Archive for the Gluten Free Category

Rosemary Chickpeas & Bell Peppers

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Fast food doesn’t have to come from a restaurant. Rosemary Chickpeas and Bell Peppers is a dish that requires little prep time and cooks up in less than 20 minutes. It’s a great vegetarian recipe that I usually enjoy with polenta or brown rice.

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Rosemary Chickpeas & Bell Peppers

  • Serves 4

1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, small dice (3/4 c.)

1 rosemary sprig (about 7 in.)

½ tsp. kosher salt, divided

3 garlic cloves, minced (1 Tbsp.)

3 medium bell peppers, large dice (12 oz.)

15.5 oz. can low sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 Tbsp. dry white wine

pepper, to taste

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, rosemary sprig, and ¼ tsp. kosher salt and cook for about 3 minutes. Mix in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add peppers, chickpeas, and ¼ tsp. kosher salt and cook covered for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 6 minutes. Add white wine, scrape up brown bits from the bottom of the pan, and cook for 2 more minutes or until peppers are cooked. Add pepper to taste, adjust salt as needed, and drizzle with 1 tsp. olive oil before serving.

Note: You may have heard that plant-based proteins (beans, nuts, seeds, bread, cereal, pasta, and rice), except for soy beans, are “incomplete proteins”. This means that they lack one or more of the nine essential amino acids that our body cannot produce on its own. To complete “incomplete proteins”, make sure to consume a variety of protein sources throughout the day. For instance, rosemary chickpeas at lunch can be complemented by rice at dinner.

For more information take a look at Diana Burrell’s article: “Build Muscle, No Steak Required” at

http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442463961&terms=vegetarian%20protein#.UQxINqU81fF

Spiced Watermelon Fig Popsicles

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My summer was way too short, so I’m holding on to the season with the last watermelons and figs that I can find. Last Saturday, I bought the very last watermelon that the farmer’s market had in my neighborhood and it was delicious! This week, my nearby Stop and Shop has watermelons on sale, so let’s enjoy them before they’re all gone.

Watermelon is an amazing fruit that is made up of 91% water plus vitamins A and C, potassium, and lycopene. One cup of watermelon has almost 2x the amount of lycopene in 1 fresh tomato! Figs are a great source of potassium, calcium, and iron. Since iron absorption is increased by vitamin C, the watermelon, lemon juice, and white grape juice in this recipe aid in the absorption of iron from the figs.

The flavor of Spiced Watermelon Fig Popsicles bridges the end of summer with the beginning of fall. If you’ve already had enough popsicles for the season, you might enjoy this recipe as a smoothie instead!

Spiced Watermelon Fig Popsicles

  • Makes 6

1½ cups watermelon cut into about ½ inch chunks

1 cup fresh figs cut in quarters (about 6 large)

1 Tbsp. honey*

1 tsp. lemon juice

3 shakes cinnamon

2 shakes nutmeg

100% white grape juice (about ½ cup)

Blend first 6 ingredients until smooth and add enough grape juice to bring the total to 2¼ cups. Blend once more to mix in juice and pour into popsicle molds.

*Adjust honey according to sweetness of the watermelon. Also, remember not to introduce honey to children less than 1 year of age.

Freshly Picked Blueberries

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Last week, I enjoyed the simple pleasure of blueberry picking with friends.

I brought home a little more than 1.5 lbs with the thought that I would use some to make a blueberry galette and simply add the rest to pancakes, cereal, and yogurt. I tried to save 3 cups of blueberries for the galette, but I’ve eaten almost all of the blueberries up. I especially apprecited Fresh Blueberries added to Greek Maple Yogurt! You can make Greek Maple Yogurt by mixing at least 1 Tbsp. maple syrup into a 6 oz. container of non-fat Greek yogurt.

You might even be able to buy Greek Maple Yogurt at your supermarket. Sometimes, I buy Green Mountain Creamery’s yogurt made with only 2 ingredients: cultured pasteurized nonfat milk and maple syrup, as it should be made! http://greenmountaincreamery.com/index.php/our-yogurt/greek-yogurt.html

Spanish-Style Tuna & Potato Salad

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I recently discovered that Tuna & Potato Salad is a classic Spanish recipe. I should’ve guessed it, since my first taste of this salad was prepared by my Spanish boyfriend’s mother! In writing this recipe, I stayed true to the ingredients that Mama Conde typically uses. However, roasted red peppers and mayonnaise can also be added with tasty results.

Spanish-Style Tuna & Potato Salad

  •  Serves 3 to 4

3/4 lb. white potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½ in. pieces

6 oz. can tuna, drained if water-packed and mixed with 1 tsp. olive oil

½ cup halved Pimiento-stuffed Manzanilla olives, preferably reduced salt*

½ cup cooked peas

2  Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. white onion, very finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 boiled eggs, sliced

sweet Spanish paprika, optional garnish

1. Add potatoes to a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 8 minutes or until just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool slightly.

2. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Garnish with the boiled egg and paprika, as desired.

*Pearls® brand has reduced the sodium content of their olives from 310mg to 70mg per 4 olive serving. Nice!

TLC & Baked Banana Oatmeal

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According to the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) program, consumption of 5-10 grams (g) of soluble fiber on a daily basis can help reduce “bad” cholesterol by 3-5%. Soluble fiber blocks the absorption of cholesterol and fats through the wall of the small intestines into the bloodstream.

To get 5 g of soluble fiber in the diet, one can consume: ½ cup of cooked oatmeal (1 g), one medium orange (2 g), and one medium pear (2 g).

To obtain 10 g of soluble fiber, a person can add on: 1/2 cup cooked brussels sprouts (3 g), ½ cup cooked barley (1 g), and ½ cup cooked lentils (1 g).

For much more information about the TLC program check out: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/chol_tlc.pdf

Baked Banana Oatmeal is an old recipe that my sister has recently revived to add some great-tasting soluble fiber to my dad’s diet and to give his heart some tender, loving care. It’s perfect for breakfast or an any-time snack.

Study Break

Baked Banana Oatmeal

  • Serves 4 to 6

1 3/4 cups traditional oats

1/4 to 1/3 cup brown sugar*

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 cup craisins

1 1/3 cups skim milk

1 egg or 2 egg whites, beaten

1 large ripe banana, mashed

Canola oil, for coating pan

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine next two ingredients in another bowl. Stir milk mixture into the oat mixture and pour into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with a small amount of canola oil. Top with chopped nuts. Bake for 18 minutes and broil for 1-2 minutes to toast the nuts. Now it’s time to enjoy a portion of baked oatmeal straight out of the pan or in  a bowl with a little bit of milk mixed in!

*Adjust sugar according to the sweetness of the banana.

Yogurt Praise!

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So, I’ve been extremely busy for the last 4 months as a dietetic intern. My experience working in the hospital has been wonderful so far, but my culinary creativity has suffered somewhat. I realized that my cooking is mostly inspired by the people I love, but they are home in NYC. Grocery shopping here is also not as great as it is in NYC. I miss the overflowing variety! But today, I found a fairly new grocery store that made me feel more like I was at home. There was an assortment of foods at this market that made me feel that I might discover something exciting and new.

Cascade Fresh yogurt grabbed my attention at 89 cents for every 6 oz. cup. After looking over the ingredients and nutrition facts, I happily welcomed the yogurt into my shopping basket.  I applaud Cascade Fresh for making yogurt with only about 16g sugar per container of fat free yogurt. They use fruit juice to sweeten their yogurt and are able to create a product with much less sugar than most yogurts, which have about 26g sugar.

The first flavor that I’ve enjoyed has been Green Apple Pie. If Cascade Fresh is not available where you shop, but you also want to lower your intake of added sugar from yogurt, try mixing plain yogurt with flavored yogurt. I was doing that for years. For more information, check out http://cascadefresh.com/.

 

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Posted in Gluten Free, Savory, Simply Delicious, Vegan | 2 Comments »

Looking for a new side-salad? Try this salad of raw zucchini ribbons tossed in an almond butter dressing. If you don’t have almond butter, try peanut butter as a substitute.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad 

  • Serves 4

1 garlic clove, crushed

5 tsp. red wine vinegar

3 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. almond butter

kosher salt, to taste

2 small zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise

1. Add the garlic clove, vinegar, oil, and almond butter to a large bowl and mix together until smooth. Season with salt.

2. Use a peeler to make zucchini ribbons about 1/2 inch wide.

3. Remove the garlic from the dressing. Add zucchini and toss to coat.

Mexican Rice with Chicken

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During my high school years, my best friend and I enjoyed eating a bowl of Mexican Rice for lunch when it was on the menu. It was tasty and healthy in comparison to the standard fried chicken nuggets, chicken fingers, shoestring chicken, chicken tenders, popcorn chicken, and of course French fries! My recipe for Mexican Rice is made with brown rice and chunks of chicken, which I recommend serving with a green salad on the side for a well-rounded meal.

Mexican Rice and Chicken

  • Serves 4

1 Tbsp. olive oil

½ c. onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

¼ c. carrot, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 c. brown rice

2 ½ cup chicken broth

1 lb. chicken breast, cut into large chunks

¼ tsp. kosher salt

 1. Heat oil in a 4 qt. pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and carrot and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.

 2. Mix in the rice and then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, stir once, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Then, sprinkle salt over the chicken pieces and add them to the rice. Stir once and simmer, covered, for 20 more minutes. Remove from heat, let stand for 5 minutes, and fluff rice with a fork before serving.

A couple of tropical fruits

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A few weeks ago, I was enjoying the warm weather of the Philippines and many of the sweet flavors of the tropics. There I was introduced to a new fruit – Chico

When I first tasted Chico, I was surprised by its slightly granular texture and wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue eating it. However, I took another bite and delighted in its unique flavor – a combination of ripe pear and brown sugar. I liked it so much that I encouraged my sister to try one!

I also had the opportunity to taste fresh Jackfruit for the first time. Any time I’ve eaten Jackfruit in New York, I’ve had it coated in syrup from a can or a jar. I always liked it, but I knew Jackfruit would even be better fresh. So when I saw the large fruit being sold at a roadside fruit stand, I bought a piece of it. When I got it to the hotel, my mom and my aunt helped to remove the yellow flesh from the seeds.

This Jackfruit had a slightly crisp texture with a flavor that some people describe as banana-like. I enjoyed the fresh fruit, but what I liked even more were Jackfruit chips! They were crunchy, light, sweet, and not at all oily. Here’s a link to the fruit chips that I tasted in the Philippines: 

 http://www.amazon.com/Mit-Say-Vinatural-Fruit-Chips/dp/B003UPOMRO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=grocery&qid=1296053040&sr=1-3

They’re expensive to order on Amazon.com! One day, preferably when it’s not snowing, I’ll hunt for them in Chinatown so that I can taste them again and share them with friends.

Fruit and Nut Snack Bars

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I’ve been snacking on Larabars for a couple of years now. I like them because they are made with simple, tasty ingredients. For example, the Apple Pie Larabar is made of dates, almonds, unsweetened apples, walnuts, raisins and cinnamon. I buy the Apple Pie and the Cherry Pie flavors because they have less than 5 % daily value saturated fat.

Lately, I’ve discovered Pure Organic’s Chocolate Brownie bar. It’s amazing! The mixture of organic dates, walnuts, agave nectar, almonds, cashews, brown rice protein, and cocoa remind me of the Little Debbie brownies I ate as a young girl. It’s a healthy way to get your chocolate fix.

Read more healthful facts about these bars at:

http://www.larabar.com/food/larabar/apple-pie

http://www.larabar.com/food/larabar/cherry-pie

http://thepurebar.com/pure-products/our-6-flavors/chocolate/