Foodie Blogroll

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Leftovers Upgrade

Tonight's meal was influenced by some extra black beans in my fridge that I needed to use. Thus, I made black bean cakes inspired by a recipe from Health magazine. As usual I made a few adjustments to make the recipe fit the ingredients that I had and to make it gluten free. It may seem simple but don't underestimate the flavor!

Black Bean Cakes
Gluten-Free * Vegetarian
Serves 1

3/4 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 wedge Laughing Cow light mozzarella cheese, room temperature ( alternatively you can microwave for 5-8 seconds)
1 tbsp. gluten free polenta (I used Bob's Red Mill)
salt and pepper
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/4 cup salsa (my favorite is Garden Fresh Gourmet)
hot sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a small pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.

2. Place black beans in a small bowl and then mash with a fork until almost completely smooth. Break cheese wedge into pieces and mix into beans.

3. Stir in polenta, cayenne, salt, pepper and parsley. Mixture should resemble thick cookie

4. Use your hands to form mixture into 2 equal sized cakes ( about the size of your palm). Place on prepared baking sheet.

5. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until cakes are beginning to turn golden. Meanwhile, heat salsa in a small pan over low heat until heated through.

6. Once cakes are finished cooking, top with salsa and hot sauce.

Nutrition Information--approximately 250 calories.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Nothing Is Impossible!

You may think that gluten-free bread can never compare to regular bread. Well I'm here to tell you that is simply not true. This morning I baked a banana bread from Hungry Girl that I modified to be gluten-free. Compared to traditional banana bread it's actually quite healthy  but don't worry it tastes just as good as it's fat-stuffed, gluten-filled counterpart. It just goes to show that you can bake your bread and eat it too!

Top Banana Bread
Gluten Free
Makes 1 Loaf

1.5 cups Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
3/4 cup Truvia
1.5 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 whole bananas)
1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
1/2 cup pure pumpkin
2 tsp baking powder (check for gluten; I used Clabber Girl)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, Truvia, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine mashed bananas, egg substitute, pumpkin, and vanilla extract.  Mix well (don't worry if it's a little lumpy). Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just blended.

4. Pour the batter into loaf pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until edges start to pull away from side and cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool in pan slightly then flip carefully onto cooling rack. Let cool completely before storing.

*If using a dark-coated loaf pan, change oven temperature to 330 degrees*

Nutrition Information-- (1/8 of loaf) approximately 140 calories

Friday, August 26, 2011

Signature Dish

As an avid sweet potato fan, I consider this to be the ultimate recipe. Nothing can compare to an oven roasted sweet potato smothered in delectable toppings. This recipe reshapes the sweet potato from a common side dish to a revolutionary meal. It's the perfect dish any time your having a bad day- minimum effort for maximum taste.

Deluxe Spicy Sweet Potato
Serves 1
Gluten Free

1 large Sweet Potato (12-14 oz), washed and pricked all over with a fork
5-7 Grape Tomatoes, rinsed
1/4 cup Black Beans, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp. Salsa
1-3 tsp of Hot Sauce (depending on your desired level of heat)
1/8 cup low fat Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 small baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray,

2. Place tomatoes on one pan and the sweet potato on the other pan. Spray both vegetables with nonstick spray and season with salt and pepper.

3. Roast tomatoes for about 20 minutes or until they are beginning to wrinkle and burst. Remove tomatoes from oven and set aside until potato is ready.

4. Roast sweet potato for about an hour or until tender, flipping halfway through.

5. Remove potato from oven and turn broiler on. Cut the potato lengthwise with a knife and split open slightly. Scoop out one tbsp of potato (a taste for the chef!).

6. Layer salsa into the potato opening followed by an 1/8 cup of black beans. Drizzle with hot sauce. Place tomatoes in potato and top with remaining 1/8 cup of black beans. Sprinkle entire potato with cheddar cheese.

7. Place potato until broiler and broil until cheese is melted (2-4 minutes).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Don't Judge a Recipe by it's Photo

Today I created a delicious tuna sandwich inspired by "sugo alla puttanesca". Puttanesca is an Italian sauce that is comprised of numerous items which often includes anchovies, tomatoes, olives, capers and more. The resulting flavor is spicy, salty and scrumptious.Today I decided to translate the character of a slow-simmered puttanesca sauce into a quick and easy sandwich. The resulting meal was quite tasty although it failed to be photogenic (thus no accompanying picture).

Puttanesca Tuna Sandwich
Serves 1
Gluten-Free * Vegetarian

1 pouch premium light tuna in water (2.5 ounces)
2 sundried tomato halves, chopped
1 tsp capers, drained and chopped
2 pitted olives, drained and chopped
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp fat-free greek yogurt
A few sprigs fresh parsley and/or thyme, chopped
Dash of pepper
1 slice light gluten free bread, toasted

1. Combine all ingredients except for bread in a small bowl. Top toasted bread with tuna mixture. (For best flavor, let tuna mixture sit in refrigerator  for a few hours to allow flavors to marry).

Nutrition Information-- Approximately 160 calories

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Breaking All the Rules

Some days you just want to eat something greasy and non-Mom approved. I was in the mood to defy all the rules of healthy food thus I created The Rebel Burger. The Rebel is oozing with two kinds of cheese on the inside, bacon pieces throughout, and MORE cheese melted on top. Sounds indulgent but it's completely healthy! Who says you can't have it all??

The Rebel Burger
Serves 1
Gluten Free

1/2 slice turkey bacon ( I like the kind by Applegate Farms. It's as "natural" as bacon can be)
1 tbsp. grated onion
Chili Powder
Hot Sauce
1/8 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
3 oz. lean ground turkey
1 wedge Laughing Cow cheese, room temperature (or just microwave a few seconds)
Ketchup (Check for gluten!)
Gluten Free Light Sandwich Bread ( I used my favorite- Ener-G Lite Tapioca Bread)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bacon on a square of aluminum foil and bake until crispy (about 12 minutes). Cut into small pieces.

2. In a small bowl combine onion, half of mozzarella cheese, and a dash or two of the next four ingredients ( salt, pepper, chili powder, and hot sauce). Gently knead in ground turkey until uniformly combined.

3. Preheat grill pan (or grill) to medium high heat. Form turkey into two thin patties. Place cheese wedge in center of one patty. Use a knife to spread cheese out a little but be sure to leave space around the edges. Top with other patty and carefully  form into one large burger.

4. Grill burger about 5 minutes per side or until cooked through. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and cover burger with small sauce pan or metal bowl (this helps cheese to melt).

5. Toast bread and then plate burger. Add ketchup and/or desired burger toppings.

Nutrition Information-- Approximately 300 calories

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School Treats

Unfortunately, summer is coming to an end as the first day of school is only days away. It's a sad time but whats the best way to cure the back to school blues? Gluten free baking, of course. This afternoon I decided to make a muffin recipe with a decidedly autumn flavor. Hungry Girl's Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins are shockingly easy to make in addition to being simple to convert to gluten free. They make the perfect afternoon snack or on-the-go breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins
Makes 12
Gluten Free

1.25 cups gluten free regular oats (such as Bob's Red Mill)
3/4 cup gluten free pancake/baking mix (such as Pamela's or Gluten Free Bisquick)
1 cup unsweetened Silk Pure Almond Milk
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 cup canned peaches in water, drained and chopped
1/4 cup Truvia sugar substitute
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp, salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake wrappers.

2. Combine all ingredients and stir well. Use an ice cream scoop to spoon batter into muffin cups.

3. Bake 20 minutes or until muffins have puffed up and are golden and FIRM.

4. Remove muffins from tin but allow to cool on cooling rack before serving (otherwise wrappers will stick).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Ultimate Soup

My mom and I are constantly searching for the perfect butternut squash soup. Tonight I think we finally created the ultimate soup by making some tweaks to a Hungry Girl recipe. It's the perfect comfort food with just the right mix of sweet and heat. Don't be afraid of the vanilla extract, it is absolutely necessary in this soup!

Sweet-N-Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4
Gluten Free * Dairy Free * Soy Free

3.5 cups butternut squash, cubed (about 1 med squash)
2 cups jazz apples, peeled and chopped (about 2 med apples)
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups fat free chicken broth, divided (substitute vegetable broth for a vegetarian soup)
1 cup Unsweetened Original Almond Breeze (you could also substitute skim milk if you eat dairy)
Salt and pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp chili flakes
3 tbsp walnuts, crushed

1. Line a baking sheet with foil and mist with nonstick spray. Place baking sheet in oven and then preheat oven to 400 degrees (this will prevent vegetables from sticking to pan).

2. Place squash, apples and carrots on heated baking sheet. Spray vegetables with nonstick spray and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic. Bake for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

3. Transfer vegetables into large soup pot and add 1 cup of chicken broth. Use immersion blender to puree until smooth. Add remaining broth, milk, cinnamon ginger, vanilla, chili flakes, and cayenne.Mix well and season with salt and pepper.

4. Bring soup to boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle into bowls and garnish with walnuts

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dessert for Breakfast

I was in the mood for something sweet this morning so I combined two Hungry Girl recipes to create a Peanut Butter Cheesecake Breakfast Sandwich. A creamy peanut butter and cheese filling plus two pieces of french toast = scrumptious. This creation is of course completely gluten free not to mention guilt free!

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Breakfast Sandwich
Serves 1
Gluten free* Vegetarian

1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla, divided
1 teaspoon cinnamon plus more for garnish
1.5 teaspoons Truvia (sugar substitute), divided
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp fat free ricotta cheese
1 tbsp fat free cream cheese
2 slices gluten free sandwich bread ( I prefer Ener-G lite tapioca bread)
Syrup and fat free Reddi-Whip for garnish

1. Whisk together 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp Truvia and the egg substitute in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Combine peanut butter, ricotta, cream cheese, 1 tsp Truvia, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp cinnamon in a separate small bowl.

3. Spread peanut butter/cheese mixture on one slice of bread and top with the other slice.

4. Spray a small skillet with non stick spray and place over medium heat. Dip sandwich in egg
mixture and coat on all sides.

5. Place sandwich in skillet and cook for approximately 3 minutes per side (or until golden brown).

6. Top with your reddi whip, syrup, and cinnamon (as a cinnamon addict, I went heavy on the cinnamon!)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Breakfast time!

Today's breakfast was a recipe called Frittata Italiano from Hungry Girl (what a genius!). It's a pretty basic recipe that you could alter depending on what you have. I added in some bell peppers and a few spicy things to turn it into a "fra diavolo" version.

Frittata Italiano Fra Diavolo
Gluten Free * Vegetarian
Serves two (large portions)

4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup bell pepper chopped
1.5 cups egg substitute
2 tbsp. Grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
Red chili flakes
Dash of hot sauce

1. Preheat broiler. Spray a 10 inch oven proof skillet with non stick spray and bring to medium heat. Add spinach, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Saute until spinach is wilted (about 1.5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg substitute, salt, pepper, chili flakes, and hot sauce. Pour into pan and cook until edges begin to pull away from side (about 3 min).

3. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and place skillet under broiler. Broil about 8 minutes or until frittata is set and starting to brown. Slide frittata out of pan and slice for serving.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Soup- Not Just For Winter!

In my opinion, soup is amazing and should be served all year.Therefore, despite the high temperature outside I decided to make a creamy cauliflower soup based on a recipe by Joy Bauer. The soup is slightly more sophisticated than the average cauliflower soup thanks to the curry powder and additional vegetables. It tastes creamy and rich despite being quite healthy. It is meat free yet  the numerous vegetables make it filling and satisfying.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Serves Two
Gluten Free * Vegetarian

(1/2 ) onion, diced
(1/2) carrot, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp curry powder
(1/2) head cauliflower, broken into florets
1.5 cups Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened Milk
(1/8) cup fat-free cream cheese
One 7.5 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups baby spinach
(1/2) cup cherry tomatoes, halved
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper

1. Spray a large pot nonstick spray and preheat over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, garlic and ginger. Saute for about 5 minutes until onion becomes translucent. Add a tbsp. of water when necessary to prevent scorching.
2. Add curry powder and stir to coat the vegetables. Reduce the heat to low and cook 5-7 minutes (until vegetables are tender).

3. Add cauliflower, salt, and a 1/4 cup of water. Cover the pot and raise heat to medium high. Cook 6-8 minutes( until cauliflower is tender).

4. Remove pot from heat and add cream cheese and almond milk. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. (You could also use a blender)

5. Reheat soup over low heat. Add chickpeas, spinach, and tomatoes. Stir briefly until spinach is wilted. Season with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Meatless Monday With An Indian Twist

Tonight I decided to try a new vegetarian recipe in honor of "Meatless Monday". This Spicy Vegetable Curry has the classic Indian spices of curry powder and ginger along with a few unique vegetables such as butternut squash and cannellini beans. I found the recipe in an "Eat This Not That!" Cookbook and only made a few substitutions for ingredients I didn't have. It turned out to be super simple to make and tasted just as good as what I've had in Indian restaurants. This recipe is of course gluten free in addition to dairy-free and vegetarian.

Spicy Vegetable Curry
Gluten Free * Vegetarian
Serves 2
1/2 onion diced
2 tsp. fresh ginger
1 cup butternut squash, cubed
1/2 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
8 oz. cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (not traditional but it's what I had, you could also use chickpeas)
1/2 jalapeƱo minced (for a milder taste remove seeds)
2 tsp curry powder
8 oz diced tomatoes
8 oz light coconut milk
1 tsp lime juice
Salt and pepper
A few sprigs fresh parsley or cilantro

1. Spray a large pot with nonstick spray. Add onion and ginger and cook until onion is translucent (about 2 min).

2. Add squash, cauliflower, beans, and jalapeno. Stir in the curry powder and cook for two minutes.

3. Next, add the tomatoes and coconut milk then turn the heat to low. Simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Once the vegetables are tender, stir in the lime juice and salt and pepper. Garnish with the fresh parsley or cilantro.