Category Archives: Beef & Bison

Gluten Free-zer Friday – Swedish Meatballs

I’m walking 60 miles in the Breast Cancer 3-day!  Will you help me reach my goal?


Head over to MJ’s for Freezer Food Friday



If you have a freezer recipe to share that is gluten free, link back here and join in on Gluten Free-zer Friday.  I’ld love to have ya join in!


Participating in Gluten Free-zer Friday: 

1. If you would like to participate in Gluten Free-zer Friday, simply email your post link to your gluten free freezer recipe (angelas_kitchenATcomcastDOTnet) or leave a comment below and I will add you to the roundup.

2. Link back to this post on the post with the recipe you have linked. 


Swedish Meatballs

(serves 8 – I like to double this to eat one, and freeze one for our family)


1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

3 cups dry, finely ground gluten and dairy free bread crumbs

3 cups milk substitute (almond, rice, etc.), divided

4 eggs

4 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground alspice

3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil

2 tablespoons corn, arrowroot or tapioca starch

3 cups beef broth


For serving:  Gluten-free noodles, fresh chopped parsley, lingonberry sauce…


Preheat oven to 475 degrees.


In a large bowl, mix bread crumbs and  1/2 cup of milk substitute and eggs.  Allow to soak for a couple of minutes.  Add beef, pork, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, nutmeg and allspice.  Mix until combined.


Using a tablespoon, scoop up a rounded amount and form mixture into meatballs.  Place meatballs on two rimmed baking sheets.  Alternatively, you can place the meatballs on a cooling rack set on the baking sheet to allow the fat to drain (this is what I do).  Bake meatballs for 8 to 12 minutes until cooked through, checking them partway through and rotating the pans.  Allow meat balls to cool, then divide into 2 separate freezer containers or freezer bags.


To make sauce, heat oil in a saucepan, over medium-high heat.  Whisk oil and add starch to oil while whisking, cooking starch and oil together not letting mixture brown.  Still whisking, slowly add the last cup of milk substitute and beef broth, whisking until smooth.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened slightly.  Allow mixture to cool then divide sauce into the two freezer containers.  Gently mix sauce with the meatballs, remove air from the freezer bag or container, seal and lable.


To serve:  If having right away, do not allow meatballs and sauce to cool.  Mix meatballs and sauce and serve over gluten free noodles.  Top with chopped fresh parsley, if desired and some lingonberry sauce and a salad on the side.


If frozen:  Thaw meatballs and sauce.  Reheat in sauce pan, stirring carefully to not break apart meatballs, adding water or milk substitute as needed to thin sauce.  Serve over gluten free noodles.  Top with chopped fresh parsley, if desired and some lingonberry sauce and a salad on the side.

Slow Cooker Thursday – Salsa Roast Beef

**Edit on December 4, 2008** I posted this last week, but as Slow Cooking Thursday took time off for Thanksgiving, I thought I would share it this week instead!  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!


Head over to Sandra’s for Slow Cooking Thursday and see what is in everybody else’s crockpot!

I made this super simple dish yesterday and have leftovers for tomorrow for anyone who is turkey-ed out.


Slow Cooker Salsa Roast Beef

3-5 pound chuck roast, trimmed of extra fat.
2 cups of your favorite salsa. (I use Green Mountain Gringo’s Roast Garlic)

Rinse roast and pat dry with paper towel. Pour salsa over the top of  the roast. Cook on high about 1 hour, then turn to low for 6-8 hours, until tender.



Gluten Free-zer Friday – Salsa Burgers

Time for Gluten Free-zer Friday!  Check out Freezer Food Friday over at MJ’s (link up something yummy!) then stop on back.  If you have a gluten free recipe that you would like to share, post it on your site and link it here.  Then leave me a comment below and I will add you to the Gluten Free-zer Friday roundup.  Thanks!  




We bought part of a cow not that long ago…  This is a super easy meal to have on hand.  Serve with a salad, steamed or stir fried veggies when you cook them.  


Salsa Burgers

2 lbs ground beef
1 cup gluten free salsa (your choice – I like Green Mountain Gringo’s Roasted Garlic)

Place ground beef in a bowl and mix in salsa until well combined. Shape into 8 patties.

Place plastic wrap or wax paper on cookie sheet.  Place burgers on cookie sheet to flash freeze in the freezer. When frozen, place the frozen burgers in a freezer bag or container, separating with wax paper.

When you are ready to cook: Thaw burgers in refrigerator.  Cook on grill or in skillet until cooked through and no longer pink. Top with guacamole and more salsa, if desired. Serve in gluten free hamburger buns if you choose.



Participating in Gluten Free-zer Friday:

1. If you would like to participate, simply email your post link or leave a comment below and I will add you to the roundup.

2. Link back to this post on the post with the recipe you have linked.

Slow Cooking Thursday & Freezer Friday together


So, yeah…  didn’t get a post up yesterday for Slow Cooking Thursday.  Sorry, Sandra!  Today’s recipe works for the slow cooker AND it freezes great.  My son really likes this one a lot, especially with tortilla chips or corn bread and a salad.




Head over to MJ’s and check out Freezer Food Friday.  If you have a great recipe to share the freezes and is gluten free, please leave a comment below with the link and I will add you to the Freezer Food Friday – Gluten Free Edition!


You can freeze this after it cooks in the slow cooker.  You can also freeze before slow cooking it by pre-cooking the meat, cooling then adding into a gallon sized zip-seal freezer bag.  Add the rest of the ingredents to the bag.  Remove as much air as possible, seal the bag and squish the ingredients around to mix.  Label and flatten bag.  Freeze.  When ready to cook, thaw bag, put in crockpot and cook!


I originally got the base recipe from 30 Day Gourmet and it was on their site forever.  I don’t see it now, but this is how we make it gluten and dairy free to our tastes.  


Taco Chili

(makes about 12 cups – I usually double and put into my 6 quart slow cooker)


2 pound ground beef or bison (you could also use ground turkey)

1 – 28 once can crushed or diced tomatoes

1 – 15 ounce jar of salsa (I use Green Mountain Gringo’s Roasted Garlic…mmmm)

1 – 10 ounce bag frozen corn

1 -15 once can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 teaspoons instant minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon instant minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed, dried red pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano


Brown ground beef until cooked though.  Drain well.  Mix the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker.  Mix in the cooked meat.  Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. 


Serve with tortilla chips or gluten free corn bread.

Freezer Food Friday

I originally planned on posting my cinnamon rolls this week, but time got away from me.  I would like to get some really nice photos of the “how to” put together on them also.  I will try to get my kiddos to help me with it this weekend, so keep an eye out in the next week or two of Freezer Food Friday for that!  

I keep finding yummies as I sort out my new blog site.  This is really tasty beef dish I first posted on April 25, 2007.  I usually make 3 of this, eat one that night and put the other two in the freezer.  I makes a great lettuce wrap, but is also really tasty served over rice.  


Head over to MJ’s for Freezer Food Friday and join in on the fun!  If you have a gluten free recipe you know freezes well, leave a comment here and I will add you on for Freezer Food Friday, the Gluten Free Edition!



The recipe has the ingredients for one recipe worth on the left and the ingredient amounts times three on the right if you want to have a couple pre-made meals for the freezer.

Orange Beef Lettuce Wraps


One for tonight and two to freeze!  Can be used as a filling for lettuce wraps or served over rice.


One recipe:times 3:

1 cup                        3 cups        matchstick cut carrots (to see how to do this, go here.)

1 ½ lbs.                    4 ½ lbs.      boneless steak (I got bottom round on sale)

1 T                            3 T             cornstarch

2 T                            1/3 cup      oil (I use olive)     

1/4 t                         3/4 t           crushed red pepper flakes

½ cup                       1 ½ cups      green onions, thinly sliced, including green tops

1 (8 oz.) can             3 cans         water chestnuts, cut into matchsticks



3 T                            ½ cup            frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

3 T                            ½ cup            hoisin sauce (be sure GFCF)

3 T.                           ½ cup            rice wine vinegar

3 T                            ½ cup            low sodium soy sauce (be sure GFCF)

2 T                            1/3 cup         packed brown sugar           

1 T                            3 T                cornstarch             

½ t                            ½ t                 fresh grated ginger (or paste)

¼ t                            ¾ t                 pepper           


Serving day:

2 heads Boston lettuce leaves, separated, rinsed and dried

mung bean sprouts

chopped peanuts or cashews

diced cucumbers, shredded bok choy, etc.

cooked rice


Cut steak into pieces 3”  long and 1/8 inch thick.  In bowl, combine sliced steak and cornstarch.  Toss to coat and set aside.  In another bowl combine sauce ingredients and set aside.  


In a wok or large skillet, heat half of oil  over medium-high heat.  Add the carrots and stir-fry until just crisp-tender.  Stir in water chestnuts, remove mixture from pan and set aside to cool.  


Add rest of oil to pan and heat.  Working in batches, stir-fry meat and crushed chili pepper flakes, until browned on all sides, being careful not to overcook.  As a batch of meat is cooked, remove from pan and set aside to cool while another batch of meat is being stir-fried.  A 9×13 pan works well for this.  


After the last batch of meat is cooked and removed from pan, lower heat to medium and pour orange sauce mixture into pan.  Whisk sauce, scraping any brown bits in pan and cook until thick and bubbly.  Remove from heat and cool sauce.


Assemble bags:  I set up two freezer bags with “orange beef mix,” the date, and reheating instructions written on it.  You will also need a pan to warm tonight’s dinner.  I divide the cooled carrots mix, cooked beef, green onions, and sauce by three, one part in each bag and one part in the pan.  Squeeze out all the air from the bags, flatten and freeze.


To eat:  Thaw and heat over medium low heat until heated through.  Put a small amount of meat mixture onto a lettuce leaf and top with desired toppings.  Fold over leaf and eat.  Serve with rice if desired.

Slow Cooking Thursday

Tonight we are having leftover soup from the weekend:  Chicken Wild Rice Soup and Bison and  Sweet Potato Stew.  The stew I did in my slow cooker and it turned out great.  It’s  a nice way to introduce bison to your diet if you have started to see it at your market and want to try it out.  You can also use beef stew meat if that is what you have instead.  This was very satisfying and also acceptable diet-wise enough for my neanderthal husband…. um, I mean, my triathalon-training, paleo-diet-following (hence the neanderthal comment) husband…. um, yeah….  (hee, hee. hee!  Love ya, honey!)

I am linking today to Sandra’s blog for Slow Cooking Thursday.  (I have done this in the past, but fell off the linking band wagon… It’s nice to be back!)  Head on over and check out the other tasty options for your crock pot!

Bison & Sweet Potato Stew (this fills a 6 quart crock pot)

Serves 12

2 lb bison steak, cut into ¾” cubes
4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾” cubes

1 pound white button mushrooms, quartered

12 large shallots, peeled and quartered
8 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cup dry red wine
2 14 oz can crushed tomatoes

4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1/2 cup fresh parsley, snipped

Place bison, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, wine, rosemary, salt and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker; stir to combine. Put the lid on and cook on low until the potatoes are tender, about 5 hours. Before serving stir in vinegar and parsley.

Slow Cooking Thursday

Thursday, March 13, 2008

2 Comments $manage-tooltip$

Friday, March 14, 2008 – 01:13 AM
Bison and Sweet Potato Stew! What a unique recipe! did you purchase bison at your supermarket/

Friday, March 14, 2008 – 07:09 AM
We can get bison at our health food stores and the grocery store, Byerly’s.  At a grocery store it is usually with the grass-feed, organic, and “natural” meats.

Menu Plan Monday

Brrrrr!  Fall has arrived with cold rain and wind, so of course my crock pot/slow cooker is a must this week.  And some time this weekend I just gotta have wild rice soup!

Tomorrow keep an eye out for my new gluten and dairy free bread.  I have been working on this one for a while, and kept messing with it.  Sometimes you just have to know when to stop and call it tasty!

My daughter wants to make dinner for the family and Spaghetti Pie is just up her alley.  We are going to be following a gluten free kid cookbook and adapting it to dairy free.  We will let you know more about how that went on Friday.

Head over to Menu Plan Monday and check out the other great menus!  Thanks for hosting, Laura!

Monday:  Boneless Pork Chops, steamed veggies and potatoes

Tuesday:  French Dip sandwiches and Spinach Salad

Wednesday:  Salmon Cakes with Asian Slaw

Thursday:  Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken

Friday:  Spaghetti Pie made by my daughter

This weekend:  Wild Rice Chicken Soup and pumpkin muffins are part of the weekend festivities.

French Dip for The Slow Cooker

2 lg. onions, cut in half and thinly sliced

3-4 lb. beef roast

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 c. dry white wine

2 cloves pressed garlic

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. thyme

Place onion in bottom of slow cooker. Trim excess fat from roast. Cut meat in half if needed to fit in slow cooker. Place in slow cooker.  Season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, stir wine, garlic Worcestershire sauce and thyme until blended. Pour over roast.

Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 10-12 hours or until very tender. Remove meat from liquid. Let stand for 5 minutes before thinly slicing across grain. Strain broth if desired.  Taste to see if you need to add salt or pepper.

Serve with toasted gluten free rolls to make sandwiches, adding the onions if desired. Use liquid for dipping. If not serving immediately, sliced meat and broth can be held on low in the slow cooker up to 1 hour. Makes 8-10 servings.

Menu Plan Monday

Monday, October 15, 2007

1 Comment $manage-tooltip$

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 – 10:57 AM
Thanks for the French Dip recipe! That’s one of my favorite sandwiches and I’m going to give this recipe a shot :-)

Menu Plan Monday

Head on over to Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Laura.  You’ll see some great menus and recipes over there.  There are even a couple of gluten free ones now.  Also, this week Laura put the recipe for her son’s gluten, dairy and egg free birthday cake on this week’s Menu Plan Monday.  Ya-hoo!

Monday: Talapia and steamed veggies

Tuesday: Meatloaf in the crock pot, roasted sweet and yellow potatoes, and salad

Wednesday: Sloppy Joes (doubled for my family and made with ground turkey) from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook – Review and recipe here.

Sloppy Joes, Slow Cooker
(Serves 4)

Cooker: Medium round or oval
Setting and Cook Time: LOW for 6 to 7 hours


1 lb. lean ground beef

1 medium sized onion, finely chopped

1/2 large bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 large rib celery, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 6-oz. can tomato paste

2 Tbsp. cider vinegar, or more if needed

2 Tbsp. firmly packed light or dark brown sugar, or more if needed

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. chili powder, or to taste

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (be sure gluten free)

dash of hot sauce (be sure gluten free)

dash of cayenne pepper

hamburger buns or other soft sandwich rolls for serving (We will be using gluten free buns)


In a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the beef with the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic, stirring to break up the meat.

When the meat is cooked through, transfer the meat and vegetables to the slow cooker.

Add the remaining Sloppy Joe ingredients and stir to combine well.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours.

Taste and add more vinegar or sugar, if desired.

Serve the meat mixture spooned on to the buns.

Variation: This was very tasty serving this on top of cooked spaghetti squash. This could also be served on mash potatoes.

Thursday: Gluten and Dairy free pizza

Friday: The big boy is off to Boy Scout Camperie, so we are having a girly sleep over that night.  I think I will plan something fun the girlies can cook up and decorate themselves.  Maybe sesame chicken kabobs with different veggie chunks to skewer?  And some kind of treat to decorate also.  Maybe fruit animals or something.  Hmmm…

This weekend will also be the great gluten free fortune cookie experiment.  I will let you know how it goes.  My big girl was feeling a bit pouty about her allergies lately and we figured out it was because there are some things that look kind of fun that she will never be able to have.  Fortune cookies were not even on my radar of things to replace, because, let’s face it, they taste like sweet cardboard.  But they are fun to snap open, even I remember the fun of that!  So, we are going to try.  I think I will be printing off some jokes and silly sayings for the fortunes and we will see how it goes.  Like I told my daughter, the great thing about experimenting with food is that you get to EAT your mistakes!!

At there is a great “Month of Meals”  If you are GFCF, you will need to alter some ingredients, but they have some really fun menus put together for the season.  Check it out here.   Below is a copy in case it disappears  from the other site.

Menu Plan Monday

Monday, October 8, 2007

3 Comments $manage-tooltip$

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 – 10:47 PM
Your daughter is so blessed to have you!!!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 – 08:33 AM
I think I am the one who’s blessed to have her!  


And my other two love-bugs, of course.

Thursday, October 11, 2007 – 11:32 PM
As always, you do a wonderful job on your blog. The pictures are always a delight for Dad and I to have as our wallpaper at work. However, after the computer melt down, the pumpkin pancake recipe has disappeared. Can you post it again?


Thanks!  :-x   (((H)))

Girl Scout Camp 2007

Last year I got the menu for Girl Scout Camp really early so I had plenty of time to prepare.  This year, I wasn’t as lucky.  In fact, I just received the menu last night.  But that’s okay, camp doesn’t start until tomorrow and I have a plan!  I am volunteering again this year, so that will make the food situation easier for my daughter.  And although I am looking forward to the day she will be taking this all over for herself, part of me will still hope she wants me to hang out at camp too!  Where else will I be able to make groovy crafts and sing Girl Scout songs?


morning snack- campfire snack (See below.  We had this last year.)

lunch- turkey hot dogs, potato chips, carrots and dip, watermelon. (We are bringing our own hot dogs.)

all p.m. snacks are Freezies since it will be so hot.  (These are GFCF, so we are set!)


EQUIPMENT: napkin (1 per camper)

Cooking Method: No Cooking

Preparation Time: 10 min

INGREDIENTS:                      GFCF Ingredients:

Miniature Marshmallows       GFCF mini marshmallows (such as Jet Puff)

Chow Mien Noodles                 GFCF shoestring potatoes (ie:  Pik-Nik sticks)

Pretzel Sticks                             GFCF turkey or beef stick

Braided Pretzels                   GFCF braided pretzels (such as Glutano or Ener-g)

Cinnamon Candies (red hots)   GFCF Ret Hots/candy corn/red Skittles

Chocolate Chips                        GFCF chocolate chips


Use this snack time to teach campers the basics of fire building.  Each camper builds their own ‘fire’ by following the guidelines below.

1.    Ground = Open up a napkin and lay it flat

2.    Fire Ring = Arrange miniature marshmallows in a circle

3.    Tinder = Lay 5-6 chow mien noodles/pick-nik sticks in the center of the fire ring

4.    Kindling = Layer pretzel sticks/turkey stick on top of the tinder

5.    Fuel = Braided pretzels on top of the kindling

6.    Flame = To ‘light’ fire, add cinnamon candies for flames

7.    Coals = As the flames die down, add chocolate chips to resemble coals that are ready to cook over.


morning snack- graham crackers wither large goldfish kind or Scooby snacks in singles.  (We are bringing GFCF pretzels.)

Lunch- Chicken Hoboes (foil Dinners)Made with precooked fajita chicken, potatoes, frozen green beans, corn and carrots; french bread and s’mores.  (We are bringing our own precooked chicken to go with the camp’s veggies and GFCF chocolate chip cookies and our own marshmallows for the s’mores.  The marshmallows are most likely gluten free, but not after everyone grabs in the bag after breaking up their graham crackers!)

Dinner-Spaghetti, salad, garlic breadsticks, Ice cream sundaes with toppings (We are bringing Tinkyada pasta, sauce, a gluten free breadstick, coconut sorbet and chocolate sauce.)


breakfast-cereal, fruit (We are bringing our own cereal and GFCF “milk”)

am snack- gorp (bring a cup of ingredient to share.) (We are bringing our own mix in a small bag.)

lunch- Girl scout Gumbo, carrots and dip, salad, dirt cups.  (We had the gumbo last year.  See below.  Dirt cups:  Zen Soy chocolate pudding cup, crushed GFCF chocolate cookies and a gluten free gummy worm.  Now doesn’t that sound yummy?)


EQUIPMENT: Kettle, knife, cutting board, long handled spoon

Cooking Method: fire

Preparation Time: 30 min

Cooking Time: 30 min

INGREDIENTS:                                    GFCF Ingredients:

Ground beef                                       pre-cooked ground beef with onions,

Onions                                                           green pepper , and tomato added.

Green pepper (optional)

Water (as needed – use soup can)       didn’t need

Condensed vegetable soup                  a bit of Tofutti sour cream

Cheese                                                     SKIPPED

Corn chips                                              Used Fritos Grab Bag for portability


Heat ground beef. Chop onion and green pepper and add to meat.  Add soup and any water that is needed.  Bring to a boil, cook for 10 minutes.  Stir in cheese. Serve over corn chips.

***    ***    ***    ***    ***

**Edit – Well, it didn’t go as well as last year.  Different camp directors do handle things differently…  This year’s camp director (different from last year) wanted me NOT to bring all replacements, as we could eat the fruit, some of the meat, etc.  Apparently she was either trying to be ‘nice’ and she also didn’t want it to be so obvious to the other girls, etc.  However, being as we have been doing this for awhile, I KNEW the chance for cross-contamination was VERY high.  I asked if that was the case, could we please have the nurse or camp director to ask the caddies to let my daughter pick her veggies and fruit out first before it got cross-contaminated.  I was told this was okay to do.  I also asked if the girls could wash their hands after eating.  This was also told this was not a problem.

I also offered to do a little talk or really low key training on food allergies for the caddies training  just so any information they had questions on could be answered and there would not be an over focus on the whole food allergy thing by having too many questions asked during camp.  I am sure my daughter will not be the only one to have allergies that these girls would ever meet!  Also, I feel if the caddies have the information and just know to let a kid with food allergies go first, to wash their hands and not to put foods on the food allergic girl’s plate it will minimize problems and concerns.  If they have this information before hand it will not  be an extra thing dumped on them on the first day of camp when they are trying to do all of their other duties too.  The year before at camp the lady doing the caddy training thought this would be a great idea, however did not do the caddy training for our camp.  She e-mailed me to contact the camp my daughter was going to for this year which we did.  For this camp, I was told this was not appropriate as the caddies were barely teenagers and not dietitians.  Really.  Gee, I don’t think I expect them to be dietitians…just wash their hands and have basic info so it won’t be a big deal at camp.

Well, as I expected, there WERE issues.  We had caddies who had obviously not been informed about letting my daughter go first, who were SUPER chatty and over focused on asking questions about her allergies.  We just want to have fun at camp, not do an allergy symposium.  I would answer questions that I thought would help to diffuse the conversation and try to redirect the conversation back to Girl Scouts.  At our last meal, we had cooked meat that was naturally gluten free and the caddies were going to dump a dairy and gluten containing soup in it.  After SEVERAL attempts on my daughter’s part to try to get any of our caddies to notice that she needed to get some meat before the soup was added, I felt I needed to let them know she was trying to talk to them.  At that point my daughter asked if she could get her portion of the meat before the soup was added.  The caddie said “sure, no problem” then promptly dumped in the soup.  My daughter froze.  She then said “I have no food now!  I can’t eat!” and started to cry.  The caddy offered to pick the meat out for her and it would be okay she could even wash it, she had food and didn’t have to cry.    I told the caddy (while holding my crying daughter who is pretty hungry at this point and knows washing off ground meat doesn’t remove an allergen) told the caddy that doesn’t work with food allergies and, no, it wasn’t okay for my daughter.  And, no, she really didn’t have food to eat at the unit now.  I told them I would go to the kitchen and see if we could find something else to eat for her. <<Okay, at this point, I know, I know, I should never have trusted the camp to actually have had a handle on this.  It’s not the camp’s responsibility, it is mine and my daughter’s to bring our own food.  I caved on this because the camp director seemed to really want to try to work it out for her and kept insisting (read being really, really PUSHY about it), even though all I wanted to do originally was get the menu to bring our own food.  The director also has food intolerances in her own family and I guess I trusted in that too much and that it would be taken more seriously with more of a heads up done before camp incorporated into the caddy training information so it wouldn’t be an issue.  Yeah….I don’t think so….  No, I do NOT blame the caddy, she is just a kid who hadn’t been given any sort of information on what to do., though it would have been helpful if she made the choice to listen when my daughter spoke to her…  I’m  sure the caddy felt bad about it, but that could have been avoided with a bit of knowledge ahead of time, and, barring that, with us just having our own food and not letting the camp try to provide it in mixed in with everyone else’s food.>> I got something else from the cook (precooked chicken that was gluten free) but it took about 30-45 minutes to go down to the kitchen, find something and get back to the unit.  It really was a bummer for us, but lesson learned.  DON’T trust the camp to take care of it, even if they really. really want to, especially if they are hoping it will “just be fine” with no training to information to their caddies or staff.  Sometimes people “being nice” aren’t really being helpful in this type situation.  (I think the camp director wanted it to just work out somehow, but it wasn’t really well thought through. Also, it was pretty obvious that she just didn’t want to have someone that looked like they had something “different”, but then also didn’t want to do any of the thought our effort to make it work out SAFELY.  Just didn’t want to have to think about it at all.  Hoping things will just work out, does NOT make things happen – just an FYI!)  Bring your own and also bring extra in case someone contaminates your first one (caddies tossing crackers on your gluten free plate are not helpful – that happened also.  Fortunately, I was there and she just ate my food – I had an apple instead…)  Mistakes can still happen even when you have been gluten free for a while and you think you have all the bases covered.  And I obviously need to help my daughter realize we can try to have food for her if something gets contaminated, but she needs to be calm in order to make a plan…

I DO think that caddy’s should at least be trained on knowing that girls with health issues know better than they do about what is safe for their own bodies.  Telling a girl to just get over it and eat the contaminated food anyway is a HUGE problem that should NOT have happened.  My daughter KNOWS she will get sick and that should have been respected, period, AND they need to be trained to listen better.  Learning to tell everyone to at the very minimum keep their own food to themselves and to have everyone wash their hands doesn’t seem like a tough thing for caddies to learn either, but I digress… (apparently it is for this camp director…)

Next year we will bring everything on our own, even if the camp director pushes us not to.  I will have my daughter and myself  politely ask the caddies to stop asking us about our allergies and ask the camp nurse if they want information, or tell them they can talk to us later about it. There was really too much curiosity on one of our caddies part (then we had to hear about illnesses and surgeries and someone else’s vegetarianism, etc. etc. Too, too much.  We just don’t want it to be a big deal.  Also, one our our sweet caddies knows us and so know about our allergies and wanted to share her information too…  Too, too much….)  I for one do not want to create a situation that the caddies or my daughter will find difficult.  I also want my daughter to just bring her little sack lunch so everything is self contained.  At this point, I do not believe she will have even basic support to manage her allergies at camp (especially under this director) as I doubt the adults with her unit (unless it is myself) will be told to watch out for hand washing and I don’t think the hand washing or not giving her food even if she says “no, thank you” will be respected.  I just have serious doubts with this particular group of staff….    We will see how next year goes, I guess.

Orange Beef Lettuce Wraps

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