Tag Archives: food allergies

Chez Marcita Presents: Coq au Vin

I’m not sure who started the big-meal-on-Sunday tradition but it works well for Bill and me. It’s the one day we generally don’t go anywhere so we have plenty of time to cook in the kitchen together. I love making a one-pot meal in the oven those days, especially in the wintertime.

This demo on Coq au Vin is from our cooking videos series. It’s a variation on the recipe in my cookbook Nothing to Sneeze At, which is a variation on Julia Child’s recipe for Coq au Vin. No wheat, no corn, no dairy. I’ll show you how to make this easy chicken-in-a-pot-with wine. And I’ll even show you how to cut up a chicken!


Chez Marcita Presents: Bill’s Oatcakes

See what Sunday morning is like at the Davis-Holm house as Bill and I show you our wheat-free, corn-free oatcake breakfast ritual. (Warning, I’m actually wearing my pajamas but I’ll spare you my bed-head hair by donning a bandanna.)

Sorry, it’s a little long but it’s our first video!

Nutty Rice Porridge

For last night’s dinner (Day 3 of “How to Eat Healthy on $5.00 a Day”), I made  Cuban Black Beans with brown rice and purposefully made extra rice so Bill and I could enjoy it for breakfast. I love this recipe that I found at Tasteforlife.com and use it as a way to ease back into eating after my annual winter detox regimen.

Normally, I’d make this with the almond milk but since our rice was already cooked, I just reheated it in a pan with some raw milk and added the spices and apples. We skipped the walnuts and flaxseed due to cost, since this is our breakfast for Day 4 of our eating cheap and healthy challenge.

Nutty Rice Porridge
Adapted from Brenda Watson’s recipe on Tasteforlife.com
(Serves 2)

1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 cups almond milk
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
4 T ground flaxseed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 Fuji apple, chopped (Fuji apples are best for their texture and sweet taste, but you can choose another type of apple)

Place rice, milk, and nutmeg in medium saucepan.

Bring to boil, stirring frequently.

Cover pan and reduce heat to low.

Simmer for approximately 45 minutes.

Top with chopped nuts, ground flaxseed, and apple.

To make this recipe with pre-cooked rice, use 2 cups of cooked brown rice and one cup of almond milk. Place rice and milk in saucepan and heat thoroughly. Top with the rest of the ingredients.

A Special Dinner

Last night I had the privilege of collaborating with Butch’s Restaurant in Holland, Michigan to promote my cookbook, Nothing to Sneeze At, during a dinner for which Chef Adam prepared wheat-free, corn-free, cow-dairy-free recipes from the book. I think several of the dinner guests were pleasantly surprised when they tasted the dishes he made and realized how delicious they can be–even with substitutions. For me, it was a treat to taste my recipes made by a professional chef!

We had a great turnout of 20 people and dinner was held in one of Butch’s private dining rooms.

The evening started with a book signing and, after a brief introduction about the cookbook, we began our four-course meal.

Each of the courses was chosen by Chef Adam from one of four sections in the cookbook: soup, meat, pasta, and vegetarian.

Dessert was a yummy vegan chocolate cupcake provided by the baker at Uncommon Grounds in Saugatuck, Michigan, who also bakes for Butch’s.

The event was a fun way to share my experience with food allergies, which were first introduced to me by Bill.

Thanks to Butch for hosting the event–the first of its kind at his restaurant with a focus on food allergies–and showing how the restaurant values its customers by accommodating special dietary needs.

“Nothing to Sneeze At” Dinner, November 30, Butch’s Restaurant

On Wednesday, November 30, I’ll be teaming up with Chef Adam at Butch’s Restaurant to offer a wheat-free, corn-free, cow-dairy-free dinner featuring a menu from my cookbook, Nothing to Sneeze At: Main Dishes For People With Allergies.

Here’s what Chef’s got planned:

Curried Roasted Squash Soup
Lamb Souviaki with Grilled Halloumi Cheese and Greek Salad
Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free Lasagna
Potato and Leek Quiche

The cost is $35 a person (plus tax/gratuity) and drinks are separate. Butch is hoping to offer organic wines and gluten-free beers.

I’ll have books to purchase at the great low price of $20 each. (Sells at retail for $26.86 on Lulu.com or as an e-Book on iTunes and Barnes & Noble for $13.99.) Don’t forget the food allergy sufferers on your holiday shopping list! Book signing will begin at 6:30pm and dinner will start at 7pm.

Reserve your space today by calling Butch’s Restaurant at 616-396-8227 because it’s filling up fast!

Sunday Night Is Pizza Night – Again

It’s another take on my lavash pizza….this time with avocados.

Spread some herb paste or pesto on spinach lavash flatbread. Add sautéed red onions, crispy fried bacon, sliced avocados, and grated pecorino cheese. Broil on low for 2-3 minutes. A simple, quick dinner for any night of the week!

Fassoulatha with a Twist

As Bill says, “anything is good with a ham hock.” Including Fassoulatha, or white bean soup. The ham hock is the twist to this Greek bean soup I made this week because it happened again: I had ham hocks in the freezer and used one in Split Pea Soup. But that was plenty of meat so I wasn’t sure what I’d do with the other hock.

Meanwhile, I’ve had this Fassoulatha recipe lying around and was looking for an opportunity to try it. Then it hit me: Why not throw the other ham hock in this soup?

Here’s the recipe I used, from a Middle Eastern cookbook my friend Carolyn loaned me. Of course, I improvised here and there, so this is the way it ended up.


2 cups dried navy, cannellini, or Great Northern beans
8 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup tomato puree
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, diced
1 T. dried parsley (or 1/4 cup fresh, chopped)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. black ground pepper
1 ham hock
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried ground oregano
2 tsp. salt

Wash and sort beans. (I used Great Northern beans.)

Place in stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and leave pot covered until beans become plump, about 2 hours. (Time may vary depending on size of bean.)

Add remaining ingredients except for salt.

Bring to a boil, cover pot and boil gently for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove ham hock and cut meat from bone. Return meat to stock pot. Add salt and simmer, covered, about 30-60 minutes or  until beans are tender.

Serve with fresh chopped parsley. Of course, you could keep this a vegetarian dish and leave out the ham hock. I just didn’t want it to go to waste!