Category Archives: gluten-free

Tropi-Kale Smoothie

 …see what I did there (sorry)?  You guys, I am officially, completely, 100% obsessed with my Nutribullet. Friends of mine who have one have been raving about it for months now, so I finally caved and got one. We’ve been throwing together smoothies for every breakfast, some snacks, etc. and I actually feel more energized than I have in weeks. This smoothie has a kale base that makes this a pretty green color, but other than that you can’t even taste it, then a bunch of fruit – mango, pineapple, banana and some orange juice too. It’s also great knowing that I’ve started off my day with a bunch of nutrients (and got to use a bendy straw, too – doesn’t everything just taste better with one??). 

TROPI-KALE SMOOTHIE (makes 2)
– 1.5 c. kale, stem removed, washed & roughly chopped (about 2 large leaves)

– 1 banana,cut into slices
– 1/3 c. frozen mango
– 1/3 c. frozen pineapple
– 1/3 c. orange juice

– water, to make this as thin as you like

1. Combine all ingredients, in order listed, in a nutribullet (or blender, but make sure to blend this really, really well). Blend until combined and completely smooth.

2. Serve and start your day off right.

Chopped Summer Nectarines, Feta & Basil with Arugula

 
I swear I could eat summer nectarines every single day. I crave them like I crave pasta. They’re perfect – sweet, healthy and really pretty, too. You can serve them in a bunch of different ways, but one of my favorite versions is a chopped ripe nectarines with feta and basil. There’s basically nothing else this needs – a little lemon juice, a little olive oil, a little salt & pepper, and you can either serve it over arugula or just eat it by itself as a great summer snack that you can throw together in no time flat.


SUMMER NECTARINES, FETA & BASIL WITH ARUGULA (serves 2)
– 3 nectarines
– 6-7 basil leaves, chiffonaded
– 1/4 C. crumbled feta
– juice of 1/2 a lemon
– couple glugs of EVOO
– kosher salt and pepper to taste
– 2 cups baby arugula

1. Cut up the nectarines into little cubes.

2. In a bowl, combine nectarines, EVOO, salt & pepper. Stir to combine.

3. Add the feta to the bowl with the nectarines. 

4. Chiffonade the basil, then add to the bowl. Combine all gently.

5. Put the arugula in a bowl and season it a little bit with Herbamare or salt/pepper. Squeeze half a lemon over it, stir to mix.


6. Divide the arugula between two bowls, then top with the nectarine/feta/basil mix. Make sure you get any juices that have collected – this adds a nice little sweetness to the dressing.

7. Serve and enjoy.

Summer Salads

Hands up if you need a little detox after the 4th of July weekend. Oh, you too? We’re officially into July, you guys, so what better excuse to dig up some of my favorite summer salad recipes. With the exception of the tortellini (which is still a healthy, super tasty salad), these salads are all clean-eating recipes that you can make almost exclusively with produce found at your local Farmer’s Market. Best of all, they’re perfect for those mid-summer picnics…no mayo, nothing heavy, just bright flavors that take advantage of all the summer has to offer.  So grab a produce bag and head down to the Farmer’s Market to pick up ingredients for some of the best summer salads on my list.

SUMMER SALADS: (Clockwise, from the top left)

1. Fresh Sweet Corn, Avocado, English Cucumber, Feta, Red Onion and Cherry Tomato Salad with a Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

2. My award winning Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Lemon, Basil, Toasted Almonds and Shaved Parmesan (thanks, Scranton Times-Tribune!)

3. Farmer’s Market Veggie and Quinoa Salad with Basil and Feta in a Honey-Lemon Dressing

4. Chopped Chicken Salad with Summer Nectarines, Avocado and Feta in a Basil Vinaigrette

5. Tortellini Salad in a Lemon-Artichoke Tapenade with Red Bell Peppers, Parsley and Parm

6. Tuna-Chickpea Salad with Lemon, English Cucumber, and Red Onion (no mayo!)

I don’t know about you all, but my first thought this morning was that I’m only t-minus three weeks until vacation. Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!

Summer Salad: Watermelon, Avocado and Cucumber with Herbs

I don’t know about you guys, but for me, summer doesn’t really begin until I’ve had at least one watermelon (“I carried a watermelon?). They feel like such a summer indulgence, and they’re one of my favorite bases for salads. This combo of watermelon, cucumber & avocado is perfectly sweet, crunchy and creamy, and the lemon-lime dressing pulls it all together. Throw in some chopped fresh basil, mint and chives and dig in. Nobody puts Baby in the corner. 

SUMMER SALAD: WATERMELON, AVOCADO AND CUCUMBER WITH HERBS (serves 4)
– 1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
– 2.5 C. seedless watermelon, cubed
– 1.5 avocado, cubed
– 5-6 basil leaves
– 4-5 mint leaves
– small handful of chives
– Juice of 1/2 lime
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– 5 tbsp. EVOO
– 1 tsp. Herbamare, or 1/2 tsp. kosher salt & pepper mix


1. Dice the peeled cucumber (if you can’t find an English cucumber, seed a regular one and use that), and put the pieces in some paper towels to drain it a little bit.


2. Dice the watermelon into about the same size pieces as the English cucumber, wrap that in towels too, so that drains.

3. Make the dressing – juice the lemon and the lime, then add the Herbamare or kosher salt/pepper blend. Mix so the seasonings react with the acids of the lemon/lime mixture.  Add the EVOO, stir (or shake) well to combine.

4. Roughly chop up all the basil, mint and chives. 

5. Add about half the cucumber and half the watermelon to a pretty big bowl. Dice the avocado into similar-size cubes and add half of that to the bowl. Add the remaining cucumber, watermelon and avocado. 

6. Add the dressing evenly over the top of the salad. Then add herbs. 

7. Mix, serve and enjoy. This doesn’t keep well, but chances are it’ll be gone before you have to worry about that.




Grilled Romaine with Smoked Blue Cheese and Balsamic Reduction

The lovely Jonelle hosted us for dinner last week, and it everything was so delicious. From the pretty apps to the unbelievable gin & earl grey tea cocktail she made, to the london broil & grilled romaine…we had so much fun we decided to make it a monthly thing with all of us rotating as hostess. Anyway, I’d never even heard of grilled romaine, but this was incredible. If I had even the slightest clue how to work a grill myself, I’d be making this all the time.


GRILLED ROMAINE WITH SMOKED BLUE CHEESE AND BALSAMIC REDUCTION (makes 6)
– 6 Romaine Hearts
– 1/4 C. smoked blue cheese (or gorgonzola)
– Balsamic reduction (makes sure it’s a reduction, not balsamic vinegar), drizzled
– A blend of EVOO, a little salt & pepper, and some oregano

1. Um, I guess, fire up the grill?

2. Brush the washed romaine hearts with the EVOO/salt & pepper/oregano mix.

3. Grill the romaine hearts pretty quickly, about 2 minutes on each side. You want them to have grill marks but not get burned.

4. Crumble the smoked blue cheese (or gorgonzola) over the try of romaine, then drizzle the balsamic reduction in a nice little pattern. Serve & enjoy. My girlfriends have got skillz. 
The hostess at work!

Cucumber Roll-Ups stuffed with Avocado-Feta Mousse

My parents had a little dinner party at their house, and we all kind of went overboard with our contributions. I made these cucumber roll-ups and those pear, prosciutto & honeyed goat cheese apps, my dad made his incomparable filet mignon with merlot reduction sauce, and my sister made this insane blackberry, lime & olive oil cake. And my mom just made everything look beautiful, as always.  Anyway, these are super simple, really delicious and healthy too! Brendan helped me make them and he was all, “they’re like little cucumber burritos!” which…yup, I can see it. You can use just about anything as a filler, but you know how I looooves me some avocado & feta.

CUCUMBER ROLL-UPS STUFFED WITH AVOCADO-FETA MOUSSE (makes enough for 8 people as apps but only if you have a bunch of other little delicious apps, too)
– 1 english cucumber, washed, skin on
– 1 avocado
– 1/3 c. feta
– 1 tbsp. dill
– juice of 1/2 a lemon

1. Make the avocado-feta mousse. Dice the avocado, then mash it well.  Combine with the dill, lemon & feta. Taste, then adjust seasonings as needed.


2. With a vegetable peeler or a mandoline (I can’t use these, they truly truly freak me out), shave the cucumber into very thin slices. 


3. Take a small spoonful of the avocado-feta mousse and spread it over each slice of the cucumber. Roll and either secure with a toothpick, or leave as is.



4. Serve and watch your family enjoy. Make a mental note to try and make everything as beautiful as your mom always does. 


(Don’t worry. We went for a 7 mile waterfall hike the next day to burn this all off!)


Salmon Baked in Parchment with Spinach and Feta

 This is the easiest way to make fish ever. Ever. It’s pretty, packed with flavor, and healthy for you too. The fish basically steams itself in its own juices and whatever else you add to it, and the end result is incredible. Plus, cleanup is minimal, since you can just eat it right out of the parchment if you want. If you’re not a fan of feta, you can skip it, but why not just try it, because spinach and feta is awesome.

SALMON BAKED IN PARCHMENT WITH SPINACH AND FETA (serves 2)
– 2 salmon filets
– 2 cups spinach, divided
– 4 slices lemon
– curls of basil butter
– 1 shallot, sliced
– 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
– 1 tbsp EVOO, divided
– Couple crumbles of feta
– Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. Tear off a decent size of parchment paper. Fold it in half so you know which side you’re going to be working on.

3. Rub 1/2 a tbsp of EVOO on the right side of the parchment paper.


4. On top of that, add 1/2 a cup of the spinach, 1/2 a shallot, sliced, then 1 filet of salmon.


5. Cut a couple shallow slices into the salmon, then season it with Kosher salt & black pepper. Top with 2 of the slices of lemon, 1 clove garlic, sliced, & some curls of the basil butter.

6. Crimp up the ends of the parchment paper so it makes a little pouch. Follow steps 2-6 with the other piece of salmon.


7. Put the parchment packets on a baking tray on the lowest rack of the oven, cook for approx. 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.


8. Open up the salmon packets (don’t toss the juices in the bottom, because they’re the best), carefully arrange the salmon & the veggies on top of some fresh spinach, then add some feta crumbles.  We had this with tuna tartare for one of the prettiest dinners I’ve made in a long time.

Simple Mango Salsa

   
We’re halfway through April, so it’s almost summertime, right? This winter has been endless. Mangoes make me feel like I’m in the tropics, and they’re also apparently amazing for you – they have health benefits for everything from clearing up your skin to lowering cholesterol. Throw together this mango salsa and then freeze whatever leftovers you have to make smoothies. Mang-oes! Mang-oes! Mang-oes!


SIMPLE MANGO SALSA (makes approx. 2 cups)
– 1 mango, peeled and diced
– 1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
– juice and zest of half a lime
– handful chopped cilantro
– pinch of kosher salt
– 1 tsp. EVOO

1. Peel a mango with a vegetable peeler, then dice it. Add to a bowl.


2. Dice the red onion, chop the cilantro and add to the mango. 


3. Add lime juice & zest, then salt. Mix everything together.

4. Add the EVOO, taste & adjust seasonings, serve either by itself, with chips or as a side – this is great with fish dishes.

Moroccan Zucchini and Chickpeas over Couscous



When I lived in Paris, I basically ate one of two things: Moroccan food or a baguette and a hunk of brie. I think it’s only because we walked everywhere that I stayed skinny, but man, I miss that 21 year old metabolism. This zucchini and chickpea blend has enough of that Moroccan spice to it that it makes me feel like I’m back in Paris again – plus it’s delicious, super quick to make and pretty healthy for you, too. AND, it has the bonus of being made with stuff you probably have in your refrigerator right now. LET’S MAKE IT!!


MOROCCAN ZUCCHINI AND CHICKPEAS OVER COUSCOUS (serves 4-6)
– 1 vidalia onion, sliced
– 2 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
– 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
– 1 tbsp. butter
– 1.5 cups chicken broth
– 1 cup chunky crushed tomatoes
– 4 diced garlic cloves
– 2 tbsp. lemon juice
– handful chopped parsley
– 1/2 tsp. paprika
– 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
– 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
– 1/4 tsp. ground tumeric
– 1 tsp. kosher salt.
– 1 box of couscous, cooked (leave this out if you want to make this gluten-free)

1. In a french oven (ooh, la la) melt the butter.  Cook the onion over medium heat until translucent, approx. 5 minutes.

2. Add garlic and cook approx. 90 seconds, until fragrant. 

3. Add paprika, cumin, oregano & tumeric and cook for 30 seconds.

4. Add broth, tomatoes & salt. Bring to a simmer and  cook, covered for 10 minutes.

5. Add chickpeas & zucchini and cook, covered, until zucchini is just done (approx. 12 minutes longer). Make the couscous during this step so everything’s ready at the same time.
 

6. Add parsley & lemon juice, season to taste and serve over couscous.
Congrats to everybody who ran the inaugural Scranton Half Marathon this past weekend – what a great day!


Shaved Apple & Fennel Salad with Lemon and Toasted Walnuts over Arugula

Oh, Gwyneth Paltrow. She seems to get a lot of shade thrown her way for the Goop blog, the way she can do things like ask her celeb friends not to do interviews with a magazine that’s threatening to expose her, her kids’ names, her “conscious uncoupling”…etc. I get it to some degree, but come on – she’s freaking Gwyenth Paltrow. She’s been in serious relationships with Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck and Chris Martin. She’s an Oscar winning actress. Her mom is Blythe Danner and her godfather is Steve Spielberg. She’s run in some pretty heavy circles probably since she was born, so can we really blame her for thinking it’s normal for everyone get a wood-fired oven in their backyard? I think  her ‘I am who I am” attitude is judged as not apologetic enough, but honestly, if I were her I wouldn’t be apologetic for what I grew up in and what things I enjoy either. I think she just is who she is, and frankly, that seems pretty cool. To summarize: Get it, girl. Now, Anne Hathaway, on the other hand…  Anyway, the recipes on Goop are awesome – super super clean, healthy and delicious. This salad is adapted, and I’m going to be making it alllllll the time. Brendan even said it was the best salad he’s ever had.


SHAVED APPLE AND FENNEL SALAD WITH LEMON AND TOASTED WALNUTS (serves 2-4)
– 1 bulb fennel, top parts cut off (but leaves saved), core removed.
– 1 tart apple
– Juice and zest of 1 lemon
– toasted walnuts, approx. 1/3 cup
– approx. 3 tbsp. EVOO
– kosher salt & pepper
– Arugula (optional)

1. With either a julienne slicer or a Cuisinart food processor with a slicer attachment, shave the fennel bulb and the apple into paper-thin slices (this really makes a difference in the overall salad). Put into a bigger bowl.


2. Over medium heat, toast the walnuts, shaking the pan every minute or so and making sure they don’t burn.


3. Zest and juice the lemon, then add to the bowl with the apple and fennel shavings. Add kosher salt & pepper, mix well to combine.


4. Add EVOO and walnuts, mix. Top with the toasted walnuts and a couple fennel leaves.

5. If using arugula, I just arranged some on a plate, juiced a little lemon over it, then added the apple/fennel salad on top of the arugula leaves. The apple/fennel dressing will work as enough dressing for the arugula.

6. We had this with salmon burgers with a simple lemony dill sauce on avocado toasts. So good.