Gluten-Free Grains: Sorghum

It’s been a while since I focused on a gluten-free grain, and I need to remedy that. Particularly since I’ve been enjoying so many great ones lately. And since sorghum is a grain that Americans don’t eat that often, I thought it was time to introduce it here.

I bought a bag of sorghum at my local 99 Ranch Market (a great resource for Asian ingredients), and, typically, put it in the pantry for, well, about a year. I simply didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. Then, as I was looking on the shelves for a grain to prepare for a week’s meals, I spotted the sorghum. Continue reading “Gluten-Free Grains: Sorghum”

Really Big Salads

I said, feeling virtuous, “Let’s just have a really big salad for lunch.” My husband, feeling less virtuous, required a bit of persuasion, but eventually conceded a really big salad was just what he wanted. Mostly because all other options would require him to make his own lunch.

He is a wise man. Continue reading “Really Big Salads”

Gluten-Free Quesadilla Options

One night, I was at my local Mexican joint, and wanting something, well, cheesy. Quesadilla cheesy. Since we’ve been going to this place for about twenty years (we are nothing if not loyal customers!), the staff are accustomed to my modifications to their menu.

Mostly, this means taking the tomatoes out of whatever dish I choose. I’m not much of a raw tomato person. This time, however, I went for the big substitution: corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas in a quesadilla.

My server didn’t even blink. And, I kid you not, that was the best quesadilla I’d had in years. Even my own weren’t that tasty. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but indulge me. I had a quesadilla in a restaurant. Continue reading “Gluten-Free Quesadilla Options”

Avocado Sauce

I love my avocados any which way. When they’re just ripe, nothing is better than sliced or diced avocado with just a smidge of salt. When they’re starting to soften, they’re perfect for guacamole because they still have a bit of body. And when they’re overly soft?

This amazing sauce. It takes just minutes, and is a great way to utilize avocados that aren’t quite firm enough for any other use. You can adjust the seasonings to suit your personal taste.

I’ve love this sauce with fish tacos, in a cole slaw, and with crab cakes. It also makes a fun salad dressing.

Huevos Rancheros

Let’s get this out of the way first: there is no right way to build Huevos Rancheros. There are, of course, a few basic ingredients — corn tortillas, eggs, ranchero sauce and/or salsa, and beans. After that, it’s all about using your imagination. This, I believe, is what makes Huevos Rancheros perfect for a casual breakfast, a slightly more formal brunch, or a weeknight meal.

(I should note I frequently break the tortilla-as-key-ingredient rule, sometimes substituting Black Bean and Quinoa cakes for tortillas. Don’t judge!)

This recipe comes together fast, so I like to have everything set up and ready to go as soon as the eggs are ready.

Bunless Burger Bonanza!

I love me some burgers, and — truly! — since going gluten free, I think of burgers as jumping-off points for really fun meals. When I think back to how I felt after eating a burger with a bun (and, especially at restaurants, trying to figure out how to consumer the massive meal I was served), I realize how I don’t miss the bread.

As you can see from the variations below, think of the basic burger as a canvas for tasty variations. Serve with gluten-free fries (Tater Tots are GF!) or mashed potatoes or a green salad. Or any salad you like. Burgers are quick and easy weeknight meals.

Condiments can range from the traditional ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard to pesto sauce or salsa. Add your favorite cheese, if cheese is your thing.

  • Basic CheeseburgerBurger. Cheese. Oh, and whatever else floats your boat. Include the condiment(s) of your choice. Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce or baby lettuce mix.
  • Bacon CheeseburgerTop your Basic Cheeseburger with two slices of fried bacon and grilled onions. Promise yourself you’ll go to the gym in the morning. Make this even more decadent by drizzling gluten-free barbecue sauce over the whole thing.
  • Avocado BurgerYes, this is as simple as it sounds. Top the Basic Cheeseburger with sliced fresh avocado. Or guacamole, if you prefer. You can make a light avocado salad with cubed avocado, diced tomatoes, diced onion, and a bit of lemon juice. Add a little salt and pepper and you have an elegant topping for a burger! Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce. Skip the cheese if you want. Ain’t nobody judging your burger.
  • Goat Cheese, Spinach, and Pesto Burger: Prepare your basic burger. Serve on a bed of freshly chopped or wilted spinach. Top with a tablespoon or so of pesto sauce. Finish with a dollop of goat’s cheese. For extra credit, if you have extra roasted garlic around the house (hey, you might!), spread a thin layer of garlic over the burger before adding the pesto. Note: carmelized onions also work very well with this combination. So do roasted red peppers. If you want to gussy up your spinach, lightly dress it with a vinaigrette.
  • Huevos Rancheros BurgerHave I mentioned my love of Huevos Rancheros? No? Hmm, you need to read more of my recipes! Seriously, this traditional Mexican breakfast dish can be adapted to just about any meal you can imagine. In this incarnation, the burger takes the place of the tortilla, and the rest of the ingredients are layered on top of the meat. Start with a few spoonfuls of tomatillo salsa on your plate (I prefer the tanginess of tomatillo, but if you’re a tomato salsa person, go your own way). Add the burger, with or without melted cheese (a pepper jack is perfect here). Top with a fried egg and sliced avocado. Finally, drizzle more salsa over the top. Serve with fries, tortilla chips, or even refried beans (heck, if you have leftover refried beans, you can substitute them as the base for your Huevos Ranchero burger).
  • Mediterranean BurgerTop your basic burger with a salsa of chopped tomatoes and cucumber. Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over the top. Serve over a green salad lightly dressed with a lemony vinaigrette dressing. Tomato-Cucumber Salsa: Chop the tomatoes and cucumbers (use a seedless English cucumber if available), season with salt and freshly ground pepper. If you like red onion, add some into the mix. For added flavor, mix in a teaspoon of chopped fresh mint and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves. Let the flavors marinate together at room temperature while you make the rest of the meal.
  • Smash BurgerI like a smash burger when I’m grilling indoors. The concept is simple: instead of forming patties in advance, place balls of ground beef — about four ounces each — onto a hot grill. Let sizzle a minute and then smash down with your spatula to form a thin patty. Season with salt and pepper and cook until done. Only flip once during cooking. Add your favorite fast-melting cheese.

Steak Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

While steak on its own is a fine, fine meal, sometimes the salad craving can’t be ignored. This salad was born during a particularly brutal heatwave. The cool mix of vegetables, the light, tangy dressing (which I have also served with a good dash of chipotle), and the well-seasoned steak makes a satisfying meal.

Feel free to add or subtract ingredients based on what is in season. In late summer, I tend to have a lot of zucchini, so grilling it is a natural.