Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Easy "Cheese" - Streamlining the Food Part of Mommyhood

I've mentioned that J (my two year old) has a dairy allergy.

And thats' really what inspired this post...
but even if you don't have dairy allergies,
or care about cheese-less mac and cheese,
you might get a little inspired to streamline some of your kitchen routine 
when you see my fun idea of the day.

She's been pretty easy and basic in terms of what she wants to eat so far.
So I've only just started needing to get creative to make up for the limitations of not getting to have anything that ever came from cow-milk.

So when it came time for me to get the ball rolling in the new foods department, 
naturally the first replacement food I went after was:

Mac and Cheese!

I used this recipe from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.

I was really (Really! REALLY!)
excited the first day I made it for her.
It felt really monumental -- mac and cheese!! Its a kid staple!

It of course has no cheese.
But it looks like cheese.
And while it doesn't really taste like cheese,
it does taste good,
and she doesn't know what cheese is...
she loves it.

(I think it kind of tastes like the scalloped potatoes you get from a box. 
So it does kind of taste like cheese.)

And its surprisingly easy to make, despite the fact that its not from a box.

The part that took me the longest 
was getting out all the right seasonings and measuring those out.

So today,
(I'm so proud of myself!)
I made a big batch of the all those seasonings
 so next time I need to whip of the dish, it will be no problem!
I'll just scoop of couple scoops of one thing, instead of seven!
(For those that are wondering: 
I just put the actual spices in the batch, not the cornstarch or nutritional yeast.)

I did the math and everything!
(Seriously, guys, thats a big deal. I'm not a math girl!
But I do love using good sense.
And this is good sense.
So it was fun math!)

so to make the batch I didn't exactly do math.
I just put 15 scoops of the recipe's measurements into the empty spice container I had,
and made sure it was mixed really well.

But then...
The original recipe is a little big. 
So I halved it.
And figured all that out.
And then figured out I will need to use 1 and 1/2 TBSPs of my mix!

Then I printed up the (halfed) recipe and taped it onto the container.
(I wrapped packing tape all the way around the paper to keep it more waterproof.)
So next time I need to cook it up.
Its a no brainer!

(If anyone actually wants the halved recipe (the size of a standard box of mac) and/or the label 


And I feel like this will help if someone other than me
(Daddy or Grandma or whoever)
wants to whip some up for her.
It doesn't feel so daunting.
(Making cheeseless Mac and Cheese, just sounds hard!)

Awesome again!

Another food J loves
(just like every other kid alive)
is McDonalds.
She LOVES their hamburgers.

I don't mind her having McDonalds sometimes.
But of course I'd rather her have "real food."

So I looked up what the seasonings are in McDonalds hamburgers,
and made my own quick seasonings of that too.

She got soooooo
excited when she saw the little label I made.
Asked for a "hm-bit-ger" on instant.

(Lucky for her, 
I was wise and cooked up a whole bunch of tiny patties one day 
and froze them so now I can just heat them up when she wants one!)

I love simplicity!

Anyone else's kids love McDonalds?
Want to make your own spice mix?

Here is a decent sized batch:
You can scoop more or less into your container depending on the size you are using.
(My spice jars are empty spice containers from Aldi)

5 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
4 Tbsp. black pepper
4 Tbsp. onion powder
3 Tbsp. garlic powder
3 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. thyme
1 Tbsp. sweet basil
1 Tbsp. bay leaf

And a lot of salt.
I find that putting salt into the mix doesn't work well,
 because its heavier than the rest so it separates out.
So you can just add it in at the time.
Use as much as you like.

Are there any quick-mixes you might want to make for your home?


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