Garbanzo Bean “Tuna” Salad

Let us be clear, there is no tuna in the recipe. In fact, I’m only using the word “tuna” to give you a sense of how I use this great dish. I have nothing against tuna, but since I’m not eating a lot of meat these days, I wanted an option that is simple, delicious, and filling.

For example, if I were to make the Nicoise salad mentioned here, I’d simply substitute this recipe for the tuna. Of course, I mostly use it in these extremely addictive collard green wraps. I cannot get enough of these…to the point where I will eat them for lunch every day for two or three weeks. Let everyone else have their gluten-filled wraps; my version is gluten-free, tasty, and doesn’t leave me feeling bloated.

Yeah, I *do* get that excited about collard greens and chickpeas.

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.

Pan-Roasted Chickpea Salad

When I’m hungry for chickpeas (and I’m always hungry for chickpeas), I simply heat some olive oil in a skillet, toss the dry, cooked chickpeas into the pan, and let them roast away over medium-high heat, stirring to get roasted brown spots all over. I don’t want them crispy — that’s an entirely different recipe! — but I do want them browned in spots and full of roasted flavor.

While the chickpeas are doing their thing on the stove, I whip together a lemony vinaigrette and chop parsley. When the chickpeas are done, I toss them in the vinaigrette, add the parsley, adjust the seasonings, and serve.

This ridiculously easy recipe will impress your family and friends. They’ll never know how simple it really is!

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!

Gluten-Free Ponzu

There is something absolutely refreshing about chilled soba noodles with a few crisp, cool vegetable piled high, served with a tangy dipping sauce called ponzu. Gluten-free ponzu can be purchased, no doubt about it. But it’s a bit pricy. As with many sauces, I find the effort involved with making my own to be so minimal that it’s worth the time. Plus, this recipe uses many of the ingredients I keep on hand for other dishes, so no special purchases are required.

For general cooking like this, I purchase restaurant-sized containers of gluten-free soy sauce from Amazon. I also purchase fancier GF soy sauces for those dishes where the flavor of the soy sauce needs to shine — in those instances, a little goes a long way, making it easier to justify a higher price point. Bonito flakes can be bought online or at Asian grocery stores (some major chain stores and Whole Foods also stock them).

Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

There are certain times of year when I crave this salad. Sometimes it’s due to the hot weather and a desire for the cold, crisp crunch of iceberg lettuce. Sometimes it’s because I want to indulge in the absolute creamy, salty flavor of the dressing. Sometimes…it’s both.

I love serving this salad at barbecues because it’s easy to make for a crowd. It’s also the perfect accompaniment to a well-cooked steak. And, of course, the blue cheese dressing can be used on other types of salad.

I know there is some concern in the gluten-free community about whether or not blue cheese is gluten-free. Generally, these cheese are safe to eat. For your information, I discuss this issue and list blue cheeses that are gluten-free here (and a few that are not) here.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

I’ll be honest: I was never a huge fan of tabbouleh. I think it was my body’s way or warning me away from foods that made me sick because all the components of tabbouleh are delicious on their own. Which makes this gluten-free tabbouleh just about perfect…and a bit addictive.

Serve it with homemade falafel. Or bring as a side salad to a party.