Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The official word.

I neglected to post on the biopsy results, and as expected they were positive for eosinophils. His numbers were 50, which is average I guess. Anything above 20 indicates EE. So for now my plan is to keep him on swallowed Flovent for a couple weeks to clear out the eosinophils in his esophagus, and continue the allergen-free diet for the top six offenders. Then we will scope again in three months. If the scope is clear, then we will start adding things one at a time. If it's not clean, then we will eliminate more foods, and maybe the dog...sadly....blood tests showed he is very allergic to the dog. They aren't sure how non-food allergens play a role, but cases of EE are worse in the fall and spring.

So that's where we are at. It may change as I read and learn more. My friend gave me the name of another doctor who is the expert on EE, and even taught at the school in Cincinnati (the leader in EE research) where my current allergist went to. And he just happens to live in Utah. My only concern is that Sam does not throw up hardly ever, so I don't know how I will know if he's getting better, or if a certain food we add is making him sick. Please comment if you have any suggestions!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sam gets mac and cheese again...sort of...

I saw a recipe on the Gluten-Free Goddess for a cheesy uncheese sauce, and I wanted to try it for Sam. He loves mac and cheese. In fact, I felt so bad a couple days ago because I made some for Ethan and Phenix and tried to hide it from Sam, but he saw it and was so sad. I should say mad.

So tonight we had no-cheese sauce with quinoa noodles, chicken sausage, and peas and corn, and I think it was a pretty good meal for my little guy. He ate it all.

The Best Cheesy Uncheese Sauce

4 tablespoons light olive oil
5 tablespoons sweet rice flour
2 1/2 cups unsweetened plain hemp milk (or rice milk- but it's thinner, less creamy)
2 rounded tablespoons good tasting nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or more, to taste
A good dash or two of garlic powder to taste
A good dash or two of minced onion to taste
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free Dijon or honey mustard, or to taste
1 tablespoon golden balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, or lemon juice- to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon paprika (for orange) or turmeric (for yellow) color- may omit
1/4 cup white wine, to taste (Frey Organic is vegan/egg-free)

In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and stir in the rice flour (I like to use a whisk to do this). Cook and stir the flour for about 30 seconds- it will make thick paste- and continue stirring to cook the raw flour taste out of it.

Slowly add in the hemp milk, whisking to blend the flour paste and hemp milk.

Bring the mixture to a bubble (it will thicken as it heats) then reduce the heat to low. Add the nutritional yeast, sea salt, garlic and onion powder, mustard, vinegar, nutmeg, paprika or turmeric, wine (and sesame tahini, if using), and whisk to blend.

Continue heating and stirring the sauce over gentle heat for about five to ten minutes. Taste test. Does it need a hint more salt? Wine?

Stir and gently heat through.

Remove from heat and use on pasta, rice, potatoes, vegetables or casserole fillings.

Makes about three cups sauce.

Karina's Notes:

Originally I used rice milk in this recipe, but lately I have switched to hemp milk- gluten-free soy-free Hemp Dream - it's thicker and creamier, and rich with Omegas and calcium.

I added the salt and vinegar to my basic sauce recipe because- to me- it helps replicate the flavor found in Parmesan.

As for the mustard- I'm allergic to it, but I included it because I've always found that a dab of mustard really livens up a white or cheese sauce. If you're sensitive to mustard, leave it out and don't worry- it will still taste good.
I now add a tablespoon or two of toasted tahini paste (sesame butter) for added creaminess and depth. Allergic to sesame? Use almond butter or cashew butter.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Own Quinoa Chicken Nuggets

So I realized the very first time I went to the store for Sam, when I bought a box of 10 allergen-free chicken nuggets for $7, that I would be making my own.

My first batch was good, but fell apart when you touched them. My second batch, I think is perfect. I must say I was pretty impressed with myself on this one. And they are so much healthier than any chicken nugget in the store!

Quinoa Chicken Nuggets
5-6 chicken thighs or 2-3 chicken breasts
1/2 to 2/3 c cooked quinoa
1 tbsp egg replacer mixed with 1/4 c water til frothy (two eggs)
1/2 c brown rice flour

Mix all ingredients in a food processor for a couple minutes until smooth. Using a small cookie scoop, drop balls onto plate of crushed Rice Chex. Coat with cereal, and pat down into shape of nugget. Heat skillet with canola oil and cook nuggets for a few minutes on each side until firm and golden. Store in freezer in ziplock freezer bag, and just reheat to serve.

Makes 36.

Notes: To be honest, I did not exactly measure everything, besides the egg replacer. This recipe is very versatile and can be altered according to what you have on hand. I have not tried it, but I'm sure you could use pork instead of chicken, or rice instead of quinoa. I actually used a quinoa pilaf with carrots and mushrooms that I had leftover. By all means, add some vegetables to boost the nutrients! And if you try something different that works, please let me know. I would love to hear!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

These were actually really good muffins. Again, like the cookies, my older boys and I liked them more than Sam, but he has eaten some of them. I think at this point he just doesn't want anything because it's not his normal food he loves. Maybe after a week or so he'll start liking these new things. I did not make the topping for these, because it was more work and I wasn't sure if Sam would even like them, but I would have used quinoa flakes instead of the oats if I did make it. Maybe next time. This recipe made 12 regular muffins and 24 mini muffins, and I put them in the freezer so they wouldn't go bad.

Pumpkin Muffins


2 bananas

1 cup canned pumpkin*

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup rice milk

2/3 cup canola oil

3 1/2 cups safe flour (I used a rice flour/tapioca starch blend)

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*


1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped rolled oats

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon*

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

For the topping: Place oats in blender and pulse a few times until they are roughly chopped. (Do not clean blender, we will be using it again.) In a small bowl, mix oats, oil, and brown sugar and set aside.

Place banana in blender and puree until they become a smooth sauce-like consistency. (I just mashed them in a bowl.) Mix banana, pumpkin, sugar, rice milk, and oil until well blended. Combine dry ingredients and then gently stir into the wet mixture until just moistened.

Top each of the muffins with one tablespoon of topping. Bake 20 minutes.

Makes 24 regular muffins.

* Variation — Spookily Sweet Potato Muffins: For a low-histamine version of these muffins, use canned pureed sweet potato instead of canned pumpkin. Substitute 1 teaspoon ground ginger for the 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, and omit the cinnamon in the topping.