Gluten-Free In Berkley: Mission Heirloom

Mission Heirloom

We left Portland and headed south for Arcata, California. My best friend went to Humboldt State and I loved visiting her there. We intended to hike the Redwoods and Fern Canyon. My body had other plans and by the time Arcata was in sight, the back of my throat was scratchy. Other than going out for our first meal there (dinner), I was in bed the whole time.

We moved on to Napa where I was moderately better and more medicated with cough syrup for the cough that would not leave.

One of my friends from church during my college years lives in Berkeley now. We interact a lot on Facebook these days, but back in college, I hung out with his brother and another friend more than him. If you can believe it, they were the troublemakers and I was the one reining them in. Oh, the antics from young adulthood!

We drove into Berkeley and met up with him for lunch at Mission Heirloom – a market/restaurant with an edible garden. It is the type of place you would see on Top Chef. In fact, it’s within walking distance from Chez Panisse. The only difference is, Mission Heirloom is gluten, grain, legume, and soy-free.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Thankfully, my friend is adventurous and up for a new food experience.

Mission Heirloom 5

I had to order the Belgian waffle. It was drizzled in honey and dusted with cinnamon. It was delicious with the crispy crunch Belgian waffles are supposed to have. And just look how gorgeous that presentation is. Gluten-free food can be fancy too.

I don’t know what the usual is like at Mission Heirloom, but going for lunch they couldn’t fix a sous vide egg for me to have on the side because it would take too long (it’s on the menu). And Chaz ordered the Fried Chicken & Waffles, but they were out of the fried chicken (no, we didn’t go late). They were able to use another type of chicken for him, but he didn’t care for it. I would love to go back to see if it was just a one-off and we went on a rough day.

Heck, I’d love to go back to Berkeley just to go to Chez Panisse. The food scene in Berkeley is where it’s at.

Mission Heirloom 6

Of course I’d go back to see this guy too. I might be mean, but I’m not heartless!

Scallops with Creamy Garlic Veg Sauce

Scallops with Creamy Garlic Veg SauceI found my rhythm for making sure I was posting here and Chocolate Wasteland at least once a week months ago. That rhythm may change. I find myself writing fiction more and more. I still have inspiration in the kitchen and a long list of things ideas to work on. I work on them one by one and find myself wondering what I’m doing wrong when I have flop after flop. Have I lost my mojo? Have I lost my passion? Neither. My head isn’t in the game. Because while I’m painstakingly measuring and checking ingredients and writing it all down, my brain is writing dialogue and scene descriptions. Distractions like that lead to forgetting to add sugar to the pancake mix and winding up with a super dry pancake.

*Waves hand in front of your face* You did not read about pancakes just now.

My email inbox is nearly at 600 unread emails and that is after clearing out the junk emails. I am behind on reading my friends’ blogs and commenting then sharing them. I don’t feel like wading through my Twitter or Facebook feeds. There are a few pages I check regularly then I’m off.

I tell you all this because there may come a day when I’m posting more on Chocolate Wasteland than here. My Facebook blog page and Twitter may change as things shift for me. Heck, this blog may change and I may just put both blogs under one webpage that is all mine.

Why am I sharing this now and not later? Because I know things will change. They always do. Life is about change and rolling with tide when it comes along. I’ve always apologized in the past for absences on social media or here because life got in the way. I did so because I felt a duty to you as my reader even if I started this blog for myself. Somewhere along the way it became more about you. We are taught to know our audience as writers. However, we writers always end up writing for ourselves.

I tweeted once that we all use social media differently to share our posts and promote ourselves. I’m not good at pimping myself out. I’m not an attention whore. I’m not one who likes to jump up and down yelling, “LOOK AT ME!” I can’t share the same post multiple times a day for several days to make sure everyone sees it. If you want to read it, I know you will. If you really want to know what’s going on, you’ll have an email subscription.

I am going forward with my head in my fictional worlds I have created while working on kitchen experiments. If I miss a week or two I know it will be okay. I know everyone understands following their dreams and I’m chasing mine while I have this opportunity.

The recipe I’m sharing today is one I created while on the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. I used spaghetti squash, but making zucchini noodles or gluten-free pasta (if you want grains) would work. Omit the scallops if you want to make this vegan. Or change it up and use shrimp instead. If you do use scallops, make sure you do not let them cook longer than I indicate in the recipe or they will be overcooked and tough. They should be tender if prepared as instructed.

Scallops with Cream Garlic Veg Sauce – serves 4

1 spaghetti squash, baked or slow cooked

1 pound scallops (omit if you want to make it vegan)

Salt

Olive oil

2 heads broccoli, chopped (including stalks)

2 small – medium zucchini, chopped

3 garlic cloves

1 cup chopped parsley

1 avocado chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Place scallops on a plate or platter and season both sides with salt. Set aside and let them come to room temperature. Bring a medium pot of water to boil and salt (1-2 tablespoons). Add broccoli for 4-5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Add zucchini, garlic, parsley, avocado, lemon juice, salt to taste, and 3-4 tablespoons olive oil to a blender or food processor. Blend/process well, adding more olive oil a little at a time if needed. Set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Carefully add the scallops. Once they are all in let them go for a minute then start turning them starting with the first one you put in. Let it go another minute when you are done turning then remove them from heat. Cut open your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, then use a fork to pull the strands off the skin. To serve, add spaghetti squash to a plate or bowl, top with the sauce then the scallops, and arrange broccoli around the edge. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.

Grain-Free Ginger Molasses Cookies

Ginger Molasses CookiesIf you follow me on social media, you heard about my allergy treatment last week. I had enough of the headaches and wondered if they were a reaction to something. I couldn’t pinpoint it myself because I wasn’t eating the same thing all the time. If it kept trying, I never would have figured it out.

Water.

My body wasn’t liking water, soda, sports drinks, and tea. I never drink sports drinks, I rarely drink soda, and lately I’ve only been drinking herbal tea. Water I drink like there is no tomorrow. When my doctor tested me in the subcategories, I was reacting to the glucose and caffeine in soda. He said the times when caffeine alleviated the headache, it was overriding my body’s initial reaction.

Go figure. Allergic to myself and water.

I had to not eat or drink anything for two hours after the treatment. My first sip of water I had I start to feel the first inkling of a headache and I switched to coconut water for the rest of the day. I started drinking water again the next day and no reaction. I am glad they are gone!

I’ve had a little more energy since then, too. Pumpkin Palooza is going on in my kitchen and I am churning out projects I’ve sidelined for months. Feels good.

On to cookies.

These cookies will be slightly more on the ginger side than the molasses side, which is what I wanted. If you love molasses cookies, never fear. You will still be able to taste the molasses.

I use cashew butter in this recipe because the flavor will not overtake the ginger and molasses. I did not attempt to make these with Sunbutter because of my current sunflower seed allergy. If you or a loved one has a nut allergy, you can use Sunbutter in place of cashew butter and pumpkin seed flour in place of almond flour but taste your batter first. You may need to make adjustments so the Sunbutter does not take over as it tends to do. You can add ground ginger if you need to, but only add a little at a time. You can always add more, but you cannot take away.

Grain-Free Ginger Molasses Cookies (makes about 2 dozen)

1 cup cashew butter (I used roasted natural)

1 cup almond flour

3/4 cup blackstrap molasses

1/4 cup Ginger Spread

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat liner (I use the Silpat liners for no waste). Mix all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheets and press with the back of a spoon or your fingers to flatten slightly. Bake for fifteen minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest on the cookie sheets for five minutes. Remove cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool before eating. The longer you let them cool before trying to eat them, the better they will firm up.