11.26.2011

Agave Pumpkin Pie with Walnut-Brown Sugar Topping


                                   Agave Pumpkin Pie with Walnut-Brown Sugar Topping

Filling:
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 can (15oz) pure pumpkin
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup light agave nectar
2 eggs

Pie Crust:
1 unbaked 9" gluten-free pie crust (found at natural food markets)

Topping:
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°F. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add pumpkin and spices. Continue beating until smooth. Add agave nectar and eggs one at a time. Mix until fully incorporated. Pour filling into gluten free pie-crust.

Bake for 10 minutes, reduce temperature to 350°F and bake 30 more minutes. While pie is baking, combine all topping ingredients and blend into fine crumbs. Use a blender or small food chopper to do this.

After 30 minute time, sprinkle topping evenly over top of pie. Continue to bake pie for 10 to 15 minutes longer (or until knife inserted in center comes out clean). Let cool and then refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Can be made 1 day ahead. Tent with foil and chill.



ready for a feast...

Thanksgiving dinner complete with pear and spinach salad, 
lemon-garlic green beans, braised carrots, maple roasted sweet-potatoes,
 GF cornbread stuffing, cranberries, turkey and of course PIE. 





11.14.2011

Thanksgiving Side-Dish! Colorful Roasted Potatoes with Sage

This is probably one of the easiest and healthiest side-dishes you could have at your Thanksgiving dinner. Plus, it tastes delicious!

                                                        Colorful Roasted Potatoes with Sage

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs. mixed fingerling potatoes (red, purple, yellow), cleaned and cut into about 1/2" to 3/4"cubes
1 1/2 lbs. red skinned sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" to 3/4" cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tbs coarse kosher salt
20 medium fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl;  toss to coat well. Spread mixture in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until potatoes are tender and begin to brown around the edges. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring at the 1/2 way (20 min) mark. Serve roasted potatoes warm or at room temperature.


11.11.2011

Holiday Iced Sugar Cookies

This recipe has been adapted from a Cooks Illustrated recipe: Foolproof Holiday Cookies. Of course cooking with gluten-free flours is far from foolproof. The recipe in Cooks is simple, straightforward but I had to do a bit of tweaking to make them gluten-free and acceptable. I was shocked when I could actually roll out the dough as I have experienced many gluten-free sugar cookie failures that have ended up in the trash...


Holiday Sugar Cookies
1.5 cups sweet rice flour
3/4 cups fine sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
16 tbs butter, cut into 1/2" pieces, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs cream cheese, softened

In bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix flours, sugar, salt, baking powder and xanthan gum until combined, about 5 to 10 seconds. With mixer running on low, add butter 1 piece at a time; continue to mix until mixture looks crumbly and slightly wet, about 1 minute longer. Add the vanilla and the cream-cheese and mix on low until dough begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. 

Remove bowl from mixer; knead dough by hand in bowl to form a large cohesive mass. Turn out dough onto a piece of parchment paper, and divide in half. Pat into two (2) 4-inch disk. Wrap each in parchment paper and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. 

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375°F. Roll out 1 dough disk to a fairly even 1/8" thickness. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters and place on a parchment paper- lined baking sheet, spacing cookies about 1-inch apart. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough ball. Cool cookies on wire rack to room temperature. Do not ice cookies until completely cool. 

(These cookies can be simply made non gluten-free. Follow all instructions, but omit baking powder and xanthan gum and use 2.5 cups white flour instead of the GF flours) Enjoy!



All-Purpose Glaze (Cooks Illustrated Nov & Dec 2011)
2 cups confectioners sugar
3 tbs milk*
2 tbs cream cheese, softened

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Spread glaze onto completely cooled cookies. Let glaze dry completely before serving, about 30 minutes. 

*For citrus flavored glaze, substitute orange, lemon, or lime juice for the milk. The glaze can also be flavored with 1/2 tsp of your favorite extract. Or you can add a bit of lemon, lime or orange zest to the glaze for a subtle flavor. 


11.08.2011

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette



There is something about fall that I really love yet also feel very sad about. The warm smells from the kitchen, the abundance of pumpkins and squash at the farmers markets, the warm days and cool nights...yes these are the things about autumn that make me smile. But all too soon, it comes to a screeching halt and I am left with cold bitter days, wind, fallen leaves, loads of snow, and the daylight is far too little. On cold days, I want warm comforting food so I turn to one of my favorite blogs for inspiration: Smitten Kitchen. Of course Deb at the Smitten Kitchen does not have a gluten-intolerance so I must adapt accordingly!

In my younger days, aka when I didn't know I was gluten-intolerant, I would make galettes for my vegetarian hubby. There is something beautifully rustic about them. Maybe it's because they remind me of a quaint french bistro or maybe it is all the savory or sweet goodness that is inside. Whatever the reasoning, today I wanted a Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette (original recipe here).

I haven't mastered my own flakey, buttery, gluten-free pie crust, so I used the recipe from Bella Gluten-Free to make a savory crust (no sugar). I was able to see "Bella" in action at a recent Boulder County Celiac Meeting and her pie crust was a big hit with the attendees. I purchased a bag of All-Purpose Baking mix to test out in my own kitchen. The recipe for sweet and savory pie crusts are on the back of the bag.

                                                                          Gluten-Free 
                                             Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette

Filling:
1 small butternut squash (about one pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons butter (if you have only non-stick, the smaller amount will do)
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced in half-moons
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
3/4 cup fontina cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces), grated or cut into small bits
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves

Pastry:
1 cup +2 tbs Bella Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Mix
1 tbs ice water
6 tbs cold butter

Instructions:
1. Make pastry crust by following instructions on Bella Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix.

2. Prepare squash: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel squash, then halve and scoop out seeds. Cut into a 1/2-inch dice. Toss pieces with olive oil and a half-teaspoon of the salt and roast on foil lined (for neatness sake) sheet for 30 minutes or until pieces are tender, turning it midway if your oven bakes unevenly. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Caramelize onions: While squash is roasting, melt butter in a heavy skillet and cook onion over low heat with the remaining half-teaspoon of salt and pinch of sugar, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir in cayenne.

4. Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Mix squash, caramelized onions, cheese and herbs together in a bowl.

5. Assemble galette: roll the dough out into a 10-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Spread squash, onions, cheese and herb mixture over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the border over the squash, onion and cheese mixture, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.
6. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Serves 4.

fontina and sage

pastry flour

galette, before baking



11.07.2011

Spicy Chicken Fajitas

I adapted this recipe from Jaime's Food Revolution cookbook. Naturally, being from NM I like a little more spice than recipe calls for, so adjust the seasonings to your liking. 

                                                                     Chicken Fajitas
                                                                        (serves 3-4)
Ingredients:
1 red or orange bell pepper
1 yellow onion
1 portobello mushroom
2 small zucchini/ summer squash
2 skinless, boneless chicken bread fillets (preferably organic or free-range)
1 tsp smoked paprika
generous pinch of ground cumin
2 tsp red chile powder
2 limes
olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
corn tortillas
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 avocado
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
fresh salsa (homemade or store-bought)
fresh cilantro (optional)

Use a grill pan or large skillet on medium-high heat. Halve and seed your bell pepper and cut it into thin strips. Slice mushroom and squash into thin strips. Peel, halve, and finely slice your onion. Slice your chicken lengthways into long strips roughly the same size as your bell pepper strips.

Put the bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, squash and chicken into a bowl with the paprika, chile powder and cumin. Squeeze over the juice of half a lime, drizzle over a lug of olive oil, season with the salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside to marinate for 5-10 minutes.

Use a pair of tongs to put all the pieces of bell pepper, onion, and chicken into your preheated pan to cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the chicken is golden and cooked through. As the pan will be really hot, keep turning the pieces of chicken and vegetables over so they don’t burn – you just want them to lightly chargrill to give you a lovely flavor.
Halve the avocado, scoop out the flesh from both sides and slice. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the avocado slices.

Warm your tortillas up in a microwave or on a warm dry frying pan. Divide your warmed tortillas between your serving plates. At the table, carefully help yourselves to the chicken and vegetables straight from the hot grill pan.
Halve your remaining lime and squeeze the juices over the sizzling pan. Serve fajitas with bowls of plain yogurt/sour cream, avocado alongside your shredded cheddar and your fresh salsa. Garnish with cilantro. 

                                                                        Fajita Feast! 

10.03.2011

Green Chile, Egg and Ham Crustless Quiche


This is definitely comfort food. Something to make with leftover ham, or a good dish for Sunday brunch. Make it healthier by serving some fresh fruit or fresh veggies on the side. 

 
Ingredients
1 sm yellow onion, diced
1 tbs olive oil
8 eggs
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup chopped ham (use cooked ham or substitute with bacon)
1 cup chopped green chile (roasted and peeled)
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 375° F. Heat oil in small skillet and saute onion until softened. About 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. 

In a large bowl, whisk eggs together. Next add shredded cheese, cottage cheese, ham, green chile, pepper and sauteed onion to eggs. Mix well. 

Lightly oil a 8 or 9 inch baking dish and pour egg mixture into baking dish. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until eggs are set and the top is starting to brown. 

Serve with cherry tomatoes and avocado slices. Enjoy! 

a bowl full of ingredients  

ready to bake...

and the finished product! 




9.26.2011

A perfect (gluten-free) anniversary


My husband and I have only been married for two years, but quite honestly, these have been the healthiest   two years I've had in a very long time. On our wedding day, I didn't know I had celiac disease (I was diagnosed a few months later), but we served a wonderful meal of new mexican fajitas (on corn tortillas), fresh homemade salsa, a beautiful seasonal green salad, spanish rice and beans. Essentially our wedding was gluten-free...until the cake! I don't remember feeling sick or bad on that special day, thank goodness! Fast forward and here I am eating cake, pizza, waffles etc... just made a little differently than before. I am forever grateful for having an extremely supportive husband who loves everything (so he says) that I cook and is always open to eating gluten-free. I look forward to the many, many meals we will share.

As for a perfect way to celebrate our 2 years together we traveled to the big city...Denver is only a 30 minute drive from our current home, but it's worlds apart from our life in Boulder (this topic could be another post entirely).

First things first, dessert before dinner at Pinkberry! Did you know that ALL Pinkberry flavors are gluten-free? Yes! I love this place. I think it's best to stay away from the toppings because you never know if the oreo-cookie serving spoon accidently fell into the chocolate shavings :( The fruit toppings are more isolated from the other toppings, so those are usually a safe bet, to avoid cross-contamination.

Dinner at Linger. Well,  supposedly I live in the "foodiest town in America" but I fell in love with Linger. Sorry Boulder. Not only did the waiter bring us two glasses of complimentary prosecco,  he was incredibly well versed on the issue of cross-contamination and being a celiac. I was taken more than serious. I was taken care of.

Linger has an amazing view of the Denver skyline from just about any seat in the restaurant. The careful attention to detail was well done, from the food, to the menus, to the bottle of water. Did I mention the food was absolutely incredible. The plates are small and the idea is to share a few dishes and savor the flavors. Linger. Enjoy.

Here's a sampling of what we had...a bowl of corn and poblano soup with Dungeness crab and avocado, sweet-potato waffle fries with chipolte ketchup (fried in a "clean" fyer), seared diver scallops with apple, and watercress salad, and a grilled chicken, grilled corn, avocado, bacon, french feta yumminess cobb salad (with grilled GF bread). Check out the awesome menu here.
The Linger eatuaries sign 
from the LoHi neighborhood

Gardens at the Gregory Inn

Next on the list: a  quaint bed and breakfast in LoDo. The Gregory Inn.  My amazing gluten-free breakfast included a crustless quiche, apple-chicken sausage, fresh fruit, coffee and juice. Lovely. The chef (Todd) was helpful and knew just how to make a safe meal for me! Breakfast on the roof-top patio was a perfect start to the day.
Breakfast at the Gregory Inn

Last, but certainly not least it's important to have dessert (again).  This is one of the easiest cakes you can make! Happy celebrating!

Flourless Chocolate Cake 
(circa 1997, Gourmet Magazine)

Ingredients
4 oz fine-quality, bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for sprinkling

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8inch round baking pan. Line the bottom with a round of wax paper and butter the paper.
Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double broiler, or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt chocolate with butter, stirring until smooth. Remove top of double broiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in the middle of oven for 25 minutes (or until top has formed a thin crust).
Cool cake in pan on a rack for ~5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate. Dust cake with additional cocoa powder and serve with fresh berries, whip cream, sorbet, etc... whatever you like!


 the ingredients

complete! 








9.20.2011

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe comes straight off the bag of Gluten Free Rolled Oats from Trader Joe's. GF oats can be really expensive, but if you have a Trader Joe's in your area pick these up. They are grown in dedicated oat fields, packaged in a gluten free facility and they are cheap! This recipe makes a lot of cookies, store them in the freezer...sometimes they taste even better frozen!


Ingredients
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups GF rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or sunflower seeds)
1 tsp bourbon vanilla
1 cup creamy peanut butter (or sunflower butter)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar and butter and beat until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, and baking soda and mix well.  Add peanut butter and until well incorporated.

Stir in oats, chocolate chips and nuts. Place teaspoon full of dough onto a lightly greased (or parchment paper lined) cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly brown around the edges. (makes approximately 40 to 48 cookies depending on size).  Enjoy!








8.16.2011

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak Salad with Cilantro Dressing

Good friends, good weather, good food. Thank you Allison and Mo for spending a weekend in Boulder! I must say it feels a little strange to relax at the kitchen table, sipping a glass of wine while my sweet friends cook for me. I spend so much time in the kitchen, that I often forget what it's like to be on the other side...it was wonderful! I am forever grateful to eat so well and be healthy. I didn't help make this meal, but I did devour it. (Recipe inspiration comes from Diabetic Living Magazine)


Ingredients:
8oz beef flank steak
2 yellow or red bell peppers, sliced
8 asparagus stalks, trimmed
2 green onions, trimmed
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and sliced
2-3 cups torn romaine lettuce
fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Cilantro Dressing (recipe follows)


Cilantro Dressing: 
Lime juice
shallot
cilantro
olive oil
honey
garlic clove
red chile powder
water 
salt
ground cumin


Directions:
In a blender or food processor, combine 3 tablespoons lime juice; 2 tablespoons chopped shallot; 2 tablespoons snipped cilantro; 1 tablespoon olive oil; 1 tablespoon water; 2 teaspoons honey; 1 large clove garlic, quartered; 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder; 1/4 teaspoon salt; and 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin. Cover and blend or process until combined.
Divide Cilantro Dressing into two portions.


Trim fat from steak. Score both sides of steak in a diamond pattern by making shallow diagonal cuts at 1-inch intervals. Place steak in a resealable plastic bag. Pour one portion of the Cilantro Dressing over steak in bag; set remaining dressing portion aside. Seal bag; turn to coat steak. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.


Drizzle peppers, green onions and asparagus with olive oil. For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place meat and, later, vegetables on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill. For steak, allow 17 to 21 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees F) to medium (160 degrees F). Add pepper and asparagus to the grill for the last 8 minutes of grilling and green onions to the grill for the last 4 minutes grilling, turning frequently. For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place meat and, later, vegetables on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill. 

Thinly slice meat against the grain. Serve meat, vegetables, tomatoes, and, avocado slices over romaine lettuce. Drizzle with the reserved portion of the Cilantro Dressing. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Makes 2 servings 

8.01.2011

Gluten Free in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Having lived in Boulder for the last year, I've become quite accustomed to having numerous gluten-free options at hand. I feel like I can go into almost any restaurant and have something safely prepared for me. When I come back to New Mexico, I don't feel so fortunate. There's a saying in NM that it's the "land of maƱana" in other words, what ever needs to get done, can get done tomorrow. Well, I believe this saying exists because New Mexico is a little behind the times. Stuff gets done here just a little slower than in other states. Sometimes thats a good thing, but in the world of  knowledge and accommodating people with food allergies and gluten intolerance, this is not such a good thing. For example, one of my old favorite restaurants, Flying Star put out this statement about gluten: "Our counter staff is happy to comply with your changes, but will not be able to assist you with Gluten issues." Shut down.

****Update**** One year after writing this post, Flying Star has decided to offer some "Gluten Not" options. I don't know if they pay any attention to cross contamination, but they do offer a couple breakfast entrees and muffins that do not contain gluten.

I've decided to pick my battles and Flying Star is one that can be shoved under the rug for the time being... I'm focusing on the restaurants that ARE open to accommodating those with Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance. Thank you Slate Street Cafe, Zinc Wine Bar, Slice Parlor Pizza, The Cube BBQ, O'Neills Irish Pub and Scalo for listening to your customers and offering safe and delicious gluten free meals! My hope is that more and more restaurants will jump on the bandwagon and understand that the individual that has gluten intolerance is the one that makes the decision about where to eat out. Having gluten-free options on your menu will actually increase sales :)



(Please excuse the quality of the photos, they were taken on a camera phone)

On a recent rendezvous to Albuquerque, I had the most wonderful meal at Slate Street Cafe. Many of the staff follow a gluten-free diet and the owner has a family member with Celiac Disease. Yay! The food here is amazing. It is presented well,  it's fresh and full of flavor. Plus a drink in the wine loft before the meal is a nice touch. They have a separate gluten-free menu, just ask the hostess when you take your seat! My meal included a peach glazed seared salmon with sauteed green beans, sugar snap peas, snow peas and a spicy kiwi-mango salsa. Awesome! All the salads are gluten free and the one that caught my eye was the  grilled peach and prosciutto salad with spring greens, asparagus, golden tomatoes and shaved parmesan.

We also ate at Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro- Zinc is an awesome place to listen to music and have a wonderful meal. The hostess, chef and waitress were all knowledgeable about my intolerance and assured me that I would have a safe meal. It was wonderful! I had the New Mexico raised steak and a mixed green salad with homemade champagne vinaigrette. I will be back. 

For more in-depth gluten-free listing, check out Gluten Free Albuquerque.  
talk to the manager or cook on-site. The BBQ sauce and most of the meats and salads are gluten-free,  naturally! 

A relatively new pizza joint in town. Serves a 12" pizza and even has gluten free beer on the menu. It doesn't get much better than that!

El Pinto Restaurant serves up some of Albuquerque's most delicious New Mexican food. You can safely eat chicken tacos, enchiladas and carne adovada. Order from their new gluten free menu and devour the delicious salsa!

If you are traveling to Santa Fe, check out the article published by Living Without Magazine.

My favorites in Santa Fe:

La Choza. You can safely eat the carne adovada (this chile and meat is not made with wheat flour). Pinto beans and Posole. Delish!

Vinaigrette Salad Bistro. Speak to the staff. They are accommodating to those with special dietary needs. I love the Apple Cheddar chop salad. Just make sure your meat is NOT marinated.

Tree House Bakery. All vegetarian and very tasty. Go on Tuesday- it's gluten free special day!

Revolution Bakery. This place is amazing. It's entirely gluten-free. Pick up your bread, cinnamon rolls, hot coffee, scones, pizza etc... and don't worry about gluten-contamination at all! WOO HOO!










7.15.2011

Lemon & Pear Bread with Pecans

Lemon & Pear Bread with Pecans 


Ingredients:
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup pear sauce (or use applesauce)
1 tsp bourbon vanilla extract
1.5 tsp grated lemon zest
1tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Using a standing mixer beat egg slightly, then add sugar and melted butter. Beat until well combined. Add pear sauce, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla and continue to beat on slow-medium speed for about 1 minute. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and then add  into wet mixture. Beat until smooth. Fold in pecans.  Pour into a greased (with butter) and floured (using GF flour) bread loaf pan. Bake for 55 min to 1 hour at 350° F. 

                                                                       the batter...
and the finished product.
I couldn't resist having a taste before it cooled.
Lovely. 


7.11.2011

Bolognese Sauce with Pasta

This sauce is adapted from Jamie's Food Revolution cookbook. It's hearty, flavorful and could be topped on gluten free pasta, rice, or even a bed of sauteed greens. 
Ingredients:
2 slices of smoked bacon, preferably free-range or organic
2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
olive oil
2 heaping tsp dried oregano
1 lb good-quality ground beef, pork or a mixture of the two
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2, 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes (no salt added)
1 small can tomato paste
small bunch of fresh basil
4 ounces fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb gluten free pasta


Directions:
Finely dice the bacon. Peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Place a large pan on medium to high heat.  Add 2 lugs of olive oil, sliced bacon and oregano to your pan. Cook and stir until bacon is lightly golden. Add the chopped veggies to the pan and saute for about 7 minutes until softened. Stir in the ground beef/pork breaking it up with a fork. Add the canned tomatoes and tomato paste.
Fill one of the empty cans with water and add to the pan. Stir in a good pinch of salt and pepper. 


Pick the basil leaves off the stalk and store leaves in the fridge for later. Finely dice the basil stalks and stir into the pan. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer with a lid on and slightly askew for 1 hour, stirring every now and again. Take the lid off and cook for another 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the sauce as it cooks, and if you think it's starting to dry out, add a splash of water. 


Remove the Bolognese sauce from heat. Stir in half of the grated parmesan cheese (save remaining for garnish). Tear and stir half of the basil into the sauce (save remaining for garnish). Season with additional salt and pepper. You can now allow it to cool, bag it and freeze or keep it warm while you cook your gluten free pasta!  Enjoy!!!



7.01.2011

Gluten Free in Switzerland and Italy

Traveling used to be so incredibly simple for me. I would find food at ease and go to whatever restaurant I wanted to, when I was hungry. Of course I didn't feel well afterwards, but it sure seemed simpler! Today, I google, I call, I feel nervous, I google some more, then it all seems to work out. I had the most awesome vacation a few weeks ago where I spent time on the Italian Riviera (Rapallo, Portofino, Santa Margherita, Camogli and the Cinque Terre) and in Switzerland (Zurich, Bern, Lucern, and Baden).  

Italy is hip to gluten intolerance and celiac disease. It's not hard to find food in most grocery stores and pharmacy's that cater to the gluten free traveler. Switzerland was a bit harder, but in the end totally do-able. I have to admit, when I see a food market, a pharmacy or other food vendor, I always have to check to see what they offer. I am sure my travel companions get tired of me always stopping in to check out the markets! I have found that is is absolutely necessary to have a hotel or apartment with a kitchenette when traveling abroad. Going out to eat should be a treat, not a chore. I cooked everyday while on the trip, but I was never deprived. Everyday I made myself a Nutella rice-cake sandwich to enjoy while others were having chocolate croissants. I packed a lunch with gluten-free Shar bread. I devoured the cheese and yoghurt in Switzerland and I had my fair share of chocolate bars, fresh olives and cappuccinos in Italy. I didn't get sick and I didn't feel hungry...not once.
 

Here are some tips and a list of awesome places to get some good food in Italy and Switzerland. 

Plan your stays in various cities based on the open air food markets. These are delectable and honestly, you wont find better produce. Sweet cherries, peaches, nectarines, strawberries and apples were in abundance and all grown in Italy. It was heaven. We stayed in the Ligurian region. Markets are held daily. http://www.initaly.com/regions/liguria/markets.htm  

Billa Supermarket- Rapallo, Italy
I stocked up on fresh pesto, gluten free penne pasta, fresh mozzarella cheese, veggies and chocolate from this market. Salami and other cured meats are labeled gluten-free (senza glutine)

Ristorante Da Paolo, Camogli, Italy
I've been to this restaurant three times and they always know what to do. I believe the chef has Celiac disease. The meal is pricy, but worth it. I recommend going at lunch, but make a reservation! Fresh grilled calamari with olive oil, herbs and garlic, with a insalata mista was fantastic!
Ristorante Da Paolo, Via S. Fortunato 14, Camogli
Tel: 0185.773595


Restaurant Il Cancello, Portofino, Italy. This restaurant is at the Palace hotel offers gluten free meals.

Kerala Indian Restaurant, Zurich, Switzerland. This restaurant treated me like a queen. They have an incredible amount of gluten free items on the menu and were very proud and sure of providing me a safe meal. On top of all the good service, the food is excellent. Our meal included vegetable pakora (made with chickpea flour), tandoori chicken, malabari chicken curry, aloo gobi vegetables and a indian pudding with cardamom and coconut milk for dessert. Yum. Yum. Yum. 




Muller Vital Shop, Zurich, Switzerland- I was able to buy a selection of breads, rice-cakes, musili, and snacks from here. This is great place to supplement your fruits, veggies and yogurt which are abundant in Zurich. 









The  Drogerie +Reformhaus +Naturheilpraxis in Stein-am-Rhein, Switzerland sells a selection of GF products, including a few gluten free baked goods. 

The Marinello market in Rail City (main Zurich train station) carries a selection of gluten free bratwurst and sausages. They are all delicious! Just read the fine print on the allergen statement. Marinello is even open on Sunday, as everything else seems to be closed! 
Other grocery stores in Switzerland were my lifesaver. I went to either the Coop and Migros daily. They are found in almost every town and you can stock up on the best yogurt you will ever eat plus meats, cheeses, fruits, veggies and nuts. 

GF pasta with pesto, spicy sausage, 
wilted spinach and fresh mozzarella






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