Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mushroom Garlic Burgers

I bought a pound of 90/10 grass-fed hamburger at Willy Street a few days ago. Really didn’t have a plan for it at the time. But, needing to use up some mushrooms, these burgers were AMAZING.
  •  1 medium glove of garlic, pressed or minced
  • 6 (more or less) button mushroom caps
  • GF soy sauce to taste
  • 2 tablespoons GF bread crumbs (Glutinos is what I use)
  • season salt (mine is Tastefully Simple)
  • 1 lb 90/10 grass-fed hamburger

Taking the garlic and mushroom caps, I pulsed them on my food processor. Then, I added the soy sauce, bread crumbs and season salt. Adding this mixture to the hamburger, I kneaded all the ingredients together.

Onto the grill they went, to medium-rare perfection.

They were wonderful! I totally made this one up as I went, so I’m happy at how well they turned out. They were a great compliment to the grilled asparagus with lemon. Some swiss and a hamburger bun would have been nice, but certainly not necessary. In hindsight, I would have added onion to the mix, but maybe next time. J

Dessert was a few bites of the amazing rhubarb  sauce I got from the market this past Saturday.

Ciao for Now!


Christine's Favorite Asparagus Recipe...

As promised last week Detroit/Chicago/Philly Christine’s Fabulous Asparagus Recipe, on the grill.

Anyway - here's my favorite ASPARAGUS recipe.

like 1/2 pound asparagus fresh, cut the white ends off
olive oil (about 1 or 2 tbsp to your liking)
kosher salt and garlic powder (or combined garlic salt)
fresh ground pepper
lemon juice

heat oven to like 425 or so... (all my recipes are fly by the seat of your pants... and come from experimenting, so its not really an exact science)....
use a baking sheet and throw some tin foil down so your sheet doesn't get gooped up with olive oil

toss the asparagus in olive oil, however much you want... more will probably give you a sweeter/fattier flavor if you are craving those things

then toss with some lemon juice, maybe about 1 tbsp...

the sprinkle with the salt, garlic and pepper...

bake for about 20 minutes if you like them softer (which makes them less-veggie like)... or maybe 15 minutes if you like the more al dente. either way, you want to get them browned / maybe a little bit blackened so they take on that roasted/charcoaled flavor, which also brings out the sweetness in the veggies. the leafy tips should be crispy....

This Morning's Omlete

- 2 cage-free eggs

- button mushrooms

- chives from my garden

- small clove of garlic

- roasted flax seed

- Sambar powder

Veggies were sautéed in grapeseed oil and sprinkled with Sambar powder. I added eggs and flax seeds, and scrambled it all together. I added more of the powder than usual, and WOW. So tasty, with a hint of hot. I can see making this one again. Can’t WAIT to have more veggies in the garden!! Chives are good at coming back year after year, whether you plant them or not.

More to come.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Patio Garden Redux

Good evening fellow musers –

I recently read Farm City by Novella Carpenter. Wonderful book. And I got a bit inspired. So, my rule for the patio garden:

  1. Only plants that are edible may be bought (plant or seed) for the patio garden.
  2. Any plants chosen specifically for flowering must either be transplanted from somewhere or free

Work has been more than willing to help with this effort. Someone had a bunch of seed packets from last year that they were giving away. So, I took anything from Spinach (Melody Hybrid) to Sweet Pea (Explorer Mix). These I took today. I was going to save the rest for the others interested, but after a week of waiting, no one else took seeds. So, I did. My first haul included carrots and swiss chard.

Over the weekend, the farmer’s market yielded two tomato plants, a yellow banana pepper, and a red pepper. A trip to the co-op got me two bags of organic potting soil, heirloom carrot and cucumber seeds (yay for seed savers exchange!), and a few loving glances at broccoli plants. I also went to Johanssens and purchased garlic and large red scallions. The garlic is planted, but the scallions are going to Mom and Dads – they seem to be non-container types.

I also raided my seed stash, from which I planted basil, rosemary and small red scallions from seed. A few of these I started in a biodegradable grower (sitting comfortably on my dresser, away from the prying paws of kitties).

This might be a little overindulgent, and a reaction to both the book, and my yearning to juice any veggie I come across (I haven’t been able to juice since the garbage disposal went out w/ the sink, cabinets and counter top). Need to figure out how to compost and live in an apartment. I would really have some great compost!!!

Feeling better than I did on Thursday and Friday. Who knows what’s going. Usually I can quickly attribute that sick feeling to gluten or dairy, but none that I can think of.

I have to add before signing off – perhaps the BEST thing I purchased at the farmer’s market was a rhubarb jam/jelly/something. It has more the consistency of rhubarb crisp. Rhubarb is so so so amazing. Its something I love dearly, especially in strawberry rhubarb pie. The jar of this magical rhubarb had 3 ingredients – spring water, cane sugar, and rhubarb. Is it bad that its ½ way gone already?

I don’t think so… There are certainly worse things to indulge in.

Ciao for now (iTunes cleaning must commence).


Saturday, April 17, 2010

First Planting!!!

Got a few plants from the farmer’s market (yay!) :

Swiss Chard

Patio Tomato

Siletz Tomato

Sweet Yellow Pepper

Red Pepper

Need to look on the tag for each of the peppers to see what it is. So excited! Going to have to bring the bunch in tonight though, because of freezing.


I’m such a food nerd.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Grilling out, stomach ache, taking a step back...

Good afternoon fellow musers –

Yesterday started out pretty much as any other day – breakfast consisted of 2 eggs, scrambled with flax seed, some curry spice, mushrooms and red pepper. Delicious. Made a double batch, so I could take some w/ me to work (really hard to find food around work that I can actually eat, and but I don’t want to eat out in the first place).

I felt pretty normal…

Right after eating breakfast, that all-too-familiar stomach clenching feeling began. Nothing tastes good. Water is the worst. I feel both jittery and weak. Maybe not enough sugar, or carbs? Went on a mission to find something quick I could actually eat in downtown FdL. A great walk, but wasn’t really feeling all that wonderful.

Left FdL still feeing cruddy.

Christine called – perhaps grilling out? Absoultely. Hadn’t seen her in forever. So, I stopped by the coop. Picked up a different kind of sweet potato than usual (Garnet) , as well as two varieties of Applegate Farm’s sausages I hadn’t tried before – Sweet Italian and Fire Roasted Red Pepper. My usual is Chicken and Apple (sweet, delicious, amazing). All are certified organic.

Had a wonderful time w/ Christine and her Mom. Stomach still crabby…

Woke up feeling better but not great. I hate this feeling. This is just a taste of how I was feeling before I was diagnosed w/ dairy and gluten issues. In big-picture terms, it’s the typical American diet that I can’t do anymore – processed foods, refined sugar, gluten, dairy, gmo soy, not enough water, and very little greens and veggies.

Part of this relapse is my limited ability to cook what I want. Bad excuse? Probably. But true. I really enjoy juicing veggies, as I can’t really stand the taste of most of them. Great way to get all the nutrients I need though.

So… hoping, praying, whatever, that my cleaning binge this morning/noon will provoke the cabinet company my landlord is ordering the base cabinets from to get them to Madison. This is not exactly helping my mood…

Enough whining. Food. So the Applegate Farms brats are phenomenal. I enjoyed the brats Christine grilled up last night, but my faves are still the Chicken Apple. We enjoyed the sweet potato with curry powder and onions in a grilled foil bag. A second foil bag held mushrooms, zucchini and red pepper – so delicious! I think might try zucchini direct grilled a little more, but we live and learn.

Website for Applegate Farms – www.applegatefarms.com

Depending on my stomach, I might try Chicago/Philly Christine’s grilled asparagus recipe. Will definitely post.

Ciao for Now.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Living Without's GF DF Carrot Cake - YUM!!

Weekly, I receive an email from the magazine Living Without (recipe link at the bottom). I would probably subscribed to the bi-monthly magazine, if it were not for the fact that the minute a magazine shows up at my doorstep (no matter how relevant or interesting) I never read it. Ever. Really not terribly eco-friendly of me. I read it eventually, a year later, wishing I had taking the ten minutes to crack the cover when I originally got it. Coupons tend to expire by that point…

So, I opt for the free emails on this one. The magazine, as I have read at my Chiropractor’s office, is wonderful. Great recipes for people with single to multiple food allergies and intolerances. It can be easy to find DF or GF recipes, but find recipes that are both is difficult at times.

Of course, this recipe looks wonderful. Haven’t made it yet, but perhaps this weekend, along with my friend (college bud/Italy roomie/Chicago neighbor/martini conspirator/generally amazing person) Christine Waggener’s grilled asparagus (will include the recipe later). Christine is on a quest to help me to enjoy veggies (she knows I am not a fan, and would rather just juice the green buggers and cover it up with orange juice or cranberry juice).

If you make it (or have made a variation) of the recipe below, let me (us) know what you think.

More recipes to come (best-ever gingersnaps, some amazing Indian-inspired turkey meatballs and whatever else I can dig up).

And please, share share share!

Ciao For Now.


Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Carrot Cake


Lighter and fluffier than most carrot cakes, this recipe delivers rich, spicy flavor.

5 large eggs*, room temperature
½ cup canola or other vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups gluten-free All-Purpose Flour Blend
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans and lightly dust with gluten-free flour.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs, oil and sugar at medium-high speed for 3 minutes.

3. In a separate bowl or on a piece of waxed paper, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and xanthan gum.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet batter and mix on medium-low speed just until blended, approximately 30 seconds. Fold in grated carrots, raisins and nuts (if desired) until combined.

5. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 60 to 75 minutes, depending on oven and pan size. Begin checking for doneness at 60 minutes. Cake is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool in the pans for 20 minutes; then turn it out of the pans and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

*TIP This cake can be made egg free. Replace 5 large eggs with 9 tablespoons applesauce mixed with 3 teaspoons baking powder + 4 tablespoons warm water mixed with 1 tablespoon gluten-free egg replacer.

“Cream Cheese” Frosting


Here’s a wonderful alternative to cream cheese frosting for those who can't tolerate cow's milk.

½ cup (1 stick) butter or dairy-free margarine or Spectrum Organic Shortening
9 ounces Chevre soft goat cheese or soy cream cheese, room temperature
6 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the margarine or shortening on medium-high speed until creamy, approximately 1 to 2 minutes for margarine and 4 minutes for shortening. Add the goat cheese and beat at medium-high speed, approximately 5 minutes or until creamy and smooth.

2. Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract and beat at low speed until smooth. Once smooth, beat at medium speed for several more minutes until light and fluffy.

24 servings. Each serving of cake with frosting contains 227 calories, 15g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 44mg cholesterol, 224mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 2g protein.

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend


1 cup rice flour
½ cup tapioca starch/flour
½ cup cornstarch or potato starch

Thoroughly combine all ingredients. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until used.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Willy Street Co-op

Quick musing.

If you have ever had something from the Willy Street Coop Grocery, as in deli or bakery – did you know that you can request the recipe? Its super awesome. Just go up to the customer service counter, tell them what you are looking for. They will ask you to write down your name, email address, and the name of the recipe you are looking for. If you forget the name, either walk back to the deli and ask, or they can call back. If the request is approved (I’m 2 for 2 at the moment) they will email it to you.

So far I’ve gotten their Chipotle Potato Salad (AMAZING) and Coconut Basmati Rice.

Ciao For Now.

In the Beginning...

So a friend of mine (and former student), Catherine, asked:

"Do you, by chance, have a blog where you post your delicious food adventures??? I collect tasty food blogs..."

Wow, to me, a great compliment. I really was just posting my recent foodi-ness so that I could show I was following through with my recent GF (gluten-free) and DF (dairy-free) lifestyle. I really wasn't thinking anyone was getting much out of it, other than myself.

Earlier that day, my Aunt Ronna posted "I am so proud of you. I wish you lived closer. You could feed me. Well, I'd have to skip the salmon, but love to read about all your fruits and veggies and smoothies and whatever."


So hey, why not. Its free to create a blog - maybe this one I'll actually keep up with.

I suppose the added bonus of this, is actually documenting my food successes, failures, stuff I liked, stuff that made its way quickly to the trash or was followed by something tastier.

So here it is. Micha's Food Musings.

DISCLAIMER: I am no chef. I am not really a cook. This really is all the product of a life change (I'm sure I will post more about that later). If you have suggestions - I'd love to hear them. Somethings that might seem obvious to anyone reading this blog - trust me, I won't be offended if you suggest something. I probably just haven't thought of it yet. Or read it online. Or heard it from a friend.

Ciao For Now.