An Easy School Lunch: Pizza Crescent Rolls

We made pizza crescent rolls a few weeks ago for Little Miss’ school lunches. 🍕

For these pizza crescent rolls, I used leftover spaghetti sauce, Trader Joe’s organic crescent rolls, vegan cheese, and @applegate beef & pork pepperoni. 🍕

Here is the IG reel
Little Miss only has a few minutes for lunch and snack time like an hour before lunch, so I have been packing less food for her! 😋
But these pizza crescent rolls are great, to provide Little Miss a yummy lunch! 🍕#feastwithfoodallergies

Mardi Gras 2023 – King Cake Recipe Edition

For my earlier graduate studies, I lived in New Orleans, LA, (NOLA) and attended @Tulane_SPHTM for 15 months to complete my MSPH degree. I enjoyed soaking up the NOLA culture while I was there. It was amazing to me how unique the city of New Orleans is with so much beautiful culture and traditions. I truly enjoyed living there! And currently, I am attending Tulane again for my terminal public health degree in a more virtual learning setting. 
One of the special times I enjoyed while in New Orleans was the Carnival season, which always begins on January 6, and is known as “King’s Day” (Feast of the Epiphany). Carnival season is a time to “eat, drink and be merry” before the fasting and sacrifice during Lent. The Carnival season consists of parades, balls, and other celebrations leading up to Mardi Gras day, aka “Fat Tuesday”. Some people do not know that Mardi Gras is really a Christian holiday and it falls on a different day each year because Easter Sunday is never celebrated on the same Sunday. This year, Mardi Gras Day is on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. Carnival officially ends at midnight on Fat Tuesday and Lent begins. You can read more Mardi Gras and New Orleans history here.
One of my favorite local NOLA sweets during the Carnival season is King Cake. You can pretty much eat King Cake any time, like for breakfast, snack, and/or dessert.
Traditionally, King Cakes are cinnamon-flavored and can be stuffed with cream cheese, more cinnamon, fruit (like strawberry), and/or nuts.

Since I wanted my daughter to enjoy this New Orleans treat, I have adapted an easy and allergy friendly recipe that was included in my grad school’s weekly newsletter. 

Here is my adaptation of the easy, allergy-friend recipe for a Mardi Gras King Cake:

  1. Use 2 cans of cinnamon rolls, unroll the cinnamon rolls, and then twist or braid the strips into a huge bread circle.  Even though there are 3 cans pictured here, I actually used two cans of allergy-friendly and organic cinnamon rolls from @TraderJoes. This is our favorite brand for homemade cinnamon rolls!

 

It seems like a huge mess while getting all the cinnamon rolls strips unraveled and then twisting them all together onto a baking sheet to make a large bread circle! BUT, you will get there eventually!

2. Bake the cinnamon bread circle for the temperature that is printed on the cinnamon roll can for about 15-25 minutes (varies by oven). Make sure the dough is cooked thoroughly and it does not burn on the bottom or top (I tented a piece of foil when I had to put it back in the oven for five more minutes).

3. Take the cinnamon bread circle off the baking sheet and onto the presentation plate. Let the bread cool completely.

4. Using the vanilla icing that came with the cinnamon rolls, pour it over the cinnamon bread.

5. Then, sprinkle and alternate the colored sugars using Mardi Gras colors: purple, green, and yellow/gold. I used these purple, green, and yellow/gold sanding sugar and crystals from Hobbyland (via Amazon). These sugars are made of natural ingredients and are allergy-friendly.

6. Serve immediately or store the King Cake covered for up to 24 hours at room temperature.

Overall, my family enjoyed the allergy friendly King Cake. We actually finished it in two days! And usually each year, my grad school best friend sends my family a King Cake from a local New Orleans bakery. However, this year I told her not to worry about it since I made a King Cake that my daughter can help me make and she can eat safely. I am so happy my daughter was able to enjoy this Mardi Gras tradition and we were able to celebrate the colorful festivities at home! 

“Laissez les bons temps rouler!” (Let the good time roll!)

St. Patrick’s Day treats

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s time to get the green sugar sprinkles out for cookie decor!

I used the delicious @sweetlorens sugar cookies again this year to make Little Miss’ #allergyfriendly cookies so she can have cookies with her classmates. 🍪 #inclusionmatters  And I topped the cookies with Duncan Hines vegan cream cheese frosting underneath the green sugar sprinkles.

 I tried to get creative with the green sugar sprinkles, but find the cookie loaded with sugar sprinkles (on your right in the middle of the picture below)…..yeah that was a failed attempt for trying to make a shamrock out of the green sugar sprinkles!

Overall, it was fun making these St. Patrick’s Day cookies for my daughter!

I am assigned to bring cheese puffs for Little Miss’s  class. Good thing Hippeas has a yummy vegan version of  these cheese puffs favorites!

And here’s a pic of Little Miss enjoying a cookie after school!

If you are not wear green, *Pinch! Happy St. Patty’s Day!

 

Vegan Crispy Rice Cereal Treats with Sprinkles

Since my daughter was getting tired of cupcakes, which I make using the allergy-friendly Duncan Hines cake mixes and the Sweet Loren’s cookies, it was time to come up with another allergy-friendly dessert.

I had a box of organic rice cereal, vegan marshmallows, and vegan butter, so I thought I could make some crispy rice cereal treats! And I added colorful sprinkles to make the treats extra special!

Once I greased my glass pan with vegan butter, I melted a cup of  vegan butter and the whole bag of vegan marshmallows in a pot. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE: It did take longer than expected for the vegan marshmallows to melt. Then, I added 2 cups of rice cereal to the pot of melted butter and marshmallows.

I felt like I was doing an arm workout with all the stirring I had to do to get the rice cereal mixed with the fluffy marshmallow plus melted butter mix.

   

And I added colorful sprinkles as I was mixing the rice cereal batter.

Finally when the mixture was all stirred up, I placed it in the greased pan. I tried not to push the mixture into the pan so the treats would not become too dense.

And I added more sprinkles on top of the treats before I let the pan cool.

The crispy rice cereal treats turned out so yummy and colorful!

And my daughter enjoyed the crispy rice cereal treat with sprinkles!

Have you made vegan crispy rice cereal treats before?

 

Allergy-friendly eggs – Turmeric & Greens Scramble

When we found out that my daughter was allergic to eggs, I was not sure how to add more protein in her diet. However, I am glad she is not allergic to soy because I learned how to make “egg scrambles” using tofu.

    

Surprisingly, my daughter loves the Turmeric & Greens Scramble I prepare and have on hand in the freezer for breakfast. I do feed my daughter her breakfast before I drop her off for preschool because I want to make sure she eats something in the morning. Also, it’s one less meal I have to worry about that she eats at school.

The Turmeric & Greens Scramble contain tofu, chopped greens like organic kale or spinach, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), garlic salt, turmeric, & ground pepper.

First, I add the EVOO to the pan. Then, sometimes I sauté the greens (chopped kale or spinach) in the pan first with the garlic salt seasoning. Here I threw in the chopped tofu first. It doesn’t really matter what you throw in the pan with EVOO first because both ways you season the tofu and greens with garlic salt, turmeric, and ground pepper. All seasoning (garlic salt, turmeric, and ground pepper) are to taste, but I wouldn’t use more than 1 tablespoon of turmeric in this dish. Turmeric is a known anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant spice and it gets activated by black pepper. Read more about turmeric here.  And the turmeric provides a nice yellow color for the “egg” scramble.

 

After mixing all ingredients in the pan, I allow the scramble to cool before I place them in the storage pods for the freezer. These storage pods are helpful freeze food for my daughter so I have it ready during the school week. After the food is frozen, I pop out the food pods and place them in a Ziplock bag to store in the fridge.

My daughter eats this with chicken sausage, her Minnie Mouse waffles, toast with jam, etc.

Have you made an allergy-friendly scramble?

Homemade Pizza – Dairy, Egg, & Nut free

Last month my daughter asked for pizza out of the blue! She has had the frozen Daiya roasted veggie pizza, so I wanted to make a homemade pizza for her.

On my next Trader Joe’s trip, I gathered the following ingredients:

Traditional Indian Style Flatbread, Trader Joe’s pizza sauce, & Organic Broccoli Florets

On hand, I had the organic chicken sausage (from Costco) and Daiya vegan shreds (kept frozen in my freezer).

Since most of the ingredients are already cooked, I heated the chicken sausage and broccoli so I can cut them in bite-size pieces.

I assembled the pizza by spreading the pizza sauce on the flatbread. Then I added the Daiya shreds, chopped broccoli, and bite size pieces of chicken sausage.

I put the pizza in our toaster oven at 350 degrees and left it in there for about 20 minutes to melt the Daiya shreds.

The pizza was a hit and my daughter loved it! This will be a new meal on our rotating menu for my daughter!

Have you tried making your own allergy-friendly pizza at home?

 

Hot Chocolate Cookies – Vegan & Allergy Friendly

It’s Christmas in 3 days and I was feeling festive when I googled “vegan hot chocolate cookies.” I wanted my toddler to enjoy the season, even though this week she is at home (her preschool is closed this week due to the holidays) and I have been working non-stop!

So when I googled “vegan hot chocolate cookies”, I found Purely Kaylie’s  delicious recipe. And the end product was delicious and did not take very long to make! I did have to modify recipe: I only used 1 cup of sugar and no vanilla extract since I didn’t have any. Also, I had miniature marshallows, so the cookies looked different from the  recipe blog post.

I even added some crushed candy cane dust in my second batch to add more color and flavor to the cookies!

Overall, the cookies turned out delicious and the recipe was easy to follow in less time!

 

Thanksgiving 2020 recipes: Fresh Pear & Calamansi vinaigrette and Homemade Sweet Potatoes Casserole

For the Thanksgiving holiday this year, my brother and I made our traditional American Thanksgiving lunch at our parents’ home in Central Florida.

I made a fresh green salad with fresh pear strips and calamansi (Filipino tiny oranges) vinaigrette,  vegan cornbread stuffing (see the product post) and vegan sweet potato casserole (see the recipe below). And my brother cooked an organic turkey and lechon kawali (Filipino fried pork belly). 

For the salad dressing vinaigrette, I just mixed some of the freshly squeezed calamansi juice (about a 1/3 cup) with 1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil, and salt to taste. I made sure to add and mix in the freshly sliced pears to the dressing mixture to add some sweetness to the vinaigrette. Also, I made sure the pear pieces were coated with the vinaigrette. Then I tossed the bagged salad mix with the vinaigrette dressing.

The vegan sweet potato casserole was easy to make. I boiled about 5 large sweet potatoes and took off the skins. Then, I combined the mashed sweet potatoes with oatmilk (my favorite brand of oat milk is by Pacific Foods) and 2 tbsp vegan butter (I prefer to use the Earth Balance brand vegan butter sticks). Then, I top the casserole with the Trader Joe’s mini marshmallows. And right before we sat down for lunch, I broiled the top of the casserole for the yummy melted marshmallow goodness.

Overall, we had a delicious Thanksgiving lunch this year!