Sunday, November 13, 2011

Menu Plan Week of 11/14

Happy mid-November! Can you believe it?! It is hard to believe that we are so close to Thanksgiving and then the holiday season is in full swing. This is my favorite time of year, especially now that we have a two year old to share our traditions with! I hope to do a feature this week on healthy, allergy friendly recipes for Thanksgiving. We are having a very small Thanksgiving celebration this year at my parents' house with only my family and my Mom and Dad, so the food allergy challenges are all but eliminated - between my Mom and I, we are planning a very basic holiday dinner that will allow our little guy to enjoy almost every dish. For those who may have to contend with larger celebrations that make it more difficult to accommodate, I hope to suggest some recipes to you that everyone will love.

This week, we received the results for our little guy's two year allergy testing. We tested more potential allergens this time and it definitely painted a broader picture of what we are working with. I have not seen the report but received a very quick briefing from our pediatrician (she will mail us and his allergist the results). Eggs, peanuts, walnuts and sesame seeds were high (meaning highest risk for a major reaction, i.e. Epipen always at the ready) and wheat and soy were at the lower end. Walnuts and sesame seeds are new to the list, although I had eliminated all tree nuts and suspected a sesame allergy. There was small positive for corn but since he eats corn often (tortillas, cornbread, etc.) with no reaction, we don't need to worry about it. He also tested positive for dog, cat and trees and very low for pollens and grass. Our poor guy! It is obviously a reminder of how vigilant we have to be and that this is most likely a challenge that we will be faced with for quite awhile. He might have to contend with egg and nut allergies for a lifetime.... for an "Allergy Mom" like me, I have learned not to think with a big scope and to manage through this on a daily and weekly basis (the motivation for this blog!) to keep myself from feeling overwhelmed. We will see his allergist in early December to review the results further and to ask questions - more to come.

This being said, the good news is that I have learned to cook without these foods and it is awesome to think of the progress we have made with his health and wellness since we first discovered many of these allergies one year ago!

Menu plan for this week:

Monday: Pasta with marinara sauce and GF Turkey and Vegetable Meatballs
Tip: Prep veggies the night before.

Tuesday: Out

Wednesday: From last week... never got to it! Slow Cooker Beef Stew (sub in GF flour if needed, I will omit potatoes... you can use fresh potatoes, they will turn out fine!) and a side of rice and green beans
Tip: Prep crock pot the night before

Thursday: Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (my own version - allergy free!)
Tip: Prep all ingredients the night before, add all but broth to the slow cooker. Dump broth in before work and plug it in!

Friday: Quinoa Burgers with roasted carrots and parsnips, salad
Tip: Prep burger mix the night before in the food processor. Chill mixture right in the processor bowl, make patties right before frying them up!

Saturday: Happy birthday to me! (I don't know what we will be doing, but I don't plan to cook!) :)

Sunday: Leftover meatloaf burgers (see this post), squash and green beans

For more menu planning inspiration, visit Orgjunkie's blog on Monday morning!

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