Join me as I discover and re-create recipes to fit my family's many food allergies.
I will be focusing on foods that do not include the nightshade family, gluten, soy, natural flavors, peanuts, MSG, nutmeg, cumin, raspberries, cherries, oats, pork, pumpkin, chamomile, pistachios, corn (unless it is organic), preservatives, food colors, natural and artificial flavors, cottonseed oil, spinach, aged & colored cheeses (cream cheese & mozzarella are OK, Monterey Jack is OK in moderation), yeast (unless in safe bread), anything cured, aged, fermented or malted. We also only use milk in moderation. The nightshade family is a particularly long list and includes spices, potatoes (sweet are fine), tomatoes, peppers & more.
Whew, yes, this is all a long list. What an adventure it is to cook this way.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Nightshade-free Taco or Burrito Meat with optional Black Beans

My husband spent a lot of his childhood in Mexico, so Mexican food has always been a favorite in our household. With the allergies it has been hard to figure out alternatives that work for us and still give us the flavor we love. I have finally come up with a recipe for seasoned hamburger that works for tacos and burritos. It would also be a great add-on for a rice and vegetables mixture. I have been adding safe canned black beans to part of the batch. I just take out some for the person who can't have beans and then add the beans & liquid to the pan. This helps when freezing the leftovers for them to stay moist.
In the picture below I have served the taco meat with beans in a tortilla with cheese and lettuce added. I served salad, blue corn chips and a slice of lime, all on the side. Using gluten-free tortillas and tortilla chips will make this a gluten-free meal. We really enjoy having this stocked ahead in the freezer.

Nightshade-free Taco or Burrito Meat w/ Optional Black Beans


2 lbs ground beef (I like ground round)
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground coriander
4 tsp. oregano leaves (regular or mexican, mexican really gives it a more authentic taste, but both are good)
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. thyme leaves
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1 - 15 oz. can of black beans (optional)


In a large skillet over medium heat brown hamburger, onions and garlic until hamburger is browned, but not overcooked.
Drain hamburger. (see tip below)
Add the rest of the spices and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to blend flavors. At this point I take out a portion of the meat mixture for the person who doesn't want beans in it.
Add 1 can of black beans, including the liquid from the can, if you desire and heat until hot. (We use a slotted spoon & regular spoon to dish out so that each person can have liquid or not.) The liquid really helps keep it moist if you are freezing leftovers. 


One easy way to drain the hamburger is to drain it with a colander. I put a square of aluminum foil, which I have made square corners on to catch the grease. Makes for easy clean-up and easy draining.

Fun Foodie Penpals Participation

I'm off topic this month and focusing on my participation in the fun Foodie Penpals program. I have done this a couple of times and really enjoyed getting food from another part of the country and sending some of my favorite local items to someone else. You can choose any type of food products to send, but you have a $15 limit. You can also specify if you have dislikes or food allergies, etc. This month I chose to stick with just my own food preferences, instead of including the whole families long list of allergies. I have included them before though and still gotten a fun box.

This is what I received this month from Sarah. :-) Doesn't it look like fun?
My favorites were the Chocolate Peanut Butter Kettlecorn and the Orange Peel in Dark Chocolate candy bar. So yummy! The Larabar was good and I think it would be excellent to take on a hike. My daughter who can not have peanuts loved the Cocoa Hazelnut Butter. There was also some tasty seasoned sugar that was great on fruit. I tried one of the dips on a baked potato, like it said you could, but found that was a bit too strong, so will be trying it as a dip. There was also a seasoning mix for BBQ chicken and spinach dip that I have not tried yet. I also put the morning rounds in the freezer to try after I finished my dietbet. The only thing I was not too keen about was the soy bean snack, but I did get to try it and now know whether I like it or not without buying it myself. One also receives something handwritten and I received a nice note telling me about the items she had chosen for me. This is such a fun program that I just had to pass on the info to you all. Come and join in the fun! See info below. Have a fantastic day, everyone.

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 
If you’re from the US or Canada and are in participating for June, please CLICK HERE (www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/) to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 

You must submit your information by June 4th as pairings will be emailed on June 5th!

*If you're from Europe, please CLICK HERE (www.thisisrocksalt.com/foodie-penpals/) to signup.