a standardized list would also make it easier for principals when moving between schools.

If you are a parent and willing to help develop a recommended allergy prevention plan for elementary schools, or can point me to existing materials that can be used as starting points, please leave me a comment below.

2013-10-26

Venting to the board

Got opportunity to vent my deeply upsetting, discouraging and extremely frustrating story of my kid going into anaphylaxis at school last year with some of the board superintendents today.  Wounds are still fresh - I hope raised more awareness of the issue at the board level than I did damage to my reputation (hopefully none...).

As usual though, the board (and the schools) and myself have to set priorities, and I have a lot of pots brewing trying to fix things, including myself.
Sounds like something I could make:

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin
from @ Charles Sims Weight Loss

2 pound Pork Tenderloin
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 TBS Yellow Mustard
2-3 TBS maple syrup
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS Diced dried onions
1 1/2 TSP Garlic Salt or Powder

Mix ingredients above. Pour over Tenderloin in the crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours.