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 October 1, 2010 - October 31, 2010


The Ravishing Rutabaga - or - It's Not a Turnip, People: four recipes for using a misunderstood root vegetable

Beautiful rutabaga, ready for eating. Image from "The Kitchn"

A couple weekends ago, I did a cooking demo at the Minneapolis Farmers Market called "The Ravishing Rutabaga - or - It's Not a Turnip, People".  The goal was to share recipes that celebrate a vegetable that I love deeply, but I feel is often misunderstood and underused!  It was a gorgeous day for the demo, becoming warm and sunny as the morning went on, and it was very well attended by fellow bloggers, cooks, friends, and passing shoppers interested in learning more about our earthbound vegetal friend. 

I wish I could give cooking demos everyday. I shared three recipes with the crowd - a crunchy raw rutabaga salad, mashed rutabaga and sweet potato, and a rutabaga cake. It was awesome!  So, I wanted to share the recipes with you too, plus another bonus recipe that I love. I only have photos of the rutabaga salad, so use your imagination!

The rutabaga is a delicious, nutritious, and versatile vegetable that is perfect for fall and winter cuisine. Wonderful raw or cooked, it is high in vitamins, is a good source of complex carbohydrates, and contains naturally anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties. Don’t know what to do with it? No worries! Here's a bunch of information, flavor combinations and four easy recipes featuring rutabaga that will surely make you a fan.

As a side note, I might be a bit absent the next few weeks. I'm having a flare-up of Lyme symptoms, my internet access at home is gone, and I'm moving to a new place in a few weeks. I'm busy and not feeling well. So, I'll be posting round up and kick-offs for the next SOS Kitchen Challenge, but might not be post much else the next few weeks until I get settled in in my new place and am hopefully feeling a little more sprightly. 

In the meantime, just so you don't miss me too much (har, har), how about buying a copy of A Year to Eat Freely: 2011 Allergy-Friendly Recipe Calendar, the recipe collection I have for sale, and trying out some of those new recipes?  ;)

Okay, on to the rutabaga...

Click to read more ...


two weeks of changes

I'm proud of myself. In the last two weeks, I've done a few things that I feel really good about.  Despite getting on the scale and seeing it read "196" and putting on some pants I hadn't seen since early Spring and nearly having an emotional breakdown, I feel I'm slowly moving back in the right direction. :)

Where I rocked it:


  • I rode my bicycle instead of driving or taking the bus, and got in a few good long walks over the lunch hour.
  • I went to the gym four times and swam laps and did water exercises. I was happy to see that I could tolerate the chlorine in the pool, something that was always really hard for me. Swimming felt amazing, and I was pleased that I was able to swim for about 30 minutes each time without getting exhausted!  Hey, I may have gained a bunch of weight, but I'm definitely healthier.  It's so humbling though; I have completed two triathlons (that feels like a different lifetime, now), and the fact that I struggle to feel strong enough to do sit ups seems so rediculous.  
  • I started getting myself on the books (paperwork, argh!!!!) to see a physical therapist and work on reconditioning my muscles in a gentle, gradual way. Yay!
  • I have been fairly successful with not snacking late at night, trying to satisfy my late-night food urges with tea, kombucha or other beverages. 
  • Over the weekend, I cooked two soups, meatloaf, and a bunch of veggies to have in the fridge for my busy week, so I can eat balanced meals and not snack on weird stuff.
  • I had a good long talk with my Lymie cousin, where she reminded me that she too is going through  major weight fluxuations, as well as most other Lymies out there. It's often part of the healing process, she reminded me, especially for a disease that throws off your thyroid, metabolism, and digestion so much.
  • I scheduled a massage for myself next week, as a way to honor my body and make it feel GOOD!


Where I struggled:


  • Forgetting to be mindful when I eat.  
  • Not having time to cook! I've been way too busy, I really overbooked myself this Fall and I'm feeling overextended.  I'm feeling better this week, since I have prepared food in the fridge for my busy nights.
  • The late night snacking. A few nights I succumbed to my urges and pigged out while listening to the BBC World News at 11 pm. Oops. 
  • Putting on cold-weather clothes from last year and - GASP - not fitting them properly, or at all. This was a major ego blow, and made me feel awful and sad and bad about my body.  I know that's extreme, but I'm just being honest here, folks.
  • Not having/finding/making time to exercise as much as I'd like.  


My goals for the next week:


  • Start doing gentle yoga again before work, starting with a very reasonable and easy to work-in 15 minutes of sun salutations.
  • Take saunas in my FAR infrared sauna box before bed. I love how this makes me feel, and I need to make time for it again.
  • Keep avoiding late-night snacking!
  • Get to the gym 4 times to swim, or as often as I can.
  • Practice mindful breathing before eating, and eat only when I'm sitting down!





Recipe Calendar Giveaway Winners!

The mighty random number generator has spoken:

The winners of the giveaway of A Year to Eat Freely: 2011 Allergy-Friendly Recipe Calendar are JVegeGirl, who wants to try the Spiced Shepherdess Pie with Lentils first, and Mallory, who wants to give the Sweet Potato Falafel.  Congratulations! I will email you to get your shipping information.  Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway, and for all of your enthusiastic and supportive comments! You all made my day.  :)

If you weren't one of the lucky winners of the calendar, don't worry, you can purchase your own copy! Simply go to this page to pay immediately through PayPal, or head on over to my Etsy site. It is $12 + shipping/handling, and 5% of the profits from each sale benefits Turn the Corner Foundation, dedicated to innovative treatments, research, advocacy, and education for Lyme Disease and tick-borne illnesses. 

This 12-month calendar is packed with 17 allergy-friendly, gluten-free recipes, and was written, photographed, and designed by yours truly with lots of love. The recipes are free of gluten, rice, casein, eggs, soy, corn, tree nuts, peanuts, potato, tomato, citrus, shellfish, and cane sugar.  Sure to please vegans and meat-eaters alike, everything is easily adaptable and offer multiple options for seasonings and sweeteners, making it easy to adapt to your tastes and needs.   In addition to great recipes, I've included a tailored ingredients guide to help you navigate the more uncommon ingredients as well as helpful tips and additional recipe suggestions along the way. 

A Year to Eat Freely: 2011 Allergy-Friendly Recipe Calendar - all the pages!

Want more free stuff?

I am also doing one other giveaway this month, for October's SOS Kitchen Challenge, featuring sesame. This month's challenge is being sponsored by iHerb. They offered 1 pound bags of sesame seeds to the first 10 readers who submit recipes and set up an account with them, and at the end of the month we will draw a name for a $50 iHerb shopping spree. Pretty awesome, right? Head over to this month's kick-off post to read all the rules and details and submit a recipe.  You have until October 31 to submit a recipe, so get cookin'! 

And, just as a hint, I have a couple of great giveaways lined up for November of handmade products from family and friends, so stay tuned!




How to Make Sauerkraut - or - Four Women Have a Cabbage-Laden SausageFest

Updated on Saturday, January 15, 2011 by Registered CommenterKim @ Affairs of Living


My new friend and fellow blogger Amy is wise in the ways of fermented cabbage. Her Croatian-bred family has a long history of kraut making, and she is the proud owner of her grandmother's kraut board.  A few weeks ago, she led a great demo at the Minneapolis Farmers Market about how to make sauerkraut.  I was awestruck by her sense of humor, her knowledge of kraut, and that amazing kraut board! After the demo, I approached her about getting together for a kraut-making party.  She gave me a quart of her homemade kraut, one thing led to another, and soon we had a date. We invited a couple local food loving friends, and decided we'd eat sausages, make kraut, and have fun.  Female sausage-fest, here we come!

Finally, this past Sunday, the big day came.  It was an unusually warm October day, with temperatures soaring into the upper 70s while golden leaves fell from the trees. We met at Amy's house at 8:45 am, then hopped in her car and drove to the Minneapolis Farmers Market in search of the perfect cabbages.  After investigating all the cabbages at the market, we found the goldmine: 50 pound bags of cabbages for only $12.  The cabbages were wet under the outer leaves, and were still moist ('bleeding') on the stem where they were cut. Perfect! We bought a bag. I hopped up and down with delight at the thought of all those cabbages, giggling like a little schoolgirl, while Amy hoisted the entire 50 pound bag of cabbages onto her shoulder.  She hauled that whole bag of cabbage back to the car on her shoulder through crowded farmers market aisles and busy sidewalks; it was like she was carrying a battering ram. I was impressed. Amy is hardcore.

With all that cabbage weighing down the back of her car, we made a quick stop back at my apartment to get a big plastic tub (more on that later), then went back to her house. Since it was such a beautiful day, we decided to set up our cabbage shredding operation on her back patio.  While we got our ingredients and equipment together, we made sure the cabbage was set up comfortably in a lounge chair.

Relaxed cabbages and relaxed people make much better kraut. Seriously.

Click to read more ...


Wholegrain Crackerbread with Sesame (gluten-free, vegan, ACD), my recipe calendar, and TWO giveaways

October's SOS Kitchen Challenge ingredient is sesame.  This is a really exciting challenge for Ricki and me, because we are being sponsored this month by iHerb. They are offering 1 pound bags of sesame seeds to the first 10 readers who submit recipes and set up an account with them, and at the end of the month we will draw a name for a $50 iHerb shopping spree. Pretty awesome, right? Head over to this month's kick-off post to read all the rules and details, then submit a recipe to the Linky.  You have until October 31 to submit a recipe, but if you want to be one of the lucky winners of a bag of sesame seeds, do it soon!  {NOTE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED}


The other big news is that my recipe calendar, entitled A Year to Eat Freely: 2011 Allergy-Friendly Recipe Calendar, is now for sale! Doesn't it look lovely? This 12-month recipe calendar features 17 recipes free of all major allergens, with full color photos and lots of good instructions. Read more about it here, or just go over to my Etsy shop. I have decided to share a lovely recipe from the calendar as part of this month's event, a wonderful Wholegrain Crackerbread with Sesame that is easy to prepare and delicious.  I love these crackers because they are truly a whole foods product - simply cooked buckwheat or quinoa grains, buckwheat flour, sesame seeds, olive oil, salt, and water.  So simple, and yet so delicious. They are crispy and crunchy, perfect for eating with dips, soups, salads, or nut butters.  The recipe is featured in the calendar with Smoky Zucchini Dip, one of my favorite recipes (and photos!) from the project.  Hopefully it works as a little teaser to tempt you to buy one. ;)  

Click to read more ...