Tag Archives: pumpkin seeds

gluten free pumpkin seed butter

It’s a sad thing to have a nut allergy and be attracted to the idea of peanut butter. It’s sad until you realize, oh… there are so so many ways to get a nutty taste, and fat, and cream and, yeah all the “bad” stuff peanut butter devourers crave. But, what’s splendid is that when you take out the fact that it’s a peanut you’re going to roast and turn into cream, and replace it with pumpkin seeds and grapeseed oil, you’re getting plenty of omega-3’s and good fats, a roasted nutty flavor, and something without any additives.
So, thank you nut allergy? Either way. Love it, so we’ve got the next episode of the Bubble Child cooking show. :)

Enjoy!

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blackberry and endive salad

blackberry-and-endive-salad-webSometimes it’s the simple things that are best.

Like something bitter with something sweet, something crunchy with something soft, something healthy with something full of flavor.

endive

In summer, all I want is things that are hydrating and things that give me energy.  Since compromising taste is simply something that cannot be had, that’s just a given.  This salad was a pleasant surprise of things in my fridge and a tender summer moment in the kitchen.  Endives are rather bitter and I find them difficult to eat at times, but combined with the sweetness of the berries and the musk of either the cheese and/or the pumpkin seeds, you’re lookin’ scrumptious.

blackberries-webBlackberry and Endive Salad

Ingredients: 1 endive (cut into thin slices), 1 small box of blackberries (cut into fourths), 1/4 cup soft goat cheese and/or ground pumpkin seeds, 1 1/2 tbs. high quality balsamic or sherry vinegar, 2 tbs. grapeseed or olive oil, a large pinch sea salt, a large pinch paprika

Method: If using goat cheese, put it on the edge of a mixing bowl.  Add endive and (optional) seeds, olive oil and vinegar.  Mix with a knife, scraping up the edges of the cheese, so that all is coated.  Slowly mix in blackberries.  Salt and paprika to taste.  Serve alongside your favorite tartine in a little mound topped with a few leaves of baby basil for something charming.

 

 

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NUT-FREE “peanut sauce” and homemade spring rolls

filet mignon spring rolls with pumpkin seed butter sauceSo, lunch today was kind of unfair.  I had leftover filet mignon from a local butcher and had just devised a recipe for a Thai “peanut sauce” without peanuts.  Yes, that means I had filet mignon spring rolls.  Yes, filet mignon spring rolls with a sauce I’ve never been able to taste in my life.

two springrollsfirst step roll

I’ve been rather addicted to these things lately.  (Spring rolls that is.)  Here’s why:

1. They’re easy to make (soak in water and roll!)

2. They’re naturally gluten-free (just rice and tapioca flour)

3. The texture is light and fun

“Fun” is a word to describe taste.  Oh yes, should I ever be judge on Master Chef, it will be a criteria.

pumpkin seedspumpkin seed butter sauce

Since I am a Bubble Child of the sort where I will die in a very literal sense if I consume even a particle of a nut, I have never tasted a Thai peanut sauce.  My friends swear by it.  It has been something on my list of things to try should I have, say, a definite 1 minute left to live.  It’d be great to never check that list off.

With that in mind, it has taken me years, and by years I mean 5, to figure out the right combination of flavor and spice to recreate the traditional peanut sauce.  It means seeds, it means turmeric, it even means lemongrass powder if you can find some!

galettes de riz

I highly recommend adopting spring rolls into your weekly gastronomic regimen.  The shells save so easily and you can fill with whatever your heart fancies.  It’s like a bunch of tiny burritos you get to eat in a row without feeling like a giant walking bean.

sauce plated

nut-free thai peanut sauce
2 tbs. grapeseed oil
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp. honey or agave nectar (vegan)
1 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
1/2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1/8 tsp. turmeric (freshly grated or powdered)
1/8 tsp. lemongrass (freshly grated or powdered), optional
a few dashes your favorite hot sauce
1/4 cup + 2 tbs. water
4 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Method: Heat oil in saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add seeds.  Sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden browned, about 4-5 minutes.  Remove from heat, let cool two minutes.  Combine with remaining ingredients in blender.  Season with salt and/or hot sauce to taste.  (Tamari already has salt, so taste before adding extra salt!)

roll two

how-to make spring rolls

1. FILLING:*

(a, vegan)– shred and sauté some carrot and radish, blanch, then sauté with ginger, garlic, mint, basil and hot sauce; (b, carnivore)– cook your favorite protein to taste, chop up into fine pieces, then toss with sesame seed oil, mint, basil, ginger and hot sauce

grating carrots2. LET ‘ER ROLL: 

(a) soak one sheet rice paper in water for about 30 seconds, until pliable, then let rest on a clean plate or cutting board for about a minute to dry a bit and get sticky.

(b) place 1-2 tablespoons of filling about 2 inches from top of paper

(c) fold top 2 inches over filling to cover

(d) fold in outer edges to pack filling in tightly

(e) roll over 2-3 times, until any potential holes are covered and filling is secure — trim away extra rice paper

(f) repeat with as many rice papers as you want to turn into spring rolls

Serve with tamari, hot sauce of choice (Sriracha!!!), and/or homemade NUT-FREE thai “peanut” sauce.

final roll*to give an idea of how much filling you’ll need, to make about 6 spring rolls use one large radish and one carrot for vegetarian option, one chicken breast or half a steak for carnivore option.

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Bubble Child on the go.

After several weeks of exciting travel, I am surprised at how good it feels to be home.

IMG_4977<–and, of course, the first thing I do when I get home?  Puree some pumpkin seeds (Homemade Pumpkin Seed Butter) and spread it on gluten-free toast.

The relentless cooking aside, traveling as a Bubble Child can be interesting– interestingly complicated to get basic nourishment when you are not the one making the goodies for yourself.  After a day a re-coup from two weeks in France at home, I packed up my bags, again, and IMG_4968this time filled my car instead of the overhead compartment.

The long drive was about as enjoyable as accidentally matching sweaters with my little brother.–>

The snow-filled drive from Portland to San Francisco in my 1999 stick-shift Honda Civic with no chains or traction tires was challenging (and rather stupid) to say the least.  I worked up quite an appetite, and found some solace through food… of course.

Here are some tips for traveling as a Bubble Child, and three gems I found along the way:

1. Health Food Stores are your friends.  If you need breakfast, or even a snack, type into your smart phone “health food” or “natural foods” or “co-op”, or simply ask a neighbor.  These stores tend to carry things like cow’s-milk free yogurt, as pictured below, and other allergy-friendly goodies.  If you cannot find a health food store, goat’s milk yogurt and other dairy-free yogurts are more readily available at “normal” supermarkets, and rice cakes have been around since before WordPress, and myself, I think, even existed.  Try it out, and you won’t go hungry!

IMG_4958<–gourmet hotel room eating for breakfast.  

IMG_4961<–gluten-free cereal with sheep’s milk yogurt on top makes even the chintziest plastic cup look desirable.

IMG_4960<–Thanks, Bellwether Farms!

2. Grilla Bites.  This delightful small chain features an array of cafe’ food that is all natural, primarily organic, and with a plethora of gluten-free options (breads to desserts) and modifications.  The staff of the one I stopped by at in Redding was incredibly friendly, and not in an invasive manner.  Good food, good service, locations in both Northern California and Southern Oregon that are conveniently located along the travel route.  Keep ’em comin’!

IMG_4975<–A girl’s gotta have fuel to sit behind the wheel.

3. Landmark Local Ice Cream with a Gluten-Free Cone.  If you can tolerate a bit of dairy, and are in the mood for something sweet on your trip out, try a “homemade” ice cream shop.  They tend to make their own ice cream from scratch, eliminating those unwanted high fructose corn syrups and other whatchamacalits that irritate the stomach and the taste buds.  Try asking if they have gluten-free cones– since they’re inexpensive and non-perishable, most do!

IMG_4964<–Magic moments with the fathership and brother at Tucker’s Ice Cream in Alameda, CA.  (Gluten-free cones!!)

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Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Gratin

If the ABC’s were a 26-letter long acronym for the happiest food items on Earth, “G” would stand for “gratin”.  For those of you not raised by my Grandmother, or French, a gratin is a sort of potato casserole, traditionally prepared with butter, flour, and cow’s cheese– all of which are not the friendliest to the sensitive stomach of a Bubble Child.

This gratin not only tastes like a million bucks (or Euros), but sits in the stomach like it, too.  Fresh goat cheese is low in lactose, and easy for the dairy intolerant to digest, and there is no need for flour or butter with the creamy olive oil and sultry texture of the sweet potatoes and caramelized onions dancing together.

Bonjour, tastiness.  Merci, easy-to-make.

Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Gratin

2 medium-large sweet potatoes, washed, dried, sliced thinly into circles

1 small yellow onion, diced

6 oz. chevre (fresh goat cheese), broken into pieces, divided*

4 tbs. olive oil, divided

2 tsp. tarragon, divided

1 tsp. sea salt, divided

1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided

*

Preparation time: 8 minutes

Cook time: 45-55 minutes

Serves about 4

*

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Layer 1/4 of the sliced potatoes, with slight overlap, in an 8” bread dish.  Top with 1/4 of the diced onions, 1/4 of the goat cheese, 1/2 tsp. tarragon, 1/4 tsp. sea salt, and a few pinches pepper.  Drizzle 1 tbs. olive oil on top.
  3. Repeat with 3 more layers.
  4. Pop in the oven (uncovered) for 45-55 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through, and cheese is golden-browned.  Remove, let cool for a few minutes, and serve.

*For those with dairy allergies, or to make this vegan, use 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, divided, instead.

 

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