A Post for the Kiddos

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When I got married eighty billion years ago in 1991, Taste of Home and casseroles were all the rage.

In particular, Tater Tot Casserole.

It consisted of tater tots (bet ya didn’t see that coming!), a can of cream of mushroom soup, broccoli or green beans, cheese and ground beef.

I used to make it once a week when the children were little because:

  1. A 9×13 pan in those days fed our family for a few days.
  2. It was cheap.
  3. They loved it.

Of course, that dish is full of things the allergic soul should not consume.

But now…NOW….thanks to the frenzy of gluten free everything these days, I was able to reconstruct Tater Tot Casserole into an allergy free dish.

And my seventeen year old men children like it better than the original!

One disclaimer, though: You’ll see in the pictures that it looks like I went down to the local sewage plant and plopped the remnants there into my casserole dish. It is not a pretty meal. Not even a little bit. But it is delicious, and, in my freaky little world, that is all that matters.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with spray. Spread a layer of Ore-Ida Extra Crispy gluten free tater tots to cover the bottom of the dish. Next, spread a layer of frozen green beans or chopped broccoli over the tots.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with spray. Spread a layer of Ore-Ida Extra Crispy gluten free tater tots to cover the bottom of the dish. Next, spread a layer of frozen green beans or chopped broccoli over the tots.

“Napoleon, give me some of your tots!”

“No! Go get your own!”

Next, layer one pound of seasoned ground beef over the other ingredients. I had leftover taco meat - bonus!

Next, layer one pound of seasoned cooked ground beef over the other ingredients. I had leftover taco meat – bonus!

Next, layer about 1/2 cup (or more if you like) Daiya cheese. Make sure to sprinkle it evenly.

Next, layer about 3/4 cup (or more if you like) Daiya cheese. Make sure to sprinkle it evenly.

Here's where it gets really unattractive. But yummy all at the same time. Pour half a carton (32 oz) of Imagine Creamy Portobello soup into a bowl. Add two Tablespoons corn or tapioca starch and whisk until smooth. Pour mixture over casserole, then pour the remaining soup over that.

Here’s where it gets really unattractive. But yummy all at the same time. Pour half a carton (32 oz) of Imagine Creamy Portobello soup into a bowl. Add two Tablespoons corn or tapioca starch and whisk until smooth. Pour mixture over casserole, then pour the remaining soup over that.  Spray foil with cooking spray so it won’t stick to the Daiya and cover casserole tightly. Bake for 35 minutes at 375, removing the foil at the 30 minute mark.

I must clarify once again that if you are allergic to soy, the online ingredients of the soup may disappoint you as it says the soup contains soy milk. However, the boxes I have purchased do not contain any soy at all, so go figure.

Then pull it out of the oven to the remarks of your children saying, "We're eating THAT?" (One of my kids actually called it 'The Poo Poo Platter', made famous in the movie 'Bug's Life'.)

Then pull it out of the oven to the remarks of your children saying, “We’re eating THAT?” (One of my kids actually called it ‘The Poo Poo Platter’, made famous in the movie ‘Bug’s Life’.)

Trust me here. It looks like a science project, but it is really, really tasty.

And once your family gets over the shock of its appearance, they’ll ask you if you can make it again.

And again.

It’s that yummy!

Tater Tot Casserole: Allergy Free Style

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with spray.
  • Spread a layer of Ore-Ida Extra Crispy gluten free tater tots to cover the bottom of the dish. Next, spread a layer of frozen green beans or chopped broccoli over the tots.
  • Next, layer one pound of seasoned cooked ground beef over the other ingredients. 
  • Now layer about 3/4 cup (or more if you like) Daiya cheese. Make sure to sprinkle it evenly.
  • Pour half a carton (32 oz) of Imagine Creamy Portobello soup into a bowl. Add two Tablespoons corn or tapioca starch and whisk until smooth. Pour mixture over casserole, then pour the remaining soup from the carton over that. You will be using the entire carton.
  • Spray foil with cooking spray so it won’t stick to the Daiya and cover casserole tightly.
  • Bake for 35 minutes at 375, removing the foil at the 30 minute mark.
  • Remove at 35 minutes, or when casserole is bubbly and hot.

 

Happy Eating the Classics Without the Worries!

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Last Minute Christmas Dinner Preparations

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It can happen just like *that*!

“I need one more dish! Aunt Gertie asked me to bring one more covered dish! Aaaaauuuggghhh!!!”

*wrings hands furiously*

Never fear. Here are a few ideas:

Green Bean Casserole: No gluten, dairy, egg or yeast (recipe created by my daughter, Courtney)

  • 1 box Imagine Foods Creamy Portobello Mushroom (the ingredients on the internet sometimes say this is made with soy milk. However, the boxes I purchase at my local grocer never have any soy. So if you are allergic to soy, go check it out at the store. I think Imagine may be a little behind the times on their ingredients update)
  • 1/4 cup corn or tapioca starch plus enough water to thin starch
  • 1 – 16 oz bag of frozen, french cut green beans, thawed
  • 1/4 cup shredded Daiya mozerella
  • 4 green onions, chopped finely
  • 2 Tbs sunflower (or your favorite) oil
  • Dash salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Grease a medium casserole dish. Set aside. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, blend with whisk the soup and starch until smooth. Add Daiya and green beans.

Transfer soup and green bean mixture to casserole dish. Place in oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat oil. Add garlic, salt and chopped onion. Saute until onion begins to caramelize. 

Top casserole with green onions after the 15 minutes are up. Then bake for an additional 10 minutes or until casserole is bubbly.

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  • And if you simply want to bring a dip along with some veggies, never fear!

Simply click on this link to see my recipe for a quick, easy ranch dressing and dip.

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  • And if you are dying for a cheese and cracker tray, EASY!

Get on down to the natural grocer and buy a package of allergy free lunch meat, such as Hormel Naturals, this Daiya cheese and a box of allergy free crackers, such as Mary’s Gone Crackers. Arrange on a cute little plate and hoard it all to yourself at the family gathering. Unless there are other food challenged people there. Then share, and you’ll be the star of the night.

Happy Christmas Eve!

I Love Amy!!!!!

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amy's veggie lasagne

LOOK! Just LOOK at what she has made now!

I haven’t actually tasted it yet, but I almost ran my tongue over the computer monitor.

I am not making this up.

In fact, I’m looking for my car keys so I can go to the local freak food store in search of this tasty treat.

Sure, I can make my own. But it’s too much fun to buy a box of frozen something, like I’m perfectly normal in the area of food toleration like the other folks at the store. Sauntering with my cart, as I casually throw a frozen dinner into my basket, like I haven’t a care in the world what the ingredients say.

It’s like a little secret, held between Amy and me.

I will say that the one drawback to this lasagna is that it does contain tofu. Why they had to add that pesky little critter in there, I’ll never know. But if a small amount of soybean doesn’t bother you, you can be in on the ‘Amy and Me Secret’ too, with our clandestine grocery cart contents.

Thank you, Amy. And thank you Daiya. You have just brought a smile to this cold, blustery, winter’s day.

Happy Instant Gratification!  

Tuna Noodle Casserole Revised: No Dairy, Soy, Gluten or Eggs

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The above picture may not mean much.

Until I explain it, that is. Then it will.

The above photograph shows a child who lists Tuna Noodle Casserole in the top ten of her favorite foods.

That in and of itself is amazing.

She loves broccoli too.  The weirdy.

And said child also does not have one food allergy. That I know of. Yet. Give her time, it will come. She’s mine.

But until then, she willingly eats my allergy free creations without a speck of distaste. I consider her to be one of my most important critics because she eats ‘regular’ food all the time.

Including ‘regular’ Tuna Noodle Casserole.

Since I have a hankering for it from time to time, I decided to make a cheesy, comforting allergy free version.

And now I’m going to share it with you.

Lucky.

Tuna Noodle Casserole – Allergy Free Style

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook pasta in a large stock pot until al dente (you don’t want it soft or it will be too squishy when baked). Drain.

While the pasta is draining in the colander, in the stock pot, blend together the Vegenaise, Daiya, Almond Milk and seasonings. Stir well. Next add the drained olives, the mushrooms, the peas and the drained tuna. Stir until blended.

Gradually add the cooked pasta to the sauce blend. Do not add all the pasta if it seems like it will overtake the sauce and make the casserole on the dry side.

Spray a 9×13 glass casserole dish with cooking spray (or oil it with your choice of oil) and dump in your saucy pasta concoction.

Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and the top is a LIGHT golden brown.

You can also top with crushed gluten free crackers the last five minutes of baking, if desired.

***If soy is not an issue for you, substitute a 1/2 cup of the Vegenaise with a 1/2 cup of Tofutti Sour Cream, if desired.

Happy Fishing for Comfort Foods!