As I mentioned this week, we’ve been sick lately. So I’ve been making a few soups lately, and the less prep that went into it the better. Which is why I ended up trying this Thai Coconut Soup from Our Best Bites this week.
I swapped out the ramen noodles for gluten-free noodles, and added some carrots, since it needed SOME veggies. I also didn’t have a jalapeno in the house, so I subbed red pepper instead. I also omitted the cilantro and green onions since I didn’t have any.
Cook chicken according to your preferred method. In a large pot, combine broth, milk, carrots, and spices and bring to a boil. Add pasta, reduce to a simmer for 10-20 minutes, or until carrots and noodles are tender. Dice chicken and add it to the pot along with lime juice. Stir to combine. Serve.
Thai Coconut Soup
Adapted from Our Best Bites
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free
- 1 cup diced cooked chicken
- 1 32 ounce carton chicken broth
- 1 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 oz GF rotelle pasta (or other preferred shape)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons lime juice
Combine chicken broth, coconut milk, carrots, ginger, red pepper, and salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil, add pasta, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10-20 minutes, until carrots and pasta are tender. Stir in chicken and lime juice. Serve immediately.
What I Thought
This soup had a nice, pleasant, sweet taste. The kick from the pepper was very mild. My daughter was only interested in eating bread. Joseph got seconds and thirds of the chicken and noodles (he ignored the carrots). Would do again.
We’ve been battling coughs over here lately. That, combined with the fact that we’ve been testing Joseph’s tolerance for wheat with a Sun Chip a day, has led to some flareups of eczema, complete with blood all over the sheets when Joseph scratched in the night.
But, I’m reminded to keep counting my blessings. It’s fall now, so I can put Joseph’s shorts away and keep him from getting access to the backs of his knees. We have so much more knowledge now than people did even just decades ago for how to handle this. We have medicines that reduce the itching (though Joseph has taken to screaming when I put the creams on). We just went the whole summer with very few flareups.
Silver linings. Little things that get us through the hard times.
My brother-in-law has gone fishing lots lately, and brought us some filets from his latest catch. I love salmon, so I eagerly looked through my cookbooks to find a recipe I hadn’t tried yet so I could share it here. I loved that the 1-2-3 Grilled Salmon from Taste of Home looked easy, because I didn’t have that much energy the day that I made it.
This recipe is already Joseph-safe.
Combine garlic powder, soy sauce, olive oil, and mustard in a bowl and stir well. Pour half into a large zip-loc bag, and then add salmon fillets. Marinade salmon in the fridge for 30 minutes. Refrigerate remaining marinade separately.
Preheat grill, then coat with oil. If you don’t have a grill-safe spray, coat paper towel with oil, then rub it on the grill with a pair of long tongs. Grill salmon over high heat, covered, for 5-10 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Brush reserved marinade over cooked fish, and serve.
1-2-3 Grilled Salmon
Adapted from Taste of Home
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 6 salmon fillets (5 oz each)
In a bowl, combine olive oil, soy sauce, mustard, and garlic powder. Pour half of the marinade into a large zip-loc bag, and add salmon. Refrigerate marinading salmon for 30 minutes. Put the other half of the marinade in a separate bowl in the fridge.
Pre-heat grill and coat with oil. Grill the salmon on high heat, covered, for 5-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Brush reserved marinade over the fish and serve.
Makes 4-6 servings.
What I Thought
We all quite liked this. Joseph was asking for seconds and thirds. My husband could detect a pleasant sweet taste, which I’m not sure where it came from. Perhaps the fish itself. I’d definitely do this again.
The more I learn about research and theories about allergies, the more I realize that when our immune systems break, we really have no idea what is going on. I’ve never taken much stock in the hygiene hypothesis for the rise of allergies. I do not keep my house spick and span. I should do better about getting my kids to wash and sanitize their hands. And I took Joseph out in public fairly soon after his birth. Didn’t stop him from developing allergies.
And then there’s the idea that breastfeeding should prevent allergies. Except Joseph was allergic to my breastmilk.
And now, I have been diagnosed with ITP (immune thrombocytopenia purpura) which means that my immune system is attacking my platelets (part of my blood that is involved in clotting) The hematologist has no idea what caused this. Thankfully, it won’t effect the baby’s health that’s coming next month. However, it does mean that I am on steroids to boost my platelet count in preparation for delivery. The side-effects are wiping me out. I had planned to keep blogging and trying new recipes right up until delivery, but I may need to start my “maternity leave” on that early.
I am grateful for how far we have come scientifically, that Joseph has things that can help him live day to day and the doctors are planning for every contingency for me. I look forward to more research being done in the future.
My daughter started kindergarten this year. After reading so much about food allergies and schools the past few years, I was interested to see how our elementary school handled it. I’m quite pleased with the results.
She only goes to half-day kindergarten, so I don’t know how the lunch situation is handled. But I do know that the classrooms are kept nut-free. She gets to take a snack, which has to be nut-free. For her, that’s meant a string cheese, or an apple. Though that apple did come home untouched, but I suspect that’s more due to her not knowing the full routine the first day of school than her not wanting to eat it.
Then I was surprised to see that on the kid’s birthdays, they encourage parents to bring in non-food favors to pass out, instead of the usual cupcakes or what have you. I quite like this policy. The kids don’t need the sugar, and it means that anyone with a gluten or dairy allergy doesn’t have to be alienated either. Also, I will admit that I didn’t like the policy that any birthday treats brought in had to be storebought, which I have heard about (Storebought cupcakes just don’t taste as good).
So yay for my school getting it. Makes me feel better for when Joseph is old enough to attend too.
My sunflowers are blooming! These are the first plants I’ve grown from seed to actually make it to this point! That’s actually not why I decided to make a recipe with sunbutter to post today, but I couldn’t help thinking about it as I looked at my sunflowers out my window as I bustled around my kitchen. Hooray for a raised bed being able to defeat my black thumb!
Anyway, I first made Thai Chicken Fettuccine from Taste of Home back in 2008 and found it nice and easy, though it definitely didn’t taste like authentic Thai food. So I thought it would be good to attempt to make Joseph-safe.
I used corn-quinoa spaghetti instead of fettuccine since that’s the kind of gluten-free pasta I had. I also substituted sunbutter 1:1 for the peanut butter. I also omitted the cilantro and red pepper since we didn’t have any.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Cut the chicken into strips and saute in oil. Combine all the rest of the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Puree sauce if you desire it to be smooth, like mine.
Taste, and add extra honey if desired (I did).
Drain pasta. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat. Serve with chicken.
Thai Chicken Spaghetti
Adapted from Taste of Home
Gluten-free, Nut-free, Dairy-free
- 8 oz gluten-free spaghetti
- 1 pound chicken, cut into strips
- 1 Tablespoon canola oil
- 1 cup salsa
- 1/4 cup sunbutter
- 2 Tablespoons orange juice
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
Cook pasta according to package directions. Saute the chicken in oil. Combine salsa, sunbutter, orange juice, honey, and soy sauce in a microwave safe bowl. Puree until smooth (if you don’t have an immersion blender, puree in a stand blender, then transfer into a bowl). Microwave sauce for 1 minute on high.
Drain pasta. Pour sauce over pasta, then toss to coat. Serve with chicken.
Makes 4 servings
What I Thought
This tasted mostly like how I remembered it. Once I got over how it was still not real Thai food, I enjoyed it, and so did my husband. My daughter refused to eat it because “it’s too spicy” (it really wasn’t). Joseph was bribed to eat a few bites, but showed no interest in finishing it. Ah well.
August has been a crazy month for me. We spent a week and a half away from home visiting family and church history sites. I was a bit nervous with how to deal with Joseph’s allergies, but it turns out I was worried about the wrong things.
The thing I was most worried about was taking Joseph’s medicines through security at the airport. But after taking them out of the bag and sending them through the scanner, TSA didn’t say anything about them. So that’s good to know for the future.
What I should have done, however, was made sure that the people we were staying with had an idea about Joseph’s allergies. My sister-in-law made us yummy meals. Unfortunately, I had to search through the pantry for something that Joseph could (and would) eat instead. I probably should have brought more of his food with us. I also felt bad that every time we ate out, pretty much the only thing he had was french fries. Couldn’t have been very healthy. On the other hand, my daughter was only interested in eating macaroni and cheese. At times like that you just have to suck it up and remember they can eat better once they get home.
We did have an interesting experiment though, when Joseph wanted to drink soy-milk at my brother/sister-in-law’s. We let him, since he hasn’t really reacted to soy sauce lately. However, his eczema did flare the next day. I wonder if its something in the soy-milk he reacts too, or if it was just the amount that triggered his sensitivity. Just as well I’m fine with sticking with coconut milk at home.
And now we’ve gotten home just in time to start up new routines with my daughter going to school. More on that next week.