Saturday, March 29, 2008

Black Bean Lime Salsa

I'm really loving Clean Eating Magazine. Especially since the recent issue features an article with gluten-free recipes and a list of some gf products to check out. Yippee!

I found this recipe for a black bean and lime salsa that just begs to be served either with some tortillas or with some rice. I love the bright flavor that cilantro and lime give to dishes; plus this recipe has the added bonus of flaxseed oil.

Black Bean Lime Salsa
serves 4

1 cup black beans (cooked or sprouted)
1 tomato, diced
1 lime, cut into small pieces
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped or torn fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. dried cayenne pepper
1/2 tbsp. hemp oil
1/2 tbsp. flaxseed oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Mix all ingredients together in a small bown. If allowed to sit for a few hours, the ingredients will infuse each other with flavor.

Note: if you'd rather not have bits of lime floating around in your salsa, you can just juice it. Also, if you can't find hemp oil, you can leave it out; substitue your favorite--I've been using grapeseed oil lately.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Where's the Dog Whisperer When You Need Him?

I took my little guy out for a walk this afternoon, and had an encounter with an animal who could use some help from Cesar Millan (aka the Dog Whisperer). Ayden and I were minding our own business when a large, aggressive dog came barreling out to the street and tried to pounce! On! My! Son! I'm not quite sure who the owner of the dog is, but the fact is the dog escaped from its home (or was let out, I don't know) and proceeded to menace us for quite a long while.

My son was petrified. I held on to Ayden for fear that he might try to run and get chased down by Cujo. The poor kid was crying, thinking the dog was going to hurt us. I got into Mama Bear mode and was not about to let the dog near Ayden...I've seen gator wrestling and frankly thought I might have to wrestle this dog. Have I mentioned yet that this dog was GINORMOUS? Okay, maybe he wasn't that big, but he was quite large with a muscular build reminiscent of a boxer or pit bull. Yikes. Regardless of the dog's size, it seemed like I was going to have to kick it's ass. Fortunately we were eventually able to get away from the dog.

The dog was wearing a collar with a tag: needless to say I wasn't about to try to get so close that I could read it. But this would be a great time to let pet owners know that it is vitally important that you keep your beloved pet in a secure location. There are many children in my neighborhood (and many folks who walk for pleasure and/or fitness), and I fear that their safety could be compromised by a dog that behaves aggressively and is on the loose. The dog is in danger as well, make no mistake about it: it could be struck by an oncoming vehicle or stolen. I had dogs both big and small, cats, you name it growing up, so I know a thing or two about having a pet and the tremendous amount of responsibility that goes along with it. Loving your pet means taking care of it properly and being responsible for it.

Sermon over!

*Note: I realize this post has nothing to do with gfcf food, but it has everything to do with staying healthy and safe. I promise there will be cooking later.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

It Was a Good Friday

Happy Easter! Oh, and for some fun with Peeps, check this out.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Start All Over Again

It's no secret that I've got a beef with quinoa. I've tried it a few times with less-than-stellar results. Recently another blogger, the fabulous Attila the Mom (I love that screen name), wrote to ask me if I had a quinoa recipe to share; she recently started making quinoa and has been quite happy with it. I was ready to tell ATM about my past kitchen experiences with this ingredient, but I figure if she's enjoying it I shouldn't poo-poo on her parade. Then I got to thinking that maybe I should give it one more shot, the old college try. Maybe I'll be presently surprised this time.

As luck would have it, I found the following recipe in the spring issue of Clean Eating Magazine. While I haven't made it yet, I thought I'd share it with my buddy ATM and other quinoa lovers out there. I might give it one last shot this weekend--I've got all the ingredients. But this is the last chance. I mean it. Really.

Quinoa Porridge
Clean Eating Spring 2008

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch coarse sea salt
1/2 cup low-fat milk or unsweetened soy milk
1 apple, diced
1/2 cup blueberries or sliced strawberries
1/8 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Agave syrup (optional)

Add quinoa, water, cinnamon and salt to a small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until most of water has been absorbed. Add milk and simmer uncovered for an additional 10 minutes. Stir in apple, berries and nuts. cover and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Porridge will thicken during this time. If desired, drizzle with agave syrup before serving.

Serves 2

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Meatless Meals

I'm finding that I am becoming more and more interested in meatless meals. Please do not misunderstand me: I loves me some steak. And fried chicken? Fuggedaboutit! I think I may have been switched at birth with one of Colonel Sanders' grandchildren.

Anyway, I am a big fan of beans and rice as a meal. The amino acids found in beans coupled with the amino acids in rice make a perfect protein; making it a great choice for a vegetarian dish. To me, black beans and rice is a meal sent straight from heaven.

Lentils continue to be a favorite, primarily because they don't require the soaking time that beans like black beans or great Northerns require. Simmering lentils for about a half hour or so usually is plenty of cooking time. I found the following recipe in a magazine put out my my local supermarket chain. There are many recipes available, and the ones I've tried thusfar are delicious. I made a few minor modifications to the recipe to make it gfcf, but I left much of the recipe intact. Served with brown rice, this meal really sings.

Curried Lentils and Spinach
adapted from a recipe from Publix GreenWise Market Magazine

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped red, green and/or yellow sweet peppers
1/2 coarsely chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1/2 tsp. curry powder (add more if you like it spicier)
1 Tbs. olive oil
14 oz. reduced sodium vegetable broth (check ingredients: some brands contain gluten)
1 1/2 cups brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 5-oz. package baby spinach

In a large pan, heat the oil and cook the peppers, onion, garlic and curry powder for about 1 minute.
Stir in the broth, lentils, water, salt, and black pepper.
Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender and much of the liquid is absorbed.
Transfer to a large bowl. Add spinach and stir just until spinach begins to wilt. Serve.