Menu Plan

muffins

Add a dollop of toddler pickiness to multiple severe food allergies plus texture aversions and it’s a recipe for a burnt out, frustrated Mama. There is a lot of work that goes into meal time. I have to meal plan, shop at multiple stores while staying within a reasonable budget (with both kids and my ever growing belly), prep, cook, store and serve the food. Sometimes this tedious process is done and it’s worth the time and effort to make sure Jonah is safe and we are all eating something healthy that we can enjoy as a family.

Lately though, meal time has been finished before I can even get it on the table. All of a sudden the little man has major preferences. What he loves one day, he detests the next and honestly, there isn’t a whole lot of room for variance.

While I would love to just call in a pizza and call it a night, that’s not an option. So I girded myself with more ammunition…after all, you give me a challenge, I will rise up and defeat it.

Buah haha.

I bought a couple of new cookbooks from individuals in the world of allergies I have grown to admire in my own journey and reveled in the pages that reminded me to just get back to basics and keep things safe, short and simple.

The biggest reminder to me was that anything we loved pre-allergy, I can tweak and with enough creativity make a safe version of that same meal.

So I guess the boy will somehow learn to not merely survive on green smoothies everyday if I have anything to do with it.

Here’s our plan:

1. Chili

2. Balsamic Seared Salmon Salad & Roasted Broccoli (Jonah will have Turkey since we haven’t tested fish yet. Mama is pregnant and Sadie wants hair as long as Rapunzel so we need those Omega-3’s. We compromise on this one)

3. Leftover Chili Stuffed Baked Potatoes

4. Soup & Grilled Cheese (GF bread and Daiya cheese)

5. Baked Calzones & Peas

Extras:

Trail Mix

Morning Glory Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pic credit

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New Allergy Update & Menu Plan

marshe

There is a fire lit inside of me and I am blazing the trials making Jonah’s life as normal as possible when it comes to food. I realized two crucial things this week through his Evaluation for Occupational Therapy and Allergy appointments…no, make that three things: 1) My little boy is seriously a champ, 2) He has some real food aversions from bad experiences and associations with food thanks to all of the allergies, reflux, and anaphylactic responses, and 3) he has a lot stacked against him with his new, updated, and revised list of food allergies diagnosed today.

What’s the updated list you ask?! I am writing them here, posting them on the fridge, and handing them out to family because, frankly I can’t remember them all of the top of my head:

  1. Dairy*
  2. Wheat
  3. Egg*
  4. Peanut*
  5. Cashew*
  6. Soy*
  7. Strawberries
  8. Pork
  9. Stone Fruits (mango, peach, plum, etc.)
  10. Avocado*
  11. Banana*
  12. Kiwi

* indicates a strong enough reaction to elicit an anaphylactic response (banana is one we experienced first hand last week)

We’re hopeful he will grow out of many of these, although the strong allergens may end up being lifelong issues. Only time will tell as he is old enough to do challenge tests to see at a later time.

As his Mama, I want him to have as many choices as he can. I desire for him to begin to have a fun, explorative, and healthy relationship with food despite his rough start. I want him to thrive, grow, and find joy in the things that he can eat without growing up feeling like he is missing out.

I am coming to a point more and more in my moments of desperation figuring out all the puzzle pieces to this little man that my children belong to the Lord and I truly have no choice but to surrender it all. My kids have been given to us to care for and God has chosen us to be the ones to tend to their needs. Whatever they are, or how complicated they are, they are ours for a reason. Even if I don’t see the end.

I am so thankful for so many reminding me this past week since his scary trip to the ER that we are enough for our Jonah. I feel completely inadequate at some point every day.

It feels like swimming in the middle of the ocean at night time knowing there are sharks wading the waters as you swim. But…

Like I said, he is a champ. And Sadie is an amazing cheerleader for her brother. TJ is a great encourager.We’ve got this.

Here’s what we’re eating this week:

Snacks:

Juicing Project:

Recipe: Mexican Chicken Stew

This recipe has been a long time staple since the beginning of our marriage. You know it’s a good one when your husband says he burns his tongue on the first bowl from being impatient and eating too fast. Then he goes back for seconds and feels like there’s a brick in his stomach because he inhaled the first bowl so quickly he didn’t realize until it was too late that he was already full.

Like they all say, a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

I am so thankful that this is still a recipe I can use despite all of the food allergies for the entire family and that it’s a frugal, healthy and quick meal to pull together.

Tips:

  • Don’t rush the foundation of the stew to really seal in those great flavors. It’s worth being patient.
  • Make a double batch and freeze it for a busy night.
  • Garnish with cilantro, sour cream, cheese and/or chips.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • Few dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lime
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice

Directions:

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno and sweat until soft and translucent. Add spices and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant and aromatic. Add tomatoes, chicken, Worcestershire, and stock.

Bring to a simmer and cook 20 minutes.

Cut the lime in half, squeeze juice into the pot, and then add the juiced halves as well.

Add white rice and cook 5 minutes longer to warm rice through.

Adapted from Dave Lieberman

 

Menu Plan

I’m beginning to think that Risotto is this family’s new best friend. I can make a large quantity of it for cheap and pack it full of vegetables to give a great variance of nutrients to the little people without them even knowing what hit them. The biggest plus is the fact that this is always a meal I can make that we can all eat together as a family if I substitute whatever cheese is called for in the recipe for Nutritional Yeast Flakes.

Wait, you mean I don’t have to make four different meals for four people who all have four different dietary needs and restrictions?!

Why, yes.

Risotto is my manna from heaven.

Oh, and let’s not forget that I was going to buy it for $2.99 a pound at my local health food store when I stumbled upon the clearance cart that had 2 pounds for $1.99. Score. Or so I thought. As I stood in line, I looked at the clearance cart again and saw packed on the bottom a beautiful looking package with 6 ounces more of Organic Arborio rice for the same $1.99.  You can betcha I was digging to the bottom of that cart, while holding my squirmy Jonah who thinks sitting in a shopping cart really is a challenge to dive head first to the ground and see if he can bounce back.

Anything for a good deal.

Here is what the plan looks like for this week:

1. Tomato, Chicken Sausage & Spinach Risotto

2. GF Pizza Bites with Vegan Pesto, Arugula & Goat Cheese

3. GF Baked Black Bean & Turkey Taquitos with Refried Beans & Salad

4. Vegan Pesto & Garlic Wilted Spinach

5. Roasted Acorn Squash & Sweet Potatoes with Salad

 

Snacks:

Homemade Granola Bars

Breakfast Cookies

Fresh Juice

Recipe: Breakfast Cookies

 

These are a quick, no mess, easy way to have something fun for breakfast with things I always have on hand in the kitchen. They are versatile so you can change up the ingredients to suit your own tastes or dietary needs. Simply keep ratios the same and add what fits for you.

Tip: Make a double or triple batch just as easily as a single batch and freeze the rest.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 c. apple sauce
  • 2 c. rolled oats
  • 1/4 c. rice milk
  • 3/4 c. craisins
  • 1/3 c. flax seeds
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. turbinado sugar

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients together. Lay a spoonful at a time onto a greased baking sheet or sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool and serve or freeze in airtight container.

 Pic Credit