Wednesday, March 21, 2012

First Day of Spring Rolls

There is absolutely nothing I love more than the changing of seasons! The DC area is a lovely change from growing up in the south with such little definition in seasons. As much as I complain about the chill and darkness of winter, it's nice to experience the first snowfall and then watch the cherry blossoms bloom on the first week of spring. So, to celebrate the nice weather, I made.....SPRING ROLLS!!!!

I served these spring rolls with snap peas sauteed with a little olive oil, soy sauce (gluten free), and chopped garlic. The dipping sauce is duck sauce. I have had no problem finding gluten free duck sauce in my regular grocery store, but if you can't find it, try online or a natural foods store. I promise one day I will attempt to make my own!

You can absolutely play with these ingredients. Try different meats or make them vegetarian. I've made them several times before and they're never the same!

Rice paper wraps
1 can tiny shrimp
Cole slaw mix
Mung bean sprouts
Cellophane noodles (made from mung beans)
Sesame seeds
Soy sauce (gluten free)
chopped garlic (approximately 1 clove)

Follow directions on the noodles to soften them. In a pan, saute the shrimp with garlic until warm. Add cole slaw mix, sprouts, noodles, sesame seeds and soy sauce. Continue to saute until everything is combined and warm. Add basil and cilantro to taste and turn off the heat.

To assemble the spring rolls:
Soak a rice paper wrapper in warm water for approximately 30 seconds, or until soft.
Lay the wrapper flat on a plate and place a heaping spoonful of the filling onto the paper.
Fold both of the ends in and then fold one of the long sides over and finish the wrap by rolling, keeping the filling in the center.

Happy Spring!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bubble Tea

Bubble tea or boba tea can vary in it's recipe, but I will be making milk tea. The common factor is the tapioca balls that sit at the bottom of the drink! These are fun to chew...or choke on. Please be careful and use the buddy system when drinking your bubble tea. Right after high school, this tea became somewhat of an addiction while I worked near a little shop that made it, and I had to try it for myself. I'm lucky enough to live next to an Asian market, so the ingredients weren't hard to find. If you can't find the tapioca or straws, they can also be ordered online.

1 cup large tapioca balls (the 5 minute kind)
Tea flavor of your choosing
Coconut milk (you can use any type of milk)
Bubble tea straws

Brew tea. I made up a pitcher of peach tea for mine on the stove. Sweeten the tea with sugar while hot. I use approximately 1/2 cup of sugar to on pitcher of tea.

Follow the directions on the bag to cook the tapioca. Strain when finished. I had only seen tapioca in black, but I found these fun rainbow ones at my store:

Put some of the tapioca balls at the bottom of a tall glass, add ice, tea, honey (aprox. 2 want it to be sweet since the tapioca and milk are not sweetened) and top with milk. Mix Well. That's all there is to it!

You can experiment with different flavors of tea, types of milk or flavored syrups. I served mine with mochi ice cream, which can also be found at an Asian supermarket or Whole Foods. Mochi ice cream is ice cream wrapped in a rice dough. Just be sure that whichever brand you pick up is gluten free.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dinner and Dessert After a Long Bloggy Break

Whew! It has been a long time since I've updated, and I do apologize! It was really just about that time to get this thing going again. This past year has been busy for me and there have been a lot of changes, but one thing that hasn't changed is my Celiac status and the constant need to try new gluten free food. One thing that has changed, is I now have a roommate that is also gluten free, so now I have someone to bounce ideas off of and feed all of my creations too *cue evil laughter*.

Recently, I have been on the same obsession-boat as everyone else in the world it seems, PINTEREST!! I love love love everything about that stupid site. I'm pretty sure I have pinned any and everything that could possibly be of interest to my brain, as if anyone cares. This has led to a lot of late nights staring at yummy foods that I am just dying to make gluten free. Lucky you!

So this week, I had to do something a little on the healthy side. This entire winter I have been stuffing my face with fried, heavy and pre-packaged foods and I felt like it was time to get back to basics. It was absolutely time to experiment with quinoa again, too. I felt like a bad gluten free food blogger since I hadn't attempted it, but my first experience with the stuff was just terrible. It was a pain to wash and had a strange texture. It did seem to be a great alternative to rice, which I was getting sick of, so I did want to give it another try. I'm not sure what I was doing wrong the first time, because it wasn't bad at all this go-round!

This recipe comes from and is, indeed, real simple! It is also tasty, healthy and colorful.

Quinoa With Mushrooms, Kale and Sweet Potatoes

1 cup quinoa
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 small sweet potatoes (peeled & cut into cubes)
10oz button mushrooms, quartered
2 cloves of garlic (I prefer the pre-chopped kind)
1 bunch kale, stems discarded & torn in 2 inch pieces.
3/4 cup dry, white wine
Kosher salt & black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Bring quinoa and 2 cups of water to boil. Reduce heat & simmer, covered, until all water is absorbed. I like to use gluten free bouillon cubes in my water to add a little flavor as well.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.

Add sweet potatoes and mushrooms. Cook, tossing occasionally until golden and beginning to soften (5-6 minutes).

Stir in garlic and cook for one more minute.

NOW FOR MY FAVORITE PART!! (the wine) .I sampled generously while making this dish.

Add kale, wine, 3/4 teaspoon salt & 1/4 teaspoon pepper (I don't really measure salt and pepper, I just throw stuff in until I feel like it's enough). Cook, tossing often, until veggies are tender. They won't be squishy, just slightly soft. The sweet potatoes add texture in this vegetarian dish.

Serve veggies over quinoa and sprinkle cheese on top.

Confession: I forgot the cheese when I served this. I'm a terrible person. The dish still tasted OK, but I put the cheese on leftovers and it was much better. Obviously. Everything is better with cheese.

No Bake Nutella Cookies

1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup Nutella hazelnut spread
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup of milk
crushed hazelnuts

Add butter, milk and sugar to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously until rapid boil. Continue to stir as it boils for 1 minute.

Remove pan from heat and stir in Nutella until well incorporated.

Stir in oats until it looks all gross like this:

You can, apparently, drop teaspoonfuls of this mixture onto wax paper and eat them that way, but I rolled the mixture into little balls and then rolled them in crushed hazelnuts. They look nice this way and they were very tasty! They didn't last very long at all. This recipe also comes from Pinterest by way of this gluten free blog:

Enjoy! I do hope to be blogging something new again soon, so stay tuned!