Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies, Gluten-Free

Coooooookies! Yes, everyone needs cookies. If you have a sensitive system that can't handle gluten, I'm assuming you have difficulty tracking down tasty treats you can stomach. Well, these babies are yours!

You can also share these with your nearest and dearest, but that's up to you. Maybe they can have the crumbs?

These are soft and chunky, with a nice bite to them with the oatmeal. However, despite the oats, these are not a breakfast cookie. I mean, they're not terribly bad for you, but they are a cookie's cookie, complete with sugar, butter and chocolate.

I think your belly would love the addition of these cookies. It would warmly welcome them, I'm sure.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Espresso and Cream
Makes 16 cookies

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 t vanilla
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup oats (make sure they're certified gluten-free)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with s silpat or grease it up

2. In a medium bowl, beat together the sugar and butter.

3. Beat in the egg until incorporated.

4. Beat in the vanilla, baking soda, and salt.

5. Mix the flours and oats together in a small bowl; add to the liquid mixture with the chocolate chips and stir it all togethe.

6. Drop dough in tablespoons on the cookie sheet and bake until browned, about 8 minutes.

7. Cool on wire rack.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Creamy Veggie Pasta, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

Yes, another pasta recipe. I can't stay away! And this one was special, because I got it from my mama, and she said it was good, and so it needed to be created in my kitchen.

No one should shake off what their mama says (only shake what their mama gave them).

 As you can see on the recipe below, this originated as Pasta Carbonara from Real Simple. Then I realized that if you take away the ingredient that makes it carbonara, it turns into a detectably creamy base for whatever you want to it. (For all you bacon-lovers, feel free to add it in. I'm sure you can't go wrong.)

 If you look at its heart, this pasta is one you would rather eat in chilly December. However, check out its spring outfit! Tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, with watermelon as an appetizer. Total warm weather eats.

I've never been into creamy, Alfredo-esque pastas, mainly because I like the zing and fresh flavor of marinara sauces. Given this, I added some garlic salt and pepper to my serving of this while my husband added Frank's (Yes, the hot sauce. It goes on everything, really). My mom said she added some leftover pesto sauce to hers, which sounds am-AY-zing. However, if you're someone who enjoys the creamy, comforting taste of cheesy sauces, I would think you might not need to add any extra flavor.

So check it out - dress it up, leave it naked, throw some watermelon in the mix. Let me know what you end up doing with it, I would love to try it in different ways!

OH, and did I mention this is super quick and easy to throw together? Yeah, like you can have this on the table in a matter of 15 minutes. Hi, wild weeknight dinner.

(mom's perdy handwriting)

A few notes:

1. Instead of peas, I added broccoli, spinach and tomatoes to my recipe: frozen broccoli went in with the pasta for the last 2 minutes of its cooking time, and then I stirred in the tomatoes and spinach when I added in the sauce and pasta water at the very end.

2. You'll see in the recipe that my mom used evaporated milk instead of half-and-half, which is the same route I went. It eliminated some fat, while maintaining the velvety base.

3. I omitted the olive oil completely, and the texture still turned out great.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Spaghetti and Beanballs, Gluten-free

It's been pretty gorgeous outside and it's finally starting to feel like spring. The days are longer, the air smells like pollen and I am craving pasta. What? Why?

I've never been a big pasta eater. On average, I would say I eat it about 5 times a year. The starchy, plain business of it has never appealed to me much. Until now. Maybe it's because I've been running more, working longer and generally creating more of an appetite for myself, but hot dang, a big plate of filling pasta has never sounded better than before this week.

You would think that would be enough. But of course not. How could MEATBALLS fit into this gorgeous mess? Obviously, meat was out. But beans? Totally doable. Enter the beanballs.

These babies turned out fantastic - about 8x better than I thought they would. I used my go-to bean patty recipe (which I just realized I haven't been on here. Soon!) and slightly adapted it to make itty bitty balls for my not-so itty bitty batch of pasta. One main adaption being that I loaded them up with chunks of cheese, which as you see wanted to seep out into the world.

Seriously, these were so good and SO satisfying. I think my pasta ache has been met for the next while. We will see what counts as a "while."

Spaghetti and Beanballs

Ingredients for spaghetti:
12 oz gluten-free spaghetti (or however much you think you will need. I always make extra for leftovers)

2 leeks, sliced
1/2 small white onion, chopped
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
a handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 package sliced button mushrooms
2 leeks, sliced
1/2 small white onion, chopped

Ingredients for beanballs:
2/3 cup gluten-free oats - separated
1/4 small white onion, chopped
2 garlic gloves, minced
2 Tb. ketchup
1 T dried oregano
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
5 oz cheddar cheese, cubed into

To do:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and put a large pot of salted water on to high heat for your pasta water. Prepare a baking sheet with sprayed olive oil or a silpat.

2. In a food processor,  grind 1/3 cup of the oats, onion, garlic, ketchup, and oregano together until ground fairly well together. Add in the chickpeas and process until the mixture is chunky and still holds together. Dump into a medium bowl and stir in the remaining 1/3 cup oats. It will be a little wet and sticky, but that's ok.

3. roll together roughly 1 tablespoon of the beanball "dough" and form it around a cube of cheese. Place on the baking sheet and repeat until the dough is gone.

4. Pop the beanballs into the oven for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the pasta.

5. Your pasta water should be boiling now. Add it in and swirl around a bit to get it all submerged and separated. Gluten-free pasta is tricky as it liked to stick together, so make sure you give it a good swirl every 2 minutes.

5. Heat the onion and leeks over medium heat in oil until tender, about 3 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. (Remember to stir your pasta!) Add in your tomatoes when the pasta is done so they don't get too mushy.

6. When your pasta is done, scoop out 1 cup of the pasta water to add in later. Drain your pasta, rinse with cold water, and immediately transfer to the pot you cooked it in. Add your sauce and mushroom mixture stat so the noodles don't stick together. Give it all a good stir and pour in 1 tablespoon of the pasta water at a time until you obtain the consistency you desire.

7. The meatballs should be finishing up about now - they should be slightly crunchy on the outside. Plate the spaghetti with the beanballs on top and enjoy!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Vegan Corn Chowder, Gluten & Soy-Free

The first January I started going Vegan for the month, I somehow stumbled across the internet to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM is much easier and less weird to say). At this point, I was craving some vegan recipes that were easy and fulfilling, since all I was eating were carrots and apples and being VERY hangry. Shutter. I signed up for their weekly "Food for Life" e-mail that sends recipes and Vegan tips to keep you full and motivated, which is exactly what I need during January.

I've been getting recipes from them for about three years now, and the one this past week just called to me. I love a good chowder, but I also love to cram as many nutrients as I can into a meal. It's a little difficult to throw a balanced meal into chowder, but somehow this recipe just does it. I guess the absence of cream helps, but let me tell you, it will not be missed.

I tweaked the recipe by adding in vegetables I had on hand, along with white beans for protein and a can of green salsa for some extra kick. Oh, and I added nutritional yeast, because it thickened it up and made it a little cheezy. So essentially, follow my  version and you get some kicks, salsa, and yeast. Yes, it sounds like the sketchy part of town, but did you SEE the first picture?! I will not lead you astray. So tasty.

Corn Chowder, Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-Free
Adapted from PCRM

You will need:
3 cups chopped red potatoes, skin on (I used Idaho red, Klondike Rose)
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic gloves, minced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup leeks, sliced - separate the white and green parts
1 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 t turmeric
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can roasted tomatoes, with liquid
1 can corn
2 ears corn
1 4-oz can green chilies
1 small can salsa verde (or about 8 oz)
1 cup rice milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast

To Do:
1. Put the chopped potatoes in a large pot with the vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature to a simmer and cook until soft.

2. Meanwhile, pour 1/2 cup cold water in a medium-sized sauce pan and turn heat to medium. Add in the onion, garlic, mushrooms, the white leek parts (reserve the greens for topping), and all the spices. Mix it up and let simmer for about 5 minutes, until soft and intermingled.

3. In your food processor or blender, blend the can of corn (with liquid) until smooth.

4. Cut off the corn from your two ears of corn and set aside until later. 

3. When the potatoes are done, leave them in the pot with the broth and mash lightly with a fork - I wanted more potato chunks, so I did less of this. Add in the beans, tomatoes, onion mixture, blended corn, cut corn, green chilies, salsa and nutritional yeast- stir together. Feel free to add in more water, 1/2 cup at a time, if you would like it less thick.

4. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Add in the rice milk and let it reheat to a high temperature.

5. Dish into two large bowls and garnish with the leek greens, and Greek yogurt if you're feeling wild. I found it took the heat down a notch, and added some extra creaminess to it. Do what you want. :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Taco Pie, Guten-Free / Soy Free

I was talking with a friend the other day who has just moved back from Australia. Yes, I know - the down under seems so lovely, right? WHY would you leave?!

Well, I'll tell you why (not that this was her reason. It would have been mine, though). There's no Mexican food. And if there is, they include balsamic vinegar in their most commonly used ingredients, which is a wam-bam-no-thank-you-ma'am in my book.

I went home that night craving rice, beans, and some taco flavor in a BIG way. I feel so lucky to have all those ingredients at my beck and call, especially since the man needs those to essentially remain a thriving human being.

This was so simple to make. I actually had some cooked rice already in the fridge from the night before, which cut down on some time. As with many of my recipes, please add in what ingredients you love to eat the most. I used tomatoes, leeks, mushrooms, onions and black beans since that's what I had on hand. As long as you get that taco seasoning in, it will be a pie-dish full of that wonderful South-of-the-border taste.

Taco Pie
Makes one standard 9-inch pie dish

1.5 cups cooked white rice, hot
1 egg
1/5 cup chopped leek
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degree; grease your pie dish.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the hot rice, eggs, and 2 tablespoons of the chopped leeks. Spread this mixture on the bottom and up the sides of the pie dish, as you would a pie crust. Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling.

3. For the filling, pour some olive oil in a medium-sized skillet  and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, dump in the onions and remaining leeks. Let cook for about 5 minutes, then add in the mushrooms and taco seasoning. Give it a stir and let cook while you mash the black beans.

4. Dump your black beans in the bowl you used to make the rice mixture. Mash the beans with a fork until they are mostly mushy, with a few recognizable chunks.

5. Once the onion and mushroom mixture is cooked and soft, add it to the beans. Stir it all up nice. By this time, your rice crust should be ready to come out of the oven - it should be slightly hardened. Add the filling to it and smooth out.

6. Place the sliced tomatoes on top, cut side down, and cover with cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes, until cheese has melted and it's all nice and hot. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.