gluten free

Early Spring Salad with Fennel, Watercress, Pomegranate, and Hazelnut Vinaigrette

February 25, 2013
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In Southern California, fennel grows wild along the highway, a product of some long ago wayward seed blown by the wind or dropped by a bird. The frothy fronds with their wispy yellow flowers grow as tall as a tree alongside the stretch of coastline going through Camp Pendleton between Los Angeles and San Diego. I’ve often considered pulling over to see what they’d be like if I tried to dig one up, but I have yet to brave the highway traffic to do so.

Thought to have been brought to California by the Spanish hundreds of years ago, today wild fennel is considered by many to be an invasive plant. But never fear, if you’d like to grow it in your garden, you can buy non-invasive varieties. Easier still, just buy it in the market. While it’s available almost year round, the peak fennel season is autumn through early …

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Winter Quinoa Salad with Mixed Beans and Tahini-Chili Dressing

January 12, 2011
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Last year I did a 21 day cleanse diet which I detailed here on the blog. During that time I adhered to a very simple, yet strict, set of rules; no sugar, no alcohol, no caffeine, no wheat gluten and no animal products (totally vegan) for the entire three weeks. I was very proud to be able to say I completed my goals with no cheating. It was an eye-opening experience and taught me three big things; I have the will power to say no to donuts (and everything else for 3 weeks), that pork really isn’t a food group (I didn’t need to eat meat protein at every meal), and that I have the skills to eat well even with limitations. That said, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to return to how I normally eat when it was over.

Even though my typical diet …

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Molasses Spice Cookies (Gluten Free)

December 14, 2010
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I haven’t always had the best luck with gluten free baking. I bought all the right flours and starches, but my experience when trying to bake gluten free bread was less than positive; it was edible but not something I’d eat by choice. While I don’t need to eat gluten free I have friends and family who do and when it came time to bake some holiday cookies, I realized that everything I wanted to give had gluten in it. That didn’t really seem fair to me. Who wants to get a box of something beautiful they can’t eat?

I set out to find a decent gluten free cookie recipe, and was hoping to find something not just “good enough for gluten free” but simply “good enough to eat.” I’m happy to say I think I’ve found it and no surprise, it was on the well known Gluten Free Girl

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Spinach Salad with Persimmons, Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese and a Toasted Hazelnut Vinaigrette

November 22, 2010
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Every year we try to change it up somewhat when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. But there are so many “traditional” dishes that we have to make (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes…) that the options for change really only come within the green-vegetable-side-dish category. This year I thought a salad might be a nice, lighter choice to counterbalance the heavy (but oh-so-good) starches that dominate the traditional sides.

I have a persimmon tree, and this year have a surplus of fruit as those of you with fruit trees know how that happens. I thought that perhaps people would be looking for something to make with those persimmons other than the typical cookies, or even my own Persimmon Cranberry Bread. I’ve set some of my Fuyus aside in the refrigerator to keep them firm until Thanksgiving day because rather than ripe soft fruit, this salad needs to be made with the …

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Cambodian Roasted Eggplant and Pork plus a Giveaway!

November 1, 2010
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There are certain combinations of flavors which are considered classic and always paired together; chocolate and peanut butter, tomatoes and basil, or tequila and lime. For me, eggplant and pork have always been a favorite. It’s not uncommon to see this pair across many different cuisines; it’s common in Chinese stir-frys, Thai curries, Italian pork stuffed eggplant, and Latin American stews. One of the first recipes I put on this blog was a pasta with eggplant and pancetta.

We saw eggplant and pork frequently on menus in Cambodia and ordered it often. It can be found everywhere from street stalls to high-end Khmer restaurants. As many times as we ordered it, each verson was different; sometimes the pork was ground and other times it was sliced. Most of the time the eggplant was roasted, but occasionally it was cubed.

This dish is my take on the Cambodian Roasted Eggplant with …

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Quinoa Salad with Shrimp, Asparagus, Fresh Corn and Herb Lime Vinaigrette

May 27, 2010
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We were ahead of our time.
Flashback 1993: big hair, dark red lipstick and restaurant baseball cap on backwards. Clogs and Chef’s Wear baggy pants with wild prints on them (come on, if you worked in a restaurant in the 90′s you know you wore them too).

I was part of the opening team of a new restaurant with an ambitious concept; “healthy food”, whole grains, no red meat, lots of seafood, organic produce whenever possible, and no hard alcohol. There was a “harvest table” with a daily selection of incredible salads and vegetables, most made with the aforementioned whole grains and organic produce. The matchbooks were filled with wildflower seeds not matches. We had the best of intentions and everyone was excited to be a part of it.
Unfortunately, the healthy concept and the harvest table did not last long, victims of the times, the location, poor …

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