Fastest Gluten Free Kids Dinner Ever: BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

It caught me by surprise, as it always does for parents – a completely wiped out kid at 5:00 PM.  It was clear there was no way our three your old boy would stay awake another 10 minutes, let alone 25 minutes to have a good meal in front of him.  Panicked by the thought that he may fall asleep on an empty stomach, thus causing middle of the night hunger pains and a feeding that would turn into an abbreviated, but terribly unpleasant (for the parent), play period until sleep fell upon the little angel again, I had to come up with something fast.

The Gluten-free Kids Dinner Challenge:

  • Make something in 2 minutes
  • Make something he will agree to put in his mouth
  • Make something he will eat a lot of
  • Make something that is nutritious
  • Make something that doesn’t take time to cool to toddler-acceptable eating temperature
  • Make something that is gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free, etc.

Solution

BBQ Chicken Quesadilla with Avocado, side of apple slices and smoked gouda.  Done!

The Trick:

Have the following items in your kitchen at all times:

  1. Soft CORN tortillas (at least a 50 pack – you will go through them and you can store them in any cool spot in the cupboard)
  2. Shredded Cheese (any kind)
  3. Avocado (or other favorite vegetable that requires no cooking and is already a favorite of your kid’s)
  4. Smoked Gouda (or other cheese preferred by your child which he/she likes with some type of fruit or veggie)
  5. Canned chicken (I get a brand from Costco)  I’m not proud that I have canned chicken in my house, but it’s like keeping spam around in case of a nuclear attack…it’s for emergencies and my kid always eats it when served – which is key in these emergencies.
  6. BBQ sauce (not incredibly nutritious, I’ll admit – but used in very small portions it won’t introduce a terrible amount of sugar into your child’s meal).  This is an optional ingredient, in my opinion.

Oven Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey with Rosemary

I’m going on a trip for a few days, so I wanted to leave my family a lot of prepared food while their chef would be gone.  It’s feeling like the holiday season to me already, so I thought turkey would be an awesome choice to accommodate our FPIES (allergy-free) diet.  Making your own turkey is a great way to get some great gluten-free gravy for yourself and makes the house smell great.  This also gives me practice for my Thanksgiving turkey and keeps me on my game since we rotate who hosts Thanksgiving each year in our family.

About 1 1/2 hours into roasting the turkey in our oven today, my wife came downstairs and remarked that it “smells like Christmas in here” and asked why.  I suggested that it may be the turkey that had been in the oven for a couple of hours.  Apparently she had forgotten about it and was just joyed about how festive and warm our home smelled.  It’s always a great day when there’s turkey in the oven.  The turkey came out perfectly.

Try these other Thanksgiving recipes:

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

Gluten-free, Egg-Free Pumpkin Cinnamon Cookies

New to allergy-free cooking?  Need help?  Start here to learn how to reduce stress and cost while eating delicious food –> Managing Your Food Allergies

Recipe: Oven Roasted Turkey with Rosemary

Summary: The easiest way to make the perfect thanksgiving turkey

Ingredients

  • Whole Turkey (thawed)
  • 1 large onion cut into large chunks
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 4-5 celery stalks, cut into medium chunks
  • 5-8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5 medium sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 4 strips of bacon (med-thick cut)
  • 1 tsp Herbs de Provence (or chopped, fresh rosemary)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 c. chicken broth or stock or water

Instructions

  1. Chop vegetables, as described above
  2. Adjust oven rack to lowest level
  3. Preheat oven to 325 F
  4. Remove giblets and neck from turkey
  5. Rinse turkey thoroughly
  6. Place turkey on a pan with sides to keep in juices
  7. Insert the strips of bacon under the skin over the breasts of the turkey (I use the back of a butter knife to help separate the skin from the meat)
  8. Mix herbs de provence (or chopped rosemary) with olive oil
  9. Rub olive oil mixture all over turkey
  10. Mix vegetables and stuff as much as you can into the turkey
  11. Close the legs together using cooking string or sticking (piercing) them through the flap of skin on the back.
  12. Set in oven on cooking rack set to lowest level possible (not covered, except for the tips of the wings with aluminum foil “shoes”)
  13. Pour 1/4 c. of the broth or water inside the pan (add more later if it should dry up while cooking)
  14. Let cook for time appropriate for your size turkey. For 14-18 lbs, about 3 3/5 to 4 1/2 hours.
  15. Once done, let cook for 30 minutes before cutting or serving.
  16. While cooking, you can make a giblet stock by boiling the giblets and neck for 3 hours with vegetables and spices.
  17. Use drippings and vegetable stuffing for a nice, gluten-free gravy

Cooking time (duration): 360

Number of servings (yield): 12

Meal type: dinner

My rating: 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Microformatting by hRecipe.

RaisingStinker – Inspiring Mom Blogs on Careers and Parenting

My wife, known as TanniaH in the blogosphere, has finally channelled her overflowing energy to communicate her thoughts and ideas into a blog called RaisingStinker.com that I think some of you might enjoy.  She’s a much better writer than me and focuses on stories about being a parent who writes about dealing with our three year old stinker, dealing with career issues upon becoming a post-MBA mommy.  So, once you’ve finished enjoying one of my allergy-free recipes, you can relax to some thoughts and stories she shares about parenting and careers.  Here’s an excerpt from one of her most commented on articles:

We didn’t have a lot of money growing up so I learned that being savvy with a dollar is pretty important.  Living in a capitalist society, I got an undergraduate degree studying how groups handle money.  Unions, clubs, countries, businesses…there are a set of basic human motivations that seem to drive all of them.  After working for a few years in Human Resources, I applied for an MBA at Wharton and got in.  I think there is an assumption that most people who get an MBA want to go make money on Wall Street (and I have plenty of classmates that did), but that’s not even the majority…

I read her posts all the time, and I get to speak with her…so, I had to make mention of it since she just started writing some pretty insightful stuff.  Below are major topics Tannia finds herself writing about…

RaisingStinker Top Topics

  • Three year old son
  • Food allergies, FPIES
  • Parenting
  • Child health
  • Career Advice (she is a professional HR expert and entrepreneur)
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Wharton – lots on this topic.  She’s an ’04 graduate.

I hope you read it because it’s interesting, or at least because I could use the chips as her husband icon wink RaisingStinker   Inspiring Mom Blogs on Careers and Parenting  If you do, please leave her a comment that her thoughtful husband mentioned her in such a loving way that you had to visit RaisingStinker.

Thanks!

Dayce

Effect of Violent Video Games on the Behavior of Young People

I just came across a CNN article titled “Violent video games linked to child aggression” which presents the results of a study which concludes, again, that compared to kids who were not involved with violent video games, those who were had “more aggressive behavior months later.”  This is a 2008 study.

A 2010 study which I found more informative was able to make the following conclusions:

Over the past half century the mass media, including video games, have become important socializers of children. [Certain models] explain that what a child observes in any venue has both short-term and long-term influences on the child’s behaviors and cognitions. C. A. Anderson et al.’s (2010) extensive meta-analysis of the effects of violent video games confirms what these theories predict and what prior research about other violent mass media has found: that violent video games stimulate aggression in the players in the short run and increase the risk for aggressive behaviors by the players later in life… Yet the results of meta-analyses are unlikely to change the critics’ views or the public’s perception that the issue is undecided because some studies have yielded null effects, because many people are concerned that the implications of the research threaten freedom of expression, and because many people have their identities or self-interests closely tied to violent video games.

That violent media and games affects children’s behavior is not a new finding.  For years, controlled, scientific research has proven that violent games and media cause both short and long-term behavior problems in young people.

This topic is not murky or controversial, as the CNN article states.  The studies have been clear.  What is contested in court are the laws restricting the sale of media to younger audiences.  Those who don’t want sales of games and media to be restricted are, not surprisingly, media companies concerned about losing sales.
The CNN article, especially being in the Family Health section of its website, should remove the legal contests of media companies from an otherwise great and informative article about an important research finding, and conclusion, that is an important concern to parents.
To put my advice to CNN differently, if a research study intending to find an association between violent media and behavior problems in young people conducted in a manner accepted by the scientific community concludes something important that can inform parents, then they should not deliberately, or accidentally, create a mixed message for parents in their article by incorporating opinions from someone who is an advocate for the media industry and quote things that are based on no study at all.  I hope CNN will stop writing oped-like articles in their family health section of their site.  Parents will be uninformed, or even misinformed, if they continue presenting information in this fashion.  They need to stick to facts, stick to studies, and present conclusions clearly.  Maybe they could even help parents understand practical ways to implement the advice or findings from health researchers and professionals…wouldn’t that be brilliant!

This finding is not new.  For years, controlled, scientific research has proven that violent games and media cause both short and long-term behavior problems in young people.
This topic is not murky or controversial.  The studies are clear.  What is contested in court are laws restricting the sale of media to an older audience.  Companies and people who don’t want sales of games and media restricted are, not surprisingly, media companies concerned about losing sales.
Your article, especially in the Family Health section of your website, should remove the legal contests of media companies from an otherwise great and informative article about an important research finding, and conclusion, that is an important concern to parents.
To rephrase my advice differently, if a research study intending to find an association between violent media and behavior problems in young people conducted in a manner accepted by the scientific community concludes something important that can inform parents, then do not deliberately create a mixed that message for parents in your article by incorporating opinions from someone who is an advocate for the media industry and quote things that are based on no study at all.  Stop writing oped-like articles in your family health section of your site.  Parents will be uninformed, or even misinformed, if you continue presenting information in this fashion.  Stick to fact, stick to studies, and present conclusions clearly.  Maybe even help parents understand practical ways to implement the advice or findings from health professionals…that would be brilliant!

I think it is largely due to my dealing with FPIES for my son that I became so alerted to how sensitive children are to their environment.  Before learning about FPIES, I would not have ever known how children’s behavior can be affected by what they ingest.  I partly blame a society where so much of the information we receive, even through journalism, is deliberately murky, controversial, and confusing.  I hope that the growth of blogging might help present people with more facts, but of course that requires more action of ourselves, the readership or audience, to seek it.