But Really Though Goes Nuts – Allergen Safe Grocery Store Brands

I hate being hungry, but having a peanut allergy can making snacking on the go difficult. Add in a dairy sensitivity and a minor soy allergy to that and it makes it almost impossible. Luckily, there is helpful information out there to help me avoid dying while snacking. Allergen warnings are listed on everything from cookies to pre-packaged salads. Even with these listed warnings, brands like Whole Foods won’t serve anyone with peanut allergies at their deli. It’s a hungry nightmare out there if you are not prepared. I usually carry an Emily safe snack on me at all times but occasionally I end up somewhere new with nothing to eat. In those rare instances I need to find the nearest grocery store, I look for a snack from one of the following brands.

Brands that state they are complete peanut free:

Enjoy life

Enjoy Life is my chocolate chewy bar lifeline. Everytime I crave a soft chocolate snack I pick up a package of these. They have everything from chocolate chips for baking to cake mixes to seed power bars. According to their website all of their foods are free from the top 8 major allergens. I can attest that none of the allergens are missed after taking a bite out of their snacks.

Daiya 

Craving pizza but terrified that the pizza parlor may use hidden peanuts (an actual thing, trust me)? Thats where this pizza comes in. Daiya makes delicious pizza’s that are vegan, gluten free and top 8 allergen safe. I’m a huge fan of the roasted veggie! Daiya also makes allergen friendly cheese, burritos, dressing and mac n cheese. The alfredo mac n cheese with peas is a staple in our pantry. Its creamy, filling and doesn’t leave me with the bloated tummy I get from real cheese.

Follow Your Heart 

THIS IS THE BEST TASTING VEGAN CHEESE BRAND IN MY LIFE. According to their website Follow Your Heart does not use peanut, tree nut, dairy, fish, eggs or Gluten. Vegan cheese usually does not melt well…or at all..but somehow Follow Your Heart not only managed to make a cheese that melts but it actually tastes like cheese. I am a huge fan of the pepperjack or gouda but the soy free veganaise also gets an honorable mention in my kitchen.

Amy’s

According to their website Amy’s does not use any peanuts, shellfish or eggs. If you have a tree nut allergy they claim they use good manufacturing practices to prevent cross contamination (I am always leery of those statements but I am not a doctor so don’t listen to me). Amy’s is perfect for a microwave dinner, quick burrito fix or a frozen pizza if you don’t have a dairy sensitivity. I’m a big fan of the broccoli pot pie on a cold day. 

And one honorable mention for safe manufacturing practices:

Ben n Jerry’s 

Occasionally I just want a classic pint of Half-Baked Fro-Yo to unwind after a long day. Luckily for me Ben n Jerry’s claims that they have a thorough allergen awareness process and sterilize all equipment after contact with any major allergens. So far I have not had a peanut reactions toeating pre-packaged pints from Ben n Jerry’s but I ALWAYS CHECK THE LABEL just in case there was a formula change on my favorite pint. I also never order from any of their scoop shops since they cannot guarantee that cross contamination does not occur.

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Mrs. Featherbottom was right!

There are quite a few allergen friendly online brands (my personal favorite chocolate resource is No Whey!) but the above should help anyone in the face of hunger bordering on hanger. As always, I am not a doctor, but I advise you to PLEASE READ THE LABEL before eating ANYTHING if you have any food allergies. Brands change their recipes over time and the last thing anyone wants to do is use an epipen.

Please let me know your favorite allergen friendly brands in the comments!

Meal Prep Made Easy

Hi Friends,

I’ve got an internet confession. I’ve gotten deep in the fitstigrams and meal prep lately.

I would love to be as fit as the women I follow (& I probably never will be) but I think I have figured out their secret.

 

THEY EAT.

 

No one gets fit by starving themselves and nobody wants to be around me when I’m hungry. I want food to be part of my fitness journey but with a nut and soy allergy healthy food on the go is damn near impossible to find. So to save money and get those gains I have been meal prepping.

*DISCLAIMER* Personally I think food gets weird after like 3 days, and as a recovering vegetarian I am terrified of chicken sitting in the fridge longer than that so most of my meal preps are for two to three days at a time.

*DISCLAIMER 2* I am so very new to this world and I am not skilled in the kitchen (at all, I was literally banned by my parents from using the stove from the age of 12 until I went to college because I was a “hazard to myself and others”, sorry mom) but if I can meal prep, anyone can.

I started my meal prep mission by spending hours on Pinterest and Youtube trying to decide what kind of meals I wanted to prep. Much like picking a hair tutorial for my thin as fuck hair, meal prep videos often included food I couldn’t eat. (I’m sorry vegans I can’t have Cashews, DON’T HATE ME).

I decided that I feel best when I eat a diet high in veggies, fruits & grain. I went gluten free and vegetarian for all of the meals I made.

First and foremost I ordered these fun AF bento boxes off of Amazon after being inspired by Liv’s Healthy Life on youtube (she uses way fancier and cooler version of them but I wasn’t ready to invest in this lifestyle change yet).  I got a pack of 15 for $15.99. Then I went on a Pinterest binge and ended up with the meals mentioned below.


Lunch 1: Cauliflower Buffalo Chick’n Tacos

This meal is portioned perfectly for meal prepping. You can either make the entire head of cauliflower for dinner and save the extra for lunch or you can prep for two days at a time. Literally all you have to do for the chick’n portion is cut up the head of cauliflower, mix it in your version of buffalo sauce (I used a sriracha and ginger mix) and bake for 15-25 minutes. I added lettuce for the shells, avocado and chopped cherry tomatoes for the lunch prep.

Snack 1: My snack box is veggies, grapes, and tahini.

I’m obsessed with tahini. It’s stronger hummus imo. Also, I absolutely love prepping snack boxes. They look adorable regardless of what is in them and prepping snacks is the only thing that prevents me from eating chips all day.

Lunch 2: Chick’n Salad Sammies.

This is the easiest recipe I have ever encountered. Using chickpea’s to replace chicken is such a delicious and easy idea for a vegan meal. This meal can then be made gluten free by using gluten free bread (my favorite is from Trader Joe’s)

Snack 2: For my snacks I decided on dates (the dessert fruit that helps you poop!), grapes and a arugula salad.

 

Moving on to the most important meal of the day (that I used to always skip) – BREAKFAST!

Breakfast 1: Old Fashioned Oats.

My breakfast meal prep is still a work in progress. I’ve started by prepping a large serving of old fashioned oats and splitting it into four days of breakfast accompanied with dates (dessert fruit) and bananas. Boring, but healthy and filling.

Breakfast 2: Egg Muffies with Veggies.

For a little variation I happened upon a recipe for breakfast egg cups or muffies as I like to call them (since you make them in a muffin tin). This is the easiest recipe! Just mix 6 eggs with a half cup of milk and some veggies in individual muffin tins and bake on 425 for 20-25 minutes. I make a dozen of these at a time on Saturday or Sunday and pop them in the freezer once they are cool. Throughout the week I pull a couple out at a time to take to work to microwave for breakfast. SO EASY I TELL YOU.

If you’ve been debating meal prepping and don’t know where to start I recommend picking up some tupperware, making some veggies and rice, and get to prepping. Once I made it a habit it has become so easy, I’m debating trying some harder meals. 😉

Do you meal prep? And if you do, if you have any easy gluten free, soy free, minimal nut and yummy meal prep ideas please please please send them my way!

Food Arrives at my Door but I Still Have to Cook it? A Hello Fresh Review

Greetings humans!

 

Today I am going to talk about one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, food!

 

Odds are you love food too. Not only does it keep us alive but it’s pretty fucking delicious. I love eating, I really love eating good food, but I SUCK at making food. I remember being around 5 years old and watching my Granny cook and wondering about the day when I too would just know how to make things.

 

Fun fact, that day never came.

 

Luckily, I am a strong independent woman in these modern times so instead of cooking I can get take-out delivered to my door. Unfortunately, takeout is expensive and often lacks nutritional value, so now I am saying goodbye to Postmates and hello to Hello Fresh.

 

Hello Fresh is one of those nifty food delivery services that lets you pick your meals for the week online and then sends you the ingredients and instructions. You can chose how many meals you get and what allergens you want them to avoid in your meals. As someone with a million food allergies, I find this super helpful. I love the idea of not having to worry about what’s in the food because I made it! B and I opted for the 3 meals a week for two people with no nuts and anxiously awaited the arrival of our first box.

 

Below is my kitchen illiterate review of our first week of Hello Fresh.

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THE BOX!

The meals arrived in one of those weirdly eco-friendly yet heavily packaged boxes and B and I were stoked! Not only were we going to learn to cook but we also didn’t have to worry about buying weird ingredients that are super necessary for making food with flavor (like herbs, how I am supposed to know which one is which?) We unpacked the box, pulled out our handy dandy recipe guides and got ready to cook.

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Meal 1 in all of its glory. Yes, I suck at plating.

Meal 1 Salmon and Lentils with Brussel Sprouts and Carrots

We started with the salmon because it had an eat first sticker on it. Apparently fish goes bad first and Hello Fresh knew I was slightly too stupid to know this. The meals come in difficulty levels, one through three and this was a level one. Starting off simple! Preparing and cooking the food wasn’t too difficult and the meal only took us around 45 minutes to make. I was a bit anxious when we sat down to eat it but we managed not to give ourselves food poisoning. Day one was a success!

 

Meal 2 Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken with Baked Veggies

This meal was the best! Not only was it easy to make but it also had wonderful flavor and seemed easy enough to replicate in the future. The sweet potatoes complimented the marinade for the chicken and I learned how to pan sear chicken. So far we were two for two and our confidence was through the roof. We began brainstorming recipes for our Master Chef Jr. applications.

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This is not the risotto I know, but it was still yummy in my tummy.

Meal 3 Ultra Creamy Risotto

We saved the risotto for last since it was a level two. We knew we were dealing with heavy stuff and thought it would be best to make this meal on a weekend just incase it required extra time, or if we fucked it up and needed to run to Whole Foods to replace an ingredient. We made the meal with no snafus, but it was somehow lacking. I thought the rice and cheese combo would be a hit…but this was our least favorite meal. Still better than the time I tried to bake my own cookies from scratch though.  

Woohoo! We successfully made all 3 meals. Not one finger was chopped off and only a tongue was burned. We got to buy new cool tools for our kitchen and now think we are ready for Master Chef Jr. If you want to try Hello Fresh with us you can use my discount code EMILYBR for $40 off your first week.

 

Let me know if you have ever tried a service like this and your thoughts on them!