Greek Summer Salad

DSC_0004
Vegetables can be a struggle for me. I know, I run a healthy food blog — coming up with creative ways to use veggies and seasonal produce should be second nature to me, right?

Wrong. The vegetables we actually eat in my house are pretty repetitive. Brussels sprouts, sometimes with bacon. Kale. A salad. Sometimes chard, if my garden is going gangbusters. Zucchini on the grill, if my husband feels like taking that on. Asparagus.

I got sick of salads the other day and needed to find something new. A quick flip through my Gourmet cookbook was disappointing. Really? No vegetables section? But a more detailed look revealed that a lot of the “Salad” recipes were not just lettuce at all, but a variety of vegetables thrown in a bowl with dressing, which was exactly what I was looking for.  Continue reading

Advertisements

White Bean and Ham Soup

gluten-free ham and white bean soup 4
March and April are apparently “the hunger season,” when most of the cold storage crops are gone and nothing fresh has come out of the ground yet. It’s also the period in my life when I generally start feeling gloomy and sad, wanting it to either snow and be pretty again like December, or warm up and get sunny like spring and summer are supposed to be.

Really the only thing for this uncomfortable time is to make soup. Soup can make you forget how gross and gloomy it is outside, help you feel better about curling up inside with a book, and make you so happy to be using up the beans stored in your pantry that you almost forget how angry you are to not be wearing your favorite new spring flats. Continue reading

Salami Chips with Dijon-Thyme Dipping Sauce

paleo gluten-free whole30 salami chips dijon

Like a lot of my favorite recipes, these crispy salami chips are a copycat recipe from one of my favorite places in the Wood River Valley.

I make up recipes sometimes, sure. And sometimes I just go out to eat and then try to copy the ideas of more talented chefs than I. It’s a sickness. But it also results in a ton of delicious recipes, like this Konditorei Salad from Sun Valley Resort, this beet salad inspired by a dinner at Trail Creek Cabin with my mother-in-law. Oh yeah, and this butternut squash and kale salad (and this one), inspired by one at my favorite sandwich place, Bigwood Bread.

I enjoyed these salami chips at a wine bar in my new town called diVine, which is more famous for their delicious wine and indulgent fondue. Continue reading

Crispy Cranberry-Almond Granola

gluten-free vegan granola 1

Granola, when I make it, normally turns out kind of heavy. It’s dense — tons of oats and nuts and fruit and all kinds of stuff. While that’s great, sometimes I want less, just a little crunch and burst of flavor with my yogurt, you know? Something lighter, that doesn’t feel like I just swallowed a literal sack of oats. Maybe some thing I can eat by itself like a normal cereal.

gluten-free craisin almond vegan granola

This “granola lite” came about by accident, when I was trying to make power bars only to have them crumble and fall apart. In frustration, I almost threw them out, but instead, I dumped the crumbled bits on a baking sheet and threw them in the oven.

What came out was a little miracle. Light and crispy from the puffed rice, substantial thanks to the oats and a little bit sweet from the craisins, it goes beautifully with yogurt, as a snack, or just in a bowl with the milk of your choice.

And guess what? It also has a little protein punch from the nut butter and the protein powder. Depending on what protein powder you use (I used Tempt in the Vanilla Spice flavor), this is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and free of refined sugar. Just keep an eye on it in the oven — the edges of one of my pans burned a little bit. 

Crispy Cranberry-Almond Granola
 
Author: Kate Wutz
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 25 mins
A delicious vegan, gluten-free and soy-free granola with a punch of protein to get you going.
Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cups rice cereal
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup craisins (original)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup nut butter of your choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine cereal, oats, craisins, almonds, salt and protein powder in a bowl. Heat maple syrup and nut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until smooth. Pour mixture over the oat/cereal mixture and stir very well, until everything is coated and starting to clump.
  3. Spread granola onto two foil-lined baking pans. Bake for 15 minutes, switching the pans and stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  4. The granola will NOT be crispy when you remove it from the oven, but will crisp as allowed to cool. Once cool, store in an air-tight container for up to a week.
 

 

Resolutions and Chicken Curry

cheap easy chicken curry vegan paleo options gluten-freeDid you make New Year’s resolutions? I almost never do. It seems to me if that if you want to change something in your life, you should just do it — go for it — change it, not try to force yourself to do that at an arbitrary time like the beginning of the year.

There is something symbolic and oddly satisfying about starting the new year with the best of intentions, though, with the optimism inherent in deciding that this year is going to be different. This year, I’ll make it to the gym three times a week. This year, I’ll keep up with blog posts. This year, I’ll finally read the financial magazines my husband constantly leaves around the house. This year, I’ll work harder to bring my lunch, not buy it.

Bringing my lunch is always a goal I’m working to achieve. Though I do get a break in the middle of the day for lunch, it’s also my chance to run errands, get a few extra hours in, or practice yoga. And with the price of a Cobb salad at my favorite lunch place reaching $10, it’s cheaper to bring lunch, too.

Curry is perfect for the purpose. It does have a smell, but it’s the kind that will have your officemates jealously wondering what you brought. It’s not too spicy, so you won’t spend the rest of the day smelling like it, and best of all — it has vegan and Paleo options to help you meet your other resolutions.

I borrowed most of this recipe from this one at Food52. The chickpeas were a last-second inspiration, but I love how they help stretch just a few chicken thighs into a meal that can feed you for at least three lunches. If you’re vegan, swap out the chicken for chickpeas and add the extra curry directly to the sauce. If you’re Paleo, swap out the chickpeas for extra chicken and maybe bump up the curry a little.

Whatever way you do it, it’s a delicious way to start the year off right.

Easy Chicken Curry
 
Author: Kate Wutz
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 4
A warm and comforting chicken curry with vegan and Paleo options that will help you stick to your New Year’s resolution of bringing lunch to work. Or, you know, just being an awesome cook.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 2 1/2 tsp curry powder, separated
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (omit if desired)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bize-sized pieces
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (make sure it’s thoroughly blended! Shake it up.)
  • White or cauliflower rice, if desired, for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 6-8 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add 1 tsp curry powder, remaining spices, and tomato paste. Stir to combine.
  2. Toss chicken pieces in a plastic bag with the remaining 1 1/2 tsp curry powder and salt and pepper to taste. Add to pan and cook until they start to brown, about eight minutes. Add chickpeas about three minutes in.
  3. Once chicken in brown, pour in coconut milk and stir to combine. Simmer over medium-low heat for about ten minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with white or cauliflower rice, naan, or whatever your heart desires.
 
Notes
To make vegan, simply replace the chicken with another 15-ounce can of chickpeas. Add the extra 1 1/2 tsp curry to the onions with the rest of the spices.[br]To make Paleo, replace chickpeas with three more chicken thighs and continue as directed.

 

 

Maple-Pecan Overnight Oats


vegan gluten free maple pecan overnight oats 1 

Once upon a time, I didn’t eat breakfast. When I did, I ate a banana and yogurt, or yogurt and peanut butter, something I could grab on my way out the door with a minimum of fuss.

But then I realized that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and skipping it in favor of another cup of coffee is probably my ticket to an ulcer. But what do you really feel like eating at 8 a.m. in between answering emails? Something healthy, something that’s not going to send my blood sugar too high, and something I can eat with a spoon. No messy powdered sugar donut fingers are coming anywhere near my keyboard. And it has to be something that takes next to no time to grab in the morning.

vegan gluten free maple pecan overnight oats 2

Hence, overnight oatmeal. It takes five minutes the night before to mash a banana, pour in milk and oats, add nuts and a little maple syrup and stir. And the next morning, you have a delicious and nutritious breakfast that you can literally grab from the fridge as you are running out the door. It’s so easy, I make one for my husband, too. (Both saying that and actually doing it makes me feel like one of those 1950’s housewives, but it makes him happy, so…I do it.)

The best part? Gluten-free with no refined sugar. You can even skip the maple syrup if you want to, as the banana makes the oatmeal pretty sweet on its own. Play with the mix-ins, too! Nuts are just the easiest for us, but this would be great with dried fruit, chia seeds or peanut butter.

Vegan Overnight Oats
 
Author: Kate Wutz
Maple-pecan overnight oats that are vegan and gluten-free with no refined sugar. Take ten minutes to make these the night before, and you can grab and go in the morning. Perfect.
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (use more like 2/3 if you like your oatmeal thicker)
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 Tbsp pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Stir together milk, oatmeal and banana in a mason jar until combined. I like to actually mash the banana in the mason jar first with a fork, add the milk using the measurement marks on the jar, then add the oats. Saves time and dishes.
  2. Add pecans on top, then top with maple syrup. Cover and keep in fridge overnight. Serve cold the next morning.
 

 

Skillet Cornbread with Corn and Polenta

gluten-free dairy-free cornbread polenta fresh cornI literally cannot tell you how I came to have cornbread in my oven this weekend. I had some half-baked idea about lunches and bringing black beans to work for lunch, then I had this idea about stuffing, and then I don’t know, all of a sudden I was rummaging through the freezer looking for frozen corn and pulling out the polenta. 

This recipe combines two things I couldn’t find otherwise: cornbread that includes frozen corn kernels as well as polenta, that coarser-ground cornmeal that’s used both for grits and in Italian cooking as a pasta alternative. It also has a delicious, crispy bottom and sides from being baked in a cast-iron skillet.

I added a drizzle of honey to my cornbread; that’s not strictly Southern, so if you prefer, you can omit it. You might also try making this with almond flour and a tablespoon or so of coconut flour, or your favorite gluten-free flour instead of the blend I used.

Whatever way you choose to make it, it would make a great side to your Thanksgiving feast — or, better yet, as the centerpiece in a batch of cornbread stuffing. 

Skillet Cornbread
 
Author: Kate Wutz
Serves: 8
A delicious gluten-free and dairy-free cornbread that combines polenta and fresh corn.
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups polenta or grits
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 Tbsp honey, if desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pour oil into a cast-iron skillet. Place in oven for about 10 minutes, or until the oil is sizzling.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add the egg, almond milk, corn and honey. Allow to set for a few moments or until it thickens slightly.
  3. Remove skillet from oven and immediately pour the hot oil into the batter. Stir until well-combined, then pour the batter into the hot skillet.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges look brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm, with butter and maybe a little extra drizzle of something sweet.