Monday, September 15, 2008

Fresh Veggies and Other Signs of Fall

It’s September, and the leaves on the mountainside are turning. The hummingbirds, tired from their air battles at the feeders during August, are zooming off on their migrations. The geese, which have been practicing flying in formation over our house for weeks, have finally gotten the “V” thing down (after various ill-advised attempts at other letters of the alphabet, such as “Q,” which generally involved mid-air collisions and noisy retorts of indignation). They’re nearly ready for their southern journey.

Evenings are chillier; afternoons are bright and warm, but no longer hot. The swimsuits are put away, and a few sweaters have moved to the front of the closet. And the farmers’ markets and fruit stands are stocked with the vegetables and fruits of fall.

At our Davis County UFAN chapter meeting last week, we celebrated the return of fall by sharing some favorite veggie recipes, all free of the top 8 food allergens. It turns out, all but one were sweet potato recipes – but all were different and delicious!

Our discussion topics ran the gamut, as they usually do. We discussed doctors, and how a board-certified allergist that is experienced in food allergies can get completely different test results from a general practitioner or pediatrician who merely dabbles in allergies. We applauded the ways one member found to boost the nutritional value of rice milk for her daughter. We talked about how the Alexander the Elephant Goes to School DVD does a great job of teaching school-kids about food allergies, and two members gave their copies to another member to show to a kindergarten class.

As usual, the discussion was lively and informative, and we enjoyed being together. For those of you who couldn’t join us, here’s my recipe for Fasoulakia (also spelled Fashoulakia – Greek Green Beans with Tomatoes). Enjoy!


1 c. onions, diced
2 T olive oil
1/4 c. safe margarine
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes (don’t drain), or about 5 fresh tomatoes, diced
2 cans (14.5 oz each) green beans, drained (I prefer whole beans, not cut), or about 2 lbs fresh green beans (steamed)
2 cubes Knorr’s beef or chicken bouillon (Knorr’s is egg- and milk-free, but Wyler’s isn’t safe)
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
fresh oregano or parsley, chopped (optional)

Over medium heat, sauté onions in oil and margarine until they begin to get transparent. Do not over-brown them. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. (If using fresh tomatoes, add a little water to keep moist.) Cook about 5 minutes (or a little longer if using fresh tomatoes). Add green beans, bouillon cubes, garlic, and chopped herbs (optional). Cook for 5 more minutes or until heated through. Don’t let all the liquid boil off or the beans will burn, so if necessary, add just a little water. Serves 6.

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