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Allergen-Free Teriyaki Sauce

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So, in the spirit of keeping it simple, last night’s dinner was Teriyaki-Style Chicken. It’s just sauce, chicken, and veggies. Cooked grain on the side optional. Super-easy, I promise.

Hubby found a recipe* for Teriyaki sauce on the internet that sounded yummy. Naturally, it called for several ingredients that we either can’t or don’t use. Of course, we didn’t let a minor concern like that stop us! This is where having a list of cheats really helps out.

We find that Coconut Aminos are a great soy-free, gluten-free alternative to soy sauce. It’s a pricey ingredient, to be sure, but the flavor it adds to your cooking is really hard to duplicate. (We think the cost is worth it and keep this on hand as a kitchen staple.) Tapioca starch is the easy substitute for cornstarch. A pinch of cayenne instead of black pepper does the trick nicely for us. Hubby even figured out how to use orange juice in place of the white sugar, since we don’t like to use refined sugar. The result was a fairly easy recipe that we’re going to add to our regular rotation. Cooking the veggies in the sauce with the chicken also made for an easy (and yummy) way to get veggies on the table.

Baked Teriyaki-Style Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Aminos
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 12 skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 cups chopped veggies of your choice such as carrots, squash, broccoli, green beans, peas, cabbage, celery, etc.

 Directions

  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the tapioca starch, orange juice, Coconut Aminos, vinegar, garlic, ginger and cayenne. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and bubbles.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Place chicken pieces in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish. (We used palm shortening.) Brush chicken with the sauce. Turn pieces over, and brush again.
  4. Bake, covered, in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and add veggies. Turn pieces of chicken over, and bake for another 30 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Brush with sauce every 10 minutes during cooking. Sprinkle with green onions or sesame seeds to garnish.

Serve with rice, quinoa, or other grain of your choice. Or, if you’re going low-carb like the Hubby, eat a salad on the side instead of grain.

Technically, Teriyaki Chicken is supposed to be grilled. However, by baking it, this recipe should adapt beautifully to bulk cooking as the sauce will keep it from drying out when reheating. I also want to try cooking the meat halfway, then sealing it in a baggie and freezing it. Then it should just be pretty convenient to grill it, for a bit more authenticity. Now doesn’t that sound yummy?

*Link to the original recipe here.

*Disclaimer: We are in no way affiliated with Coconut Secret and are not being compensated for mentioning Coconut Aminos in any way, not even a free sample of their product.

25 Ideas for Allergy-Safe Snacks at School

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My oldest starts his second year of preschool this week. I never thought I’d be the type to send my kid off to school at such a tender age, but he attends a school for kids with developmental delays, and it’s been awesome for him. Of course, as with every activity we do with him, having multiple food allergies and anaphylaxis is a huge issue. Thankfully, the school is already tree nut and peanut-free, however, I still need to prepare all his school snacks myself to keep him safe. Of course, I want to make his snacks be like what the rest of the class is having. On the other hand, I don’t have time to try to prepare homemade gluten-free, dairy-free fishy crackers every week. It’s a balancing act, to be sure.

My son’s classroom has a microwave and a refrigerator, so we have a little more flexibility in what we can send. Also, they sometimes prepare hot food, like when they study the letter Q and make quesadillas for all the kids.  That said, here are my 25 best ideas for preschool snacks for the food allergic child, all as allergen-free and simple as possible.

  1. Pureed fruit-in-a-pouch (such as Buddy Fruit, Go-Go Squeez Applesauce, and Plum Baby)
  2. Fruit canned in juice
  3. Orange slices
  4. Apple slices with sunflower seed butter
  5. Banana
  6. Knox Gelatin made with fruit juice
  7. Carrots/celery, dipped in “ranch” dressing
  8. Ants on a Log
  9. Rice crackers (I can find savory crackers at my local Walmart)
  10. Cereal and non-dairy milk
  11. Trail mix (dried fruit, seeds, cereal)
  12. Non-dairy yogurt
  13. Rice cakes (top with jelly, sunbutter, honey, coconut oil, cinnamon sugar, etc.)
  14. Pretzels (Mary’s Gone Crackers makes some we can eat)
  15. Potato chips (it’s quick and easy to pack, if not the healthiest option)
  16. Super Cookies (http://www.goraw.com/products/Original_Super_Cookies)
  17. Homemade cookies
  18. Homemade muffins
  19. Gluten-Free Bread and Sunbutter sandwiches (last year we cut the bread into the shape of the letter of the week!)
  20. Pancakes
  21. Tortillas/Quesadillas with non-dairy cheeze
  22. Noodles in broth (aka Ramen Noodles)
  23. Gluten -free macaroni & Cheeze sauce
  24. Pudding (coconut cream, cocoa powder and honey, mix to taste)
  25. Homemade “puppy chow”

We also send some lollipops that the teacher keeps for treats.

I’m always looking for new ideas, so feel free to comment on your allergen-free, lunchbox-worthy snack idea!

Squash-Tastic

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This lovely blossom will be a yummy squash in a couple weeks!

It’s that time of year again when the garden is yielding up more squash than you can shake a stick at. Squash is pretty easy to grow, and produces a lot of food, so it’s a good crop for the novice gardener.  Last year, I was given nearly 50 yellow squash starts for my garden, and as a result, I had an abundance of yellow squash for much of last summer. By the end of summer, I had mastered the art of hiding squash in a number of creative recipes.

  • Sliced thin, lightly salted, and dehydrated into squash chips (a tasty low-carb snack!)
  • Dredged in a mixture of flour, salt and herbs and fried
  • Sautéed in oil with tomatoes, white beans, caramelized onions, garlic, bell pepper, etc.
  • Steamed with broccoli and lightly seasoned with herbs for a side dish with grilled chicken
  • Boiled with potatoes and cauliflower and mashed into “mashed potatoes”
  • Roasted with potatoes, carrots and bell pepper
  • Lightly brushed with olive oil and grilled
  • Julienned into a squash/carrot/radish coleslaw-like salad
  • Chopped into lettuce salad
  • Shredded and in baked into muffins and pancakes
  • Added to soup
  • Mashed and added to spaghetti sauce
  • Lacto-fermented (aka pickled) in brine
  • Peeled into thin strips as a low-carb, grain-free pasta substitute
  • Shredded and mixed into meatloaf and chicken patties

I think the only thing I didn’t do is stuff them, and that was only because I didn’t let them get that big. I also sliced and shredded a bunch for the freezer so we could enjoy squash all year long.

This year’s garden has less squash, but overflows with broccoli instead. I’m sad to say that it is not proving to be nearly as versatile.  I’d be happy to hear your suggestions for using up broccoli or squash in the comments!

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