Gluten Free Pesto

One of the many things I love about going gluten-free is that I have chosen to make my own foods instead of buying them pre-made.  This way, I know exactly what ingredients are being used and what I’m putting into my body.

For a super-quick dinner, try this delicious pesto sauce over gluten-free pasta and chicken.  Delicious!

Gluten Free Pesto over pasta and chicken @2CookinMamasGluten-Free Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz fresh basil leaves
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh pine nuts
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed (2 if you don’t like it spicy)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3/4 cup shredded manchego cheese

Directions:

In food processor, mix together first 5 ingredients until blended well.  Transfer pesto to bowl and fold in manchego cheese.

Pesto is great served over pasta, chicken, omelets, salads or tomato & mozzarella and it keeps for weeks.  Just transfer to mason jar, cover with a layer of olive oil, cover and refrigerate.

Christina Russell @2CookinMamas

 

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Spice up your Health

Spices @2CookinMamasWant to add a little zest to your dish?  Check out these 5 spices that are calorie-free and full of phynutrients!

  1. Oregano – 1 tsp. contains 6 micrograms of vitamin K and the same amount of antioxidants as 3 cups of spinach!  Stir in soup, shake on pizza, or add to your favorite pasta sauce.
  2. Cinnamon – The antioxidant compounds in cinnamon help prevent hunger cravings by improving the way your cells metabolize glucose.  Add a dash of cinnamon to your sweet potatoes, coffee, or water.
  3. Cayenne Pepper – This spice contains Capsaicin, which helps turn up your body’s thermostat & revs up your metabolism to help burn extra calories.  Stir in to your favorite guacamole recipe, hummus, or shake on popcorn.
  4. Ginger – This awesome spice helps settle upset stomachs and can also lessen workout-induced soreness.  Add 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger to pancake batter, peanut butter, or sprinkle over vanilla frozen yogurt.
  5. Nutmeg – Nutmeg can help prevent cavities.  Add 1/4 tsp to ground coffee for a hint of sweetness.

Oregano Salad Dressing  Oregano Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano

Directions:

Heat olive oil, red pepper flakes, and oregano in small sauce pan over medium-low heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant.

Christina Russell @2CookinMamas

Rattlesnake Pasta for Meatless Monday

Rattlesnake PastaWe try to have seafood at least 3 times per week and I always seem to go back to pasta with shrimp for one of those meals. This recipe was inspired by the Rattlesnake Pasta that we order when we dine out at J. Alexanders. If you ever get the chance to visit one of their restaurants try their dish made with chicken instead of shrimp and a creamier, more caloric but delicious, sauce and a side of their Alexander salad. Of course, any of their dishes are superb and the staff is friendly and efficient.

rattlesnake sign

My recipe is a healthier version of  Rattlesnake Pasta but watch out because the spicy bite  of the sauce definitely lives up to its name. You can vary the amount of spiciness to your liking by lessening the amount of cajun spice, red pepper flakes and jalapeno you add to the dish. Enjoy!

Rattlesnake Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 pound spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon minced rosemary
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, depending on your preferred level of hotness
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or white wine
  • 1/4-1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot with lid to keep warm.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Coat shrimp with Cajun seasoning and add to skillet. Brown shrimp on both sides, about 1 minute per side, then add tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno, rosemary and crushed red pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes, crushing tomatoes slightly to release juices. Add spaghetti and broth or wine to skillet then season with salt and pepper. Toss together, add Parmesan cheese and mix well. Cook over medium heat, tossing occasionally for 2-4 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve immediately on plates garnished with rosemary sprig

Serves 2-3.

Wine Pairing: When pairing wines with spicy dishes lean towards those with low alcohol and a bit of fruity sweetness such as Sauvignon Blancs, Rieslings, Chenin Blancs and Roses. If you pair this meal with a higher alcohol wine, the spice in the dish will appear even hotter (whew!), if paired with an oaky Chardonnay, the wine will seem to be even oakier and if your wine is more of a tannic red it will seem bitter to the taste. So stick with those above that will tame some of the spiciness and help you enjoy both the meal and the wine.

Linda's Signature

Meatless Monday – Garlic Basil Shrimp

Garlic Basil Shrimp

It’s Monday and time for another meatless meal. Today’s meal features shrimp with garlic and a tangy pasta made with key limes from my yard. It is a nice change-up from the more familiar lemon pasta and comes out delicious!

Garlic Basil Shrimp with Lime-Garlic Pasta

Ingredients:

Lime-Garlic Pasta

  • 1 lb. pasta (I used whole wheat)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Garlic Basil Shrimp

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs. shrimp, shelled & deveined
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup white wine (I used Chardonnay)
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Lime Garlic Pasta

Cook pasta in a large pot according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In same pot, heat olive oil and saute 2 teaspoons minced garlic for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and add in lime juice and zest. Add in pasta, Parmesan cheese and parsley and toss to coat. Add salt & pepper to taste. Replace lid on pot to keep warm while preparing shrimp.

Garlic Basil Shrimp

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and saute shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side depending on size. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add minced garlic and pepper flakes to pan and saute 30 seconds. Add wine and simmer for 3 minutes or until reduced slightly. Stir in basil, chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper and shrimp. Continue to cook for 3 more minutes or until shrimp are warm.

Serve over pasta with additional Parmesan cheese on the side.

Serves 4-6.

Wine Pairing: The best choice is always to serve the wine with which you prepared the dish, in this case a nice Chardonnay.  A Chardonnay pairs very well with garlic dishes as it offsets some of its spiciness. If you prefer a lighter wine, you might try an Albarino or a dry Riesling. These wines work very well with garlic and their crispness helps accentuate the flavors of the dish.

Linda's Signature