Category Archives: gluten-free

SCD Pumpkin Pie

Several years ago, my dad got into roasting his own pumpkins and convinced me that canned pumpkin was a poor imposter of the real stuff. Personally, I think it’s just a heck of a lot easier to peel open a can and go, but now that I’m SCD All The Time, I take the long road. It really does taste better than canned, I’ll give my dad that. It’s way more dense and the flavor is more complex.

Be warned that this is very rich. Hog that I so proudly am, even I can only handle a slice at a time. Plus, I serve it with whipped French cream. I made this for Halloween, but it would also work well for Thanksgiving, of course.

Crustless SCD Pumpkin Pie

2 c roasted and pureed pumpkin (to do this, peel, de-seed, and 1-inch-cube a pie pumpkin, roasting the pieces in the oven at 350F for an hour or two until very soft, then puree in your food processor)

1/2 c French cream (probably dripped SCD yogurt would also work)

1/2 c honey

3 eggs

1 T coconut flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp dried ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp kosher salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Butter a 9″ glass pie dish.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients into another bowl.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients into the wets bowl using a whisk, and then pour it all into the baking dish.
  6. Bake for 55 minutes, watching near the end to make sure the sides aren’t browning too much. If so, cover them with foil.
  7. Serve with French cream whipped with a little honey.

Here it is just coming out of the oven:

And here it is served with whipped French cream:

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6 Comments

Filed under dessert, gluten-free, halloween, holiday recipes, pumpkin, Recipes, SCD, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized

Pork Belly, Mon Amour

The Man is a devotee of Lardo, one of the best food carts in Portland. They were so very generous in sharing their technique with The Man because he wanted to make me an SCD version of their amazing pork belly (they use sugar, The Man uses honey). Thank you, Lardo! This dish has been one of the highlights of the past 40 years of my life, and what I want to be embalmed in after I die.

Roasted Pork Belly

  1. We’ve been getting ~2.5-lb pork bellies, so this recipe is for that range.
  2. Trim off the skin by running your sharp knife between the skin and the fat, pulling away the skin as you slice through.
  3. Score the fat side you just exposed in both directions about 1″ apart.
  4. Rub the belly all over with 1 T of honey and 1 T of salt for every pound of belly. For example (for the math-o-phobes, ahem), if you have a 2.5-lb pork belly, put on 2.5 T of honey and 2.5 T of salt. Wrap it up and put it in the fridge overnight.
  5. Preheat your oven to 450F.
  6. Unwrap the belly and place it fat side up in a roasting pan.
  7. Put the pan in the oven and roast the belly at 450F for an hour. At 45 mins., you’ll likely need to lightly cover with foil to prevent the top from burning (it will be fairly dark by this point).
  8. After an hour at 450F, reduce the heat to 250F and roast for another 30 mins.
  9. Eat warm or cold. We like it sliced in 1/4″ lengths. Even better cubed and fried in pork fat and butter.
roasted pork belly in a pan

Why yes, I have licked the pan.

2 Comments

Filed under gluten-free, pork, pork belly, Recipes, SCD

Sorrel Soup and The Pleasures of Aging

What I’ve realized this week is that it’s kind of awesome getting old. Two examples:

  • I read back through some of my creative writing work from 1997. At the time, I had been writing pretty seriously for a few years and I was definitely very committed to writing and improving. So, the pieces I reviewed were not my very first attempts at writing. What I discovered was that while the writing was fine, it was very much a beginner’s effort, of someone still learning how to write well. In other words, 15+ years into my writing career, such as it is, I can now do way better. It was so lovely to see how far I’ve come. Yea!
  • Next is that I gave someone a recipe this morning for sorrel soup that I realize now was pretty vague. But this is how I’m cooking these days. I followed recipes from roughly ages 20-35. But for the past few years, I’ve gotten a lot better at whipping up something from whatever I have around, based on my understanding of how things taste and what goes with what. Essentially, I learned how to cook by following recipes, and now I am reaping the rewards of that learning in the form of being able to cook without recipes. What a milestone!

I’ve always been one for the long haul. I feel like I never truly know something unless I’ve been doing it for a very long time. It’s nice to feel like I have been doing a few things for a long time and I now have some chops to show for it. If this is what it’s like to be 40, I’ll take more!

On a related note, I find that I gravitate towards cookbooks that try to teach you how to cook instead of just giving you recipes to follow. Good examples include Sally Schneider’s books and Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. All of those books are framed on the principle of “master recipes” from which you then make other things (Schneider calls this improvising). This approach/philosophy really works for me. And, of course, with SCD, I have to be really flexible and creative with modifying recipes anyway.

Oh, and another thing. I came home from work one day this week and I’d had a really rough day, at the end of which, I basically obliterated everything I’d worked on all day and was not sure I could get it back. I had to leave work late not knowing if I’d be able to recover all my work the next day. When I got home, I started making chicken curry for dinner. Somewhere in the middle of making it, I realized how profoundly grateful I am that I enjoy cooking. I find it relaxing and engaging, like meditating, and I know that so many people just don’t. For them, it’s a big, boring chore–like doing the laundry or mowing the lawn–and there is no pleasure in the act of cooking. I am so grateful that I do love it, especially given that I’m eating SCD, which is fairly challenging. I really feel for the people that come to SCD with no cooking skills and no interest in cooking. What a tough mountain to climb.

So, here’s that sorrel soup recipe, for what it’s worth.

Etudes des Sorrel Soup

4 cups of chicken stock

4-6 cups of fresh sorrel

nutmeg

ground white pepper

salt

cream of your choice (optional)

Basically, I bring the stock to a simmer and then add the sorrel. Simmer for 15-20 mins or so. Then run this through the blender and add a few shavings of nutmeg, ground white pepper, and salt to taste, and optionally, a cream of your choice (like almond or coconut milk).

Variations include sauteeing some leeks beforehand and then adding the stock to that and going from there. Or caramelizing some onions first and going from there. You get the idea.

And now, back to my coq au vin simmering away on the stovetop and my firm belief that any dish that starts with frying bacon in butter is going to be good.

Sorrel is one of the things that grows really well in Portland, almost too well. I separated my sorrel-jungle in February, and here it is now trying to take over again.

2 Comments

Filed under Gardening, gluten-free, Recipes, SCD, sorrel, soup

Vanilla Ice Cream

After our football season ended so tragically last weekend, The Man and I consoled ourselves with this vanilla ice cream. Granted, I had planned for this to be a celebration treat. But. So it goes.

Vanilla Ice Cream

1 can coconut milk

1/4 c honey

3 vanilla beans

Makes enough for four, or just two football-depressed people.

  1. Split the vanilla beans down the center with a sharp knife. Scrape out the goodness.
  2. Put the vanilla beans, vanilla paste, honey, and coconut milk in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and let the mixture sit for several hours so the coconut milk is flavored with the vanilla.
  4. Pour into the canister of your ice cream maker and process.

Note to self: This makes a really rich and coconut-y/vanilla-y ice cream that is awesome. In the past, I always put 1/3 c of honey in my coconut milk ice creams, but since I’ve been cutting back on honey, fruit, and carbs, 1/4 c of honey in this was just fine.

vanilla ice cream in a glass bowl

Go Jets! (sniff, sniff)

2 Comments

Filed under dessert, gluten-free, Gluten-free vegan, ice cream, Recipes, SCD

The Man’s Nutty Balls

Quelle horreur, I cannot believe how long it’s been since I last posted. Suffice to say my life has been truly insane with holidays, inter-state driving, family trips, friends trips, and drumroll please, a new job. I can hardly get my teeth brushed and keep my laundry clean under the current conditions.

We did a lot of cooking over the holidays, however, and I have several recipes I need to post. Here’s the first and it’s a two-fer!

This all started at a party where The Man ate some apparently awesome date nut balls that were not safe for me. He left the party determined that I should eat a close, SCD-legal facsimile of his own devising. I’ll post both recipes for those that can eat toxic substances without harm  (ahem, sugar).

Needless to say, there were many a joke about the name of these delicious treats at the various holiday potlucks where we shared them. The name is based on a game we played a lot over the holidays called My Chocolate Salty Balls. If you want to know how to play this game, it’s basically like “Soggy Wieners” using “My Chocolate Salty Balls” instead. Yes, these are the kinds of games my family plays at holidays.

The Man’s Nutty Balls (SCD)

1 lb chopped medjool dates

12 T butter, melted (1.5 sticks)

1 c honey

2 c dried coconut flakes (small shred)

4 c chopped walnuts

This makes a supreme boatload, plenty for a group of family or friends, and they store well in the fridge.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter and coat the chopped walnuts with it. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown. Mmmmm.
  3. Allow the walnuts to cool and then mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Scoop out a tablespoon or so of the mixture and roll it into a ball. Repeat this step until the mix is gone, separating layers of the balls with waxed paper.
  5. Store in the fridge until hard. Eat cold (for the crunch factor).

I wish I had a picture of these, but apparently, I was too busy stuffing my face and playing My Chocolate Salty Balls to take a photo.

Here is the original recipe we got from our pal, Amy S.

Mom’s Date Nuts Balls

1 lb chopped medjool dates

8 T butter

8 T margarine

2 c brown sugar

1 c dried coconut flakes

1 c chopped nuts

4 c Rice Krispies

Powdered sugar

  1. Blend butter, margarine, and brown sugar.
  2. Add the dates to the mix and cook for six minutes on the stove [I’m guessing over medium heat, but this was not specified].
  3. Add the coconut flakes, nuts, and Rice Krispies.
  4. Roll into balls and then roll in powdered sugar to coat.

4 Comments

Filed under dates, football food, gluten-free, Gluten-free vegan, holiday recipes, Recipes, SCD

Gluten-free Oatmeal Cookies, or Trail Mix Cookies

Not sure what to call these. The long name would be Oatmeal Pepitas Coconut Currant Cookies, but that seems like a mouthful. There is such a thing as too much description.

About a year ago, my pal DL got obsessed with a cookie they had at Meat Cheese Bread. DL told the baker how much he worshipped said cookies and the baker scratched out the recipe for him on a napkin. I LOVE YOU, MR. BAKER!!!

I have modified the recipe for gluten-freedom. If you make these with wheat flour, omit one of the eggs and the xanthan gum and bake at 375 instead of 350.

Oatmeal Cookies (with Pepitas, Coconut, and Currants)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream together:

1/2 c butter

3/4 c dark brown sugar, packed

1/2 t salt

Beat in:

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 t baking soda mixed in 1 T warm water

1 t vanilla extract

Mix together and then beat in:

2/3 c Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour

1 t xanthan gum

Fold in:

1 1/2 c rolled oats (gluten-free)

1/2 c toasted pumpkin seeds (tamari pumpkin seeds work great)

1/2 c sweet shredded coconut

1/2 c currants

Drop by the heaping tablespoon onto a very lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 mins. Cool on a rack and devour. Actually, these are even better as ice cream sandwiches with Straus’ vanilla flavor. Wowsers.

Oatmeal cookies on a cooling rack

Mmmmm...

3 Comments

Filed under cookies, Cooking, food, gluten-free, pepitas, Recipes

New Cascadia Traditional Bakery

I’ve followed New Cascadia Traditional gluten-free bakery from their humble farmer’s market beginnings to their full-fledged and beautiful cafe space in Southeast Portland. I’ve always been a huge fan of their vegan chocolate cupcake, so much so I don’t allow myself to get it anymore.

Today I tried the margarita pizza for lunch, which was pretty good. It’s a thin crust, which is a nice contrast to the thick crust they serve at Picazzo’s. I got the vegan chocolate chip cookie too, which I think is actually better than the non-vegan variety. I’ll have to go back and verify that several more times, just to be sure (wink).

I also got a sourdough loaf to go. When I got it home, The Man picked it up, chuckled, and said, “Gluten-free, right?” because it weighs a ton. I think there is just no way to make a light and airy gluten-free sourdough loaf. If there is, I have yet to taste it. That being said, their sourdough is pretty darn tasty and makes an incredible grilled cheese when you slice it thin.

I’m super grateful to have such a fantastic gluten-free bakery in my extended neighborhood. I hope someday they decide to add deli sandwich options to their menu because that would be the ultimate for me. In the meantime, I’m happy to make my own grilled cheese at home:

Grilled brie on New Cascadia's gluten-free sourdough

Grilled brie-salami-mustard on New Cascadia's gluten-free sourdough

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Filed under gluten-free, Gluten-free vegan, Restaurants