I haven’t always had a good relationship with mushrooms. In the past, they didn’t agree with me, and now I suspect it was my body crying out for attention. I had the same problem with red wine — my body was trying to tell me that something in my system was causing me a lot of harm. Since I’ve been gluten free, I’ve been able to enjoy mushrooms *and* red wine without any problems. Continue reading “Gluten-Free Ingredient Crush: Mushrooms”
Baked Potato Ideas
Since we started on the carb-cutting journey, my body has adjusted to a lower volume of foods I used to devour. I am happy to say that the increase in fruits and vegetables — particularly leafy greens — in my diet has really helped my diet get back on track, and I feel satisfied after every meal.
That doesn’t mean I don’t indulge in carby foods sometimes, particularly after a long run. My body demands a mix of protein and carbs to get itself back in balance. Who am I to argue with myself? Continue reading “Baked Potato Ideas”
Scrambling Some Eggs
When my husband switched to a lower carb diet, I joined him. Since I’m gluten free, it wasn’t a huge dietary shift for me, and, frankly, it helped me cut back on the rice I’d been using as a crutch since quitting so many other foods. Since this diet modification, I’ve been experimenting with lots more vegetable-based meals. And, we’re eating a lot more eggs.
One Sunday, we had a scrambled egg tutorial (this was followed by basic poached eggs and simple fried eggs). Since then, I just avert my eyes when he makes his scrambled eggs. It’s painful. Apparently my process was too complicated for him. Continue reading “Scrambling Some Eggs”
Making Mashed Potatoes Even Better!
It’s probably no secret that I am a carb eater. Rice, potatoes, and, in the old days, sourdough bread were always the stars of my eating repertoire. While things have changed in my world, they haven’t changed that much. I still believe potatoes are one of nature’s (gluten-free) perfect foods.
And in my pantheon of potato dishes, I rank mashed potatoes at the top. Not only are they delicious, but they also remind me of my grandmother, an amazing cook. Even my mother, a dedicated non-cook, makes great mashed potatoes. It’s clearly a family tradition! Continue reading “Making Mashed Potatoes Even Better!”
Twice baked potatoes are a fun way to make our friend the potato something special. If you use a microwave to cook the potatoes, this comes together pretty quickly on a weeknight.
The key to twice baked potatoes is what you do with your mashed potato filling (plus, well, that sprinkling of cheese on the top of the potatoes). You can go as basic as salt, pepper, and butter. Or you can fancy your potatoes up with Greek yogurt or sour cream. Whatever strikes your tastebuds.
Risotto with Peas, Ricotta, and Lemon
Once upon a time, I was scared of weeknight risotto. Everyone said it required too much time, too much stirring, too much attention. The latter, alas, is true. As is the stirring part. But you can whip out an excellent risotto in under 45 minutes.
This recipe reminds me of Spring. The peas — fresh or frozen — add a lovely flavor. And the lemon adds freshness. Plus, if you can think of a better way to use up leftover ricotta, I am eager to hear your secret recipes!
Final note: I love me some bacon (or, prosciutto), but just omit it for a vegetarian option. Or serve the crumbled salty pork on the side. Also, substitute vegetable stock for chicken stock for a truly vegetarian meal.
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 Cheeseburger: Burger. 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 Cheeseburger: Top 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 Burger: Yes, 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 Burger: Have 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 Burger: Top 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 Burger: I 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.