Oh Mah Deehness!

http://ohmahdeehness.wordpress.com

Allergy Friendly Family Life – Recipes, Reading, Photography, and Adventures in Parenting (we're vegetarians living in Las Vegas and my recipes avoid the top 8 allergens plus sesame and oats due to our children's multiple food allergies).

Homa is a winner of Top 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Moms - 2013

What's your favorite vegan or vegetarian friendly product?

I would have to say quinoa with the caveat that I know the rising popularity of the grain is impacting people in South America in negative ways. I know in my experience I opted for meatless convenience foods that relied heavily on soy for a long time until my daughter was diagnosed with food allergies to a number of foods including soy. Quinoa has been a fantastic option for our family.

What's the biggest misconception people have about being a vegan or vegetarian?

I don't know that I can generalize the reactions I have gotten over the years. Since this is a site aimed at parents I will say that some people think that you can't have a healthy pregnancy or raise a child on a veg diet.

What's your best tip for families who want to start living a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle?

I think that you'll want to start with foods and meal ideas that are normally meatless. I know that tofu simply did not taste appealing to me when I first phased meat out of my diet and it could easily discourage someone trying to make more compassionate choices. Some options: pasta with marinara sauce, bean tostadas, oven roasted veggies (cauliflower is my favorite roasted vegetable), or lentil curry with brown rice (use coconut milk to make it creamy). Have fun exploring new foods or even new cuisines for ideas!

What is an easy vegetable recipe that your kids love?

Homa

My kids love to "dip" so I make this salad, quinoa, and dressing and they pick their favorite veggies and dip it in the cilantro lime dressing. The roasted curry chickpeas are also their favorite in the salad. I'll link to it below!
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What is your favorite quick breakfast recipe?

Homa

Sadly, breakfast is the hardest with food allergies, I've found. We were vegetarian before the allergies, now we are vegan. For myself I just eat dinner leftovers like roasted veggies and quinoa (I am not a fan of sweet breakfasts) but the kids have allergen free pancakes or muffins or rice cereal with coconut milk yogurt and fruit.
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What food would you most like to banish from school cafeterias?

Homa

Not sure I'm a fan of the question's phrasing, but to be honest I'd like to see the meat and milk lobbies out of the decision making when it comes to school food. It is cruel and sad. I've even heard that milk allergic children have to be served milk in some schools just so they can toss it or else the lunch doesn't count in the numbers game. Even ignoring the cruelty aspect, the meat served in schools is unsafe, case in point: http://grist.org/food/meat-wagon-dont-have-a-downer-cow-man/ From the allergy perspective, however, I think I read that a huge percentage of food allergy related deaths are peanut and tree nut related, so eliminating those would save the lives of children.
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What's your family's favorite easy crock pot recipe?

Homa

Vegan slow cooked refried beans: http://ohmahdeehness.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/slow-cooked-refried-beans-recipe/
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Please share a link to a photo of a great birthday cake you made or bought.

Homa

I made an allergen free birthday cake for my daughter's 3rd birthday, it had strawberry frosting and chocolate maple vegan and gluten free cake. http://ohmahdeehness.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/allergen-free-birthday-cake-chocolate-cake-with-strawberry-frosting/
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