Thursday, March 26, 2009

Red Plum Candy

 

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It’s hard to believe that there was ever a time in my life where I would have chosen a candy bar over a red plum. Perfectly ripe.

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Red plums have the most gorgeous colors, like a tropical sunset. I hope everyone is having a great week! I’ve spent this week packing boxes. I think this is the first time that I’ve moved and not left the packing to the day before the truck rolls up!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chef Cooperation

 

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This is my second week participating in What’s for Dinner Wednesday (Gluten free style), and I already have 5 new dinners to try out! This week I submitted my Roasted Tomato & Leek Pasta. With only 4 ingredients, it’s a quick and delicious recipe that super easy to prepare. Parrish is always amazed when I make it. He loves Tinkyada gluten free pasta, even when he doesn’t realize I’ve used it!

leek dish main photo

You’ll swear it has butter, but that’s the magic of a well salted pasta water.

Check out the Gluten Free Homemaker for more gluten free dinner ideas!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Green Beans & Giveaways

 

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Green beans are one of the first vegetables I learned how to cook. I was reminded of this today when I was asked what my grandfather liked to grow on his land. For as long as I’ve been in this life, my grandfather rented out his land to neighbors. 30 acre pieces, to those who were willing and able. But he would always have a few rows of green beans and yellow squash. My grandfather loves green beans. Actually, everyone in my family loves green beans. I have sweet childhood memories of snapping green beans by the bucket, prepping them to be canned.

I also have NIGHTMARES of shucking corn. I can remember helping my Dad on our own acres and dreading the rows and rows of corn. At the time I was too naive to realize that each plant only grows 2 (3 if you’re lucky) cobs of corn. When it was time to harvest, my family would sit out under one of our pecan trees and shuck the entire harvest. Sweat dripping down our brows and acting like glue to any strands of “corn silk” a sibling would toss your way.

We ate a lot of preserved food. I can remember eating a batch of cream corn that had been in the freezer for almost 2 years. Most folks would toss it out after 6 months, afraid of freezer burn. I bet my Dad still has a few batches in his freezer.

I’m nervous about losing my preserved foods when I move. A concept that seems silly to most, but when you grow up in a rural area with a large family, you learn to treasure food. I have trays of minced garlic and basil. Bags of oregano from Parrish’s first garden. A container of beef stew and a loaf of gluten free bread; vegetables and blueberries. Maybe I should have a potluck before we leave…

Gluten Free Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway last week! I loved reading your comments and emails. I used a random number integer and the lucky winner is:

Veggie Girl - FAVORITE GLUTEN-FREE SNACK = PURE BARS OR LARABARS

Congrats Veggie Girl! Email me with your address and I’ll get those shipped out soon! I hope you like the Adzuki Bean as much as I do!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tangelo, Strawberry, and Spinach Oh My!

 

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I never thought that I would be one of those people who ate their salad without dressing. Being gluten free, I’ve had to start skipping dressing when I eat out. Having dressing is not worth taking a risk. Plus lately, I’ve been taking advantage of all the gorgeous citrus. And after a few great salads, I think I just might be finished with dressing. Tonight’s mix was an organic baby spinach and local green leaf, topped with slices of tangelo and strawberry. I squeezed a tbsp. of tangelo juice on top.

spinach salad close up

I don’t even miss the dressing! The local lettuce is grown hydroponically. It gives the lettuce a lighter than air feel and a tender taste.

Don’t forget to enter into the Giveaway to win my favorite gluten free snack!

Gluten Free Giveaway

 

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Adzuki bean and rice chips!! Yum!!…okay, you may not be thinking yum right away, but these chips are awesome! The taste is exactly like Nacho Cheese Doritos! I’m so certain that you will love them, I’m giving away 2 bags! PLUS some LARABAR minis.

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Leave me a comment with your favorite gluten free snack. I’ll randomly pick the winner on Friday at noon!

It’s been a crazy week for me, and it’s only Tuesday! Parrish and I are packing our house, traveling for interviews, looking at houses; while still maintaining our current life and careers!

This past Saturday I organized a farm tour to a local goat dairy, and I have another one organized for this Saturday. I’ll post pictures soon!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Leek Love

 

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Leeks are a root vegetable that I often overlook,but not anymore! Garlic and onion better watch out! Tonight I sliced three leeks into thin slices.Leeks have the best flavor when they are only an inch to an inch 1/2 wide in diameter.

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Toss the slices into a small frying pan with 2 tbsp. of butter and cook on medium. Stir occasionally. Cook for as long as you like. I like to cook them until they brown on the edges.

You can serve them a ton of ways. Add them to soup or salads. They’re even great on a sandwich! But tonight I served them simply so I could get the full flavor. I combined gluten free pasta, roasted tomatoes, and leeks with a drizzle of olive oil. Delicious!

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I sprinkled a teaspoon of crushed red pepper and Italian seasoning on top.

leek dish close up

Parrish went back for seconds! I’ve just recently discovered the importance of salting your pasta water heavily before you add the uncooked noodles. It gives the pasta the BEST flavor. You don’t need to add butter or sauce!

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Max was really hoping for a serving tonight too! But he settled for a scoop of dog food.

Strawberry Snack

Being gluten free, I often have meals that solely consist of veggies. The pangs of hunger visit me often, and while I LOVE Larabars, I can't eat them everyday.

Another favorite snack of mine is three or four fresh strawberries with a wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese Lite. The BEST snack is LOCAL strawberries with a tbsp. of locally made chevre from the goat dairy I work for, but this was what I had on hand. Strawberries aren't yet in season in NC, but I was able to get some freebies from my co-op's produce department. Strawberries with cheese...yum!

I'm going to have another Give Away this weekend! I have to mail a cookbook to another reader on Monday, so I thought I would make it 100% worth the drive. The Give Away is going to be a gluten free snack that tastes like Doritos but has Adzuki beans... :) Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

No Worry Yellow Curry

 

yellow curry stir fry

I just recently have been enjoying curry. I grew up in a traditional Southern home, so if we didn’t grow it, we didn’t eat it. When I started working at the Co-op five years ago, I began discovering new and different foods. I was always hesitant to try curry. I’m not a huge fan of spicy food. However, I found a whole new type of heat with yellow curry: warm. I love it!

You’ll need:

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. garlic powder, ground ginger, ground cardamom, chili powder, pepper

4 bone-less pork chops (I used all natural)

1 cup broccoli florets

1 bag stir fry mix (I used Cascadian Farm Chinese Stir-Fry)

1 tbsp. yellow curry powder

2 tbsp. white vinegar

2 cups gluten free chicken broth (I used Organic, free range)

Brown rice for serving

Start with a large skillet. Pour in the olive oil and mix in all the 1/2 tsp spices, and heat over medium-high heat. Cut the pork into bite size bits and cook in the skillet. I cooked half at a time. Cook the bits for 3 minutes. Set aside.

Pour the broth and vinegar into the skillet to deglaze, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits. Add in the veggies and the cooked pork. Sprinkle in the curry and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the veggies are soft. Serve on top of brown rice.

It’s a pretty simple recipe. You could substitute tofu or chicken into this recipe easily. Also if you have a food co-op or store that sells herbs by the pound, it can be a pretty cheap recipe. I bought only the amounts I needed, and it cost $1.60!!

Hopefully it will warm up well for lunch tomorrow. I hope everyone is having a great week!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Rainy Day Recipes

 

The weather here is dreadful. It has been raining for two days straight! I’m always thankful for rain, Lord knows we never get enough in NC, but two days with no break…ugh.

This afternoon I found myself home alone, well home with Max, but I had the kitchen all to myself. So I did what I’m sure most of you love to do; I worked on a recipe! (Does that make me a dork?)

recipe work far away

I don’t have a finished product to share with you yet, but expect one soon. I’m hoping to end up with something that uses gluten free rolled oats, is packed with fiber, and is light on sugar.

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What is that sugar snap cereal with a frog on the box? Rolled oats look just like that cereal to me. I’m using Bob’s Red Mill gluten free rolled oats. I still have two bags left! Remember?

Update on Alex: My friend Alex went gluten free for Lent! (I gave up chocolate) So far so good for us both! She sent me a message yesterday that said she almost accidentally ate a cookie! It seems pretty funny to me, since Lent represents the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert fasting and Satan tried to tempt him. In Alex’s case, cookies are Satan! :)