And Then I Was Glutened

I was glutened. Despite my best precautions, somehow gluten snuck onto my plate. I’m not 100% sure when it happened, but it did. It’s been a long time since my last accidental glutening, and, weirdly, I didn’t quite realize why my body was out of whack.

Then the memories came flooding back. Continue reading “And Then I Was Glutened”

Broccoli and White Beans with Goat Cheese and Lemon Dressing

If you’d asked seven-year old me how I often I’d eat broccoli as an adult, I’d have probably put the number at about “never”. Poor, deluded seven-year old me. It turns out I eat broccoli (and its relatives) all the time.

I love this salad. It has roasted broccoli (fact: all vegetables are better roasted), beans, cheese, and a lemony dressing. It’s basically a summer salad that happens to be filling, delicious, and vegetarian if you omit the anchovies (plus, ahem, gluten free!).

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”

Strawberry, Kale, and Buckwheat Salad

This salad is great for parties, weeknight meals, or hot summer evenings. Buckwheat adds great flavor, especially since it’s dressed in a lemony sauce. I love that the whole thing is on the table in under thirty minutes — while the buckwheat cooks, you can prepare the strawberries.

I make this salad without cheese for a vegan option. If you like cheese — and it will add a salty component to the dish — ricotta is great. Feta works. Even blue cheeses are lovely. I also love to add toasted nuts or seeds, like pumpkin, to the dish for some crunch.

Note: start testing the buckwheat for doneness about twelve minutes into the simmer. You want the grains to be firm, not mushy. That way they hold their shape and add texture to this salad.

Homemade Salad Dressings

A year or so ago, a friend tweeted to the world at large about her major discovery: making her own salad dressing was fun! And easy! And it tasted so much better than bottled dressing!

Yeah, we all tweeted back, we know. Welcome to the club.

Since going gluten free, one of my rules for food is that what I eat should include as few ingredients as possible (it makes reading labels so much easier!). I also want to be able to pronounce every ingredient. If you look at the ingredients on a bottle of commercial salad dressing, you might wonder what is going on. I, for one, am curious why “color” needs to be added to some of these products. Continue reading “Homemade Salad Dressings”

Salad Cravings

The first time I realized I had a problem with salads was when I found myself going to the same place for lunch every day for a month (okay, longer)…because I was addicted to their chopped salad. Co-workers stopped going to lunch with me. Apparently, they thought you could have too much of a good thing.

Sometimes, I just don’t understand people.

I’ve also been obsessed with Wedge Salads. It’s an incredibly simple salad, featuring the much-maligned Iceberg lettuce. Sometimes, however, Iceberg is the perfect lettuce…think of how satisfying it is on a hot summer day!

As a gluten-free diner, I know salads are often the safest food on the menu. I also know they’re often the most boring. Indifferent lettuce, tasteless dressings, chunks of vegetables. Oh, and do not forget the anemic, out-of-season tomatoes.

This is why, unless I’m at one of my favorite restaurants — for example, Tender Greens in Pasadena or Culver City — I tend to confine my salad cravings to my home. I can indulge in fresh avocado, crisp-tender blanched veggies, salty salami, freshly made dressings.

Of course, salads are more than lettuce. I turn my Roasted Sweet Potatoes into a great salad featuring a mustardy vinaigrette. I love creative potato salads. Since I’ve never been a huge mayo person, I gravitate toward vinaigrette dressings with my potatoes. Lentil salads. Broccoli salads. Fruit salads — good fruit salads, not the indifferent couple of chunks of melon and pineapple that so many restaurants serve.

Side salads, salads as meals. Salads. Three guesses what I’m craving as I write this?