Monday, November 14, 2011

The Final Countdown

Today is the last day of our gluten-free challenge. Phew, we made it! It has been a great month and I'm really proud of what we've accomplished. Going forward, we're going to continue to eat gluten-free for the most part, but enjoy at least one dinner a week that doesn't follow the rules. For our final week, we tried gluten-free pasta, and I gluten-free sandwich bread, for the first time, escaped to Thailand for take-out, and enjoyed delicious home cooked meals. Here are the recipes that I created in the kitchen:
Pumpkin Sage Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Butternut Squash

Recipe, adapted from Nat the Fat Rat:
(Makes 4 servings)

1 box gluten-free pasta (I used rotini rice pasta)
4 turkey Italian sausages, cooked and sliced
1 large butternut squash
3 cups cooked spinach (one bag of fresh spinach)
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 gloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil to taste
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Peel and cut butternut squash into 1-inch pieces, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper
Pour onto baking sheet and put in oven for 30 minutes or until soft
Bring water to boil in large pot
Add pasta to boiling water and stir freqently for two minutes
Cover pasta pot and turn stove down to simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta in cooked
Drain pasta and transfer into large bowl
Saute garlic and sage in olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat

Add pumpkin and water
Whisk together until combined
Stir in brown sugar
Season with salt and pepper to taste

Add squash to pasta, pour sauce over and stir to combine
Top with sliced sausage, spinach, and Parmesan cheese

Disclaimer: It is rare that I don't love, on some level, a meal that I make. I had read Natalie's post about her famous pumpkin sage pasta and couldn't wait to make it. Maybe because I didn't follow the recipe to the letter, or because I used fairly flavorless gluten-free pasta, it didn't turn out tasting too impressive. It had very little flavor, so I was happy for the additions of squash, sausage, and spinach. I will definitely be trying this again, and next time following her recipe - I want to love this pasta!

Turkey and White Bean Chili

Recipe, adapted from Martha Stewart and originally blogged about here:
(Makes 4 large servings)

1 large onion, diced
1 pound lean ground turkey
2 cans reduced sodium white beans
1 cup canned diced jalapenos or green chiles
1 can reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen corn
1 lime
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 avocado, sliced
Chili powder or cumin to taste
Olive oil

In a large pot, add white beans, jalapenos or chiles, chicken broth, frozen corn
Bring contents of pot to a boil for a few minutes, reduce heat to simmer and cover
Heat olive oil in large skillet
Add diced onion and cook until soft, then move to pot
Heat olive oil in large skillet
Add ground turkey and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, then move to pot
Season with chili powder or cumin
Continue to simmer for 25-30 minutes or until thickened to your liking
Top with sliced avocado, lime juice, and cheddar cheese

Pork Chops and Saffron-Veggie Rice

(Makes 4 servings)

1 package VIGO yellow saffron rice (found in ethnic food section at local supermarket)
2 cups water
2 green zucchini, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 thin cut pork chops
Olive oil
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
Hot sauce to taste

In a large pot, bring 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to boil
Add package of rice and stir
Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes
Heat olive oil in large skillet
Add vegetables and cook until soft (I added first onion, then peppers, then zucchini)
When rice is cooked, stir vegetables into rice and continue to simmer, season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
Heat olive oil in large skillet
Add pork chops, two at a time, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until white inside
Move to a plate and cover with tinfoil until ready to serve
Scoop rice onto plate, add hot sauce, add pork chop


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