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Friday, February 24, 2012

quinoa with oven roasted tomatoes + grilled asparagus -- gluten free + dairy free

this week was quite interesting. i went in for my 4th annual food allergy test and to my amazement (again) i have new food allergies to contend with! a lot of my existing allergies have subdued - like corn and apple. unfortunately, i'm still showing allergic to yeast - so i'll be sticking to quick breads. the biggest bummer of them all - chocolate. beloved, dark, dark, delicious chocolate.

like hell. nothing will EVER come between me and chocolate. i must draw a line somewhere and this one is in indelible ink. 

after years of not eating red meat, i've finally reintroduced it back into my diet per my acupuncturist/herbologists recommendation. i've got to be honest - i forgot just how good it is. mark and i recently started buying local, organic bison and have been concocting new recipes. last night we made bison meatballs and decided to whip together a quinoa side instead of the usual rice pasta (loaded with carbs and lots of nothingness). i took inventory of what fresh veggies i had readily available - i was too lazy to make my way back to the store and found myself with limited options - roma tomatoes and asparagus. then i dug through the pantry and decided on quinoa versus my regular fail safe brown rice.

to start i oven roasted organic plum tomatoes and grilled asparagus on the grill to give it a smoky, charred flavor. i chopped up the tomatoes and asparagus and tossed them into quinoa cooked with vegetable stock instead of water - which imparts more depth of flavor. this is a super easy side dish that goes well with fish, chicken, pork, red meat, or with more vegetables.

quinoa with oven roasted tomatoes + grilled asparagus
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1.5 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock - if you prefer)
  • 10 stalks asparagus
  • 4 large plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp honey (make vegan by using agave nectar instead of honey)
  • 1 small garlic clove - minced
  • 2-3 fresh basil leaves - chiffonaded
  • kosher salt + pepper
to begin rinse quinoa well then combine with stock in a pot - add a pinch of kosher salt, then stir. bring to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer and cover with lid. cook 15 minutes or until quinoa is fully cooked and water is absorbed. if you still have too much water in your pot, place the lid on the pot so that it is ajar and steam can escape - continue to cook until absorbed. 

while the quinoa is cooking prepare the tomatoes and asparagus. heat oven to 400 degrees. quarter each plum tomato then remove seeds + excess liquid with a spoon.  arrange tomatoes on a sheet pan and drizzle with 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, minced garlic, basil leaves and sprinkle with salt + pepper. cook at 400 degrees around 25-30, or until most moisture has evaporated and tomatoes have started to caramelize. remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes, then roughly chop tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces. 

remove woody ends from asparagus. coat with 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt + pepper. place on a hot grill around 10 minutes, until asparagus turns bright green and being to show grill marks. remove from grill and cut into 1/2 inch segments. 

pour cooked quinoa into a large serving bowl and gently stir in oven roasted tomatoes and grilled asparagus. drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. finally, to finish off the dish - toss in some additional chiffonaded basil. 

before i bid you farewell - be sure to stop by these other bloggers websites for decorating inspiration, more food-allergy friendly recipes or for a good read.

Friday, February 17, 2012

kale salad + ginger dressing -- gluten free + dairy free

get your green on. as you likely already know, kale is one of the most nutritious leafy greens you can consume. its chockfull of vitamins and nutrients. need calcium? eat kale. it also comes along with a hefty does of betacarotene as well as fiber! superfood it is, and super tasty too. 

recently, i've been sporting savory breakfasts. instead of eating lots of carbs, i'm loading up on protein and greens. my favorite is organic eggs, local organic chicken sausage and a bed of simple-steamed kale. i recommend over-easy eggs so that the yolk creates a warm, runny dressing. it perfectly coats the kale and then i top it all off with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. i can't tell you how energized i feel in the morning versus eating an 'energy bar' or gluten free - sugar packed cereal. i dare you to try it. sure, it takes a few more minutes in the morning, but heck - you're worth it! better yet - skip the chicken sausage and use that leftover salmon. THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN LEFTOVER SALMON FOR BREAKFAST!!!!!!! 

no, i'm not nuts.

my boyfriend and i run through at least 2-3 bunches of kale a week. he makes the most incredible kale soup monthly, while i eat it for breakfast and raw, as salad greens. one of my favorite salads is simple and easy to whip together. chances are you have everything in your pantry already. check out the easy to whip together kale salad recipe below...

before i get into the recipe - check out my extra-super-duper-neato giveaway this week. rudi's gluten free has contributed a goody bag with 2 free gluten free loaf coupons, a reusable rudi's tote AND a cute rudi's gluten free toaster! to enter the contest please leave a comment (along with you email address) telling me about your favorite superfood.

kale salad with ginger dressing

  • 4-5 stalks kale - any variety will do (washed and roughly chopped)
  • 1/8 cup roughly chopped almonds
  • 1 tbsp candied ginger roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • kosher salt + pepper to taste
combine candied ginger, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and sesame oil in a large bowl. whisk together. throw chopped kale into bowl and toss to coat kale with the dressing. season with salt and pepper, then toss in chopped almonds.

best part about this dish is that it holds up well in the fridge - leave it in there a day or two - the kale can withstand the cold, and won't get mushy or wilty like most lettuces.