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Monday, June 2, 2014

Chicken and Tofu Satay with peanut dipping sauce

Chicken and Tofu Satay with peanut dipping sauce

The trick is to marinate the meat for at least an hour and grill at high temperature (500-550 F works best) for just a few minutes on each side. You can also pan fry, use a panini press or grill plate, bake or broil. Just don't overcook or these will be tough (like you get at a lot of restaurants where the protein is stuck to the skewers!).

Leftovers can be de-skewered, cut up into pieces, and used in any other dish in which these flavors would taste good (peanut noodles or stir fries in particular).

1 lb total chicken tenders, or chicken breast cut into strips, 1" cubed extra firm, drained and desaturated tofu
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp peanut butter, very soft (so it mixes easily with the coconut milk)
1/2 tsp Thai curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 cloves garlic, crushed (about 2 tsp)
pinch dried cilantro
2 tsp GF tamari or soy sauce

Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes or more

1. Combine coconut milk, peanut butter, curry, garlic, and soy sauce in large dish or container. Add chicken and tofu toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes and up to overnight.

2. Preheat grill, broiler, or fry pan. Thread chicken strips and tofu cubes (about 1-2 tenders scrunched up a bit and 4-5 cubes tofu) onto soaked bamboo skewers.

3. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side or until done. Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of chicken. Mine took about 4 mins each side to get a grill mark.

4. Serve with Thai Peanut Sauce (recipe below).

Thai Peanut Sauce 

 3/4 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp water
1.5 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp curry powder
Squeeze of Sriracha if you like a little kick

1. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Remove from heat and cool before serving. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Serves 4 ~ Serve with marinated vegetables, like my cucumber salad

Calories 297.2
Calories from Fat 123.75
Total Fat 14g
Saturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 19mg
Sodium 231mg
Potassium 53mg
Total Carbohydrate 5g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 1g
Protein 37g
Calcium 7%
Iron 22%

Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad

Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad

Serve this with satay 

1 large English (seedless) cucumber or 5-6 Persian (mini) cucumbers, very thinly sliced
¼ of a sweet onion, very thinly sliced
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill or ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more for added kick)

1. Slice the cucumbers as thinly as you can, preferably with a mandoline. (watch your finger tips!!)
2. If you don't have them pre-roasted or toasted, toss your tablespoon of sesame seeds into a small dry frying pan over medium heat and stir until the seeds just begin to brown (less than 30 secs usually).
3. Toss together all of the ingredients until everything is evenly coated. Put in a container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Refrigerate for up to 5 days. Toss again before serving. Makes about 4-6 side servings.

Calories 71
Calories from Fat 0.1
Total Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 700mg
Potassium 7mg
Total Carbohydrate 12g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 9g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 4%
Calcium 3%
Iron 1%

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

I love this grain-free version of one of my favorite entrees! I turns out so good, I almost prefer the squash 'noodles' to rice noodles, and this is a lightened up version of Pad Thai so I feel allowed to eat a BIG bowl ;)
 1 large spaghetti squash
Chopped green onions (about half a bunch, or 3-4 individual bulbs)
Chopped fresh cilantro (one bunch is plenty)
3/4 shredded or julienned carrots
1/2 cup red bell pepper cut into strips
1 T crushed garlic
2 whole eggs (leave out if vegan)
1 1/1 cup bean sprouts, divided
2 T peanut, sesame, or coconut oil
3 T sweet chili sauce
1 T tamarind paste, dissolved in a little warm water
3 T gf soy sauce or tamari
1 lime
Sriracha or another hot chili sauce or paste
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped/crushed
* Optional additions: prepared chicken, shrimp, and/or tofu, most any other veggies you like. I added red cabbage.

  1. Preheat to 350°F. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half (lengthwise). Scrape out the seeds and guts using a spoon, and sprinkle the cut sides with olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the squash cut side down, uncovered on a deep baking sheet or big pan that has just a few tablespoons of water on the bottom and roast until tender and easily pierced with a knife, about 35-40 minutes. 
  2. When the squash is done, use a fork to scrape out the flesh of each half into "noodles" (just scrap the width, the 'noodles' will come out easily). Place the noodles in a colander or paper towels to remove the extra moisture.
  3. Prepare the vegetables for cooking and put in a bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, beat together two eggs. Separately, thinly slice 1 green onion and chop about ½ cup of fresh cilantro.
  5. In another small bowl, mix together the sauce: mix 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, juice of ½ lime, and a few squirts of Sriracha or chili paste or sauce.
  6. In a wok or large skillet, heat 2 T oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and scallions and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  7. Pour in the eggs and scramble until almost cooked. 
  8. Add the red pepper, carrots, 1 cup bean sprouts, and squash noodles. (and any of the extra optional proteins (cooked) and veggies.
  9. Add the sauce and stir to combine. Cook about 2 minutes, until the vegetables are heated through but still crisp.
  10. Garnish with crushed peanuts, fresh bean sprouts, chopped cilantro, green onion, and fresh lime juice.
Makes 4-6 servings.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spicy Vegan Almond-Ginger Slaw

This is the perfect entree salad or a yummy side to share with friends, bring to a picnic, or to work for lunch. It has a great mix of crunch, savory, sweet, and spice. I broil the tofu so it's semi-crispy without the calories and mess of frying, but you can add any kind of tofu.

1 package (16 oz) extra firm tofu. I use the high-protein kind from Trader Joe's that is not packed in water so it's ready to go.
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 chop diced red bell pepper
2 cups cabbage or any slaw mix
1/4 scant cup green onions
1/2 cup diced cucumber (seeds removed)
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped bok choy
1/8 cup diced celery
Bean sprouts, crushed peanuts or almonds as garnish

2 T almond butter
2 tsp minced or crushed fresh ginger. You can also use ground ginger, about 1/2 tsp.
Sri racha to taste (I used 1 tsp) - you can also use cayenne (red) pepper
1/4 tsp crushed garlic
4 T apple cider or rice vinegar
1 T agave syrup or sugar
1 tsp gluten free soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp oil (coconut, vegetable, or canola - NOT olive oil)

1. Cut the tofu into bite-sized cubes and coat in cooking spray. Salt and pepper to taste. Place on a baking sheet (line with foil for convenient clean up). Broil or bake at 425F until slightly browned and crisp on the outside (about 10 minutes). Turn each piece over and broil another 5 minutes or so to crisp up all sides. Let it cool.
2. Mix all the veggies together in a large bowl.
3. Prepare the dressing.
4. Add the tofu to the veggies and toss with the dressing. Chill at least an hour, ideally no more than this if serving immediately after so the tofu doesn't soften up too much.

(Sorry, I don't have the nutrition breakdown added yet)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lemon-Garlic Fava Bean, Chicken & Chard Salad

I had a few random things leftover from my CSA box, so created this delicious entree salad with a few staples I had on hand. It's free of most allergens (gluten, soy, dairy) and packed with power greens and protein.

This salad is easy tweaked to suit your tastes. Suggestions: double up on beans &/or add almonds. Skip the chicken for a vegetarian salad. The garlic, lemon, fava beans and chard are the staples, although this would be interesting with any hearty green, like kale!

    2 cups chard, steamed a few minutes and chopped
    10 skinless chicken breast tenderloins, broiled or grilled
    1/2 cup raw celery, diced
    3/4 cup fava beans, prepared (see instructions below)
    Juice of one Meyer lemon
    1 tsp minced fresh garlic
    A few pinches of salt
    Black pepper to taste
    1/4 tsp. herbs de provence (optional)
    2 Tbsp chives, chopped
    2 Tbsp olive oil

Mix all together and let chill at least one hour, preferably overnight.

Nutritional Info    (for a large, entree-sized salad, about 1.5 cups)
    Calories: 391.0
    Total Fat: 14.8 g
    Cholesterol: 37.5 mg
    Total Carbs: 19.6 g
    Dietary Fiber: 4.5 g
    Protein: 49.6 g

Number of Servings: 2-4
Minutes to Prepare: 30
Minutes to Cook: 20

To prepare the fava beans, I pop them out the the pod, place in a few inches water, and boil about 5 minutes. Let them cool, then pierce the outer edge of the casing with a nail or knife, and simply press on the opposite end to pop out the beans. They should be tender and bright green.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles


1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate
2 cups semisweet chocolate, or you can use any favorite melting chocolate
1/2 cup GF graham-style cookie crumbs
1/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
1 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
Dash of ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
Garnish options: coconut flakes, sprinkles, sugar, crumbs, drizzle of chocolate


Melt the 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat or in the microwave for about 1 minute. Stir often to keep the chocolate from burning. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add graham crumbs, pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, salt and cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Transfer to a shallow bowl, cover and chill until just solid enough to roll into balls, about 2 hours.

Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper. Melt remaining 2 cups chocolate and transfer to a small, deep bowl. Roll 1 heaping teaspoon of the pumpkin mixture into a ball in your hands, then drop into the chocolate. Working quickly, gently spoon chocolate over to coat. Using a small spoon or fork, lift the truffle out of the chocolate, shake off excess and transfer to prepared sheet tray. Dollop a bit of extra chocolate on any parts that remain exposed, then sprinkle a garnish over the top.

Chill truffles until chocolate is completely set, about 1 hour.

Makes about 45-50 small to medium truffles
I adapted this recipe from Whole Foods

Nutrition... I don't even want to know!

Comforts' Chinese Chicken Salad

Soooo delicious, so simple. Made special for GF me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Garlic Lover's Pasta Salad

I went to the Marin Farmer's market this morning, and made this fresh, easy, and delicious pasta salad with my purchases, plus a few staples I had at home. Serve chilled or warm.

  • 2 - 3 cups cooked al dente brown rice pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon veg. oil and 1 t balsamic vinegar, sauteed with two large bulbs and greens green garlic
  • Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
  • Juice of one small lemon
  • Fresh roasted garlic (large, whole clove drizzled with oil, wrapped up tightly in foil and baked at 375 degrees F for about 25 min.) - squeeze out all the "meat" of the garlic out of the skins when cooled - they should be mushy.
  • About 1 pound fava beans in shell - prepared (shell the beans, put them in boiling, salted water for 1 minute, drain, then immediately put in ice water to stop cooking. Pierce each bean with your fingernail and pop out the beans, then add to the salad)
  • 6 large leaves chopped fresh basil
  • about 3 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Combine all the above and chill for a few hours. Then serve cold, or warm if desired. Pairs well with grilled, marinated chicken breasts.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese "Quiche"

This is almost like a corn cake topped with an omelet - very rich, filling, and yummy!



2 cups egg substitute or 8 whole eggs
3/4 cup 1%/low-fat or 2% milk
1 cup butternut squash, cubed small
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 small red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
3 oz. crumbled goat cheese
1 tsp dried or fresh sage
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper


 3/4 cup cornmeal
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp agave nectar or honey
4 Tbsp ice water

Prepare crust - Mix melted butter with cornmeal, add agave nectar or honey, then gradually add in ice water (without the ice!) until mixed well. Press into a 9" pie tin coated with non-stick spray and bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

Mix the filling ingredients together with a whisk, then pour on top of the baked crust. Bake at 375 for about 50 minutes or until the center is set and toothpick can be inserted in center and it comes out clean. Serve warm. Pairs well with fresh fruit or a salad.

Serves 4 - 6 depending on serving size.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

Want a filling, healthy, protein- and fiber-loaded meal? This recipe is not only gluten-free, it's vegetarian (even vegan, actually, without the suggested toppings), low-fat, and cheap to make. It's definitely my pride and joy, and I crave this often. I posted it on, and so far people have rated it very positively.

I use my slow cooker, so that's what I recommend, but you could throw it all together in a soup pot and simply simmer for an hour or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

I use low-sodium versions of the canned stuff when available, and you could even use dried beans.


1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
1 large sweet potato, cut into bite-sized cubes (about 1.5 cups. You can also use butternut squash)
1 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter, or a little more if you like a richer, nuttier taste
2 medium to large sweet bell peppers, chopped - yellow and red are best
3/4 cup raw onions, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes (same size as the cans of beans - soup-can size) - do NOT drain
1 small can tomato paste
1 tbsp molasses OR 1 T brown sugar (optional)
1 tsp salt
1 can corn, drained (I like the white and yellow crispy kernels)
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
Red/cayenne pepper to taste (I use about 1/2 tsp. (or hot sauce to taste)
6 cloves fresh garlic, minced (or a couple tablespoons)
1 - 2 cups water (enough to almost come to the top of the stuff in the crockpot
** you can add more other veggies, too, like portabella mushrooms, butternut squash instead of sweet potato, fresh tomatoes, etc.- most veggies taste really good in this, so make it your own style.

Throw everything into a slow cooker and cook on high 5 - 6 hours.

Add hot sauce to taste and top with your favorite chili companions - mine are fresh cilantro and avocado with a little shredded cheese.

Serves 8 - 12, depending on the portion size.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Crispy Oven "Fried" Fish

Tasty, easy to make, and uses things you probably already have on hand! Serve with potatoes in your favorite style, coleslaw, salad... whatever you like with fish!


2 fish filets (I like to use tilapia, but cod, halibut, or any flaky, boneless white fish will do)
1/2 c. GF bread crumbs or crumbed chips/crackers/dried bread
1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
dill (dried or fresh)
cracked black pepper
1/4 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven (I used my toaster oven) to 450 degrees F.

Sprinkle fish filets in black pepper (unless you're not a fan of pepper... you can also sprinkle with salt if you like.

Add the dill and lemon pepper to the crumbs. Put 1/3 of the crumbs in a shallow dish wide enough to lay a filets down without it being too big to lay flat. TIP: instead of GF breadcrumbs, use whatever chips or crackers you have on hand - put them through a blender to crumb them. This also reduces the need to add any salt.

Drench fish filets in the buttermilk (in a bowl). Then transfer the filets one at a time to a shallow dish containing 1/3 of the crumbs. Scatter some crumbs on top, shaking dish back and forth gently to coat the filets in the crumbs so they're "breaded."

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with nonstick spray. Place the filets next to each other on the baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. You can also cook these the same way in a toaster oven, and can "toast" it at the end to crisp it up even more.

I serve these with tartar sauce - Trader Joe's makes a good one with jalapeno and dill mixed in and it's gluten-free, of course!

This recipe makes 2 filets - serves one if very hungry or two for a lighter meal.

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake Muffins

These "muffins" are more like cupcakes but make a nice breakfast or dessert on the go, or with coffee on a Sunday morning.


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. GF flour (see a previous baked goods recipe)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 bag chocolate chips

Cinnamon Sugar:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat butter and sugar until light, then add the eggs. Mix well. Fold in sour cream and vanilla. Mix well. Add the flour mixture and baking soda and powder, mix until just all moistened - do not over-mix.

Put one spoonful of batter each into greased muffin cups. Sprinkle top of each with some cinnamon sugar and some chocolate chips. Top with another spoonful of batter and then top with more cinnamon sugar and chocolate chips... pat the chips into the batter slightly.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Makes 12-15 muffins, depending on how big you want them!

Hershey's Kiss Peanut Blossoms

I admit, they are not *quite* as amazing as the regular recipe, but they are pretty damn close!


1 3/4 cup GF flour mix (see previous cookie recipes for recipe)
1 tsp baking soda
a few dashes salt
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I like Skippy's Natural kind)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 bag Hershey’s kisses
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Unwrap all the kisses, eat a few, and put the rest aside.
Cream the peanut butter, butter, and sugars. Mix in the egg and vanilla.
Add flour mix, salt and baking soda until mixed well. Chill the dough for about 30 minutes to an hour so they are easier to shape into balls.
Scoop big rounded teaspoons of dough and roll between hands to make them into balls, then roll each ball in granulated sugar and place on an ungreased baking sheet, about one inch apart.

Bake for 6 - 7 minutes. Take the cookies out and place one kiss in the center of each cookie, pressing the kiss down into the cookie gently so it "sticks" in there. Then bake 1 - 2 more minutes to "set" them.
Makes 35 - 50 cookies, depending on the size.

Melting Moments Cookies

These are so incredibly light and melt in your mouth. I think the GF version is even better than the non-GF!! Sorry I forgot to take a photo of these :(... you can see what they look like here - different recipe, but they look the same!

Melting Moments cookie recipe:

3/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 c. GF flour mixture (see recipe below)
1 c. butter, softened (yes, use REAL butter)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix all ingredients together and chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Roll into balls (about 1 heaping tsp worth), place on ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten just slightly. Bake 12-14 minutes. Let them cool before transferring off the cookie sheets.

I like to put a big "dot" of frosting on the tops!

My favorite isn't measured precisely... I take a cup or two of powdered sugar and add 1 T of water at a time and mix until it's the desired frosting consistency, then I add almond extract until it tastes good (about 1 tsp per cup of frosting).

Makes about 50-60 cookies.

All-purpose GF flour mix recipe:
(double or triple all measurements to make a bigger supply of this flour mix that substitutes well for most flour in baked goods)... I like Bob's Red Mill GF products. Xanthan gum is pricey but a bag lasts a long time. You can also get just the amount you want in the bulk container of herbs and spices at most specialty grocers... I bought a couple tsps worth at Whole Foods (in with their whole leave teas and herbs) for about 50 cents.

2 c. rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum

Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

Finally! A sugar cut-out cookie recipe that turns out like the non-GF version I remember making with my family when I was a kid. These are so good, no one will know they are gluten free - promise!

A few tips that you really need to follow to get the good results:
~ Chill the dough for about a half hour, then knead gently with your hands to form a ball before you try to roll them out.
~ Be generous flouring the surface you're going to roll them out on with rice flour - and flour the rolling pin before and in between batches... the dough will stick like to everything otherwise, and won't roll out well.
~ Also be generous with vanilla extract for yummy flavored cookies. I like french vanilla flavoring.
~ Use real butter only.
~ Different ovens may produce different results. Check them a couple minutes before they are supposed to be done. They should look only very slightly golden, and should not have any soft spots left. I let my oven preheat quite long to make sure the temp is perfect before I start baking, and if your oven tends to overcook things, bake at a slightly lower temperature than this recipe suggests (10 to 20 degrees less).


1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla flavoring
2 1/4 cups GF flour blend (see below for recipe)
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat over to 350 degrees F.

Beat together sugar and butter. Add eggs and vanilla, mix until all blended together.

Add the salt and flour mixture. Mix until all blended into a dough. CHILL the dough in the refrigerator for 30 min.

Roll out the dough onto floured surface - flour the rolling pin and your hands, too - in one big handful-sized ball at a time - roll dough slightly thinner than a half centimeter thick. Cut in desired shapes and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Usually 10 is perfect. When they are done let them cool before moving them onto plates to decorate, or they might crumble.

Frost (see frosting recipe below) and decorate if desired, or just eat them plain.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies, depending on size.

My favorite isn't measured precisely... I take a cup or two of powdered sugar and add 1 T of water at a time and mix until it's the desired frosting consistency, then I add almond extract until it tastes good (about 1 tsp per cup of frosting).

All-purpose GF flour mix recipe:
(double or triple all measurements to make a bigger supply of this flour mix that substitutes well for most flour in baked goods)... I like Bob's Red Mill GF products. Xanthan gum is pricey but a bag lasts a long time. You can also get just the amount you want in the bulk container of herbs and spices at most specialty grocers... I bought a couple tsps worth at Whole Foods (in with their whole leave teas and herbs) for about 50 cents.

2 c. rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum