As someone who apparently ‘doesn’t eat anything’ these days, I get food sensitivities – and they can be tough. The differences between myself and a child with food sensitivities though are many. First of all, I like a whole lot more food… most kids have a limited palate. Secondly, I am at a point in my life where I really don’t give a flying fig if someone looks at me strange for ordering my burger without a bun, or asking if an ingredient contains sugar… most kids however, do not like to feel different from their friends – not at all. Finally, I can fend for myself… and while teaching your kiddos to be confident in the kitchen is very important, they aren’t going to have those skills right out of the gate.
Luckily for those with food sensitivities or those cooking for them, President’s Choice now produces a huge and affordable variety of both Gluten-Free and Lactose-Free options and they are readily available at your local Loblaw’s store (Atlantic Superstore here in Atlantic Canada).
President’s Choice has shared with me 3 of their favourite #compromisefree recipes and I have recreated them for some of my favourite kiddos and bigs. You are seeing both my spins on the recipes to suit my families tastes, and the original (and fancier) PC recipes in a saveable/printable format, just follow the links provided.
To help you prepare for your next snacking soiree, the President’s Choice team has put together some of their favourite suggestions for creating the Ultimate Nacho Station at home. The twist: this one is completely lactose-free!
STEP 1: BUILD A BASE
The first step towards building the nachos of your dreams is to create a crunchy base. Whether you opt for a traditional tortilla chip, a modern (and colourful) blue corn chip or even a push-the-envelope option like tater tots, waffle fries or wonton wrappers, the base you pick sets the tone for the whole dish. Offer your guests a small selection to choose from: we recommend at least one warm option and one chip to keep things interesting. (Heather’s #lowcarbmmm options: use roasted cauliflower or pork rinds as the base for your nachos)
STEP 2: GET SAUCY
At the heart of any good nacho platter is a heaping helping of salsa. Depending on how adventurous your little ones are, you can offer anything from a mild, fresh option made at home to a PC® Black Label Smoky Chipotle Salsa – straight from San Antonio, Texas. Whatever you do, make sure you keep a pile of napkins nearby, because whether mild or spicy, things will get messy!
STEP 3: VEGGIES GALORE
To add a pop of colour (and sneak in a few better-for-you bites), lay out a selection of veggies in small patterned or glass bowls. From sweet yellow peppers and diced tomatoes to thinly sliced green onions and pickled Jalapeño peppers (like these ones from PC®), the possibilities are endless. (Heather’s #lowcarbmmm tips: Veggies rock, but we also love a bit of shredded Tex-Mex seasoned chicken, pork or ground beef when we make our nachos a meal)
STEP 4: CHOOSE CHEESE
When it comes to nachos, there are many combinations of cheese that offer that ooey-gooey final touch. Luckily, it’s now easier than ever for your lactose-free littles ones can enjoy the same number of cheesy choices as anyone else. With options like PC® Lactose-Free Swiss Cheese, Old Cheddar Cheese and Marble Cheddar Cheese available right at your local Atlantic Superstore, you can be sure that none of your guests will have to compromise on fun. (Heather’s tip: There is no such thing as too much cheese!)
STEP 5: DIP IT GOOD
To finish off your delicious dish, offer a couple of dips on the side. Whether you choose a mild classic like PC® Lactose-Free 14% M.F. Sour Cream or slightly more exotic option like chunky guacamole, you can be sure that this last little detail will take your nachos to new heights. (Heather’s tip: choose all the dips!)
Our version? Chelsea and her pals are still pretty basic when it comes to nachos… give them cheese and chips (yellow, none of the ‘weird ones’ LOL) and they are happy. The grown ups? We like the ‘dippage’. Me? This was my first time actually trying nachos on pork rinds and now I am now addicted.
Verdict: No one suspected any differences.
This is good ol’ mac & cheese, just with none of the gluten.
Our version: I fancied it up a bit by using the same sauce, but used the fresh PC Gluten-Free Four-Cheese Tortellini and made a crumb topping using a tbsp of melted butter, some PC Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs and a handful of shredded cheddar – then popped it all under the broiler for a few minutes. Using a vegan or lactose-free cream cheese substitute along with the PC Lactose-free cheeses, you could easily make this one lactose-free as well.
Verdict: No one suspected anything… the Mr. really, REALLY loved the pasta. I still am off all grains, so I didn’t try it, but I did steal some of the sauce to have on my broccoli and it was creamy and delicious.
Okay, these are just totally fancy and decadent… a bit too much so for our likes but look at how gorgeous they are!
Our version: We whipped up the PC Gluten-free Chocolate Cake Mix into 12 cupcakes and instead topped them with Chelsea’s favourite, cream cheese frosting. I tried her out on a slightly healthier version and she loved it. I simply whipped 1 block of cream cheese with 1/4 cup of honey, a couple of drops of liquid stevia and a tsp of pure vanilla extract. Win!
Verdict: Chels loved the frosting but wasn’t a fan of the cupcakes… but she doesn’t like any chocolate cake. For those who like chocolate cake, they noticed they weren’t the prettiest and maybe a bit underdone (THANKS! I’m out of baking practice and it shows), but otherwise, were none the wiser. I’m not able to eat these, but I did try out the same mix back in 2013 when it was released and talked about it in this post.
As someone who has been fighting off a cold all weekend and not really wanting to be in the kitchen, I can vouch that all of these recipes are fast, simple, family-friendly and definitely compromise free! Having your child’s gluten-free bestie over for dinner is no longer an issue.
Loblaws has provided me with a $100 Gift Card good at any of its banner stores across Canada and I can’t wait to give it to one of you! To be entered to win, leave a comment below letting me know which of these three recipes would be the biggest hit in your household and what changes you might make to make it all your own.
A winner will be randomly selected on April 20, 2017 and contacted by email.
For more tips and tricks for entertaining with food sensitivities in mind, check out pc.ca/foodsensitivities.