Tag Archives: gluten-free

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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What She Ate (Naughty but Nice)

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I’ve been eating nothing.

I wish I was writing this post a few days ago when for a brief moment of time I was feeling very positive about this whole experience.  But yesterday I hit a wall.   19 days with no sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol, no red meat, nothing with preservatives, no dairy, no eggs, no soy, no peanuts, no wheat/gluten, no oranges/grapefruits, no strawberries or bananas, no tomatoes or potatoes or mushrooms or peppers.  blah!  I have 11 days to go and than I can slowly start to add things back in.  But honestly, just when I think my stomach is starting to feel better and that all of this will result in a grand discovery that will lead me to a lifetime of feeling great…I eat something and my stomach gurgles and churns.

There have been actual improvements.  My skin is improving with less redness and fewer rashes,  the fatigue that threatened to derail me from doing anything and everything has finally lifted, and for the past few nights (after weeks of insomnia) I slept.  and for those of you who have experienced insomnia for any extended amount of time…you know that a little sleep can go a long long way.

anyone who knows me knows that i have a weakness for all-day breakfast (and beer, but we won’t go there for now).  oh how I’ve been craving a greasy spoon breakfast.  So for my “Naughty but Nice” meal I decided to whip up a batch of Buckwheat (vegan, gluten-free) Pancakes and some delicious Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties.  I’m allowed to have maple syrup in small amounts…so I drizzled it deliciously over these beauties and dug in.  Sigh.  11 more days.  What will I add in first…you may be wondering…well, i’m wondering that very same thing.  Bananas are pretty high on the list.  Surprisingly, even higher on my want list than coffee.

Turkey Breakfast Sausage (Gluten-Free)

1 lb lean ground turkey
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp sea salt

Combine and mooosh all together.  Form into small breakfast sausage sized patties.  Fry em’ up in some olive oil and enjoy.

Buckwheat (Gluten-Free Vegan Sugar-Free) Pancakes

1/2 cup Buckwheat Flour
1/4 cup Sorghum Flour
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp water (egg replacement)

You know what to do.  Mix it up.  Pour it out.  Flip Flip.  Eat.

P.S  there will be pictures.  my picture card reader thingy is broken…again!  i’ll upload them soon.

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You have to head over to Abhaya and check out the delicious What She Ate: Naughty But Nice recipe she posted for Cauliflower Crust.  Drool.  When I can have cheese and eggs again…I’m so making this!

What She Ate (Hello! It’s a Link Up!)

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As some of you may already know, I was recently diagnosed with a second autoimmune disease.  Yep, my immune system is a rock star in the bad sorta binge drinking kinda way.  But moving on.  My naturopath suggested that I do a therapeutic diet for the next month to help ease the inflammation in my body, give everything a chance to heal/rest and in the meantime potentially identify some foods which may need to be completely eliminated.  The diet is pretty restrictive, but in reality is still full of great healthy options.  If you know me, though, you know I’m a high-fructose corn syrup in the form of candy candy candy kinda girl.  So that part of the elimination diet list that said ‘no sweeteners’ hit hard in my candy crack fogged brain.

fruit salad

It’s the end of my first week and I think so far I’m doing good, but the real test will come tonight when I go to the movies sans-goodies.  Oh my!  Oh wait, I can sneak a bottle of 100% pure fruit or vegetable juice.  Poo.

We already eat pretty darn tootin’ healthy.  (with the exception of the previously professed candy problem).  We make most of our food from scratch, eat a diet full of whole foods and a good variety of fresh fruits and veggies.  However, when it comes to cooking I don’t know the first thing about laying off the cheese.

curried rice apple chickpea salad

I thought this would be a great opportunity to invite some fellow bloggers to join in a link-up.  (Disclaimer:  I don’t suggest that anyone embark on any kind of diet without first talking to your doctor).  It seems that there are many of you out there who are making the choice to either eat healthier or for one reason or another have had to give up some type of food.  So why not link up together and spend a little time every couple of weeks sharing some healthy eats, new recipes and naughty (but healthy) indulgences.  You don’t have to be on a special diet to join, you just have to share an interest in home cooked deliciousness.

vegan chocolate mousse

So if you are interested in joining this link up let me know in the comments below and I’ll send you all the info you need by email (including the little banner guy up above and the button).  We will have a new theme every couple of weeks…like a culinary challenge.

Here are two recipes from my first week that I wanted to share.  Easy-Peasy my friends and so gooooood!  For starters,  I can’t give up chocolate.  I just can’t.  I was lucky to have my friend Steph stop by for a visit and she brought with her this recipe for Vegan Chocolate Mousse.  I believe it was originally intended to be served in a chocolate tart of sorts, but it makes a pretty good imitation of a pudding.  And you all know how much I love pudding.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

2 cups avocado
1/3 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
2/3 cup maple syrup (or to taste.  I used honey and a lot less)
1 tbsp peanut butter or tahini
1 tbsp arrowroot or coconut flour
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted

whir it all up in a blender and enjoy.

And here is a lunch staple in our house (which I had to modify slightly because I can’t have peppers or dried fruit or mayonnaise or Worcestershire sauce…ho hum).

Curried Rice, Chick Pea and Apple Salad

2 cups cooked brown basmati rice
5 green onions, sliced
1 apple, seeded and chopped
1 cup or 1 can cooked chickpeas
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil

mix. mix. mix. voila. eat.

* adapted from the cookbook “Beyond the Moon” by Ginny Callan.  I love this book.

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I can’t get the link-up thingamajingy to work…hopefully up for next time.  In the meantime, you should really head on over to Abhaya to check out the gorgeous Indian Slaw recipe that Sondra posted.  It looks absolutely yummers!  Coconut and Lime and Roasted Peanuts…need I say more!

You can also head on over to the What She Ate Pinterest Board to see all the delicious healthy eats!

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!