Sides and a Sweet {Allergy Friendly}

They’re hungry again? Didn’t we just feed them? Ok, time to make another dinner.

Thinking back to our basic plan of protein-starch-produce, this time we are making two sides to go with our dinner. These will go with just about any meat – I’m serving them with a beef roast. Both recipes serve 8, but can easily be halved for a smaller family or if you don’t want leftovers.

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The first dish is Creamy Garlic Shells. As a kid, I ate tons of that “pasta and sauce in an envelope” stuff. It made a quick side dish, and the garlic cream flavor was versatile. This is a safe replica of that favorite dish, with the addition of a little cheese for extra creaminess. If you are not avoiding dairy and/or wheat, you can use regular cow’s milk/cheeses and wheat-based flour/pastas.

Ingredients:
1 pound (uncooked) Ancient Harvest Quinoa/Corn pasta shells
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbs. gluten-free flour mix
2 cups So Delicious coconut milk beverage
2 tbsp. crushed fresh garlic (or 1 tbsp. powdered garlic)
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)

Directions:
Prepare the pasta according to box directions. Drain. (If using gluten-free pasta, rinse briefly with hot water to remove excess starch.) Return to pot and cover to keep warm.

In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the flour, and whisk to combine. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add cheese, if desired.

Add sauce to the pasta and stir gently to combine.

The second side is a fast veggie – Wilted Garlic Spinach. It’s one of our favorite vegetables. I always make extra so we have leftovers, because it’s very good mixed with scrambled eggs or on top of pizza.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. crushed garlic (or 1 tbsp. garlic powder)
16 oz. baby spinach

Directions:
In a large pot, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic until fragrant over medium heat. Add the spinach. Using tongs, turn the spinach, bringing the wilted greens to the top. When the spinach is wilted, transfer to a serving bowl.

Now, for the sweet – Strawberry Honeycomb.

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1/4 c. strawberry puree, sieved to remove seeds
1 c. Domino’s sugar
1/2 tsp. Arm & Hammer baking soda

Line a cookie sheet with nonstick foil or a Silpat. (Alternatively, line cookie sheet with regular foil and grease with a thin layer of a safe oil.)

Put the strawberry puree and sugar in a heavy 2 qt saucepan. (You need a slightly larger pot because the mixture will expand when you add the baking soda). Dissolve sugar into strawberry mixture, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Place lid on pot. DO NOT STIR THE MIXTURE AFTER THIS to avoid introducing sugar crystals. The condensation from the lid will rinse any crystals from the sides of the pot.

Insert a candy thermometer, and boil the sugar syrup until it reaches 310°F (hard crack stage). Remove from heat.

Carefully stir in the baking soda. The candy will expand violently, so be careful! Pour onto the prepared cookie sheet. Allow to cool completely, and break into pieces to eat.

Store leftovers in an air-tight container. If you need to put multiple layers in the containers, place parchment paper or foil between them so the candy doesn’t stick together.

I’ve included the brands of ingredients we use as a starting point, but I cannot guarantee they are safe for you–they are what works for us. Of course, please check to make sure your ingredients are safe for your allergy set.