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My New Favorite Salad.

Gala Apple, Brussels Sprout & Carrot Salad With Candied Walnuts & Goat Cheese In A Honey Vinaigrette.

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I’m seriously obsessed with this salad. All of the flavors harmoniously combine to create a delightfully crunchy, sweet and savory salad. If your dietary preferences restrict you from dairy, the salad is still just as yummy without the goat cheese. You must give this salad a try – it will quickly become one of your new favorites, too!

Serves ~5.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Gala apples, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups raw Brussels sprouts, trimmed & sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup carrots, shaved (you can use a potato peeler for this)
  • 1/3 cup candied walnuts, crumbled
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • garlic salt/black pepper

In a small mixing bowl, add the vinegar, honey, olive oil and garlic salt/black pepper. Whisk to combine. In a large mixing bowl, combine the apples, Brussels sprouts, carrots and candied walnuts and toss in the dressing. Plate the salad and top with a 1-2 small spoonfuls of goat cheese.

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Broccolini, White Bean & Artichoke Patties.

Broccolini, White Bean & Artichoke Patties Topped With Grape Tomato Sauce.

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It was one of those nights when I had no idea what to cook… I had all of these ingredients in my kitchen and wasn’t sure how to combine them. I came up with the idea to make patties similar to a potato pancake, minus the potato. The result was quite yummy, if I do say so myself! These gluten-free patties are amazingly delicious—not to mention, they are super healthy.

Serves ~5.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped baby broccolini
  • 1 15-oz can white beans
  • 1 cup artichokes hearts, canned
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour (if you’re not gluten-free, you can use regular all-purpose flour)
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free brand bread crumbs (if you’re not gluten-free, you can use regular breadcrumbs)
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 large handful fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ~1/4 cup olive oil
  • garlic salt/black pepper

In a pot, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and the chopped garlic. Add in the whole grape tomatoes and cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring often, until the tomatoes start to cook down and get softer.

Put the broccolini in a roasting pan and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

Put the white beans into the food processor and pulse a few times so the beans are chopped but not overly smooth. Repeat with the artichoke hearts and the roasted broccolini. Add the ingredients into a large mixing bowl along with the garbanzo bean flour, gluten-free bread crumbs, lemon juice, eggs and dill. Season with a generous dash of garlic salt and black pepper and mix well to combine all of the ingredients.

Heat ~2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan, enough to generously coat the bottom of your pan, and form the broccolini mixture into a patty with your hands. Cook 3-4 patties at a time, depending on the size of your pan, for about 2 minutes on each side or until it’s lightly browned. Repeat this process until you’ve used all of the mixture. This will make about 10-12 patties.

After you’ve browned the patties, put them on a baking sheet and cook on 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

While the patties are in the oven, remove the tomatoes from the stove and put them in the food processor and blend for 10 seconds or so. Place the sauce back into the pot and season with a dash of garlic salt and black pepper.

When the patties come out of the oven, plate them with a spoonful of the grape tomato sauce on top along with a pinch of fresh chopped dill.

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Boston’s Coppa &Toro.

This is a much delayed post from our weekend trip to Boston this past February. The trip was one of the most food-filled, scrumptious trips that I’ve ever had and I ate some of the best meals of my life. These two meals, at Coppa and Toro, were among the best of the best and were both recommended to me by friends who live in Boston. We ate at Toro for lunch and Coppa for dinner on the same day, so needless to say, it was a rather gluttonous day that ended in a major food coma. Ken Origner and Jamie Bissonnette are the Chefs at both of these restaurants. Toro is a tapas restaurant and Coppa is an Italian enoteca. Both menus have great options for ordering several smaller plates to share. I highly recommend both of these restaurants. All of the food we ate was delicious, but at Toro, my favorite dishes (tied for first place) were the Maiz Asado Con Alioli Y Queso Cotija and the Cauliflower A La Plancha.  My mouth waters just thinking about them. At Coppa, my favorite was the Manatelle Nero. It has a really rich, unique flavor and the homemade squid ink pasta is so good. I can’t wait to go back to Boston to dine at these amazing restaurants again! If you go to Boston, you must eat at these restaurants!

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Ensalada Cortada: romaine, tahini-miso dressing, croutons, grilled corn, cucumber, radish, tomato and mahon cheese

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Datiles Con Jamon: medjool dates with marcona almonds and cabrales blue cheese, wrapped in jamon Serrano

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Cauliflower A La Plancha: cauliflower with pinenuts, golden raisins and pimento

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Pato Con Membrillo: smoked duck drumettes with quince glaze

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Maiz Asado Con Alioli Y Queso Cotija: la especialidad de la casa. grilled corn with aioli, lime, espalette pepper and aged cheese

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Patatas Bravas: fried potatoes with aioli and spicy tomato sauce

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Coles de Bruselas a la Plancha: Brussels sprouts with olive oil and sea salt

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Coppa

Meatballs al Forno:  Wood roasted meatballs with tomato gravy

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Insalata di Scarola: Escarole salad with carrots, aged Provolone and creamy caper vinaigrette

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Arancini: Traditional fried risotto balls with fontina


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Manatelle Nero: House made squid ink pasta with octopus, Castelvetrano olives, black garlic and tomato

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Funghi: White pizza with Miatake mushrooms, burrata, crechenza, ramp vinaigrette and a farm egg

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Potato Patato.

Tangy Roasted Potatoes & Carrots.

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These roasted potatoes and carrots are super yummy and easy. They have a tangy and robust flavor and would compliment any meal nicely. Must try, must eat!

Serves ~5.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs baby dutch yellow potatoes, quartered into bite sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, diced
  • 1 large handful basil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic, chopped
  • garlic salt/black pepper

In the food processor, add the basil, vinegar, garlic and olive oil. Pulse 2-3 times to blend and lightly chop the basil.

Add the potatoes, carrots, and shallot into a roasting pan and pour the dressing over them and toss so the carrots and potatoes are coated evenly. Season with a dash of garlic salt and black pepper and cook in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are browned.

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Delectable Cauliflower Pizza.

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust Topped with Spinach, Arugula & Avocado Pesto, Capers & Roasted Grape Tomatoes.

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This cauliflower pizza crust is a great option for gluten-free pizza lovers, but is also a delicious and healthy option for anyone! This recipe was passed along to me from a family member and I couldn’t wait to give it a try. I made very slight changes to recipe for the crust and then picked my own toppings. You can top it with anything you’d like. I’ve made it a couple of times and once made it topped with tomato sauce, prosciutto and pine nuts which was also delicious. The crust is firm, crispy and has a great texture. You will definitely be surprised at how good cauliflower pizza crust can taste!

Serves 3-5.

Ingredients:

For the crust-

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower (raw) chopped into smaller pieces
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flower of your choice (the recipe calls for almond flour but I used rice flour)
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • garlic salt/black pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried herb mixture (I used Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute)

For the toppings-

  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 1 large handful fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • garlic salt/black pepepr

Begin by putting the cauliflower into your food processor. It’s easiest to do 2 batches rather than put all of the cauliflower in at once. Blend until it is a light consistency and all the big lumps are gone. Place the cauliflower into a large mixing bowl and add the eggs, garlic, nutritional yeast, flour, garlic salt, black pepper and herb mixture. Mix well to combine all of the ingredients.

Place parchment paper down a baking sheet and pour the dough onto it and use the flat side of a spatula to help mold the crust into the right shape. I molded mine to be a (fairly lopsided) rectangular shape. Place the crust in a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Toss the tomatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil and place onto a baking sheet. Season lightly with garlic salt/black pepper and place in the oven with the crust (at 450 degrees) for 20 minutes.

While everything is in the oven, put the spinach, arugula, basil and avocado into the food processor and blend until it’s a smooth consistency. Season with a dash of garlic salt and black pepper.

After the crust and tomatoes are done cooking, remove them from oven and top the crust with the pesto, roasted grape tomatoes and capers. Put this back into the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

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Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free Creamy Veggie Spaghetti.

Brown Rice Spaghetti With Basil-Cashew “Cream” Sauce, Carrots, Artichokes & Baby Portabella Mushrooms.

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This is another great gluten-free/dairy-free dish. I found a recipe on Pinterest for a dairy free “alfredo” sauce and had to give it a try. I adapted the overall recipe slightly but followed the basics of the sauce.  This sauce is so creamy and rich, it’s hard to tell there is no dairy in it!

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. brown rice spaghetti
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 2 cups baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, diced
  • 1 large handful of fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked in water for 1 hour)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper

Begin by making the sauce. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan on medium heat and saute the onion until it’s lightly browned and translucent. In the food processor, add the cooked onion, the cashews (all water drained from soaking) and the basil. Blend until it’s a smooth consistency. Add in 2 cups water, the apple cider vinegar, the nutritional yeast and a generous dash of garlic salt/black pepper. Blend again until the consistency is smooth and creamy with no lumps. Set the sauce aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium in a pan on medium heat and add in the portabella mushrooms. Cook them for about 5 minutes and then add the shredded carrots and artichokes. Continue to cook for about 5-8 more minutes. Season with a dash of garlic salt/black pepper.

Cook the spaghetti as directed on the package. Drain all excess water and add back into the pot. Pour in the cashew cream sauce and add in the sautéed vegetables and stir well to combine.

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Quinoa Meatballs.

Whole Foods’ Beef & Quinoa Meatballs.

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I recently started eating gluten free/dairy free and this was one of the first dishes I made. This is a Whole Foods’ recipe, which I tweaked just a bit to my liking and to make it gluten free, but otherwise I followed the directions on the recipe. I ate them with some steamed green beans and avocado, which was a delicious combination, but you could also eat them with pasta, rice or any other veggie. These meatballs are amazing and will definitely be one of my new regular dishes!

Serves ~4.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 2 tablespoons Heinz tomato ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoon San-J Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp herb blend (I used Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute mix)
  • garlic salt/black pepper
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