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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 November 1, 2010 - November 30, 2010

Tuesday
Nov302010

Sweet Potato Crumble Bars (gluten-free, vegan)

IMG_5238

Hi there! Did American readers have a good Thanksgiving weekend? Mine was fantastic, spent with family and friends eating wonderful food, laughing a lot, and crocheting my brains out.

Our family Thanksgiving feast was quite incredible this year, boasting 25 people. My mom is now avoiding gluten and dairy as well (GO MOM!!!!), and we wanted to make sure that we had plenty of great stuff to eat that others would enjoy too. Between what we cooked and what everyone else brought, the quantity of food that sat upon the two buffet tables is almost embarassing in its bounty.  Rather than listing everything present that day, I'll share the allergy-friendly, gluten-free foods that made an appearance and had everyone smiling...

  • Cashew Pumpkin Seed "Cheese" with Apple-Cranberry Sauce and Sesmark Brown Rice Crackers
  • crudités with red pepper hummus
  • smoked turkey from Neuske's
  • roasted turkey with flourless gravy (gravy made the same way as this one)
  • beef tenderloin with mushrooms and onions
  • mashed rutabaga and parsnips
  • Rutabaga Apple Salad
  • umeboshi plum vinegar quick-pickled beets
  • pan-seared green beans with lemon oil
  • wild rice and vegetable pilaf
  • more Apple-Cranberry Sauce (I love cranberry sauce....)
  • Sweet Potato Crumble Bars 

Are we lucky, or what?  My plate was bursting. I haven't eaten this well at Thanksgiving in YEARS.  Even before I went gluten-free I didn't enjoy Thanksgiving this much. The meal was almost as awesome as my Thanksgiving dinner headpiece.  I think it is rather like Carmen Miranda gone harvest-time, don't you? 

IMG_5258harvest portrait

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Sunday
Nov282010

Cashnana Cookies (gluten-free, vegan)

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I've been on a quest for the perfect gluten-free, vegan cashew butter cookie. And this recipe probably isn't it. But I do like these cookies a lot, and thought I'd share what my friend B and I came up with last weekend.

The combination of cashew butter and banana in this cookie really is lovely; they are soft and sandy and just a wee bit chewy.  These are very banana-y, so don't expect a burst of nutty flavor first.  The nutty cashew flavor comes at the end and lingers in the back of your mouth until the next banana-y bite.  Both B and I think that these little morsels would be amazing dipped in or drizzled with a chocolate glaze, or baked with a chocolate drop or a cluster of chocolate chips in the middle, like a classic peanut butter thumbprint cookie with a Hershey's kiss.   Or what about a handful of raw cacao nibs or roasted, salted cashews thrown in the dough? Or a nice beautiful cashew pressed into the top? So many options.

Next time I make these, I'm going to try including a bit of chocolate, but for now, I love the delicious simplicity of this cookie.  Oh, and by the way - if you can, wait until these are fully cooled before digging in for the best texture and flavor.  They are best eaten within a day of baking for the best texture; after that they become quite soft - but still tasty. 

I'm working on a Thanksgiving round up post that features a few delicious recipes - Cashew-Pumpkin Seed Cheese, Apple-Cranberry Relish, and Sweet Potato Crumble Bars. So stay tuned. :)  But in the  meantime, make some cookies!

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Sunday
Nov212010

Sweet Potato Pie with Seedy Amaranth Crust (gluten-free, vegan)

Sweet Potato Pie with Seedy Amaranth Crust

I am feeling quiet as I right this post. It's been an exhausting week, and I don't feel as wordy as usual at the moment. So, here's the basics:

  1. I'm absolutely happy to be almost completely unpacked in my new wonderful home.  I moved last weekend, and I now live with two awesome housemates and their dog in their wonderful home.  We share a HUGE beautiful kitchen, I have a wonderful room, and the rest of the house is a dream come true. I'm a lucky woman.  Oh yeah, and they have chickens. YES!  Expect photos sometime.
  2. I am thankful for my new home.
  3. I am thankful for sweet potatoes.
  4. This pie is tastes totally awesome (my new housemates agree) and you WILL want to make it for Thanksgiving dinner.  Or for anything, really.
  5. You'll want to eat the whole pie.  
  6. You should not feel guilty eating more than one slice, although eating the whole pie may be overkill.
  7. This is my first recipe submission for this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge (hosted by Ricki from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs and me).  This month features sweet potatoes and has two great giveaways!  Check out this post for all the details, read the SOS rules, and to enter a recipe of your own.  You can peruse all the recipes at for this month's SOS Challenge in the Linky at the bottom of this post, and can enter a recipes there as well.
  8. Check out my Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes post for more tasty recipe ideas for your holiday meal this Thursday.
  9. If you prefer a pumpkin pie, check out my recipe for Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Crunchy Crust, which is very similar to this recipe and has the grandma seal of approval.

Okay, on to pie...

Happy Sunday. xo

Sweet Potato Pie with Seedy Amaranth Crust

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Saturday
Nov202010

Allergy-Free, Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes

Here in the United States, Thanksgiving is fast approaching.  On Thursday the nation will gorge themselves on turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, those pasty dinner rolls and pie.  Lots and lots of pie.  For those of us with allergies, such holiday meals can be like obstacle courses.     The traditional Thanksgiving fare leaves us feeling left out at the family table.  

Thankfully, there are many delicious ways to keep the spirit of Thanksgiving without sacrificing your diet.   Here are some of my favorite recipes that are perfect for holiday get- togethers and good enough for grandma to enjoy.

Also, check out my Thanksgiving recipe roundup from last year, which has a few other options not mentioned below.

So, let's be thankful!

And by the way, I'll be posting a recipe for a delicious Sweet Potato Pie with Seedy Amaranth Crust tomorrow - it's gluten-free, vegan, and suitable for those in the late stages of the anti-Candida diet. So check back soon!

Pepper-Crusted Cashew Cheese with Herbs

Appetizers

Russian Salad with Sauerkraut and Creamy Mustard Herb Dressing (GF, vegan, ACD)

Salads

Cream of Turnip and Fennel Soup (GF, vegan, ACD)

Soups

Crock Pot Beef Roast with Root Vegetables and Flourless Gravy (GF, ACD)

Main Course 

Who says you need to cook a whole turkey? Try one of these other protein packed options instead.

Wild Rice & Quinoa Pilaf Stuffing with Parsnip Gravy (GF, vegan, ACD)

Stuffing Substitutes

Apple, Turnip & Cabbage Hash (GF, vegan, ACD)

Sides

Yeast-Free Pumpkinseed Teff Sandwich Bread (GF, vegan, ACD)

Breads

Pumpkin Pie with Crunchy Crust and Cashew Cream (GF, vegan, ACD)

Desserts

 

Friday
Nov192010

Supporting the Spleen with Chinese Nutrition Therapy

This is an updated and combined repost of three articles I wrote for the blog Lymenaide, originally posted on in January and February 2010.  If you have Lyme Disease, or have a love one with Lyme, I highly recommend Lymenaide!  Started by Ashley Von Tol and featuring three other contributing writers (myself included) it is an amazing source of information for all things related to Lyme Disease.

This is a long one friends, so get a cup of tea and start reading!


Supporting the Spleen with Chinese Nutrition Therapy

 

Adapted from three articles originally posted 1/22/10, 1/29/10, and 2/2/10 on Lymenaide

Since starting antibiotics a few weeks ago, I’ve noticed that my anxiety seems to have gotten worse. Not panic attack worse – that’s not my modus operandi – but I certainly notice myself ruminating a lot more than usual, and more soggy in the brain department.  I know that Herxing can do this.  But this mental stagnation, combined with my recent insomnia and appetite changes led me to believe I am suffering a little spleen disharmony too. When I told all of this to my acupuncturist, she nodded understandingly. “Antibiotics supress the spleen,” she told me. “Disharmony in the spleen is linked to anxiety and worry, so if you’re suppressing the spleen, all those issues are just going to get worse.”

Ah ha!  It was like a lightbulb turned on my head.  It all made sense!

For a few years I’ve been digging into the world of Chinese nutrition therapy; it was one of the first things I turned to when my symptoms got really bad in 2008.  My long-time general interest in Chinese medicine turned into a growing obsession, and I started taking classes to get my master's degree in Acupuncture and Oriental medicine. However, health problems with Lyme forced me to put that all on hold - it's too hard while healing from Lyme to leave a well paying job with health insurance to starting living on loans and be insanely busy.  I decided I needed to heal myself before I could learn how to heal others.

 

Pathway of the spleen meridian. Image source: www.soulfood4health.com/ meridians.html

Understanding the Spleen

Unless you’re familiar with the basic ideas of Chinese medicine, you’re probably wondering what the spleen, an organ that receives little to no attention in Western medicine, has to do with anything, especially anxiety. Here’s a little primer and very brief, rather rudimentary introduction.

There are five primary organ networks that form the basis of traditional Chinese physiology. Each primary (yin) organ has a pairing (yang) organ, as follows: Spleen/Pancreas (Stomach), the Heart (Small Intestine), the Liver (Gallbladder), the Lung (Large Intestine), and the Kidney (Bladder). Each organ network is associated with a phase, which encompasses a stage of transformation through life, time, and space, and is associated with a certain element. While each organ plays an important role in the transformation and utilization of qi (roughly translated as vital life energy) in the body, the spleen is kind of the ring leader of the circus.

I like the way that Harriet Beinfeld phrases the role of the spleen in her book Between Heaven and Earth:

Like Mother Earth, the Spleen is the constant provider, the hearth around which the body gathers to renew itself.

Not surprisingly, the spleen is associated with the Earth element. It likes to be warm, is nourished by sweet flavors, and needs regularity. The spleen-stomach is responsible for starting the process of digestion, the process by which our bodies our nourished. You know the phrase “When momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy?” An unhappy spleen is like an unhappy mother; everyone and everything are affected. The results of spleen disharmony are wide and varied. Ever wonder why anxiety or worry upsets your digestion?  Disharmony in the spleen-stomach is why; the flow of qi is severely compromised.  Even general spleen qi deficiency will compromise digestion, leading to improper assimilation of nutrients, irregular stools, and nausea, abdominal cramping, and discomfort. A deficient spleen may leave one feeling fatigued and exhausted. It affects our ability to deal with stress and manage pressures, and will often lead to physical and mental stagnation and compulsive behavior. Blood sugar levels and metabolism may be affected. Spleen deficiency can also lead to dampness, which can be described as yeast, bacterial, viral, or mucous imbalances (yes, like Candida albicans!).

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