A Pumpkin Bread Experiment

September 20, 2018 Leave a comment

41807195_884540248398576_6591992737355005952_n.jpgPumpkin bread has really become one of my favorite snacks. I found a great eggless pumpkin bread recipe on the Internet that I add orange extract to for variation. The other day, I decided to try to add some more protein to the recipe by substituting Sunbutter for the apple sauce. Surprisingly, it made green bread! It looks very odd, but tastes normal. This recipe is really a great food chemistry experiment. You could call it Swamp Monster bread for Halloween!

Eggless Pumpkin Bread

1 c. sugar

2 1/2 c. flour

1 can pumpkin

1/2 c. apple sauce (or Sunbutter to turn the bread green)

1/2 c. canola oil

2 t. baking soda

2 t. salt

3/4 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. nutmeg

1/2 t. allspice

1/2 t. orange extract

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan. Mix all of the ingredients together. The original recipe just had apple sauce in it. To make the bread turn green, add Sunbutter instead of apple sauce. Cook for 60 min.


Categories: Blog Posts, Recipes

Rosh Hashanah Recipe Suggestions

The most widely known culinary traditions for Rosh Hashanah are the Ashkenazic traditions of eating round challah and dipping apples in honey to toast to a good year. However, Sephardic and Mizrahi traditions are a bit different. They actually have a seder, ceremonial meal, as part of their New Year’s traditions. In addition to eating apples, the seder includes other foods that symbolize hopes for prosperity and wishes for the coming year. These include pumpkin, pomegranate, beans, leeks, beets and dates. Symbolic recipes for the Rosh Hashanah seder can be found at: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/rosh-hashanah-symbolic-foods/. However, any favorite recipe that is enjoyable, whether it is sweet or savory, can become your own tradition for the holiday.

If egg or dairy is problematic, I recommend the recipes in The Lowfat Jewish Vegetarian Cookbook by Debra Wasserman. The recipes are all vegan, but actually use egg substitutes, like banana or Ener-g Egg Replacer. The recipes do not have an overwhelming amount of soy. There are few tofu recipes. Some just use soy or almond milk instead of dairy. The recipes are easy to alter for your needs. Gluten free recipes can be found at: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/the-nosher/23-gluten-free-recipes-for-rosh-hashanah/.

There are several recipes that I have previously posted on this website that I recommend for Rosh Hashanah. The Pear Cake recipe can be made with any fresh fruit. A cobbler recipe or date bar recipe can be easy to alter for a gluten free diet. An eggless pumpkin bread is also a good choice for the holiday.

Taiglach is an Ashkenazic recipe for balls of dough in a honey syrup. I had not heard of it until I discovered it on the internet. This recipe is dairy free, but is an egg bread recipe. One option is the Indian version of the recipe, Gulab Jamun. It is eggless, and looks like gluten free flour may work with the recipe. However, I’m not an expert on gluten free baking. A suitable alternative for making Taiglach is using a biscuit recipe. I tried baking Cafe du Monde’s Beignet mix instead of frying it, and realized it was just a buttermilk biscuit mix. There are a variety of different biscuit recipes that may work for any dietary problems, gluten free, or dairy free. So this recipe is really a Southern inspired Taiglach recipe.

Southern Inspired Taiglach

1 biscuit recipe of any kind


1 c. honey or honey substitute

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 t. ground ginger

zest of half an orange

Dried fruit

Mix the biscuit recipe. Form the dough into small balls, less than an inch in diameter. Bake them at 350 for 10-15 min. Mix the syrup ingredients in a sauce pan. Stir on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, then bring it to a boil. Then cook the syrup at a low simmer for 10 min. Pour the syrup over the dough and mix in dried fruit.



Categories: Kosher, Recipes, Rosh Hashanah

Corn: Casseroles, Dressings and Grits

The US is the largest corn producer in the world. This year, American farmers planned to grow about 88 million acres of corn. While many people are not allergic to corn, some are allergic to it, and some may feel they are allergic to everything else except corn. Corn was an important indigenous staple, pre-conquest. The conquistadors actually brought the previously unknown plant to Europe. The Italian dish of polenta, known as grits in the US, became popular as a “poor man’s dish”. However, this dish is rarely found in Italian restaurants in the states. Today, corn has become a ubiquitous part of our life. From the fresh vegetable, to the corn syrup, and the ethanol in gasoline, corn is part of our daily life.

Even though I’m from one of the largest corn producers of the country, Illinois, corn recipes really were not very common in my family, except for tortilla chips. So now that I’m in the South, I’ve discovered some popular corn recipes that I hadn’t even heard of. Grits are common at work related breakfast functions, and corn casseroles are common at potlucks and family dinners. While I had tried a corn casserole before, noodle and potato kugel were my family’s casseroles. I had never even heard of corn dressing, which is the corn casserole version of stuffing. While I knew of grits as a breakfast cereal, and heard of polenta, I had never thought of the idea of eating it with cheese or making a meal of it as they do in the South, until I saw a university cafeteria serving shrimp and grits. So here are several Southern corn recipes that I have discovered that are food allergy friendly, without egg. Some can be altered for a dairy substitute if necessary.

Corn casseroles

Creamy Cornbread Casserole

Corn Casserole (without cheddar cheese)

Roasted Garlic Cheesy Corn Casserole

Corn Dressing: For the cornbread make 2 packages of Martha White’s Yellow Cornbread and Muffin mix. It doesn’t require egg. You only need to add water or milk. For the cream of chicken soup, I only use Pacific organic condensed cream of chicken soup, and do not include celery soup. I like to alter this recipe to make it taste more like stuffing with a 1/2 t. each of sage, thyme and rosemary. I also add other veggies, like zucchini, carrots, and peas.


Gruyere Grits

Chicken with Parmesan Grits and Tomatoes

Grits recipes – Here’s starting place for the many variations on grits recipes on the Internet.

Fried grits

Categories: Blog Posts, Recipes

Pear Cake

Frequently I alter recipes that I find on other websites, because I don’t want to bother buying ingredients that I rarely use. I have never really felt that cooking cakes with vinegar or buttermilk is necessary, when I could alter the recipe and not bother to buy it. Here is an example that started with a recipe from Madhurum’s Eggless Cooking blog for Pear Oat Bran Muffins. I then altered it to remove the nuts and cook it with ingredients that I normally have around the house.

2 c. All purpose flour

1 c. Quick oats oat meal

1 T. Baking powder

1 1/2 t. Baking soda

1 t. Cinnamon (or a mixture of other sweet spices)

1 c. Chopped pear (or other fresh fruit)

1/2 c. Brown sugar

1 1/2 c. Milk

1/4 c. Water

1 t. Vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 or 9×9 square pan. Mix the ingredients together. Sprinkle some extra cinnamon on top of the cake. Bake it for 30 min.

Categories: Blog Posts, Recipes

Chocolate Sunbutter Brownies

2 c. Flour

1/2 c. Sugar

1/2 c. Canola oil (or other vegetable oil)

1/4 c. Cocoa powder

1/2 c. Sunbutter (or other nut butter)

1/2 c. Apple sauce

1/2 c. Water

1 – 1 1/2 t. Your favorite extract flavor

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix everything together. Pour the batter into a greased 8 x 8 in. pan. Cook it for 30 min.


Categories: Blog Posts, Recipes

A Guide to Alabama BBQ for People With Food Allergies: including restaurants with locations in other states

img_0141Although Alabama may not seem like a top tourist destination, Montgomery, AL was recently placed on a list of top tourist destinations for 2018 due to the new Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice. This is just one of many worthy sites to visit on the Civil Rights Trail, or other tourist destinations like the US Space & Rocket Center, that could bring someone with food allergies to Alabama to visit. Since I recently moved here, I decided to sample the local cuisine in order to report on restaurants that are not the fast food chains that are pervasive throughout the country. Small family owned restaurants can be frequently found on the road, but they are not as good about documenting food allergens online as large chains are. This can make it more difficult to select a place to eat in a hurry.

However, there are several Alabama BBQ joints that I have found to be possible for me to eat at that deserve to be highlighted because it is possible to order plain meat without sauce, that according to the employee that I spoke with has not been marinated in soy based vegetable oil or Worcestershire sauce. However, I obviously can’t guarantee that the person is correct, that it won’t change, or that cross contamination won’t occur.

Alabama BBQ is known for two things: smoked meat and the Alabama White Sauce. Many BBQ restaurants throughout the country grill the meat and serve it with a BBQ sauce. However, in Alabama restaurants slow cook the meat in a smoker, some for as long as 16 hours, or smoke it on a grill so it cooks quicker. Regardless of how fast or slow the meat is smoked, it really adds a nice flavor to the meat so it can be enjoyed without the sauce, unless it’s too salty for you.

The restaurants usually have red and white sauce available. However, menu items frequently say they are served with the white sauce or tang sauce. Alabama White Sauce is a mayonnaise based sauce. So this has egg and soy in it. However, if you want to try to make it at home there are soy and egg free mayonnaise substitutes that can be used. Alabama red sauce is usually a soy sauce based BBQ sauce. I was surprised to actually find such an Asian influence in Alabama, because the BBQ sauce that I’ve tried in the North has no oil or soy in it at all. It’s not the only common food at a BBQ restaurant that was influenced by Asian cuisine. The pickled relish in Alabama is called Chow-Chow. This dish supposedly originated from Chinese cuisine. Although it doesn’t have soy in it, I don’t like pickled flavor, so I haven’t tried it.

Family owned BBQ chains and franchises are very common throughout Alabama. While some restaurants only have one site, some  have expanded to multiple cities or states. The ones that have expanded to the largest amount of cities are probably the safest to eat at. These include Dreamland BBQ, Moe’s Original Bar B Que, Jim N’ Nick’s Community Bar-B-Q, and Full Moon Bar-B-Que.

Dreamland BBQ is the safest for people to eat at with food allergies. It is located in all of the larger cities of Alabama, and in a couple of other states. It is frequently rated as one of the best BBQ restaurants in the country. The website actually does have a section that lists ingredients for allergen information. The red sauce is actually a vinegar based sauce, without any oil in it. The baked beans, macaroni and cheese, and some of the other dishes are also made with out soy oil. I really like that I can get a baked potato with meat and cheese, so I don’t end up paying for a bun that I shouldn’t eat.

Jim ‘N Nicks has expanded to multiple states in the South and Colorado. The restaurant serves both Alabama and Carolina style BBQ sauces, but the sauces all have soy in them. The website does have allergen information in a chart, but doesn’t provide a full list of ingredients. I have also heard that they own their own hog farm, so they can treat the animals humanely. I have tried the beef brisket sandwich without sauce and without eating the bun. The meat was well flavored with a lot of pepper and was juicier than other restaurants that I tried because all of the fat was still on it.

Full Moon Bar-B-Que is considered one of the best BBQ restaurants in the country according to Huffington Post. It only has restaurants in the state of Alabama. However, I don’t think it is as good as Jim ‘N Nicks or Dreamland BBQ. This restaurant is good for those that don’t like their meat to be too peppery. The brisket is rather plain tasting, except for the smoked and salty flavor. Jim ‘N Nicks brisket is much more flavorful. The pulled meat is a bit too salty though. However, one can order salad with a choice of meat. So I really like to get the salad with brisket, without sauce or salad dressing. Although they do not have allergen information available, they told me that they do not use oil when cooking the meat. They use only a dry rub.

Moe’s Original Bar B Que is a franchised restaurant that can be found in multiple states. They told me that they don’t marinate the chicken in a soy based product or Worcestershire sauce, but had trouble finding their allergen list when I was there. So they should have one if you ask a manager. I wan’t sure if I could trust them, but tried the chicken sandwich with macaroni and cheese and chocolate pudding, without eating the bread anyway. The sauces do have soy, but I was able to order food without sauce and had no problem eating it. However, the decor of this one isn’t as nice as a fast food restaurant. It’s more like a graffiti covered dive bar.



Cobblers and Crumbles

Cobbler and crumble recipes are great to experiment with now that the summer fruits are in season at the local farmers markets. They are very versatile and can be altered to meet the needs of many types of food allergies. Any fruit can be used. Margarine can be used instead of butter. Water or milk substitute can be used instead of milk.  Because they do not require egg as a binder, it is an easy recipe to cook with a gluten free flour. They can be eaten on their own, or with ice cream.

Blueberry Crumble

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. butter
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/4 t. salt

Combine 1 pint blueberries washed and dried, 1/3 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in an 8X8 pan. Cut together 1/3 cup butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 3/4 cup flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl until crumbly, about pea size, and sprinkle on top of the blueberry mixture. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake 30 minutes. Mix with fork before serving. It goes great with vanilla ice cream.

Peach Cobbler

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups fresh peach slices
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)

Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir). Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.

Categories: Blog Posts, Recipes
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