Tag Archives: gluten free

Crispy Artichokes

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I watched David Rocco make a raw artichoke salad on his show months ago and my mouth dropped.   “That is so easy,” I thought.   He removed most of the outer leaves of the artichoke and then thinly sliced the remaining part, added some olive oil and parmesan and ate it raw.    I immediately tried it but his artichoke must have been a lot fresher than mine.   Probably picked that day from an artichoke plant in his yard.     I threw my raw artichoke salad into a skillet with some olive oil and garlic cooked it for about 5-10 minutes.  Viola, a wonderful salad.

It reminded me  of a late night meal I had in New York City a few years ago with my husband and a friend at a restaurant in lower Manhattan.   Our friend, Bryant, was just getting off work and was eating a late dinner.  Eric and I had just come from an earlier dinner with friends and weren’t the least bit hungry but before we knew it, we had ordered a couple appetizers.  We couldn’t resist.  They sounded too good.   And the two things we ordered from the menu both stick in my mind to this day.   Crispy Artichokes was one of them.   Best thing ever.   Fried of course.  And in thin strings.  I couldn’t put my fingers on how they actually made this.  Until now.   And the other item was pasta with onion sauce.   They must have cooked those onions for 2 days.  I have tried to replicate it and will continue to try.  I just never seem to have the patience to wait that long for onions to cook.

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These crispy artichokes are so quick and easy.   Gone are the days that you have to boil an artichoke for 45 minutes to 1 hour.   Although, dipping those leaves in butter is so comforting.   But this is quick and delicious.   Perfecto!

Here is a loose recipe.   A little of this, a little of that.   You need to peel away most of the outer leaves until you get to the softer center.   Eating those tough leaves will not be a pleasant experience.   And of course, the fresher the better.  If your artichoke has been sitting in the fridge for a couple weeks, turning brownish, don’t use it for this recipe.   I love how the parmesan gets crisp when it fries in the pan.   It’s like that part of a grill cheese sandwich where a little piece of the cheese is hanging over the bread and it gets fried in the pan,   That is the best part of the whole sandwich.

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Quinoa Salad with Beets and Cucumbers

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Happy Fathers Day!   I hope you are all celebrating the amazing father’s and men in your life.  After a filling family breakfast and looking at all the cards the kids decorated for Eric, we sent him off for a long hike with some of his good friends.   The kids absolutely adore their dad, as do I.

I think about my father often, but especially today.  This is my fourth father’s day without him.   I picture him playing bridge somewhere and passionately discussing politics while eating chinese food, or maybe a big plate of onion rings.   To this recipe he would say keen-what?  And I would reply, Keen-WAH, Dad – Try it, it’s really good for you.  You’ll like it .  And by the way, you would have loved the hike I went on today.   The Lupine were just incredible.  If only I could tell him about it.   If only he could hike with me again.

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I am not sure if I had even heard of quinoa four years ago.

This is a great summer meal.  It is perfect for lunch, dinner or potlucks.  It keeps well so you could make it on Sunday and take it to work for lunch over the next several days.  Also great to take camping for the weekend.

I had just roasted some beets and hadn’t decided what I was going to do with them yet.  I looked in the index under beets in this fabulous cookbook called La Tartine Gourmande by Beatrice Peltre and came across a beet and quinoa tabouli, as she calls it.   Perfect.

Roasting the beets takes about an hour and the quinoa needs to cool down so this is not a last minute type recipe.   You need about an hour and a half- even though it’s really only 15 minutes of active cooking time.

I changed some of the ingredients, adding basil and cucumbers, and omitted a few others, but otherwise  followed her recipe.   This cookbook is truly one where every time you turn the page another delicious recipe appears after another.  I used red quinoa because it is what I had on hand but I think it would look prettier with white quinoa  (as Beatrice uses) and the beets would turn it a light pink.

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Enjoy!

Summer Quinoa Salad (serves 6)

adapted from La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook

1 Cup Quinoa (red or white)

2 Cups Water or Vegetable Broth

1 Large Beet, Roasted and diced

1 Cup diced Cucumber

1/4 Cup Feta crumbles

2 TBSP Pine Nuts (optional)

Vinaigrette

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Juice of 1/2 lemon

4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

2 TBSP Basil, chopped

1 TBSP Mint, chopped

1TBSP Parsley, chopped

Pinch of Salt

Pinch of Pepper

Wrap the beet (unpeeled) in tin foil and in a 400 degree oven and roast the beet for 45min.-1hour.   Let cool and then peel off the skin with your fingers and dice it. 

Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa well in a fine mesh colander.  Add it to a pot with 2 cups of water or vegetable broth and a pinch of salt.   When it comes to a boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed.  Remove from heat, let it stand for 5 minutes and then put it in a bowl to cool. 

In a small bowl, add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and stir well. 

Add the beets and cucumbers to the quinoa and stir well.   Pour the viniagrette over the salad and mix together.   Then add the feta crumbles and pine nuts on top.

 

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Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

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These are slightly addictive.  A  two thumbs up kind of bar, according to  my son, Max, which says a lot.    He calls them the best granola bars.  And yes,  that makes me a happy mama.

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It took a few tries because his skeptical mind wouldn’t allow him to like them on the first try.  He started with one thumb slightly tilted downwards and my heart sank slightly.   I have been working this this recipe for a couple weeks and it was really only his opinion that mattered.   But I asked him to try it again and he gave it a thumbs 3/4 of the way up.  And then he asked me for bar.   And then another bar and then…he have them 2 thumbs up.     It’s not that I want Max to eat granola bars all the time, but when he does I would prefer that he eats the one’s I make, where I can pronounce all the ingredients and know what exactly is in them.

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He is my picky eater.   Not just healthy food picky.   He is equally picky about his treats. Or just about trying new things.   We are working on having an open mind about things.  To go into a situation thinking you might possible like it, otherwise nothing stands a chance.    It’s a hard concept to grasp, even for adults.

But it is his lunch that I have to pack, his soccer practice snacks, his opinion that matters most.   Of course, I sincerely hope you all enjoy them too.   And I am happy that my husband, Eric, has taken such a liking to them.    There is currently one granola bar left in the jar in the refrigerator.    I wonder which of them will get to it first.

With this recipe,  I may forever be done buying store bought granola bars. Read the rest of this entry

Radicchio wrapped Quinoa, Fennel and Avocado

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I just got back from a two hour hike with my friend, Dina.   It was so nice to catch up and be outside.   We are only starting to experience spring in Crested Butte.

This is what it looked like outside last week…

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And this is what it looks like this week!  Ahh,  much better.

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I prefer to exercise outside but it’s not always an option.   From cold weather to my two little munchkins,  I often workout on my treadmill.    I will occasionally watch  a Grey’s Anatomy episode or John Stewart while exercising but more often than not,  I watch cooking shows.   It’s true.    Something about it doesn’t seem right but I do…From Giada De Laurenttis, to The Pioneer Women, to David Rocco’s Dulce Vita I get inspired to cook as I exercise.   David Rocco’s show takes place in Florence  so I get to reminisce about the amazing year I spent living in Florence- almost 17 years ago!   That can’t be right?  Gasp…

My kids will wander in from the playroom and look genuinely interested in what they are cooking on the TV.  Or else they just love TV and will take whatever show they can get.   I am going to stick with my first thought because I want them to love cooking.  I am trying hard to instill in them a love of cooking.   Max is always asking what my favorite this or that is.   He knows my favorite food is pesto and that it is made using basil.   He recently tried it (after some pleading and maybe a little bribing) and said he “sort of likes it but isn’t in the mood for it right now.”   I’ll take it but I am not sure what happened because  when he was one or two, he loved it.   Did anyone else have a pretty good eater and then suddenly they stopped eating anything with a complex flavor?

Anway, the other day Giada was making a chicken salad stuffed in pasta shells.   It looked delicious but I didn’t have all the ingredients and I wasn’t interested in making pasta.  So  I took portions of that recipe and turned in into this.  Read the rest of this entry

Cauliflower Rice with Artichokes

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I  was experimenting a little bit with being grain-free just to see how I felt and saw various recipes for cauliflower rice on Paleo websites.  It is one of my new favorite things of 2013- although just to be fair I don’t have many new things in 2013 yet.  But still.  All you do is put your cauliflower in the Cuisinart until it is finely blended and saute for a few minutes.  Genious.

Are any of you grain-free?  It is an adjustment but I do notice a difference in how I feel.   I have been wheat free (again) for the last few weeks and mostly grain free but not totally.   As someone who loves to bake, that poses a bit of a problem- until Almond Flour came into my life.  I was a little obsessed with almond flour this holiday season and cooked probably a dozen things from this cookbook- almond flour pizza crust, almond flour quiche, almond flour biscotti (dynamite!), almond flour pancakes…it’s good stuff and a great alternative to wheat flours and less healthy gluten free flours.

Anyway, now I have an alternative rice to add to the mix.   This is a quick and easy side dish – takes 15 minutes tops- and you can add whatever flavors you like.   Read the rest of this entry

Orange Dark Chocolate Almond Flour Scones

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This is what I plan on enjoying Christmas morning as I watch my kids tear open wrapping paper in a mad fury.  I can dip these scones in a cup of tea or coffee and read the paper…wait what?   I mean I can show my excitement for what Santa brought as I bite into this chocolate orange deliciousness.

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These are made with Almond Flour which is very nutritious and full of protein and fiber.   It is not a flour that can easily be substituted in other recipes though.   This recipe is from elanaspantry.com which is a recipe blog focused on baking with almond flour and other grain free recipes.    As someone who loves to bake but has been trying to move away from wheat flours and even gluten-free blends which are not very nutritious, this is the best news!   I just bought her cookbook Read the rest of this entry

Spiced Cashews (or mixed nuts) with Rosemary

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I just saw a note in the corner of my screen and it was from WordPress wishing me a Happy 1 year blogging anniversary!   I had totally forgotten.  But Yay!   1 year.

Here is a great recipe to share with you today as we are in the thick of the Holiday Season.  This is the perfect thing to bring to holiday parties.   It only takes about 20 minutes tops- and 15 of those minutes are the nuts baking so you can do something else…like take a quick shower.

I prefer this with just Cashews because I think they taste better and looked nicer,  but they were good with mixed nuts too.   I am a little ticked at myself for not taking a picture last week before I brought the Spiced Cashews to a party.    The dish was an Read the rest of this entry