Since quitting my job and becoming a stay-at-home-dad (SAHD) last June, I’ve been cooking dinners for the family five days out of the week. I had to learn to cook – and do to it without dairy, eggs, and Charlie’s other allergy triggers. Over time, I became a decent enough cook: my meals got us through the week, and they were safe for Charlie and healthy for all of us. The meals were bland, though (tonight: baked chicken with seasoning – tomorrow, broiled chicken without seasoning!) we all looked forward to Mary Kate creating tasty dishes for us on the weekend. But thanks to a cookbook designed for food-allergy families, I’m rocking dinner every night.
I’m not kidding about rocking dinner. Max has told me “This is the best dinner ever, dad!” three times. Charlie routinely asks for seconds. After all the stress and frustration I’ve experienced in the kitchen for nearly a year, I’m winning. The reason: The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy, Fast Family Meals.
So what makes this cookbook amazing? The recipes taste great. Really, really great. Every time I try a new recipe, it’s a hit. I’ve even talked Max – who is generally skeptical of new recipes (and just about everything else) – into tasting new dishes by saying “Remember how good dinner was last night? Now try this.”
I’ve tried a lot (tons) of recipes that are allergy-friendly, but taste bud-hostile, or just bland. The recipes in FAM, as we’ve started calling it, are healthy and they use ingredients that are easy to come by. And, they’re so, so easy. Thank you, Kelly Rudnicki!
One of my favorite recipes is the Weeknight Double Roast Chicken, which provides a great dinner and enough leftovers to make a few more dinners. That chicken becomes an ingredient in the Chicken Salad recipe, for example, which goes in a pita for a great lunch. The Pasta & Turkey Meatball recipe
showed me how to make a pasta sauce that is so healthy and good – it has the kids eating zucchini.
Anyway, for families like mine, The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy, Fast Family Meals is a huge deal. I’m diligent about planning the menu each week (I have to be – I can’t run out for fast food or take the family out to a restaurant if I don’t have a dinner ready one night), but it’s always been a chore. Mostly, it revolved around finding meals that we hadn’t eaten recently. Now, I look forward to picking out the week’s dishes.
And it sent me to the local Barnes & Noble in search of more allergy-friendly cookbooks. I found Cybele Pascal’s Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking, which is also great. We had some amazing “Out-N-In” Burgers tonight because of it. I’ll talk more about that book in another post, once I’ve tried more recipes from it.