Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sunflower Seed Butter Fudge

If you can eat peanuts, this also works with peanuts - use one that is peanut only, with no added oils or sugars.

Sunflower Seed Butter Fudge
2 cups organic sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 T coconut oil + additional for greasing pan
3 T inverted sugar syrup*
1 cup sunflower seed butter (I use SunButter Organic - it has no added ingredients)

Grease a pie plate with coconut oil.  Add everything to a heavy saucepan and cook on medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it boils.  Lower heat to medium and continue cooking, still stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add in sunflower seed butter, mixing thoroughly.  Pour into the greased pie plate and let cool for about 20 minutes.  Cut into pieces and put into the refrigerator (still in the pie plate) to cool completely and firm up.

*If corn is not a problem for you, corn syrup can be substituted.  Otherwise use inverted sugar syrup.  I use the recipe found here, with regular organic sugar in place of the extra fine.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Herbed Gravy

We like this with our herb roasted Thanksgiving turkey!

Herbed Gravy

2 cups of turkey drippings, most of fat removed
1/4 cup white wine
1 large shallot, sliced
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp. rubbed sage or 1 T chopped fresh sage
1 tsp. dried thyme or 1 T fresh thyme
1 to 4 T arrowroot starch (or potato or tapioca starch)
olive oil
salt and pepper

In a saucepan, saute shallot and garlic in a little olive oil until golden brown.  Add white wine, all but 1/2 cup of the turkey drippings, and herbs and bring to a simmer.  Add arrowroot starch to the reserved turkey drippings and stir to dissolve.  Using a whisk, slowly add the starch mixture to the saucepan, stirring until thickened.  How much starch you use will depend on how thick you like your gravy to be - 1 T will be more like au jus and 4 T will be be thick.  I use 2 T.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Maple and Brown Sugar Cranberry Sauce

This recipe doesn't have any spices in it (histamine problems!), but if you do fine with them you can add in cinnamon and cloves.

Maple Cranberry Sauce

24 oz. fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
1 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup water

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Keep stirring to prevent burning on the bottom.  Cool and then refrigerate.

Brined Turkey

If you are cooking a farm raised, pastured turkey this Thanksgiving you'll notice it's a bit drier than the supermarket ones, no matter how much you baste.  That's due to no injections of moisture holding solutions!  To make your turkey moister, you can brine it before you put it in to roast.

Brined Turkey

2 1/2 gallons water (you can sub 1 bottle of white wine in for that amount of the water if you have a wine you like - I use Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc for this)
1 1/2 cups kosher flake salt
1 1/2 cups organic sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice (or 4 quartered lemons if you have them)
8 sprigs of rosemary
8 juniper berries, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 T peppercorns

Before you begin, decide what you're going to put your turkey in!  If it's not too large, you may be able to get it and the brining liquid in a very large stockpot.  I use Ziploc X-tra large bags - Amazon carries them here.  

In a large container, mix 1 1/2 gallons of the water (sub the wine in here if you're going that way) and all the rest of the ingredients, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar.  Rinse off the turkey and place in your brining container.  This is where I put the open back in my largest stockpot.  Put the turkey into the bag and add the brining mixture.  It really helps at this step to have another person helping so they can hold the bag upright!  Add additional water until the turkey is completely submerged.  Seal the bag (or cover the container you're using) and put in the refrigerator for 1 to 1/2 days - and yes, brining time is a matter of personal preference!  Some people would never dream of brining a turkey for longer than half a day and others don't consider it done before 2 days.  You have leeway!  

I also use packing tape to hold the bag upright above my stockpot as in the photo below.

Rinse and dry off before roasting with your usual recipe.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Updates through 10-29-13

Dill (may not work for low histamine)
Ginger Ice Cream variation to Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Grass fed and finished beef, water processed only (may not work for low histamine)

Sweet Potato Bread

I love the flavors of fall - pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger ..... with a pumpkin allergy and cinnamon histamine problems, however, I have to get creative!  Sweet potatoes mimic the taste and feel of pumpkin nicely and I've found that using molasses and ginger gives an flavor that satisfies my fall cravings.  This recipe is adapted from one Diane Neuman has on her blog - a wonderful resource for allergy cooking.

We like to eat this warm with a scoop of ginger ice cream on top!

Sweet Potato Bread - makes one loaf

1 1/2 cups rice flour
1 cup organic sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup sweet potatoes (boiled, peeled, and mashed - peeling after 
      boiling helps keep the potassium)
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
2 T homemade vanilla
2 eggs or 2T flax + 6 T water microwaved for 1 minute

Mix together dry ingredients.  Add with the rest of the ingredients to a food processor (if you don't have one, mash the sweet potatoes well and use a mixer).  Process until smooth and pour into a well oiled loaf pan - I also added a piece of parchment paper to the bottom of the pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for a metal pan or 325 degrees for a glass pan for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 15 minutes and then turn out onto a rack to cool further.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Barbecued Lamb Liver Kebabs

Okay - no eww's until you've tried this!  Next to pate and dirty rice, this is the most delicious way to eat liver ever!

Barbecued Lamb Liver Kebabs
serves 4

1 pound lamb liver, from grass fed and finished, pastured animals
flour tortillas, naan, chapatis, or a similar type bread

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine
1T dried thyme
1T dried oregano
1T dried basil
1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
salt and pepper

2 cups sliced red peppers
2 large shallots, peeled and sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
olive oil
salt and pepper

Rinse and dry liver and slice into thin strips.  Mix marinade and pour over liver.  Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  Thread liver strips onto skewers and barbecue over hot coals for a few minutes on each side.  Lamb liver cooks very quickly and will be tough and bitter if overcooked - you want it pink inside.

For toppings, heat olive oil and saute shallots and garlic until lightly browned.  Add pepper strips and continue cooking until softened.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Updates through 7-30-13

Atkins Ranch lamb chops
Apolloni OR wines - chardonnay, blanc, gris, rose
Bare Fruit dried Fuji apples
Dairy Creek Farms honey - http://www.dairycreekfarm.com/honey_store.html
Lazzari lump mesquite charcoal
Trader Joe's baking soda
Organic raspberries - not with a liner in the bottom
Laura Chenel plain goat chevre

Jam Without Added Pectin

If you have many food allergies, chances are good you can't use any of the commercial pectins - although some people have been okay with Pomona Pectin.  Jam is easy enough to make without adding pectin, though, that I just leave it out!  All you need are three ingredients - fruit, sugar, and lemon juice.  And for the most flavorful jams, think small batch and fast cooking.


About 3 pounds soft fruit, stone fruit, or berries
Juice of 2 lemons
Sugar - how much depends on how much fruit pulp you get, see below. 
Glass canning jars - 3 pint sized or 7 half-pint
Canning rings and lids

1.  Thoroughly wash and rinse jars, rings, and lids.  Place in a pot, cover with water, and boil for 10 minutes.  I just leave these in the hot water until I fill them.

2.  Pit and roughly chop fruit - add to a large pot.  This will bubble up while cooking, so you want lots of room.  Really soft berries don't need to be chopped and with cherries I quarter about 2/3 of them and halve the rest.

3.  Add lemon juice and cook until juices are released - about 7 - 10 minutes.

4.  Remove from heat and measure.  For every cup of fruit mixture, add 3/4 cup of sugar.  

5.  Cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 220 - 222 degrees F on a candy thermometer.  For every 1000 feet above sea level you are, subtract 2 degrees from this.

6.   Remove jars from the hot water and fill, leaving 1/4 inch head room.  Put on lids and rings and tighten.  If don't have enough to fill the last jar, just keep the jar in the refrigerator.

7.  Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.

About the hot water bath - some people don't use it and their jams are fine, some swear they'll be unsafe without it.  I never used to put my jams through a hot water bath, but these days I do better avoiding needing medical attention so I err on the side of caution.  For more information on how to do a hot water bath, see this pamphlet from Virginia Tech.

Cheese Scones

These are totally addictive!  They may not, however, be low-histamine depending on your tolerance for cheese and which cheese you use.

Cheese Scones

2 cups rice flour
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. dried thyme
1/3 cup Spectrum palm shortening

2 cups grated cheese - I use Trader Joe's goat gouda (not the one with honey)
1/2 cup coconut milk + a little more for the tops
1 flax egg substitute recipe
Salt for the tops

Measure all dry ingredients into a bowl.  Cut in the shortening.  Mix in the cheese.  Add the coconut milk and egg substitute.  Stir until well mixed, finishing up by kneading with your hands.

On an ungreased cookie sheet, flatten into a flat circle about 7 inches in diameter.  Cut into 16 pie wedge shapes.  Separate the wedges so no sides are touching.  Brush with coconut milk and sprinkle or grind salt on the top of each scone.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes - until golden.

Plum Sorbet and Raw Cherry Sorbet

Summer and time for fruit sorbets!  In the photo, the cherry is the scoop on top and the plum is on the bottom - yeah, they look pretty much alike!!

Plum Sorbet

2 pounds plums - any type, in the photo I used Italian prune plums
1 cup organic sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon homemade vanilla

Pit plums, roughly chop, and put into a large saucepan.  Add sugar and lemon juice and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring.  Let mixture cool a little and then puree in a blender.  Add vanilla and refrigerate until cold.  Freeze in an ice-cream maker.

Raw Cherry Sorbet

4 cups pitted cherries
1/2 cup organic sugar
1T homemade vanilla

Puree everything in a blender and refrigerate until cold.  Freeze in an ice-cream maker.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pasta Your Way

Jim always says we never have the same pasta dish twice!  That may be true - I don't follow a recipe, but just add what we have on hand.  There is a pattern to what I do, though:

Pasta Your Way - for each 3-4 servings
1.  1/2 package Trader Joe's penne, cooked al dente and drained
1 large shallot - sliced
2 cloves garlic, grated (optional)
Olive oil
About 1 pound of meat - add more or less depending on how much meat you like.  You can even leave it out.  I usually use one large chicken breast or a turkey tender.
Saute the shallot and garlic in olive oil until golden.  Salt and pepper.  Add the meat and cook until done.  Salt and pepper again.

2.  1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup broth
juice of 1/2 lemon
herbs - a handful of fresh or about a Tablespoon of dried (I didn't use any on the greens dish since the arugula and mustard add a lot of bite)
vegetables - here are some ideas:
- paper thin fennel and green beans
- greens - the photo is 2 baby bok choy, a handful of arugula, a handful of mustard greens, and some fresh basil
- sliced red peppers and sliced cauliflower
Deglaze the pan with the wine.  Add broth, lemon juice and herbs and cook down about 5 minutes.  Add vegetables and cover.  Cook until vegetables are as soft as you want them to be - a minute for the greens or already cooked veggies, longer if you use raw vegetables.

3.  Add the cooked, drained pasta and dish up.  You can top each serving with grated cheese (I did in the greens dish above) or chopped, toasted almonds.  Or both!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Clean Produce

Environmental Working Group's 2013 list of the cleanest produce and that with the most pesticide residues is out and available here.  See the full story here.

And the full list of where all 48 fruits and vegetables tested placed is here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Stuffed Bell Peppers

This meat mixture could also be used to stuff other vegetables - like hollowed out zucchini (thanks Patty!) if you don't do bell peppers.

Stuffed Bell Peppers - makes 4

1 pound ground meat (I use chicken or turkey)
1 cup cooked quinoa (I cook it in broth)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (optional)
about a 1/2 cup cut up fresh basil
about a tablespoon dried oregano
1 large shallot - thinly sliced or chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
4 bell peppers
olive oil

1.  Cut tops off of peppers and clean out.  Dice up the tops, minus the stems.

2.  Heat olive oil and saute shallots, garlic, and diced peppers until the shallots and garlic are golden.

3.  Mix together all ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and stuff the peppers.

4.  Bake in a baking dish at 375 degrees for 50 minutes, or until meat is well cooked.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Golden Beet (or Carrot) Cupcakes with Chevre Frosting

I've been missing carrot cake for some time - these are a great substitute!  And you can use carrots instead of the golden beets if you can eat them.  The cake part is very tender, so they work best cooked in cupcake liners.  I used If You Care paper baking cups.

Golden Beet Cupcakes
Makes about 14 - 18 (depending on whether you add nuts or raisins)

2/3 cup applesauce
2T flax and 6T water, microwaved for 1 minute (or 2 eggs - I haven't tested it with eggs so let me know how it works)
1/2 cup olive or coconut oil
1 1/2 cups organic sugar (or 3/4 cup each of white and brown sugar)
1T homemade vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
2  tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar + 1/2 tsp. baking soda or (2 tsp. baking powder)
3/4 tsp. ground ginger (if histamines aren't a problem you can use 2 tsp. cinnamon instead)
3 cups peeled and grated golden beets (or carrots)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Beat applesauce, flax mixture, and oil until smooth.  Add sugar and vanilla.  Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to the wet mixture, beating until very smooth.  Mix in the beets (and optional nuts/raisins) by hand.  Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let sit until completely before frosting.

Chevre Frosting
4 cups powdered sugar - I use homeground from sugar crystals
8 oz. chevre (I use Laura Chenel) - may not be low histamine
1 cup Spectrum palm shortening
2T homemade vanilla extract

Beat all ingredients until thoroughly mixed and fluffy.  Spread on cupcakes or pipe on with a large cake decorating tip (I used a 2C).

Coq Au Vin Blanc

This is not as much work as I always thought Coq Au Vin would be - mostly prep and then you sit back while it cooks!  In the photo, I'm serving it with broccoli and lemon roasted golden beets.

Coq Au Vin Blanc
4 servings

1 chicken, about 4 pounds
1 tsp. salt - use about 1/2 this if using an Empire chicken (they're cleaned in salt water)
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
2 T olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 oz. dried morels, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and then thinly sliced
1T arrowroot starch
1T red pepper sauce
1 1/2 cups white wine
1 cup chicken broth
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 tsp. dried
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup coconut milk
Cooked rice

Quarter the chicken, wash and dry it and season with the salt and pepper.  In a large Dutch oven type pan (I use an enameled cast iron one), heat the olive oil and brown the chicken pieces on all sides - remove from the pan to a plate.  In the same pan, saute shallots and garlic - you may need a little more oil - until golden.  Add the mushroom slices and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the arrowroot and red pepper paste and cook, stirring, for a minute.  Add in the wine and broth.  Add the thyme, bay leaves, and chicken.  Bring to a boil, cover the pot, and cook in a 350F degree oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until the chicken is very tender.  Remove pot from oven and remove the chicken to a covered dish that will keep it warm.

With the pot on medium-high, add the coconut milk and cook until the sauce has thickened - about 10 to 15 minutes.  Return chicken to the pot and heat through.  Remove thyme stalks and bay leaves.

Put a chicken serving on top of a serving of rice and spoon sauce over the top.

This freezes real well - freeze the chicken separately from leftover sauce and make fresh rice when you're ready to eat it.

Lemon Roasted Golden Beets

One of my new favorites!

Lemon Roasted Golden Beets
serves 3 - 4

About 1 1/2 pounds golden beets - around 4 larger ones or 8 - 10 small ones
2T olive oil
1/3 cup fresh herbs, chopped - I used oregano, basil, and thyme
grated zest from 1 unwaxed lemon
Salt and white pepper
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Peel beets and slice into wedges.  In an oven proof pan, mix beets, oil, herbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Roast uncovered in a 425F degree oven for about 1/2 hour, or until beets are tender.  Remove from oven and squeeze lemon juice over them.  Mix and serve.

Updates through 2-11-13

Mitica Naked Goat Cheese
Santa Barbara Ripe Black Olives
Calmyrna figs
Trader Joe's bagged organic sweet potatoes
If You Care paper muffin cups
Maine Coast Kelp Granules 
TruRoots Quinoa - regular or sprouted
Ancient Harvest Quinoa - kosher for passover marked only

Recipe update:
Added suggestion to pizza crust recipe - do the first baking on parchment paper.  I've been fine with Reynolds and 365 brands.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Lemon Gelatin

The lemon tree is packed with ripe, juicy fruit and I'm on a lemon streak!  This is really good - not sicky sweet like the store brands.  Using the raw turbinado cane sugar gives it a nice color.

Lemon Gelatin
3/4 cup organic sugar
2 envelopes gelatin
1 2/3 cups cold water
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Mix the sugar with the gelatin in a sauce pan.  Add the water and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Add the lemon juice.  Pour into a bowl or mold and refrigerate until firm.

I also make gelatin from apple juice/cider:

Soften 1 package of gelatin in 1/4 cup water.  Add 1/2 cup boiling water and stir until dissolved.  Add 1 1/4 cup apple juice/cider and pour into a bowl or mold.  Refrigerate until firm.

You can also add spices or grated ginger with the juice.

Stomach Flu Helps

Oh joy - it's that time of the year when GI tract viruses are showing up and after avoiding one for over 10 years, I got hit good.  It was bad enough trying to find gluten free medications and remedies, but now with adding so many allergies, especially the corn one, it's nearly impossible!  Here's what I came up with:

For nausea:
Ginger syrup from the candied ginger recipe.  A spoonful in a cup of warm water taken in small sips worked well for helping to tamp down the nausea.

For diarrhea:
Immodium caplets have cornstarch in them - it's out.  The CVS and Walgreen brand soft gelcaps have glycerin, which can be made from corn, and blue dye in the softcaps which ups my histamine response,  and they can't be opened up like regular capsules.  If it was that or the ER, I was going to try them - however, homemade broth and white rice every couple hours worked.  Rice can be great for stopping one up!

For electrolyte replacement:
I usually drink coconut water for this, but I couldn't take the sweetness this time.  Further into the illness than I should have, I finally tried this homemade drink that worked like a miracle!  If I'd been sipping it all along, I don't think I would've had the problems with borderline dehydration that I did.  The recipe calls for 2 - 3 fresh lemons - I used two large ones from our tree and it was a little lemony at the time.  They made 2/3 cup of lemon juice, so I think I would use 1/2 cup for a flu drink.  Now that I'm better, though, it tastes great with that much lemon juice!