Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Cake Mix

I never got around to posting this, but a few weeks ago, I took the Betty Crocker gluten-free plunge and made a yellow cake. I don’t own a proper cake pan (I don’t bake that often), so I used one of my Pyrex refrigerator dishes (which can go from oven to fridge). This is what happened. It wasn’t bad.

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Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

Warm weather never fails to make me think of pasta salad — a staple for anyone who grew up with (even a little) traditional Italian cooking, and an absolute no-no for anyone with a wheat or gluten allergy or intolerance.

Many years ago now, when I worked at a pizza and pasta shop, I learned a recipe that basically calls for boiling some pasta, adding whatever fresh veggies you’d like (they can be blanched or raw, depending on the consistency you’re going for), topping it off with your favorite vinaigrette, and serving.

For this one, I used gluten-free quinoa elbows, and added:

  • red pepper slices
  • zucchini and yellow squash matchsticks
  • kalamata olives (I halved them)
  • red onion (sliced thin)
  • minced jalapeno and a dash of goat cheese on top for flavor

I made a rice-vinegar dressing by combining some olive oil, lemon juice, rice vinegar, basil, oregano, parsley, and minced garlic in a jar and giving it a good shake.

Warm Eggs and Kale

I’m pretty sure I’ve posted some iteration of this before, but just in case: warm kale + eggs = major yum factor.

To prepare the kale, add a little olive oil to a warming pan, wash the kale thoroughly, and break it apart in bite-size pieces right into the pan. Saute and add a pinch each of cracked pepper and sea salt (cover if you’re in a rush).

To prepare the eggs, do that stove-top-poaching-thing I feel like I’m always talking about: set out as if to fry the eggs, don’t break the yolks, add a little water, and cover. Cook till eggs are desired consistency (I like my yolk to run a little for this — there’s not really anything like the perfect bite of warm kale and just-right-runny egg yolk).

Eat this for any meal of the day. I’m currently eating it, and am in heaven (the red stuff on top is leftover pickled onion from takeout the other night).

Kitchen Sink Lasagna

When you eat gluten-free, you’re constantly looking for alternatives — especially when it comes to eating foods you loved as a kid. For me, anything Italian was a hit; of course, finding out I couldn’t eat wheat put a damper on that.

Tonight, a friend who eats dairy-free (at least the cow kind; goat is safe) came over for dinner, and I’ve been trying to be better at using whatever’s in my fridge. Here’s what we ate, considering those things. See below for directions/ingredients.

I started by preparing the filling:

  1. I lightly sautéed some red onion, eggplant (thinly sliced and quartered), and spinach.
  2. Then, I diced chicken I’d pan-fried the night before.
  3. Next, I created the ricotta-substitute filling by beating one egg with a teaspoon of minced garlic and a pinch each of oregano, basil, and parsley. I added two generous tablespoons of goat cheese and beat until smooth. Several spoonfuls of leftover red lentils added to this created the perfect non-cow-dairy ricotta substitute.

I began with a layer of sauce in the bottom of a 8.5″ x 6.5″ dish (to keep it from sticking), followed by a layer each of the following (in this order):

  • corn tortilla (I’ve often wondered if using corn tortillas in lieu of lasagna sheets would work, and to my delight it does! I cut it to the appropriate size, though I’m sure overlapping would work just fine.)
  • ricotta substitute (you have to do this two times, so spread accordingly)
  • tomato sauce
  • spinach and eggplant mixture
  • goat cheese (very very light on this — just a wee bit for look and texture)
  • corn tortilla
  • ricotta substitute
  • sauce
  • diced chicken
  • goat cheese (as above)
  • corn tortilla
  • sauce
  • a dusting of parmesan (of course, if the person eating this can’t have even the slightest bit of cow milk, this isn’t a good idea)

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until desired temperature.

It wasn’t as pretty as other lasagnas I’ve made, but it was delicious and good for you.

Healthy Brunch

This week has been completely nuts, and I decided to treat myself to a thoughtfully cooked brunch, to fuel my busy weekend:

Kale: In a frying pan, saute chopped red onions and minced garlic in butter till slightly brown, add kale, and cook till kale is bright green and wilted.

Eggs: A friend taught me a while back how to cheat in the poaching eggs department. You make out as if to fry them over medium heat — being careful to keep the yolks whole — add a little bit of water to the pan, and cover. Keep an eye out, as you want to make sure the yolk stays a little runny (which makes eating them over warm kale pretty awesome). I added minced jalapeno for a little spice.

Lentils: In medium pot, add 2 TB of olive oil, 1 chopped medium onion, 3 cloves minced garlic, 4 cups chicken broth, and 1 bag Goya red lentils (note: you get quite a few servings from this). I crumbled some feta on top for some added flavor.