Gluten Free, Dairy Free Crockpot Sweet and Sour Meatballs

This recipe is great to be used as a meal for dinner or sometimes I use it as an appetizer for everyone to enjoy with toothpicks. It is super easy and you just toss everything in the crockpot and your prep is done.  The sweetness added with the pineapples are always a hit with the kids.  There are also many options for Gluten Free Frozen meatballs if you want to cut down on your prep time.  Farmrich has frozen turkey and original meatballs that are gluten free, however if you want to ensure this is also dairy free I recommend prepping the meatballs yourself.

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Crockpot Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Crockpot Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 6 hours

Yield: 4-5 servings

Ingredients:

  • 28 ounce package of frozen meatballs (gluten free, dairy free) or make your favorite meatballs into cocktail size balls
  • 15 ounce can of pineapple tidbits, drained and reserve juice
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (I prefer Simply Heinz due to no added High Fructose Corn Syrup)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsps cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Gluten Free grape jam
  • 2 tablespoons Gluten Free Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place meatballs in crockpot.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl, mix and pour over meatballs
  3. Cover and cook on low setting for 6-8 hours.
  4. Serve with brown rice or your favorite Gluten Free pasta.

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#KidsTummyTroubles #GlutenFree #Celiac #Glutendairyfree #Crockpot

Helpful Tips for Dry, Itchy Skin

Tips for Dry Skin

Although I am a pediatric gastroenterologist, which means a “Kids Tummy Doctor”,  many of my patients with chronic diseases suffer from dry, itchy skin.  This, if left untreated, can be painful, make children cranky and frustrated and can lead to excessive scratching.  The excessive scratching worsens the problem and can lead to cuts and possible skin infections.  Patients that suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, Short Gut Syndrome or Small Bowel syndrome, Celiac disease, Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy or other allergic colitis conditions can experience this.  It is a multifactorial problem that can stem from poor nutrition and the bodies immune system reacting to the food allergen or is an additional manifestation of their chronic condition.

It is heartbreaking when I see one of my patients, especially the little babies,  so itchy and scratching their legs together to try to get a bit of relief.  Over the years I have compiled a list of helpful hints that I give to my patients and I have found that used together they work.

  • Avoid soap.  Use a non-soap cleanser such as Cetaphil, Cerave or similar products
  • Try Rubbing, vibration or applying pressure instead of scratching.  A good thing to “scratch” with is an ice cube
  • Drink plenty of water or other clear fluids to keep hydrated.  Remember although milk is nutritious it does not count as a hydrating fluid.
  • Apply moisturizer immediately after a shower or bath and do not rub dry with a towel.  Only use the towel to pat dry and take excess water off.
  • Creams are more effective than lotions
  • Apply moisturizer twice a day.  Good options are Aveeno, Eucerin, Lubriderm, or Aquaphor
  • Use only non-perfumed and unscented bath and personal care products
  • Avoid extremely hot showers and baths
  • Take an oatmeal bath to relieve itching and help with relaxation
  • Try baking soda or unscented bath oils for bathing
  • Apply cold packs, wrapped in a cloth to the skin
  • Whenever possible wear loose fitting clothing made from natural products.  This allows the skin to breathe
  • Protect your skin from the sun – wear sunscreen
  • Don’t forget your lips – wear lipbalm with SPF
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Keep room temperature at 60-70 degrees and keep air circulating and ventilated

Hope these are useful and provide some relief for those who need it.  Let me know your thoughts and comments below.

#KidsTummyTroubles #DrySkin #Healthtips #ItchySkin

Strawberry- Banana French Toast Casserole

Breakfast is always a rushed endeavor on weekdays but when I have time on the weekends I love making something that is yummy and doesn’t make me feel bad giving to my kids.  This recipe is a favorite.  It is loaded with strawberries and bananas. You use your favorite bread (this recipe is with gluten free bread) and the almond milk makes it dairy free also.

Strawberry-Banana-French-Toast-Casserole

Strawberry – Banana French Toast Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 2-3 servings

(Adapted from Jeanette Chen’s Jeanette’s Healthy Living.)

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of your favorite gluten free bread, crusts trimmed, cut into cubes
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 6 strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • maple syrup for serving

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a small baking dish or individual ramekins with cooking spray.  Place cubed bread into baking dish or ramekins.
  2. Mix mashed bananas, strawberries, milk, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla together in a medium bowl.
  3. Pour mixture over bread cubes and toss gently until bread is evenly coated.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes  or until cooked through.  Top should be golden brown and crisp.
  5. Serve with maple syrup.

#KidsTummyTroubles #Glutenfree #Glutendairyfree #Celiac #Recipes

Refreshing Strawberry Lemonade

In the summer I am always looking for a different option besides juice boxes for my kids.  This is a great option and the kids love to help make it with me.  And I notice when they help me make the recipes they are more likely to try new things because they are so proud of their work.

I have also used this recipe for brunches.  For the adults it is delicious if you add champagne to change this into a Strawberry Lemonade Mimosa, you can add Moscato wine for a delicious wine spritzer or just Vodka for a delicious cocktail. Relax and enjoy!

Refreshing Strawberry-Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
Ingredients:
  • I bottle (59 oz) of Simply Pink Lemonade or plain Simply Lemonade
  • 1 pint of strawberries, cut and hulled.
  • 1 lemon
  • Agave nectar or simple syrup (1 cup sugar with 1 cup water boiled until dissolved and cooled) for sweetening
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a magic bullet or blender fill with strawberries and add Simply Lemonade about 3/4 way up and blend.
  2. Repeat step 1 until all strawberries are blended.
  3. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into blended mixture
  4. May sweeten as desired with agave nectar or simple syrup if agave not available.

*If a frozen lemonade is desired freeze strawberries night before preparing and use the frozen strawberries in above recipe, serve immediately.

#KidsTummyTroubles #Celiac #Glutenfree #Glutendairyfree #Glutenfreeliving #recipes

Coconut Breaded Chicken Nuggets – Gluten Free and Dairy Free

I can not tell a lie.  My kids prefer to eat the typical toddler foods.  They love pizza, hot dogs, french fries and chicken nuggets. I had to spend ALOT of time to find a recipe for chicken nuggets that taste as good as their favorite frozen nuggets.  I played around and came up with a recipe that my kids love and that is also gluten and dairy free, YAY!  Hope you like it and let me know what you think.

Coconut Chicken Nuggets

Coconut Breaded Chicken Nuggets

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup flour mixture  (may use recipe provided for Gluten free flour or coconut or almond flour)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut ( I get it from Whole Foods Markets)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper ( may substitute with regular back pepper if not available)
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Wash and cut chicken into bite size pieces.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together and place in a large zip-lock bag.
  3. Beat the egg in a medium bowl.
  4. Add chicken to egg mixture and coat all chicken pieces with egg.
  5. Add chicken and egg mixture to the dry ingredients in bag and close.  Gently shake the bag to coat all chicken pieces with flour mixture. 
  6. Heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add chicken to pan.
  7. Keep moving chicken in pan until it is cooked through to a golden brown.  May need to add more coconut oil to pan as the chicken soaks up the oil.  However do not place too much oil as it will make chicken soggy and won’t allow them to brown.
  8. Allow to cool and serve.

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Sophia gives this a THUMBS UP!!  Let me know what your family thinks!!

#KidsTummyTroubles #GlutenFree #Celiac #Glutenfreeliving #GlutenfreeCoconutchickennuggets #Kidapproved

Pineapple, Strawberry, Kale and Passion Fruit Smoothie

Pineapple, Strawberry, Kale and Passion Fruit Smoothie


I am always trying to find ways to get fruits and veggies into my kids diets.  When my oldest daughter was 2 yo she would constantly drink my husbands smoothies.  After that we started making them at home instead of buying them and I would sneak in a veggie with the fruits.  Carrots, kale, spinach work great in smoothies and when mixed with other items my kids didn’t even notice they were in there.  They also loved being a part of making the smoothie and loved adding in the milk and fruit.  This is one of our favorites.  You can substitute the Kale for carrots if you prefer.  Also start with adding a little Kale at a time.  Kale tends to turn the smoothies very green which can be good or bad for certain kids.  😉  Hope you enjoy it and let your kids help out in the kitchen.  They love to help even with the little things.   When they are engaged in the prep they are much more likely to try out new foods and recipes.

Pineapple, Strawberry, Kale and Passion Fruit Smoothie

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh pineapple, hulled and cut in pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups strawberries
  • 2 passion fruits, halved and seeds scooped out
  • 1/2 cup kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut or almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients in blender. 
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.  Serve and enjoy immediately.

Yummy Gluten Free Dairy Free Banana Bread

Many of the patients that I see suffer from Celiac Disease, which is an allergy to gluten.  I have started to modify some of my families favorite recipes so that my Celiac and Gluten allergic patients can enjoy them also.  This is my first recipe blog entry.

We love banana bread in our house.  Growing up we would make banana bread, especially around the holidays. I would use the ripest bananas, right before your would toss them in the garbage.  They are perfect for baking when they are almost all black and super ripe.  We would package up the banana bread we baked and give them as gifts to neighbors.  Here is a Gluten Free-Dairy Free version.Banana-Bread

Gluten Free Dairy Free Banana Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time : 50 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-5 large ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup gluten free flour mix ( be careful to not pack flour in measuring cups and level off)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • chopped walnuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bottom only of loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together sugar and oil.  Now add eggs, bananas, applesauce and vanilla to sugar mixture. Blend well.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, salt and anthem gum. Add nuts, if desired.  Stir until dry ingredients are moistened.
  4. Pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes; remove from pan to completely cool.

#KidsTummyTroubles #Celiac #Glutenfree #Glutendairyfree #glutenfreeliving #recipes #bananabread #kidapproved #glutendairyfreebananabread