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Pickling with Lemon Juice

pickles on a plate

I was gifted a home canning starter kit by Bernardin. I have never pickled before, so I was excited. There was only one problem that is we cannot have vinegar as both my children get a reaction whenever they consume it. So I decided to substitute lemon juice for vinegar, so this is how I ended up pickling with lemon juice. I used Sweet Sliced Dills recipe as the base and then made necessary adjustments. If you have no problem consuming vinegar, I would recommend using the recipe as is on Bernardin website.

There were some mistakes along the way which I have adjusted in the recipe below. For example, my husband said it was way too salty. My daughter said it is not crunchy, otherwise they were very similar to store bought pickles. This maybe because following the recipe I cooked the onions and cucumbers in the pickling liquid, which of course softened the cucumbers. Also the liquid turned cloudy, I don't know whether it was because of the lemon juice or because of cooking the onions/cucumbers in the liquid. So instead of cooking the cucumbers, next time I will put the cucumbers directly in the jar. I would love to hear what mishaps you had when you made pickles for the first time.

This recipe has two major steps. The first one is to brine the cucumbers in pickling salt for 12 hours or overnight. Then the actual pickling takes place the following day. This recipe roughly makes 6 jars of pickles.

  • 00:15 hrs.
  • Makes: 6 jars
  • Medium

Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
4 lb pickling cucumbers
ice
4 cups salt water - 1/2 cup pickling salt dissolved in 4 cups water
4 medium onions, sliced
4 cups lemon juice (from bottle)
1 cup water
4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup pickling salt
6 cloves garlic
6 heads fresh dill, or 10 tsp mixed pickle spice

Day Before

1
Done
1 min
washing the pickling cucumbers
Wash the cucumbers.
2
Done
5 min
spreading ice in a potspreading the cucumbers on top of ice
Layer ice in a glass or stainless steel container and then add cucumbers.
3
Done
5 min
  • making the brine solution with Bernardin pickling salt and water
  • pouring the solution onto the cucumbers
  • covering cucumbers with extra water
Mix 1/2 cup pickling salt with 4 cups water and pour over the cucumbers. Add additional water to cover the cucumbers if needed.
4
Done
12 hrs
fill freezer bag with water and place on top to immerse the cucumbers in the brine solution
Add water to a freezer bag and place on top of the cucumbers to keep them submerged. Leave in a cool dry place or in the fridge for at least 12 hours or overnight.

Preserving Day

5
Done
10 mins
boiling water in hot water canner pot
Fill canner pot with water and bring to boil.
6
Done
5 mins
jar lids in hot water
In a seperate bowl add hot water. Take off the lids of 6 jars and add to the water.
7
Done
10 mins
  • placing empty jars in canner to sterilize
  • immerse jars in boiling water
  • keeping the jars hot until ready to use
Once the water in the canner starts boiling, place the jars in the canner. Cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Keep them hot until you use them.
8
Done
10 mins
  • cutting cucumbers into spears
  • slicing onions
  • sliced vegetables
Drain and cut the cucumbers into spears or slices. Peel and slice the onions. Peel the garlic.
9
Done
10 mins
Combine lemon juice, water, sugar and pickling salt in a pot and bring it to a boil.
10
Done
10 mins
  • placing jars on counter top to fill
  • adding spice mix and garlic to each jar
Take the jars out of the canner. Add cucumbers, onions, a garlic pod and either a head of fresh dill or 2 teaspoon of pickling mix in each jar.
11
Done
10 mins
  • Filling jars with pickling liquid
  • measuring if the jar is filled correctly
  • taking out a lid
  • placing the lids on a jar
Now add the pickling liquid to the jars, upto 1 cm of the rim. Now screw the lids.
12
Done
10 mins
  • put the jars back into the  canner
  • making sure enough water to cover jars
Place the jars back in the canner and make sure at least an inch of water is covering the jars. Cover with lid. Bring to boil and continue to boil for 10 minutes.
13
Done
24 hrs
After the processing time remove the lid and let it stand for 5 mins. Then take the jars out and rest them on a protected worksurface and leave them undisturbed for 24 hours.

Cook Notes

  • Leave the onions out, if you dont like them.
  • You can use both the dill heads and pickling spice mix.
  • Cut cucumbers into slices or spears.





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Dairy Free Watermelon Milkshake

glass with dairy free watermelon shake in it

It's summer and we are during a heatwave at that. What I have been craving is a cool icy drink. I wanted something homemade, so I kept thinking what to make. Then I had an idea, nothing says summer more than a juicy watermelon. So, I used watermelon and cantaloupe in this Dairy Free Watermelon Milkshake. Of course, keeping allergies in mind I added coconut milk, however any dairy free milk can be used, along with your favorite dairy free ice cream. Ice cream is optional so can be left out.

Fun Facts

  • Did you know that watermelons are considered both a fruit and vegetables. I hear you asking why? Well, here is the reason. It is a fruit because it has seeds and grows like a fruit. But it is a vegetable because it belongs to the botanical family of gourds which include cucumber, pumpkin etc.
  • They are available in 1200 varieties and come in different colors.
  • Name "cantaloupe" originates from the Italian town Cantalupo.

  • 00:10 min.
  • Serves: 2
  • Easy

Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
1 cup watermelon
1 cup cantaloupe
1/2 cup dairy free milk
1-1/2 cup dairy free ice cream (optional)
dairy free whipped cream, as required (optional)

Steps

1
Done
10 min
Combine all the ingredients, except the whipped cream. Blend and pour in a glass, top with whipped cream if using, enjoy!




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Allergy Friendly Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Allergy Friendly Macaroni and Cheese

This is a simple classic. My version of allergy friendly macaroni and cheese. I used my white sauce recipe that I have shared on the blog before. The only change that I made to it was I added mixed herbs, garlic and onion powder. For cheese, I used the Daiya dairy free chedder style shreds.

  • 01:00 hr.
  • Serves: 5
  • Easy

Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
2 cups gluten free elbow pasta
salt, as required
dairy free white sauce
1/2 cup daiya cheddar style shreds

Steps

1
Done
1 min
Pre heat oven at 350 o F.
2
Done
20 min
Boil pasta as per package instructions.
3
Done
10 min
Make the white sauce.
4
Done
5 mins.
boiled gluten free pasta spread on a baking dishmix the gluten free pasta with dairy free sauce
Spread the pasta in a casserole dish. Add the sauce and mix.
5
Done
30 mins.
spreading daiya dairy free cheese shreds on top
Spread the cheese on top. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.







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Allergy Friendly Chicken Waldorf Sandwich

Allergy Friendly Chicken Waldorf Sandwich

Waldorf is a type of salad typically made with meat, fruits (such as apple, grapes) and walnuts. Here I have omitted the nuts and used an allergen free mayo to make the Allergy Friendly Chicken Waldorf Sandwich. I use it as a filling between slices gluten free bread to make a sandwich. I use the Red Delicious Apple with the peel and both red and green grapes, to give it a sweet and crispy texture and color. It is ideal for school lunch or an after school snack.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, I will earn commission, if you click through and make a purchase.

For a long time I have been searching for a mayonnaise that is free of allergens that my kids cant eat. Usually the mayo available on the market will contain either one - eggs or vinegar or both. I have to usually make it at home or give it up altogether as its usually a disaster when made at home :). So how did I end up making these sandwiches which are allergy friendly? Thanks to my cousins, they found this brand for me, when they made some food for us. This brand is both egg and vinegar free. The brand is Chippa May-O.

  • 00:30 m.
  • Serves: 4
  • Easy

Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
1 cup cooked shredded chicken
1/2 cup green & red grapes (each), chopped
allergy friendly mayonnaise, as required
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
1 red apple, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
1 green onion, sliced thinly
gluten free bread, as required

Steps

1
Done
20 min
Boil the chicken with salt and pepper. Let it cool then shred.
2
Done
5 min
Cut up all the vegetables and fruits.
3
Done
5 min
putting all ingredients in the bowl
Mix all the ingredients together, except the bread. Adjust the seasoning.
4
Done
5 mins.
making the sandwich
Spread on a piece of gluten free bread, make a sandwich and enjoy.

Cook Notes

  • Adjust quantities according to your needs.
  • Leave out celery if you do not like.
  • Add 1/2 cup walnuts if you are not allergic to them.






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Gluten Free, Dairy Free & Egg Free Baked Churro Balls

Gluten Free, Dairy Free & Egg Free Baked Churro Balls with Soulbee Honey

I always prefer using honey over sugar whenever a recipe calls for a sweetner. So when I saw SoulBee Honey product range, I was super excited. The honey powders come in different flavors. Their honey products are also available in flake form too. They were kind enough to send me a free sample of their honey powder.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, I will earn commission, if you click through and make a purchase.

SoulBee Honey Powder has many benefits:


  • Can be used as a sugar substitute, as a natural and healthier alternative.
  • Substitution can be done without worrying about measurements as it is dry and can be used on 1:1 ratio.
  • Can be turned into liquid honey, if desired.
  • Since it's honey, there are numerous health benefits too
  • Available in US and more recently in Canada(through Amazon).

When I first tasted the powder, there was only a subtle difference in taste than the sugar. The kids did not notice any difference at all. Thinking how to use this powder in my cooking, since it's a honey powder, its naturally going to be sweet, so I decided to make a dessert.

I have not made Churros in a while and they seemed a good recipe to use the honey powder in. These gluten free, dairy free and egg free baked Churro balls are coated with a mixture of honey powder from SoulBee Honey, brown sugar and cinnamon. However, I gave a different shape to the Churros than their usual cylindrical style and baked them to make them more healthier.

  • 01:00 hr.
  • 20 churro balls
  • Easy

Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
1 cup coconut or any other dairy free milk
1 1/3 cup gluten free flour
4 tablespoons dairy free butter/coconut oil
4 tablespoons any egg substitute
Topping
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 cup SoulBee Honey Powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar

showing Baked Churro Balls with Soulbee Honey powder

Steps

1
Done
1 min
Preheat the oven to 350o F.
2
Done
5 min
In a medium saucepan combine the dairy free milk and butter. Bring the mixture to boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
3
Done
5 min
dairy free milk and gluten free flour simmering in a saucepan
Add the flour to the saucepan and a pinch of salt, stir. Keep stirring until the mixture pulls away from the side of saucepan. Take it off the burner and let it cool slightly.
4
Done
5 mins.
adding egg alternative to the gluten free dough
Add a tablespoon of egg replacer at a time and stir to mix after each one.
5
Done
5 mins.
Scoop a teaspoon of dough, shape it into a ball roughly. Place it onto a baking tray, repeat until all the dough is used up.
6
Done
45 mins.
Bake for 45 minutes.
7
Done
1 mins.
mixing together soulbee honey powder, cinnamon and brown sugar for dredging
While the churros are cooking, add the SoulBee honey powder, brown sugar and cinnamon to a shallow dish, for dredging the churros.
8
Done
15 mins.
add the baked churro balls to the cinnamon mixturecoating the churros with cinnamon mixture
Cool the churros for a minute. Then roll the churros in the cinnamon mixture. Repeat until all done.

Cook Notes

  • Use 4 tablespoon of water if you have no egg replacer.
  • Fry churros instead of baking.






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Baked Chicken Kebab Skewers

serving Baked Chicken Kebab Skewers

These allergy friendly baked chicken kebab skewers are also called Espetada Chicken. Estepada is a Portuguese term for food that is cooked on a skewer. It can be meat, fish or even chicken. Espetada Chicken is also a famous Nando's recipe, where the chicken is skewered along with vegetables. Here I have recreated this recipe, of course with little tweaks to make it according to our diet requirements.

Marinate the meat with all the ingredients then thread on to a skewer and grill or bake as you wish. I did not have capsicum so I just used onions and tomatoes but feel free to use any veggies you like. These kebabs are usually served with rice but I like to switch things up, so I served with fries. Wedges can be a healthier option as the side too.

  • 1 hour 40 mins
  • Serves 5
  • Easy

Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
1 lb boneless chicken
2 capsicum (cubed)
2 tomatoes (cubed)
2 onions (cubed)
Marinade
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons peri peri sauce
1 tablespoon mustard powder
5 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons dairy free milk
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs

Steps

1
Done
1 hour
adding spices and sauces to chicken and veggiesmixing spices and sauces
Marinate the chicken and vegetables with all the given ingredients for 1 hour.
2
Done
1 min
Preheat the oven to 350o F.
3
Done
15 min
Thread the chicken on a wooden skewer, then a cube of each - onion, capsicum and tomatoes. Repeat till all the chicken and vegetables are threaded.
4
Done
5 min
Place on a baking tray. Brush the remaining marinade on to the skewers, if any leftover.
5
Done
35 min
Bake for 35 minutes or until the chicken is done. Serve with Fries or your choice of side.

Variations

  • Use different colored capsicums to make the skewers colorful.
  • Grill instead of baking to get a smoky flavor.






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Easy Cream Puffs

Easy Allergy Friendly Cream Puffs

These allergy friendly, gluten free and dairy free cream puffs are amazingly easy to make. Usually when I make these kind of baking goods they are a complete disaster, however, this one was very easy to make and turned out quite good for an allergy friendly version, if I say so myself. My kids helped me make these. They poured in the ingredients as I stirred and then made balls. Once the puffs cooled, they filled it with the icing too. I used Cake Mate Cupcake Icing, that comes in a spray can ready to be used, along with icing tips. This icing does not have any of the ingredients that my kids are allergic to. If you find that you can not use it, you can use whipped cream or icing of your own choice or use the puffs in a savory recipe.

  • 55 mins
  • 10 cream puffs
  • Easy

Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dairy free butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup gluten free flour
4 tablespoons water or dairy free milk
Topping
1 tablespoon sugar
Filling
1 can spray Cake Mate Cupcake Icing
Cream Puffs on a baking tray

Steps

1
Done
1 min
Preheat the oven to 450o F.
2
Done
5 min
In a medium saucepan combine the 1 cup water, butter, sugar and salt. Bring the mixture to boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
3
Done
5 min
cooked gluten free dough in a pan
Add the flour to the saucepan, stir. Keep stirring until the mixture pulls away from the side of saucepan. A ball should form around the spoon. Take it off the burner and let it cool slightly.
4
Done
5 mins.
Add a tablespoon of water at a time and stir to mix after each one.
5
Done
5 mins.
Cream Puff balls ready to be baked on a baking tray
Scoop a tablespoon of dough, shape it into a ball roughly (be careful the dough will be hot). Place it onto a baking tray, repeat until all the dough is used up. Sprinkle sugar on top.
6
Done
45 mins.
freshly baked Cream Puffs
Bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350o F. Bake further for 25 more minutes. Be careful not to overbake.
7
Done
15 mins.
Cream Puffs with icing as filling
Cool the puffs for 15 minutes. Then use a knife to cut the top off of each puff. Fill each puff with a squirt of the icing. Place the top back. Serve and enjoy.

Variations

  • Add a teaspoon of jam before the icing in each puff.
  • Use lemon curd or chocolate pudding as a filling.



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