Monthly Archives: September 2009

Crunchy Wild Rice Salad


I had no idea that wild rice had so much protein in it. It has just about twice the protein as brown rice and it takes great. It’s chewy and has a wonderfully nutty taste. So, when a friend made a cold wild rice salad, of course I had to go home and modify it.

I’m sure this can be changed according to the seasons. I love small sweet peppers and it’s a great time for apples in season. But perhaps later in the year carrots and onions will work well. It’s a great dish to bring to a potluck or take to school or work. I love that it’s filling and satisfying with crunch and sweetness. Give it a try…

Crunchy Wild Rice Salad
1 cup wild rice
4 cups water
1 apple, chopped
1 cup yellow/red/orange peppers, chopped
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Dressing:
2 Tbs Olive oil
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Agave syrup

1. Cook wild rice using package directions. I just add 1 cup rice per 4 cups of water, then simmer for about 45 minutes. Drain any water that’s left.
2. Toast pine nuts in a 350 degree oven for just a few minutes. Be careful, they burn quickly.
3. Make dressing and adjust ingredients to your taste. I like mine a little sweet so I add a little more agave. Add some lemon juice if it’s too sweet.
4. After the rice has cooled for about 30 minutes, mix all ingredients together and refrigerate. This lasts for a few days and tastes better each day as the flavors blend.

Enjoy!

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Filed under gluten free, rice, salad, vegetarian

GF Veggie Lasagna

My cravings for lasagna have not gone away. Although I’ve made a GF version of lasagna using TJ’s brown rice pasta (and it was yummy) I’ve been craving the kind Mom used to make. Finally, I came across these GF lasagna noodles. Pow! I’ve heard about them, and was so excited to see them at our local Whole Foods Market.

I will tell you that I put them in boiling water, let them cook for a minute, then checked the box to see how long it takes to cook them. Imagine my surprise when I saw “No Boiling – Oven Ready” right on the front. I turned the flame off but let them sit in the water while getting everything else finalized. They sat in there about 5 minutes, then I pulled them out and used them. They turned out great and I think I’ll do it like that again. I liked having them just like “regular” noodles. But go ahead and try them straight from the box and let me know. Dear chef, lesson learned – read the directions before cooking.

This was made with zucchini and spinach, but give it a try with any of your fave veggies. I love carrots, yellow squash and mushrooms also. Can’t wait to make all kinds of varieties now that I know it’s an option to make lasagna. Even Daughter loved it.

GF Veggie Lasagna
4-5 GF lasagna noodles (pre-cooked or not)
2 zucchini, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tbs chopped garlic
1 package silken tofu, drained and pressed
1/2 cup TJ’s goat’s milk mozzarella (shredded)
1 large can plum tomatoes
1 cup chopped and roasted carrots
dried oregano, parsley and basil to taste

This sounds like a lot of work, but it can all be going on at once. Don’t let it intimidate you. It is so worth the effort and is truly a comfort food you will love.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put chopped carrots in a flat roasting sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt, mix and roast in the oven for about 15 minutes.
3. Cook zucchini in a saute pan with 1/2 TBS of olive oil, salt and pepper until it becomes translucent.
4. Add spinach to zucchini by handfuls and let it wilt and cook.
5. Add 1 Tbs chopped garlic to veggies and cook for another minute, then put veggies in a strainer over a bowl to let the liquid drip off (too much will make the lasagna mushy).
6. Set a large pot of water to boil. When it boils, turn off the heat and add the lasagna noodles. Let them sit.
7. No need to wash the saute pan. Add the chopped onions and another 1/2 Tbs olive oil. Cook until onions are translucent.
8. Add 1 Tbs chopped garlic and cook for another minute.
9. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper.
10. Remove carrots from the oven. They should be carmelized and soft. Add to tomatoes, along with 1/2 tsp each of dried oregano, basil and parsely, mix and let simmer.
11. Place tofu in a bowl and add a 1/2 tsp each of dried oregano, basil and parsley. Add most of the mozzarella, leaving a little for the top of the lasagna. Mix well and set aside.
12. With an immersion blender (or regular blender if you don’t have one) blend the tomato sauce until smooth. (If you use a regular blender, be sure to keep the top slightly open so you don’t blow the top off the blender.)
13. Layer your lasagna in an 8X8 glass baking dish. Add sauce, noodles, half of the tofu mixture, half the veggies- then repeat. On the final layer, add noodles and sauce, then top with the reserved mozzarella.
14. Bake for 35 minutes until bubbly and cooked through. Let the lasagna rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

This is so much like Mom used to make. Yes, she used ricotta cheese, eggs and wheat noodles, but you’ll be surprised how much this tastes like the real thing. It hits that comfort spot with a warm, bubbly sauce, al-dente noodles and wonderful veggies. Add a little leftover sauce and it’s just like being a kid.

Enjoy!

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Filed under gluten free, pasta, spinach, vegetarian, zucchini

Roasted Carrot and Pine Nut Pasta


I bought a large, beautiful bag of sweet carrots from the farmers market, now what? I love eating raw carrots and I could eat them all day long. I whipped up some white-bean hummus and cut most of the carrots into sticks to dip. This was lovely and garlicky (I used a leftover head of roasted garlic in the hummus).

But there are still lots of carrots left. Daughter wanted pasta for dinner and I was hit with inspiration…roasted carrots in the pasta. The sweetness of the roasted carrots were divine and the nuttiness of the pine nuts offset the sweetness just enough. Daughter said, “I love these nuts, what are they?” Hmmm, something new.

Roasted Carrot and Pine Nut Pasta
1 bag Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Fusilli
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1/4 cup raw pine nuts
1 Tbs chopped garlic
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs grape seed oil
2 tsp dried parsley
salt/pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Place carrots on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbs olive oil and 1 tsp Celtic sea salt. Mix and put in oven for about 20 minutes or until brown and carmelized.
3. While carrots roast, cook pasta as instructed on package (about 12 minutes). Drain and rinse in cold water.
4. In a large saute pan, heat the remaining olive oil and grape seed oil over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and cook over medium heat, being careful not to brown the garlic. If you do, start over again since the garlic can become bitter very easily.
5. Remove carrots from the oven and add to saute pan.
6. Place pine nuts on the pan used for the carrots and place under the broiler for just about 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully, they brown quickly.
7. Add pine nuts and pasta to saute pan. Add parsley last and mix.
Enjoy.

The secret to this dish is that roasting vegetables doesn’t have to be a big job. Just throw whatever veggies you have onto the pan, mix with olive oil and salt and roast away. In the time it takes to make the pasta, your veggies are carmelized, sweet and browned. This is on my permanent list now.

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Filed under carrots, pasta, pine nuts, vegetarian