Middle Ages Potluck and Other Happenings


I tend to keep things close sometimes, and not share as often as I’d like. For example, my pastured bacon is usually marked with ‘Ella’ in the fridge. I sometimes resist the urge to growl when boyfriend steals a piece. Must be the wolverine in me. I’m working on that. Promise. Then there’s the happenings and events that are deemed unimportant (by me) and rarely shared publicly. It’s not healthy either. (I’m working on that, too.)

Last week was a flurry of activity, thus a lack of action on this blog. Here’s why, and scroll down for an easy breakfast recipe below:

Saturday, I attended the Good Food Battle Creek Conference and it was marvelous.  So many great people in Battle Creek working to preserve local food and health of the community. I was honored to meet farmers, community organizers, and local, ordinary folks who brought their curiosity and knowledge to share with everyone. I bought some produce from Horrocks, a gourmet supermarket that carries things like rutabaga, tamarind and fresh mint in the middle of winter, and created a matching game, with the vegetable names and descriptions to be matched up to the actual vegetable. A lot of people did very well, and this started many interesting conversations about cooking and eating.

Sunday, the lovely Mrs. Linley visited me at home to participate in the first ever Chefs of the Gluten Free Round Table cooking club. This cooking club is for daring cooks and bakers and she did not disappoint with the most marvelous apple crisp with vanilla soy milk ice cream. We had beautiful time in our tiny home, in semi-darkness with candles and Middle Ages music. No awkward silences, just lots of laughter and getting to know one another.

Tuesday and Wednesday I attended a workshop to start producing shows for AccessVision. I’ve wanted to do a cooking show for a long time, something crazy and fun, something to highlight healthy cooking, local farms, and the community that eats that food. I’m now certified, and I am excited to get started. First episode coming up soon!


Inspired by the Middle Ages Potluck, my friend Jacques’ attempts at his 8-month mead, new beginnings and brought to you by the lovely blog mossgrownstone, here’s how to make mead:


Book Review

The Art of American Indian Cooking by Yeffe Kimball & Jean Anderson

The Art of American Indian Cooking


The Art of American Indian Cooking takes the reader on a journey to a place all too familiar, but also, quite extraordinary.  Pumpkin or bean soup recipes in this book are rubbing sides with batter-fried frogs legs, turtle soup and stewed wild rabbit with dumplings. In other words, this is a must buy for adventurous gluten-free folks.  Even though it is not a gluten-free book, many of the recipes use corn and corn meal, and there are so many gluten-free flours available on the market today that substitutions are very easy for flour.

Here’s some of the delicious things discovered from this book that have been tried and must be tried in the modern blogosphere again:

  1. Pea puree can be added to a mold! Think loaf made out of peas, no flour!
  2. Indians made ground nut cakes with ground nuts and corn. No leavening, seems like a very delicious cake
  3. Cucumbers can be baked. This we already knew from my cucumber experiments.
  4. You can make soup out of nuts! Peanuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seed soups!
  5. And I am now in the search for a source of nasturtium leaves, squash blossoms, smoked eel, rabbit, turtle meat, juniper berries, gooseberries, sassafras, yaupon tea, bannock, octopus, game hens, jerusalem artichokes and pheasant. What are the chances of finding those in West Michigan?


Gluten-free and Dairy-free Salty Umami Vegan Vegetarian Winter

Sweet Potato Leek Bread

leek bread

It’s March 8, International Women’s Day. It’s 4am and I’m wide awake, listening to the sweet nose whistles, lip smacks and whimpers of my baby girl, Rory. Her tiny hands are tucked under her fat cheeks and she’s dreaming — I am sure of it, about milk. We are so similar, Rory and I, dreaming about food.  No wonder though. I created her with my body, and she has not gone far, her body unconscious but perfectly fitting in the crook of my own.  I think of my own mother just then because I remember my dream.

Dream I just had flashes in my brain: I am making gluten free bread and my mother drops in and tells me that she’s used yams and leeks in a bread like that and it was delicious. She is spreading non-gluten flour on the table and nervously starts making her own version. She is having guests you see, and I am wondering why is she making these, she’s sick, I should be cooking for her and her guests not the other way around. And then I remember — she’s dead, she died this September, right after Rory’s birth, and wake up. The women in our family love food, and I am a reflection of my mother that went before me. Mothers are like that you see, at least mine was –loving and taking care of others, above and beyond herself. And food was the ultimate nourishment, it’s how we show love.

Happy International Women’s Day. Show the women in your life some love today. Here’s my mom’s dream bread in case you are out of ideas.

Sweet Potato Leek Bread Recipe

  • 1 medium sweet potato, roasted or boiled, about ~2 cups of flesh
  • 1/2 leek
  • 2 cups amaranth flour
  • 2/3 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
  • 2 flax eggs: 2 tbsp flax to 4 tbsp water, let stand for 5 min until goopy
  • 1-2 tbsp water to moisten dough
  • 1/4 salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Sautee leeks in cast iron pan, set aside.
  2. While leeks are sauteed, combine amaranth, arrowroot, baking powder, salt. Puree sweet potato in a food processor, and and flax, and then the dry ingredients. Puree until it looks like dough. If it’s too hard and doesn’t stick together, add 1-2 tablespoons of water.
  3. Incorporate leeks with a spoon. Do not puree, you want to have that nice bursts of flavor and texture when you bite in.
  4. Cast iron pan should still be warm, add some more coconut oil to lubricate pan and spread dough to form a thin pancake, depending on the size of cast iron pan size you have.
  5. Bake in the cast iron for 45 min- 1 hour, until golden brown.
Autoimmune Paleo Protocol Candida Gluten-free and Dairy-free Grain Free Primal Salty Vegan Vegetarian Whole30

Leek Chips

Try these crunchy flavorful chips, an alternative to kale chips

Try these crunchy flavorful chips, an alternative to kale chips

Leeks are from the allium family. They contain antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal allicin. Leeks also have flavonoid kaempferol, which is good for the heart — it protects your blood vessels from oxidative damage. However, I have to confess: this is bordering on junk food.  Kale chips and any other green vegetable chip is just a relative of the potato chip, so keep the amount small, and enjoy with other healthy food when a craving for a potato chip hits. There’s nothing so delicious as a leek chip. Because they are crispy. And flavorful. And more than a little delicious. One madam’s opinion of course. 


  • 1 fat leek
  • 1-2 tsp coconut oil
  • sea salt to taste


Wash and cut leek lengthwise. Cut into chunks or leave them as long strips. Spread some melted coconut oil on a baking sheet. Add leeks, sprinkle salt and bake at 275F for 20-30 minutes until dehydrated. Check once in a while so as not to burn them. These leek chips would also be good on a breakfast gluten free sandwich. Very crunchy!

Gluten-free and Dairy-free Primal Sweet

Bengal Spice Panna Cotta

Panna CottaPanna Cotta is an Italian dessert, traditionally made with cream and milk.  This simple, no fuss recipe uses coconut milk, Bengal Spice herbal tea and honey for a luxurious Sunday breakfast. Pair this panna cotta with granola and berries for a special brunch. 



Time: 15 min prep, 2 hours to set


  • 2 tea bags of Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice
  • 2 tea mugs of hot water
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 box of gelatin
  • 1 teaspoon of honey or more, to taste
  • 2 tsps cinnamon (optional)

You’ll need:

  • a whisk
  • a heat proof bowl
  • a teapot
  • a teacup
  • forms for the panna cotta to set


  1. Bring a teapot to a boil and brew the tea. Stir honey into the tea. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Open the can of coconut milk and empty into a heat safe bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over it. Let stand for a minute. Stir with a whisk.
  3. Add hot tea to coconut milk. Whisk until the gelatin is melted into the mixture. Taste. If it’s not sweet enough for you, add more honey or another sweetener. Add cinnamon if you would like more spice.
  4. Pour into cups, and set the gelatin in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
This recipe is linked to Gluten Free Fridays 
Gluten-free and Dairy-free Sweet Vegan Vegetarian

Coconutty Almond Granola

coconutty almond granola

Granola. The cereal that combines the awesomeness of an oatmeal cookie and milk.  This version uses jaggery, a sweetener derived from coconut palm, that has a delicious caramel taste that adds a beautiful dimension to the oats. I’ve used the basic ingredients of almonds, coconut and raisin that you can find in any supermarket. You can also add ‘exotic’ ingredients and spices: candied ginger, five spice, pumpkin spice, hazelnuts, dried cherries, currants or apricots. The sky (and wallet) is the limit!



  • 3 cups of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free oats
  • 1-2 tbsp of jaggery coconut palm sugar, depending on how sweet you like it
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened


Preheat oven to 300F. Dilute coconut palm sugar in water, it should come out to be 2/3 cup. Combine almonds, raisins and oats with sugar water mixture and coconut oil and spread onto a pan or a cookie sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, checking and stirring the oats every 10 minutes until golden brown. Let cool and add raisins. It should be crispy when cool.