Author: wheat-free dairy-free me

I love to cook, dine, and share the things I've learned during my years as a cookbook author, food stylist, caterer, and now - blogger.

Paleo Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes with or without Garlic

Paleo * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve ~~

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Let’s start with the question “are potatoes paleo?”   If you google that, you will find many different answers ( a good article is found here http://paleoleap.com/are-white-potatoes-paleo/).  When I started paleo, the answer was pretty much “no” BUT sweet potatoes are okay.   This didn’t suit my sense of logic because if we are discussing the diet of Mr. and Mrs. Ugh, if they ate potatoes at all, they probably did not distinguish between the two…and they certainly didn’t eliminate the white potato merely because it was too high on the glycemic index.  As time passed, many in the paleo community seemed to soften on the white potato issue.  I use potatoes as a starchy vegetable and try to avoid the clearly non-paleo versions like potato chips and French fries (I confess I’m not totally successful at this) and I don’t indulge in potatoes daily.  But when I do, I love this fairly healthy (it does have lots of oil in it) version of mashed potatoes

When I first gave up dairy, I would never have dreamed  I would prefer mashed potatoes made with olive oil over those made with lots of butter and cream.  But that is indeed the case.  These mashed potatoes are smooth and rich with added layers of flavor from the broth in which the potatoes are cooked as well as the freshness from the chopped herbs.

The amount of olive oil you want to use in the potatoes will depend on how “tasty” your extra virgin olive oil is (and for this you must use extra virgin).   You will need less of a very fruity/flavorful olive oil than of a bland one.  Start with 2 tablespoons of oil, then add more until you have the flavor profile that you like best.

Enjoy!
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Paleo Pumpkin Bread

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I’m going to my cousin’s house for Thanksgiving dinner this year.  In self defense I offered to bring the pumpkin bread so that it would be Paleo.  I have to confess/brag that I don’t think anyone there will even know that it is anything other than a regular pumpkin bread.

Happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy!
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Lightly Curried Asparagus Soup

Wheat free * Dairy free * Gluten free * Paleo *  Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve~~~

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So, as happens all too frequently, I just couldn’t resist a bargain bunch of asparagus –    even though I had no particular use for them. I brought them home, put them in the refrigerator (I didn’t put them into a green bag that would have extended the life until I really wanted to use them) and 3 days later they are looking sad.  Soup, of course is the great burial ground of dying vegetables – so I took all the sad things I had in the fridge – 1 pathetic leek, 1 mangy stalk of lemon grass, and the drooping asparagus.  Sounds appetizing, yes??  Unbelievably this is now one of my new favorite soups! In my first recipe test I had red pepper flakes but it made it  pretty spicy  so I eliminated them from the recipe – you may want to include some if you like your soup spicy.  If you can eat dairy – this soup would be yummy garnished with yogurt.

Enjoy!

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Quick Calamari in Tomato Sauce

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free *  Paleo ~~

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I’m a Johnny-come-lately to the pleasure of calamari.  For most of my life if you had offered them to me – my automatic response would have been “If I wanted to eat rubber bands, they certainly wouldn’t be the fish flavored ones!”

I think I started to change my opinion at Carmine’s, a family style restaurant.  Someone ordered fried calamari for the table and insisted I try one.  OMG!  Who knew how delicious, tender, and non-rubber bandy they could be.  I couldn’t stop eating them…and now I dream of them.

But that was fried calamari…let’s be honest if you fried fishy rubber bands and gave me a delicious dipping sauce for them , I might fall in love with them too.  The transition to non-fried calamari came in a seafood cooking class.  One of the dishes was a squid salad and one of my tasks was cleaning the squid (which I was awesome at) and after doing all that work, I had to try the dish.  Okay, not love a first bite – but pretty good.

Fast forward to last week and I’m at the farmer’s market where the fish monger has fresh squid and some weird impulse seduced me to buy some.  I think it was more to see if I remembered how to clean them (the class was several years ago) then to actually eat them.  But here I am, a bunch of perfectly cleaned calamari and wondering what to do with them.  This recipe was my answer…and an excellent answer it was!

BTW if you want a really speedy version of this recipe, just heat up your favorite spaghetti sauce and stir in some calamari slices and cook a minute or two until opaque.

Of course I serve mine with zuchetti, if you are not paleo or gluten free, you can use any kind of pasta.

Bon Appetit!
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Aloo Gobi Matar (Cauliflower, Potato, and Pea Curry)

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo *

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This has always been my favorite dish to order when I’m having a meal at an Indian restaurant (or when I’m ordering in from one).   It’s probably one of the only savory dishes I make that doesn’t contain either onion or garlic – which means I can serve it to my friend who is allergic to both.

Usually you find Aloo Gobi (cauliflower and potatoes) on restaurant menus but I like the texture and color that the peas (matar) contribute to the dish.   Though I like the peas, if you are strictly paleo you may want to leave them out. When cooking this, it’s hard to tell how juicy your tomatoes are going to become, so you may or may not need additional water.  Using boiling potatoes will ensure that your potato cubes remain pretty intact. You don’t want mashed potatoes; you want the dish to be just a little saucy.

Aloo Gobi Matar

Stir this dish occasionally as it cooks to make sure the liquid doesn’t evaporate completely.

1 tablespoon olive oil  

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Ground red pepper to taste

2 tablespoons water + additional if necessary

3 cups cauliflower florets

1 cup cubed new red or Yukon gold (boiling) potatoes

1 cup tomato wedges

1/2 cup peas, optional

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro + additional for garnish

Salt to taste

In a 3-quart pot, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the ginger and cook, stirring 30 seconds.

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Add the curry, coriander, turmeric, cumin, and ground red pepper; stir until absorbed.

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Stir in the 2 tablespoons water; add the cauliflower, potato, and tomatoes.  Stir until vegetables are coated with spice mixture.

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Cook, covered, over medium heat 5 minutes until mixture starts to steam.  Stir; reduce heat and cook, covered 10 minutes longer.  Stir and see if any additional water is needed (adding 1 to 2 tablespoons as necessary).  Continue cooking 10 minutes, covered or until potatoes are cooked through.

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Add peas and cilantro, adding water if necessary.  Cover and continue to cook 5 minutes longer.  Season with salt to taste.

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Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle with chopped cilantro if desired.

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Makes:  4 cups    Serves:  4

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