Gluten-Free Spaghetti Squash Pizza

Low-carb, vegetable-based pizza crusts are all the rage, and I enjoy trying new combinations. So far, our household favorite is a crust made from spaghetti squash. The mildly sweet squash is very sturdy, and works well with lots of toppings.

Of course, the crust is gluten free, which makes it that much better.

Note that in the recipe below, I recommend squeezing as much liquid as possible from the squash. Really put some muscle into it as the drier the squash, the better the crust!

Basic Carrot Slaw

Carrots are the perfect vegetable to star in a salad. Flavor-wise, they can range from savory to sweet. Presentation-wise, they are perfect for every style: long ribbons, pretty julienned batons, shredded, or even cut into simple coins. For this salad, you can julienne the carrots or shred them — your choice (or, you know, do whatever works to get dinner on the table).

About half an hour before assembling the salad, lightly salt the carrots to draw out moisture — this helps keeps your slaw crunchy despite the addition of dressing. Rinse and pat the carrots dry, then toss. The dressing below is Just A Suggestion. Carrots can handle just about anything, and the notes to the recipe include other ideas.

Overnight Crockpot Baked Beans

While I will admit to a fondness for baked beans, I’ve always shied away from the canned version because I am not a fan of sweet foods. Sure, I’ll indulge if I encounter the canned version, but I won’t buy them unless I have a serious craving.

Yeah, I crave baked beans.

If the craving is minor and time is plentiful — or I know I need a killer dish to bring to a barbecue — I go straight for my crockpot and let the beans cook overnight. The slow cooker does all the work of cooking the beans through while developing a rich sauce that is just sweet enough with some tangy and spicy flavors to balance that sweetness. Best of all: no soaking required! I just toss everything into the crockpot, and let it work while I catch up on TV and much-needed sleep.

Broccoli and White Beans with Goat Cheese and Lemon Dressing

If you’d asked seven-year old me how I often I’d eat broccoli as an adult, I’d have probably put the number at about “never”. Poor, deluded seven-year old me. It turns out I eat broccoli (and its relatives) all the time.

I love this salad. It has roasted broccoli (fact: all vegetables are better roasted), beans, cheese, and a lemony dressing. It’s basically a summer salad that happens to be filling, delicious, and vegetarian if you omit the anchovies (plus, ahem, gluten free!).

Spicy Pineapple Salsa

Many people believe the pico de gallo — a mix of tomatoes, onions, pepper, and cilantro — served in many Mexican restaurants is the only type of salsa there is.┬áSalsa is, quite simply, Spanish for sauce, and these sauces can be as varied as sauces in any other cuisine.

For fish tacos, nothing beats a fruit-based salsa. I love the flavor of this spicy grilled pineapple salsa. It comes together quickly, and can be used for other dishes as well!

Potato Crust Spinach Pie

My sister, except for a brief period of time, has been vegetarian her whole life. When I took over Thanksgiving duties from my mother — something that made both of us happy — I made it a point to include a main dish that worked with my sister’s dietary restriction. That dish was a riff on spanakopita, a phyllo dough-wrapped spinach dish. I made mine as a casserole, featuring rice.

What I didn’t know at the time was that I was feeding my sister — and me — something that was making us very sick. We are both now gluten free and much healthier for it!

But I do miss that dish. It was a perfect vegetarian (though not vegan) main course, packed with flavor and nutrition. I’ve finally taken the time to recreate the dish, this time using thinly sliced potatoes in place of phyllo. As with that long-ago dish, this one was a hit (and gone the next day!).

Lentil and Coconut Milk Stew

This versatile recipe is perfect for weeknight suppers. It can be made vegetarian, vegan, or with the meat of your choice. The flavors can be modified to suit your fancy. And it reheats like a dream, making it perfect for lunches.

I love to serve this dish over braised greens — spinach or chard do just fine.