Friday, October 29, 2010

Faux Soy Sauce

We eat a ton of rice. I know! Hyperbole:) In all honesty, we consume approximately 25lbs of rice a month. A hot pot of rice is a blissful thing......meat, vegies, rice. What could be better? My son thinks soy sauce is necessary component of the above "blissful" combination. My son can actually eat soy; however, the San-J gluten free soy sauce sold in stores is not guaranteed to be 100% wheat/gluten free. Do to the severity of his wheat allergy, we are not comfortable taking the slightest risk. This recipe is the alternative.

Faux Soy Sauce

1 cup organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses
1/3 cup organic apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons pure sea salt
1 teaspoon pure cane sugar or 100% pure honey

Put all in small saucepan and heat, stirring well until mixed and very hot, but not boiling. Cool and pour into bottle and refrigerate. Original instructions say it will keep for a month on the shelf.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Allergy Free on a Budget

Everyone knows that Gluten Free and Allergy Free Food can be very expensive. A frozen loaf of GF bread can cost $5-6 depending on the store. The kicker! It isn't even as big as a "normal" loaf of bread! A box of 12 quarter sized cookies - $3.85. How can a family survive eating gluten free or allergy free with a limited grocery budget? We have become fans of salvage grocery stores. Never heard of them? Let me introduce you:)
This is a picture of things I have recently bought at our local salvage grocery store. The total shelf value at a typical grocery store would be......$91.10
The items on the table include: 4 boxes of Enjoy Life Cookies, 4 boxes of Betty Crocker GF cake mixes, 10 cream of tartars (for making safe baking powder), 1 bag gluten free oats, 1 bag sorghum flour, 1 jar of Sunbutter, 6 boxes of jello, 1 box of Rice Chex Cereal, 2 GF/Allergy Free Sprinkles, and 2 boxes of Chai Tea.

I paid: $11.65 a 87% savings!!!

Salvage grocery stores specialize in closeouts, scratch and dents, and "outdated" items. Not all items are outdated. As you can see in the next two pictures, the jello and the cream of tartar are not out of date. In fact, they have 2- 3 years BEFORE they "expire".

Many people squirm at the thought of shopping at one of these stores. Really? Out of date food? In reality, many of the dates are just "best by". Not a date that tells you food is no longer edible. The following link explains, that these dates are not mandated by the government. They are determined by the manufacturer. Of course, a "use by" date or a true "expiration" date is different than a "best by" date. You can see in the picture above that the cream of tartar has a "best by" date.

To be honest, numerous boxes of cereal I purchase have the box tops ripped off. Amazing, right? People actually walk through a grocery store ripping off .10 box tops? To us though it is a blessing as Rice Chex is one of the only cereals my kiddos can eat.

My favorite finds? Bob Red Mill bargains! These two items were a huge blessing! $11.75 of goods for .75!

Where can you find salvage grocery stores? Here are a couple of links that will help you locate one near you.

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Warm Lentil Stew.....

Our family loves soup. When I say love, I should use a thesaurus to find plenty of adjectives to prove the point. This recipe started as a school project. The munchkins have been learning about ancients and making lentil stew was a fine art project. I am not an artsy person so this activity was right up my alley - - eating. Perfect! I found this recipe on so I can not claim full rights on it. Although, I have made adjustments which I will note as I enter the recipe. I am sorry I do not have any photos, I keep forgetting to take out the camera.

Lentil Stew

1 onion, chopped
1/4c. olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano (I used Italian Seasoning instead)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil (I totally skipped this)
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 lb. bulk Italian Sausage (The recipe didn't call for this.)
2 c. dried lentils
8 cups water
1/2 c. spinach (I used WAY more than 1/2 c.!)
2 T. Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste.

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery - cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil - cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in lentils and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. I added small sausage meatballs here. Simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve, stir in spinach and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.

I did notice that I did need to add more water towards the end of the hour of simmering.

Happy Eating:)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Yummy treats in Dallas.....

We have just returned from a week vacation with friends and family. It was a blast!!! My sister treated us to amazingly yummy treats that the whole family could eat.

She had these amazing coconut macaroons topped with a chocolate glaze! Everything was safe for the kiddo's. She found the recipes in a cookbook titled: Flying Aprons Gluten Free and Vegan Baking.

I did a quick flip through the cookbook and it looked amazing! No Eggs, No Dairy, Perfect!! The kids had sandwiches for lunch and dinner. What a treat for them! Cupcakes topped with strawberries......they were perfectly spoiled by my sister!

Here are a couple pics of them enjoying the goodies! This cookbook will be put on my wish list!

Thanks Claire for all the baking and cooking you did!