Affairs of Living

Gluten-free, allergy-friendly, whole foods recipes

Recent Posts

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner

Site Search
Subscribe

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. 

Free Shipping on Vitamix

The Vitamix is my favorite kitchen tool for blending perfectly smooth sauces and smoothies, making my own nut and seed butters, grinding fresh gluten-free flours, and more. Interested in purchasing one? Check out the great deals on reconditioned Vitamix machines, or investigate new Vitamix machine packages. Payment plans are available!

Receive FREE SHIPPING to the US and Canada when you order a Vitamix with my affiliate code 06-004943. 

Save at iherb.com

Save $5 on your first order from iHerb.com with coupon code QAB040.  Visit iHerb.com now to browse natural products and supplements. 

Love it here?

                                

Entries in DIY (19)

Monday
Dec132010

Tips for Cooking when You're Chronically Ill

Big pots of whole grains are an easy-to-make staple for any healing kitchen.

Any of us with food allergies and intolerances already have a lot of work to do in the kitchen. But when you are also battling with any type of chronic illness, the challenge becomes even more intense. Combining a limited diet with feeling sick all the time makes it hard to get the motivation and energy to cook. I mean really, when you don’t feel well the last thing you want to do is cook, right?  

I have been fortunate that my Lyme symptoms have never made me totally unable to cook for myself. I have always been able to grocery shop and prepare my own meals.  And while I've always been able to do it, a few years ago when I was very sick it was completely exhausting. I was so brain foggy and fatigued that preparing a meal took forever, and left me feeling trained. I lived alone and was working a full time job, and it was a serious struggle.

During those times, I figured out some tips and tricks that helped me along the way - things that I still do today even though I'm feeling better. The trick is learning how to make the most of your time in the kitchen and get the most out of your meals.  Making big batches, eating whole foods, and getting help from friends are just a few ideas. Here are some of my favorite things I learned, and I hope they help you too.

Tips for Cooking when You're Chronically Ill 

Make big batches and freeze the leftovers. When you’re having a good day or when you have help from a friend, make big batches.  It is more work on the front end, but ultimately, it leaves you with less work.  You can eat off your big batch all week or freeze the leftovers for later.  Basics like cooked rice, quinoa, millet, or any kind of cooked beans can last for 5-7 days in the fridge if tightly sealed, and they can freeze very well for months.  Prepared foods like soups, lasagna (with brown rice lasagna noodles!), casseroles,  burgers and meatballs, and homemade breads and muffins freeze amazingly well. I use a FoodSaver to vacuum package all my foods for the freezer.  Then when I am super busy or having a bad day and can’t deal with being in the kitchen, I can just reach in the freezer and get something wholesome!

Get friendly with quick to prepare whole foods.

  • Split mung beans and lentils cook quick very quickly and don’t require pre-soaking.
  • Whole grains like quinoa, millet, and buckwheat cook in under 20 minutes. Make big pots of a couple different grains at the start of the week and eat off them all week in salads, soups, or just plain.
  • Winter squash are nutritious and so easy to bake, and you can eat off them for days. 
  • Sweet potatoes and regular potatoes can be baked whole in the oven or microwave, and stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Most vegetables can be eaten raw if you don’t want to deal with cooking them.  Make a meal of bean dip, raw vegetables, and miso soup.

Steam vegetables. Steamed vegetables take only minutes to prepare, are easy to digest, and can be eaten any time of day with any kind of other foods. You can steam vegetables on the stovetop with a steaming basket in a pot, or you can purchase electric vegetable steamer appliances if you don’t trust yourself (and your Lyme brain) with open flame.  My rice cooker even has a vegetable steaming tray that I sometimes use if I don’t feel like using the stovetop.

Make salads and get comfortable with eating raw.  The easiest food in the book.  Bag of pre-washed baby greens, some kind of protein (beans, meat, fish, nuts), and a handful of other vegetables, or a scoop of quinoa or millet.  Add some salad dressing or a little oil and vinegar, lemon juice, or  sprinkle of vitamin C crystals, and you’re done!  Under 5 minutes.  If your body tolerates raw vegetables well, learn to love eating raw veggies with your meals – less prep work, and good for you too!

Eat plenty of nutrient-dense foods. Don't skimp on the calories and fat. Make sure you eat enough during the day, eating eveyr few hours to keep your blood sugar stable and your metabolism going. Assuming that your body can digest fats well,  you should eat lots of healthy fats throughout the day.  Not only will it help the your brains nerve coatings, it will help your body tissues, and give you a sense of satisfaction.  Cook with coconut oil or ghee, and add olive oil, flax oil, pumpkin seed oil, and help oil to salads or over baked sweet potatoes.  Eat plenty of avocados, nuts and seeds, coconut milk, and high quality olives.  If you can, make bone broth, which is a good source of natural fat and nourishing gelatins. While you are healing, it is imperative that you keep your body well nourished, and eating quality fat can really help.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec062010

New RSS Feed and Homemade Natural Mouthwash

Updated on Sunday, December 26, 2010 by Registered CommenterKim @ Affairs of Living

First, let's get to business. I updated my RSS feed! Please update your readers with this new feed URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/affairsofliving/RYpC  If you aren't into using feed readers, you can also receive notifications of new posts by e-mail; just enter your email address in the form in the right nav bar on my blog. 

What's new about this feed? Simplicity! Now, all the feeds from from each section of my site - Recipes & Lifestyle, Healing Journal, and Garden Journal - have been merged into a single feed. Finally!  It took a little head scratching and some quality time on YahooPipes and Feedburner, but I figured it out!

Now, on to something more exciting: dental hygiene. 

IMG_0054

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep112010

Oven-Roasted Watermelon Seeds (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

Roasted Watermelon Seeds

My coworker E blows my mind regularly. As a celebration of Rosh Hashanah, she brought in four varieties of homemade herb and spice infused honeys to eat with sliced locally grown apples.  I am the elated recipient of small jars of two varieties of those honeys - buckwheat honey infused with lavender, and clover honey infused with a variety of Indian spices (honeygasm, honeygasm). She also made two other clover honey infusions, one with garlic and jalepeño, and the other with fennel, anise, mint, and something else licoricey that is currently slipping my mind. Lord have mercy, those honeys were knee-weakeningly good.

Anyway, this isn't the only thing she does. E often makes amazing marinated vegetable concoctions and brings little containers into work for me to try, and they are always delicious and complex. We both saute greens in the kitchen over the lunch hour and talk about food while we share containers of oil-cured Moroccon olives and meaty cerignolas.  I bring fermented vegetables for her and other homemade goodies, but truthfully, I have a hard time keeping up, because she rocks.  Lately E has been amazing all of us with her homegrown and epically enormous Moon and Stars variety watermelons to share.  These melons are huge, round, heavy, lovely things that measure roughly 1 1/2 feet in diameter.   She transports these watermelons to work on a wheely cart. Yes, that' right: my friend E wheels watermelons through the downtown Minneapolis skyways while people in boring business suits whiz past carrying briefcases and talking on their dorky Bluetooth headsets.  The last melon she brought in - quite possibly the largest melon I've ever seen - was so unwieldy that it actually broke the wheely cart mid-trip, and she managed to get into work somehow anyway.  She is wonderful.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep082010

Apple, Turnip & Cabbage Hash (gluten-free, vegan, ACD) and an unrelated crafty announcement

sweet, savory, sour, and so so so good 

This month's SOS Kitchen Challenge features none other than the trusty apple, a harbinger of autumn.  For my first apple recipe of the month, I wanted to make something that walked the line between sweet and savory.  I decided on a mix of apples, turnips, and cabbage, spiked with onion and caraway seeds. It is very much inspired by Scandanavian and German food; what can I say, I'm influenced by my cultural heritage.  It is aromatic and full of flavor, and I am convinced that caraway, apples, and cabbage were absolutely made for each other. Despite the fact that this combination makes vegetables almost sinfully delicious, you needn't worry - no sinning here.

If you want to participate in this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, it's easy! Just check out the kick-off post for all the rules, and submit your apple recipe to the Linky at the bottom of this post. You can submit recipes until the end of the month, when Ricki (my challenge co-host) and I will post a round-up highlighting our favorites. Awesome.

Apple, Turnip & Cabbage Hash

yield 4 side servings

2 organic apples, cored and diced
2 large turnips, peeled and diced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 cups finely chopped purple cabbage 
2 Tbsp olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, or butter
2 tsp caraway seeds 
pinch allspice
umeboshi plum vinegar, to taste

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, then add onion and stir. Saute 2-3 minutes, then add turnips, stir to coat with oil, and saute for for 5-8 minutes, until turnips just start to turn slightly golden. Then add apple, cabbage, allspice, and caraway seeds. Saute until apple and cabbage are softened, stirring often. Then crank up the heat and saute for about 5 minutes to give everything a nice little brown edge. Season to taste with umeboshi plum vinegar, and serve.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Oh, hey, wait a minute!  I have an unrelated announcement!

I'm excited to present you with My Little Ideas, my very own shop on Etsy! Etsy is a an amazing site that provides virtual storefronts to artisans and crafters, and is the source of amazingly unique handmade goods on the internet. I've been meaning to start a site for years to sell the various things I make - embroidered items, jewelry, crocheted and knitted items, the list goes on. However, my recent crocheting solution to a problem finally kicked me into gear. I use mason jars for everything, and generally have one bouncing around in my purse to use as an eating or drinking vessel. After one too many broken jars, I finally decided to start crocheting jar cozies, and it turned into nothing short of an obsession! So, I now present you with my very own shop, my place to sell whatever I make, including my beloved cozies. 

My Little Ideas

one of my handmade mason jar cozies, available on Etsy

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep052010

Honey-Sweetened Plum & Blueberry Jam (gluten-free, sugar-free)

IMG_3953

My evening activities of late are no longer a secret, that's for sure.  Yes friends, I've been jamming up a storm. First it was Vanilla Plum Jam. Then it was Spicy Raspberry Lime Jam. Then I made this delicious Plum & Blueberry Jam, using leftover plums and some frozen blueberries (a mix of homegrown and Wyman's frozen wild blueberries).  Then I followed it up shortly thereafter with an Herbed Apple Jelly, which I will share with you if it actually set up correctly and I like it.  I now have 26 jars of preserves, and I doubt I'll end there!

This jam rocks. The flavor is a nice balance of blueberry and plum, and it has a nice thick consistency.  But I think my favorite thing about this jam is the color. Seriously, look at that! That amazing purple blue color yells, "Eat me! Now!"  Just think of all the antioxidants. Wow.

Click to read more ...