Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Garlicky Gluten-Free Spaghetti With Mushrooms & Spinach

Garlicky Spaghetti With Mushrooms & Spinach was one of my go to dishes to order at one of our favorite restuarants until I went gluten-free. When I discovered gluten-free spaghetti and pasta, I could enjoy it again! Only, I had to make it myself as GF fare wasn't popular yet in restuarants. Here it is recreated not only GF but also oil-free to the delight of my tastebuds; no one has to feel deprived any longer.

There are many kinds of gluten free pastas available these days; our favorites are made with brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, or a combination. I usually make this dish using brown rice spaghetti. As any other pasta shape will work fine, enjoy using your favorite type. Of course those for whom gluten is not an issue, use any pasta you like! 

4 Servings


8 oz Spaghetti/Pasta (Gluten-Free)
2 tsp Olive Oil (optional)
5 Garlic cloves
8 oz Fresh Mushrooms, sliced
8 oz Fresh Spinach
Salt & Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 pinch Crushed Red Pepper flakes
1 large handful Flatleaf Parsley, minced
6-8 fresh Basil leaves, torn 
1/2 cup GF Breadcrumbs, toasted or Vegan Parmesan


Prep all the ingredients: Clean and slice mushrooms, tear spincan into big pieces (Stems are good too, prepare herbs, peel and mash garlic and set aside all the ingredients separately.

Cook the spaghetti (or pasta) with a generous pinch of salt until tender but still firm according to package directions, drain and keep hot. Save about 1/2 - 1 cup of the cooking water to add to the dish to keep it moist.

While the spaghetti is cooking, heat a large skillet; sprinkle the red pepper and a little black pepper to toast lightly. Add oil if using and the mushrooms with a pinch of salt. Cook on low-medium heat  stirring often adjusting heat as necessary until mushroom juices reduce.

Add the garlic and stir for about a minute or so.

Tip in the spinach and turn to coat until wilted.

Mix in the hot cooked spaghetti and the parsley until combined well, adding some or all of the reserved cooking liquid as needed. Tongs are very helpful to combine the spaghetti with the veggies and herbs.Taste and add seasonings of salt or pepper as needed.

Sprinkle the basil and toasted bread crumbs or the vegan parmesan.

Serve hot immediately. Pass the pepper mill if you wish to add more black pepper for individual servings.


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Lebanese style Tabbouleh - Gluten Free With Quinoa & Cauliflower

This fresh tasting Tabbouleh makes a light meal or a refreshing snack/starter; offer with other wonderful Middle Eastern dishes such as Dolma (Rice stuffed Grape Leaves), Smoky Red Pepper OR  Regular Hummus, White Bean Dip, Vegetable Caviar, Baba Ghanoush, etc for a more substantial meal.


This recipe maybe doubled or tripled etc as needed.

Tabbouleh tastes fresh and is best enjoyed within a couple of days of making.

The Tabbouleh maybe prepared with Quinoa or Cauliflower alone or both as prefereed. 

You may use 2 Tbsp Bulgur (Cracked Wheat #1) soaked in about 1/2 cup of boiling water for 30 minutes instead of the quinoa or cauliflower if gluten is not a concern.

Serves 2-4


1/2 cup cooked Quinoa, cooled
1 cup Riced Cauliflower, raw or lightly cooked
1 large bunch Italian Parsley
1 large handful fresh Spearmint
1 small Persian Cucumber, finely diced
1 ripe Roma Tomato, diced finely and drained
1/2 small Onion OR 1 small bunch Green Onions, finely chopped
1 fresh Lemon, juiced 
Salt & freshly ground Pepper to taste
1 tiny pinch each - ground spices - cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and fenugreek (optional)

To Serve:

Romaine Lettuce leaves (inner ones preferably)
Lemon wedges


Clean, thoroughly wash and drain the herbs. If you have a salad spinner, use it to remove all water or excess moisture from the parsley and mint.

Finely chop the parsley and mint and place in a large bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust lemon, salt, pepper, etc.

Store the Tabbouleh in a container with a tight fitting lid in the fridge until ready to serve.

Serve with the romaine leaves.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Guacamole With Tomatillos & Jalapenos

A simple but delicious Guacamole that will keep. The acid in the tomatillos and lime will keep the guacamole bright green especially when not serving right away. Great as a side or topping for all types of Mexican style fare like burritos, tacos, tostadas, etc.

NOTE: For a milder guac, remove all or some of the cores from the jalapeños before chopping.

Makes 2 1/2 cups


2 large ripe but firm Avocados, peeled, pitted, and chopped
2 large Tomatillos, coarsely chopped - about 2 cups
1/4 of a White/Red Onion,  coarsely chopped - about 1/4 cup
1-2 Jalapeños, coarsely chopped - about 1/4 cup
1/2 cup fresh Cilantro, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
1 small Key Lime, juiced

To Serve:
Warm Tortillas Corn/Wheat
Tortilla Chips
Raw Vegetables


In a food processor, combine tomatillos, onion, jalapeno, cilantro. Pulse until finely chopped.

Spoon the chopped veggies into a bowl and add the avocados, salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, juice from the lime, and 1/2 cup water. Mix and mash well together with a fork but not too much; retaining a little of the texture is lovely. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

If not serving right away, place a piece of cling film on top to keep air out, cover tightly and refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Serve as a dip with warm tortillas, tortilla chips and/or veggies or with your meal.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Green Chili (White Bean Stew With Roasted Chiles)

Delicious and fresh tasting Green Chili makes a hearty meal; this makes enough to put aside a portion in the freezer for another day or share with friends.

Just like the other chilis (Vegetarian Chili Or White Chili), this is another crowd or family pleasing meal; set out all the toppings for each person to choose for themselves.


Any dried white bean maybe used - great northern, cannelini, lima, etc.

If roasting the chiles is not an option, use 1 small can ( about 1/2 cup) of roasted green chiles or a green bell pepper. If using bell peppers, dice and add to chili without roasting.

Fresh or frozen white corn kernels make a nice tasty addition.

Any extra chili maybe promptly chilled and reserved in the fridge for later. Chili can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

8-10 servings


1 pound White Beans, cooked
2 Poblano Chiles OR 1 green Bell Pepper, diced
3-4 medium Tomatillos, husks removed and washed
1-2 cups fresh Spinach
1 large yellow/white Onion, finely diced
3 - 4 ribs Celery, diced
1-2 Jalapeños, minced finely
1 Tbsp ground Cumin seeds
Kosher salt and ground Pepper
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
2-3 tsp dried Oregano
1 medium Zucchini, finely diced
1/2 cup fresh Cilantro, finely chopped

Optional toppings:
Avocado, diced
Tomato, diced
Jalapeño, cored and finely diced 
Cilantro, chopped fresh 
Onion, chopped 
Warm tortillas/ OR Tortilla chips
Cashew cream


Sort, soak, and cook beans in water to cover. Drain, rinse and cook the beans in water to cover in a large pot or use a presserure cooker. Set aside, freeze or chill until needed. For more details on cooking and storing beans, check How to Cook Dried Beans.

Broil/roast the chiles and tomatillos until blistered on all sides and let cool. When cool enough to handle, peel, remove stem and seeds of chiles while reserving the flavorful juices. Discard peel, stem and seeds. Dice chile/pepper into small pieces. Cool and reserve the tomatillos. 

In a blender/food processor, puree the tomatillos with the spinach.

In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, add onion, celery and jalapeños to pot with a sprinkle or two of water and cook until onion is translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about another minute.

Tip in the beans into pot and a little water keep a loose but not soupy consistency. Stir in cumin and oregano. Bring to a boil over high.

Stir in tomatillo-spinach puree and zucchini. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Stir in the Cilantro. Check seasonings and adjust to taste with salt and pepper.

If not serving right away, let chili cool completely, then refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 3-5 days. Remove the amount needed, heat and enjoy. Freeze in freezable containers for longer storage.

Serve Green Chili hot with the optional toppings.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Green Beans With Garlic & Herbs

Green Beans with Garlic & Herbs works best with young and tender green beans. So simple, yet so delicious! A great side for anytime, especially lovely for a company dinner with friends and family at Thanksgiving or other festive ocassions. It works well as a starter or salad too.

Serve hot immediately or cool and enjoy at room temperature or chilled.

Make a pesto with the garlic and herbs; use fresh or dried herbs and adjust quantities to your taste. I make extra and use it for seasoning other veggies, pasta, soups, and stews.

Asparagus, broccoli/cauliflower florets, spiralled zucchini, etc are other fabulous vegetables to prepare this way.

2 - 4 Servings.
These are so good they disappear quickly right out of the pan; so the recipe maybe good for only 2 servings!


1 lb Tender Green Beans
1 pinch Turmeric
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 - 1 tsp good Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)

Garlic-Herb Pesto:
1 clove Garlic, peeled and trimmed
1-2 pinches Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Parsley
1/2 tsp Sage
1/2 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Thyme


Wash the beans, drain and trim the stem ends.

Bring 1 cup of water with the turmeric and a big pinch of salt to boil in a large pot with cover.

Place the beans carefully in the pan, cover.

Cook the beans turning often using tongs so all of them cook evenly. Cook for about 6-7 minutes until beans are bright green and crisp tender.

Drain all of the liquid from the beans into a bowl; save the cooking broth for soups or as a vitamin-rich broth to drink - yum! Reserve a tablespoon or two of it for mixing with pesto and beans.

Make the pesto while the beans are cooking: Mash the garlic and herbs together with the salt.

Add the beans back to the pot and add oil if using and the pesto along with pepper. Stir in a little of the reserved broth if needed to get the pesto to coat the beans well.

Stir and cook until beans are heated through and cooked to desired doneness and all are coated in the pesto.

Taste for seasonings and sprinkle a pinch of salt if needed and another grind or two of pepper.

Serve hot immediately.


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Masoor Dal With Spinach & Tomatoes (Red/PinkLentil Stew/Soup With Greens)

Masoor Dal With Spinach & Tomatoes, Rice
Masoor/Red/Pink Lentils are actually neither red nor pink but a peachy salmon color! They are a common and popular ingredient in many cuisines. Quick cooking  and chockful of nutrition, they can fill the bill no matter which cuisine. They are the quickest cooking member of legume world (takes only 20 minutes!).

The combination of rice, dal, and greens never loses its charm for me; so simple yet wholesome and delicious. Serve Dal With Spinach and Tomatoes over rice, other grains, or with roti in the Indian Style or as a stew/soup. Either way it is hearty comfort fare and a delicious winner regardless of the season.

The perfect side for Dal With Spinach and Tomatoes is a fresh chopped salad. Toasted papadams, pickles, roasted veggies, etc. are other delicious sides.


I like to add the tomatoes (lots of it too - love the combination of tomatoes with the spinach) at the end so remain quite discernible without turning too soft and mushy. If you have tomatoes languishing in the kitchen ready to be used up, put them to use them here.

Frozen spinach works well in this recipe; 8 - 16 oz package should do it depending on the amount of spinach you like.

6-8 Servings


1 cup Masoor/Red/Pink Lentils
1 medium yellow Onion, finely diced
1 Jalapeno/Serrano Chile, cored and minced
1 one-inch piece fresh Ginger, finely grated 
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Whole Cumin Seeds
1 Tbsp ground Coriander
1-1/2 tsp ground Cumin
1-2 pinch Cayenne
1/2 tsp ground Turmeric 
1 cup Water
2 Stems fresh Curry Leaves
Sea salt
1 large bunch OR 8 oz bag fresh Spinach, coarsely chopped
2 medium Tomatoes, diced
4 Tbsp chopped fresh Cilantro

Lime/Lemon Wedges for serving
Hot cooked grains/breads for serving


Sort, wash, and soak the lentils for 30 minutes if possible. Drain, rinse and drain well. Place lentils in a 2-quart pan, add enough fresh water to cover the lentils, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover partially and simmer until soft, about 20 minutes or so. Stir ocassionally and make sure to add a little water if needed to keep dal from burning.

In a 3-4 quart heavy-duty pot, cook the onion with a pinch of salt and a spritz of water over medium-low heat stirring occasionally, until beginning to color and caramelize, 7-8 minutes. Sprinkle a little water as necessary to keep the onion from burning. 

Add the chile, garlic and ginger to the onions; cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until they soften.

If using frozen spinach, add it now and cook until it is no longer frozen simmering gently.

Add the curry leaves and the cooked dal and bring back to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

If using fresh spinach, add it now. Stir in the fresh spinach and simmer just until wilted. Remove from heat.

Heat a small pan and add the cumin seeds; stir and shake until they start to puff and pop a bit and become fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the ground coriander, cumin, and cayenne; stir for a few seconds to toast the spices. Tip the spices into the dal and stir well.

Stir in the  tomatoes.

Cover and let the dal rest for about 10 minutes.

Stir in cilantro and serve hot as a soup/stew or with your favorite grains and/or breads. Pass the lime/lemon wedges.


Dal With Spinach & Tomatoes, Rice

Creamed Power Greens With Crisp & Toasty Toppings

Creamed Greens & Spaghetti Carbonara
I love to use assorted baby greens like kale, chard, beet/radish greens, spinach, etc for this very tasty and easy Creamed Power Greens With Crisp & Toasty Toppings; choose one type or a mixture. The cooked greens are so delicious, that they get gobbled up before getting creamed!

Creamed greens are naturally gluten/dairy-free.


The recipe can be easily halved, doubled, etc; use 1/2 lb of the fresh greens per serving. After cooking, I use clean kitchen scissors to chop the greens a few times right in the pot, easy-peasy! 

The greens maybe prepared a day or two ahead and reserved in the fridge until ready to proceed with the rest of the recipe directions.

Roux Variation: a roux maybe used to make the cream: Roast 1 Tbsp brown rice flour until  lightly browned and fragrant. Stir in half the milk given in the recipe and cook stirring/whisking until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Add cashew cream and proceed to finish following the recipe.

2-3 Servings


1 lb Greens - Spinch or a combination of baby greens
1 pinch Turmeric
Kosher Salt to taste
1/4 cup Cashews, raw or roasted, soak in hot water for 1-2 hours
1-2 pinches (~1/8 tsp) freshly grated/ground Nutmeg
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Non-dairy Milk

Optional Toppings

1/4 cup Toasted Nuts/Seeds, coarsely chopped or ground
1/4 cup Toasted (gluten-free) Breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast


Heat a large pot with about 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil. Sprinkle turmeric and a big pinch of salt and add the greens. Keep the greens turning by moving the cooked ones to one side while pushing the unwilted ones to the bottom. 

When the greens are just wilted, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and drain into a colander set over a bowl to catch the delicious broth. The cooking broth maybe used in making the cashew cream, enjoyed in a soup or on its own.

While the greens are drraining, prepare cashew cream: drain and rinse soaked cashews. Place in a blender carafe with the nutmeg. Process using a little of the milk/broth from greens into a silky cream.

Heat the cashew cream (the pan for cooking the greens would be fine); swirl the blender with a little of the greens cooking broth or water and add to pot along with any remaining milk. Cook until slightly thickened.

Press the greens gently to remove excess fluids, chop coarsely, and add to the hot cream. Mix well and heat thrpough until steaming hot. Remove from heat.

Season the creamed greens with salt to taste (go easy on salt as greens already has a little from pre-cooking and do not usually need much anyway) and freshly ground pepper.

Serve hot with a spinkle of one or a mixture of the following: toasted nuts/seeds, breadcrumbs, and nutritional yeast. 

Creamed Greens & Spaghetti Carbonara