Rainy Weekend and Snacky Sunday

It was a rainy weekend in Crescent City, so I did a few things inside the RV while David took a few urgent repair calls. There was another Siete cooking class… I missed out because I was a little too exhausted this week. But look at these adorable gifts! I did make one part of the dish made in class: chorizo refried beans. Two cans of pinto beans blended with a packet of Siete chorizo seasoning. So good with chips! There were naps. I reorganized the cooking gadgets cupboard. We’ve grown a lot since the first time we did this: we love our 3-quart Instant Pot so much that we decided to get a 6-Quart with an air fryer lid. The air fryer broke recently, and we replaced it with an Instant Pot brand air fryer lid. Our two saucepans are in the top shelf behind the blender cups and …

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Adventures in Air Frying!

Update, June 2021: our air fryer stopped working! We used it very regularly (at least once a week, usually 2-3 times a week) for 8 months. Then one day we were making fries (or chips, if you’re one of our English friends). In the middle of the cycle, it started smelling of ozone and just cut off, never to turn on again. We loved having an air fryer so we’re going to try again with a different model. But we can no longer recommend this MooSoo model referenced in this post. Stay tuned for a future update. We never use our RV oven because it’s terrible, as RV ovens tend to be. Since we cook everything in our Instant Pot or on the stove, we haven’t missed the oven too much, but we do miss being able to cook extra crispy foods (without lots of oil or heating up the …

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Date Caramel: gluten-free, vegan, free of allergens (unless you’re allergic to dates, of course)

We left Arizona last month. We’d planned to stay until the end of tax season, which was extended until mid-May, but by the end of March, we had to call it: it was too hot and we needed to leave early. We’ll be working our way back up to Crescent City, California, because we loved it so much last year. But we’re going slow this time: short hops and staying a week in each place. This gives us time to rest, work, and check out the local area. We had a nice week in Indio, California! We’ve passed through here many times with and without the RV, but never stayed a week. What a treat! Did you know they farm dates here? We stopped at a local market that advertised fresh produce. It was a cramped little convenience store with a bunch of produce— including beautiful juicy-looking dates! We got …

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Foil Packet Dinner: vegan, gluten-free, easy

We always make two of these, one packet for each of us. Double/triple/quadruple as you see fit. If using an oven instead of a grill, preheat to 400°F. Ingredients (per foil packet) 1 potato, sliced in 1/4”-1/2” slices and rinsed: any kind of potato will do 1/4 cup vegan meat crumbles, lentils, or beans 1/2 of a 6-ounce can of sliced mushrooms, or 8-oz fresh mushrooms, sautéed, or any other veggies you have on hand. Frozen vegetables work well, too. Vegan cheese (optional) Salt and pepper Oil (we like avocado) Instructions On an 18” length of heavy aluminum foil (I love Reynolds Wrap’s nonstick foil, but use what you have), spray or brush with cooking oil, and lay down half the potato in a couple layers, seasoning with salt and pepper. If using vegan cheese, layer 1-2 tablespoons of shreds or half a slice on top of the potatoes. Layer …

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Avocado Chocolate Pudding (vegan, gluten-free, grain-free)

We recently bought a Ninja Nutri Blender to attempt to make our own nondairy milks. I have celiac reactions to oats, and the oat milk fad has contaminated all the nut milks we usually buy, so we’re going to try making our own. But first… chocolate pudding! I’ve been thinking about avocado chocolate pudding since we shared an amazing cup of it in Chico, California, at Live Love Juice. We’ve made this a few times. It’s best with nondairy whipped cream, but a few chocolate chips and Dandies marshmallows are also fantastic. Ingredients 1 avocado 1/4 cup coconut milk 4 tbsp maple syrup 3 tbsp cocoa powder 1/4 tsp vanilla (extract, paste, etc) Generous pinch sea salt Instructions Blend ingredients until smooth and serve immediately. To save for later, the avocados will oxidize and the pudding will look less delicious. Melt chocolate chips with coconut oil and poor a thin …

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Siete Foods cooking class: baking with Buñuelos!

We are huge Siete fans around here. I’ve got a corn allergy and David needs to watch his blood sugar, so our taco nights (and there are a lot of them) always feature Siete Almond Flour Tortillas. We buy Dip Chips and Fuego chips in bulk off their website. Thankfully more stores are carrying them now, so we don’t have to order online as often! For the second winter in a row, they’ve been selling Cinnamon Buñuelos, which are my favorite thing ever. Buñuelos are a treat in many cultures, but generally they are some kind of fritter. These are small and crispy, grain-free with cinnamon and coconut sugar. For the second time, Siete hosted a cooking class to benefit an organization doing food work. This time it was No Kid Hungry. For a $10 donation, we got 2 bags of Cinnamon Buñuelos, a chocolate bar, and the recipes. I …

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Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie: Gluten-Free, Vegan, Tomato-Free

Have you seen how much we love our air fryer lid for our Instant Pot? We try to make meals that don’t call for a lot of pots and pans, but since we had both instant pots on the counter, we went ahead and used both for this. This can be done without the air fryer step, or assemble in a casserole dish and bake in the oven. Everything is cooked, it’s just nice to brown the top and let the flavors rest. But without an air fryer, I would’ve eaten it without browning, and it would’ve been delicious. Ingredients 2 large sweet potatoes, washed and cut into 1” cubes 1 clove garlic, minced 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (or one 6-oz can) 1 tsp ground thyme 1 tsp oregano 1 tsp marjoram 1/4 tsp ground sage One 12-oz can lentils, or 2 cups cooked green, brown, or black lentils 1 …

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Doubling Our Usable Kitchen Drawer Space

I borrowed this idea from my father. My dad added several pull-out storage areas in their kitchen pantries as well as interior drawers similar to this project. This additional pull-out storage made much better use of the space, making the contents neater and easier to access.

Our utensil drawer is definitely in need of a space utilization improvement project. The standard silverware organizer does do the job, but the drawer itself was never more than half full.

View of the utensil drawer before the project to add an interior drawer started

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Creating a Gluten-Free Kitchen

A basket of gluten-free flours and baking ingredients, with a set of measuring spoons and cups on top.
RV life required downsizing a large cupboard of baking ingredients. It turns out that everything I need will fit into this basket in the cabinet over the stove. It took some trial and error to find my favorite flours, but nowadays I prefer teff, sorghum, and arrowroot. Psyllium husk and xanthan gum provide some of the binding that gluten normally provides in baked goods, but they’re not required and they’re used so sparingly that a small package lasts for years.

When I realized it was going to be impossible to avoid gluten contamination if I lived with a gluten-eater, we immediately decided to make the whole house gluten-free.

I wish I could say a mixed-gluten kitchen was easier in a sticks-and-bricks home, but our apartment kitchen at the time was a little smaller than our RV’s kitchen, so that’s not true. The fact is, it’s extremely difficult to maintain a mixed kitchen, and impossible for us personally. So in preparation for a very a deep cleaning, we sorted everything in the kitchen to decide what could stay and what must go.

Maybe this post will help you if you find yourself in a similar situation, following a celiac diagnosis or eliminating gluten for other health reasons.

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Gluten-Free Travel

Finding gluten-free food on the road can be tough. This is not a post about finding gluten-free restaurants, or about all the magical gluten-free dining experiences a traveler with celiac disease might find if only they were brave enough or bold enough. I am a super sensitive celiac. I am more sensitive than the average celiac, and it takes me longer to bounce back than many of my celiac peers. Once, I was glutened so badly by a careless restaurant that it took me over a year to feel “normal” again. Consequently, we don’t eat out much. So this is a post about where to find gluten-free groceries while traveling. Even before RV life, when we traveled, we brought a suitcase for our clothes and a suitcase for our food. (The food suitcase was usually bigger.) RV travel has made eating on the road MUCH easier and simpler, but there’s …

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