Wednesday, 6 June 2012

A Picnic Without Sandwiches?!?!?!

Well now...After yesterdays pics of our impromptu run to the beach I thought I would tell you all about our picnic.

                                                Typically you cant see Maddies pasta salad 
                                                  as Squealy has his big head in the way!!!

Picnic? Easy! What's to tell?  You make some sandwiches, pack some crisps and off you go right? Er... Aaaaand then there’s Mads. Time to lose the dairy, wheat and gluten. Bye bye sarnies!
It’s not hard though and I really wanted to write this to show you that our glutey-free chums or family don’t need to feel left out or different.

To be honest when Madison was first diagnosed we avoided all instances where we had to eat outside the house, it just seemed like a potential minefield as I couldn’t see beyond the fact that you always have sandwiches at picnics! Always bread, always cheese, maybe some yoghurt? And 9 times out of 10 you eat in the car watching the rain pelt down on the windscreen obscuring the pretty view. No? Is that just an Irish thing? LOL.

                                                      This was the 10th day out of 10.

Now Madison’s “bread” is far from appetizing.  It really needs toasted to make it appear close to edible. She doesn’t care but enjoys it as she has little comparison. We are working on a gluten and dairy free bread for her that can be used in sandwiches without her looking like she is chewing on sawdust!
These days we are confident enough to cater for her wherever we happen to be so last weekend the usual mayhem was put on hold for lunch on the beach. And the main tummy filler of the day for our Mads was to be mixed veggie sauce and pasta. This is such a quick and easy meal. All of our kids love it!

I use:
2 carrots
1 courgette
1 yellow pepper
Tin of sweetcorn
1 red onion

Whizz it up in the food processor and add:

Tin of chopped tomatoes
A healthy splash of balsamic vinegar
A generous sprinkling of oregano

Whizz it up again and then pour it into a pan. I bring it to the boil and then simmer it for 5 minutes or so. Our kids don’t like their veg too mushy so have a taste while you are cooking and judge for your al dente-ness.
Next, the gluten and dairy free pasta swirls (available from the big supermarket chains). When they are ready I mix with the sauce and leave it all to cool. Ta Dah!! Instant and easy pasta salad with an Italian tomato sauce.

If dinner time creeps up on you this is a great stand by as its quick, easy and healthy. If you don’t need to avoid gluten and dairy then you can use ordinary pasta and add some grated cheese on top. Or use it as a pizza sauce. It’s also a sneaky little trick for kids who are a bit picky about their greens. The more you whizz it, the less you would know there is any in it. Mwah ha ha haaaaa……Sneaky, sneaky.

So there's a basis for you that is easy to adapt. Swap balsamic and oregano, add lime juice, chilli and a few chunky cut pieces of veg and you have a spicy salsa style for example. 

I am a great believer in "bucket" in buck it in and see what happens? Half the fun of cooking is figuring out how you like it. Food is personal. Just because I like something one way doesn't neccessarily mean you will. Taste as you cook. Add stuff. Make it your own. Be smug about how good it is. Enjoy yourself.

Love & kisses

Suzi. xx


  1. I love this post. I read it in an Irish accent (or at least what I think in my head sounds like an Irish accent), which is always so endearing to me! I'm so happy Mads liked it. I'm much more simple, probably because my son (5) is very "purist" so I could just hand him the carrots, tomato, courgette (zuchinni), pepper and corn separately, and he'd be happy with that. But your beautiful medley of vegetables, also reminds me a bit of ratatouille, too. I hope you guys have fun on your next picnic! :)

  2. Top of the morning Heather. I'm so glad you are enjoying our little window to our life. I can't apologise enough for not replying sooner. This last month has been manic and unfortunately the blog has had to take a back seat. I promise I will make more of an effort to keep this up to date in future. That's why I'm here at 1.10am writing! ha ha. To be sure, to be sure it is indeed a sort of ratatouille. Just one thats been fired through the juicer. Our kids aren't veggiephobic as such but sometimes a carrot is just a carrot and needs messed with to see what happens.

    With love

    x x


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