10950733_923716974314058_1022041617125274159_n

Ruby Rocket’s All Natural Fruit & Vegetable Ice Pops

Ruby-Rockets-LogoConsuming superfoods might not always involve eating the most delicious snacks – but Ruby Rocket’s has has a pretty good option worth noshing on. Bridging the gap between healthy and tasty, Ruby Rocket’s has found a way to make superfoods taste delicious without you evening know you are eating something so healthy! 


Ruby Rocket’s
all natural fruit and vegetable ice pops have multiple flavors of pops that include different superfoods to shake up your diet in a delicious way. These “smoothie on a stick” pops are perfect for breakfast on the go, a pre/post workout snack, or a late-night treat for when you’re craving something sweet. Each gluten free, dairy free, GMO-free pop provides you with healthy probiotics, and vitamins C and/or A. Each pop is less than 40 calories and has no added sugars, stabilizers, artificial colors of flavors. 

Mail Attachment

Do you like beets? If so, then you are in for a treat! Both flavors, Rock-It-Red and  Celestial Cherry pops, offer up a dose of the super food beets! Beets make the superfood list because they are packed with phytonutrients that act as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Or, if you’re not a big beets fan, try the Galaxy Green pop so you can consume the superfood spinach while tasting flavors of green apple, kiwi, bananas, and avocado. You can’t even tell you are eating vegetables!

10950733_923716974314058_1022041617125274159_n

 

Other flavors include: Orbit Orange, Gravity Grape, Meteorite Mango, Far Out Fudge, and Planetary Pink Lemonade.

You can find Ruby Rocket’s at health food stores and grocery stores nation wide, including Roche Brothers, Fairway, Westside Market, and many more. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

 

 

peapodsplash4

Peapod’s latest offering – Local Farm Box

peapodsplash4

 

I want to share the latest news from Peapod – They have just launched a new offering called the Local Farm Box, making it even easier to enjoy fresh and local seasonal produce  Developed in partnership with FarmLogix, a company that connects local farmers to businesses, Peapod’s Local Farm Box is a convenient alternative to committing to a season-long Community Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) farm share. It’s a low-cost and flexible way for consumers to support farmers local to NY while enjoying the convenience of home delivery (and the freshest, in-season produce!). 

Unlike a traditional CSA, shoppers can view the contents of the box each week (as well as accompanying recipes) to determine whether they’d like to purchase the $34.99 box (sometimes even on sale for $29.99). Each box will include information about the farms where the produce is grown as well as information on the particular produce. To see what’s in this week’s box, visit peapodlocalfarmbox.com. This new service is available to customers in New York City, New Jersey, Eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

PeapodFlyerMASNSAugust23rd-(1)

 

IMG_2241

Each box contains five unique items from local farms, with approximately 10 – 14 pounds of produce per box. Items included will vary weekly depending on the farmers’ harvest.

IMG_2202

Last week’s box supported the farming community of Lancaster County, PA. The box contents for the week of August 24th-August 30th included: 

Italian eggplant
Red tomatoes (I received yellow)
Green or red okra
Sweet corn
Colored bell peppers

The produce was fresh and delicious. I love eating farm fresh produce, there is such a noticeable difference in the taste and quality of the products. 

Peapod’s Local Farm Box is one of many innovative offerings from the leading online grocer to meet the evolving needs of the modern grocery shopper. Peapod also recently released a refreshed mobile application to make shopping easier than ever, including Order Genius, an intuitive technology that can predict a customer’s order based on purchases made on Peapod.com and at Stop & Shop and Giant stores.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

 

mealmaison_products

Meal Maison: A new way to create quick, easy and healthy gourmet meals

The joy of cooking from scratch can often be challenging and time-consuming but nothing beats a homemade meal you can proudly call your own. Meal Maison feels the same way so they came up with an alternative solution that enables you to create your own variety of quick, easy and healthy meals.

The brand of chef-inspired meal foundations – based right here in Queens! – are 100% vegan, gluten free, and consist primarily of fresh par-cooked vegetables, non corn-based oils, organic wine and other real ingredients. They are packaged in resealable pouches for your convenience and immediately frozen (ie. blast-chilled) to preserve their freshness and taste. 

Meal Maison meal foundations are available in 4 distinct flavors:

Asian Veggie Stir Fry: Roasted eggplant, bok choy and onions in sesame oil with garlic, shiitake mushrooms, fresh ginger, red pepper flakes, tamari and sake.

Tofu Peanutty: Organic tofu roasted in olive oil, onions and snowpeas tossed in a lemongrass, kaffir lime and peanut-coconut sauce.

Chickpea Potato Curry: Chickpeas roasted in olive oil, onions and red & green peppers, tossed in a sauvignon blanc and curry-paprika potato slurry. 

Mixed Greenery: Roasted kale, swiss chard and baby spinach in olive oil, red & yellow onions, garlic, lemon peel and organic sauvignon blanc.

mealmaison_products

 

Every meal foundation provides a reliable combination of flavor, balance and consistency that can be used as the building blocks for any great meal. These foundations let you personalize and great create with your cooking . Each one has about 3 servings, although I did eat almost the entire Chickpea and Potato Curry (over rice) by myself. I like to pair Meal Maisons with rice, pasta or gnocchi. 

I was really impressed with the flavor of each meal, and the freshness! You would never know it was frozen or not homemade. Jeremy had no idea when I made the stir fry, with added tofu, that the base was not actually homemade. 

MM_Asian_Final+Back_sm

CREATE GOURMET MEALS IN 3 EASY STEPS

 
Each meal has incredible flavor and tastes fresh. You can really tell that these are made with quality ingredients and no fillers, just real food. 
 
91OSVVsRjJL._SL1500_

Product Review: Spiral Vegetable Slicer Complete Premium Bundle with 8 Full Recipe eBooks

91iOLuEjA6L._SL1500_

Tired With Your Usual Meals? Looking For Fresh Ideas to Make Your Healthy Food Appealing? Do You Have Problems Stuffing More Vitamins and Microelements Into Your Diet?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then I think you are really going to enjoy today’s post! Since joining a CSA this year, I am trying to find more creative ways to use my fresh, local vegetables in every meal. The Vegetizer from Yanu is a great way to add another dimension to my cooking has been delicious and fun!  

6f4a3755861b25b9362fccce64438196f93f7afc

Using spiralized vegetable noodles in place of pasta is a great way to stay healthy, eat less carbs and reduce calories if you are watching your weight.  I’ve been spiralizing all sorts of veggies – zucchini, cucumbers, sweet potatoes – and not using them in place of pasta, but also making salads, soups, lettuce wraps, stir fries and more! It’s been great experimenting with unique recipes and meal ideas.  

Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 medium zucchinis
  2. 24-30 large shrimps
  3. 2 - 6 garlic cloves, grated or finely crushed
  4. 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
  5. Zest of 1 lemon
  6. 2- 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
  7. 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  8. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  9. 4 cups baby spinach
  10. salt as per taste
  11. Pepper as per taste
Instructions
  1. Wash the shrimp well, then peel and devein them and set them aside
  2. Now prepare the marinade for the shrimp. Take the olive oil, garlic, two tablespoons lemon juice, fresh parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper and mix them together. Pour it over the shrimp and let it sit in the bowl for around thirty minutes.
  3. As the shrimp are marinating, wash the zucchini well. Pat it dry completely before you put them into the spiral slicer. This ensures that your noodles or pasta are not soggy. With the help of the spiral slicer, fashion the zucchini into thin noodles. You should be getting about five cups of noodles with four zucchinis.
  4. Transfer the noodles to a strainer. Sprinkle some salt on it and toss. Let the noodles sit in the strainer for 15 to 20 minutes to drain off any excess water.
  5. Heat coconut oil in a pan on medium heat.
  6. Toss the shrimp in the pan and let it cook for about 30 seconds. Flip them gently and let the other side cook for thirty seconds too.
  7. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside. Add the zucchini noodles to the pan and let it cook for another minute. Pour some more coconut oil if required to cook the noodles.
  8. Add the chopped parsley, shrimp and the baby spinach to the softened noodles in the pan.
  9. Keep tossing and cooking till the shrimp turns opaque and is pink and the spinach is wilted.
  10. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on it and drizzle the unused lemon juice.
  11. Remove it from heat. Garnish with lemon zest before serving.
Gluten Free Boston and Beyond http://glutenfreebostonandbeyond.com/
The Vegetable Spirilizer is so easy and fast to use. With two julienne sizes,  1/16″ and 1/8″, it’s perfect for making long veggie noodles and angel hair spirals. It fits perfectly into my hand, and the small size enables you to store the slicer in a kitchen drawer. 61q5cKxsYGL._SL1006_

 

The spiralizer bundle comes with the slicer, cleaning brush, end cap, pouch bag, and 8 scrumptious recipe e-book. The e-recipe books are great. They are filled with so many delicious and healthy ideas making meal planning so much better! Cleaning is easy with soap, water and the mini cleaning brush. 

81FoBo2Jd6L._SL1500_

So you want one now right? You can get your own vegetable spiralizer on Amazon for only $9.99. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

IMG_0176

Gluten Free Brunch at Ellary’s Greens: Healthy, Organic & All Natural // West Village

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 4.19.35 PM

Ellary’s Greens is an exciting restaurant that offers an array of healthy, gourmet options of affordably-priced, natural, and organic foods for all.

At Ellary’s Greens they care passionately about what you put in your body. Dedicated to nourishment you can trust, quality sourced from beautiful farms, and warm service that makes you feel like you’re home, theygive you the options you need, regardless of dietary restrictions or choices, through the vehicle of taste and delight.

Ellary’s Greens every ingredient is local, organic, and/or natural. They only use high-quality, highly nutrient-rich ingredients.

Ellary’s Greens offers a variety of gluten free options. From baked goods and house-made granola, to tofu scramble at brunch, and salads and wraps at lunch and proteins, grains, and vegetables at dinner, there are over two dozen gluten free options on the menu.

I recently went for Brunch when my friend Becca was visiting. Usually when I go out to brunch I order eggs. This time I wanted to try something different; something I’ve never had before. I had the Tofu Scramble ($9), made with fresh herbs, tomatoes and swiss chard, and served with home fries (GF, vegan).

IMG_0176

Gluten Free Brunch Items Include:

  • Two Organic EggsAny Style with home fries or salad
  • Two Egg Omelettewith home fries* or salad. Available with smoked salmon, house cured bacon, gruyère, ricotta, feta, swiss chard, roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, or roasted eggplant
  • Smoked Salmon Wrapwith red onions, cucumbers, hard-boiled egg, dill cream cheese
  • Chickpea Burger with escarole & roasted tomato jam on a gluten free wrap
  • Open-Faced BLT house cured & smoked bacon and fried egg
  • Chicken Salad Wrap hazelnuts, capers, celery, chives, lemon-thyme aioli, escarole, and red onions
  • AB&B with almond butter & bananas
  • GF Chocolate Hazelnut Waffleswith fresh fruit & coconut whipped cream
  • Chicken Paillard with haricot verts, tomatoes, and parsley pesto
  • Tuscan Kale Salad with eggplant, roasted tomatoes, feta cheese, hummus vinaigrette
  • Chicken Saladwith hazelnuts, capers, celery, red onions, chives, and lemon-thyme aioli
  • Ellary’s Mixed Greens assorted seasonal mixed greens with pepitas, sunflower seeds, and choice of vinaigrette: cider, hummus, creamy cashew, raspberry-caper
  • Fruit Salad with mixed berries, melon, and mint
  • Parfait with yoghurt, fresh berries, and house-made granola
  • Kanten Crunch house-made fruit kanten & house-made granola
  • House-made Granola topped with fresh fruit choice of organic milk: dairy, almond, coconut, or soy
  • Chickpea Fries with rosemary & poblano-tofu aioli
  • Bacon Mac & Cheese with quinoa & corn pasta, gruyère, cheddar, kale, onions, and bacon

The menu also features vegan, vegetarian and dairy free items, all labeled on the menu.

Ellary's Greens on Urbanspoon

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 4.09.37 PM

 

 

Screen shot 2013-12-03 at 9.34.17 AM

Our Gluten Free Cooking Lesson with Kitchensurfing & 25% off code

Kitchensurfing brings a chef into your kitchen for parties, lessons, and so much more.Screen shot 2013-12-03 at 9.34.17 AM

Kitchensurfing (KS) is a marketplace for chefs of all kinds. From hobby chefs to Michelin chefs, you can browse the chefs on the site, view their sample menus, read their reviews, and book any of them. From private cooking lessons in your home, to meal deliveries, to a private dinner party for two or thirty-two, KS allows you to ‘shop’ around based on your own needs, wants, budget, and diet.

Last month Jeremy and I had a wonderful, restaurant-quality, 4-course meal with Chef Chris Hallahan. We were blown away not only by his culinary talents, but also by his passion for food and locally sourced ingredients. He was friendly and engaging, and answered all our questions. You can read all about our first KS experience here.

The whole experience was so wonderful that I decided to use KS again, but this time I wanted a cooking lesson.

After browsing a few profiles and menus to see who would be a good fit for a gluten free, dairy free cooking lesson we chose Michelle Lahey. Michelle is a Boston based personal chef and I love her blog, The Economical Eater, so I was thrilled when she replied to my request for a cooking lesson for my sister and I!

The Menu for our cooking demonstration:

Middle Eastern Chickpea Burgers with Vegan Tzatziki
Quinoa with Dried Cranberries and Roasted Butternut Squash
Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip BarsIMG_5677

Services Included

  • Ingredients
  • Cleaning
  • Transport

Michelle’s food was fantastic. She was engaging, super friendly, and really easy to talk to. She was really knowledgeable about vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free food, such a relief!

Michelle’s menu incorporated fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients.IMG_5652

I really like Brussels sprouts but have never cooked them myself, so I was eager to learn to do this once and for all. And it’s much easier than I thought!

Our previous attempts at making veggie burgers have all failed. Michelle’s recipe for Middle Eastern Chickpea Burgers was easy to follow and can easily be swapped with different types of beans and spices. We loved the Middle Eastern spices and flavor combinations in this burger.IMG_5649The vegan tzatziki was also easy to make and paired perfectly with the burgers. This is something I plan on making again. Since going dairy free I hadn’t eaten tzatziki. I was surprised with the simplicity of the recipe. Michelle used So Delicious almond based yogurt and also recommended coconut yogurt was well. I haven’t been able to find plain coconut yogurt so I just bought the almond yogurt when I made it.IMG_5679The pumpkin chocolate chip dessert bars were to die for.  My sister and I felt like we had died and gone to heave. The secret ingredient— garam masala—gave the bars an unbelievable flavor. They were absolutely incredible. And lucky for us she left us her recipe so we can make them again and again! The recipe is also available on her blog.IMG_5680

Not only did Michelle show us how to prepare the food, each step of the way she explained what we were doing with all the ingredients and how each one contributed to and played a role in the dish.IMG_5659

We enjoyed learning new recipes that we can now add to our repertoire. I like that Michelle focused on healthy, fresh, and seasonal ingredients. We liked everything about this meal and we felt good eating it.IMG_5677

Click here for a 25% off coupon for your next Kitchensurfing booking! This code is valid through Dec. 31 (you don’t have to have your meal prior to the 31, it just has to be booked by that date). This code can be used on any KS service.

Disclaimer: I received this service free of charge to review for my blog.  I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

Screen shot 2013-11-20 at 10.33.46 AM

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole made with Allens Italian Green Beans

Screen shot 2013-11-20 at 10.33.46 AMPreparing your Favorite Holiday Traditions with Vegetables
A Quick and Easy Guide to Holiday Cooking with Delicious Green beans

When the thought of the holidays comes to mind, many people immediately jump to gifts, decorations, and shopping. But what brings most people together is a holiday feast with family and friends. More than 80% of Americans use canned vegetables to help prepare meals around the holiday season. The average number of canned food items used each week is five; just imagine how many are used to make a holiday meal. Eight in 10 Americans don’t go a week without cooking with canned vegetables. In an effort to help Americans eat better, and healthier, the key is to keep a variety of new flavors alive in each dish prepared for your table.

The American consumer is ever changing, and eating healthy is at the top of their shopping list. Especially when a new diet plan is lingering in the minds of consumers fearful of gaining weight. As a result of the calorie-loaded dinner dishes and sugary desserts of the holiday season; it is assumed the average person gains between five and 10 pounds during the holidays. Brands like Allens are leading the way to feeding the world through great-tasting, affordable, and high-quality vegetable recipes like an Italian Green Bean Casserole that never leaves you with a guilty feeling, even after that second helping.

Americans continue to enjoy the endless benefits of canned goods packed at the peak of freshness. But around the holidays, staying true to family traditions is important, especially at the dinner table. One way it to use healthy ingredients like canned vegetables packed with nutritious vitamins, minerals, and fiber needed to promote good health, without substituting the tradition behind the recipes. Being a family-owned business, Allens is committed to providing families with the freshest vegetables and staying true to family traditions for generations to come.AllensItalianGreenBeans[1]

“Maintaining a sense of family, especially around the holidays, is an important asset for everyone at Allens,” said David Brown, Vice President of Retail Sales for Allens. “We all agree that food is one of the things that bring us together. That’s why we make it a priority to provide our consumers with the freshest, best quality vegetables possible.”

It is likely most Americans will keep true to their traditional holiday meals, but they are beginning to think bigger about nutrition and the ingredients they use. Allens Italian Green Bean Casserole is a dish that makes an appearance on most holiday tables, with savory green beans in a creamy casserole that’s topped with crunchy French fried onions. But the traditional recipe is not gluten free, so I’ve adapted Allen’s recipe so everyone at this years holiday meal can enjoy it.

Gluten Free Italian Green Bean Casserole

Preparation and Cooking Time:
45 minutes

Ingredients
1 10.75 oz. can Condensed cream of mushroom soup (low fat or fat free can be used; Pacific Foods and Health Valley are gluten free, or make your own)
1/2 cup Milk
1 1/2 tsp. Gluten Free Soy sauce
Pepper to taste
2 14.5 oz. cans Allens Cut Italian Green Beans
1 1/3 cups fried onions

Directions:

For the onions
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons white rice flour
1 medium onion, sliced into thin strips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, combine cornstarch and white rice flour. Add onions and mix to coat evenly. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Fry onions until golden brown and crispy. You may want to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan because you don’t want to crowd the pan while frying. Remove onions from oil using a slotted spoon and place on paper towel to drain.

In a 1 1/2-quart casserole, mix together soup, milk, soy sauce, pepper, Italian green beans and 2/3 cup onions. Bake for 25 minutes, or until heated through. Stir, and then sprinkle remaining onions on top. Bake 5 to 10 minutes, until onions are golden.

A perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday dinners!

Allens offers a wide variety of canned vegetables that are fresh and healthy for each consumer, making it possible for there to be something for everyone to enjoy. To learn more about or find holiday recipes for your table, like the ones below, visit Allens.com, Facebook.com/AllensVeggies or Pinterest.com/AllensVeggies.

Disclaimer: I received these products for free to sample and review for my blog.  I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

Please take my Gluten Free Dining Out Survey. and help me collect data for research for a future blog post! Thank you & happy Friday!
Click here to take survey

IMG_5602

Gluten Free Classes at The Boston Center for Adult Education

The Boston Center for Adult Education is the oldest nonprofit adult education center in New England. Founded in 1933, it quickly established itself as a cultural stomping ground where individuals could learn, discuss, create, and enjoy themselves.

Now, almost 80 years later, the BCAE continues its role as Greater Boston’s leading provider of adult education, offering nearly 2,000 classes each year.

The BCAE is working to increase their gluten free class offerings and are excited to have holiday specific classes for the winter term. They’ve added many new gluten free classes to its class offerings (see below), and I was lucky enough to attend the Gluten Free Holiday Sides class this past Sunday. The class was taught by Mary Greenfield, a classically trained personal chef and nutrition coach with experience in many dietary approaches, including: paleo/primal, Whole30, WAPF, raw vegan, cooked vegan/vegetarian, SCD, GAPS, and the best gluten free home cookin’ you’ve ever had!IMG_5634

During this class we learned how to make 4 sides dishes that can accompany our Thanksgiving turkey, holiday potluck or even be eaten as a vegetarian main dish. All dishes are adaptable for any allergies you or your guests might have. This is a great class for someone who is new to a gluten free diet or for someone who is looking for new dishes and techniques to add to their repertoire.IMG_5636

Mary was a great instructor; she was enthusiastic and it is very clear she is passionate about fresh, local and healthy food. She encouraged us to experiment with different flavors and amounts; it’s not necessary to follow a receipt to the t and it’s perfectly ok if you don’t! The class was very hands-on, which I loved! It really allowed us to learn and experience cooking for ourselves.IMG_5608

Today’s dishes featured fresh, local and seasonal produce right from the farmers market. Throughout the class Mary offered us tips and ideas on how to adapt these recipes for different dietary needs and taste preferences.

The four recipes we made today included:

Thanksgiving Salad

Caramelized Onion and Cranberry Relish

Stuffed Carnival Squash

Roasted Vegetables

The Thanksgiving Salad was super easy to make. First we made:

Maple Cayenne Walnuts

2 cups walnuts
½ cup real maple syrup
½ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon fine sea saltIMG_5616

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Mix coating ingredients together in a bowl. Add walnuts and stir to coat. Spread out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until they start to brown a little. Cool completely.IMG_5622

These nuts had such a kick! Super hot with a slight sweetness from the maple.

The salad dressing was equally as easy to make:

Smooth Dijon-style mustard
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Freshly squeezed orange juice (or good bottled juice)
Olive Oil

Whisk together a dollop of mustard with a glug of balsamic and a splash or two of orange juice. Add salt and pepper—they dissolve more easily in these acidic ingredients than in the oil. Continue whisking while slowly pouring oil. Taste, adjust, and dress your salad.IMG_5615

Caramelized Onion and Cranberry Relish

Butter or olive oil
2-4 large onions, halved then sliced the long way (cut parallel to the grain of the onion)
Apple cider vinegar
12 oz. bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup sugar or maple sugar (you may end up doubling it)
pinch of salt

First we made the caramelized onions, something I’ve never done before. Heat a large pan or Dutch oven. Add the butter or oil and onions. Stir to coat, then leave them alone. Stir only occasionally.IMG_5609

Tip: Onions caramelize best when given a lot of time at low heat to just do their thing. The trick is to stir them just often enough that they never burn on the bottom, but infrequently enough that they have time to get nice and brown.

Once they are good and brown, pour a splash of vinegar to deglaze, and scrape up all the brown bits. Add cranberries and sugar, a good pinch of salt, and stir. Cook until the berries have popped.IMG_5612

Tip: Allow to come to room temperature before serving. This can be made ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.  Because this is a side dish, you want it to be very flavorful.

The sugar is used to counteract the extreme tartness of the cranberries. Personally, I would have liked less sugar and will make it with less sugar this Thanksgiving!IMG_5614

Next up was the Stuffed Carnival Squash. Carnival squash is very similar to acorn squash.

Tip: Plan to serve ½ carnival or acorn squash per person as a vegetarian main dish and ¼ squash per person as a side.IMG_5623

First roast your squash. Cut in half, scoop out seeds, and set cut side down in a baking pan with a little water. Bake until soft, about 45-60 minutes.

Stuffing:

Olive oil or butter
1 large onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 garlic clove
2 ½ cups wild rice, long grain white or brown rice* check package instructions and adjust the amount of broth and cooking time accordingly.
5 cups vegetable broth or stock* homemade is best or buy organic low sodium
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons thyme, fresh or dried
1 teaspoon dried sage
½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cranberries
1 cup pecans or pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted and cooled.
½ cup chopped fresh parsley

Cook the onion and celery in oil or butter until soft. Add garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat. Then add the broth or stock and the next 4 ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Cook until done; 20-50 minutes, depending on your rice type. Most of the liquid will have been absorbed, but it should not be dry. Season to taste.IMG_5624

In a separate pan cook mushrooms in oil or butter. Gently fold cooked mushrooms, cranberries, nuts or seeds and ¼ cup parsley into the rice mixture. Scoop into cooked squash halves, set on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until hot all the way through. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve.IMG_5628

Tip: You can make the rice mixture ahead of time. Before baking, let rice come up to room temperature. This may take longer to warm up; 30-50 minutes.

This also makes a great alternative stuffing for your Thanksgiving turkey, chicken or pork roast.

The final dish we made was the Roasted Vegetables. Roasted Vegetables are one of the great-underrated side dishes for holidays as well as every day. They are versatile, delicious, and everyone loves them!

You can roast cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes, every different kind of winter or summer squash, peppers, onions, Brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips, beets, radishes, turnips, tomatoes…you get the picture. The trick is to roast each vegetable separately then combine them together at the end. That way, each vegetable is cooked thoroughly but not overcooked, and keeps its own perfect texture.

Mary showing us a blue hubbard squash
Mary showing us a blue hubbard squash

Cut vegetables into bite sized pieces. Toss vegetables in oil, salt and seasoning of choice: rosemary, dill, pepper, paprika, cayenne, curry powder, thyme, or whatever else you like.

Cook them separately then combine. Together, they create a symphony of flavors.IMG_5613

Tip: Most vegetables can be cut ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator overnight.

The finished product!
The finished product!

Are you hungry yet? I sure am! Good News, the BCAE has 3 upcoming Gluten Free classes:

December 7, 2013 – GF Chocolates: Treat yourself or a loved one to handmade chocolate treats! We will learn about making molded and filled chocolates, ganache truffles, and a flourless chocolate cake recipe that is endlessly adaptable. Extra sensitive? All of Chef Mary Greenfield’s recipes are either allergy-friendly or can be with very simple modifications.

January 25, 2014 – GF Breakfast Treats: Going gluten-free doesn’t mean succumbing to blah-breakfasts. Join Cuisine en Locale’s Chef Mary Greenfield and discover how easy it is to make sweet treats and savory favorites. Mary takes pride in creating delicious dishes that work for all diets, and the recipes taught in class are guaranteed to have all of the flavor you want, and none of the allergens you don’t!

February 8, 2014 – GF Valentine’s Day Chocolates: Love conquers all – including allergies! This is hands-on course in creating tons of sweet treats, minus the wheat. From brownies to chocolates and everything in between, students will learn how to make irresistible Valentine’s Day recipes that are just as satisfying for those who don’t need to avoid gluten as they are for those who do!

Sign up for one of the gluten free January or February classes and save 30% with the early bird special if you sign up before November 30th! (The 30% discount applies to all classes at the BCAE, not just the gluten free ones!) These classes would make a great gift or fun afternoon activity to do with your friends, your mom or your boyfriend/girlfriend! We had a blast and I think you would too!

Each class is about 3 hours long.  Unfortunately the kitchen is not 100% gluten free so these classes are not suitable for people with severe gluten allergies.

I hope to see you at the next class on December 7th!

Disclaimer: I was invited to this class for free to review for my blog. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

Please take my GF dining out survey here, to help me gather data for an upcoming post. Thank You.

IMG_4990

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Three Bean Kale and Chicken Sausage Soup

This hearty soup warms up chilly nights.IMG_4994

Use any type of canned beans you happen to have on hand, and add rotisserie chicken or Italian sausage for a heftier dish, if you prefer. Or, omit the meat all together for a perfectly satisfying vegetarian dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped fennel bulb
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups organic vegetable or chicken broth
  • 7 cups chopped kale
  • 12 ounce package of your favorite gluten free chicken sausage
  • 3 cans (15 ounce) cans no-salt-added beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoesIMG_4990

Directions:

  1. Heat a large stalk pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and fennel and sauté 6 minutes or until tender.
  2. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and garlic; cook 1 minute.
  3. Stir in 7 cups broth, kale, and sausage. Cook 5 minutes or until kale starts to wilt.
  4. Stir in 2 1/2  cans beans, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  5. Put remaining 1/2 cup broth and 1/2 beans in a blender or food processer and process until smooth. Add pureed bean mixture to soup.
  6. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.IMG_4991IMG_4992 IMG_4993 IMG_4997
Screen shot 2013-10-08 at 1.55.06 PM

Our Evening with KitchenSurfing

It’s rather obvious that I really enjoy going out to eat and trying new restaurants and dinner options in the city. However, there are times I don’t want to deal with crowds, long waits, bad service, etc. And that is where Kitchensurfing comes in.

KitchenSurfing is a company that allows people to bring professional chefs into their own home kitchens. It’s an online marketplace that connects chefs with people who love to eat. You can find some of Boston’s top chefs on the site, along with other amazing culinary professionals. (click here to get a 25% off code)Screen shot 2013-10-08 at 1.55.06 PM

So how does it work? There are two ways to book:

  • Browse the list of chefs, read their reviews and sample menus, and pick one you’d like to have cook for you. Send them an e-mail and voilà.

OR

  • Submit a “Match Request”. Fill out a form stating what you’re looking for (party size, budget, date, time, etc.), any dietary restrictions or allergies, preferred cuisines, and anything else you want or don’t want. Your request will be sent to all the chefs matching your criteria. Chefs will then contact you to customize a menu. Once you’ve found a chef and a menu that you are satisfied with you can book your chef!

We had a great experience with Chef Chris Hallahan. From the moment we began corresponding through the site, he worked with us to create the perfect menu that incorporated foods we love and that accommodated my food intolerances. He was very knowledgeable about food allergies, and even shared some stories and tips with us at dinner.

We were blown away, not only by his culinary talents, but by his passion for food and locally sourced ingredients. He takes great pride in what he does and it really shows. Chris was incredibly friendly and engaging. He knew exactly when to be interactive and when to hang back, which wasn’t very often because we asked so many questions! We learned so much from him, and the whole experience was great.

Every dish was flavorful and fresh.

corn soup with a ragout of lobster, corn, bacon, & thyme
Late Season corn soup served hot with a ragout of lobster, bacon, & corn

Kale salad with a warm bacon vinagrette
Kale salad with a warm bacon vinaigrette with a bottle of wine delivered by Drizly.

Line-caught blue fish over cider glazed carrots and fall vegetables (with beet juice for coloring)
Line-caught blue fish over cider glazed carrots and fall vegetables (with beet juice for coloring)

Pumpkin and Carrot Trifle
Pumpkin and Carrot Trifle

Not only was everything delicious, it was well-timed and beautifully presented. He far exceeded our expectations, and we really appreciated how he embraced the challenge of working with my allergies and still turning out 4 restaurant-caliber dishes.

Have a food allergy or dietary restrictions? No problem! Chefs with food allergy experience indicate so in their profiles in the “comforts” section. The search criteria include gluten free and allergy friendly selections.

Chris had no problem working around my gluten free, dairy free, and yeast free diet. Chris actually took a whole weekend to try out different dessert recipes before settling on a pumpkin carrot cake that was to die for!

Chris also showed up with all the cooking supplies he needed to prepare our 4-course meal; ingredients, pots, pans, knives, utensils, etc.

The booking process is incredibly easy and it is ok to say no if you don’t like an idea or menu item. The chefs want you to enjoy every minute of your experience, so make sure you are up front about your likes and dislikes, what you want and what you don’t want.

This is a great way for food lovers to get closer to chefs and chefs to gain an intimate audience, try out some experimental stuff that might not fly at their place of employment, and make some extra cash.

And no, you don’t have to do the dishes! At the end of the meal the chef will clean up for you and if you are lucky enough as we were, your kitchen will be cleaner than it was before they arrived!IMG_4979

This month Kitchensurfing has teamed up with Drizly, a local alcohol delivery service app, to offer a great promotion. With this promotion, if you book a Kitchensurfing chef from now until October 31, 2013, you will receive $50 off the beer, wine, or liquor for your event from Drizly. The meal does not have to be before the 31st, but the chef has to be booked by that date.

To take advantage of this promotion, simply download Drizly’s iPhone app and enter the code you are given when you make your booking. Drizly will then deliver your order in 60 minutes or less. We ordered wine for our meal and had a great experience with Drizly, which you can about read here.

Ready to book a chef? Click here for a 25% off code. This code is valid through Dec. 31 (you don’t have to have your meal prior to the 31, it just has to be booked by that date). This code can be used on any KS service.

Next Up: A gluten free cooking lesson!

Disclaimer: I received this service free of charge to review for my blog. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.