Gluten-free Blackberry Plum Tart

Tart Title

Making a gluten-free blackberry plum tart was not what I originally had planned for my weekend, camping in the wilderness was, and you don’t make tarts in the wilderness, well at least not this gal. But at the end of Saturday, this is what I had created.

Precooked GF Tart

Gluten-free Blackberry Plum tart ready for the oven.

My husband and I had experienced a long work week and were looking forward to a few days away in the mountains of Idaho. We hooked up our trailer and were off to enjoy some peace and quiet, enjoy time around a campfire, and come back focused and refreshed for another week. We picked out our campsite and set off to enjoy a little time down by the river.

ElkRiver

Enjoying the great outdoors.

We watched as a beaver gathered sticks and paddled across the water, a mother duck keeping a close eye on her ducklings as they swam in a row, and a large osprey flew among the marsh. It was peaceful and pristine; just what we had hoped for, that is until we returned to camp. A notice was placed at our campsite that all campfires were restricted due to a fire ban. Half the fun of camping is time around the fire roasting marshmallows, and being mesmerized by the flames but the peace and quiet of the forest was still worth it. That is, until our camping neighbors arrived. A family with three young kids, two dogs, and a loud boom box moved in next door. Within moments the beautiful silence of the woods turned into chaos. I think we may have tried to put up with it for the weekend, but when the parents started yelling at their kids and dropping the “F” bomb in every sentence, it was time to go. My heart ached for the three kids, the oldest no older than eight, growing up in a home where the norm is profanity. We stayed the night and packed the trailer up early the next morning. We were back home in time to enjoy the tail-end of the farmers’ market where I bought some beautifully ripe plums and plump blackberries.

Honey Drizzled Plum Tart

Honey Drizzled GF Blackberry Plum Tart

We called a few friends for a last-minute casual dinner party and enjoyed sweet time with old friends. I made a delicious fresh salad with blackberry-ginger dressing, Coconut Sticky Chicken (one of my favorite summer recipes), grilled summer veggies, sweet corn on the cob, and finished it off with a Gluten-free Blackberry Plum Tart and vanilla bean ice cream. So even though we planned a weekend away of solitude in the mountains, in the end, coming back home to enjoy great conversation and laughter with friends was the best medicine for us both.

Blackberry Plum Pin

Gluten-free Blackberry Plum Tart

Serves 4-6
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Dietary Gluten-free
Meal type Dessert
Misc Pre-preparable
With only four ingredients in the filling, this gluten-free blackberry plum tart pulls together in no time. Sink your teeth into this ripe and juicy blackberry plum tart.

Ingredients

Optional

  • vanilla ice cream

tart crust

  • 1 1/4 cup Gluten-free Multi Purpose Flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons Cold Butter
  • 1 Large egg (room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (or vinegar)

tart filling

  • 8 Medium plums (ripe)
  • 24 Large blackberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey (raw)

tart filling (Optional)

  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions

tart crust
Step 1
Lightly grease a tart pan with removable bottom plate.
Step 2
Whisk together the flour blend, sugar, cornstarch, psyllium husk powder, and salt.
Step 3
Cut the cold butter into cubes, and work the cubes into the flour blend with a pastry cutter. Flour mix should be crumbly & resemble small pea-size chunks.
Step 4
Whisk the egg and lemon juice or vinegar together until frothy. Mix into dry ingredients. Blend until dough ball forms. Add a tablespoon or two of cold water if needed to form ball.
Step 5
Shape into ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature 15 minutes before rolling.
Step 6
Place dough into tart pan and mold crust evenly on the bottom and sides.
tart filling
Step 7
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Step 8
Slice plums in half and remove pit. Top prepared crust evenly with sliced plums.
Step 9
Place blackberries over plum filling.
Step 10
Sprinkle 1/3 cup sugar over the fruit.
Step 11
Season with a few grinds of black pepper if desired.
Step 12
Bake tart until crust is golden brown and fruit is soft, approximately 25-30 minutes.
Step 13
Drizzle with honey just before serving.
Step 14
Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.

 

Helping Hands with Wedding Appetizers

Helping Hands

When my dear friend informed me her caterer could no longer create the cocktail event appetizers for her daughter’s outdoor wedding just a week before the event, due to a family emergency, I tried not to panic along with her. I know how stressful weddings can be because I have married off two of my children. It is most certain that something, whether big or small, will go wrong somewhere along the line. Learning to stay calm when that something does occur is a whole other animal. But my sweet friend was calm; I was the one panicking for her, at least on the inside. So of course I must help with a solution and the only solution I could think of was to do them myself. How many guests? How many appetizers? How hard could this be? Pinterest became my friend. I quickly sent her several options and had her choose her favorite four appetizers. Five hundred hors d’ oeuvres, no problem!

 

Cantaloupe & Proscuitto

First up was cantaloupe, prosciutto, and chopped fresh tarragon. If you haven’t tried this combination, it’s a must for a quick and easy appetizers. The sweetness of the cantaloupe along with the saltiness of the prosciutto is a perfect match. This recipe came from the Simply Delicious website. Her recipe called for parsley but I substituted French Tarragon, which is a perfect complement to cantaloupe.

Blackberry Appetizer

Next would be blackberry, basil & mozzarella on a skewer. I decided to place them in a pin wheel style for added aesthetics. Placing a sliced strawberry in the middle helped hide all the ends of the skewers. I found this recipe on Butter with a side of bread’s website.

Cucumber & Tomato Appetizer

Next up were bite-size cucumbers with herb cream-cheese and tomatoes. Not only do these taste delicious but they look pretty too. I used English cucumbers and peeled the skin off about every half-inch leaving a beautiful stripe of contrasting light and dark green stripes. This recipe came from Bake a Bite.

I also made a delicious dip that received so many compliments and I was asked several times for the recipe. The problem with giving the recipe is the fact that I started with a basic recipe and embellished it with so many different herbs and spices (but of course never wrote down what I was adding or the amount of ingredients). Someday I will have to try to recreate it so I can share it with you. But for now, it remains Bethany’s exclusive wedding dip.

The wedding was absolutely breathtaking and everything seemed to go off without a hitch. It took numerous helping hands to accomplish this, but then again, that’s how a wedding should be; many friend’s and family lovingly joining together to witness the beautiful union of two people who are passionately in love.

The Wedding Table

The Wedding Table

The Wedding Cake

The Wedding Cake

The Wedding Bouquets

The Wedding Bouquets

 

 

 

Charred Tomato & Eggplant Bruschetta

Bruschetta Title

Once again I spent my Saturday morning doing what I love, seeking treasure at my local Farmers Market. New this week, beautiful silky smooth purple eggplants. I wasn’t even sure how I was going to cook it but I knew I had to have one! So when I came up with Charred Tomato & Eggplant Bruschetta, it was a perfect match!

Charred Tomato & Eggplant Bruschetta

Charred Tomato & Eggplant Bruschetta with gluten-free crackers.

Beside the eggplant I came home with a lovely head of lettuce, a few zucchini’s to ‘zoodle’, Rainier cherries, raw honey, and raw milk. And I know what you’re thinking, ‘But you said you were going dairy-free’. Why yes I did. But after talking with Pam from Tourmaline Farms she informed me that a number of dairy issues stem from the feed the cows are fed and farming principles behind the process of producing the milk. At Tourmaline Farms their cows graze on organic alfalfa and kale for optimal nutrition. And she informed me that many people who have dairy issues seem to have intestinal issues with homogenized milk and not raw milk. I spent a fair amount of time with her learning about the benefits of drinking raw milk. Of course there are the issues of e coli and other illnesses derived from drinking raw milk. Pam informed me to know your source, know their practices, trust their practices and this in turn allows you to trust the source.

Farmers Market Treasure

Farmers’ Market Finds

So I may not have you convinced to try raw milk, but you definitely should try this Charred Tomato and Eggplant Bruschetta recipe. I decided to bake the tomatoes, eggplant and garlic in a very hot oven, 500 degrees! This allowed the veggies to cook with a nice charred edge.

Charred Tomatoes

Charred Tomatoes

Once the tomatoes and Eggplant have charred, remove them from the oven, along with the garlic and chop into small pieces, about a 1/2 inch size. This will become the base for the bruschetta. You may want to double this recipe; I definitely wish I had because we ate it all in a matter of a few minutes! Seriously, so delicious!

Charred Tomato, Eggplant, and Roasted Garlic

Charred Tomato, Eggplant, and Roasted Garlic

For the final touches just add in some high quality extra virgin olive oil, chopped basil, chopped black olives, and a little salt and pepper. Then you are ready to sit down with a glass of wine, gluten-free crackers, and this yummy charred tomato & eggplant bruschetta. But I will warn you if you are sharing, you may fight over the last bite!

Charred Tomato & Eggplant Bruschetta Pin

Pin me to your Pinterest board!

Charred Tomato & Eggplant Bruschetta

Serves 2-3
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Dietary Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer
Quite simply the best bruschetta! Place a little charred tomato & eggplant bruschetta on a gluten-free cracker or baguette and see if you don't agree.

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium eggplant
  • 4 Large Roma tomatoes
  • 1 garlic head
  • 1/3 cup black olives (diced)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (for brushing eggplant)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (for bruschetta)
  • 1/2 Medium lemon (freshly squeezed juice)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Step 2
Tomato & Eggplant Slices
Slice tomato and eggplant in 1/2 inch thick slices. Place slices on a cookie sheet. Brush 1/4 cup olive oil evenly over eggplant. Remove individual garlic cloves and the papery outer covering and wrap garlic cloves in aluminum foil.
Step 3
Place cookie sheet of tomato and eggplant in oven along with foil wrapped garlic. Bake for 45 minutes or until edges start to char.
Step 4
Charred Tomato, Eggplant, and Roasted Garlic
Remove tray and foiled garlic from oven. Chop charred tomato, eggplant and garlic into 1/2 inch chunks. Place in a medium size bowl.
Step 5
Dice black olives and add to bowl. Chop basil and add to bowl.
Step 6
Slice lemon in half and squeeze juice into bowl.
Step 7
Charred Tomato & Eggplant Bruschetta
Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss to completely coat. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy over crackers or baguettes.

 

 

General Mills Gluten-free Cereals to Hit Market

Gluten-free Lucky Charms

You don’t miss what you’ve never tried. Diagnosed with a severe gluten intolerance at the age of two kept me from trying many foods others have eaten before having to change their diet to gluten-free. I have never tried a croissant or a burrito. Cinnamon rolls were off-limits (but I created a great gluten-free cinnamon roll version that was published in the 2015 February-March edition of Gluten-free & More magazine that my family says rivals regular cinnamon rolls.

Gluten-free Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

I felt honored to be featured in the Feb-March edition of Gluten-free & More’s magazine.

General Mills and other cereal varieties have always been a no-no, but I remember desperately wanting to try my brother’s bowl of Lucky Charms when I was  little girl. That is soon to change. Over the past number of years General Mills has noticed a slow decline in the cereal market. In order to boost sales they introduced gluten-free Chex in 2008. Realizing that the gluten-free market could potentially make up half their sales, they are now changing over all Cheerios to gluten-free, (due out sometime this summer), and have just reported that Lucky Charms will now move over to the gluten-free side later this year.  You can read the full article on General Mills gluten-free cereals here. One of the best changes coming to General Mills is removing all dyes and artificial flavors by the year 2017!

Oats, which is the main grain used in Cheerios and Lucky Charms, is naturally gluten-free. What makes it intolerable to celiacs and those with a gluten intolerance is the cross contamination, either in the fields or in the manufacturing plants. General Mills have made changes to their production facilities in order to assure cross contamination does not occur.  One other main manufacturer that has jumped on the gluten-free wagon is Kellogg’s. They have recently created a gluten-free cereal called Touch of Brown Sugar Gluten-free Special K. As they change over their cereals to gluten-free varieties, it would be nice if they could somehow get rid of the nasty sugar it contains, but as you know, change comes slowly. Click here for an article on the damage sugar does to our bodies.

Special K goes gluten-free!

Special K goes gluten-free!

As advocates for more stringent food regulations continue to push for higher standards from the food conglomerates, companies like General Mills and Kellogg’s will be forced to change or continue to see their profits decline. It is a good thing.

 

Honey-Cumin Savoy Cabbage Salad

Savoy Cabbage Salad with Honey Cumin Dressing

I had a pleasant walk through my farmer’s market this morning perusing all the bounty of delicious organic veggies when my eye caught these luscious looking savoy cabbages. Instantly my brain starts ticking away on what type of salad I could create. A cabbage salad with crisp apple, roasted chicken, slivered almonds, and a tangy, somewhat sweet dressing with cumin and honey sounded good. Add a little olive oil, a bit of rice vinegar, some salt & pepper and sit down to a yummy fresh summer salad.

The Makings of a Savoy Cabbage Salad

The Makings of a Savoy Cabbage Salad

Savoy Cabbage Sliced

Beautiful colors fading from pale yellow to vivid green emerge from a sliced Savoy Cabbage.

Savoy cabbage has a similar look to kale, with its crinkly leaves, which may have you think that the leaves are tough and hard, but you would be wrong. They are as soft as regular cabbage leaves and just as delicious raw. This makes them an ideal candidate for fresh salads, vegetable wraps, or as a decorative leaf for laying fresh fruit, fish, or even rice upon it.

Makings of a Savoy Cabbage Salad

Makings of a Savoy Cabbage Salad

This salad pulls together in less that fifteen minutes if your chicken is already precooked (I purchase rotisserie chicken) . Just a little chop and dice, add the dressing that is made from common items you should already have on hand, such as olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, cumin, and a little salt and pepper. Toss it all together and you’re ready to serve in less than 20 minutes!

Honey-Cumin Savoy Chicken Salad

Honey-Cumin Savoy Chicken Salad

The crinkle in the leaves adds a great dimension of texture to this salad. The crisp apple adds a touch of sweet crunchiness and the honey-cumin dressing adds a hint of Eastern Mediterranean flair. Enjoy!

My hubby and I have had the chance to get out of the house at night for some really pleasant walks. They are doubly pleasant when God brushes the sky in beautiful colors. I took this image the other night not far from our home, just as the sun was setting over the canola fields. We missed the Northern Lights last week, but these colors did not disappoint.

Sunset on the Canola Fields

Sunset on the Canola Fields

 

Honey-Cumin Savoy Chicken Salad Pin

Honey-Cumin Savoy Cabbage Salad

Serves 4-6
Prep time 20 minutes
Dietary Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Paleo
Meal type Salad
One bite of this delicious honey-cumin savoy cabbage salad and you will be instantly transported to the Eastern Mediterranean. A taste of yum in every bite!

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 head Savoy Cabbage (chopped- approximately 6-8 cups)
  • 1 Medium Apple (Honey Crisp, or Pink Lady- chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Sliced Almonds (toasted)
  • 1/4 cup Sesame Seeds (toasted)
  • 1 Large Chicken Breast (from rotisseri- chopped)

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil (extra virgin)
  • 2 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Raw Honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt (ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper (ground)

Directions

Salad
Step 1
Chop the savoy cabbage and place in a large bowl.
Step 2
Chop the apple and chicken breast. Add to the chopped savoy cabbage.
Step 3
Place the almonds and sesame seeds on a cookie tray and place under the broiler until they just start to turn a light brown. Cool.
Dressing
Step 4
In a small mixing cup add the olive oil, rice vinegar, raw honey, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir vigorously or until all ingredients are completely emulsified.
Step 5
Add the dressing and cooled almonds and sesame seeds to the chopped cabbage salad. Toss and serve.

 

Gluten-free Subway Sandwich

Gluten-free Subway

Oh my, how life is changing! I walked into Subway the other day and was about to order a salad, AGAIN, because that is all you can order at Subway when you have a gluten allergy. But on this particular day, the manager came up to me and asked if I would like to try a Subway sandwich, a gluten-free Subway sandwich! Say what? Of course I was all in!

Gluten-free Subway Sandwich

Gluten-free Subway Sandwich

Making the Sandwich

I was most impressed with their careful attention to making sure the gluten-free Subway sandwich remained gluten-free from start to finish. The same person who begins the sandwich will be the one to finish it. The assembly line of switching hands between two to three servers no longer applies. The server will place a new pair of gloves on, remove the gluten-free Subway sandwich bread from the plastic sealed bag, and place it on a clean protective paper. They are given a list of gluten-free meats & sauces, and all the veggies are in separate, sealed containers to assure no cross contamination has occurred.

Prepackaged Gluten-free Subway Bread

Prepackaged Gluten-free Subway Bread

Tasting the Sandwich

The bread has a soft and airy texture, consisting mainly of egg whites and cornstarch. Not the best of ingredients in my opinion, but the bread did taste good. And if you’re on the road and in a pinch, hitting a Subway for dinner and knowing you have options is a bonus.

A Bite of Gluten-free Subway Sandwich

A Bite of Gluten-free Subway Sandwich

I am not sure all Subways will be carrying a gluten-free Subway sandwich because it is up to each franchise as to whether or not they will carry them. But next time you are in your local Subway, just ask the manager. Get the word out that you would like a gluten-free Subway sandwich and they just might respond!

Gluten & Dairy-free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

GF-DF Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

When I was a little girl my grandmother would make her delicious strawberry rhubarb crisp out of fresh strawberries and rhubarb from her garden. It wasn’t gluten & dairy-free strawberry rhubarb crisp, but back then they didn’t have gluten-free flours and oats like we do today. It was always a bit of a spectacle watching my grandmother garden because she was highly allergic to bees, which I happen to inherit. Even in 90 degree temperatures she would wear long pants with rubber boots, a long-sleeved shirt, bands around her ankles and wrists, and a hat with netting covering the hat tucked into the collar of her buttoned up shirt. If those bees were going to sting her, they were going to have to fight their way through all her protective coverings! Most days one would find her gardening at 5 am before the hot summer days made it unbearable in her bee protective garb. I wish I had a picture to show you, but during the 70’s and 80’s we didn’t have cell phones to snap a quick picture and we often didn’t carry around cameras unless we were on vacation or attending some important event. I’d like to think watching grandma in her garden was an important event, which now it seems it was, but back then it was just a daily occurrence of a woman who loved the good earth and the bounty it produced from the fruit of her labor.

Cut Strawberries & Rhubarb

The sweet strawberries paired with the tart rhubarb is perfect for a crisp.

I began a journey a few months back to see if I could start cutting down on the inflammation that is present in my body. In fact, new information is now out that links inflammation to heart disease, even over high cholesterol! I especially noticed my glands swelling whenever I drank my morning latte. I’ve been fighting giving up dairy for about a year because quite frankly, I loved my morning coffee with organic whole milk. I loved the creaminess, the froth I could make in my espresso machine, and the fact I could heat it to 165 degrees. Nut milks should only be heated to 130 degrees or they start to burn. If you have ever tasted an almond milk latte and it just didn’t taste right, more than likely the nut milk scalded. So if you are on a dairy-free diet specifically and enjoy a morning cup of brew, ask for your nut milk (almond, soy, coconut, etc.) to be heated to 130. Now back to my journey; I decided to stay off dairy and have for about a month now, and my glands feel like they’re moving toward a realm of normalcy! I have tried many of the alternative milks and have concluded that hazelnut is my favorite substitute. It is slightly sweet and even froths a bit. I still don’t like having to give up dairy but I sure do love how I feel and that’s worth it all!

Preparing the GF-DF Crisp

Not only is this crisp gluten & dairy-free but is refined sugar-free as well!

Naturally going dairy-free means revamping a few of my favorite gluten-free recipes. This crisp originally called for butter and brown sugar. I have substituted coconut oil and coconut palm sugar for a result that was beyond delicious and received rave reviews from a group of ladies I had over a few days ago! I have another gluten & dairy-free recipe that calls for Rhubarb. Click here to check it out!

A Sweet Bite of GF-DF Crisp!

Mm…sink your teeth into a yummy bite of gluten & dairy-free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp!

If you use Pinterest and enjoy pinning and would like to pin this recipe for a later use, here’s a good image to pin.

GF-DF Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Pin

Gluten & Dairy-free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Serves 6-8
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 20 minutes
Allergy Tree Nuts
Dietary Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert
You won't miss the gluten or the dairy in this delicious gluten & dairy-free strawberry rhubarb crisp. That first bite will have you fighting over the last!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rhubarb (chopped)
  • 4 cups strawberries (chopped)
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar (divided)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or tapioca starch)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend ((I used a brown rice, potato & tapioca starch blend))
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (extra fine)
  • 1 cup gluten-free quick oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 tablespoons coconut oil (softened but not melted)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Step 2
In a large bowl, toss the chopped rhubarb and strawberries in 1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar and the orange zest. Dissolve the corn starch in the fresh squeezed orange juice and pour over the fruit. Pour the mixture into an 8x11 baking dish.
Step 3
In a mixing bowl, combine the gluten-free flour blend, almond flour, remaining 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar, salt, and oatmeal. Blend on low speed until fully combined.
Step 4
Slowly add the coconut oil into the flour and mix until crumbles form. Sprinkle crumble topping over the fresh fruit, covering it completely.
Step 5
Bake for 1 hour or until the fruit bubbles through and the top is a light golden brown. Serve on its own or with dairy-free ice cream.

 

Zucchini & Yellow Squash Zoodles with Pesto

Pesto Zoodles

I recently visited Latah Bistro and they served Zucchini & Yellow Squash Zoodles with Pesto from their menu. Wow! This zoodling thing is really catching on, especially the fact that a fine dining bistro would have it on their main menu. I was thrilled to say the least! I mentioned to my husband that recreating this dish was my next kitchen adventure; actually, it is one of my favorite things to do. I love trying to pick out the ingredients with every flavorful bite. One recipe I did that with is one of my all-time fav’s: Thai Coconut Curry Soup.

Zucchini & Yellow Squash Zoodles with Pesto

Zucchini & Yellow Squash Zoodles with Pesto

Making the perfect Pesto Zoodle Pasta

Well this zoodle thing has me in an experimenting mode. In fact during the month of July I will be presenting a zoodle cooking class called ‘Get Inspiralized!’ at our local Ampersand Oil & Vinegar Tap House. If you are interested in signing up for a class, they fill up within 2 to 3 days, so sign up early!

I mentioned it in my last post but I will say it again, one of the great things about zoodling or veggie spiraling is creating a low carb ‘pasta’ that doesn’t leave you with a heavy full carb pasta feel.

Eating Zoodle Pasta

Twisting your zoodles on a spoon makes it easier to eat!

Comparing Zoodles to Pasta

If you are still not convinced that you would want to try this fantastic way of making ‘pasta’ you may want to consider this:

Calorie Counts for Pasta vs Zoodles (1 cup)

  • Quinoa Pasta- 205 calories, 46 g carbs
  • Corn Pasta- 176 calories, 22.3 g carbs
  • Brown Rice Pasta- 105 calories, 21.5 g carbs
  • Zoodle (zucchini) pasta- 20 calories, 4.5 g carbs

Yep, you read that right! Only 4.5 grams of carbs and only 20 calories. Now that’s worth $30 to me!

Resting in a Zoodle Bowl

Pesto Zoodle Pasta is delicious in every bite.

 My Rendition of Latah Bistro’s Zucchini & Yellow Squash Zoodles with Pesto:

Zucchini & Yellow Squash Zoodles with Pesto

Serves 3-4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Dietary Gluten-free
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
At only 20 calories per cup making 'pasta' out of vegetables is a perfect substitute. Zucchini & yellow squash zoodles with pesto will make you realize you don't miss the pasta.

Ingredients

Zoodle

  • 3 Medium zucchini (spiraled)
  • 2 Medium yellow squash (spiraled)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 4oz fresh mozzarella
  • 1 1/2 cup Chicken Stock (organic)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter (unsalted)

pesto

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup almond, walnut or pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves (about 3 bunches)

Directions

pesto
Step 1
Combine all pesto ingredients together in a food processor and process for 1 minute or until all ingredients are pulverized.
Zoodle
Step 2
Using a vegetable spiraler, spiral the zucchini and yellow squash.
Step 3
Blot spiraled noodles with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Step 4
In a large skillet combine chicken broth, white wine, butter, 1/3 cup pesto, and sliced tomatoes over medium heat.
Step 5
When broth has come to a boil, add spiraled noodles and cook for about 1 minute. Do not over cook or noodles will become mushy.
Step 6
Place "noodles" in a low, flat bowl with a small amount of broth. Serve with a few slices of fresh mozzarella and salt & pepper to taste.

Check out the other blogs I shared this recipe on: VegetarianMamma

 

 

Thai Peanut Zoodle Salad

Thai Peanut Zoodle Salad

It is summer and time for a Thai Peanut Zoodle Salad. A zoodle, you ask? What on earth is a zoodle? Well, it’s a noodle made out of zucchini and in two words, IT’S AWESOME! I have a number of kitchen gadgets, so when it comes to adding yet one more, I scrutinize the item pretty carefully before purchasing. I certainly don’t need to use the contraption for a short period of time and then fill my cupboards with something that will soon be forgotten.

Zoodles

Spiral noodles made from zucchini.

The spiralizer or spiral vegetable slicer may be purchased for about $30. It comes with three different blade sizes forming spaghetti size noodles, large ribbons, and fat spirals for making things like curly fries.

If you garden, it’s certainly a great way to use up all the abundance of zucchini.  I spiraled sweet potatoes the other day, added a little olive oil, herb seasoning salt & pepper and baked them in the oven. Delicious!

Spiraled Sweet Potatoes

Spiraled Sweet Potatoes

You literally can spiral about any kind of vegetable with any substance to it. Spiral eggplant, cucumber, apples, potatoes, butternut squash, etc. Anything that calls for noodles can be replaced with a veggie noodle. Substituting high carb noodles for low carb vegetables is a winner in my book, especially when I’m trying to drop a few of those winter pounds. The other nice thing is it doesn’t leave you with a heavy ‘pasta on the tummy’ feel once your food has settled.

Zoodles in Thai Peanut Sauce

Zoodles in Thai Peanut Sauce

Because zucchini is very mild in flavor, the zoodle takes on the taste of the sauce, in this case Thai Peanut. San-J makes a certified gluten-free Thai Peanut sauce that is ready for use as a marinade, dressing or dipping sauce and is yummy. I fed them to my hubby and he thought he was eating regular pasta until I told him it was 100% zucchini. He was truly amazed.

You can also spiral several veggies at a time, prepackage them into Ziploc storage bags where they will keep about a week to ten days in the fridge or up to three months in the freezer. Then just take them out as you need them.

The zucchini noodles need to be patted down with a paper towel before adding them to the Thai Peanut Zoodle Salad. This draws the moisture out so the noodles don’t become soggy.

Drying Zoodles

Lay out zoodles on a paper towel for drying.

Removing Moisture from Zoodles

Place a paper towel over the top of the zoodles and press out the moisture.

You can certainly cut your zucchini noodles by hand but this sweet little spiralizer cranks out this whole pile of noodles in less than 30 seconds. Over the summer months I plan on coming out with several recipes that use spiraled veggies, so if you plan on purchasing one, check back often for recipes or you can check on PINTEREST for many Spiral noodle recipes.

Zoodle Pin

Thai Peanut Zoodle Salad

Serves 2
Prep time 5 minutes
Allergy Peanuts
Dietary Dairy-free, Gluten-free
Meal type Salad
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
After eating one bite of this Thai Peanut Zoodle Salad made from zucchini noodles, you'll never want to go back to full carb noodles!

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium zucchini (cut into spaghetti noodle with spiralizer)
  • 1 Medium carrot (julienned)
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup edema me (soy beans) (thawed from frozen)
  • 3 Small scallions (green onions) (diced)
  • 1/3 cup San-J gluten-free Thai Peanut Sauce
  • 1/4 cup peanuts (chopped)

Optional

  • 6-8 shrimp (pre-cooked)

Directions

Step 1
Using a spaghetti size spiral vegetable noodle slicer, slice one medium zucchini. Lay out on a paper towel and cover with paper towel. Press on paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Step 2
Julienne one medium carrot.
Step 3
Slice 1/2 cup of red cabbage.
Step 4
Chop 3 scallions into 1/4 inch pieces including green stems.
Step 5
Thaw 1/2 cup of frozen edema me (soybeans).
Step 6
Place all vegetables in a large bowl, including the zucchini noodles and add gluten-free Thai Peanut sauce. Gently stir to cover all veggies.
Step 7
Sprinkle a small amount of chopped peanuts over each serving.

This recipe is also shared on the following blogs: VegetarianMamma AllergyFreeWednesdays

When Life Throws a Curveball

Curveball

Sometimes life throws a curveball and it’s hard to hit back. Before I began blogging I read online how to write a blog; what to say, what not to say. Keep it lite, keep it fun, keep it about your niche, don’t be negative, don’t talk about depressing issues, and never ever talk about death. And so for the past five years, I’ve kept it lite, I’ve kept it fun, and I’ve talked about how to cook and bake gluten-free and I haven’t talked about the “D” word. Okay, maybe once, briefly, when paying tribute to my beautiful 95-year-old grandmother when she passed. But in the last 2 years I have lost 5 family members, and I must say, it’s hard not to talk about it. Especially due to the fact that this past Sunday was Mother’s Day.

Two years ago I lost my grandmother, one and a half years ago I lost my mom, who battled five auto-immune diseases, and just this past week I lost my mother-in-law; all significant women to me. This is life, this is my life, and it’s hard not to share what’s going on in my life just because I write a food blog. So it may be against the etiquette rules of blogging but life threw me yet another curveball this past week and I find it hard to whip up another recipe at the moment. Does this mean I’m quitting my blog? No. When life throws a curveball, you learn to make adjustments. Thankfully my peace comes from God, who give generously, especially during times like these.

I found great joy this past week in spending time with my sweet grandson. Nothing gives you a perfect perspective on life than seeing a little one so full of life. I am blessed.

Grandson

Those big brown eyes melt this Nana.

So while I’m not sharing a new recipe with you this week, here are a few of my favorite recipes found on other blogs:

  1. Gluten-free Banana Muffins
  2. Salmon Wasabi Burgers
  3. Bacon-Apple Chicken Burgers
  4. KFC Style GF Fried Chicken
  5. Crunchy Chicken Peanut Salad
  6. Coconut Cream Layer Cake

Give me a moment to pick up my game again and I’ll be sending a new recipe your way sometime soon.

~Laurie

 

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