Saturday, April 27, 2013

Mini Italian-style Meatballs

Our new bentos have been working out great so far, and I've been doing more with small foods in order to add a little something fun to the bento. Originally, I wanted to try to make a sort of mini-meatloaf but ended up with mini-meatballs instead. I like them a bit sweet and spicy, and these did the trick. I'd add crushed chiles to really give them a kick next time, but with one child who isn't so fond of the spicy, that'll have to wait a few years.

Mini-meatballs in their mini-muffin tins

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Carb Ideas for gluten or grain free diets

I always hope to find a grain we can use for our meals, especially now that we're trying to make bento lunches, but since we can't do that yet, we're going to be working on some substitutions for our carbohydrate needs. For a 600 mL bento, according to, there's usually around 1 cup of rice, which has 43 grams of carbs and is around 200 calories.

If we use potatoes, like we did in this bento:

our bento with potatoes rather than rice

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Taco Seasoning Mixture

There was a soup that I used to make years ago called Taco Soup. I loved this stuff, but a major component of the mixture was the cheap and easy taco spice mix packet that you would add.

This one, actually

Yesterday, I figured that I'd try to recreate this spice mixture, and I think I came pretty close! Don't know why I never did it before.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sources of Grain Free Carbs

If you are grain free and struggling to get enough carbs, I hope this might be of use. I've collected information from around the web on the carbohydrate levels of various foods and used that for some calculations that might make it easier to decide what to eat to get enough carbs.

Super tasty potato carbs!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Vegetarian Bento ideas

My hubby is a vegetarian, so when the kids stay with him, it's nice to find some vegetarian options they can enjoy. I've made this list from what we've come up with, but I'm hoping to add to it with ideas from the web, later on.

Falafel!  I love these things way too much!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nutrition on a restricted diet

Getting my daughter to eat enough food to get the calories and nutrients she needs is actually pretty tough right now. She suffers from pain every time she eats anything, and the more she eats, the worse the pain, which she naturally tries to avoid. Every vitamin and supplement we've tried caused even more pain or gave her a reaction so we don't have reliable vitamins she can have, either.

The doctors still don't know what is causing this, so it continues. At this point, she eats in small amounts a lot of the time, she has almost no sensation of hunger unless she's hardly eaten during the day, and she has zero motivation to eat - as far as she's concerned - unless she gets something tangible out of it, like good taste.

Unfortunately, she doesn't think this type of food tastes good.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bentos: trying something new...again

I recently found that that in Japan, there is a traditional ratio for what types of food to put into a bento: 4:2:1, or 4 parts rice, 2 parts protein, 1 part fruits, veggies or other ingredients. The neat thing about this is that if you use this ratio, the size of the bento box - in mL - is actually about how many calories you'll be filling the box with. Since we can't use grains, typically, our bentos have always been harder to fill with calories.

Which is why we're so happy to find some larger sized bentos: 1200mL! I wish they were not made of a plastic, but the wood or bamboo ones are 1) smaller and/or 2) a heck of a lot more expensive. We'll have to work our way up to those.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pasta Substitutions

Pasta is such an easy dish to make that it's always been kind of a bummer that myself and my daughter can no longer have it. For anyone else in the same boat, here's some ideas to substitute for your pasta dishes, posted from my 'dead' buffalo blog.

Friday, April 5, 2013

No-Sugar-Added Watermelon Candy

This is the easiest recipe in the whole world

One Ingredient Watermelon Candy (and yeah, the one ingredient is watermelon):

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Roasted melon seeds

Winter squash are not the only gourds that have edible seeds. Many melons have them, too. You roast or pan fry these seeds and crack them open like sunflower seeds. In Egypt, watermelon seeds are a traditional snack food, actually!

So if you wish to try this snack out for yourself, here's how you do it.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Homemade, grain-free starches and flours

In the last few years, I've reacted to all processed starch that I've purchased. I know of other sulfite-sensitive folks who have said the same, as well as some super-sensitive celiacs, and some folks who have to be corn or grain free.

If you need a starch, however, and you can have either sweet potato or potato, there's a really easy way to make your own sweet potato or potato starch. This method leaves you with remainders from the process that you can turn into sweet potato flour or potato flour, too!