It’s FINALLY FALL, Y’ALL.
Okay, technically I’m writing this post on the last day of summer. But it’s been cold, rainy, and windy, and I’ve been wearing scarves and sweaters. As far as I’m concerned, fall has begun, and that means it’s time for comfort food cooking.
Comfort food around this house isn’t as easy as it used to be. Most of our favorite comfort foods involve cheese, heavy cream, butter, and eggs, which are all off-limits when cooking for my family. My daughter, Emily, has multiple food allergies. She can’t eat dairy, eggs, peanuts, or pumpkin. Peanuts and pumpkin are easy enough to avoid in our own house (in fact, peanuts in any form do not even enter this house), but milk and eggs can be tricky.
I’ve been in the mood for chicken pot pie. Can you imagine cooking chicken pot pie without milk and/or eggs? Well, I went for it. I made up a recipe on the fly using our go-to substitute ingredients, and as with many things I cook these days, I kept my expectations low. Here’s what I did:
1. I made a basic white sauce using dairy-free margarine, flour, and unsweetened rice milk. When it started to thicken, I tossed in a chicken bouillon cube and sprinkled in some pepper.
2. Once the sauce had thickened to my liking, I added a couple of cups of shredded chicken and half a bag of frozen mixed veggies and kept on the heat until the sauce was warm.
3. I spread out a Pillsbury pre-made pie crust into a glass pie dish. Strangely enough, these pie crusts don’t contain dairy OR eggs.
4. I dumped the sauce/chicken/veggie mixture into the pie dish and covered with another crust.
5. I baked for 20 minutes at 450 degrees F.
The verdict? My daughter cleaned her plate, if you don’t count the green beans she thinks are evil. I had to go back for seconds. My HUSBAND, who never goes back for seconds, especially not when I load up his dinner full of vegetables, went back for seconds. The best damn pot pie I’ve ever made, and without any dairy or eggs.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to get too cocky. This is a rare victory for me. *Has traumatizing flashback to the last time I tried to make vegan Alfredo sauce* It is nice to have a good ol’ comfort food recipe to file away for later use, though.
Earlier this week I also baked a loaf of Dutch Apple Bread. This one I actually made as a part of Emily’s six-month at home baked milk challenge. Two months ago, her IgE numbers for casein (milk protein) dipped low enough that her allergist thought she could possibly tolerate baked milk. When milk is baked, some of the milk proteins bake out. We started out with a baked milk challenge done at the allergist’s office so she could be monitored in case she went into anaphylaxis. Unfortunately, she failed the challenge; she reacted to the milk, but it was a mild enough reaction that her allergist asked us to give her half of a muffin or slice of bread three times a week to help her body build up a tolerance for the protein. The muffins and bread must contain a specific amount of milk so she’s getting enough, but not too much, exposure to those proteins.
LONG STORY SHORT…I baked bread.
I started out with this recipe, but I made several modifications. First, I didn’t make the glaze. Considering I have to make these things for Emily weekly, I figured she didn’t need all that extra sugar. I did opt for a light sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar on top.
Second, I omitted the walnuts. Emily is only a year and a half old, so I’m still cautious about choking hazards.
Third, I added half a teaspoon of cinnamon to the dry ingredients. Just ’cause.
Lastly, I substituted ground flax for the eggs.
THIS BREAD IS SO DAMN DELICIOUS.
All in all, I feel pretty good about this week’s creations.