Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saving Money on Your Favorite Allergy-friendly Items

I must have inherited a frugal gene from my grandmother. Saving money is a long time passion of mine. I have shared how some of my favorite ways to save are by stocking up when items are on sale, buying in bulk from Amazon, or buying a case at Whole Foods for 10% off (just make sure you call a few days in advance). On cans of goat's milk (that my son drinks) we save about $4 for every can we order from Amazon compared to buying it locally.

My all time favorite way to save is by writing companies for high value coupons. I bet that half of my excitement is the joy of getting something exciting in the mail. Last week I realized that I hadn't written a company in a long time. So I sat down for 3 minutes and wrote 3 of the companies I love most to praise their product and ask if I could please have some coupons. I just went to their website and clicked on "contact us" or something similar. Today I received all of these beauties in the mail. I must say it felt a little like Christmas. I didn't even know Daiya or Thai Kitchen had coupons. I will keep these in a special place in my purse for the magical moment when I get to use them.  Now if I can just remember I have them, when I really need them! If I can combine it with a sale, it would be even better. It may just be $3.10, but if you consider I "made" over $3.00 in three minutes, that's not bad, right?

What about you? Have you written a company for coupons? What are your favorite ways to save on allergy-friendly foods?

Friday, December 2, 2016

{Gluten and Dairy Free} Ham and Rice Soup

Do you love your crockpot, but hate rushing in the morning to put the meal together? Sometimes, I do! How about putting the ingredients in a bowl the night before. Refrigerate it over night. In the morning transfer it to your crockpot and turn it on. Another idea is to freeze the ingredients in a large ziploc bag. If you lie it flat you can fit a lot of meals on top of each other in the freezer.  You can either thaw it and put it in the morning or you can put it in frozen and turn it on high while you get ready in the morning. Before you leave, turn it to low and you should be set! Even better make two of them in the evening. Freeze on and throw the other in the crockpot the next morning.

Here is the recipe I like to do it with. I made it last night and am throwing it in the crockpot on a marathon day like today.

I know this dish may sound funny, but as soon as I made it, it became a family favorite at our house. My kids cheer when I say it is in the crock pot. I love it because there are a lot of veggies in there, too. You can sub beans instead of rice (white beans).  The rice gets a bit mushy so if that bothers you, you can add the rice at the last minute. Sometimes I put a 1/2 cup rice in a bowl and then pour soup over it.

1 cup rice, uncooked
1 container of Hillshire farms smoked ham, coarsely chopped or 1 pkg farmland ham cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
7 oz canned tomatoes with juice (I use safeway brand)
6 oz V-8 juice
2 TBS pure pomegranate juice (or you could use lemon juice)
1/2 TBS chili powder
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS dried thyme

Other good additives: a handful of chopped spinach, kale or sweet peppers.


Put all ingredients in a crock pot. Add water until it is about an inch from the top of a medium size crock pot. Turn on low for 8 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste. We put frozen peas on top to cool it down, and eat it with toasted Food For Life English muffins that are dripping with Earth's Balance spread, or grapeseed oil.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

{Gluten and Dairy Free} Vegan Raspberry Filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

Prep Time 20 minutes
Bake Time: 13 minutes for mini cupcakes, about 37 minutes for large cupcakes, 23 for regular cupcakes
Makes 31 mini cupcakes, 9 regular cupcakes

1 cup rice milk
1 tsp pomegranate juice
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch (not flour!)
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp double-acting gf baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup grapeseed or canola oil
1 and 1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla
1/2  recipe of "cream cheese" frosting (below)
raspberry jam or pureed raspberries
mint or raspberry for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350F and line the mini muffin pan with mini liners.  Put the mini muffin tins on a large baking sheet to stabilize them in the oven. Combine the rice milk and pomegranate juice and set aside.  Mix the flours, starches, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix out any cocoa lumps.  Beat the sugar, oil, vanilla, rice milk and pomegranate. Slowly add the dry mixture in 3 batches. Put some in, mix it, put more in, and mix it and then do it one last time. Fill the muffin tins half full. Add one tsp of raspberry jam or raspberry puree. Put a tsp more chocolate cake batter on top of each dollop of jam. Bake at 350F for 13 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into a cupcake.  Let cupcakes cool. Chill frosting for at least 30 minutes before frosting cupcakes. Garnish with mint and raspberries if desired.  I am posting this at Allergy-free Wednesdays.  I tried it with this frosting and may like it even more!

 Raspberry Frosting
1 cup Earth’s Balance or Palm Shortening (or butter)
3 and ½ cups confectioners sugar divided
¼ cup thawed frozen raspberries or fresh raspberries crushed with juice
1 TBS water or rice milk
1 tsp vanilla

Beat the Earth’s Balance or Palm shortening until fluffy. Add the sugar, raspberries, rice milk (or water)  and vanilla. Beat it until mixed.  Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What's for Dinner Tonight?{Gluten and Dairy Free} Enchiladas

I love these enchiladas. The sauce takes just a little time, but makes a double batch so you can freeze half of it for another night. You will thank yourself when you discover it's all ready to go! I am posting this on Allergy-free Wednesdays here. They have great recipes shared! I hope you get to take a look! For vegan options you can put black beans, rice, corn, and/or green chilis inside instead.

Enchilada Sauce

1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS garlic powder (or 2 cloves garlic crushed)
1 TBS onion powder (or 1/2 onion chopped)
1 TBS cumin
2 TBS mild chili powder
4 TBS gluten free flour (I use a gluten free mix here, or garbanzo)
4 cups chicken broth
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce (I use a small can of tomato paste plus 1 can water)
salt to taste

1. Mix spices and flour in olive oil in saucepan over medium heat until fragrant and starting to brown.
2. Slowly add the chicken broth and tomato sauce and cook and stir until thickened. (15 or so minutes). Add salt to taste.
This makes a double batch of sauce. Label and freeze half of it.

Other ingredients:
Shredded cooked chicken
diced avocado
chopped green onion
chopped red pepper
chopped tomatoes
daiya cheese
brown rice tortillas
dairy free sour cream (Tofutti, Vegenaise, or  So Delicious Coconut yogurt).
(green salsa is dynamite on this!)
black olives

Pour some of the sauce in the bottom of the 9 x 11 pan to make a thin layer. I take Trader Joe's or Food for Life tortillas, and freeze them in the freezer. Take tortillas out one by one and dip them in the hot enchilada sauce for 5 seconds (holding on to the top outside of the sauce with your fingers). Take them out and lay them in the pan.Put 1/2 cup of cooked shredded chicken down the middle. Roll them up with the seams down. Repeat until you have a pan full of enchiladas. Sprinkle with daiya cheese and chopped olives (if desired). Baked at 450F until warmed through. (15 minutes or so) and "cheese" is melted. While it is cooking I shred the lettuce, chop tomatoes, chop green onions, chop cilantro, cut avocado into chunks, and make guacamole (combining smashed avocados with some salsa in a ratio of 2/3 avacado to 1/3 salsa). We also like to put diced red peppers on top. Serve the enchilada with piled toppings on top. You can even use So Delicious plain yogurt or sheep's yogurt on top for a sour cream.

Since half of this is frozen, it means  you have an easy dinner just waiting to happen. I put the frozen tortillas in the freezer and heat them from frozen so they are ready to go. I make my own chicken broth in the crockpot (go here) and then freeze the chicken in two portions. I thaw one of the portions and the sauce. . . . walla! Dinner in no time!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

{Gluten and Dairy Free} "Cheesy" Bread in the Breadmaker

1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 potato starch
1 tsp salt
2 and 1/4 tsp gf yeast
3 TBS sugar
1 and 1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1 and 1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp xanthan gum

Mix the above ingredients together.

Separately mix together the following:
1 and 1/2 cups warm water
2 tsp oil

Take the warm water (not too hot and not luke warm) and oil. Put it in the bread pan (first make sure everything is firmly in place). Take the flour mixture and put it over the top spreading it out (without pressing down) until all of the liquid is covered. Turn it on. After it is done stirring take a spatula and push the extra flour around the edges into the mixture. Mix it and add in the Daiya cheese (below).

stir in:
 2/3 cup cheddar Daiya shreds
1/8 cup Daiya Havarti Jalapeno and Garlic wedge broken into small bits
(if you don't want to do the havarti you can just do one cup of your favorite non-dairy cheese broken into chunks or shredded)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

My Two Favorite Pork Recipes

I'm not a big fan of pork. I love me some ham and bacon (who doesn't love bacon??), but pork I find a lot harder to swallow. Until I found this recipe. This is one of my all time favorite ways to eat pork.  It's grilled on the barbecue which makes it very easy. We love to serve it with rice or baked potatoes.  We often sub pears instead of apples and may like it even better.  I have it in a Pampered Chef cookbook, but found it posted on-line.  We mix the rosemary and next six ingredients all together and use as a glaze on the pork and apples.

Glazed Pork Chops with Grilled Apples

Submitted by: ARAMINTHA here on

from Pampered Chef - It's all Good for You
Number of Servings: 4


    boneless pork top loin or sirloin chops, cut 3/4 - 1 inch thick (about 4 oz)
    1 tsp. dried rosemary
    1 garlic clove, pressed
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    (top 4 should be mixed together)
    2 tsp finely chopped, peeled fresh gingerroot
    1/2 cup apricot preserves
    3 T Dijon mustard

    2 medium gala apples, cored and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices


Yield: 4 svgs

1. Prepare grill for direct cooking over medium coals. Season both sides of pork chops with 1 tsp of the seasoning mix.

2. Peel gingerroot; finely chop using food chopper. Combine ginger root, preserves, mustard and remaining seasoning mix in bowl; mix well. Core apples; cut apples crosswise into 1/2 inch slices, using chef's knife.

3. Lightly grease grid of grill. Brush one side of apples and pork chops with glaze using bbq brush. Place apples and pork chops, glazed side down, on grid of grill. Grill apples 3 minutes and pork 5 minutes, covered, turning once. Brush apples and pork chops with remaining glaze. Grill, covered 3-5 minutes or until internal temperature for pork reaches 160 degrees for medium doneness.

Number of Servings: 4


Mustard Oregano Pork Chops

My friend gave me this recipe recently and I must say it was amazing. My husband even grabbed one of the leftover pork chops the next day, ate it cold and still commented on how delicious it was!  She told me this makes three servings for a family of five. She divides it into three gallon size bags and freezes it. That's three fast and easy dinners! I love it! She serves it with hasbrowns and apple sauce, so that's what I did, too. I used pomegranate juice instead of the vinegar and lemon juice and it worked out super well. I wish I had taken a photo before they were all eaten. Next time!


12 lean pork loin chops
1/2 cup prepared mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 T honey
3 t dried oregano
3 t minced garlic
3 one-gallon freezer bags

Whisk mustard through honey, divide into separate bags. Divide oregano and garlic evenly between bags. Add pork and freeze. Thaw and grill.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Review of Beanfields

Beanfields are a fun find to say the least. I have tried the Nacho and the Pico De Gallo chips (I found them at PCC). They were really light and crispy; much lighter than most chips.  I was surprised at how much they truly have a cheesy taste to them.  They are non-gmo, made in the USA and just down right delicious.  I am blanking on how much they cost, but they were a reasonable price for these sort of chips. They are gluten free, corn free and vegan. These chips have a fair amount of protein and fiber.  The bags were smaller than average, and they disappeared in record time.   I am dying to try the ranch chips, as I have missed Ranch Doritos immensely.   If you see these, grab a bag! Or you can buy the Nacho, Pico de Gallo, or Salt and Pepper chips at Amazon. Beanfields Bean & Rice Chips, Nacho, 6 Ounce