Finding Solace in the Kitchen with Foods that Heal

Everyday I have to think about eating a meal that is safe. Every time I go out to eat I have to explain my situation. Sometimes I feel silly, other times I feel like a burden but most of all, I hope that one more person will be educated about gluten intolerance and in the long run, life will be a lot easier! I had the pleasure of telling my story to WalkAbout Magazine in the hopes that even more people will learn about celiac disease and the importance of eating gluten free and thriving!
Please check out the story here

Tomato Avocado Salsa

This recipe comes from a wonderful woman in Santa Fe. Della kindheartedly shared this recipe with me after I devoured it at a holiday party last year. Thankfully it is now my go-to salsa :)

1 14oz can diced tomatoes 
1 jalapeno, diced
2 scallions (use only the bottom half), diced
1 large handful of fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp each)
1 avocado, chopped

Add tomatoes, jalapeno, scallions, cilantro, salt and pepper to blender or food processor and chop for about 30 seconds. If not spicy enough, add sprinkles of chile pequin (red pepper flakes). 
Transfer to a serving bowl and top with slices of avocado. Serve with corn tortilla chips.  


Gluten Free Italian Breadsticks

These are a great little snack to stash in your bag when you are out and about, at a restaurant, or just feel like something "bready". I like to dip them in olive oil with a little sea salt.

1 tbs active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
1 cup GF flour blend w/xanthan gum (bistro blend all purpose GF flour)
1 tbs cornstarch
2 tbs Parmesan cheese, grated
1.5 tsp Italian spices (I used a variety of oregano, fennel, rosemary, lemon peel etc) ground
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
extra olive oil to brush on the tops of breadsticks

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Whisk yeast and warm milk together in a small bowl. Set aside for  about 5 minutes. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silpat (as shown).

In a mixer, mix the yeast mixture, flour,  cornstarch, cheese, spices, 1 tbs olive oil and vinegar on low speed for about 1 minute. The dough should be well combined. Using the palms of your hands, roll out breadsticks into strips, about 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. If dough is too sticky to roll out, place dough in a pastry bag or heavy duty plastic bag (with corner cut off) and squeeze the dough out of the bag onto the sheet.

Lightly brush the tops of the breadsticks with olive-oil for a crisper top. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack and serve with olive oil for dipping.


Zucchini stuffed with Quinoa and Cannellini Beans

1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed
4 med zucchini
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbs olive oil

Heat oven to 400°F. In a large saucepan, combine quinoa and one cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed. about 10-15 minutes. 
Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Arrange in a large baking dish, cut sides up. Fluff the quinoa and fold in the beans, tomatoes, pine nuts, garlic and 1/4 cup of the cheese, and 2 tbs olive oil. Spoon the mixture into the zucchini. Top with the remaining oil and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. Remove the foil and bake about 8 minutes more. 

 (this recipe has been adapted from Real Simple Magazine, Zucchini with Quinoa Stuffing)


Flourless Mexican Chocolate Cake

                                                            Flourless Mexican Chocolate Cake

4 oz bittersweet chocolate (good-quality, not unsweetened)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the paper. Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a metal bowl, set over a saucepan of just simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Add in vanilla and stir. Remove bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate until combined. Add eggs and whisk until well incorporated. Add cinnamon. Sift cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Pour batter into greased pan and bake in middle oven for ~ 25 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a cooling rack for 5-7 minutes and then invert onto a serving plate. 

Dust cake with additional cocoa powder, powdered sugar or serve with fresh berries.


Green Chile, Pepperoni, Goat Cheese, and Roasted Garlic Pizza

I eat a lot of pizza but this is a particularly good combination. It reminds me of fall in New Mexico, which always makes me smile. Make sure to read the label on your pepperoni to verify it is gluten free. I used pepperoni by Applegate Farm; it's gluten and casein free and can be found in most health food stores. Another reason I like this brand is that it's minimally processed and free of antibiotics.

1 10" or 12" GF pizza crust
3/4 cup pizza sauce
1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
6-8 slices pepperoni
goat cheese, topped to your liking
roasted garlic, topped to your liking
roasted green chile, topped to your liking (For more info on how to roast green chile click here)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Top crust with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and remaining toppings. Bake for 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!
Before baking...

                                                                    and after baking


Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Happy Valentines Day! I ventured out and bought a gluten-free devils food cake mix, made by Betty Crocker. Betty Crocker now makes GF mixes, which are made in a dedicated gluten free facility, so there is no concern about cross contamination! I made these treats especially for the hubby. He loves chocolate. Really loves chocolate. So go out buy your favorite chocolate  mix and top your cupcakes with this delightful strawberry buttercream.
                                                           Strawberry Buttercream
1/2 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
1 stick unsalted butter, cold
pinch of sea salt
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp GF vanilla extract

Put thawed strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree. Set aside.
In a standing mixer, add butter and salt. On medium speed, cream until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and slowly add sugar until well incorporated. Now add 3 tbs of pureed strawberries and the vanilla extract, mix until blended. The frosting should be creamy and look similar to ice-cream.



Tea Time!

One of my favorite pastimes is sipping a hot cup of tea. I enjoy the warm comfort of tea in the morning, in the afternoons and sometimes before bed. I've been drinking tea for as long as I can remember. When I was very small, I would have afternoon tea with my great-grandmother, with a lot of cream and sugar added! And to this day, I still love a hot cup of earl grey with cream and sugar in a beautiful teacup.  Before I was diagnosed with celiac disease I would drink a daily dose of "stomach ease" tea in attempt to feel better. Little to my knowledge it was most likely making me feel worse! Yogi Stomach Ease Tea contains barley malt (as do 3 other flavors, including the fasting tea, calming tea, and kava stress relief.). Barley malt is not gluten free, so make sure to read all of your tea labels. Some of my favorite (gluten-free) teas include:

Celestial Seasonings: Tension Tamer and Mint Magic are wonderfully soothing teas.  Search for your favorite flavor and check the gluten status on the website.

Stash Teas: I love the Earl Grey, however all of the flavorings used do not contain any gluten. That's right, all the tea blends from Stash are gluten free :)

Mighty Leaf Teas: all teas from Mighty Leaf are free of gluten. No wheat, barley or rye, however they do have a disclaimer saying that some of the tea may be at risk for cross-contamination due to the facility where the tea is processed. hmm. Drink at your own risk! I drink the Organic English Breakfast and Orange Dulce without any issue. As an added bonus, all the tea pouch is biodegradable.

Two Leaves and a Bud, Tea Company: this tea company is fantastic. It's based out of Colorado and all of the teas are organic. The teas is packaged in beautiful little sachets that are environmentally friendly and of course are all gluten-free. Happy sipping!


Sweet Potato Muffins w/Molasses

Just when I thought I had exhausted my creativity with muffins and sweet breads, a molasses sweet potato muffin came to mind (and I had left over sweet potatoes in my fridge). I searched the Internet for some recipes and as a result came up with this one. The muffins are not too sweet and have a light, moist texture. Delicious with a cup of tea! 
(Makes about 10 muffins)
1 cup GF flour (Bistro Blend All-Purpose gluten free flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbs unsulphered molasses
1 egg
3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest
3/4 cup mashed or pureed sweet potatoes (plain without the peel)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F; prepare muffin pan with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the first seven ingredients (through the salt). Set aside. 
In a standing mixer, combine the milk, oil, molasses, egg, vanilla extract, orange zest, and sweet potatoes and mix on low until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the milk mixture and stir until well combined. Fold in pecans. 

Using a spoon, fill the muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for five minutes, remove muffins from the pan and serve immediately or cool completely on rack. 


Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes

These sweet potatoes are great as a side dish or even a top a spinach salad. They are easy to make and super healthy! Packed with Vitamins A and C and beta carotene, sweet potatoes should not only be eaten on Thanksgiving day!

This recipe is taken straight from the Food Networks, Ellie Krieger. Thank you Ellie! :)

2 lbs sweet potatoes
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs honey
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. 
Peel and cut potatoes into 1 inch pieces and put into a 9x13in baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey and lemon juice. Pour mixture over potatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and bake for one hour (or until potatoes are tender), stirring occasionally.