Affairs of Living

Gluten-free, allergy-friendly, whole foods recipes

Recent Posts

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner

Site Search
Subscribe

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. 

Free Shipping on Vitamix

The Vitamix is my favorite kitchen tool for blending perfectly smooth sauces and smoothies, making my own nut and seed butters, grinding fresh gluten-free flours, and more. Interested in purchasing one? Check out the great deals on reconditioned Vitamix machines, or investigate new Vitamix machine packages. Payment plans are available!

Receive FREE SHIPPING to the US and Canada when you order a Vitamix with my affiliate code 06-004943. 

Save at iherb.com

Save $5 on your first order from iHerb.com with coupon code QAB040.  Visit iHerb.com now to browse natural products and supplements. 

Love it here?

                                

Entries from March 1, 2011 - March 31, 2011

Monday
Mar282011

Recycled Brownie Smoothies and Puddings: The best way to use old baked goods!

Old brownies ready for the blender. When they become too dry to enjoy, freeze them in cubes and use in smoothies and puddings!

My housemate Mary just recently turned me on to using past-prime brownies in smoothies and puddings. I know that sounds weird, but seriously, it is the best way to eat up those slightly dry baked goods! Combined with a little non-dairy milk and a slew of other ingredients, those old dry brownies transform into a rich, chocolatey, creamy smoothie or pudding. I hate throwing away food, so discovering a way to reuse baked goods in a new way is totally up my alley.

How do you do it? Simple. Just put chunks of dry, leftover brownie in your blender, with a bunch of other ingredients (hints below, keep reading). If you have a lot of leftover brownie pieces, cut them into small cubes and put them in the freezer to use later on.  These frozen chunks are like ice cubes, but better because they are full of chocolate goodness! 

As for what you combine with your brownies, the world is your chocolate-covered oyster.  How about banana and nut butter? Or maybe frozen cherries and hemp seed? Or coconut milk, maca, and cacao? Or maybe chocolate with carob powder, protein powder, and a handful of spinach (seriously)? Anything goes, the options are endless.  If you want a thick, creamy pudding, I"d recommend adding only enough liquid to blend, as well as a tablespoon or two of chia seeds.

Here are some of my favorite ingredients to mix-n-match with leftover brownies: 

  • your favorite "milk" or coconut milk
  • stevia or another natural sweetener
  • cacao nibs
  • carob or cacao powder
  • maca
  • cinnamon or other spices
  • nut/seed butter or nuts/seeds
  • maca
  • hemp or flax seeds
  • protein powder
  • plain or frozen banana
  • spinach or kale leaves (if you're wacky like me)
  • frozen cherries or raspberries
  • anything else your heart desires

Brilliant. Totally brilliant!

Wednesday
Mar232011

Lemon & Herb Chicken Liver Paté (gluten-free, grain-free, ACD)

Lemon & Herb Chicken Liver Paté

Liver tends to be a rather polarizing food - either you love it or you find the idea of eating it absolutely appalling. Back in my veg*n days, I would go on and on about how "nasty" liver is, stunned that people would even consider eating it (although I'd never tried it, of course). Once I started eating meat again, I vowed to appreciate the whole animal from snout to tail. After getting comfortable with the basic cuts, I started by buying more unsual cuts of meat and using bones and skin to make stock. Thanks to a trip to France a few years ago, I saw the glory of liver. Not long ago I had my first run-in with tripe and tendon (not bad!). And I've been eyeing up bison blood sausage, duck fat, and leaf lard at the co-op.  My journey is slow, but I'm trying, and enjoying every delicious minute.  Culinary curiosity beats out hesitancy every time. 

Hey, if that animal is dying for me, I want to do what I can to ensure that nothing is wasted. To guide me along the way, I am reading The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Thomas Keller. I read cookbooks like novels, and these books are genius. I am finding the subject matter absolutely fascinating, and love learning about where each cut of meat comes from and how the organs and other animal parts can be used.  Somehow, this book has made me excited about the prospect of making gluten-free kidney pie and finding an opportunity to butcher a chicken myself.  As Anthony Bourdain would say, bring on the "nasty bits"!  

Where did that veg*n girl go? Whoa.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar152011

Sugar-Free Pear Berry Crisp (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

IMG_1080

I made this crisp to take along to a dinner with friends last weekend. In addition to sharing allergies, intolerances, restrictions, often waning energy levels, and pretty amazing cooking skills, we all share another thing: chronic illness. Lyme, Babesiosis, Bartonella, CFIDS, MCS, the list goes on. How we all manage to have so much fun discussing our symptoms, looking up lab tests and CPT codes online, and talking about our medications and supplements amazes me. It is a small group, just the right size, and the openness, honesty, and solidarity is refreshing. There's no drama, no judgement - just conversation and understanding. And despite it all, we laugh and joke and have a blast.  And don't be mistaken, we spend plenty of time talking about stuff other than Lyme. 

I feel blessed.  This group is just one slice of the community that I am proud to call my own, and I recognize how fortunate I am to have a support network.  Especially a support network that can cook!  :)

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar142011

Corned Beef & Sweet Potato Hash (gluten-free)

IMG_1104

When I was a kid, sometimes my dad would buy those cans of Hormel® Mary Kitchen® corned beef hash. I remember being fascinated by the way the unappetizing pasty, fatty, white hash would turn lovely, golden, and crisp once heated in a pan. As a child, I loved it.  Loved it, that is, until about age 13, when I denounced meat and lived a not-so-balanced veg*n lifestyle for 10 years. Moving on. Hand me a steak.

Dad would fry up the hash on Sunday mornings, or a can would get packed in the food bag to take to the cabin Up North (the proverbial cabin location for any Midwestener). Although canned corned beef hash was by no means a staple in our house, I think a thorough investigation of my parents' pantry would most likely reveal a can of hash hidden in the back corners, way up out-of-reach, saved for my father's solo trips to the cabin....  A guy needs his salty, fatty, meaty fix every now and then. 

This hash is much better than the canned hash of my childhood, a kicked-up modern twist on an old favorite. I used homemade corned beef, sweet potatoes, and onions, seasoned with fresh thyme leaves and a jalapeño pepper. Simple? You bet. Flavorful? Absolutely. Homemade corned beef is a flavor powerhouse. This stuff tastes better than the canned hash any day, has way more nutritional value, and probably only a small fraction of the sodium.  And it looks beautiful, perfectly suited for any meal of the day. I served mine with a sauté of kale, onions, garlic, and roasted red peppers, and a scoop of raw sauerkraut. It would be wonderful with homemade gluten-free toast, or scrambled eggs. Or, just eat a scoop all on its own. I hope you enjoy it, whether for St. Patrick's Day celebrations or any other day of the year.

IMG_1109

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar132011

Charcutepalooza: Homemade Corned Beef 

Updated on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 by Registered CommenterKim @ Affairs of Living

IMG_1074

I am a recovering vegetarian. My 10 year plant-fueled career spanned my formative cooking years. I became a whiz with all things vegetal, but was robbed of a decent knowledge base of meat preparation.  Since adding meat back to my diet about 5 years ago, I've had to learn what to do with it.  When I decided to eat meat again, I promised myself I would go all out, saving bones to make broth and not cringing at the sight of tendons and fat. But at times I'm at a total loss, and somewhat intimidated by meat.  Hand me a rutabaga, and I'm a pro. Hand me a gorgeous cut of meat, and I have to sit and think for a minute (or 10).

I've been trying branch out of my turkey burger/roasted chicken/baked salmon rut.  In the last year or so, I've had a growing fascination with charcuterie. I've wanted to learn to cure meats and make sausages and do all that stuff!  Salty, smoky, cured meat is my weakness.  I know, I know - it's high in fat, it's high in sodium, it often contains nitrates, blah blah blah. I don't care. I love it.  I splurge on really high quality cured meats and relish every bite. Everyone needs a vice. And besides, with all the dietary restrictions and lifestyle changes I've had to make the last three years, if I can eat bacon and sausage and speck and chorizo and not get a bellyache, I'm going to do it. And enjoy it shamelessly.


To support my salty meat habit, I recently got a great book: Charcuterie, by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. This book is the ultimate guide for the home cook interested in salting, smoking, and curing their own meats. Shortly after getting the book, I saw that Mrs. Wheelbarrow  and The Yummy Mummy were hosting a year-long blog event called Charcutepalooza: A Year of Meat. Not only does that sound like fun, it also is using Charcuterie as a guide! Perfect. The challenge this month was to make something brined, and I opted for the advanced challenge of making my own corned beef. The perfect inspiration to learn, play, and indulge my meaty curiosity.  

My former vegetarian self is cowering somewhere in a corner. 

IMG_1060

Let me tell you about my experience.  I used the recipe from Charcuterie, by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn, with a few small tweaks. I am not posting the recipe here; if you want it, I highly recommend buying a copy of the book. It is worth every penny.

My beef came from Grass Run Farm. I met the founder of Grass Run Farm a few years ago; he was giving samples of his grass-fed beef at the co-op, and I took the opportunity to chat.  We talked about our experiences at our shared alma mater Luther College, the beautiful land of the Oneota River Valley, and of course, his beef. When it came time to order my brisket for the corned beef recipe, I was excited to order from the butcher, knowing that I'd be receiving beef very likely raised by a man I've actually met who loves and respects his cattle. 

IMG_1016

Click to read more ...