GF Pasta Rags w/ Red Chard & Capers

I’ve been wanting to try GF pasta for a while but it took a vegan friend visiting to provide the push. In the event of it, the pasta itself left a lot to be desired – but the flavours were good and this would certainly bear repeating.

Pasta recipe from: Back to the Roots
Sauce from: All Recipes


  • 1.75 cups whole chickpea flour
  • 2 T ground flax seed
  • 6 T boiling water
  • A good handful red chard
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of a lemon (I think it would be improved with some of the zest also, maybe to finish)
  • 1-2 tsp capers


Mix flax meal with boiling water and let sit until a good firm gel forms. With cooler water this may take a while. When done, mix with the flour, knead to a consistent dough and let sit 20-30 mins at room temp.  found that I had waaay too much liquid (maybe I mismeasured) and had to adjust with more flour. I think if your gel was truly gelly (mine was not) then this may not happen. Roll out thinly. If your have a pasta machine, it may work with this pasta. I do, and it didn’t, so I ended up making ‘rags’ rather than invest too much time.

Lightly saute garlic until browning (suggest making chips, removing, and adding at end) then steam the chopped chard (minus stems if that’s your preference) and, when soft, remove from heat and mix with pasta, lemon, capers …. and serve.

In Lieu of a Credo: Deliberate Praxis

If I started out interested in eating – consumption – and developed that into an interest in cooking – production – then where I get to now is the process of deliberate praxis. By this I mean LESS ART, MORE MEAT: if deliberate practice requires 10,000 hours of non-gainful, leisure-free application, then deliberate praxis is the development of the examined life through doing that which is right.

No outer source; no godhead. The saptibhaṅgī hold. Process is encroaching on product.

It’s about coherence – a tracing of things from precept to grundnorm.

When faced with indecision, answer thus: What should I do? I should do what is right. Right how? Universalisable, sustainable, achievable.

Universalisable: Straight outta Kant: Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.

Sustainable: One might argue that something cannot be universalisable if it is not at the same time sustainable. Perhaps it’s a catch-all for the ‘weak’ form of universal – the one for which you haven’t been able to identify the appropriate externalities. Act in such a way that the process be, as far as possible, self-sustaining or net positive. Examples might be seeking out waste garden produce for use in compost, or simple reuse / repurpose.

Achievable: Work first where your impact can be felt. Secure your food supply. Eat what’s in season, or preserve it / change form (I hate cabbage: I love kimchi). Look to civic duty and motherhood / parenthood as the guide. Identify your failures.

Above all, that praxis ought to contain the humility to recognise that your own margin of incoherence – that set of things you know fail your ideology but you’re prepared to live with – is inacceptable to others.

Green Tomato Jam

We had to abandon our old garden earlier this year, where we had a series of killer tomato plants in a well-prepared bed, and start afresh in a clayey, steep-hilled spot. Our tomato plants had so much love, and gave us (mid November) about 1.5k of green tomatoes. Next year’s yield will no doubt be far superior, but for this year the key is this: jam. I started with this recipe ( and tweaked. 


  • 1.5K green tomatoes, cut into small pieces (but not perfect cubes)
  • 1 kilo sugar 
  • 5 lemons
  • 1 star anise – could use local fennel root for flavour also
  • 4 cardamom pods – optional


Peel lemons and blanch the peel for 2 minutes, slice into small pieces and reserve. Remove pith and slice lemons, reserving pips. Macerate tomatoes in sugar, zest / peel, and lemon flesh for anywhere up to a day. Add pips and spices in a spice bag and boil until setting point (220 F) reached. Let cool 10 minutes and decant into freshly sterilised jars. This recipe filled 2 450ml jars and 2 smaller jars – say 1300 overall. 

Cabbage & Carrot Kimchi (Baechu)

I mentioned that I had overlooked the seasonal nature of kimchi. I’ve been eating it for a few years – and making it – but had not picked up on the simultaneous ‘readiness’ of cabbage, red hot chillies, and (presumably – too lazy to check this now) ginger.. Recipe from Katz: Wild Fermentation


  • 2 big cabbages (about 3 kilos) 
  • 18 big carrots – 3 per lb
  • All the ginger I could find in the house – should be about 3T grated per lb
  • 8 guindilla chillies, some red, some green – Katz suggests 3-4 per lb, but my 21 month old daughter is a big kimchi eater so I needed to ease off
  • A whole mess o’ garlic – 3-4 cloves per lb would be Katz’s suggestion. I had run low so I am not sure even how much went in. I tried the ‘two bowl’ method of peeling the cloves, but did not work for once. 
  • 6 big onions


The day before making the kimchi, brine the sliced cabbage in a big bowl overnight with the sliced carrots. I used a 1-4 mix of salt to water, and about 20 cups of water. That was too much. 

Day of, mix the ginger, garlic and chillies with the onion and then (once drained of the brine) into the cabbage. I did this directly in the jar I’ll be using for fermenting, which is a Schmitt 10 litre ‘Gartopf’. Let it stand for a day to see if there was enough brine (there was) before pouring the saved brine away, and then dated it, stuck it in the back of the pantry, and: to wait. 

Gluten-Free Orange, Lavender and Almond Syrup Cake

This is almost straight from Maria Elia’s Modern Vegetarian – just tweaked for the gluten-free element. I considered making it egg-free – using either bananas, or flax, or both – but in the end the lunch date we had where I was due to take it had to be cancelled. Enough subordinate clauses …


  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, or margarine, or perhaps even coco butter??
  • 1 cup superfine sugar – you can use cane, tho, and it will turn out almost as good
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 T flour mix #2
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • juice and finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 1.5 cups polenta / coarse maize meal
  • 2 cups ground almonds (I was under and made up the difference with maize, I think)
  • splash of water – if needed – to make up for original recipe ‘4 oz greek yoghurt’ – which we just didn’t have.

For the syrup: 

  • juice and zest four oranges
  • 8 tsp dried lavender
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cups sugar


I made the syrup a year ago, or a little less, the last time I made this cake. So I could skip that this time around – I mention it, tho, to emphasize the fact that the recipe makes a LOT of syrup.

Preheat oven to 170C. Grease and line appropriate springform pan – I used a 20 or 25cm one. Cream butter and sugar (if using coarse sugar, just mix). Sift in flour and baking powder – or just add, screw the sifting. Fold through orange zest, maize, and ground almonds. Add orange juice. Stir to combine.

Bake for 1 hour or until firm / knife comes out clean. If you haven’t made the syrup, make it now – combine all the ingredients and simmer until syrupy. Don’t be afraid to boil it hard for a bit if time is short.

Remove cake from oven. Cool slightly. Pierce all over with sharp knife (before removing from tin) and pour on about half the syrup. Let cool completely. The cake should have absorbed all the syrup leaving plenty of zest and lavender on the surface.

Pictures to follow.

Independence Days

As noted, I have been taking Chris Stafford’s course on gluten-free sourdoughs – and it’s going well. I haven’t posted much, but have been busy working on securing my family’s food supply.

In the book Independence Days, Sharon Astyk mentions the importance to be doing something to further your family’s food independence every day – each day put up some fruits or pickle something. She also talks about the importance of rescuing the term ‘chatelaine’ or, in my case châtelain. Historically used to refer to the woman who looked after the household, she rescues it and talks about its importance in terms of there being a role in each house (shared, changing, whatever) which is to keep tabs on the food and one’s independence from constant supply.

How many apples do we have? Are they good? Do the bad ones need making into purée or can they be salvaged and eaten today? What’s in season? What’s coming out of season?

So it is that I suddenly saw kimchi, last week, as a seasonal food. So it is that I just made a batch of green tomato jam. And so it is that my end goal with fermented gluten-free bread is to bring local production front and centre.

Gluten-Free Sourdough Waffles

I’m in the process of taking a course on sourdough bread from Recipes for Living. Out of respect for Chris, I’m not going to post details of what I’m doing under his tutelage – I may post photos! – but here’s some other action.

This morning we decided it was time to use the traditional waffle iron we bought a while back. I never ate waffles growing up, so had not experience of what they should be like. However, I hacked together a recipe based on one here together with the flour which we ground last night based on specifications from here.


  • 1/2 cup (4 oz or 115 g) melted butter
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • 1 cup  + 1 T (270ml) starter (flour mix #2)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp (packed) brown sugar
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda


The original recipe mixes everything bar the eggs and baking soda and leaves overnight. I didn’t have that luxury so went straight ahead and mixed in the eggs and baking soda upfront – and then simply heated the waffle iron on the gas burner and cooked about 1 cup of batter at a time for about 3 minutes a side.


I have not really eaten waffles before, but my partner has – and she was very positive. The waffles were crispy and brown on the outside with a chewy, soft core and a distinct sourdough taste. I think it could certainly be done without the sugar, and likely would benefit from adding some lemon. Savoury buckwheat waffles should also work well. More to follow!

I also made: Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Wanting to cook – per How We Montessori – we threw their method out and adapted the cornbread recipe to make a banana bread this afternoon. Worked out very well, tho it took a while to cook. However, pretty porr from a montessori / practical life perspective. Win some, lose some.


  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons ground sugar
  • 2 eggs, divided, whites beaten to soft peaks
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 heaped tablespoon almond milk powder
  • 1 & 2/3 cup flour blend # 2 + 1/3 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1 cup raisins


Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and mix. Mix flour, salt, and powders and incorporate, mixing the cup of water in gradually to avoid clumping, and the banana and raisins at the end. Fold in egg whites and pour into a lined loaf tin. About 45 minutes at 425 F / 220 C.


Outstanding – not at all crumbly, moist (a bit too moist maybe – adjust the water down a little), and full of flavour.

I also made: Gluten-Free Cornbread

A while ago, the first thing I tried to make consciously gluten-free was cornbread – only, since I had purchased a bag of coconut flour, I wanted to make gluten-free coconut cornbread. Kind of niche, maybe? Who knows. In any case, amongst the paleo and the plain weird, I didn’t really get anything I wanted, and I started down the fermented gluten-free bread route.

Today, however, we wanted something to accompany a leftovers lunch, including the use of a half jar of maize or corn kernels. So it was that I took a look on the internet, finding this recipe. A great looking recipe, but since I live in Spain we find most non-standard (and nonUHT / longlife) milk products very hard to find. Also, we tend to be reasonably lacto-free (that is, we eat butter and cheese). Didn’t have enough butter, of course. So I made it as follows:


  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 4 tablespoons coco sugar
  • 2 eggs, divided, whites beaten to soft peaks
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 heaped tablespoon almond milk powder
  • 1 cup flour blend # 2 + 1/3 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels


Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and mix (I didn’t mix). Mix flour, salt, and powders and incorporate, mixing the cup of water in gradually to avoid clumping, and the corn kernels at the end. I then folded in the egg whites and poured into a lined loaf tin. About 25-35 minutes at 425 F / 220 C.


This was by far the best loaf I have made gluten-free. Of course it was – it was chock-full of gums n powders – but hell, it was nice to eat a light, fully flavoured, cornbread. It reminded me of the bread at Watts Grocery in Durham NC. Update: I repeated this recipe a day later using only buckwheat flour. The only noticeable change was significant crumbliness compared with the earlier version.