Join me as I discover and re-create recipes to fit my family's many food allergies.
I will be focusing on foods that do not include the nightshade family, gluten, soy, natural flavors, peanuts, MSG, nutmeg, cumin, raspberries, cherries, oats, pork, pumpkin, chamomile, pistachios, corn (unless it is organic), preservatives, food colors, natural and artificial flavors, cottonseed oil, spinach, aged & colored cheeses (cream cheese & mozzarella are OK, Monterey Jack is OK in moderation), yeast (unless in safe bread), anything cured, aged, fermented or malted. We also only use milk in moderation. The nightshade family is a particularly long list and includes spices, potatoes (sweet are fine), tomatoes, peppers & more.
Whew, yes, this is all a long list. What an adventure it is to cook this way.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Stewed Beef with Gravy

We love this recipe. I couldn't believe the difference in the flavor it made by adding cream or half and half to stew. I also used my new electric pressure cooker and shortened the time it took to make this dish by about an hour. The pressure cooker is becoming my new favorite appliance. I got this recipe, which only needed small adaptations, from Chris at Caribbean Pot. If you have not visited his web site (http://caribbeanpot.com) yet, be sure and do so. His recipes are so good and he also has many videos posted, on youtube, showing how he makes them.

adapted from http://caribbeanpot.com/its-thyme-you-enjoyed-stewed-beef-with-a-rich-gravy/

Stewed Beef with Gravy


1 lb. stew beef
1 Tablespoons olive oil
2 large carrot (diced or sliced)
1 medium onion (diced)
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves
3 cloves garlic
pinch of ground white pepper
salt to taste
1 bay leaf
3 cups beef stock
3 Tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup of cream or half and half


Peel and slice the vegetables.
Smash the garlic and then peel off the skin and dice it.
In a deep saucepan (I used the brown setting on my pressure cooker) add the oil and heat on medium high. Add the beef and brown it.
Add all the garlic, onion, carrots and white pepper, then turn down the burner and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
Add seasonings and beef stock. You want just enough broth to cover meat with a bit to spare. Add more broth if needed while cooking. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. (I set my pressure cooker for 20 minutes of cooking on high pressure and the meat came out very tender.)
Remove bay leaf.
Mix corn starch with some cold water and then add to pan. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat.
Add the cream and let flavors blend on low for about 5 minutes.
Serve over rice. (or mashed potatoes)


When I make a roast I add extra water so that I have extra broth to freeze for use in recipes later.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Black Beans And Rice

I find that most Mexican foods are very hard to change into foods that go with our allergies, but I have been able to make a few recipes over. :-) My husband spent a lot of his growing up years in Mexico and we have traveled quite a bit there. Also, we lived in Venezuela for 6 months shortly after we were married. We love the flavors of those countries. Here is a recipe for Black Beans and Rice that we first had in the Yucatan Peninsula. I have had to leave out the green pepper and ham, but I have added cilantro for an extra flavor boost. When we had this many years ago they served more toppings than this recipe calls for, so I went looking to see what toppings other cooks added. Next time I make this I will be sure to get some radishes to try as I think they would add a kick to it that is missing with not having green peppers.
I usually make this recipe into a soup by adding more water. Just follow the recipe down through the salt and add 8 cups of water for a great soup that we serve with tortilla chips or tortillas. A dollop of sour cream and/or cheese, if you can have them, on the top make the soup extra yummy.
I always cut the salt in half in my recipes and usually the pepper also. Please salt and pepper to taste.

Adapted from Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery Vol. 2

Black Beans And Rice


1 lb. dried black beans
6 cups water (start with 8 cups water for soup)
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 bay leaves
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper (or regular)
3-4 sprigs cilantro (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup rice vinegar (optional)

Serve over rice.

Garnish with your choice of the following:

Avocado           Onion slices
Radishes           Lime Slices
Cheese             Sour Cream
Hard-boiled eggs


Cover beans with water, bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Cover pan and let stand for 1 hour.
Saute chopped onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes. (May be added to beans without sauteing if you want to save time and number of pans you are using) Add to beans with bay leaves, pepper and cilantro.
Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, adding more water if necessary. Add salt after beans are soft.
Add rice vinegar and let cook just a bit before serving.
Serve with rice. Garnish with toppings.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Vinegar helps with cutting down on the gaseous effect from beans.
Salt can keep beans from turning soft, so it is best to add salt after beans have fully cooked.
If beans do not have enough water in the pan, they will not soften, so make sure beans are always covered.