Thursday, July 30, 2015

Farm Fresh Recipes from Keppers Pottery & Produce

Picnics, potlucks, barbecues, county fairs...

Summer is full of opportunities for someone with nightshade and other allergies to go hungry in a crowd!  I almost always bring a small cooler with snacks to these evens and am thrilled if I find one thing that I can safely enjoy. I didn't bring anything with me to Keppers Annual Field & Garden Tour. It was only a 2 hour event and not far from home so I figured I would just skip the food and eat when I got home. Imagine my surprise when Judith laid out a beautiful spread of dishes fresh from their gardens and Ken said to me, "You should be able to eat any of these things with the exception, obviously, of the tomato salad.

It is such a simple pleasure, to be able to go to an event or gathering and share a meal, and one I used to take for granted.  As a host, using simple recipes with minimal ingredients make it easy to modify dishes for your guests while having ingredients lists available and saving packaging from store bought items ensure your guests with allergies or food sensitivities can see for themselves what is safe and what is not.

Thank you to Judith for the wonderful meal and for sharing her recipes on her blog at

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Radish Greens Dressing

I stood at the kitchen table with the days tasks laid out before me; a pile of grape leaves to can for wintertime stuffed grape leaves, a huge bowl of strawberries freshly picked and still warm from the sun to nibble while I cook, a huge head of lettuce with leaves that just needed to be cleaned and put in the fridge for this weeks lunches - chicken wraps and salads, lovely red beets to be roasted and served with our pork chops at dinner tonight along with the beet greens sautéed with onions and bacon, a huge head of cabbage and some nice, mild breakfast radishes.  I had a plan for everything except the cabbage and radishes. I considered trying my hand at fermenting the cabbage but I didn't have the crock or supplies and really wanted to get everything prepped today so I decided on a simple cole slaw. That would be nice with the radishes sliced into it, but what about those radish greens?  Should I add them to the salad? to the slaw? or just feed them to the pigs?  I did a quick Google search and found a few recipes for radish green pesto. I thought I'd give that a try, with a few modifications of course.  Well...

Eliminating the nuts was one thing, since I'm allergic to nuts, but discovering I didn't have any parmesan cheese was pushing it. Then I accidentally added a little too much liquid and the whole plan changed. Luckily I love to improvise. And I'm pretty good at it.  What I ended up with was a fantastic dressing for my cabbage that was so much more flavorful than regular slaw. Tonight I served it tossed with some of the lettuce and topped with leftover roasted chicken and radish slices.  I'm thinking that it will end up in some sort of asian noodle dish with the remainder of the leftover chicken and some fresh snow peas tomorrow and possibly stir fried with the leftover pork chop and served over rice later in the week. Let me know if you have other ideas for it.


Greens from 1 bunch of radishes - washed & stems removed
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 large cloves of garlic (or about 3 tbsp chopped)
salt to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until it is liquified - add water  if needed until it is the desired consistency. It's that easy.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Lunch Hack: Mediterannean Pita

Life has gotten so incredibly busy I often find myself resorting to fast food or coffee shop scones to get through the day. Gaining 10 lbs in the last year and feeling tired all the time tells me I need to get organized again and start packing healthier meals. This morning I had 5 minutes to spare so I looked in the fridge to see if there was something I could throw together to bring along.  This is what I came up with. It worked well for a day that I don't have access to a fridge and didn't have my chillable lunch box with me. I don't know that I would leave it in the car all day on a hot day but it certainly survived a few hours in the office and kept me out of the drive-though.

  • 1 individual sized pack (or about 2 tbs) Sabra Hummus
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/3 package leftover broccoli slaw mix (I almost always have this in the fridge or some type of homemade slaw - just the veggies, no dressing. Almost any variation of julienne veggies will work. I know, it's packaged food but this is one of the compromises I make in the winter when I'm not pulling fresh veggies out of my own garden anyway)
  • Pita bread (regular bread, crackers, tortilla chips, whatever...)
I did a quick blend of the hummus and lemon juice, poured it into a container with the slaw mix and viola! By the time I had lunch it had been well tossed and was ready to eat. My only regret is not grabbing a few of the lovely (nightshade free marinated) Greek olives from the fridge to add a little fat to the meal. As it was it was pretty satisfying but the olives would have been the kicker... or some feta... or a little chicken... maybe avocado...

You get the picture, it's not about a recipe here. It's about learning how to work with and make the most out of what you've got while still enjoying nutritious, yummy and SAFE meals.

*Note: sesame seeds can be cross-reactive to nightshade allergy. This means that even though they are not a nightshade, those with nightshade allergy may have trouble with them. I find that I'm OK as long as I don't have too much/too often. If you can't handle sesame seeds it's pretty easy to make your own hummus. Blend up can of garbanzos with1 tbsp lemon juice, pinch of salt, a little olive oil and as much water as needed to make it creamy.