As we’ve previously discussed, since it’s summer, we need things to grill outside, which means burgers. I made this burger because buying Italian sausage can be a tricky thing now. Sometimes I can get some that’s allergy free and sometimes I can’t. Also, I developed this recipe before the positive result on the allergy scratch test for onions, but since I’m still hoping the challenge will show I’m not really allergic to onions, and since many of you will still be able to enjoy it, here you go.
Hot Italian Sausage Burgers with Peppers and Onions
- 1 pound of ground pork (make sure your pork is not too lean or your burgers may be dry, if it is too lean, see the optional step below)
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
- 1 Tablespoon of red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon of anise seed
- 1/4 teaspoon of fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 2 Tablespoons of canola oil (you will use an additional teaspoon if you choose the optional step below)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 vidalia onion (or regular yellow onion is fine too)
Place the ground pork into a large bowl. Sprinkle salt, garlic salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne over pork. Pour red wine vinegar over the pork.
Take anise seed, fennel, and red pepper flakes and grind in a spice grinder (or coffee grinder or mortar and pestle). Take ground spice mixture and mix with oil in a small container. Pour spice and oil mix over pork, scraping down container to make sure it ends up in pork.
[OPTIONAL: Take a quarter to a half of the red bell pepper, green bell pepper and the vidalia onion (depending on the size of the onions and peppers, you don't want to use so much that the burgers won't hold together) and clean and chop them finely. Saute them in teaspoon of canola oil until the peppers are softer and the onions are just barely translucent. Remove them from heat and let them cool. To hurry this process along, feel free to put them in the freezer for a few minutes until they are cool. When they are, add them to the pork.]
Mix everything into the ground pork until well blended. The only way to do this really is with your hands. Think meatloaf. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours so the flavors can blend.
On the day you intend to grill the burgers, clean and de-seed the bell peppers and cut them into slices. Peel the onion, and slice it into slices.
Wrap them up into a sealed foil packet. Cook them on the grill in the foil packet over indirect heat. (If you want to make this and you don’t have access to a grill, you could also do them in your oven. Preheat the oven to 4ooºF and place the packet on a cookie sheet. Check them after twenty minutes to see if they’re sufficiently cooked. You may need to let them go a little longer, so craft your foil packet so it’s easy to get open and seal back up. And be careful not to burn yourself with escaping steam.)
Grill the burgers, making sure the pork is sufficiently cooked. (Or fry them in a pan if your’re cooking inside.)
Serve with buns that are safe for your food restrictions, and the cooked onions and peppers on top. Enjoy!
So I’m (Denise) having a tough time with the corn being an actual allergy thing. Because it’s in everything. And that’s annoying. And I might actually have to learn to can stuff so I can have tomato sauce and hot sauce again. Which is annoying. So I bought Hot Sauce!: Techniques for Making Signature Hot Sauces, with 32 Recipes to Get You Started, which looked pretty good. I can’t use the distilled white vinegar because a lot of it is corn derived and they don’t have to tell you where it came from, but I’ll try them by subbing it out for cider vinegar and red wine vinegar and see how it goes.
I also bought the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, which actually had a lot of stuff I can do, even though I can’t use commercial pectin or ClearJel (both have corn ingredients). And if I were so inclined, I found a recipe to make your own pectin at home. But there’s probably enough pectin and ClearJel free jams and jellies that I will be able to try before going that deep in.
I also found an advertisement for gluten free and corn free makeup, which also looked to have minimal coconut (carnauba wax may be cross reactive for some people). It’s called Bellaphoria and it’s organic and cruelty free. I plan to check it out when I run through my current open stuff. If you’ve tried it let me know what you thought.
This has nothing to do with allergies, but sometimes, don’t we all need a break from allergies? Here’s yours for today.
Kristina at spabettie has a round-up of her favorite summertime treats — even if you just go for the pictures, it’s worth stopping by.
And last, but not least, check out Crunchy Betty’s gardener’s hand salve. Even if you can’t or don’t garden, this might be good for you.
Happy Flag Day, everyone.
When I was in graduate school, we had a lot of parties. I’m a nerdy sort, so these weren’t “trash can punch” kind of parties, but beer and wine and mostly lots of food kind of parties. And they were always potluck, because no one had any money. Certain things became favorites, so people never had to much thing about what to bring — they were requested. This was definitely one of the group favorites, and I’ve held on to the recipe. Goes well with bread, tortilla chips, crackers, even veggies, and the leftovers make a great, if chunky, sandwich spread. Plus, it looks impressive and gourmet but is incredibly easy.
This version replaces the mayo and cheese to give you a really tasty, vegan and allergen-free version that will also please the people you know who can eat everything.
Tiffany’s Artichoke Dip
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease casserole dish.
- 16 oz. of canned or jarred artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 small can of chopped green chiles or jalapenos
- 1 cup of Earth Balance Mindful Mayo, original
- 3 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- 3 Tablespoons of garbanzo bean flour
Mix all ingredients together in the casserole dish, smooth out evenly. Bake 20-25 minutes, serve warm.
First Friday in June, and we’ve seen a lot of summer already in New Hampshire. What are you looking at?
I read this fascinating Michael Pollan article about the microbiome of the human body — or more about the fact that, really, we are not alone, and we are covered in other microscopic organisms, inside and out. Given that the disruption of the natural ecosystem of the human body is one of the theories floated for the increase in food allergies, I am paying attention. Yep, it’s long. It’s also worth the read.
I’ve also been messing with coconut oil-based deodorant, but haven’t gotten what I think is the perfect recipe yet, so more when I get there. I’m trying to figure out which of the body butter bases might work best and be more temperature stable than coconut, which remains liquid in my hot apartment for most of the summer — I have shea, cocoa, and hemp butter to work with. Any thoughts or suggestions?
Sweet Potato Curry. That is all.
So I (Denise) did not make out well on the corn challenge. Which is putting it very nicely considering the very foul language I want to scream, a lot and for hours. So now that means I’m going to have to extend the whole freaking challenge thing because I’m going have to see how I do with some corn derivatives like citric acid because I’d like to eat canned and jarred food again. But I keep thinking that maybe I should do one of the other easy ones instead and see what else I might be able to get back in the meantime if I don’t react to them. But I’ve got another 8 days or so to figure that out, as my next challenge day isn’t until the 15th. So because I’d like to start drinking my sorrows away in the meantime, here’s an article about Gluten Free and Corn Free Spirits.
And if I’m going to drink, then I need some snack/comfort food to wallow in as well. Since I can’t have potatoes until I do a potato challenge and figure out if I’m allergic to them as well, here’s a recipe for Baked Sweet Potato Chips, one with salt and vinegar and one with sugar and cinnamon. (Sweet potatoes are different than regular potatoes, and apparently not related so as to cause cross reactions, at least, according to the inter-webs). (Also, you can be lazy and buy some Terra Sweet Potato Chips. Or sweets and beets. — MK)
And because I can’t buy roasted red peppers in a jar (citric acid again) and I’m going to need some for a recipe we’ll be posting in the next few weeks, here’s How to Roast Red Bell Peppers. I wonder if you can freeze them afterwards so you can do a bunch at once? (I am a convenience girl if anything else –read “lazy”). I’ll try it and report back. (You can. I made them once, and they freeze fine. I like only a bit of bell pepper in things, so… — MK) (Awesome!! – Denise)
Maybe I should have you guys vote as to what the next challenge should be, for the sake of interactivity, and because I want to test the poll thing:
Hope you all have a fabulous week and if you find cool stuff let us know!
So, last weekend it snowed in New Hampshire, and this weekend it’s been 95°F all weekend. Hilarious. I don’t handle the heat well, if at all, nor do I handle the crazy freaking changes well. The humidity and corresponding air quality in New Hampshire has been known to send me right into an asthma attack. We’ve got the air conditioners cranked, but I don’t want to heat the apartment up any more than necessary, so we’ve been eating salads and fruit. And since it’s the time of year that you might be heading to potluck type gatherings, here’s a spruced up fruit salad you can take with you. Also, this can be made much much easier by doing what I did and buying a fruit tray and some berries and using it, so you don’t have to peel melons and pineapple. You can do it the night before and let the dressing soak in, but it’s yummy either way.
Margarita Tropical Fruit Salad
- 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4-5 limes)
- 1/2 cup of agave syrup
- 1/2 cup of tequila
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of arrowroot
- 2 Tablespoons of water
- About 6-8 cups of fruit cut in bite size pieces, filling a large salad bowl. The mixture is up to you, but I used cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
First, wash your limes carefully under hot water to get rid of the wax they put on them. To get the most juice out of them, I’ve found two tips that really help. Put your limes in a microwave safe container and nuke them on high for one minute.
Then put them on a cutting board, and using the palm of your hand roll the limes back and forth, putting enough pressure on them so that you can feel the lime squeeze against the board, but not enough so you break the lime against the cutting board. Now juice your limes.
Make sure you don’t have any seeds in with the lime juice and pour it into a sauce pan. Add the agave syrup and the tequila to the sauce pan, mix until thoroughly combined, and then bring it to a boil for about two minutes. Turn the heat to low, and in a small container (I used a glass measuring cup) mix the arrowroot and water together. Pour the water and arrowroot mixture into the sauce pan, stirring quickly so that it doesn’t clump. Turn to medium low heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes or so, and then remove from the heat.
When the agave lime tequila dressing has cooled (you can cheat by sticking it the freezer for a few minutes if you need to), pour it over the cut fruit and toss to combine. Enjoy!!
Alyson Kramer’s new book is out, and she’s shared the recipe for Avgolemano — Greek Lemon Rice soup.
Quick and easy chickpea salad — sounds like a great dinner (contains almonds).
We all know that the labeling laws and even guidelines don’t really do much to protect those of us with allergies, and it is frustrating. Even so, here’s an allergy alert that may surprise you — Bombay Sapphire gin contains almonds. Damn you, “natural flavorings!”
A little more fun — make your own lipstick. Out of crayons. Seriously.
Just thought I’d (Denise) give you all a little update on the elimination/challenge thing. I did not test positive for celiac (yay!!!) and I’ve been off everything for nearly three weeks. (I’d gnaw someone’s arm off for a Skittle, just saying). The corn challenge is tomorrow so I have the weekend to get over it if things do not go well. Cross your fingers that things go well. I’d like to be able to eat soda and candy and other crappy unhealthy food again. But hey just in case it doesn’t go so well for me, here’s a recipe for gummy bears that might work if I can get corn free Stevia. Or I could just modify it and use cane sugar.
And since I’ve been craving Sriracha, which I can’t have because of the citric acid (corn) during this whole elimination torture thing, I found this recipe for Sriracha-Glazed Chicken Wings (contains soy).
Since we’ve been playing with burgers a lot lately, these two recipes caught my eye. First, a lovely Black Bean and Brown Rice burger that looks yummy, and second, a Sweet Potato Veggie Burger (contains wheat, but I think would be easily modified to go without).
If you find cool stuff, let us know, we want in too!
I was trying to make pita bread. Which, this really isn’t. Mainly in that it’s not as dry as pita bread (which is kind of weird, because you can usually count on gluten-free bread being drier than wheat bread), nor as puffy, and without the cavity in the middle. And they’re smaller — given the structural integrity issues that gluten-freeness can cause, I’d suggest staying on the smaller side.
So basically these are nothing like pita bread. Sorry for the misdirection there. They are small sandwich round bread things which are tasty, allergen-free, and seem to please the few non-allergenic people I’ve fed them to (i.e. my neighbors). So you should try them!
Gluten-free Bread Round Things
You’re going to make three mixes and then mix them all together. With me?
- 2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons warm — not hot — rice milk
Second, in a separate bowl, mix:
- 1/4 cup rice milk
- 2 Tablespoons ground chia seeds
- 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Third, in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, mix:
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- 2 Tablespoons rice milk powder
- 4 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- yeast mixture (should be foamy!)
- chia mixture (should be gelled somewhat)
Mix until you have a pretty solid dough, reasonably thick and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. The nice thing (“nice”) about gluten-free baking is that you really can’t overmix things. There’s no gluten to get tough. I let my mixer go and make up the dishwater while it’s working, so maybe 5 minutes or so.
With well-oiled hands, scoop out 1/4 cup of dough and shape into a smooth ball. Press out to form the round — aiming for 1/8 — 1/4 inch or so in thickness, but all about the same (thickness is more important than exact size for cooking time). Place the round on a parchment covered baking sheet. Repeat until you’ve used all the dough.
Place into a COLD OVEN and turn the oven on to 400F. The timing from here on out will depend on how fast your oven heats up — mine takes almost 20 minutes to reach 400F. Check these out at about 20 minutes, but it will likely take 35-45 minutes for them to fully bake, depending on the thickness of your rounds.
Now the one thing that you’re missing are the toasted bubbled bits that a real pita bread has — if you want these, throw the pita on a grill or into a hot skillet, a few minutes on each side. This is not necessary, but does add flavor and visual texture.
When the bread rounds are completely cooled, you will be able to slice them, but carefully! Don’t expect to make pita pockets, but honestly these hold up better than most gluten-free bread for sandwiches (or at least the ones that are also egg and dairy free), so give it a try.
Is anyone else stunned that it’s almost June? And also really happy to have a holiday weekend?
Since Memorial Day can involve social times (and we all know “social times” almost always involve food), there was a great question on the Captain Awkward blog this week about being social with food restrictions. The comments are long, but absolutely worth it, and if you get nothing else out of it, take this — it is okay to have strong boundaries around your safety when eating with food allergies, and anyone who harasses you or gives you grief is being rude, not the other way around.
But we can at least help let the food be the least awkward part of your gathering. It’s time for a BBQ Recipe Roundup! First, from our own not-so-secret recipe files:
Sheer Magic Spinach Dip (contains soy)
Also, if things do become awkward, then maybe you’re going to need yourself a batch of Wine Smoothies.
Now, from other places on the interwebs, we found some other recipes that might be useful:
Tasty Pasta Salad (contains wheat unless you use gluten free pasta)
Fun Things and Drinks
Summer Ice Cubes (because we need ice cubes with blueberries, mint or lemon frozen in them floating in our drinks, alcoholic or not)
Watermelon Fruit Cake (although the word cake is misleading…think cake shape)
Anyway, although it’s expected to rain quite a bit here in New Hampshire this weekend, we hope you have a wonderful fun weekend and that you have plenty of safe food options wherever you are!
Hey, it’s our second burger post! I really hope you’re finding some options or getting some ideas about what to bring to barbeques this summer — or what to serve at your own.
For some reason when Denise and I were discussing burgers, I was somewhat fixated on Indian spices. I love Indian food, but there are so many allergen pitfalls when ordering out that I’m finding it easier to make my own at home — and easier now that I can run some of my cooking choices by my Indian neighbor. He approved the spice mix I’m going to give you below, so it must be good, right?
You can buy tandoori spices. Tandoori chicken is a reasonably classic Indian dish, named for the clay oven in which chicken is baked after being marinated in yogurt and spices. By briefly marinating and then grinding the chicken, adding some cashew nuts for creaminess, we can skip the yogurt part, and in this case, a grill stands in for the fancy pointy-topped oven. By making your own spice, you can more carefully control the flavor of the burger, but if you’re not up to it, not interested, or in any way disinclined, seek it out pre-blended.
Tandoori Chicken Burgers
Tandoori Spice — makes enough for 2-3 recipes of burgers
- 1 Tablespoon ground fenugreek
- 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1-1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika (regular, not smoked)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (you can buy this ground, but it’s worth it to grind your own)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne, depending on your desire for heat, as well as spice
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup lemon or lime juice
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup cashew pieces
- zest of one lime (organic if you can get it)
- 2- 3 Tablespoons tandoori spice
- lime wedges, for serving
First, marinate chicken thighs in the citrus juice and vinegar for about 30 minutes — if the marinade doesn’t quite cover the chicken, add water to cover.
Lay the chicken out on paper towels to drain and dry.
In your food processor, grind the cashews to a fine consistency. I find that I need to pulse my food processor, as just turning it on tends to make nut butter instead. Remove the nuts to a mixing bowl.
Grind the chicken in the food processor, then add it to the mixing bowl.
Add the lime zest and seasoning, and mix all the ingredients well. You can try using a spoon, but you really need to mix with your hands to get everything well-incorporated. Mix until you think it’s well-blended, then mix a little more. A note on the seasoning range — if you’re a lover of Indian food, or spices, or both, go all in with the 3 T measurement. If your company is a little more mixed (children, unadventurous eaters) ease them into the fun with the lower amount of spice.
Now shape the patties and lay them out on a parchment or plastic wrap covered platter and refrigerate for an hour or overnight. This recipe should make 4 regular burgers or 8 slider-sized burgers.
Grill until the interior temperature of the burger reaches approximately 160F. Serve with sliced cucumbers on a bun of your choice.
First off, just wanted to relate one of my (Denise) recent discoveries/unventions this week (unvention is intentionally misspelled, it’s a term knitters often use for something they figured out that probably someone else has before, but it’s new to them and awesome). Since I’m wicked fussy about my coffee, and nothing’s really worked for me as a creamer, I make my own cashew milk, which works beautifully in coffee if you don’t have an allergy to them. And as I don’t have a Vitamix (if anyone wants to blow $400-500 for no reason and give me a present, just let me know), I’ve been straining out the grit/sludge/remains out of the cashew milk and saving them in a container in the freezer because I’ve convinced myself that I’m going to use them to figure out how to make dairy and coconut free chicken korma at some point (I’ve been saying that for months and months, probably at least eight). And since they’re $9-12 a pound depending on where you get them. But after recent experiments, I decided to take the cashew remains out of the freezer and see if I could use them to make another batch of cashew milk. The recipe I use is the Rawtarian’s, but I skip the almond extract since I’m allergic to almonds. So I took a cup of cashew remains, and only 1 cup of water, and blended them using varying combinations of high, low and ice crushing settings on my blender. And I let it blend for quite a while. Then I added the remaining water and other ingredients, sans almond extract, and voila, a whole new batch of cashew milk that tasted just as good as the first batch. When I went to strain the milk, nothing wound up in the strainer. I don’t know if it’s the freezing the cashew remains, or if it’s the starting with a lower amount of cashews to water, but it worked the way I thought it might after recent experiments, and it’s going to save me a boatload of money if I can get two batches of cashew milk out of one cup of cashews. The next time I make cashew milk, the next experiment will be to see if I can use just half the amount and pulverize the crap of out them with the smaller ratio of water and cashews at the beginning of the process so I don’t have any cashew remains, but still have a lovely strong cashew milk for coffee. If it works, I’ll throw up an actual recipe for it.
I’ve been doing some research in the event that I have to go corn free, which would mean no Earth Balance vegan margarine. I found this Cashew-Based Vegan Butter (Palm Oil-Free, Soy-Free) recipe. It has coconut oil in it which is a no go for me, but I’m thinking about trying it using cocoa butter instead, if the sky falls in and the corn challenge doesn’t go as I hope.
I also drink a lot of soda, which isn’t possible for the next two weeks or so until I do my corn challenge. So I’ve been using this article to make my own soda syrup for my Sodastream. I’ve been using cane sugar to be sure there’s no corn in it.
Sometimes, you might learn things the hard way — how to avoid allergy contamination from your date, for example.
Remember when I gave you 8000 words on tea? Twinings has developed a tea to be brewed on board airplanes. That’s the kind of cool problem-solving the world needs.
Allergic Living magazine has a new poster on anaphylaxis — it’s worth checking out as a reminder of the symptoms and treatment.
Hope you all are having a fabulous week and if you find cool stuff, let us know.