Saturday, November 5, 2011

Recipe Reference: Vegetarian & Gluten-Free Recipes

So I returned from the farmer's market this beautiful Saturday morning to a voicemail from my dad. "Hey, I've got a question for you. A friend of mine is having a dinner party and three of the guests are vegetarian and one is gluten-free. Do you have any suggestions?"

Oh boy! Recipe reference? It's a librarian-who-loves-to-cook's dream come true! I put Emmett down for a nap and tuckered down with a pile of cookbooks and my laptop to write up a response to my father.

First off, my father thinks I have a lot of experience with gluten-free cooking. I don't. My father-in-law has a bizarre allergy to white flour, but it isn't a gluten allergy as he is able to eat whole wheat flour without any problems. So in the process of preparing a list of recipes, I found myself having to do a little research. I found that typing "Is ________ gluten-free" in the Google search box brought me the answers I needed in my quest. Ain't the Internet grand? One particularly useful website I came across was, which included an entire list of safe foods for easy reference.

Listed below are the recipes that I shared with my father so that he could share them with his friend so that he could choose one to share with his guests. Hooray for passing on food love. The first four are recipes I have tried and loved. The last few are links to recipes that I haven't tried, but I happen to think Mexican food is always fun for a dinner party so I added them in.

If anyone out there has any recipe reference queries, please pass them on! Might as well get some use out of that M.L.S., right?

Maggie's Divine Thick Peanut Sauce
(We make this ALL the time around here - served over rice or pasta, sometimes with diced tofu, sometimes with diced chicken, sometimes with diced fake chicken, like the Quorn brand. I must give full credit here to my college roommate Maggie, who came up with the recipe many moons ago.)

2 tbs. oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tbs. garlic
4 green onions, chopped
1 c. water
1 tbs. minced ginger
1 tbs. soy sauce
1/2 c. peanut butter (preferably natural)
1 1/2 tbs. lime juice
2 tbs. brown sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp. salt
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1) Heat oil. Add garlic, onions, and green onions and saute 5-6 minutes
2) Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl. Stir until smooth.
3) Add mixture to veggies. Mix well. Simmer 5 minutes or until thick. Stir constantly.
4) Serve over rice (or pasta, if gluten isn't an issue)

** If you opt to add in chicken or tofu, dice it and saute it for a few minutes at the beginning, then put it aside, then add it back in at the end to heat up in the sauce.

Moroccan Stew
1 tsp. oil
2 c. chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. carrots, sliced thin
1 green pepper, 1/2 inch strips
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. allspice, ginger, turmeric
1/4 tsp. salt, cayenne, cinnamon
3/4 c. water
4 c. cubed eggplant
3 c. chopped tomatoes (I used 2 cans diced tomatoes)
1/2 c. raisins
1 can chickpeans, drained and rinsed

1) Heat oil. Add onion and garlic.
2) Add carrots, peppers, spices, 1/4 c. water. Cook, stirring, for five minutes.
3) Add rest. Cover and simmer over medium low for 30 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally.
4) Serve over rice (or couscous, which does have gluten).

Ratatouille (adapted from Everyday Foods Issue #76)
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
6 tbs. olive oil
1 large eggplant, cut into 1" pieces
salt and pepper
2 large yellow onions, diced large
1 head garlic, cloves smashed and peeled
2 bell peppers (any color), seeded and diced large
2 large zucchini, diced large
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. oregano
2-3 tbs. red wine vinegar

1) Preheat oven to 350. Place tomatoes and juices on a rimmed baking dish and use your hands to break tomatoes into 3/4 inch pieces. Drizzle with 2 tbs. oil and bake until thickened, 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, in a colander, toss eggplant with 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Let sit 20 minutes, then squeeze out excess liquid.
3) In a large pot, heat 4 tbs. oil over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add peppers and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4) Add tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, bay leaf, and oregano to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook at a gentle simmer until veggies are tender but not mushy, 15 minutes. Season to taste with vinegar, salt, and pepper.
5) Serve over rice. Pass crusty bread for those able to eat it.

South American Quinoa and Corn Soup - included in this earlier entry

I learned today that quinoa is a gluten free grain - see here. Who knew?


Corn tortillas should be gluten-free, but check the label just to be sure that no flour was added. Serve with beans and Spanish rice to fill out the meal. Here are a few yummy sounding recipes (that I have not tried).

Spinach Enchiladas Verde

Vegetarian Enchiladas

Portabella Mushroom Enchiladas

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