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Blueberry July

new mexico sky

The view from our casita last night was a painting in progress- rapidly changing washes of color from east to west. The softest pink pushing into indigo. Cerulean dropping into sea green when you least expected it.

The day had been hot and dry and discouraging- I had realized abruptly, driving home in late afternoon glare to the beat of an REM song (I've got my spine, I've got my Orange Crush) that I had used a chicken bouillon paste in the previous night's green chile. I reached for it automatically. Without thinking. Just as I had the cup of herbal tea with lemon the night before that.

I felt like an idiot. 

Armed with new information that will ease my ills I poison myself, in spite of my best efforts, in spite of my notes and lists and label reading, and spending twenty minutes stalking the cereal aisle at Whole Foods to search every package of oatmeal for evidence of gluten-free certification (the odd and unexpected good news is I tested totally negative for an oat allergy). I screwed up. Again.

And it frustrates the hell out of me.

Gluten and soy free for years, you'd think I'd know the drill. But as it turns out, I don't. I woke up last Tuesday and discovered the rules had changed. My list of verboten ingredients is too long to memorize. Lemon and mustard wreak serious havoc, we know. But now orange and grapefruit are starting to misbehave. I wasn't tested for lime, but now I'm leery. The whole sweet 'n sour citrus family doesn't seem very hospitable these days.

I am becoming kumquat-phobic.

Pecans are tempting. But with reactions to peanuts, almonds and walnuts, how smart would it be to start noshing on a walnut cousin? And then there’s eggs. They are in everything. Did you know egg whites are used to clarify many domestic and Australian and South American wines? I didn't. I blamed my sinus congestion and headache on the weather, not the wine I drank three times last week. In order to find wine that is absolutely egg-free you must find a vegan winery. Who knew?

Oh, and then there was the toasty-sweet goodness of that jar of sunflower butter I bought last week to replace my childhood comfort food, now off limits. Scanning the Food Allergy Testing results, there it was. I am mildly allergic to sunflower seeds. And almost every gluten-free corn chip is cooked in sunflower oil these days. 

Okay. Just breathe. I knew this wouldn't be easy. Or fair. I never believed life was fair but. Geesh. Give a gluten-free goddess a break. A girl does not live by bunny food alone. There are needs. There are food dreams. There are favorite recipes - the whole shebang now in exile.

I'm trying to be upbeat. Really I am.

But in all honesty? This is tough, Babycakes. Even tougher than going gluten-free. I said to Steve last night, I'm losing the will to live. Cue violins. 

Don't worry. He made me laugh with a Big Lebowski quote. I'll be fine. Really. I just need to channel The Dude. Go with the flow. Chill. And to paraphrase Walter...

F*ck it, Dude. Let's eat blueberries.

TRENDING

Cape Cod Apple Cake with Cranberries (Gluten-Free)

Sweet and Tart.   No philosophy today. Dust off your cake pan, Babycakes. This is a moist and tender apple cake laced with a hint of cinnamon and studded with fresh tart berries. After seven   twelve   - er, 19!- years of baking various gluten-free incarnations of my tried and true family apple cake recipe, this could be our favorite. Maybe it's the sweet-tart combo. The subtlety of flavors. In a food culture obsessed with kicking up recipes with more for the sake of more (white chocolate peanut butter bacon swirled maple donut ice cream drizzled in dulche de leche coconut marshmallow syrup and dusted with sugared Meyer lemon zest and shaved cacao, anyone?) the clean and classic flavor contrast of apples and cranberries is somehow new again. Even, refreshing.  I don't need dessert to taste like candy. I like my cake to taste like cake.  You can bake this recipe with eggs and dairy, or vegan alternatives. See options below.

Gluten-Free Goddess Lemon Yogurt Cake

Luscious Lemon Cake So  I've been jonesing for a cake laced with citrus- not too sweet and not too light. A cake with character and heft.  Something akin to a lovely simple cake I remember liking as a child, a store bought bakery cake called Louisiana Ring made by Freihofer's. The cake featured a hint of orange. The day I decided to bake, I did not have oranges in the pantry- but I did have some lemons, organic Greek yogurt, and plenty of blanched almond flour.  And this simple home baked lemon cake was born.  In time for Spring. Love, Karina xo

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

YES PLEASE.  This award winning budget-friendly Santa Fe inspired vegetarian enchilada recipe is one of those happy accidents that springs from a burst of creative imagination. Or rumbling hunger. In that what-have-we-got-in-the-pantry sort of panic. I was craving the soft and spicy comfort of enchiladas one windy spring night back in 2003, and I had none of the usual suspects on hand (no chicken, or beef, no pinto beans).  But! I had one lovely mother of a sweet potato.  A can of organic black beans.  Some roasted green chiles.  One lonely lime.  And your intrepid Mamacita-Goddess at large thought, Hmmm. Why not? Deliciousness ensued. These wrapped little gems are soft and creamy and a little bit spicy- Just like a certain cook , my point-scoring husband wisecracks. It's the yams, I tell him. Er, sweet potato. I can never tell the difference. Can you? In the end, it doesn't matter.  What matters is how it tastes. And darling, these are so mucho scrumptiou

Gluten-Free Goddess Pasta Frittata with Kale

An Italian Classic - Updated. Today I offer you a simple recipe spun from the magic of leftover gluten-free spaghetti and eggs- a creamy, light frittata. Perfect for the weekend. Or when you're simply too tired to cook. Or you have nothing in the fridge but a carton of eggs, half a bag of kale salad and last night's leftover cooked spaghetti. It's one of those intuitive, spontaneous recipes I've pulled out of thin air, so many times. For dairy-free folks, the "cheese" pictured in this version was a vegan "mozzarella" (my current favorite is Vegan Gourmet). But if you prefer using dairy- select one or two of your favorite Italian organic cheeses. I've also made this yummy dish using goat cheese (and roasted red peppers!), and another time I tried a blend of fresh mozzarella and shaved Parmesan. It's a very versatile recipe. Celebrate Spring. Have fun with it! XOX Karina

Gluten-Free Goddess Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ah, flourless chocolate cake. The perfect rich dessert. Forgive the hyperbole. But I just can't help it. This is rich, sexy chocolate deliciousness on a plate. And such an easy recipe, especially if you use a food processor to do the work. Serve this to non-gluten-free folks with no apologies. None. Zip. Nada. And for gluten-free folks? Hand out seconds (we deserve it, don't we?). And the best part is- the recipe is inherently gluten-free and wheat-free. Always has been. No substitutions. No funny stuff. This is the same flourless chocolate cake I've been making for decades. It never contained flour. The only thing I've tweaked post-celiac diagnosis is adding more coffee and vanilla. Just because. And PS: See below why I make this recipe in a food processor- thanks to Bobby Flay. Karina xo

Gluten-Free Goddess Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

A classic cookie made gluten-free. I suppose you could argue that one oatmeal cookie recipe is enough. I mean, how many oatmeal cookie recipes does a person need? To this I answer, at least two. Why? Well, first you have one with raisins (my oatmeal raisin cookies here ). Raisins give oatmeal cookies that old school chewy sneaky nutrition boost. They're old fashioned and comfy cozy. Kinda like spending one of those Saturday afternoons at your Aunt Martha's house, chillin'. Watching Mr. Rogers and laying on the floor with a pile of coloring books. Coloring outside the lines with a beat up box of Crayolas. Wishing the silver crayon was more than a lonely nub. And right at that nub lamenting moment she'd bring you a plate of cookies. Truth is, I never had an Aunt Martha. But I did have a chain smoking platinum blond babysitter who liked martinis a little too much. Or maybe it was gin and tonic. There was ice in the glass. If I was lucky enough to scro

Gluten-Free Baking Tips + Substitutions

Need wheat-free gluten-free baking tips? Help is Here. Here's what works- and what doesn't- in quirky Gluten-Free Baking and Substitution Land. From Karina, Gluten-Free Goddess®. Baking Substitutions for Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free and More Notes on GF Flours: Gluten-free non-wheat flours generally fall into three basic weights- light starch, all-purpose medium, or heavier whole grain. A blend of medium and heavy flours with some starch mixed in to lighten, tenderize, and help bind the batter or dough works best, and tastes best (too much starch can result in a gummy texture). Light, starchy GF flours include sweet rice flour, white rice flour, and the ubiquitous gluten-free starches- tapioca starch, cornstarch, potato starch (NOT potato flour, which is whole different animal) and arrowroot starch. Medium flours are akin to 'all purpose flour'- these include sorghum flour, certified gluten-free oat flour, and superfine brown rice flour. If you cannot find sorg