Sunday, February 28, 2010
The beautiful flavors of sweet potato and cauliflower come together easily in this quick and easy dish. With very few ingredients and a cinch to make, this is a wonderful side dish or entree. Since it was raining all day, I wanted something comforting and warm but not too filling. I went through the fridge and came up with 1/2 a head of cauliflower and saw the oranges. Viola!
The flavors of the orange zest and juice give this dish a lovely fresh aroma and flavor. The yams add a lovely sweetness and the texture of the cauliflower is wonderful in this dish. And don't forget how beautiful the colors are, making it even more appetizing.
Orange Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes
1/2 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
1 large sweet potato, chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
zest from one orange
pinch of nutmeg
1. Add cauliflower and potatoes into a pot with a 1/4 cup water. Let them simmer for a few minutes until tender.
2. Add all other ingredients, mix and let simmer until desired tenderness. I like my cauliflower tender so I tend to cook it a little longer.
It's that easy. If I had any onions, I would have added them as well as a little broccoli. Switch things up and try new veggies. The orange zest gives the kitchen a lovely aroma.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Ok, this may sound crazy, but in order to judge you must try it first. Pizzeria Bianco, a wonderful pizza place here in Phoenix, makes a red onion/pistachio pizza to die for. Well, now that I'm GF, that's no longer an option for me. Tonight I decided to modify it to what I had and it worked out amazingly well.
Using a pizza crust from GF Creations, I simply added garlic, sun dried tomatoes, chopped pistachios and a little mozzarella. Bingo-gourmet yummy pizza. (I put a little basil and parsley on top for color and flavor also.)
Try this and you won't believe it. It's light, tasty, and goes well with a great white wine. It's also elegant and makes a great appetizer if cut into small pieces. Go ahead and use your own GF pizza crust if you don't have these pre-made crusts. I'm just lucky to live near a great GF bakery that makes it easy for me to have pizza when I want it-my way.
If you're using GF Creations pizza crust, pre-cook the crust a little if you have the 9" crust. They tend to be a little more thick and don't hold up well with lots of toppings. This is what the crust looks like before heating with just a little olive oil.
Don't be afraid to try something new on your pizza. Salad on a pizza? Yes, I've done that already. Pistachios on pizza? Absolutely. And one of my favorites-broccoli-give it a try, Dear Chef, what have you got to lose? And you may come up with your own signature pizza!
Sunday, February 14, 2010
This recipe comes from my good friend, Ross. He brought it to a geography class and I fell in love with it. I hope I’ve followed his recipe. If not, it’s still great either way. This takes a little time to make, but most of the time is spent simmering and it’s not hands-on, leaving you to do other things... read, watch TV, play a game of backgammon, clean the kitchen, etc. I’ll leave it up to you. But be warned, you won’t be able to stop eating it when it’s done. But it’s low in calories, so eat up!
Sweet African Veggies
1 sweet onion, chopped
½ head large cauliflower, chopped
½ head large cabbage, chopped
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
2 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground paprika
¼ cup water
1. Cook onions in a large sauté pan in 1 Tbs olive oil until soft.
2. Add cabbage and stir. The pan will be full, but the cabbage will cook down. Cover and let the cabbage cook for about 10 minutes.
3. Add all other ingredients to pan, stir, and cover. Let simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes and cauliflower are soft.
It’s that simple, but oh so delish! You can serve this alongside a main dish. For instance, we had a Moroccan Chickpea Stew with this the first time and it was wonderful. If you eat meat, it works with that too.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
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.
1 16 oz. bag of organic frozen spinach
4 egg whites
1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp ground nutmeg
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.
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.
Friday, February 12, 2010
I've been getting a CSA basket each week for about 4 months now. Although I love having fresh veggies each week, and organic to boot, what I don't love is eating the same thing week after week. Yes, I love kale and chard, but every week for 6 weeks? Hmmm, it takes a lot of creativity to work on that. It's been a great motivator to try new things and I appreciate that. Thank goodness I can hit the farmers markets and get a few more goodies each week or I'd be lost.
This week, I decided to clean out all the greens and cook them for the week. It turned out to be a great idea and one I'll be repeating again. As you can see in the photo, everything is green (except for the leek, and that's technically green, right?) Once everything is done, the possibilities are endless. For the first night, we had the greens mixed with Jasmine rice. The next night, sauteed with a little more olive oil over gluten-free pasta. The next day for lunch, I just heated up the greens and ate them just like that-Yum!
Use whatever greens you like or you happen to have from a basket of greens. I tried to keep everything as similar as possible, meaning I kept the crunchy veggies in and left the squash for later since I didn't want it to become too soft. But whatever you like, dear chef, just throw it in there. Oh, and by the way, don't forget to peel the broccoli stem and chop that up, it tastes wonderful. In fact, it's my daughter's favorite part of the broccoli. I also chop the entire chard, not just the leaves. The stems have a wonderful, crunchy texture and taste divine-don't waste them.
Simple Sauteed Greens
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped (including stems)
1 bunch baby kale, chopped
1 large leek (white only), chopped
1 onion, diced
2 stalks of broccoli, chopped (including stem)
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1. Chop veggies into bite-sized pieces.
2. Saute all veggies except parsley in 1 TBS olive oil until soft but still crisp (about 10 minutes).
3. Add parsley, salt, pepper, and lemon.
4. Serve over rice, pasta, or just on its own.
This is a great way to serve greens without much fuss. It's quick, but it's also fresh and clean tasting. Use a little lemon zest if you want more lemon flavor.