Gluten Free Recipes

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Vegetarian Quinoa Appetizers Recipe

Vegetarian Quinoa Appetizers

05.19.10 by Jackie

Quinoa is a grain that is perfect for a gluten free diet; however it's very bland by itself. We had a very dear friend over for lunch this weekend and she is allergic to gluten, so I was determined to figure out a satisfying way to prepare quinoa. I ended up flavoring it with parsley and a medley of vegetables and seasonings such as corn, artichokes, eggplant, button mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, French green beans, capers, bell peppers and gorgonzola. This allows the quinoa to act as a palette for the other flavors.

I served it in a large bowl for brunch, but I also set some aside for something a little more special. I placed mounds of the quinoa on gluten free crackers. The result is a fancy, tasty and unique vegetarian, gluten free appetizer that everyone can enjoy.


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Strawberry Banana Smoothie Recipe Recipe

A strawberry banana smoothie is perfect when you need breakfast on the go. I whip up the drink with frozen strawberries and a banana whenever Lulu is running late. Strawberries aren't quite in season yet, so frozen is your best bet. When you can get them fresh, this drink is even more delicious.

Besides being a vegetarian, Lulu is also lactose-intolerant, so it's a challenge to make him calcium-rich food. I used almond milk and yogurt to deliver calcium without adding too much lactose. I also added a scoop of whey protein to fortify the drink with a little protein. I placed the smoothie in a cup that I sealed with a lid and added a straw.

Lulu left for work with a strawberry banana smoothie in his hand and a kiss on his cheek. I think that's a pretty good way to start the day!


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Soybean Sprouts with Black Bean Sauce Recipe

Stir fried soybean sprouts make a healthy, yet tasty side dish if you're planning a quick and easy Asian meal. The bean sprouts are seasoned with black bean sauce and soy sauce. Baby spinach is added for a nice contrast in color.

Soybean sprouts are a lot harder to get than regular mung bean sprouts. The sprouts are much larger and have a yellow color, whereas mung bean sprouts are green. I buy mine at a local Korean store. It's definitely worth the effort to find them though, because soybean sprouts give the dish an extra dimension of flavor.


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Lavender Creme Brulee Recipe Recipe

Lavender Creme Brulee Recipe

04.09.10 by Jackie

I've been waiting for the lavender in my garden to blossom to be able to make my own Herbes de Provence mix. I had so much extra lavender that I thought I'd make our family's favorite dessert. Yes, crème brulée strikes again! Lavender has a strong floral taste, so a little bit goes a long way. To enhance the lavender aroma, I added lavender extract that I bought at Sur La Table store in Palo Alto. I really thought that the unusual flavor would turn off the kids but my little munchkin loved the lavender dessert the most and kept saying "It tastes like a flower, I love it!"

It's the third season we're planting lavender in our garden and I've learned that the variety most commonly used for cooking is English lavender, not French! So be on the look-out English lavender the next time you stop at the nursery.

If you're searching for a fancy French dessert for your next dinner party, try this recipe! On the practical side, you can make the cup dessert 'way in advance and create the sugar crust at the last minute. That way you can focus on your guests instead of dessert while still serving something fabulous. Your guests will be in awe.

Fresh Lavender Picture


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Masala Vada Recipe (Indian Urad Dal Fritters) Recipe

Nobody can say no to fried food. These vada (Indian-style fritters) are no exception. The dish is fairly easy to make; all you need to do is soak the lentils long enough before blending them into a mixture slightly thicker than pancake batter. The batter is made of urad dal and mirchi ("chiles" in Urdu), deep-fried, then served with a cilantro chutney. 

We often make large batches of vada on the weekend. The girls and I take turns manning the fry station and preparing more chutney. Frying can be a little scary for kids learning to cook, and I've found that this recipe is a good way of easing them into it. I wouldn't recommend it for small children of course, but my 13 and 14 year old sisters-in-law have really taken to it. Once you try the combination of vada and cilantro chutney for the first time, you'll know why!


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