Category Archives: Goodbye Gluten

What She Ate: In Season

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tomato harvestYou may remember that last year we had some extra garden space and an abundance of fresh everything.  We grew tomatoes (over 40 plants…oh my!), onions, carrots, kale, radishes, beets, swiss chard, rhubarb, asparagus, squash, potatoes, salad greens (and i’m sure a bunch of other things I can’t remember.  At times we had so much coming out of the gardens that I had to give it away by the bag full.  It was a busy summer as we were also working as gardeners, housekeepers and general caretakers for a 500 acre property.

The canning kettle seemed to be bubbling constantly on the stove in our apartment with few windows and no air conditioning.  I know…what was I thinking?!  Anyways, we survived and ate tremendously well.

patio herbsWhile trying to decide what to make for this weeks theme I realized that we are now on our last two jars of canned tomatoes.  It was canning to the extreme last year and we stashed away enough tomatoes to literally last a whole year.  Plus, our freezer still holds more tomatoes, rhubarb and asparagus.

patio zuchinniLast year at this time we ate so so so much asparagus.  I put that %^(*&$#$ in everything!  So it was a little bittersweet the other day when I stepped out into my patio sized garden and surveyed what’s in stock.  For now, we are back in the city.  I wake up to the rush of the traffic down a busy main street and drunk couples pass under my window at 2 am arguing the kind of alcohol-infused arguments of youth that are typically forgotten by morning.  I know now that this is not the place I will be for long, but rather a resting place to plot out the path to where I truly need to be.  My skills in gardening tested and stretched, I am now ready to look forward to the gardens I will have one day that will be my own.  And in the meantime, I have created a little getaway on my deck.  A splash of annuals, some zucchini getting ready to trail the sides, and bunches of herbs all around.  Oh…and of course, more tomatoes.

patio annualsThis year most of my canning will likely come from produce purchased at the local farmer’s market.  Peterborough has an absolutely fantastic farmer’s market which triples in size in the summer.  So can’t wait to start in on jams, pickles and sauces.  (perhaps this time setting up a summer kitchen on the deck).

Spring, when I was travelling from farm to farm, was always a time of year to eat through what remains and savour the little bits of new sprouting from the ground.  Fresh herbs and salad greens mixed with last years tomatoes, shriveled up old apples turned into cinnamon licked tarts, crisp steamed stems of asparagus…simple and elegant…a burst of green next to ordinary rice.

So this week (given the continuing limitations of the elimination diet) I crafted up a vegan gluten free pizza using our homemade canned tomato sauce from last year and drizzled with fresh herbs from our deck.  The ‘cheese’ for this pizza is actually made from cashews.  The crust, an accident it seemed at first, turned out to taste much like a rosemary foccaccia.

gf vegan pizzaFor the sauce we used:  2 500 ml jars of tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt, pepper flakes, oregano, thyme and kale.  For the toppings we used:  mushrooms, peppers, onion and black beans.

Cashew cheese.  No, it’s still not cheese cheese.  But hey, even Mr. Beardpants thought it tasted pretty good.  The texture and consistency of a ricotta.  Creamy, nutty (obviously) with a surprising cheese like taste.

To make Cashew Cheese:

soak 1 cup of cashews in several cups of water for a couple hours to overnight.

Place in blender and add 2 tsp of lemon juice, 1/2 tsp of salt, black pepper to taste.  Whir until combined.  Add 1/4 cup of water and whir until it reaches the desired texture.

I can hardly wait to try this on a piece of toasted bread with some roasted fruit on top!

As for this blog, you may have noticed I am posting rather infrequently…and the space has a bit of a neglected feel.  I’m still here and will return to regular posting soon.  I’m in the middle of brewing up a new business, a new website and well, likely a little bit of a face lift for the blog.  Stay tuned!

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For more ‘What She Ate’ deliciousness check out these other participating blogs.

Abhaya
Miner Temptations
Stars in Jars

If you would like to join us, we post bi-weekly (although it is not mandatory to join up for every post) and we are always looking for new theme ideas.  Shoot me a message and I’ll add you to the list.

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Mountain Men and Maple Syrup (or a tale of two pancakes)

Mountain Man Buckwheat Pancakes

Two boys decided they don’t like maple syrup.  Just when I think I’m getting a handle on the world, a curve ball.  I mean, seriously, did you know it was possible to not like maple syrup?  I had no idea.  But there you go.  Some people out there simply don’t like the sugary sweet miracle of sap.  a gift from the trees.  perfect on everything from pancakes to steak.  yep, if i was wealthy i’d eat this stuff on everything (and I’d likely have an entirely new set of health problems).

ah, but you see, because two boys decided they no longer like maple syrup, two adults got to gallop home with a mason jar full of the amber beauty.

and so a test.  gluten-free buckwheat pancakes.  First we tried a recipe I found online for “Mountain Man” pancakes, because I do loves me some mountain men.  Next we tried a recipe e-mailed to me by our friend Melissa.  And ding ding ding…Keevil, your pancakes are the winner!  Both recipes were delicious, but the Buckwheat-Cornmeal combination tasted the most like the pancakes I have known and loved in the past.  They also rose quite fluffy and stayed that way after they were lifted from the pan.  Whereas the Mountain Man Pancakes rose and than sunk once removed from the heat.  I will hold back on making any correlation between the performance of the pancakes and actual ‘mountain men’.

(i apologize as well to all friends currently living in the mountains.  you’ve chosen a charmed life and i am endlessly envious.  you know it.)

The recipes.

Mountain Man Buckwheat Pancakes can be found over at Frugal Antics. Loads of good eats over there.

and here is the recipe shared by Melissa:

Buckwheat-Cornmeal Pancakes

3/4 cup buckwheat flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg, beaten

1 cup buttermilk or almond milk

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup frozen blueberries (optional)

(Only thing I changed with this recipe is I added a tsp of baking soda and I also soured a regular cup of milk with 2 tbsp of vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes)

Yum Yum!

Bacon Fixes Everything

Flax Seed Gluten Free Bread

gluten free brown rice crust quiche

phlooomghssst.  I think that’s the sound that came out of my mouth.

My first attempt at baking gluten-free bread appeared to be successful at first.  The dough rose, the smell coming from the oven was all the deliciousness I’ve come to expect and the final loaf when cut looked like your average sandwich bread.  I will not give you a link to the recipe or to the blog that promised that this recipe was the best gluten-free recipe for bread ever.  If this is the best…well, lady who shall remain nameless…i’m calling bullshit.

i only wish i knew which of the ingredients made that loaf of bread so utterly unappetizing to my taste buds (Mr. Beardpants by the way enjoyed two slices of toast, plus what I couldn’t finish of mine…so it could just be me).  Brown rice flour…are you evil?  what about the starches?  if anyone has any suggestions for more appetizing flour combinations please let me know.

at one point i ran the risk of blogging too little and now i run the risk of driving you all bonkers with excessive gluten-free-whine-my-back-hurts-and-my-toes-turn-white posts, but don’t worry…soon i’ll drift away from circulation issues and dazzle you with posts about boxes and packing tape.

Tonight i’m making a little post-assault gift for my mouth.

Bacon does indeed fix everything.

A little cheddar bacon broccoli quiche (made with a brown rice crust…real rice though…not that weird flour crap).  I know that bacon is evil too, but I refuse to break our friendship.

We’ve had a good run and Bacon, you’ve always been there for me.

(side note:  my high school boyfriend named a pig after me.  Stacy lived a good well fed life and in the end she was absolutely delicious. But if you are thinking about naming a pig after your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day or any other occasion for that matter…ummm…well, just don’t.)

I adapted this recipe for Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche.  It’s absolutely nom-nom good.  Only thing I changed was adding in the bacon.

Goodbye Gluten: Hello, DIY Imitation Kashi Cereal

gluten-free cereal diy homemade

Wheat, it’s all I can think about.  Funny how when you decide to give something up for a while it has a way of taking over your mind.  Last night I fell asleep counting giant chocolate muffins and croissants and riding around with a bike basket full of baguettes.

It is only day two of operation ‘Goodbye Gluten’.

This is something I am trying out for a while to see if it helps at all with the inflammation and pain in my joints or the chronic bloating and stomach pains that have plagued me for nearly a decade.  I figure it can’t hurt and if it doesn’t make a difference I can happily go back to munching on melba toasts.  But if it does help with the above described problems than I think i’ll be all too happy to get a little extra creative in the kitchen.

Some of you may know I love to bake and I love to eat.  And one weapon I have on my side is that we already make most of our food from scratch.  So when I ran down the meal plan for this week it wasn’t as intimidating as I thought it would be.  We grabbed up a few extra ingredients, shoved the wheat and gluten filled pantry items to the side and dug right into experimenting with new flours.

Over the course of the next week or two I will be sharing some of the food we are making and some of the recipes I am discovering.  I don’t really want this blog to become all about ‘inflammed joints’ and ‘bloat belly’ and ‘gluten this and wheat that’.  But for the time being this is what’s happening and I thought I could make it a bit more fun if I take the time to share.

I’m not big on cereal.  More of an egg breakfast kinda person.  But I do love a little breakfast parfait from time to time with some cereal and yoghurt and fruit.  So I whipped up an imitation ‘kashi’ style granola that is also gluten-free.  I’m too cheap by the way to buy cereal.  I’m like that about most things.

So here’s the recipe:

in a big bowl mix together

  • 4 cups of gluten-free oats
  • 2 to 3 cups of puffed millet cereal
  • 1 cup of coconut
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup of chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup of honey
  • 1/3 cup of oil
  • Some shakes of cinnamon

Mix it all together and spread the cereal mixture onto a couple of baking sheets.  Throw the sheets in the oven at 350 F for approximately 30 to 40 minutes (until it browns lightly).  Check on the cereal every 5 to 10 minutes and give it a stir.  When it is done, remove from the oven and sprinkle a few shakes of gluten-free vanilla extract (you gotta check this stuff cause often it’s full of artificial colouring which may contain gluten).  Add a cup full of raisins and mix.  When the mixture has cooled store in an air-tight container.

My mix nearly filled a 3 L storage container.  It’ll keep in the pantry for about 4 to 6 weeks, but you’ll so have gobbled it all up way before that time comes.

Happy Nibbles!