These are the ramblings of a self-described wheat, grain and gluten-free “gourmet girl” that loves to cook and eat good food. I love creating and sharing recipes and photographing “beautiful food”. In July 2012, I eliminated wheat, grains and added sugar from my diet and rediscovered real, whole fresh foods again and effortlessly lost 65+ pounds. Join me in my wheat, grain and gluten-free journey. See how easy it is to enjoy grain free gourmet, one meal at a time! Welcome to my blog. Enjoy!
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Sunday's Pasta Night -- Family Dinner
This evening the family got together to celebrate my youngest son's birthday. He requested pasta with spicy sauce filled with chicken breast chunks, Italian chicken sausage, yellow bell pepper, red bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, and diced zucchini. He wanted it over whole wheat penne (my family is not wheat free). It was an easy meal to prepare so that I could eat it too with very little effort. Except for the pasta, everything was the same -- I simply enjoyed mine over "angel hair zucchini pasta" instead (cut with my julienne vegetable peeler). It was delicious! This is a good example of how easy it is to eat wheat free even when you are surrounded by family or friends that still eat wheat -- I have actually been doing this for over 1-1/2 years and it is second nature now. While they were enjoying garlic rolls with their meal, I enjoyed a biscuit with mine. Everyone just left so I'm going to post a quick picture of my meal. Enjoy!
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Looks delicious! Can't wait to try my new Julienne peeler!!!! You are awesome! I'm the only wheat free in my family and sometimes its hard just because they don't understand. :)
Being raised Italian it scared me to give up pasta but I've discovered it's more about the sauce. I've used everything from spaghetti squash to broccoli slaw and it all tastes wonderful! Love your site, by the way!
Thank, Jan! Hope you enjoy using it. Just be careful, those little tines are sharp. Also, it works the easiest (I think) on straight zucchini -- but I have used in on carrots, yellow squash and curvaceous zucchini, too! :-)
Thanks, Jeanette! You are right about that -- the sauce (and sometimes cheese) is what makes it. I can only imagine how scary it must have been giving up pasta as an Italian! So, if YOU can do it...any of us can! :-)
GG, you definitely have SPRING in mind, the dish is surrounded by butterflies, lol! A whimsical touch , looks cute too! You made me smile today!
The zucchini noodles look so inviting. I have the large Padermo Vegie cutter, but have not used it yet. I had to store in the highest cabinet , out of sight and out of USE I guess. My poor husband will be surprised to see yet another gadget
I hope you had a wonderful Birthday celebration with your familie!
Bis bald, Barbara.
Hi Barbara! Someone recently posted in my comments that they salted their zucchini "noodles" and draw excess liquid out, so I tried it this time and it seemed to work really well. I spread them on paper towels and lightly sprinkled with salt; covered with more paper towels and sort of rolled it up and let it sit on the counter. Amazingly lots of liquid came out and I changed the paper towels a couple of times (without re-salting). The extracted liquid also helped remove most of the salt as it absorbed into the paper towels and they were not salty. I lightly stir-fried / sauteed in a non-stick skillet in a bit of olive oil and they turned out great. LOL, I actually ordered that gadget, too and have not used it either. I use my little julienne peeler because it is small, handy and once you get the rhythm, it goes pretty quickly and it is very simple to rinse clean. It is just a little tricky because it is sharp and the zucchini is slippery to hold on to. Bis Bald :-)
My mother always salted the cucumbers for her salad and squeezed them out. I do it too.
I dislike doing it with vegies because one is throwing away vitamins and minerals.
I wish I could use your julienne peeler but my hands will not allow it.
You will be shaking your head when you learn how I made my last *spinach pie(crustless + effortless)
After defrosting the 1 pound of Trader Joe's spinach , saving all the juices, I cooked my cut up bacon together with the onion I put it in the large Cuisinart , added all the ingredients and pulsed a few times. Voila-finished!( I used a whole cup of almond meal) and 3/4 tsp. of xanthum gum) After my husband dumped it into a 10" Pyrex pie plate , I precooked the pie in the microwave oven and then baked it in my super duper big table top oven for 20 minutes
The Quiche rose 1.5 " and was fabulous.
I hope this will help some other Soul with arthritic hands.
Bis bald Barbara.
PS> Almond meal is 50% cheaper than the A-flour and in this dish it is great!
Many bloggers are complaining about the high cost of Almond flour- and I am too! LOL.
GG, I hope that this will not upset you that I am fooling around with your excellent recipe!
I just want to be helpful.
I read a suggestion "somewhere" (probably Amazon) to stick a fork into one end of the zucchini. This acts as a "handle" to both stabilize the zucchini and keep your hand away from the blades.
I haven't tried it yet, but it sounded like a good idea. I'm still shredding mine the "old fashioned" way with a chef's knife ... I suppose I should join the 21st Century one of these days! :-)
Stay WARM and stay safe ... more brutal cold and ice coming!!!
Hi Barbara! Wow...what a creative way to make the spinach pie. Don't ever worry that I would be upset by you making it differently...and you are right, it sounds like a great way for someone to make it with arthritic hands! I would not have thought to pre-cook it a bit in the microwave first to shorten the cooking time. The xanthum gum helped absorb the juices so you didn't lose the vitamins from your spinach -- what a great idea! Besides reducing the cost by using almond meal (instead of flour), preparing it the way you did also reduced the amount of flour needed by half when making a crust that usually uses 2 cups. I think it is brilliant to make it in a way that makes it more economical and still taste good. Now you get to enjoy the leftovers for a couple days, too! Thanks for your suggestion -- I'm sure it will help others, too! Did you ever use the freezer full of almond flour you had bought a while back? I think you told me you bought 25 lbs? Bis Bald! :-)
Hi CyberSis -- Great idea (about using a fork to stabilize the zucchini). They are slippery little devils; especially when using a sharp object to shred them. Maybe that will spare someone else's fingers! One of these days I will use the bigger spiral cutting gadget I've got to see how it compares. It is probably better when doing a larger batch. Stay safe and warm -- bad weather is coming our way, too. :-)
I indeed bought 25 pounds and felt like a squirrel, trying to find space to store it, first dividing it in 1.5 lb. bags., while my husband was in the mountains(good timing). He dislikes storing anything- he married the wrong girl- I like to be prepared for anything !LOL!
I treat the almond flour like *Gold powder* because it really is precious food @$ 10 a pound! One pound is so little, it is a heavy flour!
Well, I saved quite a bit by buying *en gros*.
Take care, Barbara.
Hi Barbara! I love to stay stocked up as well. You NEVER know! That is a LOT of almond flour -- I have 2 5-lb bags and part of a 3rd bag in my possession! ;-)
I shared the almond flour with my daughter,( bought her 4 books) but I am afraid that it is just sitting in her fridge. She has 2 little kids and a full time job , so it is difficult to change cooking habits, especially when there is so much scepticism coming from her husband's side.(But he loved the cauliflower dish as did the children ).
I prepared the tortilla mix for her last August, so that she only had to add the oil and eggs, yes you guessed it-unused!
What is a mother to do? Grow grey hair !!!
I hope that you had your flu-shot,
is it flue-shot? Oh well ! English is my third acquired language- so I have an excuse, lol.
Hi Barbara! I am sure it is difficult for your daughter with 2 younger kids to cook for (especially with her working). Also, unless you are 100% committed to make the change, it is hard because it is not convenient. Once you get the hang of cooking with different ingredients, it gets a bit easier -- also, I like to cook but know now everyone does. On the positive side, when you visit her, at least you have some ingredients there you can use! Not sure if you saw the Dr. Oz show yesterday -- he had Dr. Davis on again talking about Wheat Belly and the new cookbook. Oh...no, I have not had a flu shot so I am keeping my fingers crossed -- I to the flu last year (no shot either) but caught it last year from my husband who gets a shot every year! Hope you have a good weekend. :-)
I hope that you still get a flu-shot!
So last year you got the flu from your spouse-well sometimes husbands really are a nuisance, lol. But I am grateful that he is still around!
I did not see the Dr.OZ show, I am not a fan anymore!
But I will look at the video.
Hi Barbara! LOL...I can't stop laughing (about husbands being a nuisance sometimes)! I am not a big fan of Dr. Oz any more either -- he seems to pander to whatever he thinks will sell. You don't ever know where he really stands on anything since it seems to change with what sells or is popular it seems. I used to like him, but he has almost become of caricature of himself these days! I have been working all afternoon trying to sort through papers and mementos and throw things away. I have kept every card anyone has ever sent me! LOL I figure I have kept them this long -- someone else will have to throw those away after I die! :-)
GG, I made the same observations regarding Dr.Oz, a shame really!
I am cleaning out too, trouble is that I am too sentimental. I battle a paper war all the time ! It is never ending. Even my computer is getting cluttered with too many folders with such interesting articles and recommendations and this and that!
I am just glancing over to a post of yours writing about *CURVACEOUS * zucchini. Wow, GG that is some description, I am impressed! you made me laugh!
It is raining and we are so very happy!
Now it is time to make another Spinach Pie, never lasts long enough, since that is my (almost) daily lunch!
I hope that you are warm and successful in your quest to clean out beloved cards and letters. I really do not envy you, it takes a long time since one re-reads every thing! I usually shed tears!
Bis bald! Barbara.
Hi Barbara -- So glad you are finally getting the rain you so desperately needed. Yes, it does take a while to go through all that "stuff". I came across many, many cards, thank you notes, my kids graduation pictures, invitations, etc. I even came across my youngest son's "YMCA" picture ID card when he was like 7 or 8 years old. I also came across my father's last driver's license (he died 16 years ago), his business card and blank prescription form (he was a physician). I carried those 3 things of his with me every day for about 15 years and finally took them out of my purse for fear that if my purse was ever stolen, I would lose those irreplaceable items. So, yes...I know what you mean about going down the sentimental journey when trying to "clean out stuff"...I finally had to take a break "emotionally" and stop. I need to make another spinach pie this week, too. I love having that for lunch during the week -- it is so simple and quick to reheat and eat. Hope you are enjoying your rainy Sunday! :-)
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