Summer Sangria

***A Granny smith apple is also a fabulous fruit addition.

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Mayo-Free Egg Salad

Six months ago was the first time I had eaten eggs in years. I thought they made my stomach worse. And I was quite content being vegan.

Cutting out gluten and yeast, and reducing my soy intake (at least a little), meant adding eggs back into my diet. Gluten and yeast show up in numerous vegetarian and vegan meat substitutes. And a girl can only eat beans and legumes so many days in a row.

So now I have welcomed eggs back into my diet, and my body loves it. My favorite way to eat eggs is hardboiled on a large spring greens or spinach salad. This egg salad recipe would be amazing exactly the same way.

I apologize for the lack of photograph. I made the egg salad as part of my preparation for a party. Time got the best of me and I was changing out of my yoga pants as my guests walked through the door, photo opportunity lost. Next time I make it, I will be sure to capture the sunny yellow hue next to the deep greens oranges and reds of a good varied salad. Promise.

Mayonnaise has never been my condiment of choice, so there was no grieving process over its loss when I cut out vinegar. Where mayonnaise would normally reside, here there is a combination of unsweetened soy yogurt, olive oil, and lemon juice. I promise you won’t notice or mind.

Ingredients: to feed a gathering
12 hardboiled eggs, chopped
8 tbsp unsweetened soy yogurt
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh ground mustard seed
several pinches of salt, to taste
several dashes of black peppers, to taste
1/4 tsp yellow curry powder, with turmeric

Directions:

  1. combine all of the ingredients, except for the eggs
  2. gently mix in the eggs until all of the ingredients are thoroughly integrated
  3. serve chilled

This would be great on a salad, with carrot sticks, or on toast.

Enjoy.

Thai Style Fresh Spring Rolls

This past weekend, we had a get together to celebrate my graduation from University. It was a lot of fun! And I felt a lot of love, because as I looked down the appetizer line, I could eat everything on that counter. There was mayo-free egg salad, roasted vegetable dip, hummus, fruit salad, pico de gallo, and fresh spring rolls. I’m a lucky lady.

The spring rolls were the hit of the night. I sent my dad the recipe, and he put them together that afternoon. Because they were the success of the evening, I thought I would share the recipe with you here.

Fresh spring rolls are quite diverse. A variety of vegetables and proteins can be added to taste, this is just a base recipe. I like browned tofu, and extra basil in mine. Countless sauces can be used for dipping. They’re great in peanut dressing, or a simple combination of Brigg’s liquid aminos, sesame oil, and lime juice.

Ingredients:
rice paper (available at any asian/international market)
1/2 cup of bean sprouts
1/3 cup green cabbage, thinly chopped
3-4 green onions, chopped
2/3 cup precooked rice vermicelli
1/3 cup carrots, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
fresh basil and cilantro, chopped, to taste
1 tbsp. Brigg’s liquid aminos
2 tbsp. lime juice
fresh grated ginger to taste

Directions:

  1. toss all of the ingredients, except for the rice paper and noodles, together in a bowl
  2. submerge each rice paper in hot water for several seconds until the paper softens and becomes pliable
  3. place a small amount of the noodles, and 2-3 tbsp. of the vegetable mixture, onto the rice paper
  4. fold like a burrito and serve fresh

Dinner Party Nachos

Today is Joshua’s birthday. We had a sleepy morning, logically enough followed by a lazy afternoon. I am sipping on some hot green tea with Kombucha and listening to Blind Pilot. We want snow.

Our friends David and Noemi came over for dinner this past week. In life before food allergies, I would make dough and set out a variety of toppings for people to make personal pizzas. It was perfect. But life changes and we have to adapt. Sadly, gluten-free yeast-free pizza dough is not yet something I’ve mastered, although I have tried. So instead, now, we make nachos.

It’s the same concept as the pizzas. We make or buy tortilla chips, chop fresh vegetables, reheat leftover quinoa, and ready a number of other toppings. The toppings change based upon what’s in the refrigerator. This was what we had this past Thursday.

Toppings:
Homemade guacamole
Beans from leftover chili (black and navy)
Leftover quinoa
Salsa Verde (WATCH FOR VINEGAR)
Fresh roasted red and poblano peppers
TVP (equal parts tvp and water, browned and seasoned to taste)
Spinach and lettuce
Tomatoes and onions
Fresh cilantro
Cheese (for those who can partake)

To roast the peppers, I simply coated them lightly with canola oil, and placed them in the oven with the broiler on. I checked every four or five minutes to see if they needed to be turned, and took them out when the skin started to blacken.

My plate usually starts with more spinach than chips. Thursday this got covered by a generous portion of guacamole, some of the roasted red peppers, tvp and quinoa, and finally a little salsa. Perfect.

And never doubt that great company makes good food that much better.

Spinach & Tofu Ricotta Stuffed Shells

It’s easy to get into a food rut. Even without food allergies. For most of this week I ate the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner consistently. Life gets busy, and I begin to miss the ease of pre-packaged dinners.

Which makes me miss the recent cruise I took with my family. On the ship, our dinner hostess Jurga took incredible measures to ensure I had a three-course dinner with a dessert every night, and whatever I wanted for breakfast and lunch. If you have food allergies, cruise Carnival.

Missing the cruise made me miss my sisters.

Back to yesterday.

Saturday was a sleepy day spent in pajamas, editing photoshop files for an old teacher, and searching for something new to eat. I needed to shake off the monotony of the week. Stuffed shells were a meal made often by my grandmother growing up. Before yesterday, however, I had not given much thought to trying to recreate the dish. Then I stumbled upon Tinkyada’s gluten-free pasta shells. Unfortunately I found them because they were on the discontinued shelf at Earth Fare. Damn. But I believe Whole Foods carries them, and if not, you can always order them online. Their lasagna noodles are also excellent.

The recipe that follows was inspired by about seven online recipes, and a bit of creativity. I wasn’t looking to go super bold or out of the box. I wanted classic. There are many renditions to follow I am sure. It was made and eaten with Bon Iver and Jill Andrews playing in the background. There was also candlelight involved.

And it passed the husband test. Joshua will have one serving of just about anything I make. When he has three, I know we’ve found a new staple recipe.

Spinach & Tofu Ricotta Stuffed Shells (for two really hungry people)

Ingredients:
1/2 box Tinkyada gluten-free pasta shells
Tofu Ricotta (recipe follows)
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 cup frozen broccoli, thawed and mashed
Jar of your favorite pasta sauce (Arrabiata is delicious and spicy, watch for sugar)
Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Gourmet, mozzarella-style, shredded (NOTE: watch for yeast in vegan cheeses)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions on box.
  3. While pasta is cooking, assemble the tofu ricotta (recipe follows).
  4. Combine the tofu ricotta, frozen spinach, and broccoli.
  5. Drain the pasta, and rinse quickly with water to make it easier to handle.
  6. Stuff the shells with the spinach mixture.
  7. Cover the bottom of a 9″x9″ baking dish with sauce (a dutch oven works well).
  8. Place the shells carefully in the dish, and cover with sauce.
  9. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese, and bake an additional 5-8 minutes.
  10. Serve immediately.

Tofu Ricotta

Ingredients:
7 ounces extra firm tofu, pressed in a cheese cloth or paper towels and crumbled
1/4 cup cooked quinoa
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 tbsp tahini
2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt (more to taste)
black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dried basil
dash of nutmeg
red pepper flakes (to taste)

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse the food processor a couple of seconds at a time, stopping to stir frequently. You want a crumbly but consistent mixture, but nothing too creamy.

Roasted Vegetable & Wilted Spinach Salad

Even before I had a blog about food, I posted recipes on my studio practice blogs. The following recipe for a simple roasted vegetable salad was scratched into a sketchbook, probably during a critique or in between studio classes, some time last year and posted here on my blog. The only thing that needs to be changed to accommodate food allergies is a change in dressing. See my recipe for oil and lemon dressing at the bottom of the page.

Oil & Lemon Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3 grinds of black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground mustard seed (NOT bottled mustard. This has vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Dried herbs of choice (for this recipe I love thyme and basil)

Directions:

  1. Mix the shallot, s&p, and olive oil together with the herbs. Allow to rest and soak.
  2. Mix in the lemon juice

Makes enough for two large salads. May also be stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for a few days.

Be sure to watch for vinegar in both your roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts. Unless, of course, you roast the red peppers fresh. So good.

 

Since I started posting my blog on facebook, quite a few people have mentioned that they too have food allergies. Unfortunately, I realize this is a growing trend. So I want to hear from those of you who have (or have not) spoken up. What recipe do you want to adapt? What have you been wanting to make?

Spinach Artichoke Bean Dip

What a game! I don’t pretend to know a whole lot about football, but my attention was held. Our favorite commercials included Honda’s Matthew Broderick’s Day Off and the Chevy Truck Apocalypse. Kat and I splurged, and I made white sangria (with stevia), but that is a recipe for another day (maybe tomorrow, you never know).

I made the spinach artichoke dip, and I sit here conflicted. It was a delicious, healthy, and creamy dip. But it was quite different from the spinach artichoke dip from my childhood, and I would be remiss if I did not confess this. I loved it, I ate it again for lunch today, but I believe the recipe should be titled spinach artichoke bean dip.

My only deviations from this recipe were to take out the bread crumbs, and to replace the nutritional yeast with about 4 tbsp. of vegan cream cheese. I also steamed the diced onion in the microwave for a couple of minutes so it did not absorb as much oil and cooked down much faster.

With a whole can of beans and lots of vegetables, this dip really is nutritious and filling. Along with some fresh guacamole, it was my dinner last night. And yes, Aunt Gail, last night I put garlic in my guacamole! Sometimes a girl’s just not in a garlicky mood though, you know?

Happy Monday Everyone.

The Super Bowl

Let’s face it, friends. It can be next to impossible to eat anything but the celery sticks intended for the blue cheese dip at parties. While many of my friends eat healthy, and some are vegetarians, very few are gluten, vinegar, or dairy free.

And after spending an hour searching the web for a spinach artichoke dip I can nibble on, I realized that neither are very many super bowl-attending bloggers. Growing up spinach artichoke dip was one of my major food groups, and this morning I woke up determined to make it for the game tomorrow. I finally found this recipe on Oh She Glows, modified from a couple of other websites. It still has nutritional yeast in it, which I have not put back on my safe list, so I am planning on substituting it out for a few tablespoons of vegan cream cheese. I’m also planning on leaving off the breadcrumbs, because of the yeast, but also because I’ve never really loved breadcrumbs.

Also on the menu is plenty of pico de gallo and guacamole.

I’ll let you know how the dip turns out!

What’s on your game day menu?

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers with Homemade Guacamole

I believe, with fair resolution, that cooking dinner should usually be done with a drink in hand. Nothing is better than having a glass of red wine while making italian, and slipping a little splash of that wine into the marinara. Tonight, I was cooking with limes, so naturally I went for gin.

But I digress. My husband Joshua eats meat. I would be perfectly content living off of bok choy, walnuts, and smoothies, while he eats a large pepperoni pizza in a sitting.

It keeps life interesting.

And it’s a good thing. Interesting means looking outside of my salads, and drawing inspiration from dinners with meat. Interesting means combining ingredients and seasonings to make a meal that we both love, and that has enough substance that he won’t be reaching for the chips 30 minutes later.

This is one of those meals. The quinoa and tvp together provide a powerhouse of protein and fiber, as do the black beans I usually cook up as a side dish. If you have never roasted a pepper, please enlighten yourself to the incredible sweetness of a roasted red bell pepper soon. You won’t regret it.

I put a layer of cheese on top of Joshua’s pepper for the last five to ten minutes of baking for added flavor and protein. I promise it doesn’t need it though to be completely satisfying. Even without the cheese this was the perfect meal for my crazed metabolism today. I’ve started running more and lifting weights, and as a result it takes about twice as much food to keep me from feeling hungry. I might have overcompensated here a bit, but at least I saved part of my pepper and some guacamole for my salad tomorrow.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers (For two)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup quinoa
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp. water
2 medium red bell peppers, washed and deseeded with the tops removed
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 large handful baby spinach
Olive oil (as needed)
1/2 cup tvp (WATCH FOR GLUTEN)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 small roma tomato, diced
salt and chilli powder to taste

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, stir, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F
  3. While quinoa is simmering, saute the yellow onion in a small amount of olive oil. Add the spinach and stir until wilted.
  4. Combine the tvp with the boiling water and allow to stand for several minutes.
  5. Add the tvp and onion mixture to the quinoa along with the tomato. Season and stir until the ingredients are well integrated.
  6. Stuff the peppers with the quinoa mixture. Replace the tops on the peppers.
  7. Place peppers in a shallow baking dish and bake for 40 minutes. The peppers should be tender and some browning may occur.
  8. Serve immediately

Homemade Guacamole

Ingredients:
1 avocado, mashed
1/2 roma tomato, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/3 fresh jalapeno, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 a lime
salt to taste

Directions: Combine all the ingredients well and serve slightly chilled.

Serve the peppers on a plate of greens with a side of black beans and guacamole, and a lime for garnish.

 

Thai Stir Fry, Mixed Greens with Peanut Dressing, and a Passion Fruit Smoothie

I love cooking lunch when I’m home. It makes up for the apple and peanut butter lunches I have so often when I am at the studio or out running errands. I love eating lunch at home too. It is a pause. I sit and eat quietly at the kitchen table by myself. Some days are easier to be still than others, but I am learning to make this quiet a priority.

Today was warm enough to even make a smoothie for dessert. During the summer I live on smoothies, and I am reluctant to put the blender away as the temperature drops. But with February staying in the sixty-degree range, and I still warm from my run and shower, I figured it was a good day to unhibernate the blender. Take that, groundhog.

My  new favorite way to saute vegetables or brown tofu is in coconut milk. I heat a saute pan over medium high heat and cover the bottom with coconut milk. As the milk heats it caramelizes a bit and adds a delicious flavor to whatever cooks in it. Or at least I think it is caramelizing. This is not quite my area of expertise. I just know it is delicious.

Now for the Recipes-

Thai Stir Fry (for one)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup coconut milk (approx.)
1/2 shallot, diced
1 spoonful chopped lemongrass (from a jar or fresh)
1 tbsp. chili paste with basil leaves (CHECK FOR VINEGAR, I use the brand Maesri, which I get at my local int’l foods market)
1 handful bok choy
1 handful cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 handful baby corn (from a can)
cooked glass noodles (to taste, I used about 1/2 cup; CHECK FOR GLUTEN, I use the brand Assi, which is made from sweet potato starch and also found at my local int’l foods market)

Directions:

  1. Heat pan or wok over medium high heat. After a minute or two add coconut milk just to cover the bottom of the pan.
  2. After another minute throw in the shallots and lemongrass and mix with a wooden spatula for two minutes.
  3. Add the bok choy and mushrooms. Stir the vegetables until they are evenly coated with the thickening coconut milk.
  4. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring every minute.
  5. Add the baby corn, noodles, and chili paste. Add a little more coconut milk to coat the noodles.
  6. Cook until the coconut milk begins to brown the stir fry, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve immediately.

Mixed Greens with Peanut Dressing

Ingredients:
Large handful mixed greens
1 hardboiled egg, peeled and chopped (I only use about 1/2 the yolk)
Kara’s Peanut Dressing from the Gluten-Free Goddess Blog (Most recipes call for rice vinegar, but not this one! The only change I make is to use stevia in place of the agave)

Passion Fruit Smoothie

Ingredients:
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
2-3 tbsp. coconut milk
1/2 banana
1 packet/1 tsp. stevia
1/3 cup frozen passion fruit pulp (also found at my local int’l foods market, are you sensing a trend yet?)
crushed ice (to desired thickness)

Directions:

  1. Place ingredients in blender and, well, blend.

ENJOY

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