Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Help! I Have Food Allergies!


Robinhood Family Pharmacy Presents:
Help! I Have Food Allergies!

Meet Tracy to find out more about how she can help you embrace your food allergies.
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
3443 Robinhood Road, Suite S
Winston-Salem, NC 27106
(336) 283-9355

Free samples provided by Wink Frozen Desserts, CrispyGreens, HomeFree Treats, Enjoy Life Foods and Sunbutter

See you there!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Easy-Peasy Pasta Salad


Ingredients:
2-3 Tablespoons oil
1 Box gluten free pasta (I recommend Lundberg Family Farms or Tinkyada)
1/2 Chopped Green Bell Pepper (or more, to taste)
3 Carrots, peeled and chopped (or more, to taste)
1 Tomato, washed and sliced
1 - 2 Jars of Annie's Naturals Lemon & Chive Dressing
Garlic, salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Using a large pot, boil water with 2-3 tablespoons of oil added. When water comes to a boil, add the pasta, stirring occasionally to avoid clumping. Check pasta as it can mush very quickly when it's overcooked.

Drain the pasta and rinse lightly with cold water. Gently shake to remove excess water.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta and the rest of the ingredients. Gently toss. Refrigerate until cold. Pasta may need to have more dressing added to it prior to serving.

Serves approximately 6-8 people.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Quick Gluten Free Muffins

I have to say, figuring out how to make a decent gluten free muffin has been an ongoing challenge. Throw in the factor of not being able to use eggs or dairy-based milk and this makes it even harder. But, is this the end of the world? Absolutely not! Our family has adapted, I have learned that not every muffin will be store-brand beautiful or perfect all of the time and I realized that sometimes, my oven likes to play tricks on me and cause such mishaps as boiling brownies. (That was not fun to clean up at all).

I will admit that cooking with food allergies is a constant puzzle. It's a good puzzle. We are blessed enough to live in a world where foods options are changing, new sources are found and companies continue to provide some new staples that we can utilize to make our lives a little easier than before. I will also admit that although I consult many people on what to cook and how, I find myself taking shortcuts to be able to accommodate our schedule. I have guilt about not being able to make every single food item from scratch but I have learned that this is still ok. We are still healthier than we were 2 years ago, 5 years and each year brings better foods. I rationalize that the shortcuts that I take are still healthier than the shortcuts that I used to take before I began this never-ending journey. I learned to just breath and do whatever I can do each day and that's all.

This is a recipe that I came up with for my son. Because he is fine with cooked cheese, we use dairy-based cheese but I am sure a non-dairy cheese would be fine as well.


Corn Muffins with Sausage & Cheese
Ingredients:
1 Cup crumbled, cooked sausage (or more, depending on your desire)
Baking spray
3/4 Cup organic cornmeal
1 Cup rice flour
3 Teaspoons Hain's Gluten Free baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
1 Cup water
1/2 Cup vanilla rice milk (or other milk)
Ener-G powdered egg replacer
1/2 Cup pureed zucchini squash (washed)
1/2 Teaspoon chives
1/2 Cup shredded cheese of your choice
3 Tablespoons pan drippings from the sausage

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with baking spray (mini muffins work the best).

In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, rice flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the water, milk, egg replacer and chives. Mix until blended. Add shredded cheese and sausage with drippings. If the mixture seems too watery, add a bit more cornmeal.

Spoon into the muffin tins filling only half way (if you fill it too much, they will spill over during cooking). Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, approximately 20-30 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze. To reheat, it's best to pop them into the toaster oven until warm.

Saturday has always been biscuit day at our house. It has been hard to change from those fluffy Bisquick biscuits to the gluten free version but I tweaked the recipe and I (think) it's being accepted.


Gluten Free Bisquick Biscuits
Ingredients:
2-3 Tablespoons Spectrum All Vegetable Shortening
2 Cups Gluten Free Bisquick
Milk of your choice
Baking spray
*Optional- add-ins such as fruits or spices to make different varieties

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a muffin tin with baking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mash up the shortening so that it will be easier to combine with the ingredients. Add the Bisquick and milk. Start with a small amount of milk and gradually add a bit until the consistency is still thicker but not unmixable.

If you are adding in fruit, add it into the mixture and combine gently. Pour into the muffin tin and bake until a toothpick comes out clean. You may also want to top with a mixture of confectioners sugar and juice or milk.

If you are making a flavor using spices (such as cinnamon and sugar) add in approximately 1-2 tablespoons, then sprinkle an additional small amount on top of the muffin once it's in the pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.

Leftovers are tricky as these do not stay fresh too long. I have found that keeping them on a plate and covering them with plastic wrap helps to keep them from getting stale for a day or two. I recommend reheating tham as well.

Mom Tip- Let you children help you cook.  Make a mess and just enjoy their company because one day, they won't be there to make a mess with you.

- Tracy


Monday, May 14, 2012

LUNA Protein Bar Sampling

What a great surprise to receive an offer from LUNA to try out their gluten free protein bars for free! I know i have said it before but our family loves, loves, LOVES sampling. We get to try out new items that (most of the time) we wouldn't get to try due to our local stores not carrying the item, not knowing it was out there or because I just don't think to look for it whenever I am shopping. Whatever the reason, we appreciate any and all samples that we are invited to try out.



Just as a warning to be perfectly clear, I will warn readers that these protein bars are Gluten Free but they contain or may contain soy, dairy, peanuts, almonds, macadamia nuts and other tree nuts. Please read the ingredients carefully and remember to choose wisely based on your own specific allergies to be safe.

We received three flavors- Mint Chocolate Chip, Cookie Dough  and Chocolate Peanut Butter. I asked my daughter to help with the sampling since she has no food allergies that we are aware of. She was excited to help out, especially since they were chocolate covered and because it was the first time we received a sample that only she and I were trying out alone without anyone else. Kind of a mini-bonding thing for us.

Our first taste test was the Mint Chocolate Chip. Now, I do have to admit that both myself and my daughter are not big mint and chocolate lovers but the bar was definitely something that we would try again. The mint was not overpowering so we really did like the taste. It was also our first experience with a protein bar so the first initial bite (to me) was a little chewy but as I continued to chew, it went from chewy into chocolaty treaty. Both of us agreed that the texture was similar to a tootsie roll, only less chewy (if that makes sense). There was no icky aftertaste and it was fulfilling as far as a quick grab-and-go snack. The ingredients include Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Vegetable Glycerin, Palm Kernel Oil, Inulin (Chicory Extract), Cocoa, Natural Flavors, Macadamia Nut Butter, Whey Protein Concentrate), Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Alkalized Cocoa, Organic Rice Flour, Unsweetened Chocolate, Water, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Cocoa Butter, Organic Vanilla Extract, Alkalized Cocoa and Vanilla Extract.

Next up was Cookie Dough. The Cookie Dough reminded me of some type of candy bar but I cannot place which one. It was sweet but not too sweet, it was gooey but not too chewy. It's good that I didn't have more in the house because I would probably be hiding them for a mommy-snack! Again, no aftertaste , which is just a family pet peeve of ours and it may not bother you in the least. My daughter asked for more as I was putting the last piece into my mouth..oops! The ingredients include Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Palm Kernel Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Inulin (Chicory Extract), Cocoa, Dried Cane Syrup, Macadamia Nut Butter, Natural Flavors, Whey Protein Concentrate, Unsweetened Chocolate, Organic Rice Flour, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Cocoa Butter, Organic Alkalized Cocoa, Organic Vanilla Extract, Alkalized Cocoa and Vanilla Extract.

Last and definitely our favorite was the Chocolate Peanut Butter. The best way that I can describe this was that the flavor is very, very similar to a Twix-like bar (which I miss terribly!!) My daughter and I both looked at each other when we ate it and just smiled and went "MMMmmmmm!" at the same time. This was then proceeded by vigorous hand-washing and face washing to avoid any peanut remnants on us. The ingredients include Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Cane Syrup, Peanuts, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Palm Kernel Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Peanut Butter, Inulin (Chicory Extract), Cocoa, Natural Flavors, Whey Protein Concentrate, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Tapioca Starch, Almonds, Organic Vanilla Extract.

Overall, I feel that LUNA bars are a great gluten free snack to try out as long as your only allergy is gluten. They are a fast and easy source of protein that can be kept in your purse, in the glove box or thrown into a lunchbag. I think many people would agree with me in saying that in the world of food allergies, products that make our lives a little easier are much appreciated. Thanks to LUNA for allowing me the opportunity to try out their products and to experience what they have to offer.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

2012 Winner of StartupNation Leading Moms in Business Competetion


StartupNation.com Honors Nation’s Leading Moms in Business


Nutrimom - Food Allergy Liason Wins Top Honors in Mom Business Competition

Pfafftown, NC - From among thousands of contestants, Nutrimom - Food Allergy Liason has been ranked #128 in StartupNation.com’s 2012 Leading Moms in Business competition (www.startupnation.com/leading-moms-in-business), sponsored by Web.com (www.discover.web.com/) and Sam's Club (www5.samsclub.com/YourBusiness.aspx). 

Over 350,000 votes were cast in support of the 2012 contestants, reflecting immense interest and supportiveness for moms building businesses at the same time they tend to their families.
“There’s been a sea change among moms as they’ve come to realize that adding entrepreneurship to their lives brings exhilaration and immense gratification, not to mention supplemental—sometimes primary—income to their families in these dicey economic times,” says Rich Sloan, chief startupologist and co-founder of StartupNation.

“I am honored and grateful to have received this award. I would not have won this without the support of all of my voters. I truly love what I do and I am enthusiastic to continue making a difference to anyone who I am able to help.”  The winner’s profile for Nutrimom - Food Allergy Liason can be found at http://www.startupnation.com/leading-moms-in-business/contestant/11638/index.php
The 2012 Leading Moms in Business ranking highlights some of the dominant trends, motivations and attributes among moms in business. They include:

A great eye for providing attractive discounts, coupons, savings and value, all especially important to consumer moms of the recession era.

A likelihood to come up with innovative products and solutions to address the challenging maze of motherhood. It’s an environment that demands resourcefulness.

Conscience-driven business, where “doing well” is just fine, but the real rush comes from doing good.

The attraction of being your own boss looms large for moms wanting to take control they just can’t find in a day job.

Sustainable solutions and responsible business practices are increasingly paramount.

Making the most of social media for business benefit is seemingly a birthright for the socially adept moms.

The full results of the 2012 Leading Moms in Business ranking are available on StartupNation’s website at http://www.startupnation.com/leading-moms-in-business.