'Peanut Allergy Princess' is the story of one mom, one Princess with food allergies (to peanuts and brazil nuts) and our journey through the stress of life with food allergies. Here you will find many recipes, tips on living (and enjoying life) with food allergies, thoughts from a mother of 3 kids (The Brothers and The Princess) and insights into our life. Welcome!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


“Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” 
                                                                                                                                                        -Hilary Cooper

There are some moments in life that are perfect - when life is good and I don't feel the daily stress of keeping my daughter safe. I had one of those moments yesterday while she and her brother played in the pool and I relaxed in the shade of the porch. Watching.

I struggle between wanting her to be independent and longing to keep her by my side at all times to make sure she is safe. This is a normal feeling for all mothers... but with food allergies, it is 100 - no 1000 times stronger. What if she is given peanuts when I am not around? Even if I have trained the person she is with, will they know what to do? Will they do it in time? Will if be enough? It is hard to be away from her and not stress a bit, and wonder, "Is she ok?" I struggle to find the balance between constant vigilance and giving her freedom to roam.  She is only 1, but I wonder how I will feel when she goes to preschool... than to kindergarten... and off to 1st grade and beyond. My precious princess, out in the big scary world without me. 

But yesterday, I did not worry about any of those things as I watched my princess and her 
brother. It was one of those moments. 


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cilantro Sunflower Pesto

Recipe slightly adapted from Our Best Bites
Although it may seem that I have gone MIA, summer has just sucked all my time. I think I have started too many DIY projects around the house, mixed with summer fun and I have (obviously) not posted for  awhile. To make up for being a slacker, I have a fabulous dinner recipe that all my kids loved. And when all 3 kids like the same thing, I know I have found a real winner!

The great thing about pesto is that you can make a big batch and freeze the leftover. My aunt taught me to put the extra pesto in a ziploc bag and flatten it. Set it flat on a paper plate in the freezer until it is well frozen, than you can get rid of the plate. When you are ready to eat some, simply break off as much as you want. This works great when you just want a little bit for lunch and don't want to thaw all the leftover sauce.

And now... the recipe.

1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/4 -1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp sucanat (or brown sugar)
zest and juice from one lime (about 2 tsp zest and 2 Tbsp juice)
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds* (plus more for serving, if desired)
2-3 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
3/4 pound (12 oz.) egg free* whole wheat linguine or spaghetti, cooked according to box instructions
Bell peppers (all colors), diced
Snow peas (I sauteed mine ever so slightly)

In a food processor, combine cilantro (save a bit for garnish), garlic, ginger, olive and sesame oils, red pepper flakes, lime zest and juice, sucanat and sunflower seeds (basically everything except soy sauce). Pulse until coarse paste forms.

Season with soy sauce and pulse to combine.

In a large bowl, toss pesto with hot pasta. Sprinkle additional sunflower seeds, diced bell peppers, snow peas and extra cilantro over pasta. Garnish with lime wedges if desired.

Serve immediately. If you are prepping and not quite ready to eat, wait to toss with pasta until right before serving for the best flavor.

Serves 4 main dish or 6-8 small sides.

* I prefer to buy raw sunflower seeds. To roast them, place a single layer of kernels in a shallow pan. Roast at 300 degrees F for 30-40 minutes or until brown and crisp. Stir occasionally. Remove from the oven. Place seeds on an absorbent paper towel until ready for use. They can be stored in a tightly covered container.

** I buy all my egg-free, whole wheat spaghetti and other pasta at Costco.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

Wishing all fathers a very Happy Father's Day!

The Princess and her daddy enjoying a snack at Disneyland!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tinfoil Dinners

Adapted from wholefoodmommies.com
Since summer is the time of camping, BBQ's and other such fun stuff, I though this was a great time to post this recipe. While there weren't any eggs or peanuts that needed to be replaced in this recipe, it is one of my kids favorites. You know the dinner your kids cheer over instead of moan about when they sit down to the table? Yeah, one of those. Ok, to be honest, my boys pick out the peppers (and we don't use mushrooms most of the time), but I would consider that good when they only pick out one thing. 

The recipe that inspired me uses only fajita seasoning, but it was just too dry for my liking. Instead of using the usual cream of chicken soup (which is loaded with not-so-good stuff including MSG), we used my favorite new recipe. I'm sure you are going to LOVE it too!! I also added another sauce from the Green Smoothie Girl that adds just a bit more flavor. You can use a combination of these sauces, just one, or just some fajita seasoning. 

We love to do this on the grill and eat it in our air-conditioned kitchen, but you can also cook it over hot coals if you are actually camping.  I like to steam my potatoes and carrots until they are just soft before placing them in the foil. They cook up much faster which is very helpful, especially when camping with young children.

6 potatoes chopped small
½ each of red, green, yellow and orange pepper, chopped small (or any combination of peppers)
8 oz (about 15) whole baby bella mushrooms (or any regular/small size mushrooms)
½ white onion (or any onion for flavor)
20 (approx.)baby carrots
1 cup frozen corn
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Fajita seasoning
Cream of chicken substitute*
Roasted Garlic Aoili Sauce**

Place all veggies in gallon size plastic bag. Mix olive oil, minced garlic, and fajita seasoning together. Pour into the bag over the veggies. Shake it to make sure all the veggies are well coated with the seasoning. The bag of veggies can marinate if kept cold for a couple of days. If I am in a hurry, I skip the fajita seasoning part and just use the different sauces. Divide into six piles on tin foil. Put whatever combination of sauces on top of the veggies. Fold foil around the mixture, be sure to cover completely. Cook for about 20 minutes, either over hot coals or on a BBQ at a medium to low setting.  Rotate the dinners a few times during cooking.

Tinfoil Dinners on the grill

*Cream of Chicken soup substitute
 (from wholefoodmommies.com)
1 cup cool water

2 ½ TBS white bean flour (small white beans grinded in wheat grinder- on coarse setting)

Approx. 3 TBS chicken base or vegebase

In a medium saucepan over medium high to high heat, bring all ingredients to a boil.  Mixture will be thick in 2 minutes.  Reduce heat and cook over medium for 2 more minutes- stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, ready to use.
This mixture can be refrigerated up to 1 week and used in place of canned soup.

Click here to learn more about making your own white bean flour. It can also be purchased already ground. 

**Roasted-Garlic Aioli Sauce: (from GSG)
1 ½ C raw almonds, soaked overnight and drained
1 ½ C raw sunflower seeds, soaked overnight and drained
½ to 1 tsp. minced garlic (or you can get fancy and roast a clove of garlic)
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and seeds removed
1 ½ C extra virgin olive oil
½ C fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients well in a high-powered blender. Add a bit of water if necessary to blend to a smooth or chunky texture, whichever you prefer.  Can be frozen for later use. This sauce is great on baked potatoes as well!!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Rainbows, Hope and Maya Angelou

This post by the Food Allergy Mama (Kelly Rudnicki) is a MUST-READ for all parents - not just those with a food allergic child.

Rainbows, Hope and Maya Angelou

My daughter isn't in school yet and won't be for a few years but I completely understand Kelly's sadness at children being left out and feeling alone. I have heard PTA mothers at my children's school complain about having to accommodate a child with food allergies or other dietary issues. They want to label those children as "different" and have them sit on the side-lines while other children have fun because it is too difficult or expensive to work around their needs. That is frustrating to a mother of a child who will be placed in that situation (a very dangerious situation) if nothing at my children's school changes. What mother would want that for her child? As Kelly says in the post  , "Food allergies are a disability NOT A CHOICE, and it’s time more schools take ownership of this fact and develop policies and procedures to reflect their commitment to keeping ALL children safe."

As parents, caregivers or people with food allergies, we can all do more to educate and teach others about food allergies. Now... please read the Food Allergy Mama's post. 


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fluffy "Egg-less" Pancakes

Pancakes are a staple for breakfast at any house, but most contain eggs. One of the first recipes I set out finding was an egg-less (and easy) pancake recipe. This one has become a staple in our home. My kids eat these plain, with a little powdered sugar (since there is very little sugar in the recipe, I feel ok with adding some on the top), homemade strawberry syrup, maple syrup or plain berries (my favorite). They are quick and easy to whip up in the morning before school - or even for dinner (because lets face it, we all do breakfast for dinner sometimes!)

1 cup whole-wheat flour (or wonder flour* for lighter, fluffier pancakes)

1 tsp. sugar (or 1 tsp. sucanat or cane sugar)

1 tsp. cinnamon (or more if you really like cinnamon)

2 tsp. baking powder (we prefer aluminum free -  can be found at Walmart or any health food store)

1 cup almond milk (or any kind of milk)

1 Tbsp. no sugar added applesauce

1 Tbsp. water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. coconut oil (or butter)

 Combine first 4 ingredients and mix slightly. Add milk, applesauce, water and vanilla. Whisk together until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix – it should still be slightly lumpy. Set aside to rest for a few minutes.

 Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. While pan is heating, add coconut oil. As soon as the coconut oil is melted, add it to pancake batter. Return pan to stove and stir coconut oil into batter. 

When pan is hot, pour ¼ cup of batter into the skillet for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on the surface. Carefully flip pancakes and cook until golden brown.

Note: Chopped fruit, nuts or chocolate chips can be added to batter before cooking for a special treat.

* I learned how to make wonder flour from Desiree at the the unconventional kitchen. You can watch her tutorial here.

I hope you enjoy these again and again (and again and again and again...) like we do!


Friday, June 1, 2012

"Egg-less" Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lightly adapted from About.com
Desserts are notoriously scary when it comes to food allergies. I ALWAYS take a dessert to any function just to make sure my daughter will have something to enjoy. These are my go-to dessert for any get-together. The best part, no one can tell they are egg-less. My hubby even thinks these are better than the "real" version!

*My daughter's milk allergy is minor, so I am able to cook with butter. If you need to, sub out the butter with coconut oil (healthiest option) or margarine (not so healthy option, but works in a pinch). Here we go...

2 3/4 cup flour (sub out 1/2 the white flour for wonder flour if you want them to be a bit healthier, or sub out all of it for wonderflour!)

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup butter*

3/4 cup brown sugar (try using sucanat or other cane sugar instead of the brown sugar)

3/4 cup sugar (for a healthier cookie, use raw sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp. fresh ground flax seed and 3 Tbsp. water (or 1 egg)

12 oz. chocolate chips (we like dark chocolate, but you can use semi-sweet or even milk chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda in a large bowl and set aside.
In a separate large bowl (like a stand mixer), beat together the margarine, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and egg replacer. Add the dry ingredients to this and stir until combined well.
Stir in the chocolate chips.

Here is the best part - without the egg, you can eat as much dough as you want without feeling guilty. This is my kids favorite part!

Using a cookie scoop, drop dough onto cookie sheet. I like to use a silpat over my cookie sheet when I make cookies. They bake so much better - and I don't have to use any cooking spray because they are non-stick. If you haven't heard of them, or don't have one - check it out! Back to the recipe. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until edges are golden brown.

Don't eat too many all at once - they are that good!