Dry Rub for Barbecue


Dry Rub for Barbecue

Dry Rub for Barbecue


This one’s pretty simple, but often the rubs and seasonings that you can buy pre-mixed at the grocery store have something I’m not supposed to have, whether it’s citric acid for flavor, or a filler, or an anti-flow agent that happens to be derived from corn, wheat or milk. I can’t tell you how ticked off I was to find that one of my favorite taco seasonings had lactose in it. I’ve given this a try on some boneless pork ribs and I bet it’d be great on chicken, but I can’t find out since I’m allergic to chicken. I really liked the bark (the crispy browned bits) the rub gave to the pork. I mixed just enough as listed in the ingredients below to cover two pieces of pork about six to eight inches long and about  five inches wide, because I live in an apartment and they won’t let me put a grill on my second floor balcony. If you grill a lot, you might want to double or triple the recipe so that you can have it on hand. This is also pretty great on roasts and stuff you broil in the oven since we’re getting pretty close to only indoor cooking time of year. The recipe below makes about a third of a cup or so.

Dry Rub for Barbecue

  • 2 Tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of paprika
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a fork or a whisk until everything is completely blended.  Wow, that was easy wasn’t it?  Put it in an air-tight container to store.

To use it, simply coat your cut of meat with it and put it on the grill or roast or broil it in the oven.  If you’d like to use it with vegetables, I’d coat the veggies in a safe oil first, and then coat them in the rub.

Dry Rub for Barbecue on Boneless Pork Ribs

Dry Rub for Barbecue on Boneless Pork Ribs

2014-10-17 Fabulous Friday Finds

An alpaca hosts the blog this week. It seemed apropos.

An alpaca hosts the blog this week. It seemed apropos.

Hey, it’s Friday. World-ending Friday, in Mary Kate’s world (but given that that happens once a month, it’s lost its lustre). What did you read this week? Anything good?

Here’s what we’ve got:

While I (Mary Kate) like the occasional meditation on cooking, this one from The Kitchn is particularly resonant — how many pots of soup have come about from using up all the things left in the bottom and back of the fridge? How many other dishes of the type one of my former roommate’s called “goulash” came from the same place? With a well-stocked pantry of beans, stocks, spices, and herbs, almost any mess of leftover veg can become dinner.

Ever think you were going crazy because your doctors keep underestimating the effect food allergies and intolerances have on your body? Had a gut specialist tell you that what you eat doesn’t matter to digestive disorders? Or had people not understand that “that food will make me sick” isn’t limited to puking? This Gluten Dude post on celiac and brain effects of gluten — especially reading all the comments, too — will make you feel in good company.

I’ve (Denise) been exploring the world of MOOC’s (Massive Online Open Course) lately. I just finished with Fundamentals of Immunology, Part 1,  on edX.org and I’ll be starting Part 2 next week. I’m also taking Gut Check: Exploring your Microbiome on Coursera.org, which led me to hear about the American Gut Project.  There’s starting to be some research potentially pointing at your gut bacteria population being involved in food allergies and MS. I’d love to do this, but I don’t have the donation fee at the moment. If anyone wants to get me a fun and weird present, this would be good to put on the list. 

Although paleo recipes are generally pretty good for me, in that they avoid quite a few of my allergies, they can be frustrating due to my coconut allergy.  Because the paleo peeps put coconut in everything it seems. But I did find this nice post from Paleo Leap on How to Replace Everything Coconut, which is a nice thing to have. 

Hope you all have a great week!

Mung Bean Patties

Mung Bean Patties with roasted potatoes

Mung Bean Patties with roasted potatoes

This recipe is actually perfect for coming out of last week, as, like so many things that happened last week it arose out of the ashes of me screwing something up because I did not know what I was doing and was not paying attention. Last week was just that kind of week. I need a nap. Or a vacation.

A few years ago, I’d bought mung beans, dried, because I understood that they could be cooked relatively quickly, like lentils. So I put them in a pot with water, on a burner, and then wandered off to do something else. By the time I came back, I had mush instead of beans. Oops. So I made a bean loaf. You know, like meatloaf, but without vegetarian. The thing is, “bean loaf” sounds kind of gross, and baking this in a loaf meant you only had a few edges. Plus, it wasn’t really that successful at holding its shape when sliced.

You really should soak the beans overnight, so far as I can tell, but you can also just dump a kettle of boiling water over them and soak them for about an hour. They will plump up quite nicely. They are “done” cooking when they are starting to fall apart but haven’t actually fallen apart yet.

Since then, I’ve refined this so that I have less bean mush and more mushy beans, and revised the add-in vegetables and seasonings somewhat to create a flavorful bean-based patty. Actually, if you make them my way, they’re more ball-shaped, but bean balls isn’t appetizing either. We’ll go with patties. This recipe makes 16 patties measured out by a 1/2 cup ice cream scoop. These store and reheat well, but I have not tried freezing them. Structural integrity is still low, but they taste good, and who cares if your patty falls apart a bit? You already have a fork on hand.

Soaked Mung Beans before cooking

Soaked Mung Beans before cooking


Mung Bean Patties

  • 2 cups dry mung beans, soaked overnight or covered in boiling water and soaked an hour
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 1/4 of a bell pepper (use up to half if you really love the flavor)
  • 1 bunch (6-8) scallions
  • 1 portobello mushroom cap
  • 2 cups fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon (crush the leaves as you add it)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (also crush this as you add it)
  • 1 Tablespoon basil
  • 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt (to taste)

Put soaked mung beans in a saucepan and cover with water so that there’s about an inch of water over the mung beans. Put over high heat, covered, and bring to a boil. Boil 8-10 minutes, turn to low, and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Water should be completely absorbed, and beans should be slightly mushy but not entirely without structural integrity at this point. Remove from heat, remove cover, and let cool while you prep the veg.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Using a food processor, grind up all the veg. You can do this any way you like, but here’s what works for me — I use the shredder attachment for the carrots and bell pepper, and then put the S-blade in to grind them up a bit more. The scallions and parsley will need liquid, so add the oil or vinegar to this. The mushroom should be fine with just the S-blade.

Add the ground vegetables and all the seasonings, along with the mung beans, to a large bowl. Stir well, longer than you think you should, and then use your hands to really work the beans.

There are two ways to form patties — either grease a muffin tin and fill it, or make scoops with an ice cream scoop and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or greased lightly. Make sure to pack the bean patties/balls together as you form them — these won’t be masterpieces that will stay together through a coming apocalypse, but they will hold their form as you dump them out of the muffin tins.

Bake 15 minutes, then enjoy.

Mung Bean Patties

Mung Bean Patties

2014-10-10 Fabulous Friday Finds

Here's the ocean in the fall from Pulpit Rock Tower in Rye, where they used to watch for submarines during WWII. Yeah, history is kind of cool.

Here’s the ocean in the fall from Pulpit Rock Tower in Rye, where they used to watch for submarines during WWII. Yeah, history is kind of cool.

How was your week? It’s been kind of a beast of a week here, so here are some fun links.

Have you somehow amassed a lot of essential oils? We both have. Here’s a recipe for making your own perfume with them (and some vodka).

I (Mary Kate) am a huge fan of the UfYH “method” or philosophy of trying to keep up with the messes in your life, and this week’s column in Persephone magazine is great: 5 Things to Clean When You Only Have 5 Minutes. You can really do a lot in 5 minutes.

And lastly, as we head into “close the windows, share the germs” season (and in honor of Denise’s cold), let me share this xkcd comic that someone taped to the hand sanitizer dispenser in a Federal building in Boston. You’ve got to love bureaucrats with a sense of humor (because that’s what Denise and Mary Kate like to believe themselves to be).

May your weekend be amazing. And don’t forget to get your tickets for the GFAF Expo in Springfield, MA, October 25-26!

Cure your own Corned Beef

Cure your own Corned Beef

Cure your own Corned Beef

You may remember that we posted a Stout Braised Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe way back in the depths of time. Well, that was in the time before my wheat and corn allergies were diagnosed.  At the time, since Mary Kate had issues with gluten, and a lot of our readers are gluten-free, I had put in the modifications needed to make it gluten-free. But once my corn allergy hit, I couldn’t find a safe brand of corned beef that I could buy, because of the dextrose, sodium erythorbate, and other corn ingredients that tend to show up in commercial versions. A while ago, I came across a beef brisket while shopping, and it occurred to me that maybe I could research how to make corned beef, just like I had for learning to cure bacon. Worst case scenario, I’d cook it as brisket if it didn’t work. So I bought it, but I didn’t have time to deal, so I threw it in the freezer. During my most recent “vacation” otherwise known as “food prep week”, I finally decided that it was time. So I looked at recipes from Alton Brown on the Food Network and the Wellness Mama, and modified and added things based on my other research.

I prepared the brine, then I brined the brisket for 10 days, and cooked it according to my original recipe, but using the gluten free tweaks, and without cabbage, because I forgot to buy any. And it was corned beef, and it was good. Even my husband (no food allergies) said it was good. So I’m sharing.

Just a note, this takes a long time. And it’s probably best to do the brine the day before you’re actually going to start marinating, because it has to be completely chilled. Also, be aware that it’s not the right color because we’re not adding curing salt or saltpeter, but it still tastes right.

Cure your own Corned Beef after curing and cooking

Cure your own Corned Beef after curing and cooking

Cure your own Corned Beef after cooking and slicing

Cure your own Corned Beef after cooking and slicing

Cure your own Corned Beef

  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1 cup of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces (I used a zip top bag and a rolling pin and smacked it a couple of times)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon of whole black peppercorns
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 2 bay leaves, broken into bits
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger or 1/2 Tablespoon of crystallized ginger (whichever you have on hand)
  • 2 pounds of ice
  • 1 cup of fresh celery puree (Take 5-7 stalks of celery and put them through a food processor or blender until they are pureed)
  • 1/4 cup of juice from sauerkraut made from red cabbage (optional – just an attempt to get the correct color since I’m not using curing salt)
  • 1 – 2 1/2 gallon zip top plastic bag (They have these now! They are brilliant for marinating and knitting projects!) 
  • 1 – 4 to 5 pound beef brisket

In a large stockpot, add the water, salt, sugar, cinnamon, both kinds of mustard seeds, black peppercorns, cloves, allspice berries, bay leaves, and ginger, and mix to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat until salt and the sugar have dissolved completely. Remove the stockpot from the heat, and add the ice. Stir the mixture until the ice has melted. Put the brine in the fridge until it has completely chilled. And I mean it, completely chilled, so that could take several hours or it might even be the next day.

Once the brine is completely chilled, mix in the celery puree and the sauerkraut juice.  Place the brisket in the 2 1/2 gallon zip top plastic bag and add the brine mixture to the bag.  Push as much of the air out of the bag as you can and seal it.  Place the zip top bag in a container that allows it to lay flat and put it in the fridge for 10 days. You want to check it daily to make sure that the brisket is completely submerged and to flip the bag to stir the brine. After 10 days, remove the brisket from the brine and rinse it off using cold water. Discard your brine, it can’t be used again.  Now you have corned beef brisket to cook as described in our original Stout Braised Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe, or to cook it how you normally cook corned beef.



2014-10-03 Fabulous Friday Finds + Win Tickets to the GFAF Expo!

Dramatic New Orleans

Dramatic New Orleans

Welcome to October, folks. Do you have any idea how it got here? Because I am confused.

The Kitchn is doing an October cooking school — want to sign up? 20 days, 20 lessons. New skills are never wasted in the kitchen. I’m hoping for some knife skills, among other things, especially in the veg sections. (I signed up too – D)

Also from The Kitchn, some organizing ideas for small spaces. I have ideas, just haven’t found what I’m looking for yet.

Okay, this might not really be interesting for some of you, because you’re not making your own jam or canning yet, and it’s really nerdy, but you need to check out this article on The Chemistry of Jam-Making.

We got a pumpkin from our CSA, and I’m (Denise) going to pressure can it, so that I can use it for baking and so on, and because I can’t fit one more thing in my freezer. (Note to self: make some veggie stock and get the veggie scraps out of your freezer.) This recipe for Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat bars would work, if I use safe-for-me chocolate, and my other safe ingredients. 


So we have some tickets to give away for the Gluten-free & Allergen-free Expo. Want to win? Give us a recipe idea — tell us something you miss from your pre-allergy life and what the issues are for you now. We’re not saying we can fix all of them, but we’re still pretty proud of making allergy-friendly fried “cheese nuggets.” (And, yes, that link says “allergen-free.” We’re better about that now than we used to be. People are allergic to all sorts of stuff we don’t know about. [Of course, the nuggets are no longer safe for me, but I've got ideas on fixing it -D]) We’ll announce two winners next week — each winner will get two tickets to the Expo, and we’d love you to come find us while you’re there.

Comment early and often, get yourself as many entries as you can!

Greens and Beans: Swiss Chard and Cannellini


Swiss chard and cannellini@ beans

I am not quite sure who figured out that beans and greens is an excellent combination, and that almost any greens and beans can be used, and that, if the beans are cooked (or canned, if you can use them) and the greens aren’t collards (which really do take time), this is a quick and healthy and satisfying meal. I’m a fan because I like greens and often forget how much — until I make another version of this and wonder why I don’t eat this regularly.

Feel free to add a grain of your choice, but I usually skip that. Brown rice is particularly complementary. But in a rush, which I kind of feel I always am lately, beans and greens is enough.

This makes two large servings, three “normal” sized servings, and is great leftover.

Swiss Chard and Cannellini Beans

  • 2 Tablespoons oil of your choice
  • 1 can (or 2 cups) cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (if canned)
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons dry sherry, dry white wine, or water
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic (if using crushed from a jar, use about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard, rainbow if you can get it, stems chopped, leaves chopped (separated)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar (beware “caramel coloring” or other additives) or lemon juice

Heat a large skillet over medium heat until hot.

Add oil. Heat until shimmering.

Add beans. Cook maybe 5 minutes, until they start to crisp a little.

Add pepper and sherry/wine/water. Cook until the liquid you just added is reduced by half.

Add chopped stems and garlic and stir well. Cook 2-3 minutes.

Add chopped chard leaves in handfuls, stirring each handful in as it wilts and adding the next. When it’s all in, add the vinegar or lemon juice, stir well, and let cook another minute. Taste, and add salt, pepper, or olive oil as needed to finish.

2014-09-26 Fabulous Friday Finds

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So it’s that time of year when you have to pick stuff because of the frost.  As some of you know, our green thumb friend, Mary S, was so generous and cool as to grow peppers in her garden for me (Denise) last year and this year. This year, Mary agreed to grow me some really crazy stuff, including the two hottest peppers in the world, the Carolina Reaper and the Moruga Trinidad Scorpion, besides some Habaneros, Hot Paper Lantern habaneros, Red Rockets, Bangkok Thai, Sante Fe, and Prik Chi Faa peppers. The final harvest weighed 11.56 pounds, and the slide show of pictures above show the harvest and what I did with it. I’m swimming in corn safe fiery condiments, woo hoo!!  I did want to make this habanero candy, but I ran out of steam.

Also since it’s fall, it’s apple picking time.  If you’re not sure how to use your apples, check out this chart for what varieties are good for keeping, cooking (pie or sauce), desserts or cider. 

Another thing to love about fall? SOUP WEATHER. Butternut squash ginger soup sounds really good, but I’m also guessing that I could sub in one of the weird squashes I’ve eyed warily at the farm stands. Squash is weird and wonderful. I’m also loving the idea of pumpkin chili.

Next Friday we will be running a contest for free tickets to the GFAF Expo, don’t forget to visit us on October 3, 2014!

MA Earlybird ticket image


WW: Find us at the GFAF Expo in October! (Springfield, MA)

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Hey! Guess who’s going to be official bloggers at the Gluten- and Allergen-free Expo in Springfield, Mass? Us! The weekend of October 25-26, 2014, come on out and find us there. Or, if you’re not local, follow our adventures on our Facebook page. I’d love to say we’ll tweet the experience, but Denise has a law degree and Mary Kate has an art history degree; we’re not succinct.

This will be a chance to talk to a lot of manufacturers about their products and their commitment to providing allergy-friendly foods, meet some interesting people working in the food allergy world, and maybe meet some other bloggers. I’m guessing there will be plenty of food to try, though depending on your allergens and comfort level, your mileage may vary on that. Along with vendors from the major allergy-friendly brands you likely know — Enjoy Life, Earth Balance, and So Delicious popped out to me (Mary Kate) — there are also speakers and classes. I think the class list is the most exciting part, and look forward to checking out the classes on gluten sensitivity and gluten-free flours.

Because of my (Denise’s) other allergies besides wheat, I’m a bit limited in vendors that would have safe products for me. One of the things I’m interested in seeing is Collette Martin’s new book, The Allergy-Free Pantry: Make Your Own Staples, Snacks, and More Without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts. I liked her first book, and I’m interested in the second, although the titles irk me a little. (I just need to say that just because something doesn’t have any of the top 8 allergens, it doesn’t mean it’s allergy free.) I’d also like to talk to the people at Pascha about their chocolate chips and how the vanilla is added, to see if it’s something I could safely trial. San-J will be there. I can use their gluten-free tamari because it uses cane sugar alcohol (I don’t have soy issues), and it looks like I might be able to trial their new Mongolian Sauce. I’m also very much interested in some of the classes.

If you want tickets, you can save $8 a ticket ($3 for kids’ tickets) by buying early. If you click the image link below, you’ll buy tickets “from” us, which nets us a tiny cut for referring you.

MA Earlybird ticket image

Stay tuned, we’ll also have some ticket giveaways in the coming weeks!


Blueberry Habanero Hot Sauce

Blueberry Habanero Hot Sauce (and my pathetic attempt to do a smiley face with the hot sauce bottle dripper)

Blueberry Habanero Hot Sauce (and my pathetic attempt to do a smiley face with the hot sauce bottle dripper)

So remember earlier this summer when I went berry picking with Mary Kate and I made the blueberry barbecue sauce? Well, I also made this Blueberry Habanero Hot Sauce. Just a warning that the outset, when I say hot, I mean hot. This is not a sauce for the faint of spice. Please be advised that my taste buds no longer think that Sriracha is all that hot, and I use it like ketchup, so when I say this is hot, I freaking mean it. Now with that out of the way, it’s really good. I really like the fruity spice combination and it was great to kick up my portion of the ribs we made with the Blueberry Barbecue Sauce to acceptable spice levels. Also, it was really good when I dipped marshmallows into it. I used to have a hot sauce collection in the long ago and far away time before corn, and I had a blueberry hot sauce in it. It’s really nice to get it back.

Blueberry Habanero Hot Sauce

Makes about 4 cups.

  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar
  • 10 habanero peppers, seeds and stems removed, chopped.

Combine all ingredients, except for the habaneros, in a saucepan and bring to a medium boil. Cover the saucepan, and gently boil for 10 minutes.

Place the habaneros and the contents of the saucepan in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

You can either can this recipe in a water bath as described here – or you can store in the refrigerator or freezer. Also if you’re worried about using up this much hot sauce, you can make half the recipe.

Go blister your taste buds, it’s yummy!


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