What Life Dishes Out A Gluten Free and (almost) Vegetarian Cooking Blog

July 26, 2010

Rosemary & Roasted Garlic Cream Pasta with Mushrooms and Sundried Tomatoes

Filed under: Pasta,Recipes,Sides — Tags: , , , , , , , — admin @ 12:27 pm

I’m drooling just typing that title.  This stuff is seriously good.  I developed the recipe after dining out one night and eating the most delicious creamy pasta dish I had ever encountered.  It was served beside bread with rosemary baked right in and I came home determined to replicate the taste combo.  I think I may have done better than the original, if I do say so myself!  This recipe would make The Pioneer Woman proud too, since I use a ton of heavy cream and a full stick of butter in the sauce!

You’ll need:

12-13 Garlic Cloves (about 2 heads)

1 quart Heavy Cream

1 stick Butter

12 – 24 ounces Mushrooms

1 Cup Sun Dried tomatoes – sliced or chopped

3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese

Dried Rosemary

Salt & Pepper

Your choice of Pasta – Gluten Free (or Regular), prepared according to directions

Optional: 1 Tbsp Cornstarch, 1/3 Cup Milk (see Note below in directions),

What to do:

First, place garlic cloves (unpeeled) on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until soft and golden.

While Garlic roasts, slice mushrooms.

When Garlic is ready, remove from oven.  Let them cool at bit, and then peel the cloves.

Fold over the parchment and use your hands to mash the cloves all together.  Scrape into a mound and finish up chopping them a bit with a knife, making sure there are no large pieces.

Add mashed roasted Garlic to a large sauce pan with the Cream.

Cook while stirring over medium heat, until liquid is reduced to about 2/3 and the sauce is thickened*. 

*Note: Here’s my little cheat on this part:  I take about 1 Tbsp of Cornstarch mixed with about 1/3 cup Milk and add it to the pan to thicken up the sauce more quickly.  This also serves to stretch the recipe a bit since you will have more sauce by not allowing it to cook off so much liquid.

Add salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp each), then set aside.

Grab another large saucepan (or pour the roasted garlic sauce into a large bowl or glass measuring cup and use the same pan – you don’t even have to wash it). 

Melt 1 stick butter over medium heat. 

 

Add Sundried Tomatoes to pan.

Then add sliced Mushrooms.

Saute for just about a minute, then return Garlic Cream Sauce to pan and stir.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Oh, it gets even better.

Add Parmesan Cheese.

Now, add a couple handfuls of dried Rosemary, which you’ll want to crumble between your hands as you add to the pan to release all the goodness in each leaf. 

I love Rosemary. 

This is my “stash”. :-)

Add salt and pepper as needed, to taste.

Mmmmmmmm…..

You can toss the sauce right in with your pasta, or just place atop individual servings. 

This recipe makes a LOT of sauce, so I like to keep the pasta and sauce separate as it works better for leftovers that way.  

If you are feeding a crowd, this quantity of sauce would  probably cover about two 16 oz. boxes of pasta.

If you like, you can slice up a grilled Chicken Breast and toss with the pasta and sauce.  Be sure to top with additional Parmesan Cheese, too!

Maybe some Bruschetta and crusty bread on the side?

We ate this last night, and we are having leftovers again tonight.  I can hardly stand the wait!

July 23, 2010

It’s All Greek To Me! Avgolemono (Lemon-Rice Soup)

Filed under: Recipes,Soups — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 7:51 pm

I thought seriously about not posting this recipe.  Not because it isn’t a great recipe, but because it isn’t a very photogenic one.   As I snapped the photos of the finished dish, I couldn’t help but think that not one of you out there is going to try this, because based on looks alone, I wouldn’t either.  It’s bland colored and lacks much texture.  Plus, there are some people who have tried it and really hate this soup!  But for myself, and my children, this is an absolute favorite.  My husband on the other hand, says “it tastes like licking a tin can”.  Are you sold yet?

Seriously, just try this.  I won’t make you any promises, but chances are if you like tart lemony flavor, you are going to love this soup.  If you don’t, then try it out on your kids anyway…they might just eat bowl after bowl of it like mine do!

You’ll need:

 

4 Cups Chicken Broth

2/3 Cup Extra Long Grain Rice

2 Cloves Garlic

3 Large Eggs

1/3 Cup Lemon Juice

Pepper

What to do:

Place chicken broth in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add rice.

Add garlic which has been finely minced or run through a press.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked.

Meanwhile, break eggs into a large bowl and add lemon juice.

Whisk until well blended and frothy.

Once rice is cooked, take a ladle or two full of hot broth and add to the egg/lemon mixture. 

BUT WAIT!!! 

It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you whisk the mixture quickly while doing so, unless you want to be eating lemony scrambled eggs for dinner!

Now that you have tempered the egg mixture, add it back to the pan of hot broth and rice, again mixing well while doing so.

 

Continue mixing while allowing the soup to come back up to temperature.  You’ll notice it thickening somewhat as the eggs cook.  It is very important to continue stirring this soup…the only chunkiness you want in here is from the rice, not from curdled egg!

Add a little fresh ground pepper. 

If you have white pepper, that would actually be a better choice.  I don’t, and so that is why you see a few black specks in that photo up there of the finished soup. That’s nothing a little Photoshopping wouldn’t take care of, but I like to keep it real around here.

It’s ready to be served alongside some grilled pita bread and hummus, or greek salad, or tiny little spinach pies from Costco’s frozen section (which are NOT Gluten Free but  my GF kiddo won’t eat them anyway, so it’s not like I’m torturing him or anything).  Any of the above will make the soup look a little less blah in a photo, too.

If you do make this, please let me know in the comments if you liked it!  If you didn’t, I won’t be offended.  This is just one of those “either you love it or hate it” things.  Kind of like Lady Gaga.

July 22, 2010

Garden Abundance = Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Filed under: Breads,Desserts,Muffins & Quick Breads,Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , — admin @ 9:25 pm

I’ve been trying to think of somthing new to do with all this Zucchini that is overtaking my kitchen.  We have made my Zucchini Au Gratin a few times over the past week, and although it IS tasty, we are ready for something new.  I gave away a big bag of Zucchini to a friend today, but I still have more than I can ever hope to use.  So, for the first time since going Gluten-Free, I tried Zucchini Bread. 

This recipe comes from The Gluten Free Homemaker.  I always have some trepidation when trying a new recipe, as I am not fond of failure.  Who is, right?  And when these loaves came out of the oven, I wasn’t quite sure how they’d be, because they seemed a little on the “short” side.  But I need not have worried.  Once I let the loaves cool a while, cut off a slice, slathered one of them in butter and took my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised.  This is without a doubt, one of the best Zucchini Breads I’ve tasted.  It’s not super moist, but the crumb is just right and the crust has a caramelized quality that is enticing. 

Here’s the ingredient list as I found it on The Gluten Free Homemaker’s site:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2/3 c. oil 
  • 1/2 c. apple sauce
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. shredded zucchini, packed (~1 large)
  • 1 c. brown rice flour
  • 1 c. sorghum flour
  • 2/3 c. potato starch
  • 1/3 c. tapioca starch
  • 2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 Tb. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

You can also add 1 cup of nuts, if you want this to be even better.  I, unfortunately, have to bend to the taste of my children whom prefer that I make my quick breads without nuts.  It’s a woeful life that I lead.

The only change I made to the recipe (besides the omission of the nuts) was to add an extra teaspoon of vanilla, because in my book, you can never go wrong with extra vanilla! :-)

First, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Oil (or spray) 2 – 9″ x 5″ loaf pans and line with parchment paper.

Grate Zucchini.  You’ll need 2 small Zucchinis, or 1 1/2 medium Zucchinis or 1 large Zucchini. 

I used my twenty-some year old food processor/blender attachment, which incidentally works much better than the new, and soon to be returned to Costo, Cuisinart Mini Food Processor my husband just bought me.

This is the texture you are going for.  You don’t want it wet, just grated.  A box type grater on the large side should work fine.

Measure out 2 cups (packed) of the Zucchini and set aside.  You can freeze any leftover for making this bread during the off-season.

Measure all dry ingredients into a medium bowl, then whisk together until combined.

Place all wet ingredients, except Zucchini, into a large mixing bowl.

Blend until well-combined.

Add Zucchini, then gradually add dry ingredients until just combined.

Batter will be thick and heavy. 

Add nuts now if you are not as swayed by your picky children as I am.

Divide into prepared pans.

Bake for 45- 50 minutes (45 minutes was the time that I pulled mine out) or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then loosen with knife and remove to a wire rack.

Let cool 10-15 minutes more before slicing and serving.

Be sure to spread a bit (or more than a bit!) of butter on your slice!  Enjoy!

July 21, 2010

So Berry Delicious! Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

I made these again tonight and asked my son, after he ate one of these muffins warm from the oven, what I should name this post.  He came up with the “So Berry Delicious” thing.  I guess that is endorsement enough!  These muffins rival any gluten-filled blueberry muffins out there.  It took all my willpower not to fire up a pot of coffee to go with one of these babies tonight!  Though no easy task, I’m forcing myself to at least wait until breakfast tomorrow!

As I post this photo, I have to admit that I’m reconsidering the “waiting until breakfast tomorrow” thing.

Whilst I struggle with my self-control, let me tell you how to make this. 

Before I do though, this recipe is not my own.  This is from “Gluten Free Baking Classics” by Annalise Roberts, which is (as I’ve said before) the only Gluten Free cookbook I’ve ever purchased.  Her recipes are amazing!  Although I haven’t made more than a few recipes from this book, they’ve never failed me.  Each one proves to be more than I could hope for and each one rivals any traditional gluten-filled recipe of it’s kind. 

You’ll need:

2 Cups Brown Rice Flour Mix*

2/3 Cup Sugar

1 Tbsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 – 1/2 tsp Nutmeg

1 1/2 Cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried

1/2 Cup Milk

1/2 Cup Canola Oil

2 large Eggs

1/2 tsp Vanilla

Struesel Topping – Recipe Follows

*Brown Rice Flour Mix: 2 parts Brown Rice Flour, 2/3 part Potato Starch, 1/3 part Tapioca Starch

What to do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a (stained, but well-loved and much used) muffin pan using cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together Flour Mix, Sugar, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum, Salt and Nutmeg.

Add blueberries and gently mix until incorporated.

In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine milk and oil.  At first it will look like a science experiment…kind of like the lava lamps from the 60’s.

But mix it together until it doesn’t look like that anymore.

Remove 1 Tbsp of the liquid. 

Pour into large mixing bowl then add Eggs and Vanilla.  Beat until combined.

Add liquids to blueberry/flour mixture and stir until just blended.

Fill the muffins pans 2/3 full.  I like to use a spring-release scoop. 

(Note how well that I’ve grown accustomed to using my left hand for tasks like this since I’ve been taking photos for this blog.   I’m ambidextrous now.)

The recipe says to sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or Streusel Topping.  In other words, Streusel Topping is optional.

Let me be clear: In my world, Streusel Topping is NEVER optional!

Here’s how to make the Streusel Topping:

Combine 1/2 Cup Brown Rice Flour Mix*, 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar, 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum in a small bowl. 

Add 3 Tbsp melted Butter and mix until combined.

Spoon over muffin batter.

Bake for 18-25 minutes (It was about 22 minutes when I pulled mine out). 

Cool for about 5 minutes in pan, then remove to wire rack.  I used a soup spoon to gently lift each muffin from the pan onto the rack.  There was minimal breakage this way.  Watch out for the hot blueberries though…they are not pleasant to have come into contact with your bare flesh!

Let cool a bit before serving.

Oh, boy.  There I go again with the photo of oozing blueberry goodness. 

Time for bed.

July 19, 2010

That’s Amore! Gluten Free Pizza

Filed under: Breads,Uncategorized,Vegetarian — Tags: , , — admin @ 9:42 am

Update 11/18/2011 – Here is a message I received from my good friend Julie about making this crust right on a sandstone:

“I made the delicious pizza crust the other day, and I wanted to post that I had no problems making it directly on my sandstone. This is a well-seasoned sandstone, and I drizzled olive oil on it, rubbed it, then sprinkled a generous amount of corn meal on it, and I didn’t even need a spatula to lift off the pieces! it was a beautiful thing! And I have a really big sandstone, so I got to make one XL pizza…yum! Thanks so much for this amazing crust recipe!!! ♥ ♥ ♥”

Glad the recipe worked for you, Julie! :-)

This pizza dough recipe is adapted from Annalise Robert’s Focaccia Bread recipe from  her cookbook “Gluten Free Baking Classics”.  This is the only Gluten Free Cookbook I have ever purchased so far and it is well worth the $13.  Although it doesn’t have pictures, which is a big  deterrent for me with cookbooks, it does contain awesome no-fail recipes for things like Blueberry Muffins and Chocolate Fudge Cake.  She actually does have a pizza crust recipe in the book, but I’ve never tried it since I’m a firm believer in the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy and I already love this crust just the way I’ve been making it!

You’ll need:

Cooking Spray

Cornmeal (for dusting pans)

1Cup Millet Flour

1/2 Cup Sorghum Flour

1/2 Cup Cornstarch

1/2 Cup Tapioca Starch

1/2 Cup Potato Starch

(Note: The last time I made this, I omitted the Potato starch and used 1 cup Tapioca starch and the result was just as good as the original recipe)

2 tsp Xanthan Gum

1 tsp Salt

2 Tbsp Sugar

2 pkgs Instant Dry Yeast

1 1/2 Cups plus 2 Tbsp Warm Water (110 degrees is perfect to make the Yeast happy!)

2 tsp Olive Oil

What to do:

Lightly spray 2 -12″ pizza pans with cooking spray and dust with Cornmeal.

Combine all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.

Add Water and Olive Oil and mix for one minute.  Then, scrape down sides of bowl.

Beat on high speed for two minutes.  When finished, dough will resemble thick cake batter.

Fill a large glass with hot water, and dip a metal spatula in.  This is going to be a BIG help to you in spreading the batter on the pans.

Divide dough between the two pans.

And, using the wettened spatula, spread the dough out to the edges of the pan.  Just pretend you are frosting a cake with really thick frosting!  You may need to clean and re-wet the spatula from time to time.

When you are done, it should look like this.  You can leave a little “ridge” on the edges which will help hold your toppings on.

Now, let rise for one hour.  I use an upside-down rubbermaid container as a “proofer” for my GF baking.  It works great!

The cover keeps the dough from drying out while rising, but doesn’t disturb the surface of the dough like plastic wrap would.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

(I also place baking stones in the oven to place the pans directly on.  This helps to crisp up the crust bottom.  Because of the consistency of the Gluten-free dough, you can’t bake directly on the stone.  However, if you want to go to the trouble, you can “finish” the pizza directly on the stone for the last few minutes of baking time by removing the whole pizza from the pan and sliding onto the stone.  I usually don’t bother with this step.)

Pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and spread a light coating of olive oil over the crust, avoiding the edges.  Then, top with sauce, cheese and desired vegetables or other toppings.

This is our pizza, topped with mushrooms (I like canned better on pizza), green pepper, red onion and fresh torn basil!

This is my sometimes veggie-phobic children’s plain pizza.

Bake an additional 15 minutes until cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Let cool for just a couple minutes before slicing.

Buon Appetito!

July 18, 2010

For Breakfast Time Or Anytime: Gluten Free Granola

Filed under: Recipes,Vegan,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , — admin @ 8:53 am

Way healthier than any store-bought version, this simple Granola makes a great topping for fruit and yogurt, ice cream or served straight-up in a bowl with fruit and milk for breakfast.   It’s versatile, too!  You can substitute pecans and maple syrup for the almonds and honey, or add seeds, coconut or dried fruit to the mix.  Just be sure to add any dried fruits AFTER baking!

Now, before you get your boxers all in a bunch, I realize there are Gluten-Intolerant folks out there who just can’t do Oats, even if they are Certfied Gluten-Free.    But there are some Gluten-Free and Oat-Free Granola recipes out there, like this one.  Usually, some cereal ingredient is substituted for the oats, but the end result is basically the same: a crunchy and slightly sweet concoction with lots of healthful ingredients! 

To make this, you’ll need:

4 Cups Oats (Certified Gluten Free – I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1/3 – 1/2  Cup Sliced Almonds

1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Dash Nutmeg

Dash Salt

1/3 Cup Canola Oil

1/2 Cup Honey

1 tsp Vanilla

What to do:

In a large bowl, combine Oats, Nuts, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Salt unti well mixed.

In a glass measuring cup, combine Oil, Honey and Vanilla.

Pour Honey mixture into oat mixture while stirring.

Mix well until oat mixture is evenly coated, then place in a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

(I sure hope your pan is newer and less stained than mine.  This particular one goes way back to my youth, so you can imagine how much use this has gotten.  But it still works!)

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes during baking.

Cool and store in airtight container for up to two weeks or place in the freezer for longer storage.

July 16, 2010

Pucker Up! It’s time for Pickles!

Filed under: Appetizers & Dips,Recipes,Sides,Vegan,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 10:10 pm

I like pickles.

But not the mushy kind that you find in the middle aisles in the grocery store.

I only like the crunchy refrigerated ones.

And the best pickles are the ones I make myself from my own garden’s pickling cukes.

Like these:

Refrigerator Pickles are very easy to make.

You just need pickling cukes…

Fresh Dill….

Kosher Salt, Peppercorns, Garlic, Vinegar and Water.

First, heat 2 cups water with 1/2 cup Kosher Salt.  Water will start out cloudy but turn clear when salt is completely dissolved.

Pour about 3/4 inch of hot brine into the bottom of each jar.

Add 8-10 whole peppercorns, a few cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed), and a few sprigs of dill leaves and flowers to each jar.

(It’s like a little terrarium in each jar!)

Add a couple ice cubes to each jar to cool solution (you don’t want to cook the cukes!).

Wash, trim off ends and cut cucumbers into spears (or chunks or slices, whichever you prefer).

Pack pickles into jars snugly.  You don’t want them too tight or it will cause the pickles to break apart.  Then, add 2 Tbsp (or more if you like the tartness) vinegar to each jar.

Fill the jar to the top with cold tap water.

Seal each jar, then give it a few shakes to distribute the flavors.

(Somebody needs a manicure.)

Label the jars with the date and leave out at room temperature for a few hours before placing in the refrigerator.

If you can help yourself, wait a couple days before eating the pickles for the flavors to develop.  These will only keep about 2 – 3 weeks in the refrigerator.  That is, presuming you don’t eat them faster than that!

July 15, 2010

It Tastes Like Summer! Marinated Tomatoes With Basil

Filed under: Recipes,Salads & Dressings,Sides,Vegan,Vegetarian — Tags: , , — admin @ 7:42 am

What goes better together than tomatoes and basil?  This super simple dish just says summertime, and is perfect to bring along to your next picnic/potluck, or to serve beside your next grilled dinner. 

You’ll need:

Tomatoes, Basil, Red Wine Vinegar, Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper

First, cut tomatoes in half, then in wedges, then in half again.

Place in serving dish.

Roughly chop basil (if you make this ahead of time, wait to cut and add the basil until the last possible minute, since it will darken on the edges after being cut and exposed to air).

Add basil to tomatoes.

Now, add salt and pepper, Olive Oil (I used Garlic Flavored Oil), and Red Wine Vinegar.  You want just enough oil and vinegar to coat the tomatoes, but you don’t want them to swim in it.

Now, toss the whole mix together and serve at room temperature.

This is one of those easy summer no-cook recipes I look forward to every year!

July 14, 2010

A Passage To India – Part 3: Spicy Green Beans

Filed under: Recipes,Sides,Vegan,Vegetarian,Veggies — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 12:50 pm

In part three of our Indian Night Trifecta, we’ll be tackling the simplest of the three dishes.  This doesn’t even require step-by-step photos, so my obvious lack of coordination in terms of cooking and remembering to take pics at the same time won’t even come into play.

You’ll need:

Green Beans (about a pound), washed and trimmed

Canola or Olive Oil

2 Cloves Garlic, minced (or roughly 1 tsp jarred garlic)

Salt

Red Pepper Flakes

What to do:

In large skillet or wok, heat 1 Tbsp Oil. 

Add garlic and beans, then sprinkle with salt.

Stir Fry for a few minutes over high heat, then  add a bit of liquid (water or broth), reduce heat to medium, and cover.

Let cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender.

Sprinkle with red pepper flakes (to taste), and stir fry for a few more minutes before serving beside your Spicy Lentil Dal and Indian Cauliflower

Bhog keejeeae   भोग कीजिए 

(“Enjoy!” in Hindi)

July 13, 2010

A Passage to India – Part 2: Indian Cauliflower

Filed under: Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , , , — admin @ 4:28 pm

Before this Indian Cauliflower came along, we’d eat our Spicy Lentil Dal with our Spicy Green Beans (recipe to follow soon).  It was a great meal, but the discovery of this sweet and flavorful cauliflower dish completes it perfectly, and now my husband won’t let me forego this dish on Indian Night, even if I’m feeling lazy.

You’ll need:

1 Large Head Cauliflower

1 Large or 2 Medium Sweet Onions (like Vidalia)

3 cloves Garlic

Pinch of Mustard Seed

Pinch of Cumin

1 tsp Powdered Ginger (or 2 tsp minced fresh)

1/2 tsp Turmeric

2 tsp Chili Powder

Vegetable Broth (Leftover from Spicy Lentil Dal recipe from yesterday)

Chopped Cilantro for garnish

To Make:

First, wash and cut the cauliflower into florets.  Set aside.

Measure the dried spices, except the Mustard Seed, into a small bowl.

Chop Garlic.

Cut off the stem end of the onions, and cut in half from root end to cut end.  Then, peel the papery skin off each half…

…and slice the length of each onion.

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp Canola Oil.

Add a pinch of mustard seed. 

When seeds begin to pop, add the remaining spices, garlic and onion and stir.

Cook until onions begin to wilt, adding broth as necessary so they don’t burn, then add Cauliflower to pan, along with a bit more broth.

Stir until cauliflower is coated in spices.

Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until Cauliflower is tender.  Sprinkle with Cilantro before serving.

Enjoy! 

As for me, I’m off to make Zucchini Au Gratin for dinner again, as our garden overfloweth!

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