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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new gluten-free beer obsession: I WISH

mikkeller-i-wish-gluten-free

Mikkeller - this dude is a beer prodigy.  It’d be like if Beethoven had started playing piano when he was deaf, and was that good.  Some people’s callings show up at odd times, and this beermaker’s started when he was teaching kids math.

What started out as home experiments in brewing turned into one of the best line of craft beers on the market.  They’re not given — a little steep in price due to the artisanal nature and quality — but I’d rather have one of these than 12 of the others.  (Who am I kidding, I can’t even have 12 beers at a time!)

This is hands-down the best gluten-free IPA I’ve ever discovered.  For those gluten-free and gluten-full, if you like hops, try this beer.  Really.

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morning inspiration: DIY RAISIN BRAN and spirulina in Haribo!

raisin bran diyHappy things filled my brain this morning.  Firstly, the discovery that was made this weekend is worth mentioning: Haribo has Spirulina in it.  Yes, Haribo — those delightful gummies that are neither too sweet nor too tacky.  Since they are flavored with natural flavors and colors (another woo!), they contain Spirulina, which is a cyanobacterium that contains calcium, protein, antioxidants, vitamins… lots of good stuff.  While eating green gummies will probably not save my life, this was certainly a petite pleasure to discover.

haribo croco

My head was further massaged when I blended things in my pantry.  Not machine blending, but more holding hands, I guess.  Being a “Bubble Child” with a strong nut allergy, gluten intolerance, and corn sensitivity makes finding cereal in France rather challenging.  If it’s not filled with wheat its gluten-free alternative is a flake of corn.  If I can find a healthy looking muesli, it will have hazelnuts.  What’s a girl to do?  Ahhh, DIY.

All I seem to find are buckwheat flakes and puffs of various sorts (rice, buckwheat, etc.)  How about…. I want raisin bran so I combine those two with raisins?  Magique!

flakes and raisins

Here’s your morning inspiration: to save your stomach, histamines, and wallet some work, try combining different cereal flakes you can eat with different dried fruits and dark chocolate chips (!!) to have some custom lovin’ every morning in a bowl.  Top with either lactose-free milk or dairy-free milk of choice, and you’re smooth sailing for the day. <3

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kale and radish salad with creamy 5-ingredient dressing

kale radish salad

kaaaaaaaaaaaaale

kale kale kale, I could scream from the top of my lungs!  Or perhaps the bottom.  I believe that would indeed be the most profound.

washed kale

I wouldn’t have guessed, but kale is quite hard to come across in France.  I have the luxury of having a very decently priced little organic market down the street from me.  They never let me down (they even half priced the berries I was buying once as the manager said he tried them and they weren’t sweet enough.  He’s tough public, because I thought they were amazing.)

Neither here nor there with the berries, but the kale, yes, the kaaaale, they have it.  It was almost like running into an old elementary school teacher or something, the way I felt when I looked down the aisle towards the produce and saw green bobs of curl brimming from a wooden-laced carton box.

radi

I don’t know what it is about the salad.  My Grandma thought it was a bizarre thing to eat (isn’t that the plant that grows along roads in dirt or for decoration in planters?)  Yes, but a lot of good things do that, too.  And it’s just so weirdly healthy tasting — in a good way.  It’s one of those things you eat for the first time, you like it decently, but I think it’s so good for your body that when your body sees it again it’s automatically conditioned to want it more because of the good it does inside.  Like garlic.

Gaaaarlic.

I’ll stop.

salad dressing ingredientsdressing in bowl

Here’s a really simple recipe for two brilliant ingredients with a 5-ingredient salad dressing that complements the two just too well.  Takes, like, 3 minutes to make.  <3

Enjoy on a breezy hot summer day!

tossing saladkale and radish salad with creamy 5-ingredient dressing
-vegan-
-gluten, nut, corn-free-

ingredients:
1 large bunch kale, washed, dried
about 12 small red radishes, washed, cut into thin slices (I recommend using a Japanese mandolin)
2 tbs. dijon mustard
1 tbs. agave nectar
3 tbs. rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
6 tbs. neutral oil (grapeseed is my preferred)
1 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)*

method: Prepare dressing by mixing mustard, agave nectar, and vinegar in a bold until combined.  Slowly whisk in oil to emulsify.  Add soy sauce to taste.  Toss in prepared kale and radish.  Salt and pepper to taste if needed/desired.

*for those with soy allergies, simply salt to taste and don’t add tamari.

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inverted oreo cake

interted oreo cake gluten freeIt’s like a dream, an inverted, chocolate-laced, cheesecake flavored twisted reverie of a treat loved past.

If I were a professional nature show host, I might say that what we’ve got here, mate, is a very rare breed.  “It seems to resemble oreo, yes, that’s sure.  Only that it’s a little more like a brownie, and makes me feel good when I eat it.  It seems to be a little short on the gluten, and, oddly, instead of having an overly sweet filling, it tastes like cheesecake.  I reckon we better let this lil bugga into the wild for all to enjoy.”

piping frosting

This is why I don’t host a nature show?  –amongst many reasons… um yeah.

I’ll stick to the kitchen: It’s also nut, corn, and egg-free, and can be vegan if you want it to be.  Lactose is either minimal or very optional.  ahhh, makes more sense.  ;)

flax seed blender

adding flax seed goo to dry ingredients

This recipe came about when I was playing with ways to combine blended flax seeds and cocoa powder.  I really wanted something sweet, and did not want to intake a ton of sugar.  Egg whites don’t sit well with me, so the flax seeds and I have been spending lots of time together in pastry land.  The result was unexpected and beautiful inside and out.  (Inside and out of me and the cake itself.)

So, without further adieu, here’s our little shining star.

plated oreo cakeinverted oreo cake

gluten, butter, egg, corn, soy, nut – free

vegan options!

cake:
7 tbs. flax seeds
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tbs. agave nectar
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar (1/2 cup sugar for those who like it sweet)
1/4 cup + 2 tbs. rice flour
1 tbs. arrowroot starch (flour)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbs. neutral oil (grapeseed ideal)

frosting:
1/2 cup mascarpone or vegan cream cheese
2 tsp. rice milk
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch salt
4 tsp. powdered sugar (this is not too sweet, but just right for me.  if you’d like it more sweet add another ~2 tbs. powdered sugar to taste.)

soak time: 6 hours (or overnight)
preparation time: 15 minutes
cook time: ~30 minutes
yields one large/two small inverted oreo cake (serves 6-8 depending on serving size)

1. Prepare cake: soak flax seeds in water in a covered container for 6 hours room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
2. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).  Blend both water and flax seeds with vanilla, agave nectar, and sea salt until white and few traces of seed shells remain.
3. In separate large bowl combine dry ingredients.  Add flax seed mixture and oil.  Combine until homogenous.

dry ingredients cocoa powder flours

batter oreo cake
4. Prepare one large brownie pan or two small cake pans with a thin layer of oil/cooking spray and a dusting of rice flour.  (You want the batter to spread out to be about an inch thick, no more.)
5. Spoon batter into prepared cake molds and bake for about 30 minutes, until center is solid and top is crusted.  Remove from heat, let cool entirely before frosting.

oreo cake pre-frostingmascarpone frosting in bowl
6. Prepare frosting: mix all ingredients until homogenous.  Transfer entirety of frosting into a piping bag with a large circular tip.
7. Finish cake: pipe parallel and equal rows of oreo-filling size circles onto the top of your cake as shown in the photos.  Cut into a square or rectangle for something classy, and serve, ideally, in a square or rectangle shape with a few strawberries and perhaps a glass of bubbly?

cutting cake

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