Monthly Archives: August 2011

Garbanzos with spinach and lemon


Today’s post is short and sweet. I wanted a quick, easy lunch before running out to a meeting, recently. I remembered that I had a great lunch recently in Tucson at the Shish Kebab House. Along with a lovely but standard Greek salad, we ordered the sauteed garbanzos and spinach. I decided to try and recreate it since it was so good. Mine tasted just like the restaurant, and I could even add a little more lemon. The garbanzos are firm and chewy and the spinach and lemon give it just enough tartness. It is quick and satisfying, and its good for you. Best of all, it’s gluten free naturally. I love this recipe since it’s so easy to prepare, but if you prefer to soak your beans overnight, go right ahead. The dish just takes a little more planning.

Garbanzos with spinach and lemon
1 can garbanzos, drained and rinsed
2 cups raw spinach, rinsed
Juice of one medium lemon
1 TBS olive oil
salt/pepper

1. Sautee garbanzos in the olive oil till warm.
2. Add all other ingredients and cook until the spinach is wilted and warm, but don’t overcook it. You still want some texture to it and a bright green color.
3. Serve with a wedge of lemon for a little treat.

Simple, quick and yummy. Enjoy!

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Filed under garbanzos, gluten free, lemon, spinach, vegetarian

Gluten-free caramel corn drizzled with chocolate-my new addiction

My new addiction

I had a craving for caramel corn and decided to try and make my own. It always sounded so difficult and messy, but that never stopped me before. Besides, when a craving for something sweet hits me, not much can get in my way. After scouring cookbooks and the Internet, I decided to buy Trader Joe’s air-popped popcorn to begin with. I got rid of my air popper last year after realizing I never used it. Now, I wish I hadn’t. But, TJ’s seemed to do the trick. Then, I decided to use Paula Deen’s recipe for caramel corn, since it seemed to be the most simple. Click on the link for the entire recipe, but I’ve listed a few hints below to make it a little easier.

1. Once all the ingredients are in the pot and mixed, and the butter is melted, let it simmer/boil for 5 minutes without touching or stirring (resist the urge to stir, and I know that’s hard to do). Then add the baking soda.

2. I used 8 cups of popcorn (1.5 bags) but I think I would use 6-7 next time since not all of the popcorn got a good coating of the caramel. Although it’s not bad if some of it is lightly coated. That’s up to you.

3. Even though it bakes for an hour, don’t forget to stir it every 15 minutes so it cooks evenly. I spread it out on two large roasting pans that I sprayed with non-stick spray to make it easier.

4. I melted a bag of GF chocolate chips and drizzled it for just a little more decadence. If you do that, make sure you put in the fridge to harden a bit.

5. I dare you to make this and not eat it all night. I bagged it up right away and handed it out the next day. I made sure to leave enough for all of us to eat, but it’s so addicting…it’s hard to stop once you start. Trust me.

I think this would make a great hostess gift or even something to bring to a potluck or party if you can’t decide. Best caramel corn ever…really.

Enjoy!

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Filed under butter, caramel corn, gluten free, popcorn, vegetarian

Quick and easy beet salad with truffle oil

Beautiful beet salad with greens and truffle oil

Beets are unappreciated, in my opinion. Mention them and either get a big smile, or a big grimace from most folks. That’s because they right away think of those pickled beets at the salad bar. Yuck! Now think of a nice, sweet roasted beet fresh from the garden. There, now I’ve got you thinking in the right direction.

I started this morning with a roasted a pile of fresh beets from the Phoenix Farmers Market that I bought this weekend. Half of them are for my Mom, who prefers it if I roast them for her. “You do it better,” she says. I think she’s just trying to keep her oven off in this heat.

Italian Truffle Oil, a special treat

So, like the good daughter that I am, I roasted them all. I saved hers to the side and wondered what to do with mine. Then it him me, why not use the greens and make a salad? Simple…

Then I remembered that my lovely sister bought a bottle of truffle oil for me when she visited Italy recently. I don’t use it that often, I just don’t want to use it all. But I adore the earthy aroma and flavor when it’s drizzled over salads or bread. I know it can be quite expensive and not many people have it sitting in their cupboards, I never did till she gave it to me. But if you can find some, try. If not, olive oil is just as nice and gives a lighter flavor. Make sure you have some good, extra virgin olive oil.

Roasted Beet Salad with Truffle Oil
2 fresh beets, roasted and refrigerated
1 bunch of fresh beet greens, washed and dry
3-4 yellow baby tomatoes
1/2 tsp truffle oil (or olive oil)
salt/pepper

1. Roast the beets the night before, or at least put them in the fridge for about an hour so they can cool off. I roast mine at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes.
2. Wash, drain, and pat dry the beet greens, then chop them.
3. Chop beets into bite-sized pieces.
4. Mix greens and beets in the bowl with the tomatoes, salt/pepper.
5. Drizzle just a touch of truffle oil over the salad and mix.

The truffle oil is the best part. It gives the salad a warm, earthy flavor. The greens are slightly bitter and crunchy while the beets are sugary and carmelized, making this a wonderful contrast. The truffle oil just brings this up a notch higher. Don’t overuse the oil, or salt and pepper. Lightness is the key here, you want a summer, refreshing salad.

What do you do with your beets? I’m still looking for more ideas. Let me know.

Enjoy!

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Filed under beets, gluten free, greens, salad, truffle oil, vegetarian

Gluten-free blueberry scones, the easy way

I woke up this morning with a craving for a scone. Now, I’m not usually a scone lover, they can be a bit dry for me. And couple that with gluten-free flour and you’re sure to get something that resembles crumbling drywall. But, nevertheless I was determined, and hungry. I looked in the cabinet and found GF Bisquick mix…Hmmm. What if…

It worked! What a treat. More like a cross between muffin and scone, it was perfect on a summer morning. I used frozen blueberries that I had frozen just a few months ago when huge, sweet blueberries were in season. If possible, try to use something like this rather than those little, tiny, chewy frozen ones. The rest is ad-libbed…and gutsy but successful. I didn’t have enough Bisquick, so I used about a 1/2 cup of GF yellow cake mix, which seemed to work out great.

Gluten-free blueberry scone and espresso

Blueberry scones
1 1/2 cup GF Bisquick mix
1/2 cup GF yellow cake mix
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup frozen blueberries

Topping
2 TBS melted butter
1 tsp sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Mix first 6 ingredients together in a bowl.
3. Once it’s all come together, add the blueberries and mix for a moment.
4. Turn out onto a table or board using a bit of the mix to “flour” the table. Knead a few times till mixed thoroughly, but don’t overdo it.
5. Pat out into a flat, round shape about an inch or so high, about 10-12 inches in diameter.
6. Melt butter for about 15 seconds, pour over the top, and spread evenly. Don’t worry if you don’t use it all, you just want a thin layer over the top to brown it up nicely.
7. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top of the dough. Depending on how big you’ve made it, you may need a little more.This will give it a lovely brown and crispy top.
8. Slice into 8-10 triangles.
9. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper, leaving about an inch between them.
10. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Let them cool slightly and serve warm. I haven’t eaten one cold yet, but these are quite yummy. Like a blueberry muffin with a bit of biscuit/scone mixed in. Wonderful with a cup of coffee. (I caught my husband grabbing one and putting cream cheese on it.) Of course, add any fruit you like. I prefer the blueberries, but I’ll try strawberries or even apricots next time. I would also love to try a rosemary/lemon scone soon.

Enjoy!

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Filed under blueberries, breakfast, gluten free, scone, vegetarian