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.

Buffalo-Style Roasted Cauliflower

This recipe came about after some trial and error. A friend had a similar dish at a local restaurant, and raved about it. When we tried to recreate it, something was missing. We’re still trying.

In the meantime, I decided to try roasting cauliflower florets and drizzling them with a bit of Frank’s Red Hot sauce. One of the problems with the dish my friend and I made was that the cauliflower got soggy when doused in the stuff. I decided a good drizzle was all that was needed.

And so we have it — one of my favorite (and most likely to surprise guests!) side dishes. It’s easy, it’s gluten free, and the flavors of cauliflower and hot sauce mingle perfectly.

Greens with Baked Eggs

I do love my greens, and I love this dish. It can be spicy, warm, tangy, or even creamy. Use lots of greens to make this a full mean for Meatless Monday, or reduce the amounts for a side dish.

While I’ve noted that you can use any type of greens you wish, I find I get the most satisfaction from spinach and chard. They are “wetter”, meaning you don’t need to add a lot of extra liquid while cooking down the greens. Kale and collard greens will need more liquid to braise until suitably tender.

Note: once you’ve made this dish once, you will crave it all the time!

Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Topping

I think gluten-free versions of “cream of anything” soups are like unicorns. Very expensive unicorns. I’ve heard rumors of companies like Progresso making GF cream of mushroom soup, but haven’t found it at my local store. And I use soups like this so infrequently, it doesn’t make sense to order from my usual sources.

Luckily, I stumbled across a great Smitten Kitchen version of a green bean casserole with homemade mushroom sauce that was easily (easily!) converted to gluten-free. Add crispy fried onions, and you’ve got yourself that most traditional of Thanksgiving dishes — one nobody will ever know is GF. Though they will know it’s incredibly delicious!

Zucchini Fritters

One day, as I was shredding potatoes for hash browns, I had an epiphany. A little one, but an epiphany nonetheless. I realized I needed to squeeze all the excess water out of the potatoes before cooking them. Now, based on what I see on the Internets, *everybody* already knew this somehow. I guessed I missed a memo.

So, putting two and two together — never let it be said that I don’t catch on quickly — I realized I needed to do the same thing for zucchini when making fritters. It is fascinating to discover how much liquid is in a zucchini. And making fritters is a tasty way to make zucchini interesting again. Seriously…it’s been coming on strong all summer, and I don’t think there’s an end in sight!

If you make too many fritters, you can freeze and reheat in the oven. If you’re looking for a party appetizer, make smaller fritters. The best part of this recipe? Nobody will ever know they’re gluten-free. I love delicious recipes that showcase GF-specific ingredients — the lack of gluten doesn’t mean a lack of flavor.

When researching this recipe, I discovered a few recipes featuring freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and one that used feta. I think cheese is always a good idea! Now, given my druthers, I’d go with the feta (and skip any additional salt), but it’s always good to have options. Also, you can make the dipping sauce however you like. I use Greek yogurt all the time, so naturally gravitate in that direction.

Sweet Potato Latkes

When life — or the season — gives you sweet potatoes, the creativity comes out. It turns out, these great veggies are pretty much in season all year round in Southern California. What I used to think of as a holiday food, served over-sweet and mushy, is now an everyday part of my cooking repertoire.

Thus, yes, allowing me to prove I can serve meals that don’t feature ordinary rice or variations on regular potatoes. Add the obligatory comments about the healthiness and lower calorie count of sweet potatoes here (and those claims are, of course true).

Since I’m not Jewish, latkes are just another way to make potatoes interesting. And since I usually have more sweet potatoes than regular potatoes on hand, well, the connection was obvious. When I searched for basic recipes, I was pleasantly surprised to find a recipe by my friend Sarah topping the search results (see the link in the Notes section). Her recipe was the basis for mine.

Needless to say, I make enough for leftovers during the week. Yummy!

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