Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Beer Battered Onion Rings

These crispy onion rings are great! Be sure to use panko or homemade bread crumbs. The regular kind in the can will give the rings an unpleasant sandy texture. This recipe is free of dairy, egg, and nuts.

1 cup flour
1/4 cup corn meal
1 cup dark beer
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting cooked onion rings
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 lemon or 1 tablespoon vinegar
1 valdelia onion
2 cups homemade dry bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs
Oil for frying

Slice onion in 1/2 inch thick slices and separate into rings. Add the juice of one lemon or vinegar and onion rings in a bowl. Fill with water to cover onion rings. In a separtate bowl, mix together flour, corn meal, bear, salt, baking powder, and black pepper. Heat oil in a medium pot on medium high heat. Pour bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Begin when oil is hot so that a drip of batter immediately bubbles and floats to the surface. Dip an onion slice in the wet batter, press the battered ring in the bread crumb mix, and flip over and coat the other side with crumbs. Fry rings 2 or 3 at a time in oil. When one side browns, flip over and brown other side. When both sides are light brown, remove to a cooling rack. Sprinkle with salt while still hot. Repeat for remaining rings.
Note: To make your own dried bread crumbs, grate a safe bread on a cheese grater. Leave crumbs out to dry or toast in the oven.
Photo by William Jones

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Grilled Naked Buffalo Bites

This is a quick and easy meal of tasty grilled chicken chunks soaked in spicy buffalo sauce served with crunchy fresh veggies. It is free of dairy, nuts, egg, soy, and wheat. This meal took less than 20 minutes to make, start to finish.

3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
4 skewers
1 cup Louisiana style hot sauce
¼ cup safe vegetable oil
3 cups fresh veggies or fruits of choice, chopped

Directions:Preheat indoor or outdoor grill on high. Skewer chucks of chicken. Grill for about 7 minutes on one side. Then turn and grill for another 7 minutes. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, whisk together hot sauce and oil. Heat on medium low until warm. When chicken is done, remove from grill and remove chicken pieces from skewers. Toss chicken in hot sauce. Serve with extra sauce and crunchy fresh fruits and vegetables

Monday, June 22, 2009

All American Meatloaf Night

Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Mustard Asparagus, and Apple Pie
When my friend, Christina, moved back to the area, this was one of the first meals that we had together. Most meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and apple pies contain dairy and egg products. These recipes are dairy, egg, and soy free.


2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup safe bread or omit (bread recipe will be submitted soon)
Ketchup (ketchup recipe will be submitted soon)
1 finely diced green bell pepper
1 finely diced small onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the ground beef, onion, bell pepper, black pepper, salt in a large bowl. Grade the bread on a fine grater, such as one used for hard cheeses, until you have about ½ cup fresh bread crumbs. Add 4 tablespoons ketchup and olive oil and mix with hands. Shape into a donut. Create a raised ridge around the edges and top with additional ketchup. Bake for about an hour.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Mashed Potatoes
½ pound russet or Yukon gold potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
Black pepper

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain most of water, reserving ½ cup cooking liquid. Mash potatoes with cooking liquid, salt and pepper, and 3 tablespoons olive oil.


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock (chicken stock recipe will be submitted soon)

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan and whisk in flour. Continue whisking until flour is slightly brown. Add chicken stock and stir until thickened. Add more stock for thinner gravy.

Mustard Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus
Olive oil
1 tablespoon mustard
1 cup chicken stock

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy skillet. Remove woody ends of the asparagus and then chop asparagus into one inch pieces. Add asparagus to skillet. Stir until almost tender. Add mustard and chicken stock and scrap the bottom of pan. Serve.

Apple Pie

For Crust: Makes 2 Crusts about 9” - 10”
2-2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon of salt
¾ cup corn or olive oil
1 teaspoon of sugar
4 ½ to 5 tablespoons of ice water

For Filling:
3 granny smith apples, thinly sliced (about four cups)
2 Macintosh apples, thinly sliced (about two cups)
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together salt, sugar, and flour. Gradually stir in the oil with a fork. Add ice water one tablespoon at a time until you can form a ball. Separate the dough into two balls. Roll out each into a 10 inch circle between pieces of wax or parchment paper. Peal the paper off one side of and push one crust gently into a 9 or 10 inch pie pan and remove other side of paper. Fill with filling. Peel off one side of paper from the other crust and lay on top of filling. Trim edges and crimp with a fork. Cut vents in the top. Wrap foil around the edge of the pie to keep from burning the edge. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Variation: Stuffed Peppers

2 cups meatloaf mixture (see previous recipe)
2 cups prepared rice
4 sweet bell peppers
1 cup carrot or tomato juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix meat loaf mixture with rice. Cut the tops off the peppers and scrape out seeds and white parts. If needed, cut a little off the bottoms of the peppers so that they will stand upright. Spoon 1 cup meat mixture into each pepper. Replace tops. Stand each pepper in a baking dish. Add juice to baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until done.

Variation: Stuffed Cabbage

1 pound meat loaf mixture (see previous recipe)
1 head of cabbage
1 can of diced tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cut 10 to 12 leaves off head of cabbage. Discard outer leaves. Briefly dip leaves into boiling water to soften. Wrap one leaf around ¼ to ½ cup meat mixture and place in one layer of a baking dish. Repeat until meat is all used. Coarsely shred remaining cabbage and place on and around cabbage wraps. Pour diced tomatoes over dish. Bake at for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Foodie's Allergy Cookbook: A Guide to Loving Food for People with Food Allergies

Wikipedia defines foodies as "amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news." About five years ago after a stressful day teaching at my local community college, I called grandma and got her recipe for potato soup. I sat on the couch with a large bowl between my knees and grasped my favorite paring knife and cool potato. I cut into its moist flesh and watched as a curl of peeling revealed the milky flesh below. The potato didn't protest. I did not have to motivate the potato. Instead, it--and the rest of its sisters in the five-pound bag--gave up its spotted brown peel in what seemed like a matter of seconds. I quartered the russets and put them--with a diced onion-- in a large pot of salted water on the stove, turned the burner to medium high, made myself a cup of tea, and felt better about life. I was hooked.

Five years later, I learned to make soups, cakes, doughnuts, pasta sauce, pizza, ice cream, and almost everything I can think to eat from scratch. I find joy and relaxation from preparing food. I enjoy the full sensory experience--the smells, texture, temperature, color, shape, and taste of food. Sure most things don't turn out the first time I try them...but even then, it's fun. And eventually, I get the reward of a fabulous food experience.

My love of preparing my own food, however, has not been entirely from seeking pleasure and relaxation. It has also been to avoid pain. I was sick for three years, in pain without knowing why and too embarrassed to tell few people about my problem. With the help of my doctor, I discovered that I have an intolerance to sodium nitrate, a common preservative and flavoring. I have also learned that I have an allergy to some herbs. Painful experience has caused me to give up some of the restaurant food I loved dearly, so I am learning to make it at home.

To add to my own experience, my best childhood friend, Christina, was born allergic to dairy, egg, nuts, seafood, chocolate, coffee, and soy, among other things. Eventually, the soy allergy faded to an intolerance, but the others stayed. Her whole life, she often ate a different meal than her family and friends and had to abstain from the cake at her own birthday parties.

Naturally, I want to share the things that I love with the people I love. This blog is inspired by meals that my friends and I share. The point is to enjoy time together with good people and good food. I hope that you have fun with these recipes and enjoy my stories--success and failures.

Note: In the recipes, have fun and be safe. Substitute ingredients that your not sure of or leave them out. Read ingredients carefully for any prepared foods. Follow your health care providers' advice and ask them for guidance or clarification on any diet to eat safely (a legal disclaimer will come soon).