Monthly Archives: May 2010

Hot out? Salad to the rescue…

It’s getting hot here in the desert-it should hit 100 in a few days. Who wants to think about cooking? That’s why salads are so fantastic at this time. I think I’ll write a book one day about all the fabulous salad ideas that would last all summer. For now, here’s one that was fabulous and fell together for lunch. Measurements are estimated since it’s all up to you how much you want of everything, and how many you’re making this for. This was just for me today, so add or subtract as you wish.

I’ve been visiting the farmers market often and found beautiful blood orange olive oil, pomegranate balsamic, fig jam, fig balsamic vinegar, and more. Take a chance and go for something different. Check out specialty stores if you don’t have a farmers market nearby. The flavors are intense and make your salad pop!

Blood Orange/Pomegranate Salad
2 cups organic lettuce (use a variety for color and fun)
1 handful shredded Romano cheese
1/8 cup dried cranberries
1/8 cup fresh organic blueberries
1/4 cup chopped candied pecans
1/2 tomato, chopped

1 TBS pomegrante balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic)
2 TBS blood orange olive oil (or regular olive oil)
pinch of garlic powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp strawberry jam

1. Add all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Place dressing ingredients in a small container, close and shake till blended.
3. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently (you might not need all the dressing, so use half and mix, then see how it is.)

All gluten-free and vegetarian, and lovely and fresh on a warm summer day. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under cranberries, gluten free, salad, vegetarian

A visit to True Food Kitchen

Wow. While perusing the Apple iPad at the Biltmore Fashion Park in Phoenix today, Daughter and I decided to take in True Food Kitchen. The restaurant is a collaboration between Dr. Andrew Weil (the whole food guru we all know and love) and local restaurateur on fire – Sam Fox.

We started with a fresh strawberry lemonade for Daughter, and I began with the T-Eight, a lovely blend of fresh veggies including Tomato, Celery, Ginger, Cucumber, Golden Beet, Apple, Carrot & Parsley ($6). Yum, served over ice it was refreshing and cool. Although at $6, I’ll ask for less ice and more juice next time.

Daughter had the gluten-free baked ziti, which was essentially brown-rice pasta, tomato sauce, kale and a little Parmesan ($7). She was in heaven. The sauce was beautiful with mild spices and a sweet flavor. I gave the Spaghetti Squash Casserole a try. Lovely sauteed spaghetti squash mingled with tomatoes, onions and thinly sliced zucchini topped with fresh mozzarella and Parmesan, baked to perfection ($13). The mixture of tomatoes and onions gave this casserole a light, airy feel, although it was quite filling and I didn’t miss pasta in the least. I may try this at home, but I’m not sure if I can copy this one.

We were quite full after all this, even the kid’s meal was large enough to fill Daughter sufficiently. But of course, there was a flourless chocolate cake on the menu, topped with decadent vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce ($7). Who could resist? It was lovely, creamy, chocolaty and crunchy with cacao nibs on top.

The restaurant is clean, airy and light. Lots of wood and stainless steel makes it feel open, although the noise level can get up there. I noticed later that if we sat toward the back, we could have watched the food being prepared. Ask to sit farther toward the back and watch the action. We’ll definitely be back. Wanna’ join us?



Filed under gluten free, pasta, restaurants, squash, vegetarian

Phoenix Gluten Free Expo

Wow, what an amazing event I was lucky enough to attend. The Celiac Disease Foundation’s Greater Phoenix Chapter held the most wonderful gluten free event in Phoenix. As you can see, it was quite well-attended. Great crowd, great food.

The photo here is just a small portion of the great products offered at the event. There were children, families and people wandering for hours in a friendly, educational environment. I took my friend, her son was recently diagnosed with Celiac, and she had a great time finding out about the options out there for her.

I had a great time just trying all the wonderful food offered. There was soup, cheesecake, crackers, nutbars, pizza and more. A few of the vendors are listed below, and the rest I’ve saved for my Taste Test Tuesdays. I’ll take a few of the items and test them out each Tuesday until I run out-then I’ll find more!

Today, just for the record, I tried the lemon cheesecake from Innocent Indulgence and thought I went to heaven. The crust was moist and crunchy with a tart, light and fluffy, lemon cheesecake filling. A little goes a long way, but I could have eaten much, much more. Lucky for me the test bites were two-biters.

I also tried Heavenly Organics honey chocolate mint patties-do die for! I love when something has very few ingredients and these have just three: raw Himalayan honey, unsweetened chocolate, peppermint oil. That’s it! Sweet little bites of minty, chocolaty goodness. I wish I had a handful so I could have just one for each night with a cup of tea. I’ll definitely be getting more of these.

And finally, something I haven’t had in a very long time-shortbread. We all know, in the GF world, that shortbread is one of the hardest things to replicate from the world of wheat. It just doesn’t happen for most-it’s dry, gritty, powdery, too sweet, not sweet enough, too pasty, etc. You know what I mean…so why am I telling you this? I found one that was sublime-broke apart like a real shortbread should, tasted buttery, salty, sweet and begged for a cup of tea in your other hand. These little pillows of heaven are made by Simply Shari’s (formerly Gluten Free & Fabulous). As far as I know, they may be in Sprouts but can be found online. The company also has a frozen pizza but I couldn’t taste it since he was testing out the pepperoni variety. Veggie girl here had to wait.

I’ll have more reviews as time goes on, including a new GF beer (new to me, anyway.)

The ladies at Basha’s had crackers and info for everyone, and a smile! Thanks Ladies!

Honest Tea was handing out samples and they were cold, delicious and gluten free. We tried the mango and 1/2 tea/1/2 lemonade varieties. Yum!



Filed under Expo, gluten free

Greens and Beans

I found the most wonderful escarole at the farmers market today and couldn’t wait to cook. Tonight, I made something my mother used to make when I was young (minus the ham she threw in there). It’s a simple dish we loved when we were kids, and now I love it as an adult since it’s low fat, low calorie and jam-packed with vitamins and goodness. Even protein from the beans. My mom was a great cook (and still is) and I love making something I learned so long ago while putting my own twist on it. Give it a shot and add whatever you want. I think I’ll go with some sauteed onions next time, although it’s awesome just the way it is.

For those of you following the blog, I’ve done something similar with red chard, and you could use spinach or any other greens if you want. Experiment and have fun…

Greens and Beans
1 bunch of escarole, washed and chopped
1 can white beans, rinsed
1 can tomatoes
1 tsp tomato paste
garlic powder
fresh parsley

1. Throw the escarole in a large saute pan with a little water and let it wilt slightly.
2. Add all other ingredients and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
3. Serve with Parmesan cheese (optional)

It’s that easy, and that good. It’s fresh and filling and a wonderful comfort food.


Filed under beans, escarole, vegetarian