Mushroom caps stuffed with red pepper and quinoa

Mushroom caps stuffed with red pepper and quinoa

Our friend The Big Boss from work, a man who could, and did, eat two dozen prawns, half a dozen drumsticks, and an additional two pounds of roasted meat at one sitting, has gone practically vegan. I created these mushroom caps stuffed with red pepper and quinoa for him, a winner of an umami-laden dish that feels hearty and satisfying without any of those pesky high carbs, gluten, or dairy products. My only warning is they take a bit of time. You can make the stuffing in advance; it will keep for several days refrigerated. Ingredients: 36 medium-sized mushrooms, washed with stems removed 1/2 cup quinoa 1/2 teaspoon olive oil 1 cup water 1 red pepper generous splash full-bodied red wine (about 3/4 cup) 1 tbsp nutritional yeast plus extra to sprinkle on top 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper spray olive oil Instructions: First, get your quinoa cooking. (Follow these directions from The Kitchn if you’re worried about doing it wrong) Whatever you do, don’t overcook it; there’s nothing worse than soggy quinoa. Ok, there are lots of worse things – I’m thinking about the brussels sprouts creme brûlée from LL’s ill-fated 50th birthday party – but for the purposes of this recipe, you want your grain more al dente than mushy. Let cool. Then roast your red pepper. I cut it in half, take out the seeds and membrane, and put it right on top of the gas burner on my cooktop just like I roast poblano peppers. Let the pepper cool, then scrape off any black charred spots. Now simmer your wine burn off the alcohol, or at...
Paleo dinner of beef and vegetable rolls

Paleo dinner of beef and vegetable rolls

My brother and several of my CrossFit friends are doing the 30-day Paleo Challenge that kicks off this weekend. More power to them; I don’t want to work that hard eliminating food groups from meal planning. But I realized that, with many gluten-free friends joining us for dinner, many of the meals I prepare for them are actually paleo as well, albeit by accident. Here’s one of my all-time favorite dinner party entrees. You can mix up the veggies and prepare it all well in advance. This is a very simple dish of thinly sliced beef sirloin wrapped around a medley of crunchy vegetables and aromatic herbs that was inspired by the shabu shabu meals LL has eaten in Japan and of which he is fond. It’s taken a few tries to get it right. The first time I ended up with 1/4″ thick slices of ribeye, tasty but unwieldy for this kind of dish. I didn’t realize that real shabu shabu, the kind you find at a Japanese butcher, is sliced almost prosciutto-thin. I’ve learned to ask the butcher use top sirloin and have him slice thinly just like raw roast beef. More marbled cuts of beef tend to fall apart. I lay the slices on a cutting board and sprinkle with garlic and onion powders. Then I layer baby greens – this is a blend of spinach, arugula, and green leaf lettuce – blanched asparagus, shredded carrots, and bean sprouts.   Gently roll each piece of meat around the veggies. I made a big pile for a party: Brush with olive oil and oven roast at 425 degrees F for about...
Gluten-free soy sauce alternative

Gluten-free soy sauce alternative

If you are looking for a gluten-free soy sauce alternative or just for a couple of new flavors, try these two MSG and preservative-free, non-GMO, Japanese-influenced condiments made by American companies . . . a cross cultural alphabet soup of tasty, healthy goodness. I can hear my mother’s voice in my head asking, “what is that weird stuff you’re eating in California?” But there’s nothing strange or odd-tasing about either one of these items, mom. Sure, they may not carry these in your local Schnucks or Safeway, but they’re readily available in natural food stores and inexpensive to order on Amazon.   The first one is an awesome find for soy sauce fans wanting to eliminate gluten from your diet. Look no more for that perfect substitute . . . Bragg’s Liquid Aminos have come to the rescue. It’s a gluten-free, preservative-free umami-packed goodness in a bottle that looks, smells, and tastes remarkably similar to supermarket soy sauce. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos smells richer and earthier when compared to Kikkoman soy sauce, the consistency is slightly thicker, and the taste is more complex and full-bodied. This succulent flavor is reflected in the serving size; just 1/2 teaspoon of Bragg’s Aminos packs the same punch as 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. In this case, you will want to follow that serving size guideline . . . you actually won’t need, or want, to use more than that. It’s about double the price of an inexpensive soy sauce, but the contents will last much longer than soy. Give it a try. The second one is Eden Shake. Eden Shake is a mixture of...
Curried celery root soup

Curried celery root soup

A fabulous warming winter root vegetable soup recipe with celeriac and curry – my delicious and divine interpretation of a Nepenthe soup. Easily adaptable to a vegetarian diet and completely gluten-free. Enjoy! Click through for recipe and photos.

Carrot and radish leaf pesto

Carrot and radish leaf pesto

When our week 3 CSA box arrived I was determined to use every bit of the animal – um, I meant vegetable – to the fullest. That meant getting creative with root vegetable greens, the fresh leafy tops from the radishes and carrots in the box. How cool would it be, I thought, to make pesto? I looked around online and found Chocolate & Zucchini had already pioneered that territory with radish greens alone. I followed the basic proportions of her recipe, improvising mostly by mixing up the greens and doubling up on the garlic. Here’s my version of the recipe; by the way, it’s not only deeply green but gluten free and vegetarian, too: Carrot and Radish Leaf Pesto   Save Print Prep time 15 mins Total time 15 mins   Radish leaf and carrot top pesto, adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini's Radish Leaf Pesto recipe. This recipe makes approximately 8 ounces. Author: Life in a Skillet Recipe type: sauce, condiment Ingredients - 2 large handfuls fresh radish leaves, thick main stems removed - 1 small handful carrot tops, thick main stems removed - 1 ounce grated pecorino cheese - 1 ounce toasted pine nuts - 2 cloves garlic, germ removed, cut in four - 3 tablespoons olive oil - salt and freshly ground lemon pepper to taste Instructions Toss all the ingredients in a blender and pulse in short bursts. Scrape the sides of the bowl and repeat until you have a finely textured paste. Spoon out into a glass jar and keep refrigerated. Wordpress Recipe Plugin by EasyRecipe 3.1.09   Don’t wait for pizza night; this...
Meatless Monday: Potato leek soup with a twist

Meatless Monday: Potato leek soup with a twist

Fennel and artichoke hearts add an earthy twist to Julia Child’s excellent potato leek soup – a quick entree I learned to make forever ago from her Mastering the Art of French Cooking. In addition to 2 large chopped leeks – white part only –  and 2 pounds peeled and chopped russet potatoes, just add 1 large chopped fennel bulb and 1 can water-packed artichoke hearts to your pot. I discard the feathery fennel tops and thinly slice the bulbs. Use these often in your soups – they hold up nicely in a stew, puree well, and add a hind of licorice along with a boost of fiber and potassium to your meals. The rest of a proverbial piece of cake. Just barely cover with water, add a pinch of paprika and lots and lots of freshly ground lemon pepper. Simmer until it’s all tender, about 30 – 40 minutes. It will look like this: Use a hand blender to puree, and you end up with a nice thick warming entree. Add butter and salt at your pleasure and discretion. Serve in warm bowls with a fresh baguette and warm radishes. Go crazy and top with a bit of sour cream and crispy prosciutto if you like....

A good gluten-free pizza dough

I had a pizza night planned for Saturday with new guests – work colleagues – and almost too late learned one of our guests needed a gluten-free menu. Instead of rethinking dinner, I decided to give gluten-free pizza a go and tried Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix mix – chosen because, of all the gluten-free baking options at the grocery store, this package included directions for making pizza dough. This was my first try with a gluten-free dough, and it turned out just great. The package had quite specific mixing and handling directions; follow them exactly and you will combat the inherent stickiness and relative difficulty to work with. Once cooked, the crust was perfectly crisp and had a firm, light texture. It’s on the sweet side because ingredients include sorghum flour, tapioca flour, sweet rice flour, molasses, and honey, so use lots of garlic and herbs in your tomato sauce. Even if you’re not gluten-free, this is worth a try. Seeing as more and more people are gluten-free these days, I’ll be keeping a package or two on hand from now...

Snow covered berries

Here’s a fun and festive sweet-tart recipe my parents have been enjoying for the last month. I’m glad they decided to share! Grandma Juju recommends serving in a cut crystal bowl . . . Enjoy! Snow covered berries Heat two cups of sugar and two cups water till sugar melts. Stir. Put in one bag of cranberries. Stir. Cover, put in fridge for 24 hours. Drain. Let dry for about an hour. Roll in superfine sugar. That’s...