In a rut!

In a rut.  How hard can it be to feed a family of four everyday?  Lately it seems to be a huge challenge.  With having to read all of the labels, and remembering all the terms manufacturers use to fool you into thinking those cookies are safe, or that frozen pizza dough won’t cause a reaction, going to the store takes hours.  I yearn for the time when I could run into a grocery store and be out in 20 minutes with tons of options.  “Mom, I’m hungry!” used to make me smile – chicken fingers, mac’n’cheese, pancakes, all those easy, fast go-to’s are now off-limits. 

Now, I do realize that we are all eating better, with fewer additives and more whole food options.  That makes me very happy.  It’s just the constant vigilance to have some quick tasty made-from-scratch options available that seems so overwhelming at the moment. 

So today I’m spending time in the kitchen making some staples…

Oat and banana breakfast bars

Apple cake

Sandwich buns

And, of course, something for dinner.  Maybe some yummy halibut.  I hope everything turns out.  And I’m kicking this rut in the butt and out of my kitchen!

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Yummy Casserole

I was inspired by a beautiful photo of a lasagna in a vegan cookbook.  I don’t buy gluten-free lasagna noodles.  They are very expensive and I’ve not seen them on sale, ever.  Any shape noodle will work in this recipe. 

This recipe has the kids seal of approval.  They are already asking when we can have this again.

Yummy Casserole

1 pkg gluten-free noodles of your choice (we like Rizopia 100% rice pasta)

ground meat of your choice, I use turkey

1 jar marinara sauce

1 zucchini, grated

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup of cold water

1 heaping Tbsp of cornstarch

2 Tbsp oil

vegan cheese

1. Fill a large pot with water and set to boil.

2. In a medium-sized pan, warm up 1 Tbsp of oil.  Add the grated zucchini and saute on medium until soft. 

3. Meanwhile, in a deep frying pan, warm up the second Tbsp of oil.  Add the meat and fry until no pink remains.  Turn down the heat to medium.   Add the marinara sauce and heat through.  Turn heat to low.

4. When the zucchini is almost cooked, add the 2 cloves of crushed garlic.  Cook for a couple of minutes. 

5. When the water for the noodles comes to a rolling boil, add a heaping teaspoon of salt and the noodles.  Stir the noodles until the water returns to a boil.  Keep stirring or the noodles will stick.  Cook according to package directions.  Make sure you taste a noodle to check if it’s done.  Do not overcook.

6. Mix the cornstarch with cold water.  Add it to the zucchini.  Turn the heat up and cook until it thickens, just a minute or so.  Turn the heat off.

7. In a casserole dish make the layers like this:

                                       Put some sauce in the bottom of the dish.

                                       Next a layer of noodles, about half.

                                       Then about half of the zucchini sauce.

                                       Now about half of the meat and tomato sauce.

                                       Now, you repeat the layers, noodles, zucchini and meat.

                                       The last step is to sprinkle some vegan cheese on top and bake.

8. Bake the casserole for 20 minutes in 350 F oven.  Enjoy!

New Year’s Day

Buckwheat Blinis with Cashew Cream and Smoked Salmon

Buckwheat Blinis with Cashew Cream and Smoked Salmon

My mom always says, “What you do on New Year’s day will be what the new year is full of”. So I try to fit all the things I love into the day.

 That starts with a yummy breakfast. These  Buckwheat Blinis take some planning ahead because you have to soak the flour overnight, but they are so worth the effort.  I make this using rice flour and buckwheat flour combined, flax gel for 2 of the eggs and egg replacer for the third, and a neutral oil for frying.  I’ve made this with the non dairy garlicky “sour cream”, and smoked salmon and it’s delicious. When you make the garlicky cashew cream, add the garlic and the lemon juice a little bit at a time and taste often.  It can get very overpowering quickly. 

After we are full, it’s time to head outside for a walk with friends, and later dinner with family.  And maybe some crafting, laughing and learning something new (so it continues in the new year).

Happy New Year everyone!

My first post.

Welcome.  I’m so glad you’re joining me.  I have been thinking about starting a blog for a long time, but somehow something always got the in the way.  Well, no more.   Since my daughter was diagnosed with food allergies, I have found many blogs.  They have saved my life, well, actually our dinner, many times.  I hope that I can contribute to this great community.  Thank you for stopping by.