Category Archives: eggs

Carbonara – The Gluten-Free, Vegetarian Way

carbonaraI see Pasta Carbonara recipes on the cooking channels all the time. They look wonderful, creamy, yummy. It just always seemed complicated or too tricky. And, I don’t eat bacon, of course. But, that didn’t stop me from giving it a try and finding a fantastic, quick ,and decadent dinner. Trust me, it sounds strange if you haven’t tried it, or if you are a meat-eater and want to add bacon, go right ahead. I don’t think it’s missing anything without the bacon. The Parmesan gives it a salty, creamy texture and the eggs add a bit of protein and a hearty flavor. I used spaghetti, but go ahead and try it with penne or even fusilli if you like. I know I’ll be making this again since it’s so easy and comforting.

Veggie Carbonara, Gluten-Free Style

3/4 lb of gluten-free spaghetti (I used Trader Joe’s corn pasta, you can use what you like. I used about 3/4 of the bag)

2 eggs

1/4 cup half & half (maybe a little less, depending on how big your eggs are. Mine were on the small side)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup chopped broccoli and cauliflower

olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder

1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. When it comes to a boil, salt the water and add the pasta, cooking for 8 minutes (or whatever the instructions are for the pasta you are using).

2. While the pasta is cooking, add olive oil to a sauté pan and add cauliflower and broccoli. Add a bit of salt and sauté until brown and softening. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, add eggs, half & half and most of the Parmesan and mix well with a fork. Add a pinch of salt/pepper.

4. Drain the pasta, reserving a bit of the water in case you need to soften up the sauce.

5. Here’s the important part—take the saute pan off the heat and then add the drained pasta to the pan. Coat with the oil in the pan, and then add the egg mixture, tossing to get all the noodles coated. The sauce will thicken up as the eggs set, but as long as it’s off the heat you won’t have scrambled eggs instead. If it’s too thick, just add a little bit of the reserved cooking water to thin it out.

6. Top with a bit more Parmesan if you like, and the chopped fresh parsley.

If you don’t have broccoli and cauliflower in your fridge (I had a small bag of mixed), go ahead and use zucchini or even sauté some carrots. The veggies don’t matter, you can even leave them out and just make it plain. You probably have a couple of eggs and a bit of half & half in the fridge. That really all you need, along with Parmesan and pasta. Be creative.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Filed under broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, cooking, dinner, egg, eggs, gluten free, pasta, vegetarian

A Quick and Lovely Breakfast-Lemon Crepes

Have guests for breakfast, or feel like treating yourself to something a little more fancy than toast and PB this morning? Whip up some lemon crepes, brew a cup of tea, and sit back to a lovely, refreshing treat. Armed with a bowl of fresh lemons from a friend in town, my morning hungries led me straight to the Sweet Rice Flour and tada…crepes. This recipe is quick and easy, and you probably have everything in the house.

Lemon Crepes

Quick and Easy Lemon Crepes
1 cup Sweet Rice Flour
1 cup milk (almond or regular)
1 egg
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
butter (for cooking crepes)

1. Combine all of the above ingredients, but just use 1/2 a cup of milk to start. Then add milk little by little until you have a mixture that resembles very loose pancake batter.

2. Put a tsp of butter in the bottom of a flat frying pan and melt over medium heat. (I don’t have a crepe pan and this works perfectly for me.) Take about 1/2 cup of crepe mixture and pour into pan while tilting pan to coat the bottom of the pan. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need a little more or less. You want a thin, even coat over the bottom, but not too thick.

3. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until the bottom looks slightly brown and the edges start to pull away. Then gently just slip a spatula under the crepe and flip it. Cook the other side for about a minute. Then slide it out onto a plate.

4. Use a little more butter for each crepe. This keeps it from sticking. Stack the crepes as you go, or fold them one by one.

5. Sprinkle each crepe with a little fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar. I have also spread these with Nutella (leave out the lemon), spread them with fresh strawberry jam, kumquat marmalade, or even just a little butter. Go crazy and put anything you want on them. My daughter loves hers simply with fresh strawberries.

Enjoy! These are refreshing and light, but sweet and comforting.

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Filed under breakfast, crepes, eggs, elegant, gluten free, lemon, rice flour, strawberries, vegetarian

Here’s how to have a gluten-free book club tea party

It was my month to choose a book and host book club in November. Not only do I love reading, but I also love hosting parties. The book I chose was Remarkable Creatures, by Tracy Chevalier. And since the book is based on the lives of spinster women searching for fossils on the coast of England in the early 1800s, (yes, it really is), I chose a tea-party theme with seashells and dinosaurs thrown in for fun.

Tea Party with sea glass, shells and dinosaurs
Tea is served

First let me note that I am the only GF eater in the group. It’s been my mission to prove to them all that GF cooking is just as good and that the wheat is not missed. Top that with the fact that we’re vegetarians and there isn’t any meat at our house and I’ve got a real challenge, but I’m always up for a challenge, Dear Chef.

The dinosaur is there for a reason, trust me.

I decided on making two veggie tarts, (basically quiche without the crust). The first was made with carmelized leeks, browned mushrooms, mozzarella and goat cheese. Carmelize one onion and two leeks, then add mushrooms and brown them with the onions. When they’re done, place them on the bottom of a tart pan and spread out evenly. Cover with a layer of shredded mozzarella and about 3 TBS of shredded Parmesan. Sprinkle with chopped fresh thyme and parsley. In a separate bowl, mix together about 4 egg whites and 3 eggs. Add about 1/4 cup of goat cheese and whisk it all together with a pinch of salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried mustard and nutmeg. Pour evenly over the tart and bake in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes. Don’t let it get too brown. Slice when cool and enjoy. I’m always apprehensive about using goat cheese since even though I love it, I have found that people either love it or hate it. But this was first plate to be empty, so I suppose this wasn’t anything to worry about.

Another dinosaur, representing the fossils in the book.

The second tart was onion, spinach, asparagus and Swiss cheese. Start with the onions in a bit of olive oil and butter (as above) and cook till brown and sweet. Add about 2 cups of fresh spinach and cook until wilted. Turn the heat on low and cook for about 10 minutes until the liquid has cooked out of the spinach. Add 1/2 tsp fresh garlic, pinch of salt and pepper. spread evenly into a pie/tart pan. Cover with 1 1/2 cups of shredded Swiss cheese. Take asparagus and arrange in a patter on top of the cheese. In a separate bowl, beat together 4 egg whites, 3 eggs, 1/4 cup half and half, salt, pepper, pinch of both nutmeg and dried mustard. Chop about 1 TBS fresh parsley and add to the mixture. Beat and then pour evenly and gently over the veggie/cheese mixture. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, but don’t let it get too brown. Slice when cool.

Thanks to Udi’s for the fabulous bread used to make the cucumber sandwiches and the egg salad sandwiches. They were the first to go and not one was left on the plate. Daughter and I kept eating them while making them, we love them that much. Simple to make, really. For the cucumber sandwiches, just cut the crusts off the bread, then spread with cream cheese and layer with strips of cucumber (use a veggie peeler for strips) and slice. Sprinkle with a little salt and a bit of chopped fresh parsley. For the egg salad I used chopped egg, mayo, apples, celery, salt/pepper and chopped parsley. I didn’t cut the crusts off of these and they were yummy .

In keeping with the fossil-hunting theme, Daughter actually made a wonderful GF coffee cake and placed a small dinosaur in one of the pieces while plating the cake. (Fossil hunting in the dirt? Too much of a stretch?) The cake was gone quickly, and worked perfectly with the tea after dinner.


And believe it or not, I found the perfect wine in the spirit of the fossil-hunting theme of the evening. Thanks Trader Joe’s.

I was depending on Trader Joe’s for their lovely shell-shaped chocolates to round out the decor. And wouldn’t you know it, they don’t have them yet for the holiday season. What’s a girl to do? Ask her teen to make some chocolate, that’s what. Darling daughter actually melted white and dark chocolate and poured it into molds to give us our shell chocolate. What a doll! The night was rounded out with cheese/pesto/sun-dried tomato torte with rice crackers, caramels with sea salt and a lovely salad of spring lettuce, roasted beets and candied pecans in a balsamic dressing.

I’m sad the night is over, but I can’t wait for next month. Try reading the book and see what it inspires you to cook. Enjoy!

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Filed under asparagus, cake, cheese, chocolate, cucumber sandwiches, eggs, gluten free, leeks, quiche, sandwich, spinach, tart, vegetarian

Quiche Muffins


I’ve been making these for ages and just realized that I had never put the recipe up here. Somehow I thought I did, but I was wrong…what can I say? I came up with these after having one that was similar at Paradise Bakery. I decided to give it a try at home, make sure it’s gluten free, and create something simple. And, Dear Chef, as we all know, simple is better. The ingredients here are few and preparation is a cinch. That’s what makes it so nice. Whip these up in about 5 minutes, bake for 15 minutes and put them away for breakfast or lunch for the week. I calculated the calories for each one and it came out to about 85 per muffin-not bad. You can also use tiny muffin tins and make snack-sized muffins for a party or just for fun. Everyone will think you worked on them forever.

Quiche Muffins
1 16 oz. bag of organic frozen spinach
2 eggs
4 egg whites
1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp ground nutmeg
salt/pepper
2 Tbs grated parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Put spinach in a microwaveable bowl and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain and squeeze out the liquid.
3. In the same bowl, add all other ingredients and mix well.
4. Spoon out mixture evenly into 12 muffin tins. (sprayed with nonstick spray)
5. Cook for 15 minutes, then turn off the oven and let them sit in the oven for about 5 minutes.
6. Remove muffins onto a cooling rack and allow to cool for just a few minutes. This will help them firm up a bit.
Enjoy!

I’ve made these with many different kinds of cheese including Fontina, Swiss, Gouda, Mexican mix, and more. Use whatever cheese is your favorite and experiment to find what you like best. These are a great way to get protein and veggies, and my Daughter loves them. Mix it up with different veggies if you want, but the spinach always seems to be the best. I also added the Parmesan recently and it seems to give them a great, salty flavor.

Enjoy!

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Filed under eggs, gluten free, muffins, quiche, spinach

Beets, Beets and more Beets


Our local CSA basket has had some wonderful golden beets lately. Since my partner in veggies doesn’t care for beets, I’m in heaven each week they are in the basket. Simple-olive oil, salt, pepper in a foil wrap and bake in a 400-degree oven for about an hour. Open and enjoy. I know there are so many other things you can do with beets, and I’ve done them, but nothing beats just roasting in the oven and eating warm. Yum! I can’t wait for Wednesdays and I’m bummed when there are no beets. Rainbow chard is also a favorite in the basket, but I know, dear chef, that you’ve seen what I can do with that.

I highly recommend ordering a basket of locally grown veggies. Not only are you supporting a local business, but the time from dirt to your plate is minimal, not weeks. The vitamins are stronger, taste is better and chemicals are non-existent. Try it, you’ll be helping the environment, your body, and a local business. And your cooking chops will be tested each week you open the box and say, “What the heck is that?” Cook it and find out.

I made a quiche tart with the spinach and beets in the basket, as well as the free-range organic eggs that week. So yummy, fresh and good for you. Just spray a tart pan, cook spinach and some onion until soft. Add eggs (I use 2 eggs and 4 egg whites) and pour into pan with veggies, then add some cheese if you want. (Fontina melts great). Then space a few beets on top and bake for about 35 minutes. Yummy!

Enjoy!

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Jambote (Leftovers with Eggs)


I’ve found myself on many occasions foraging through the refrigerator for something to eat. I’m not the kind who plans dinner for the week, shops then cooks ahead, etc. I’m more of the “what do I feel like eating today” kind of person. Lately, I’m the “what do I feel like eating that’s in my fridge” kind of person. What is always in there? Eggs, veggies, Diet Coke (I know, I know), rice cheese, carrot juice and the freezer usually has a few frozen GF pizza crusts, Sunshine burgers and Daughter’s Trader Joe’s quiche (not GF.)

Eggs and veggies are always a good bet. I’ve usually got leeks and some kind of colorful veggies, but whatever you’ve got, just saute the veggies, add an egg and viola-dinner. Here’s my plan for what my mother calls “Jambote” or everything and an egg in the pan. Mom used to add potatoes to the mix, but I find that much too filling. But go ahead and try it, I loved it when I was a kid. It was Sunday morning breakfast-leftovers, potatoes and eggs.

I made one the other day with leeks and yellow squash. It was wonderful. This time, it is much more colorful and makes a better photo-op.

Jambote
Any veggies available
For this one, I had 1/2 a zuchini and 1/2 red bell pepper
1 egg plus 1 eggwhite
dash of nutmeg (1/4 tsp)
salt/pepper
1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped

1. Saute veggies (about 1 cup) in grapeseed or olive oil
2. Beat egg and eggwhite in a bowl with salt, pepper and nutmeg
3. Add egg to veggies when they begin to soften.
4. Add parsley close to the end of cooking.
4. Cook until your desired doneness. I like mine pretty well-done.

This is quick, easy and very tasty. It’s filling, full of veggies and provides a bit of protein.

Enjoy!

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Filed under breakfast, eggs, gluten free, vegetarian

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.

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