Saturday, April 30, 2011

Almonds and Almond Meal

Raw Almonds – Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Calories: 160
Calcium: 8% Daily Value (based on 2,000 calorie diet)
Protein: 6 grams

Almond Meal – Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Calories: 180
Calcium: 8% Daily Value (based on 2,000 calorie diet)
Protein: 7 grams

My son doesn’t like eating almonds, so we’ve found some good ways to “hide” almond meal in food:

A good breakfast to hide almond meal in is oatmeal.  We use steel-cut oatmeal.  I make it according to the directions on the packaging.  Before removing it from the stove, I stir in some butter (Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread, Soy-Free), brown sugar, and almond meal.

Pancakes are another easy way to hide almond meal.  You can substitute up to 50% of the volume of flour called for in any recipe. (Example: If the recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, you can use 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of almond meal.)

My husband is the pancake-maker in our family.  He makes a great Vegan pancake using wheat flour that the kids love for breakfast or dinner.  Whenever we eat it for dinner, we typically serve scrambled eggs, fruit, and Calcium-fortified orange juice for a more complete meal.  Since his pancake recipe (below) uses whole wheat flour, he only substitutes almond meal for 1/4 flour.

My Husband’s Pancake Recipe:
Mix the following ingredients together:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Add in:
2 cups of rice milk
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil

He uses a big electric griddle to cook them on.

Any Baked Good
You can use the same substitution equation from the pancake section for any baked good.  I’d love to hear some other recipes that worked really well with the almond meal substitution!  So, please let me know if you figure out some other good ones.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Where to Get Calcium

One concern for those on an MSPI diet (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian) is where to get calcium without dairy or soy.  For this post, I’m going to provide a list of foods that can be calcium sources (in alphabetical order).   The list comes from books and various websites - not all of them are ones we've tried to incorporate yet and, in all honesty, there are a few I don't know much about.

In future posts, I’ll provide more information about some of the foods, such as:
  • in-depth information regarding calcium content by serving size,
  • how we incorporate them into our diet,
  • ways to “trick” kids into eating them (when needed), and
  • other dietary information about each food.

Calcium Rich Foods List:
  1. Acorn squash, cooked
  2. Almonds
  3. Agar-agar
  4. Beans
  5. Blackstrap molasses
  6. Bok choy, cooked
  7. Broccoli, cooked
  8. Cereal, calcium-fortified
  9. Chard, cooked
  10. Collards, cooked
  11. Dandelion greens, cooked
  12. Figs, dried, uncooked
  13. Hazelnuts (filbert)
  14. Hummus
  15. Kale, cooked
  16. Kiwi, raw
  17. Kombu
  18. Lentils, boiled
  19. Mustard greens, cooked
  20. Nori
  21. Ocra, cooked
  22. OJ, calcium fortified
  23. Parsley
  24. Quinoa, cooked
  25. Raisins
  26. Rice milk, fortified
  27. Rice milk cheese
  28. Sesame seeds, whole roasted
  29. Spinach, cooked
  30. Sunflower seeds, dried
  31. Tapioca (dried)
  32. Tortillas, corn, calcium fortified
  33. Turnip greens, cooked
  34. Wakame
  35. Walnuts

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Black Bean Burger

This recipe is one we found in the book "The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged."  We couldn't find any leeks, so we don't put them in our black bean burgers.  We serve them in Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rounds (NOTE: these buns contain soybean oil, because our son can have soybean oil - just not soy protein.) and the boys have done really well eating them.

Black Bean Burger
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients -
1 cup of black beans, rinsed, drained and mashed
1 cup of cooked brown rice
1 clove of garlic, passed through a garlic press (NOTE: we used 1/2 tsp of minced garlic instead)
2 Tbsp leeks, whites only, finely chopped (NOTE: we do not include this in the recipe)
2 Tbsp cooked and mashed sweet potato or pumpkin (NOTE: we use sweet potato)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Step 1. Mix all ingredients except the olive oil and bus in a large bowl.  Coat clean hands with olive oil to mix.

Step 2. Divide mixture into equal fourths.  Shape into patties.

Step 3. Heat grill pan over medium flame and coat lightly with oil.  Add patties and cook five minutes per side or until the patties are golden and crispy.

We typically serve this with baked sweet potatoes as a side - we cook them with the one to mash for the recipe (wash them, poke holes in them, sprinkle sea salt on them over tin foil, wrap them each up in the tin foil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees).  The ones we don't use for the mashed sweet potatoes get sliced for the side.

Once we did kale chips - the boys liked them (dipped in ketchup), but the after taste was too bitter for me.  My brother-in-law suggested soaking the kale before making the chips - if that works out better, then I'll put the recipe on here for that.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Why I'm Starting This Blog (a.k.a the "Hello World" post)

"You have to eat your chicken ...  eat your chicken ... just two more bites of chicken and then you can be done."

I've been a vegetarian for 9 years now, so I was starting to feel like a real hypocrite after repeating these words to my sons throughout my first year as their stepmom (esp. since they knew I was vegetarian because I didn't want to eat animals).

My husband and I ate vegetarian when we didn't have the two boys.  But we had gotten into a rut of pasta or chicken nuggets during the nights we had them - we wanted to get them eating better and trying new foods (it was always an ordeal whenever we had them try a new food).   We also wanted to get everyone eating vegetarian at home, but we were concerned about how to ensure our youngest son got the protein and nutrients he needed since he has Milk Soy Protein Intolerance (MSPI).  We had searched the internet for vegetarian and MSPI without much luck, so we weren't sure exactly how to do kid-friendly vegetarian meals that adhered to the MSPI diet.

But with the new year, we made a goal to all eat vegetarian at home and to have the boys try at least one new food per week.  We're also working on ensuring we all eat healthy in general.  For the most part, the goals have been going really well - we've added some new staples to our diet and found that eating vegetarian with MSPI is actually a lot easier than it looks.  And, that's the reason for this blog - my hope is that other parents who want to continue being vegetarians but have a child with MSPI don't come up empty-handed when they search for advice on products and recipes for their family.