Grilled Avocados with Pico de Gallo (GF) (V)

avocadoThe season may have just changed to Spring for the rest of you folks, but in Arizona it already feels like Summer. In fact, it’s supposed to reach 97 degrees here by Wednesday. That’s right – BE jealous, America.

So… I can’t really take credit for this delicious recipe since it’s one that I stole from Nick’s mom, January. I always know these little avocados will be served up whenever she has a get-together at her abode. Anywho, this recipe is super simple and perfect for BBQs!!

 

Grilled Avocados with Pico de Gallo (GF) (V)

the ingredients

2 avocados, sliced in half
1 tbsp avocado oil
4 tbsp pico de gallo (recipe follows)
salt and pepper to taste

the method

Cut avocados in half and remove the pit. Slather each side with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill avocados until they get a nice char on them. Fill the pit with pico de gallo and serve. YUM!

Pico de Gallo (GF) (V)

the ingredients

3 red onions
12 Roma tomatoes (slightly under ripe is fine)
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
2 to 3 jalapenos
1 lime
Salt
the method
Dice up equal quantities of onion and tomato. Roughly chop the cilantro.Now, slice 1 or 2 jalapenos in half. With a spoon, scrape out the seeds. (If you like things spicy, leave in some of the white membranes.) Dice the jalapenos very finely; you want a hint of heat and jalapeno flavor, but you don’t want to cause any fires. Now dump the four ingredients into a bowl.Slice the lime in half and squeeze the juice from half a lime the bowl. Sprinkle with salt, and stir together until combined. Be sure to taste the pico de gallo and adjust the seasonings, adding salt or more diced jalapeno if needed.

 

Quinoa Pasta with Broccoli and Lemon (GF)

Phonto1Quinoa Pasta with Broccoli and Lemon (GF)

the ingredients:

Kosher salt
8 cups broccoli florets (4 heads)
1/2 pound quinoa pasta
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 lemon, zested
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly grated Parmesan, optional (make sure it’s vegetarian!!!)

the method:
Cook the broccoli for 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon or sieve. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

In the same water, cook the pasta according to the package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain well and add to the broccoli.

Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Off the heat, add 2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, and lemon juice and pour this over the broccoli and pasta. Toss well. Season to taste, sprinkle with cheese, if using, and serve.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta (GF)

Red Pepper PastaI just realized how pasta-heavy my posts have been recently. I guess I just feel into the pasta rut with my busy schedule as of late – but that’s no excuse for my lack of creativity! I am going to revamp my food planner later today and make sure there are fewer pasta dishes.

This recipe can be made in 20 minutes and is absolutely delicious (and cheap to make too)!

 

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta (GF)

the ingredients:

  • 12 ounces, gluten-free pasta (I used rotini)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter (I used Earth Balance Vegan Spread)
  • 2 Tablespoons EVOO
  • ½ whole Large Onion, Finely Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 jar (15.5 Ounces) Roasted Red Peppers, Drained And Roughly Chopped
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth
  • ½ teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ cup milk or soy milk
  • ½ cup Parmesan Shavings or Rice Dream Vegan Parmesan
  • Finely Minced Parsley
  • Chopped Fresh Basil

the method:

  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the chopped red peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until hot.
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat. Carefully transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor or blender. Place on the lid and puree the pepper mixture until totally blended (there will still be some texture to the peppers.)
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons EVOO back to the skillet over medium heat. Pour the pepper puree back into the skillet. Add the broth, salt, and pepper, and stir until heated. Splash in the milk and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if you need to.
  5. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Add Parmesan and parsley & basil, then stir it together to coat the pasta.
  6. Serve in bowls with extra Parmesan and a sprinkling of basil on top.

One Pot Tomato Basil Pasta (GF)

I started my 200-hour yoga certification about two weeks ago thinking I had all the time in the world. Even though we all need that extra hour every day to get things done, I decided to go after something I have been dreaming about doing for about year – and it’s the best decision I have ever made.  My days are busy, but not chaotic. I go to Ashtanga almost every day after work and spend a good portion of my weekend on the mat, as well. We are currently turning half of our guest bedroom into a mini yoga studio so I can practice when I  have to work late or can’t make it to class for some reason. I have a feeling this will look totally adorable and I will post pictures once it’s ready. :)

With a full-time job, a house to take care of and a hungry boyfriend to feed, these last couple of weeks have been exhausting – I don’t know how people with kids do it! Hats off to you!

So far, these yoga classes have been an amazing experience, these teachers are inspirational and have put me in positions I never even dreamed I could do. In order to keep up with the things I enjoy (like cooking), I’ve had to make some compromises. I still fully plan on cooking as much as possible, but I realized I needed to find more convenient meals in order to keep up with my routine and ensure I eat a healthy, home-cooked meal as much as possible.

Even though more of my time is being absorbed since I started certification, I surprisingly feel more balanced. This dish is one that I pinned almost a year ago when looking for quick week-day meals. It’s a one pot dish, so you know that prep and clean up will be a cinch. This dish can also be made vegan easily by omitting the parmesan or substituting it with a vegan option.

Enjoy!

One Pot Tomato Basil PastaOne Pot Tomato Basil Pasta (GF)

the ingredients:

  • 12 ounces gluten free pasta (I used Rotini)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 2 large sprigs basil, chopped
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

the method:

  1. Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.
  2. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – I left about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot – but you can reduce as desired .
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper , stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Yep, that’s it!

Baked Tortellini (GF)

Baked TortelliniNick loves alfredo sauce. In fact, I can’t remember a time when we went to an Italian restaurant and he didn’t get some sort of alfredo dish. Unfortunately for him (and fortunately for my waist line) I do not share the same adoration for this sauce.

Since Nick is such a good sport about trying out my little experiments, I compromised with him and made a dish that incorporated this sauce. I recently discovered gluten-free tortellini, so I decided to make a hearty pasta bake.

I’m going to warn you, this is NOT the healthiest of dishes – I had a small portion with a big salad .:)

Baked Tortellini (GF)

the ingredients:

-1 pkg. gluten-free cheese tortellini, uncooked
-3 cups homemade Marinara sauce
-1/2 cup water
-1/2 jar Alfredo four cheese sauce (All “Classico” sauces are gluten-free!)
-1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
-1/2 cup shredded Smoked Mozzarella Cheese

the method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In 3 quart glass baking dish, layer tortellini and marinara sauce. Put water into empty sauce jar, close lid, and shake. Pour this mixture over the tortellini.

Spoon Alfredo sauce over the tortellini. Sprinkle with cheese.

Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer, until tortellini is tender and cheese is bubbling and golden brown.

Enjoy!

Quick-Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad (GF) (V)

Quick Marinated Cherry Tomato SaladQuick-Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad (GF) (V)
The ingredients:
1 pint red cherry tomatoes
1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 heaping tablespoon vegan pesto (same as normal pesto but with Rice Dream Parm)
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1 clove garlic, pressed
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into chunks
The method:
  1. Halve the tomatoes and add them to a large zipper bag with the sliced red onion. Add the olive oil, balsamic, parsley, pesto, sugar, garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Seal the bag, getting all the air out. Place into the fridge until ready for dinner.
  2. Place the iceberg lettuce in a large bowl and pour on the tomatoes. Toss and serve! (The dressing from the tomatoes becomes the salad dressing.)

Pasta Florentine (GF) (V)

I had a request to post vegan dinner recipes more frequently – a request that I was more than happy to accommodate. I love it when readers reach out and give you suggestions on what to post so keep the requests coming y’all!

This is my vegan and gluten-free take on Pasta Florentine:

pasta florentineThe ingredients:
1 pound gluten free rotini or penne
Salt
Ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup low-sodium broth, more if needed
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 bag baby spinach
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
The method:
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and quickly stir to avoid burning. After about 30 seconds, pour in the broth and wine, stirring to deglaze the skillet. Allow the liquid to bubble up, and then continue cooking until it’s reduced by at least half (most of the surface of the liquid should be bubbling at this point).
  3. Turn off the heat. Add the spinach, tomatoes and cooked pasta to the skillet. Toss to combine; the spinach will wilt as you toss everything.  Serve immediately.

Mac n’ Cheese Alton Brown Style (and GF)

IMG_20130915_204203Mac n’ Cheese Alton Brown Style (GF)

The ingredients:

1/2 pound gluten free elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons gluten free all purpose flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
The method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Veggie Pot Pie (GF)

Veggie Pot PiesIt’s monsoon season! The best way to enjoy the dust storms? Curl up on the couch with a pot pie, a glass of wine and watch re-runs of SVU! It’s a dangerous habit, I know…

I made a simple veggie pot pie for myself, and threw some cooked, shredded chicken into Nick’s. This recipe makes a big batch – perfect for left overs. I like to make a lot so I can freeze it for future dinners. Yum!

 

 

 

Veggie Pot Pie (GF)

The ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons Earth Balance “Butter”
  • 1/2 cup Finely Diced Onion
  • 1/2 cup Finely Diced Carrot
  • 1/2 cup Finely Diced Celery
  • 1/4 cup Gluten Free Flour
  • 3 cups Veggie Broth, Plus More If Needed
  •  Splash Of White Wine (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
  •  Salt And Pepper, to taste
  •  Chopped Fresh Thyme To Taste
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 1 whole Gluten Free Unbaked Pie Crust, (Pillsbury makes some now!)
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 2 Tablespoons Water

The method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Melt the “butter” in a large pot over medium-high heat, then add the onion, carrots, and celery. Stir them around until the onions start to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the top and stir it until it’s all combined with the vegetables (if using meat, throw it in now). Cook for 1 minute, then pour in the broth (and wine if using) and stir it around and let it cook and thicken.
  4. Once it starts to thicken add the turmeric, salt, pepper, and thyme.
  5. Add the milk, then stir the mixture and let it bubble up and thicken, about 3 minutes. If it seems overly thick, splash in a little more broth. Turn off the heat.
  6. Pour the filling into a 2-quart baking dish. Roll out the pie crust on a floured surface and lay it over the top of the dish. Press the dough so that the edges stick to the outside of the pan. Use a knife to cut little vents here and there in the surface of the dough.
  7. Mix together the egg with 2 tablespoons water and brush it all over the surface of the crust. (You will have some egg wash left over.)
  8. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is deep golden brown and the filling is bubbly. To prevent the crust from getting too brown, you might want to cover it lightly with foil for the first 15 minutes of baking time. I made mine in little souffle dishes – this recipe was enough for 6 of those dishes.

Bon appetit!

Banana Nectarine Bread (GF)

nectarine banana bread First off, I want to apologize for such a poor quality photo – office lighting doesn’t make anything look particularly great. This yummy recipe suitable for breakfast or as a dessert was pulled from Vegetarian Times Magazine. I was super happy to stumble upon this recipe since Sprouts had a sale on nectarines for $.48/lb – I couldn’t pass up that deal. Plus, it’s summer! Nectarines are delicious by themselves or in an icy pitcher of Sangria. Okay, I need to remember it’s only Wednesday – not even close to it being appropriate to jump into weekend mode.

To be quite honest, my baking skills are sub-par and I did not expect this to come out as well as it did. The whole loaf was gone within 2 days. I also feel the need to point out that I was not the only person who inhaled this within that time – I had a little help. :)

Banana Nectarine Bread (GF)
Recipe makes 1 loaf or 8 slices

the ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 3 large nectarines, peeled and pitted, 2 cut into ½-inch dice, 1 cut into 8 wedges each

the method:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 1-qt. loaf pan with cooking spray.

2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Beat egg in separate bowl, then whisk in milk, followed by bananas and melted butter. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture until just combined. Fold in diced nectarines.

3. Pour batter into the loaf pan. Arrange nectarine wedges in row, smooth side up, down center of each loaf. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.