Foodie Blogroll

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Personal Mushroom & Asparagus Frittata

These adorable mini frittatas are the perfect item to serve for a brunch or breakfast party. In addition to being light and luscious, the frittatas are extremely low maintenance to prepare. Plus while they're baking in the oven, you can prepare made to order items such as pancakes or waffles.

Personal Mushroom & Asparagus Frittata
Gluten Free
Makes 5 Mini Frittatas
Click Here for Printable Recipe

1 cup liquid egg substitute
1/4 cup unsweetened Silk Almond Milk
1/2 cup any variety of mushrooms, chopped
4-5 stalks asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
5 tsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
dried thyme
salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 5 cups in a muffin tin thoroughly with nonstick spray; set aside. Spray a small skillet with nonstick spray and bring to medium heat.

2. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and saute until softened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the asparagus pieces and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes (until asparagus is tender but still has a little bite to it). Season to taste with salt, pepper, & thyme.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk & eggs. Season with salt & pepper.

4. Stir vegetables into egg mixture.

5. Evenly distribute the mixture between the 5 sprayed muffin cups. Top each frittata with a teaspoon of grated Parmesan.

6. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until tops are golden, puffed, and firm to touch.

7. Let cool slightly prior to serving. Use a knife to loosen the edges of the frittatas before popping out of the muffin tin.

Nutrition Information--approximately 50 calories per frittata

S'Mores Pancakes

Indoor Campfire Fun
It may be the middle of winter but that's no excuse not to enjoy s'mores. This Hungry Girl breakfast creation is loaded with all the makings of a great campfire sandwich- gooey marshmallows, melty chocolate & cinnamon-y Graham Crackers (ok so it's actually Chex but that's even better!). Now imagine all those ingredients in a pancake smothered in whipped cream and you've got S'Mores Pancakes.

S'Mores Pancakes
Gluten Free
Makes Three Servings (approximately 12 small  pancakes)

2/3 cup all purpose gluten free flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 Truvia packets
3 tbsp. gluten free oats
dash of salt
1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
2 tbsp. unsweetened Silk Almond Milk
1/4 cup water
2 dark chocolate Dove Squares, cut into small pieces
20 mini marshmallows, halved
1 tbsp Hershey's Lite chocolate syrup
Fat-Free Reddi-Whip
1/2 cup Cinnamon Chex, crushed
Optional--extra marshmallows & chocolate pieces for topping

1. To make the batter, combine flour, baking powder, Truvia, oats and salt in a medium bowl.

2. Add in egg substitute, milk, and 1/4 cup of water. Mix thoroughly.

3 .Stir in chocolate pieces followed by the halved marshmallows (add one at a time to prevent them from all sticking together).

4. Bring a griddle (or skillet) sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Use an ice cream scoop or ladle to form small, uinform-sized pancakes. (Depending on the size of your griddle, you may have to cook in two batches).

5. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until pancake begins to bubble & is solid enough to flip.

6. Gently flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until both sides are lightly browned and cooked through.

7. Plate pancakes and top with chocolate syrup, Reddi-Whip, crushed chex and any desired optional ingredients.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Spiced Squash Puree

Sophisticated Simplicity
When you need a simple yet tasty side dish, try this roasted squash puree. The squash halves are roasted in the skin (no cubing required!) after which the puree flavor is intensified with tons of spices. Any type of winter squash could be substituted in this recipe but it won't be quite as sweet so look for the kabocha. By the way the puree pairs perfectly with yesterday's Crazy Glazy Pork Tenderloin!

Spiced Squash Puree
Gluten Free
Serves 2

1 medium Kabocha squash, cut in half and seeds removed
1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
dash of ground cloves
1-2 tbsp. low sodium chicken broth (if necessary)
salt & pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spritz with non stick spray.

2. Brush each squash half with a 1/4 tsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place flesh side down on baking sheet.

3. Bake squash until very tender, about 40 minutes (fork should easily pierce skin).

4. Remove squash from oven and let sit until cool enough to handle.

5. Use a large spoon to scrape out squash from skin into a large bowl. Add in spices and salt & pepper. Stir until well blended.

6. Stir in chicken broth if puree seems thick.

7. Taste to adjust for seasonings. Serve warm.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Crazy Glazy Pork Tenderloin

Holiday Centerpiece
Hungry Girl describes this dish as a fruity showstopper that is worthy of being the the centerpiece of a big holiday dinner. After testing the dish for myself, I would wholeheartedly agree. After being marinaded for optimum flavor, the pork is pan roasted then brushed with glaze that's unbelievably good.

Crazy Glazy Pork Tenderloin
Gluten Free
Serves 4

2 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce (gluten free of course)
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. brown sugar (not packed)
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

One 1-lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat

1/4 cup jellied cranberry sauce
1/4 cup low-sugar apricot jam
2 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1. In a small bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients until the sugar is mostly dissolved.

2. Place pork in a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag and pour marinade on top. Squeeze out excess air and seal bag. Knead marinade over pork and put in fridge for an hour.

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

4. In a small bowl, whisk glaze ingredients until well combined. Set aside.

5. Bring an oven safe skillet (a cast iron skillet works well) sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat.

6. Remove pork from bag and discard excess marinade. Sear pork on all sides in skillet until browned on all sides.

7. Transfer skillet to oven and bake for 10 minutes.

8. Remove pork from oven and brush with 1/4 cup of glaze.

9. Return skillet to oven and continue baking until internal temperature in center of the pork is 145 degrees (typically 5-8 minutes).

10. Move pork to a clean cutting board to rest for 10 minutes. Tent with foil to keep warm.

11. Heat remaining glaze in the microwave (covered) for about 30 seconds or until heated through.

12. Slice pork and brush with remaining glaze prior to serving.

Nutrition Information--approximately 217 calories per serving (3.25 oz cooked pork + 2 tbsp. glaze), 4g fat,  24g protein

Friday, December 16, 2011

Broccoli Polenta

Italian Mashed Potatoes
Polenta (aka cornmeal) is the perfect gluten-free blank canvas. You can use it as the base for stews, sauces, or as in this case, a hearty side dish. The only slight problem with polenta is that it can often be time consuming to achieve the perfect creamy texture. In this recipe, from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, the polenta reaches the ideal consistency with minimal effort. Not to mention, adding in chopped broccoli provides a nice burst of color, flavor, and texture.

Broccoli Polenta
Gluten Free
Serves 2

2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth, check for gluten
1/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup gluten free polenta (such as Bob's Red Mill)
2 cups very well-chopped broccoli stalks and tops
a few pinches of black pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth and salt to a boil.

2. Add the polenta in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly as you pour it in.

3. Stir in the broccoli and turn the heat down to low.

4. Continue cooking the polenta for 15 minutes, stirring often.

5. Turn off the heat and cover. Let sit for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Taste for seasoning and serve hot!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Turnip Fries

Turnip Takeover
If turnips aren't prepared properly, they often taste like dirt (sad but true). This method of preparation creates a golden, crispy treat that will make you forget about the other fries.  Furthermore, baking instead of frying and substituting the traditional spuds for turnips yields a much healthier fry.

Turnip Fries
Gluten Free
Serves 1

1 medium turnip
salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a pizza stone in oven for 10-15 minutes to preheat.

2. Meanwhile, cut the stem off the turnip then cut into narrow planks. Cut the planks into thin strips.

3. Transfer turnip fries to a salad spinner and spin a few times to remove excess moisture (alternatively, you can  blot very well with paper towels).

4. Place turnip fries in a bowl. Spray heavily with nonstick spray and season with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Use your hands to evenly coat fries in seasoning.

5. Remove pizza stone from oven. Carefully pour fries on stone and spread into a single layer.

6. Place stone back in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until fries are golden and crispy. Flip fries halfway through.

7. Season with additional salt if necessary prior to serving.

Nutrition Information--approximately 100 calories per serving

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Braised Cornish Hen With Mushroom Gravy

Roast in a Rush
If you don't have a few spare hours to roast a whole chicken, then Cornish hens are the perfect substitute. Still a part of the poultry family, Cornish hens still taste very similar to chicken but they can be fully cooked in  about 30 minutes. This variation of a recipe from Claire Robinson braises the hen to tender perfection in a wine and mushroom gravy.

Braised Cornish Hen With Mushroom Gravy
Gluten Free
Serves Two

1 portabello mushroom, gills removed and diced
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. gluten free flour
1 Cornish Hen (1 lb.- 1.25 lbs), rinsed and patted dry
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 garlic clove, minced
a few sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
salt & pepper

1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat and spray with nonstick spray. Add mushrooms and cook until browned and softened, 3-5 minutes.

2. While the mushrooms are cooking, place flour in a shallow bowl (large enough to fit the hen). Season the flour heavily with salt and pepper. Coat the hen in the flour, shaking off any excess.

3. Move the mushrooms to one side of the of  Dutch oven. Add olive oil, then place hen in Dutch oven. Brown hen on all sides in the olive oil.

4. Carefully add the wine, letting it bubble and scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.

5. Add the water and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer.

6. Cover and braise until hen is cooked through, about 22 minutes.

7. Carefully transfer the hen to a rimmed platter (leave mushrooms in Dutch oven) and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

8. Continue simmering the liquid uncovered, until it has thickened, about 10 minutes (stirring occasionally). Taste the gravy and season if necessary.

9. Add hen back to Dutch oven and nestle in gravy. Simmer until heated through.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Grilled Portobello Mushroom

Filet M'shroom
This recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz turns the humble portobello mushroom into a meaty, juicy centerpiece. First, the mushroom is marinaded to absorb as much flavor as possible than it's grilled to perfection. With vegetables this delicious, who needs meat?

Grilled Portobello Mushroom
Gluten Free
Serves 1

1 portobello cap, stem removed
2 tbsp. white wine
1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. gluten free soy sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1. In a small bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients.

2. Place portobello gills side up in another bowl. Pour marinade over top.

3. Let marinate for at least a half hour, spooning marinade back over mushroom, every 10 minutes or so.

4. Preheat grill pan to medium high heat. Spray with nonstick spray.

5.  Place the portobello gill side up on the grill, and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes or until grill marks appear.

6. Flip mushroom, and cook another 3-4 minutes (until the center is soft and juicy).

7. Remove from grill and let side for a few minutes prior to slicing. Slice into 1/2 inch pieces and serve.

Roasted Kabocha Squash

All In the Family
Just when I think I've tried them all, I discover another variety of squash. Today I tried Kabocha squash, an Asian winter squash that looks like a mini pumpkin. The flavor is similar to the always popular  butternut squash but the kabocha is actually even sweeter (it's often used in desserts). Like most squash, the kabocha is very versatile and can be used in almost any recipe that calls for another winter squash. Or if you wanna taste the flavor on it's own, simply roast the Kabocha like I did.

Roasted Kabocha Squash
Gluten Free
Serves Two

1 Medium Kabocha Squash, peeled and cut into cubes 
Chili Powder

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.

2. Place squash cubes on baking sheet. Spray with nonstick spray, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chili powder  to taste. Mix together with your hands until squash is evenly coated with spices.

3. Roast 40 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until squash is tender.

Monday, December 12, 2011

HG Dan Good Chili

Low & Slow Wins The Race
I've been thinking about making this Hungry Girl Recipe for a while and I finally made it yesterday. It does have a long cooking time  but the slow simmer is really the only way to develop and meld all the phenomenal vegetable flavors (and there are tons of vegetables!). Once you take a bite of this vegetarian chili, all else will be forgotten.

HG Dan Good Chili
Gluten Free
Serves 5

2.25 cups crushed tomatoes
1.5 cups diced tomatoes with jalapenos or green chiles
1 jalapeno, sliced
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, chopped
3/4 cup onions, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 cup portabello mushrooms, chopped
6 oz. black beans
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
hot sauce, to taste (optional)

1. Place crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, jalapeno, chili powder, and cumin in a large pot. Stir over low heat.

2. Once mixture is heated through, stir in garlic and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add  in carrots and continue to cook over low heat.

4. Meanwhile, bring a large nonstick pan sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Saute onions, peppers, and mushrooms for 3-5 minutes (pepper and onions should still have a touch of crunchiness).

5. Season onions, peppers, and mushrooms with salt, than transfer to pot.

6. Stir in beans, corn and Worcestershire sauce to pot. Add hot sauce to taste, if desired. Mix very well.

7. Cook over low heat for about 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. Chili is ready when carrots have lost their crunch.

Nutrition Information--approximately 130 calories per serving (1 cup)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil

Fast Flavor Enhancment
I never imagined that a few herbs could make such a dramatic difference in taste but this recipe from Giada proved me wrong. By simply sauteing the olive oil with fresh rosemary, it is transformed into a wonderful new ingredient. Try this infused oil anywhere you would use regular olive oil- salad dressing, roasting vegetables, dipping, or anything else you can imagine.

Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil
Gluten Free
Makes 1/2 Cup

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 fresh rosemary sprigs, each 5 inches long

1. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the oil and rosemary.

2. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until a thermometer inserted into the oil registers 180 degrees (about 5 minutes).

3. Remove pan from heat and let cool to room temperature (about 2 hours).

4. Transfer rosemary sprigs to a small bottle or container with a lid (a narrow, tall bottle will work best for showcasing the rosemary). Pour in oil and close lid.

5. Store in refrigerator for up to one month.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sugar Plums

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies
In this month's issue of Food Network Magazine, there was a section devoted to Edible Gifts. This recipe was one of those edible gifts and it really is the perfect recipe to make if you want to stand out from everyone else's cookies and brownies. Sugar Plums are sort of like a truffle but are composed of delectable dried fruit to create the perfect bite of chewy and sweet scrumptiousness!

Sugar Plums
Gluten Free
Makes 30 Truffles

1.5 cups pitted prunes, check for gluten
1.5 cups dried apricots, check for gluten
1.25 cups Corn chex
3 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup granulated Truvia

1. In a large food processor, combine all ingredients until a sticky dough is formed.

2. Pour Truvia into a shallow dish. Line a large Tupperware container with wax paper.

3. Scoop out  about a tablespoon of dough and form into a ball (a cookie scoop works great for this). Roll ball in Truvia until thoroughly coated, then gently place on wax paper.

4. Repeat with remaining dough. (You should end up with about thirty).

5. Store in Tupperware container in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information--approximately 50 calories per truffle

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

PB&J Panini

Freshening Up a Favorite
It's time for another panini recipe since you can never have too many. I mean come on, they're fast and easy to make plus no matter what you fill them with, they taste melty & marvelous. Tonight's panini was an update on the childhood classic Peanut Butter & Jelly. I took the simple PB&J to the next level but adding in fresh raspberries, syrupy blueberry compote, and crunchy walnuts. Once you fill the sandwich, all you have to do is let the panini press do it's magic!

PB&J Panini
Gluten Free
Serves One

1 serving Blueberry Compote (see recipe below)
2 tbsp. peanut butter powder mix (like the kind by FitNutz)
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
1 tbsp. chopped walnuts
1 tbsp. Promise butter spread
2 slices light sandwich bread (gluten-free, obviously)

1. Preheat panini press to high heat. Prepare peanut butter mix according to package directions.

2Lay bread slices flat on a clean work surface. Spread peanut butter on slice of bread. Sprinkle with walnuts and top was raspberries

3. Spoon blueberry compote on second slice of bread. Carefully place blueberry covered slice on top of peanut butter slice, blueberries facing in. Press down gently on sandwich.

4. Spread half of the Promise spread on outside of the top bread slice. Gently transfer sandwich to panini press and place so that the buttered side is facing down. Spread the remainder of the spread on the other slice (should be facing towards you) and close the panini press.

5. Cook sandwich, 4-5 minutes or until outside is golden brown and inside is warm & gooey.

6. Slice in half diagonally and devour.

Nutrition Information--approximately 240 calories per sandwich

Blueberry Compote
Gluten Free
Makes 1 Serving

1/4 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
2 tsp. Truvia sweetener
1.5 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. cold water

1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1 of cinnamon
1. Meanwhile, stir all of the blueberry compote ingredients (blueberries, Truvia, cornstarch cold water, cinnamon, and lemon zest) together in a small saucepan.

2. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to low. Cook, 2-3 minutes until mixture becomes thick and syrupy, stirring frequently.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Vegetable Outcast
Brussels sprouts may bring back horrible childhood memories for a lot of people, but when cooked properly  they are an amazing addition to any meal. In this recipe, the sprouts are pan-roasted until crisp and golden on the outside and tender on the inside, then finished with crunchy walnuts and tangy balsamic vinegar. Delicious enough to convert any Brussels sprout hater!

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Gluten Free
Serves Two

1/2 lb. Brussels Sprouts
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar + more for finishing
salt & pepper
chopped walnuts

1. Spray a medium skillet with nonstick spray and bring to medium heat.

2. Add Brussells sprouts to skillet and spread out in an even layer.

3. Let sprouts cook undisturbed, until they begin to "pop" and turn golden, about 2-4 minutes.

4.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are tender and golden brown on all sides (4-5 minutes). Respray with nonstick spray if necessary during cooking.

5. Once sprouts are tender, remove pan from heat and add 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar. Stir until sprouts are thoroughly coated.

6. Season with salt & pepper, to taste. Transfer sprouts to serving bowl. Top with chopped walnuts and drizzle with balsamic.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oh la la la!

For my dinner party tonight, I used a mix of old and new recipes to create the perfect assortment of French dishes.

Holiday In Paris Menu (For Two)

Appetizer--Baked Brie

To Prepare Baked Brie--
3 oz. brie
2 tsp. honey
dried figs, apples, & grapes for dipping

1. Place brie in a baking dish.

2. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

3.Drizzle with honey & serve with dried figs, grapes & apples for dipping.

Main Dish-- Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Ratatouille Sauce

To Prepare Squash--
1 small spaghetti squash
1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.

2. Carefully cut small spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Brush each half with a 1/4 tsp. of olive oilSeason with salt and pepper and place cut side down on baking sheet.

3. Roast squash for forty five to fifty minutes or until tender.

4. Once spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Divide squash amongst plates.

To Prepare Ratatouille-- 
Check out "Eggplant- The Sequel" blog post from September. One serving (the entire recipe) makes enough for two sauce portions. The ratatouille can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to serve.

To Serve-- 1.Transfer ratatouille to a medium pan. Stir in 1/2 cup of crushed tomatoes (adjust according to your desired thickness for sauce; add up to a cup). Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until all ingredients are heated through.Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

2. Spoon ratatouille on top of squash. Serve with a side of gluten free bread. 

Dessert- Creme Brulee

To Prepare Creme Brulee-- 
Look at yesterday's blog post! "Break the Ice" from December. Don't forget that creme brulee must be chilled before serving.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Creme Brulee

Break the Ice
Hungry Girl's recipe for Creme Brulee tastes just like what you would order in a restaurant. In my opinion, it's even better though because it's much healthier and takes minutes to whisk together. The hardest part about the recipe is waiting for it to chill for two hours before you can eat it. This recipe is also fun & entertaining because it gives you the chance to whip out your blow torch to create the crispy, sugary crust. My favorite part though  is using a spoon to crack the "ice" for the first bite!

Creme Brulee
Gluten Free
Serves Two

1 tbsp. + 2.5 tsp. brown sugar (not packed)
1/4 cup fat free evaporated milk
1/4 cup fat- free half & half
3/4 tsp. Coffee-mate Sugar Free French Vanilla powdered creamer
2 tbsp. liquid egg substitute
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Truvia packets
2 tsp. granulated white sugar
Special Equipment-- blow torch (available at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. In a small unheated pot, combine evaporated milk, half & half, and brown sugar. Raise heat to medium, then stir and cook until the sugar is dissolved and the milk mixture is hot.

3. Stir in the powdered creamer, blending well. Remove from heat.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg substitute and vanilla extract. Gradually whisk in the hot milk mixture

5. Place two (4 oz) ramekins in a deep baking dish. Evenly distribute the custard mixture among the cups.

6. Carefully pour hot water into the baking dish, around the cups, being careful not to splash any water into the custards. The water should come about halfway up the outside of the custard dishes.

7. Carefully transfer dish to the oven and bake for 28-29 minutes or until custards are set.

8. Remove dish from oven and set custard cups on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate  until completely chilled about 2 hours.

9. Once ready to serve, sprinkle each custard evenly with a Truvia packet then top each with a teaspoon of granulated sugar.

10. Use a blow torch to caramelize the sugar and create a golden crust on top.

11. Crack the top and enjoy!

Nutrition Information--approximately 104 calories per serving

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fennel Fish Stew

Feast of a Few Fishes
Initially, I was going to try Rocco DiSpirito's recipe for Bouillabaisse tonight, however, a few ingredient mishaps led me to create a new fish stew instead. My recipe still uses Rocco's amazing tomato fennel broth as the base but utilizes cod, shrimp, and sausage as the meat of the stew. Adding in ingredients such as clam juice and marinara sauce help make the strong flavors of this savory stew easy to create in a short amount of time.

Fennel Fish Stew
Gluten Free
Serves Four

1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored & thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup bottled clam juice
1 jar marinara sauce (such as Classico Tomato & Basil), check for gluten
12 ounces cod or other firm, white fish
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (3 oz) natural chicken sausage (such as Al Fresca's Sundried Tomato), sliced into half-moons
salt & pepper

1. In a large saute pan over high heat, bring the fennel, garlic, white wine, paprika, claim juice, and marinara sauce to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the fennel is tender, about 7 minutes.

3. Season the cod with salt and pepper and add to pan. Raise the heat to high,cover, and simmer 5 minutes.

4. Once five minutes have elapsed, add shrimp and sausage to pan. Cover pan, and continue cooking for about 3 minutes, or until cod and shrimp is cooked through.

5. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fiesta Time

It's time for another scrumptious sandwich creation. Peppers, salsa, kidney beans, and cheddar cheese give the Green Pepper Panini bold flavor with a kick of spiciness. It's a Mexican fiesta in your mouth!

Green Pepper Panini
Gluten Free
Serves 1

1/2 of a green bell pepper, seeded and cored
1 tsp. jalapeno, finely diced (adjust for your heat preference, remove seeds for a milder heat)
1/4 cup dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp. prepared salsa
1 fat-free cheddar cheese slice
2 slices light gluten free sandwich bread
1 tbsp. Promise butter spread
a few sprinkles of scallions, chopped
hot sauce, to taste

1. Heat a panini press to high.

2. Cut green pepper into thin strips.

3. Place bell pepper and jalapeno in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until soft, about 2 minutes. Let stand, covered until cool enough to handle

4. Meanwhile, combine beans, salsa, and a dash of salt in a small bowl. Mash beans with a fork or potato masher until a chunky paste starts to form.

5.  Spread bean mixture on one slice of bread.

6. Top bean mixture with cheese slice, then pile on bell pepper, jalapeno, and scallions.

7. Drizzle with hot sauce. 

8. Top with remaining slice of bread. Spread Promise on outside of both slices.

9. Cook the sandwich in the panini press until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Slice in half and enjoy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Bean Dip

Dip It Good
If you ever get tired of hummus (hard to believe bu I suppose it could happen eventually!), here's a great new recipe to try. This is a version of a recipe by Joy Bauer, which blends together roasted red peppers and pinto beans to form a delicious and creamy dip. It can be used for dipping vegetables, gluten free pita, or even as a sandwich spread.

Roasted Red Pepper Bean Dip
Gluten Free
Serves 1

1 oz. roasted red pepper (about 1/2  a slice), patted dry
2.5 oz. pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. low sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. nonfat greek yogurt
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper

Place all ingredients in a small food processor. Blend until smooth (or desired consistency). Check seasonings, then enjoy!

* Are you in the mood for hummus now that I mentioned it? Check out my "Easy Entertaining" Post from August for the ultimate hummus recipe*

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Succulent Crab Cakes

Crabby Patties
Ellie Krieger's recipe for crab cakes yields light and fluffy clouds of crab meat with minimal filling. The crab cakes are baked in the oven instead of fried which makes them low maintenance to prepare as well as much lighter. But don't fret they still have the crispy, golden crust you're accustomed to with the added bonus of a higher crab to breadcrumb ratio.

Succulent Crab Cakes
Serves 1 (Makes 3 Crab Cakes)

1 tbsp. liquid egg substitute
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp. lemon juice
dash of hot sauce, to taste
1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
2 tbsp. green bell pepper, finely diced
2 tsp. scallions, finely chopped
4 oz. lump crab meat, picked over for shells and cartilage
1/4 cup Homemade Bread Crumbs (recipe below), divided
salt & pepper

Optional Toppings--chopped scallions, hot sauce, Old Bay seasoning, or tartar sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

2. In a small bowl, mix together liquid egg, mustard, Worchestershire, lemon juice, hot sauce, and Old Bay.

3. Stir in the bell pepper and scallion.

4. Gently fold in the crab,salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp. of bread crumbs.

5. Pour remaining breadcrumbs into a shallow dish.

6. Divide the crab mixture into 3 even sections. Shape each section into a round patty and coat evenly in bread crumbs. Place breaded crab cakes on prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly.

7. Spray the top of each crab cake with a spritz of cooking spray.

8. Bake until golden on the bottom, about 8-10 minutes. Carefully flip with a spatula and respray with nonstick spray.

9. Bake until second side is golden brown, 8-10 minutes more. Serve hot, garnished with desired toppings.

Nutrition Information--approximately 220 calories per serving

Homemade Breadcrumbs

Toast 1 slice Light Gluten Free Sandwich Bread. Break into pieces and place in small food processor. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Pulse until bread crumb consistency is reached. Makes approximately 1/4 cup.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Baked Ricotta with Blueberry Compote

Make Your Cheesecake & Eat It Too
This unique recipe, inspired by Claire Robinson, creates a gooey cheese pillow topped with warm, syrupy blueberries. What could possibly be better? It's like having cheesecake for breakfast. Technically, you're supposed to eat this on some sort of  (gluten free) bread but feel free to eat it straight from the ramekin. Both ways are outrageously good.

Baked Ricotta with Blueberry Compote
Gluten Free
Serves 1

Baked Ricotta-
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 tbsp. liquid egg substitute
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. agave nectar
dash of salt

Blueberry Compote-
1/4 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
2 tsp. Truvia sweetener
1.5 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. cold water
1/4 tsp. of cinnamon
1/4 tsp. lemon zest

Gluten Free Bread (To spread ricotta/berry mixture on)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Put the ricotta in a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl and let stand 10 minutes to remove excess liquid.

3. Transfer the cheese to a bowl. Stir in the remaining baked ricotta ingredients (egg, lemon zest, agave, and salt. Mix well.

4. Transfer ingredients to a small ramekin. Bake in the oven until puffed and beginning to brown, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

5. Meanwhile, stir all of the blueberry compote ingredients (blueberries, Truvia, cornstarch cold water, cinnamon, and lemon zest) together in a small saucepan.

6. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to low. Cook, 2-3 minutes until mixture becomes thick and syrupy, stirring frequently.

7. Serve baked ricotta on top of gluten free waffles or bread and top with blueberry compote.

Nutrition Information--approximately 190 calories per serving

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Portabello & "Sausage" Skillet

Greasy Spoon Upgrade
The Portabello & "Sausage" Skillet was modeled after the traditional breakfast skillet meal featured at your local breakfast diner. This one-skillet wonder from Hungry Girl, has all the familiar ingredients like meat, mushrooms, hash browns, and cheese, just without the half ton of grease the diner would use. It's a quick and filling meal that's perfect any time of the day or even multiple times a day!

Makes 1 serving

1 frozen meatless sausage patty (check for gluten)
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 large portabella mushroom, roughly chopped
2/3 cup frozen shredded hash browns (check for gluten)
2/3 cup liquid egg substitute
1 garlic clove, minced
1 wedge The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
salt & pepper

1. Prepare sausage patty in the microwave according to package directions. Let cool, then chop into pieces and set aside.

2. Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Add onion, and saute until slightly softened about 3 minutes.

3. Reduce heat to medium low. Add mushroom and hash browns to the skillet. Cook until mushrooms have softened and hash browns are hot, 5-6 minutes.

4. Raise heat to medium. Stir cooked sausage pieces into veggie mixture. Add garlic and cheese wedge (break into pieces as you add it).

5. Pour in egg substitute. Scramble mixture until egg is cooked, 3-4 minutes.

6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutrition Information--approximately 310 calories

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Vegetable Bolognese Sauce

Better Than Bolognese
A typical bolognese sauce is made with some sort of meat, however, my version uses only vegetables which yields an even better result. This sauce, inspired by a recipe from Giada, is so hearty and flavorful no one will even miss the meat. You could use it as a topping for spaghetti squash, polenta, miracle noodles, or anything you wish.

Vegetable Bolognese Sauce
Gluten Free
Serves Two

1 small carrot, cut into large chunks
1/2 small onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
4 oz (5-6) brussels sprouts, halved
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. anchovy paste
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 portabella mushroom, cleaned, gills removed and cut into small pieces
dash of double concentrated tomato paste (from a squeeze tube)
2 tbsp. red wine
2 cups crushed tomatoes
3 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper

Optional Garnish-grated Parmesan cheese

1. Place carrot, onion, brussels sprouts, and garlic in a small food processor. Pulse until vegetables are chopped but still have some texture and chunkiness.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Stir in anchovy paste.

3. Add chopped vegetables and thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.

4. Add mushrooms and tomato paste to pan. Cook until mushrooms begin to soften, 3-4 minutes (add some nonstick spray if vegetables begin to stick).

5. Stir in wine and crushed tomatoes. Raise heat to medium.

6. Once sauce begins to bubble, reduce heat to low. Let sauce simmer, stirring occasionally, until ready to use (at least 10 minutes).

7. Prior to serving, remove thyme stems. Garnish with cheese if desired.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash

Squash-aholics Anonymous
This is yet another absolutely divine recipe utilizing squash (I think I'm addicted!). Sweet Dumpling Squash is a type of winter squash that has a hint of a sweet flavor (hence the name). The sweetness of the squash pairs perfectly with this slightly spicy filling comprised of portobello mushrooms, quinoa, walnuts and other delicious add-ins.

Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash
Gluten Free
Serves Two (2 Squash Quarters per Serving)

1 Sweet Dumpling squash, seeds and stem removed and cut into quarters
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup quinoa
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp. low-sodium chicken broth
1 portobello mushroom, cleaned and cut into small cubes
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. walnuts, chopped
3/4 tsp. red wine vinegar
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.

2. Brush each squash quarter with a 1/4 tsp. of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on baking sheet. Roast the squash until tender and caramelized, 25-28 minutes (tip squash over halfway through so other part of flesh will caramelize). If squash finishes before filling is ready, tent with aluminum foil.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa for the filling. Place the quinoa and 3/4 cup chicken broth in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered until liquid is absorbed, about 18 minutes. Fluff with a fork prior to serving.

4. To prepare the mushrooms, heat 1/2 tsp. of olive in a small pan over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add garlic and saute for about a minute.

5. Add mushrooms and cook until tender about 8 minutes. Deglaze the pan with 1 tbsp. chicken broth and continue cooking until the majority of the liquid is absorbed, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. Season mushrooms to taste with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.

6. To assemble the filling (once mushrooms, quinoa and squash are cooked), combine quinoa, mushrooms, parsley, walnuts, red wine vinegar in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and additional red pepper flakes if desired.

7. Spoon filling into squash quarters and serve!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Upside-Down Pan Pizza

Pizza Pizza!
This pizza is just like  a Pizza Hut pan pizza! Only not so much. It's upside down and tastes way better than any greasy takeout pizza. This unusual and satisfying deep dish pizza is created by layering a baking dish with sauteed vegetables and marinara sauce than topping it with cheese. The grand finale is a fluffy homemade crust that is easily produced with Bisquick. This scrumptious pizza is a variation of a recipe from Joy Bauer.

Upside-Down Pan Pizza
Gluten Free
Makes 1 Large Serving

1/2 small onion, diced
2 tbsp. green bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
1 portabello mushroom, stems removed, gills scraped out, and diced
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
dash of crushed red pepper flakes
1 oz. part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp. gluten free Bisquick
1/4 cup unsweetened Silk Almond Milk
1.5 tbsp liquid egg substitute
salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a small casserole dish (about 3x4 inches) with nonstick spray and set aside.

2. Coat a medium nonstick skillet with spray, and preheat over medium heat.

3. Add onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms to the skillet and saute until vegetables have softened (8-9 minutes).

4. While the vegetables are cooking, stir together crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and combine.

5. Stir tomato mixture into vegetables . Reduce heat to low and let simmer while you prepare the crust.

6. To make the crust, whisk together baking mix, milk, and liquid egg in a small bowl.

7. Spoon the veggie/tomato mixture into prepared casserole dish. Evenly sprinkle cheeses (parmesan and mozzarella)  on top of veggies.

8. Pour crust batter over cheeses (don't worry, batter will be runny). Sprinkle with additional oregano and crushed red pepper if desired.

9. Bake for 25 minutes, or until top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

10. Let cool for 5 minutes minutes before serving.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chipotle Chicken

Chipotle Craze
When you're cooking for a picky eater, there's a limited number of directions you go. Tonight, I stuck with the always popular chicken and tried a recipe from Joy Bauer. In this dish, chicken thighs are slowly braised it in a slightly addictive chipotle sauce that has a spicy and delicious kick.

Chipotle Chicken
Gluten Free
Serves 2

2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 5 oz each), trimmed of excess fat
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth + more to add while cooking
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 small onion, diced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
dash of cayenne pepper, to taste
1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp. apple cider-vinegar
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, (add adobo sauce too) finely minced
salt & pepper

1. Liberally coat a medium pot with olive oil spray and preheat over medium-high heat.

2. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides.

3. Add thighs to pot and sear until golden brown on both sides (about 2-3 min per side). Transfer to a plate and set aside.

4. Add a splash (1-2 tbsp) of chicken broth to deglaze the pot (be careful of steam). Scrape up the browned bits with a wooden spoon.

5. Reduce heat to medium. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon of broth as necessary to prevent scorching while cooking.

6. Add garlic, oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper, and cook until fragrant, about a minute.

7. Add crushed tomatoes, vinegar, chipotle chiles, adobo sauce, and 1/4 cup of chicken broth. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

8. Return the chicken thighs to the pot, submerging them in the tomato mixture. Bring the sauce to a boil.

9. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

10. Uncover the pot and continue simmering over low heat until chicken is tender, about 20 minutes.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cranberry Beans

A Newfangled  Discovery
I visited a farmer's market this afternoon where I stumbled upon cranberry beans, a vegetable that's almost too pretty to eat. When you buy them fresh, these brilliantly pink beans are encased in a cranberry and white pod like a snap pea. Once shucked, the beans resemble a cannelini bean and are just as versatile. I made a simple salad with spinach (fresh from my mom's garden!), cranberry beans, walnuts, and a lemon  dressing. The cooking time is pretty long but there's really no effort involved. Sadly, the beans lose their brilliant color once cooked but they are still quite tasty.

For a basic preparation-- 
1. Shell the beans and place in a heavy bottomed pot. Cover with about 2 inches of water (do not salt)
2. Bring water to boil, then reduce to simmer.
3. Cover pot, and cook under beans are tender (about an hour)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mediterranean Meatloaf

Exquisite Evolution
This amazing recipe from Joy Bauer elevates meatloaf from a homey comfort food to an elegant entree. A rainbow medley of vegetables are mixed into ground turkey to form a fresh and flavorful meatloaf.  The ingredient list may be a little long but since it 's all mixed in one bowl, you can just chop and drop.

Mediterranean Meatloaf
Serves 6

1/4 lb. lean ground turkey
1 cup packed spinach leaves, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, diced
1/2 cup zucchini, unpeeled and shredded
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, softened in boiling water and finely diced
1/4 cup carrot, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. no-salt-added tomato paste
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 tbsp. liquid egg substitute
Topping- 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat the foil with nonstick spray.

2. In large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the turkey and topping. Stir until evenly incorporated.

3. Use your hands to evenly distribute turkey into vegetable mixture.

4. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking sheet and shape into a loaf about 2 inches thick. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese (the topping).

5. Bake for 55 minutes, or until internal temperature registers 160 degrees.

Nutrition Information--approximately 205 calories, 26g protein, 6g fat per serving