Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Do You Eat Your Vegetables?

Well, you should! Dairy-free, gluten-free... ;)

The real reason for this post is that I saw this at a local grocery store yesterday:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Help Maui Be GMO-Free--Only 5 Days Left!!!

My family and I had a lovely stay in a condo rental in Maui this summer. The family who owns the condo is protective of the environment, even asking renters to not purchase any cleaners for the condo as they really want to use ones that are safe for the environment.

I just got a message from the condo owner about a situation in Maui dealing with not only GMO crops but open air chemical experiments. They need to raise funds to help fight what's going on. This particular campaign only has 5 days left to contribute to!

If you are concerned at all about GMO foods and chemicals on the foods, please contribute and share the link with others!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Meal-Planning Challenges

Since my main focus is on making dairy-free meals--which has actually become a very easy thing to do now that I'm used to it--and at times vegan or wheat-free meals, there are always challenges that come up, especially with picky eaters in the house and the fact that there are those who don't want vegan all the time or wheat-free all the time.

Life has added a new challenge for me: Crazy family schedules.

My husband is a teacher who coaches the school's outdoor soccer team after school. This means that every day after school except for Friday, he has a practice or a game. He might get home at 5:30--or 7:00.

My daughter has dance class three times a week. It is probably changing to two, fortunately. One day, it starts at 7:15; another at 5:15 (for which she's there for 2 hours); another at 6:00.

Now she has started a part-time job where one day, she starts at 5, another at 5:30, another at 4 and I can't remember the other day's time.

I guess the real challenge at the moment is how to continue our family meal time! It kind of feels like we can't. :( But then there's the aspect that my daughter has to eat supper before her work shift; that will always be before her dad is back from work. Do I make something that she, her brother and I eat fresh and their dad heats up when he gets back? Does she get leftovers and the rest of us eat fresh? Except for dance days, I stay at the studio or nearby, so I need to eat before the others, too. Then there's the possibility of just alternating things...

Combine this craziness with growing evidence that my daughter really needs to go wheat-free but will need a lot of support and guidance to do so... This is all really challenging me at the moment!

Do you have a crazy schedule you need to work around? Are you able to have supper together every day, or do you just have to make things work with the schedule? Have you ever just tossed out all extra activities just to have supper together? (I couldn't do it, even though the thought is there!)

Friday, September 12, 2014

-Free Recipe Friday: Dairy-Free (Vegan) Chocolate Frosted Doughnuts

My family decided they wanted some Tim Horton's doughnuts this week. (Or, as we say up here in English, they wanted some Timmie's. ;) ) I checked the allergy guide to see if just in case there was a doughnut I could eat. Alas, there wasn't. But my craving was triggered and I decided to make myself doughnuts. Other than the gluten-free doughnuts from Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen: Everyday Foods the Whole Family Will Love, I have never made doughnuts at home. (Well, there's a little memory coming up that my mom and I may have once tried a big pot and oil with some dough...) To the internet I went to find this recipe.

They are delicious! I do have to add something here though: They did not satisfy my doughnut craving. They are essentially a vegan cupcake in doughnut form, including the icing. They are delicious--the frosting is AMAZING, best chocolate frosting I've perhaps EVER had--but they don't really taste like doughnuts to me. It could be using Canadian flour changed it or who knows what, but my doughnuts didn't even look like hers, especially not the frosting. Admittedly, I didn't melt the vegan margarine... Anyhow, it doesn't change it's delicious. And dairy-free. And egg-free. Could even be nut-free if you used something other than almond milk for the frosting.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Restaurant Recommendation: Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria

My family and I went to Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria the other night for supper. If you live in or travel to certain locations in Ontario, Alberta or British Columbia, Canada, and are looking for a pizza place that has dairy-free (and even gluten-free) pizza, this is the place to go!

I completely meant to take a picture of my pizzetta (little pizza) to be able to post it, but I forgot. I am sure I will have another chance another day. In any case, before going to the restaurant, I checked their allergy guide: their pizza dough did not have milk in it, so I could get a cheeseless pizza. Good enough for me. When I got there, I discovered that I could subsitute Daiya mozzarella for regular cheese! Not only that, but they asked if the substitution was for an allergy, we said yes, so they actually make it in a different part of the kitchen to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.


The pizza itself was fabulous. I was worried they might put too much Daiya on, but it was just right. My son had a regular pizza, the margherita, and said it was the best pizza he ever had. My husband and daughter were both found the pizzas delicious, too.

The atmosphere at the location we were at, at the very least, was wonderful. Unique and pleasant. It's almost like a mix between a fast food restaurant and a regular restaurant. There is the counter with the gelato and dessert options and where you place your order yourself for what you want. You seat yourself. But you still have a server come and bring you drinks and your food. It was a completely different experience, but very enjoyable.

My one complaint is the menu doesn't explain the drinks very well. At the location we were at, it was $3 for a beverage. It didn't say that the San Pellegrino was $3 for a single can and that was it; the other drinks had free refills for the same price. That, however, won't deter us from going back and enjoying the atmosphere and the food yet again.

Remember: Travelling in Alberta or BC--or perhaps in Ontario--and looking for dairy-free or gluten-free pizza, check out Famoso! I don't think you'll be disappointed. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Life Is Never Completely Calm

I took a very unintentional break from posting. I had a crazy June, including company that stayed with us until the day before we left for Hawaii, our trip to Hawaii (which was amazing!), our dog back home nearly dying from IMHA while we were in Hawaii, taking care of that when we got back (and still taking care of...), looking for a house to purchase, finding a house to purchase, working our butts off for two weeks to get our current house ready to sell, showings, offer, house sold... Oh, add to that various doctors' appointments, looking after my nieces and nephew for the month of August--just during the work day--physiotherapy for messed up rotator cuffs and who knows what else. Thoughts of posting would come and almost immediately leave.

Outside our condo rental in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii.

Now that school is back in session, things are actually a little calmer. For now. Our possession date is September 29, so I somehow need to have a good schedule of homeschooling, getting things done for moving--like packing and the many phone calls and arrangements that need to be made for things like house insurance, electricity...--AND get things done that are important to me that I somehow lose track of, like blogging, writing, business building and continual learning/self-improvement. It has really hit me these past few weeks that there is never a time where things are calm and I can't wait for things to be calmer or have in my mind things need to be a certain calmness. I need to create the schedule I want, to create the life I feel I'm being led to live but not taking action on.

Now, perhaps my saying, "Life is never calm," means I'm actually creating a life that is never calm. That's okay, I suppose. I don't necessarily want life to be calm all the time, just have more control over what I do, more conscious choices, including the food I eat (yes, I will get back to blogging about dairy-free and other -free eating!) without chaos distracting me. Although maybe that's the real lesson: To keep doing what I need to do regardless of what's going on around me!

Do you find that your life is never calm? Do you feel you use your time each day the way you would really like to?