Tuesday, April, 30, 2013
Planning to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this weekend? I’ve got lots of gluten-free options to share with you from right here in my kitchen!
First up, my favorite variation on Guacamole, Grilled Pineapple Avocado Salad.
Next, a quick and easy way to make tamales with a meatless filling that fools carnivores every time, Jackfruit Tamale Bites. These can be made ahead of time and frozen, in case you want to get a headstart on your party prep!
If tacos are more your thing, I’ve got a couple options for those, too. Crockpot Jackfruit Jicama Tacos are almost always on our weekly menu here, but more than tasty enough for a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
And a new variation on tacos in my kitchen, Sunny Tacos, a sunflower seed-based taco filling. I’ve shown these with jicama shells, too, but you could use this filling with a lettuce-style wrap or a gluten-free corn tortilla. Both of the taco recipes I’ve shared work well with whatever shell you like best.
You’ll need a side dish to go with those amazing tamale bites and tacos. Super Quick & Easy Mexican Rice to the rescue!
After you celebrate with those healthy dishes, you might want to indulge in a little dessert. How about Margarita Cupcakes? I had to dig deep in the archives to find these, this recipe was from the first two months of my gluten-free blogging. I still make these when I’ve got a margarita craving. These tipsy cupcakes soothe it every time!
Happy Cinco de Mayo and Gluten-Free Mexican Food Fest to all of you!
Monday, April, 01, 2013
You know, I’m a bit Crazy for Kale. Maybe more than a bit crazy, a whole lot crazy!
Last fall I planted around 300 kale plants with my friend Renee. I did this because kale changed my life. Really, it did! Eating several servings of an extremely nutrient-dense dark leafy green has made me much healthier. And juicing kale? Watch out! It’s like rocket fuel for my body and gives me an energy boost that is unrivaled. I’m currently twiddling my thumbs, waiting on Mother Nature to cooperate so I can get the spring crop of kale in the ground. In the meantime, I’ve been cooking kale in lots of fun, new ways and have an original recipe to share with you today.
But first, I want to tell you about a new e-book that you NEED. I got a sneak peek at this one and it gets my kaleaholic stamp of approval. It’s a steal at just $5.99. Packed with 40 recipes (33 that are grain-free, 31 that are vegan or have veg-alternatives), Hallie of Daily Bites has created a kale masterpiece that will motivate you to get into the kitchen and cook with my favorite dark, leafy green!
Click on over to Hallie’s site to read about her new e-book and join us for the Crazy for Kale e-book Launch Party. You’ll find links to many more kale recipes from bloggers who like kale as much as I do!
Oh, a recipe. Right. I’ve got one and it’ll knock your socks off. This is my take on spinach artichoke dip, but without the spinach. And dairy. And I’ve used kale instead of spinach. So really it’s not like the classic spinach artichoke dip at all, except that it tastes amazing, it’s a whole bunch better for your body AND your tastebuds will love it.
This recipe uses Japanese sweet potatoes. Combined with non-dairy milk and nutritional yeast, they make a creamy cheese sauce that comes together in mere minutes in the blender. I’ve chosen to use Japanese sweet potatoes in this recipe to get the lighter color. If you can only find regular sweet potatoes, they will work just fine. Your dip will be a bit more orange and slightly less sweet. I’ll share more variations on this “cheese” sauce soon using regular sweet potatoes.
Kale Artichoke Dip, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
- 1 1/2 cups baked, mashed Japanese sweet potato (about two medium potatoes)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk
- 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped kale
- 3/4 cup rough chopped artichoke hearts (I use frozen)
- dash of salt
- In a 400 degree oven, bake Japanese sweet potatoes on a baking sheet until soft. This is usually between 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the potatoes. You may use regular sweet potatoes, but it will make your dip orange.
- Mash the baked sweet potatoes with a fork. Add to high speed blender along with milk, nutritional yeast and garlic. Blend until smooth.
- In a medium baking dish, add chopped kale, artichoke hearts and a dash of salt.
- Pour mixture from blender over the kale and artichokes. Stir to combine.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until bubbly and just starting to brown around the edges. Serve with tortilla chips.
Thanks for dropping by today to read about my kale craziness. Don’t forget to head over to Daily Bites for even more terrific kale recipes in the Crazy for Kale E-Book Launch Party!
Tuesday, February, 26, 2013
Last week a friend shared a photo of her dinner and it reminded me of a dish I used to love, portabella pizzas. I’d buy the large belles, stuff one with a little pizza sauce, top with oodles of shredded cheese and bake until bubbly. Good stuff!
And then I remembered that I used to eat stuffed mushrooms a lot. Stuffed with all sorts of goodies, most of them not exactly healthy. Which means the past few days I’ve been eating lots of stuffed mushrooms again, trying to make them a little better for my belly. How do we forget dishes we like so much? Do you do this, fall in love with a dish, eat the heck out of it and then drop it from the menu for months, maybe years? I love it when I rediscover a dish from my past. The challenge of remodeling it really lights me up!
Here’s my favorite basic way to create pizza with mushrooms. For this recipe, I’ve used the mini portabellas, which are often labeled stuffing mushrooms. I buy them 6 to a pack at Trader Joe’s. Grab a couple packs and a bit of produce and you’ll have a quick dinner or a great starter for a heartier meal.
Mini Portabella Pizzas made healthy!
- 12 mini portabella stuffing mushrooms
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 1/2 t. dried basil
- 1/4 t. dried oregano
- Brazil Nut Parmesan for topping
- dash of salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Prep mushrooms for baking by removing stem. Reserve removed stems for filling, dice finely. With a damp cloth, wipe off the mushrooms. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a saute pan, add diced onion and half of the lemon juice. You'll be "water sauteing" with lemon juice. Cook until onions are translucent. Add garlic and chopped mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms have softened.
- Add diced tomatoes, basil and oregano. Cook over medium until tomatoes have softened. Remove from heat.
- Fill each mushroom with mixture. Top with a generous sprinkle of Brazil Nut Parmesan.
- Cook for 9 to 12 minutes. Brazil Nut Parmesan will brown nicely on top and mushrooms will soften. Serve hot!
Friday, February, 15, 2013
Goodness, it seems like I’ve been eating a lot of frozen Gluten-Free foods lately. The frozen food aisle at Whole Foods sucked me in!
I’ve not totally fallen off the bandwagon of eating fresh, whole foods. I’m still managing to eat a high percentage of raw food even. But I have been swamped with food and non-food work and sometimes don’t have enough time to prepare a full meal. How crazy is that? Does this happen to you? Tell me it does so I don’t feel guilty about eating a convenience product occasionally. After working a few 20-hour days, having food in the freezer that cooks in just a matter of minutes has been great.
And these taquitos? They were just that, GREAT! I tried the Starlite Vegan Chorizo and Black Bean Taquitos. Crispy on the outside, soft filling on the inside. The chorizo has a great flavor to it and isn’t overly spicy. With a side of salsa, these made a terrific meal in a flash. I think they would be even better with guacamole. And maybe a side of my Super Quick & Easy Mexican Rice.
In my gluten-full, morbidly obese days, I ate a lot of bean and cheese taquitos. Sometimes I fried them. But prior to these taquitos from Starlite, I don’t think I had eaten taquitos in at least a few years. This was a nice dish to revisit, especially made with ingredients better suited for my digestion.
The taquitos I tried were gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and non-GMO. Starlite also makes rolled tacos, however they are NOT gluten-free. As always, read labels carefully.
Thursday, January, 03, 2013
Tamales are a traditional holiday food in our home. We buy tamales, including dessert tamales, from our favorite Mexican market. This year we even took them out of town on our Christmas vacation!
Last month I signed up for a tamale making class, but I was the only to sign up so the class was postponed. I decided to take on tamale making myself, but needed a bite-size snack to take to a New Year’s Eve party. My favorite fella reminded me of these sloppy joe cups I used to make with biscuit dough from a can (way back in the gluten-full days). They were an easy snack to take to parties, so I set out to make bite size tamales with a variation of traditional masa pressed into the cups.
You’ll notice in the recipe I do not use traditional masa, but instead basic corn flour. This is for two reasons. I keep basic corn flour in the cupboard, so it is always on hand. The second reason is that I cannot buy gluten-free masa harina locally. I wonder if I can’t, if others can’t, too.
The filling for these is made with jackfruit, my favorite meat-like substitute. Because it’s the new year and many folks are watching what they eat, I’ll share that jackfruit is very low in calories and fat free. Not that I’m asserting this dish is a diet food, but it’s something.
- 1 1/4 cups corn flour
- 2/3 cup vegetable stock
- 1/3 cup Spectrum organic shortening, melted
- 1/2 t. baking powder
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1-20 oz. can young green jackfruit in water
- 2 T. tomato paste
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 T. taco seasoning
- 1 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using cooking spray, oil 24 cavities of a mini muffin pan.
- In medium mixing bowl, combine corn flour, vegetable stock, shortening, baking powder and salt. Mix with a large spoon until crumbly.
- Add a scant tablespoon of dough to each cavity of mini muffin pan. Using the back of a smaller spoon, press the dough, leaving an indention for the filling.
For the filling:
- Drain can of jackfruit and rinse well.
- Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for approximately 20 minutes. Jackfruit will start to soften and will begin to break into string-like pieces, looking similar to pulled pork or shredded chicken. After most of the water has cooked off, remove from the heat. You may wish to use two forks to further shred the jackfruit and mash up any larger pieces.
- Put a heaping spoonful of the jackfruit filling in each of the cups of dough. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes. Remove from pan and serve. I like to serve this with a side of guacamole.
Wednesday, July, 18, 2012
While not much is growing in my own backyard garden, we’re still getting lots and lots of zucchini from friends and neighbors. It’s all being put to good use, everything from roasting to juicing!
While making paper thin slices of zucchini for a crockpot lasagna (recipe soon!), it hit me I was starving, it would take hours for the lasagna to be done and I needed a snack. After my recent introduction to jicama as a taco shell, I’ve been looking at more veggies as tortillas, taco shells, vessels of some sort. It hit me the zucchini ribbons were perfect for a roll-up!
I created these using one of my favorite local products, Soy Zen Zay. It’s like hummus, only made with edamame instead of garbanzo beans. The texture is a little more coarse, the flavor is a whole lot bigger. I’m a fan of the garlic flavor (I’m a big fan of garlic period) and eat it often with carrot sticks.
Not one to mess with a good combo, I stuck with garlic Soy Zen Zay and carrots, wrapped in a zucchini ribbon. Three ingredients, nothing fancy about it. It’s not really a recipe, but it’s so good I had to share with you. Here’s the un-recipe:
Zucchini hummus roll-ups (Makes about 30)
2 medium zucchini, one yellow and one green
1 container Soy Zen Zay (or your favorite hummus)
3 carrots, julienned
Using a mandoline (and good grief, use the hand guard!), cut both zucchinis into very thin ribbons the length of the zucchini. I like this mandoline from OXO.
Using either a mandoline or a knife, julienne your carrots into matchsticks.
Lay one zucchini ribbon out flat and spread with a thin layer of hummus.
On the left end of the zucchini, lay a few carrot pieces.
Roll from left to right.
I prefer eating these right away. If you store them in the refrigerator, store them standing up on a bed of paper towels. The zucchini will release water after they are cut and the paper towels will help to keep them from becoming a soggy mess.
Tell me, what’s your favorite thing to make with zucchini? I’m running out of ideas here folks…
Saturday, July, 30, 2011
I recently attended a lecture given by a doctor on the state of health care in America and what all of us, patients and the medical industry, could do to make changes happen. Pretty heavy stuff. The friend I attended with agreed with me that we should stop for a cocktail on the way home. Somehow we ended up stopping for a light meal and a cocktail at NoRTH.
I had the Strawberry and Goat Cheese salad, which was on a bed of baby greens and topped with avocado and toasted hazelnuts. Our server confirmed with the chef that my choice was indeed gluten-free after I ordered and also shared with me that the chef had gluten-free pasta available should I want a heartier meal.
My friend ordered the Grilled Artichoke with lemon aioli. I avoided the aioli, but did try the artichoke. It was delicious. I’m guessing it was steamed prior to being grilled.
Service was great at NoRTH and I felt like my dietary restrictions were nicely handled. Our server went to the effort to confirm my order with the chef without me asking her to do so. I’m adding NoRTH to my list of small chain restaurants that I will visit again!
Update 2013: Since writing this post, I have dined at NoRTH several times. I’ve had pasta safely and when I last asked, they were using Heartland gluten-free pasta. My meals have always been delicious and the staff seems very well-educated in handling gluten-free requests. This is one of the only places in the KC area I feel comfortable eating pasta.
NoRTH is of the FOX Restaurant Concepts company. Locations are in Kansas, Arizona, Colorado and Texas. The location visited for this review is located at 4579 West 119th Street in Leawood, Kansas.