Category Archives: gluten free

Gazpacho

It may be September, but the weather hasn’t quite changed just yet (though I’m totally digging these cooler nights). I, much like summer itself, am having one last hurrah before retiring those delicious summer flavors. One of my favorite ways to celebrate the beautiful, flavorful summer produce available, especially in August/early September, is to throw everything in a blender and call it gazpacho.

Ok, I know that traditional gazpacho has bread in it. But I’ve never made it that way. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love bread, but why would I use bread to diminish the flavors of all those amazing summer veggies? That and my family originally started making gazpacho with the mindset of “this is basically just a vegetable smoothie.”

I prefer a red, tomato-based gazpacho packed with cucumbers, peppers, and sharp hints of fresh onion and garlic. Add a little tomato paste to deepen the flavor, a touch of lemon or vinegar to add some bite, and if you’re feeling really adventurous, just a hint of spice. Throw it all together and you have a refreshing starter to any meal.

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Basil Cashew Ricotta

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Guys, cashews are magical. Seriously, they can morph into just about anything. Want a vegan cheesecake? Use cashews. How about a cheesy sauce for your mac and cheese? Use cashews. How do you make a soup creamy? Use cashews. They can do just about everything. So today, we’re transforming them into a basil “ricotta.”

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This ricotta is creamy, decadent, and has an undertone of basil that goes deliciously with pasta or on a pizza. You don’t need a fancy vitamix to blend this up – in fact, I like using my little food processor because it leaves the texture of the blended cashews just a touch grainy, which weirdly feels more authentically ricotta-esque.

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This is one of those easy recipes where you just throw everything together, blend it, and it’s ready to go. Basically, go make this now, you have no excuse not to.

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What magical things do you do with cashews?

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The Recipe ReDux: Homemade Marinara Sauce

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Happy summer, everyone! Are you gorging yourself on all the fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs you can stand? I know I am. Summer produce is the best produce, by far.

The Recipe ReDux agrees! This month’s theme is Get your fruits and veggies in shape! While the theme encourages spiralizing and cookie cutters, I went with a slightly less defined shape for my veggies. I took my favorite marinara sauce recipe and adapted it to the bounty of fresh tomatoes popping up in local farmers markets.

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My marinara sauce recipe, which I have definitely used on the site before, features a key surprise ingredient; cinnamon. It’s one of those flavors that just elevates the whole sauce to something completely different and delicious.

To account for fresh tomatoes (rather than my usual canned), I addes the extra step of first roasting the tomatoes then preceding with the recipe as usual. Roasting for 2 hours helps heighten the flavor of the tomatoes while allowing the extra liquid to cookoff. I should note that I did not bother seeding or peeling my tomatoes. I put the sauce through a quick run in the food processor to break it down a little, but overall I kept my sauce fairly chunky. If you want a smoother sauce, I recommend either blending it down or using a food mill to both puree the tomatoes and to remove any skin and seeds. Either way, I do recommend roasting them with every part of the tomato involved so that you don’t lose any of the delicious flavor.

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What fruits and veggies are you eating this summer?

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The Recipe ReDux: Mushroom Lentil Salad

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The weather might have only cooperated for a few days so far, but summer is definitely on its way! In honor of the (very slowly) changing weather, this month’s Recipe ReDux theme Small Plates for Sunny Days. This immediately made me think of light food, perfect for eating outside on the patio or in the park for a picnic.

I’ve been playing around with the idea of a lentil mushroom salad for a while now, and for some reason it always makes me think of picnics. This salad is a breeze to throw together, tastes great either cold or room temperature, and travels well to the park. The lemony dressing makes it bright while the red pepper flakes give it just a hint of a spice. This is a great starter to a meal, or if you want to make it a little heartier, serve it to fewer people, add some avocado, and call it the main dish.

What small plates are you making for your sunny days?

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Recipe ReDux: Horseradish Cream Sauce

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your 2015 ended on a high note and that this year has so far brought nothing but joy, happiness, and of course, delicious food. I’m kicking the year off with this month’s Recipe Redux, and the theme is: A New Ingredient for the New Year. As usual, I had to think about which ingredient to choose from the mile long list of ingredients I want to try. Ultimately, I settled on an ingredient that is not technically new to me, but one I’ve never actually worked with despite eating it my whole life. What is this mystical ingredient? Horseradish.

Let me start out by saying that for most of my life, horseradish meant either Passover or gefilte fish (neither of which are particularly great associations for me), and I always imagined horseradish as the stuff that comes in jars, either a weird off-white, very blah color, or else mixed with beets to make an almost neon purplish-pink. Needless to say, I was fairly unimpressed with horseradish. It wasn’t until college that I discovered cheddar cheese with horseradish in it. Total game changer. My entire life suddenly seemed so dull and empty before that moment. I was soon stuffing the horseradish cheddar into everything I could think of, and when I went back to the store for a refill, I almost cried in disappointment to see that they had sold out.

From that point on, I slowly, very slowly, started incorporating horseradish into my life. It really wasn’t until this past year that I officially declared a love for this most bitter root. This love became a full blown obsession the other week when I went to Vedge for dinner and ordered the Dutch Caramel Apple for dessert. Among other components, this dish featured a sweet, creamy sauce that was clearly dessert, but also very clearly made with horseradish. I’m fairly convinced the Vedge uses voodoo magic in most of their dishes because there is simply no other explanation for how good their food is. This dessert is definitely on the voodoo list.

So I finally decided to try some horseradish in the kitchen. Inspired by a plate from Abe Fisher, I decided to pair it with my homemade baked beet chips after I found some particularly beautiful looking yellow beets at the store. As I learned from the jars of horseradish sauce I grew up with, horseradish and beets are just made for each other. This sauce gets its creaminess from soaked cashews and maintains that distinct horseradish bite without making you want to cry (which will happen if you try to grate this stuff by hand). I imagine it would be great on fish (especially of the gefilte variety), and I plan on spending the rest of my week finding out what else it tastes good with.

What new ingredient do you want to try out this year?

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