Saturday, August 21, 2010

Making It Stick

Question I just received from a fellow-Truth-Seeker:  how easy is it for me to eat gluten- and dairy-free?  Answer:  it gets easier with time.

There was no shortcut for me...I simply did it through good old-fashioned reinforcement through repetition until it became a way of life.  Didn’t make all changes up front because it would have been too overwhelming.  Introduced new foods and let go of destructive ones gradually in order of importance. First to go were my primary binge foods, then I pared back from there.  There was a time when I considered cream cheese to be a food group unto itself. I subsisted on it...and basically wore the consequences.  I still adore cheese, but nowadays,  you can find me sinking my teeth into a pale yellow wedge of Manchester ( ) or a snowy white wheel of White Lily (

I feel so amazing now that I'm gluten and dairy free I'm rarely tempted to re-enter those realms again. There are so many satisfying and viable alternatives for cheese, bread, cake, and flatbread that don't involve gluten or cow-dairy that I tell you truthfully there's no suffering involved.  Yeah, there are little things that could be quibbled over, like the texture of most g-free bread is a little different, but I'm down 163 pounds.  Call me annoyingly optimistic, but I deem that a fair trade.

I do eat cheese very occasionally. The trick I've learned is to make sure it's gorgeous and artistic and worth the deviation AND that I really want it, and I'm not using it to fill a hole or alleviate stress.

And then...I proceed to enjoy it without an ounce of recrimination.

Here's to eating with Joy & Awareness!


Jeffery Bowers, master cheese-maker at Sweet Spring Farm in Cossayuna, N.Y. putting the final touches on a new batch of White Lily, an outrageously good soft-ripened goat cheese.

Forensic evidence that cream cheese was never meant to be a primary protein source 

Clean eating:  The benefits are undeniable 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

An Early (Raspberry) Season

Since Raspberry season has come early this year, I’m wasting no time. Picked three pounds on Sunday at Gardenworks Farm in Salem, N.Y. (  . That’s only the beginning…anyone familiar with my love of raspberries knows I’m only in the embryonic stages of full seasonal exploitation.

Upon arrival home from Gardenworks, I let out an audible cry of despair after realizing the freezer was completely overloaded (mostly with g-free products I buy on sale and stash). Once raspberries are picked, it’s a pretty quick countdown to spoilage, so I got to work. My cousin, Alice, who picked with me, made jam.  Since I've never ventured into jam-making territory, I chose to play to my strengths.

The following is one of my favorite dessert recipes that I’ve adapted to suit my personal taste (as in, using less sugar that is called for; I find most baking recipes are too heavy-handed with it). No matter who tries this chocolate wonder-dessert, they invariably end up clamoring for more…and for the recipe. And they’re usually moaning too loudly to hear me mention that it’s a dessert that falls in line with my gluten-free way of eating. I discovered this symphonic overture for Flourless Chocolate Cake on one of my favorite recipe sites of all time: . Karina Allrich truly is a Goddess and has made me one ecstatic gluten-free gastronome.

Here’s the link to Karina’s recipe…try it, by all means:
© Gluten-Free Goddess

For my version of her recipe, I substituted baking (bitter) chocolate for regular dark (Belgian) chocolate. Bitter chocolate + light and dark sugar = ecstasy! So herewith is Stacey's Version of Karina's Recipe For:

Flourless Chocolate Cake Crowned with Local Raspberries

16 ounces baking (bitter) chocolate (two eight-ounce boxes)

1 cup organic brown sugar (light or dark)

½ cup organic sugar

1 cup hot espresso or very strong coffee

2 sticks room-temperature unsalted butter

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

8 large organic free-range eggs at room temperature, blended until smooth with a hand beater or immersion blender

1 tablespoon vanilla (bourbon vanilla if you have it)

Preheat oven to 350

I’ve mixed the ingredients two ways: Karina’s food processor method and stovetop method below:

In a large saucepan, melt butter and chocolate together over medium heat, whisking occasionally. When chocolate is mostly dissolved into the butter, gradually whisk in sugars, alternating with hot coffee. Turn heat off and keep whisking. At this point, the chocolate batter may get alarmingly dense and thick, don't panic! Just keep whisking as best you can. (The addition of the eggs will make everything OK) When mixture is completely smooth, add eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth.

Spray a spring form (cheesecake) pan with olive oil cooking spray. Cover the bottom of the pan with foil to safeguard any leaks. Pour chocolate cake mixture into pan. Optional: place cake pan in a square baking dish filled with a few inches of water. Bake for 30-50 minutes. I’ve found the cake is done after about 30 minutes, baked on the bottom rack. Check after 30 minutes to assess if you need more time. Cake should be firm in the center and be slightly pulling away from the edges of the pan. Don’t over bake or the cake will be dry and chalky. A few cracks on the surface are OK. Baking in a water bath will help keep it moister.
Cool covered for 30 to 60 minutes before refrigerating. May be served chilled or at room temperature. Top with fresh raspberries. The tartness of the berries is a nice contrast to the dense sweetness of the cake. Bon Appetit!

Fruits of my labor

My friend Mary, who's not g-free, but ADORES this cake!

The next raspberry recipe is much easier – no baking required. Just a blender:

Raspberry Smoothie

12 ounces almond milk

1 cup raspberries

1-2 scoops protein powder (my favorite: Jay Robb’s Vanilla Egg White Protein Powder

2 tsp. Agave syrup (raspberries can be a little tart)

1 tsp. vanilla

Blend and enjoy thoroughly.