Monday, September 26, 2011

Pulled Pork { Bar-B-Que }

bbq meal
Pulled Pork with Rice, Green Beans, Oat Bread Roll & Sweet Tea

Here's what you need:
4 lbs pork roast (shoulder or butt)
2 large onions
1 cup ginger ale
1 (18 ounce) bottle favorite barbecue sauce (I like Sticky Fingers Carolina Classic)
*a note about bbq sauce... be sure to read your labels carefully... if you're eating soy free, beware of ingredients such as smoke flavor or natural flavors, worcestershire or vegetable flavors.
pulled pork ingerdients

1. Slice one onion and place in crock pot.
2. Put in the roast and cover with the other onion, sliced. Pour over the ginger ale. Cover and cook on LOW. Cook times vary greatly from crockpot to crockpot.
     (I ended up cooking mine for like 10 hours.... )

crock pot

You'll know it's done when the pork easily falls apart when you poke it with a fork.  Before it gets to that point, it will be rubbery... let it cook longer and it will fall apart :)


3. Remove the meat, strain, discard all liquid. With two forks, shred the meat, discarding any remaining fat, bones or skin. Most of the fat will have melted away.


4. You can return the shredded meat and the onions to the crock pot and stir in the barbecue sauce.
Continue to cook for another 30 minutes on LOW.
(I prefer not to simmer in the sauce... I just add the sauce when served.)

5. Serve by itself or with dairy/soy free hamburger buns and additional barbecue sauce.
I make rolls from this recipe :)
Any leftovers freeze well.

bbq plate

I put the leftovers in freezer bags and stick 'em in the freezer.  It's great to have dairy/soy free BBQ to pull out whenever you need a quick meal. 

freezer bags

Makes great BBQ sandwiches!

sandwhich plate

Here's the sauce I like :) 


ingredients in sauce

Pulled Pork

4 lbs pork roast (shoulder or butt)
2 large onions
1 cup ginger ale
1 (18 ounce) bottle favorite barbecue sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray's)

1. Slice one onion and place in crock pot.
2. Put in the roast and cover with the other onion, sliced. Pour over the ginger ale. Cover and cook on LOW. Cook times vary greatly from crockpot to crockpot.
3. Remove the meat, strain and save the onions, discard all liquid. With two forks, shred the meat, discarding any remaining fat, bones or skin. Most of the fat will have melted away.
4. Return the shredded meat and the onions to the crock pot, stir in the barbecue sauce. Continue to cook for another 30 minutes on LOW.
5. Serve with dairy/soy free hamburger buns and additional barbecue sauce.
Any leftovers freeze well.

265899_10150219942684340_505684339_7355683_321491_o    This recipe was shared by milkin' mama, Leslie, who, in my opinion, deserves a milkin' mama medal, because not only does she eat dairy/soy free for baby while she's nursing, but she also has to eat gluten free herself all the time!  That's a lot of free, and not a whole lot of freedom in the eatin' department.  That's some serious dedication!  An example for us all!  Thanks for sharing your yummy recipes, Leslie!! :) 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Turkey Wrapped Asparagus


Turkey wrapped asparagus is yum.  It's easy.  It's healthy.  It's good. 

I rinse and then I snap the ends off of a bunch of asparagus.
I saw on a cooking show once that asparagus spears are meant to be snapped, not cut.
So, SNAP, I say!  :)

Then I blanch the asparagus in a little sauce pan for a few minutes.  (If you do it too long, they will get squishy- so don't over blanch) Blanch is just a fancy word for "put the food in a little boiling water for a few minutes and then run it under cold water." It's also one of the Golden Girls. 

Then I take a piece or half a piece of Boars Head Maple Glaze Turkey and wrap it around a spear or two of asparagus. 

Make up a pile and keep 'em in the 'fridge.

Yep, it's good! :)


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Very Best Bread of All....

loaf of bread

I think there's this misconception about baking bread-- that it's something hard to do or that it has to be some big deal to make it.  I love baking bread for lots of reasons, but in this season of life, it's mainly because I haven't found a reliable dairy and soy free store-bought bread and I'm not about to go a year (or however long we end up nursing) without bread.  That's just too much to ask of a girl! 

So I give you...
The Very Best Bread of All!

slice of bread

We LIVE off of this stuff around our house. I don't know what I would have done were it not for this wonderful recipe! I've included the basic recipe and then the tweaks I've made over time along with a few suggestions that I've found helpful. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we have...

You can make this dough in a bread machine (I just have a cheap-o Oster machine from walmart and it works great!) or you can do it by hand. 

Oat Bread
2 and 1/2 cups of water (cold if using a machine, warm if by hand)
1 cup of oats
1/2 cup of whole wheat
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3 TBSP canola oil
5 cups white bread flour
1 pkg yeast (2 and 1/4 tsp jar)

*Put in bread machine in the order listed and set to dough cycle, allow it to rise in the machine (it will be huge)

By hand:
* knead til smooth- 5-10 min.
*double covered in a big bowl (1-1 and 1/2 hours)


*preheat the oven to 350

*After dough has finished rising, punch down, cut in half, shape like loaf, put into two greased loaf pans (I rub canola oil around the pan with a paper towel)

bread bowl

dough in the pans 

*allow the dough to rise (roughly double) in the pans for 30 min.
(I put the pans on the stove and cover them with a towel that covers the front of the oven as well.  This traps a little of the heat under the towel and helps them rise. 
When the towel that I've covered it with gets a little hill, I know it's time to stick them in the oven :) )

bread rising

*bake 30 min at 350

Take out of the oven, allow them to cool in the pans for a few minutes...

in the pans

and then completely on a rack...

two loaves

edge of loaf

That's all there is to it!  Give it a try! 


Here's some tips I've found along the way:

*Makes DELICIOUS cinnamon toast and when it starts getting a little dry- french toast! :) But my dear hubby just prefers it with lots of plain ole butter nuked in the microwave for a few secs!
And now that I've discovered Dairy and Soy Free BUTTER, I enjoy it that way too!!
We also make sandwiches out of it!

butter on my bread

*Another option is to wrap one of the loaves in saran wrap and then in aluminum foil and freeze it. Thaw it in the fridge for a day before putting it out. It's really pretty good this way- a little dry- but excellent for toast or french toast!

This is what my counter looks like when I'm making bread:
{note the little basket of ingredients on the left}


I have a basket that I keep all of my bread ingredients in.  That way, when I go to make bread, instead of hunting down all the ingredients, I just grab the basket! 

bread box

In the containers in the basket, I have the measuring cups that I use for each part of the recipe.  That way I don't have to wash the measuring cups each time I make bread, or hunt down the right size.  It's just cuts down on the process of it all....

measuring cups

I buy bread machine yeast in the jars.  Just be sure to keep it in the fridge, not in the bread basket :)

bread machine yeast

Since this recipe makes two loaves, sometimes I'll make just one loaf of bread and instead of using the remaining dough for another loaf, I'll form it into buns (just balls of dough smashed flat) for use as hamburger or BBQ buns. 


There's also a correlation between milk supply and oatmeal, (as discussed in this article) so eating oat bread could have some added benefits to a milkin' mama! :)

And lately I've been storing the bread in a tupperware container with press and seal saran wrap on top, just like I do my banana bread . In order to keep it moist, I cut the end piece and keep it pressed against the remaining loaf.

in the tupperware

The hardest part is waiting for the bread to cool enough to slice :)


This bread rocks my dairy/soy free world! :)

Pretzels and Peanut Butter { My go-to snack }


This is one of those staples in my dairy soy free diet, that I simply couldn't do without. 

I eat them in a house
I eat them with a mouse.
I eat them here and there,
Say! I eat them ANYWHERE! :)

Peanut Butter in general is a life saver.

Protein without cooking. Whoop!

Just make sure that your PB doesn't have soybean oil in it.  I'd say go with either the Skippy Natural or the Smart Balance.  They are made without soybean oil and I'm a fan of the taste. 

Also, when getting pretzels, be sure to avoid the flavored ones that have sneaky dairy and soy ingredients.  I love the Snyders snaps. They are safe :)

This is a super snack to keep in the car or diaper bag for when you're out and about and STARVING. 
Or in and around and STARVING.
OR just in general STARVING.

Because lets face it, you don't always have time to cook to eat, sometimes you gotta grab and go!  :)

pretzels with pb

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Our Other Story { MSPI take two }


When our second son was born I decided to go ahead and eat normally and just "see" if he had the same intolerance's as our first son.  I knew that a large percentage of siblings, if one had milk/soy protein intolerance, the others would as well, but I honestly thought it was a complete fluke that our first son had it (he was six weeks early, so I figured that had something to do with it) so I decided to just wait and see. Plus, there's really no way to tell if a baby has MSPI without exposing them to the proteins and seeing if they have problems...

{{Be prepared for some heiny and poopy talk here...}}

From the day we brought him home from the hospital, I noticed that every time I changed his diaper, he seemed to have a little bit of poopy.  Not a ton, sometimes just a little line in the diaper, but there was never a time that I changed his diaper without there being SOME poopy in it.  I really figured that it was just a case of normal "breastfed poop."  It's kinda soft and watery, right?

I noticed, as the days went on, that when I lifted his legs to put a new diaper under him, that he would poop a little more.  It wasn't uncommon for us to go through five or six diapers in ONE diaper change.  And if I would have opened his diaper five minutes later, I could have changed it again.  It was impossible to keep his bottom clean. 

He also had a TERRIBLE diaper rash.  Our first son never had any sort of diaper rash at all, so I wasn't quite sure what to think of it.  I bought about ten different diaper rash creams and got three different prescriptions trying to clear up his excoriated bottom.  It had bleeding sores all in his little crack. 

When we was three weeks old, we were letting his raw bottom air out outside (with no diaper on) and realized, as he sat there, that there was a constant flow of poopy almost oozing out of his heiny.  This wasn't normal breastfed poop. This was baby diarrhea.  Each time I opened his diaper and it was dirty, I had just assumed that he had pooped once, but in actuality, what I was seeing was just a collection of poopy that had been seeping out over time. 

We made an appointment with the pediatrician.

At that point, he was gaining weight like a champ and even though I thought at the time that he must have his days and nights mixed up (because he did terrible when we put him down at night) he was a pretty content baby. 

While we were in the doctors office I changed his poopy diaper five times... in a thirty minute span of time.  I requested that the doctor perform a hemoccult on one of the diapers, to see if maybe the diarrhea was coming from an intolerance to milk or soy.  The diaper came back negative for the presence of microscopic blood. 

The doctor suggested that I cut out dairy and soy just to "see" if it would clear up.  After two weeks of eating dairy and soy free, his bottom cleared up, he started having normal bowel movements and he started sleeping through the night. (Up to TEN HOURS!)


Because I had in my head that there HAD to be blood in the diaper in order for my baby to be "officially" milk/soy protein intolerant, I decided, four weeks into the diet,  after he was doing GREAT sleeping, eating and pooping, that maaaaybe his little gut had matured and that either he had outgrown the intolerance or never actually had it to begin with.  I really felt like maybe I was a little quick to decide that MSPI had to be the root of our issues.  Maybe this was just him being a baby. 

We were going out of town on vacation throughout the summer, so I decided to do a challenge.  I started out eating some foods with soy and when I didn't notice a reaction, I added back in dairy. 
I didn't notice any major changes in him at all. 

Over the next six weeks, I continued eating normally, enjoying my ice cream and cereal with milk and Fettuccine Alfredo.  He went from sleeping ten hours at night, to eight, to six, five, THREE and then waking up every hour.  He would arch his back when we held him and he didn't want to sit on our lap, bending at the waist... he made us hold him straight up.  He started doing this strange thing when he ate, where he would eat for three minutes or so, pull off, then suck, suck, pull off again... never nursing contentedly.  I noticed his stools getting more runny... but again... (and now that we're on the other side of it, I feel so dense for it taking me so long to realize what it was) I just thought that maybe this was just "how he was." I didn't want to be overly "dramatic."

Finally, when he was about 3 and a half months old, I changed a diaper and saw a speck of blood and I knew.  I immediately stopped eating dairy and soy, but over the next few days, his diapers went from poopy with a little blood to blood with a little poopy.  And he screamed and screamed.  He was in extreme pain and we literally could not put him down for three straight days without him writhing in pain.  He quit sucking on his paci and would just bite on it and cry.  He didn't sleep.

We took him in to the pediatrician and after testing his diaper (even though the said there was no real NEED to test for blood, because we could clearly SEE blood) he was diagnosed with Milk/Soy Protein Intolerance.  He also had severe reflux as a result of the severe situation in his gut and was put on zantac and later prevacid to combat his acid reflux and discomfort. 

I started eating dairy and soy free, but for 18 long days, he was miserable.  He did not sleep at all, he cried all day long and wanted to be walked at night.  On day 18, even though I knew that the most elemental formula was tougher on babies tummies than breast milk, I decided that he must either have had some other intolerance that I didn't know about in addition to the milk and soy, or that it wasn't MSPI at all, but some other terrible condition that couldn't be helped by me changing my diet.  This just wasn't working and I was exhausted and at the end of my rope. And I had all sorts of very well meaning people tell me to just "put him on formula."  Which, when you're doing everything you can to try to AVOID that, doesn't really help matters...

But on day 18, at my wits end, I called both the CVS and the Walgreens in our town, asking for neocate, the elemental formula recommended for protein intolerant babies.  We had to do something.

By the grace of God, they were both out of the formula. 

That very night, he slept five straight hours.  I guess the Lord never gives us more than we can, in His strength, handle. 

It took 18 days for his little intestines to heal for him to get some relief. 

When we took him back to the pediatrician, three weeks after his initial diaper tested positive for blood, we tested another diaper and it was NEGATIVE!  He had healed and by avoiding all dairy and soy, I was protecting his intestines from any further damage. 

It's been quite the interesting ride this go 'round.  I wish so badly that I could take back those six weeks of eating "normal."  Absolutely no food is worth what we had to go through to get him back to health.  My fear is that there was permanent damage done during that time that I didn't know he was being hurt by the milk and soy proteins.  I have to remind myself that breastfed babies have a LESS likely chance of becoming MSPI than formula fed babies and that if we had been giving him milk or soy based formulas during those six weeks, the same thing would have happened.  I just wish that he wouldn't have had to go through so much pain for us to get a definitive answer and diagnosis.  I wish I could have protected him better.  There was just no way to know.  Looking back on it, I wish I'd have requested a diaper check every couple of weeks after starting to eat normal again.  At some point, the microscopic blood would have been able to be an indicator to me instead of having to get his intestines so raw that I could actually SEE the blood. 

The MSPI presented itself so differently this time, that it threw me for a loop, but I definitely learned some valuable lessons, namely, that while blood in the stool IS an indicator of MSPI, it is not the only way to tell that a baby has an intolerance.

We are on the mend again, but man, I'm missing those ten hours nights!!! 


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

STARKIST Yellowfin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Yellowfin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
tuna brandMost tuna is packed with "vegetable broth" (check the label). More often than not, the vegetable used in that broth is soybean. (much like the vegetable in "vegetable oil" is most commonly soybean)  Even though the allergens listed on a can of tuna do not list soy, MSPI nurslings can have an adverse reaction to the trace amount of soy protein in packaged tuna.  Don't shoot yourself in the dairy/soy free foot (or breast! ha!) by buying the wrong tuna.  Educate yourself!  And go forth and buy soy-free tuna!

Look for tuna packaged in olive oil instead of vegetable broth

Boars Head Deli Meats

turkey pita 
 Boars Head Maple Honey Turkey

In a lot of my menu items I use Boars Head Deli Meats. Many pre-packaged deli meats and store brand deli meats contain milk ingredients such as casein or whey. Many Boars Head deli meats are Dairy Free. Yippee! (They are the best anyway!)

(check your ingredients- to get a list of the ingredients for a particular flavor, I just ask for a printout from the scale in the meat department- they place the meat in question (BEFORE THEY SLICE IT) on the scale, type in or scan the code so that it registers that flavor, and print out a price sticker that has the ingredients listed on it- easy :) )