Posts tagged ‘gluten-free’
Nothing screams springtime like fresh ingredients and brightly colored veggies. As soon as the first warm day hits, I am craving salads, slaws, and anything on a grill. These fish tacos fit the bill perfectly! My boyfriend and I recently returned from an amazing Florida vacation, where we visited my grandparents and extended family, explored Ybor City in Tampa, and replenished our Vitamin D levels on the beach.
All of the sun kicked my veggie cravings into overdrive, and so I jumped at the opportunity to make a fun lunch for my grandparents!
Fish tacos seem to have become rather trendy these days, and come in several varieties. My requirements for a good fish taco are as follows: good grilled fish, not the fried stuff. Traditional corn tortillas, not flour. Avocado, in some form. Lots of cilantro. And a good, tangy, fresh cole slaw. Hold the mayo.
Simple, right? Still, many places don’t hold a candle to this homemade version. This recipe was inspired from bits and pieces of many that I have read, taking my favorite parts from all. Feel free to do the same with mine, or try out my version to let me know what you think!
16 corn tortillas
1 lb white fish fillets (use what is local to your region – I have used Cod in NE and tilapia in FL both with great results)
spices: paprika, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, salt, pepper
1 small head purple cabbage, finely sliced (you can also use green, but the color makes these fun)
1 bunch scallion, whites discarded
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp lime juice (I used from a bottle, but fresh is always fun!)
3 tbsp cilantro, finely minced
1 jalapeno, finely minced (use 2 if you like more heat)
for avocado cream:
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 tbsp minced cilantro
Assemble slaw first. Slice cabbage and scallions finely, then mince garlic and jalapenos. Combine with lime juice and minced cilantro. Add a pinch of salt if desired. Combine and refrigerate while preparing other components to allow flavors to combine.
Next, combine avocado, greek yogurt, and remaining cilantro in a food processor. Combine until very smooth. Cover in a small bowl and refrigerate.
Wrap corn tortillas in foil and place in oven to warm while cooking fish. Alternatively, place tortillas individually on a warm griddle after cooking fish for a crispier taco.
To prepare fish, begin by washing filets and patting dry. Season both sides with aforementioned spices according to taste. (More cayenne for the spice lovers, more paprika and chili powder for a deeper and sweeter flavor.) Salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet with a cover. Add fish filets but do not crowd the pan. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip, then cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until fish is flaky and cooked through.
To assemble tacos, take warmed corn tortilla and spoon avocado cream across the bottom. Top with slaw and a small piece of fish. Fold in half and enjoy immediately!
There is so much in my life to be thankful for that it is overwhelming at times. Family, friends, boyfriend, health, roommate, home, school, mentors, opportunities. My life is beyond blessed, and I should remember to thank God on a daily basis instead of waiting for this season to roll around. This year, I am most thankful for a “big” family Thanksgiving again! Ever since my extended family relocated to Florida, Thanksgiving at my house has been a quiet affair. Not this year! My sister and I are both bringing home our boyfriends, and my best friend is bringing her husband and baby. We will have a table of 9 again! We will be eating on Saturday to accommodate schedules and travel, but it’s not the date that makes this day special. It’s the spirit of gratitude… and the food!
There have been numerous Thansgiving recipes and round-ups floating around the blog-world this past week. So many are drool-worthy, but most of you probably already have your menus planned. My family has a few traditional favorites that we always make, but we usually incorporate or swap out one or two new dishes each year! This recipe was inspired by some flavors that grace some of my Mom’s traditional Thanksgiving dishes. The lemon and thyme have a Thanksgiving earthiness that welcomes it at any holiday table, but the lightness of this dish makes it a great lunch option for the days leading up to or following Thanksgiving. I know my stomach always needs a rest after the heavy meal! Make this and serve it warm as a gluten-free option for guests, and then have the leftovers as a cold and light post-holiday lunch!
Question: What are you thankful for this year? What is your favorite dish at Thanksgiving? Is your menu set yet, or are you still looking for ideas?
Lemon Thyme Quinoa with Zucchini and Mushrooms
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1/2 red onion, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 8-oz. package mushrooms, sliced
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/4 tsp pepper and pinch salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
2 lemons, juiced
Add quinoa to a dry pot and toast until you hear a faint popping noise. Add vegetable broth, bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Meanwhile, cook onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and stir. Cook until soft, about another 5 minutes. Add in shredded zucchini and turn off the heat. Stir in salt, pepper, and thyme. Add the quinoa and stir well. Juice the 2 lemons over the dish. Turn the heat back on and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the remaining liquid has been absorbed. Serve warm or cold– tastes great either way!
My most recent rotation left me with a lot of free time. Desperately needed free time. I had literally been praying for weeks, “I just need time to relax and recover!” Yet, when I got my free time (finally), I had no idea what to do with it! I realized I have been so busy for the past year that I had forgotten how to “waste time” or just sit and be. I lost track of what my hobbies were, what I would do for fun or to relax. I ended up sleeping a lot, working out a little, and watching TV more than I care to admit. However, after 3 weeks, I finally feel back to “me”. I am reading a book for fun again. I have caught up on the news. I know at least one recent event not related to health care. I have caught up with friends, with family, with blogs.
And I have created. This might possibly be one of the best recipes to come out of my kitchen to date. I made it twice before getting it right to share with you. It was inspired by two different lasagnas prepared by friends – one a twist on traditional lasagna with an Indian flare, and one made gluten-free with zucchini noodles. I decided to combine both ideas with my own vegetarian flare, and the results were DELICIOUS. Seriously. My roommate and two house guests would agree. Every bite sings softly with curry and a hint of spice, with the warmth and comfort of traditional lasagna. Better yet, it is incredibly healthy with zucchini for “noodles”, tempeh in place of ground beef, and a lot less cheese than you would normally expect.
The best part of this recipe is its adaptability. If you are a carnivore, you can easily use 8 oz. ground turkey or chicken in place of the tempeh. If you like your pasta, use noodles instead! Add more chili flakes if you really want that spicy factor. A note on the tempeh– a quick Google search informs me that there are gluten-free varieties. The kind I used had some barley grains and so technically wouldn’t be safe for the gluten intolerant. However, if you are both gluten-free and vegetarian, there are varieties that exist and are safe for you! If you haven’t explored tempeh before, I would also recommend adventuring to the store and trying it. The flavor is mild and the texture mimics ground meat well in this dish. Have fun with this recipe and enjoy letting your creativity flow in the kitchen!
Indian Spiced Zucchini Tempeh Lasagna
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large white onion, minced
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp corriander seeds
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
8 oz package tempeh
2 medium zucchini
4 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
In a large pan, saute garlic and onions in olive oil until onions are very soft and begin to lightly brown, about 7 minutes or more. Stir the spices directly into the onions over low heat. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste and continue to cook over low heat. Meanwhile, in a small pan coated with cooking spray, crumble the tempeh. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat to slightly brown the crumbles. Stir the tempeh into the tomato sauce and reduce to lowest heat. Cook until the sauce is thick.
Meanwhile, slice the zucchini into long, thin “noodles” using a mandolin set on the intermediate thickness. In a separate bowl, combine goat cheese and yogurt until smooth. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray. Begin with 2 layers of zucchini slices to create the bottom layer. Top with half of the tempeh mixture, and then another 2 layers of zucchini. (I criss-crossed my layers to create a better faux noodle). Spread the middle zucchini layer with half of the cheese mixture. Top with the remaining tempeh and another zucchini layer, and then coat the top with the remaining cheese mixture. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, or until the inside is bubbling and the edges are lightly crisp. Cut into 4 squares and serve.
Recipes come to you in the strangest and most inappropriate of places… the shower, during exams, during church… However, after a long time of feeling stuck in a rut in the kitchen, I was thankful for some new ideas this weekend! When I first started receiving my Boston Organics box, I would often have no clue what to do with some of the vegetables. Collard greens, kale, delicata squash? I had never seen some of these things! In fact, my lack of random veggie knowledge is what introduced me to the blog world. However, this is my third fall receiving the box, so few veggies take me by surprise anymore. This has led to me repeating recipes (not always a bad thing) and feeling rather un-creative in the kitchen. Lately, I have started playing with new spices and flavor profiles instead of new veggies to keep my meals interesting! And thus, this recipe was born.
I originally wanted to use peas to mimic an Indian rice dish that a friend of mine makes, but none were to be found in my freezer. I saw, instead, a half of a zucchini leftover from another dish that was just begging to be finished. Summer and fall squash does not make for the most seasonal of combinations, so replace as you wish with peas or some other green veggie! The candied ginger is homemade and adds a great sweetness, and together with the cranberries play off well from the spicy garam masala. The Indian flare takes this out of my comfort zone, from more typical Italian and American herbs to a more exotic (to me) flavor profile. A sprinkle or two of goat cheese would also be welcomed if you aren’t looking to keep this vegan! This recipe invites playfulness, so try it the next time you are looking for some kitchen fun!
Stuffed Delicata Squash
2 medium delicata squash (about 1 lb)
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1 tbsp candied ginger, minced
2 tbsp dried cranberries
1/2 cup chickpeas
1 tbsp garam masala
pinch salt to taste
Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Mix with shredded zucchini, ginger, cranberries, chickpeas and garam masala. Adjust salt to taste. Split delicate squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and stringy insides with a spoon. (You can save the seeds to roast like pumpkin seeds, but there is a lot of string to pick through). Fill each squash with several spoonfuls of the quinoa mixture. Add a few tablespoons of water to the bottom of the dish and cover. Bake in a 350F oven, covered, for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for 10 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Serve as a main dish with a side salad or as a side for a special meal! (Note: the delicata squash has a “delicate” skin that can be eaten!)
Ever eat something that is super tasty, but no so photogenic? Can’t always judge a book by its cover, and that is certainly true for this dish! The spaghetti squash absorbs a little more of the color from the pesto than pasta does, which gives everything a strange green hue. Regardless, this pesto was so good that I didn’t even miss the cheese!
I roasted up a small-sized spaghetti squash, and then pulled it with a fork into short spaghetti noodles. While that was happening, I used up a clamshell of basil left in my fridge from my friend’s New Years Bruschetta, and brainstormed how to make a pesto sauce with no Parmigiano. I remembered seeing a vegan pesto made with white beans, and thought chickpeas would make an interesting substitution, since that was all I had on hand! I still added the pine nuts and the olive oil, and threw in a pinch of salt since the cheese usually adds that salty component. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed this! Confession: I may or may not have eaten a spoonful of pesto straight out of the food processor… The chickpeas added some heft to the sauce, making this all-veggie, vegan delight very filling. This is also a cheaper alternative to the classic pesto I have raved about before, no matter what your dietary preferences are. Give it a try, over spaghetti squash, regular pasta, or even with tomato slices on toast… Being a vegan for the month is really helping me to think outside of my food box!
Question: Do you ever get stuck in food ruts? What do you do to break out of them?
inspired by my classic pesto, serves 3-4
1 cup packed fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chick peas
2 tbsp pine nuts
1/4 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until a smooth sauce is formed. Serve over pasta, spaghetti squash, or use as a spread.
Who says you can’t have milk as a vegan? Sure, it can’t come from a cow, but it can come from a coconut! When I was reorganizing my cabinets, I found a can of coconut milk to put to use. Coconut milk, while it does have some saturated fat, is a good way to add creaminess and natural sweetness to vegan dishes. (You can always use skimmed coconut milk if you are concerned about the fat, but this takes away some of its great flavor!) The only problem I have with opening a can of coconut milk is what to do with the rest of the can after I have used what I need for my meal. Well, this dinner trio solved all of my problems, since I put the whole can to good use! Eggplant tikka masala with coconut brown rice and coconut lime Brussels sprouts – makes being a vegan
look taste easy!
The eggplant tikka masala was a solution my mom and I came up with at home. The original recipe is from her Martha Stewart Living Magazine, and calls for shrimp. She wanted to make it for the family with chicken before Christmas, and I requested that a small amount of sauce be left separate for me to cook with some eggplant. The eggplant was soft and soaked up the flavors of the sauce so nicely, so I knew I had to make it again! The original recipe also called for yogurt, so to “veganize” it, I just added some coconut milk instead! I used some coconut milk to cook the rice as well, substituting about 1/3 of the cooking liquid with coconut milk.
The part of the meal that really stole the show were the Brussels sprouts – a real surprise! I am not going to lie, I literally was craving Brussels sprouts. So much so that I texted my roommate and asked her to grab me some on her grocery run, despite my full veggie drawer. I was going to roast them as usual, but I remembered a recipe for Coconut Lime Brussels Sprouts that I got in a flyer at the Boston Vegetarian Festival in October. What better way to stretch the last of my can of coconut milk than to try a new recipe? Ah. Maze. Ing. I literally had to put the leftovers in a Tupperware and hide them in the back of my fridge as soon as I finished my dinner so that I wouldn’t stand there and finish off the rest of the pan like candy. A whole pound of Brussels sprouts would lead to momentary happiness, but later intestinal discomfort, if ya catch my drift. The coconut milk adds sweetness, and the lime juice and soy sauce add a hint of saltiness, leading to so much great flavor in every bite.
Vegan or not, this meal is crave-worthy. Try the Brussels sprouts – if you aren’t a fan yet, these might make you a convert. As for the tikka masala, you could go for the standard and sub back in the chicken, but why not go veggie crazy! Try the eggplant – it really is a nice surprise. You could even add some chickpeas to the mix for some wild living. Get coco-nutty ;)
Question: Have you ever had a weird food craving?
Eggplant Tikka Masala
adapted from Martha Stewart Living Magazine, serves 4
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
6-inch piece ginger, grated
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 cup water
1 large eggplant, cubed
1/2 cup coconut milk
Cook onion slices in the oil until golden brown – about 20 minutes. Add all spices and tomato paste; stir and allow to heat for 3 minutes. Add water and eggplant and cook until the eggplant is tender. Stir in coconut milk at the end. Serve over brown rice.
Pan-Roasted Coconut Lime Brussels Sprouts
recipe from a Whole Foods flyer, serves 4
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 scallion, chopped
juice of half lime
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
Toast coconut in a large skillet until golden, 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add Brussels sprouts and 1/2 cup coconut milk to the pan. Shake to coat, then turn all sprouts cut side down. Cook 5-6 minutes, until they begin to brown. (Add a bit of water if the pan gets dry). Add garlic, scallion, and lime juice. Toss to coat, then turn all the sprouts cut side down again. Cook for 2-3 more minutes. Stir in remaining coconut milk and soy sauce. Toss with toasted coconut and serve.
My family Christmas was full of quality time spent together. Since Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, we worked our Christmas traditions around our Sunday church service. You can tell we aren’t kids anymore, since sleeping in was more important than early morning Christmas presents! We still enjoyed our traditional Christmas breakfast of egg casserole before church, but with a few veggie twists for me. Since I can remember, my mom has made a church cookbook breakfast stratta with pork sausage, eggs, cheese, and bread cubes. She still made the traditional favorite for my dad and sister, but adapted another casserole recipe for me.
The original recipe is from Simply Living Healthy, and I sent it to my mom a few months ago knowing how much she loves jicama. She made it for my family when they went to Florida, and wanted to make it for me as well. Instead of using sausage, she added more mushrooms for meaty texture. The jicama adds a great sweet crust, and the dairy-free, veggie and protein packed casserole will keep you full all morning. Check out our vegetarian twist, or head over for the original recipe!
After church, we enjoyed surprising each other with thoughtful gifts. My sister searched high and low for a fun teapot for me, and my parents surprised me with a great new knife, set of mixing bowls, French press, and a few other fun kitchen gifts. But it turns out I am not the only foodie in the family! My sister got a waffle iron, an immersion blender, and an apron, and my mom got a new electric pasta maker! We spent the rest of the day playing with our new toys.
We couldn’t get my mom’s pasta maker to work that day, which was a huge bummer. The dough has to be the perfect consistency to not get stuck in the extruder, and we couldn’t get it to work. We gave up for the afternoon and broke out my hand roller, so we still got to enjoy fresh pasta with homemade sauce for Christmas dinner! (My mom persevered and finally got the right dough consistency yesterday, so the electric pasta maker will stay!)
Our Christmas celebrations will continue for the week, since my mom, sister, and I are all home and work-free. My sister and I are delivering our last Christmas present to our parents tonight: a gourmet dinner at home! On the menu: petite beef wellington, warm beet salad, lobster ravioli, and rum poached pears! Come back tomorrow for the recipes and pictures!
Jicama Breakfast Casserole
adapted from Simply Living Healthy, serves 4-6
12-14 ounce jicama (weight is before peeling and shredding)
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium roasted red bell pepper, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
Saute mushrooms in olive oil over medium heat. Don’t over crowd the pan, as you want the mushrooms crispy. (This may require cooking in two batches depending on the size of your pan.) Peel the jicama and shred the root. Press between paper towels to absorb as much water as possible. Press into a glass pie dish as a crust. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and coconut milk. Layer the mushrooms and roasted red pepper over the jicama, and then pour the egg mixture over top. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the dish and bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Remove the top and bake for 7-10 more minutes. Cut into slices to serve.