Archive for July, 2010

14
Jul
10

I’ll Trade You One Onion and a Garlic for…


I am really missing stuff that makes my breath reek.


Along with some surprising veggies that have high contents of sulfites like mushrooms, olives and beets, onions and garlic are also two things that effect me very severely.  I am still doing research on all of this, but I did find some useful information on the topic…check ‘er out.  This is from About.com

Cooking Without Onions and Garlic:

Onions and garlic are two of the most commonly used alliums, a group of closely related plants in the lily family. (Leeks, scallions, and shallots are other alliums with culinary uses.) While they are not among the more common food allergens, there are reported cases of IgE-mediated food allergies to alliums. In addition to those who avoid garlic due to IgE-mediated food allergies, many people find that these foods irritate conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or that they have food intolerances that can be triggered by these foods. Cooking without them can be difficult. Here are some strategies.

How Garlic and Onions Are Used in Cooking:

Garlic and onions are often used in cooking as aromatics — foods that add a savory aroma and flavor to other dishes. They’re found in cuisines from around the world, making it difficult to avoid them by sticking to foods from a certain geographical area. Often, garlic and onions are added at the very beginning of cooking to mellow their flavors before building a sauce, soup, or other complex dish.

Leaving Garlic and Onions Out:

Can you just leave the garlic and onions out of a recipe? Sometimes. You’ll usually get acceptable results — it’s not the same as leaving eggs out of a cake. However, most people would find some recipes unacceptably bland. Consider adapting the recipe with a substitute rather than simply dropping the alliums if:

  • Onions or garlic are the only flavoring in the recipe;
  • Onions or garlic are a major part of the recipe; or
  • Onions or garlic are used raw or lightly cooked.

In these situations, the flavor of onion or garlic may be critical to a delicious dish. Most of the time, though, you can find a good substitute.

Aromatics Beyond Onions and Garlic:

No unrelated vegetable has quite the same taste as onions or garlic. But some aromatics that may be safe for your allergies are good options for cooking:

  • Fennel has a licorice-like taste but onion-like texture. Try it with chicken or fish.
  • Celery is among the most common aromatics.
  • Bell peppers are often used in Cajun cooking. Green peppers and celery are a good base for rice dishes or savory stews.
  • Carrots are used as an aromatic in French cooking in combination with celery.
  • Celeriac, or celery root, is the knobby root of one variety of celery. Peeled and diced, it can be used as an aromatic in sauces or stews.
Herbs and Spices for Onion and Garlic-Free Cooking:

Garlic chives, an herb with a garlicky flavor, are an obvious substitute, but be careful if you’re managing a true food allergy: chives are in the allium family. Ask your allergist before eating them.  I don’t know if I can do chives or not.  I have not tested them out yet.

HERBS AND SPICES

Captain and Tenille

Peaches and Cream

Siegfried and Roy

I am pretty sure I am allergic to all of them.

Yes, we all know I am new to cooking, blah, ditty blah, blah…so my experience with using spices is limited.  I am really branching out, Blanche.  In my garden and/or in pots on my back stoop, I am growing the following:  basil, dill, cilantro, sage, rosemary, thyme, can’t stop thinking about Simon and Garfunkel, mint and what I thought was parsley, but I now I think it’s a weed.  (Still using it anyway.)

I am actually finding ways to use everything!  Nana Toad even reminded me that I can dry everything by leaving it out on the kitchen counter overnight and store it for winter.  BRILLIANT!

These are some of the ways I am finding to use the spices.  Please feel free to add onto this post if people have any other ideas.

Basil: salad dressings, marinades, pasta dishes, avocado mayo

Cilantro: beans and rice, chicken tacos

Rosemary: homemade potato fries, marinades

Mint:  Heatherita drinks, ice water

Dill: marinades, tilapia flavoring, sandwiches, salad dressings, my Heather of the hour de vourz (recipe coming soon.)

Sage, Thyme and the Parsley that is really a weed: seasoning to make my weekly chicken and broth….

My project for next week is to take a bunch of the herbs and start drying them for winter.  Maybe I can freeze some of them?

I have questions:  (Tracy!!! Oh, Tracy!!!)

HOW LONG TO THEY LAST?

How the heck do I get my hands on spices that are sulfite free, like cumin or cinnamon and nutmeg?  I need help with all of that.  I am going crazy without cumin.  That word looks dirty.

Over and out.

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08
Jul
10

Nana Toad’s Sulfite free Tomato Basil Pasta


This is easy as heck.

My stepmom, *Nana Toad, is a gourmet and can make a used paper towel taste delicious, but I think even the likes me me can tackle this one.  And I was so FULL after eating it.  I haven’t felt full in a long time.

Ingredients:

(This is for 2-3 people)

-1 pound roma tomatoes, de-seeded and diced

-EVOO

-fresh basil

-box of pasta (We used the bow tie, Fashuly. faleechey, fa – the bow tie one)

-goat cheese, if you like  (I didn’t use it but I will next time.  You can also throw some chicken in there.)

-sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Saute the tomatoes in 2 tsbp EVOO for 10 minutes till they “fall down” (Nana Toad term)

tossing in some sea salt

Salt and pepper them and add about 1/2 cup of either the pasta water or you can add some organic sulfite free wine, if you can tolerate one.  I am living off of Bonterra Chardonnay .  But I can only do the twisted cap from Trader Joe’s and NOT the corked that the Jewel has.  Don’t ask me why.  Don’t.  Stop asking.

Add the al dente pasta to the pan and heat everything through for another 5 minutes and BAM

Nana Toad's tomato basil sulfite-free pasta

Did I miss the garlic? Sure.  Did I miss the fresh Parmesan?  You bet your sweet ass, I did.  But I was just so thrilled to sit down and have a real meal.  I bet that I could even persuade a really kind chef at a restaurant to make this for me and that, my friends, gives me a lot of hope 🙂

*To think of the nickname “Nana Toad”, one might conjure up an image like this

NOT Nana Toad

Our Nana Toad is actually not old, not ugly and does not smoke.  She is in reality very beautiful and got the nickname of “Toad” when she was little.  So, there you have it.  She also gave me a Hamilton Beach Turbo twister stick blender, so she rocks even harder.

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02
Jul
10

Getting Out of Dodge.


Let’s blog to the world that I am leaving town so you can go rob my house.

I want you to know that I have incredibly nosey neighbors and a rabid rabbit.  Say that 10 times

rabid rabbit rabid rabbit rabid rabbit rabid rabbit rabid rabbit rabid rabbit rabid rabbit rabid rabbit rabid rabbit rabid rabbit

We are going to our family home in Indiana…my stepmother, Toad, is a gourmet cook and it way up for the challenge.   So when I get back, there is sure to be some fantastic sulfite-free Toadisms to share with the group.

Nothing much is new here.  Still can’t eat anything, but discovered I can have french bread and goat cheese so I am not a size ZERO just yet.

Riding the tequila privileges pretty hard.

I will be outty for a few days.  But I am sure to cook something in the next few days and either burn, cripple of poison myself or someone in the vicinity so I will be bound to break out the laptop on vacation and blog it.

Happy 4th!

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Heather Moran

Crazed sulfite-free woman.

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