Friday, June 08, 2012

allergen-free but definitely not yummy-free

Cored pineapples were on sale the last time I went to the grocery store. I bought two. My current favourite thing to do with fresh pineapple is so ridiculously simple and so undeniably yummy I needed to share it with you. Last night I made it with quinoa, but it works just as well with cooked rice.


For one large serving, cook 1 cup of dry rice. While it's cooking, chop 1/4 to 1/2 of a pineapple into small bite-sized pieces. Heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat, adding the pineapple once it's hot. Sauté the pineapple pieces until they begin to soften and turn golden brown or about 10 minutes. To the pan add about 1/4 cup cashews (I used raw cashew halves, but you could use roasted cashews. Adjust your seasoning if you use salted cashews) and 1/4 tsp ground coriander and sauté about 2 minutes.  While they cook, rinse and loosely chop baby spinach leaves, removing stems.  Turn off the heat and add the cooked rice or quinoa and the spinach leaves. Toss well, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.


Eat it up! This a great, easy, common-allergen-free meal containing both protein and healthy fats. Yummm....

Gluten-free dinners require only a re-imagining of how meals can look. Gluten-free baking, on the other hand, is a tricky business. Before we went gluten-free I rarely used recipes: I was a "throw it in a bowl until it looks right" type of baker. And it worked, surprisingly well at times. But gluten-free? Using a recipe - heck, even using a mix - I've had some pretty sorry baking fails, let alone going without a recipe. Baking is always science, and eliminating gluten (and in my current diet, also eliminating dairy, soy, eggs and refined sugar) makes that science far more tricky. Every time I go to bake something I feel a certain inner lurch: "Oh...I hope this works..."

Take Wednesday morning, for example. Peanut declared she wanted muffins. I happened to have Ontario-made The Mix Company's Spice Lovers Muffin Gluten-free Mix in the cupboard. Score. But I warned her: "Honey, these might not turn out. We'll have to wait and see. I hope they'll be good, but if they aren't we'll have to think of something else for breakfast, alright?" Because I'm just never sure what will happen.


I thought about using eggs per the recipe on the package, but I really wanted to be able to try them myself. What I love about The Mix Company's mixes is that many are also sugar-free, so I can use an alternate sweetener to adhere to my elimination diet. So I swapped the eggs out for ground flax seed, the sugar for maple syrup and used coconut oil instead of butter. Mixed them up in the food processor, stirred in some frozen blueberries and then popped them in the oven.


They took a little longer to cook than the 15-18 minutes recommended but in the end they were really quite tasty.


Now: did you notice what I did there? Just up there about the muffins? Do you recall the post where I said I killed my food processor? No, it didn't rise like Lazarus and start blending up dates again: this momma has a new toy. A new, functioning, shiny red toy.

Big red machine.

Because this momma has a birthday coming up this month and has a wonderful momma of her own who couldn't wait to gift it.

Ooh, shiny and red!

This thing makes short work of whole, pitted dates. It's amazing. I made a small batch of Lara bars in a fraction of the time I could have with my old machine. I love it! And it makes the recipe I'm about to share with you unbelievably quickly, too. Check the next post for something extra-yummy.

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