Do you like Rice-A-Roni? When I was a kid, I LOVED it. But I don't eat it very much now because I don't like preparing side dishes. Instead, my preference is always to make a casserole-type dish that mixes the protein, starch, and vegetables/fruit all together. (I'm not sure why that is; it might be because I like eating vegetables more when they're mixed with other things; it might be because I'm lazy and like to throw everything into one big pot/skillet/casserole dish.)
Well, I have found the solution: Rice-A-Roni + mixed vegetables + bite-sized pieces of chicken = yummy skillet meal! I got the idea from The Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Kid-Pleasing Cookbook, which has a section on easy meal ideas for tired mothers (that would be me alright). Basically, it suggested adding bite-sized pieces of chicken and some mixed vegetables to the Rice-A-Roni and preparing according to package directions. So that's what I did, using pre-cooked chicken (Hormel Natural Choice Carved Chicken Breast - you can find it near the deli meats) and frozen vegetables. Here is the "recipe" for those of you who like to follow directions:
1. Melt 2 Tbsp dairy-free margarine in a heated (deep) skillet. (I added another Tbsp or so because Ainsley is a skinny minny and could use the extra calories.)
2. Add rice-a-roni noodles/rice, chicken (torn into bite-sized pieces), and about 2 cups or so of mixed vegetables (I used a mix of green beans, peas, carrots, and corn).
3. Saute for 3-5 minutes.
4. Add 2 1/2 cups water and packet of seasoning. Mix well and bring to a boil.
5. After mixture starts boiling, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes more.
It was so good that I'm already looking forward to having the rest for leftovers tomorrow!
Now, on to my second topic - Ainsley's yucky day at school. Short story - she started throwing up around lunchtime so we had to pick her up. We still aren't sure why. It didn't seem to be an allergic reaction because she didn't have any other signs (no itchy mouth, no hives, etc.) and she didn't seem to have eaten anything to which she is allergic. On the other hand, it doesn't seem to be a stomach virus because she has no fever and, after that initial bout of vomiting, she has been fine. So I'm wondering if it could have been food poisoning, but I don't think she ate anything this morning that would have caused food poisoning.
In any event, she is acting completely normal now. She's actually had a pretty good appetite all afternoon and has been very active in the last few hours (she is currently chasing her baby sister around the house, in fact). But that's one thing about having a kid with food allergies - you never know for sure in times like this whether your kid had a reaction or whether it was something else.