Category Archives: Gluten-Free

Italian Sausages with Bell Peppers and Polenta

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This dish  offers the classic Italian-American combination of sausage and peppers on a bed of polenta enriched with Parmesan cheese. By putting the emphasis on the peppers and onions, it makes an indulgent meal a healthy one, as well, with 34 grams of protein and just 31 grams of fat.

Serves 2

Ingredients:
½ cup polenta
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 mild pork sausages
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
2-3 Italian frying peppers, sliced, seeds discarded
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
2-3 springs fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves, torn

Directions:
To cook the polenta,  add 4 cups of water to a 2-quart sauce pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Whisk in the polenta and let the water return to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta thickens and absorbs most of the water, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
While the polenta cooks, prepare the sausage and peppers.

In a 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking. Add the sausages and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate. Do not wipe out the pan.

In the same pan used to cook the sausage, warm 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onions, season with salt, and cook until the onions begin to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic, and rosemary, and continue cooking until the peppers start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup wine, if using and cook until the wine has almost completely evaporated. Stir in the tomato paste and 1½ cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook until the liquid has thickened, about 5 minutes. Slice the sausages and add them to the pan, turning once or twice until heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

To serve, transfer the polenta to serving bowls and top with the sausage and peppers. Garnish with torn fresh basil.

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Purple Sweet Potato Drunken Noodles

 

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Polenta Pizza

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Gooey cheese melting into baked polenta—crisp on the outside with a creamy interior—is as satisfying as a pizza but it’s gluten-free. Serve with a green salad for a satisfying meatless Monday meal.

 Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the polenta crust:
1 1/3 cups  gluten-free medium-ground cornmeal
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2  tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed

For the topping:
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated
1/4 cup thin asparagus spears, sliced into  1 1/2 inch lengths
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2  tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup  freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

Directions:
To make the polenta crust, in a microwave-safe bowl, mix 4 cups  water, the cornmeal and 1 3/4 teaspoon salt. Place in the microwave and cook at the high setting for 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly, then return to the microwave and cook at the high setting for 5 more minutes. Stir well. Return to the microwave and cook at the high setting until very thick, about 5 minutes longer. Stir again, and then mix in the 1 1/2  tablespoons olive oil and a generous amount of pepper.

Brush a large pizza pan generously with olive oil. Spread the cornmeal mixture out on the pan in a circle about 1/3 inch thick and about 12 inches  in diameter, building up the edges slightly.

Preheat an oven to 375°F .

Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the pizza crust on the pizza pan, leaving a border.

In a small bowl, mix the tomatoes,  asparagus, shallot, 1 1/2  tablespoons olive oil, garlic and the vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the tomato mixture over the cheese. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake the pizza until it is beginning to brown in spots, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes to set up. Sprinkle with the oregano and serve immediately with forks and knives for eating.

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Creamy Polenta

Polenta, in short, is a cornmeal porridge that is a common dish in Northern Italy. It’s frequently eaten with meats and ragù, cheese like gorgonzola, or condiments like mostarda d’uva, a grape-and-nut jam from Piedmont. It can either be eaten freshly cooked, much like a thick porridge, or it can be cooled and then sliced and fried, grilled, or baked.

Long before corn was brought from the Americas to Europe, polenta was already a staple food—it just wasn’t made from corn, obviously. The name originally comes from the Latin word for pearled grain (like barley), and the dish, a gruel that could be made with all sorts of grains and legumes, dates back to Roman times.

Today, it’s no longer associated with those other grains, just corn (or, in the case of polenta taragna, cornmeal mixed with buckwheat). While there are certain heirloom varieties of corn, like otto file and biancoperla, that some prefer over the more generic stuff, for all practical purposes any medium- or coarsely ground cornmeal will do. Even grits, which often have a coarser grind than polenta and are sometimes made with a different variety of corn , are a perfectly acceptable substitute in just about any situation requiring polenta.

The first thing that’s helpful to know is that polenta doesn’t have to be made with a product that says “polenta” on the package. There’s nothing wrong with using a product designed exclusively for polenta, but you can just as easily use any medium or coarse-ground cornmeal.

There are a lot of old wives tales people say you need to follow to make polenta, like using a wooden spoon, stirring in only one direction, adding the polenta to boiling water, and stirring constantly. Forget those rules, because none of them could be further from the truth. What’s really important is using the right ratio of liquid to cornmeal and cooking the polenta long enough for the cornmeal to properly hydrate and cook. Pre-soaking helps hydrate the cornmeal and cuts down on actual cooking time.This recipe allows you to choose whether to use water, stock, or milk as your liquid (though I’m partial to the light, clean flavor of a water-based polenta), and can either be served right away with braised meats or cheese like gorgonzola dolce, or chilled, cut into pieces, and seared, grilled, or fried.

Adapted From
Daniel Gritzer, Culinary Director
SeriousEats.com
May 2015 

Ingredients:
5 cups water, milk, or chicken or vegetables stock (See Cook’s Notes)
1 cup medium or coarse yellow cornmeal (See Cook’s Notes)
Kosher salt, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
Pre-soak the  cornmeal, which requires advance planning but cuts cooking time roughly in half, combine water with cornmeal in a large mixing bowl and let stand, covered, at room temperature overnight. When ready to cook, scrape soaked cornmeal and water into a large saucier or saucepan and set over high heat.

Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Let boil, stirring frequently, until polenta thickens enough that it starts to  sputter or “spit”. Lower heat immediately to prevent spitting and continue to cook, stirring frequently with a spoon or silicone spatula and scraping bottom to prevent scorching, until polenta becomes thick and pulls away from side of saucepan, for  about 30 minutes. Taste and season with salt.

Stir in butter or olive oil using either a spoon, silicon spatula, or whisk. If the polenta forms lumps, beat vigorously with a stiff whisk to remove the lumps. If polenta becomes too firm or begins to set, add a small amount of water, stock, or milk, and beat in with a whisk until fully incorporate and no lumps remain.

Serve right away with accompaniment of your choice, or scrape into a vessel and chill until set, then cut into pieces for grilling, searing, or frying.

Cook’s Notes:
Any medium or coarse cornmeal will work here, whether the package says “polenta” or not; avoid instant polenta, which promises a quick cooking time in exchange for sub-par flavor and texture. For the liquid, milk will produce a rich and creamy polenta that is delicious and indulgent, but also very heavy. Chicken or stock vegetable will infuse the polenta with more flavor, but that flavor can also cover up the taste of the cornmeal. Water produces the lightest polenta with a mild corn flavor that pairs well with everything and won’t leave you feeling weighed down after eating it.

All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

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Greek Minty Meatballs

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Serves 4
Ingredients:

1 pound  ground beef
2 Tablespoons schmaltz (chicken fat)
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped mint
2 Tablespoons chopped oregano
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
One 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry, and chopped
Tomato sauce (optional)
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Mix beef, schmaltz, feta cheese, parsley, mint, oregano, lemon juice, lemon pepper, salt, garlic and peppers together in a large bowl, blending in cheese until no large crumbles remain. Using a 2-ounce scoop (1/8 cup) to measure, roll into 16 meatballs and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until browned and cooked through, about 25 minutes.
If desired, heat the tomato sauce in a medium saucepan and place the in the  tomato sauce and simmer, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
To serve, place the meatballs on a serving platter. Drizzle the meatballs with the sauce   and garnish with fresh mint leaves.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Beet Soup with Crispy Potato Croutons

 

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A gorgeous, healthy, and very tasty beet soup that is elegant, yet simple to make. Beets and sauteed onions and garlic simmer in vegetable stock before being finished with a swirl of coconut milk. Velvety smooth, impress your guests with this soup as a first course, as it t goes great with crusty bread and champagne.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
For the Potato Croutons:
2  /2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

For the Beet Soup:
2 Tablespoons olive  oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt, to  taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
2½ pounds beets, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 cups vegetable stock
Juice of 1 lemon
One 13-ounce can of coconut milk
Chopped fresh dill, for garnish (optional)
Sliced scallions, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
For the Potato Croutons:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of water, add the vinegar and salt to taste and boil until very soft. Drain the potatoes, and return them to the saucepan. Holding the lid on tightly, shake the pan to fluff up the edges of the potatoes.

Transfer the potatoes to a baking tray, and toss in a generous amount of  olive oil. Spread them out into a single layer. Season with salt,black pepper thyme and toss to coat.

Roast the potatoes for about 25 minutes, then turn each piece of potato over. Return to the oven for  another 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside.

For the Beet Soup:
Put the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the beets and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, then add the stock.

Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat so the mixture simmers gently. Cook until the vegetables are fully soft and tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Add the lemon juice  the coconut milk and purée with a blender.Blend until smooth – if you find th too thick at this point then add water until you reached your desired consistency.Taste and adjust the seasoning,with salt and pepper.

Place the soup into a saucepan and let it heat up to the perfect eating temperature.

To serve, pour the soup into bowls and sprinkle each bowl with the roast potato croutons.

Garnished with the  dill or scallions, if desired.

The soup can be served cold as well. Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to several days.

 

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TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Bacon Pimento Cheese Dip

Pimento cheese is a staple in the Southern United States, but in the last few years, it has been  gaining popularity outside the South.  Here is an easy recipe where you can make your own pimento cheese spread with a bacony twist. Served with Ritz crackers, this is the perfect dip to be served as a appetizer for any given party.Enjoy!

 

Serves 8

Ingredients:
8 slices hickory smoked bacon
1 cup gluten-free mayonnaise
4 ounces cream cheese
One 4 -ounce jar diced pimentos, drained
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
2-3 scallions, diced
2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
Kosher salt, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook bacon in a large deep skillet or sauté pan over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towel; allow to cool and crumble.

In medium bowl, stir together bacon, mayonnaise, cream cheese, pimentos, jalapeño peppers, scallions and shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Evenly spread the mixture in an ovenproof 2-quart casserole dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and bubbly.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Tofu Nuggets

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Adapted from
Alice Currah
Kitchen Explorers, 2015

These seasoned fried tofu nuggets make a great vegetarian option for the more popular chicken nuggets. Dipped in a seasoned batter and pan fried to a crisp golden brown, these nuggets are known to convert tofu haters into lovers.Unlike chicken, making a baked version of this dish is not easy or recommended. There is so much moisture the tofu holds that frying at a relatively high heat quickly gives the batter its nice crispy golden texture. If the tofu sits out too long, the batter becomes wet due to the liquid within the tofu. So enjoy them while they are warm. These seasoned tofu nuggets are irresistibly good and will make tofu haters into lovers. Enjoy!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 package extra firm tofu
½ cup chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 vegetable bullion cube, slightly dissolved in 1/4 teaspoon of  water
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (available in the health food section, bulk spices)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup water
Coconut oil, for frying

Directions:
Place the block of tofu on top of a flat strainer and place a flat plate over the top of the tofu. Then place a heavy pot on top of the plate. This will allow the tofu to expel as much water as possible. Allow the tofu to drain for 1 hour.

Cut the tofu into rough, 2-inch cubes.

In a medium bowl, stir in the flour,  baking powder, baking soda, yeast,  dissolved bullion, garlic powder, salt,  five spice powder paprika and black pepper.Slowly add the water, whisking as you go. The mixture should be the consistency of pancake batter.

Pour 1/3-inch level of oil into a medium pan. Heat the oil on medium heat.

Working in small batches, generously coat the tofu cubes with the seasoned batter.

Without overcrowding the pan, fry the bottom of the tofu until the batter turns to a crispy golden brown. Flip the cubes and cook until the rest of the tofu cubes are crispy and golden brown. Place finished cubes on a plate lined with a paper towel.

Continue to do this until all the cubes have been fried.

The tofu will be very hot. Allow the tofu to cool for five minutes. Serve with your choice of condiment and enjoy while warm and crisp.

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Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts

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Inspired by Chinese Cantonese Cuisine, this light and refreshing dish is so easy to prepare. Make sure  that you use fresh bean sprouts, rather than the canned variety, for a crunchy texture. The beauty of this dish is that it can served hot or cold and is perfect for a light lunch or an evening meal.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 2/3 cups fresh bean sprouts
3 scallions
1 medium red bell pepper
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
A dash of sesame seed oil

Directions:
Using a colander, rinse the bean sprouts in cold water, discarding any husks or small pieces that float to the top. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels and set aside.

Slice the scallions on the diagonal in short sections. Core the red bell pepper, removing the seeds and cut the red bell pepper into thin strips.

Heat the oil in a preheated wok or large saute pan. Add the bean sprouts, scallions and red bell pepper. Stir fry for about 2 minutes

Add the sugar, salt, soy sauce and sesame seed oil to the vegetables. Stir well to blend. Serve hot or cold.

Cook’s Notes:
As a variation, you can use thinly sliced red chili peppers with the seeds removed, to give will give this dish a spicy bite. You can also leave the seeds in for an even more hotter taste.

Shaved Asparagus Salad With Limoncello Vinaigrette

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I love spring time produce and there is nothing more perfect than long green stalks of asparagus for a really quick meal.

What is trending in the food world right now is shaved vegetables eaten raw, like carrots, Brussel sprouts, and asparagus. And the best thing about shaved vegetables, you can eat them raw, making them the perfect ingredient for light salads that can be served for lunch and/or dinner.

In this recipe, a Limoncello vinaigrette is called for as a dressing for the salad. However, you can just use freshly squeezed lemon juice tossed with the shave asparagus for a truly paleo gluten-free salad.

Enjoy!

Serves 4

Ingredients:
One pound large asparagus spears, washed, trimmed and peeled

For the Vinaigrette:
1⁄4 cup limoncello
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1⁄2 teaspoons dijon-style mustard
1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste

Blood orange zest, for garnish
Lemon zest, for garnish

Directions:
Working with 1 asparagus spear at a time, use a vegetable peeler to shave spears into long, thin shavings. Transfer to a medium bowl. The the tips will snap off as spears get thinner, so add them to the bowl as well.

Whisk the limoncello, lemon juice, zest and mustard in a small bowl.Whisk in the olive oil and season to taste with salt.

Drizzle vinaigrette over shaved asparagus and toss to coat. Divide asparagus salad among plates. Sprinkle orange an lemon zest over the salad and serve immediately.

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