Allergen Free Baked Ham

Wednesday night is the perfect night for a Baked Mini Dinner Ham.

Halenda's Mini Dinner Ham cooked and slicedA simple, easy to put together meal for a busy week. I love that there is always leftovers for dinner the next night for the boys (Andy I will have a fish dish), sandwiches for lunch and enough for an extra topping for Pizza Night Friday.

Not only that, the kids love it!

I like to purchase my Mini Dinner Ham from Halenda’s. Halenda’s has upon request, an ingredient list for all their meat products. Their ham does not contain nor does it come in contact with any of the boys’ food allergens…that works for me!

Baked Mini Dinner Ham

Bake the ham at 350F in a covered casserole dish with a little water in the bottom for 1 hour.

Halenda's Mini Dinner Ham in a casserole dish with a little water

Let rest on a cutting board covered in foil until ready to carve.

For this meal, I roasted some cauliflower while the ham was resting. I drizzled some extra virgin olive oil over the washed and dried cut up cauliflower and cracked sea salt and freshly ground pepper over top. Toss to coat. Bake at 450 for 10-15 depending on the size of your pieces. I just keep checking on them and toss once or twice.

Roasted cauliflower on a silicone lined cookie sheet

Our Mini Dinner Ham was served the night after our Pierogi Feast. Left over Dough Balls and Pierogi’s complimented the ham and roasted cauliflower.

A plate with a slice of Halenda's Mini Dinner Ham, roasted cauliflower and pierogi's


P.S. The next night, Andy and I enjoyed a very simple Filet of Salmon dusted with Smoked Paprika and poached in a vegetable saute (garlic, leeks, eggplant, and cherry tomatoes). I served it with rice, quinoa and peas. Andy likes to add a touch of Frank’s Hot Sauce. It seems to go with everything!

Poached salmon in a vegetable saute with rice, quiona and peas

P.P.S. Poaching in Ratatouille is also a favourite. Quick and easy when there is a batch frozen in the freezer.

P.P.S. I try to incorporate at least 3 fish dishes a week for Andy and I. Michael is allergic to fish and Matthew used to eat it, but is not as keen these days. We are still trying!

Having leftovers for the kids to eat for the nights I bake fish eases the work load and lowers the risk of cross contamination.  


My Boys’ Favourite ‘Flat’ Chicken

This weekend, I embarked on writing on the topic of cross-contamination. As a parent with children with food allergies…it is one of my greatest fears.

The more I wrote, the more I realized how much a factor it plays in my daily life. Cross-contamination touches so many parts of my life the story seemed to take on a life of its own.

I am going to take my time with it and present it as a series. In the meantime, this weeks posts will be a series of simple allergen free dinners that our family enjoys.

To start off the week, I am offering one of my boys’ favourite dinners…‘Flat’ Chicken.
Below is Michael’s finished masterpiece.

Michael's flat chicken dinner with rice and peasNamed appropriately as my boys enjoy flattening the chicken themselves!

This is a great hands on recipe for children to experience a start to finish meal. This recipe also offers children an opportunity to try new flavours by choosing their own spices. I am sure you all have an array of them, like I do, tucked away in your cupboards.

Bring them all out to the counter and let your children familiarize themselves with their smells. I often remind my kids that many of the spices before them they have already enjoyed in other dishes without perhaps even knowing.

Chili Powder in the Barbeque Sauce for the Ribs, Sage in our Dairy Free Stuffing, Thyme on our Roast Pork, Oregano on Pizza.

My boys are not always involved in the preparation of dinner so this recipe gives us the opportunity to share some quality time…I need to incorporate their skills more often!

I hope you will find this a fun introduction to the joys of cooking in your kitchen with your children.

Boys’ ‘Flat’ Chicken

2 chicken breasts, butterflied
enough canola oil for coating chicken
variety of spices
salt and pepper

I use my Cuisinart Griddler for this recipe. Turn the grill to high.
Meanwhile, prep the chicken:
Place a sheet of wax paper on the counter and place butterflied chicken breasts on top and cover with another sheet of wax paper.
As we do not have a mallet, we use an old rolling-pin to flatten the chicken. Kids enjoyed this part!

Matthew using the rolling pin to flatten his butterflied chicken breast

Peel off the top wax paper
Drizzle a bit of canola oil over the chicken and rub it in all over.
Now the fun part! Kids can choose their spices to sprinkle over their chicken.
Rub the spices into the chicken.

Matthew’s chicken breast is on the left and Michael’s is on the right.

boys flattened chicken breasts with spices

Tip 1: I sometimes advise the boys to tap a bit of spice into the palm of their hands and then using their fingers, sprinkle the spices over the chicken. It eliminates the problem of dumping a whole pile of spices in one dose.

Matthew’s spices included: Chili Powder, Ground Cumin, Cayenne Pepper, salt and pepper.

Michael’s spices included: Thyme, Oregano, Chili Powder, Italian Seasonings, salt and pepper.

Place the chicken spice side down and cook on high for approximately 3 minutes. Turn and cook a further 3 minutes.

flattened spiced chicken breasts on cuisinart griddler

Tip 2: The boys help with the turning of the chicken with supervision.

The boys enjoyed their ‘Flat’ Chicken with a side of Basmati Rice and Peas. Below is Matthew’s masterpiece. Yummy!

Matthew's spiced flattened chicken breast with basmati rice and peas


P.S. Is there a favourite recipe your children enjoy assisting with in the kitchen?
How often do your children help out with meals?