Levi Loves Pad Thai

Gotta give big props to Thai Cafe in Broadripple! I had a major hankering for some of their soup last week, and so we got take out. I was curious about what we could get for Levi, and am always nervous about having to explain the whole GFCF thing to someone, ESPECIALLY over the phone. So stressful, and I am always scared that they'll not get it, or won't omit everything. To my relief, the owner didn't even flinch when I told her that I needed a Chicken Pad Thai, spice level 0, gluten and casein free. She even thought to let me know that he shouldn't have any of the spring rolls (which I knew, but was thrilled the did too). Thank you, Thai Cafe! I'm going to tell all of the GFCF families I know! (Picture does this meal NO JUSTICE!!!) Oh, and yes, that's mustard next to the chicken. He likes to dip everything in something these days! Stay tuned for the recipe on that chicken tender. My mom made them for Levi and they're out of this world!



Keep it simple, stupid! Sometimes I need to follow my own advice. Meals are not always (or even often) going to be some grand attempt at a new recipe or new tricks to keep Levi engaged in his food. Todays lunch is a good example. Gluten free pretzles, some lean ham, grapes and a hardboiled egg were the perfect simple meal today for me to put together quickly before Levi got home from school. I finished peeling the egg just as the bus pulled up. To drink, some delicious OJ in a glass that was a wedding gift from Jim & Jess. We're working on him not spilling. Keep your fingers crossed!


Levi Loves Pizza!

This kid LOVES himself a nice slice of pizza. It was one of the things I dreaded having to remove from his diet, which is why I was SO happy to find a GFCF pizza that he loves just as much (if not more) than a traditional pie. Amy's Rice Crust Spinach Pizza is a light tender rice crust topped with organic spinach and dairy-free, soy-based mozzarella and ricotta cheezes, and of course Amy's authentic Italian pizza sauce made with organic sun-ripened tomatoes and our special blend of herbs.

We just really wish they came in individual sizes because they're over $8 each. So we try to stretch at least two meals. What a great find!


Levi Loves Soup

How lucky are we to have a child with a relatively diverse palate. He never fails to surprise me with the new things he's willing to try (Pork Chili Verde) and the things he won't even touch (the awesome GFCF cookies his Aunt Katy baked him!), which is why I am trying more and more to make sure that the things we make for ourselves at home are also GFCF, in the hopes he'll want to try it! Today I heated up a bowl of Green Chili with roasted pork that I made for the Fox 59 segment yesterday. Low and behold, he came over and, just like the little bird he is, opened his mouth for a taste. I hate having to tell him "no" when it comes to food, so I was thrilled that I had left the goat cheese out of the batch I left at home and he could have all he wanted. Well, as you can see, he loved it, and actually took, and finished my bowl! It's been almost 2 months since we started this GFCF journey, and we're seeing great results! He's blossoming in so many ways!


When all else fails....FRUIT!

That has been our mantra for the last 3 weeks. When Levi spent 3 days with his Granny and Poppa in Owensboro, we told them the very same thing. "When all else fails...... FRUIT!"

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Pasta has always been one of Levi's favorites. It kind of threw me for a loop when we decided on the GFCF diet for him because I hadn't really checked out the availability of GF items since my grandmother was diagnosed with celiac five years ago. At that time, GF food was very hard to come by, and more times than not, pretty terrible. So I was so thrilled when I discovered not only rice pasta, but corn pasta as well. Whole foods carries a nice variety of gluten free pasta, and Levi really doesn't seem to notice a difference. He really likes the angel hair, but also loves the penne.
We have made an effort to fix the same meal for all of us, trying to minimize the difference in ingredients. The only time we really do fix two different dinners is when the ingredients in Levi's GFCF meal are a lot more expensive than the non-GFCF alternative. So I made 2 pastas, and used 2 different sauces, but I was only going to mess with one version of meatballs. Levi & his Dad have always loved my meatball recipe and I was kind of at a loss on how to modify my recipe to make it GFCF (no parmesean, no bread crumbs). No biggie. I just left the cheese out and substituted the bread crumbs for crushed up Puffin's rice cereal. Not only did it still make a great meatball, but the subtle sweetness really complimented the organic marinara we used. Levi loved it, it was pretty inexpensive, and no more difficult to make than the alternative. Success!


$100 Trip to Whole Foods

This is what a $100 trip to Whole Foods looks like when your toddler is on a strict gluten and casein free diet. We are trying like heck to keep his meals as similar as possible to what he was eating 3 weeks ago. This week we are planning on making him spaghetti & meatballs, pizza with Bob's Red Mill gluten free pizza crust mix, quesadillas with corn tortillas & roasted red pepper hummus, hamburgers (on tapioca bread) & french fries, and lots of other yummy treats. I'm even thinking about trying to tackle a GFCF strawberry shortcake for dessert one night. I'm going to chronicle all of this on this, our new blog. I will test recipes and try some improvisational techniques to turn all of his favorite meals GFCF.  Some will be awesome, some will be total flops. I'll rate it all based on ease of preparation, availability of ingredients, and of course, Levi's reaction to the final results! Thank you for checking our our blog. Please feel free to forward this along to anyone you know who keeps their family GFCF!
-Levi's Momma