Tag Archives: Gluten-Free

Beet, Carrot, Orange & Quinoa Salad

11 Jun

This is a simple and delicious salad, inspired from a recent Yoga Retreat at Full Belly Farms. They grow wonderful, organic food on 350 acres in the Capay Valley of Northern California.

Roast Beets (approx. 1 cup) and Carrots (approx. 1 cup or 4 medium-size)  in a 350 F oven, drizzled with a little Olive Oil, until tender (approx. 20-25 minutes depending on the size of the vegetables, and Carrots may be ready earlier). If Beets are large, cut in half and put cut side on baking tray, on some parchment paper for easier clean up  (note, you could steam if you prefer).

Once cool, peel the Beets, if they were large (small Beets are tender so may not be necessary). Cut Beets into small dice size, and slice Carrots into half lengthwise and then into small slices (not too thin).

While the veggies are roasting, cook 1 cup of Quinoa. Cool before adding to the bowl.

 Then, finely zest 1 Orange into a medium bowl (I like using a Microplane zester). Remove the peel from the Orange (with a knife is easier), and squeeze any juice from the peel into the bowl. Cut up Orange into bite size pieces.
Combine all ingredients with Olive Oil, Rice Vinegar and Salt/Pepper to taste.

Optional: add Feta Cheese, garnish with Fresh Herbs (Mint, Cilantro, or Parsley), Pumpkin Seeds, Chopped or Sliced Almonds.

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What To Do With Leftover Spaghetti Squash

2 Jul

Make Pancakes!

I had about 1 cup of leftover Spaghetti Squash that had been sitting in the fridge and I was uninspired by it until this morning (it was actually my lunchtime since I didn’t have time for anything besides Coffee this morning, because I went to Yoga). I was hungry and really craved some scrambled Eggs and Bacon and then saw the jar with Squash and knew I needed to come up with some way to use it up or it would go to waste which I hate!

Having grown up with a mother who lived in Holland during World War II, I learned not to take food for granted. I still remember her telling us how she used to eat an Apple — all but the stem and the seeds. Funny I find myself doing the same these days, and I feel healthier doing it!

Back to my Pancakes…I made this up and it turned out delicious so I hope you’ll try it. You could also use grated Zucchini.

Exact amounts are flexible in this recipe but this is what I used to make (6) 4-inch Pancakes for 2 servings:

1 cup Spaghetti Squash, shredded
2 large Eggs, beaten
3 heaping Tablespoons Chickpea Flour (or enough to make a thick batter)
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 cup Cotija Cheese, crumbled (Feta would be a good alternative)
1/4 teaspoon Baharat or any other ground spice (your choice! Suggestions: Curry, Garam Masala, Cumin, Coriander)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste

Mix all the ingredients (Squash, then Eggs, Cheese, then dry) in a medium bowl.

Next, I slivered 2 pieces of Bacon into a nonstick pan, cooked until crispy, them removed them. When you sliver it, you get Bacon in every bite but don’t have to feel so guilty since you are eating just 1 piece. If you are vegetarian or vegan, use Butter or Olive Oil. Then used a small ice cream scoop to drop the pancake mix onto the pan (over medium heat) with the leftover Bacon Fat. The ice cream scoop helps to keep the Pancakes consistent in size. Cook on each side a few minutes and keep warm in the oven at 200 F.

I served them with a hash made from 4 small roasted Red Potatoes, sauteed Leeks and the slivered Bacon. Serve with some green Tabasco sauce for a bit of acidity.

Note, if you don’t have Chickpea Flour, you could use an All-Purpose Wheat Flour, but the Chickpea Flour adds a nice, slight nutty flavor plus extra protein, and makes them Gluten-Free.

Enjoy!

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Perfect Winter Meusli

11 Jan

I love my breakfast this morning and thought I just have to blog about it, right now! I recently discovered Jamie Oliver’s Perfect Winter Meusli. He is one of my favorite Chefs. I think his recipes are very approachable, even for not very experienced cooks. This is a perfect example. This Meusli is full of goodness and is so comforting. Super easy too and kid-friendly!

Check out the video here. Sorry I didn’t include a photo but by the time I thought about writing, my bowl was half gone and no longer photo worthy!

Happy New Year to all and thanks to all my followers from around the world. It was a great year and I hope to write and inspire much more in 2013.

And, don’t forget…there’s other content to see on Twitter @FoodOutsdTheBox so if you want, you can follow me there too!

Mushroom & Gruyere Omelette

3 Jul

Omelettes are wonderful for a satisfying meal any time of day! I enjoyed this one for lunch at K & L Bistro. Eggs are a great option for eating vegetarian, and I prefer a meatless meal much of the time. I love vegetables and just about any of them go with eggs.

There are so many ingredients for filling them, such as sauteed red and yellow peppers, onions, spinach (one of my favorites in an omelette!), feta, peaches, sliced prosciutto, crab, and more! They are also a great vehicle for using up leftovers, like a ratatouille, or sausage ragu.

If you’re not comfortable with the idea if making an omelette, you could also use the same ingredients to do a frittata or even just scrambled eggs. Add a salad of greens and you’ve got a quick, delicious and affordable meal that won’t heat up your kitchen for more than about 10 minutes!

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Learning How To Make Sausage

23 Jun

I took a class not too long ago at The Local Butcher Shop and came home with a total of 5 pounds of Sweet Italian Sausage and Goat Merguez. I learned that making sausage is actually quite easy and involves only a few steps and I hope this inspires you to give it a try.

Basically, you start with some good quality coarsely ground meat, including Pork, Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, Goat, or even Seafood, which you can ask your butcher to grind, or do it yourself. Next, with impeccably clean hands or with rubber gloves, mix in your spice blend (the photo above is Merguez — a sausage with North African flavors such as Harissa, Sumac, Fennel and Garlic) and a chopped, fresh herb. Wash your casings and stuff them (not too densely) using an attachment on your meat grinder (KitchenAid has attachments for grinding and stuffing). Then twist the sausage into the size link you prefer (twisting each link in the opposite direction) and cut them apart, or if you have a smaller casing, you can roll it into a spiral, like I did with my Goat Merguez.

I have to say, after making my own sausage, it’s tough to go back to store-bought. One of the tips from The Local Butcher Shop is to include some chopped fresh herbs (like Sage, Oregano, or Cilantro) and that really does make a difference in the flavor.

Unfortunately, since the recipe for Sweet Italian Sausage and Goat Merguez are protected via copyright, I’m unable to share them with you, however, I did find a recipe for Simple Homemade Sausage Patties on Martha Stewart’s website (from Lucinda Scala Quinn’s cookbook Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys) that you might like and it doesn’t even require the casings.

Here are some additional links for purusing:

 http://www.sausagemaker.com/

http://ruhlman.com/2011/05/the-no-nitrites-added-hoax/

http://ruhlman.com/2011/02/meat-curing-safety-issues/

If you have a good local butcher shop in your neighborhood, you can try to buy the casings and curing salt from them, otherwise, you can buy them online. Now I just need to find the time to make another batch!

Green Smoothies To Revitalize Your Body

11 Feb

Looks can be deceiving! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how delicious this tastes and you will feel so healthy after drinking it. The flavors go together really well and it’s definitely a great way to start the day, cleanse your body, and increase the amount of antioxidants and vegetables in your diet. By using a blender instead of a juicer, you will benefit by getting more fiber too.

In a blender, add the following in order:

  • 1 Apple, cored and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (not peeled) — I like Gala Apples
  • 3/4 of 1 English Cucumber (not peeled — I recommend English Cucumbers since the skin is thinner and they are seedless so easily digestible
  • Fresh Spinach Leaves, 2 big handfuls
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon (optional: include some of the zest, but avoid the white pith)
  • Ginger, a small 1/4 inch slice, peeled and finely grated (Optional)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups of water

Start with low-speed and move up to the highest speed. Makes 2 servings.

If you like it, try these Mix and Match Green Smoothie recipes from the VitaMix company.

By the way, here is link if you’d like to get more information or purchase one of my favorite kitchen gadgets, the VitaMix Blender.

“Let food be thy medicine …” – Hippocrates

Gluten-Free Peanut-Butter Chocolate Cookies

9 Dec

I found this recipe from Martha Stewart and it was so easy (perfect for me, who has little patience for measuring too many ingredients!).

You probably have all the ingredients on hand (if you stock chocolate chips and peanuts) which means you can whip up a batch anytime. I prefer bittersweet chips so swapped them for semi-sweet in the recipe.

One of the reviews said chunky peanut-butter works too, if you don’t have creamy peanut-butter. The peanut-butter and peanuts almost makes me feel like I’m eating something healthy! Next time, I’m going to try using Coconut Palm Sugar which is less processed than white sugar. Some sources suggest it has a lower glycemic index, although there is also some controversy on this (one factor is the time of harvest). I think they’re going to be gobbled up quickly!

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  7. 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 large egg (lightly beaten), 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until well combined. Stir in 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts.
  2. With moistened hands, roll dough, about 1 heaping tablespoon at a time, into balls. Place 2 inches apart on two baking sheets.
  3. Bake until cookies are golden and puffed, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.