Sunday, August 22, 2010

GLUTEN-FREE VEGETARIAN POMEGRANATE SALAD DRESSING

Pomegranate juice, in addition to being gluten-free, vegetarian and super-rich in antioxidants, is one of the most versatile foods you'll ever find in a tiny bottle. I love its tartness, but you can sweeten it to emphasize its berryness. Or you can go with the acid and do some savory things, like this pink-on-pink salad with pomegranate juice and raspberries, for example. But first, you need to make the molasses. What? Not to worry, recipe follows:



Ingredients:

raspberries
romaine lettuce
diced mild radish
8 oz pomegranate juice
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste (I prefer none at all)

Instructions:

Bring the pomegranate juice to a boil and simmer until reduced to one quarter volume.
When the molasses is cool, whisk in oil.
For a less sweet dressing, whisk in 1-3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar.
Serve over lettuce, radishes and raspberries.

Serves 2.

Note: Add more oil if that is your preference, but you might want to try this low-fat dressing as is first, since the thickness of the pomegranate molasses coats the greens nicely without any additional oil.

Many thanks to the folks at PomWonderful who generously provided their pomegranate juice.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

GLUTEN FREE BAKERY ON MAIN PRODUCTS

These delicious gluten-free vegetarian snacks sent to me by Bakery On Main saw me through several hectic (and very LONG) days at the Blogher conference described in an earlier post this month. 
I devoured an entire bag of the Extreme Fruit and Nut Granola on the subway train back from the TMobile event in the Bronx. I was exhausted and that little bag of healthy snack food saved my life! I especially liked the mix of sweet and salty flavors. Eating it out of the bag was a little difficult because of the tiny seeds, but as cereal or on yogurt, it would be incredible. That's how I ate the Triple Berry Granola--poured into a small bowl with some skim milk. Delectable and very berry! 

I loved the bars, (Peanut Butter Chocolate was the winner) but fell apart a bit. After the first, I realized that for me (or it might have been the steamy NYC summer weather) they were best eaten half-in and half-out of their wrapping. That was a minor inconvenience, though, considering the excellent taste! 

Many thanks to the Bakery on Main who provided these samples.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

GLUTEN-FREE VEGETARIAN DAIKON SPRING ROLLS



This gluten-free, low-carb low-fat dish is so healthy that if you get carried away and eat the whole platter yourself there's still nothing to feel guilty about! Easy to make, too. Note: although daikon are fairly mild as the world of radishes goes, you've got to like radishes to enjoy this dish, so if you don't, pass it along to a real radish fan!




Ingredients:

1 large daikon radish
1 cup enoki mushrooms cut in 2" lengths
1 small can water chestnuts
1 julienned Persian (or other) seedless cucumber
2 chopped scallions
2 julienned carrots
2T tamari
1T minced red or green shiso leaf
1T minced cilantro
1 tsp sesame oil

Instructions:

Slice daikon lengthwise as thin as possible on mandoline
Place vegetables at one end of slice and roll.
Secure with toothpick.
Whisk remaining ingredients together to use as dipping sauce.

Other vegetables that would work well:

asparagus tips,
small broccoli buds
julienned sweet red peppers (roasted or fresh)
haricots verts
julienned jicama

Note on ingredients:

For some of the more unfamiliar ingredients above, if you live in Manhattan (NYC) I would suggest Sunrise Mart at Third Avenue and 9th Street, but almost any Asian market in the US and Canada will have them, too. If you can find everything but the shiso leaf, then use mint, which, though different in flavor will still be good.

GLUTEN FREE SCHAR'S CHOCOLATE O'S SANDWICH COOKIES

I really don't care whether or not a gluten-free chocolate sandwich cookie tastes like a non-gluten free original--I mean, it's been a while since I've had the "real thing" so any gluten-free cookie that's delicious is good enough for me. This one is, and cute, too.

The Chocolate O's by Schar are super-densely chocolate-flavored, perhaps even a bit more so than the original O, if memory serves. They seem a bit less sweet, though, and if this can be said about a cookie that would fit perfectly in a toddler's hands, somewhat more adult (and satisfying) than the original. Thanks to Schar for the samples I was given at the luncheon held by the company in New York City recently.

If you are watching your weight (yes, this might be an odd choice if you are, but even dieters need to indulge every now and then), you'll be happy to know these are petite enough so you could have two or three without doing horrific damage to your weight-loss goal. That is, if you can prevent yourself from going wild and making your way through the who package, as I....oh, never mind the details. They were great! I had salad all the next day and it was worth it! 

Friday, August 13, 2010

BLOGHER '10 IN NEW YORK CITY: THE CONFERENCE


If you're not a blogger, you may not have heard of Blogher, which has been a website, an organization and best of all, a series of conferences that have been held around the country for the last five years. (This was my first Blogher, so I'm new to them, too.)



Although you will see in this slideshow pictures of Mrs Potato Head, Marmaduke the actor and Great Dane (or was it his stunt double?), a fabulous closeup magician and his equally fabulous embroidered jacket and even a tarot card reader (the parties were fun!), it is the more serious pix of crowds of some of the 2400 attendees of Blogher '10, and of the panels and seminar leaders which represent what were the most memorable parts of the event for me.

If you are a blogger, and that would be male or female (yes, there were some guys), this conference (and from what I hear, past ones and most likely upcoming ones) was an incredible resource for what we do. Meeting fellow bloggers initially didn't seem as if it would be as moving to me as it turned out to be. Simply sitting in a seminar with people faced with the same questions and helpful ones you'd never have thought to ask, turned the sometimes all-too-solitary pursuit of blogging into a wonderful shared experience, at least for a weekend.

The crafting of words and images, the process of letting the world know about yourself and your work, and the technical underpinnings of all this were each covered in several sessions. In addition, there were opportunities to meet with bloggers who shared your content area: parenting, food, fashion or sports, and time to hang with your fellow Latinas, LGBTs,or Blogalicious women of color. And if you're not a blogger, but are thinking of becoming one, this is definitely the place to start because everyone is there to learn and so helpful to those who know less. No knowledge snobs!

Just a gluten-free vegetarian note on the gathering: there were many vegetarian options, and not enough gluten-free ones, I thought, but hopefully that will change in the future since many of us were fairly vocal about the problem. It was, however, possible at the AOL Party, to enjoy one dish from Chef Marcus Samuelsson's demo, a wonderful fresh corn, sweet red pepper and smoked paprika relish.

I'm hoping to snag a ticket to Blogher Food in October, which will be held in San Francisco, butat the very least I am currently booked for the International Food Blogger Conference to be held at the end of this month in Seattle. If you're a food blogger, I hope I'll see you there! And if you're not attending, rest assured I'll report back at the end of August on the gluten-free vegetarian state of things in Rain City.

BLOGHER '10 IN NEW YORK CITY: TMobile

Last week the 2010 Blogher conference, which took place at New York City's Hilton Hotel, was attended by 2400 women bloggers, and this blogger was among them. The conference kicked off with a day of volunteering at the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club, located near Fordham University's Bronx campus. The event was organized by TMobile, and what appeared to be close to 200 TMobile employees (and several members of the Blogher conference) showed up to lend their carpentry and painting skills to the Club.



First, the head of the Boys and Girls Clubs thanked the volunteers, then there was a bit of calisthenics, and finally, we headed off to construct and paint benches, or work on a wide range of inspirational murals (one, unfinished, at the top of this post, and more, also works in progress, in the slideshow directly above).

That last slide was a photo of my team! You're not seeing me because I'm taking the photo. Aviva, to the left, is a writer and blogger on parenting issues at Parentopia, Kevin and his wife are recent converts to vegetarianism, with some amazing health benefits to report due to the change, and Maria is hard at work on getting that mural done for the Club. We had a great time!