Easter is always a tricky time for Frankie and his allergies but this year he is feeling it even more so.
For a few months he had been allowed dairy and it had opened up his eyes to the world of real chocolate.
We had all really hoped that this would be the first year he would be able to get a Easter egg the same as his siblings but sadly this isn’t the case.
Stomach problems, bad skin and mood swings had all come on in force again and the doctors decided it was probably down to the dairy so we had to say goodbye to it again.
It’s been a hugely tough couple of months as he was so enjoying everything that came will the inclusion of dairy so this Easter I’m going to have to go that extra mile to make it special for him.
These cupcakes that mimic a chick cracking from an egg have really put a smile on his face and could easily be converted to your usual ingredients.
Allergy Friendly Easter Cupcakes
- 100g gluten free self-raising flour
- 100g caster sugar
- 100g dairy free spread
- Egg replacer for equivalent of 2 eggs
- 1tsp baking powder
- Pack ready roll fondant icing
- 12 decorative chicks
- 12 cupcake cases
- Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/400F and lay out cases into cake tin.
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix with electric whisk until combined.
- Place ingredients into cases as bake for 13/16 mins.
- Once cook allow to cool on rack.
- Whilst cooling roll out a small amount of icing to about a thickness of 2cm.
- Cut out a circle slightly larger than the cakes and create a cross in the middle.
- Lay on top of the cake and peel up edges of the cross to open a whole in the centre.
- In this gap place one of the chicks to create the look of a hatching chick.
My life sometimes seems to be filled with me wondering what I am going to cook for the family, and most importantly when I do are they all going to eat it!
I can count on one hand how many meals I prepare that please them all, but eating out is always a different matter.
One of our favourites is Wagamamma and what I love about this restaurant is their use of fresh and healthy ingredients that also taste great.
I timidly tried to do my own take on this with a mildly spicy broth filled with rice noodles and tasty meatballs.
If you want to have a go yourself then take a look at my super easy recipe. It is also free from most major allergens so great for my little allergy boy.
Vegetable Broth With Ginger And Chilli Meatballs
- 450g minced chicken
- 225g rice noodles
- 3 pak choi
- 8 spring onions
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 400ml vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp wheat free soy sauce
- 2 tbsps grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp grated lemongrass
- Place the chicken into a large bowl and then with you’re hands mix in the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, half the spring onions and half the chilli flakes.
- Roll into balls that are about 3cm in diameter and place into a hot pan to cook for around 10mins, turning occasionally.
- While the meatball are cooking I a large pan lightly fry the pak choi and remaining spring onions for a couple of mins.
- Add to this the broth, soy sauce and remaining chilli flakes and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and add the rice noodle and meatballs and simmer for a further five minutes.
- This will now all be ready to serve in deep bowls…with chopsticks if you are brave enough!
Hot dogs are always something that most children will eat and are so quick and easy to prepare.
I decided using a couple of great Quorn products to create a vegetarian chilli dog that allows you to sneak a few veggies into one of their favourite foods.
Quorn Chilli Dogs
- Pack Quorn sausages
- Pack Quorn mince
- 4 brioche hotdog buns
- 1 chopped red onion
- 3 chopped cloves of garlic
- 400g tin tomatoes
- 400g tin kidney beans
- 1 chopped red pepper
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 300ml water
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 2 tbsps tomato purée
- Pre heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 and then begin to fry the onion and garlic in a large saucepan with a little olive oil for a few minutes until softened.
- Next add the red pepper and fry for a further couple of mins.
- Add to this the spices and and allow to release the flavours for a few minutes.
- Add the Quorn mince, tomatoes, tomato purée, kidney beans, stock cube, water and oregano and allow to simmer for 20 mins.
- Whist the chilli is cooking place the Quorn sausages into the oven for 15 mins.
- Once the sausages are cooked remove from the oven and place inside the brioche buns and top with the chilli.
- Serve with a portion of skinny fries and a mini corn on the cob.
With a large family I love nothing more than a big dish that can be quickly popped into the oven and ready in a short time for us all to enjoy.
This dish was originally made with chicken, but I have easily replaced with Quorn pieces or steak strips and it tastes just as good, if not better!
Quorn, Broccoli And Leek Cheesy Bake
- Pack Quorn steak strips
- 2 medium sliced leeks
- Head of broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
- 3 tbsps plain flour
- 500ml milk
- 60g butter
- 125g cheddar cheese
- 20g Parmesan cheese
- 4 slices white bread
- 1 tsp English mustard
- Preheat the oven to 200c/Gas Mark 6. Place the broccoli florets into a pan of boiling water whilst lightly frying the sliced leeks in a little butter.
- Once the leeks are golden brown and the broccoli is slightly softened put to one side and prepare the cheese sauce.
- For the sauce melt the butter in a large saucepan. Once melted whisk in the flour to make a roux.
- Remove the pan from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk.
- Place back on the heat to cook out the flour until it begins to bubble.
- Remove from the heat again and stir in the cheese and mustard.
- Once the cheese has melted in add the Quorn slices, leeks and broccoli and mix well.
- Transfer to a deep dish and put to one side whist blitzing the slices of bread in a food processor to make breadcrumbs.
- Mix the Parmesan cheese into the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top of your mixture.
- Place into the oven and cook for 20 mins and serve with a big salad of your choice.
When you have a child with allergies times like Halloween can be a bit of a tricky time with treats around every corner.
I’m planning ahead this year and making sure number four has plenty of treats ready for the weekend ahead.
One of my easiest and most loved recipes for him are my Rice Krispie lolly pops.
I have used the basic ingredients from this and changed it around a little to create these cute ghosts.
Allergy Friendly Halloween Ghosts
- 150g Rice Krispies
- 3tbsps dairy free spread
- 320g dairy free white chocolate
- Dairy free chocolate drops for face
- Over a low heat melt the butter and marshmallows in a large pan.
- Once melted add Rice Krispies until completly covered.
- Take a small handful of mixture and mould into an elongated oval shape that is tapered at the end to create a tail.
- Place onto greaceproof paper and cool in the fridge for about thirty minutes.
- Meanwhile melt the white chocolate in a bowl over the top of a pan of boiling water.
- Once the ghosts have hardened up cover the top half in the chocolate, add a few chocolate drops for eyes and a mouth and place back in the fridge to set the chocolate.
- Once hardened they are ready to serve.
My slow cooker is my best friend and the most used piece of kitchen equipment I own.
It is more versatile than I ever thought it would be and I make all sorts of things from stews, soups and curries to cakes and fudge!
With a large family who take part in lots of activities after school being able to stick something in the slow cooker at the beginning of the day and it being ready as soon as we get in is invaluable.
A favourite with all the family is a healthy chicken and lentil curry the we serve with rice and a simple tomato and cucumber salad.
Chicken And Lentil Curry
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 2 chopped onions
- 2 chopped cloves of garlic
- 4 diced chicken breasts
- 2 tbsps garam masala
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsps tomato purée
- 500ml chicken stock
- 175g red lentils
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until softened.
- Add the diced chicken and cook until browned.
- Transfer into the slow cooker and mix together with the remaining ingredients.
- Cook on high for 6 hours and serve with basmati rice and a simple cucumber, tomato and red onion salad.
Valentines Day is fastly become a big celebration in the UK with it being a day not just for couples but something that the children now join in with.
My older children all attend Valentines discos at school and the younger ones have made some beautiful cards at school.
To be honest for me it should be something special left for couples to enjoy but im going with the flow and letting the kids join in with the celebrations too!
Number four wanted to do some baking this week so we went with a pink theme and made some strawberry flavoured cupcakes that were suitable for his allergies.
Strawberry Flavoured Cupcakes
- 110g self raising wheat free flour
- 110g dairy free margarine
- 110g caster sugar
- Egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
- 1 tsp strawberry flavouring
- 1tsp red colouring
- 140g dairy free margarine
- 250c icing sugar
- Few drops red colouring
- Strawberry flavoured sparkles
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and lay out 12 cake cases ready for filling.
- Best the butter and sugar together, add the egg replacer, flavouring and food colouring.
- Fold in the flour until completely mixed. Then transfer to cake cases.
- Cook for 10 mins then place in a wire rack to cool.
- Make up the buttercream by combining the margarine with the sugar and then mixing in the food colouring.
- Once the cakes are cooled place the butter cream on top and pull a fork over the top to create a rough surface and then sprinkle over the strawberry sparkles.
Shrove Tuesday is alway one of our favourite days, from the pancake flipping to stacking them high and all of us tucking in to piles of them covered in lemon and sugar!
So that number four is not left out we always make him some allergy friendly ones to enjoy.
This recipe is the closest we have got to the real thing and to be honest it’s really hard to tell the difference!
Allergy Friendly Pancakes
- 250g Plain white wheat free flour
- 2tsp Baking powder
- 300ml Oat milk
- Egg replacer, equivalent of two eggs
- Oil for frying
- Place the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
- Add the egg replaced and slowly whisk in the milk until you have a smooth batter.
- Allow to stand for a while whilst heating the oil in a pan.
- Once hot place a ladle full of the batter and cook for about 30 secs until cooked on the underside.
- Either turn the pancake over or if you are feeling brave give it a flip!
- Once cooked serve with a topping of your choice. I always go for traditional sugar and lemon but go ahead and use your imagination.
We are midway through the month and some of us may still be going strong with our New Year healthy eating plans and some of us may have already fallen off the wagon. Whatever boat you are in this yummy pudding is the perfect sweet treat without to much guilt!
Coconut Rice Pudding
- 400g pudding rice
- 1 litre oat/almond/rice milk
- 2 tbsp honey/agave syrup
- 100g desiccated coconut
- Sprinkling of seeds of soft fruit to serve
- Place the rice, milk, syrup/honey and 200ml water into a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for around 30 mins stirring regularly to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Serve straight away with some seed of soft fruit and a dusting of desiccated coconut.
One of my biggest pitfalls when it comes to eating a healthy balanced diet is portion control and my love of all things stodgy! Bread, pasta and rice in abundance are my love and something I need to try and get under control.
I had seen a few recipes for cauliflower rice in the past but had not tried it until today and I was very presently surprised. It’s light cous cous like texture was the perfect accompaniment to my spicy mince.
Spicy Mince And Cauliflower Rice
- 1 cauliflower
- 500g turkey/beef mince
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 thumb sized piece of garlic
- 2 red chilli
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 100ml stock
- 1 onion
- Half a bag of kale
- Chop the onion and garlic and fry with a little olive oil until softened.
- Add the mince and cook until browned.
- Add the grated ginger, chopped chilli, soy sauce and stock.
- Simmer for 15/20 mins and add a little water if it begins to dry out.
- For the last 5 mins add the kale and cook until it is wilted.
- Whilst the mince is cooking take the heads from the cauliflower and place into a food processor and pulse until it is the consitincy of cous cous.
- Transfer to a bowl and cover with cling film and pierce a couple of times.
- Cook in high for 7mins.
- Serve together with the mince.