As I’ve mentioned before Bodie is allergic to tree nuts, peanuts, dairy, egg, wheat, soy, chickpeas and sesame seeds. When I tell someone about his allergies I often get the question, ‘What does he eat?’ Actually, I get this question almost all the time. I’m going to list the cookbooks I swear by, the easy dinners and the conundrum of snacks.
The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out – this cookbook is AMAZING. Angle Liddon is my expert when it comes to cooking vegan. When I was nursing Bodie and had to eliminate eggs and dairy I dived head first into this cookbook. My husband and I decided to start eating more vegan meals when Bodie was first diagnosed with food allergies. Not one recipe is bad. The Tex-Mex casserole is still on a monthly rotation. The Immunity Boosting Tomato Sauce got me eating mushrooms AND lentils. Her breakfast and desserts are LEGIT. This was the cookbook that convinced me I could handle food allergies.
Danielle Walker is a godsend when it comes to avoiding wheat and soy. She also avoids dairy which is helpful for us. There are 5 recipes of hers that I use regularly. 3 of them are crockpot meals. Her most recent cookbook has the best sloppy joe recipe I’ve ever had. She also has a recipe for a grain free, dairy free chicken piccata and I crave it regularly and prefer it over the dairy laden recipe. The sloppy joe recipe and the chicken piccata recipe comes together in 30 minutes! You just can’t beat that on a weeknight.
*Both Liddon and Walker use nuts in their baking so be aware if you look into them that not all recipes are 100% food allergy safe. There are plenty of recipes without nuts that made the purchase worth it.
The Healthy Gluten-Free Life: 200 Delicious Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free and Egg Free Recipes. This book was recommended to me when we first learned about Bodie’s wheat allergy. The graham cracker recipe in this cookbook is worth the purchase alone. I make it throughout the summer so that Bodie can have s’mores. It turns out every single time. My extended family ended up preferring these graham crackers over the regular ones last year when we went camping. There are only a handful or less of recipes with nuts in this cookbook. Most are without.
I’m a menu planner and grocery shop based our menu. Bodie’s food allergies prevent us from eating out a lot so I cook 6-7 nights a week. Our schedule determines some of our meals. Example, on swim nights I use the crock pot or instant pot. Other nights, I’ll usually marinate some chicken and grill it, make turkey burgers, sloppy joes, etc. We usually have one taco night a week and one pizza night. Pizza night can be kind of a pain because we can’t just order a pizza or buy frozen. There is a Bodie safe frozen pizza but he prefers the one I make. I found a great crust for him and then we use vegan cheese. I make a regular crust for the rest of us.
In the instant pot, I’ll usually do the following recipes:
Chicken tacos – throw a can of enchilda sauce into the crock pot with a half cup or more of salsa and set on high. Done in four hours. Bodie will eat vegan cheese with his tacos and guacamole while the rest of us have regular cheese. We use corn tortillas because they taste better but are also safe.
Chicken Shawarma. The boys are slowing getting into this and it’s easy and delicious. I serve it with rice and saute up some veggies to go over it. The garlic sauce the recipe mentions – I usually replace the egg with veganaise and use that. But we usually do without because I need things easy in the dinner rush.
Instant Pot Mexican Chicken Soup. I can’t get the boys on board with soup yet, but Bryce and I LOVE this soup. So easy and so healthy.
Danielle Walker has numerous cookbooks out one of them has a BBQ chicken recipe that I use A LOT. Especially when we are hosting family because it makes a lot and is an easy lunch for everyone. She also has this crock pot pork recipe that will get any picky eater to try it. I have the following books and HIGHLY recommend them if you’re looking to avoid wheat, dairy and gluten. Against All Grain, Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple and Danielle Walker’s Eat What you Love. We loved every single recipe I’ve made.
What does breakfast look life for Bodie? It’s usually 3-4 breakfasts. A bowl of cereal, currently eating Oat Crunch Cheerios and he uses hemp milk or flax milk. That’s usually followed by toast with sunbutter or olive oil butter. If he’s still hungry then I make oatmeal using his milk and adding in coconut oil and blueberries. I usually make sausage using either store bought links or making sausage patties from ground pork. Once again Danielle Walker to the rescue with her breakfast sausage recipe.
Lunches and snacks is a hard area for us. Bodie is picky when it comes to food in general. I present a lot of great dinners and sometimes he eats and sometimes he doesn’t. He will eat almost any meat but beyond that he can get pretty picky. The tough thing is getting enough fat and protein into his lunches and snacks. He prefers carbs and unfortunately wheat free, soy free, egg free, dairy free carbs are not the most filling. I try to get him to eat pretzels dipped in sunbutter or sunbutter balls. He enjoys deli meat so sometimes that will be a snack but he also eats it for lunch almost every day on a sandwich. He loves grilled cheese but vegan grilled cheese has zero protein. Zero. Snacks are potato chips a lot. It’s maddening because there is zero nutritional value here. I can’t just give him cheese or yogurt as an easy protein. I will offer him smoothies and sometimes he drinks it and sometimes he doesn’t. This is the struggle and I’m trying to get more creative.
Fortunately, dinners are pretty easy for us and I have a lot of ideas when it comes to cooking. I can turn almost any recipe into a Bodie safe recipe. On the nights I don’t want to cook we may go out to eat or I may throw nuggets and french fries in the oven. Aldi has a safe chicken nugget for Bodie and we serve the same ones to Oskar.
The restaurants we can eat at are Chic Fil A (grilled nuggets), Chipotle, Dalie’s BBQ and Buffalo Wild Wings. I’ve heard Blaze Pizza is a safe option so I need to look into that. Not the most exciting list but great options when we travel or I need a night off.
Finally, let’s talk ice cream. Have you seen all the alternatives now? It’s amazing how much the non-dairy industry has grown in just the last 5 years. Trader Joe’s has an awesome chocolate coconut ice cream that is completely safe for Bodie. The night we tried, I also picked up some regular ice cream for Oskar. We all ended up preferring the coconut ice cream. Seriously.
So what does Bodie eat? Turns out there are a lot of options thanks to so many cookbook authors and bloggers. I may have to tweak a recipe here and there but it usually works when I do and I’m so grateful.