Springtime Salad with Roasted Asparagus

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This is my favorite salad. Ever. My mom used to make it for Easter dinner, using steamed asparagus. I prefer to roast asparagus, but either would work. Heck, soggy canned asparagus would work! It’s got a lot of umami and pairs beautifully with a roast chicken.

You can lay it out as a composed salad, or toss it like a chopped salad. It’s all good!

Springtime Salad with Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients:

Salad:
• 1 head of butter lettuce
• 1 lb asparagus, trimmed
• 2 hard boiled eggs
• 2 Tbsp crumbled blue cheese
• 1-2 Tbsp thinly sliced red onion

Vinaigrette:
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1/4 tsp garlic powder
• salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

• Roast the asparagus. Toss in 1-2 tsp olive oil, spread on lined roasting tray, roast in 400F oven for 15 mins
• Assemble salad
• Mix vinaigrette
• Serve!

This is a dinner salad recipe for 1 person or a side salad for 3-4 people. If you really don’t like raw ref onion, you can toss the onion with the asparagus and roast it.

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Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash

Risotto is a good way to get lots of homemade chicken broth into your family.

I made this for my extended family on a recent visit and my niece, Miss E, asked me to put it on the blog so someone else can make it when I go home.

I got all my supplies at Trader Joe’s. Of course.

Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash

Ingredients:
• 2 c cubed butternut squash, roasted
• 1 1/2 c arborio rice
• 1 qt chicken broth
• 1/2 c parmesan cheese
• 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
• 1tsp onion powder
• salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

• Toss butternut squash with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil. Roast in 375 oven for 30 mins, or until very soft and caramelized. Like this.
• Heat broth in large saucepan
• Heat a large, heavy bottomed pan then add remaining olive oil (hot pan, cold oil, food won’t stick)
• Add dry arborio rice to oil, stir so it doesn’t stick, toast for a minute or so, stirring constantly. It’s ready when it starts to turn a bit golden.
• Add heated broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until liquid absorbs.
• Keep adding broth and stirring rice until rice is cooked through
• Add onion powder, cheese, and butternut squash
• Season to taste.

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What’s in Your Lunchbox?

Posting this because I want to remember it.

Bacon, apple slices, GF pretzels, almond butter for dipping and 2 Udi’s rolls.

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Evolution of the Revolution

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Announcing Team TMR, the Thinking Moms’ Revolution 2.0!!

A new venture of the Thinking Moms’ Revolution, Team TMR is a boots on the ground volunteer group with the aim to deliver real help to families in need now.

From the website:

“Team TMR is a 501c3 organization that provides real help to families struggling with medical, emotional, educational and financial hardship due to complex medical needs faced by their children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilites.

Your donations will go towards:

• Helping families living with autism and related disorders.
• Funding our advocacy movements for people with autism to right to education, medical treatments and more.
• Supporting effective action for autism recovery and related disorders.”

About six months ago a little question posed by Goddess floated across Facebook. Anyone have a recovered kid you’d be willing to write about?

I responded immediately in my best “Oooo! Oooo! Mr Kotter! Mr Kotter!!” Pick me! Pick me! I was honored to be invited to participate.

Please consider donating. Team TMR is establishing grants to pay for treatment, pretty much any treatment–from biomed appointments, to therapy, to OT, and nutritionists. Payment will go directly to the provider.

I will be writing as Zorro there and continuing to blog here.

In honor of World Autism Day, let’s move from awareness to ACTION.

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The Epidemic That Isn’t

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Please sign my petition!

Yesterday the CDC released the autism rate numbers for 2014.

1 in 68 kids.

That’s 1 in 42 boys.

A 29.4% increase in 2 years.

It’s not genetics, because gene expression doesn’t change that fast.

It’s not better diagnosis, because doctors and psychologists weren’t that blind or incompetent two years ago and suddenly they get it.

This, my friends, is an epidemic. We need to start calling it that and get some serious resources and a sense of urgency behind it.

I started this petition on We The People on Whitehouse.gov. If we can get 100,000 signatures by April 27, we will get the petition in front of the policy makers. And maybe we can get this turned around so we never have to see those numbers hit 1 in 30.

Thanks!

Jill at Recovery Road

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Is it a real party if there’s no pizza?

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At a recent school event, I found myself in a conversation with two non-allergy moms who were kind of, well, livid about the limits other moms put on food at celebrations. I had my own toes stepped on by one of the other allergy moms, too, but the degree of this particular outrage made me think. Keep in mind that this is a private school for kids with learning and developmental issues. (I don’t think ANY of the kids should be on gluten, MSG, or artificial food colors, anyway. My heart sank at the lurid rainbow-colored cupcakes.)

I have another, longer blog post percolating about that, but I have three things to offer:

1. In the spirit of inclusion and “fair” being defined as everyone gets what they need, let’s standardize party food upfront. My kid “needs” to be included more than your kid “needs” a Krispie Kreme donut. You may think it’s just this once, but it’s every. single. event. It’s not character building. It’s demoralizing.

2. If your child is the one with a bazillion allergies, please be the one to step up and make/purchase/deliver the special treat. The other moms simply don’t get the complexities of GFCFEFSF baking and aren’t prepared or equipped to accommodate it.

3. Let’s come up with something to replace the constant barrage of food in the classroom. How about dance parties, movies, free choice, extra recess, a prize box, or a special visitor?

Ok, now to a plan.

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Stop with the pizza. Seriously. At the VERY least identify a pizza place that offers a GF crust. Google “gluten-free pizza (insert your city name)”. You may be surprised.

The food buffet at the recent event was pure genius:
• Hot dogs that were organic, kosher, GF
• Buns were separate
• Baked potato bar with an astonishing array of toppings
• Green salad
• Fruit salad
…the cupcakes completely disappointed me, but then I am that mom.

It took care of people who were Paleo, allergy-ridden, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, Kosher.

Other non-pizza party food ideas, according to limitations. EVERYTHING IS NUT- AND SEED-FREE. Also, prep is minimal. You will notice I have made alterations to one core party plan. Kind of like the ubiquitous pizza and cupcake plan than no one seems to mind. Hot dogs or tacos.

Gluten-free only

• Taco bar
• Mini hot dogs with ketchup, mustard, and GF BBQ sauce for dipping. Use frilly toothpicks or small skewers to serve.
• String cheese
• Popcorn
• Corn chips and salsa
Glutino pretzels (my local Costco has enormous bags of these pretzels)
Plain potato chips
• If you want to bake from scratch, try Cup4Cup gluten-free flour.
• Treats made from a pre-made GF mix. I am a big fan of the King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free mixes, especially the cake mixes for cupcakes.
Gummis with no artificial colors
K-Toos, gluten-free substitute for Oreos
• Fruit
• Carrot sticks and ranch dip

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These cupcakes were King Arthur GF Yellow Cake Mix, pre-made vanilla buttercream frosting from The Frosting Queens, and an all natural Gummi bear on top. They were inhaled by my son’s class. None of this have a nibble or a lick of frosting and set it aside business. No artificial colors, no preservatives. It can be done!

Gluten-free, dairy/casein-free (GFCF)

• Taco bar, use Daiya cheese substitute for dairy-free option
Mini hot dogs with ketchup, mustard, and GF BBQ sauce for dipping. Use frilly toothpicks or small skewers to serve.
• Popcorn
• Corn chips and salsa
Glutino pretzels (my local Costco has enormous bags of these pretzels)
Plain potato chips
• Treats made from a pre-made GF mix. I am a big fan of the King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free mixes, especially the cake mixes for cupcakes. Use rice milk and Spectrum Shortening in place of regular milk and butter.
Gummis with no artificial colors
K-Toos, gluten-free substitute Oreo
• Fruit
• Carrot sticks

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Gluten-free, dairy/casein-free, soy-free (GFCFSF)

• Mini hot dogs (like these) with ketchup, mustard, and GF BBQ sauce for dipping. Use Organicville or Bone Suckin’ Sauce. Use frilly toothpicks or small skewers to serve.
• Popcorn
• Corn chips and salsa
Plantain chips
Plain potato chips
• Treats made from a pre-made GF mix. I am a big fan of the King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free mixes, especially the cake mixes for cupcakes. Use rice milk and Spectrum Shortening in place of regular milk and butter.
Gummis with no artificial colors
•Cookies from Enjoy Life
• Fruit
• Carrot sticks

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Gluten-free, dairy/casein-free, soy-free, egg-free (GFCFSGEF)

• Mini hot dogs (like these) with ketchup, mustard, and GF BBQ sauce for dipping. Use Organicville or Bone Suckin’ Sauce. Use frilly toothpicks or small skewers to serve.
• Popcorn
• Corn chips and salsa
Plantain chips
Plain potato chips
• Treats made from a pre-made GF mix. I am a big fan of the King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free mixes, especially the cake mixes for cupcakes. Use rice milk and Spectrum Shortening in place of regular milk and butter. Use Ener-G Egg Replacer (mix before adding to recipe)
Gummis with no artificial colors
• Cookies from Enjoy Life
• Fruit
• Carrot sticks

+ Corn-free (GFCFCFSFEF)

• Veggie sushi with GF coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
• Mini hot dogs (like these) with ketchup, mustard, and GF BBQ sauce for dipping. Use Organicville or Bone Suckin’ Sauce. Use frilly toothpicks or small skewers to serve.
Plantain chips
Plain potato chips
• For baked goodies and treats, Use Namaste baking mixes Use rice milk and Spectrum Shortening in place of regular milk and butter. If you make frosting, use corn-free powdered sugar.
Gummis with no artificial colors
• Cookies from Enjoy Life
• Fruit
• Carrot sticks

Vegan

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• Veggie sushi with coconut aminos
• If corn is ok, add back corn chips and popcorn. Add bean dip and guacamole. Or make nachos with Daiya cheese substitute and black beans.
Plantain chips
Plain potato chips
Roasted chickpeas
• For baked goodies and treats, Use Namaste baking mixes Use rice milk and Spectrum Shortening in place of regular milk and butter.
• Cookies from Enjoy Life
• Fruit
• Carrot sticks

Paleo

I think this would take more effort, but it’s entirely possible. There are a ton of kid/friendly recipes online. I’m partial to www.NomNomPaleo.com, www.SpunkyCoconut.com, www.PaleoParents.com, and www.PaleoMom.comm.

• Mini hot dogs (like these) with paleo ketchup, mustard and homemade BBQ sauce.
• Alternatively, make mini-meatballs.
Plantain chips
• Sweet potato chips
• Fruit
• Carrot sticks

Note: all the Paleo cakes I’ve come across use nuts, coconut and always, always use eggs.

Good additions:

Enjoy Life chocolate chips
Yummy organic lollipops
• Fruit leathers
• Honey sticks
GoGo squeeZ applesauce

My favorite picture from the event that got me thinking…Kyle and Tavish, the therapy dog.

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Paleo Sweet Potato Pancakes

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I thought I’d saved or pinned a recipe for sweet potato pancakes…. But, alas, I couldn’t find it again. So, I recreated what I remembered, made a couple of additions. And success!

I used a yellow-fleshed sweet potato. Japanese sweet potato with a purple skin and yellow flesh would also work. Roast the sweet potato completely for best results. Mashed ripe plantains should also work. The key is to have equal amounts of mash and egg.

Tip: keep the pancakes small!

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Paleo Sweet Potato Pancakes

Ingredients:

• 4 eggs
• 1 c well roasted sweet potato
• 1 Tbsp honey
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
• Spectrum Shortening or coconut oil for frying

Directions:

• Put everything in blender and blend thoroughly
• Heat fry pan, add shortening
• Fry pancakes over medium heat
• Serve! Would be delicious with maple syrup, jam, honey or applesauce.

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