nut-free

Applesauce Yogurt Coffee Cake with Oat Streusel

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I cooked a lot of applesauce lately. We ate some. I froze some.

There was still more, so I used some of it for cake and muffins.

This was one of the best. Crunchy on top, moist underneath, not too sweet.

Applesauce Yogurt Coffee Cake with Oat Streusel

cake:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 1/2 cup applesauce

  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup milk

Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Mix the oats, flour, brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and work it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8” square cake pan. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and set aside. Beat the sugar and butter together with a hand mixer or electric mixer at medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the applesauce, yogurt, egg and vanilla extract and beat for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat until well blended. Add half the milk and beat until well blended. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Prepare the streusel and sprinkle over the batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan 10 minutes then invert onto a cake rack. Turn the cake right side up to cool completely.

 

Makes 8-10 servings

 

Nut-Free Dried Fruit and Apple Haroset

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Passover has it's culinary challenges, it's true, but if you're like me, and have a kid with food allergies you are used to reading labels and figuring out substitutions throughout the year. I actually never minded this part. The fears of what could happen to my daughter if she ate fish or certain nuts, plus the medication and trips to the ER when it did happen were enough to motivate me.

Looked at it in a positive way, the Passover prohibitions plus the allergy no-nos are actually ways that have made my cooking more creative.

I like that.

Obviously, we do not have traditional Ashkenazi haroset at our Seders. My daughter can't even be in the same room as a walnut. She can eat pistachios and almonds, so our usual family haroset with dried fruit includes these.

But -- why take any chances? Because it's possible that one nut allergy could be a warning against all others, my daughter doesn't eat any nuts, in haroset or anything else. On Passover I always serve a second version that's nut-free.

Here is this year's:

Nut-Free Dried Fruit and Apple Haroset

  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 4-5 tablespoons sweet red Passover wine
  • pinch of cayenne pepper 

Combine the figs, dates, apricots, raisins and apple in a bowl. Add the nutmeg, preserves, wine and cayenne pepper and mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Let the mixture stand for at least one hour before serving. 

 Makes about 2-1/2 cups

 

 

Crunchy Cookie and Brown Sugar Nut-Free Plum Crisp

The past few days were dessert top-loaded. My kids and grandkids were here for the Labor Day weekend so I bought the usual ton and a half of fruit and used half of that to serve as is and the other half, plus the usual  overload of bananas  that get too ripe for anyone to eat, to make into something else. 
  We have toddlers in the family and keep their diets nut free, so I made a different version of Plum Crisp without a nut topping.  
  A couple of us had this plain, but most of us added a blob of ice cream. Either way, t his was a big hit.  
     
  Crunchy Cookie and Brown Sugar Nut-Free Plum Crisp  
 2 pounds Italian prune plums 
  1/3 cup brown sugar  
  1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel  
  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon  
  2 tablespoons all-purpose flour  
 crust: 
 1 cup bran flakes or raisin bran flakes 
  1/2 cup old fashioned oats  
  1/2 cup crumbled vanilla wafers (or similar cookie)  
  1/4 cup brown sugar  
  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon  
  6 tablespoons melted butter  
     
  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry the plums, cut them in half and remove the pits. Slice the plums into smaller pieces and place them in a bowl. Add the brown sugar, lemon peel, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and flour and mix ingredients to distribute them evenly. Place the fruit mixture into a baking dish and set aside. Crush the bran flakes slightly and put them in a bowl. Add the oats, crumbled cookies, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the melted butter. Mix until the dry the ingredients are coated with the melted butter. Place the mixture over the fruit. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the crust is crispy and golden brown. Makes 6-8 servings

The past few days were dessert top-loaded. My kids and grandkids were here for the Labor Day weekend so I bought the usual ton and a half of fruit and used half of that to serve as is and the other half, plus the usual overload of bananas that get too ripe for anyone to eat, to make into something else.

We have toddlers in the family and keep their diets nut free, so I made a different version of Plum Crisp without a nut topping.

A couple of us had this plain, but most of us added a blob of ice cream. Either way, this was a big hit. 


Crunchy Cookie and Brown Sugar Nut-Free Plum Crisp

2 pounds Italian prune plums

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

crust:

1 cup bran flakes or raisin bran flakes

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup crumbled vanilla wafers (or similar cookie)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons melted butter

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry the plums, cut them in half and remove the pits. Slice the plums into smaller pieces and place them in a bowl. Add the brown sugar, lemon peel, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and flour and mix ingredients to distribute them evenly. Place the fruit mixture into a baking dish and set aside. Crush the bran flakes slightly and put them in a bowl. Add the oats, crumbled cookies, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the melted butter. Mix until the dry the ingredients are coated with the melted butter. Place the mixture over the fruit. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the crust is crispy and golden brown. Makes 6-8 servings

Sautéed Quinoa with Scallions and Mint

Passover, with all its dietary prohibitions, can create cooking issues. 
 Add another factor, like having to cook for someone who’s a vegan or is lactose-intolerant or who is allergic to nuts or other ingredients, and you really have to be creative about dinner. 
 My cousin Leslie had several guests at her Seder who had special dietary needs. One is her daughter-in-law who is vegan, gluten-intolerant, allergic to mushrooms and nuts and goodness knows what else. She couldn’t eat the matzo-ball soup, turkey, matzo stuffing with mushrooms, onions and celery or the honey-hazelnut macaroon tart.  
 It meant lots of extra cooking.  
 But sometimes preparing a dish for someone whose diet requires extra effort not only reaps rewards in the form of gratitude from the person you’re cooking for, but also because you might discover a dish that will appeal to everyone, so you can make more of it the next time, and cut out one that only a few can eat. 
 Consider this dish made with quinoa, which is fine for Passover and for nut-free, gluten-free, lactose-free vegan diets. 
 Sautéed Quinoa with Scallions and Mint 
 (photo from JoyofKosher.com) 
 1 cup quinoa 
 2 tablespoons olive oil 
 3-4 large scallions, chopped 
 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint 
 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel 
 salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
 Rinse the quinoa several times in a strainer. Place the quinoa and 1-1/2 cups water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Set aside. Heat the olive oil in a wok, stir-fry pan, or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook for 2–3 minutes or until they have softened. Return the quinoa to the pan and cook, stirring to distribute ingredients evenly. Sprinkle with the mint, lemon peel and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about one minute or until the ingredients are hot. Makes 4 servings.

Passover, with all its dietary prohibitions, can create cooking issues.

Add another factor, like having to cook for someone who’s a vegan or is lactose-intolerant or who is allergic to nuts or other ingredients, and you really have to be creative about dinner.

My cousin Leslie had several guests at her Seder who had special dietary needs. One is her daughter-in-law who is vegan, gluten-intolerant, allergic to mushrooms and nuts and goodness knows what else. She couldn’t eat the matzo-ball soup, turkey, matzo stuffing with mushrooms, onions and celery or the honey-hazelnut macaroon tart. 

It meant lots of extra cooking. 

But sometimes preparing a dish for someone whose diet requires extra effort not only reaps rewards in the form of gratitude from the person you’re cooking for, but also because you might discover a dish that will appeal to everyone, so you can make more of it the next time, and cut out one that only a few can eat.

Consider this dish made with quinoa, which is fine for Passover and for nut-free, gluten-free, lactose-free vegan diets.

Sautéed Quinoa with Scallions and Mint

(photo from JoyofKosher.com)

1 cup quinoa

2 tablespoons olive oil

3-4 large scallions, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Rinse the quinoa several times in a strainer. Place the quinoa and 1-1/2 cups water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Set aside. Heat the olive oil in a wok, stir-fry pan, or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook for 2–3 minutes or until they have softened. Return the quinoa to the pan and cook, stirring to distribute ingredients evenly. Sprinkle with the mint, lemon peel and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about one minute or until the ingredients are hot. Makes 4 servings.