Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Asparagus Penne Alfredo

Oh so so creamy and delicious. Not entirely low in fat, but the asparagus, tomatoes, Parmesan and cream combo are well worth the calories. The little red boiler onions were fantastic, but if you can only find white boiler onions, I'm sure those will work, too.

Serves 2
10 minutes to cook pasta + 25 minutes for veggies
- large pot
- large saucepan

2 c. cooked penne pasta; I used a whole bag of Tinkyada GF pasta
12 to 15 stalks of asparagus
10 to 15 red pearl onions
6 cloves garlic
10 to 15 cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 c. grated Parmesan-regano cheese

0. Boil the pasta over high heat until barely al-dente (slightly chewy). Drain. Stir in a bit of butter or olive oil so the pasta doesn't stick.
1. Wash the asparagus and chop off the tough bottom of each stalk. Cut into 1.5" long pieces. Peel red boiler onions and remove ends. Leave the onions fairly 'whole'. Peel and remove the ends of the garlic cloves. Mice the peeled garlic cloves. Wash and half the cherry tomatoes.
2. Place the asparagus pieces, red boiler onions, and diced garlic into the large saucepan. Add in 1 Tbsp. butter or olive oil. Begin cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Saute the veggies for about 10 minutes. Near the very end, turn the heat up to medium-high in order to brown the onions a little.
3. When the asparagus and onions just become tender, remove from the heat and stir in the cherry tomatoes. Leave the veggies and turn back to the pasta.
4. Stir the cooked pasta to break up any clumps. Place pasta back over low heat and add in the heavy cream. Stir to coat pasta and thicken the cream. Once the pasta and cream are heated, pour in the parm. cheese. Stir well to mix and melt the cheese.
5. When the cheese has melted and the sauce thickened, stir in the asparagus/tomato mixture. Mix till thoroughly heated. Add in some fresh black pepper and serve warm with a salad or fresh bread.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Zucchini Bacon Mac and Cheese

Yellow summer squash with sweet orange bell pepper and crispy bacon. Plenty of melted cheddar to make this mac and cheese. Really good.

Serves 2
30 minutes
- large saucepan
- large pot

1.5 to 2 c. cooked GF spiral pasta; I use Tinkyada
1 medium orange bell pepper, chopped
1 large jalapeño, minced
2 large yellow summer squash
6 pieces of thick cut bacon*
1/2 to 3/4 c. sharp cheddar cheese

*Oscar Meyer thick-cut bacon is GF

0. Boil pasta in a large pot until barely tender. Drain water. Stir in a bit of butter to keep it from sticking while you prepare the veggies.
1. Wash and slice the orange bell pepper. Chop into 1/2" square pieces. Wash and dice the jalapeño, removing seeds. Slice the yellow squash into 1/2" thick circles. Half each circle.
2. Rinse off the meat. In the large saucepan, cook bacon strips over medium heat. Flip as needed to avoid burning. Once they are well browned (takes about 10 minutes), remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain and cool. Pour out excess bacon grease, reserving 2 Tbsp. of oil.
3. In the same large saucepan (minus cooked bacon), add in the orange bell pepper and jalapeño. Raise heat to medium-high. Saute the peppers for 2 minutes, then add in the yellow zucchini slices. Saute the veggies in the bacon grease, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Cook until zucchini and bell peppers are soft, but not mushy-- should take around 5 minutes.
4. Stir the cooked noodles into the sauteed veggies. Crumble the cooked bacon strips over the top. Mix well, then, pour in the cheddar cheese. Reheat the pasta over medium-low heat just enough to melt the cheddar. Serve warm.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Spicy Bok Choy and Broccoli Stir-Fry

More bok choy. It's really good with a spicy kick. I really liked the green onion taste in this dish. Makes a nice rice bowl.

Serves 2
30 minutes
- wok or large saucepan with deep sides

1 large head broccoli
1 large red bell pepper
5 cloves garlic
1 to 1.5 inch piece fresh ginger
3 green onions, white and green parts separated
4 heads baby bok choy
1 + 1 Tbsp high heat oil -- I use peanut oil
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or adjust amount to suit your spiciness level)

about 2 cups cooked rice
[pan-fried firm tofu-- optional]

1. Wash and cut the broccoli into large bite-sized pieces; leave some of the stem intact. Wash and slice the red bell pepper into long, thin strips. Peel and cut the ends off of the garlic (smash the cloves with a meat mallet for easy de-peeling/cutting). Cut the paper-y skin off of the fresh ginger root. Finely dice both the garlic and ginger. Separate the white and green parts of the green onion. Finely slice the white parts of the green onion, then dice. Collect the minced garlic, ginger and white green onion parts into a large pile. Leave the green leaves of the green onion as long 3 inch pieces. Wash and cut the tough ends off of the bok choy leaves; slice leaves into 1 inch long pieces. Likewise, separate the light green bok choy stalks from the dark green leaves.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp. peanut oil over medium-high heat in the wok. Add in half of the garlic, ginger and diced white green onion pieces. Let the oil and spices saute for a minute.
3. When the oil is aromatic, add in the broccoli pieces. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add in the red bell pepper pieces. Stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
4. Add in the remaining 1 Tbsp. peanut oil, minced garlic, ginger and white green onion. Also throw in the light green parts of the bok choy. Shake in some cayenne pepper; this stuff is hot, so be sure to taste the dish and adjust amount to desired spiciness. Stir-fry for another 3 minutes. Make sure to stir often, or else things will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
5. Throw in the green leafy parts of the bok choy. Mix well. Stir-fry for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the green parts are wilted and the broccoli and light green bok choy stalks are crisp-tender.
6. At the very end, add in the long green green onion pieces. Stir to heat through. Serve alone, or tossed with spiced tofu or over cooked white rice (this will help reduce the dish's spiciness).

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Zucchini and Kidney Bean Cheesy Rice Bowl

Definitely made in one small pan with minimum kitchen supplies. Very celiac travel-friendly. The jalapeño bite and zucchini pairs well.

Serves 1.5
25 minutes
- small/medium saucepan
Quick and simple

1 large zucchini
1/2 c. long grain white rice
Half of a 15 oz. can kidney beans*
Shake of onion powder
1/2 c. cheddar and pepper jack shredded cheese *; you want spicy jalapeno cheese!

*Bush beans and S&W beans are GF, Kraft cheese is GF and their shredded cheese is basically lactose free!!

1. Wash and remove ends from the zucchini;cut it into 1/2" slices.
2. Cook rice in the medium saucepan with 3/4 c. water for 15 minutes over high heat (Once it begins boiling, reduce heat to medium, but don't 'reset' the time).
3. At the 15 minute mark, add in the zucchini slices. Simmer everything for another 3 to 5 minutes., stirring occasionally. By the end of 20 minutes, you want all of the excess water to be almost gone.
4. Add in onion powder and half a can of kidney beans. Mix to heat through.
5. Remove from heat and pour in cheese. Mix to evenly melt the cheese and coat the beans and zucchini.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Green Beans and Yellow Squash with Sausage

Crisp-tender green beans with yellow summer squash, onions and juicy chunks of sausage. Fast and good. Probably a side dish, but it's also a quick, filling dinner for one.

25 minutes
- large saucepan with deep sides -or- a wok
Quick and simple

1 lb. green beans
2 large yellow summer squash
1 large white onion
1/2 lb. sausage (I used Hillshire Farms Polska Kielbasa sausage link)
[1 tsp. peanut oil-- optional]

1. Wash and remove ends from the green beans and summer squash. Leave the green beans nice and long, but cut the squash into 1/2" thick slices. Halve (or even quarter) the slices if the circles are not bite-sized. Wash and peel onion. Slice the onion into this circles (as if you were making onion rings), then half each 'disk' into semicircles. Rise the sausage and cut it into 1.5" pieces. Quarter each piece lengthwise, so you have bite-sized 'links' of meat.
2. Place the green beans into the large saucepan with about 2 Tbsp. water. Boil the green beans over medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to uniformly cook the beans.
3. Once the water has almost all boiled off, add in the sausage and yellow squash. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring well. You don't need any more water.. the squash will give some up.
4. Add in the onion slices and, if needed, the peanut oil. Turn the heat up to high and stir-fry the veggies+meat for 2 to 3 more minutes. Stir often, scraping the bottom of the saucepan-- you want the veggies to sizzle and brown, but not get burnt. Serve when the beans and zucchini are crisp-tender, the onions are wilted and sausage browned.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Spinach, Sausage and Potatoes

Another easy hearty side-dish. Spuds with garlic, sausage and spinach. Spice it up some with more black pepper or red pepper flakes.

Serves 2
40 minutes
- large saucepan or wok
Quick and simple

10 to 15 small red boiler potatoes
1/2 lb. beef or pork sausage (I used half of a Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa Sausage link)
1 large shallot
5 cloves garlic
[1 Tbsp. fresh parsley- optional]
[1/2. Tbsp butter- optional]
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
dash black pepper &/or crushed red pepper flakes

1. Scrub and half the red potatoes. Place potato halves into the large saucepan. Peel and dice the shallot and garlic cloves. [Chop up parsley.] Wash the spinach and set it aside.
2. Rinse and slice the sausage into half inch slices. Half each slice.
3. Begin boiling potatoes in a quarter inch of water over medium heat. Stir occasionally. Let it boil for about 10 minutes (over medium heat), then add in the sausage. Continue boiling/simmering for another 5 minutes. Test a spud. If they are still hard and starchy, then add in a bit more water and boil for another 3 to 5 minutes. Don't let the potatoes get too soggy (so no more than 20 minutes, tops).
4. When water is about to evaporate, add in the diced shallot, garlic, [and parsley]. Stir to coat.
5. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Let the potatoes sizzle and brown a bit. If the sausage you use isn't greasy enough, add in .5 Tbsp butter. Flip the spuds every minute or so-- you don't want them to burn badly.
6. Once they've sauteed for about 5 minutes, add in the spinach leaves. Stir till wilted. Let the dish saute for an additional minute or two then remove from heat and serve.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Rocky Road Fudge

The EASIEST gluten-free dessert ever. Seriously, it has 3 ingredients and all are 'naturally' GF.
Plus, it also tastes good; rich chocolate and crunchy peanut butter alongside puffy marshmallows. I whip this up if I suddenly need a hassle-free GF treat.

9 x 9 inch pan of fudge (so about 20 squares worth)
15 minutes mixing + 45 minutes solidifying
- medium saucepan
- 9 x 9 " baking pan, lined with Al foil
Quick and simple

1 (10 or 12 oz.) bag of semisweet chocolate morsels* (find some DF chocolate chips for all those with lactose problems)
Half of a 14 oz. container of extra crunchy peanut butter*
Half of a 10 oz bag of miniature marshmallows*
*Toll House (nestle) chocolate morsels are GF (so are Enjoy Life and Tropical Source GF, DF choc chips), Jiff PB is GF, Kraft mini marshmallows are GF

0. Line 9 x 9 pan with aluminum foil.
1. Pour the bag of chocolate chips into the dry medium saucepan. Begin heating over medium heat, stirring constantly as they start melting. Stir until the chips are nice and creamy.
2. Remove from the heat and spoon in half of the 18 oz. container of peanut butter (I just eyeball it, accurate measurements aren't important here-- go ahead and add in more if you really like PB). Mix well, until the chocolate/peanut butter is fully smooth and melty.
3. Let the saucepan cool further for about another 2-3 minutes-- you DON'T want the marshmallows to melt once you stir them in.
4. Add in a bunch of marshmallows (a little more than half of the 10 oz bag). Mix marshmallows in carefully, being sure to coat each one. Don't overstir, though, and make them shapeless and gooey.
5. Spoon the fudge into the waiting pan, spreading evenly. Cover lightly with foil and place fudge into the fridge or freezer to cool and harden, no shorter then 45 minutes. Once they've solidified, take out and cut into 2 x 1 " pieces (these babies are rich). Serve chilled, they will become rather messy once they warm up a bit.