Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brown Rice Pizza

When my husband Enzo and I began dating many moons ago, one of my fondest memories was spending Friday nights at his family's pizzeria Reggio in Union, New Jersey. Since it was family owned it meant he was volunteered to work on weekends.  I spent that time sitting at the counter and watched his dad, lovable Papa Tony, create yummy pizzas after pizzas. Often he'd offer me a fresh slice, and at first I resisted but the aromas got the best of me. What a superb slice! His parent's have since retired and sold the pizzeria. Oh but those Friday night pizza memories will forever be in my mind.

Enzo would also help out his dad in making pizzas when it got crazy. So for my next project - gluten-free pizza - I thought who better qualified to help me attempt this! When I asked him, Enzo gladly took the rolling bin off my hands and I took his Canon camera and photographed the process.

You could gather your own flours like rice flour, potato flour, etc...(see recipe here) and make your own dough from scratch. However, if you want to try it with same ingredients already gathered for you, please try Namaste Food's Pizza Crust Mix. There are tons G.F. pizza mix brands but this one is the healthiest and delicious brand.

Gather your favorite toppings and decorate. Remember the tomato sauce goes first!

Enzo here adding spinach, onions, mushrooms, ground turkey and cheese*. Mmmmm!

Simply no words can explain this moment, I watched in fascination as Enzo worked diligently on "Operation: Wife's Craving Pizza and I Betta Get this Right!" 

Tada! Enzo also made himself a regular pizza, and why not, he had the dough! HA!HA!
We used pizza tin pans to bake the pizza but I think for a crunchier crust, which we're both fans of, next time we'll use a pizza stone.

His and Hers pizza. Heavenly meal. Enjoy....

Claudia's Pizza (left) and Enzo's Pizza (right)

*Good milk-free cheese alternatives are rice milk cheese or the Soya Kaas brand cheese.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tuna and Pasta Joy!

What is Tinkyada? Tinkyada is whole grain pasta made with rice and water. A Pasta Joy for the tummy since their factory machines are solely dedicated to rice pasta and no other grain to prevent cross-grain contamination. They are serious about their product, and I'm seriously in love with all their gluten-free pastas. For today's dish I chose their pasta spirals.

The first time I bought a bag I was hesitant because brown rice in general needs a good 40 minutes for it to cook thoroughly, but brown rice pasta? I figured it would take an hour. It took 16 minutes for the pasta to cook which gave me plenty of time to prep my other ingredients.

Below is Tinkyada pasta, yes it's GLUTEN FREE pasta and it tastes delicious.

I diced the celery and onions.

The tuna I bought came in chunks so I used my hands to shredded it. I could use a fork instead but I love playing with my food. By the way, since I'm using tuna in olive oil do toss in the oil that's been marinating in tuna. The flavors will accentuate this pasta dish.

Once I mixed my onions, celery and tuna in oil, I squeezed the juice of a lemon and finished it off with a dash of salt and black pepper.

And there you have it. A quick and yummy gluten-free pasta and tuna.

Al dente perfecto!

Makes 6 servings

1 bag of Tinkyada organic brown rice pasta (cook pasta per directions on package)
1 jar or can of 6 oz. of your favorite tuna in oil (my picks Cento and Tonnino)
1 medium red onion, diced
4-5 celery stalks, diced
1 lemon
salt and pepper to your taste

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes

Earlier this week I accompanied my friend Carrie to Starbucks coffeehouse. I gazed at their yummy treats while we ordered our coffees, and my eyes went straight to the pumpkin muffins. Sigh...Last Autumn I would have ordered any muffins without even blinking but now, as a gluten intolerant individual, I have to be cautious. As my first gluten free Autumn, I made it my mission to bake an awesome pumpkin muffin worthy of comparison to the other untouchable pumpkin muffins.

I purchased a spice cake mix by Namaste Foods and a can of pumpkin, and off to home I went to experiment and the results were deliciously brilliant. Turned out moist, soft, fragrant and most importantly tasty.

The sweet spices perfumed my kitchen as well as the rest of the house. Loved it!

 Below is the cake mix I used and the can of pumpkin. I recommend to first mix all ingredients (as instructed) using an electric hand held mixer, then add the pumpkin. Makes 24 cupcakes or two 9 x 9 cakes.
Enjoy GFF's!
(Gluten Free Friends)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Brownies

Gluten free or not a girl's gotta have her chocolate. After a day of running errands in the rain (augh), I found myself craving for something sweet to end my day. Enter Bob's Red Mill Brownie Mix to my rescue!

I almost took a bite before I photographed this. See how moist and delicious these brownies came out. I added chocolate chips. You could also add your favorite nuts, but my husband is allergic to nuts so sans nuts!

Everything I've tried from Bob's Red Mill I absolutely love, and the brownie mix has become a staple in my pantry. They use Ghiradelli cocoa powder in the mix and that's a good sign (for me) of people that know quality chocolate.
Baked in a 9x9 pan makes 16 yummy brownies. I am the only gluten-intolerant in  my househould so when my husband tried these I was really glad he loved them. Of course, I usually bring leftovers to work since I may eat the whole pan if left unattended.

Enjoy my GFFs! 
(Glute Free Friends).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rice and Shine

I am in love with the Fall season, it simply warms my heart. So this morning instead of my typical cold corn flakes cereal, I made a hot cereal.  Arrowhead Hills has a delicious rice cereal that is so easy to make and cooks fast - 2 minutes!

Before I dig in, I sprinkle a little cinnamon to add a warm Fall flavor and also for its health benefits.

Single Serving:
1/4 cup of Arrowhead Mills Rice & Shine Hot Cereal
1 cup Coconut Milk beverage (I used So Delicious)
1 Tbs. of Agave Nectar
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Handful of dried cranberries

Prepare as instructed on the box - I made mine on the stove top. Also I substituted the water with coconut milk beverage. It keeps me fuller throughout the morning. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Collard Green Rolls

After a food indulgent Labor Day weekend (God aren't Bar-B-Q's the best!), I felt it best to break out some healthy greens and team it with tasty grains. I love making these Collard Green Rolls, it's incredibly delicious and fast to make. Once the chicken broth releases it's aroma, even the pickiest eaters will wander in the kitchen out of curiosity.

Food Items Used:
Bunched Collard Green (8-10 leaves)
1/3 cup of your favorite salsa
2 cups of chicken broth
1 package of Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice (homemade rice can be used as well).

Start by boiling a big pot of water (fill it halfway) which will take about 8 to 10 minutes to boil. Meanwhile, cut and remove the rib/stems from the collards.

Once boiling, lower heat and submerge the leaves into the hot water for about 7 minutes. This will soften the leaves and make it easy for rolling later.

Remove one leaf at a time out of the pot and lay the wet leaves on top of a towel. Gather your rice and salsa and scoop one big spoonful (or two) of rice, a teaspoon of salsa and roll your collard leaf burrito style (fold sides first then roll up). Make sure it's nice and tucked. If you have left over rice dump it inside the saucepan.

Continue until all your leaves are rolled and place the stuffed collard green in a large saucepan. Pour the chicken broth and using low heat, cook for about 5 minutes or until you hear the broth boiling.

I cut up a leftover baked sweet potato into fries and used as my sides - YUM YUM! Enjoy!

*Side note: I've used homemade salsa and bruschetta in this recipe and both are great substitutes. Vegetarians can switch chicken broth to a veggie broth.