Siracha Honey Lime Chicken & Black Bean Pasta with Creamy Cilantro Avocado Sauce

Confession time….

I am writing this post just so I won’t forget this recipe. There are no frills and no pictures, and I’m okay with that. Whew! I’m glad I got that all out on the table. Now we can move on without pretense. 😉

A few days ago, I was given a few varieties of pastas to try made by Tolerant Foods. What makes their products unique is that their pastas are made from one ingredient, beans or legumes! Rich in protein and fiber, these appeared to be an excellent substitute for gluten and carbohydrate laden traditional pastas. Tolerant Foods pastas are also free of all of the major allergens, non-GMO, and organic. It all looked good on paper, but the proof would be in the taste and texture.

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First, I decided to try the Black Bean Rotini. Instead of approaching this rotini like I would a more traditional pasta, I decided to focus on what flavors were inherent compliments to black beans. After all, this rotini only had one ingredient, black beans. It was highly unlikely that it would taste like something else. So, what goes with black beans? How about lime, chicken, and Siracha? Yes, yes, and yes, please!

Packed with intense, rich flavor and staggering nutritional value, this recipe is one I plan on duplicating again and again. Winner!

Siracha Honey Lime Chicken & Black Bean Pasta with Creamy Cilantro Avocado Sauce

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, cubed
  • 4 Tblsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or GF Soy Sauce)
  • 2 Tblsp Honey
  • 4 tsp Coconut Oil, melted, divided
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Siracha
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp chopped, fresh Cilantro, divided
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 Limes
  • 1/2 yellow Onion, sliced
  • 1 small Green Bell Pepper, sliced
  • 1 large leaf Green Kale, chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small Avocado
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup warm Water
  • 6 oz Tolerant Foods Black Bean Rotini

Directions:

  1. Place chicken in a shallow dish with a lid.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the Bragg’s, Honey, 1 Tblsp Coconut Oil, 2 Tblsp chopped Cilantro, Siracha, Red Pepper Flakes, and Garlic Powder. Pour evenly over the chicken.
  3. Squeeze the juice of two limes over the chicken. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
  4. Once chicken has marinated, begin by boiling water and preparing the pasta according to package instructions.
  5. Meanwhile, melt 1 tsp Coconut Oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute’ the onions, peppers, and kale until onions are translucent and kale is wilted. Scoop into a bowl and set aside.
  6. Return the skillet to high heat and add the Chicken and Marinade. Bring to a low boil and cook, turning the chicken occasionally, until cooked through. After marinade is reduced by about half, add half of a chopped tomato.
  7. Once chicken is cooked through, remove to a dish and set aside.
  8. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining chopped tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes begin to breakdown.
  9. While the tomatoes are cooking, make the creamy cilantro avocado sauce by placing 1/4 cup Cilantro, 1 Avocado (pitted), Salt & Pepper, and the juice of 1/2 a lime in a food processor. Process until roughly chopped. Slowly add 1/4 to 1/3 cup hot water until sauce is thick and smooth.
  10. Add roughly 1/2 of the Cilantro Avocado Sauce to the tomatoes in the skillet and cook until heated through.
  11. To serve, separate the cooked black bean pasta into two bowls and top with sauteed vegetables, chicken, and the warmed mixture of tomatoes and creamy Cilantro Avocado sauce. Bon Appetit!
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Sundried Tomato Carrot Top Pesto

The farmer’s markets in Denver have opened, and I finally got around to going!

GF Guy says this is a picture of me in my “natural habitat”.

The market was a gluten free treasure trove! We bought organic, local zucchini, black kale, tomatoes, rainbow carrots, onions, peaches, gorgeous Chantrelle and Maiitake mushrooms, and a delicious sweet red wine! We also stumbled upon a gluten free pasta stand and gluten free cupcake stand! Next time…..

The lovely young man at the vegetable stand offered to discard the rainbow carrot tops for me, but, for some reason, I refused. Perhaps it is the frugal person in me, but I figured I could do something with them. Well, that “something” turned out to be a delicious pesto! I’m not sure where the idea came from. GF Guy and I were sitting in the car, driving to Super Target, when I turned to him and stated, out of the blue, that I would be making pesto out of the carrot tops. He is used to completely random statements from me, so, taking it in stride, he nodded and kept driving. (He was probably trying to figure out where we could order take out from if the pesto was a bust….) 

Truth be told, this was my first time making normal pesto. I make avocado pesto all the time, but never regular pesto with olive oil. I didn’t bother googling how it’s done. I just went for it. It was probably beginners luck, but I will take it, because this pesto is AWESOME!!!!!!

Sundried Tomato Carrot Top Pesto

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 bunch of Carrots Tops
  • 1 large clove Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Sundried Tomatoes, packed in Oil
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 1/4-1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Place the first five ingredients in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  2. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Adjust seasoning.

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta Bake

The picture is awful, but the taste is spectacular! This recipe is another Pinterest inspired masterpiece. The original recipe was featured on the How Sweet It Is blog, which I personally find to be one of the most inspiring food blogs on the web. I spotted this recipe a while back and was struck by the wonderful array of flavors. 

I made my own dairy-free version of Mascarpone cheese. The recipes I found online were super complicated and called for obscure ingredients like White Miso Paste and Egg Replacer. While I have been known to cook with White Miso in the past, I didn’t have any on hand. Instead, I came up with my own recipe, and it is a darn good substitute!


I did, however, buy bacon specifically for this recipe. I’m not normally a “bacon fan”, but decided to go ahead and add the optional crumbled bacon to the finished product. GF Guy LOVED the addition. I, on the other hand, could have lived without it. To each his own, right? That just means more bacon for the bacon lovers out there. Serve with a fresh spinach salad and a good movie!
 

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta Bake

(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Butternut Squash, peeled & chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Rice Flour
  • 1/4 cup Vegan Mascarpone Cheese (see below)
    • 4 oz Vegan Gourmet Cream Cheese
    • 1 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Mayonnaise
    • 1 Tbsp Vegan Gourmet Sour Cream
    • 2 tsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 2/3 cup Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
  • 1/2 lb Gluten-Free Fusilli Pasta
  • 1 cup fresh Baby Spinach, packed
  • 1/4 cup Daiya Vegan mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • crumbed bacon, if desired 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place squash on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  3. Place in oven and roast for 40 minutes, stirring half way through, until soft.
  4. Pour roasted squash into a bowl and mash using a fork.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  6. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions, drain, return to the pot, cover, and set aside.
  7. Melt the Earth Balance in a saute’ pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and saute’ until the Earth Balance begins to brown. Add the brown rice flour and cook 1-2 minutes more.
  8. Add the mashed squash, vegan mascarpone, and almond milk. Stir until well combined and heated through.
  9. Add the spinach and sauce to the cooked pasta in the pot and toss until evenly coated.
  10. Spray a 9″ glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  11. Pour the pasta into the prepared dish and top with Daiya Mozzarella and Nutritional Yeast.
  12. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  13. Serve topped with crumbled bacon, if desired.
This post is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays at The Gluten Free Homemaker.

    The Morel of the Story is….

    Friday, I was having a no good, very bad day. 
    One of the bars in my closet fell… twice! The second time it landed squarely on my foot. Then, Dickens caused me to spill my protein shake all over my front door, porch, and bag of clothes. Frustrations continued at work and before I knew it, I was holed up in the back office making “ohm” fingers and telling myself to breathe!
    My entire day made a turn around when I arrived home to find a large package on my porch from Earthy Delights with the word “Perishable” stamped on top. Grabbing the nearest sharp object, I tore into the package to find, yet another, gift from my Fairy Blog-Mother. It’s a tough contest, but I think this one may be my favorite. The box contained Ramps (wild leeks), Fiddleheads, & Morels!!!!!!!!! 
    First of all, I have been searching for Ramps & Fiddleheads for going on 2 years now. 
    Second of all, Morels?! Need I say more? Aren’t they gorgeous?!
    I set out to create exactly what popped into my head the moment I saw those glorious ingredients peeking out of their packaging. I must say, this one is a serious winner! The combination of Cream Sherry & Coconut Milk brings all the flavors together in a symphony of flavor! Bon appetit!

    Pasta w/ Sherried Morel Cream Sauce
    (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan)

    Ingredients:

    Directions:

    1. In a large skillet, heat Earth Balance until melted.
    2. Add Morels and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add Ramps and season with salt & pepper. (Do NOT scrimp on your seasonings kids!)
    3. After 5 more minutes, add blanched Fiddleheads and cook until heated through.
    4. Add fresh Parsley and Sherry. Cook 2 minutes
    5. Add Unsweetened Coconut Milk and allow to reduce slightly.
    6. Serve over Gluten-Free pasta of choice.
    What are your most coveted ingredients?

    "Gidget-izing" and Glimpses….

    I have been so exhausted and dehydrated lately. I don’t know what’s up. I arrive home from work, make dinner, and basically sit in a prone state on the sofa hoping GF Guy will offer to do the dishes. (Which he usually does!)
    I am incredibly lucky in love! GF Guy spoils me rotten. I arrive home from work every day to find something new in the house. First, was our new rug properly in place.
    Then, the tin ceiling tiles arrived to jazz up our kitchen.
    This lovely little number showed up in the dining area.
    A finally, our new bathroom and bedroom doors suddenly hung jauntily in place! (They are going to be painted white next week.)
    Next week, we are also getting measured for new energy efficient windows! YAY!!!!
    Now on to the food! Earlier this week, we stopped by my in-laws house to find them chowing down on homemade mac n’ cheese….. I wanted some. So I decided to make some! I took their recipe and “Gidget-ized” it by making it Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and adding my own special touches. This is creamy and decadent! Enjoy!

    3 Cheeze Mac N’ Cheeze
    Ingredients:
    – 3/4 lb. Gluten Free Noodles, shape and brand of choice
    – 1 cup frozen Peas
    – 1 cup fresh, Baby Spinach
    – 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    – 1 Tbsp Earth Balance
    – 1/4 Yellow Onion, minced
    – 1/2 tsp Mustard Powder
    – 2 1/4 c Unsweetened Almond Milk, heated
    – 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
    – 1/8 tsp Hot Sauce
    – 3/4 c Nutritional Yeast Flakes (Red Star brand is GF)
    – 1/2 to 3/4 c Non Dairy, Soy Free Daiya Cheddar Cheese Shreds, plus 1/3 c for the topping
    – 4 oz. Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
    – Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
    2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until just al dente. Drain and pour into prepared casserole dish.
    3. Place frozen peas and spinach in a pot with water, cover and cook over medium low heat until just wilted, drain and add to noodles in the casserole dish.
    4. In a 2 qt. saucepan, heat oil and Earth Balance over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft. Whisk in the flour and dry mustard and cook until the mixture gives off a “nutty” aroma, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the hot almond milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the nutmeg, hot sauce, nutritional yeast, Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, 1/2 to 3/4 c Daiya Cheddar Cheese, and salt and pepper. Stir until thick and melted.
    5. Pour Cheese Sauce over the noodles and vegetables in the casserole dish. Stir to combine.
    6. Sprinkle remaining Daiya Cheddar Cheese over top.
    7. Bake, uncovered, in your preheated oven 20-25 minutes, until golden and bubbling.
    8. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
    9. Top with diced tomato.
    This is ooey-gooey cheesy-ness at its finest! GF Guy ate half the pan by himself! It’s amazing what you can do without dairy, isn’t it?
    What is your favorite macaroni recipe?

    Nifty, Thrifty….

    I was going to post an awesome Raw Recipe tonight, but left my written recipe at work! Doh! Instead, here is a lovely vegan pasta dish GF Guy and I enjoyed for dinner the other night.

    GF Guy and I are trying really hard to maintain a tight budget. We are a rather frugal pair, but healthy, organic food is something we refuse to compromise. It is possible to eat organically on a budget. You just have to plan your meals, be inventive, and shop sensibly. Shop in season, locally, and according to a list.

    If you can not afford 100% organic produce, consider The Dirty Dozen. The Dirty Dozen is a list of the produce that normally contain the most toxins and pesticides. 

    12 Most Contaminated
    • Peaches
    • Apples
    • Sweet Bell Peppers
    • Celery
    • Nectarines
    • Strawberries
    • Cherries
    • Pears
    • Grapes (Imported)
    • Spinach
    • Lettuce
    • Potatoes
    Shopping the sales is another way to save money. Just beware not to buy something simply because it is on sale! Stick to your list! Plan you meals and write your grocery list after perusing the store sale fliers. 
    Here is a frugal meal GF Guy and I enjoyed Sunday evening. We didn’t have any marinara sauce, but had a pantry full of GF pasta. What does one do? Read on and see….
     
    Sun Dried Tomato and Kale Pasta
    Ingredients:
    – 16 oz. Gluten Free Fusilli Pasta
    – 12 Sun Dried Tomatoes, rehydrated
    – 3 cloves Garlic
    – 1 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    – 1/2 cup White Wine
    – Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
    – 1 Tblsp. Basil
    – 1 small bunch Kale, lightly steamed
    Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain, and set aside.
    Place rehydrated Sun Dried Tomatoes, EVOO, and Garlic in a food processor and process until a paste forms.
    Place Wine, herbs and spices, and Tomato mixture in a pan and allow to heat through, about 3 minutes. Toss sauce with kale and pasta. 
    Serve with a sprinkle of Nutritional Yeast or Parmesan Cheese.
    What are your tips for eating organic on a budget?

    I’m One!!!!!…..

    I just realized today is my One Year Blog-iversary! 
    I almost missed it! I can’t believe it’s only been one year. Gluten Free Gidget has been such a wonderful, fulfilling journey. I have met so many wonderful people and learned so much through blogging. I want to take this time to thank each and every one of you. You mean the world to me! 
    Now, business as usual…
    GF Guy loves Pasta with Vodka Sauce. I decided to try my hand at it. Unfortunately, I ran out of Vodka and had to improvise. The taste did not suffer, nor did our stomachs! I also used the leftover tofu filling from my Stuffed Chicken recipe instead of the usual heavy cream. Again, delicious! Enjoy!
    Drunken Pasta
    Ingredients:
    – 16oz. Gluten Free Pasta
    – 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    – 1 tablespoon Earth Balance Margarine
    – 1/8 of a Yellow Onion, diced
    – 2 cloves Garlic, minced
    – 1/2 cup Vodka
    – 1/2 cup dry White Wine
    – 1 cup Low Sodium, Organic Chicken Stock
    – 1 can (24 oz.) Tomato Puree
    – 1 can (14.5 oz.) Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
    – 3 to 4 tablespoons Basil
    – Herbamare and Black Pepper, to taste

    In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil and margarine 3-5 minutes.
    Add vodka and reduce by half.
    Add stock and tomatoes, bring to a bubble and reduce heat to a simmer. Season with Basil, Herbamare, and Black Pepper.
    While sauce simmers, cook pasta according to package instructions, drain, and set aside.
    Stir tofu filling into the sauce. Return sauce to a bubble and remove from heat.
    Toss pasta with sauce and a sprinkle of Vegan Parm and serve.
    Because GF Guy and I are veggie lovers, we added peas, steamed broccoli, and steamed spinach to our plates.
    It is always such a sense of accomplishment when you are able to use leftover ingredients! Isn’t it? Speaking of leftovers, this recipe makes a HUGE amount of pasta and sauce. Either prepare yourself to have lots of leftovers, or plan to feed a small army!

    Do you have an ingredient you always seen to have leftovers of? How do you use it?

    Oscar, Party of Two…

    Hello, Everyone! Wow! Last week was crazy wonderful at work. The charity fundraiser on Saturday was a huge success. We fed over 2600 people an entirely gluten free and dairy free tasting menu… AND THEY LOVED IT! Many were shocked that gluten free could taste so good. DUH! That was the point of the booth! Just because you are gluten free does not mean you have to eat sawdust! However, as wonderful as the week was at work, it was that much of a disaster in the kitchen! I didn’t bother to post my new recipe attempts because… frankly… they just weren’t very good! GF Guy kept trying to tell me they weren’t bad. They just weren’t my best. For me, that’s bad. What can I say? I prefer my food to taste exceptional. Moving on….
    Since my week was consumed with planning and prepping for the event. GF Guy and I had practically become strangers. We decided to make Sunday our day to simply be together. We slept in until 8:30, went to church, had lunch at Tita’s, took Dickens to the Seafood Festival (Tip: Always eat before going to one of these event!), and then headed home to relax for the evening. I didn’t feel like grocery shopping. Really, I just didn’t want to go to Publix. I prefer to shop at my store, Rollin’ Oats. The prices are just so much better. It feels wasteful to shop anywhere else. But, alas, I live a half hour from Rollin’ Oats. So… I made another of my “famous” pantry meals. I threw together something elegant and classy. Worthy of our date  night, and, I’ve got to tell you,… It was Oscar worthy! I did “cheat” and eat a bit of dairy. But hey, it was the night of the Oscar’s and it was Goat Cheese. At least I went out with class! 
    Pasta a la Oscar
    Ingredients:
    – 12 oz. Gluten Free Fusilli Pasta
    – 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    – 1 large Shallot, diced
    – 3 cloves Garlic, minced
    – 1/4 cup Low Sodium Chicken Stock
    – 1/4 cup dry White Wine
    – 6-8 rehydrated Sundried Tomatoes, chopped
    – 1 cup frozen Spinach, thawed and drained
    – 1 cup frozen Peas, thawed and drained
    – about 7 spears frozen Asparagus, thawed, drained, and chopped into 1″ pieces
    – Herbamare. to taste (or Salt)
    – Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
    – about 1 teaspoon each, Rosemary, Thyme, Basil
    – about 8 precooked Shrimp, tails removed
    – 1/4 cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese
    – 2 oz. Herbed Goat Cheese, divided
    Cook Pasta according to box instructions, drain, and set aside.
    Meanwhile, in a large saute’ pan, Saute’ shallots in Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium high heat about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook about 1 minute.
    Deglaze the pan with the Chicken Stock and Wine and reduce the heat to medium low. Allow to simmer about 1 minute.
    To the pan, add the remaining ingredients up to the cheeses. Those are added at the end.
    Cook until heated through.
    Add the sauce to the cooked pasta and toss to coat.
    Stir in the Vegan Parmesan Cheese and 1 oz. of the Goat Cheese.
    Serve topped with a sprinkle of the remaining Goat Cheese.
    …In the words of Julia Child (a la Meryl Streep) Bon Appetit!…
    Did you watch the Oscar’s last night? What did you think?
    Personally, I was very disturbed by how unhealthy the star of Precious is. Hasn’t anyone talked to her about the health risks of being morbidly obese? I don’t care if you can act, can’t act, or can train a monkey to make a souffle’. There is no reason why anyone should allow themselves to get to that point. I don’t mean to sound harsh. I am just deeply passionate about health and respecting our bodies. 
    Thoughts?

    Shake N’ Bake….

    Warning… This post has nothing to do with Shake N’ Bake. That is just the title that came to mind and I ran with it. Thanks for tolerating my silliness!
    Somehow, I ended up with a huge leftover ham in my refrigerator. I don’t really eat ham…. But, I have this “thing” about letting food go to waste. It’s almost like a compulsion. I have to find a use for leftover food, if at all possible. I poked around the pantry and settled on a baked macaroni dish. Unfortunately, I did not make enough “cheeze” sauce and my dinner was rather dry. I have tweaked this recipe to include the proper measurements. I hope your version is a bit “cheezier” than mine.
    Baked Macaroni and Cheeze
    Ingredients:
    – 12 oz. Gluten Free Elbow Shaped Pasta
    – 2 tablespoons Dairy Free Margarine
    – 1 cup White Onion, diced
    – 3 tablespoons Sorghum Flour
    – 2 1/2 cups Unsweetened Hemp Milk
    – 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
    – 1 tablespoon Tahini
    – 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
    – 1/2 teaspoon Herbamare
    – Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    – 1/2 teaspoon Ground Mustard
    – dash Garlic Powder
    – 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
    – 1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
    – 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
    – 1/4 teaspoon Paprika
    – cooked Ham, chopped
    – 1 cup frozen Peas, defrosted
    – 1/2 cup Gluten Free Italian Breadcrumbs
    – 1/2 pint Grape Tomatoes, halved
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Cook pasta according to package instructions until just al dende, drain, and set aside.
    Melt margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
    Add onion and cook until soft.
    Stir in Sorghum Flour to create a roux and cook about 10 seconds.
    Whisk in Hemp Milk and bring to a bubble.
    Reduce heat to low and add Nutritional Yeast through Paprika.
    Once sauce has thickened toss with cooked pasta and stir in ham and peas.
    Pour pasta into a prepared 9×13 casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and tomato halves.
    Bake until bubbling, about 25 minutes.


    I would also like to share a little bit of today with you… IT IS FLIPPIN’ FREEZING HERE!!!!!!! No, seriously, it is in the 30’s right now! Time to bust out the “Michelin Man jacket” and wool sweaters.

    We even had to turn the heater on! Cold weather makes me want to say bad words! Here’s hoping I can keep it together! 😉


    Don’t forget about the Xagave Giveaway!

    I Ain’t Afraid of Alfredo….

    What a wonderful day! It has been too long since GF Guy and I had a day off together! We began by exploring a Saturday Farmer’s Market in St. Pete. I got a few fun new, to me, vegetables (look for them in this coming week’s “Me Meal” posts) and Artisan Gluten Free Pasta from a little stand for Pappardelle’s Pasta.We stopped for lunch at a little cafe called Central Cafe and Organics. They touted Gluten Free fare, and the owner and servers were very knowledgeable and helpful. They even brought Dickens a little bowl of water!

    I ordered the Raw Power Salad, a delicious blend of shredded raw carrots, beets, romaine, sprouts, tomato, cucumber and cabbage, topped with hearts of palm.

    Wow… I look exhausted, but excited about my raw veggie goodness!

    GF Guy ordered the Strawberry Fields Salad which contained Romaine, carrots, cabbage, sprouts, stawberries, crumbled feta, pecans and dried cranberries with raspberry vinaigrette on the side. (He asked for no cabbage or sprouts.)

    The salads were HUGE! I couldn’t finish mine. (which is very, very rare!)

    The rest of the day was spent in idle pursuits, a little conversation, reading, and Hulu watching. All in all, it was a lovely, idyllic day. The perfect birthday for me!

    Dinner was a perfect blend of GF Guy’s tastes and my own, showcasing our Artisan Trumpet Pasta from the market.

    Isn’t it pretty?

    I took a traditionally high fat, high calorie, gluten and dairy laden meal and transformed it into a healthy meal with all of the flavor, none of the fat, none of the gluten, and none of the dairy!

    Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta with Kale

    Ingredients:

    – 1/2 pound Gluten Free Pasta
    – 1 bunch Lacinato Kale, steamed
    – 3 cloves Garlic, skin on
    – 3 tablespoons Dairy Free Margarine
    – 2 tablespoons Potato Starch
    – 1 teaspoon Sage
    – 1/4 teaspoon Thyme
    – pinch Nutmeg
    – 1 teaspoon Salt
    – freshly ground Black Pepper
    – 2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk, warmed
    – 3/4 block Light Firm Tofu (about 1 cup)
    – 1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree

    Cook pasta according to manufacturer’s instructions.
    Wash and steam kale.
    In a saucepan, dry roast Garlic with skins on until soft.
    Remove skins from Garlic and chop.
    Meanwhile, melt margarine in the saucepan over medium heat.
    Whisk in the potato starch and spices.
    Whisk in the Almond Milk and bring to a bubble, whisking occasionally.
    Add tofu.
    Using an immersion blender, incorporate the tofu into the sauce.
    Add pumpkin puree and whisk to blend.
    Add pasta and kale to the sauce, toss, and serve.

    GF Guy and I both enjoyed this meal. It left us feeling full without feeling heavy. A lovely meal for a chilly autumn evening! Bon Appetit!

    PS- Thank you all for your birthday wishes! It has, indeed, been a happy birthday, and I am feeling much better today.

    I have linked this post to Slightly Indulgent Monday’s at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.