Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Tomato Free Lasagna ... A Spin on Dad's Favorite

So I have gotten a lot of questions about this one and I haven't even posted about it yet.  Its fun what a little teaser on Facebook can do. 

I don't have a bunch of time today so i'm just jumping right into it. 

Grain Free, Dairy Free, TOMATO FREE Lasagna

Why tomato free?  

DooDoo has been having reactions (bright red cheeks, red swollen bumps where the tomato touches his skin and irritability) the last few times we have given it to him.  So naturally we are holding off for a while on tomatoes.  But, hubby LOVES lasagna; could eat it every day kinda love for it so I've been on a mission to find a way to make this sans tomatoes so DooDoo can love it too!

As I got searching I found a few things: 

#1- you can buy Nomateo sauce here, Who knew? 
#2- You can make your own and there are a few different options to do so. 
Here is one from Gluten Free, Dairy Free NJ which looks good. 

This is the one I made tonight from Against All Grains.  

I love the site Against All Grains and knew it would taste good... It has to, there is BACON in it! 
This did take a little bit to make, but well worth the effort.  It made quite a bit so next time I make it I might double and freeze enough in portions for quick meals. 

Only changes/options I did were:
-Used bacon fat
-No salt since the bacon was salty
-used beef for the meat sauce

No-Mateo sauce

Beets, Carrots, Onion, ect cooking down
Sauce after the blender, added back to pot to simmer


What is a lasagna without cheese?? Again something we are not eating so we improvise.  I have used Daiya cheese and other 'dairy free' cheeses but wanted to try a nut cheese.  

I found this Cashew 'Cheese' while looking for a Grain Free/Dairy Free lasagna from Gluten Free Real Food and gave it a try.  It was really good in the lasagna and makes a whole lot! Here I pasted the recipe quick for you as its from a 9-Layer lasagna.  

Cashew Cream Layer (aka Ricotta Cheese Layer)
2 cups raw unsalted cashews – soak for approximately 6 hours or overnight
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
4 eggs
In a large bowl add cashews and cover with water. Soak for 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse. Add cashews, lemon juice, salt and water to blender. If you have a Vitamix this will go really quickly. If you don’t have one a blender works just fine. Blend until smooth. This takes several minutes. Be patient. It really does get as smooth as sour cream. Add the eggs and blend to combine. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble.

Assembling the Lasagna

I used the 9-Layer lasagna from Gluten Free Real Food as a guide and just layered as I went. 

Zucchini: sliced 3 on the mandolin or veggie slicer.  Tried to 'grill' on the oven under broil but they got really thin under the broiler.  I only did a few like that, and left the rest just raw. 
Eggplant: sliced about 1/4" thick and put under broiler with a little olive oil. 
Mushroom: cooked in a fry pan with olive oil until soft

Layer 1: 

Covered bottom of dish with raw sliced zucchini and the put some of the grilled ones on top just to use them. 

Layer 2: 
Covered with sauce.

No filter, the sauce is really that pink!

Layer 3:
Added spinach (few handfuls) and topped with grilled egg plant.
So many great colours.
 Layer 4: Mixed equal parts sauce and cheese to make a 'ricotta cheese' type layer
Cheese layer.  Wish I had added a second one.
Layer 5/6/7: Covered the 'cheese' layer with mushrooms.  Then topped with raw zucchini and then a final later of sauce.  
Spread out the sauce and ready for baking! 
Bake covered at 350 for about 1.5 hours or until it heated through.  Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes if you can.  This allows it to cool and stay together as one piece when you take it out to plate.
Right out of the oven.
 Check out all those layers!
DooDoo's chunk. 

I hate that this is blurry but notice the sauce on his forehead??  Yeah thats from him putting his head on his tray to eat with no hands.  Such a character!

Do I have anything on my face?

Hope you enjoy trying this one out too. If the beets scare you in the sauce try anyway, I'm not a fan of beets and I loved it!  Plus beets are FANTASTIC for you and especially good for little bodies according to our ND! 

Let me know what you think and please head over to the sites these are from and share your thoughts there too! 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!


A day full of love!  Valentine's Day is one of my favourite days of the year.  I know we really should show our loved ones how much we appreciate and love them EVERYDAY but I still love to make this day extra special.  It is true there is a little boy who stole my heart ... but before he came along and long after he has stolen another woman's heart there was a man who stole my heart ... and he calls me Wifey!

So todays post is all about my super quick LOVE themed breakfast I did for my boys!  After playing on Pinterest, I have found many neat Valentine's themed food ideas so I thought I'd put some together today for breakfast. 

Please excuse the photos, my phone is not taking great one's right now and my big camera was out of batteries.  

Heart shaped bacon on the grill!
 Heart shaped eggs
Hubby's heart shaped eggs, Udi's gluten-free toast and heart shaped bacon.
 DooDoo's 'heart shaped' egg yolk which well apart :( and a piece of heart shaped bacon.  
 DooDoo also had 1/3 of an avocado and some almond yogurt with probiotics and fish oil (Wow that sounds yummy...haha!)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Last Minute Chicken Dinner

Dinner a few nights ago was almost a disaster ... saved by the chicken!

I try to menu plan and only buy the things we need for that weeks meals.  I had apple butter pork chops with roasted carrots and zucchini on the menu for that night but when I went to get the pork ready and opened the pack I almost puked from the smell of the meat.  I had just purchased the pork the day before and the BB date was Feb. 17, but something must have had the wrong dates.

I had to find something else to make in less than an hour and all that was in the fridge was a whole chicken and ground chicken.  As my brother always says, "Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!" So by time default ground chicken was the winner ... but what to do with it?

Chicken pot pie ... no pastry ready
Chicken tacos ... DooDoo can't do peppers or tomato right now
Chicken Shepherds pie ... done! DooDoo can eat everything in it and should only take about 45mins.

Here's my version of a quick Dairy Free, Gluten Free Chicken Shepherds Pie

Potatoes in boiling water
Boil a pot of water and add chopped yellow potatoes.  The smaller you chop the potato the quicker they will cook in the boiling water.

While the potatoes are cooking brown the chicken, add 1/2 chopped onion and cook until brown.
Love the colours

Add frozen veggies, as many as you like.  I used a package of mixed peas, carrots, corn and green beans.

Add about 1 cup of gluten-free chicken or veggie stock and which ever spices you would like.  I used my new favourite Marjoram leaves.
Great on so many dishes!
I didn't have any gluten-free worcestershire sauce and I think thats what was missing but if you have some add it in here too.  

Mashed potato topping
Once the potatoes are done (done = when you can prick with a fork and the potato feels like butter) add  about 1/2 to 1 cup of chicken/veggie broth, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tsp garlic powder and mash.
Ready for the topping

In a casserole dish fill with the meat and veggies mixture.  Add the mashed potatoes and use a fork to whip up the potatoes.  

Ready for the oven
Brush some melted coconut oil or EVOO on top of potatoes and put in 400 degree pre heated oven for about 20 minutes.  After cooked, put under the broiler for a few minutes until the top is nice and crispy.
Crispy top and ready to eat!
Serve it up and enjoy!

DooDoo loved his.  I did chop up the chicken pieces and green beans a little smaller but he did good eating it with his hands.  Lots ended up in his hair but thats what bath time is for right?!?!

DooDoo's is ready to go
What spices and flavours do you love on your Shepherds Pie??

If you serve this one up for your little monkeys let me know how it goes!  I love photos of kiddo's covered in dinner!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Grain Free Tacos for Dinner

A while back in my search for great menus and recipes I found an amazing site, Once A Month Mom.  This site has so many recipes and menu ideas I would spend all of DooDoo's nap time saving and pinning these amazing recipes.  Now OAMM has a Paleo menu, which means the recipes are grain free and most are dairy free too ... exactly what I'm looking for!

Once A Month Mom

As I have mentioned before, my hubby is not really a fan of my grain free 'creations' (we will call them) but I thought this one looked really good and gave it a shot.  

Click here for the Once a Month Mom Paleo Mini Tacos

My Changes: 

I didn't alter this one too much.  I left out the salt and used coconut oil instead of the Ghee as I'm new to this and didn't have any.  What is Ghee: basically its butter which has had the milk solids and water removed which is very common in Indian cooking.  

***One other change if you're going to try this:  Add an egg to the almond/ghee mix to help keep the 'shell' together***

 I Prepped meat, shells and peppers.

Then filled the muffin cups with the almond/coconut oil mixture.  The cups I used were BIG but I liked that I could add more 'filling' into each.

 Be sure to make press the 'shell' into the sides and that it forms against the muffin tin.

After baking, let them cool for a bit then remove.

I got really excited about these and forgot to grab a photo of what they looked like on the plate.  Sorry!

We ate them with avocado (of course) and fresh salsa. 

How did they turn out?

Well they tasted AMAZING ... however, I didn't know about adding the egg to the almond/coconut oil shell at that time and so my hubby affectionately referred to them as 'Taco Sand'.  I really wish I had a photo of the 'Sand' haha :)

DooDoo loved them, he did a pretty good job eating them with his hands, I love watching him shovel food into his mouth ... and I think Scout likes when he misses his mouth!! 

Please give these a try and let me know how they turned out for you.  

Thanks to Tricia at Once A Month Mom for these amazing recipes.  You keep them coming and I'll keep trying them!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


Breakfast and lunch have been the hardest to come up with ideas for DooDo's.  To be honest Lunch is the hardest for me for myself too.  I just hate making that meal in the middle of the day, but if I don't eat something good for lunch I'm STARVING for dinner and typically end up eating junk in between.  

Today breakfast was a bit of a mix, hardboiled egg yolk, yogurt, avocado! 

How to do it:

Egg Yolk: 

I hardboiled an egg for about 9mins once it started to boil.  (I have this neat little egg timer that tells me when my egg is done and when DooDoo's is done.  I ran the egg under COLD water to cool it down quickly and then removed the shell and egg white.

Why only the white: Egg whites are high in the allergenic list and so I have not introduced them as a whole yet.  DooDoo does get them in baked things I make so I believe I could try them now but I'm comfortable waiting the year for this one.
What is so great about the yolk: according to WebMD and MANY other sites, egg yolk is a great first food.  It contains the VITAL Iron all babies need in a natural form they can absorb.  Breastfeed babies and formula fed babies all need Iron starting around 4-6months of age as their Iron stores are being depleted.  Also the yolk contains high levels of DHA which assists in the ever important brain health and function.  A study found that infants (both BF/formula) given egg yolk showed higher levels of iron stores than those not eating egg yolk.  And don't worry about the cholesterol, (eggs contain about 200mg of cholesterol and 6mg of fat) none of those infants fed egg yolks showed increased levels of blood cholesterol... maybe another reason to eat REAL FOOD!

Almond Yogart: 

I found this fantastic almond yogurt in blueberry flavour.  I wasn't sure how he was going to like it so I just put a little bit in a bowl.  He loved it!  Best thing is that it specifically states Gluten Free, Dairy Free and there is no carrageenen.  I won't get into the issues with carrageenen but if your interested you can look it up..too much to list here.  If you buy dairy or vegan meat alternatives I suggest you check for this ingredient and switch to one that does not use it.  
Available at most grocery stores in the natural foods fridges.
Found mine at Fortinos. 


What does an AVO do?
My personal fav!!( DooDoo's too!)  I buy 3 Avo's a week and he typically eats 1.5 and I eat the rest.  I cut about a 1/4 of the Avo for him and remove it from the skin.  If I'm trying to be tidy I feed it too him in small chinks on a spoon, if its nuddie boy time then I just chop it into chunks and let him have a go!  Avo stains really badly I have learned :( and ruined some really great clothes.  

Check out this great video on how to cut an avo and keep it from browning.  

There you have it...a yummy grain free, dairy free breakfast!  

What are your favourite breakfast ideas for the little ones?? 

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Grain Free, Dairy Free Lasagna (9 months)

Tonights meal was a very very yummy Grain Free, Dairy Free, (no zucchini noodle) lasagna.  My hubby is not totally into the grain free so I made a separate lasagna with his GF noodles and regular cheese (he's fine with gluten free and milk free but my creations without grains are not his favourite).

I wasn't too sure how DooDoo would take to the lasagna but it was a MAJOR HIT! He even had a second helping ... although after we got him out of his high chair we found a good amount of food left behind :)

I can't take full credit for the recipe as I found parts on other sites but here is my version of this fantastic meal!

Grain Free, Dairy Free Lasagna -- Great for little hands and exploring tastes

Lasagna 'Pasta' Sheets (really a great crape)

This came from Against all Grains and they have done an awesome tutorial so I won't repeat it here but I'll add my changes

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon grain free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt --Did not use salt as little bodies can't process it like we can
1 1/2 cup egg whites (or 16 egg whites)
3/4 cup almond milk
Mix all of the ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes so the coconut flour can soak up some of the moisture, and then whisk again. The batter should be runnier than that of pancakes, about the same as a crepe batter.

Crepe/tortilla 'pasta noodle' cooking
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat and spray with oil or melt enough butter add coconut oil to coat the bottom and sides of pan. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan, swirling the pan while you pour to ensure the bottom is coated and the tortilla is thin.
 ** coconut oil has many fantastic reasons to be used here, higher smoke point, healthy fats and it's recommended to consume daily! ** 
These guys made a perfect snack cut into strips with almond butter and rolled up

Cooking the Veggies and Meat

I Chopped the veg and cooked it up ... all veggies were chopped small enough that DooDoo would have less chance of choking but could still pick them up. 
Veggies when they are finished cooking 

2 zucchini
1 red pepper
1 orange pepper
A bunch of mushrooms
LOTS of spinach 
**Spinach or any leafy greens are MEGA valuable in all diets, get as much as you can every day**
Zucchini cooking up

Add about 1 Tbsp of coconut oil and melt over medium heat.  Add zucchini and cook until soft.  Add peppers, mushrooms and continue to cook until all are soft. 
zucchini, mushrooms, peppers
Add spinach by the handful.  Add another handful each time the previous one is sweated and slightly wilted.  *I added about 4 handful or 1/2 of the big tub it comes in*
Once all are cooked remove from heat and set aside. 
Add in spinach

Meat Sauce: 
1lb ground beef (or any meat you like in your lasagna)
Homemade marinara sauce** (or 1-2 jars of tomato sauce)
1 jar tomato paste
1 Spanish onion finely chopped 
3 cloves garlic crushed
Adding in sauce

In a large pan heat 1/2Tbsp coconut oil.  Add onion and garlic, cook until translucent and fragrant. 
Add meat and brown.  Once browned, stir in marinara sauce and set meat sauce aside.  
Not the most yummy photo but it sure tastes good

Now you should have all parts ready to be assembled ...

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Take your 'pasta' tortilla/crepes and cut them into strips resembling pasta sheets. 
Add some sauce to the bottom of the pan. 
1. Lay 'pasta' along the bottom of the pan so they are touching. 
2. Add meat sauce as next layer
3. Add veggies
4. Pasta layer
... repeat until all is used.
**For DooDoo's parts I stopped here, but on mine I added some Dairy free cheese. 
Here it is in the oven ... I forgot to show the layers :(
Bake uncovered for 30 mins and top is browning.  
Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15mins to thicken up. 
Serve and Enjoy! 
Just outta the oven ... I'm drooling
Humm ... looks good! 
For DooDoo I chopped up the piece of lasagna so 
that the meat and noodles were small enough. 
His facial expressions break me up :)

I think his face speaks for how he liked it  :) 
Well done momma!! 

He ate almost as much as I did.  Notice Hubby's in the background ;)

Hope you enjoyed and are inspired to try a fun meal with your family! 
Let me know how it goes and if you have any questions!! 

**what did I do with the extra crepes/tortillas/'pasta sheets'**
--kept 1/2 of one out for snacks this week and the rest I froze for coming weeks!
--I'll let you know how they were after freezing

Tuesday, 8 January 2013


It's my first post on this blog and I'm very excited to get right into it!

Welcome to It's a Real Food Baby where, as the name states, I'm blogging about my experiences with feeding my baby real foods.  DooDoo's, as we like to call him, is loving trying so many different flavours and textures.

Why blog about what my lil' guy is eating?

Because until a few weeks ago I was LOST on what and how to feed him in the best way to support his growth and development.  Also, I couldn't find a great source that fit what I was looking for.  So if you are looking for information on feeding your baby a Grain Free and Dairy Free diet then  stick around, I might have some great information for you.

First off I'm NOT a nutritionist or dietician or anything of the sort. However through my personal experiences, education, research and work with my naturopathic doctor I have completely changed how I think about food and what it can (and will) do to my body.  Now that I have a son who is eating food I am learning even more and having so much fun in the process.  What is the biggest thing I have learned to date ... everything I thought I knew about health, calories, grains, proteins, wheat, gluten and dairy is so wrong it might as well be completely backwards.  I'll get into each of these in a post soon.

So what do I consider REAL food ... those which are not overly processed or dramatically altered form their natural state and those which do not cause adverse reactions to our bodies.

Thanks for stoping by and feel free to leave your questions and comments and I'll help where I can.