To my four year old (and countless others), October means only one thing...Halloween! While Halloween can prove to be a bit of a challenge to those of us managing food allergies, it can also still be a lot of fun (and very tasty, too!)
This month's newsletter highlights food finds that just might come in handy on Halloween night. One is a convenient heat-and-serve meal that will fill your little ghoul's tummy and make it easier to resist those yet to be deemed "safe" treats while trick-or-treating. The other is a candy bar that is free of the top 8 allergens - a perfect treat to "swap" for the candy bars collected while trick-or-treating!
I chose this month's recipes with your Halloween party in mind. The first is a caramel dip that is free of the top 8 allergens and makes the season's apple crop even sweeter. The other is my take on cowboy caviar, a dip that is "safe" for those avoiding the top 8 and delicious enough to serve to everyone. My son loves it and has no idea that it's good for him because he gets to eat it with tortilla chips ("salty chips" to him).
I hope you have a wonderful, safe and not at all "scary" Halloween!
Food Finds of the Month
Allergy Free Food Perfect for "On-the Go"
I'm always a little bit envious when I see moms giving their kids packaged meals (like Lunchables). Don't get me wrong, I don't crave these "tv dinners" of sorts to actually eat, but I crave them for their convenience. To be able to open up a package and serve a meal once in a while would be so...well, convenient!
That is why I was very excited to hear about a company called Allergaroo. Allergaroo makes ready-made meals, geared towards kids, that come in a microwaveable pouch. All three varieties, including Spyglass Noodles, Chili Mac and Spaghetti, are free of the top 8 allergens.
We tried the Spyglass Noodles meal and thought it was very tasty. These meals are a lot like canned meals for kids like Spaghettios and every bit as convenient. In terms of nutrition, the meals do not provide a lot of protein as a main dish, however, serving it as a side dish or adding some protein to it would be an option. While nutriton is very important, especially for kids, I know that convenience is king and these meals deliver on that. Now there is a hot meal option to take along to a friend's house, to keep on hand at Grandma's house or to take along in the car (after all, microwaves are everywhere!)
If you or your child haven't been able to enjoy a chocolate bar on Halloween (or any other day for that matter) due to food allergies, you can finally fill that void with Enjoy Life's newest creation: Boom Choco Boom chocolate bars. These bars are free of the top 8 allergens (even soy!) and are certified gluten free. They come in three varieties including "milk" chocolate, crispy chocolate and dark chocolate.
We sampled the "milk" chocolate variety at our house which got rave reviews. My son, who has multiple food allergies, has never had a chocolate bar before so part of the appeal was just the packaging itself. Turns out, the product inside holds up to the hype and really satisfies a candy bar craving.
1) In a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn starch and water. Add the half and half and corn syrup. Stirring frequently, cook mixture over medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and add the oil and vanilla extract. Serve warm or cool.
As this sauce cools, it will become thicker - perfect for dipping apples!
This dip is great for entertaining because it can be made well in advance of your get-together, in fact, it tastes better if it's refrigerated overnight. My very picky 4 year old loves it and it is one snack that I feel good about him eating!
I like the great northern beans because they tend to break down and give the dip an almost creamy consistency. If you prefer your beans fully intact, use the black-eyed peas instead.
1-16 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-16 ounce can great northern beans or black-eyed peas
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 medium green peppers, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Wildtree Basil Pesto grapeseed oil or olive oil
1) Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.
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Congratulations to this month's Wildtree sample drawing winner, Darlene B! To enter the drawing for next month, visit the Wildtree Page in the Food Allergy Store.
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