Posts Tagged ‘elizabeth kaplan’



Recipes and Tips for Kid-Friendly, Allergy-free Lunches

Monday, August 18th, 2014


As seen in iVillage
: See full article here.

Need some tips for gluten and allergen free lunches?  Here are some “out of the lunchbox” ideas.

Parents with children that have severe food allergies can especially feel challenged by the morning lunch prep routine– easy options for lunch seem limited.   Without advance planning, the morning rush can make your head spin. Here are some easy ideas to help overcome those mental blocks that we can face during the hectic, rush around mornings.  The tips below are all geared towards the gluten-free and allergy-friendly lunchbox but really anyone can add these ideas to their lunch prep repertoire.

1. Plan and prepare in advance

As much as possible, prepare at least part of lunch the night before, while you are preparing dinner.  If you are making a salad for dinner, make an extra salad for your child’s lunch.  If you are preparing pasta, make an extra serving and re-warm in the morning.  Soups, pastas, risottos all make great lunch box options.

-Wash and chop a plethora of fresh veggies and place in air-tight container in the refrigerator.  Use what you need as you go.

-Make and freeze larger batches of items such as gluten-free granola bars and home-made gluten-free cookies.

-Purchase handy lunch containers, a thermos and a large enough lunch box to fit everything.

 

2.  Think outside of the regular sandwich

The challenge with gluten-free sandwiches is, of course, the bread. It often crumbles, doesn’t taste good, has holes in it, is expensive, etc.  A great way to prepare sandwiches on gluten-free bread is by using a panini maker or sandwich press.  The flavor and texture of purchased gluten-free bread is enhanced by toasting or grilling.

Panini’s:

panini-1024x680

Turkey Pesto Panini:

2 slices whole grain gluten-free bread such as Rudi’s

2-3 turkey slices, nitrate free, try organic brand like Applegate Farm

1 slice cheddar, Monterey Jack or Provolone Cheese, or Daiya dairy free cheese

Sliced tomato or avocado

Pesto sauce for the adventurous kids

Spray a little cooking spray on the Panini maker, place your first bread piece, then add nitrate free turkey, a cheese slice or Daiya Cheese Shreds (our favorite!)  add optional sliced tomato or avocado, then another cheese slice, and top with second slice of bread, for the adventurous kids, pesto sauce can be spread on the top piece of bread.  Cook as instructed.  Wrap in reusable sandwich wrapper.  While the Panini will not stay hot until lunchtime, it still tastes great.

Almond Butter, Jam and Fruit Panini: Spray a little cooking spray on the Panini maker, spread one piece of bread with almond butter, the other with low sugar, organic jam, place first bread piece, thinly sliced apples or bananas, place other piece of bread on top.  Cook as instructed.  Wrap in reusable sandwich wrapper.

Waffle sandwiches: Try The Pure Pantry Buckwheat Flax Pancake and Baking mix to make waffles on the weekend.  Make extra a freeze.  In the morning, lightly toast two waffles, spread with nut butter and organic jam or cream cheese and jam.  Try turkey slices or ham with swiss cheese or Daiya Mozzarella to create a “Montecristo” type of sandwich. 

Cookie Cutter Sandwiches: appearance is everything to some kids.  Create cute cut-out finger sandwiches with large shaped cookie cutters.

3.Make a Hot Lunch

Not a lover of the gluten-free bread choices out there?  Think outside the sandwich, and get into thermoses!

This Bento box type thermos provides great versitility: www.ebagsetc.com

Thermos Meals

Again, planning ahead pays off in the morning.  Left overs make great lunches the next day.  Soups, stews, pastas, risottos, are all easily reheated and packed into a thermos.

Soups: What can be more satisfying that a nice homemade cup of soup?  Here are a few ideas:

White Bean Oregano Chili: A family favorite in our home. A large pot can be made on the weekend and doled out during the week.  Accompany with organic corn chips or gluten-free corn muffins.

Asian Noodle Soups: gluten-free rice noodle packaged soups with added veggies are a perfect, quick hot meal to take to school.

Pastas:

Pasta Salad: gluten-free fusilli pasta tossed with chopped celery, cooked broccoli, shredded carrots, diced black olives, and 1 tablespoon Balsamic salad dressing. 

Gluten-Free Spaghetti and Meatballsmake a big batch for dinner, then warm and serve it up for lunch the next day.

Mac and Cheese – Dairy based or Dairy-Free with peas or broccoli. 

BBQ Chicken:

Left over BBQ’d chicken: My son’s favorite.  Barbeque extra chicken legs or thighs, pair them up with coleslaw or a side salad.

4. Get in the greens with salads

 I am proud to say my 3 year old eats salads.  If your children are salad eaters, a whole world opens up for lunch box choices.  It is easy to prepare a chef salad or garden salad with a protein.  For dinner the night before, prepare an extra portion and place in a lunch container.  Put salad dressing in a smaller container.  There are endless options. Here are a couple of ideas:

Chef Salad: top lettuce mixture with slices or turkey,cheese, add hardboiled egg slices, cherry tomatoes, avocado slices.  Place salad dressing in a separate small container.

Greek salad: top lettuce mixture with cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, Greek olives and feta cheese crumbles or Daiya Mozzarella shreds, add sliced grilled chicken if desired.  Place salad dressing in separate small container.

Garden salad with tuna: top lettuce mixture with sliced carrots, sliced cucumbers and any other veggies your child likes. Combine one can tuna with 1 tablespoon Vegenaise (egg free,dairy free mayo) ½ cup diced celery, ½ cup diced pickle, a squeeze of ½ lemon, dash of dill.  Place one scoop of tuna salad on top of greens.  Place salad dressing in a separate small container.

5. Add Some Easy Snacks and Sides:

Trail mix: make your own or purchase.

Yogurt Parfait: Your child’s favorite yogurt or coconut yogurt flavor with a small container of sliced fruit and a container of gluten-free granola to top it off.  Our favorite gluten-free granola is from Healthy Creations.

Home-made Gluten-Free Granola Bars: try this recipe for Cherry-Almond Oat Bars. Make double batches, cut into bars, wrap each bar individually and freeze.  Pull out a ar when needed – it will defrost by snack time.

 

Home-made allergy-friendly cookies:  Try some fun fall recipes like Pumpkin Pie Bars, or Molasses Ginger Cookies, or an old time favorite, Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip cookies.

Gluten-free Chex Mix: try my Agave-Almond Chex Mix recipe for a great snack to pack for lunch or to bring to a class party.

Pre-packed healthy snacks: Organic Fruit leathers, organic squeezable fruit purees, organic apple sauce are all easy to throw in options.  Gluten-free crackers and cheese, and organic gluten-free corn chips with salsa are also easy to pull together.

Fresh fruit is a staple in every lunch we make.  We always keep apples, oranges, bananas and grapes on hand as a grab and go lunch item or snack.  More fragile fresh fruit such as blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, we place in small containers.

Fresh veggies and dips: Carrots, celery, red pepper strips are all great with hummus, organic ranch dip, or Edamame Pesto Dip (recipe in “Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen”).

There are so many options for gluten-free, allergen friendly lunches.  With a little advance planning you can provide healthy, tasty lunch options that will keep your kids well-fed and make your mornings flow smoothly.

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Gluten-free Product Reviews |Food Review 101 Gives The Pure Pantry Products a Thumbs-Up!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

 

Product Review from Food Review 101

A while back, we reviewed The Pure Pantry company and their line of gluten-free baking mixes that you actually couldn’t even tell were gluten-free in the first place, which is why we decided to take a look at the other products in their line of gluten-free goodies. “Elizabeth Kaplan, founder and CEO of The Pure Pantry, is a trained teacher and chef. Her appreciation and passion for fine organic foods began at a young age…when Elizabeth was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2002, she was disappointed in the lack of healthy, good tasting, gluten-free products on the market”, which is why she decided to create her own line of gluten-free products that would not only satisfy her, but the masses as well. For this review, we’ll be looking at The Pure Pantry’s line of gluten-free baking mixes–Buckwheat Flax Pancake and Baking Mix, Old Fashioned Pancake and Baking Mix, Whole Grain Dark Chocolate Cake Mix, and their Organic All-Purpose Baking Mix–that we weren’t able to touch on in our first review of The Pure Pantry. For more information on The Pure Pantry, be sure to head to their very informative and aesthetically pleasing web-site. Also, don’t forget to check out the Food Review 101 Facebook page.

If you’ve read our previous reviews of The Pure Pantry, then you know that they have some pretty high standards to live up to, which is why we were really excited to write up our second review on their line of gluten-free baking mixes. The first mix we tried out was the Buckwheat Flax Pancake and Baking Mix, and we actually used the recipe on the back of the package to help guide us to making some really great pancakes. After we combined our mix, egg, milk, and some cooking oil, we headed for the hot stove to make up some gluten-free pancakes. Our pancakes actually turned out quite fluffy and very tasty, and if anyone would be hard-pressed to actually pick these gluten-free pancakes out of a pancake line-up. The best thing about these mixes though, is that you can actually use it for other recipes as well. The package offers up other recipes for waffles, crepes, and muffins, but if those aren’t enough for you, then head to the Pure Pantry web-site for additional ideas. Next, we tried using the Whole Grain Dark Chocolate Cake Mix, but instead of making a daunting chocolate cake, we used the cupcake recipe instead. After we combined our cake mix, eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and hot water, we stuck it in the oven for 350F for 18 minutes. What came out of the oven was a very chocolaty and moist cupcake that would surely please anyone looking to get their chocolate fix. The texture was really great, oddly enough, but the cool thing about these cupcakes is that they’re made from a bunch of really cool flours– quinoa, brown rice, sorghum, and potato starch–that are a lot more beneficial than the standard flour found in other baking mixes. After we tried the first two mixes out, we headed for their Organic All Purpose Baking Mix, and followed their directions for making a gluten-free banana bread. After mixing and baking our bread, we were pleasantly surprised with the flavor and texture of this gluten-free bread. The flavor of this bread was nothing but pure banana, while the texture was soft and chewy like the banana bread we used to eat growing up. Lastly, we tried out the Organic Old Fashioned Pancake & Baking Mix, and this mix differed just a bit from the buckwheat and flax mix that we talked about first. This mix gave us a much more traditional pancake that a lot of people are more accustomed to, simply because it looked and tasted like a regular pancake that’s packed with gluten. For anyone searching to lower the amount of gluten in their diet, or anyone looking for a healthier pancake mix that will save them time in the morning, we highly recommend you give The Pure Pantry a try. Overall (4 out of 5).   Read More …

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Cookbook Reviews | “Gluten Free Living” Magazine Reviews “Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen”

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Cookbook Review from “Gluten Free Living” Magazine

Family Friendly Products
and Recipes

Whether you are looking for a gluten-free mix or gluten-free recipes, Elizabeth Kaplan can oblige.  Kaplan is the founder of The Pure Pantry, a line of gluten-free baking mixes, as well as a recently published cookbook author with her book, Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen.

Kaplan’s inspiration comes from her own kitchen.  She has celiac disease and all three of her children are gluten-free.  In addition to gluten, various members of her family have allergies or intolerances to dairy, peanuts, soy, eggs, and some beans.  Wanting to provide them with options, Kaplan got to work and created The Pure Pantry.  Her line of mixes includes four organic mixes: Old Fashioned Pancake & Baking Mix, Buckwheat Flax Pancake & Baking Mix, Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, and Organic Sugar Cookie Mix.  She also offers two wholegrain mixes:  Oatmeal Cookie Mix and Dark Chocolate Cake Mix.

Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen continues Kaplan’s mission to create family friendly recipes and dishes that everyone can enjoy. The book, published in January 2011, includes recipes such as Peach Cobbler Muffins, Mojito Chicken with Cilantro Rice, and Blueberry Cheesecake with a Gluten-
Free Graham Cracker Crust. In addition to the recipes, there is a chapter titled “Stocking Your Gluten-Free Pantry,” which includes Kaplan’s recommendations for gluten-free grains and dairy-free ingredients.
thepurepantry.com
From glutenfreeliving.com

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Berry Tartlets

Friday, August 19th, 2011


These Berry Tarlets are made with a sugar cookie crust and creamy filling, topped with our favorite berries.  A delicious summer dessert that everyone will enjoy.

Sugar Cookie Crust:
1 package Organic Sugar Cookie Mix from The Pure Pantry
1/2 cup butter or butter alternative, such as Earth Balance, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup organic, non-hydrogenated shortening, such as Spectrum
1 egg
1 teaspoon cold water (or more if needed)

Filling:
1 8 ounce package cream cheese or substitute such as Tofutti Cream Cheese
1/2 cup raw agave nectar, preferably Nature’s Agave Raw variety
1 egg or egg substitute, such as 1 teaspoon Ener-G foods Egg Replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pints fresh raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Prepare pastry crust by placing sugar cookie mix, butter and shortening in large mixing bowl.  Blend with pastry blender or fork until mixture is in pea sized bits.  Add egg and water and blend with pastry blender until dough comes together.   Using your hands,  pat dough into a flat disk.  Cover with waxed paper and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer until soft.  Add agave nectar, egg (or egg substitute) and vanilla and beat on low until combined.

Remove pastry dough from refrigerator.  Prepare a work surface by placing a large sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper down and lightly dust it with rice flour or corn starch.  Dust rolling pin with rice flour or cornstarch as well.  Roll out dough  to 1/4 inch thickness.

Place individual tartlet pans upside down on top of dough and push down.  Create 12 tartlets cuts outs.  If you have just a few little tartlet pans, you can prepare a few at a time.   With a metal spatula, lift cut out dough up and place in tartlet pan.  Press dough down firmly and evenly throughout pan with your fingers.

Poke holes in each pastry with a fork so surface has tiny holes throughout.

Place pans on cookie sheet.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool 5-7 minutes.  Meanwhile wash berries and drain in colander.

Fill tarlets with 1/4 cup cream cheese filling.  Return to oven on middle rack and back for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely.   Place berries on top of tartlet and dust with powdered sugar.

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The Thyroid – Diet Connection

Friday, June 24th, 2011

So many of us with celiac disease also have thyroid issues. I share this article by Valerie Breslow with you as it provides helpful guidelines for food choices – and most importantly, gluten-free foods are part of the equation for supporting your thyroid.

The Thyroid – Diet Connection
Given the fact that we live in a toxic world full of chemicals combined with our stress-ridden culture, it’s no wonder our thyroids are challenged to function normally. And it’s not uncommon as we age to become more susceptible to a low-functioning thyroid gland. Why does this matter? Because your thyroid is the master gland of your metabolism and it relies on the dietary intake of certain minerals to produce key thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland is actually a butterfly-shaped endocrine organ and is tucked in your neck just in front of the larynx. Since it’s so close to the surface of your body, and not usually covered by clothing, the thyroid gland is highly sensitive to environmental changes, oxygen levels in the air, and exposure to toxic chemicals. It is also dependent on elements in the foods you eat and controls all the key functions in your body, including your ability to gain or lose weight! Now that I have your attention…here are some key facts:
Because it’s difficult to avoid toxic chemical exposure in our world today, one of the best things you can do is (more…)

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