Affairs of Living

Gluten-free, allergy-friendly, whole foods recipes

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Sunday
Nov272011

Who needs potatoes when you have Parsnip Apple Mash?

IMG_3744.jpg

I haven't eaten potatoes in almost 4 years. Although I undeniably enjoy the starchy goodness of a potato and the multiplicity of ways to enjoy them, consuming them just isn't worth the allergy-induced joint swelling and digestive discomfort that inevitably results. 

Instead of mourning over the loss of potatoes, I found solace in other starchy vegetables. Sweet potatoes have always reigned supreme over any other true potato in my book, and I enjoyed a reason to romance their sweet, orange flesh. I adopted my mother's love for parsnips and beets at a young age, and explored their versatility further, quickly becoming obsessed with their different yet equally sweet flavors and hearty textures. I explored the glory of the celeriac, the gnarly vegetable that is also known as celery root, and took a liking to its unique, strong flavor. I tried every squash I could get my hands on, and prepared it almost every way I could think of. I mashed cauliflower to use as a topping for shepherd's pie, made creamy pureed soups from turnips, and made french fries out of rutabagas and carrots. 

Truly, I haven't missed potatoes a bit. 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov252011

Honey-sweetened Gluten-free Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

Gluten-Free Mesquite Chocolate Cookies with Sea Salt
It's happened: winter is slowly setting in on Minnesota. Last week Saturday the yards and streets took on the familiar white layer of fresh snow. Within a few days the snow had melted, which was good - the abundance of fallen leaves on the grass dyed the snow a strange yellow color. It looked like packs of dogs descended upon the neighborhood and lifted their legs on every inch of snow. Hopefully everyone will rake up their leaves so that unfortunate discoloration doesn't repeat itself when another inevitable snowfall arrives.

 

Yellow snow aside, I experienced a surprise flutter of excitement with those first flakes. My relationship with Minnesota winters is historically a tenuous one, but I feel differently this year. My body is healthier and stronger, cold weather doesn't seem like torture, and I'm actually looking forward to talking walks on bright winter days and hearing the crunch of snow underfoot. I just moved back into the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis last week, my favorite neighborhood, and the beauty of this place in the winter is making me giddy. This is my third time living in Seward since moving to Minneapolis in 2004, and I feel like I'm returning home. Literally - I lived in a duplex directly across the street  from 2005-2006 and lived in another duplex two blocks north from 2007-2009. Seward is the kind of neighborhood where people bike and walk all year round, where the ice rink in the park is regularly used, and where freshly made snow people line the front yards. The neighborhood is nestled between the Mississippi River and railroad lines, and the quaint houses reflect its modest, blue-color upbringing. My favorite food co-op is three blocks from my front door, bike paths abound, a community park and a Montessori school are on the other side of my block, and people wave when they pass each other in cars. It's wonderful. Once the snow falls again, I'll take some photos. 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov212011

Allergy-Friendly, Gluten-free Thanksgiving Recipes

Here in the United States, Thanksgiving is fast approaching.  On Thursday the nation will gorge themselves on turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, those pasty dinner rolls and pie. Lots and lots of pie.  For those of us with allergies, such holiday meals can be like obstacle courses. The traditional Thanksgiving fare leaves those of us with multiple dietary restrictions feeling left out at the family table.  

Fear not! Thankfully, there are many delicious ways to keep the spirit of Thanksgiving without sacrificing your diet.   Here are some of my favorite recipes that are perfect for holiday get-togethers and good enough for your very traditional grandma and your picky uncle to enjoy. 

Cashew-Pumpkin Seed Cheese with Apple-Cranberry Sauce

Appetizers

 

Cabbage-Apple Slaw 

Salads

 

 Pumpkin Coconut Soup

Soups

 

Slow-cooked Pork Shoulder with Sauerkraut, Sweet Potato, and Apple

Main Course 

Who says you need to cook a whole turkey? Try one of these other protein packed options instead.

 

Paprika Rice

Stuffing Substitutes

Gravy

 

 Quick Roasted Kabocha Squash

Sides

 

socca with rosemary and cumin

Breads & Muffins

 

Sweet Potato Crumble Bars

Pies & Bars

 

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

Other Sweet Treats

 

Rainbow Curry Chicken Stew

Yummy leftover turkey ideas

Saturday
Nov192011

No-Bake Sweet Potato Pie (gluten-free, vegan, low-sugar, grain-free, nut-free)

 No-Bake Sweet Potato Pie

The original recipe for this pie was published in my 2011 recipe calendar A Year to Eat Freely. It was a really fun recipe project that I had for sale through Etsy. While I won't be publishing another calendar for 2012, I really enjoyed the learning process and experience of creating the first calendar. 

I made a few tweaks to the original recipe and wanted to share it with you. It is different than a traditonal sweet potato pie that is baked, but has its own distinctive flavor and texture that is very good. It would be perfect for your holiday table. 

If you are looking for other Thanksgiving pie or bar ideas, check these out:

This recipe is linked to Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free's Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov182011

I'm still here, really. 

sack o' squash

I haven't really been present on the blog lately. Life has been a mass of curveballs and uncertainty, and while it's all been for the best, it hasn't really allowed by the time to leisurely keep up on my blogging. In the last 3 months I've moved between three homes (more on that here), slept on a number of friend's couches, traveled to New York to visit my Lyme-literate MD, weaned myself off most of my Lyme antibiotics, hosted two food swaps, led two cooking demos, and performed in an outdoor Halloween puppet extravaganza for thousands of people over two weekends. All while anxiously awaiting the birth of my best friends' baby and trying to finish an awesomely tacky holiday-themed crochet baby sweater. And finishing the Harry Potter books. And making lots of pies. Oh yeah, and working a full-time 8-5 job. 

 

Hot damn. I need a nap.  

 

Thankfully, my life seems to be settling down a bit, perfectly in tune with the impending season of hibernation. I just moved in to a wonderful home on Tuesday, where I will be living with three great roommates in my favorite neighborhood of Minneapolis. I am so grateful to be able to finally settle in to a place I could call my own, somewhere safe and comfortable. My crazy schedule and lack of stability has kept me from the kitchen, and I've hardly been cooking. I have mostly subsisted off eggs, salads, smoothies, and squash. I picked up that gorgeous sack of squash pictured above from a farmer at the St. Paul Farmer's Market about a month ago for a mere $15, and it has been my salvation. 

 

I'm looking forward to unpacking in my new home, settling in to a new stable rhythm, and having time to focus on my healing process and on working on a new recipe project that I'm excited about. I'm thrilled to say that despite all the craziness that I"ve made for myself the last few months, I've been able to stay remarkably healthy and energetic. Although I feel pretty terrible at the moment - lots of body pain and lots of pressure in my head - I'm doing pretty darn well. It seems that I've reached a new level of success with my treatment for Lyme and all those other nasty little co-infections. My journey isn't over, but it sure has become a much more enjoyable trip. 

 

Life is good. I am lucky. Thanks for being here with me.