Category Archives: Cooking

Gluten-Free Pizza Bianca with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, and Spinach

Pizza Bianca with Caramelized Onions & Spinach

A while ago I read about Pillsbury coming out with a line of gluten-free doughs. As much as I love making my own doughs, I wanted to test out the doughs and see how they held up to my own. My first test was with their thin crust pizza dough. It’s hard to find a good gluten free thin crust pizza and I’ve yet to find a gluten-free one that is on par with gluten filled dough.

Straight out of the oven, the crust was great. Super thin and crunchy. I have never had a gluten-free pizza crust get this crispy before. After a few minutes, the quality of the crust went down hill. The pizza turned rock hard, almost to the point of being too hard to even eat. With the leftovers, it was probably the one time I was happy to zap the pizza in the microwave so the crust would soften up a bit. This was my first time using this dough, so it could be entirely my fault for rolling it out too thin. I will definitely buy the dough again in the future because the convenience is nice, but I might leave the dough a bit thicker next time and see how it fares.

The toppings on the pizza were absolutely delicious. This was more of a ‘clean out the fridge’ kind of meal than a planned recipe, but it made for a great lunch. The caramelized onions can be a time consuming addition to the pizza, but caramelized onions make everything better so I think they are worth the effort. I wanted to get a bit more color on the goat cheese, but as you can see the crust was already quite brown, so I decided not to risk burning it.

Disclaimer – I wasn’t compensated in any way for this post. I just like trying out new to me products and thought I would pass along my thoughts.

Gluten-Free Pizza Bianca with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, and Spinach

Ingredients

  • 1 container of Pillsbury Gluten Free Pizza Dough (or pizza dough of choice)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 a log of goat cheese, cut into slices

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 Tablespoon of oil over medium-high and add onion when oil is heated. Stir to coat onion with oil and allow onion to cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, sprinkle in a bit of salt, stir again and allow onions to continue darkening and caramelizing stirring every 10 minutes or so, until desired color has been reached. Remove from oil.
  2. Add spinach to remaining oil in the skillet and sauté until slightly wilted, then remove from skillet.
  3. Heat oven to 400°F. Grease cookie sheet and hands. Press dough into 11-inch round on cookie sheet.
  4. Sprinkle the minced garlic over the dough and lightly brush with half the olive oil. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until edge is beginning to brown.
  5. Sprinkle mozzarella over the crust, top with onions and spinach and goat cheese slices.
  6. Return crust to the oven and bake 8 to 10 minutes longer or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted. Top with basil leaves. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

BLT Tomato Bites (Gluten Free)

BLT Tomato Bites

These are the tastiest little bites I’ve had in a while. Tomatoes are in their prime at the moment and I suggest you make these as soon as you can! Every single bite was a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, a little bit spicy, and a whole lot of delicious.

I have been attempting to make these nearly all summer, but seemed to encounter a Goldilocks dilemma every single time. Definitely make sure you get actual cherry tomatoes. I made the mistake of buying a Costco sized box of grape tomatoes, twice, and they are just too small. Then I tried Campari tomatoes and they are just too big, but finally I actually found cherry tomatoes! And they are just right. I used the small end of a melon baller to ‘pit’ the tomatoes and it was the easiest thing ever.

You can use just about any hot sauce you want. I personally used chipotle Tabasco for just about everything and it was absolutely perfect for these. I am sure your personal favorite will work just fine. I think sriracha or a Mexican hot sauce, like Cholula or Tapitio, would be great as well.

BLT Tomato Bites (Gluten Free)

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes (about 32)
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and broken into big pieces
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt (I used half and half of each)
  • 2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce (I recommend Chipotle Tabasco)
  • 1 cup finely chopped romaine lettuce leaves from the heart
  1. Cut off the stem ends of the tomatoes and discard. Using a paring knife or the small end of a melon baller, remove the seeds and discard; place the tomatoes cut side down on paper towels to drain.
  2. Stir together the mayonnaise/yogurt and chipotle and spoon into a resealable bag. Cut off the tip of one corner.
  3. Place the tomatoes cut side up on a platter and press some romaine inside each tomato; sprinkle with salt. Pipe some chipotle mayo over the romaine and top with bacon.

Hatch Chile Egg Puff with Roasted Hatch Chile Salsa

Hatch Chile Egg Puff with Roasted Hatch Chile Salsa

It’s hatch chile season! I don’t know if hatch chiles are a big thing outside of the southwestern United States, but they have been on my radar for several years now, and their popularity only seems to be growing. Fine by me!

I absolutely loved this egg dish. The flour helped make it super light and fluffy (or puffy I guess) almost like a soufflé, which made breakfast feel kind of fancy. Plus, it was super easy to make! I liked using the cottage cheese in it too since it gave the dish a creamy texture and an extra dose of protein. 

Salsa making time!!! #hatchchiles

I rarely buy salsa, but I was super intrigued by a jar of roasted hatch chile salsa I saw at Costco and decided to just go for it. Excellent decision. It was so good, I had to make an additional trip to Costco and get two more jars the next day, but at $7.99 a pop, it was turning into a rather expensive habit. Naturally, I decided to try to make my own! I used a pound of hatch chiles, a pound of jalapeños, around four pounds of tomatoes of various shapes and forms, one extremely large onion that weighed nearly two pounds. Of the five heads of garlic pictured, tragically only four just four of them made it into the salsa. I roasted everything over the flames on my stove (using this method, it’s super simple), except the garlic, which I did in the oven. You could definitely do everything in the oven if you wanted. Once everything was peeled, I threw them in the blender and spun everything around a few times until I go the consistency I wanted and proceeded to use this salsa on absolutely everything. It was delicious.

Hatch Chile Egg Puff with Roasted Hatch Chile Salsa

Hatch Chile Egg Puff with Roasted Hatch Chile Salsa

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used Better Batter)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2+ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 roasted green hatch chiles, peeled, veined, seeded and diced -OR- 1 (7 ounce) can diced green hatch chilies, drained
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly spray a 7×11 inch casserole dish.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and garlic powder. In a separate bowl, beat eggs well. Gradually stir in flour mixture. Blend in cheeses, green onions, and chilies. Pour batter into prepared casserole dish.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until firm and a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean, about 35 to 45 minutes.

 

Mango Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Mango Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

This salad has it all; sweet, salty, cheesy, and all delicious. Mango, blue cheese and broccoli are some of my favorite foods, but never in a million years would I think of combining them. Ever. But somehow, it totally works. The flavor combinations definitely make for a very unique meal.

I definitely plan on making this salad again, but next time I think I might add a couple of other things to make it even better. Adding some toasted cashews or almonds would add a great crunch to the salad. I could also imagine substituting the chicken for shrimp (maybe even coconut shrimp for more of a tropical twist).

Mango Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Mango Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
Inspired by Better Homes & Gardens.

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 mango, pitted, peeled, and cut up
  • 12 ounces chicken breast
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets

For the Vinaigrette:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Season to taste and set aside.

For the Salad:

  1. On a serving platter place romaine lettuce. Top with blueberries and mango; set aside.
  2. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. In a large skillet cook chicken in 1 tablespoon of the butter with minced garlic over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once. Transfer to a cutting board; slice. Allow to cool slight and arrange atop salad.
  3. In the same skillet cook broccoli in the remaining tablespoon garlic butter over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes until tender. Place atop salad.
  4. Drizzle salad with blue cheese vinaigrette. If desired, sprinkle with blue cheese.

Zucchini Noodles with Cilantro Pesto & Halloumi AND a Giveaway!

Zucchini Noodles with Cilantro Pesto & Halloumi

Disclosure: The Veggetti®, gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Ontel. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I have wanted to get a spiralizer for a while now, but the cost, size and valuable kitchen storage space it would take up always prevented me. Enter the Veggetti! The Veggetti is a handheld device that quickly turns your veggies into veggie noodles. Veggie noodles offer not only a healthier, lower-carb alternative to regular pasta, but a gluten free one too. The Veggetti is also quick and easy to use and it’s dishwasher safe, which makes clean up a breeze.

I have used my Veggetti with zucchini, squash, potatoes, and carrots. All of them worked out perfectly, except for the carrots. I think the carrots I tried to use were too narrow. So far I am really impressed by how easy the Veggetti is to use, how sturdy it is and how small it is. It fits perfectly in a kitchen drawer. The only downside I have found, and it’s kind of a silly one, is how insanely long the noodles are. I would definitely recommend cutting them up once you are done spiralizing them.

If you would like to get your own Veggetti® , you can go here to learn more at www.getveggetti.com OR you can enter my giveaway! One reader will win a Veggetti of their very own – plus a $25 Visa Gift Card to stock their vegetable crisper!

TO ENTER: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Zucchini Noodles with Cilantro Pesto & Halloumi

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 pack of halloumi cut into slices
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, halved
For the Cilantro Pesto:
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds
  • 4+ garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese (or parmesan), grated
  • 1 bunch cilantro, with most of the stem removed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
  • 1 generous pinch red chili flakes (optional)

Instructions

  1. Use the Veggetti to spiralize the zucchini and squash and set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add halloumi and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side. Place on a paper towel to drain.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the zucchini noodles with as much cilantro pesto as you like and the rest of the ingredients, except the halloumi. Divide between two plates and top with halloumi and serve.
  4. For the Pesto
  5. Place the almonds in a food processor until they are finely ground. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until desired consistency is reached.

Delica’s Wasabi Potato Salad

Delica's Wasabi Potato Salad

So, I briefly mentioned yesterday, I am moving to the other side of the country in 27 oh, so short days. I’ve been hell bent on getting in as many of my favorite summer things, California things, and summery California as possible. I have lists of food, shops, cities, friends, beaches, parks, drinks and many more random things.

A couple of weekends ago I got to cross a whole bunch of things off my list with a trip up to San Francisco. There were friends and food and shopping and pugs and crafts and it was glorious. Apart from the fact that many of my best friends live in San Francisco now, it’s always been one of my favorite cities. There is so much to do and see and, most importantly, eat! This salad is inspired by one I had at Delica many, many trips ago. Delica is a great Japanese deli and sushi bar in the Ferry Building. And while a Japanese deli might seem like the last place you would find an amazing potato salad, trust me they definitely know what they are doing.

I will admit, I have met very few potatoes I haven’t liked (I am 100% Irish, it’s pure genetics), but potato salads wade into a tricky gray area. A great potato salad is a thing of delicious beauty, but it is so, so easy for a potato salad to go horribly wrong very easily. Delica’s potato salad is so different than any other potato salad. First, the wasabi! I love wasabi and even though I have added I have used horseradish in potato salads before, I never thought of using wasabi. It’s a great flavorful addition. I might be strange in the fact that I always mix my summer barbecue side salads together. That potato salad and green salad will soon become one on my plate, so I absolutely love that Delica’s potato salad already has romaine lettuce and snap peas and other traditional green salad staples in the potato salad itself. If you are looking for a totally different and delicious potato salad recipe, I suggest you start here!

 

Delica’s Wasabi Potato Salad

  • 1 pound Yukon gold or yellow potatoes
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (you can use mayo or sour cream as well or a combo)
  • 2+ cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi paste (or more if you like it with a kick!)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup edamame beans, fresh or thawed
  • 1 handful snap peas, trimmed and halved
  • 2 romaine hearts, chopped

 

  1. Wash and peel potatoes. Cut into 1″ cubes.
  2. Put potatoes into a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until you can insert a fork and easily remove it (about 10-15 minutes). Don’t overcook! Drain potatoes and let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the yogurt, garlic, wasabi paste, and salt.
  4. Toss with edamame, snap peas, and romaine hearts with the yogurt. Fold in the potatoes and gently stir until combined.
  5. Cover and chill before serving.

Tomato Basil Spread

Basil Tomato Spread

A few weeks ago I was up visiting my best friends and her husband and pugs in San Francisco. They have the cutest farmers’ market right around the corner from them on the weekends and we took a visit before I had to head home. One of the stalls (Hummus Heaven) was selling absolutely delicious hummus and pita chips. They also had some incredible dips and spreads. I fell in love with the tomato basil spread. It was light, tangy, garlicky and fresh. It was delicious with pita chips, but I also used it for dipping veggies, crackers and as a sandwich spread. All wining combinations.

Since I (tragically) have no clue when my next visit to San Francisco will be, I decided I needed to attempt to recreate it. I will say that the original was a little more creamy (almost mayo/aioli like), but I wasn’t really in the mood to keep adding oil or mayo to get mine to the same consistency. I thought that some greek yogurt might take it more in that direction, but it didn’t. It did help it make it more like a dip or sandwich spread, which was perfect for me. I did save a little of the original to do a side by side taste test and that my version is  just as good as the original, if not a little bit better.

Tomato Basil Spread

  • 4+ cloves garlic
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano, dried
  • 10-15 basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, plain
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine until desired consistency is reached (I did mine so it was very smooth).

 

Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese & Gluten Free Focaccia

Oven Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese & Gluten Free Focaccia

Summer seems to be flying by and I feel like the end of it, is unfortunately in sight. This week I want to share recipes that feature some of my favorite summer produce so everyone can get as much tasty enjoyment out of the month or so we have left.

Oven roasted tomatoes became one of my favorite things this summer and if I can keep some around long enough (most are consumed via fork straight from pan), this is one of my favorite ways to eat them. I know turning on the oven in the middle of summer is something only crazy person would do, but just trust me, it’s worth it. Plus, you are turning on the oven so low, you won’t be able to notice any big temperature change. I promise!

I cannot even begin to describe how incredibly delicious these tomatoes are. I used cherry tomatoes in this particular instance, but I’ve used just about every tomato imaginable and they are all just as amazing. I served these with softened goat cheese and gluten-free focaccia, but the possibilities are endless. I’ve used them on salads, in a caprese salad, the top of soups, crackers and, as I already mentioned, my favorite method with a fork straight from the pan.

One minor note, if you are using larger tomatoes: cut the tomatoes in half first, remove the stem (if desired) and place them cut side down on the pan when you go to roast them.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese & Gluten Free Focaccia

  • around 1-1.5 pounds cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4-8 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
  1. Heat oven to 225F.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a shallow baking dish or pan and add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper.
  3. Toss the tomatoes with the oil and seasonings in the dish.
  4. Bake for two hours, or until the tomatoes are completely softened and wilted, and start to wrinkle. Depending on the tomatoes, they may take longer to cook.

 

 

Fiesta Bean Salad

Fiesta Bean Salad

It’s that time of year again… Fiesta! I haven’t blogged for a couple months, but I’m now in my final stretch living in California (for a while at least), so I figure I might as well enjoy and share as much of the Golden State as I can! Fiesta is a truly unique Santa Barbara tradition. Officially 90 years strong as of this Wednesday. It’s a unique blend of culture, history, food, music, dance and booze. Basically the world’s best combination in my opinion. This week I’m going to share some of my favorite, both new and old, Mexican inspired recipes.

Fiesta Bean Salad

I love this salad! It’s fast and easy. Light and fresh. And it makes a perfect alternative side dish to a Mexican meal instead of traditional black or pinto bean dishes. I had originally planned on serving this as a side dish with tequila lime chicken, but I was so hungry for lunch that I decided to skip the rest of the meal and just dig in. Excellent decision. If you wanted to add some more bulk to the salad, some chopped romaine would be great. If I had some cilantro on hand (my plants have refused to last longer than 5 days this summer!) or corn kernels (I can’t eat whole corn, but if you can), I know both would have made the best addition.

Fiesta Bean Salad
Adapted from Skinnytaste.

  • 2+ cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounce canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1/2 jicama, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 2 ounces queso fresco (or feta), crumbled
  1. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, lime juice, oil, cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt.
  2. Add the black beans, chickpeas, tomato, onion and jicama. When ready to eat, gently mix in avocado, sprinkle with queso fresco and serve right away.

 

 

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Gluten Free Teriyaki Sauce

Asian Meatballs

I really like teriyaki sauce. I used to really like the one Soyaki from Trader Joe’s and while there are some gluten-free teriyaki sauces available, there aren’t any that aren’t too sweet and with the chunks of garlic and ginger. To remedy this random and very specific teriyaki craving, I decided to make my own! And as far as I can remember this was a pretty close replica of the teriyaki sauce I’ve been missing.

I also recommend baking your meatballs. Baking them makes way less of a mess to clean up and it’s healthier than frying them too.  I served my meatballs with brown rice and spinach sautéed with garlic. The teriyaki sauce was fantastic with the rice and spinach as well as the meatballs.

 

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Gluten Free Teriyaki Sauce

Ingredients

For the Meatballs:
  • 1 1/4 pound extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 1+ teaspoon sriracha or asian chile sauce
  • 1 egg
For the Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup gluten free, low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 3+ cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch knob of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon water

Instructions

For the Meatballs:
  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine turkey, carrot, green onions, cilantro, breadcrumbs, chile sauce and egg. Gently mix to combine and form into 1 to 1 1/2 inch meatballs.
  3. Place meatballs on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.
For the Sauce:
  1. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce, except for the cornstarch and last tablespoon of water, in a saucepan on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. When sugar is dissolved, mix 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water. Heat sauce on medium high heat and add cornstarch water mixture. Simmer until thickened