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Posts tagged ‘gluten free recipes’

Taco Salad Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce has arrived! I am so excited about greens being in season.  You have no idea.

I love a tomatoes and peppers, but darn it, I am so ready for something new!

I made a quick and tasty meal over the weekend that I thought I would share with you. It was inspired by the gorgeous lettuce in my CSA box and was super tasty.

Taco Salad Lettuce Wraps!

Ingredients:

Seasoned, cooked, ground beef which was leftover from the night before. Nice and cold. (1.5 lb Organic Ground beef, 2-3 tsp cumin, 2 TBSP chili powder, 1 chopped jalapeno, salt, pepper, garlic)

A bit of shredded cheese (cheddar in my case.)

Fresh salsa, also made from csa ingredients.

Chopped cilantro

A couple large leaves of lettuce (red leaf here.)

1 mexicola avocado, sliced.

And “dressing” made from 2 TBSP organic sour cream and 1-2 TBSP of your fresh salsa, whisked together.

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Pink toenails optional.

 

 

Pretty simple steps:

Layer like you would a taco. Meat, cheese, cilantro, salsa, avocado, dressing. Or however you like it. 😉

I served mine with a handful of “Late July” chips because I’m a texture girl and I really need crunch with my food.

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Although the lettuce held up pretty well as a wrap, I did eventually end up crushing the chips over the top and eating it like a salad. This is mostly because I’m funny about food and have strange eating habits.

These would be good taken as lunch to work, you know, if I worked outside the home. I would probably keep the lettuce and other ingredients separate until it was time to eat, though. 🙂

I’m hoping to get a few more greens-inspired recipes up this week.

Anyone else enjoying fall produce?

 

Bacon, Potato & Arugula Frittata

Typically when I make a frittata, I stick to my standard combination. Potato, spinach and cheese.

However, when I saw that my fave farm had arugula at last week’s farmer’s market, I had an idea.

Initially, I just figured I would sub the spinach for arugula, but figured I had better consult my friend Brigitte over at 365 Days of Radical Self Transformation and ask what she thought. She’s an amazing chef, and I knew she’d have the right advice for me.

She told me to add bacon.

Now that’s a real friend.

She also suggested tomato, which sounds amazing, but I knew no one in my family would eat it. If you don’t have the “Eww That’s Gross” crew at your house, add the tomato. B knows what she’s talking about.

One pan, little prep, 20 minutes, tons of flavor. Can’t beat that!

Start with your ingredients:

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4-6 small red potatoes, sliced very thin. I used Irish Reds from my CSA box. They sort of define what a potato should taste like for me. Mine were the size of a golf ball, roughly. If yours are larger, use 3-4 potatoes.

6 organic eggs, beaten with 1/3 cup whole milk or half and half

1/2 cup cheese of your choice. I used mozz because its what I had. Something sharp would have been nicer.

2 strips of [preferably nitrate free, uncured] bacon, chopped

About 1/2 cups arugula, chopped coarsely

2-3 tbsp refined coconut oil

Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

In a skillet (or fancy frittata pan if you have one), *almost* cook the bacon. Once the bacon is almost completely cooked, add the oil and  the potatoes. Sautee for a minute or two, then top with a lid and leave for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. If you overcook the bacon before adding potatoes, it will burn at this point. Cook until just about done…it will crisp up with the potatoes.

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Once potatoes are tender, add your arugula. Toss until wilted:

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Now, add your egg and milk (or half and half) mixture and sprinkle with cheese:

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Top with a lid, and cook for 8-10 minutes over loooow heat until the egg sets up.

Serve warm with toast, fresh fruit, coffee, or whatever you like!

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I love this meal because while it’s typically a breakfast food, it makes and AMAZING dinner too. Being that I am restricting potatoes as much as my will power lets me right now, this tasted like a real treat to me. Potatoes AND bacon? In the same dish? Yeah, that was workin’ for me.

Add in the spicy arugula and creamy cheese and I was in heaven. So, so delicious.

I noticed that my CSA is starting to offer more greens  this week (helloooo fallll!!) and I’m going to have to experiment with those as well.

The “Eww That’s Gross” crew will just have to deal. 😉

 

Quick Meals – Round 1

One of the biggest challenges for me is finding recipes that are quick, easy, and appropriate for my dietary restrictions.  There are so many nights that I find myself making scrambled eggs and salsa simply because I just didn’t have it in me to make something that called for 18 ingredients.

I thought I would share with you some of the meals I have prepared lately that not only used fresh, organic and gluten and/or grain free ingredients, but also had a prep time of 30 minutes or less. Added bonus: They are remarkably kid friendly too!

Round 1 brings us to a gluten-free pasta dish with hidden nutrition for the wee ones…or for you. 😉

I used three ingredients from my CSA box to make this dish, which always makes me happy. It’s a mission every week to use every item that I receive, so I love when I find new ways to make use of it all.

What you will need to feed 4:

1 large or two small squash, grated

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1 jar of pasta sauce

1 lb organic grassfed beef

olive oil

dried oregano (which if you’re lucky like me, comes in a darling little pull string bag in  your CSA box)

2.5 cups of brown rice penne

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In a large sauce pot, cook the ground beef until done.

While beef is cooking, use a cheese grater to grate the squash.

Set pasta to boil.

Once beef is cooked, add grated squash.

Cook until squash is tender.

Add pasta sauce (which you already know I have pureed into submission)

Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add basil and a tsp of dried oregano and cook another 4-5 minutes or so.

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Add sauce to your now cooked brown rice penne (which you have NOT overcooked because it turns to a disgusting mush if you do!)

Toss with a handful of mozz cheese and a sprinkling of parmesan.

Serve!

We had this with iced tea and a delicious fruit salad made from season fruit in my CSA box (and a few fair trade bananas.)  I am seriously going to miss summertime fruit.

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Delicious, quick, gluten-free, and the kids (and adults) have no clue they are eating squash. This is an easy to one to double and freeze too. 🙂

Enjoy! Round 2…comin’ up!

California Cooking

I’m a California girl, in every way. When it comes to fashion, give me flip flops and a maxi skirt over just about any other outfit. I prefer thrift stores or flea markets over any mall, and my idea of paradise is listening to Incubus while on a road trip to the beach, stopping for In-N-Out on the way.

Tonight’s dinner was a definite nod to California. Crisp, light flavors, a slight hint of cultural fusion and, perhaps most the most “California” aspect:  Locally sourced, organic ingredients.

On the menu tonight? Grain-free coconut chicken strips, forbidden rice drizzled with salted honey butter and spicy peach/mint salsa. Not only was it delicious but it came together in less than 45 minutes. Also, I used 5 ingredients from my csa box!

Here is how it came together:

Start with the rice. It takes the longest to cook, but requires little effort. Forbidden rice gets it name from the fact that it used to be reserved for the Emperor of China. No one else was allowed to eat it. Can you imagine? I so love food with a history lesson. I also love food that makes me feel fancy and important…food like forbidden rice. It’s not just a cool story, though…its crazy healthy too. Loaded with antioxidants, forbidden rice is a great choice if you are eating grains. I don’t eat many, but have really enjoyed this fun ingredient.

To feed my family of five, I made two cups of rice. Use 2 cups of water for every one cup of forbidden rice.

In a large pot or sauce pan, combine 2 cups rice and four cups water. Bring to a boil, then cover and drop heat to low. Cook in low for 35-40 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

While rice is cooking, prepare your salsa. Gather the following:

1/2 one white onion
3-4 peaches, peeled and chopped
1/2 of one green bell pepper (So glad I put up those peppers!)
2 serrano chilies
Juice of one lime
Pinch of salt
2 TBSP fresh mint
2 Tsp raw honey

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Pulse onion, pepper, lime, salt, honey and peaches in a food processor or blender. If you plan to serve salsa cold, add the mint now. If you want your salsa served warm, heat over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add mint for the last 30 seconds of heating.  Set aside.

Now, let’s get the chicken going!

For our family, we used four large boneless, skinless breasts, sliced into one inch strips. Put chicken strips into a mixing bowl containing four beaten eggs. Set aside.

Prepare your coating:

1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Whisk together, set aside.

In a stainless or cast iron skillet, heat extra virgin coconut oil over medium to medium high heat. You want the oil about 1/2  inch deep in the pan. We are pan frying, not deep frying, so you only need the oil to come halfway up the chicken.

Heat oil to about 350* or until a bit of your coating sprinkled over the pan results in a hearty sizzle.

Pull the chicken out of the egg bath, dredge well in your coating.

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Once coated, drop in the oil. Fry about 3-5 minutes in each side, until golden and crispy (and cooked thoroughly on the inside.)

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Drain on a cooling rack placed over a plate, paper bag or newspaper.

Once your rice is done, stir in about 3 tbsp of was honey, 3 tbsp of butter and a generous pinch of sea salt. Stir to coat.

Now, all that’s left to do is plate up!

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Garnish with a sprinkling of fresh mint. I served this with mint tea, which was perfect.

The flavors are fresh, the contrasting elements work well together, and the Incubus playing in the background almost convinced me that I was headin’ down Hwy 101.

Almost.

Preserving the Harvest (Part 2)

I always thought I hated tomatoes. Unless they were presented as pasta or pizza sauce (and occasionally ketchup) I avoided them like the plague.

Then one day, after touring her garden, my friend Libby offered me a slice of a brandywine tomato. My first words? “It tastes like SOUP.”

I’m not sure what that means, but what I was trying to communicate was the complexity of the flavor. It tasted like something I had never had in my life…it tasted like a real tomato. I think that was the first time I really realized the difference in quality, organic food. I had eaten organics off and on for over a decade at that point, but that tomato was really eye-opening for me. I mean, come on. You cannot tell me your grocery store tomato looks like THIS:

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tomatOMG

My CSA is offering five different types of tomatoes this week. It is not uncommon for me to have 2-3 different varieties in my fridge at once. Matter of fact, right now I have four. Heirloom, roma, red grape, and red cherry. Although I have plenty of tomatoes, it will not stop me from ordering more this week. Why? Because I want delicious, fresh tasting salsa for months to come. In fact, our CSA is offering  20 pounds of organic “cosmetically challenged” red tomatoes for $30 right now, which means that next week, it’s ON. I will be out of town this weekend, so hopefully they will still have 20 pounds available next week when I can devote more time to stocking my freezer and pantry with my favorite thing in the world.

Fresh salsa.

Easy, fast, tasty, and super nutritious, it’s the perfect condiment. I love the stuff!! It is the perfect way to add more veggies (and technically fruit) to your diet without much effort.

I am going to make a small batch today to add to my ever-growing stash in the freezer. Here is what I am starting with:

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A ton of roma tomatoes, some white onion, serrano chilies, “cherry bomb” peppers, lemon juice, sea salt, and about 20 minutes of my time. When I thaw the salsa for use, I will add fresh cilantro to freshen it up a bit. 🙂

For each batch, I use 1/4 of a white or yellow onion, 6-8 roma tomatoes, 2 serrano chilies, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkling of sea salt. You really can’t go wrong with measurements on salsa, guys. If you like more onion, add it. If you don’t like spicy, omit the peppers. You get the idea. I toss it all the food processor, pulse until all is combined and uniform in texture, and pack into freezer bags for later.

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I will do most of it with serranos (my fave) but plan to do a batch or two with the cherry bomb’s. Gotta see what all the fuss is about. 😀

My favorite uses for salsa?

2 TBSP (or more) mixed in with my scrambled eggs.

A heaping spoon-full over the top of shredded beef or pork that has been stewed all day…or crock potted. YUM.

Right out of the bowl with “Food should taste good” brand chips. OMG!

Or maybe my go-to quick lunch: A can of organic white meat chicken (the kind that looks like it’s in a tuna can) mixed with about a half cup of salsa, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of “real salt”.  Straight out of the bowl or with whole grain chips. My favorite meal these days. 🙂 Quick, easy, and full of protein and veggies (and yes, fruit.) Here are a few of the reasons you should be eating the wondrous tomato:

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Now is the time to capture the deliciousness of the tomato. You will thank yourself for the effort made when you are enjoying chips and fresh salsa in December!

 

 

 

Chicken Fiesta Salad Wraps

Want to make the easiest meal ever out of the abundant peppers, onions, tomatoes and lettuce this time of year?

(Ok, and a few out of season items too!)

Here’s one for ya:

Chicken Fiesta Salad!

Take some leftover cooked chicken. Or cook a few chicken breast. Or pick up a rotisserie chicken…you get the idea. I like to use 2 chicken breasts to make enough to serve 2-3 people. Multiply this recipe as needed for your home. 🙂

Add 2-3 ripe, delicious tomatoes, finely chopped. ( I food process all the veggies together.)

Mix with 2 minced serrano or jalapeno chilies. I have serranos from my CSA, Which is great because they are my fave. 🙂

How much do I love the hand-written tag btw?

How much do I love the hand-written tag btw?

Toss in 1/2 of one minced onion. I like white or yellow.

Throw in a handful of cilantro, chopped.

Squeeze 1/2 of a lemon over the top.

Drizzle with olive oil, about 2 tbsp.

Sprinkle with a good quality sea salt.

Stir to combine.

Serve cold  with corn chips, if dietary restrictions permit. I can’t eat  much corn, so I roll these up in big leaves of lettuce that have been comin’ in my box lately. 🙂

Other serving ideas: Serve warm, as taco filling. Serve cold or warm as a salad topping. Mix with avocado and eat it with a fork. My personal fave? Serve it with margaritas. Yep.

It is good no matter how you eat it. 🙂

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