Beet-Dill Salad

Delicious salad, from to a colleague at work (thanks AMM!)
1/2 c quinoa, cooked as per instructions and cooled ( or another grain - millet also works well)
2 medium raw beets, grated
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 or 2 bunches of fresh dill, chopped
2-3 dill pickles, chopped
lemon-garlic dressing
juice of one lemon
1-2 gloves of garlic, finely minced
olive oil
salt and pepper
Mix dressing together and add to all the other ingredients and mix well.


Prevention planning in elementary schools

Had a chat with my kids school principal yesterday, in part about how last year's incident could have been avoided  (I haven't posted about that incident because of investigations that were underway, and honestly, I was too angry).  She also received my suggestions well and supported my idea to help facilitate prevention planning in elementary schools.
Two things all institutions (schools, hospitals, fundraisers, etc) need to do when placing special orders for an event
  1. FAX (don't phone) special orders, and specify you want detailed ingredients and allergy information.
  2. Have your order DELIVERED (federal labelling regulations don't apply if you or someone on your behalf pick up in person). That'll make for a proper paper trail and hold the bakery/deli/etc responsible, while giving you something to review before allowing your kid to eat it.
The principal recognized the order should have been faxed, and was shocked that large orders are not covered by labelling regulations unless delivered.  These are elements that should be mandatory elements of a prevention plan.  After four years of asking for one, and last years incident, the conditions are about right to develop one.

The principal agreed, and suggested a standardized prevention plan (best practices, checklist, guidelines, etc) would help parents and principals negotiate how they can best accommodate individual students with severe food allergies in the school environment (as required under Sabrina's law and board directives). Such a standardized list would also make it easier for principals when moving between schools.

If you are a parent and willing to help develop a recommended allergy prevention plan for elementary schools, or can point me to existing materials that can be used as starting points, please leave me a comment below.


Venting to the board

Got opportunity to vent my deeply upsetting, discouraging and extremely frustrating story of my kid going into anaphylaxis at school last year with some of the board superintendents today.  Wounds are still fresh - I hope raised more awareness of the issue at the board level than I did damage to my reputation (hopefully none...).

As usual though, the board (and the schools) and myself have to set priorities, and I have a lot of pots brewing trying to fix things, including myself.
Sounds like something I could make:

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin
from @ Charles Sims Weight Loss

2 pound Pork Tenderloin
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 TBS Yellow Mustard
2-3 TBS maple syrup
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS Diced dried onions
1 1/2 TSP Garlic Salt or Powder

Mix ingredients above. Pour over Tenderloin in the crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours.


Peach ice cream

ok here's another milk-free egg-free soy-free recipe for ice cream we're trying for a birthday party tomorrow: (in our 2 qt cuisinart ice cream maker)
adapted liberally from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/georgia-peach-homemade-ice-cream/?scale=16&ismetric=0

makes approx 7 cups, serves 16 (so they say)

  • 5 ripe peaches (700 gr approx), blanched iced, peeled (see http://southernbite.com/2013/07/30/no-egg-fresh-peach-ice-cream/ for peeling pics) and pitted.  
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3-ish cups milk/cream-substitute.  tonight we used:
    • 1/2 cup dairifree powder in 2 cups warm water, 
    • 1 cup coconut-based coffee creamer, vanilla flavoured (e.g., So Delicious), and
    • 1 cup rice milk (e.g., Rice Dream) 
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (canola might taste better, we're out at the moment)
  • 1/2 cup sugar

prep, boil, ice until too cold to hold, and peel the peaches.
take 3 peaches, pitting them into the blender.
pit the other two peaches into a locking plastic container with the brown sugar.  mash/slice them with paring knife into chunky sauce and refrigerate.
mix dairifree powder into warm water.
pour everything else (dairifree concentrate, non-dairy creamer, rice dream, vanilla, xanthan gum, oil, sugar) into the blender and let 'er rip.

refrigerate until 1hr before serving.

1 hr before serving, run through blender again and pour into ice cream maker.
let run for about 25 minutes and add reserved peach mush.
let run for another 5 minutes for peach mush to be well incorporated and consistency is about right.
serve immediately, or, for firmer dessert, freeze for later and remove 10 minutes before serving (or pop it in microwave for a bit at 30% to soften slightly).


Gluten-Free Vegan/Allergy-Friendly Banana Bread

Adapted from http://ethicaldeal.com/blog/2013/01/gluten-free-vegan-banana-bread/ 

2 cups of gluten-free flour (your preference)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup of vegetable oil (olive, canola or a blend)
2/3 cup of maple syrup
2/3 cup of rice milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
3 overripe bananas
½ cup of (raw) dairy-and-nut-free dark chocolate chips
Vegan (milk- and soy-free) margarine or shortening for greasing

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Lightly grease and flour a standard loaf pan or a small square or round cake pan.
3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients.
4. In another mixing bowl, mash the bananas and other wet ingredients together. Slowly add the dry ingredients while stirring until well combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
5. Pour the batter into the pan (I like to sprinkle a few chips over the top, too – have fun with it).
6. Bake for 45 minutes or until it springs back when you lightly touch it, or when a skewer or a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. If your cake is browning on the top too much but not cooked in the middle, lower the oven temperature a little and cover with a piece of baking paper or tinfoil.

Vegan Baked Sprinkle Donuts and Glaze

Adapted from Chef Chloe's recipe on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbeUJUMxbFs These look great, looking forward to trying them. 
UPDATE:  these are good, but because they're baked, they really don't really taste much like donuts.  DS2 (3yo) had fun helping me glaze and sprinkle them :)

Baked Sprinkle Donuts
Makes 12 donuts

large bowl:
335g (2 2/3 cups) all-purpose flour
135g (2/3 cup) sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg (altn: ground ginger, allspice, and/or cloves)
1 teaspoon salt

small bowl: 
245g (1 cup) rice milk
50g (¼ cup) canola oil
60g (¼ cup) white or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Vanilla or Chocolate Glaze (recipes below)
Optional toppings: Rainbow or chocolate sprinkles, shredded coconut, mini nut-and-dairy-free chocolate chips.

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Lightly grease two donut pans.
  • In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk nondairy milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together quickly until just combined. Do not over mix. Using a pastry bag or plastic bag with the tip cut, pipe batter into the prepared donut pans and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Prepare glaze (recipes below).
  • Remove the pan from the oven and let sit 5 minutes before unmolding.

Old-Fashioned Glaze 
110g (1 cup) powdered sugar
2 tablespoons rice milk
In a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and nondairy milk until smooth.

Chocolate Glaze
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips (nut and dairy-free)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon rice milk
½ cup powdered sugar

In a double boiler or microwave, melt the chocolate chips and nondairy milk together. Whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before glazing so that the glaze thickens and any powdered sugar clumps dissolve.

To assemble donuts: Dip each donut into the glaze, covering the top. Twist the donut as you remove it from the glaze to give it a nice finish and prevent dripping. Immediately sprinkle the topping onto the glaze and let set.