Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Gluten Free Spicy Potatoes and Cauliflower

Besides holiday meals, I still plan on keeping things vegetarian and gluten free for the foreseeable future.  I was once a vegetarian... back in the day.  My vegetarian diet lasted for 5 of my adolescent years; until I went away to college, had to rely on a meal plan, and would've starved for lack of vegetarian options.  Now, at 36, I'm getting back into it.  Back then it was all about living a kill-free, chill lifestyle, and now it's more about staying healthy (not that a kill-free diet isn't still a nice rationale for being vegetarian).

This cauliflower and potato dish recipe is enough to feed 4 as a main meal, or 8 as an appetizer.  There's a bit more prep than I like, but the finished product is just too good to cut corners and miss out.  Enjoy!

  • 1 lb potatoes
  • 10 tblsp. peanut or coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 fresh green chilli (the hot ones), seeded and finely chopped (WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER)
  • 1 large cauliflower, broken into small florets 
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin (or cumin seeds)
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced or cut into shreds
  • 4 tblsp. fresh coriander (or parsley), finely chopped
  • salt

Cooking Directions
  1. Cook the potatoes in their skins in boiling salted water for about 20 minutes, or until just tender (which means you can put a fork in them easily, but the potato won't fall off the fork). Drain and let cool. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Heat 6 tblsp. of the oil in a frying pan or wok. When hot, add the ground cumin, coriander, tumeric, cayenne pepper and chilli. Let the spices sizzle for a few seconds.
  3. Add the cauliflower bits and about 8 tblsp. water. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, for 6-8 minutes.  
  4. Add the potatoes and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and remove from heat.
  5. Heat the remaining 4 tblsp. of oil in a small frying pan. When hot, add the cumin and garlic and cook until lightly browned.  Pour the mixture over the vegetables. 
  6. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander or parsley and serve immediately.

Gluten Free Peruvian Quinoa Stew

I've cooked up a few nice dishes using quinoa in the past.  Once for a cold and fruity salad, and another as an accompaniment for baked fish.  This vegetarian gluten free meal calls for a bit of prep and chopping, but in the end it's all worth it:)

It's the day after x-mas and New Years 2013 is right around the corner.  Make sure to add this to your New Year's Resolution healthy eating meal list; it's a keeper!

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tblsp. oil (vegetable or coconut)
  • 2 cups onions (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 celery stalk (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (cut diagonally into 1/4 inch slices)
  • 1 bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 cup zucchini (cubed)
  • 2 cups undrained canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water or GF vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. fresh or 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • pinch of cayenne (or more if it's what you like)
  • salt
  • fresh cilantro (optional)
  • grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Cooking Directions
  1. Using a fine strainer, rinse your quinoa well.  Place it in a pot with the water (1 cup) and cook, covered, on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or until soft. Set aside.
  2. Take out a covered pot. As the quinoa is cooking, saute the onions and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Add the celery and carrots to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add the bell pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, and water or GF stock. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, coriander, cayenne, and oregano, and simmer, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes (until the vegetables are tender).
  5. Stir the cooked quinoa into the stew and add salt to taste. Top with cilantro and grated cheese if you like.
  6. Serve up and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gluten Free Red Fried Rice

It's the end of the academic semester, I have about a week and a half left of grading papers and tests, going to meetings, and organizing the mess in my office that has accumulated over the past 4 months.  And then my winter break begins!  I'm seriously looking forward to having some free time to fill.  I plan to get on the mountains to hike and snowboard as much as the weather allows, finish up a few lingering home projects, and spend some time visiting friends I've neglected during the school semester.  I also plan on learning how to create some memorable vegetarian meals and a few new desserts to add to my culinary repertoire; something I've already begun.

This healthy vegetarian dish is very easy to prepare and cook.  It's quite tasty and can be eaten for any meal of the day.  Although I made this a main meal, this is a great side dish as well.  Feel free to add some diced hot pepper and experiment with the amounts of salt and pepper you add.  Although the directions call on you to add the salt and pepper at the end of the process, you may want to season throughout. Enjoy!

  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 tblsp coconut oil
  • 1 large red onion (chopped)
  • 2 red peppers (seeded & chopped)
  • 1 lb cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 4 eggs (beaten)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Cooking Directions
  • Either combine 3 cups of water and the rice in a rice cooker and press the "on" button, or... wash the rice under cold water. Drain. Bring a large pan of water to a boil, add rice and cook for 10-12 minutes.
  • While your rice is cooking, heat the coconut oil in a wok (or deep pan/pot) until very hot (medium/high heat). Add the chopped onions and red pepper and stir fry for 3-4 minutes.  
  • Add the halved cherry or grape tomatoes and continue to stir fry for another 3 minutes.
  • Pour the beaten eggs in all at once and let cook on top for 30 seconds before you stir it all together. 
  • Drain the cooked rice (if not using a rice cooker) and add to the wok.  Toss the rice over the heat with the vegetable/egg mixture for another 3 minutes.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper and serve at once.