Random meal of the week

Lunch time gets random for me, I'm very dependent on leftovers to make a meal. Which is why I generally make a little extra at dinner. Its 80 degrees right now, and a hot bowl of pasta, might send me into a heat stroke! As a result, some of my better lunch time meals are several things at once.

Leftover rice, not much left was heated up, green onions were chopped and sauteed up with a little canola and sesame oil. Once they softened a little I tossed the rice into the pan and mixed it up. A little g/f soy sauce and sambal oleck. Voila.

Earlier I made some hard boiled eggs and made them into a no fuss egg salad. And made some "marinated" cukes. Sliced a large cucumber, one small tomato (from the garden!) , and small carrot that I julienne with my new julienne gizmo. To this I added rice vinegar (my new favorite vin at the moment) a little cider vinegar, a touch of canola oil (or any light oil) , pinch of salt, and red pepper flakes. My motto is that every thing tastes a little better with some heat!

(I'm finding that the less breads (and I mean g/f breads), baked goods and pasta that I eat, and the more veggies and fruit, the better I feel. Which is interesting phenomena since starting out just not eating wheat and gluten had helped. I wonder what it is about those sort of starches that throw me off? )

Anyway, Happy Summer time Random Eating!

Summertime Potato Salad

Starting to get to that point where I need to start doing things with my tomatoes. It's polite to not just pick and eat so that other people can eat them, and they taste so good for dinner. This turned into a slightly more complex way of using them up, than just a little olive oil and vinegar tossed over them, yummy none the less.

Something about Summer says potato salad. But those gloppy mayo laden salads that grace some tables is a little gross to me. Not that I don't like mayo, it has its place in the kitchen, as a back ground seasoning where the yummy flavors of summer can be featured. Its a little like glue, you need it, but to much and it just gets every where. This was also a nice way to have most of dinner ready before noon, and then throw some meat on the grill and serve on a bed of lettuce.
This is a much lighter herby and slightly sweet dressing, the rice vinegar give this really nice smooth taste.

A few notes about the recipe, I used a blender which helped emulsify the dressing and chop the herbs, but I didn't pay any or much attention to the amounts I was putting in. Treat the ratios like you would a regular salad dressing, but a little light on the olive oil since you are adding mayo, and the mayo thickens it a little. Pour the dressing on in small amounts until you get the coverage you want.

About 1 hr prep & make refrigerate over night or 5 hrs to marinate the flavors. Probably serve 4 as a side dish.

For the Dressing:

3 tbs lite mayo (i just got out a spoon and eye balled it in)
aprox 1/4 rice vinegar & red wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
honey - probably a tsp.
olive oil
handful of in decreasing amounts parsley, thyme, tarragon, rosemary,basil
large garlic clove
1/3 of sauteed onions

6 russet potatoes
large hand full of cherry tomatoes from garden
2 small corn cobs
10 green beans
2 yellow onions
tbs balsamic vinegar
red pepper flakes

Place potatoes in pot of cold salted water and bring to boil about 15 -20 minutes. Mean wheile start dressing, starting with the garlic and herbs, if doing it by hand everything was finely diced. Then add rest of dressing ingredients to blender. Thinly slice onions and saute until soft with olive oil and about 1 tbs of balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes to taste . Chop tomatoes green beans and set aside. When potatoes are done let them cool and chop up, I left some of the skins on, but probably skinned about half of them. Pour a little of the dressing over them to start the seasoning process. Bring pot of water to boil and cook corn cobs. When cooled enough to handle strip cobs and add to potatoes. When the onions are softened add about half to the potatoes and put the rest in the dressing. Blend until smooth. Add the tomatoes and green beans last and then pour rest of dressing in, toss and refrigerate.

* My potatoes and corn were still warm so I added the cold veggies last so I didn't cook them. Also this was what I had on hand, there are lots of other veggies that you could add. The herbs might seem random, but together they create a nice flavor that isn't distinct to just one herb.

Orange Goodness under an Orange Sun

At 9pm, after a day of eating healthy good for you, fresh veggie laden meals, whats a girl gona snack on? Snacking gluten free is kind of a chore! Either you need to always have some baked bread on hand (ha!) or have recently gone to the store for your favorite rice crisps. But lets face it, for that evening snack who wants healthy things? (well I do, but I don't want it to taste healthy).

Which brings me to my other dilemma that I'm sure is far from uncommon among food allergy sufferers, after a certain point, after the novelty has worn off, quick, or pre-made snacks seem like mana from heaven. I was never really into baking to begin with when it was "easy" with gluten and all. Now that I have the privalge to bake with 9million differnt flours, the pros and cons of gluten free baking, or use of any g/f flour is very apparent to me.

The upside is that right now I'm snacking on some very delicious pancakes that were whiped up in no time, (about 2 fist sized) and happliy munched on. Thank goodness for Pamelas pancake mix, its as painless as bisquick, and super yummy. Also it handles changes and add-ons to the recipie really well. Really, I under stand the cost issues, but at some point the cost of my time trying finess a from scratch anything... oy.

My second and photographed snack is from the freezer, g/f waffels. Vans Wheat Free Waffles, I really enjoy the flax seed kind with added benifit of omegas. Whoo.

Though really the best part of all this is the home made jam on top. Yep, I really enjoy jaming but not baking, which ever. This delightfulness is an Orange Apricot Resling Jam that I was so inspired to make after reading this blog post at Vanila Garlic. (And then featured at Simply Recipes recently which reminded me to post about it) I enjoy apricots and Resling so It seemd like a fab idea. Though access to apricots around my area is, iffy. I had also manged in June to accumulate a lot of oranges in the house since I was the only one eating them but thought other people would eat them. Anyway it was a situation of be used or neglected. I used dried apricots, lots of oranges and 1 lemon plus zest and a healthy guestamet on the Resling. Since this was all the way from June I can't remember the ratios but they were all roughly based on Vanila Garlics recipe, and some quick research on fruit quanties in regular jams. All in all its some of the best jam I've made lately, it may top my clementine marmalade. I may have to have a jam off this winter holiday.

Herb's Make pretty arrangments

My herb arranging or haranguing has been rewarding, the need to move them to a new town, resulted in my pretties getting popped into planters. Seeing how its almost august already and this being NY state, I better start looking into wintering them over. From the top, yellow variegated sage with purple ageratum, a view of 2 pots, purple sage with mother thyme, and the then flowering chives with silver edged thyme.

Shameless Kitty

Check out that fluff! Hopefully the new flights of stairs will get her trim and svelte again, but don't loose that sassy fluff darlin'!

Traveling Lambs Ears

It doesn't actually take a whole month of hiatus from blogging to move, mostly unpack, go crazy and say good bye to ones garden. But now after a week or more after being kind of settled there's time to reflect, and get back to writing.

I did actually dig up and bring my lambs ears and my strawberry plant with me. Which was perhaps hilarious looking back (?). I was sick during the move and in the rain with only an old trowel that hadn't gotten packed yet, hacking at the ground trying not to destroy their lovely roots. And then the plants languished in boxes for several days before getting planted in their new homes.

They'll be fabulous next year.

I do miss the toads that lived in my old garden.