Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ANTIOXIDANT-RICH JUICE

That's a bunch (two big handfuls) of kale on the right, a bunch of parsley (two big handfuls) on the left, a few raw beets (I didnt even peel them) and about four carrots and a half cup of blueberries. All approximate amounts, with a totally delicious result.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

GLUTEN-FREE VEGETARIAN HERBED NOODLE PIE, OLD FAVE

Here is an old Jewish favorite, lukshen kugel (noodle pie) updated, lightened and de-glutened. I brought it to a family get-together a couple of years ago and everyone loved it, so I'm publishing it again, this time in summer, hoping your family will love it, too!

A smallish serving of this pie is satisfying in the way many vegetarian dishes often are not. Although it has those filling carbs and is indulgently creamy, it contains vegetables, is full of protein, and lots of calcium. It's very simple to assemble, so you have time to work on the rest of your meal while it's baking away. Or prepare it the day before and heat it in the microwave or oven whenever you need it (oven is best, if you have a bit more time.) Traditionally made with egg noodles, Trader Joe rice sticks will do just fine, as will Tinkyada fettucine, or any flat (wide or narrow) gluten-free noodle.



4 oz butter
4 eggs, separated
14 oz uncooked flat noodles
16 oz Greek yogurt
16 oz whipped cottage cheese
4 oz cream cheese
2 large onions, diced
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp salt

    Instructions:

    Boil noodles carefully until just al dente. Saute onions and mushrooms in butter until soft. Combine cheeses, egg yolks, herbs and spices in large bowl of mixer. Remove bowl from mixer and add mushroom onion mixture and noodles. In another bowl of the mixer, whip the egg whites until soft peaks are formed. Fold the whites into the other ingredients. Spoon into well greased 10x14 baking dish, or a 9x9 and a 7 inch gratin dish. Bake for 45 minutes at 325 or until noodles are browned and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Slice when cool into 1-inch cubes for appetizers, or into larger servings for a main course.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN BEET SOYRIZO MINESTRONE, OLD FAVE

This is an old favorite of mine, making its 2011 comeback.
I think you'll enjoy devouring this soup, despite the informality of the recipe's format.

This is one of those gluten-free vegan recipes that, if it weren't so healthy and delicious, I'd hesitate to post, because it is so improvised as to hardly be a recipe at all. For one, I made my own vegetable stock for the first time (I usually use Better than Bouillon vegetable concentrate), by simply take all the vegetable trimming I'd been saving in the freezer for months and boiling, then simmering, them in maybe 8 cups of water for an hour or so, before straining the liquid and discarding the vegetable scraps.
Then i diced a medium onion, threw it in some olive oil, added about a quarter cup of Trader Joe Soyrizo separated into bits with a fork, about a tablespoon each of smoked paprika, oregano and basil, a teaspoon of garlic powder, a 15 oz can of kidney beans (rinsed and drained), two cups pureed grape tomatoes (or use some canned crushed tomatoes), two cups mixed roasted vegetables (beets, green peppers, carrots and onions), four cups frozen vegetables (I used peas, butternut squash cubes and broccoli, but use any mix you like). Added a bit of salt. You get the idea. I just used what was around.
After the soup was brought to a boil and was simmering, I boiled water for some rice pasta. Once again, I used what was in the kitchen, looking for the kind whose bag I found open (but I knew I didn't want something like delicate little shells--this soup was shaping up to be hearty). I cooked the pasta to where I like it to be (a hair over al dente) and then put it in its own refrigerator container after I used the amount needed for the night I made the soup. Now, each time I heat the soup I throw in some (now slightly hardened) pasta, which softens up perfectly in the time it takes to microwave the soup to steaming loveliness. (I do this to prevent the pasta from getting inedibly mushy in the uneaten soup, which rice pasta can tend to do).

Note:
The vegetable/beet/tomato base is perked up with the addition of the spicy vegan sausage which is definitely something you want to add to taste, since some may love it and some may find it too hot. If you don't have any, use TVP with some red pepper flakes, or just red pepper flakes, although then you'll mix the extra textural bonus of the TVP or sausage. The combo of sweet and spicy is a favorite of mine, so I've been eating bowls of this since I made it. Hope you like it, too!

Second Note:
I do not regularly eat soy products in large quantities, or even medium, so I allow myself this delicious soup, guiltlessly. If you feel you want to avoid soy, then you probably haven't even gotten this far down the page, but if you have, I understand, and hope you will understand my position as well.

GLUTEN-FREE VEGETARIAN PIZZA AT CPK

GLUTEN FREE VEGETARIAN 5 CHEESE FRESH TOMATO PIZZA: CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN, NYC

I live a five minute walk from one of Manhattan's CPKs, so I was very excited to try their new gluten free pizza. I explained I was gluten free, ordered an off-menu house salad of greens. "Just vegetables?" I asked. Yes, I was told. It arrived with croutons. Once again, I explained I was gluten free. Then the pizza arrived. With a magnificent crust. Too magnificent, in fact. I asked the server to double check. He returned in less than two minutes with a gluten-free version of the pizza he had just brought to the table. I'd guessed correctly.


Apparently, I and another customer had ordered the same topping at the same time. The server said it was very hard for him to tell them apart. Not for me, though.The glutenous one had a traditional, puffy-edged, chewy-looking crust. The gluten-free one was the typical crispy, thin-crusted gluten-free version I have eaten everywhere except at my own home where I make the edges thicker and chewier than I usually find in gfree restaurants.
The cheese combination was excellent, from mild to sharp in a bite. Not that fond of the raw tomato choice I made, but that was no one's fault but mine.

What DOES bother me, however, is that there appears to be no system in place to help the celiac diner avoid dietary disaster. I've read certain branches no longer serve gluten-free pizza because a customer had a reaction. I felt absolutely fine after my pizza, which makes me wonder if the customer in question had actually eaten a gluten-free pizza or not. I hope CPK will shape up so that I rely on them as my neighborhood pizza place!

Has anyone else had trouble at CPK? Either with the food or the service?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

HEALTHIER SNACK BARS, GLUTEN FREE AND VEGAN

I received these gluten-free snack bars at the Fancy Food Show in Washington DC last month. This is just the tip of the iceberg, sample-wise! I'll probably review another bunch of bars in the next week or so. (Trying not to live on sweet snacks, though.)
First up is the familiar Larabar, vegan and gluten-free. This time with a new blueberry flavor, Blueberry Muffin. I love Larabars, and when I was first diagnosed, the fact that they were so readily available at Trader Joe and other shops was part of the reason I gained so much weight in the first three months of going gluten-free. They just tasted so healthy I never believed there could be any ill effects of eating two or three a day---wrong!! This particular flavor, though, I think I could have resisted. For one thing, despite its beautiful blue packaging, the flavor of blueberries is extremely subtle, or, perhaps, hardly there. My favorite: cashew, apple, really any of the old standards. It's a great brand for gluten-free vegetarians or vegans and I'm grateful they exist.
Next are the Oskri coconut bars, also gluten-free and vegan. I'm usually the first to try anything coconut, so I was positive I'd love these. The coconut almond bar was the one I tried first, and unfortunately it had not been refrigerated, so it practically melted in my hands. The almond flavor was a bit overwhelming. These bars are VERY high in fat, 13g, and not that high in protein, 1.3g, so for me, they need to be judged more as a candy bar than an energy bar. The coconut pineapple was tried after time in a fridge, but even firmed up, you are aware of the high fat content. It is FILLING. The pineapple taste is subtle. These would be recommended if you need an infusion of calories quickly, but only if you've kept them cool.

Finally, the Wai Lana Yogi Bar, sunflower coconut flavor, vegetarian (not vegan), and containing soy. I'd never seen this bar before, but I will definitely keep an eye out now that I've tasted one. (Actually, two small bars in each package, but I couldn't resist eating both at once.) With great taste and a healthy balance of fats, protein and fiber, this bar is the hands-down winner of this group. It is the only one of these bars with a complex, rich flavor. The blend of fruits (dates, cherries, orange extract), sunflower seeds, coconut, skim milk powder and carob is so satisfying that simple writing about it makes me want to head out in the rain to look for one! And clearly, beling the top bar here might not be a fluke, because reading the names of the others this company makes is very tempting: Apricot Cashew, Autumn Apple, Cherry Pomegranate, Nana Banana, Tropical Macadamia, Strawberry Shake and Cranberry Almond. If each is made with the same delicacy that the Sunflower Coconut Bar displays, count me in for a large scale taste test!

Friday, August 12, 2011

GLUTEN FREE VEGAN ORANGEY JUICE WITH MY NEW HAMILTON BEACH

This beautiful juice (which, by the way, contains no oranges) is sweet and yet, because it is also a vegetable juice, not overly so. For an even less sweet and lower calorie variation of this juice add more celery and some persian cucumbers. Here's the current recipe:

4 stalks celery
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger
1 mango, unpeeled, pit removed
4 carrots


Note: The mango worked unpeeled in my new 800 watt Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor, which is twice as powerful as my last juicer. If yours is not particularly full of zoom, peel the mango and cut it into manageable pieces. Carrots and celery, too. In short, use your judgement.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

GLUTEN FREE VEGAN JUICE WITH MY NEW HAMILTON BEACH

My old juicer bit the dust this week, just as I was beginning to fall in love with juicing again. And my old juicer was so old, no replacement parts were available. Came up with a budget (not very large) and research (extensive) and found the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro, which of course resulted in the jibe from family, "but you've already GOT a big mouth!" Despite risking further jokes at my expense, reader, I purchased it.And all I can say is that there is no mistaking an 800 watt machine for the delicate flower of a 400 watt I was using till now. I found the Big Mouth powerful and fast. And as you can see, yes, it really is possible to insert a whole apple into the feed tube. I did it, and no jamming resulted from the test.
The first juice I made with this new juicer, pictured up top, was composed of the following:

4 stalks celery
1 persian cucumber
1/3 bag spinach
4 stems curly kale
1/2 bunch parsley
1 small granny smith apple
1/2 cup blueberries
I'd planned to drink half and save the rest for later, but it was just too delicious! Cleanup was swift (comes with its own cleaning brush), juicing easy, style sleek (looks beautiful with my black Kitchenaid and black Cuisinart duet blender/processor.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

GREENWICH VILLAGE NYC: PIZZA AT KESTE, L'ARTE DEL GELATO FOR DESSERT, ALL GLUTEN-FREE AND VEGETARIAN

My expectations were high, true. Keste Pizzeria and Vino make their own crust, and it is only available two days a week: Mondays and Tuesdays. Arrived on a Saturday with a group of eight, begged, but no gluten-free pizza. Nice large caprese salad, but not what I'd been dyng for. Today, finally, pizza margherita without gluten. Fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and fresh sauce. Really fresh sauce. Great sauce. The crust: a bit dry. Too crunchy, without enough of that sink-your-teeth-into-it chewiness that great crusts have. But, wow, that sauce and marvelously melting cheese. I've seen their glutenous pizzas and this was the one time I've wanted to be "normal" and non-celiac, because extrapolating from these toppings, I think I understand why their regular pizza was just chosen by restaurantnews.com as the best in New York State. Sigh....
On to dessert at L'Arte del Gelato around the corner. Another wonderful bit of transplanted Italy. Gelato, my favorite dessert after pizzza, and for my dairy-sensitive friend, sorbetto. Large range of luscious flavors. Recommended: hazelnut gelato (by me) or pear sorbetto (by my friend). So delicious, my pizza tears dried.

GLUTENFREE VEGAN WATERMELON JICAMA SALAD

This gluten-free vegan salad is so refreshing on its own that I can't imagine altering it with any sort of dressing, but if you must, a citrus vinaigrette, probably lime, would do. In this salad, I used 2 T chopped cilantro, 1 cup of watermelon and 1 cup of jicama. Easy!
Above, you see an unpeeled jicama (pronounced hick-a-mah), which is sold at most branches of Whole Foods and at stores which sell Mexican ingredients. It must be kept cool and dry.
Cilantro just might be my favorite herb.

POUND CAKE, GLUTENFREE, DAIRY FREE AND ORANGE

Missing the pound cake you used to have with berries every summer?
Well, here it is, all gluten-free, dairy-free and delicious!

Monday, August 1, 2011

GLUTEN-FREE VEGETARIAN TANGY LINDSAY OLIVE & TOMATO PASTA SALAD

When Wendy of Celiacs in the House asked if I would be up for doing a gluten-free adaptation of a recipe using Lindsay Olives, I said, sure, I love olives. Especially since it's now possible to get color-free and preservative-free olives from Lindsay: their new “Naturals". The olives I used for this salad were sweet, not at all bitter or overly salty, qualities I'd always associated with green olives. A very pleasant surprise, indeed!

The recipe I chose to adapt is Lindsay's

Herbed Olive and Double Tomato Summer Pasta Salad

I'm calling my version the

Tangy Olive and Tomato Pasta Salad

At a Glance:

Prep Time:
20 minutes
Cook Time:
12 minutes
Servings:
6

Ingredients

2 cups gluten-free brown rice penne pasta, uncooked
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Lindsay® Green Ripe Medium Pitted Naturals
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup diced sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cold water and drain well.

While the pasta cooks, spread an oiled baking pan with the cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with oregano. Toss every few minutes. Roast until skins begin to wrinkle.

Place the diced sundried tomatoes in a small bowl. Cover with boiling water for five minutes. Drain.

In a large bowl, mix oil, vinegar, mustard and pepper with a fork or whisk until well blended. Add remaining ingredients and pasta; toss well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour for flavors to blend.

The sweetness of the olives works so well with the tang of the goat cheese, while the combination of sun dried and roasted tomatoes adds its own complexity. Colorful in the bowl, and on the taste buds, too!

My thanks to Lindsay for sponsoring this post and providing the delicious olives.