Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Marinated Artichokes


     Marinated artichokes are delicious. If you're avoiding vinegar (whether because it's made from corn or because it's fermented and could contain traces of yeast), or if you're worried what might be lurking in the "spices," you may want to make your own. 

     juice of 1/2 lemon (See Juice in the Glossary)
     1/4 c. olive oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     1/2 tsp. salt (See Oil in the Glossary)
     pinch of mint (See Spices in the Glossary)
     pinch of oregano (See Spices in the Glossary)
     pinch of black pepper (See Spices in the Glossary)
     4-6 large artichokes

  A. Prep the artichokes. For this you have a few choices: 

  1. Trim raw artichokes as desired. At a minimum, peel off all the outer, hard, spiky leaves. I prefer peeling off all the leaves and all the fuzz. Keep the stems, but peel them. This method is time-consuming.
  2. Precook the artichokes (boil for 45 minutes or so, until the inside is tender: poke with a skewer to check). Let them cool down; then trim them. (BTW, the tender parts of the leaves are good to eat.)
  3. Start with a can or two of artichoke hearts; drain. Canned artichokes come packed with water containing citric acid, which is likely to be a corn product. Most of this should be removed by the next step, but be aware that this method may not be 100% corn-free.
     B. Whisk all ingredients other than the artichokes together in medium bowl. 
     C. Put the artichokes into a pot of boiling water; bring it back to a boil; cook: 
  • Raw, thoroughly trimmed artichokes: 20 minutes or so, until tender.
  • Precooked artichokes: 3-5 minutes, until hot throughout.
  • Canned artichokes: 3 minutes.
     D. Drain.
     E. Stir the artichokes into the marinade. Stir a few times over the next half 

     F. Refrigerate.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Asparagus Salad


     Raw asparagus is delicious, but it can be a bit tough or stringy. We can improve the texture by 1) discarding any tough, woody bit at the base of the stalk, 2) slicing the asparagus pretty small, and 3) slightly tenderizing the asparagus by soaking it in an acidic dressing. 

     3 Tb. lemon juice
     1/4 c. olive oil
     1/2 tsp. salt
     1/4 tsp. dried tarragon leaves
     1/2 tsp. black pepper
     1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
     2 c. thin sliced asparagus stalks
     1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
     1 avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
     3 green onions, trimmed and sliced
     2 Tb. chopped fresh dill leaves

     Stir together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, tarragon, pepper and garlic. Stir in the asparagus and set aside to steep for 15 minutes. Mix in the remaining ingredients and serve.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Teff Porridge

      Allergic to wheat, dairy, soy and eggs? So, what's for breakfast? Gluten-free oatmeal is one possibility; teff porridge is another. Teff takes longer to cook but has a pleasant, mild flavor and an interesting, non-mushy texture. 

     1 c. whole grain teff

     Bring two cups of water to a boil. Stir in the teff, and bring the water back to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in a little extra boiling water if you prefer your porridge to be more liquid. Garnish with fruit, hemp milk, brown sugar, cinnamon--whatever you like and aren't allergic to. Alternatively, butter and salt make a great garnish if you can tolerate the amount of dairy proteins in a bit of butter.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Hemp milk


     So, what milk can you drink if you're allergic to dairy, soy, wheat and every kind of nut? Rice milk comes to mind, but you have to be careful. The manufacturing process often involves barley malt which is not listed as an ingredient. If the package doesn't claim it's gluten-free, it probably contains traces of barley. My wheat-allergic grandkid used to cough and wheeze when he drank Rice Dream rice milk (until we wised up). Similarly, oat milk may contain some wheat (oats and wheat are sometimes rotated in the field), so make sure the label specifies it is gluten-free. Another option is hemp milk. 

     Unfortunately, all the commercial hemp milk I have found comes in paperboard packaging and I worry what the waxy coating on it was made from (corn? soy?). Well, I finally got around to making hemp milk myself...and felt really silly when I realized how easy it is to make the stuff at home. Like most foods, it's cheaper and tastes fresher if you make it yourself.

      I have tried presoaking the hemp seeds and can't see that it makes any difference at all. Don't bother with that.

     1 c. hulled hemp seeds (hemp hearts)
     1/4 tsp. salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     (optional) 1 Tb. sugar, or to taste (See Sugar in the Glossary)
     (optional) 1 tsp. corn-free vanilla extract

     Put the hemp seeds, salt, sugar, vanilla and 1 c. of the water in a good blender and blend thoroughly, for at least two full minutes. Blend in the rest of the water. Strain through a fine mesh if you're worried about any tiny hemp bits. Store in refrigerator. Shake before using.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Marinated Cabbage

Nothing else tastes exactly like sauerkraut, but marinated cabbage is similar and is surprisingly tasty. Try it, especially if you need to avoid fermented foods because of a yeast allergy!

     2 cloves of garlic, minced
     1/3 c. lemon juice 
(See Juice in the Glossary)
     1/3 c. olive oil 
(See Oil in the Glossary)
     1 tsp. black pepper
 (See Spices in the Glossary)
     1 tsp. dried dill weed (or 2 Tb. chopped fresh dill weed)
          (See Spices or Produce in the Glossary)
(See Salt in the Glossary)
     1 lb. of cabbage, shredded
     2 sliced green onions
     1 grated carrot

In a medium bowl, stir together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper, dill weed and 1 tsp. of salt. Bring a large potful of water to a boil, add the cabbage to the pot, and bring it back to a boil. Simmer until tender but still crisp; this should only take a couple of minutes or so. Drain thoroughly; stir into the marinade and add the green onions and grated carrot. Add salt to taste. Allow to steep a few minutes before serving.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Beet Hummus and Beet Dip

     Replace garbanzos with beets to make hummus? This sounds like the desperate ploy of a hummus fan with a newly diagnosed allergy to garbanzos but is actually a surprisingly tasty dip. Beets work well with lemon juice and garlic, after all, and the tahini and olive oil help turn them into a rich, creamy dip that you don't need food allergies to appreciate. 

     If you're allergic to (sesame) tahini, you can substitute sunflower seed butter; you may need to add a little extra water to get the hummus to blend properly, as sunflower seed butter is a bit thicker than tahini. As always, read the ingredient label: Some sunflower seed butter has added guar gum or other ingredients; some is sweetened, which you may find disagreeable in a savory dip.

     Even if you're not allergic to both sesame and sunflower seeds, try the beet dip; it too is surprisingly smooth and delicious.

Beet Hummus

Beet hummus made with sunflower seed butter

     6 oz. roasted beets 
     1/2 c. water
     2 cloves of garlic
     juice of 1 freshly squeezed lemon
(See Juice in the Glossary)
     1/2 c. olive oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     1/2 c. tahini (See Tahini in the Glossary)
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)

     Put the beets, water, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil in a good blender and blend until thoroughly smooth and creamy. Add a small amount of extra water if necessary to get the mixture to blend properly. Add the tahini and blend until thoroughly mixed. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate.

Beet Dip

Beet dip


   6 oz. roasted beets 
    1/2 c. water
     1 clove of garlic
     juice of 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon (See Juice in the Glossary)
     1/2 c. olive oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)

     Put all ingredients except salt into a good blender and blend until thoroughly smooth and creamy. Add salt to taste.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Roasted Beets

     Roasting turns beets surprisingly sweet and intense without any need for dairy, gluten or other allergens.  

     olive or other oil
(See Oil in the Glossary)
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)

Preheat oven to 425 F. Peel some beets and slice them into rounds an inch thick or so. Put them on a cooky sheet, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and toss. The beets should be thoroughly coated with oil so that they don't dry out. Bake for 30 minutes or so and start checking on them once in a while. They are done when they are soft all the way through. Turn the oven up or down by 25 degrees if necessary and cook until done.

Ready for the oven

*Some cooks prefer to peel beets after they're cooked because the peels slide off so easily then. I prefer for them to be ready to serve when they come out of the oven.