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Hot Cooked Sorghum for Breakfast: gluten-free, vegan, oat-free

Sorghum is an awesome grain. It’s packed with nutrients like folate, vitamin B6, magnesium, and iron, as well as essential amino acids like tryptophan. It’s also delicious, with a nutty flavor and lots of versatility. When ground into a flour, it gives gluten-free baked goods a good texture and flavor, and when left whole, it can be popped like popcorn or cooked like oatmeal. On a cold day, hot sorghum is easy to make and will stick to your ribs.

    A bowl of hot cereal covered with chopped wlanuts and dates.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole sorghum
  • 3 cups water (unless your sorghum requires a different amount)
  • pinch of salt
  • toppings (optional, see notes)

Instructions

  • Cook the sorghum in a rice cooker or on the stove top according to package directions, with water and a pinch of salt.
  • Serve with toppings of your choice, or leave plain.

Notes

Topping ideas:

  • Chopped dates, any variety
  • Chopped walnuts or pecans, with maple syrup
  • A splash of vegan coffee creamer, instead of sweetener
  • Fresh or dried berries (if using dried, you can cook them with the sorghum by adding a little water!)

Save leftover sorghum for adding to soups. Makes a great gluten-free substitute for barley!

Cold Sesame Peanut Noodle Salad

Loosely based on The Kitchn’s Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles with Chicken, this is one of our favorite warm weather meals. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days, and can easily be doubled or tripled for pot lucks.

Ingredients

For the noodles:

  • 1/2 package rice noodles
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 large cucumber, cut into match sticks
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup sesame oil (or other light oil)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tamari, gluten-free soy sauce, or Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp sriracha, red chili paste, or red pepper flakes, to taste

Instructions

Cook the noodles according to the package directions (usually 5-10 minutes in boiling water), drain, and add cabbage and carrots.
Use an immersion blender to mix the sauce ingredients in a mason jar, or whisk together in a bowl until thoroughly blended.
Mix the sauce into the noodle and veggie mixture, and serve with the cucumbers, and garnish with sesame seeds.

Notes

  • For more protein, add Beyond Meat chicken strips, a can of chickpeas, peanuts, cashews, or sunflower seeds.
  • If using an immersion blender, don’t bother chopping the ginger or garlic: let the blender do the work.
  • Instead of peanut butter, try almond butter or sunbutter (for allergies or variety).

Cold Brew Coffee… and Tea?

A few years ago, we discovered the deliciousness of cold brew coffee. It’s surprisingly simple to make, tends to be less bitter than drip coffee, and takes up far less of our precious counter space.

Before we committed to buying gadgets specifically for cold brewing coffee, we tried it the low-tech way: adding 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup coarsely ground beans to a one-quart mason jar with filtered water, and letting it steep in the fridge for 8-24 hours. We filtered it using a standard coffee filter or cheese cloth, which took a little while, and could be messy, but it did the job.

So we upped our game by buying the right tool for the job: a mason jar infuser for cold brew coffee. After steeping for 8-24 hours (depending on laziness and caffeine needs), we remove the filter and start a new jar, so at any given time, we have a jar brewing and a jar brewed and ready for drinking.

Two mason jars on a counter next to a kitchen timer shaped like a cow. One of the jars is green glass with a sticker on the lid labeling it Sunday at 12PM, and the other jar is half-full of ground coffee with a label describing the contents.

We usually like our coffee cold, but if we want something hot, we warm it up on the stove or in the microwave. Having cold brew on hand takes a little planning, but it’s worth it. And cold brewed coffee can stay delicious in the fridge for a week or two, unlike the sad sludge that happens in a drip coffee maker that’s been left out for a few hours.

Tea can be cold brewed, too! Add 3 or 4 tea bags to a one-quart jar of water, and steep in the fridge for 8-24 hours. It does not brew as strong, but it’s rarely bitter, and it makes a great iced tea. We especially love to do this with spiced chai, and adding Califia Farms vanilla almond milk creamer after brewing.

And yes, we do buy our creamer in those quart-sized 6 packs! We love it so much and hate the thought of traveling where it might not be available, so it’s well worth the space in our pantry. Coffee and tea are available almost anywhere, but traveling with food allergies can be tough if you like cream in your coffee.

If you’re interested in learning about the chemistry of cold brew, these two articles might perk you up:
The Cool Chemistry Behind the Flavor of Cold-Brew Coffee
Coffee Brewing Chemistry: Hot Brew vs. Cold Brew

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Hanging Fruit and Vegetable Baskets

Three wired baskets in ascending size hanging from a wooden dowel, filled with sweet potatoes and white potatoes. The basket is in front of a window with the shades drawn, and to the right of a spice rack nearly overflowing with spices.

Counter space and storage are both premium commodities in an RV. Jen and I are vegan, gluten free, and prefer eating less processed foods, so we buy lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Storing fresh food is a real challenge in our small space. We are always looking for ways to improve.

We wanted to add a hanging fruit basket over one of the prep counters on the kitchen slide. We found this 3-tier basket with an overhead hook. RV roof slides are typically built from insulating foam board sandwiched between two thin sheets of plywood with a metal frame for stability. The interior surface of our kitchen slide ceiling is only ΒΌ inch thick panel board with a durable wallpaper covering. Using an anchor for the hook would be a real challenge, and could damage the ceiling. Most in-wall anchors could not hold enough weight, or were unable to operate fully due to the Styrofoam, or would just not fit into the space. We tried using 3M wire hooks and had some success. But with a half-pound limit per hook and using two hooks, they managed to do the job for a few days before the adhesive gave out.

Supporting the baskets without hanging from the roof?

The middle of all three baskets had a hole that would accommodate a large wooden dowel. One trip to our local ACE Hardware for supplies and we were ready to go.

Shopping List

  • wooden dowel
  • adjustable height foot
  • hanger hooks
  • anti-slip pads
  • closet support rod pocket.

A counter top covered with supplies for the project, including the three nested fruit baskets, nonstick rubber feet, screws, and a wooden dowel.

I measured the height of the space and calculated the height needed to account for the foot, rod support bracket, and anti-slip pads. After cutting the wooden dowel, I installed the foot into the bottom end of the dowel and inserted three hooks about an inch down from the top. I added pieces of the anti-slip pad to the bottom of the foot and to the top of the dowel. The closet rod support cup was attached to the roof with a simple anchor to offer stability when the basket tree is in use. Final assembly was pretty simple at this point. The dowel was fed down the center of each basket, the chains were hung from each of the three hooks, and the top of the dowel was placed into the cup installed on the ceiling of the slide. The foot extends to provide the pressure needed to keep our new fruit and veggie tree standing upright.