I was going to name this: Allergy Free Cooking Tips, but then it’s not all of my tips, so I didn’t want to be misleading. As fellow Food Allergy Colleague and your favorite one and only Allergic Girl® Sloane Miller has encouraged me, I am uploading some pictures taken with my blackberry curve. I know, its nothing compared to the Nikon pictures, but it will get here quicker for sure!

I was at my local vegetable market this afternoon and a woman in front of me was purchasing some small serrano chilis.  She showed “Lilly” (the name of the local grocer) four quarters.  Lilly dutifully weighed the chilis and took .75 cents.  While Lilly was weighing the chilis the woman purchasing the chilis decided to inform me that my mushroom was “dirty” (grin). I, however, took the time to note that her chilis didn’t look so fresh – there were brown marks at the top of them.

When I got back to my kitchen and began cooking – lamb broth, and roasted chicken – while I was wondering what the serrano’s were going to wind up as, I realized that not a lot of people know that there are uses for unripe fruit and veggies.  Here I was looking longingly at the perfect over-ripe lemons and limes. As I was cutting the almost brown lemon and yellow lime, I began to muse at number one how expensive fruits and veggies are, and number two, how I manage to get long-life out of most of my produce. Then it hit me, I have to share.

Here are my tips for today – in the picture above is a bowl full of fresh beautiful delicious “clementines”. Should those clementines (or mandarines) start to go south on me, I will do one of two things.  They will become juice because I will either make my delicious and unforgettable clementine olive oil pound cake, OR, I will dry them, then freeze them. In the picture above is a dried and frozen clementine.  It is the one item on the left that looks like a rock. But don’t be deceived, I will use the zest in the clementine olive oil cake. If a pear looks like it’s going bad, I cut it up thinly and place it in the oven on 250 for about 20 – 40 minutes until its dry. If a red bell peppers starts to get wrinkly, I know it’s going to be roasted for all the juices are right there and it will be phenomenal on a sandwich or in a bean dip.

So what did I do today with all my bad lemons and limes? I cut them in half, rubbed, and stuffed the soon to be roasted chicken with them.

Now, for those wrinkly tomatoes? They’ll find themselves as a nice addition to our holiday meal tomorrow, roasted and/or in a stew-like onion tapenade for the lamb.

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