Rocket Man Pizza

April 10, 2014 in Entrees, Gluten Free, Vegetarian Entrees

 Never tried an arugula-topped pizza? 

Arugula, ricotta, chevre, and feta + garlic, lemon and thyme vinaigrette, topped with toasted hazelnuts = Rocket Man Pizza (with gluten-free crust from Bob’s Red Mill)

I’m sure Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland has many other delicious pizza offerings and other excellent far, but I wouldn’t know. Ever since encountering their “Rocket Man” pizza (rocket as in the UK name for arugula), I haven’t been able to bring myself to order anything else. It’s arugula tossed in a lemon-thyme (a long, long thyme?) vinaigrette, atop a bed of ricotta, chevre and mozzarella, sprinkled with feta and toasted hazelnuts as a final flourish.

I had the chance to hang with Donna and the family this weekend, and in an early celebration of my daughter’s 6th birthday, we had a pizza party with a variety of pies; some pre-made, some make-your-own. I’ve been wanting to try an approximation of HUB’s Rocket Man for a while now, so this was the perfect excuse to give it a shot.  Read the rest of this entry →

Spring Chicken Soup with Lemon and Artichokes

March 27, 2014 in Dairy-Free, Gluten Free, Healthy Fare, Soups and Stews

A perfectly bright, warm, simple chicken soup for a day of April showers. 

Spring Chicken Soup with Artichoke and Lemon

Simple, flavorful, healthy. This is something of a copycat recipe.  I’m not going for anything even near total accuracy, but it most certainly was inspired by the Lemon Artichoke Soup you can find in the prepared foods section at Whole Foods. If you’ve been there lately, I’m sure you know the one. I love the flavor combination of lemon, artichoke and chicken (such as in this recipe), and having it rendered in soup form seemed like just the bowl of homemade nourishment I love in the rainy Northwest spring.  Read the rest of this entry →

Caulicannon: Irish Comfort Food – minus the carbs

March 16, 2014 in Gluten Free, Healthy Fare, Holidays, Side Dishes, Vegetarian Entrees

A low-carb, nutrient-packed version of the Irish comfort food classic for St. Patrick’s Day.

Caulicannon: The Irish Comfort Classic made low-carb.

This is certainly a last-minute entry for the St Patrick’s Day recipe bonanza that’s blown up the foodblogosphere all week, but the brainstorm just hit me yesterday and it would be remiss of me not to share it with you posthaste. I was hanging out on Pinterest with my morning coffee as per usual, thinking how lovely a nice bowl of creamy, starchy colcannon would be. Wait a minute, I’ve come to love cauliflower rice, why not use cauliflower mash as the foundation of a low-carb colcannon?

All on its own, I do generally prefer either ricing cauliflower or roasting it,  rather than the pureed version that can be substituted for potatoes, but in this instance, it really hits the spot. My only regret is not doubling the recipe so I’d have more leftovers.

Slainte to all! Read the rest of this entry →

Sushi Rolls with Cauliflower Rice

March 6, 2014 in Dairy-Free, Gluten Free, Healthy Fare

Sushi Rolls made grain-free with Cauliflower Rice

Sushi Rolls made grain-free with Cauliflower Rice

As you might have surmised from some previous posts, I’m totally sold on cauliflower rice. Whether you’re doing the low-carb thing, living paleo, avoiding grains for any reason, or just plain packing more vegetables into your diet at every given opportunity, cauliflower rice is a great option that can be used just about anywhere rice can. I realized just the other day, though, that one common rice context  place I had never tried using it was in SUSHI – one of my favorite indulgences. Yes, sometimes I can splurge and have the real deal, but it’s also nice to have an alternative that allows you to hit that flavor profile without actually going off-program (whatever program that might be for you).

I was really pleased with how my informal, very basic maki rolls came out! I added a little rice vinegar and honey to be a little closer to the flavor of sushi rice. You can use any filling you like, of course; here I just used a little avocado, carrot and cucumber for  a veggie roll, but by all means, add some fresh salmon or ahi if you’ve got it!

Read the rest of this entry →

Chartreuse of Vegetables: A Vintage Show-Stopper for Any Holiday Table

December 23, 2013 in Gluten Free, Holidays, Oh My!, Vegetarian Entrees

An all-vegetable extravaganza sure to dazzle any holiday table!

Chartreuse of Vegetables: A hearty family treasure that’s guaranteed to bring out the oohs and ahhhs.

I’ve been looking forward to resurrecting this dish for years. My adoptive mother is a loving and lovely woman, but unlike my fabulous birthmom from whom I inherited my culinary chromosome and with whom I share this blog, she was NOT much of a cook, or even much of a food lover. (Trust me, she will tell you that herself with zero compunction!). But once in a great while, to the total surprise of me ad my sister, she would bust out with something astonishing. Of course, as kids we were horrified at first. “A cake made of VEGETABLES? Eww! Jeez, Mom, you’re so weird.” She made it for several years, and we rolled our eyes every time – but it secretly grew on us, just a little.

As with many things, I look back on that now with much greater appreciation, and have always wanted to remake it with a few upgrades and tweaks.

Warning: This is not a quick recipe, nor an uncomplicated one. But if you enjoy going all-out for a special occasion and want to linger in the kitchen once in a while, turn on some tunes and get INTO it – with a satisfying payoff in the end –  this absolutely is the holiday recipe for you.

Read the rest of this entry →

Christmas Chicken Meatballs with Cranberry and Jalapeno: 5 Ingredients

December 9, 2013 in Appetizers, Gluten Free, Healthy Fare, Holidays

Five Ingredient Ground Chicken Meatballs with Cranberries and Jalapenos – Fast and festive is the name of this game.

Five ingredient Christmas Chicken Meatballs with Cranberries and Jalapenos

My inspired co-blogger had the most excellent idea of featuring  some 5 minute and/or 5 ingredient recipes this holiday season. I’m happily jumping on board, as we all could use a few simple AND festive ideas this time of year. Some of mine will take a longer cook time, but even for this one, 5 minutes is all you need for the prep – the rest is inactive. And only 5 ingredients, not counting, water, salt and pepper (which, to me, is like including gravity and oxygen – just consider them all a given).

My first offering: these ground chicken meatballs. These could be either an appetizer on toothpicks OR an entree paired with some hearty sides. Either way, a fabulous (and healthy) recipe, perfect for when your holidays are getting hectic.  Read the rest of this entry →

Homemade Cheese-Ish Crackers – Grain and Dairy Free

November 21, 2013 in Dairy-Free, Gluten Free, Snacks

Try this grain-free, dairy-free snack cracker!

Homemade Cheese-ISH Crackers made with cashew meal – grain and dairy-free!

My daughter is obsessed with Cheez-Its.She discovered them through the snack program at her school, and now asks for them with as much impassioned pleading and cajoling and whining as she does for the latest My Little Pony. Unfortunately, she doesn’t do well with gluten and I generally try to keep her away from as much processed food as realistically I can. What’s a mom to do? Come up with her own gf/cf version, of course. Ideally grain-free as well, so mom can share the snacking.

I tried a few versions out there in the ‘sphere, and found an almond flour-based one from Delighted Momma that I really liked, and began experimenting with that one too. Right at this time, I noticed that Trader Joe’s is now carrying cashew meal! You know their great and affordable almond meal? Not quite a flour, better used in things like meatballs and such? Well, this is just as affordable, but, cashews! The light color would also work well for this recipe, and the added hint of sweetness from the cashews was perfect.

Try this whether you and yours have any restrictions or not! Be warned that they only last for about 24 hours. Not because they go bad, just because they WILL be eaten.  You have been warned.  Read the rest of this entry →

Cranberry Maple Blondie Bars

October 21, 2013 in Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten Free


Cranberry Maple Blondies: Gluten, dairy, and even grain-free.


I have a current reigning all-time-favorite brownie recipe, and that’s this piece of brilliance by Elana’s Pantry. I must have made them at least 5 or 6 times now, always with great results. The last time I made them, though, Trader Joe’s happened to be out of their roasted almond butter.* I decided to chance it and use the raw almond butter instead. Totally still successful – but the difference in color was noticable, even with the added cocoa.

So, it struck me that using the raw almond butter would make for great blondies, using the same method as the other brownies but changing up the flavors a bit. And lo, a fun new fall dessert was born. Read the rest of this entry →

Yam O’Lanterns: Spooky Sweet Potato Slices

September 26, 2013 in Gluten Free, Healthy Fare, Holidays


Yam O’Lanterns: Spooky and Silly Sweet Potato Faces

Or should it be Jack O’Yamterns? The choice is yours. My daughter insists on just calling them “sweet potato faces”, and will gobble down 3 or 4 in a sitting, easily. By any name, this is a fabulously fun, simple and satisfying healthy Halloween idea, perfect for parties in particular, school events, and other festive gatherings (maybe not so much for handing out to trick or treaters). The photo itself pretty much tells you the recipe (cut slabs of sweet potato into pumpkin-like spooky/silly faces), but I’ll still share the deets, of course!

One helpful hint: If you have an apple corer, use it to cut and punch out perfectly round eyes or mouths. Staged but still visually descriptive photo of the apple corer in “action” below:   Read the rest of this entry →

Baja Slaw: No Tacos Required

August 12, 2013 in Gluten Free, Healthy Fare, Side Dishes

Baja-Inspired Spicy Slaw, delicious with or without tacos.

Just this past weekend, your intrepid co-bloggers met up in a fabulous whirlwind weekend on the Oregon Coast. Somewhere between the excursions to Mo’s for clam chowder and the s’mores over the bonfire at the beach, we managed to do a little cooking. We needed something that would:

  1. Appeal to all in general
  2. Be customizable to individual preferences and needs
  3. Be fairly quick
  4. Be manageable to throw together in our rental cottage kitchen
  5. And, preferably, include some fresh seafood, because: Oregon Coast.

Fish tacos was the brainstorm.

I love how seamlessly Donna and I work in the kitchen together now. In our early years, I often felt a little nervous cooking around her, worried about whether she’d like my dishes, anxious I’d screw something up massively, or just plain worried that my skills would come off as clumsy or slow. The anxiety was only heightened if we were making something together. “She wants me to dice these potatoes. Am I making them too small? Too big? Wasting too much of the peel? Is this taking too long? What will she think of me?”

Nowadays, we’re old hands, and totally familiar. Thinking back on how I tossed this slaw together, I realized I couldn’t recall making a lot of active choices in who did what for those tacos – it just fell into place as we unloaded our groceries. With the help of our sous chef Jake, Donna’s youngest son and my brother, we would check in on an item here and there (“Will you cut that mango if you get a sec?” “Did you get limes too? Uh oh!” “Wow, the fish is already grilled? Awesome!”) but our various tasks were all harmonious with barely a conscious thought.

But back to the food: the end result was a hit, of course (come on, fish tacos, hard to go too terribly awry), and I particularly liked the spicy slaw, which is probably my favorite part of fish tacos. I ate another plate of the slaw all by itself, admiring the resulting pretty pink sauce paired with the purple shreds and accents of green, and thought it was worthy of writing up as a dish on its own.  Read the rest of this entry →