Saturday, July 10, 2010

Vacation Part III: The Food

Our successful vacation became a reality mostly because of the food prep before hand. I've mentioned previously we stayed at a beach house where I had a real kitchen. None of this would have worked otherwise.
Here's what we ate. There are links to some recipes. Others are listed below. Enjoy!
Meal 1: Honey Chicken Skewers with Pasta Salad & Fruit
The recipes for this meal are located in my Easter Post.

Meal 2: Italian Chicken Burgers with Two Potato Salad & Fruit

Italian Chicken Burgers are my own invention, but anyone will tell you they prefer them over real hamburgers. At least that's been my experience with people who actually taste them.

Start off with a 1 lb. uncooked ground chicken. Add about 1 tsp. of Oregano, Basil, Italian Seasonings, and Garlic Powder. Mix well and shape into hamburgers. Grill.

They're VERY easy to make, and are delicious. You can add as many toppings as you'd like. But they taste just fine with ketchup too.

The recipe Two Potato Salad comes from the book, The Kid Friendly Food Allergy Cookbook. Can I just say that I LOVE this book!

Here's the recipe:
3 purple potatoes, cooked, cooled, and cubed
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, cooked, cooled, and cubed
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (we omitted this ingredient)
1/3 cup rice or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional) (we omitted this ingredient)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or dried basil
2 tablespoons chopped olives (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. If using purchased dressing, omit vinegar and oil.

This recipe is super yummy and tastes SO fresh. One thing to be careful of-overcooking the potatoes. They turn to mush if you cook them too long.

Meal 3: Taco Bar

The taco is a fun meal for everyone. It's very flexible and versatile and will work for picky eaters.

The biggest allergy friendly adjustment I have to make here is making sure the meat is seasoned. Not being able to use packets from the store, I found my own recipe. Actually someone sent it to me.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Packet Replacement

Makes 1 packet

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder (we had to omit because it has cumin in it)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt or garlic salt

1. Stir seasoning and 3/4 cup water into 1 lb. browned and drained hamburger (we used ground chicken); simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

*Because we can't use chili powder I usually add about 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

Besides meat at the taco bar I also have:
Black Beans
Corn Tortillas
Tortilla Chips
Green & Red Peppers

And for those not allergic to dairy products and other ingredients:
Sour Cream

With so many mixing options: Tacos, Burritos, Taco Salad, Beans & Rice, etc... no one goes hungry. It's always a winner and perfect for lots of people.

Meal 4: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

I would like to say I make my own sauce, and I have before, but for vacation purposes, this meal was just a jar of Prego Traditional Spaghetti Sauce. The sauce contains no dairy, no soy, and is all natural. It's great! The pasta was organic wheat. This could easily be substituted with rice pasta. Finally the meat was just ground chicken, although I prefer ground turkey. This is Adam's favorite meal!

Meal 5: Chili Rice
This meal is divine! Again, I haven't found a single person we've served it to who didn't like it. Click HERE for the recipe.

Now, we did make some changes to accommodate Adam that I should mention. Honestly I haven't tried the real version. We omitted the onions, jalapenos, and chili powder. Instead of using kidney beans we used black beans. Lastly, we chose to use ground chicken instead of hamburger or ground turkey. We have used ground turkey before and it's very yummy too.

Meal 6: Hot dogs, Salt Potatoes, & Corn on the Cob

Hot dogs are a staple at our home. When Adam was younger, it was all he would eat. Finding allergy friendly hot dogs for him was really difficult, but we have succeeded. Wegmans carries Applegate Farms Organic Turkey Hot dogs. Besides being delicious, they are super healthy. I don't ever have to wonder what I'm eating either, which is a plus. You may laugh, but we actually order these in bulk. We don't have much food storage at all, but at any given time we have up to 12 packages of these hot dogs. Obviously we brought them with us on vacation.

Salt Potatoes are a central and upstate New York thing, but I've heard they're spreading. If you can't purchase salt potatoes, just buy 5 lbs of tiny potatoes and cook them in boiling water with at least 1 cup of salt. Serve with melted butter. They are really yummy!

Well... That's it for dinners. Next comes desserts!

Dessert 1: Oreo Fest

Both of my children can eat Oreos now, perhaps not all kinds, but the basics. We purchased Golden Oreos, Traditional Oreos, Mint Oreos, and Chocolate Filled Oreos. Adam lives off of these cookies! Quite the yummy treat!

Dessert 2: Mexican S'mores

Enjoy Life has dairy free, soy free, nut free, and I think gluten free chocolate bars now. They are to die for! Our local Wegmans carries them. Both of my boys can eat Honey Maid Original Graham Crackers and marshmallows. So... During vacation they were introduced to s'mores.

Not only that, but they were introduced to Mexican S'mores, my personal favorite. Instead of milk chocolate, use dark chocolate. Instead of Original Graham Crackers use Cinnamon Graham Crackers. The marshmallow is still the same. So YUMMY!

Dessert 3: Ice Cream Bar

Adam doesn't like foods that are extremely cold, but Owen does. He still remembers the day when he had real ice cream. For him we now buy Good Karma Organic Rice Divine Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Creamy Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert. He LOVES it! For Baby A we buy dairy free vanilla ice cream.

Dessert 4: Popcorn Party

I LOVE popcorn. On average I think I eat it at least 4 times a week. The boys love popcorn too, especially Adam. Since corn is a safe food we've thrived on popcorn recipes. You can find them on my other blog Basic Fives. I have many other popcorn recipes too that will probably show up in future posts. Obviously I make alterations for the kids' allergies, but all in all it's a huge hit!

Besides meals we had lots of snack foods around but I won't go into to much detail about that. All I can say is that I gained at least 5 lbs on this trip eating so much yummy food! Hope you enjoy it too!


  1. Hi Renae! I just found your blog while visiting MGs allergy log. I have 2 girls with multiple food allergies and totally understand all the preparation required for going on vacation! I'll be stopping back to visit soon.

    Here's my blog. Most of my posts are allergy-related, but not all.


  2. Hi there!

    I just discovered your blog. I also have a child with severe food allergies (milk, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts). He's almost 3 and nothing is improving yet! I'm so amazed at how brave you are!! We stay at home so often just because of how difficult and scary it is to go places. Vacation to someplace besides the grandparents is something that I can't even contemplate to be honest! So reading your blog has given me hope that maybe someday we'll be able to leave home! I'm going to be trying out some of your recipes. And I'll keep reading!