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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Monday
Oct132008

New favorite cookbook: The Natural Gourmet

I would highly recommend "The Natural Gourmet" by AnneMarie Colbin. I am borrowing this book from a dear friend of my mom's, who lent me a number of cookbooks. This cookbook is my favorite from the stack - is a goldmine of incredible recipes that are easy, nutritious, delicious, and based on vegetables, legumes, and grains. I don't have to substitute a darn thing in half the recipes, which given my current dietary restrictions, is incredible. Pulling from various food traditions, she provides a lot of useful information about food combining, flavors, and the five elements theories, discusses different ingredients, and gives suggestions on kitchen tools and equipment. Most of all, I love her soup recipes - I am a soup person, I could (and, basically, do) live on soup. This weekend I made three batches of soup from her book with my purchases from the farmer's market: carrots, turnips, onions, squash, parsnips, to name a few. All three were delicious: Hungarian Asparagus Soup, Squash-Carrot-Parsnip Soup, and Japanese Red Bean Soup. My freezer is bursting and ready for winter.

Check it out on Amazon: CLICK HERE

Her recipes do use some gluten containing grains (wheat, barley), and she does use butter, natural sweeteners, and other items that are on my no-no list. But, some of those can be substituted. And besides, no cookbook will ever match your needs 100% on every recipe. Overall, this cookbook is a winner, I need to get my own copy! She also has written other cookbooks that sound just as enticing.

Friday
Oct102008

Sunshine Burger on a cloudy day.


I was hungry for something this morning beyond my usual bowl of warm spiced grain. It is dreary, drizzly, and cool today Minneapolis, the kind of morning that in the past would have warranted a quick run to the cafe down the street for a steaming Americano and a trip to the cafeteria for a spinach, turkey, and cheese omelet.

Unfortunately, that's not really on the menu right now. I needed a substitute.

After eating a small piece of lasagna (Butternut, Fennel, and Chard Lasagna - recipe to come!) this morning while packing my lunch, and still feelings pangs of hunger, I knew I'd have to come up with something at work. Then I remembered! A package of Sunshine Burgers was waiting for me in the freezer. I recently discovered Sunshine Burgers, delightful little patties made solely of brown rice, ground raw sunflower seeds, carrots, and herbs. Convenient, delicious, minimally processed, and totally free of gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, and corn!

I have tried both the Garden Herb and Original, and have a box of South West style (with black beans, red pepper, cilantro, etc) waiting for me in the freezer at home. This is the Sunshine Burger website, check 'em out: http://sunshineburger.com/

This is how I did mine up this morning in the microwave at work, using leftover brown rice and the remaining sauteed chard from last night's lasagna-making experiment.

 

Sunshine Breakfast

1 Sunshine Burger
1 c wilted greens (I used red chard)
1/2 c brown rice
Ground flax seed
Flax seed oil
salt and pepper to taste

Put frozen Sunshine Burger, greens, and brown rice in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, until everything is warmed through. Chop up Sunshine Burger and stir up ingredients until mixed, like a scramble. Warm for 20-30 more seconds. Remove from microwave, add flax meal and flax oil, and season as desired.

This would be even more satisfying if made on the stove in a fry pan - Sunshine Burgers are really tasty when warmed up in a pan!

Monday
Oct062008

Beet Hummus (gluten free, vegan, ACD)

I've been cooking and baking up a storm since I got the chest freezer, and it has already proven to be a huge convenience item for me. I love being able to grab something wholesome on the go! I will be sharing recipes as time goes on, I've got some good ones!

A quick and easy one to share now...

Beet Hummus

Inspired by leftover cooked beets and the ever-present cans of garbanzos in my pantry, this recipe is tasty, nutritious, and beautiful. I squealed with delight at the fuschia-pink color, and squealed again when I tasted the sweetness of the beets mingling with the thyme and garlic. For a golden-hued variation, try golden beets or a mix of golden and red. Good for you, fast, pink, and ultimately versatile, this hummus rocks.

1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 medium beets, cooked and peeled (approximately 1 c cooked - you could use frozen or canned if you don't have fresh)
2-4 cloves garlic, either raw, roasted, or lightly sauteed (your preference)
2 T olive oil
1 tsp dry thyme or 1 Tbsp fresh, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
optional: 1-2 T sesame tahini

Put beans, beets, garlic, tahini (optional) and olive oil in blender or food processor, and blend until well mixed. Add additional olive oil if necessary. Add thyme, salt and pepper to taste, and blend again until well mixed and smooth, adjusting seasoning as necessary.

FOR A CHUNKY HUMMUS...
v1: Reserve 1/4 c of garbanzos. Prepare hummus as directed above and blend beet/bean mixture until completely smooth. Lightly mash reserved garbanzos, or leave whole, and stir them in to smooth hummus. The whole garbanzos look like little golden jewels in a pink velvet sea. Or something like that. Fun!

v2: Prepare hummus as directed in main instructions above, but do not blend until completely smooth. This results in a highly textured hummus full of chunky beets and bean.

Garnish with parsley, fresh thyme, whole garbanzos, olive oil, or beet matchsticks. Enjoy any number of ways - serve in a bowl with veggies, or spread flatbreads, crackers, sandwiches. If you can eat goat milk products, this would be amazing with goat cheese. Or, you could thin mixture with water, broth, or rice/soy milk, and use as a sauce over steamed veggies, pastas, sweet potatoes, grains, or squash. If you have leftovers (unlikely, but possible), add broth and other veggies if you'd like, heat through, and eat as a warm, creamy Borscht-like soup.

Any way you serve it, it is sure to please! Enjoy.

Monday
Sep222008

Chest freezer = AWESOME

My parents bought me a 5.5 cubic foot chest freezer. My first appliance. My small, apartment size refrigerator/freezer combo just wasn't cutting it for long-term food storage, and I was spending too much time making things from scratch constantly. So, now I can cook BIG batches, freeze up servings, and have my very own, homecooked fast food! Perhaps I will have a life outside my kitchen once again!

I went to the farmer's market and stocked up on veggies, and my mom and I had a cooking extravaganza. My freezer now has beets, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, green beans, yellow beans, homemade beet pasta sauce, some tasty homebaked, gluten free, homemade chicken stock, cooked frozen grains, sugar free breads and muffins (recipes to come!), and four different soups! All this on top of some good store-bought frozen standards - good meats, frozen veggies, . The coolest part is that I also received a FoodSaver, which vacuum seals your food into little, reusable plastic bags. Things last WAY longer in the refrigerator and freeze better once vacuum sealed. Kind of like canning, but easier. Either take the item out of the bag and heat, or put whole bag in a pan of simmering water and heat until contents are warm! Then open the bag, and pour out your tasty, warm, wholesome food. Awesome. I can't wait to FoodSave more stuff.

For example, did you know you can keep vacuum sealed hard cheeses for up to three years in the fridge? Not that I"m eating cheese right now, but kind of an interesting fact regardless. Pretty cool.

Monday
Sep082008

Mung Bean Burgers (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

I love mung beans! They are quick, easy, tasty, and versatile. Either use the whole bean, they are vibrant, green, and small. Or buy them peeled and split (a.k.a. moong dhal), and watch them cook up into a smooth, yellow, buttery bean mash. Either way, mung beans pack a powerful 14 g of protein per cooked cup! They are easy to digest, detoxifying, and quick to cook. If you use the whole bean, soak them per normal procedure to ease digestion. If you use moong dhal, you don't need to soak - though sometimes I do anyway.

This bean burger recipe uses both the whole mung bean and moong dhal - but feel free to use all whole cooked bean. I just happened to have both cooked up and looking for a destination! This recipe requires the beans to be cooked in advance. As for the seasonings, choose your own adventure - use warming, Indian inspired spices, or go for something savory and herb based. Try using ginger, seaweed, sesame seeds, and (if tolerated - it would be super tasty) tamari or Bragg's soy aminos. Or make it Mexican with cumin, chili powder, cilantro, and maybe even some finely diced jalepenos or chiles. No mung beans? That's okay, switch out the beans. I chose to bake my burgers, but they would also be delicious fried up in a pan!

 

Mung Bean Burgers

 yield approx. 8 burgers

1 c cooked mung beans
1/2-3/4 cup cooked split mung beans (moong dhal)
2-3 carrots, finely shredded
2-3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp garbanzo flour (gram flour)
1/4 cup finely chopped or ground pumpkin seeds (optional - could also use sunflower)
seasoning options:

  • turmeric, cumin, coriander, fresh cilantro
  • marjoram, thyme, oregano, basil, fresh parsley
  • cayenne, chili, cumin, cilantro
  • seaweed flakes/kelp granules, ginger

 

Preheat oven to 375*, and prepare a cookie sheet (either grease sheet or put down parchment).

Saute grated carrot, and finely chopped celery, garlic, and onion until soft and cooked through, and remove from heat.

In a bowl, mash together cooked mung beans and split mung beans until soft.

If using pumpkin seeds in ground form, put seeds in coffee grinder and grind until they have reached a powdery consistency. Don't grind too long! We don't want to form a paste. If you'd prefer them chopped, chop them up with a good sharp knife instead.

Add pumpkin seeds/pumpkin seed powder, cooked vegetables, and seasonings of choice to the mashed beans, and mix well. Add gram flour 1 T at a time until mixture can be formed into patties.

Form patties and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 375* until heated through and firm, about 40 minutes. Flip them half way through.

Serve warm with veggies, sauces or chutneys of choice, flatbreads, grains, or whatever you'd like to combine them with!

Enjoy!