peanut free Tag

Do you know how to make a red velvet cookie even better?  Dip it in chocolate! 

Facing food allergies can be a challenge but it shouldn't mean you have to go without. So in 2011, a few years after Xander's diagnosis, I was inspired to write an ebook called Sweet Cheats. It is filled with tasty desserts and sweet treats that are all dairy, egg and nut free! You can check it out in the link but keep in mind, the pictures aren't great (well before I really knew how to do food photography) but the recipes are delicious!

Sometimes I forget about that book and the recipes in there but then it dawned on me, I've only included one of those in this blog!  Crazy right? Especially since those are some of our most loved desserts.  Like these Chocolate Dipped Red Velvet Cookies, those are #1 on Xander's MUST EAT LIST. 

Zesty, fresh & nutritious vegan Pad Thai. It’s a little bit of sweet, a little bit of sour, and slightly nutty without the nuts.

  Nut allergies suck!  There's no other way to say it. Although we have multiple life-threatening allergies in our home, this nut allergy is my least favorite for Xander to have.  I can avoid having nuts in my home, I can avoid baking with it, but it is so incredibly difficult to avoid coming into contact with it elsewhere.  Think of all the PB & J sandwiches out there! Or crackers, or cookies, or smoothies, not to mention the oil people fry their stuff in.  It's endless, especially when you include the variety of foods from other cultures such as Indian, African and Asian. Although I love the experience of trying these different global cuisines, but many are prepared in ways that are uncommon to us and if you throw in language barriers, then it can be even trickier.  Asian dishes (Korean, Japanese, Chinese & Thai) vary in ingredients but contain many of the top eight allergens, including peanuts.  Recently, I found out that fried egg rolls or spring rolls can be sealed with peanut butter!  I never would have thought that.  But of all the Asian cuisines, Thai food is heavy in peanut rich dishes. Nuts are incorporated for adding flavoring, thickening the sauce or garnishing, such as in Pad Thai. But don't give up hope! This Pad Thai recipe is to show you that you can easily recreate the dishes you loved without using nuts or any of the other top allergens.

Eggless Cover

A little over 9 years ago,  I found the hope I needed, that I could still cook wonderful foods and delicious desserts without the use of dairy or eggs.  There weren't very many "allergy-friendly" books or information available back then, but what I did find, was some amazing Vegan books that changed my way of thinking and also changed how my family eats now.  Although we changed our diet out of necessity for the most part, it was still difficult in some ways because there were foods I had grown up with and loved that were now, literally, "off the table". 

Find your Why. Let your passion, circumstance, struggles become the driving force behind everything you do. Because you have a purpose! www.Xanderfriendlyfoods.com For the last 2 days, I've been trying to get a specific post out but after 3 calls with my hosting provider & multiple downloads, deletes, reboots and what-nots, that post has been lost in an effort to save everything else on this blog.  Boo! The funny thing is, as I was typing about a delicious dessert, I had another post idea that just wouldn't go away and it looks like fate wanted that one written first.  So,  here you go Fate!

Thai Green Curry with Cauliflower

As I was making my menu for the week, I realized just how crazy busy my week actually was.  There is not even 1 night free, which isn’t unusual anymore.  Instead of freaking out, I remembered that I prayed for all of this.  The healthy kids, a wonderful husband, a job, a church we love, friends, etc.  Each of those bring much happiness, and much busyness.  There are athletic practices, music practices, church group, fundraiser dinners, church and even a Bieber concert thrown in there this week.

Instead of feeling defeated before the week has really begun, I go back to my menu and start trying to figure it out. I need to make dinners that are delicious, healthy, plant-based & easy.  Keyword here, EASY!   

I know I’m not the only one with busy nights, in fact, many of my friends and those I coach are constantly telling me how they eat out most nights and just can’t find the time to make a good “home-cooked” meal.  But trust me, but with a little planning, you can make a good-for-you meal just as quickly as it’d take you to drive somewhere and grabbing something to go.  And just in case you need a little extra help, here's my downloadable Weekly Menu Planner to make dinners a little easier for you. 

As for a recipe, well I have that too!  Whether you have had Thai food or not,  this Thai Green Curry with Cauliflower will take you on a little culinary adventure and is a perfect start to your meal planning. This is a wonderfully, rich & creamy dish, with just enough heat to make you smile.  Best of all, it's so, so easy to make and takes less than 30 minutes!   

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Poor little muffins,,,,,. They're never invited to be the star at a birthday party or baby shower, they don't get all the beautiful frosting and decorations and most of the time, they are just wrapped up or boxed up only to be consumed as a quick and easy breakfast option.

I'll admit, I don't like very many store bought muffins.  They are too dry, too fake tasting, too sticky, too sugary, too boring, too whatever.  So I totally get why cupcakes are favored, however, what if there was a muffin that was soft & fluffy like a cupcake, rich & chocolatey like a cupcake, but healthy enough for breakfast and indulgent enough for dessert?  Well, there is!

Sweet mango & mashed avocado is heavenly, especially with the added crunch of jicama in these delightful spring rolls.

Spring Rolls

I absolutely love looking out to my back yard through our bay window.  Although the trees are bare and the grass is brown, the site of beautiful red cardinals grazing off the bird feeder, all but makeup for the lack of color due to winter months. And although it is still a little chilly some days, the sunlight warms the room and reminds me that Spring isn't too far off.

This sunlight, not only makes this the perfect sitting area for gazing, but it also makes this the perfect place for ripening those stone fruits not quite recipe ready.  The mango and avocado I recently purchased from the market have patiently been sitting on the table, just waiting for the sun to ripen & sweeten them up for the perfect recipe. Meanwhile, as the sun was doing its thing, there was this wonderfully, crunchy jicama just waiting to join the party as I had something wonderful in store for them.

Mango Avocado Spring Rolls with a Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce.

Avocado Pudding

Have you jumped on the bandwagon yet? For chocolate, avocado mousse that is.

Before you start cringing up your nose or before you chime in with "my kid (or husband) will NOT eat that", let me tell you why you will want to try this.

First of all, there is no added sugar.

Secondly, it is amazingly creamy, rich & decadent without all the calories.

Third, this dessert has nutrients (bonus points for this).

Fourth, it's easy to make.

Finally, although most important, Chocolate!

So when you have a chocolate craving that you want to fix fast, but you don't want to ruin your diet in the process or fill your kids with garbage treats, then this is a MUST MAKE.

Sunbutter Surprise Cupcakes

 

Heaven is only a bite away!  Dark cacao & espresso cupcakes would be pretty amazing on its own, but then your reach the surprise in the middle which is a bite of Sunbutter, and your mouth will thank you.

I feel silly even bragging about these since most food bloggers share the recipes they are proud of, however, when my husband tells me that I never have to make another cupcake ever again, then I know I created a winner.

This cupcake actually started as a muffin for Xander.  Each week, I make for him a batch of baked goods, consisting of 2 eggs which he is required to eat for his oral desensitization.  The goal was to make these less sweet, without icing, include the superfood, cacao in place of cocoa, and keep away from vegetable oils.  Our Xman was thrilled to eat his "medicine", but I still wanted an eggless version.  So I turned these dark chocolate beauties into a Vegan treat by substituting Neat eggs in place of  free-range brown eggs and you would never tell the difference.