Cheesy Bread Bites

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I…kind of can’t stop eating these things. They are delicious by themselves, but also pretty good with a little cheese between two, like a mini-sandwich. I’ve experimented with the flatter version, too. While good, they are not very cracker like, and not very sturdy when dipped.

½ cup flaxseed, ground
3 eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (can use coconut oil)
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
½ cup of coconut flour, sifted
One opened curcumin capsule
Big pinch of salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ cup ground flaxseed

Preheat your over to 400 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper. Blend the flaxseed, eggs, butter, salt, spices and cheese. Add ½ cup of the coconut flour. Knead the dough until it is moist and slightly sticky. Add a bit more coconut flour if the dough is too wet. If the dough is too dry, add more water, another egg, or a little more melted butter. Shape the dough into balls the size of a walnut; flatten them with a fork until they are less than ½ inch thick. For crackers, make them even thinner. Bake for 7 minutes and then turn them; bake for 8 more minutes until golden brown on both sides.

I have tried these with cheddar, goat cheese, and Daiya. The cheddar was my favorite. The Daiya vegan cheese is mostly made out of tapioca starch, so it has a higher oxalate content.

I got this recipe from Sarah Wilson’s excellent I Quit Sugar program. I adapted them to be lower in oxalate by replacing the chia seed with ground flaxseed. Then, I made them more IC friendly by replacing the chili flakes with white pepper and other spices.

Enjoy!

New Year’s Black-Eyed Peas

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New Year’s Day is a special time for me. Long after the midnight revel has ended, and the noisemakers are put away, it is a day to reflect. And to cook. I have wonderful memories of going over to my grandmother’s house on New Year’s Day. We would eat pork roast (which I avoided during a 15-year stint of vegetarianism), and collards, and, of course, black-eyed peas.

“Eat some more for good luck!” she’d say. The collards represented money; the black-eyed peas, luck. Some years I go without the collards, but I would never, ever skip the black-eyed peas.

Please enjoy this recipe. I adapted it from this lovely website:

http://www.yourveganmom.com/your_vegan_mom/2011/12/black-eyed-peas.html

While it’s not going to give the same taste of paprika, the curcumin gives the dish an interesting, deep flavor. If you are not on a low oxalate diet, cumin will do just fine and still be IC friendly. The red pepper gives the dish both color and a lower amount of oxalate.

I do soak my peas, which is probably not necessary, but it helps me worry less about the dish being ready in time for company! Taste the dish often as the beans get soft enough. Add a little extra salt or other seasoning if you need to. In just a few hours, you will have a scrumptious dish to help ring in the New Year. I enjoy this dish with a bit of cornbread (it’s hard to limit myself to one piece!)

1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 opened curcumin capsule
salt and white pepper to taste
2 cups dried black-eyed peas
6 cups water
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
Optional if tolerated: pinch of smoked salt
finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and scallions to garnish

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the onion and red bell pepper in the butter. Stir in the garlic powder and opened curcumin capsule. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the beans are soft, about 2 hours.

Have a Happy New Year; I hope this dish helps you enjoy it all the more.

Roasted Pumpkin

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Halloween has long come and gone. I was shocked, though, to find my uncarved pumpkin was still good by December! Roasting it whole was fun and yielded a lot of delicious squashy goodness. Squash, especially pumpkin, is one of the most low oxalate things you can eat.

Another nice thing about pumpkin: It can help fill the role of a satisfying starch. If you are avoiding grains altogether, pumpkin is your friend. Pumpkin can even be a treat for your pets; my vet recommends giving a cat or dog on a diet a little pumpkin to ease hunger in between meals.

Trying this recipe, with a big pumpkin or small pumpkin, is absolutely worth it.

Ingredients
one pumpkin, uncarved

Gently wash and dry the outside of your pumpkin. Do not use your pumpkin if there are signs of mold or rot; patchy skin is normal. Using a sharp knife, puncture the skin of the pumpkin. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove an oven rack so there is enough room for the pumpkin. Place the pumpkin on a baking tray.

Cook it whole for two hours at 350F degrees.

Let the pumpkin cool all the way down, then peel and seed it. First, scoop the strings and seeds out from the middle. If you like, discard the strings and save the seeds. They are very good boiled with a little salt and then baked.

Using a food processor, puree the peeled pumpkin. I suggest using a strainer or cheesecloth to remove any excess water.

Pumpkin freezes well. Use the pumpkin puree to add to soups or desserts, such as pumpkin chicken soup or pumpkin parfait. You can also leave chunks of it whole and enjoy as a very simple side dish.

What ways have you used pumpkins? I would like to put soup IN a pumpkin for a dinner party, kind of like a bread bowl without the bread. I feel as if all the holidays are running together this year; I was hopelessly unprepared for Christmas, but getting the last Halloween decoration on the dinner table reset something in my brain. In honor of more Holiday Time Warps, expect a black-eyed pea recipe soon.