Squash Curry

pumpkincurryIt never fails, I can’t go long without making a mouthwatering curry. We’d gotten some squash over at the farmer’s market last week and I decided to use an Ambercup squash for this dish. They are a bit on the sweet side, and remind me a bit of sweet potato – which helped to balance against the heat of the spices.

pumpkincurry2Ingredients:
1 squash, seeds removed and flesh cubed
15 oz tomatoes, diced
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin
1 lime, juiced

pumpkincurry3In a large skillet, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the onions and garlic. Cook together for about 10 minutes and add the curry powder, cumin, and coriander. Cook together for a couple of minutes and add the fresh ginger. Stir in the tomatoes and coconut milk. Next, add the lime juice. Bring to a boil while occasionally stirring, then turn the heat to low and cover. Let simmer for 20 minutes.

pumpkincurry4Serve immediately with your side of choice – I like rice with my curry. Will serve 4-6. If you don’t have all the spices – if you use 2 tablespoons curry powder with the lime juice and fresh ginger you’ll still get a great taste without having to start investing into more spices.

 

Mexican Lasagna

This is a fun and easy to make dinner, and you can easily control how much heat you’re putting in. Even though I like it hot – I kept it mild for everyone else, and it still had a lot of big flavor to make up for it. It’s also going to heat up great later as leftovers. I served some corn tortilla chips along with it on the side.

mexicanlasagnaIngredients:
8 gluten free tortillas (I used Udi’s plain tortillas)
1 pound lean ground beef
15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 tablespoons green chile peppers, diced
1 cup salsa
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste

mexicanlasagna2

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large skillet on medium heat – add the beef, onions and a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until all the meat is browned.  Take off of the heat, and add the chopped peppers, chile peppers, and black beans.

mexicanlasagna3

In a large baking pan (I believe mine is 13×9) lay down 2 of the tortillas. Mine is so large I had to cut a 3rd in halves and place 2 halves down as well. Spread a third of the salsa and sour cream on them and then add a third of the beef mix, and a third of the cheese. Do this for another 2 layers. With 8 tortillas my top layer was just the 2 tortillas – however it still worked out just fine.

Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Will serve 6 larger portions or 8 smaller. Having the tortilla chips on the side was a nice addition for scooping up all the extras. I was able to get the Udi’s tortillas over in the freezer section of the gluten free/organic area of the store I shop at. I let the sit in the fridge to dethaw overnight. For more heat – add some hot peppers into the beef mix and a hot salsa.

 

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

creamy tomato basil soupI’ve been craving a creamy warm delicious soup. It also brings a wonderful aroma of basil in the kitchen that I enjoy while it simmers. This will make a good sized pot of soup – to feed 4 as a lunch or 4-6 as a side. I’ll be enjoying leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

tomatobasil1

Ingredients:
28 oz diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
extra Parmesan cheese for topping

tomatobasil2Over medium heat cook the onion in the olive oil and salt for about 10 minutes until they are starting to turn a golden brown. Add in the garlic and cook another minute. Next add the tomatoes and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the basil, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.

tomatobasil4Using either an immersion blender (This will be the next gadget I purchase for my kitchen) or a blender, blend together all the ingredients. If using a blender – carefully scoop out 2-3 cups worth at a time, place into the blender and place back into the pot. Repeat until all of it is mixed and smooth. Top with extra parmesan cheese if you like before serving. I recommend using a good parmesan – a small block instead of the stuff that comes in the green canisters. The taste is much better and worth it!

 

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

flourlesspeanutbuttercookiesSo it’s a lazy Sunday here and everyone would like a sweet treat. These cookies took about 20 minutes for prepare + bake time. They are gluten free, only use a few ingredients – and taste fantastic. I made this into a batch of 18 smaller cookies (I wanted one too!) but you could make it into 12 larger ones.

flourlesscookiesIngredients:
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 cup dark brown sugar (light will work but I really enjoyed the taste it gave)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar for dusting

flourlesscookies4Preheat the oven to 350F. In a medium sized bowl whisk the egg, then add the peanut butter, salt and brown sugar and mix well. Roll into small ball shapes and roll into the white sugar. Place onto a parchment lined baking pan or a greased pan. (These are prone to sticking otherwise.) Bake for 10 minutes. Let cook for a couple minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

flourlesscookies3They are very peanut buttery, and a bit chewy – I was quite satisfied with one cookie.

Quinoa Leek Salad

quinoaleek4I still like to have a salad with the cooler weather – so I’ve made one that can be served both warm and cold. Leeks are also in season and I’ve been wanting to try to incorporate them into my meals more. I made a simple vinaigrette to stir right into it before serving as well.

leekquinoaIngredients:
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
2 large leek stalks, washed and chopped
1 cup mushrooms, diced
1 roma tomato, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
feta cheese – for topping before serving

For the vinaigrette
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon honey

leekquinoa2Start with placing the quinoa and water into a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Place the chopped leeks in a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the salt and pepper. Saute for 10 minutes and add the mushrooms. Cook for another 5 minutes.

leekquinoa3In a container with a lid you can shake -or a medium sized bowl and using a whisk, blend together all of the vinaigrette ingredients.

Place the quinoa in a large serving bowl with the leeks and mushrooms and toss with the vinaigrette. Add the tomatoes and top with some feta cheese. Feel free to serve immediately , I’ve enjoyed it both warm and cold. Serves 2 for dinner, 4 as a side.

Feel free to check out my pintrest over at http://www.pinterest.com/forestas/gluten-free-fabulous/

Spicy Cauliflower Mash

spicycaulimashI made this as a side dish to my Greek Marinated Chicken last night – and the contrast was great! It’s a nice creamy side with some spice for when you want that extra kick.

spicycaulimash3 Ingredients:
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro

spicycauli2In a medium sized pot, add the salt and cauliflower and bring to a boil. Cook until soft and drain. Place in a food processor and blend together until smooth. Add the cumin, cheese and cilantro and blend together. Serve right away – feeds 4 as a side.

Greek Marinated Chicken

greekmarinatedchicken1Tonight for dinner I made this Greek inspired marinaded chicken and a cumin cauliflower mash. Lots of great flavor that doesn’t take much time at all, which is great on a busy night. I chose to bake the chicken, however this would easily go on the grill. The chicken came out very juicy and tender – with just the right amount of spice.

greekchicken1Ingredients:
2 pounds of chicken (whichever pieces you prefer)
1 cup plain greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 of a lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon oregano
3 tablespoons parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

greekmarinatedchickenIn a medium sized bowl, mix together the yogurt and lemon juice. Stir well and then add the garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and parsley. Stir until blended. Place the chicken into a large freezer bag and add the marinade. Gently massage the marinade into the chicken and place into the fridge (I left mine for an hour).

Preheat oven to 375F and arrange the chicken pieces in a large baking dish. Bake for 50 minutes until 1 hour, they’ll be starting to brown on top and smell delicious!

 

 

Potato Leek and Bacon Soup

potatoleekbaconsoupWith the cooler weather I’m using the crock pot more. It’s nice to come home to a warm meal and a house smelling so delicious. This will sit and cook for 4-6 hours, and is easy to put together.

potatosoup4

Ingredients:
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large leek, chopped
1/2 pound thick sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons rice flour
1 cup heavy cream (half and half works as well)
2 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 green onions, sliced
shredded cheddar cheese
potatosoup3In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic in the butter. After they’ve cooked for a couple of minutes and are tender – stir in the flour and gradually stir in 1 cup of water. Add the salt and pepper and cook until thickened.

potatosoup2In the crock pot, add the potatoes, leeks, broth, 1 cup water, heavy cream, basil, thyme, and bacon. Cook over low heat for 4-6 hours. Top with the green onions and shredded cheddar if desired.  Serves 4-6 as a lunch/main dish or 6-8 as a side dish. It’ll be great leftovers for my lunch tomorrow!

Curry Meatloaf

currymeatloaf1I talk a lot about my love for curry. I love how spices can take vegetables or cheaper cuts of meat and make them fantastic. So instead of the boring dried out meatloaf I was served as a child (which made me hate meatloaf) – I made this for dinner.

currymeatloaf5Ingredients:
2 pounds ground lean beef
2 large eggs
2 heaping tablespoons gluten free bread crumbs
2 large carrots, grated
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 roma tomato, diced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon parsley (fresh or dried)
2 tablespoons garam masala
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

currymeatloaf4In a large skillet over medium high heat,  place the chopped onions, green onions,  celery, carrots, jalapeno and garlic in about 2 tablespoons olive oil.  After the vegetables have cooked for about 5 minutes add the garam masala, curry powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger. Cook for another 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and have absorbed the spices. Turn off the heat and let it sit.

currymeatloaf3Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl add the beef, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix together well. Then add in the vegetables and spices from the skillet into a square baking dish.

currymeatloaf2Top with the diced tomatoes and place into the oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour.  Let rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

 

 

 

Eggplant Marinara

eggplant4Cold, rainy, dark – is all I’ve seen here for the past few days. After running errands today I came home hungry and craving something Italian. I chose to use the last of my eggplant to make this.

eggplant1Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant, cut into bite sized pieces
1 green pepper, diced
3 roma tomatoes, chopped and seeds removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
parmesan cheese, to taste

pasta of choice to package directions (I used gluten free spaghetti noodles)

eggplant2.I started my pasta water first, and while that was getting ready cut up all my vegetables. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm up the olive oil and garlic. Let that cook for just a minute and add the eggplant and salt. Stir well and then add in the tomatoes and green pepper. Stirring occasionally cook for about 10 minutes. Add the basil and cheese and cook for another minute or two. Add to the pasta and serve immediately, top with extra cheese if desired.

I ended up skipping the pasta myself, however my family likes pasta a lot. I think it makes a great meal with or without. Serves 4.