Monthly Archives: April 2009

Going GF w/Karina

I love reading Karina’s Kitchen. She’s got a wonderful GF blog that I’ve been reading for a long time. It was so helpful to me when I started this crazy diet. Although she does eat meat, I overlook those recipes and turn toward the wonderful soups and veggie dishes she makes.

This week she’s got a great blog on basic GF information. Check it out, it’s what we all need to learn when we start a GF diet. Remember, even if something was GF last week, check the package again. Things change, recipes change, and they won’t tell you. It’s worth the extra time to read the ingredients. And also, cooking your own food is always the best way to go.

I don’t know why I can’t get the link to work, but you can cut and paste. It’s worth the effort.


Leave a comment

Filed under gluten free

Skillet Breakfast for Two

Daughter and I love going out for breakfast, but that can get a little expensive after too many. U.S. Egg in Scottsdale has a great skillet breakfast with potatoes, veggies, cheese and scrambled eggs. This morning I realized I had a baked potato left over and thought, why not make our own? Well, it was awesome, and way better than the restaurant version. Of course, Daughter likes the yellow carrots in the restaurant version, and I had no yellow or orange carrots, so I almost made it perfect in her eyes. Well, can’t win them all. It was still great and she ate most of it.

Skillet Breakfast for Two
1 cold baked potato, cut into small chunks
1 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup cheese (we like a lot, but you could easily do this with half that much)
1 egg
1 eggwhite

1. Put 1/2 the olive oil into a saute pan and cook potatoes until crispy brown. Add a little salt if desired.
2. When potatoes are done, place them on a plate and add the rest of the olive oil to the pan and add the veggies.
3. Stir fry for a few minutes, then cover and cook until broccoli is desired consistency and mushrooms are browned.
4. Add potatoes back into pan with veggies and mix.
5. Whisk egg and eggwhite in a small bowl with salt and pepper.
6. In a separate small pan, scramble egg until desired doneness (as you can see, we like ours well done)
7. Turn off the heat and add 1/3 cheese to the top of the eggs and cover to melt.
8. Add 2/3 cheese to the top of the potato mixture, then add the egg on top. Viola! Breakfast.

This is a photo of the mixture before the cheese and egg. At this point, you could add a little cumin, red pepper flakes and paprika and have a wonderful, spicy breakfast. I just love doing this, but Daughter doesn’t like spicy food, so we made the less intimidating version today. Try them both.

Enjoy! This is definitely enough for two people, or even three, but we were very hungry.

Leave a comment

Filed under breakfast, broccoli, cheese, eggs, gluten free, potato, spinach, vegetarian

Easy Peasy Asparagus Soup

It’s one of those days where I just don’t feel like cooking, but I don’t want to open a package. Unfortunately, being GF and vegetarian means I can’t just make a turkey sandwich, which is what my husband just did.

However, I know how to make soup, and quick soup. I love soup…it’s comforting, smooth and yummy. While visiting California Pizza Kitchen recently, I ordered the asparagus soup, creamless and vegetarian, yet smooth with a powerful asparagus flavor. It was grand. So I came up with a simple recipe and here it is, a compilation of things I’ve learned. I call it easy peasy asparagus soup since it’s got peas and asparagus in it. Remember, one pot, simple ingredients, blend…

Easy Peasy Asparagus Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
2 bunches of asparagus (about 45 stalks)
1 cup frozen peas
3.5 cups organic veggie broth

The ingredients are that simple. No kidding.
1. Saute onion in olive oil in a large soup pot until soft and translucent.
2. While onion is cooking, snap ends off of asparagus and cut stalks into 1-inch pieces. Save a few of the tops for garnish.
3. Add asparagus, peas, salt and pepper to onions. Let cook for about 5 minutes to bring up the temperature.
4. Add veggie broth, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
5. Check to make sure asparagus is cooked to tender.
6. Blend soup in a blender till smooth. Remember to do this in batches, and start slowly each time blending since the soup is hot and can create steam in the blender.
7. Pour into bowls, garnish with asparagus tops.

You can use any kind of veggies for this, dear chef. Broccoli works great, cauliflower, peas, asparagus (on their own), carrots… the possibilities are endless. Mix and match or let them go solo. Give it a try and your veggies go down real smooth. It’s comforting and yummy.


Leave a comment

Filed under asparagus, gluten free, peas, soup

Wonderful Donut Discovery

I’m not sure if these are new, but they are certainly new to me. While shopping at Sprouts, Daughter and I came upon frozen donuts in the freezer case. Kinnikinnick brand, and very tasty.

There were vanilla glazed, chocolate glazed, cinnamon and maple glazed. I bought the cinnamon and took them home. Wonderful! After thawing them out for about 30 minutes, I was in heaven. It was just as I remember old-fashioned cake donuts…chewy, dense and ready to dip in a cup of coffee. Too bad it was after dinner. But in a few days I’ll be taking advantage of that.

I highly recommend them.


Leave a comment

Filed under donuts, gluten free

Chocolate Mousse Tofu Pie

Ok, take that look off your face. Yes, it’s made with tofu, and yes, it’s very, very good. Daughter ate two pieces and Husband ate one and the pie is practically gone. It’s much better than you tofu newbies would realize. I remember making this for my niece many years ago. She ate the entire thing with her friends without even realizing it was tofu. When I told her, she still didn’t believe it. But she did ask for another one…

Of course, it’s not the healthiest pie out there. Yes, it’s made with tofu, dear chef, but it’s also made with chocolate chips and Cool Whip. But if you weigh it all out, it’s still a pie with tons of protein, so we won’t complain. It’s also a pie with lots of taste, trust me. I found the recipe many years ago on a tofu package (Mori-Nu, I believe) and of course modified it to my own way of eating. I didn’t change it that much, the original recipe was pretty good, but of course everything has to be modified for those of us going GF. The main change was the crust. Instead of chocolate or graham cracker crust, I made my own using Pamela’s cookies and butter. Yum. Try it and see what you think.

This recipe made a lot of pies, I would suggest cutting it in half the first time you make it. I made two mini pies, two small pies and four frozen pops. The bag of cookies was enough for all, although I used some of the ginger snaps for one pie just to change it up a little.

Chocolate Mousse Tofu Pie
1 7 oz. package of Pamela’s Extreme Chocolate Mini Cookies (GF)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
Two 16 oz. packages of silken tofu, drained
1 bag of GF chocolate chips
1 tsp GF vanilla extract
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tub of Cool Whip, thawed
Mini chocolate chips for decoration
A little more Cool Whip to serve with the pie, if you want

1. Grind up cookies in food processor, or place them in a ziplock and pound them.
2. Add about 1/4 cup melted butter to cookie crumbs. Mix thoroughly.
3. Pour crumbs into sprayed pie pans and spread along the bottom and up along the sides as much as possible.
4. Set pie crusts in the freezer while you make the pie.

5. Put tofu in blender and blend until smooth.
6. Melt chocolate in microwave for about 45 – 60 seconds. Stir well.
7. Add melted chocolate, agave and vanilla to tofu and blend.
8. Pour chocolate mixture into pie shells
9. Garnish with mini chips if desired
10. Place in freezer for about an hour.

I like to serve with a little more Cool Whip, but it’s really not necessary. I’m just a big fan of Cool Whip (I know, I know, but I still like it.)

These cookies are wonderful. They make a great crust for any pie. I recommend the ginger snaps for a GF cheesecake, yummy. Pamela’s also makes a great chocolate chip mini cookie that make a great snack.


Leave a comment

Filed under chocolate, dessert, gluten free, pie, tofu

Savory Bean and Spinach Soup

While taking advantage of some free time, I sat back and read a magazine. This happened to be the April issue of Fitness magazine. In the very back, I spotted a recipe that looked beautiful. Those magazine photos make food look so good, don’t they? Well, I spotted this, realized I had it all in my kitchen already (and more) and jumped up to make dinner. Success…we had it for dinner, breakfast for two days and even gave some to a friend for dinner. It sounds like a lot, but with brown rice and beans, it’s filling and wonderful with a salad on the side.

Even though the recipe didn’t have cabbage or yellow squash in it, I had those left in the fridge…so in they went. It was great since the cabbage gave it a little crunch and the squash gave the soup a pretty yellow. Try it and add whatever you have in the fridge. I’m sure you’ve got most of it in the kitchen already.

Savory Bean and Spinach Soup
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1.5 cups chopped cabbage
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 package (about 2.5 cups) Trader Joe’s frozen pre-cooked brown rice (or 1/2 cup uncooked rice)
1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz. can great northern beans, drained and rinsed (or any white bean really)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper
2 cups frozen spinach (or about 8 cups fresh spinach)
4 cups vegetable broth
Parmesan or Romano for garnish

This is all made in one pot, adding as you go.
1. Saute onion and garlic in large soup pot with 1-2 TBS of olive oil.
2. When onions are translucent, add cabbage, a pinch of salt and cook for another 5 minutes till cabbage is getting translucent.
3. Add chopped squash and saute another few minutes.
4. Add basil, parsley, a little more salt and pepper.
5. Add rice and mix well. If you’re using the frozen rice, it will reduce the heat so mix well and cover for a few minutes to bring the heat back up. If you’re using uncooked rice, just add it in and mix.
6. Add tomatoes, beans and spinach. Mix well and cover for a few moments to bring up the heat with frozen spinach and wilt fresh spinach.
7. Finally, add broth and enough water to cover by about 1 inch. If you’re using frozen or cooked rice, just simmer until everything is hot and blended–about 15 to 20 minutes. If you’re using uncooked rice, you’ll need to add more water and give it at least 40 minutes to an hour of simmering to cook the rice.

Serve with a garnish of shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese.

Leave a comment

Filed under beans, cabbage, gluten free, rice, soup, squash

Easter Pasta Frittata

The dew on the plants in the morning was beautiful. That’s one good reason for getting up early and taking a walk before the morning has burned off. It was a great morning and many people were out walking and bike riding. But after that beautiful walk, it was time to settle in to the real meaning of Easter–family and chocolate. I love Easter–Any holiday with that much chocolate related to it can’t be bad. I love the idea of eating a chocolate bunny, chocolate eggs, etc. And once a year I break down and eat a peep. Just one, head first. I know, it’s pure sugar, but sometimes you just gotta’ be bad, right? But on to brunch.

Mom came over with a wonderful fruit salad and we chowed down on a great pasta frittata. I saw an episode of Ellie Krieger’s cooking show on the food network yesterday and promptly changed this morning’s quiche into a frittata with pasta after watching. It looked marvelous. Of course, no recipe can be made without tweaking it to just the way you want it, so some changes were made. Most importantly, GF Trader Joe’s pasta instead of spaghetti. I also added mushrooms because anything is better with mushrooms (in my opinion). Of course, my husband had to make a spinach quiche for himself with a pre-made crust. He doesn’t like mushrooms and loves a crust. Well, at least it wasn’t made in my kitchen from scratch, and that leaves more of the frittata for me, mom and Daughter. Yum.

This is made in two parts–frittata and marinara sauce. Both are easy and quick. For the sake of time, I made the marinara sauce the night before and just heated it up the next morning. But if you choose to do it at the same time, that’s also not a problem. And you need to use a pan with a metal handle so it can go right into the oven without melting. If you don’t have one, just skip that part and cook a little longer.

Pasta Frittata
Marinara sauce
Olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley

Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms (any kind, I used button)
1 bag fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 bag Trader Joe’s Brown Rice spaghetti
3 eggs
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp dried parsley
1 cup cheese (I mixed leftover Jarlsburg Swiss, mozzarella and Romano equaling to 1 cup)

1. Cook onion and garlic in olive oil till soft.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to simmer. Let simmer on low heat for at least 30-45 minutes to let the flavors blend. Set aside.

1. Cook pasta according to directions, leaving it very al dente since it will be cooking in the frittata also. When the past is done, rinse with cold water, mix with just about 1/2 cup of the marinara and set aside.
2. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil till soft.
3. Add mushrooms and cook till mushrooms are done, about 10 minutes.
4. Add spinach, piling into the pan. Don’t worry, it will cook down tremendously. Let this cook for about 10 minutes until all spinach is wilted. Leave it cooking on very low heat without a lid to cook the moisture out of the spinach.
5. Whisk eggs and eggwhites, along with nutmeg, parsley, salt and pepper.
6. Add pasta to spinach mixture in pan and mix well.
7. Add cheese to spinach/pasta mixture (reserve a little Romano for the top) and mix well.
8. Spread out mixture in pan evenly, then add egg mixture.
9. Let frittata cook over medium heat for about 5-8 minutes until it’s just about all set and not wiggly in the middle.
10. Sprinkle remaining Romano over the top, then take the frittata and put it under the broiler on low for about 8 minutes, letting it get brown and toasty on top.
11. Remove and let it cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan. The entire thing should come out of the pan easily and onto a plate.

Serve with Marinara on top and a little extra Romano. Yum…

Happy Easter…Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under eggs, frittata, gluten free, pasta, spinach