Category Archives: quinoa

My GF Pizza Obsession Continues at Detours Tavern

(NOTE: Detour Tavern is now closed…)

White pizza with kale, broccoli and mushrooms…YUM!

OK, once again we are back on pizza. I know, I know, you’re sick of me harping on the GF pizza quest. It’s my obsession to find something that comes close to real pizza, as you know. But trust me on this, it’s working. Last night, I got closer than I’ve gotten in a long time.

A dear friend invited me to dinner and said, “I saw gluten free on the menu, so let’s go.” Of course, that made me nervous, who knows what’s there and how they make it, right? But I always figure I can have a salad, and I’m touched that she thought of me and I love that she wanted to go with me.

Cut to a few nights later as we sit in Detours Tavern in Scottsdale. Not too much ambiance, more of a sports bar feel,  but not bad and it is clean. It used to be a Chinese restaurant that was anything but clean. So nice to see that gone at least. I checked the menu and noticed a few things I could order, but then noticed they had pizzas and a little note saying they had gluten-free pizza. Hmmm, after checking with the server, who assured me that they put the gf pizzas on a separate pan to bake and use separate utensils, I ordered a white pizza with kale, mushrooms and broccoli. One word-Wow! Thin, crispy, light, chewy, amazing. And it’s huge, not the usual tiny GF pizza that costs a fortune and isn’t worth the money. This did cost about $12, but it was totally worth it.

Of course, that meant I had to grill the poor guy for all the particulars. He said they get it from Sysco and he thought it was made in AZ somewhere. The owner wasn’t there and he said he’d call me with the information. Of course, I couldn’t wait for that so I checked on my phone and found out that Sysco has three GF pizza crusts available- Schar, Ener-G, and Pane Riso/Kingsmill. It didn’t look like the Schar crusts, which I’ve seen before. But all the options have no eggs or gluten, which makes them work for EF/GF Daughter. Yay.

Quinoa salad over raw kale

My friend chose the quinoa salad over kale. It’s filled with black beans, corn and more. Yummy! There was a light vinaigrette over the salad and mixed in with the kale, which was raw on the bottom. The quinoa flavor wasn’t masked by the dressing, which is sometimes the case with most restaurants. I’m getting this next time, if I can resist not eating another pizza.

And one thing this restaurant does is serve big entrees. We shared both and were stuffed when we were done. You could easily have shared with another person, but I’m sure glad nobody else was there.

I highly recommend this place for a relaxed, casual dining experience. There aren’t a ton of GF items on the menu, but what they have looks and tastes wonderful. They have a full bar and flat screens all over, so I’m guessing on game night it’s The Place To Be. My friend said their sweet potato fries were wonderful, but unfortunately they are fried in contaminated oil with breaded food. Only bummer of the night.


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Filed under allergies, black beans, broccoli, cheese, gluten free, kale, pizza, Pizza Crust, quinoa, restaurants, salad, Takeout Gluten-free Pizza, vegetarian

Gluten-Free Foodie Tour-Full of Awesome Goodness

I was so lucky to be included in the Gluten-Free Foodie Tour this month, coordinated by Ken Scheer of Rock a Healthy Lifestyle fame. This month’s treat was Bombay Spice Grill & Wine in Paradise Valley. And what a treat it was. There were 50 gluten-free patrons and a meal fit for royalty. Four appetizers, all gluten free, dairy free, egg free and soy free. Three of these were vegetarian! Yippee. Imagine how excited Daughter and I were to find that we wouldn’t be passing on all the good stuff.

And for an incredibly busy restaurant, we were so pleased at the amazing service. Food just kept coming, refills on drinks were plenty and even $4 mimosas were served.

First off, a Mango Salad with baby greens, nuts, dried cranberries and a light mango dressing. A perfect way to start the meal. No photo of that, the bowl was on the table and everyone dove in before I could snap a photo. Trust me, if you go there, give it a try. The dressing was sweet and light, and the dried and fresh fruit made it a refreshing way to start any meal.

Lentil Cake Towers

Next up, Lentil Cake Towers. Beautiful little stacked goodies of warm lentil cakes topped with coconut milk yogurt, tamarind reduction (which tasted like a lovely, sweet balsamic reduction), crispy crumbled poppadum (crackers made with garbanzo) and a tomato/onion mixture. My only complaint would be that I’m not a fan of raw onion on many things. Next time, I’ll order them without the onion. But aside from that, Daughter and I ate a few of them. The cakes reminded me of felafel and I was dying for a pita to plop it in.

Chickpea Ceviche, oh yum!

Next, my favorite appetizer was the Chickpea Ceviche. A clever vegetarian twist of beautiful, cold chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, tamarind, coconut milk yogurt and once again those lovely crunchy poppadum crackers crumbled on top. I could have eaten the entire bowl of this sweet, crunchy goodness. The chickpeas were cooked perfectly and the dressing gave it a bit of a kick. I’ll be returning just to make a meal of this fabulous salad, but than again, I’m a fan of chickpeas in most everything. Once again, raw onion will be omitted, but that’s just me.

For meat eaters, there were Tandoori chicken wings that were being snatched up left and right. In fact I heard there were multiple orders. Not for me, but if you’re a meat eater you may want to check them out.

Luke Brady working his “Magic”
Bending forks!

In between the appetizers and the entrees, we were entertained by Luke Brady, a friendly and fun magician in town. He sat with the adults and kids in the room and wowed them with card tricks, bending forks and even crimping a few coins. It’s nice to be entertained and fed well all at once. Thanks Luke!

Back to the food, you say? Each person chose one of four entrees. Vegetable or Chicken Tika Masala (tomato-based sauce) and Vegetable or Chicken Curry. All entrees could be served over white rice, brown rice or quinoa. Nice, huh? I love having a choice.

Vegetable Tika Masala

Daughter chose the Vegetable Tika Masala over Jasmine rice. I loved it. The sauce was a bit sweet, but not too sweet. Light and tomatoey (is that a word?) with just a slight bite to it (we order mild). Lots of veggies that were nice and crisp, not overcooked at all.

Vegetable Curry

I ordered the Vegetable Curry over quinoa. I loved the quinoa, it adds such a wonderful flavor to most meals. I have to admit I was much more in love with Daughter’s dish than mine. The curry was good, but nothing I would drive out of my way for. I think if I were a huge curry fan, that would be different. In any case, a spicier version might have been better for the curry. But I’ll get the Tika Masal with quinoa for sure.

Mango Sorbet

Last, but certainly not least, came a lovely, sweet/tart bowl of mango sorbet with a mango coulis and chopped pistachios on top. I was already full from eating everything else, but I just couldn’t resist trying this fabulous end to an eventful lunch. It was like a frozen, silky bite of fresh mango with a hint of sweet and crunchy goodness. I wanted to eat the entire bowl but I didn’t have the room. I’ll save room next time!

Thanks again to Ken Scheer and his GF Foodie Tour. Check out the hashtag #gffoodietour on Twitter for a recount and check out his Web site if you’re interested in attending the next one. He’s also got a Facebook page here. Follow it and watch for the next one. Maybe I’ll see you there!

Disclaimer: All participants payed for their meal and I was not compensated for this review in any way. And I was glad to pay, it was wonderful!


Filed under chickpeas, gluten free, lentils, lunch, Middle Eastern, quinoa, restaurants, rice, tandoori, vegetarian

Quinoa Frenzy

One more quinoa recipe, please. I found something like this at True Foods restaurant, a new place here in town serving gluten free and organic food. Wonderful. Using the ingredients in our weekly CSA basket, I was able to make a lovely quinoa salad that resembled the quinoa tabbouleh from True Foods, but was even better in my opinion. I found Inca Red quinoa at Sprouts and gave it a it a try. Wow, so good. Nuttier flavor than plain white quinoa. I think from now on I’m going to mix it half/half. It looks prettier that way and tastes great.

Red Quinoa Tabbouleh

1 cup red quinoa
1. 5 cups water
1 cup chopped red cabbage
1 chopped red radish (or two small ones)
1 cup chopped fresh baby arugula
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
Juice of one lemon
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp agave syrup

1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Quinoa has an outer coating to scare off the birds and makes it taste bitter. Just rinse it off for a few moments.

2. Add quinoa to water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt and let simmer for 15 minutes. Quinoa gets little swirlies in the middle when it’s about done. Let quinoa cool for about 30 minutes when done.

3. To make the dressing, add all ingredients to a small processor/blender and blend until smooth. Depending on the size of your lemon, taste and see if you need more oil, salt or pepper. You can also add garlic, dried parsley, etc. to your tasted. Experiment if you like.

4. When quinoa has cooled (you don’t want the arugula and parsley to cook), mix all ingredients together. Add dressing slowly, saving some for later. Let salad cool a little more, letting the quinoa soak in the dressing. You may want to add a little more dressing after the quinoa has absorbed the first go around.

This is quick and easy, and can even be put in lettuce wraps and eaten. It’s lovely at a pot luck lunch and provides tons of protein. The salad at True Foods had pomegranate seeds and Marcona almonds on top. Yum! I didn’t have either one but I will next time.



Filed under cabbage, quinoa, radish, salad

Quinoa Salad

I have embarked on the fantastic Nanowrimo boat (which is writing a 50,000-word book in 30 days) and therefore try to use my extra time to write. I’m attempting to make dishes this month that are easy to prepare and that I can eat over and over.

Today, I found fresh corn and cut all the corn right off and added it to black beans and quinoa-one word-marvelous. The corn was crunchy and sweet and the bean gave it just enough texture. I added a little fresh thyme from my garden, which gave it a wonderful flavor. Just don’t overdo it, it’s pretty strong.

If you don’t have fresh corn, dear chef, you can use frozen-but never canned. Canned corn is just too mushy for this. You want the crunchy texture of the corn, and what’s better than fresh?

Quinoa scares some people because it’s so new and different and it’s been compared in many ways to cous cous in texture. But this is not a grain, it’s naturally gluten free and very high in protein, making it even better than cous cous and, I believe, much tastier. Give it a try, you’ll be thinking up new ways to cook it as soon as you eat it.

Quinoa Salad
2 cups quinoa
2 cups water
Corn from three fresh cobs, cut off and rinsed
1 can black beans, rinsed (if you have time to soak some, that’s even better)
2 Tbs olive oil
3 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp fresh tarragon

1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Quinoa has an outer coating to scare off the birds and makes it taste bitter. Just rinse it off for a few moments.

2. Add quinoa to water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt and let simmer for 15 minutes. Quinoa gets little swirlies in the middle when it’s about done.

3. In a large saute pan, saute corn with 1 tsp salt and 1 Tbs olive oil. Saute for just a moment until warm, then add the beans and stir. Add herbs and pepper and stir till the veggies are warm.

4. Add quinoa to the veggies and saute with the last Tbs of olive oil. Mix well and serve.

By the way, this makes a lot of salad, enough for a few days of lunches so be aware. If you don’t want as much, just cut the recipe in half and you’re good to go, but I guarantee you’ll wish you had made a big batch.

This is also great when it’s cold as a salad. I couldn’t wait until it cooled off before eating it and it was wonderful. Can’t wait for lunch tomorrow.


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Filed under beans, quinoa, salad, vegetarian