Egg Foo Yung

Confession: when I was growing up, I was wary of Egg Foo Yung. I wasn’t 100% certain what it was, and, frankly, when I looked at it, it seemed like something I wouldn’t like.

Ah, the mistakes of youth! Egg Foo Yung is, basically, an omelette. A simple, vegetable-filled, delicious, customizable omelette. For a gluten-free, mostly plant-based athlete, it’s also a great way to get lots of protein after a long run. I have a habit of making breakfast-for-dinner meals on Saturday nights since my body is craving loads of protein, and this gives me that plus lots of veggies.

Black Pepper Tofu Curry

As my diet has become increasingly plant-based, I find my self paging through my favorite magazines and mentally substituting plant-based proteins for the animal proteins. It’s actually a great exercise, if only because I love messing with recipes.

I’m also trying to add more vegan recipes to my diet, so this recipe also checks that box. I’ll admit to be intimidated by vegan cooking in the past, but now that I’ve wrapped my head around the basics, I’ve discovered that cooking vegan meals isn’t as hard as I’d once thought…though, yeah, the meal prep does take a bit more time.

Thus, this fantastic (and fast!) black pepper curry. The original recipe calls for chicken, and you can certainly use chicken if you prefer. The black pepper gives a hint of heat and loads of flavor, and it’s a great way to add vegetables to a meal.

Oh, like all curries, it’s even better as leftovers!

Chicken Tikka Masala

For reasons unknown, most Chicken Tikka Masala dishes in restaurants are on the bland side. This is great if you’re introducing someone to the idea of Indian food, but these dishes are not palate-pleasers.

This recipe, based on Madhur Jaffrey’s, is full of flavor. Ginger, garlic, cumin, and various other spices bring tons of flavor. Grated tomato melts into the dish, adding even more flavor. I love serving this at parties or dishing up for leftovers during the week. It just gets better with time!

Chicken and Ginger Meatballs

I love meatballs — there’s something, well, fun about round food. And meatballs are easy to make, even when you’re gluten free. I made these meatballs — with tasty ground chicken and a lot of ginger! — for a party at a friend’s house. There were actually three kinds of meatballs (I was feeling overachieve-y that day), but these were the hands-down favorite.

Since then, I’ve made them whenever the mood strikes (and whenever ground chicken is on sale). They’re delicious with chicken wraps or on top of rice noodles. I mix up a quick chile sauce with a bit of lime juice, chile paste, and fish sauce to pour over the noodles or as a dipping sauce. Of course, my gluten-free ponzu would work just as well!

Salmon with Miso Glaze

Salmon is a great weeknight meal — filling but not too heavy. Adding a miso glaze is perfect whether you’re cooking the salmon in the oven or on the grill. Glaze the salmon a few times during the cooking process to deepen the sweet and salty flavor.

Best of all, this is a fast meal. You can have dinner on the table in under thirty minutes.

Make sure you buy gluten-free miso. Some brands include barley or wheat. If you’re looking for other ideas for using up the miso you bought, here are some suggestions.

Chicken Vindaloo

Vindaloo is a tangy, spicy curry with origins in Portugal — the vin in vindaloo stands for “vinha de alhos”, or wine vinegar. The spiciness comes from a mix of warm spices such as cumin and coriander, as supplemented by a bit of cayenne. My husband would probably eat this dish every day if he could.

If you have time, marinate your chicken — or lamb, beef, pork — in some of the curry paste before cooking. If not, no worries. I prefer chicken thighs over chicken breasts because they carry more flavor. If have breasts on hand, they’re a fine choice.

As with most curries, this recipe is naturally gluten free. The list of ingredients is long, but don’t let that daunt you. The whole thing comes together very quickly!

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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