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Archive for the ‘Vegetables’ Category

No official name here, not even a *real* recipe, just a framework for you.

We fell in love with kale salads a few years ago. And I was actually surprised that my husband went for it the first time I made one!

I almost always have a bag of Trader Joe’s curly kale in the frig – it lasts quite a while and is pre-prepped (torn and washed) so this salad is easily thrown together. I also always have a ripe avocado – they’re either ripening on the counter or there are ripe ones *on hold* in the frig. This salad frequently accompanies our other “go-to” meal item, our homemade frozen tamales, as the flavors are complementary.

"Go-To" Kale Salad

“Go-To” Kale Salad

Kale, washed and torn from stems

Olive oil

Salt

Garlic powder

Cherry tomatoes, halved

Avocado, diced

Lemon (or lime) juice, just a squeeze, to taste (a few drops of bottled works in a pinch too!)

Sriracha Sauce (aka Rooster Sauce), to taste, if desired

Roasted Sunflower Seeds

Place your kale in a bowl and drizzle with a bit of olive oil and a dash of salt. Massage kale with your hands until the leaves are coated. Sprinkle with garlic powder and let it rest while you make the other parts of your meal; the leaves will soften. Top kale with remaining ingredients and serve.

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My husband is frequently amused by the different pizza combinations I come up with, which are often inspired by other bloggers. Last weekend I finally got around to making Maria’s Sweet Potato Kale Pizza with Rosemary and Red Onion, and it was so full of gorgeous, seasonal flavors. The same evening, my husband made his standard (gluten-full) cheese pizza but he was intrigued by the kale on my pizza and so added some to his own. Maybe there is a possibility of his pizza tastes becoming more sophisticated? (Yeah, right.)

And so, that pizza sent my mind wandering around, thinking of the other possibilities for the flavors I had just enjoyed together. Somehow my mind landed on quinoa. And so did Maria. I laughed when I saw her Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Kale pop up one morning last week. I was like, dang, she beat me to it! But at the same time, it wasn’t quite what I had running through my mind. And so, I introduce you to…

Quinoa with Balsamic Butternut and Kale Saute

An original by Renee, inspired by those listed above

1 butternut squash (2-3#), seeded, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

1 large onion, chopped

1 Tbsp oil

3 cups kale, de-ribbed, torn into small pieces

1/2 tsp salt

Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp dried rosemary leaves, crushed (or sage)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet(s) with foil.  Toss chopped squash in olive oil to lightly coat. Roast squash until tender, 30 minutes or so, depending on the sizes of squash pieces. Be sure to stir the squash at least once, halfway through. And give the squash plenty of room to “breathe” on the roasting pan so that they are crisp rather than soggy.

Cook quinoa in water according to your favored method (I prefer to use my rice cooker these days).

Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.

Once the quinoa is cooked, in a large skillet, saute the onion in the olive oil until it begins to soften. Stir in the kale and allow to soften slightly. Next, stir in the roasted squash and allow to heat through slightly, especially if it had cooled down significantly (I had roasted mine the day before). Pour in half of the vinaigrette and stir to coat the vegetables. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, then stir in the cooked quinoa and salt. Heat through if quinoa had cooled down significantly. Taste. Add more vinaigrette or salt as desired. Serve warm.

Additions:

We had some goat cheese that needed to be eaten, so I crumbled some up and sprinkled on top as well, after the photo – a very nice addition.

I also thought that adding a can of drained and rinsed white beans might be nice and add a big protein boost (although quinoa is already high in protein).

I saved the extra vinaigrette in a small glass jar to pour over the leftovers. Quinoa has a tendency to suck up some of the flavor and make it disappear after some time in the frig.

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Mmmmm…sweet potato fries.

Love them. But hubby does not. Oh well, more for me, right?

These would be perfect for serving with after-Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches. Or any old time, say, with some lentil soup, like we did this week.

Sweet Potato Fries with Lentil Soup

Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Original by Renee, but inspired by many

2 large sweet potatoes, sliced

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. (Or the highest your oven will go, if it doesn’t reach 500. The hotter, the better chance of crispy fries.) Line a cookie sheet with foil for easy clean-up.

Wash and cut the sweet potatoes to desired thickness and length. (You don’t have to peel them, I don’t.) In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with olive oil. In a small bowl, mix the remaining spices together. Then sprinkle the potatoes with the spice mixture, stirring well until all potatoes are covered.

Spread potatoes out evenly on cookie sheet. Use two sheets if they are crowded. The more space they have to “breathe”, the crisper they will be. Depending on how thick you cut your fries, the longer they will need to bake. Start with 10-15 minutes, stir them and check to see if they are tender. Bake until tender.

Also, check out Elise’s recipe over at Simply Recipes and the hints from her readers on other ways to help crisp up your fries and dipping sauce ideas. These seasoned fries I prefer to eat plain.

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Over the past month, I’ve been making a lot of dishes using the produce coming out of our garden and what I’ve found at the farmer’s markets. One of my favorite summer meals is pasta with a bunch of fresh vegetables. Below I present you with two variations on a theme, both of which are deliciously simple.

I intended on getting this post up for Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free since the theme was “Dishes so Simple, No Recipe Required” but alas, I procrastinated and didn’t get it up. Regardless, go over to GF Easily and check out the other un-recipes.

Balsamic Vegetable Pasta

Quick Summer Pasta

Original by Renee

No measurements here, just go with what feels and tastes(!) right.

Gluten Free Pasta, my favorite brand is Tinkyada (which is also sold cheaper as Trader Joe’s house brand of brown rice pasta).

Chopped heirloom tomatoes (Yay for Green Zebras – the birds don’t try to eat them since they’re green, and leave half-eaten, beautiful red toms hanging on the vine)

Chickpeas, cooked/canned, drained and rinsed

Feta cheese, crumbled – I had picked up some lovely marinated goat feta from Sweetwoods Dairy at the farmer’s market

A drizzle of olive oil

Fresh basil – lots of it!

Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper

Cook pasta and drain. Toss with remaining ingredients.

Balsamic Vegetable Pasta

Original by Renee

Again, no measurements but I wanted more vegetables than pasta in this one.

Gluten Free Pasta – see above

Onion, halved and thinly sliced, either red or white will work

Balsamic vinegar

Chickpeas, canned/cooked, rinsed and drained

Heirloom tomatoes, chopped – lots of them!

Feta or goat cheese, crumbled

Olive oil

Basil – lots of it!

Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper

Cook pasta (gluten free pasta needs a lot of water to move around in!). Drain and rinse.

In a large skillet, heat a bit of olive oil. Add in the sliced onion and cook over medium heat. Turn down and let the onions start to carmelize a bit and then drizzle some balsamic vinegar over them. Add in the chickpeas and let them heat through, stirring occasionally, and adding a bit more balsamic if you want.

Toss onions and chickpeas into a  large bowl. Add in the tomatoes, basil and feta, toss gently. Add in pasta (I wanted more veggies, less pasta in this version). Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and add salt and pepper (and/or more vinegar) to taste.

Notes:

* Sometimes I also saute a red sweet bell pepper with the onions.

* Kalamata olives and/or toasted pine nuts are a nice addition.

* Parmesan cheese instead of feta or goat cheese works too. So many variations!

* Mix it up to fit your taste buds!

What’s your favorite quick summer pasta combination?

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I realized the other day that we hadn’t had one of our favorite summer favorites yet – gazpacho! I realized this when I saw the growing pile of tomatoes on the counter and a couple of cucumbers in the crisper drawer, waiting to be used. We also had the last of the shishito peppers from last week’s visit to the farmer’s market to eat up.

This recipe is based upon one that my mom made growing up so I am not sure where her recipe originally came from. I have changed it up a little to fit our tastes and needs but it is still very simple and tasty. Add and subtract as you desire.

A few items to note – when dining out, gazpacho is usually not gluten free as it often contains breadcrumbs. Some recipes call for tarragon vinegar too, which is often made with malt vinegar – a no-no for celiacs. Check your labels. Also, chop all of your vegetables into similar sizes; we prefer a 1/4-1/2″ dice. And one last thing – this tastes better the next day, so make it ahead so that it can chill and the flavors meld.

This week we served it up with some shishito peppers and quick cheese quesadillas which were just corn tortillas with some shredded cheddar between and fried in a little oil on the stove.

Gazpacho

Recipe by Renee, inspired by my mom

46 oz bottle of vegetable juice such as V-8 Low Sodium or Spicy Hot version

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 cup green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 cup sweet onion, like Vidalia, chopped

2 cups tomatoes chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup light-tasting olive oil

1 tsp worcestershire sauce or soy sauce *

1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar, or maybe even sherry vinegar)

1-1/2 tsp salt, to taste

1/2 tsp fresh pepper

1 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped

1 – 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed (optional)*

Pour vegetable juice into a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Stir well. Chill for 4 hours and serve soup chilled.

Notes:

* Lea and Perrins worcestershire sauce is gluten free but not vegetarian, as it contains anchovies. The Wizards makes a vegan, gluten free worcestershire sauce, or you could make your own. Otherwise, substitute with gluten free soy sauce and adjust your salt as the soy sauce is probably saltier than the worcestershire.

*If we are eating this as a meal, I will often add a can of white beans for protein. We have also added fresh sliced-off-the-cob corn.

Sauteed Shishito Peppers

If you can find them at your market, be sure to grab them while they’re still around. They run about $8 per pound at the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market, but a full pound is enough for the two of us for three or four meals as an appetizer. Here is our favorite way to serve them up, from Deborah Madison, cookbook author. I use canola oil instead of olive oil as she suggests.

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With this week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap theme of light and easy for summer, I thought I would post this recipe. We have fallen in love with napa cabbage chopped salads and slaws. This one was inspired by a couple of the napa cabbage recipes over at Kalyn’s Kitchen where she blogs about South Beach Diet recipes. Many, if not most, of her recipes are naturally gluten free or easily modified with minimal substitutions. But that doesn’t mean that they are missing any flavor! We’ve just loved everything we’ve made from Kalyn’s blog. (This is starting to sound like an Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger post…hmmm.) Thanks for the inspiration Kalyn!

Napa Cabbage Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing

Inspired by Kalyn’s Kitchen

This makes a lot so feel free to make only half but it is a great dish to take to a potluck or picnic.

8-10 cups napa cabbage, sliced or shredded

2 cups shredded carrots

2 cups red bell pepper, sliced, matchstick sized

1/2 cup green onions, sliced

2-1/2 cups edamame, shelled and cooked

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

Dressing:

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1-2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey

1-1/2 Tbsp ginger, grated on your Microplane

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup olive oil, light-tasting, I used a light and fresh Spanish olive oil

Toss together all of the salad ingredients, except the sesame seeds, in the largest bowl you have. In a mason jar with a lid, mix together all of the dressing ingredients and give it a good shake. Taste and add more salt if needed. Or ginger. Or sweetener. Or whatever.

Start small and stir some of the dressing into the salad. Add more if you would like. Adjust it to your preferences. Top with sesame seeds.

If you won’t be eating this all at one time, I would suggest keeping the edamame in a separate bowl and adding it when just before eating it. Same with the sesame seeds. We were able to eat this salad for an entire week because I kept the salad and dressing ingredients separate until we were ready to eat it.

Do you have a favorite napa cabbage recipe?

This recipe was submitted to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. As well, this recipe was cross-posted over at Gluten Free Easily’s Virtual Support Group.

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I had a craving the other day. Yes, I know it’s January and I should be eating soup all the time. But no, we get cravings for fresh vegetables around here, and especially for a great big salad. Plus I had a couple of artichoke hearts hanging out in the refrigerator, leftover from making the Quinoa Salad. And apparently the same mix of flavors was calling out to me.

So, I whipped up one of my mom’s recipes that I have made my own over the years. It hit the spot.

Greek Salad

Recipe by Renee, inspired by her mom!

Dressing:

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp oregano

2 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Mix all ingredients, yes, including the feta, in a large measuring cup. Squish up the feta with a fork until it is all mixed well.

Salad:

Mixed salad greens (romaine, spinach, butter lettuce, etc.)

4 artichoke hearts, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 red onion, sliced

1/2 of a large English cucumber, seeds removed, chopped

12 Kalamata olives, chopped

fresh black pepper

Toss salad ingredients together. Pour dressing over and toss again.

Best if eaten the same day. Or keep the dressing and salad separate like I did for lunch today and mix together when ready to eat.

Also, add whatever other vegetables you have on hand. Or herbs, I like to add dill weed. To make it a main dish, add some chickpeas or white beans. Or gluten free croutons, if you so desire.

This post is linked to Real Food Weekly at The WHOLE Gang. Go check it out for more inspiring recipes!

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