Allergy Friendly Halloween #TealPumpkinProject

#tealpumpkinproject

When your child has food allergies, holidays that are centered around candy can be hard. Halloween is probably the hardest.

Last Halloween was difficult for us and that was only with a few known food allergies. Kelsie now has 11, and to locate candy that is safe, is not an easy task. I feel as if we have turned over every candy bar, lollipop, and gummy  at each store we encounter, just to read the ingredients label, and to be disappointed.

On our most recent trip to Whole Foods Market in Tallahassee, I found a lot of candy brands that offer treats for Kelsie’s 11 allergies.  We were so relieved!  We bought a lot, and have made notes of websites to order more as we see the need. 

These treats are free from: soy (except soy lecithin), eggs, tree nuts, shell fish, vanillan (that is the artificial vanilla that  a lot of companies are using), pineapple, sweet potato, oat, blue dye, corn, and tomato.

  • Surf Sweets -These are yummy gummy candies, that you can find in that popular sour form, that so many kids love!
  • YummyEarth – Kelsie loves their lollipops. The flavors pack a fruity punch.  Their gummy’s are great too.
  • Natural Nectar – These are exactly like TicTacs but they are all natural. This was a great find on our last trip to Whole Foods.
  • Go Organic – Think Starburst of the all natural world! They also make hard candy that is just as scrumptious!

You can always go with the non-candy route, which works just as great. They last longer then candy and a lot of kids would much rather get “stuff” as opposed to candy.   Glow in the dark bracelets, temporary tattoos, vampire fangs, Halloween pencils and/or erasers, Mardi Gras beads, slap bracelets, stickers, spider rings, witch fingers,  and bubbles are all great candy alternatives that kids of all ages love. 

#tealpumpkinproject

 If you are going to be home this year on Halloween, you should really think about participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project.   It’s a project that FARE has put together to bring awareness to communities across the country.  Wouldn’t it be great if everybody that passed out candy on Halloween also had a teal painted pumpkin with a sign that read they are providing non-candy treats for trick or treaters suffering from food allergies!  I know that it would make trick or treating for those that suffer food allergies a lot easier and more comforting, knowing that they were thought of.   I know little things like this make Kelsie feel a lot better about her food allergies. 

Even if you aren’t going to be home, paint a pumpkin teal anyways!  People are bound to be curious as to why there are teal pumpkins popping up on their neighbors porches and Google will be bombarded with what the teal pumpkins are all about, thus bringing awareness!

 I contacted our local news regarding the teal pumpkin project because I hadn’t seen anything covered locally.  Well, they replied and wanted to do a story.  A very sweet journalist came to our house on Friday night and we painted our pumpkins and they did a story on our local news.  I want to thank WMBB again for covering an issue that hits home to us.  I am looking forward to seeing some teal pumpkins this Halloween! You can read our article here.  There isn’t a video link, and I have uploaded a recording of it on our Facebook page, which you can visit here.  While your there, be sure to “like” us so that you can stay up to date with our recipes and latest happenings!

Poppy Seed Chicken and Rice Casserole

A southern staple at church pot lucks and family get together’s, just so happens to always involve poppy seed chicken. I was actually introduced to it through my sister-n-law years ago, when she made it as a quick fix, filling meal while we were visiting. It’s been on dinner rotation in our house every since. It’s simple, delicious, and the perfect pairing with a vegetable and a starch.

Recently I was in the kitchen making poppy seed chicken for dinner when I had decided to pair it with rice and throw it all in one dish and bake it off in the oven. My family is so glad that I made that choice, because it turned out phenomenal!

Poppy Seed Chicken and Rice Casserole

-Scroll down for a printable version-

What do you need?
homemade cream of chicken soup {recipe below} or 2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
6 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, boiled, drained, chopped
16oz plain greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups whole grain rice, cooked according to package directions
2 level tablespoons poppy seeds, divided
1 cup round butter crackers, crushed – Back to Nature makes a great version
2 tablespoons butter, melted

::homemade cream of chicken soup::
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
dash of garlic powder – to taste
dash of onion powder – to taste
dash of thyme – to taste
salt and pepper as desired

What do you do?
1. Make the soup first! If you chose to go with cans skip to number 2. Melt the butter in a medium pot over low heat, whisk in the flour and cook until golden brown. Stir in your stock and milk. Season with the garlic and onion powders, thyme, salt and pepper as desired.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
3. In a large bowl mix together the yogurt and the cream of soups.
4. Stir in the chicken and rice, stirring until everything is thoroughly combined.
5. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the poppy seeds.
6. Place your mix into your greased baking dish and top with the crushed crackers. Top with salt and pepper, and the last tablespoon of poppy seeds. Drizzle your melted butter over the top.
7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through and crackers have taken on a golden brown color.

Allow to cool a bit before serving. Enjoy!

Poppy Seed Chicken and Rice Casserole
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Ingredients
  1. homemade cream of chicken soup {recipe below} or 2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  2. 6 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, boiled, drained, chopped
  3. 16oz plain greek yogurt
  4. salt and pepper to taste
  5. 2 cups whole grain rice, cooked according to package directions
  6. 2 level tablespoons poppy seeds, divided
  7. 1 cup round butter crackers, crushed - Back to Nature makes a great version
  8. 2 tablespoons butter, melted
::homemade cream of chicken soup:
  1. 1 tablespoon butter
  2. 3 tablespoons flour
  3. 1 cup chicken broth
  4. 1 cup milk
  5. dash of garlic powder - to taste
  6. dash of onion powder - to taste
  7. dash of thyme - to taste
  8. salt and pepper as desired
Instructions
  1. Make the soup first! If you chose to go with cans skip to number 2. Melt the butter in a medium pot over low heat, whisk in the flour and cook until golden brown. Stir in your stock and milk. Season with the garlic and onion powders, thyme, salt and pepper as desired.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the yogurt and the cream of soups.
  4. Stir in the chicken and rice, stirring until everything is thoroughly combined.
  5. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the poppy seeds.
  6. Place your mix into your greased baking dish and top with the crushed crackers. Top with salt and pepper, and the last tablespoon of poppy seeds. Drizzle your melted butter over the top.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through and crackers have taken on a golden brown color.
Everday Made Fresh http://www.everydaymadefresh.com/

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Poptarts – Vegan Adaptable

Poptarts are one of those fast breakfasts that every kid seems to love. While a lot of parents lately seem to loathe. The ingredients and sugar in the iconic breakfast pastry is just ridiculous. They have made something so easy, with such few ingredients, into a science experiment with our kids as the guinea pigs. That is exactly how I feel – about a lot of foods these days. I digress.

One of our favorite poptarts was pumpkin pie. It would make it’s debut every year around the end of September. I remade that one as soon as I found out all the allergies that Kelsie had which prohibited her from eating them. Ever since I’ve been giving the other flavors a makeover in my kitchen. Mine are allergy friendly, as well as not overly bad for us either. A breakfast that you can feel good about handing to your child as you walk out the door in the morning.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Poptarts - Vegan Adaptable

-Scroll down for a printable version-

What do you need?
::crust:: (double the recipe to make more than 9)
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, cut into cubes, and ice cold
1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons water {do this first and set aside!}
2 tablespoons milk
flour for rolling out the dough

::filling::
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon flour

::glaze::
3/4 cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

What do you do?
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter cubes, using a pastry cutter or fork, or your fingers; blend it until you have a wet sandy texture. The mixture should hold together if you squeeze parts of it.
3. In a small bowl combine the flax egg and the milk, add the wet mixture to your dry mixture. Stir to get it thoroughly combined. Sometimes I just use my fingers to get it blended well. Lightly four your counter and drop the dough onto the floured counter top. Knead the dough a few times until it comes together completely. You can wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until it’s chilled. A chilled dough works best!
4. While the dough is chilling mix together all the ingredients to your filling.
5. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out the dough into a rectangle that is 9X12inches. Cut your dough into equal sized rectangles. Use a ruler, it’s the easy way to get them perfect. But perfection isn’t important, it’s the flavor that counts! :-)
6. Place one piece of the dough onto a greased cookie sheet and add a heaping tablespoon full to the center. Place another piece of dough on the top, and crimp the edges slightly with a fork.
7. Repeat the process until you have used all of your dough.
8. Bake for 30 minutes or until the dough is slightly browned around the edges.
9. Remove from the oven and place the poptarts on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before assembling the glaze.
10. For the glaze, mix together all the ingredients and use a butter knife and apply to the tops of your poptarts. Allow the glaze to set before eating.

These can be warmed in an oven easily. I just place them on a small baking sheet lined with foil {for simple clean up} and place them in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 350 and they will be ready once your oven heats to temp. See, easy! I’ve never tried them in a toaster, although I’ve read you could. If you heat them in a toaster, let me know how that goes!!

If you enjoy the Brown Sugar Poptarts, be sure to check out my Pumpkin Pie Poptarts.

 

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Poptarts - Vegan Adaptable
A vegan adaptable version of the brown sugar cinnamon breakfast toaster pastry
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Ingredients
  1. ::crust:: (double the recipe to make more than 9)
  2. 2 cups flour
  3. 1 tablespoon sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 sticks butter, cut into cubes, and ice cold
  6. 1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons water {do this first and set aside!}
  7. 2 tablespoons milk
  8. flour for rolling out the dough
::filling:
  1. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  2. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  3. 1 tablespoon flour
::glaze:
  1. 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  2. 4 teaspoons milk
  3. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  4. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter cubes, using a pastry cutter or fork, or your fingers; blend it until you have a wet sandy texture. The mixture should hold together if you squeeze parts of it.
  3. In a small bowl combine the flax egg and the milk, add the wet mixture to your dry mixture. Stir to get it thoroughly combined. Sometimes I just use my fingers to get it blended well. Lightly four your counter and drop the dough onto the floured counter top. Knead the dough a few times until it comes together completely. You can wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until it’s chilled. A chilled dough works best!
  4. While the dough is chilling mix together all the ingredients to your filling.
  5. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out the dough into a rectangle that is 9X12inches. Cut your dough into equal sized rectangles. Use a ruler, it's the easy way to get them perfect. But perfection isn't important, it's the flavor that counts! :-)
  6. Place one piece of the dough onto a greased cookie sheet and add a heaping tablespoon full to the center. Place another piece of dough on the top, and crimp the edges slightly with a fork.
  7. Repeat the process until you have used all of your dough.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until the dough is slightly browned around the edges.
  9. Remove from the oven and place the poptarts on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before assembling the glaze.
  10. For the glaze, mix together all the ingredients and use a butter knife and apply to the tops of your poptarts. Allow the glaze to set before eating.
Notes
  1. These can be warmed in an oven easily. I just place them on a small baking sheet lined with foil {for simple clean up} and place them in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 350 and they will be ready once your oven heats to temp. See, easy! I've never tried them in a toaster, although I've read you could. If you heat them in a toaster, let me know how that goes!!
Everday Made Fresh http://www.everydaymadefresh.com/