The Food Philosopher: Gluten-Free Recipes, Health and Nutrition, Diet and Weight Loss

 

 

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Grilled Seasonal Tapestry

ALTHOUGH WE LIKE TO GRILL YEAR 'ROUND, THE WARM WEATHER BRINGS
with it a particular yearning to cook and eat outdoors. A special end of week supper with your family or friends is a great way to segue into the weekend. Colorful, easy-to-prepare foods make up our menu. Make a quick trip to your local farm market to pick up almost everything you'll need.

Baby Greens and Sautéed Peaches with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Grilled Fish with Red Pepper Coulis
Zucchini and Mushroom Risotto
Sugar Snap Peas
Lemon Coconut Pound Cake with Fresh Berries

Start your meal off with a light, fresh salad of baby greens, sautéed, seasonal peaches, and our delicious, foolproof balsamic vinaigrette. Sprinkle on a few freshly toasted nuts, pour some chilled wine, and sit down to enjoy the evening.

When you're finished with the salad, take a few minutes to grill the fish, finish the risotto, and briefly rewarm the sugar snap peas. We give instructions for partially cooking the risotto and precooking the snap peas at the end of the recipes below. You can make the red pepper coulis early in the day or a day or two before the dinner so that all you have to do is rewarm it. (You can also make it and freeze it several weeks ahead). Toss some of your favorite fish on a hot grill for about 10 minutes, and you are ready for dinner.

As the sun sets, bring out our lemon coconut pound cake to serve. Slice pieces and serve with fresh berries on the side. Pour some chilled dessert wine or iced green tea with honey and sit back to enjoy the rest of the evening.

BABY GREENS and SAUTÉED PEACHES with BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

Serves 6

10 cups mixed baby greens
2 large ripe peaches (or 2 large Bosc pears)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Calvados or cognac
½ cup toasted walnuts or pecans
Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (below)
Cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 350° (a toaster oven works well for this).
  2. Place walnuts or pecans on small baking sheet on bake for 5-7 minutes, until toasted. Set aside.
  3. Peel and cut peaches into eight slices (or peel and core pear; cut into eight slices). Melt butter in a small sauté pan over medium high heat. Stir in brown sugar and combine with butter. Mix in peaches or pears and coat with butter mixture. Sauté until light golden brown; stir constantly. Set aside to cool.
  4. Toss salad and fruit with Vinaigrette. Arrange on salad plates. Sprinkle the top of each salad with nuts.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

  1. Shake to mix. Keep tightly covered and refrigerated. Allow to come to room temperature before using.

© 2008 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts


GRILLED FISH with RED PEPPER COULIS

Serves 6

2 pounds fresh fish filet (1" thick)
Cooking spray

  1. Lightly grease grilling surface (rack). Preheat grill to high setting.
  2. Grill fish filet 5 minutes on first side. Flip filet over. Grill another 5 minutes on the other side. Remove immediately and serve. (As a general rule, allow 10 minutes total for each 1" of thickness).
  3. Serve fish with red pepper coulis below: spoon several tablespoons of the coulis on each plate and then place a piece of fish on top, or place a piece of fish on each plate and them pass the coulis in a serving dish at the table.

Red Pepper Coulis

1 tablespoon cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
½ cup onion, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
2 medium sweet red peppers, finely chopped (remove seeds and membranes)
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and soften for one minute; add onions and sauté until glazed. Add red pepper and chicken stock; bring to a boil. Cover saucepan and simmer about 20 minutes until onions and red pepper are tender; and remove from heat.
  2. Place red pepper mixture in blender and purée until smooth. Pour back into saucepan and boil until reduced to thickness of heavy cream. Add 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or olive oil (your preference). Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Coulis can be made ahead and kept in a tightly sealed container in refrigerator for up to three days and freezer for 4 weeks.

© 2008 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts


ZUCCHINI and MUSHROOM RISOTTO

Serves 4 as a main course
6 as a side dish

5 cups chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup finely minced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1½ cups Arborio rice
3 ounces mozzarella, cut into cubes (fresh mozzarella is best)
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 cup shiitake or other wild mushroom, stems removed and sliced (about 2 ounces)
Freshly ground pepper

Vegetables can be prepared ahead of time and kept covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. Warm slightly in microwave before adding to risotto.

  1. Heat one tablespoon butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and cook, stirring frequently until zucchini becomes tender, about 5 minutes. Set aside in a small bowl.
  2. Heat another tablespoon butter in the same small skillet. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently until mushrooms are soft and liquid they have given off is mostly evaporated. Set aside in bowl with zucchini.
  3. In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a low simmer and keep it simmering.
  4. Heat butter and oil in a heavy 4-quart saucepan over moderate heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened (not browned), 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add rice and stir until it is well coated, glistening and semi-translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the white wine and stir until all the wine is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of hot broth and stir until rice has absorbed most of the broth. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and stirring until all broth has been absorbed. This should take about 16-18 more minutes. Adjust heat down if necessary to keep fluid from being absorbed too quickly. The rice should be tender, but firm to the bite.
  6. Add mozzarella, Parmesan, zucchini and mushrooms. Stir to combine with rice and to heat cheese and vegetables. Add freshly ground pepper to taste. Cover pot and let stand for 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Cook's note: The risotto can be partially prepped up to an hour ahead: In Step 5 use a little more than half the broth. Cover the pot, turn off the heat, and allow it to sit until you are ready to finish it. Right before you are ready to serve the main course, turn the heat back on under the saucepans for risotto and broth, add enough broth to loosen the rice, and continue adding broth until the risotto is finished. Proceed to Step 6.

© 2008 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts


SUGAR SNAP PEAS

1½ pounds sugar snap peas

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. When water is at a full boil, add snap peas to the water and blanch for 1 minute until bright green. Drain in a colander and arrange on a serving patter or bowl. Snap peas can be blanched about an hour before serving and then rewarmed briefly in a microwave.

© 2008 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts


Food Philosopher’s® Gluten–Free

LEMON COCONUT POUND CAKE
WITH FRESH BERRIES

Makes a 9-inch bundt shaped cake*

3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1½ cups brown rice flour mix**
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1/3 cup Canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Confectioner's sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Position rack in center of oven. Spray a 9-inch bundt pan or Kugelhoph mold with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Beat eggs in large bowl of electric mixer at medium-high speed; gradually add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until light.
  4. Add flour mixture, yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon zest and beat at medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Stir in sweetened flaked coconut.
  5. Evenly spread batter into prepared pan. Place in center of oven and bake about 50 minutes (a toothpick inserted in the center of cake should come out clean). Do not open oven for first 45 minutes.
  6. Cool cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Carefully remove cake from pan and cool completely on rack. Sift powdered sugar over top. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature with fresh berries on the side. Can be made a day ahead. Store cake covered tightly with plastic wrap in refrigerator. Pound Cake can be covered with plastic wrap and then with foil, and stored in freezer for up to three weeks. Best when eaten within four days of baking.

*Use a 9-inch (across the top) Kugelhoph crown shaped mold or a fluted ring mold that would hold 8 or 9 cups filled to the top rim. Do not use an 8x4" loaf pan or cake will be dense and heavy. Do not use a 9" tube pan or you will have a 1" high cake. You can use mini-loaf pans or mini-bundt pans, but you will need to adjust baking time.

**see "Gluten-Free Flour Mixes" in our Recipe Archive

© 2008 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts