Monday, July 28, 2014

Easy Baked Chicken Fajitas #Dairyfree

I wanted to share a recipe with you that we've been making frequently this summer. It's an easy, one pan meal that we ALL love. Did you catch that?

ONE pan.

A meal we ALL love.

Now that's a GREAT recipe!

Easy Baked Chicken Fajitas
one pan chicken fajitas

The husband and I are both fans of Mexican-inspired food, and this easy baked chicken fajita recipe satisfies us both! It's rather healthy and filled with protein, veggies and healthy fats if you include avocado. And with a blog name like Mamacado, you know we include avocado!

The recipe is based on this one from Self magazine, but I took a few shortcuts to make it easier. Because all mamas (and parents!) need shortcuts!

I also made it food allergy friendly and dairy free by substituting avocados as a tasty topping instead of greek yogurt. Here's how you do it.

Chop up all your veggies (peppers and onions) and add them to your 9 x 13 pan that you've sprayed with olive oil.
easy baked chicken fajitas dairy free

Add the tomatoes. Place the chicken on top of the veggies. Make the marinade and pour it on both sides of the chicken.
food allergies family meals

If you're prepping it for tonight's or tomorrow's dinner, put some plastic wrap on and stick it in the fridge. This helps the chicken sit in the marinade a bit.
easy baked chicken fajitas dairy free

When you're ready to cook it, pop it in a pre-heated 400 degree oven until the chicken is cooked. Depending on the amount and thickness of chicken, this could take 20 minutes to 1 hour. Invest in a good meat thermometer to make this easy!!  I am a fan of non-digital thermometers like this that do not need batteries and have the meat temperature reference chart on the side!

When the chicken is just about done, put your tortillas in foil (or have them ready in foil in the fridge) and pop them in the oven for a few minutes to warm them up.
food allergies family meals

food allergies family meals

Cut up the chicken in smaller pieces when cooked (you can really do this anytime).
easy baked chicken fajitas dairy free

To go along with this meal I also cooked some brown rice and mixed in some black beans, frozen thawed corn, cumin and salt.  It was a nice side to add to this meal.
food allergies family meals

Here's my quick shot of dinner on the table...not plated or beautiful for blog photos.  Just how we ate it family style!
easy baked chicken fajitas dairy free

Little Guy liked his meal - here's a picture of his almost finished meal.
food allergies family meals

You know what else I love about this meal? The leftovers are great to make easy fajita bowls. Even if there's no chicken left, a little bit of rice, beans corn and fajita leftovers make a great lunch the next day.
food allergies family meals

Recipe

Basic ingredients:
  • Boneless skinless chicken breast (between 3/4 lb to 1.5 lb - I've used many different amounts of chicken and it's worked well each time - just adjust your cooking time)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 peppers (use different colors if you'd like to make it pretty)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I've made it with no salt diced tomatoes, salted tomatoes and tomatoes with green chilies. It's worked well each time).
Marinade:
*you can double this marinade recipe if you're making lots of chicken!
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Add-ons:
  • Fajita tortillas - as many as you can eat!
  • Salsa
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Rice side dish including brown rice, black beans, corn, cumin, salt and pepper

Directions:
  • Add chopped peppers and onions and can of tomatoes to 9 x 13 baking dish coated with olive oil
  • Add chicken
  • Pour marinade on chicken and mix with veggies
  • Bake at 400 degrees until chicken is cooked throughout. This could take 20 min to 1 hour depending on the amount and thickness of chicken. Use a meat thermometer!
  • Warm tortillas in foil in oven for a few minutes.
  • Serve with other add-ons.
Hope you enjoy!

PS - Invest in a great meat thermometer for meals like this!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Restaurant Review: Harrison's Harbor Watch Restaurant in OC Maryland

Last week I posted about our fun trip to OC Maryland. I wanted to share more with you about our restaurant experience. Since we rented a beach house with our extended family, we ate in most nights which made it easier from a food allergy perspective.  The one night we went out to eat, we had a positive experience at Harrison's Harbor Watch restaurant.

This wasn't our first time there. We had a positive experience there last year too. Harrison's offers beautiful views of the inlet, Assateague island (where the wild ponies roam) and ships coming in and going out to sea. They also have been great with food allergies.

After we handed the waiter our food allergy card, the manager came over to us with a kids' menu she updated to include all the options for little guy to eat. We've NEVER had that kind of service before. It was such a nice treat to see all the possible options.

I was so excited by it that I of course took a photo :)

Little Guy ended up ordering a plain burger, veggies, potatoes and applesauce. It was the "best burger" he ever had...and that's a direct quote. (I think he was really hungry! :)

Don't ya just love that allergy stick?  It's the same one that I took a photo of last year during a beach trip!

The only thing I would have changed?  The fact that the sides came out all together on a big tray with no allergy stick in them (only the burger had them on). It made me feel less confident that the sides were safe for Little Guy, so I made sure to ask the waiter about them.

Little Guy ended up only eating the burger a few veggies, plus some Surf Sweets gummy worms on the boardwalk that I brought along (in a BIG bag of treats that I made sure to have for him!). 

Did a restaurant ever update a menu specifically for you or your child? I know many restaurants like Red Robin have books ready-made for customers to reference. But I thought this was great customer service!

DISCLAIMER: My reviews are only reviews of our unique experience at these restaurants. They are not an endorsement of safety when eating at these restaurants as each restaurant, staff and kitchen are different. Please do your own research and take all precautions for you and your family when eating out.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Beach Vacation and Food Allergy Planning

What's the secret to a wonderful beach vacation with family (and views like this)?
beach trip vacation food allergies

Planning, preparation and fun!

But as you know, going on a vacation or trip takes a little more preparation and planning than usual when you have food allergies.

Last week we stayed at a beach house with 7 other family members. We all had a wonderful time together and also had a successful food allergy friendly experience for Little Guy.

What are the main things that I prepped?  Well, beyond LISTS and LISTS of everything we needed to take and remember for the trip....

I baked a double batch of pumpkin muffins from Sophie-Safe Cooking the day before we left to share with everyone in the family.
beach trip vacation food allergies

I baked a loaf of food allergy friendly egg-free, dairy-free (and gluten free) bread two days before. We use King Arthur Flour, Gluten Free Bread Mix. It's STILL Little Guy's favorite bread. (Deep breath exhale of frustration). More on that in another post.
OC Maryland food allergies

I bought a FRIO pack to make sure Little Guy's Epipens stayed at the correct temperature at the beach. During other years we kept the Epipens in a thermos in the shade of a beach umbrella. This year we tried something new and I was VERY pleased with the FRIO pack. It was simple to use and it made me feel more at ease without having to worry about the Epipens getting too hot at the beach.

Ocean city maryland food allergies restaurants
Frio pack to make sure the Epipens stayed cool at the beach

I normally would have researched restaurants before our trip, but since we've had a few good food allergy related experiences at restaurants in OC Maryland the past few years, I felt comfortable in knowing where we could go. We only went out to eat one night at Harrison's Harbor Watch restaurant, and we had a great experience. I'll write a separate post about it!

I brought a lot of food to the beach (including items I knew I might not find at the beach grocery store like coconut yogurt, Sunbutter and safe soymilk), but I also planned meals beforehand and wrote a shopping list for the beach. My list included things like meat, fresh veggies, fruit, brown rice, etc. 

One of the nights we all had the same food allergy friendly chicken chili meal with avocado and safe tortilla chips. Thankfully everyone was very satisfied!
beach trip vacation food allergies

And all the kiddos had dairy free So Delicious Coconut Milk ice cream with mini Oreos on top. A definite treat!
ocean city maryland food allergies

We all had a wonderful trip in general and love the family and beach time. Here are a few pics of the beautiful community where we stayed in OC Maryland.
ocean city maryland restaurants
A few of the bayside part of the resort looking at the beach area where the kids loved playing.

oc maryland beach vacation
Lots of fun at the beach and pool here.
food allergies oc maryland
OC Maryland and the setting sun.
beach trip vacation food allergies
The kids loved playing by the bay. 
food allergy ocean city maryland
Fishing off a pier was fun too.
traveling food allergies
We all had fun playing in the water! Some days we went to the bay, and some to the ocean.
food allergies traveling
A beautiful sunset. We felt like we were on an island in this picture!

And here are some other beach and food allergy posts you might find helpful:

OC Maryland Food Allergy Friendly Restaurants

At the Beach: Traveling with Food Allergies

Traveling with Food Allergies: What I packed on our beach trip

Here's the link to the Frio pack we used:

 
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