Saturday, September 27, 2008

Spaghetti Squash and Nonna's Pasta Sauce

Spaghetti Squash
Clean the outside of a spaghetti squash and cut it in half. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place both halves of the squash cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the squash. When it's cool enough to handle scrape the meat with a fork to create the spaghetti-like strands and scoop out the flesh with a spoon.

Nonna's Pasta Sauce
1lb- ground beef
1- onion
5cloves- garlic
6- Roma tomatoes
4- vine ripe tomatoes
1/2bunch- parsley
2tsp- Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, majorum, thyme, savory, sage & rosemary)
Olive oil
Sea salt

To prep- chop the onions and garlic, wash the Roma tomatoes and remove the stem part and peel the vine ripe tomatoes*

Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil with 1tsp seasoning until translucent.

Remove 2/3 of the onion mixture and place in blender.

Add ground beef to remaining onions and sautee, breaking up into clumps of desired size.

In blender, puree onions and Roma tomatoes.

Transfer meat and tomato puree to a sauce pan, add peeled, chopped vine ripe tomatoes, remaining seasoning and chopped parsley. Simmer for at least 1 hour until flavors are well blended.

*to easily peel the tomatoes score an X over the stem and place tomatoes top down in a heat proof bowl. Cover with boiling water. After a few minutes, rinse in cold water and remove peels

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ginger Glazed Salmon

6oz salmon fillet, per person

For each 6oz portion of fish:
1tbsp-Agave, maple syrup or honey (SCD)
1 inch- fresh Ginger, peeled and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Fresh pepper
Sea Salt or 1 tbsp- GF soy sauce (not SCD)

• Mix honey, ginger, lemon and soy sauce (if using) in a glass bowl.

• Place salmon in a glass baking dish or bowl. Cover with marinade and cover in fresh ground pepper. Add salt if not using soy sauce.

• Let fish marinate for at least two hours.

• Bake, broil or grill salmon. Or if you're me, wrap it in foil and cook it in a pan on the stove, for 7-10 minutes.

Sent from my iPhone

Pollo Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja is a traditional Cuban dish, usually prepared with flank steak and served with yellow rice and tostones, fried banana or plantain. This version uses chicken, but the same technique and ingredients can be used with beef.

Pollo Ropa Vieja
Serves 2-3

2- boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1- medium carrot, diced
1- stalk celery, diced
1- small onion, diced
1- clove garlic, diced
2- medium tomatoes, diced
1/4tsp- Cumin
1/4tsp- Oregano
1- bay leaf
3-4 whole peppercorns
Sea salt
1/2cup- peas
1- small red pepper, diced

• In medium size sauce pan heat the tomato, carrot, celeey, onion, garlic and spices.

• When the vegetable mixture is simmering, add the chicken breasts.

• Cook on low for at least 1 hour.

• Using two forks, shred the chicken in the pot.

• Continue to cook uncovered until most of the water has evaporated.

• Add the peas and red pepper.

• Serve when the peas are just cooked.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Puffed Amaranth Granola Bar

Puffed Amaranth Bar
1 cup- amaranth
2 cup- quinoa flakes
1 cup- mixed nuts
2 cup- dried fruits
1/4 cup- flax meal
1/2 cup-peanut butter or other nut butter
1/2 cup- agave syrup
1 tsp- vanilla
Sea Salt
4- egg whites

Preheat oven to 250F and line a baking pan with wax paper.

In a large sauce pan with a cover heat a little oil on the stove. Puff the amaranth in small amounts in a manner similar to popping popcorn. Don't worry if it seems like some of it burns.

Collect puffed amaranth and other dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

In a microwave safe bowl, or in a pan on the stove, heat the peanut butter, agave and vanilla, stirring until well mixed.

Add the peanut butter mixture and egg whites to the dry ingredients. Stir until well mixed.

Press into baking sheet and bake for 30 min.

*Note: these were the most satisfying in terms of being like a store bought granola bar, but, in my opinion, much healthier.

Shrimp Cakelets

1 lb- shrimp, shelled and de-veined
1 stalk- celery, sliced
1/2 cup- parsley, chopped
3 cloves- garlic, chopped
3/4 cup- almond meal
3- egg whites
zest of 1 lemon

In a blender or food processor, blend celery, garlic and parsley until will mixed.

Add shrimp and pulse until the shrimp is mostly chopped.

Add almond meal and pulse several times.

Add egg whites and mix until blended.

Form mixture into small balls, 1-1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Heat a skillet and coat with olive oil.

Place balls in skillet and flatten with a spatula.

Cook covered for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

Serve with sea salt, lemon and dipping sauces.

Grilled Peach Salsa

4- large peaches, halved and pitted
1/4cup- vidalia onion, diced
1- small jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1/4cup- fresh cilantro, chopped
2tbsp- fresh mint, chopped
1- Lime, juice and zest
Sea salt

Grill peaches for 10 minutes, 5 on each side.

Blend all items in blender until smooth.

Chill and serve with tortilla chips, chicken, pork, shrimp or tofu.

Tomatillo Salsa

Ever since I moved in with the Trainer and his family, I've been seeing Latin fruits and veggies in the local supermarkets. I've become intrigued by tomatilloes in particular. These fruits that look like green tomatoes with husks.

I can only be curious for so long. After doing a little research I finally decided to make something with them. Never having had a tomatillo before I didn't know what to expect, but it turned out well. I recommend tasting a tomatillo before making a whole recipe with them.

Tomatillo Salsa

1 lb- tomatillo, diced
1- medium sized green apple, diced
2- stalks celery, diced
2 tbsp- basil, chopped
2 tbsp-mint, chopped

Clean and chop all the vegetables and puree them in the blender.

Pretty simple, eh? This could be served chilled as a soup or room temperature as a salsa or dipping sauce with shrimp or chicken.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Baked Granola Bar

Baked Granola Bar
1 cup- pumpkin seeds
1 cup- dried cherries
1 cup- dried blueberries
2 cup- quinoa flakes
2 cup- Mesa Sunrise or other cereal
1/4 cup- flax meal
1/2 cup- peanut butter, or other nut butter
1/2 cup- agave syrup or honey
1 tsp- vanilla
10 tbsp- NutriBiotic protein powder
Sea Salt
2- egg whites

Preheat oven to 250 F and line a baking pan with wax paper

In a microwave safe bowl, or pan on the stove, heat the agave, peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until well mixed.

In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients well.

Add the peanut butter mixture and egg whites, stirring until everything is well distributed.

Press into prepared pan.

Bake for about 30 min.

*Note: These were dry and fell apart easily, probably because I used to much protein powder.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Raw Granola Bar

Raw Granola Bar
1/2 cup- pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup- sunflower seeds
1 cup- dried cherries or raisins
2 cup- quinoa flakes
2 cup- Mesa Sunrise or other GF cereal
1/4 cup- flax meal
1/2 cup- peanut butter (or other nut butter)
3/4 cup- agave syrup or honey
1 tsp- vanilla extract (GF)
Sea Salt
6 tbsp- NutriBiotic protein powder (optional)

In a small microwave safe bowl, or on the stove, heat the nut butter, agave and vanilla and stir until well mixed.

In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients well.

Pour agave nut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until everything is well coated.

line a baking sheet or cake pan with wax paper. Press the granola mixtures into the pan using a wet spatula or a second sheet of wax paper on top. Place pan in freezer for several hours or over night.

Cut granola bars and keep refrigerated.

*Note: This batch came out a bit too moist. They were great straight from the freezer or fridge, but lacked structural integrity when they warmed up, they could probably work just as well with much less agave

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Basic Tortilla

3-egg whites
1-tbsp flax meal (Blood Type O) or nut meal (SCD)
1-dash GF SCD vanilla extract
1/4-cup filling of your choice

•In a bowl whisk egg whites (or whole eggs if you wish), flax, vanilla and sea salt until frothy

•Heat and oil a skillet.

•Pour eggs into skillet and swirl around so the eggs are evenly distributed.

•When the eggs are cooked through spread desired filling along one edge.

•With a metal spatula or two spoons carefully roll the tortilla from one edge.
This tortilla base could alternately be used with any type of filling, sweet or savory. I'm thinking burrito, dosa, anything you can imagine.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Spicy Sweet Potato Rounds

I have to give credit The Good Eatah for planting the seeds of this side dish

1 sweet potato or yam, sliced as thinly as possible
Fresh ground pepper
Sea salt
Light oil for frying

•Arrange sweet potato on a plate or tray and season both sides of slices with salt and pepper.

•Let stand for10-15 minutes

•Oil and heat a skillet until very hot

•Fry sweet potato slices until they are cooked through

•Remove to a paper towel to stand.

Jalapeno Cilantro Chicken

This is my version of my father's favorite dish and the Asian restaurant that my parents visit every Friday night. The original recipe also has lots of been sprouts, but those are not on the SCD. You could add any type of Asian or stir-fry veggie of your choice

Jalapeno Cilantro Chicken for two
2 boneless skinless chicken breast, in bite size pieces
1/3 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
4 limes, juiced
2 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced
1 small vidalia onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Canola oil

•The night before set chicken to marinate with cilantro and juice of 3 limes.

•Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet and cook the onions and garlic until transparent.

•Turn heat to low and add chicken and marinade. Sauté until chicken is cooked.

•Add jalapenos and a little water if necessary. Simmer for a few more minutes.
*Blogger is not allowing me to upload photos right now, but I'll get one up later*

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mircale Burger Mix

I've mentioned this vegetable mix that I combine with all types of ground meat to create burgers for the Trainer and myself. It started as a mix for meatloaf, but the Trainer felt that the shape pf meatloaf was unsatisfactory for making sandwiches, so the universal burger was born. I designed it from the Blood Type Diet to be beneficial for both of us Type O's, but it tastes great too!

This recipe makes a large batch of mix, suitable for use with about 10 lbs of meat, but it's easier to make a large batch and it freezes well for later use.

4-5 small vidalia onions
1 head of garlic
1 bunch of spinach
1 bunch of cilantro
2 tbsp dulse flakes
1 tbsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp turmeric

puree all the vegetables in the blander, loading them in turns, until well blended.

transfer to a non-stainable bowl and mix in dulse, sea salt and turmeric with a metal spoon.

mix with ground meat until desired consistency is achieved

shape and grill burgers

note: turkey and chicken often require much less mix then lean beef

Nonna's Antipasti

This was my Nonna's favorite antipasti. During the summer when our garden churned out a steady stream of red tomatoes bursting with flavor and the basil plant ran wild we ate this at every dinner.

This recipe is easily modified for any number of people. Nonna used to lay out slices of tomato on a serving plate and sprinkle them liberally scatter chopped fresh basil, fresh mozzarella and salt. She always prepared this in the afternoon to let the flavors mix.

Now, with my busier schedule I make a slightly different version that's just as flavorful. All you need is tomato, fresh basil, and sea salt. I also add thinly sliced red onion* and gluten free vinegar on occasion. Quick, easy and delicious!

*The secret to using raw red onion is to rinse it in running water after cutting it. It washes away some of the strongest flavor and help with onion breath

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lemon Dill Salmon Salad

This recipe was inspired by some salmon I had on one of my Friday night Whole Foods trips with the Trainer. Is it sad that our big Friday night date is a trip to Whole Foods?

1lb-cooked salmon*
Juices and pulp of 1 lemon
1-tbsp dill
4-tbsp horseradish

•Flake salmon in a bowl with a fork

•Add dill and lemon juice

•Mix in horseradish and continue to stir with the fork until everything is well blended

•Serve chilled

*I used poached salmon. To poach salmon bring water to a boil in a sauce pan, add salmon, cut into reasonable size pieces, and simmer for 7-10 minutes. Reserve water for stock.

Sent from my iPhone

Adzuki Bean Egg Salad

This is another one of those accidental concoctions. I tossed my lunch ingredients into the container and everything came out jumbled, and delicious.

1-cup cooked adzuki beans*
3-hard boiled eggs, diced
1-tomato, diced
Sea Salt

For this one I just mixed all the ingredients together and let it stand. I think the variations are endless. I'm already thinking of them.

•Basil and mozzarella

•Beets and feta

*basic adzuki beans: soak 1cup adzuki beans in 3cups water over night. Add 1/4 onion chopped and 1-2 cloves garlic minced. Summer until water is absorbed.

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Sea Bass Papitolle

I understand that a papitolle is really a term used to refer to a method of cooking in parchment, but I think cooking in foil works just as well. I got the idea for this recipe while cruising Epicurious, but I think it's enough my own that I can claim it.

1-large Sea Bass fillet
1-onion, sliced
3-cloves garlic, sliced
1-cup fresh spinach leaves
Poultry seasoning
Sea salt
Aluminum foil

•Lay out a piece of foil large enough to wrap around fish

•Pile a layer of spinach on foil

•Lay fish on top of spinach

•Season fish with spices and salt

•Lay onions and garlic over fish

•Close foil over fish, rolling up edges

•Place packet in a skillet, or in an oven preheated to 450, and cook for about 10 minutes

•Remove and open packet, fish will continue to cook if you don't.

•Serve with more sauteed spinach and brown rice.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rosemary Home-Roasted Beef

1 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
6-8 full sprigs rosemary, coarsely chopped or bruised
Juice of 1 lime
Fresh ground black pepper
Sea salt
Cling wrap and aluminum foil

•Lay out a large piece of aluminum foil and a generous amount of cling wrap on top of it.

•Layer 1/2 the onion, garlic and rosemary in one corner of the cling wrap.

•Score one side of the meat, sprinkle with lemon juice, and coat with salt and pepper

•Lay the seasoned side if the meat on the onions, pushing everything underneath.

•Score the other side of the steak, juice, salt and pepper.

•Arrange the rosemary, garlic and onions on top of the steal.

•Wrap the whole thing as tightly as possible in the cling wrap, then I'm the aluminum foil.

•Place package in the refrigerator to marinate, preferably 12-24 hours

•Preheat a George Foreman grill, to 425 (or a comparable grill or oven)

•Unwrap the meat and quickly transfer it to the cooking surface, keeping all the fixings in place.

•Grill for 10 minutes, remove from heat and let stand.

•Slice thinly when ready.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Apple Vitti

You might ask: what is Apple Vitti?

Vitti is the nick name my uncle gave me, it's the gangster diminutive for guys named Vittorio.

When I was in middle school I amended and Apple Brown Betty recipe for my Home Ec class. My dad was converted from apple pie and my mother dubbed it Apple Vitti. This is my father's favorite dessert and there is almost always one in the house.

I used to make it as a treat, but since I moved out my mother has allowed it to become a staple.

When I got home I wanted to make one that I could enjoy too. We had tried it with gluten free flour only, and it wasn't quite the same. So this is the newly modified version.

Apple Vitti

1/2c. Smart Balance, butter or margarine
2 tbsp flax meal
1/2c. brown sugar
2/3c. agave nectar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2c. teff flour, or other gluten free flour
1 cup quinoa flakes
1/2c. chopped pecans

5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
5 Gala apples, peeled, cored and diced
3/4c. orange juice

Heat oven to 350 F. Place apple in an appropriate size baking dish. Cover with foil and cook for 50-60 minutes.

Mix dry ingredients together. Using a spoon or fork until blended but still crumbly. Spoon over cooked apples. Replace in oven and bake another 20-25 minutes, until topping is golden brown.

Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. We eat it alone, with vanilla frozen yogurt or with whipped cream.

My dad preferred this to any type of birthday cake I could have made him.

Blueberry Tart

Every year a family that lives near us hosts a neighborhood Fourth of July Picnic. They've got a lot of property and plenty of room for the kids to play, the adults to talk, and the men to grill. They always supply burgers, snacks and drinks, but always suggest that we bring a dish to share as well.

I can only remember attending the picnic once before, and that ended in a trip to the ER when my mom ate a Hawaiian Burger, and swallowed the partially charred toothpick that held it together. That was a memorable Fourth!

We got our annual invitation, and since I was home visiting my parents I thought it would be nice to catch up with some of the neighbors I haven't seen in eight years or more. Besides, I found this great Blueberry Tart recipe I wanted try. Picnics are always great places to test run recipes that you don't want to eat all by yourself.

Blueberry Tart
(adapted from Eatting Well August 2008)

1/2 c. walnuts, lightly toasted
1 c. gluten free (Mi-Del) ginger snaps
1 large egg white
1 tbsp Smart Balance, melted

8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 c. fresh blueberries

To prepare crust: Preheat oven to 325 F. Coarsely chop walnuts in a food processor. Add ginger snaps and process until the mixture is fine crumbs. Whisk egg white in a medium bowl until frothy. Add the crumb mixture and butter, toss to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9-inch removable bottom tart pan (or pie pan). Set the pan on a baking sheet. Bake until dry and slightly darker around the edges, about 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

T prepare filling: Beat cream cheese, sour cream and 1/4 c. maple syrup in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. When the crust is cool, spread the filling evenly into it, being careful not to break it up. Arrange blueberries on the filling, pressing lightly to set in. Chill for at least 1 hour to firm up.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

When I was planning my visit home, I asked my mom to get a bag of gluten free oats. I have been wanting to test my sensitivity to gluten free oats, and my dad's favorite cookies are oatmeal raisin. I thought I could make the cookies, try a few, and leave the rest for him to enjoy.

Since my father had heart surgery a year ago, I wanted to try something that was at least slightly more healthy than the standard recipe. However, while I was in the middle of making the batter, the power went out, so I had to finish in the dark with a little LED headlamp on. I refrigerated the dough and baked them when the power came back on.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1/2c. Smart Balance
2/3c. flax meal
1/2c. packed brown sugar
1/2c. molasses
1/2c. agave nectar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4c. teff flour
3/4c. quinoa flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
3c. gluten free oats
1c. raisins

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 15 minutes. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered (if any last that long).

Now, I had heard that some celiacs also react to the protein in oats, since they are very similar. I am one of those. My reaction wasn't as bad as if I had been glutened, but it wasn't pleasant either. I will simply have to leave these cookies to my dad and those of you who can enjoy them.

By the way, my dad said they were fantastic!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Father's Day Pancakes

A belated Happy Father's Day to all you dad's out there. Although this post is late, I did call mine on time, and I also wished it to the three father's that I live with. My boyfriend and I had a very nice day together, although his son did not come to visit or call. I'll keep my mouth shut about that since it's really not my place.

For breakfast I made a new pancake recipe that I've been experimenting with. Ever since I first introduced my boyfriend to pancakes he's had a growing appreciation for them. He even started having one for breakfast every morning. Since he was eating them and I wasn't it seemed sorta silly to spend so much money on a GF pancake mix. I got him a whole grain oat bran mix and made him those. Actually, I mixed the batter and taught him how to cook one for himself each morning.

Then, watching him enjoy his pancakes, sorta wishing I could at least have a bite, I had a little scare. I cooked his pancake for him, and then on a whim and without thinking a tossed a Van's toaster waffle into the same pan to toast. I didn't realize what I had done until after I'd eaten most of the waffle. Luckily, if I had a reaction it wasn't bad enough for me to really notice.

Between that and our mutual search for lower carb, higher protein, whole grain options I decided that my best bet was to try to make my own pancake concoction, where I had complete control over the ingredients. All the gluten free mixes had far to many carbs for his taste, and were too refined for mine. After several batches, which weren't bad at all I came up with these. Saturday morning I was told not to change this recipe, they were just right. He couldn't even wait to let me take a picture.

Without further ado, let me present the Teff Quinoa Pancake.
low in carbs, high in protien, and super yummy.

1/2c. Quinoa flour
1/2c. Teff flour
1 Tbsp. Flaxseed meal
1 tsp. baking soda
2Tbsp. NutriBiotic ruice protien powder
2 egg whites
1c. Milk

Saturday, June 7, 2008

One Pot (or Pan) Tilapia

This month's Go Ahead Honey it’s Gluten Free event is being hosted my Carrie, of Ginger Lemon Girl and this month’s theme is One Pot Meals.

I’ve been blogging for a while, but now I’m really starting to feel plugged into the community. This months Go Ahead Honey theme really works for me. Since, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m sure, I live in slightly crowded circumstances. My boyfriend’s mother does the family cooking, and I cook for myself and sometimes my boyfriend too.

So, when I get home from work all the burners on the stove are usually full. I try to do our weekly food preparation during the week, making morning muffins and mixed meat burgers for us to take to work. On the rare evenings that we get to have dinner together I have to keep it simple, and in one pan.

Now, I must point out that my boyfriend’s mother is also a master of one-pot meals, coming from a country with so little, but this is the one that I fix at least once a week.

My boyfriend is a personal trainer and he read in one of his magazines that some body builders rely on tilapia as a low calorie, high protein, and low fat fish. His first question was: “Mija! Can you cook Tilapia?” and after the first time I threw this together it’s been the same every week. As long as we eat together, I don’t even care what we eat; it’s just nice to have him home for a meal.

Now, Carrie has suggested that we post kid friendly one pot recipes, and I think my boyfriends picky eating habits; i.e. “I don’t eat green food” qualifies his favorite dish as kid friendly.

So, after stopping at, on average, three grocery stores on the way home in an attempt to find fresh tilapia, I get home. I take the Big Pan out of the cupboard and set it on the stove.

I crush, peel and chop about three cloves of garlic, peel and slice one yellow onion and dump those into the pan. Turn the heat up to medium and add a dollop of olive oil and some of whatever spices I have on hand.

While the onions and garlic are cooking I wash the tilapia and salt both sides with a sea salt, dulce and kelp mixture and slice about two large tomatoes.

When the onions are translucent, I push them to the middle of the pan, lay the tilapia on top and then layer the tomato slices over the top of the fish. I put the cover on the pan, turn the heat to low and let it cook until the fish is 1) cooked through 2) it falls apart or 3) my boyfriend gets home.

It’s simple, gluten free and delicious. It’s a staple in our “household” such as it is.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Citrus Soy Sea Bass and a Pamelo

It’s been quite a buys week for me. It’s been a busy week, between work and home; I’ve hardly had a minute to relax. Our company is going to be showing at trade show in Las Vegas, and it’s me job to get all the goods ready for it. Throw in a last minute buying trip and you’ve got chaos, as well as me working both the Saturday before and Memorial Day. (Don’t worry; I’ll be getting well compensated in July)

I did some cooking and baking this week, as well as fitting in a few reviews, which I have yet to write. I’ll start with the Citrus Soy Sea Bass that I made last Sunday and I’ll try to follow up quickly with Glutino’s wafer cookies and Pamela’s chocolate chunk cookies.

Last week Whole Foods had a special on Chilean Sea Bass, intrigued, I ran a little search on Epicurious and found an interesting cirtusy ginger marinade for sea bass. It sounded great to me, although I wasn’t sure how my boyfriend would like it. So, after my trip to the Green Market I got down to business, making the marinade and then preparing his turkey burgers and my hamburguesas de tres carnes.

Rather than spending more money on ingredients that I didn’t have I decided to substitute a pamelo that one of our contractors had given me to try. He claims that they are the original grapefruit, and opening this thing up was an adventure. The skin is super thick, and the fruit itself was about the size of a softball. One section alone was bigger than my ear. Opening it was exciting but the fruit itself was a little disappointing; it was dried out and crumbly and not very good eating. It did however serve very well in the recipe, where I substituted it for orange.

The bass turned out wonderfully, soft and flaky, almost as though I had cooked it in butter. I loved the bold, spicy, ginger pineapple sauce. My boyfriend ate the fish but proclaimed the sauce “too spicy”. I had suspected he might, but he told me to fix what I wanted, so I did. I’ll just have to save this recipe for folk with less delicate tastes. However, if you choose to accept the challenge, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Citrus Soy Sea Bass

½ c. pineapple chunks
½ c. grapefruit sections
¼ c. soy sauce, gluten free of course
3 tbsp fresh ginger
1 tbsp sesame or other oil
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1- large bass steak, or other cut of bass

Put all ingredients, except bass, in the blender and puree. Place bass and marinade in a glass container, make sure the fish is covered, stir occasionally, let sit for at least two hours.

Heat a pan, cover the bottom with marinade, put in fish and cover with the rest of the marinade. Cover and steam until the bass is white and cooked all the way through. Time depends on how thick the bass cut is.

Remove the fish when it’s done. Cook down the marinade until it is caramelized.

Serve and enjoy.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Turkey Burgers, or How to Hide Vegetable Where They’re Least Expected

I started today with a little bit of a cold and a mission. Stepping out into the chilly air, I hoped I would be warm enough. After doing my homework on the web and studying mapquest I felt like I had a pretty good handle on where I would find our ‘local’ green market.

New York has a number of green markets around the city and in the boroughs. I’ve been to the one in Union Square and the one in Brooklyn is close to where I used to live. But up until today I had been unable to locate either of Queen’s two elusive markets. Armed with my shopping bag and list I struck out for the subway station.

As in turns out, the green market is not far from one of the stops on the #7 train and the NYSC gym that my boyfriend and I work out at in Sunnyside, so I didn’t have too much trouble finding it. It’s not a large market, not like the others I’ve been to, but the food was fresh and local and the people were very friendly. It’s still early in the season and I’m sure they’ll have more in the coming weeks.

I was able to get all the fresh veggies in my list. Just look at this bounty of baby greens. I even got red spinach, which I’ve never heard of before, it’s supposed to be a little sweeter than green spinach, I’ll find out soon enough. Now that I’ve found it, and since it’s so close to the gym, I’m adding the green market to my list of errands.

All the goodies I got lead me to my recipe of today: Turkey Burgers. Since the first meatloaf I made my boyfriend has been requesting different variations. First it was a beef and turkey meatloaf for the whole family and then it was an all turkey meatloaf for him to take for lunch at work. Now, the last turkey meatloaf I made he sliced up and took in sandwiches, but each slice was much smaller than the bread and I suggested that I could make turkey burgers that would fill out a sandwich better. Ever since then he’s been asking for turkey burgers.

Since I’m cooking for him, I feel partially responsible for his nutrition. He’s a personal trainer and really wants to take care of his body. But the food his mother cooks, traditional Ecuadorian fare doused in corn oil, is pretty light on the dark green leafy veggies and he has some inbred aversion to eating greens. Their idea of a salad is few pieces of iceberg lettuce along with a meal. So I formulated these turkey burgers to be very similar to the meat loaf and I tried to sneak in some dark greens. Hopefully he won’t notice. As long as it’s high protein, low fat and low carb he should be happy.

Turkey Burgers
1 ¼ Lb. ground light meat turkey
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ c. fresh baby spinach, chopped
½ c. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. poultry seasoning mix
1 egg or egg white
salt and pepper to taste

mix everything together with your hands until well mixed. Form into 4 or 5 patties and grill or pan-fry.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Grain Free Sweet Potato Almond Butter Bread

A few weeks ago Simply…Gluten Free posted a recipe for grain free muffins, and then grain free zucchini bread. Then I was bopping around and I found Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried’s recipe for sweet potato pitas. My boyfriend and I are both trying to cut carbs and I thought the idea of a grain free bread-type product sounded really interesting.

I’ve been wanting to try to grain-free peanut butter banana muffins, but I’m still not sure if I’m really allergic to them, and I’m not ready to try just yet, I was looking for an alternative fruit. The grain-free zucchini bread looked great until I ran the nutrition: with the almond butter and almond meal it ended up being pretty high calorie and fat. A comment on the muffin post made me think of pumpkin, but since it’s not pumpkin season, that was out. After seeing the sweet potato pitas, a plan began to form in my mind.

When I was at Trader Joe’s, deliberating in the nut aisle, I opted for almond butter because no one else in my house will use it and contaminate the rest of the jar with bread knives and such. With these recipes all open in my Firefox tabs and with my previous meringue research in mind, I created this Grain Free Sweet Potato Almond Butter Bread.

4 eggs- separated
1tsp cream of tartar
¾ creamy almond butter
2 small sweet potatoes, steamed and skinned
1 Tbsp agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp NutriBiotic rice protein powder (optional)*

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Prepare a loaf pan with greased parchment paper or wax paper.

In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form

In a second bowl beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Add almond butter, sliced sweet potato, agave syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until well blended.

Take a spoonful of egg whites and mix into sweet potato mixture. Mix sweet potato mixture into the egg whites and fold in well, until there are no white streaks.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until slightly brown on the sides and puffy on top. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and paper and let cool on a rack.

So far everybody in my house has liked it, and they’re a hard crowd to please when it comes to trying new foods. And it’s a really pretty color!

*I added this to add a little extra nutrition.

†A special thanks to Simply…Gluten Free and Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried. You ladies are great!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tilapia on a Whim

Last weekend, while watching TV, my boyfriend asked me what tilapia was. He had read in his Flex magazine that some professional body builder was helping to train another and he recommended eating lots of tilapia. So naturally, my boyfriend wants to try tilapia too.

I did a little web research and learned that tilapia is not only on the “safe” list, it’s low calorie, high in protein and low in fat compared to, say, sea bass or tuna.

Never one to turn down a challenge I decided to give it a shot. I thought about what would be fairly fool proof, in terms of my boyfriend trying new foods: nothing fancy or spicy, and what ingredients I already had at home: the end of a bottle of white wine from my last seafood project.

On the way home I stopped at the local grocery, grabbed what looked good and threw this together.

2 fillets Tilapia
1 medium Vidalia or yellow Onion, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, sliced
1 Tomato, diced
3 sprigs fresh Rosemary, partially chopped
White Whine
Olive Oil
Salt and Fresh Pepper

Wash the tilapia and lay on a plate. Sprinkle salt, fresh ground pepper and chopped rosemary over fish. Clean and slice garlic and onions. Sautee garlic, onions and rosemary with salt and pepper until onions are translucent. Push onions to sides of pan, lay tilapia fillets in pan to sear on one side. After 3 minutes flip fillets and cover with onions. Add diced tomato and enough white wine to cover bottom of pan. Cover and cooked until fish is cooked through, about 7 minutes.

We had this with brown rice. I started the rice before I started to prepare the fish and they were done at just about the same time.

My boyfriend really liked it, the only thing that slipped my mind in the mad-dash for groceries was the lemon, luckily we always have limes in the refrigerator. I expect I’ll be making tilapia in ever more creative ways in the future.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fennel & Eggs

As I was reading a health food magazine on the subway I found an article extolling the virtues of fennel. I don't see fennel very often, but I remember my Nonna loved it. It's indigenous to the Mediterranean and I'm sure that she ate it growing up in her Italian family; she used to call in fenochio.

Fennel is a winter vegetable, available from autumn to early spring. It has lots of vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and antioxidants. Historically it’s been used for bad breath and indigestion, intestinal spasms and cramps (maybe it’s the celiac’s best friend?)

I’ve almost exclusively had it in salads; it’s great with some walnuts, cranberries, citrus fruit and just a little vinaigrette. This article had some good ideas, but I wanted to try something a little heartier.

It’s hard to use many of the recipes I find, since I’m really only cooking for one. The rest of the folks in this apartment won’t try anything new, so whatever I make gets eaten by me. This was my first attempt, and although it doesn’t look like much, it is delicious! And quick.

Makes 1 Serving:
3 Eggs or egg whites
½ bulb Fennel
1 clove Garlic
1teaspoon Olive Oil
¼ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
Salt and Fresh Pepper to taste

Thinly slice fennel and garlic, sauté in a large skillet until fennel is soft. Add eggs and stir, cook until eggs are set. Top with cheese, cover and turn of heat. Serve warm.

This is really filling, it makes a great breakfast. I think it would work well with just about any type of cheese. It could also be made to serve more; a larger batch could be baked in the oven.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Beyond Rice Cakes

When you learned that you could no longer eat gluten, did visions of rice cakes pass before your eyes? I think at one time another us celiacs, and many dieters have thought we’d only be able to eat rice cakes. But really, they’re not that bad, with a little work the lowly rice cake can make for a great meal.

While staying with my cousins on short notice I faced with this rice cake only prospect. After searching the kitchen for safe foods I found an unopened bottle of Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter, Quaker Rice Cakes and a pear. The result was fantastic! Quick and easy: 1 rice cake smothered in peanut butter and topped with sliced pear. All the bases covered, carbs, protein and fresh fruit. And I wasn’t hungry till the afternoon.

Another recipe to be filed away for when I’m stuck in a place that doesn’t have all my usual food.

**Note: not all Quaker rice cake products are gluten free**

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Gluten Free Meat Loaf

Last week a friend of mine made his first meat loaf, for friends, and was so excited and proud of himself. This got me thinking, I haven’t had meat loaf since going gluten free. My mother made hers with rolled oats, and all along I have simply assumed that all others were too.

I had this sample of Nueva Cucina seasoning that I wanted to try, so after consulting with my mother, Jeff and his copy of the Good House Keeping cookbook I formulated my own recipe. Which turned out really well. It’s been perfect for lunch at work all week.

½ Lb. Ground Sirloin
¼ Lb. Ground Veal
¼ Lb. Ground Bison
1 small Onion, finely chopped
¼ bunch Parsley, chopped
2 Egg Whites
Crumbs of 1 slice of Gluten Free Bread
½ c. Tomato Sauce
Nueva Cucina Chipotlé Taco seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 F

Mix bread crumbs, onion, parsley, 2/3 packet seasoning, ¼ c. tomato sauce and egg whites until everything is moist. Mix in ground meats by hand. Form into desired loaf-like shape and place on pan or baking sheet. Mix remaining seasoning and tomato sauce and spoon onto top of loaf.

Bake at 350 F for 75 minutes.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Colada de Arroz

When I got home from running errands the other day I got to share a rare moment with my boyfriends mother. She was working over the a large pot on the stove, and after greeting each other she showed me her Colada de Arroz and told be what was in it. “Solo arroz, azucar, leche, canela, y pimienta de dulce.” We filled bowls of the steaming colada and put them to cool by the open window. As we ate our treat we looked through the newspaper coupon circular and conversed as best we could.

Our best moments are when we’re alone in the kitchen, working together or learning together. We two women, neither of who speak much of the other’s language, can bond and communicate over the simple task of preparing food. I learn the most Spanish when we’re working with food; it’s our common ground. Often we find that an hour or more has passed and we’ve understood each for most of that time.

Colada de Arroz is such a simple, comforting food. It’s the closest I’ve been to that oatmeal on a winter morning feeling. In America we would call this Rice Pudding, but this is nothing like the rice puddings never liked before, it’s not sticky sweet or gelatinous. It’s like warm, spiced, slightly sweet rice soup. It’s easy and gluten free.

After some cross communication and being translated through my boyfriend, here is the recipe, as I understand it.

1 cup White Rice
½ cup Sugar
3 Cinnamon Sticks
10 pieces Whole Allspice
Whole Milk

Cook rice according to directions with the sugar and cinnamon. When it has 15 minutes left to cook, add the Allspice. When the rice is finished cooking, add enough milk to cover the rice. Stir the mixture until the milk boils. Cool and serve.

I am already imagining endless possibilities for this recipe: brown rice, skim milk, honey, maple syrup, more cinnamon, nutmeg, the list goes one. This could be a filling breakfast before a cold hard day or a warm comforting treat after a long day playing in the snow.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Breakfast: Sunnyside Up

So this one wasn’t very difficult, and it’s not specially gluten free, but just looking at it on my plate made my morning. After toying with various versions of the egg sandwich with Glutino Fiber Bread.

I took one slice of bread out of the freezer and toasted one side of it in a pan. I flipped it over and put ¼ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese on it, making a bit of a hole in the center. I cracked an egg into the cheese, turned down the heat and put a cover over it.

When I lifted the lid, the cheese was all melted and the egg was cooked. With the second bit I broke the yolk, which was warm and runny. The yolk soaked into the bread and I had a delicious, heart-warming breakfast. I haven’t had eggs like that since I was about 7 years old, sitting in my fathers lap.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Low-Fat, Glutan Free Cheesecake

Despite the name of this recipe it's really very good. I'm used to modifying recipes to meet my needs and I found the base of this one in a women's magazine. I tweaked around so that one 1/12th of a cake slice is only about 200 calories. It's perfect for my end of the day, after my workout sweet craving. I'm putting down the basic recipe, but lately I've been preoccupied with jalapeno jelly, and I found a gluten free variety at the Union Square Greenmarket from Beth's Farm Kitchen. Both the Mighty Hot Pepper Jelly and the Habenero Jelly are GF. This cake is great with just a little bit of the jelly on top.

this one was made with sliced apples for the crust rather that nuts

Note: To see the entire ordeal of making the first cakes see:

1/4 cup chopped pecans and walnuts
dash cinnamon
dash salt

15 oz part-skim ricotta
8 oz 1% fat Whipped Cottage Cheese
1 cup sugar, more or less
1/2-cup fat free sour cream
4.5 tsp Ener-G egg replacer powder
3 Tbsp warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract (or more)
2 tsp Bob's Red Mill GF all-purpose flour
1⁄4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 350. Toast nuts with a little salt and cinnamon in the bottom of an 8" spring form pan for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; reduce heat to 325. Wrap outside of pan in foil to prevent seepage. Filling; puree ricotta in a food processor until smooth, about 1 min. Add cottage cheese, sugar, sour cream, egg replacer, water, almond extract, flour and salt; puree until smooth. Pour filling into pan. Add 1-inch hot water to a shallow baking pan; place spring form pan in baking pan. Bake until cheesecake is firm around the edge and slightly soft in the center, 45-50 minutes. Run a knife around inside of pan. Remove foil; let cool on rack. Chill 6 hours or overnight before removing sides of pan.

If you want experiment with marbling the cake mix 1 cup of plain filling with your additional ingredients and drizzle it on top.

*Last weekend I made this cake layering sliced apple in the bottom of the pan to create the "crust". It came out great! That cake is the one pictured above.

Carrot Cake

When I went home to visit for my birthday, my mom tweaked our family's old standby carrot cake-cum-birthday cake recipe (my dad won't touch chocolate with a ten foot pole, don't ask) to be gluten free for me, and heart healthy for my dad, who had open-heart surgery in May. It turned out great! Here's the recipe:

Vegetable Nut Torte aka Carrot Cake
Modification for gluten free, low fat

3 c gluten free flour (we like Bob's Red Mill)
1.5 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1.5 c sugar

egg replacer for 4 eggs (Ener-G)
1.5 c apple sauce (no additives) in place of oil
1.5 c grated carrots
0.5 c finely chopped celery
1.0 c finely chopped rhubarb
8 oz crushed pineapple, drained
0.5 c chopped pecans

(apple sauce, carrots, celery could have been increased from her original recipe to provide more

Sift dry ingredients. Beat or mix eggs, add applesauce, veggies, then
dry ingredients. (When using Ener-G egg replacer, I usually just use the powder with out additional water)

Bake in a greased and floured spring form pan (or other of your choice)
at 350 for 45-50 min or until tooth pick comes out clean.

When fully cooled frost

Modified cream cheese frosting:
8 oz rice cream cheese
0.5 c sifted powdered sugar (could use less)
2-3 oz Smart Balance spread
1 tsp almond extract


Seco de Chivo (Peruvian Lamb Stew)

Two weeks ago my boyfriend and I went to our favorite Peruvian restaurant for dinner. As we looked over the menu we decided that we wanted to try something different from our usual grilled fish. We settled on lamb stew. The stew arrived, and was quite tasty. Since we always share our meal, I didn't eat to much of it, we had beans, rice, and salad as well. By the time we got home, my skin was starting to feel a little funny. His mother asked us what we had, and when we told her "seco" she told us that, in Ecuador, they use beer in seco. Now, what with the language barrier and all, I don't know how much she understands about my celiac disease, but she does know that I can't eat anything prepared with beer.

Now, she's a good cook, as far as the things she knows how to cook goes, but she said she didn't know how to make seco and I managed to ascertain that she wanted me to make seco if I could. Feverish internet research ensued. I discovered that all the seco recipes did indeed use beer. Not to be deterred I set about finding gluten free beer. The Whole Foods in the Bowery happens to have a beer room which carries several brands on gluten free beer, including at least one that can be purchased individually.

This recipe is tasty, great for cold winter days, and I'm sure can be made with any type of meat of your choice. It got rave reviews from my future in-laws, so it's authentic. It's also fairly fool-proof as far as I can tell.

8 large Garlic cloves
2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp ground Cumin
1 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
5-7 lbs lamb, cut in 2 1/2 inch chunks
3 tbsp Olive Oil
4 med Onions finely chopped
1 1/2 cup gluten free Beer
4-6 cup gluten free Beef stock or broth
1 bunch Cilantro, leaves only chopped

Mix the garlic, salt, cumin and black pepper with the vinegar in a large non-reactive dish. Place the lamb in the marinade, evenly coating the chunks. Marinate at room temperature for at least 3 hours, overnight if possible.

Remove the lamb from the marinade with a slotted spoon, reserving marinade. In a large heavy casserole, heat the 3 tablespoons olive oil over high heat. Brown the lamb, turning with tongs to sear all sides evenly. This will take about 20 minutes (if the lamb does not fit all in one layer, brown in 2 batches, otherwise the meat will steam rather than sear). Transfer the lamb to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium-high and add onions and salt. Saute, for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are golden. Add the beer and lower the heat so that the liquid is simmering. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until all of the beer has evaporated. Return the browned lamb, along with the accumulated juices from the plate, to the pan. Add the stock and stir to mix. Bring up to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the dish, covered, for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the meat is tender.

Add the reserved marinade and the cilantro, stir to mix, and cook for 1 minute more. Serve from the casserole.

To serve in a traditional manner have rice or boiled potatoes on the side. You could also add precooked peas or carrots at the end.

This is really tasty!