Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year's Soup! Allergy- Free of course

Happy New Year all. 
I trust the holiday season is going well for all-- aside from the usual impromptu parties with no safe food choices and the hostess gifts that are nuts rolled in other nuts topped with almonds. 
  All that aside-- there's lots of eating going on. 
  So, to combat that "I'm so stuffed I'm going to pop" feeling-- how about a nice  Italian soup for the New Year?
  I make a light version of " ribollita"-- which means " reboiled" and, traditionally, Parmesean cheese and day old bread round out the serving of this soup. 
 But my version is top 8 allergen- free; it does contain tomatoes and garlic which can be allergens. One can easily eliminate these ingredients; I'll note how. 

So you'll need:
(Serves 3-4)
3 tablespoons olive oil-- to lightly cover bottom of pot. 
1 small onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic minced ( eliminate if wish)
2-3 carrots, halved or in thirds 
2 ribs  of celery, chopped

2 cups canned cannellini beans
1 15 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes (eliminate if need to)

1 bunch kale, washed thoroughly, leaves stopped off. 
4 cups vegetable broth or water ( or chicken broth-- it all works)
Rosemary sprig

Coat bottom of pot with oil and heat briefly on medium. 
Put in carrots, onion, garlic, celery and cook on low for 5-10 minutes until those vegetables are soft. Stir so nothing burns. 

Add tomatoes--cutting them in half and adding some of the liquid. Bring to a simmer-- you want to reduce the tomatoes slightly--for 10 minutes . Add rosemary (a stick or two), pepper to taste. 
 Add stock/ liquid and  cannellini beans and bring to boil. 
Reduce heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes. 

Add kale leaves and stir. Cook another 7-10 minutes.

Serve with bread or cornbread.****
This soup can be made in advance and reheated ( on low) to serve. 

***If your family eats dairy-- melt Parmesean or peccorino on top. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Family, Food Allergies-- Sometimes They Just Don't Get It!

Sometimes families just don't get food allergies. 
 At a Christmas party this week, it all came back to me.   The 30-something son of a longtime acquaintance told me his own son had been diagnosed with celiac. His dad, whom I know to be a smart, concerned grandfather, was good about buying GlutenFree (and had even gotten some foods I'd suggested).  But, this young man said, his dad never said the food tasted good. In fact, his dad always made a big deal out of "going without the real stuff." Did I understand that-- 
  Did I? Do I!  Don't we all. 
My parents were super careful about my son's food-- but they were always sad about what he couldn't eat. And would say-- until I put my foot down-- "oh it's awful he can't have this or that... "  AARGH
  Made me crazy. 
  Like I didn't know that?
  Like we-- like my son -- had to hear that?
  Like my parents saying "poor boy" would change anything?

   Sometimes, families--aunts and uncles, cousins, even grandparents--don't understand what it's all about--
   So, guys, here's a quick lesson:
We need you to say: 
***Yum, this lunch is delicious. 
***Wow, these cookies rock! 

We need you to be happy to be sharing the meal--and we need you NOT to be so focused on the "can't haves."

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Oven Baked Ribs

Here's how to make the ribs--super easy but they take a while in the oven. 
  Pork spare ribs -- about 4 pounds. 
  1/2 cup apple cider or wine vinegar 
   Honey-- lots of it!
   A sprinkle or two of chile powder. 

Mix vinegar and at least 1/3 cup honey in a cup. Stir until well mixed. 
      Pour over ribs which are in a roasting pan and are, more or less, room temperature. Sprinkle the ribs with pepper and garlic salt a little chili powder. 
       Let marinate for about 30-45 minutes-- turning ribs over a few times. 

Preheat oven to 450. 

After the ribs marinate, pour off the liquid--but reserve it. 
    Drizzle a fair amount of honey on them.
     Put in 450 oven. 
     After 10-15 minutes, turn oven temperature to 325. Tent the pan with foil, which you take off for last half hour. 
   Cook for about 1 1/2 hours-- drizzling honey frequently and liberally. Basting with the pan liquid also. (If there is not enough liquid, use some
of the marinade.)
   Again, take tin foil off for last half hour so ribs get nice and brown.