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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Entries in Products (13)

Thursday
Jun232011

Gluten-Free New York Adventures - or - Kim Eats Manhattan

how much is that blue crab in the window? the one with the big shiny pinchers?

I went to New York City back in February for a check-up with my Lyme-literate MD. I intended to post this travel recap back then, but somehow it slipped my mind. Better late than never, I suppose! 

February's trip to the Big Apple was a victory. I have now gone to New York three times for appointments over the last year and a half, and the difference I notice each time I go in how I feel is amazing. Traveling removes you from your daily routine and the patterns of how you feel - it is such an incredible way to strip you down to a baseline. And you know what? I feel better. The first time I went in December 2009, New York totally destroyed me. I had a great time explore, but I had to take breaks going up the stairs from the subway, felt completely exhausted at the end of each day, and spent the next week after I returned trying to recover. This last trip I found myself skipping up stairs, running down stairs, and walking all day, without feeling like I was on a torturous death march or needing to take breaks constantly. 

Ladies and gentleman, it's official: I really am getting better. I feel so grateful. 

In addition to exploring the city, I met up with my friend Kim Trick from Steph and Kim (formerly Wallet-Friendly Wellness). I stayed with Kim and her sister Steph when I was in NYC last summer. Despite talking a lot online and through the blogosphere, we had never met before I arrived at their doorstep last July. I was touched at their generosity and willingness to invite me into their home, and we really hit it off and had a ton of fun together. Needless to say, it was a pleasure to catch up with Kim again. We spent the afternoon in a cute Brooklyn café, discussing everything from Lyme to nutrition to grad school to religion to boys. Fun!

Other than walking around a lot, I ate. In fact, I ate a lot and drank a lot and pretty much felt like I consumed half of Manhattan. I didn't have a lot of cash flow after paying for my doctor appointment and didn't go out to eat at very many restaurants, my friend Matthew and I mostly cooked at his place for breakfasts and dinners. But, as always, I did my fair share of tourist snacking while wandering the city. 

Oddly, I didn't take a lot of photos during this trip, probably because it was cold and my hands didn't want to come out of my gloves! New York City is weird in the winter because there really isn't snow anywhere other than Central Park. Coming from Minneapolis, where snow collects everywhere and takes over the streets, I saw this was a very strange phenomenon. Look at the difference between Central Park and the Union Square Greenmarket - it looks like two different cities and seasons! 

IMG_0868IMG_0863

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Saturday
Mar122011

Mexican Spice Adzuki Bean Fudge (gluten-free, dairy-free, cane sugar-free, low sugar)

Mexican Spice Adzuki Bean Fudge

Ever since coming up with my recipe for Black Bean Fudge a couple years ago, various bean fudges have been my go-to quick dessert. But surprisingly, I've never posted any other bean fudge recipes to the blog! So I decided it was time. The other day I came up with this recipe, a rich adzuki bean fudge with hints of cinnamon, chili powder, and Young Living tangerine essential oil, inspired by the flavors of Mexican chocolate.  I took the fudge to a potluck at the ceramic studio where I take classes, and everyone loved it. Only a few pieces came home with me at the end of the night!

I'm including this recipe in this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, which features the adzuki bean (a.k.a. aduki bean or azuki bean, or red bean, the list goes on). For all the details of the challenge, check out the rules HERE, then enter your recipe in the Linky.  Ricki and I look forward to seeing all the great adzuki bean recipes you make this month!

Okay, back to the recipe at hand. For a light, alluring flavor in this fudge, I included tangerine essential oil (you could also use orange). While you could use orange extract instead, I'd highly recommend getting your hands on a bottle of these essential oils if you want to make this recipe. I use tangerine essential oil from Young Living, my favorite brand of high-quality, therapeutic grade, food grade essential oils. I use their oils everyday in cooking, in the bath, in the home, and for self-massage.  The quality is beyond compare, and unlike other brands of essential oils, all of the Young Living oils can be taken internally. They are more expensive than oils you'll find at your local health foods store, but their unsurpassed purity, superior quality, and high concentration means you'll get more bang for your buck. 

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Tuesday
Mar012011

February SOS Kitchen Challenge Stevia Round-up & Giveaway Winners

 

Thanks to everyone who submitted a recipe using stevia for February's SOS Kitchen Challenge! As always, we received a stellar collection of recipes!  And I want to extend personal thanks to Ricki for hosting this month's challenge - I kind of dropped off the face of the map on this challenge, and I apologize for my lack of enthusiastic comments on your amazing submissions! 

Here's the "Sweet"

Ricki and I were blown away by the creativity in the "sweet" section of the event this past month.  While I have added every single recipe to my "to try" list, some that stood out as particularly enticing were

And I must also give honorable mention to two posts on panna cotta!  We also had a submission from reader Jess, who made Ricki's Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles for her sweetie on Valentine's Day.  

And now, for the "Savory". . . .

Um. . . well, er. . . what the--HUH??

It appears that the only savory recipe in the list was Ricki's Crunchy Green Salad!  I guess most people consider stevia a "sweet-only" ingredient, but if you think about all the savory recipes made with a dash of sugar or honey, you'll begin to understand the wide range of recipes that can include stevia.  I hope you'll try out some savory variations in the future!

And the Winners!

Whether sweet or savory, four recipes were still chosen at random to win our four prizes: a box of 50 packets of NuNaturals stevia powder and a 2-ounce bottle of NuNaturals Vanilla flavored  stevia liquid each. Many thanks to NuNaturals for generously providing these prizes! And the winners are

Congratulations, everyone! Please send us an email at soskitchenchallengeATgmailDOTcom with your mailing address, and we'll be sure that you get your stevia prize asap!

February SOS Kitchen Challenge: Stevia

Tuesday
Feb222011

Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt Flakes (gluten-free, grain-free, cane sugar-free)

IMG_0954

Over the weekend, Minneapolis received about a foot of snow in less than 24 hours. I woke up, saw the snowflakes, and immediately wanted to spend the day stuffing my face with food. This winter has been seriously brutal to my waistline. And my inner thighs. And the back of my arms. And my hips. Whatever.

Against my vanity and better judgement, I decided to make cookies. I was inspired by a recipe for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies that I saw in the most recent Penzeys Spices catalog that uses eggs and peanut butter for the cookie base, no grains at all!  I knew had to try an adapted version of that recipe.  Conveniently, my local co-op just started stocking duck eggs again and I had bought a couple cartons on Thursday, and I had all the other ingredients I would need. Cookie project, ACTIVATE!

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Wednesday
Feb092011

Dairy-Free Coconut Milk Kefir Ice Cream with Mixed Berries, No Ice Cream-Maker Required

Perfectly pink and full of probiotics.

My housemate Mary has been making coconut milk kefir lately, and our refrigerator was rather full of the stuff. She is using these kefir grains from Cultures for Health, and process couldn't be easier. I'm not going to go into details about how to make the kefir in this post, because you can read about it on Cultures for Health's website. She uses cans of organic coconut milk, not the coconut milk beverage, adds the grains, and lets it sit. After a day or two, it's ready to go! Every so often she needs to divide the grains and innoculate them in goat's milk, just so they stay active. Her grains are mulitplying like crazy, so I am going to take some from her and get my own batch started.  

The cultured coconut milk kefir is quite lovely. As the coconut milk cultures, it thickens considerably, resulting in a rich, very thick, very creamy and tart kefir that is much thicker than any dairy kefir I have ever eaten. In fact, it is so thick that in order to strain out the kefir grains, we have to thin out the kefir considerably with water! Mary has been eating it like yogurt and adding a dollop to soups, and I've enjoyed adding it to smoothies and spreading it on muffins and bread like cream cheese.

I thought it might be fun to try making it into a frozen yogurt/ice cream type thing.  It was a breeze to make - no ice cream maker required - and tasted delicious. It tastes a lot like a strawberry malt, is very coconutty, and has just a hint of that cultured tartness on the finish. A mixture of berries, a bit of agave nectar, and some stevia liquid add just the right amount of sweetness. And let's not forget the best part - it is filled with beneficial probiotic bacteria! Could there be a better dessert to show your special someone how much you care this Valentine's Day? I think not. Nothing says I love you like happy bacteria.

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