Tag Archives: lemon juice

Quinoa Pasta with Baby Spinach

14 Jan

I love pastas… and when trying to do gluten-free for a few weeks, I crave it more and more each day.

We found this new pasta over at Costco – QUINOA PASTA!! I was skeptical at first, but it’s awesome! Cooks just the same and even better, I might add, than Tinkyada Rice Pasta, which for years has been my gluten-free pasta of choice. It withstands being left in hot water better than rice pasta.

This is a great recipe that combines pasta and salad all rolled into one… it’s basically pasta, salad and vinaigrette. It’s easy to make, delicious to eat, fast as it takes as long as the pasta takes cooking and even works great for company. I am planning to make this for someone new I’ve been seeing lately. Shhhhhh!!!! But, that’s just between you and me, OK??



2 heaping cups of dry quinoa pasta
4-5 large handful baby spinach
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2-3 tbs of olive oil
The zest of 1 lemon
The juice of ½ of that same lemon
¼ cup parmesan cheese, optional
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and cook pasta according to the package directions. I usually boil the pasta for about 7-8 minutes, kill the heat, cover the pot and allow the pasta to continue cooking in the hot water.
  2. In a skillet over mdium-low heat, add about 2tbs of olive oil and the 2 garlic cloves. The garlic will infuse the oil with its taste. Allow the garlic to cook a bit in the hot oil, but don’t fry it, cook it just until it starts to change colors. Take the garlic pieces out and discard them. Turn off the heat and add the lemon zest, the juice and season with salt and pepper. Mix together and keep in hold until the pasta is done.
  3. Drain the pasta and return to the same pot. Add the baby spinach and the olive oil/lemon mixture. Toss well to combine. The heat of the pot and the pasta will start to wilt a bit the spinach. It’s possible you may need to add the spinach in batches, but that’s ok. I like that some of the spinach wilts more than others.
  4. Add an additional drizzle of olive oil and the parmesan cheese, if using. Toss one last time to combine and serve immediately.

Plum and Blueberry Crisp

10 Sep

I am not the most proficient baker, particularly when having to make something for 20+ people…   so when Angie at the yoga center asked me to help her with a dessert for the yoga center, I usually think of something fruity and simple that will not require lots of kneading or beating.  Because with as many kitchen implements there are at the center, there is not an electric mixer.

I remembered a few episodes of Good Eats and Barefoot Contessa where they made fruit cobblers or crisps.  I always enjoyed the cherry cobblers when I used to eat at Bonanza.  But I guess something fresher than cherry pie filling would be more suitable for the buffet dinner at the Yoga Center.

We used gluten-free flour mix and non-dairy shortening to accommodate for the many allergies and tastes at the center…  although I have seen MANY eat wheat and cheese galore when traveling and they present no “allergies issues”…  go figure, huh?



4 lbs of fresh plums
12oz of blueberries – I used frozen
2/3 cup of organic granulated sugar
5 tbs of cornstarch
1 tbs of lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
For the Topping
1 1/3 cups of gluten-free flour
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of organic granulated sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 sticks of non-dairy “butter”, cut into small pieces – I used Earth Balance and I recommend maybe freezing it before using
1 cup of walnuts, toasted
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Wash the plums well and cut an X at the bottom of each fruit using a paring knife.  Place the plums in the hot water for about 1 minute until you see the skins start of peel off.  Transfer the plums to a large bowl with ice water using a large colander.  This will stop the cooking immediately…
  2. Peel the plums, which should be easier after they’ve been blanched.  Slice them into ½” slices. 
  3. Place the sliced plums in a large baking dish.  Add the blueberries, the lemon zest, lemon juice, 2/3 cup of sugar and cornstarch.  Mix well together. Set aside.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  5. In a separate bowl we’ll mix the crisp topping – the gluten-free flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, walnuts and non-dairy butter.  Using your hands (or maybe even better an electric hand mixer) mix well all the ingredients to achieve a cornmeal texture.  If the “butter” is not super well chilled you’ll make a huge mess.  It’s still taste good, but be ready for a messy mess in your hands.
  6. Drop pieces of the crisp topping over the fruits.  The topping does not need to evenly cover the fruits, but try to have globs of topping as evenly spaced as possible over the fruits.
  7. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes until the topping gets as golden brown as possible.  I did this in an oven that’s not mine and I had to increase the temp a bit to 385F for about 10 minutes to get a nicer golden color.


Allow the crisp to cool down for about 1 hour before you serve it.  It’s delicious warm or even room temperature.  A nice scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn’t be bad either.

The dessert was a complete hit… that’s why we’re posting here for all to have access to it.  Enjoy!!!

Steamed Veggies with Horseradish Vinaigrette

29 Jun

A few weeks ago I received a bunch of green beans in my CSA box…  but not the regular green beans, the haricot vert French-kind green beans…  thinner and crisper than the regular ones.

As you may have read here already, I am not a bean fan.  But green beans are a completely different thing.  I grew up eating French-style green beans from a can.  It was one of the choices of ready-to-eat veggies we were given – green beans, canned corn or sliced tomatoes…  and they had to be the thin french ones, because the fat, stubby regular ones were not the same… you could see the little beans inside and that would be a no-no for me.

But evolving into fresh green beans is something much more recent… as I was explaining to a friend the other day, canned and fresh greens beans are two completely different things.  And after you’ve tried the fresh kind, you’ll never go back to canned, ever.

To me the easiest way to prepare them is steaming them…  and I top them with some sort of olive oil-based dressing.  This time around was with prepared horseradish.  Check it out…


 Steamed Veggies w- Horseradish Vin


About 4-5 baby red bliss potatoes, washed and cut in half
A small handful of haricots verts or french-style green beans, trimmed
The juice of 1 lemon
1 tbs of prepared horseradish
Salt and Pepper to taste
About 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a medium pot, I cook some potatoes in a little bit of salted water.  I boil/steam them over medium heat in the covered pot for about 15 minutes.
  2. Boiling potatoes
  3. When the potatoes are about to be done, I place the trimmed green beans on top of the potatoes, cover the pot again and let them steam  about 2-3 minutes.  After that,  I turn the stove off and leave them there for about 5 minutes more until the green color in the beans is super bright.  Super easy.   
  4. Steamed Green beans and Potatoes 1
  5. While the beans steam, prepare the dressing…
  6. In a measuring cup whisk together the lemon juice, horseradish, olive oil, salt and pepper.   Drizzle over veggie and enjoy.

     Horseradish Vinnaigrette 1               Horseradish Vinnaigrette 2

Watch out…  make sure the horseradish you use does not contain egg or egg yolks in it.  I bought mine at Whole Foods and as you can see by the labeling, it does not contain any egg.  Just be careful if you’re traveling with it, because airport security might consider it a liquid and might take it away.  I was LUCKY I got a nice security person and let it slide…

           Gold's Horseradish                 Gold's Horseradish - BACK

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