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.