Monday, March 7, 2011

A Little Taste of Summer (or at least spring)

I bought quinoa (pronounced KEY-NO-ah) the other day, thinking that I would make something. At the time, I really didn’t have a specific recipe in mind. So, when I decided to tackle cooking it for the first time, I went to my favorite GF blog – The Gluten Free Goddess. She really is a goddess.

Not only does she post tips on how to cook quinoa (w/ and w/o a rice cooker), she has a ton of wonderful recipes featuring this wonder-grain. Why is quinoa so amazing? Well, unlike rice and other grains, it has a ton of protein in it – very very important for the hardened veggie/vegan folks. Quinoa is also a great source for dietary fiber, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. It is GF (duh) and easy to digest.

By itself, quinoa is pretty tasteless. When cooked, it resembles rice, but smaller in size. Cooking is similar to rice, but requires quite a bit more water than rice.

The recipe I chose for my quinoa experience? The GF Goddess’ Quinoa Salad with Lime and Fresh Mint. As I was making it, I to look out the window to remind myself that there is still, in fact, snow on the ground, and that it would be rather chilly to enjoy this while reading a book on my patio. Its seriously summer (at least spring) in a salad (not to be confused with summer salad of course). While the quinoa is cooking, I had plenty of time to prep the rest of the ingredients.

I am going to try and hold off consuming this dish as the GFG recommends – a day or two – to allow the deliciousness to permeate the quinoa. We will see how long I last.

1 cup dry quinoa
2 tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil
juice from 2 limes
2-3 fresh mint sprigs, leaves removed and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves or parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
A handful of sweet and ripe cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons diced red onion- or use 2 chopped scallions
1 garlic clove, minced

First, rinse your quinoa in a sieve (it's tiny so the usual colander might not do).

Cook the quinoa as you would raw rice: in 2 and 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups fresh salted water, covered, until all of the water is absorbed.

I use my rice cooker to do this. The quinoa turns out fluffy, tender and perfect.

Scoop the cooked quinoa into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, tossing lightly with a fork until combined.

Taste test and adjust seasonings.

Cover and chill- the longer, the better. In fact, I think this salad tastes better the second day- so plan ahead and make it the day before.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Beans & Greens Soup - A Tasty Surprise...

I found this recipe in the Metagenics patient guide for individuals with food sensitivities. While skeptical at first, both Christine and I found it to be pretty tasty. (this would be Madison Christine as opposed to Philly Christine– just for clarification of course). I did add a little more salt, and practically minced the greens, but otherwise I stuck to the recipe. And while the recipe says it makes 4-5 servings, I think it makes a lot more than that – I am still eating it after making it Thursday.


Beans and Greens Soup (4-5 servings)


2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 medium cloves garlic, crushed

1 bay leaf

1-2 stalks celery, diced

1-2 medium carrots, diced

1 tsp. salt

Black pepper to taste

5 cups water or vegetable broth (I used the broth)

2 cups cooked white beans

½ lb. fresh chopped missed greens: kale, collards, spinach, and escarole

Freshly grated nutmeg


In a saucepan, add oil and sauté the onions and garlic over low heat. When onions are soft, add celery, carrot, salt, and pepper. Stir and sauté another 5 minutes. Add broth or water and bay leaf. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes. Add cooked beans and greens. Cover and continue to simmer, over very low heat, another 15-20 minutes. Garnish as desired with grated nutmeg.







Saturday, February 26, 2011

Holy Potatoes!

I had a hankerin (yes a hankerin) for spicy potatoes. So I found this recipe on Such a nice feeling to actually have all the ingredients w/o having to go to the store! I seriously enjoyed these babies, alongside a salmon patty from Trader Joes. Needless to say, my apartment is very, er, aromatic right now. J


Roasted Cajun Potatoes


2 pounds medium red potatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

¾ tsp salt

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp pepper

Optional: 1 ½ tbs minced fresh parsley


Cut potatoes in to eight wedges (I used baby red potatoes and cut them into 1/4’s). In a large bowl, combine the oil, shallots, garlic, paprika, cayenne and pepper; add potatoes and toss to coat. Place in greased roasting pan (I used a pyrex 9x13 non-greased – there’s a LOT of olive oil in there already).


Bake, uncovered at 450 degrees F for 45-50 min or until tender and golden brown. Turn every 15 min – very important! Sprinkle with parsley.


Very very tasty.



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Cauliflower Surprise...

So I am currently doing a modified elimination diet. Mostly to get myself back on track, and to feeling better. Also, to lose weight.

I like new recipes and curry. Not a huge fan of cauliflower, or so I thought.

Vegetable Dal Curry (from the Metagenics Patient Guide

Heat 1 tsp. olive oil and add 1/4 cup onion, 1 tsp. tumeric powder, 1/4 tsp. coriander powder and a dash of cumin. Satue. Add 1 sliced carrot and 1 cup of cauliflower pieces, stir to coat. Add 1/3 cup red lentils and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 40 minutes. Salt to taste.

Pretty simple. Although, I should have watched the pan a little closer, as I think it was a bit warmer than it wanted to be and dried out a little. The cauliflower was surprisingly good. Better than my feelings towards broccoli (can only tolerate it juiced w/ apples, oranges, etc). I added some of Penzy's sweet curry spice, a little cinnamon, some garlic powder and cayenne.

This recipe made enough for 2 servings.

Pretty sure I'll make this one again.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Kitchen Therapy's Pumpkin Custard sans Dairy

I have made this twice now - and just love the taste and texture. Its wonderful for breakfast, lemme tell you. Super easy to make. This was my first adventure into silken tofu, and I'm a big fan. Because my ramekins are a little bigger (and I have a small oven) 4 of them work pretty well. Although I have to add about 15 to 20 min to the baking time.

Pumpkin Custard, Hold the Dairy
Adapted from Libbey’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe. I ditched the crust, subbed tofu for evaporated milk, and increased the sugar a bit. Evaporated milk has some natural sweetness, tofu does not.
Yield: 6 servings
metric measures
1 cup dark brown sugar
240 gm
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 gm
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 gm
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
.5 gm
½ teaspoon salt
3 gm
2 large eggs
100 gm
1-15 oz can pure pumpkin
425 gm
1-12 oz package firm silken tofu
350 gm
1/4 cup chopped pecans
30 gm
freshly grated nutmeg, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put dark brown sugar, spices, salt, eggs, pumpkin, and tofu in a blender and process until smooth, about a minute.
Place 6 ramekins in a 9×13 baking pan. Add water to the 9×13 pan, until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. This is called a water bath and allows gentle heat to bake the custard. You can bake the custard without it, but it won’t be quite as creamy.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool and remove ramekins from the 9×13 pan. Drain the water. Put the ramekins back in the 9×13 pan and cover with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Garnish with chopped pecans and a nutmeg. Enjoy!
Note: you can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year, New Background, New Resolve

This blog is still the best way I have found to track recipes I like (other than my makeshift recipe box, of course). Soon on the blog - a wonderful vegan pumpkin custard, a spicy red bean and sweet potato stew, and who knows? The joys of steaming green beans? I know, I live on the edge.


p.s. check out - that's where the new blog background came from. I LOVE IT. Its actually an html script that is more of a layer than a layout.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bal Arneson's Crispy Sweet Potato Cakes

I found this recipe a few weeks ago, after reviewing the mass of sweet potatoes I have acquired from the CSA. I love them, don't get me wrong, but I have there are limits to the ways to cook them.

Or I thought there was...

(Madison) Christine and I watched Bal Arneson's show on the Cooking Channel, and I saw this recipe (along with many many other delicious simple Indian-inspired recipes).

Best of all - gluten free! Yes, there is some dairy in the recipe, but very very little sour cream, which can be substituted with a soy equivalent. I did not include the cilantro either as I am not a huge fan. I substituted garam masala with Penzey's Sweet Curry, which was wonderful.

From Bal Arneson's Show Spice Goddess
To see the recipe on the Cooking Channel, click here


  • 2 cups cooked sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil


Mash the sweet potatoes in a bowl and then add the chickpea flour, garam masala, ginger, salt, cilantro, and yogurt. Mix well and then form into small patties about 2-inches in diameter.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook the patties in batches so they have plenty of room to fry. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until they are golden and crispy and cooked through.