The Bowl Meal is Back….

Things change so quickly in life. One minute, you live in Florida with your husband and dog. The next minute, you find yourself sitting in an apartment in Colorado watching the sun rise over the mountains. 
You have all been witness to the crazy changes in my life. Today, there is a new one to announce. GF Guy is off on tour again, and this time he took Dickens with him! Sadly, with my crazy travel schedule, and the nature of my job, it would have been impossible for Dickens to stay with me and be my boyfriend while GF Guy is away. At least I know GF Guy has a buddy on the road. 
Yea, yea…. but what show is he traveling with, you ask. Hold your horses! I’m getting there. I am proud to announce, GF Guys latest show is………………..
Coming to a city near you! Even though the show is scheduled far into 2013, they don’t post the entire schedule online, just a few months at a time. Here is a link for tickets and a schedule.
He is so happy, and I am so proud of him! 36 days until we see each other again!!!!!!!!!!!!
Last night, I arrived home to a practically empty refrigerator. Having absolutely no motivation to go to the grocery store, I threw together a bowl meal. Bowl meals are my standard when GF Guy is away. There is no to impress. They are ugly, but have “great personalities”, which I am totally fine with. Oh, and they are an excellent way of cleaning out the refrigerator! 😉 

Southwestern Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Broccoli, stems & florets, chopped
  • 1/4 cup frozen Peas
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup leftover cooked Quinoa
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup fresh Salsa
  • 2 Tbsp shredded Daiya Vegan Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray and saute’ broccoli until just tender.
  3. Add peas and cook until heated through.
  4. Next, add the cooked quinoa and cook about 1 minute.
  5. Move all ingredients toward the outside of the skillet, forming a hole in the center.
  6. Crack the egg into the center of the skillet and lightly scramble to break the yolk.
  7. Gently stir the egg until it begins to cook. Gently fold into the other ingredients.
  8. Add the salsa and Daiya cheese and cook until cheese in melted and salsa in heated through.
As strange as the ingredient list sounds, this was delicious! I enjoyed it while watching Jeopardy, and then promptly fell asleep on the sofa… at 8PM on a Friday night. I think I might officially qualify as “elderly” after that confession. 
My bowl meal was awesome, but now there is literally no food in the house, unless you count Tortilla Chips. I can not escape a trip to the grocery store. Get ready Whole Foods! Here I come!

Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Casserole

Last week, I made a few small loaves of Cilantro Quick Bread. Immediately, I was struck with inspiration for a new recipe featuring the savory bread.
I invited a few ballet dancer friends over to act as taste testers. 

The verdict? The casserole was devoured in under 15 minutes. I think it was a success! The only downside was GF Guy didn’t get to try any. It was gone by the time he got home! No matter what anyone says, ballet dancers know how to eat!

PS- We were far too busy having fun to take a decent picture. I’ve noticed my pictures are either fabulous, or devastatingly sad, nothing in between. *sigh* At least I commit one way or the other!

 
Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Casserole
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1 small loaf Cilantro Quick Bread, cut into 1/2″ thick slices
  • 1 large Tomato, cut into 1/4″ thick slices
  • 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 5 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened, Plain Almond Milk
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp Vegan Sour Cream
  • 1/4 tsp Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Daiya Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper 

Directions:

  1. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place sliced Cilantro Quick Bread in a single layer in the bottom of the dish.
  3. Top sliced bread with sliced tomato.
  4. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over top the tomato.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients until well combined.
  6. Pour egg mixture evenly into the baking dish over top the bread & tomato.
  7. Cover and refrigerate over night, or a minimum of 3 hours.
  8. The next day, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. (375 degrees F for high altitude)
  9. Bake egg casserole, uncovered for 40-50 minutes until puffy and golden.
This post is linked to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free.

    Vegetable Fried Rice

    Happy Monday!
    I spent my entire day on a plane flying from Colorado to Florida, which I have been doing every Monday for at least the past 2 months. I arrived at my in-laws house to find my mother in-law AND father in-law out of town. Being the scavenger that I am, I rooted around their refrigerator to find a large bag of chopped vegetables, leftover plain rice, and little else. Having traveled all day, I had little to no inclination to cook. So, I settled on Fried Rice. Packed with plenty of vegetables, this is a relatively healthy meal with little effort for those lazy days. It is also a great way to use up leftover ingredients.
    Tomorrow, I head down toward Miami where I will spend the night with my little sister. It’s so nice having family all over the state!
    Without further ado, here is tonight’s recipe. I am going to enjoy a glass of wine now! 😉
    Vegetable Fried Rice
    (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

    Ingredients:

    • 2 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
    • 1/4 cup Onion, chopped
    • 1 cup Mixed Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
    • 1/4 cup frozen Corn Kernals
    • 1/4 cup frozen Green Peas
    • 1/4 to 1/3 cup leftover cooked Rice
    • 1 Egg, beaten
    • Gluten-Free Soy Sauce

    Directions:

    1. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
    2. Saute’ onion until translucent. Add the mixed vegetables and saute until tender, 5-9 minutes.
    3. Add the frozen vegetables and cook 1 minute more.
    4. Add the cooked rice and cook 1 minute.
    5. Move the vegetables and rice to the sides of the pan to create a well in the center.
    6. Pour the beaten egg in the center of the pan and cook about 1 minute, until it just begins to cook.
    7. Gently scramble the egg and stir into the vegetables and rice.
    8. Season with desired amount of soy sauce and serve over a bed of fresh spinach.

    A Holiday Head Start….

    In anticipation of holiday leftovers, I have begun playing around with some new recipes!
    Not one to simply rest on my laurels, I decided to challenge myself. This afternoon was all about gluten-free, vegan cooking with unusual gluten-free flours! Now, I know what you’re thinking, “since when has Quinoa Flour been considered ‘usual’?”  I guess that is a matter of perspective. My kitchen has never even seen “normal” all-purpose flour, so, in our house, Quinoa Flour is a rather blase’ ingredient! Be that as it may, I had a grand old time rolling up my sleeves and getting down and dirty with some new-er ingredients!
    This recipe will come in handy after Thanksgiving as a way of using up leftover Cranberry Sauce AND as a way of getting a head start on your Christmas cookies! Have fun!
    Cranberry Chestnut Cookies
    (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
    Yield: 5 1/2 dozen



    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup Chestnut Flour
    • 1 cup Sorghum Flour
    • 1/2 cup Tapioca Starch
    • 2 tsp Baking Soda
    • 1 Tblp Flax Seed Meal + 3 Tblsp Warm Water
    • 1/2 tsp Ginger
    • 1 tsp Cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
    • 3/4 cup Non-hydrogenated Organic Shortening (Spectrum brand)
    • 1 cup Agave Nectar
    • 1/4 cup Molasses
    • 1/2 cup canned Whole Berry Jellied Cranberry Sauce (or homemade)

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, except for the cranberry sauce.
    3. Blend well.
    4. Stir in the cranberry sauce and mix thoroughly.
    5. Chill dough at least 1 hour.
    6. Place on a baking sheet by rounded spoonful.
    7. Bake 13-15 minutes.
    8. Allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.

    Did You Miss Me?!….

    I am back! 

    I’ve been going through a lot, personally, and have had no desire to cook. (Crazy! I know!) Thank you for understanding. 
    Tonight, I took some time for myself. I did a little cardio work-out, gave Dickens a bath, scrubbed the bathtub, and did some laundry. Man did it feel good to do normal, mundane tasks!  When I was done I finally felt like creating a bit in the kitchen. I used leftover bits of randomness that I found lurking in my sad, nearly empty refrigerator to create a surprisingly delicious and comforting meal for one. As you have probably guessed, these are going to be a majority of my recipes for the next couple of months. That, or I will be giving away LOTS of leftovers, which I doubt anyone will mind too terribly! (Locals- Let me know if you want to be added to the “leftover list”!) 

    Chicken “Noodle” Soup
    (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

    Ingredients:

    • 1-2 Tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 1 Shallot, diced
    • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
    • 1 carrot, chopped
    • 1 Tblsp dried Tarragon
    • 3 cups Organic, Low Sodium Chicken Broth
    • 1/4 cup White Wine
    • 1/2 leftover, pre-cooked chicken breast, chopped
    • 1/2 Zucchini, spiralized into “noodles”
    • 1 handful organic Baby Spinach
    • 1/4 cup fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
    • Herbamare and Black Pepper, to taste

    Directions:

    1. Heat a oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
    2. Saute’ carrots until slightly softened, add shallots and garlic and continue cooking about 1 minute.
    3. Add tarragon to pan and deglaze with White Wine and chicken broth.
    4. Bring to a slight bubble and add remaining ingredients.
    5. Cook until heated through, about 3-5 minutes.
    This simple supper is quick, delicious, and the perfect dish to go along with my new Vegan Herb & Feta Biscuits
     Tune in tomorrow for that recipe! 
     I’m such a tease!
    It’s going to be a busy week full of cooking classes, demonstrations, and lots of work! I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful job where I get to help so many people! Off to bed!

    A Party of One….

    Happy Birthday to Me….

    Thank you all for your birthday wishes and virtual cakes! They really made my day special!

    Since both GF Guy and I had to work today, we decided to move my birthday to tomorrow. That didn’t stop me from receiving 3, count ’em, 3 gorgeous bouquets of roses, lilies, and daisies. The first bouquet was a gorgeous fountain of 2 dozen red and yellow roses.
    GF Guy must have set them up when he arrived home from the theater at 12:30 last night. (I was already asleep.) They were the first thing to great me as I stumbled out of bed.
    Good start to the day? Check!
    The second bouquet was delivered to me at work around 3:00 PM. This bouquet was from my amazing parents. Two dozen yellow roses
    tethering a brightly colored Happy Birthday balloon in place
    were placed in my arms by a portly little man sporting coke-bottle glasses, a skin tight t-shirt, and suspenders. He loudly declared “I hope you enjoy theesh flowersh!” with the most pronounced bi-lateral lisp I have every heard. It was a glorious moment….
    Entertaining respite from work? Check!
    Lastly, I stumbled into my in-law’s house around 8:45 PM to pick up Dickens where I was presented with a bright and bubbly purple and white bouquet of lilies, daisies, and amaryllises.
    Am I spoiled or what?
    End with a bang? Check!
    (sorry the lighting is so bad… I live in an apt., ’nuff said!)

    Seeing as I didn’t get to eat dinner until 9:30, I inhaled the last of the Chicken and Vegetable Sick-y Soup instead of bothering to cook something new and entertaining.
    Then, since it is my birthday, I made a very “Me” birthday dessert:
    Pumpkin Puree and a Kinnikinnick S’moreable (Graham Cracker)
    Instead of blowing out candles, I crushed the graham cracker and made a **wish**! Dickens helped me celebrate GF/DF Bachelorette style!
    I’m not sure what GF Guy has planned for tomorrow. Hopefully, it will be low key. I am still feeling rather weak. Can I just tell you how proud I was of myself for making it through work today?
    Hopefully, the blog will return to the world of recipes soon. For now, I am focused on getting better. Would you rather I wait to post until I have a new recipe, or would you prefer I post more frequently even if it means no recipe?
    Now, I am going to curl up in bed with a book and my puppy. Good night, friends!

    P.S.- Check it out! Gluten Free Gidget was featured on This Is Why You’re Thin!

    A Potato of a Different Color….


    When I was little, I loved watching the technicolor part of the classic movie The Wizard of Oz. The beginning was just a mite too scary for me! I would fast forward through the black and white, screech to a stop when the color appeared, and disappear into the world of Oz. I used to dream of owning a “horse of a different color” like they had in Oz. How cool would that be? You could change your horses’ color to match your outfit!

    Why this thought occurred to me at the tender age of 4, I will never know… but it did.

    My love of colors has carried over into my adult life. It is evident in the food I eat, (Rainbow Chicken Soup, anyone?) the way I dress,(“Project Runway” contest with a school supplies theme)

    and my friends.
    (Each one very unique, but equally loved!)


    Last night marked my second night as a Bachelorette/ Theater Widow. I baked three tins of Gluten Free/Vegan Brownies to take to the theater. (Along with a bottle of wine for the production team. Trust me…. they needed it….)

    I used the Cherrybrook Kitchen Fudge Brownie Mix.

    They were quick, easy, and delicious; just what the doctor ordered! I like cooking things gluten free and vegan when baking for a group. You never know what kind of dietary restrictions/allergies people may have. It’s just safer that way.

    After delivering the tech week “survival kit” to the theater, Dickens and I headed home to prepare our own dinner. (Well… really just mine… But he offered terrific moral support!) The star of the first “Me Meal” was a toss up between Red Chard and Acorn Squash. “Me Meal” #2, however, has one uncontested star:

    The White Sweet Potato, also called a Jersey Sweet

    She may not be much to look at, but trust me, she has a GREAT personality!

    I wrapped her in a beautiful piece of silver foil (boy did she look fancy!) and popped her in a 425 degree oven for about 1 hour.
    Meanwhile, I steamed a some organic broccoli, yellow squash, and carrots, diced half of a Roma Tomato and a bit of Avocado, and reheated some of the Red Chard and White Bean mixture from “Me Meal” #1.
    Once the potato was soft, I cut it in half (I’ll save the other half for later) and marveled at the color of the inner flesh.

    How on earth was this going to taste like a sweet potato, I wondered! Well, it did! In fact, the New Jersey Sweet is now my new favorite! It has a mellow sweetness that pairs perfectly with tomato and avocado. It is also incredibly moist, which is what I was really worried about. To serve, I chopped my half into bite size pieces and threw it in the pool with the rest of my veggies. The result? HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I read a great book (Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of The Future by David Wolfe) while enjoying dinner.

    After dinner, I got to work making a fun meal for lunches this week that I have been meaning to make FOREVER!!!!! I incorporated a new, to me, ingredient sent to me by the lovely and unbelievably generous Gina of Vegan Strong. What is this new ingredient, you ask? Tune in tomorrow to find out! Until then, have a fabulous, blessed Tuesday!

    B-day Question of the Day: Do you like or dislike birthdays? Why?

    The Stuffin’ Muffin Man….

    Do you know the Muffin Man?
    The Muffin Man.
    The Muffin Man….

    I have a serious love of muffins. They are like perfectly portioned little gifts. Muffins can be sweet or savory. They are easy to freeze. Muffins can be mini, regular, or just the tops. In short, muffins are… perfect!
    The other day I made Celebration Stuffed Chicken Breasts and ended up with leftover stuffing. What’s a girl to do with her extra stuffing, you ask?
    I’ll tell you!…

    MAKE STUFFIN’ MUFFINS!!!!!!!! The concept is as simple as the recipe. These muffins are perfect for a buffet style Thanksgiving meal. Stuffin’ Muffins are also delicious cold, which makes them a delightfully healthy lunch box treat! Plus, they are fun!

    *A WARNING- You are about to see pictures of my sad looking bakeware. I use bakeware that was my Great Grandmothers. I’m being serious! I really do! It has been scoured and scrubbed and is 100% Gluten Free. BUT, this bakeware definitely looks like it belonged to my Great Grandmother. Don’t judge. Embrace the nostalgia! 🙂

    Stuffin’ Muffins

    Ingredients:

    – leftover Stuffing

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
    Spoon leftover Stuffing into the muffin tin and pack firmly. (This will help the muffin stay together. Don’t be timid. Firmly press that little guy into place!)

    Bake 25-30 minutes, until done.
    Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan. (Otherwise they will fall apart!)

    GF Guy and I have enjoyed Stuffin’ Muffins for the last 2 Thanksgivings. Thanksgiving foods remind us of the spirit of that holiday. We are so blessed right now that every day feels like Thanksgiving in our house. Why not promote that same feeling in your own household. Thanksgiving in August, everyone! With school starting up again, it feels like a time of new beginnings. Let’s all make the most of it!
    As this new school year begins, what are you most thankful for?

    * In blog news:

    Thank you for your feedback concerning my blog. I added a search widget on the right side just above the Post Archive. I am also in the process of adding Labels to each post. If you click on an “Entree” label, for example, all posts labeled “Entree” will appear for your perusal, etc….. Again, thanks for the feedback. It is VERY helpful! I’m sort of technologically challenged, to say the least! Give me a kitchen any day, but spare me the keyboard!
    Have a fabulous day everyone! I am thankful for each and every one of you!