Cauliflower Mac & Cheese (GF & V)

Oh the joys of being able to have macaroni and cheese again. I cannot explain to you how much this recipe saved my life. Whoever discovered that cashews, eggplant, cauliflower, and nutritional yeast tastes like cheese is my hero.

If you are wondering whether “normal” people like this: Yes, my boyfriend liked this recipe and he has no known allergies.

Its funny how people forget that people with food allergies have normal taste buds just like everyone else. It’s actually not funny at all. It gets really old. I’ve only had allergies for 3 years, so I tasted “normal” things for the first 22 years of my life.

Let’s step away from this little rant before I write 5 paragraphs on it…. This macaroni and cheese actually has vegetables in it, meaning you can eat more of it! Its very thick and creamy. Everything you would want in a mac & cheese. You might want to add more liquid to make the cheese a bit more runny. It might seem like a lot of steps, but its actually quicker than you think.


Cauliflower Mac & Cheese (GF & V)

Adapted from: Love and Lemons

Ingredients:

  • 1 big head of cauliflower (4 loose cups, chopped, plus extra small florets to leave whole)
  • 12 oz gluten free elbow pasta (I used quinoa and corn blend)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 – 1 cup cashew cream (see recipe below) or sharp cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • pasta water, as needed to thin

Topping Options:

  • 1/4 cup gluten free panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • a few pinches of red pepper flakes
  • Sprinkle of paprika

Cashew Cream: (this makes extra & can be made ahead)

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for 30 minutes to a few hours (strain soaking water before using)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt, to taste

Instructions:

  1. If you’re making the vegan option, start by making your cashew cream. (Strain the soaking water from the cashews). Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Scoop the cream out of the blender and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower florets and cook until tender but not mushy, about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to drain and scoop the cauliflower into a blender. When the cauliflower is out, bring your water back up to a boil and add the pasta.
  4. Back to your blender – add the dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, to the cauliflower, and puree well. Add about 3/4 cups of cashew cream (or cheddar cheese), sherry vinegar, and blend again. Add starchy pasta water, as needed, to thin the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings. (Add more cashew cream if you want).
  5. When your pasta is al dente, set aside a cup or so of pasta water, then fully drain your pasta and the water out of the large pot. Return the cooked pasta to the pot and stir in the sauce. Add more reserved pasta water as needed to create a creamy sauce. Stir in the remainder of the cauliflower florets.
  6. Pour your pasta into a large baking dish (or a few individual sized dishes). Top with a sprinkling of panko, parmesan cheese (if using) and a drizzle of olive oil. (optional: make it extra cheesy by adding a layer of sharp cheddar underneath the panko and parmesan)
  7. Bake until the top is golden and crispy – about 12-20 minutes depending on the size of your dish.
  8. Remove from oven and top with chives, red pepper flakes, and paprika.

Roasted Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup

This soup is incredible! It’s pretty easy too. I got an Immersion Blender for Christmas, and have been blending up a storm. That thing is incredible. I prefer this to a blender any day, even for smoothies. It’s nice when you are … Continue reading

Chicken Piccata with White Wine Lemon Sauce, Garlic Zucchini, & Capers

For some reason, I was craving this dish. Chicken Piccata is lovely and probably pretty hard to mess up. It’s also very easy (always a plus). I think someone came up with this recipe because they only had these ingredients left in their kitchen. I feel like every Italian home has flour, olive oil, lemon, white wine, and capers.

I borrowed the recipe from Elise Bauer who started Simply Recipes, and adapted it to make it gluten free. I also made it dairy free by excluding the Parmesan cheese, which I thought I would miss, but it honestly doesn’t need it. I also added the addition of zucchini and pasta, which I feel completes the dish perfectly. (PS: I don’t usually eat butter, but there are times when it works better for a dish and I use it. Just use it this time. It won’t kill you.)

Just a note: When I tasted this dish, I described it as “life-changing.”

You should try it.

Chicken Piccata with White Wine Lemon Sauce, Garlic Zucchini, & Capers
Adapted from Elise Bauer

Ingredients:
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (if you can find thin cutlets, do it! Go for 4 or more in this case.)
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional, I did not use)
1/3 cup gluten free flour
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp butter (or substitute, I used Soy-free Earth Balance)
1/2 cup of white wine (or chicken stock)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup brined capers
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1-2 zucchini, chopped into spears
1 tbsp garlic
Gluten free corn pasta (mine was penne from Trader Joes)

Directions:

  1. Cut the chicken breasts horizontally, butterflying them open. You want your pieces to be as thin as possible, about 1/4 of an inch thick. If they are not, place between plastic wrap and pound with meat mallet.
  2. Mix flour, salt, pepper, and parmesan, if using. Rinse the chicken pieces in water and dredge them in flour mixture until well coated.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add chicken pieces to the pan and cook until brown on each side, about 5 minutes each.
  5. In the mean time, start to boil pasta water and cook by the package’s directions. **With gluten free pasta, ALWAYS rinse the pasta in strainer with cold water immediately after cooking.**
  6. Also heat smaller skillet over medium heat, spray with cooking spray, and cook zucchini spears and garlic until slightly browned.
  7. Remove chicken from pan and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm while you prepare the sauce. You might have to repeat this step for the chicken that wouldn’t fit in the pan.
  8. After removing the chicken, deglaze the pan with white wine, then add lemon juice and capers.
  9. Use a spatula to scrape up the browned bits. Wait until the sauce has reduced down by half and whisk in 2 tbsp butter.
  10. To serve, plate the pasta with zucchini and chicken, then top with the sauce. Garnish with Parsley.
Cheers!

Turkey & Apple White Chili

These cool nights have put me in a soup mood. This week I made Turkey & Apple White Chili by EatInEatOut.  I was scared to try this recipe because it has apples in it. I couldn’t get it out of my head, however, so I had to try it.

I couldn’t have been happier with the results. IT IS DELICIOUS! You really must try it.

The flavors are incredible. The apples actually stay slightly crisp which adds a nice texture. It doesn’t take too long to cook and is an inexpensive set of meals (it’s just me, so I eat mine for days).

Turkey & Apple White Chili
Adapted from: EatInEatOut

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground turkey (antibiotic-free, free-range)
1 onion, diced
5 tsp chili powder (wheat-free)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
salt & pepper
2 apples, cored and cubed (I used Granny Smith; you want something tart)
1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 can red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
2 tbsp butter alternative (I used soy-free Earth Balance)
2 tbsp gluten free flour
2 cups chicken broth (organic, free range)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
green onions and cilantro (optional for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Place ground turkey in saucepan and cover with water. Heat over Medium Heat (simmering) until cooked all the way through, about 10 minutes. Drain and stir in cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  2. In large soup pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add apples, garlic and onion and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 -7 minutes.
  3. In the same pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minute.
  4. Slowly whisk in chicken broth bringing to a simmer. Cook until thickened; about 5 minutes.
  5. Add turkey and beans. Continue to simmer for 7-10 more minutes.
  6. Stir in lime juice and heat through. Re-season with salt & pepper if needed.
  7. To serve, top with green onions and cilantro if using.

Happy Eating!

Sweet Corn and Vegetable Chowder

I am starting to use wordpress again. I have been using blogger, but I want to see which one I like more. So, here we go.

This Sweet Corn and Vegetable Chowder took a while to make, but it was delicious and worth the time. The amount of leftovers you have after can last you majority of the week. Or a few days if you are feeding two or more.

I found the recipe on Pinterest, but the blog where it is from is called “the dinnervine.” Their recipes all look delicious.

I followed the recipe for the most part, but I omitted the cheese and used unsweetened almond milk to make it dairy free. I saw some tips from famous food bloggers today, and they suggested using cashew cream. This is made by soaking 1 cup of raw cashews in water for 6-8 hours, draining and rinsing them, and then blending them with 3/4 cup of water until smooth. Definitely trying that next time for the half and half.

I also used Yukon Gold potatoes from the farmer’s market because they contain more nutrients than white baking potatoes. In the pictures you will see red corn that I actually got for FREE from Earth Fare because they had to pull it off the shelves after so many days and it was still perfectly fine. It’s sad to think about how much food we waste because of expiration dates which are actually just an estimate.

Sweet Corn and Vegetable Chowder
Adapted from: the dinnervine

Ingredients:
7 ears fresh white corn, kernels cut off cobs
5 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1/2 large sweet white onion, chopped finely
1 large carrot, chopped finely (or 2 small carrots depending)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1, 32 oz carton free-range chicken stock
3 T dairy-free, soy-free butter
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (plain, not vanilla)
2 tbsp gluten free flour (optional, but I used to thicken soup)
5 strips bacon (or turkey bacon), for crisping, topping and reserving drippings
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped smaller
fresh thyme sprigs for garnish & sautéing
1-2 tsp kosher salt (to taste)
1-2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp red wine vinegar

Directions:
1. Cut corn kernels off cobs, set aside.
2. Preheat a large dutch oven, or enameled cast iron soup pot, melt 1T of the butter and crisp all 5 strips of bacon, chopped.
3. Once bacon is crisp, remove from pot & drain on paper towels, setting aside for garnish.
4. Reserving bacon drippings, to pot add chopped potato and sauté on medium for about 6 min, stirring often.
5. To pot now add onion, garlic, carrot, salt, pepper, and remaining 2 T butter.
6. Sauté mix adding 1/2 cup of the chicken stock carton and a few thyme sprigs (will remove later), for about 10-15 minutes.
7. Once mixture is tender, remove thyme sprigs, add the corn kernels, chopped thyme, paprika, bay leaf rest of chicken stock and bring to a slow boil with lid on.
8. Once beginning to boil, remove lid and reduce heat to low, continue to simmer for about 10 minutes.
9.  Add white time and remove the bay leaf.
10. Remove hot pot from heat and allow to cool substantially**, then slowly add some of the almond milk and around a tablespoon of gluten free flour, return pot to low heat, stirring well (Soup will begin to thicken).

11. Gradually add more almond milk, a tbsp of gluten-free flour, salt & pepper as desired.
12. Add the red wine vinegar if you feel a little acid is necessary; I did and it worked well!
13. Continue to simmer on low until ready to serve & eat!**
14. Garnish with bacon and fresh thyme sprig.

** I noticed that the almond milk dramatically reduced the temperature of the soup, so you might not want to wait for it to get too cool because it will take a while to heat back up. You also might have to turn it up to medium or medium-low to heat back up.

Enjoy!!