Friday, February 29, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

The potluck I went to the other night included a contest for the best soup recipe. The winning recipe was this one. Very yummy! The gal that brought it (my friend Laura's sister, Lisa) has a son who is allergic to milk, so she cooks dairy-free, too!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 lb. shredded, cooked chicken
1 (15 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
1 (10 oz.) can enchilada sauce (Lisa uses the mild.)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (10 oz.) package of frozen corn
1 tsp. chopped cilantro
1 pkg. corn chips

Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green
chilies and garlic into a crockpot. Pour in chicken
broth. Season with spices. Stir in corn and
cilantro. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on
high for 3-4 hours. Crumble corn chips on top of soup
when serving.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sweet Potato Soup

I went to a potluck the other evening, and my friend Susie made this creamy soup recipe from Ladies Home Journal. She made sure all the ingredients were dairy and soy free, so that I could eat it. Isn't she the best! I have such great friends!

The recipe calls for a chipotle cream to top the soup. Obviously, I left that off! And Susie used sunflower seeds instead of pumpkin seeds. This soup is so yummy!

A fantastic website!

I came across a wonderful website yesterday that is fantastic for anyone who has to be careful about allergens or intolerances when cooking.

The great thing about the Allerjenn site is that you can define your search for recipes by what you don't want in the recipe. In my case, I exclude milk and soy from my searches.

Whenever I make a recipe I like from the site, I'll make sure to post it here!

Sweet-and-Sour Stir-Fried Chicken

Chinese food is almost always a no-no on the MSPI diet -- soy sauce! But this recipe from Cook's Illustrated doesn't use soy!

Sweet-and-Sour Stir-Fried Chicken

Serves 4

6 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice, drained, 6 tablespoons juice reserved
6 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. ketchup
1 tbsp.cornstarch
3 tbsp. canola oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1½ pounds), cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices
1 lb. salad bar vegetables, cut into bite-sized pieces, or a bag of frozen Asian-style mixed vegetables
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger

Whisk vinegar, reserved pineapple juice, sugar, ketchup and cornstarch in bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of chicken and cook, stirring often, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plate and repeat with additional 1 tablespoon oil and remaining chicken.

Add remaining oil and vegetables to now-empty skillet and cook until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add pineapple chunks, garlic, and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add vinegar mixture and chicken along with any accumulated juices to skillet and simmer until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.

Serve over steamed rice, with soy sauce (for non-MSPI eaters) or hot sauce.

Quick Start with MSPI Mama: This is one of my Quick Start recipes

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sausage and Rice Soup

The original recipe for this creation came from the Jennie O Turkey Store website, but I made a ton of changes. So I'm listing my version here.

Sausage and Rice Soup

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 1b. Italian turkey sausage
2 (13 3/4-ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups brown rice, cooked

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, celery and carrots; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sausage to saucepan; cook 5 minutes, breaking the meat up. Add broth, water, sage and pepper; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, add peas and cook 5 minutes. Add rice. Ladle into bowls. Makes 6 servings.

Squash and Apple Bake

Another recipe from Laura. Use olive oil or an MSPI-friendly butter substitute for the butter.

Squash and Apple Bake

2 lbs. butternut squash
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. mace
2 apples, cored and sliced

Remove seeds from squash- peel and cut in 1/2" slices. Stir remaining ingredients together (except apples). Arrange squash in ungreased baking dish -- put apples on top. Sprinkle sugar mixture on top. Cover with foil and bake in 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes.

Turkey Primavera

Another recipe from Laura.

Turkey Primavera

¼ cup flour
2 tsp. minced fresh parsley
1 ½ lbs. turkey tenderloins or chicken breast, cubed
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup chicken broth
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ medium green pepper, chopped
1 can (14½ oz.) beef broth -- be sure it's MSPI-friendly
¾ cup tomato puree
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried rosemary, crushed
½ tsp dried basil
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Hot cooked fettuccine or spaghetti noodles

Combine flour and parsley; add turkey and toss to coat. In a skillet, brown turkey in oil; remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. In the same skillet, combine chicken broth, mushrooms, onion, garlic and green pepper. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes. Add beef broth, tomato puree and seasonings. Cook and stir for 20-25 minutes or until sauce is desired consistency. Add turkey; heat through. Remove the bay leaf. Serve over pasta.

Pork Chops Marsala

Another recipe from Laura.

Pork Chops Marsala

4 boneless pork loin chops, ½-inh thick (4 oz. each), trimmed of fat
3 tsp. olive oil
1 package (10 oz.) sliced mushrooms
1 large shallot, chopped (¼ cup)
½ tsp dried thyme
1 lb. asparagus ends, trimmed
½ cup chicken broth
1/3 cup Marsala cooking wine

Evenly season pork chops, on both sides, with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper.

In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil on medium 1 minute. Add chops and cook 6 minutes or until browned on the outside and still slightly pink in the center, turning over once. Transfer chops to platter; keep warm.

In the same skillet, heat remaining oil 1 minute. Add mushrooms, shallot and thyme; cook 5 minutes or until mushrooms are browned and shallot is softened.

Meanwhile, place asparagus in glass pie plate with 2 tablespoons water; cover and cook in microwave on High 3 to 3 ½ minutes or until fork-tender. Set aside.

Add broth and wine to mushroom mixture; cook 2 minutes. Place chops on dinner plates; top with wine sauce. Serve with asparagus and, if you like, rice.

*** Laura thickens the mushroom/broth/wine sauce with a mixture of flour and water.

Quick Start with MSPI Mama: This is one of my Quick Start recipes

Egg-Free Banana Carrot Cake

My friend Laura just passed on to me a bunch of recipes that are MSPI-friendly. Her little boy, Josh, was milk protein intolerant as a baby and her little girl, Ellie, has several food allergies. So Laura has become quite adept at cooking for special dietary needs. Also, she's a great cook, so I know these will be good! Thanks Laura!

Egg-Free Banana Carrot Cake

Mix together:
1½ cup sugar
1 cup bananas, very ripe
½ cup canola oil

Add and mix:
1/2 cup applesauce (or 2 eggs)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg

1 cup raw and grated carrots
½–1 cup raisins
½-1 cup nuts (optional)

If you don’t add carrots add four tablespoons of water.

Bake in a 300-degre oven for 90 minutes in a greased bundt pan. Check after 75 minutes as cooking time varies.

(This is a dense cake.)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Foil-Pack Taco Chicken

This recipe comes from the Kraft Foods website. The reason I like it for MSPI cooking is because you cook each individual serving in foil packs and can alter the recipe to individual tastes. So for my pack, no cheese or sour cream. But for everyone else's, load on the dairy!

Also, many taco seasoning packs contain whey, so they obviously don't work. If you can't find one that's OK to use (I believe Ortega-brand taco seasoning packets are OK) sprinkle the chicken and potatoes with some chili powder, cumin, onion salt and garlic powder. You'll get the same effect without the naughty whey!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Alas, no samples for me

I went shopping today at Wal-Mart. Since it's a Saturday, they were out in force with the samples. Lots of yummy, dairy-laden snack foods. I love to sample food. After all, I love food, so samples just fit in nicely with that passion. But, alas, no samples for me.

Oh well, hopefully all this "sacrificing" on my part will lose me a pound or two in the process!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Broccoli Ham Soup

This is a favorite recipe of my mom's that I've been eating for years. I made a few changes to it the other night for dinner to make it MSPI-friendly. I've listed the original ingredients in parenthesis.

Broccoli Ham Soup

2 cups diced ham
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil (butter)
2 cans dairy- and soy-free chicken broth
2 cups chopped broccoli or 1-10 oz. package frozen
1 1/2 cups water
1 can diced or crushed tomatoes with juice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup macaroni , rice or barley *
(Parmesan cheese)

Cook ham, onion and garlic in oil (butter) until tender. Stir in broth, broccoli, water, tomatoes and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and add macaroni. Cook 8 to 10 minutes until macaroni is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Sprinkle with cheese.)

* Adjust cooking time if you substitute rice or barley for macaroni and put broccoli in at end of cooking time -- 10 minutes is sufficient -- to keep it from overcooking.

Old habits die hard

I woke up this morning and decided I wanted PBJ on a bagel for breakfast. Thankfully, I've found soy protein-free peanut butter (MaraNatha No Stir Organic -- look in health food aisle) that tastes good, and my favorite bagels (Lender's 100% Whole Wheat) are dairy and soy free.

So I popped my bagel into the toaster and got out all the required elements. When the bagel was ready, I proceeded to the pantry, grabbed my OLD peanut butter that has lots of soy protein in it, slathered the bagel with it and proceeded to lick the knife. Oooooops!

Thankfully, I realized what I had done right then and didn't eat the bagel. Hopefully the little bit of soy protein won't bug JD too much!

I'm not used to storing the peanut butter in the fridge. I'm thinking I better move the old peanut butter to a different location in the pantry, so that this type of mistake doesn't happen again!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mom's Best Oatmeal Cookies

I figured I would make my first posted recipe a sweet one! This recipe came from the Crisco website. Libby and I had a ton of fun mixing them up this afternoon. She's a little Betty Crocker!

You may be wondering about the use of vegetable shortening: It has soybean oil in it, isn't that a problem? No, because it's a fat, not a protein! Although be aware that some MSPI kids still can't handle it. Luckily, JD can ... so far.

Just so you know, I made a few adjustments for personal taste. I used walnuts (that's what I had on hand) instead of pecans and 1 cup of raisins instead of coconut (yuck!) and sesame seeds (weird ingredient for a cookie!).

Also, we can't eat 6 dozen cookies in only a few days. So I baked up two dozen and then portioned out the rest of the dough onto a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer. Once they're frozen, I pop them into a Ziploc bag and keep them frozen. Now I can have fresh-baked cookies whenever I want! Just add a few minutes to the baking time when cooking from frozen.

What now?

Thankfully, I love to cook. My favorite TV channel is the Food Network. I subscribe to recipe e-mails and magazines. I have dozens of cookbooks. I'm always trolling the internet for yummy recipes. I am up to the challenge!

But you know what? It's really not that hard. There's a lot of good food you can still eat that doesn't have milk or soy proteins in it. You just have to be flexible and be willing to experiment!

First reaction

I have several friends whose children have had MSPI, so I was already familiar with it. Plus I had been doing a ton of internet research since JD had started his first symptoms. But I never thought any of my kids would develop MSPI. After all, Libby had had no food reactions. But, surprise, JD had it!

From having observed my other friends whose kids have had MSPI, I was pretty bumbed out. The diet looked so hard! After having taken dairy out of my diet and having read a billion food labels in the past two weeks, I knew that just about EVERYTHING that is a prepared food has milk or soy in it. I had two options: 1) eating a restricted diet for the next year; 2) putting JD on incredibly expensive formula, but that's not in the budget!

Making it official

I took JD to the doctor on Tuesday, Feb. 19. While there, they did a test on JD's diaper and found the presence of blood in his stools. That and the fact he had responded favorably to the removal of milk and soy proteins from my diet was enough to confirm our suspicions. JD had MSPI: milk soy protein intolerance.

JD's symptoms

The first symptom I noticed that raised a red flag was when JD was around 2 weeks old. Everytime he pooped or passed gas was a nightmare! Major fussing, squirming and non-JD-like behavior. He had been such a happy boy up to this point. My good friend Tina's little girl is intolerant of milk proteins, so having been familiar with their situation, I decided to drop dairy products from my diet since JD is breastfed. That was Tuesday, Feb. 5th. By Wednesday, things had improved greatly! So I resolved to live a dairy-free life for the next year.

But within a few days, I noticed more episodes every once in a while. I was stumped. I wasn't eating dairy anymore, but I had been told by a nurse that it could take up to two weeks for the dairy to clear my system. So I hung in there for about a week and a half. By then, I started to suspect soy. I had replaced milk with soy milk in my diet and within six to eight hours of ingesting a large amount of soy milk, JD always had an episode. So I took all soy out of my diet.

By this time, JD was also suffering from acid reflux (a common side effect of MSPI) and was spitting up left and right, so a trip to the doctor was in order.