2014-09-04 Fabulous Food Allergy Friday

Cassini, a new supporter of Surviving the Food Allergy Apocalypse
Cassini, a new supporter of Surviving the Food Allergy Apocalypse

SHAZAM. Today’s Friday post is hosted by Cassini, who is 11 weeks old and was very helpfully napping the whole time Denise and Mary Kate were finalizing new blog settings.

We are now magically up on our own, self-hosted site! It took us three years to get here in part because we wanted to do it right. Also, recipe development is better for dinner than HTML or CSS.

A few things have changed over here, including the URL. The old site will forward you for a while, but please bookmark or follow us at www.adultfoodallergies.com.

If you’re a current subscriber we are working on transferring our followers. Fingers crossed. But it would be easier if you just SUBSCRIBED — see the box at the top right. You won’t be able to follow on WordPress.com in the same way; sorry about that.

So, in light of all the fun news, how about a shortened link up today?

If you pack food often, which both of us do, this Cook’s Illustrated list of best equipment for packing lunch might be interesting to you. I could use a few more glass containers, and I like the mason jar accessories.

I (Denise) found this recipe for Grilled Cabbage Wedges with Spicy Lime Dressing, which might be good if you have an abundance of cabbage in the garden and too much sauerkraut already in process. I don’t have too much sauerkraut flavor variants yet, but I might if my cabbage actually heads up.

Hope you have a great weekend everyone, if you find issues with the new site, let us know!

Brown Rice Pulp Chips (+ rice milk)

Brown Rice Pulp Chips
                                                               Brown Rice Pulp Chips

I occasionally want to use rice milk in cooking, but I really dislike all the commercial rice milks that I’ve tried. I find them thin and flavorless. But in trying to use up  some leftover rice, I discovered that by adjusting the amount of water (and using really good rice, I could make a thick, almost cream-like rice milk that worked pretty well in baking. I still don’t really like rice milk for drinking — there’s something sort of “dry” about the flavor. That’s odd, I know, but that’s the best description I can come up with.

Anyway, any time I’m making rice and think I’ll have time for rice milk later in the week, I make a cup or two extra. It doesn’t take that much longer in the rice cooker. I’ll take the leftover rice and let it soak in mason jars overnight, and then blend it up the next day. If you strain it, it’s nice and smooth (depending on what you want to use it for, consider not straining it. It seems to add some bulk to bread and cake unstrained, but none of those recipes are blog-ready, I’m still playing.) But I hate throwing out the pulp and wondered if I could season it and make crackers out of it.

It worked! But they really have more of a chip texture than a cracker, so I’m calling these chips. I did these in the dehydrator, but if you don’t have one, I’m guessing that doing this on low in the oven would work. The times I’ve given will be wrong, though. I didn’t try this because I’ve not made them yet this summer when it was cool enough to want to use the oven. You can also use whatever seasoning you like, but I don’t really recommend a salt-free one. Those turned out really bland. I tried a bunch of the seasonings in my kitchen, and I’ve listed what I liked best.

On rice: I use a brown jasmine rice I buy in large bags at the Asian market in Nashua. Brown jasmine is my “all-purpose” rice at this point in time. It’s likely that the brown rice adds to the leftover pulp, so I would suggest using brown rice for this. But if you try it with a white rice — or something else, please let us know in the comments. You do get rice cream (which is easily thinned down to rice milk) and crackers out of this, so it’s a 2-for-1 recipe.

I did not give an exact number of chips, as it’s come out a little different each time for me, despite all attempts to create stringent measurements. Since this is basically a way to use up something you’d throw out otherwise, maybe a little uncertainty is okay?

Brown Rice Pulp Chips up close
                                                                  Brown Rice Pulp Chips up close

Brown Rice Pulp Chips

Fill a quart mason jar with the rice, lightly packing it in. Fill the jar with water. Put it in the fridge overnight. I’m not 100% sure it needs to be refrigerated, but better safe than sorry. The rice will soak up a lot of this water, and I think it makes a smoother milk.

Empty the water and about half the rice from the jar into your blender. Add a cup of water and blend. If you need more water, add it, but your goal is to blend the smoothest rice milk with the least amount of water here. You will need more, but add it gradually

Repeat with the other half of the rice, but add about 1 1/2 cups of water to begin, as you don’t have leftover soaking water.

Now strain the rice milk through a fine sieve. Keep stirring the mush to drain as much milk as possible out of the rice pulp.

I usually get about a quart of rice cream out of this.

With the leftover pulp, drop in about 1 Tablespoon blobs onto the fruit roll trays of your dehydrator (or onto a cookie sheet if you’re trying the oven). Sprinkle generously with seasoning.

Run the dehydrator at 155ºF for 9 hours, and check to see if your chips are crispy. They may need a little more time when it’s humid out. Lock these up in an airtight container to keep.

2015-08-28 Fabulous Food Allergy Friday

Pretty wildflowers
Pretty wildflowers

So. Was this week really long for anyone else? I don’t know where it all went, but I couldn’t remember what day it was most of the time, and I’m not sure what got done. Not laundry.

But. I do have some potatoes from Denise’s garden, and I was saving the purple ones for when I had time to do something amazing with them. I’m thinking that maybe gluten-free vegan gnocchi might be worth a try?

I also think I really need to try this chickpea omlette. Probably for dinner — when there is time to make a fancy breakfast, why would you make anything other than pancakes?

It’s heading towards fall and I (Denise) have some pumpkins in the garden and apples on the trees. So maybe this Ginger-Apple Pumpkin Soup recipe will come in handy. I’ll have to sub out the coconut milk though. 

Also, I’m dying to get a cider press. Thinking about this one because it’s sort of affordable, even if it doesn’t make much at a time. It’s on my someday wishlist. 

Hope you all have a great week!

DIY Curry Powder

DIY Curry Powder
DIY Curry Powder

Besides the fact that I have a spice obsession (as outlined in my post, WW Kitchen Stories: Rosemary or Denise’s Spice Issues) and it seems dumb to pay for blends when you already have all the stuff to make the blend, I’m getting to the point after the cumin scare that I’m going to try to make as much stuff from whole spices as I can, so that there’s less chance for adulteration with undisclosed allergens, anti-caking agents, or cross contamination. There’s only a few ground spices in here, but my plan is to eventually only buy whole spices and grind all my own stuff.

I tried to keep it reasonable for non-fire breathers, but you control how much curry powder you add to stuff. Start small and then taste, you can always add more, but you can’t really subtract easily. Also, if you want to make it a bit hotter, add 3 or 4 more dried chiles to the mix.  Be aware that you will need a blender or a coffee/spice grinder to make this.

DIY Curry Powder

Makes about 1 cup.

  • 6-8 dried chiles (I used Sanaam, but Arbol or Japones would work fine)
  • 5 Tablespoons of coriander seed
  • 4 Tablespoons of cumin seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons of fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of black mustard seed
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon of whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black peppercorns
  • 1″ piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 Tablespoon of ground Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of ground fenugreek seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Destem the chiles if necessary. Place the chiles, coriander seed, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black mustard seed, green cardamom pods, cloves, black peppercorns, and cinnamon stick in a skillet over medium heat.

Seeds, spices, and chiles in skillet before toasting
Seeds, spices, and chiles in skillet before toasting

Move the skillet around constantly to shift the seeds, spices and chiles until you smell the cumin seed toasting, some of the seeds popping and the spices darken.

Seeds, spices, and chiles in bowl after toasting
Seeds, spices, and chiles in bowl after toasting

Remove the spices, seeds, and chiles from the skillet, and allow them to cool completely.

Once cool, place the spices, seeds, and chiles from the skillet and the ground turmeric, ginger, fenugreek, and nutmeg into a blender, and blend until you have a fine powder. Before opening the blender, let the powder settle for a few minutes so that you don’t gas yourself.

If you are using a coffee/spice grinder, place the ground turmeric, ginger, fenugreek, and nutmeg into a bowl. Grind the spices, seeds, and chiles from the skillet in coffee/spice grinder in batches, adding the batches to the bowl until you have ground all of the spices, seeds, and chiles. Using a wire whisk, mix well so that the ground turmeric, ginger, fenugreek, and nutmeg are fully incorporated into the newly ground spices, seeds, and chiles from the skillet.

Store in an air-tight container and use where you would use curry powder. Stay tuned for some recipes using it in the coming weeks.



2015-08-21 Fabulous Food Allergy Friday

Graffitti on the World's Tallest Filing Cabinet
Graffitti on the “World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet,” Burlington, VT (Note: probably not actually the world’s tallest)

This “awsome face” is here for you, man. It’s here. On a Friday.

This week, I’m kind of obsessed with veggie burgers. I (Mary Kate) love veggie burgers, so long as you don’t expect them to be like meat burgers. Veggie burgers, for their own sake, and in their own right, are kind of awesome. I enjoyed V8Mile’s review of veggie burgers, but none of these brands are things I’ve seen here in New Hampshire. I’ll definitely look again if it’s cool enough next time I make it to Whole Foods. But The Kitchn posted a recipe today that I think could be easily enough adapted for allergy-friendliness: Sweet Potato Veggie burger. This one has seeds (pumpkin or sunflower) and an egg, but I might try messing with it to see what I can manage. Do you have a favorite veggie burger recipe or brand? If so, share it in the comments.

Many of you know that I (Denise) do a fair bit of fermenting so I can have things like homemade Sriracha, other hot sauces, sauerkraut, dill pickles and so on. I also do it because there are no safe probiotics for me, and there’s some vitamins that are made more bio-available by fermentation, since there really aren’t any safe options for multi-vitamin supplements for me.  If you’re in the Northeast, and you’re into fermenting, check out the Boston Ferments’ third annual Fermentation Festival which will be held on Sunday, October 4th from 10am-4pm at the Boston Public Market

And since it’s summer, and there’s lots of salads out there, here’s a Creamy Avocado Lime Salad Dressing that sounds pretty awesome. Bet it’d be great as a dipping sauce for fried stuff too. 

Hope you all have a great week!

White Bean Pizza Hummus

White Bean Pizza Hummus
White Bean Pizza Hummus

Being allergic to foods that are staples of the Standard American Diet can mean that road trips are, well, a little sad. But not going on a road trip would be more sad. So thinking about road trips like setting out for the western frontier (or, in this case, Vermont, which is to the west) means that with a plan and a cooler (and a hotel chosen partly for the microwaves and mini-fridges in each room), means “yay! Road trip!” I admit that I really miss finding awesome, off-beat restaurants in new cities. Now, if I plan to eat out, I check ahead and carefully read menus. That’s hard to do when you don’t know where you’ll be for lunch. So, again, the cooler and the meal plan.

Hummus is a great road trip food. I’m a little bored of chickpea hummus, the standard, and I had time (and a plan) to make my own. I was going to make a black bean hummus I’d forgotten about — but in planning the grand meal plan, I forgot to see if I had black beans in the house. Oops.

I did have cannellini beans. And I have not yet killed my fresh herbs on the deck — I have chocolate mint, thyme, and oregano, and my neighbor is growing basil. Oregano and basil made me think of pizza, so I went that direction. Instead of tahini, I’ve used cashews, as I thought their more neutral flavor would be good with this combination. I think tahini would likely be okay (and make it nut-free), so if you make it that way, let us know in the comments how it turned out.

White Bean Pizza Hummus
White Bean Pizza Hummus

White Bean Pizza Hummus

  • 1/4 cup raw cashew pieces (yes, you can use whole. The pieces are usually cheaper, though.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic (more, up to 1 teaspoon, if you want a prominent garlic flavor. Roasted garlic would also be excellent here, but I’m currently out.)
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (Save the liquid!)
  • 5 large fresh basil leaves, rinsed
  • about 1 Tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves, rinsed
  • pinch of fennel seeds, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons good quality olive oil, plus more to drizzle on top

In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, add the cashews and puree. They will not quite turn into nut butter (you’d need a little oil), but let them go until they are almost there.

Add the garlic and tomato paste and pulse it in.

Add the beans and puree the mix.

Add the basil, oregano, fennel seed, and olive oil and run until everything is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Transfer to a serving bowl or storage container and drizzle olive oil over the top — just a bit will help keep the hummus from drying out. Unlike in the photos, swirl it around so that it coats the top — I just wanted better photos, so I didn’t do that until I was done.

Serve with crackers, chips, or veggies of your choice.

2015-08-14 Fabulous Food Allergy Friday

Scrap Robot Mac Steel
Scrap Robot Mac Steel

Ah, Vermont, so full of weird! Last weekend, I (Mary Kate) went to Vermont to experience all the weirdness it had to offer. While on the road, I had a great plate of salmon with an apple-fennel slaw. I think the original plate had an additional side, and the gluten-free option just removed it, but I felt comfortable at the restaurant, and the slaw was amazing. I found this recipe for a celery, apple, fennel slaw that sounds a bit similar — I’m sure the one I had didn’t have celery, but everything is better with celery. I will be trying something like this soon.

I also made the questionable decision to eat from a buffet where I think I may have encountered a tiniest bit of gluten. I wasn’t very sick, but I was messing up words the whole next day. Sometimes, I am not sure what’s just an “off” day, and what is a possible allergy/intolerance/maybe celiac reaction, but I’ve learned so much about allergy-related reactions from sites like Gluten Dude and other allergy sites where people share their own lived experiences with food allergies.  How do you learn about living with food allergies? Do you want to tell some researchers where you get your information? Mount Sinai’s Jaffe Food Allergy Institute is doing a survey about where food allergy patients get their information. Want to participate?

I’m (Denise) still struggling with breakfast ideas that aren’t my current standard rotation of oatmeal with brown sugar and water and nuked, or fresh fruit. This still has oatmeal, but it’s kinda different, Apple Pie Breakfast Pizza. There’s still a few things I’d have to sub out, and I’d skip the dairy free yogurt part as there’s no corn safe dairy free commercial yogurt, but it’d be relatively simple for me otherwise. 

Because I don’t have many options for easy desserts, I admit that sometimes I might eat half an 8 ounce jar of my home canned jam. But maybe this recipe for Vegan Mexican Sweet Chocolate Sweet Potato Pudding might push me to make a larger effort. I’ll have to sub out the coconut ingredients, but it sounds like it could be really good. 

Have a great weekend everyone. We are working on some upgrades to the blog, so be alert for something new, coming soon.

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