peanut butter

Oh nuts

Where to start.

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Last week was an interesting one for us…turns out Patty-cakes is allergic to peanuts.

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And maybe more, but we won’t know much more for sure until we meet with the allergist.

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Needless to say, it was one of the scariest times of my life.  I swear, nothing can prepare you for parenting.

I wasn’t going to talk about it here on HHH, but since this blog is (first and foremost) about the dietary management of food sensitivities and digestive issues, I think it’s pretty relevant.  I guess in many ways we are lucky we found out sooner rather than later…and while I don’t plan on discussing all the details, I know I’ll get some questions.  To preempt them:

-No, there are no allergies in either of our families.
-Yes, I was given the go ahead by our pediatrician to try nuts and strawberries.
-He had <1/8 tsp of peanut butter with two foods he had previously tried and tolerated (squash and polenta).
-He did have a previous reaction with hummus (I thought it was the lemon juice in it, but in hindsight it was probably the chickpeas since the rash/hives followed the same pattern/progression).  Dear God, please don’t hate on the whole legume category!

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Here’s hoping I never have to call 911 (or ride in an ambulance) again.

But really he was a total champ and managed to flirt his way into the heart of every medical personnel – even while getting poked and prodded and forced to function way outside his routine.

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The hospital stay was as good as it could be.  He slept on my chest because it was easier than the alternative.  He got a great night  sleep.  Me, not so much.  But at least I got to hear and feel his sweet breath on my cheek all night long.  Heaven.

Just like that.  In the blink of an eye.  Things have changed.  It’s only been a week and yet I will never ever look at peanuts the same way again.  Or any food!  I will live in fear.  I’ll forever be paranoid.  And there’s no way to explain it to anyone so they completely get it.

One thing I’ve learned is that people think you’re crazy.  I don’t care.  I would rather seem rude and request you take an extra second out of your day to wash your hands to make sure my child’s life isn’t put in danger.

I truly didn’t think my hand washing enforcing could escalate any more.  But, it turns out, it can!

But it’s so much more complicated!  Gatherings with peanut eating people are only a fraction of the risk.  There are co-packing plants that share machines with nuts, so even nut-less products can be contaminated!  And it goes on and on…

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For now, though, my little man is doing a-okay.  He even helped me pack for this past weekend’s getaway in Tahoe.  Epi-pen?  Check!

Expect a lot more peanut free recipes coming your way!  [As well as legume free for the time being]

 

Update: You guys are so amazing!  I cannot thank you enough for the supportive comments.  I keep re-reading them and it gives me a boost  knowing P has such love coming his way.  

We met with an allergist today and it was a really informative and positive experience.  I left feeling confident and hopeful.  So that’s good!  We will know the results of his blood test (nuts, seafood, soy, sesame seeds, etc.) in a few days.  The results do have some wiggle room (false positives and negatives) so there’s still a bit of unknown in the severity and how it will change over time, but at least we have a starting point.  Knowledge is power, right?  The reactions are rated on a scale from 0-6 (with 6 being the most extreme).  Since each case is different, I will refrain from discussing much more (I don’t want anyone to think I’m an expert), but I will say, I’ve found this site to be a great resource.  

My everyday life

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This is a small snack.  The “before” photo is so clean.  Let me tell you, persimmons make one hell of an “after” photo.  Like a blood bath!

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Naps are complicated.  When they happen, I’m on cloud 9.

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Lunch in peace and quiet. 

That’s nearly a whole bag of TJ’s lacinato kale by the way.  Tossed with quinoa and coated in creamy broccoli soup.

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We put up our tree and hung our stockings.  P loves all of it.  He says “de” and points to all the things.  He wants to communicate so badly.

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I made three loaves of banana bread and have been eating it over and over and over for breakfast. 

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As you can see, it’s always topped with PB and paired with a fried egg.  The combo doesn’t get old.  Me in a rut…shocking.  [Sarcasm]

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Teething sucks.

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Kyle food.  Huge tupperware of brown rice, lentils, spinach, corn, and Fresh ‘N Nova’s thyme flavored hummus.

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Best way to season a dish.  I made it for his work lunches but it only lasted two servings. 

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Elise food.  Gotta repeat the faves.  Nachos on the left, stew on the right.

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And my all time number one lover, creamy dijon tempeh spinach casserole.

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I served it over quinoa.  Win.

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Dude, it makes it hard to assemble when you eat the instructions. 

My parents got a high chair for P and it took mega muscle strength to put this bad boy together.  Seriously, I love Graco’s intuitive designs but this was not as simple as some of their other items.

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Success!

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Went home for the weekend again.  Wait til you see the Santa pics.

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I love Brussels.

Peace out!

Food from last week

Can I just show all the yummy things I’ve been stuffing my face with lately in one quick post?  Life before Thanksgiving did exist. 

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The last of the pumpkin cornbread muffins with eggs.

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And yet another savory breakfast.  The to-go cup is because I was heading to MOPS after and wanted to be able to continue my decaf fueling there.

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We made pies!  I actually can’t take any credit for this because I was holding P the whole time and another mom did 99% of the work for me.  He had a meltdown before I could get a topping on but Kyle didn’t seem to mind.  Patty-cakes was so tired he fell asleep on the way home, even though our drive is less than 5 minutes.  I missed a few signals on purpose.  🙂

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Squash roasting as practice for game day.  Just kidding.  Squash is for all day every day.

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Steamed spinach, quinoa, goat cheese, butternut squash, and pomegranate seeds.

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Quesadilla casserole.  All for Kyle.  Shoulda written down the recipe.  I basically layered flour tortillas, pinto beans, 3 cheese mix, salsa, and plain yogurt and baked it. 

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He ate that while I ate this.  Day after day.  Mmmm.

I also made this baked spaghetti again. 

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It is just so easy and so good!!!

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I really try to make mostly simple meals throughout the week with one new and exciting dish.  That’s where foodie blogs and mags come in.  Gotta get inspired for that night of fun in the kitchen. 

But that doesn’t discount these kinds of dinners!

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I had my first night out solo the night I made this.  It felt so weird driving downtown after dark without anyone else in the car.  Not heading to work.  Not a diaper bag nearby.  Crazy. 

I got a glass of wine with my lady friends.  Breakthrough moment.

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Chip tower.  Yum.

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Banana bread with peanut buttah and fried egg.  Yurp, I made a few loaves of banana bread so breakfasts will be this for a while.

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Dough!  This counts in the easy column. 

I used half to make pizza and half to make empanadas. 

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Here’s what I learned about making empanadas.

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Ummmm…you can’t just fold them over and expect that to keep the insides in. 

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Oh well.  I made them all different with various combos of cheeses, pesto, marinara, etc.

And then there was the pie.

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Doughy and delightful.

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Guess what?!  I made ice cream.  Not really, but I poured this amazing mango orange pineapple kefir by Redwood Hill Farm in my ice cream maker and let it do it’s thing.  Voila!  Ice cream, easy as that.  And way healthier.  This could be the best discovery ever.

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This is a salad made by dumping various tupperwares in a bowl.  Use it all up before you travel!

Peanut + pumpkin pairing

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I don’t think the idea of paring pumpkin and peanut would have occurred to me before seeing this recipe of Katie’s. 

But it sounded like an interesting combo, and I only had a bit of pumpkin left, sooo…yeah…I made a pumpkin peanut butter stew and the rest is history.

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Pumpkin Peanut Butter Stew with Spinach & Tempeh [vegan, gluten free, FODMAPs friendly]

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin (either use canned pumpkin or mash/puree a baked squash)
  • 1/2 cup plain almond milk
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (omit with using sweetened PB)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 block tempeh, cubed
  • 3-4 cups spinach
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2-3 cups vegetable broth

Directions:

In a large pot, combine pumpkin, almond milk, peanut butter, maple syrup and salt.  Once combined and warm add in tempeh and spinach.  Cover with a lid and cook until spinach has wilted.  Then add rice and vegetable broth. 

Adjust broth to desired thickness.  Serve once it’s hot.

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I’ve made this a few times now and I love it so much I always try to make the leftovers last forever and ever by adding more spinach…so really you don’t even need the broth.  It’s just as good chilled although it’s so homey and yummy warm.

There are also a million ways to tweak this dish…like using almond butter instead of peanut butter.  Or kale instead of spinach.  Or tofu/chickpeas/lentils instead of tempeh.  Or quinoa instead of rice.  If you’re in the mood for a little heat, add in some crushed red pepper flakes.  Or take it in an Indian direction and try curry powder.

It’s a choose your own ending kind of recipe…

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Lunches Lately

I stopped taking pics of my lunches a while back because they were soooo repetitive (avo and egg salad with some kind of carb).

But then we ran out of eggs and I was forced to get a little more creative.

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The stars of the show were these gifts from my neighbor.  She has a pomegranate tree and hooked me up with 4 red beauties.  There’s something therapeutic about de-seeding them.  Especially when your kiddo is napping in his crib for the first time in days.  [I love chest naps but they make it impossible to be productive during the day]

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This sweet boy.  He’s my whole world.

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  • spinach
  • quinoa
  • carrots
  • goat cheese
  • pomegranate seeds

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I wanted to make the goat cheese into a kind of sauce, so I added some water and made a slurry to allow the cheese to coat and cover every nook and cranny.

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This was pulled from the freezer on a busy day.  So for anyone wondering if baked spaghetti freezes and re-heats well…it totally DOES!  I let it thaw in the fridge the night before and then heated it up in microwave and topped it with an egg.  Since I’m lazy I just cracked the egg right on top and it cooked in the microwave as it heated.  Creamy noodles with egg.  Yum!

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  • spinach
  • sweet potato
  • avocado
  • carrots
  • dried cranberries
  • [afterthought] goat cheese

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I realized there wasn’t enough oomph in this salad so I added goat cheese.  It was perfect.  Do you like my new huge white bowls?  I found them at Target.  I’ve been trying to find massive bowls for Elise sized salads (and oats and other meals).

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  • quinoa
  • steamed spinach
  • roasted butternut squash
  • goat milk aged cheddar (OMG OMG)
  • pomegranate seeds

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Seriously, this cheese.  SO good.  If you’re lactose intolerant, you must find this cheese because it rocked my world and didn’t test my gut a bit.

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Love.

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  • zucchini noodles
  • carrots
  • spinach
  • peanut sauce (PB + water + honey + tamari)