We spent a lot of that first year or two after TJ’s diagnosis, avoiding, avoiding, and more avoiding. It was easier and safer for us to just do our own thing and not have to worry about food allergies, skin reactions, cross contamination, and other people’s ignorance to it. However, despite what I once believed, avoiding was not the best option for us.
Let me explain…
To start, we are homebodies who like to get out sometimes. Since TJ still has not eaten food other than what we’ve made or bought, we make sure to be prepared beforehand. This may mean…packing his favorite foods, contacting the parent before a birthday party or a family member before a family gathering or holiday.
For preschool, I ask for a monthly list of special events where treats would be given or food would be present. We also kept a bag of Oreos, a treat he rarely has but loves, for the times that somehow slip through the cracks or an impromptu kind of party.
Whatever it is, it helps us ensure that we have alternatives that are dairy, egg and peanut free and that TJ is included as much as possible.
(Look for an upcoming post on some of our favorite store-bought party options for when baking does not fit into our schedule.)
In all the allergy free recipes we’ve tried, TJ and I have had the most success with replacing ingredients, instead of full recipes. Here is what I mean:
You can make anything just as tasty, if not tastier peanut, egg and dairy free or whatever allergen you have… it just calls for some creativity.
To start, we like to find actual recipes that contain even his allergies and then we replace with safe products and work our magic.
One of our creations in 2018 was stuffing for Thanksgiving but it would be delicious to add to any dinner throughout the year. Our entire family devoured it too. Of course, letting TJ have his portion first.
Here is the beauty:
(Dairy, Egg & Peanut Free)
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Oven temperatures: 300 degrees then 350 degrees
- 3/4 of a loaf of organic honey bread
- 4 Tablespoons – organic Earth’s Balance spread
- 3/4 cup of diced celery
- 3/4 cup of diced onion
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 package of turkey sausage (We used Applegate’s chicken and apple version)
- 1 and 1/4 cup of vegan vegetable stock (We used the Kitchen Basics brand.)
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1 Tablespoon sage
- 1 Tablespoon parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Chop bread into cubes and toast the bread cubes in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- Once out of the oven, turn the oven to 350 degrees. Melt Earth’s Balance then saute onions, celery and garlic until soft. (about 10 minutes)
- Add veggies to bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.
- Don’t wash pan, but remove the veggies, and add sausage and cook. Then, cut it into bite-size pieces.
- Add chicken or vegetable broth/stock, applesauce, and the spices to bread cube mixture. Mix until moist.
- Transfer into a greased oven pan/tray.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
Let us know what you think. Let us know if and how you switched it up and made it your own. We hope you enjoy!
And remember even though our kitchen counter may never be cleared off, we are continuing to smile our way through the mess one recipe at a time…