Posts Tagged gluten free recipes

Curse You Gluten Free Bloggers!!!

Ok, I don’t mean this literally. Please don’t shun me from the blogging community. But, c’mon people, do you really have to post such luscious, tasty recipes of gluten free goodness?

Let me explain. In less than two weeks, I will be going on vacation (and attending a podcast expo) with my hubby in Las Vegas. A real vacation, just us (my in-laws are happily watching Thing 1 and Thing 2). Now, I’ve never been to Las Vegas, but from what I’ve read and seen, it’s the Land of the Hot People. Twenty-somethings in scantily clad bikinis with not an ounce of cellulite in sight.

Holy crap – somebody call my shrink, I’m having a panic attack.

I can do Las Vegas, right? I’m not too far past my prime. I can still hang (well, at least until 11:00 pm if I have a nap during the day). I want to look hip and trendy for Vegas. I want to wear glitter and get a little (gasp) hootchie mama.

In “Training For Vegas” (cue Rocky theme), I’m eating healthy and exercising. My problem is visiting these gluten free blog sites is like going to the grocery store on an empty stomach. Bad, bad, bad! These bloggers make living a gluten free life look fulfilling and oh-so-satisfying.  My willpower to abstain from decadent delights goes right down the drain… Sigh.

I’d like to share some of my favorite stomach grumblers with you. Check out the sites, try a recipe or two, and, think of me, desperately trying to avoid the (insert expletive here) Internet at all costs.

The good news is that after August 17th I can go back to wearing my “mom pants” again 🙂

Book Of Yum’s Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake. I LOVE cheesecake! Before I was gluten free, I could devour a 12 inch cheesecake with just a fork and a smile. Sea’s creative recipe knocks it outta the park!  YUM!

Ginger Lemon Girl’s The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. Carrie, a lovely southern girl, was the Grand Prize Winner for these scrumptious cookies. She bakes like nobody’s business!

Gluten Free Steve’s Surefire, Never Miss Cinnamon Rolls. Steve’s recipe puts Cinnabon to shame. I love to visit Steve’s “Rants” section — it’s just genius! I admit it, I’m a celiac with anger issues… Steve is my Zoloft.

Simply…Gluten Free’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie. Carol is witty, can cook, and takes a mean food photograph. I have had to stop myself from licking the computer screen. Seriously…

The Crispy Cook’s Blueberry Pizza. Rachel boldly took on the challenge of cooking gluten free for her celiac husband. How awesome is that?! My poor hubby (who doesn’t have celiac) is lucky if he gets a Hot Pocket for dinner.

Trav’s Gone Gluten Free’s Chocolate Fudge Cake. I totally want to be Trav’s new best friend. He is always baking chocolately goodness for his (lucky!) compadres. Trav, my other restraining orders for “stalking” have been lifted. BFF pinkie swear.

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Cool as a Cucumber

At times, I can be a “crunchy granola” kind of girl… The gluten free variety, of course!

Exhibit A: I have a peculiar obsession with Goji Berries.

Exhibit B: I can compost with the best of them!

Exhibit C: I enjoy a cup of Yerba Mate and Pi Lo Chun (don’t ask, it’s some kind of green tea).

Last year, I had joined a local CSA (community supported agriculture). Unfortunately, I ended up with too many veggies that I just didn’t know how to cook or really wanted to ingest (who the heck eats Dinosaur Kale?!). So, in my mission to find local, organic produce, I happened upon DanLynn Farms, a certified organic farm in Pedricktown, NJ. The kiddies (affectionately dubbed Thing 1 and Thing 2) had a blast on our outing. They were fascinated with the chickens, guinea hens, and tractors. I purchased (quite reasonably!) a bunch of cucumbers, some zucchini, yellow squash, and scallions. The owner actually dug the scallions right from the ground. You can’t get much fresher than that, huh?

I absolutely love cucumbers. They remind me of my childhood. Ok, that sounds like a strange statement, so let me explain. My grandparents were backyard farmers and gardeners. With almost an acre of land, they cultivated the most amazing vegetable gardens each year. I remember helping them shuck corn, pick peas and gooseberries, and harvest loads of cucumbers. At many a summer meal, my grandmother would make her simple but tasty “cucumber salad”. As a child I loved it and I still love it today. So, I’d like to share with you my Grandmother’s recipe for cucumbery goodness. I’ve altered it ever so slightly to make it a healthier meal. My family could have kept the Hellman’s Corporation in stock based on our consumption of their mayonnaise alone. Back in the “old days” we put Hellmann’s in everything (including cucumber salad!). In this recipe, the light sour cream makes the salad satisfying, but not heavy.

Cucumber Salad

Three cucumbers
1 & 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
1/2 Vidalia onion
1/4 to 1/2 cup Light Sour Cream (I love the Daisy brand – you can’t tell it’s lowfat)
8 fresh mint leaves
Black Pepper to taste
Mint leaves for garnish

Use a vegetable peeler to remove the cucumber peel. Note – remove less peel for more fiber and Vitamin A. Using the “thin slice” side of large grater (or just slice them really thin by hand), slice all cucumbers. In a colander, place all sliced cucumbers and mix in 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt. Allow the cucumbers to “drain” for 10 minutes. Cucumbers are naturally high in water content, so adding the sea salt actually draws some of the water out. After 10 minutes, take a handful of the cucumbers and squeeze in your hands to remove additional water. Repeat until you have squeezed all of the cucumbers 🙂 Put cucumbers in a serving bowl and set aside. Peel a Vidalia onion and again use the “thin slice” side of your grater. The onion slices should be paper thin so not to overpower the cucumber. After slicing 1/2 an onion, allow this to “drain” in the colander. Pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Then chop slices into small pieces. Add onion to serving bowl (with cucumbers). Then fold in 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of Light Sour Cream. Start off on the low end — you can always add more. Chop the 8 fresh mint leaves and fold into salad. Add fresh cracked pepper to your taste. Note – do not add salt to this salad. It will make it watery! Refrigerate until chilled. Garnish with mint leaves and additional cracked black pepper and serve. Note – use your discretion as to how much onion, mint, or sour cream your prefer. The mint adds a very mild hint of flavor, but can definitely be omitted. If you are not a huge onion fan, lessen the amount and be sure to chop into tiny pieces.


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Can An Irish Girl Make Good Pesto?

By heritage, I’m an “Irish Girl” who reluctantly grew up on meat, potatoes, irish stew, and (gag) turnips. Not my personal idea of a good time. I used to like Lucky Charms (that counts, right?!) but, alas, they’re not gluten free. I so happen to have a great fondness for Italian food!!!

Recently I decided to make good use of the basil from my herb garden.  I’m impressed — this plucky basil is holding its own amongst the mint for my mojitos.  I reside here in the great “Garden State”.  For those of you who don’t know, that’s New Jersey. No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you — I actually typed New Jersey 🙂 I live in Southern New Jersey, which is probably the most underdeveloped in all the state (read – there is a little bit of land left that is not taken by housing, strip malls, etc).  In fact, New Jersey is one of the top producers of blueberries, cranberries, and peaches.  Oh, and Sopranos fans.

But “Fuhgetabout” the agricultural lesson for today, on to more important things… FOOD!  In preparation for dinner, I picked up some of the first “Jersey Tomatoes” at our local farm stand.  I then stopped by the Italian Market for some smoked buffalo mozzarella and roasted red peppers.  Back home, I dusted off my Cuisinart Chopper Thingy (yes, that’s what I call it), and started on the pesto.  This pesto is lighter in taste than your traditional pesto as I used lemon juice.  Not to toot my own horn (toot toot!), but the pesto tasted delicious with the tomatoes, mozzarella, and red peppers.  What an easy summertime meal!

Homemade Pesto

3 packed cups of fresh basil leaves
2 cloves of peeled garlic
1/3 cup of grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons of lightly toasted pine nuts (toast in a small pan over low heat till golden brown in color)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of water

In a food processor, puree all the ingredients listed above until combined. Taste and make adjustments as needed (I sometimes need to add a bit more basil or cheese).

Tomato, Mozzarella, and Roasted Red Pepper “Salad”

Two to three medium tomatoes sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 8 ounce ball of smoked buffalo mozzarella
1 12 ounce jar of marinated roasted red peppers (these were in olive oil & had garlic cloves — I drained mine)
A few basil leaves for garnish

On a platter, alternate sliced tomatoes and mozzarella.  Where there is space, place your roasted red peppers.  Drizzle a small portion of extra virgin olive oil on top of the tomatoes, mozzarella, and red peppers.  Next, spoon the homemade pesto over all of the ingredients.  Garnish with a few basil leaves and enjoy!

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