Fall is officially here and the signs are everywhere - some of them being the return of school buses, backpacks and...updated food allergy action plans! My son started first grade this year which means it is the first year of eating lunch at school. How has the school year been for you? For some great back-to-school tips, check out this article from kidswithfoodallergies.org.
The arrival of Fall also means that Halloween is just around the corner. If you aren't sure how to celebrate Halloween safely, check out this article that has some ideas. Also, last week, I asked our Facebook group to share their favorite "allergy free" treats - and they delivered! We had many great "safe" treat ideas as well as strategies for keeping everyone safe. Be sure to check it out and share your ideas, too!
Our Facebook group also had a lively discussion about dining out which was prompted by this AllergyEats.com blog entry related to a very popular restaurant chain. I would encourage you to share your dining experiences at allergyeats.com - no matter what restaurant - as it helps all of us who are eating with food allergies.
And finally, because I have been sharing in these newsletters my journey towards becoming a Registered Dietitian, I wanted to share with you that I passed the Registration Exam for Dietitians in August and am now officially a Registered Dietitian. I am excited to move into the next chapter of my career and hope that I can do even more for those eating with food allergies!
The Food Find of the Month
Daiya Vegan Cheese
If you have read the dairy substitutes page at Eating With Food Allergies, you know that I love cheese, especially on pizza. With that said, the dairy free cheeses that I have tried, while pretty good, do leave something to be desired. The newest one to enter the market is from Daiya Foods. As soon as I heard rave reviews about it, I wanted to try it. Because Daiya's products are relatively new to the market, they are a bit more difficult to find than other dairy free cheeses. I found the shredded cheeses at the nearest Whole Foods (you can search Daiya's website for the nearest store to you) and decided to try the "Mozzarella Style Shreds".
The texture of this cheese is different than that of regular cheese but the package states that it "stretches and melts" so I decided to give it the true test - make a pizza. Here is what I did:
First, I spread barbeque sauce on a corn tortilla, topped with shredded chicken and then with the Daiya Mozzarella Shreds.
Next, I sprayed a non-stick frying pan with cooking spray, placed the tortilla with toppings in it, covered it and cooked it over medium high heat until the tortilla got crispy on the edges.
Finally, because the cheese didn't look completely melted, I placed it in the microwave for a few seconds. I discovered that it was melted but just retains it's shape rather than spreading like regular cheese.
I tasted my creation and, must say, it was delicious! If the texture wasn't a little different, even when melted, I might not have known that it was dairy free, soy free cheese! If you can find it in your area, I recommend giving Daiya Vegan Cheese a try!
The Recipe of the Month
One Pot Pasta
This one pot pasta recipe is one of the quickest meals that I make for dinner and my family loves it. Needless to say, I make it a lot! If you would like, try topping it with "safe" mozzarella cheese.
1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1-24 ounce jar of "safe" pasta sauce
3 cups water
8 ounces brown rice pasta (rotini, fusilli or penne)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1. In a stock pot, brown the ground beef or turkey. Drain excess fat. Add the onion, garlic and green pepper and cook until tender. Add the jar of pasta sauce, the water and the pasta. Bring to a boil and then simmer covered for about 20 minutes or until pasta is tender. Add the basil and serve.
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