Affairs of Living

Gluten-free, allergy-friendly, whole foods recipes

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Entries from June 1, 2010 - June 30, 2010


June SOS Kitchen Challenge: Rhubarb Round-Up

As you may recall, rhubarb was the choice for this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, hosted by Ricki at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs and me. This recipe challenge is focused on using a key ingredient to create all natural, sugar-free, vegan recipes. Our readers certainly didn't disappoint for the third installment of our challenge, and Ricki and I are excited to share a wide array of delicious-looking, allergy-friendly, vegan recipes for you!  Depending on where you live, it may not be too late for rhubarb - up here in Minnesota, rhubarb still abounds at the farmers market, the co-ops, and in backyards!

This month was incredibly busy for both Ricki and me, and we both found ourselves strapped for time. Next month will be the same, so we have decided to go on summer holiday from the challenge for the month of July and will return in August.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our global shout-out to rhubarb.  Feast your eyes on these incredible sweet and savory submissions...



 Raw Cashew Coconut Rhubarb Cookies

Raw Cashew Coconut Rhubarb Cookies from A-K at Swell Vegan, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

gluten-free, vega, raw, sugar-free

I actually dreamt about these cookies last night! A-K makes wonderful use of dates, coconut, and  rhubarb, in a lovely raw cookie that doesn't require any unusual ingredients or a food dehydrator.


Baked Rhubarb and Apples with Earl Grey Tea, Cardamom, and Orange Zest

Baked Rhubarb and Apples with Earl Grey Tea, Cardamom, and Orange Zest from Janet at The Taste Space, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free option

Janet's recipe looks so wonderful, and her photos make me feel like I can almost taste the rhubarb!  The combination of flavors is unexpected and very unique; she is a creative chef with a wonderful blog.


Millet Biscuits with Rhubarb

Millet Biscuits with Rhubarb by Ricki of Diet, Dessert, and Dogs, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

gluten-free, vegan, ACD/sugar free

Ricki's delicious-looking adaptation of this recipe from Celiac Teen features little chunks of rhubarb in a tender millet-based biscuit. I want one warm from the oven, smeared with coconut oil...


Rhubarb Shortcakes

Rhubarb Shortcakes from Rachel at My Munchable Musings, just oustide of Seattle, Washington, USA

wheat-free, vegan, refined sugar-free (could be adapted to totally sugar-free), could be adapted to nut-free

Listed on her site as Spelt Biscuits with Lemony Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote, these little biscuits are gluten free and look wonderful, and are covered with a light strawberry rhubarb compote that is scented with lemon balm. How clever! She also includes a very intriguing-looking recipe for Rhubarb Pilaf that she hopes to try making some day, so be sure to check it out!


Date Rhubarb Pecan Crumble Cake

Rhubarb Date Pecan Crumble Cake from Gretchen at The Gluten-Free Edge, Georgetown, Texas, USA

gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar free

Janet struggled to track down rhubarb in her hot, dry home state of Texas, but managed to find it, and whipped up this luscious looking gluten-free crumble cake.


Rhubarb Strawberry Crumb Cake with Pine Nuts

Rhubarb Strawberry Crumb Cake with Pine Nuts from Kim at Affairs of Living, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

gluten free, vegan, ACD option

Sweet rhubarb and strawberry sauce is sandwiched between moist, dense layer of cake, and topped with a pine nut crumble. Brunch never had it so good.


Rhubarb Muffins , Rhubarb Compote Loaf with Fresh Strawberries, Rockin' Rhubarb Chutney, and Rhubarb-Raisin "Rum"ble Cake

Rhubarb Muffins , Rhubarb Compote Loaf with Fresh Strawberries, Rhubarb-Raisin "Rum"ble Cake, and Rockin' Rhubarb Chutney from Sarah at What Smells So Good?, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

options for vegan and sugar-free

Wow, Sarah really went crazy with rhubarb.  Muffins, bread, a cake, and chutney? The muffins sound light and flavorful, and perfect for breakfast or snacks on the go. The compote loaf has a swirl of rhubarb compote throughout, which is so clever, and that rhubarb-raising "rum"ble cake sounds nothing short of decadent. And while they all look delicious, but the chutney sounds particularly tantalizing - how can you go wrong with a cooked up mixture of warm spices, rhubarb, red onion, and raisins?


Rhubarb Strawberry Sauce 

 Rhubarb Strawberry Sauce from Lisa at Vegan Cookbook Critic, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, sugar-free/ACD, raw

Lisa's raw rhubarb sauce relies on the sweetness of dates and strawberries instead of sugar or other sweeteners, with a touch of ginger and orange for a final flavorful twist. 


Sugar-Free Rhubarb Strawberry Jam

Sugar-Free Rhubarb Strawberry Jam, from Kim at Affairs of Living, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

gluten-free, vegan, ACD option

 Inspired by the strawberry rhubarb jam from my childhood, I came up with this tasty sugar-free and vegan version, scented with just a hint of cardamom.


Rhubarb Swirl Ice Cream

Rhubarb Swirl Ice Cream by Ricki at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

gluten-free, vegan, ACD

Ricki's ingenious ice cream recipe features coconut milk, walnuts, and peaches or pears for the creamy base, with a delicious sounding swirl of rhubarb. Perfect for a hot summer day!



Lentil and Rhubarb Stew with Indian Spices

Lentil and Rhubarb Stew with Indian Spices by Janet at The Taste Space, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

gluten-free, vegan, ACD

Janet's adaptation of Mark Bittman's recipe looks wonderful and intriguing, full of warming Indian spices, tart rhubarb, and flavorful lentils. What a wonderful vegan main course!


Sweet and Sour Chickpeas

Sweet and Sour Chickpeas by Ricki at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

gluten-free, vegan, ACD

Featuring warming spices and Indian flavors, the rhubarb adds a "sour" element to the flavorful sauce used in Ricki's chickpea dish.  This sounds delicious!


Beetroot and Rhubarb Soup 

Beetroot and Rhubarb Soup by Johanna at Green Gourmet Giraffe, Melbourne, Australia

gluten-free, vegan, ACD

Bursting with root vegetables, cabbage, rhubarb, and a hint of orange, Johanna's recipe sounds wonderfully flavorful, aromatic, and satisfying. And the color is marvelous! This soup looks perfect for a cool day (it is winter in Australia, after all - where does one find rhubarb in the winter?), but I bet it would also be wonderful chilled for those of us experiencing the warm summer days of the NOrthern hemisphere. Joanna also includes a recipe for a tofu-based vegan "sour cream" to use for garnish.

Curried Rhubarb Coleslaw

Curried Rhubarb Coleslaw from Kim at Affairs of Living, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

gluten-free, vegan, ACD, raw

Crunchy, flavorful, and colorful, this slaw is perfect for early summer days, and boasts and unexpected twist of raw rhubarb and curry powder.


What a delicious looking array of recipes!  We also had a handful of submissions from readers who either didn't follow our ingredient rules (as posted here and here) or submitted posts dated before or after the deadline.  However, the recipes did look wonderful, and I didn't have the heart not to include them in the round up.  We will be sure to re-emphasize the ingredient rules that are posted on the SOS page at the challenge kick-off to eliminate any possible confusion, as well as emphasize the deadline, and next time will only be including posts that fall within those guidelines. 


Thanks to all for participating, and see you back here in August for the next SOS Kitchen Challenge! I wonder what the ingredient will be...


White Bean Salad with Peppers and Herbs, for a bride-to-be (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

This August, my friend B is getting married, and I couldn't be more excited for her. I love it when my friends are in love! To celebrate, my friend L and I hosted a bridal shower for her last weekend.  Last year B and I threw L a bridal shower, and this year L gets to return the favor.  Some day, they will both need to throw me a party, but from the looks of my current dating record, it won't be any day soon...

L and I were excited to plan it together, and after discussing the details, we decided she would handle the games and prizes, and I would handle the food. I generally tend to be a bit of a control freak when I have a creative vision, so L is a saint for working with me on planning this party, I think.  When coming up with a menu, my mind immediately went to Middle Eastern food.  Years ago, back when B, L, and I all lived together in Uptown, we used to frequent this awesome place called Felafel King (you can guess their specialty), regularly gorging ourselves on felafel and hummus and tabouli. Middle Eastern cuisine seemed like the perfect choice for all of us, it is ideal for summer, and it is easy to make allergy-friendly.  Astute readers may recall that my friend B was recently diagnosed with multiple food allergies, and I've been helping give her ideas on how to transition her diet. She has settled in swimmingly, and is baking gluten-free goodies that would even delight the likes of Martha Stewart. 

I built up a delicious menu using seasonal finds like fresh grape leaves and herbs from my garden, produce from the farmers market, and other classic Middle Eastern staples like sheep feta, olives, and fresh pita bread to appease the gluten-eating masses.  Add a fresh fruit tart for dessert, along with a tofu chocolate pudding pie made by the future bride herself, and we had a wonderful feast.  I only snapped a few photos with my little Powershot, so the photographic evidence of the party is less than breathtaking - these photos don't do the food or the presentation justice! 

Click to read more ...


Toasted Nori Crisps a.k.a. Seaweed Crack

This post will be unusually short and sweet.  There's no real story here, no tale of glee or woe or self discovery. Nope, this post is just snack food, pure and simple.

These are light, airy, crispy, salty, and aromatic.  They are so quick to prepare that they give almost instant gratification, something that rarely happens when you eat like we have to eat.  Oh yeah, and the are completely and totally addictive.  Therefore, I am giving them the alternative name of Seaweed Crack. One bite and you're hooked. If you have any hesitancy about eating seaweed, these tempting little things will turn you right around and get you on track to being a serious seaweed-eater.  It is like a gateway drug to the world of sea vegetables.

After making and promptly devouring the first batch, you'll want to make another batch. And if you're like me, you probably will.  And then you'll devour that one too.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Click to read more ...


L'arte d'arrangiarsi and a Roasted Red Pepper & Sauerkraut Dip (gluten free, vegan, ACD)

As a longtime art kid, I have found food to be another artistic medium with which to express myself.   I'm starting to think more about how the colors and texture of ingredients will compliment each other, not just the flavors. I'm playing with garnishes and different ways of cutting vegetables for variety and visual appeal. I'm using different colors or shapes of bowls or plates in order to accent or contrast the food.  I put effort forth to make my food look beautiful. It makes me feel connected and inspired and creative, and that makes me feel alive.

Think about how awesome food looks when you order it at a restaurant (a good restaurant, that is). People pull out their cameras. They "ooh" and "ah" and say things like, "Oh my, this just looks too beautiful to eat!".  They talk about how gorgeous their meal was the whole ride home in the car.  They tell their coworkers about it the next day at the office.  They show you pictures on their iPhones.

Yes, we all love beautiful food.

Click to read more ...


Happy Summer Solstice

Today's Summer Solstice sun rises over Stonehenge. Image from the Daily Mail

An Invocation of Summer
by Patricia Telesco

Fireflies and Summer Sun, 
In circles round we become as one. 
Singing songs at magic's hour 
We bring the winds and timeless power. 
Turning inward, hand to hand 
We dance the hearth to heal our land. 
Standing sacred beneath the Sky 
We catch the fire from out it's eye 
Swaying breathless beside the sea 
We call the Goddess, so Mote it be! 


Today is a powerful day. So powerful, in fact, that I awoke at 5:45 am, without a the help of an alarm.  I was alert and alive. Instead of drifting back to sleep, I meditated in my FAR infrared sauna box for 30 minutes, did a little detoxifying skin brushing, took a refreshing shower, then made zucchini oatmeal pancakes and sat down to do a little blogging.

What an amazing way to start the longest day of the year. 

Click to read more ...