Tag Archives: gluten-free

Something New: Menu #1

So I thought we could try something new.  Every week Jason and I plan out a menu and shopping list.  Since I’ve got it on hand, why not share it.  If you like the idea, let me know and I will throw them up on a more regular basis.  I warn you, they may look very boring and repetitive, but who knows, if you are feeling brain dead and utterly unimaginative yourself, this might help!

This first menu reflects some of the things Jason and I have been thinking about lately, specifically cutting down the sugars in our diet.  I don’t mean cutting out fruit; I mean watching the number of calories we get from processed sugars, honey, syrup, etc.  We have been doing some research, and the new recommended limit for men is 150 calories per day, and 100 for women.  We are doing our best to stick to that on a day to day basis without being fanatical.  I’m also severely limiting my caffeine intake in light of some recent problems.  Have you been mulling over any diet changes lately?  I’d love to hear what you all are thinking about.  Again, if you like the idea of the menus, let me know.  Hope you are all having a great week.

Click on the image below to access the PDF and the links.  Later, alligators.menu#1

Southern Snow and Beaufort, South Carolina

I thought I would drop in and let you know that I am, indeed, still alive.  Unfortunately, some new health concerns have arisen to put a damper on culinary enthusiasm (and life in general. . . boo, no more whining, I promise).  Here is a little of life lately. . .

If you live on the East Coast of the U.S., you may have heard that we have another winter storm on.  Right before the last one, J. and I made an impromptu trip to Georgia.  We got there just in time to enjoy a little “family bondage” (a cousin meant to say “family bonding”, but this alternate version now has a permanent place of honor in the Baird family lexicon!).

treedownA lot of ^this^ happened, which resulted in a lot of this. . .

IspyIt is amazing how long kids will play “I spy, with my little eye”!  Jason, his superhero dad, and a cousin spent the next three days keeping 4 houses afloat with two generators,  my mother-in-law kept twelve people fed three times a day despite a nasty cold, and I colored, “I spy-ed”, and hide-and-go-seeked my heart out!

After a visit further south with my folks, Jason surprised me with a mini vacation on the way back to D.C.  We spent a morning wandering around it the sunshine in Savannah, browsing Broughton St. and people watching in the park before heading just an hour upcoast to Beaufort, S.C.  We attended a festival on the waterfront there during college, and came away with the impression that it was a hidden treasure.  Twelve years later, and  a few days of down time: it is a really comfortable, relaxing, FRIENDLY place to pass some time.  The waterfront is lined with rows of porch swings,  truly amazing homes spread for ten blocks back from the water, the food is good, and the views are lovely.  There is nothing fancy happening: this is not a shopping mecca, nightlife seems fairly non-existant, the beach is not easily accessible, and away from the waterfront the town becomes a bit run down, shut down, fast-foodie.  So, if you are a mover and a shaker who doesn’t care for an extreme change of pace, you might want to keep going up I-95 until you hit the Charleston exit.  But if you are looking for a pleasant place to pass a weekend, keep Beaufort in mind.

Jason caught this little guy having a rock star moment in his own private fountain.  So sassy!cardinalfountainThen we spotted this beauty. . .streetcatwhich made this inevitable :) (cannot pass by furry fabulousness!).rubme

lighthouseslickThe sheltered warmth of Beaufort made me long to see the ocean: inland warmth is deceptive, and sunshine is fleeting!  It was plum cold down at Hunting Beach State Park.scarethewolfScare the wolf!  If this reference means nothing to you, disregard.  Otherwise, greetings from the lost boys in Neverland!shylighthouseYep, did I mention. . .Plum. . .Cold.

Places we tried and enjoyed: Blackstone’s Cafe– great atmosphere, super friendly service, plain ol’ diner breakfast food, but with surprising gluten-free options (if you spend time traveling g.f. in the South, you will understand what a pleasant find this was!). Lowcountry Produce Market Cafe– really good food, lovely building, and fun browsing of local food and artisan goods.  Panini’s Cafe–  usually we skip places with enormous menus, but this one had the little “gf” symbol all over it (again, rare) so we had to give it a go.  It was great, and the waterfront side completely undersells what is waiting within.  Brick pizza oven and prep area out in the middle of the dining room, soaring ceiling, huge deck overlooking the waterfront, and solidly good food.  City Java and News– good hot chocolate and latte.

While in Beaufort I recommend: strolling through the neighborhoods, and don’t ignore the overgrown, dead end streets- they are the best!  A visit to Hunting Beach State Park- a bit of a drive, but well worth it on a warm day.  Grab yourself a waterside swing, or a bench, or a hummock of grass and just enjoy the view.  beaufortwaterHave you ever been to Beaufort, South Carolina?  I’d love to hear about your time there; leave a note in the comments below.

 

International Identity Crisis Spaghetti Squash “Lasagna”

If you have been with me for a while now, you have come to realize that consistency in posting is not my strong suit.  Being still uncertain of my camera and a fear that what I cook is either too boring or not “good” enough to share are top reasons for my infrequent entries.  The second concern is strong enough that I don’t like to tell people that I keep a food blog.  I get embarrassed if someone asks me about it, something to do with the implication that if you write a food blog you are/should be either more knowledgeable or a better cook than “other people”. . .and I am fully aware that I am not and dread having others think that I think I am!  Then I come to a moment in which I remind myself why I started this blog in the first place.  It wasn’t to win awards, find sponsors, or get a cook book deal (have you noticed this intimidating trend among food bloggers?), fantastic as those things may be; I started writing in the hopes of being able to help people.  In my own way, with my own often unimpressive food, I would like to make a difference.

In addition to these tiny self-esteem issues :), travel and a family business venture have been keeping me on the run.  We recently spent ten days in Georgia trying to make up for the family time that was cut drastically short by the diabolical Christmas flu (note: we will be getting flu shots this year!).  At the same time, Jason (that’s the hubs) is starting a pretty exciting, very tiny business  and I’ve been lucky enough to get to help out with a few minor things, like building a photo light box for his product pics and some drafting and sewing.

So, in a great big nutshell, that is where I have been.  I didn’t get on today intending to have a public therapy session, despite how it is panning out so far.  Nope, I wanted to share a recipe.  I mentioned a few months ago that Jason loves, LOVES marinara and pasta but that I have developed a . . . block against it.  It is crazy, I know, but I feel a little sick just thinking about it.  So, we are still looking for ways to satisfy his sauce longings and keep the cook happy too.  This dish has actually been hanging out in our arsenal for years, but has always played a distant second string to the real noodles.

Chorizo and Feta Spaghetti Squash “Lasagna”

Does the title make better sense now?  This “lasagna” is composed of Mexican chorizo, goat feta, and a basic Italian marinara.  You could easily resolve this identity crisis by doing a more standard italian sausage and mozzarella, but I really enjoy this flavor combination.

shell

strands

basil

lemon

feta

fillshell

finalsquashSpaghetti Squash Lasagna

Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash

1 batch basic marinara

3/4 lb mexican chorizo (or sausage/meat of your choice)

6 oz. feta (or mozzarella)

tomato

olive oil

salt

pepper

oregano

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400.  Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and place flesh down on parchment lined pan.  Bake at 400 until shell gives slightly under pressure (between 40 minutes and and hour, depending on the size of your squash).  Remove pan from oven.  With forks or spoon, scraping/scooping width-wise across the squash, remove the strand like flesh into a strainer.  Lightly salt and pepper squash strands and leave to drain.

In large pan over medium high heat, brown meat.  Pour off excess oil when complete, then add 1.5 cups marinara sauce to pan.  Cook meat and sauce together for approx. 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

In hollowed shell, place and press down a small amount of squash.  To this base add one quarter of the meat mixture to each.  Top with one quarter of cheese.  Now distribute one quarter of remaining squash strands and press firmly to create a tight package.  Repeat process, ending with next layer of squash.  Top with sliced tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with oregano.  Return to oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until juices are bubbly and tomatoes are coloring.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

crosshatch

 

stone fruit crumble via One is Hungry

Stone Fruit Crumble

The other night we finally had our first dinner guests.  Some very good friends of ours graciously accepted our invitation despite it meaning that they had to drag their children out at night into our quite blatantly  not child-proofed home.  We had a blast!  We still don’t have proper dining chairs or a baby gate for the stairs, or rug pads to make more easily (and safely) runnable areas, all of our furniture seems to have sharp corners and none of our floors are level–great combo–, but they overlooked all our deficiencies.  Their children are fantastic and we always have a good time with them; it was a wonderful way to christen this home!

So, the grub: I made bbq using my dad’s secret recipe (which includes no measurements), sauce from Jason’s dad’s recipe, cabbage-kale coleslaw from. . .well, my brain, and corn with lime wedges and sea salt.  Not so funny story- cooked properly a pork butt takes hours to cook, I mean, hours and hours.  Well, roughly three quarters of the way through we must have had a brief power failure without my noticing it; by the time I found out the oven had cooled!  So, add an extra 6 hours cooking time to the hours already gone by!!  Lesson to take away- check on your oven even if it is not time to open your oven :).  Amazingly, the Q still came out just fine.

For dessert we had what I think of as a “say goodbye to summer” crumble.  Stone fruit season, for me, is the time when I begin transitioning from summer with all its sweet, hot languor to autumn, brisk, radiant, and a wee bit magical.

stone fruit crumble via One is Hungry

stone fruit crumble via One is Hungry

I used this dish as an opportunity to try a new-to-me ingredient: coconut sugar.  I’ve been hearing good things about it for some time now, and  thought I’d have a go.  I really liked the results.  It gave a rich, caramel-like flavor without the excess liquid you would get from maple syrup.  This crumble is not only gluten-free, but dairy-free and vegan as well.

stone fruit crumble via One is Hungry

stone fruit crumble via One is Hungry

stone fruit crumble via One is Hungry

stone fruit crumble via One is Hungry

What is your favorite end of summer dish?  Or are any of you in complete denial that the seasons are changing, holding on to every last minute of sunshine?  If so, what is your favorite summertime dessert?  Tell me about it in the comments; I’d love some good ideas!

stone fruit crumble via One is HungryP.S.  Left over crumble makes a fantastic breakfast!

Ingredients

  • 9×13 baking dish
  • blender or food processor
  • zester or grater
  • approx. 10 stone fruits (I used a mixture of plums, pluots, and nectarines)
  • 2 Tbs. corn starch
  • 1 Tbs. water
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/4 cup blond coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (or make it all coconut. . .or honey or maple or just plain cane)
  • 2 cups g.f. whole rolled oats
  • 2 cups mixed nuts and seeds ( I used almonds, walnuts, pecans, hemp and flax because that is what I have on hand)
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Wash and dry fruits.  Cut into 1 inch chunks and place directly in baking dish.  Combine corn starch and water in small bowl until smooth; pour this mixture over the fruit.  Add lemon juice and zest, and 3/4 c. coconut sugar.  Mix to thoroughly coat fruit.

(Note:  if you like your topping very chunky you can skip processing the oats.  I find that this helps to make the topping slightly more cohesive (and a nicer texture to me).)

In food processor combine oats, all remaining sugar, salt, and cinnamon.  Pulse until a very rough meal forms.  You don’t want to break the oats down completely, just rough them up a bit.  Remove mix to large bowl.  If using almonds in your nut mix, pulse those all by themselves until broken up into chunks (almonds are harder than many other nuts and if you try to process, say, almonds and pecans together, the pecans will turn to dust before the almonds are properly chunky).  Add almond chunks to large bowl.  Pulse remaining nuts and add to bowl.  Stir to combine, pour coconut oil over the lot, and then mix until all ingredients are thoroughly coated.

Spread topping out evenly over fruit.  Bake in oven for approx. 50 minutes.  The crumble should be beautifully brown with gorgeous juices bubbling round the edges.  Cool for at least 45 minutes to and hour before eating so that it may “set”.

Individual Portobello-Eggplant Lasagnas with Arugula and Goat Cheese Pesto via One is Hungry

Individual Portobello-Eggplant Lasagnas with Arugula and Goat Cheese Pesto

One of Jason’s favorite meals is pasta with marinara sauce.  He would eat it three time a week if I would make it.  Until a few months ago I gratified that desire at least once a week, until finally one day my stomach revolted.  Not one more bit of pasta would it let through my lips!  Since then J. has been feeling mad marinara depravation, and I’ve been trying, albeit reluctantly, to find an alternative that could keep us both happy.  Well, I may not have found the ultimate answer, but I’ve definitely got a possible solution.  Last night, while Jason got lost in pasta and sauce, I experimented with nightshades and fungus, greens and citrus, and nuts, seemingly a true witch’s brew.  This was the end result.

Individual Portobello-Eggplant Lasagnas with Arugula and Goat Cheese Pesto Plated via One is Hungry

I was originally photographing this just to share with my mother.  Can I take a moment to brag on her?  My mom has in the last few months completely changed her diet, started exercising, and is focused on being the healthiest version of herself possible.  She has lost thirty pounds and seems happier than I’ve seen her in years!  In this process, which started with her finding a program called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” and identifying with the message, she has become a vegetarian.  So occasionally we swap recipes we think the other might find interesting, and I try to think up nutritionally well rounded meals that she might enjoy. Unless you are really on you game about eating a diverse diet with special attention to proteins and iron and vitamins D and the Bs, being a vegetarian can become a slippery health slope. . .as can any eating, naturally. . .anyway, back to the recipe.  This “lasagna” has roasted nuts and goat cheese for protein, antioxidants from eggplant and a little heart healthy fat from olive oil, not to mention vitamin (and protein) packed arugula!  As a dark, leafy green arugula is also a decent source of iron and folates.

I know I titled these “Individual” lasagnas, but unless you are really hungry this is more of a two serving affair.  The richness of the olive oil and goat cheese make this hard to eat in bulk, but great to divide and pair with a bright salad.

Individual Portobello-Eggplant Lasagnas with Arugula and Goat Cheese Pesto Prep duo via One is Hungry Individual Portobello-Eggplant Lasagnas with Arugula and Goat Cheese Pesto via One is Hungry

 

Marinara

1 28 oz can (or 2lb peeled fresh) whole tomatoes, seeded and crushed

4-5 cloves garlic, sliced

olive oil

salt

red pepper flakes

lemon juice

fresh basil, chiffonade (or just torn)

Remove seeds from tomatoes, straining and retaining all juices.  Pour 1 TBS. olive oil and sliced garlic in cold sauté pan and heat over medium until garlic becomes fragrant–do not brown.  Add crushed tomatoes and juice to pan, along with 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, and 1/4 tsp. salt.  Continue to cook until no longer watery.  Add juice of 1/4 lemon.  Taste for salt (you can always add more, but you can’t take it out!).  Stir in fresh basil and either remove from heat or lower heat.

Lasagna

2-3 Tbs Marinara sauce

1 eggplant (I used a beautiful streaked Japanese ep that looked really good a the market)

1 portobello cap, stalk removed, gills scraped out

1/2 cup arugula or leafy green of choice

1/4 lemon

2 Tbs goat cheese

1/3 cup walnuts, toasted

olive oil

salt

pepper

1 clove garlic

Cut eggplant into 1/4 inch slices.  Lay flat on towel and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt (or sea salt).  Cover with another towel and press.

Preheat oven to 400.  Line baking pan with parchment paper.  Add nuts and toast in oven until lightly colored, about 5-7 minutes.  In food processor combine garlic, juice of quarter lemon (zest too if you so desire), 1 tsp olive oil, goat cheese, arugula, and toasted walnuts.  Process until paste forms.  Taste, and salt only if necessary (remember, the other parts of the meal have salt as well!)

In sauté pan, heat 2 tsp olive oil until a drop of water flicked into the pan sizzles.  Add eggplant slices, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, and cook until browned on both sides.  Remove to towel covered plate.

Assembly:

Portobello cap, bottom up, place in baking pan on parchment paper.  Spread a thin layer of goat cheese pesto.  Add layer of eggplant, another layer of pesto.  Eggplant, pesto, 2-3 Tbs marinara sauce.  Bake in oven for approximately 8 minutes.  Plate and serve.