Convenience foods. These words can conjure up so many different emotions for those caring for kids, whether food allergic or not. We live in a time where everyday feels like go, go, go! We schedule endless appointments on top of events, on top of classes, on top of work, on top of housework, on top of…well, I think you get the point. It's no wonder when it comes to food and nourishment, we immediately think what is the quickest thing I can shove down my throat as I drive like a crazy person across town!
In the food restrictions world, convenient foods are the first things to get ditched. There are too many ingredients and chances for someone to have a reaction. I will be honest, once you get a handle of what you can and can't have, things get a little easier where you can navigate through labels and even feel confidant enough to try something new. For instance, I was perusing through the freezer section of our grocery store, just dreaming about how awesome it would be to pop something already made in the oven and within a few minutes voila, food. And sure enough, something caught my eye as it listed all the allergens it was free from and low and behold, it fit!
These magical foods were fish sticks. The same brand also had chicken nuggets. So I bought both of them and after we tried them AND my child had no reactions whatsoever, I was in heaven. When you have to cook all of your meals and snacks, outside of produce options, it could get the best of you sometimes. My extended family was happy to have something to offer as a quick option as well. All seemed like a match made in heaven.
However, let's step back, really take a good step back and take a look at what just happened. As someone that does care where my food comes from, convenience foods don't fit the bill. Even the organic options. These are foods that are fried, usually in a processed oil such as canola, soybean, etc., coated in a number of different starches and frozen. I had to admit to myself, when I feed my kids these foods, it is purely for MY benefit. There is no nutritional value whatsoever in processed foods. They exist due to our fast paced, need instant validation driven society, point blank.
I don't want to turn someone off by me being brutally honest here but when you have to deal with food restrictions, you begin to notice how backwards we value food and nutrition. However, I want us to get real with what drives us to what we buy and what we choose to feed our family and sometimes, it requires someone blowing the whistle. Now as I step off of my soapbox, as a parent that gets just as tired of having to cook, clean, repeat, many times a day, I need something quick to feed my brood more often than not! This is where the inspiration for this recipe came from.
I buy wild caught halibut as it concerns me to think most fish offered in our stores come from farms that feed the fish soybean and corn (does that sound like the natural food for fish to you!!!???) I no longer use processed oils in my kitchen and prefer to use refined coconut oil for frying. Heat the oil to about medium high and do not let it begin to smoke. Please do the research to see why you want to use coconut oil over the processed oils. If you are concerned about using coconut oil due to nut allergies, unless you have had a reaction before, coconut is actually a seed, not a tree nut (of course do not use if you actually have a reaction to coconut oil).
As for the rest of the ingredients, they are easy to find and will be used frequently in your Allergy Easy kitchen. ;)
The below pictures provide links directly to Vital Proteins & Amazon. If you would like to compare prices or order any of the products, simply click the images or text you see below.
We also have found many of these ingredients at our local Whole Foods Market or natural foods store. Keep in mind buying in bulk via Amazon or buying a full case at Whole Foods can help cut down the price.