Thursday, September 26, 2013

Italian Veggie Bake

This is a Wheat Belly recipe, and while it's delicious, there's quite a bit of prep involved. It reheats well though and makes a ton. You could also use jarred sauce and shave some time off.

Diced tomatoes, torn fresh basil, salt, dried parsley, dried oregano, and garlic simmered until it got nice and soupy.

Mine got a little too soupy, so I stirred in a few tablespoons of tomato paste to thicken it up. Then I hit it with the immersion blender until it was smooth. While the sauce was going, I layered some big slabs of tomato in a dish topped with sauteed veggies (fresh spinach, half an onion, 1/2 cup of chopped sundried tomatoes, more garlic).

Next came the sauce, some pre-baked eggplant and zucchini slices, another layer of sauce, and cheese. Basically a big old lasagna with no noodles. Not a bad substitute, honestly!

View from the Top

I met an old co-worker for lunch downtown and parked in a nearby garage. I love that pretty much any parking garage in Charleston has a killer view if you park on the roof.

Fish and Veg

Some nights call for a clean, simple dinner--baked fish and veggies. Frozen tilapia (or other fish), frozen veggies (I had broccoli and fresh cut potatoes), some garlic, butter, and salt--pop it in the oven at 380 and cook about 15 minutes. Easy peasy.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

This has officially replaced mac and cheese as my go-to comfort food. And it's easier to make, with some veggies snuck in too!

Start by cooking and draining one package of store bought sweet potato gnocchi. In a saucepan bring about 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream to a simmer and let it bubble. I stirred in some garlic paste, salt, and pepper. Once it cooks up some, start adding in shredded cheese (whatever you have on hand) and continue to let it simmer. In the gnocchi pot, dump a bag of cubed butternut squash and a cup or so of frozen chopped kale, stirring it with some olive oil and salt until it's cooked and tender. Mix it all up, top with some shredded Parm and dinner is served!

Apple Pie Cheesecakes

Like the original cheesecakes weren't good enough :). We had CSA apples to use up, and happened to have some caramel sauce on hand, so I made up this topping on the fly.

It's the regular cheesecake recipe, then while they were baking I stirred one chopped apple, a few heaping teaspoons of brown sugar, a few teaspoons of regular sugar, about a teaspoon of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, a pinch of salt, and a scattering of chopped walnuts in a sauce pan over medium-low heat until it started simmering. Then I let it go until the apples were soft.

Once the cheesecakes cooled I put a big spoonful of caramel on top of each one and two spoonfuls of apple topping. A great fall dessert that is impressive but fairly simple to throw together.

Enchiladas, Round 2

My first stab at enchiladas was pretty good, but I amped it up a little the second time around. I got two sauce packets from Target, one traditional red enchilada sauce, and one green. I did red on the bottom, stuffed and placed the enchiladas, the green on top.

They were finished off with lots of cojito cheese and fresh chopped tomatoes...Ole!

Rice Noodles

I've loved rice noodles even before giving up wheat. There's just something fun about them!

I cooked the noodles in boiling water for maybe 5 minutes, until they were softened. Separately, I stir fried some veggies and GF soy sauce, then stirred it all up. Simple, fast and tasty!

Who Let the Dogs Out?

The local water park has one weekend a year where they let people bring their dogs to play in the pools. My sister and I went for the first time and our dogs had a blast!

They lowered the water level in the pools and lazy river so it was safe for the dogs, and surprisingly mine actually stayed near by even though there were tons of distractions. We'll definitely be back next year!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Curry with Basil

I made this with tilapia, from a recipe I tore from a magazine, but next time I will make it with shrimp or tofu. The flavors are great but the fish was kind of hard to manage. My husband made it with chicken, which I think he would cube next time to make it easier to eat. And I might add some more veggies, like broccoli or zucchini. Overall great recipe with a lot of potential directions to go in.

1/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 Tbsp. red curry paste
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
Salt and pepper
4 small carrots, peeled and thinly cut
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup chopped basil
Protein (shrimp, chicken, tofu, etc.)
Cooked jasmine rice for serving

1. Preheat oven to 425, and in a bowl combine coconut milk, curry paste, garlic, and coriander.

2. Divide carrots, onions, and basil among four foil packets and top each with protein and mixture. Fold foil over to close.

3. Bake foil packets on a baking sheet about 15-20 minutes, until protein is done. Serve over rice.

Tomato Pie

I was psyched to discover that Whole Foods makes a good GF pie crust, which means I can still make my favorite tomato pie. It's great in the summer when you have tomatoes coming out your ears. I always pop the crust in the oven (on about 375) for maybe 10 minutes just to crisp it up (poking a few holes in it with a fork to vent). Then I add as many sliced tomatoes as I can fit, and a good shake of salt and pepper.

Next, mix about 3/4 a cup of Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup of mayo in a bowl with some garlic, and a big handful of shredded mozzarella (Gruyere or cheddar is super good too). I mixed in a big handful of frozen spinach this time also. Cover it with some more cheese, in this case grated Parmesan, and bake for about 20-30 minutes, until it starts to get some color and all the cheese is melted.

When you pull it out, it should look like this.

So good, and you really don't have to measure anything, just eyeball it. It's hard to mess up, I promise!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gluten/Wheat Free Nutella Cookies

Baking has been a challenge since going wheat-free. Just when I had baking (with regular flour) figured out, I'm starting over with alternative recipes and there have been a few disasters so far. Besides cheesecakes, this is my first real hit, and boy are they good!

Adapted from

Peanut Butter Nutella Cookies
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar or sweetener of your choice
1/4 cup (combined) coconut flour and almond flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix everything in a bowl, adding chocolate chips last. Shape into 1 tablespoon sized balls (or use a scooper) and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. They will be slightly doughy but become crisp on the bottom after cooling (and soft in the center). Dig in!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Southern Season

Imagine my joy to find out that a new gourmet cooking and grocery store was opening up on the other side of town :). Southern Season is a huge emporium of food, gifts, cookware, and more. They have a bakery, deli, huge wine/beer selection, candles, cooking gadgets, local gourmet items, and more.

I picked up some GF pasta and an artichoke pesto, plus some good GF cookies. I was thrilled to see an entire aisle dedicated to fancy chocolate bars (some over $10 a pop!).

Best of all, they have cooking classes and demonstrations, which I'm excited to participate in soon.

Definitely a pricey place, but lots of great gift ideas and a fun place to splurge.

Welcome to Moe's!

So this no wheat thing is awesome. I'm down 10 lbs. and several inches, and feel great. I particularly like that it's not that hard to follow. For instance, I can still go to the same places as before and just order something slightly different. And since I'm not starving now, I usually only eat about half as much.

This was a naked burrito from Moe's, which I doused with lots of salsa. Tasty, fast, and filling!

The Battery

Sometimes it's easy to forget what a beautiful place we live in. My hubby and I took a walk along the downtown Battery this weekend and it was so pretty, with a nice cool breeze. Aaaahhhh....