Make Your Next Tabouli Gluten-Free

Quinoa TabouliMy daughter has recently begun a gluten-free diet and has gotten me interested in how to take much of the gluten and GMOs out of my diet as well. Tabouli, or as some people say Tabbouleh, has always been a favorite lunch for me and I hated to have to give it up because it was made of bulgur wheat but… TADA! Quinoa to the rescue! And it tastes just as good as the original!

Quinoa Tabouli

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2-1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 -1 medium green/red or yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh onion, chopped
  • 2-1/4 oz black olives, sliced (optional)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • Dash cayenne

Directions:

Place water and quinoa in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and stir. Mix in tomato, parsley, pepper, cucumber, onion and olives. Stir together lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and cayenne. Pour over quinoa mixture and toss well. Cover & place in refrigerator. Let stand at minimum 1 hour or better overnight. Serve chilled.

Serves 8.

Linda's Signature

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Hot Dog Perfection

hotdogsJuly is National Hot Dog Month so today we honor the hot dog with 5 delicious and creative new toppings.

  1. Avocado Chip Dog – 1 hot dog topped with lime-infused avocado, crumbled crunchy potato chips, slivered onions and plum tomatoes.
  2. Chipotle Chili Cheese Dog – 1 hot dog topped with chipotle, chili powder, jalapeño peppers, and bacon crumbles.

    Image from BHG.com

    Avocado Chip Dog
    Image & Recipe from BHG.com

  3. Hawaiian Dog – 1 hot dog topped with caramelized onions, sweet teriyaki sauce, sesame seeds, and grilled pineapple.
  4. Summer Dog – 1 hot dog topped piled high with vinegar-tossed tomatoes, crunchy corn kernels, lettuce, and onion.
  5. Mac & Cheese Dog – 1 hot dog topped with your favorite macaroni and cheese mixture and a pinch of chili powder.

Nom! Nom! Nom!

Christina signature 3

Zucchini – Whatever Floats Your Boat!

Margherita Zucchini BoatsI have developed a taste for zucchini lately and have been looking for new ways to fix this nutritious and delicious veggie. Did you know it was a member of the summer squash family and delivers loads of Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6 and potassium? It even delivers smaller amounts of Vitamin A, magnesium, calcium and iron and all for only 33 calories for the entire zucchini!

Of course, now that I told you how low in calories this vegetable is, I am going to up the count by adding some delicious cheese but still keep it on the healthy side with the addition of tomatoes and fresh basil. You will find it quite similar to a margherita pizza but with a lot less calories!

Margherita Zucchini Boats

Ingredients:

  • 3 zucchini
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic, or to taste
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1/8-1/4 cup Panko or breadcrumbs
  • 1/4-1/2 lb. sliced fresh mozzarella
  • 2-4 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray or line with aluminum foil.

Slice zucchini in half lengthwise and, using a teaspoon, scoop out seeds and just a little extra so that it can hold the other ingredients. Place on prepared cookie sheet. If you need to, cut a little off the bottom of each zucchini half so that it sits flat.

In a small bowl, mix 3 Tablespoons olive oil, minced garlic, salt & pepper. Brush over the top of each zucchini. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on top of the garlic spread then sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake in oven for 30 minutes.

Zucchini BoatsRemove from oven and place slices of mozzarella around tomatoes and sprinkle with a little of the chopped basil and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the top and place under broiler until cheese has melted and browned. To serve, top with remaining basil and Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6.

Note: The amount of ingredients you use is up to you and your family’s tastes. I like to use quite a bit of garlic and fresh basil when I prepare this dish and sometimes add some red pepper flakes to the olive oil-garlic mixture for a little extra kick. Enjoy!

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

What’s Cookin’ for Meatless Monday?

Zucchini Ribbons with Tomato Basil Sauce

There are great benefits from cutting a little meat out of our diet. These include less fat intake, fewer calories and a lower risk of heart disease and when we substitute lots of fresh leafy vegetables and whole grains we enrich our diet with vitamins, fiber and many other important nutrients that can lead to a healthier, longer life.

Try this fantastic recipe made with zucchini instead of pasta and a wonderful tomato-basil pasta sauce. I also included a link to a Bolognese meat sauce for those that just can’t give up  meat.

Zucchini Ribbons with Pasta Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 zucchini, washed
  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped (or 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes & 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Zucchini:

Using a vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini into thin ribbons. You could also use a slicer that comes on the side of most cheese graters. Blanch the zucchini in salted water by bringing a large pot of water to a boil, dropping in the ribbons, and letting it cook for 1 minute. When time is up immediately drop into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and leave for 1 minute. Drain then toss with preferred sauce such as this tomato-basil or primavera sauce and serve with a side of grated cheese.

Sauce:

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and saute onion and garlic until golden, about 5 minutes. Add in chopped tomatoes (if you like smoother sauces they can be pureed in blender), basil, bell pepper and salt & pepper to taste. Simmer for 30-45 minutes then serve over zucchini ribbons or whole wheat pasta with a side of grated Parmesan cheese.

For all you meat lovers, here is a link to a delicious bolognese sauce from food.com  http://www.food.com/recipe/real-italian-bolognese-sauce-83950

Enjoy!

Linda's Signature