Mushroom Leek Frittata & Roasted Asparagus- Under 30 Mins.

Mushroom Leek & Goat Cheese FrittataSpring finally arrived with the Easter Bunny this past week. And we welcomed it in style! To see a round-up of some of the fabulous food we cooked up in The Adventuresome Kitchen for Easter, go check out (and be sure to ‘like’) our facebook page.

While this post does include an egg recipe, it won’t be a ‘what to do with your leftovers’ kind of recipe. For that- I recommend checking out my Pesto Deviled Eggs. I did toy with the possibility of a new deviled egg recipe, but that will have to wait for another day. We ate all our hard-boiled eggs!

So in the spirit of fast meals- which seems to be how we’re rolling in the kitchen these days (With the exception of super-fancy-snobby-food-extravaganzas like Easter), it was breakfast for dinner again the other night. I tend to gravitate towards frittatas over omelets because I confess, I have trouble flipping the omelets. Julia Child might say that I’m not committed enough to my flipping- and that very well may be the case. There has to be no fear when it comes to flipping the omelet. Incidentally, if you want to read the best-ever description of flipping an omelet, go out and purchase Deariea biography of Julia Child by Bob Spitz. His description of her first television appearance will have you crying with laughter.

At any rate, I like frittatas because they’re fast and they make a great canvas for whatever leftover food pieces you need to rescue from certain death in the back of the fridge.  Oh yeah- and they’re naturally gluten-free, so they’re a no-brainer. Quiche, omelets, risottos and polentas can all work in the same manner, but I say frittatas are the fastest and easiest- hence their continual appearance in my kitchen.

This mushroom leek frittata also includes goat cheese. If there had been any leftover bacon from Easter (there wasn’t), I would have added that as well. The roasted asparagus literally took 10 minutes and cooked while the frittata was finishing in the oven. So delicious there were no leftovers!

The Adventuresome Kitchen is working on some long-term and very exciting projects, including collecting stories of people’s gluten-free experiences. If you are interested in sharing your story, or know someone who would be willing to share their story, please contact me at: adventuresomekitchen (at) gmail (dot) com

Mushroom Leek Frittata w/ Goat Cheese

Ingredients

See how the egg is starting to pull away from the pan? This mean's it's ready to go into the oven!
See how the egg is starting to pull away from the pan? This mean’s it’s ready to go into the oven!

6 eggs

1 1/2 cups chopped leeks (about 2)

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup goat cheese

salt & pepper to taste

olive oil- about 2 Tbs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Heat a large pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, drizzle a generous swirl of olive oil in the pan (this is not an exact science). When the oil shimmers add the leeks and mushrooms. Cook about 5 minutes, until they are softened. Allow any juices to cook off so the pan is fairly dry.

While the leeks and mushrooms are cooking, beat the eggs and whisk in the goat cheese. Most of the goat cheese will ‘melt’ into the eggs, but there will be some pieces that don’t. This is fine.

When the leeks and mushrooms are ready, add in the eggs and give the pan a quick swirl to evenly distribute the egg mixture. Don’t stir the eggs- unless you want egg scramble (which would be okay). Sprinkle salt and pepper over the mixture and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes.

When the eggs start to pull away from the pan, and begin to get a little firm in the middle, place the pan in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes.

The eggs are done when they are firm in the middle- 10-12 minutes.

Oven Roasted Asparagus

Oven Roasted AsparagusThis is one of my favorite ways to prepare asparagus. For a small batch, use the toaster oven,  for a larger batch, use the regular oven.

Rinse the asparagus and snap the bottom ends off. If you’ve never snapped asparagus, it’s pretty easy. Grab the woody end with one hand, and hold the stalk with the other. Bend until it snaps. This gets rid of the tough woody part.

Place asparagus side by side on a cookie sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your desired taste. Cook at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Et Voilá! Finger licking good.

Sauteed Kale with Quinoa- 20 Minute Easy Meal

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This also happens to be the 3rd Anniversary of The Adventuresome Kitchen- so my heartfelt thanks to all of you who have shared the journey and spread the word about this community. Without your support and encouragement, none of this would have been possible. I am so excited about what The Adventuresome Kitchen will be rolling out in the next couple of months- so stay tuned!!

GF Irish Soda Bread FinalOne of the inspirations for starting this blog three years ago was my ongoing effort to come up with a good Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread. I don’t make it much anymore- especially since our diet has moved away from a lot of unnecessary carbs. But for St. Patty’s or another special occasion, where you want a simple quickbread with great flavor and texture,try it out.

Pan Seared Chipotle Rubbed Corned BeefI’m very proud of it. And, upon further review- since it’s yet again cold and rainy- I think perhaps some pan seared chipotle corned beef is in order too!

However- if simple and fast is all you have time for- and that about sums up my life these days. Enjoy a nutritious, healthy and delicious meal of Sauteed Kale over quinoa. We’ve been eating this a lot lately. It’s one of those dishes that leaves you filled up both in stomach and heart. And it’s super high in protein and antioxidants. How can you go wrong?

Sauteed Kale with Quinoa

IngredientsSauteed Kale & Quinoa

2 cups uncooked quinoa (we used tri-color, but any will do)

4 cups water

2 bouillon cubes (optional)

16oz de-stemmed kale leaves, chopped into small strips

2 tbs olive oil or butter

salt or other herbs of your choice

lemon juice and/or parmesan for garnish

Directions

Rinse quinoa and place in a medium pan with 4 cups water. Add bouillon or salt if you desire. Bring to a boil and turn heat to low. Cook until water has absorbed and seeds have popped- about 20-25 minutes

When the quinoa is ready, heat a large skillet. Add olive oil or butter. When the olive oil shimmers, add the kale. Saute very briefly- no more than 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. The residual heat will wilt the leaves the rest of the way. Add salt, truffle salt, herbes de provence, or other seasonings of your choice.

To serve- place quinoa in a bowl, top with Kale. Garnish with your preferred flavorings: A squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of parmesan, or a drizzle of garlic tahini or even pesto. YUM!

See? I told you this was easy!!

Gluten Free Fondue

Kansas City Blizzard 2013Before I get going, I must thank my friend Steve, author at Oui Chef, for inspiring me to hop on the fondue bandwagon last night. Kansas City has been buried under snow again. This is highly unusual- especially considering that the last two winters left us with less than 11 inches of snow combined! Steve is one of my favorite bloggers. He trained at Le Cordon Bleu, and is passionate about subjects such as local food and food sustainability. And most importantly, teaching his children to cook- as am I. While not everything on his blog is gluten-free, it’s a place I go for inspiration and encouragement to explore new flavors and techniques. If you don’t subscribe to his blog-you should!

Yesterday, Steve posted a great fondue recipe by Rachel Ray (it also happens to be gluten-free!). As I was sitting at home wondering what to cook as the snow started to fly- fondue seemed perfect. It brings up images of snowy chalets, cosy fires, and decadent eating.

gluten free fondueNow, I am probably the only fondue fan in the world who doesn’t actually own a fondue pot. They’re unitaskers, and I am firmly opposed to unitaskers. Until I can justify a rarely used piece of equipment taking up precious space in my cabinets, I won’t be buying a fondue pot. But don’t despair. If you find yourself in the same boat, a good stainless steel pot or my favorite- enameled cast iron, will do the trick nicely. I pulled out my small Le Creuset and went to town. If you opt to use a regular cooking pot, your fondue will thicken as it cools and get a bit stringy. If that bothers you- simply place the pot back on the stove for a few minutes to melt everything again.

My gluten free fondue recipe was adapted from The Bonne Femme Cookbook. Many cheesy fondue recipes call for the addition of a few tablespoons of flour. You can easily substitute sorghum flour, rice flour, or even cornstarch in these instances, and not compromise the flavor or texture of the end result.

herbes de provenceI also opted out of the traditional nutmeg seasoning in favor of the sunnier and warmer flavors invoked by herbes de provence. I happened to be lucky enough to receive some freshly dried herbes from my dad, and they’ve gone into everything I’ve made over the last few days. They are a great way to jazz up everything from broccoli to eggs to soups and salads.

Lastly, there are no hard and fast rules about what to serve with fondue. We enjoyed broccoli, mushrooms, gluten-free toasted garlic bread (directions will appear below), pears & bresaola. Basically- anything you enjoy with cheese is a candidate to dip in the fondue pot. As always- feel free to modify this recipe as your heart desires. Fondue is a fun finger food to enjoy with the people you love!

Gluten Free Fondue (a main dish for 4 or an appetizer for 8-10: adapted from The Bonne Femme Cookbook)

gluten free fondue with gluten free garlic toastIngredients

1 1/4 lbs shredded gruyere, emmental, or comte cheese (or a combo)

5 tbs sorghum flour (other gf flours would work too)

1 garlic clove, + 2 tbs minced garlic

1 1/2 cups dry white wine (we used a burgundy)

3 tbs herbes de provence

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup milk

Directions

Toss the shredded cheese with the flour. Make sure that the flour is evenly distributed and coats and many of the cheese shreds as possible.

Rub the whole clove over the inside of the pot. Place the minced garlic and the wine in the pan. Bring to a simmer. Add the cheese one handful of a time and allow to absorb completely before adding the next handful. It is really important to not let the mixture actively boil. Your pot needs to be hot enough to melt the cheese, but not so hot that it boils. For my stove, this was just under the half-way mark on the stove.

When the cheese has been fully incorporated add the milk, herbes, salt & pepper, and continue to stir. The fondue is ready when it’s a thick, liquidy (ie non-stringy) mass. Bring to the table and enjoy with your dipping ingredients.

Dipping Ingredients

raw vegetables or fruit, gluten-free crackers, or gluten-free garlic bread. Gently roasted vegetables (enough that they’re partially cooked and softened, but not so much that they’re mushy- you want them to hold up in the sauce)

roasted broccoli & mushroomspears & pomegranates

To Make Gluten Free Garlic Toast

gluten free garlic toastTake 4 (or whatever number you like) pieces of gluten-free bread. Place them on a toaster oven tray or a cookie sheet if using the oven. Brush olive oil over the tops- make sure you get into the little nooks and crannies. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or until you start smelling the bread toasting.

Remove from the oven. Take a clove of garlic, cut off the end, and rub it vigorously over the toasted top. One clove is usually good for about 4 slices. Of course, if you like bread that is more garlicky- you can be more generous, or scrape the garlic on both sides of the bread. Discard the skins and enjoy!

Thai Cashew Sauce- a delicious Thai Peanut Sauce Substitute

Thai Cashew SauceIn addition to dealing with the ups and downs of being Celiac, I am also allergic to peanuts (there are other things I’m allergic to, but those two are the worst offenders and the ones I have to avoid completely). I am extremely grateful that my peanut allergy was diagnosed long before I ever had an anaphylactic reaction. While the smell of peanuts makes me feel yucky, the worst I get upon accidental consumption is a bad case of indigestion.

I count myself among the lucky.

The only place I find myself really wishing peanuts weren’t so evil for me as at the Thai restaurants we like to frequent around town. Most Thai food is naturally gluten-free, and I find that I prefer the fresh flavors and lack of soy sauce over Chinese food. How can you not fall in love with a bowl of Pho with its cilantro, basil, chile, and lime? And the spring rolls! Mr. Kitchen Diva informs me that spring rolls are even better dipped in the peanut sauce….sigh…That left me with only one choice- make my own substitute.

Cashews seemed like the obvious choice, especially becuase they are so prevalent in Asian cooking. You could easily use ready made cashew butter for this, I didn’t have any on hand, and found it just as easy to grind my own cashews. In addition to using the sauce for dipping home made spring rolls, we discovered it tasted great on gently sauteed kale. I’m ready to schmear it on a piece of toast next!

Below you’ll find the recipe for the Thai Cashew Sauce, and a few basic instructions for making your own spring rolls. Spring rolls, like pizza and pasta, are a great canvas for whatever you like. We filled ours with rice noodles, fresh basil,  and a shredded salad (recipe to come in the future) the Kitchen Divas in Training invented. While we call can use more practice in the act of rolling, the end result was delicious and we’ll be happy to attempt them again in the near future. In fact, the next time I go out for Thai food, I’ll be packing this along in a mini to-go container!

Remember, this month’s GF Baking Challenge is to tackle Le Macaron! Join me and feel free to post your comments or questions. Better yet- send me a photo of your baking experience and I’ll post it on the final month’s round-up!

Thai Cashew Sauce- makes about 3 cups

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups cashews (we used roasted & unsalted, but you could use any kind)

1 can of coconut milk (do NOT use lite coconut milk!)

1/2 cup brown sugar Thai Cashew Sauce

1/2 cup water

4 tbs Thai red chile paste (we used Thai Kitchen- use more for more heat)

2 tbs rice wine vinegar

1 tbs fresh ginger (1 tsp ginger powder would also work)

juice from 1/4 of a lime

1/2 tsp salt (omit if you are using salted cashews)

3-10 drops of fish sauce

Directions

If you are grinding your own cashews: Place cashews in a food processor and grind. In order to get a smooth paste you may need to add a bit of oil. We used toasted sesame oil, but you could use grapeseed, canola, or another unflavored oil. I do not recommend using olive oil.

In a medium saucepan, place all of the ingredients- including the cashew paste. Stir over medium heat until well combined and slightly soupy. Mixture will firm up in the refrigerator. You can soften it by adding a bit more liquid, or rewarming. Will keep at least a week in the refrigerator.

 

For making Spring Rolls

Making spring rolls is easy. Before you assemble them, make sure you have all of your ingredients laid out and ready to go. You can fill spring rolls with pretty much anything you like, fresh vegetables, tropical fruits, tofu, meats..the possibilities are unlimited.

Spring rolls are made from rice paper, which is naturally gluten-free. You can find them in both small and large sizes in the asian section of your market, or at an asian specialty store.

Soften the rice paper round in a bit of warm water. We find a  large dinner plate works perfectly for this. When the paper has fully softened, lift it up, gently shake to remove extra water and lay flat on your prep surface.

Place your ingredients in a mount slightly off of center. To wrap, fold the shortest end of the paper over the filling and pull tight. Next, fold over the sides so that the filling doesn’t fall out. Then roll tightly on itself. Et Voilá!

Thai Spring RollsRolling Thai Spring RollsThai Spring Roll

 

 

 

 

Vegan Tacos w/ Quinoa & Black Beans

This post is a little bit special to me, as the recipe was developed with great enthusiasm by the Kitchen Divas in Training. I love more than anything that my girls are expanding their culinary horizons and working to create delicious, nutritious meals. I also love watching how a recipe idea takes shape and then morphs as they move through the process. This originally started out as a quinoa-salad, but as the flavors combined the girls thought it would be even better in a taco- and I have to say I wholeheartedly agree! The recipe is pretty simple, and could be used as a salad if you don’t have taco shells available. Enjoy, and don’t forget to play with your food!
Vegan Tacos- serves 4 with leftovers

Ingredients

1 cup red quinoa (white is also okay)

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 large tomato

1/2 large onion

1 can black beans

1 small cucumber

1 small red pepper

1/2 cup cilantro

2 tbs apple cider vinegar

2 tbs lime

salt and pepper to taste

8-10 cabbage leaves

Avocado and hot sauce for garnish

Taco Shells

Directions

Rinse quinoa, and place in medium pan with stock. Bring to a boil and turn to low. Cook about 20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, chop the tomato, onion, cucumber, pepper, and parsley and set aside. Thinly chop the cabbage leaves, squirt with a 1/4 lime and set aside for garnish.

When the quinoa has cooked, pour into a large bowl. Add all the vegetables except the cabbage and combine.

Fill taco shells, and garnish with cabbage, avocado, and of course- New Mexico Red Chile Sauce! Squirt with a lime and eat your heart out!

Ratatouille Burger

It’s high summer around here, and the heat has broken for a day or two. Just long enough for us to step outside and fire up the grill. And what says summer more beautifully than grilled veggies and burgers?  The heat will be returning with a vengeance this week, and we’ll be hiding in the cool of the basement and longing for cooler climes before we know it. The late summer vegetables have been at the farmer’s market for the last few weeks, and while my family is still sick of all the Ratatouille I made last August and September, the were at least open to enjoying those ingredients in a different form. Below you will find a Ratatouille Burger with a Sundried-Tomato Roulade,  perfect for an al-fresco evening when the temperature finally dips into the low 90’s or high 80’s… Yes, it’s been THAT hot here!

To make the perfect burger- we recommend checking out this post here (you may want to leave out the Feta, or use a different type of cheese though)

Ratatouille Burger with Sundried Tomato Roulade

Ingredients

1 eggplant, sliced for the grill 

1 zucchini, sliced for the grill

1 onion, sliced for the grill

Hamburgers of your choice

Sundried Tomato Roulade

6 oz sundried tomatoes

4 cloves garlic

2 cups fresh basil

olive oil

Directions

Cook the meat and grill the vegetables to your desired level of doneness.  Meanwhile, make the roulade by combining the sundried tomatoes, garlic and basil in a food processor. I always use dried sundried tomatoes, but if you use the sundried tomatoes preserved in olive oil, reserve the olive oil for the second step. Once you’ve processed the ingredients into bitty pieces, leave the processor on and slowly pour in the olive oil until a thick paste has formed. You can make this paste as thick or as soupy as you like. We preferred a thicker paste, but the consistency is entirely up to you.

Stack the ingredients on a lightly toasted GF Bun (We like Udi’s) brushed with olive oil. Schmear the roulade on the top bun and enjoy!

 

 

Watermelon Gazpacho with Strawberry Salsa

Happy 4th of July to my U.S. readers! Normally the 4th of July is cause for lots of grilling at our annual gathering. However, it’s still Hotter than Blazes here, with no end in sight to the oppressive heat or the drought. And this year, we’ll be huddling near the air-conditioning vents trying to stay cool. It’s still too hot to do much more than eat watermelon and cold soups. The watermelons are especially good right now, so I decided to merge the two in the form of a cold soup. The cool, sweet watermelon combined with the spicy-sweet tang of chiles, strawberries and cilantro offer a satisfying respite from the heat. Enjoy!!

 

Watermelon Gazpacho with Strawberry Salsa

Ingredients 

Soup: Scoop the contents of 1/2 a medium sized watermelon into a bowl or pitcher. Blend with an immersion blender.  Or, scoop the contents into a blender and mix in batches. I do NOT recommend using a food processor. The watermelon liquifies pretty quickly and oozes out everywhere.

Salsa

1 cucumber (abt 1 cup diced)

1/2 large green pepper (about 3/4 cups diced)

1/2 red onion (about 1 cup finely diced)

1 Serrano pepper or jalapeno- minced

1 lb of strawberries (rough dice)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro (finely diced)you could also use mint 

Balsamic Vinegar

Croutons

Cut 4 pieces of GF bread into large cubes. Toss in olive oil until the pieces are evenly coated. Place on a cookie sheet (When it’s this hot, I use my toaster oven) and bake at 350 until the pieces are deep golden brown. Stir occasionally. When the bread is done, toss with salt and pepper.

Plating:

Dice all salsa ingredients and gently mix. Pour watermelon into a bowl and mound a handful of croutons in the center. Spoon a generous amount of salsa over the croutons and drizzle soup with balsamic vinegar if you desire.

Citrus Fennel Salad

To coin a Cole Porter phrase- It’s Too Darn Hot. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found as I’ve matured that I have an increasingly smaller temperature gradient that works for me… not too hot, not too cold…and truthfully, if I had to choose- as much as I love hot weather, I’m more comfortable bundling up in silk long johns, furs and mukluks, than I am spritzing myself with cooling spray and sticking my head in the freezer. Quite frankly, I don’t know how you folks who live in hot areas do it… Heat just makes my head want to explode.

So when the thermometer goes way up what do I do? Pop the wine in the freezer, make a batch of gazpacho (something we’re doing in June these days thanks to an overly warm winter), and follow it with a fennel-citrus salad. Super-fast, super-easy, super-cool. It’s all I have energy for. And for dessert? Fresh peaches from the trees in the backyard. Pure unadulterated sweetness. Eat your heart out Julia Child. Sometimes the best recipe is food the way nature intended it. Until my next post- stay cool- whether by pool, air-conditioning, or basement.

Citrus Fennel Salad 2Citrus Fennel Salad

ratio: 1 orange to 1 head of fennel

1/8th lemon & lime

1 tbs + olive oil

drizzle of champagne or other light vinegar

1 tbs sesame seeds for every fennel/orange combo

Directions: Slice fennel and orange into small pieces. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the mix. Squeeze the lemon & lime over the mix and toss. Add sesame seeds and toss again… This is a very laissez faire type of recipe- meaning do what is easy and what feels right to your tastebuds. It’s too hot to do anything else. Really- if you could twitch your nose and have the ingredients mix themselves- that would be best.