Yes, You Can Eat Carrot Tops

We’ve been eating a lot of carrots from the CSA recently. And they always come with the tops on. So I’ve started using them as I would any herb-a-licious green. Just make sure to wash the sand and soil out of them before you move them to your cutting board. Like spinach and other greens, they can pick up a great deal of grit.

Check out this Carrot Greens and Mushrooms pasta toss.

Cook some pasta (I used gluten-free fettuccine noodles) according to the package directions

In a saute pan add:
1/2 C olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 bunch carrot greens, rough chopped
8 oz mushrooms, I used beech mushrooms this time and broke up the colony by hand rather than slicing them
3+ cloves garlic, diced
*optional– add some sliced, precooked chicken sausage

Saute for about 8 minutes on medium high. The onions should be cooked through and the mushrooms should be juicy. The carrot greens will wilt considerably.

Drain hot pasta and toss. Add in

salt and pepper to taste
a little reserved starchy pasta water to thin sauce

Serve vegan as is or add a little grated parm.

Pasta with Baby Greens and Mushrooms

Greenhouses are producing wonderful greens all over the south and two of our favorite things are sprouting: arugula and spinach! I thought this would be a great opportunity to use the truffle-infused oil I got over the holidays.

Pasta, I used gluten free spaghetti, but any shape will do

1 bunch baby spinach
1 bunch aruluga
1 pint mushrooms
3+ cloves garlic
1/3 C olive oil or flavored olive oil, I used truffle infused oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions.
Saute mushrooms in oil with minced garlic. Saute on medium-low heat to avoid burning the garlic. While mushrooms are cooking through, rough chop spinach and arugula. Make sure it was well washed as spinach is often grown in sandy soil.

Drain pasta and toss with hot mushrooms and oil. Remove from heat. Toss in greens and allow to wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Dress with more olive oil if desired.

Chickpea and Mushroom Spaghetti with Green Peppercorns

This is a hearty vegan sauce that is peppery and warming. I use a gluten free spaghetti pasta for this, but any shape will work. If you cant find green peppercorns in brine, you can use capers. Green peppercorns in brine are spicy and tangy. They have a deep peppery favor and a firm woody texture. They add an interesting textural component. Capers are much softer and brighter in flavor.

Pasta, any shape

For sauce:
14 oz chickpeas, cooked, drained, and rinsed
1/4 C White Truffle Infused oil
1 tsp dry marjoram
1 tsp dry oregano
1 tsp salt
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 TB green peppercorns in brine, drained

Olive oil and salt to taste

Get a pound of gluten free pasta boiling according to package directions.

Heat a dry skillet on medium high heat. Add chickpeas, oil, dry spices, and 1 tsp salt. Toss and stir fry about 5 minutes. Coat chickpeas in seasoned oil.

Use a potato masher or pastry blender and squash the chickpeas into a rough chopped consistency. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, and peppercorns. Reduce heat to low and cover. Stir occasionally, scrapping browned bits of chickpea into the sauce. If your mushrooms are a little dry, add olive oil to taste and consistency. I like a lot of olive oil in this. I use about 2/3 cup of oil total. If the chickpeas are over mashed, they will soak up all the oil and the sauce will be like a paste.

Drain pasta casually. Some of the starchy cooking water will help thin the sauce and make it stick well.

Toss hot pasta in sauce; remove from heat. Salt to taste.

Parm and Parsley Pasta

Simple easy side dish that is sure to please! Try it as a pasta salad base recipe or top with grilled veggies, meat, or fish.

1 lb gluten-free fusilli

2 TB butter
2 TB olive oil
5+ cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 + Cup grated parmesan cheese
1 bunch parsley rough chopped
salt and pepper to taste

While pasta is boiling, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter, oil, and garlic. Heat until just before garlic browns. Remove from heat.

Drain pasta well. Toss into hot butter-oil. Sprinkle in parsley and cheese, salt and pepper. Coat evenly. Serve hot as a side dish OR chill and add chopped raw veggies for an easy pasta salad.

3 Cheese Penne with Baby Broccoli

Baked pasta dishes are the eewy gooey food gluten-free folks seem to miss the most. In the “About Gluten Free” section (visit the right side menu bar) I explain pasta brands that are a best bet for fooling even you Italian guests.

Well what do you do with the wrong brand of mushy, never right gluten-free pasta? Bake it! Baked on sauces will transform gluey mess into gooey fabulous. This cheese sauce is so velvety smooth, it could hide anything.

16 oz gluten-free penne, cooked and drained, not rinsed

1 lb sweet baby broccoli

3 Cheese Sauce:

1 TB butter
1 TB olive oil
2 TB rice flour
2 Cups milk
1/2 Cup parmesan, divided
4 oz goat cheese
4 oz mozzarella

Make a roux with the butter, oil, and flour over medium heat. Cook 3 minutes until rice flour is no longer raw. Slowly whisk in milk. When smooth, add 1/2 the parmesan and all of the goat and mozzarella cheeses. Whisk until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat.

Cut broccoli into bite sized pieces. I cut baby broccoli a little larger because it is tender and sweet. I like the broccoli to be as long as the pasta. Place the broccoli in the bottom of your strainer. Drain pasta water over the broccoli. This will flash cook the outside of the broccoli so that it will retain its color well while baking.

Stir drained pasta and broccoli into cheese sauce. Transfer to baking dish and top with remaining parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown delicious.

Rice Noodles in Miso Broth

Hooray! I visited the Asian market today! In the produce section, they sell fresh rice noodles. These are soft and raw and cook in just a few minutes, just like fresh Italian pasta.

2 liters filtered water
3 TB red miso paste
1 lb fresh rice noodles
6 oz mushrooms, sliced thin
6 oz carrot, julienne
1 bunch spring onions, sliced into thin rounds
2 TB ponzu sauce

optional: 1 lb thin sliced beef, shredded cooked chicken or pork, tofu cubes, peeled shrimp

Place water and miso over a high burner to bring to a soft boil. Add in carrots, mushrooms, and meat/tofu. Stir gently to prevent protein from sticking. When broth begins to boil again, add fresh rice noodles. Simmer for 4-6 until rice noodles are cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in ponzu sauce and onion. Serve immediately.

For added nutrition, you can add in additional vegetables. These veggie suggestions are grouped by cooking time.

Add any of these vegetables with the carrots and mushrooms: shredded red or green cabbage, baby corn, thin sliced Thai eggplant, Asian long beans

These vegetables should be added with the spring onions before serving: mung bean sprouts, shredded napa cabbage, shredded bok choy

Eggplant Goat Cheese Gratin

Eggplant Parmesan is one of those dishes that I really miss being gluten-free. Here is a fabulous way to get your fix without the wheat. The goat cheese is soft and creamy, so you get all the ooey-gooeyness of being in restaurant. Plus, you don’t need a deep-frier for this one!

GBD = Golden Brown Delicious!

1 egg plant sliced, salted and drained
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
4 oz goat cheese
3 TB tomato sauce or strained tomatoes
3 oz shredded mozzarella
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
1/3 Cup rice flour
evoo for pan frying

Slice the eggplant into disks about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle it liberally with sea salt and let sit in a colander in the sink for about 10 minutes. Salting and draining eggplant improves the texture and helps the breading to cook up crisper.

Mix rice flour and Italian seasoning in a pie plate. Dredge eggplant slices to coat well. Fry in hot oil until crisp. Drain on separate plate.

Frying Eggplant

In the bottom of a casserole pan, spread the tomato sauce. This will keep the veggies from sticking. Layer fried egg plant, crumbled goat cheese, tomato slices, oregano, and mozzarella cheese.

Layers 1 & 2

Layers 1 thru 4

Bake at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes, until cheeses are melted and tomato is well roasted. Serve with polenta, gluten-free pasta, or risotto.

Served over Pesto Pasta

Lazy Asian Pasta Toss

Sometimes, there is just no energy to cook. Between holiday entertaining, while studying for final exams, or just because it’s a busy day. Get some quality pre-made sauces and seasonings for these times.

2 Cups cut up cooked chicken (grab a rotisserie bird and shred, use left overs from a home roast, or quickly broil some yourself.)
14 oz can bamboo shoots
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 Cup carrots, in sticks
8 oz mung bean sprouts
1/3 Cup hoisin sauce
3 TB garlic chili paste
3 TB soy sauce
2 TB sesame oil

1 lb gluten free pasta, cooked and drained

Set pasta to boil.

Heat wok with sesame oil. Toss in mushrooms and carrots. Stir fry until crisp tender. Add bamboo and cooked chicken. Toss in hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and chili paste. Heat through.

Drain pasta. Toss with meat and veggies to coat thoroughly with sauce. Add mung bean sprouts. Stir gently to incorporate. Serve immediately.

**Switch to tempeh for an awesome veggie dish!

Skillet Lasagna

Ditch the Hamburger Helper and eat REAL food. It’s okay to cheat and use a jar of organic marinara since there are so many yummy ones on the market now. This is a quick meal that’s perfect for hungry families.

1 Cup diced red onion
1 lb ground beef
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 TB Italian seasoning (salt free)
13 oz can spinach drained OR frozen spinach
1 jar marinara sauce (26 oz)
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 Cup mozzarella cheese

1 lb cork screw or penne pasta cooked al dente and drained (Tinkyada makes a fab, firm gluten-free pasta)

 

In your largest skillet or chef’s pan, brown ground beef and drain. Add onion, mushrooms, and dry seasoning. Saute until onions are soft, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and marinara. Heat to bubbling, about 7 minutes, to let flavors combine. Toss in pasta and mozzarella until fully incorporated. Simmer 3 more minutes to season pasta. Topp with paremsan and serve.

Great with a green salad or a fresh fruit dessert.

Sub mushrooms or veggie crumble for a hearty vegetarian meal!

Chopped Turkey Salad

Make something fall-fresh with your leftover turkey– salad! Try serving this with butter lettuce. It is mild and crisp, making a perfect contrast to the rich flavor of roasted turkey. Also great as a wrap, cut and served as tea sandwiches, or dress up your after-holiday-party relish tray!

2 Cups chopped left over turkey
2 green apples, diced
1 Cup chopped pecans
1 Cup shredded cheddar, Organic Valley is awesome!
1/3 Cup mayo or plain yogurt
2 TB apple cider vinegar
1 tsp each dill, thyme, black pepper
salt to taste

Mix dried herbs with vinegar and mayo/yogurt. Set aside while you chop the other ingredients. This will give the dressing time to develop its flavors. Toss chopped ingredients together and mix dressing in well.

This can be served immediately or chilled.

*** Double the dressing and toss in 1 lb cooked penne or gluten-free pasta for an awesome pasta salad.

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