Violets and Amaranth

Eating weeds and gaining grains: an adventure in eating


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Thanksgiving Redux

It was a great Thanksgiving in our corner of the world.  We’ve been gluten-free for a little over 2 years and this is the first Thanksgiving that there was no cross contamination, no after dinner reactions.  Just a lovely visit with family and good food. A sample of our menu:

Pulled pork (who needs turkey?)- tastes great as is, with BBQ sauce, or with enchilada sauce

Baked sweet potato or mashed potato

Cranberries and jello

Soft Bread- I tried the Brown Bread from the Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Book by Elizabeth Gordon.  We made it with hard cider rather than beer, since we have a hops allergy here.  Wow is all I can say.  It was a great, soft bread.  Even if it tasted like apples from the cider.

Cooked Carrots

Pumpkin Pie.  We made a pie crust, only instead of butter, I used 6 tablespoons palm shortening and 2 tablespoons coconut oil.  Then we used this pumpkin custard using flax for the eggs and agave for the sugar.  Yum!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chex Mix- how hard could it be?  It was really easy:

  • 4 ½ cups Rice Chex
  • 4 ½ cups Corn Chex
  • 1 cup gluten-free snack chips , Snikidinks work well or find a dairy-free snack chip
  • 1 cup gluten-free lentil crackers, pepper flavor is good, broken into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup peanuts, optional
  • 6 tablespoons butter or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
Preheat oven to 250.
2.Combine Chex, chips, crackers and peanuts in a 13×9 pan and set aside.
3.If using butter, melt and add the Worcestershire sauce and spices to the butter or oil. Stir until well combined.
4.Pour the seasoning mixture over the Chex mixture and toss until everything is coated.
5.Bake for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

There you have it.  Christmas baking here I come!

What was your Thanksgiving success story?  If you have a great recipe share it in the comments section.


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Dairy-Free part 2: Better than ever

Roses on a Fall Day

Hi.

I’ve been way off the blogosphere lately. You might have noticed. We’ve been busy. Since my last post in early July we went through the growing season and I learned what to do with Ground Cherries (pie anyone?). We had a great City Fresh Season through our Community Supported Agriculture program. I successfully made compost for my yard – I grew dirt! And of course, I had a baby. She came one beautiful afternoon after a morning of working in the garden. She came fast enough to be born at home.  She wanted to be in the garden too I think. So, that’s what’s been going on here and why I’ve been fairly quiet. Honestly, that’s why I probably won’t have tons of posts coming up either.

But, I’m still working on a few new projects that will be worth sharing.  For starters, like many babies, she doesn’t tolerate cow milk in my milk.  I am dairy-free again, just like I was with my son when he was a baby.  I’ve noticed that the grocery landscape has changed a lot in the last few years.  There are many more dairy-free and gluten-free options.  Plus, almond milk is now in every store, and even combined with coconut milk 🙂  The store down the street has been running a deal on almonds.  I’ve been buying them by the pound and have successfully made almond butter, almond milk, and this week I plan on trying my hand at almond yogurt.  I think those will be their own post too.

Unlike the last time I was off of dairy, eating seems like a less work.  It helps that we have better tools this time, like the Allergy-Free Deserts cookbook.  We made the apple muffins this evening and they were delightful.  Now that I’ve cracked the code on a good flour blend, and have discovered the beauty of coconut oil, which I also didn’t have before, I feel like there’s nothing we can’t make.  We eat well.  I have no photos at this time; we’ve been eating all the evidence.  I hope to start blogging more, and flush out some of these stories and more.

Thanks for your patience, and I hope that all is well in your kitchen!

I even got my roses trellised.  Yay!


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Christmas Baking Part 1: Gingerbread Cookies (gluten, egg, and dariy-free!)

Last year, I worked all December to make cookies that worked.  While I lost that cookie recipe, the lessons I learned stuck with me.  I came up with a fabulous cookie right out the gate.  These are not cut-out cookies.  I’ll work on that for next year.  For this year, I will be happy to have a round, fluffy, ginger bite of goodness.  Next year, I’ll figure out how to make them hold their cut out shape – even if it means baking them in a cookie cutter mold.  Enjoy the recipe; I hope it works as well for you as it has for me.  Pictures to follow – soon I hope.  We keep eating the cookies and forgetting to pause long enough to pose them for the camera!

Honey Gingerbread Cookies (makes about 2 1/2 to 3 dozen, depending on how big you make the cookie)

¼ cup coconut oil, (could also use the same amount of butter or shortening instead of coconut oil)
1 cup molasses
¼ cup honey
¼ cup cold water
½ cup millet flour
½ cup sorghum flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon cinnamon

1. Mix the oil and sugar. Add the cold water and mix until blended. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

2. Chill the dough. Spoon in small rounds onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or greased with butter. The cookies will expand so place them with space between each cookie. Bake at 350℉ for 10 to 12 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

A plate of Ginger Cookies

Close-up!

Merry Christmas!

April

Edited on 1/26/12 to add photos