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Meatless Monday’s Dino-Mash

June 27, 2011 •  no comments.

 •  Blog, Getting Started, News, Recipes

Going entirely meat-free may be the choice of some, but at AllergyKids, we recognize that diet, like religion, is not a one-size-fits-all approach. So in an effort to inform and inspire (and for those who want to eat a little less meat), we recently introduced Meatless Mondays.

As consumers are learning, our meat is often injected with all kinds of growth hormones and antibiotics, fed livestock feed that has been laced with genetically modified organisms, insecticides and antibiotics (as recently highlighted in the New York Times), and often industrially grown and produced. That knowledge can lead to some pretty jaw-dropping reactions (think, Food Inc.).

And in our efforts to afford more fresh produce in our diets, what we have learned is that for those on a budget, opting out of meat once a week can help us to afford those fruits and veggies.

So this week, we turn to our friend, Kim O’Donnel, who authored The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook, in search of a meatless recipe. And since we’re all about kids here, we thought we’d share her Dino Mash.


This pretty mash is completely dairy free yet manages to be creamy and full-flavored, with the help of starchy cooking water and a head of roasted garlic.


1 head garlic
Olive oil for slathering, plus 1/4 cup
2 pounds Yukon Gold, Yellow Finn, or red-skinned potatoes (4 or 5 medium-size), scrubbed, trimmed, and peeled as necessary
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups kale, stemmed and chopped finely
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Trim the top of garlic and pull away the outermost skin. With your hands, lightly rub the garlic with oil and place in a small roasting dish. Cover with foil.

Roast the garlic until the cloves are fork tender (but not burned), about 50 minutes. Check for doneness at 40 minutes. (A kitchen timer is helpful.)

Meanwhile, prepare the potatoes: Quarter and place in a medium-size saucepan with 4 cups of water. The water should just barely cover the potatoes. This is important.

Add the salt. Cover the saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium. Cook for 25 minutes, place the kale on top of the potatoes, replace the lid, and allow the kale to steam for 5 minutes. Test the potatoes with a fork for doneness. Remove from the heat.

Squeeze the garlic flesh from the cloves into a large mixing bowl. With tongs or a strainer, transfer the potatoes and kale to the mixing bowl, reserving the cooking liquid.

With a hand masher, mash the potatoes and kale, focusing on the potatoes at first, ensuring that they’re smooth, ladling in their cooking liquid as necessary (you’ll use some, but likely not all). Use a wooden spoon to combine all of the ingredients. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil and black pepper, stir, then taste for salt, adding more as needed.

Eat hot.

Makes 4 servings

For more meatless cooking ideas, please visit Kim’s site at www.kimodonnel.com

Crazy Sexy Brownies?

June 7, 2011 •  one comment.

 •  Blog, Getting Started, News, Recipes, Uncategorized

Written by Robyn O’Brien

I am a huge fan of a woman named Kris Carr. She has absolutely taken cancer to task. Not only did she conquer the disease, but she also dismantled a lot of the barriers that prevent us from accomplishing seemingly impossible goals. And she helps others to do the same.

Kris challenges convention, unbridles creativity and inspires others to create the changes that they want to see in their lives. And her work is absolutely heroic.

So when her blog recently suggested making brownies with black beans, I had to laugh at how crazy that sounded. Always a fan of black beans (I grew up in Texas) and always on the hunt for variations on sweet-treats for my kids, I couldn’t quite picture how to weave the two together, and I loved the challenge.

So I am going to give this one a try. And if you are interested in doing the same, as well as learning more about Kris, her New York Times best-selling books and her incredible take on life, visit Kris’ site for added inspiration at Crazy Sexy Life. And bookmark it.

Black Bean Brownies

Originally seen on Crazy Sexy Life by Meredith Terranova, RD

-15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
-2 bananas
-1/3 cup honey, maple syrup or molasses
-1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
-1 tablespoon cinnamon
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/4 cup raw sugar (optional)
-1/4 cup instant oats (gluten free if preferred)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8- by 8-inch pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed. Stir in the oats. If too soft, add another 1/4 cup oats or flour.

Pour batter into the pan. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing.

Notes: Because there isn’t any flour these brownies come out pretty dense.
Rolled oats may be substituted for the instant oats. Put the rolled oats in the food processor.
Use optional sugar if your bananas are still green and not very ripe.

“The Stuff that Makes Lettuce Taste Better”

May 25, 2011 •  2 comments.

 •  Blog, Getting Started, News, Recipes

One of the kids came home from school yesterday with a handout from the “Garden to Table” program, a project designed to encourage children to learn how to grow their own food.

As my son handed the sheet over, he said, “Mom, this is the stuff that makes lettuce taste better.”

And as I looked down, there on the page was a recipe for salad dressing.

So as a tribute to all of the moms out there who have kids that are loathe to try anything new, especially veggies, I thought I’d highlight the recipe that my son brought home.

Disclosure: he is Chief Picky Officer (CPO), and this recipe has been CPO-approved.

Recipe for Strawberry Salad Dressing


Enlist the help of your kids
Turn on your favorite music
Grab the following:

  • 1 Lemon – juiced
  • 1 Orange – juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey
  • 5 Strawberries chopped or pureed
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • 10 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Chopped garlic and shallots are optional

Using a blender or a bowl and a whisk, combine all of the ingredients.

Enjoy over your favorite salad…with your kids and their friends, as the recipe serves twelve!

Written by Robyn O’Brien

Serving Up Good Luck with Some Roasted Blackeyed Peas

December 31, 2010 •  one comment.

 •  Blog, Getting Started, News, Recipe, Recipes

We are always on the lookout for healthy snacks that deliver protein that helps balance blood sugar levels (and fuel the brains of little ones) and fiber to maintain healthy digestive tracks. And who isn’t looking for a bit of good luck in the New Year?

So when we came up with this recipe for roasted blackeyed peas, we got excited and decided to share it. You can eat these toasty creations by the handful or sprinkle them over a salad.

To Prepare:

  • Turn on your favorite music
  • Drain one can of blackeyed peas
  • Toss them with:
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
    1 Teaspoon Kosher salt (optional)
    1/2 Teaspoon chili powder (optional)
    1/2 Teaspoon cumin (optional)

Bake the blackeyed peas on a baking sheet at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes, turning them halfway through.

Cool and serve!

Need a Healthy Snack? Try Roasted ChickPeas

December 27, 2010 •  no comments.

 •  Getting Started, Recipe, Recipes

We are always on the lookout for healthy snacks that deliver protein that helps balance blood sugar levels (and fuel the brains of little ones) and fiber to maintain healthy digestive tracks.

So when we stumbled across this recipe for roasted chickpeas, we got excited and decided to share it.

To Prepare:

  • Turn on your favorite music
  • Drain one can of chickpeas
  • Toss them with:
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
    1 Teaspoon Kosher salt (optional)
    1/2 Teaspoon paprika (optional)
    1/2 Teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
    And maybe a pinch of cinnamon (if you have kids with a flavor-seeking appetites!)

Bake the chickpeas on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning them halfway through.

Cool and serve!

(And remember to always take note of what works for your family’s dietary constraints, as to some, chickpeas might inducing a legume-like allergic reaction, so always proceed with caution and seek the advice of a medical professional).