Sunday, November 21, 2010

Orange-lemon Cranberry Relish

If you don't like the cranberry jelly with the ridges from the can in it, the Soy-free Kitchen presents:

Orange-lemon Cranberry Relish

4 cups cranberries, washed and sorted
1 large orange, cut into chunks
1 lemon, cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves

1. Put the cranberries, orange pieces, and lemon pieces in the food processor and pulse until the cranberries are cut up but not a smooth puree. Transfer to a large bowl, with a cover, that you can put in the refrigerator.

2. With a large spoon or a rubber spatula, mix in the sugar and spices.

3. Refrigerate at least overnight. The longer it sits, the redder it gets and the better it tastes.


(c) Copyright 2010 Karen Hubachek

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Two Washington D.C. Restaurants for People with Soy Allergies

Brasserie Beck, on 11th Street, NW:

We've eaten there several times. The staff is very nice about checking for soy if they're not sure. They use canola oil to make their Pommes Frites, which are thin and sprinkled with salt and dried parsley, and served with a trio of house-made flavored mayonaises. The three flavors are garlic, tomato, and curry--and the mayo is made with canola oil, too!

Pete's New Haven Style Apizza (2 locations, and soon to be a third across the river in the Clarendon section of Arlington):

"Apizza", pronounced ah-BEETS, is a dialectical word for pizza, and it's used in the New Haven, Connecticut area. (If you want to read about New Haven-style apizza, go to the Wikipedia page here; it is a good explanation.) I emailed Pete's Apizza and asked about their pizza--it is made with pure olive oil and their sauce is house-made and also soy-free. We ordered sausage and mushroom and it was heaven. Make sure to try the Foxon Park white birch beer; they get it shipped from East Haven, Connecticut, where it's made and bottled. (I grew up in East Haven and the next town east from there, North Branford, and I vouch for the authenticity of the apizza and love the soda.)

I can't vouch for the rest of the menu, but they were nice to me when I asked about the pizza, so I have high hopes for the other menu items also.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Happy Hallowe'en, everyone, and how about some Pumpkin Bundt Cake with a Rum-Brown-Sugar Glaze?

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups fresh or canned pumpkin puree (a one-pound can)
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or soy-free margarine
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

3 Tbsp dark or light brown sugar
1 Tbsp (or more, it's up to you)
1 tsp milk (skim is fine)
3 Tbsp confectioner's sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with soy-free cooking spray or brush with melted butter and coat with flour.

2. Combine dry ingredients, from flour through salt, in a bowl (or sift together onto a piece f waxed paper). Combine pumpkin with applesauce.

3. Cream sugar and butter or margarine together in the large bowl of a mixer. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat some more. Add flour mixture alternately with pumpkin-applesauce mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Mix again for 1-2 minutes until everything looks combined.

4. Pour (or spoon, it's kind of thick) into your greased pan. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

5. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove cake to a rack.

6. While the cake is cooling, make the glaze.

7. Glaze: Combine brown sugar, rum, and mild in a small pan. Cook over low heat until the brown sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the confectioner's sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon or a small whisk. Spoon over the warm cake and let run down the sides. (Note: if you want a stronger rum flavor, brush some rum over the top and sides of the cake before you drizzle on the glaze.)

8. Serves 12-16

Note: Sometimes I use a 6-cup Bundt pan and a 8"x4" loaf pan, and freeze the loaf for later. Bake the smaller cakes 35-40 minutes.

Soy-free margarine, if you use margarine instead of butter; soy-free cooking spray if you decide to grease the pan with spray.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Austrian Recipe Blog and Letscho

Just added a new entry to the "Blogs I Like" column over to the right: Austrian Recipes.

Elder Daughter spent July in Vienna taking 6 credits of German, so I took advantage of it to visit Vienna for the first time since I was about her age. (Vienna is wunderschoen--crazy beautiful--by the way.)

I ate my way across Vienna for 6 days and never had a soy problem once. Probably, like Germany, they mostly use sunflower oil the way the U.S. mostly uses soy oil. I read an article a couple of weeks ago that approximately 20% of all calories in the American diet comes from soy oil . . . scary. . . but I digress . . . .

The Austrian Recipes blog is very nice, and I plan to try some of her recipes, but there is one recipe I like that I didn't find: Letscho, also spelled Lecso. The original is from Hungary but it is now part of the Austrian repertoire. It is similar to the French ratatouille.

8-10 servings

3 slices thick-cut bacon
1 1/2 lbs green peppers (Hungarian peppers if you can find them, otherwise green Bell peppers)
1 lb ripe tomatoes
3/4 lb onions
1 clove garlic
2-3 Tbsp oil or bacon grease
2-3 Tbsp tomato paste
1-2 Tbsp Hungarian paprika (don't use American paprika for this, the Hungarian is much better)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut the bacon in 1/2-inch pieces and fry until it is just crisp.

2. Cut the peppers in 1/2-inch slices, discarding the ribs.

3. Blanch the tomatoes, then slip off their skins. Cut in quarters if they are small, or 6ths or 8ths if they are large. Strip out the seeds.

4. Cut the onions the long way in 1/2-inch or slightly narrower slices.

5. Peel and mince the garlic.

6. In oil or bacon fat, saute the onions until glossy. Add the garlic and slowly continue to saute until the onions are just beginning to turn color. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the paprika.
7. Add the peppers and tomatoes and stir in. Cover. Simmer about a half hour. Add the tomato paste and salt and pepper near the end. Sprinkle with the bacon pieces just before serving.

Serve with meat, roast chicken, fish steaks or by itself with a fried or poached egg on top. Or use as an omelet filling.

If you are using oil, use canola or another soy-free oil.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Update to Oil-and-Vinegar Cole Slaw

Found a new recipe for it this week, and more simple you could not find:

Put in the bottom of a large bowl:
2 Tablespoons honey
Whisk in:
3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
And then whisk in:
2 Tablespoons canola or other tasteless oil
Toss in:
1 (8-10 oz) bag preshredded coleslaw or broccoslaw mix
Salt and pepper if desired.

Gooey Butter Cake Mistake: Sticky Toffee Pudding

Thinking I was going to check off another entry on Cakespy's The Sweet 100, I made Cook's Illustrated recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding. Oh. My. (Goodness.) It was so-o-o good, but it had so-o-o much butter and sugar in it.

Well. I went back to the Soy-free Kitchen blog entry on The Sweet 100 to update it, and guess what? Sticky Toffee Pudding is not on there. What *is* on there is Gooey Butter Cake. So next week, we try that, from a New York Times recipe here. Actually, the two are similar, in that you make a cake, and saturate it with a sugary, buttery sauce--white sugar for the Gooey Butter Cake and brown sugar for the Stickey Toffee Pudding.

(photo to be inserted here)


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ham Salad

If you have soy-free mayo, you can have ham salad:

Ham Salad

8 ounces ham, cut into chunks
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 stalk celery, cut into 1" chunks
1 Tbs sweet relish (or more, to taste)
1 tsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp grainy mustard
1/8 tsp ground pepper

Process all in the food processor until ground but not mushy.
Serve as a sandwich filling.

soy-free mayonnaise

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Old Hellmann's Sheet o' Salad Dressings

I can't find my sheet around the house, but here is a link to the one I was talking about, posted on

It has recipes for Green Goddess, Creamy Italian, Creamy Tart French (!?), Russian, Creamy Roquefort, Thousand Island, Fresh Strawberry (!?), Tangy Buttermilk, and Parmesan Cheese dressings. There are also links to other salad dressing recipes at the bottom of the page.

Two notes:
--I have not tried any of these recipes.
--I usually use Hain Light Safflower Oil Mayonnaise, but I will use Hellmann's Canola Mayonnaise if I can't find Hain.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kosher for Passover Often Means Soy-free

Passover is starting March 29th.

In the days running up to Passover, don't forget to look for soy-free foods in the Kosher-for-Passover sections in many supermarkets!

Some Jews do not eat peas, beans, soy, or other legumes during Passover, so it is a great time to look for soy-free groceries, especially soup mixes and chocolate, especially chocolate chips. I discovered Israeli chocolate one year that way.

But, as always, read every label, every time.

Soy-free Salad Dressings

Got a question the other day on soy-free salad dressings. Our number one salad dressing here in the Soy-free Kitchen is Good Seasons, made with extra-virgin olive oil and red-wine vinegar. I called the Good Seasons company to make sure there was no soy in the ingredients. It makes a great Cobb Salad (for our Approximate Cobb Salad, see below).

When you buy salad dressing at the store, remember to read every label, every time. We have gotten fond of a certain kind of soy-free dressing, only to find out that they have changed the recipe and used soy oil at a later date. (I used to love Ken's Light Creamy Italian, but it started using soy oil.)

Right now our favorite store-bought dressing is Drew's All-Natural Kalmata Olive and Caper. We buy it at Whole Foods. One of these days I will hunt up a bunch of recipes from the 70's all made with Hellmann's mayonnaise--funky recipes like Green Goddess. You can make them with Hellmann's Canola mayonnaise or other soy-free mayo (we like Hain Safflower Light mayo.)

Approximate Cobb Salad
serves 2

2 cups (packed pretty well) mixed baby greens
1 small tomato, diced
2 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 hard-boiled egg, diced
2-4 oz cooked chicken, diced
1/2 avocado, diced
2 oz. bleu or roquefort cheese, dice or crumbled
chopped chives or scallions, if you have them

1. Arrange the greens on two large salad plates.
2. Arrange the tomato, bacon, egg, chicken, avocado, and cheese in attractive stripes over the greens.
3. Sprinkle with chives or scallions and then with Good Seasons salad dressing, made with red-wine vinegar and olive oil.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Boston Cream Pie

Most commercial Boston Cream Pies leave a lot to be desired. They are made with shortening, artificial vanilla flavoring, and who knows what is in those too-sweet chocolate glazes?

While most cookbooks claim that Boston Cream Pie is traditionally made with spongecake, I hail from New England and am here to tell you this is not so. I checked my The All New Boston Cooking School Cookbook by Fanny Merrit Farmer (10th edition, copyright 1959, published by Bantam in 1965) and she uses a regular butter cake. The Yankee Magazine website has a Boston Cream Pie recipe with an almost identical cake recipe except it is made with shortening. (To be fair, they have four Boston Cream Pie recipes; one uses a sponge cake and two of them, including the one from the Parker House--which claims to have served it since opening, if not invented it--use rum in the filling, which is an unnecessary rarification. But then again, they are now the Omni Parker House and therefore part of a chain..........)

Well enough run-on sentences. On to the recipe.
(This recipe makes my personal Hundred Best Recipes List, even though the list isn't finished.)

Boston Cream Pie

Vanilla pastry cream (make first)

1 cup half-and half or whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
small pinch salt
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 Tbsp (4 1/2 tsp) cornstarch
2 Tbsp butter
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Heat the half-and-half or milk, 3 Tbsp of the sugar, and the salt in the top of a double boiler (or in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat) until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl until thoroughly combined, then whisk in the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the cornstarch and continue whisking until the mixture is creamy and thick, about 30 seconds.

3. When the half-and-half/milk mixture is at a full simmer, gradually whisk it into the yolk mixture, then return to the pan and whisk contantly until the mixture is thick (coats a spoon even when the spoon is removed). Off the heat, whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and then the vanilla.

4. At this point, you can strain the mixture if you like. Place plastic wrap right on the surface (to prevent a skin from forming) and refrigerate at least 3 hours.


1/2 cups cake flourk like Swansdown or Softasilk
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Butter, line with parchment or wax paper, and butter again two 8" round cake pans.

3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar, vanilla, and egg.

5. With beaters on low, beat in 1/2 cup of the flour mixture, then 1/4 cup of the milk.

6. Beat in another 1/2 cup of the flour mixture, and another 1/4 cup milk. Add the remaining flour and beat to blend.

7. Spoon into the pans. Eyeball so they have approximately equal amounts of cake batter or weigh the two pans.

8. Bake approximately 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans to finish cooling on cake racks.

Chocolate Frosting

1 square (1 ounce) unsweetened baking chocolate
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
2 c. confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

1. In the top of a small double-boiler or in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the chocolate with the butter and the mild. Let cool to lukewarm, then transfer to a mixing bowl.

2. Add half the sugar and the vanilla, and beat until the sugar is incorporated. Add the second half of the sugar and beat it in, too. Use immediately.

Assembling the cake

Trim the tops of both cake layers, if necessary, so they are flat. Brush the crumbs off of one of the cake layers, and put it on a cake plate. Spread the pastry cream on the layer, stopping 1/4" to 1/2" from the edge. Put the second layer on top of the pastry cream, bottom side up. Frost with the chocolate frosting all the way to the edge of the top layer, letting some run over.


(even though the post heading gives some date in January, I didn't post this until 10 February. Blogspot has some quirks.)

Oil and Vinegar Coleslaw

I got a request for a mayonaise-free coleslaw the other day. (BTW, Maria, I told you it had poppy seeds, but I misremembered. It was celery seeds. Although I can't see why you couldn't use poppy seeds if you want. . . .)

Celery Seed Dressing

1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
1 to 2 tsp celery seed
1 tbsp grated onion (or 1 tsp dried onion flakes)
1 cup oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar

Put the sugar, salt, mustard, celery seed, onion, and half the oil and vinegar in a blender. Blend until the seeds are uniformly distributed. Slowly add the rest of the oil, and then the vinegar, blending thoroughly.

Pour as much as you like over shredded cabbage and carrots. Use the kind in the bag; I do.

This makes a lot of dressing. Save the rest in the refrigerator.

You can make this with an egg beater or hand mixer, but the blender is better. Just shaking it up in a jar doesn't distribute the sugar as well, and it separates faster.

Do not use generic "vegetable oil"; use canola or another identified one-ingredient oil like safflower or "light" olive oil.