Tuesday, May 31, 2011

You can’t always get what you want…

 

but you try…

So I know I promised you a sweet rockin’ white bean cake recipe…but…it’s not there yet.

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Don’t get me wrong. ^ These were delicious. But it’s not quite perfect. So I’m going to try again next week. Until then, I have a recipe from my brother-in-law chef extraordinaire: Chuck!

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FAVA Bean Medley

Not only was this salad delicious and full of color, but it totally counts as my new food for May! It’s true. This was my first fava.

And since I didn’t cook these, I thought I would let Chuck tell you how he prepared them in his own words, which is why I emailed him today. Take it away Chuck:

The biggest effort is peeling them, but it is also kind of fun because their pods are so neat.  Pull at the top of the pod and it should "zip" the string down the pod and you can crack them open.  Make sure when you are peeling them you pop off the little piece that attaches the bean to the pod.


For cooking:
I typically don't boil but sauté and let steam with whatever I am going to serve them for the last 10 - 15 minutes.  For the ones that I did last night I roasted the tomatoes and the corn in the oven in a pack of foil on 350 for about 45 minutes with some fresh basil and oil. Once I was ready to cook the favas i just sautéed them in olive oil on med-high heat for about 10 minutes then added the tomato/corn packet and covered the pot and let cook for about 10 – 15 minutes depending on your preferred doneness.

Then dump into a bowl and squeeze on some lemon juice and shave on some
parmesan.

I have also done them with just pancetta and pecorino cheese which is also
very good.  Similar to above but just render the pancetta or bacon first and then add the favas and cook a little longer. May call for adding a splash of water to help them finish steaming depending on how much liquid you have in the pan after your bacon renders.

So what did I think about the fava?

I loved them!! Best part about these? Chuck had picked them up at the farmer’s market. Super fresh. Super yummy. PLUS it doesn’t hurt that Chuck is an amazing chef.

Have you missed previous new foods? Recaps here:

February – Quinoa

March – Dates

April – Beets

May – Fava beans!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Freakin’

 

Happy Memorial Day Friends!!

While I am actually working today, I hope you guys are having a SUPER FUN day…working or not! Smile

Since it’s a special holiday, I thought I would share something with you guys that I think is pretty cool.

It’s called a:

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freaker!

Working in the fair trade industry, I fully understand the true cost of producing American goods in developing countries. And as a North Carolinian, I see all of the old fabric mills and clothing manufacturer buildings sitting empty.

So when a friend facebooked me about Mr. Zach Crain:

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and his freakers, I was so excited!

Not only is it an amazing alternative to those cheap, plastic koozies (which sit in a landfill… oh….forever!!) BUT he’s determined to make them in the USA!!

Want to meet the super charming Zach and learn what a freaker is? Watch this video!

and if you feel so inclined, help Zach and his team get production rolling in Troy, NC, by donating to his kickstarter project. And just by donating ONE DOLLAR, you’ll get a freaker. Or you could do ten..or twenty :)

AND you can share Zach and his freakers with your friends! Blog it, facebook it, tweet it!

(Oprah Moment)

In a matter of minutes, you could help him live his dream!

But the clock is ticking! He only has a few days left to meet his goal. And if he doesn’t meet the full goal, he gets nothing!! Cue the wah-wahs.

Do it!

Share it! Freaker on Facebook here!

Who knows, maybe he’ll make a gluten free freaker Winking smile

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Back to regular posting tomorrow AND a recipe for white bean cakes that is going to rock your face off!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Where’s the Sun?

 

Happy Faux-Saturday!

I have to work tomorrow, and so Parrish switched his schedule and we’re celebrating the weekend today! I asked Max what he wanted to do today, and he thought sun bathing sounded good:

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I call this ^ “baking his gingerbread” Smile

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Unfortunately, I don’t think the weather is going to cooperate for getting a tan:

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Max was devastated. Especially when I told him that Mom and Dad were going to go see a matinee of Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D today. He spent the rest of the night in a grumpy mood, jealous of Hazel’s ears.

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He’s tryin’ Smile

Hopefully Memorial Day Monday will have better weather. But either way, if you make this:

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it will be a great day!

Summer Squash Fritters (Recipe originally posted here)

To make Squash Fritters you’ll need:

Three medium sized yellow squash; peeled and cubed

1/2 an onion; diced

1/2 cup Masa Flour (much finer than corn meal)

1/2 tsp. baking powder

Salt & pepper

One egg; beaten

One cup shredded cheddar cheese

Pour the squash cubes in to a medium sized pot and cover with water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Boil the squash for about 12 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Pour back into the pot (or a large mixing bowl but we don’t like to dirty too many dishes) and add the beaten egg. Mash the squash. Add in the rest of ingredients. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then the batter is ready to fry up! Heat 2-3 inches of oil over medium heat. Using a spoon, form the  batter into small balls and drop in. Cook until golden brown.

summer squash fritters

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Me Gots Power

 

Most Thursdays, I end up having more time in the mornings. It’s a nice change of pace from my usual get up and go. I usually end up making it one of my long workout days (45 minutes of cardio plus 45 minutes of weights) but I woke up SO SORE this morning, that I decided to use my time to “power up” in a different way.

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Protein “Power Up” Gluten Free Pancakes!

When my brother and I were little, we were OBSESSED with He-man and She-ra. My brother would hold up his He-man doll and yell “ME GOTS POWER!”. I always think of that when I make these pancakes!!

In the mix:

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1 1/3 cup Gluten Free Bisquick, One large egg, One cup of milk, 2 scoops of Vanilla Whey Protein Powder, 1 tbsp. Chia Powder

Whisk together:

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The batter will be thick and creamy! Cook in a heated pan prepped with spray oil and Voila!

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I enjoyed mine with fresh cut strawberries and local honey.

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SO good!! The vanilla from the protein powder gives these a sweet touch without overdoing it.

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And between the protein and the fiber, I suspect these will hold me over well in to lunch time!

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I’m glad you guys are enjoying peeking in my fridge! I can’t believe you think it’s neat!! Old lettuce and super old cantaloupe?! Winking smile

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Anyone else catch the Cougartown finale last night? So funny, but parts were definitely confusing! Like why was the guy from Community in the background of one of the shots, and the cross over character Ted from Scrubs?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pig Pen

 

Last night I posted a question on GHM’s facebook page:

What's more interesting? What's in my gym bag post OR what's in my super overcrowded fridge post?

And…everyone chose fridge.

One look at this mess, and Ina Garten would die!!

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1. Ya’ll know I love my FAGE greek yogurt!!

2. Diced rotisserie chicken for added protein in a jiff

3. So…yeah. I don’t know what that is.

4. Booch!!

5. Double Deuce of VERY gluten-nous free homebrew for Parrish from my BIL

6. My treat for the month – Udi’s GF bagels

7. My pile of assorted gluten free breads

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8. Half a cantaloupe…that’s three weeks old

9. Berry toppings and mixers for Green Monsters and Isn’t She Lovelies

10. You don’t keep your onion halves in old gelato containers?

11. Tofu pressin’ in my Tofu X-press

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12. salad for lunches

13. Spinach for…everything, but especially Green Monsters

14. OLD lettuce for lunches

15. Those dang artichokes!! Wonder if they’re still good?

AND in the door:

Condiment Queen!

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Note the distance between my Wishbone gluten free ranch and Parrish’s gluten-y Hidden Valley

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*Not pictured: TWO packages of bacon!! 13 eggs from my friend Michael’s ladies. Tons and tons of cheese

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Kind of Fuel

 

Now, where were we?

Oh yes.

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That pizza!

Anytime I make the trip to SC to see my family, I always end up making a pit stop at my bestie’s house in Huntersville. It’s way more fun to make the trip with someone; PLUS I’ll use any excuse to see my bestie and her fam!

Joan is always researching restaurants near her that are friendly to gluten haters, and I was so excited when she said she had a new pizza joint for us to try!

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Fuel Pizza Café in Davidson, NC!

Fuel Pizza was started by some guys from New York who really wanted a good pizza option in Charlotte. Turns out, everyone loved it, and they now have several locations in that area! Pizza, wings, salads, sandwiches, and NOW…gluten free pizza!

We placed our order at the counter, and found a picnic table outside. Lil’ Gluten Loves Me was anxiously awaiting her gluten-y pizza.

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Luckily, I had a Redbridge to hold me over Smile

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After a short wait, Ella’s pizza arrived. She dutifully handed out the paper plates that came along with it, and then asked me “Why you not eat my pizza Aunt April?” How do you explain Celiac Disease to a 2 1/2 year old?! I responded with, “Because I’m waiting on my pizza.” This seemed to make sense, and she dug right in to hers!

Not long after their pizza arrived, a gentleman that I’m assuming is the manager, brought out my pizza:

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AND he brought out paper plates that he “knew were gluten free”. How smart is that?!

My toppings: red sauce, mozzarella, mushroom, spinach, red onion, and garlic

BEST PIZZA EVER!

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I went online and looked at the ingredients in the crust, and they have done it right! Flaxseed meal!! Olive oil!!! Honey!!! Yes please!

And thin! Oh baby, it’s thin.

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So if you’re keeping track, I have now tried Mellow Mushroom gluten free pizza HERE, Brixx gluten free pizza HERE, and now Fuel Pizza gluten free pizza.

In order of best to worst:

NUMBER ONE: Fuel Pizza Café

NUMBER TWO: Brixx

NUMBER THREE: Mellow Mushroom

Fuel Pizza’s gluten free pizza makes Mellow Mushroom’s gluten free pizza seem…gross. It’s true.

Now. If I can just convince them to open a location in Durham Winking smile

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pops or Balls

 

When my bestie told me on Thursday that we were going to make cake pops, I was a little hesitant. I wanted to make these AMAZING cupcakes again. I straight DREAM about that caramel frosting! But she assured me, cake pops are the life of a party.

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How right she was! These little babies were the life of not ONE party, but TWO! And pretty simple to make!

My bestie started by baking a sheet cake of Bob’s Red Mill GF chocolate cake Friday afternoon. Once baked, she flipped it upside down on a cooling rack and let it cool for an hour. Then she had a blast crumbling it up in to a bowl, and added one container of cream cheese icing. She specified that it needs to be pre-made icing, not freshly whipped icing. If it’s freshly whipped, it won’t hold.

Once mixed well, you roll the cake/icing mixture in balls and place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.

Then you make a choice. Pops or Balls?

If you’re going to make pops, then you should stick in your sticks before freezing. I thought we were going to make pops…

turns out she chose balls! Either way, they’re both fun.

Next- freeze. My bestie specified to freeze for at least 4 hours, but she recommends overnight.

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Once they’re frozen solid, you’re ready to dip! Choose your chocolate. We chose white chocolate since the Bob’s cake is a dark, bitter chocolate. Sweeten it up!

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My bestie used a spoon to coat, and when she finished coating she dropped them on to a sheet of parchment paper.

I was the sprinkle gal, I had to pour on the sprinkles fast, before the chocolate set.

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It was a messy job, but somebody had to do it Smile

My bestie also recommends only taking out a dozen or so cake balls from the freezer at a time. If they begin to thaw, then you get crumbs in your chocolate…

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but you can cover that up with sprinkles!

Overall, I have to say that I was quite impressed.

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So simple. So good!

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Fudgey-licious.

Mmmm-mmm. Go ahead and dream about these little guys tonight. And then tomorrow I’m going to tell you ALL about this:

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Fit for a Family

 

This weekend I’m headed to South Carolina for a day of partyin’ with family! Remember the last time we were all together?! Recap here! 

We have two birthdays, baby Liam and Papa Marlow, to celebrate on Saturday, and I couldn’t be more excited to see everyone! My seven-year old niece who is a newly diagnosed gluten hater will be there, and I can’t wait to shower her with THE BEST gluten free foods!

PLUS my bestie and I are going to make GF cake pops for everyone. Post coming Monday!

So with all the family fun, I started thinking about my favorite dish that is always a hit at any party!

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

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You’ll need:

10-12 small red potatoes

1/2 cup 0% fat plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup diced spring onion

3 garlic cloves, diced

Scrub the skins of the potatoes and dry. With a paring knife, slice a small circle off each potato. Toss the potatoes with olive oil and the diced garlic.

red potatoes ready for the oven

Spread into a shallow baking pan and cook for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Once cooled, cut the potatoes into quarters and mix with the yogurt, cheese, and onions. Enjoy!

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Crisp, crumbled bacon would be a great addition, but I’m not keeping it in the house these days. I figure if I don’t keep my vices at arm’s reach, I’ll hopefully be able to avoid eating them daily! :)

Recipe originally posted here.

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I hope you guys have a great weekend!! I’ll be sure to update on Operation Gluten Free Cake Pops! Anyone else ever given it a try?