Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spiced Nut-free Nut Mix
 Last year, I wrote about saving the pumpkin seeds from your jack-o'lanterns to make pepitas.  (You can check out that post here.)  Pepitas and sunflower seeds make for a great protein-rich nut substitute in recipes and snacks.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend, Julie, made a variation of the Indian-spiced cashews found here: www.food.com. 

This inspired me to make a nut-free version that I could serve at my house.  Julie had already vegan-ized this snack by using coconut oil as the fat, and she spiced it up by adding some cayenne and cinnamon to the recipe.  I took it one more Welcoming Kitchen step further, by switching out the nuts with a mix of pepitas and sunflower seeds.  The result was warmly spiced, slightly sweet, irresistibly crunchy little clusters.  You could definitely make them less spicy by cutting back on the cayenne. If you want a more brittle-like treat, decrease the amount of seeds so that the liquid will be a little more syrup-y.

These would be great to put around the house for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner snack.

We shared this recipe as part of Simply Sugar & Gluten-free's Slighty Indulgent Tuesdays and with Allergy-Friendly Fridays over at Cybele Pascal's website.  Please check out the other great recipes.


Indian-spiced Nut-free Seed Mix
Makes 3 cups

Ingredients:
2 cups pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1 cup shelled sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons brown sugar, salt and spices.  Set aside.
In a saucepan, bring water, brown sugar and oil to a boil.
Add seeds,
Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour seeds and into spice mixture.  Stir to coat.
Spread on baking sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes.

Happy Cooking!
Kim and Megan

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tomorrow is the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network's Chicago fundraising walk.  We wish all of the walkers good weather and great company.  As a family living with food allergies, we are so grateful to the work that FAAN does on our behalf.  Through outreach, education and support for treatments and a cure, FAAN works tirelessly to improve the lives of people living with food allergy.  If you are looking for information about food allergy, visit their thorough and informative site, www.foodallergy.org.

Happy Cooking!
Kim and Megan

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fall is such an exciting time...I love everything about it and typically in the fall, our house is full of yummy pumpkin goodies and treats - but - we were at the farmer's market recently and noticed a different type of broccoli or "trees" as my son calls them!  Romanesco Broccoli!  Doesn't it look cool??

Roman Cauliflower right here in Chicago ;)  So we picked up a bunch and took it home...  I cooked it my favorite fall way to cook vegetables - roast them!  We cut it up, drizzled some olive oil on it, sprinkled it with kosher salt...and popped it in the oven for about 10 min on 350 degrees!






Verdict:  Delicious!

Happy Fall Cooking!


Kim & Megan

Friday, October 1, 2010

It seems that it's hard to have it all.  When I'm looking around for easy, tasty gluten-free loaves, they usually rely quite heavily on eggs.  When I'm looking at vegan loaves, they often use soy, wheat or nuts.  What's the answer?  Give up on bread if you want to feed a mixed crowd or a sensitive eater who can't have several allergenic ingredients?  No way!

When I was working on what feels like my life's work (though really only 6 years), Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- and Gluten-free Vegetarian Recipes, I fooled around a lot with different kinds of breads.  One of the easiest and most effective options I found was to make a "beer bread."  In the upcoming Welcoming Kitchen book, I have two different breads that use gluten-free beer to create the rise.  In the spirit of one of my favorite times of year, Apple Picking Season, I wanted to create an apple-y loaf.  Instead of using gluten-free beer for this one, I went for a hard cider.  Fermented apple cider is naturally gluten-free (though you always need to check the label to ensure that there are no additives you can't tolerate).  To build on the apple flavor of the cider, I added a diced apple to the batter. 

Enjoy this bread spread with sunflower seed butter, pumpkin butter or on its own.  It's got a crunchy, chewy crust and an oh-so-tender middle.

The folks at King Arthur Flour sent me a sample of their Glutenfree Multi-purpose Flour to try.  I got it yesterday, and put it into action in this loaf right away.  My Aunt Nancy is gluten-free, but she also has trouble with sorghum, so this flour is a good option for her, because it is sorghum-free.  It also doesn't use any bean flours, so it's a good choice for folks who need to avoid bean flours, too.

Note:  Megan tells us that although a lot of the alcohol in the cider burns off in the cooking, some does remain.   The kind of cider I used had 5% alcohol content when it was in the bottle, so I feel comfortable letting my kids enjoy a slice or two, but you should use your best judgment.

Gluten-free Apple Loaf

Ingredients:
3 cups gluten-free multi-purpose flour (I used King Arthur Flour)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 12-ounce bottle hard cider
1 apple, peeled and cut into small dice
canola oil for pan

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375.
Oil a standard loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, salt, sugar and baking powder.
Stir in cider.
Add diced apple, stir until incorporated.
Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake 50 minutes or until crusty.
Cool on wire rack before slicing.

Happy Cooking!
Kim and Megan