Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fresh Berry Pie (Gluten Free, Vegan)


Today, DH got a strawberry pie for Father's Day.  He said it was really yummy around a mouthful of seconds.  The girls agreed enthusiastically.  You can use whatever berries float your boat.  If your berries are fresh and sweet, use 1/2 cup sugar.  If they are not super sweet, increase the sugar to 3/4 or 1 cup, depending on how sweet you like it. Serve with ice cream (So Delicious Vanilla Bean or make your own!) or Soyatoo Rice Whip whipped cream.  Enjoy!

Fresh Berry Pie
6 cups fresh berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries or a combination)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp. arrowroot starch
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
pastry for double crust pie

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare pastry for double crust pie.  Roll out 1/2 of the dough and line pie plate.  Trim edges, set aside.  Roll out the remaining 1/2 of the dough, set aside.  (See this post on how to work with your pie crust.)

Wash and drain the berries, pat dry.  In a large bowl, toss the berries with the lemon juice.  In a small bowl, combine the sugar through the cloves.  Pour the sugar mixture into the bowl full of berries and toss to coat.  Place the berry mixture in the pastry lined pie plate, mounding berries in the center.  


Carefully lay the rolled-out top crust onto the top of the berries.  Crimp the edges and make slits in the top so that steam can escape. 


Place the pie in the oven.  Put tin foil or a cookie sheet on the rack beneath the pie to catch berry juice (if you don't, you'll have a burned mess on the bottom of your oven).  Bake the pie for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake another 30 minutes or until the curst is golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.  Serve at room temperature.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Our New Garden Resident

DH and I were out the other night, plucking ripe tomatoes off our happy tomato plants when we spied this large spider right in the middle of the plants, right in the center of our raised bed.  We got over the creep factor (DH called it "grim looking") and left it alone.  I decided to check it out more closely last night and noticed this neat zipper pattern down the center of its web.  So I ran inside to search for what exactly it was (search terms "garden spider zipper web").  Turns out it's a beneficial garden spider called Argiope aurantia or the black and yellow garden spider.  I ran out to DH to tell him to leave it alone, and then I took pictures of it.  Well, of her - it's a female.  She stayed right in the center of her web without moving even while I disturbed the plants (and thus her web) while trying to get the best angle for a picture.  Her stillness makes me feel better about reaching around her to get to our tomatoes, I won't be afraid of her jumping on me.  So we have happy plants, happy bees and now a happy spider in our happy garden.  Can you tell I'm pleased with our garden this year?  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Garden Growth and Chard Stalk Hummus

It has been a rainy month and not too hot - our garden looks very happy.  We have several herbs, some beets, cauliflower, Swiss Chard, mustard greens, kale, amaranth, musk melons, tomatoes, peppers and zucchini.

Our jalapeno plants are producing lots of little peppers! The bees just love these little flowers and I love to see happy bees.

 I recently turned these beauties into  Fresh Pickled Jalapenos - so fresh, so yummy!

 Squash flowers are so pretty (and tasty too).

 One lonely little zucchini...we are waiting for more.  We've previously had bad luck with squash, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

 Happy kale.  I love all the greens, and kale is one of my favorites.

 Our musk melon vines are now growing up a trellis...they get taller every day!  DH intends to support the melons with panty hose.  Hmmm.  I'll have to take a picture of that.

 We have been enjoying a lot of mint tea lately!

These look like collards and that's what I thought they were, so I harvested a few of the big leaves and made them Louisiana style which is my very favorite collard greens recipe.  Afterward DH (highly consternated), told me these are cauliflower plants, not collards!  Well, they sure taste like collards.  And nothing bad happened to me or the plants...we now have a little head of cauliflower growing in the biggest plant!

 The cold snap we had this spring killed off all but one of our pear tomato plants.  That one survived and is pretty humungous with lots of little tomatoes all over it.  We harvested our first small handful of pretty yellow tomatoes today!  Hooray!

  I love these rogue amaranth plants and their dark red color.  They are really pretty as ornamentals, but we like to eat their leaves.

  Cherokee Purples!  I can't wait for these to ripen!  We planted several of these, but like our pear tomato plants, just one of the Cherokee Purple tomato plants survived the cold snap too.

I recently harvested a large bunch of Swiss Chard and was reluctant to throw the tender stems into the compost.  I stumbled upon a recipe for Chard Stalk Hummus and decided to try it - it is delicious!  I am exploring other recipes on Taste of Beirut, they look so good - I especially cannot wait to try Swiss Chard Cake.  Grow, chard, grow!

Chard Stalk Hummus

Don't toss those chard stalks!  Turn them into a tasty, legume-free hummus!

Chard stalks from one large bunch
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp. tahini
1 tbsp. lemon juice or more to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt to taste

Chop the chard stalks into 1/2 inch pieces.  Steam them until tender, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a food processor and add the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and a little salt.  Process until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Serve warm or cold.  I served ours with crisp cucumber rounds - so delicious!