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.
I live in a neighborhood filled with Armenian and Lebanese businesses. Or, as I like to think of it, filled with Armenian and Lebanese food. Falafel (sadly, not available to me as nobody around here makes a gluten-free version), kebabs, hummus (oh, the hummus!), and, of course, rice pilaf. Unfortunately, many of the establishments in my ‘hood cook their pilaf with wheat-based vermicelli, so finding tasty pilaf is a bit tougher than it should be.
Hence, making my own. This recipe is fairly simple, and you can make the rest of the meal while the rice is cooking and resting. I like doing this in the oven, but you can do it on the stovetop if you prefer. I was discussing the recipe via Facebook with a friend; she talked about how her mother made pilaf…and there was no skimping on the butter! I try to be a little more health conscious these days, but do sometimes increase the amount of butter when I make this dish.
Seriously, butter. Use it liberally!
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.
What is the saying? Man cannot live on rice and potatoes alone? Hmm, maybe that’s not it, but I do love rice and potatoes. Still, in the interest of reducing monotony, it’s good to introduce new things into my repertoire.
Truthfully, I love polenta. It’s one of those flexible foods that goes with so many things…and it’s so fast and easy to prepare. I like mine with just salt and butter, but have friends who swear a couple of dashes of Tabasco make it heavenly.
While I am sure others have terrific ideas for polenta (now I’m wondering how it would do as a stuffing in a chicken breast…someday), I have two simple go-to preparations: basic (cooked on the stove) and grilled. I’ve heard tell of people making basic polenta in the oven, but it seems like more work than it’s worth to me (correct me if I’m wrong!). If you want to serve this as a side dish, stop at Step 3.
A good fried egg is one of life’s simple pleasures. And by simple, I mean it takes just a few minutes to get that egg fried. In addition to being tasty on their own, fried eggs are a key part of Huevos Rancheros (or my Quinoa and Black Bean Cakes, prepared like Huevos Rancheros) or Croque-Madames. Fried eggs are also great toppers for burgers or fried rice.
Now to the detailed ingredient list…
When my husband was recovering from knee surgery, I made him a lot of scrambled eggs. I figured protein was important for the healing process. At first, he wondered if they were too much trouble…which was when I realized, no, scrambled eggs are no trouble at all. Yes, they take a few minutes longer than a bowl of cottage cheese, but, trouble? None at all.
Eggs are great for gluten-free breakfasts, and good scrambled eggs can be the base for other dishes. Mix in some cooked and crumbled sausage or diced spinach (or other veggies) to jazz up your basic eggs.