Category Archives: Healthful Eating

Gluten & Dairy Free Cauliflower Crust Mini Quiches

Gluten-free and Dairy-free dishes have been coming to the forefront in recent times.  Some folks choose to be GF and DF for health reasons and others just do.  My Friend, Missus Dear Friend is now GF/DF and Vegetraian for a little more than a year now.  This has nudged me onto that culinary path and researching recipes has been very eye opening.  I made this dish for our Easter Brunch Potluck (yeah, I know I’m behind, but what can I say, we’ve been busy).

GF/DF Cauliflower Crust Mini Quiches

1 head of Cauliflower

1 tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 tsp. Granulated Garlic

1/3 C. diced Sweet White Onion

½ C. Dairy-free grated Parmesan Cheese

Salt & Pepper to taste

6 Eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 375⁰

*Rice the Cauliflower by either using a large holed Box Grater or whiz it up in a Food Processor fitted with its Metal Blade.

 

Place Cauliflower in a Microwave safe dish; stir in well the Salt and cook on high for 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool until you can handle it.  Transfer the now steamed Riced Cauliflower to a large piece of Cheesecloth, and wring as much of the water out as you can (this will take a lot of upper body strength, believe me!)

In a large bowl, whisk 2 of the Eggs; add the Cauliflower, Olive Oil, Granulated Garlic, Onion, Parm and S&P to taste, remembering that the steamed riced Cauliflower already has 1 teaspoon of Salt.  Combine well.  Spray a Muffin Tin well  and divide the Cauliflower mixture evenly in the cups.

I used a small round, flat bottomed glass to press the Cauliflower into each cup, pressing firmly, but you could just use your fingers, making sure to push the mixture up the side of each cup.  So what you’re doing is forming the crust on the bottom and side as evenly as possible.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and set firm.

Whisk the remaining 4 Eggs and pour evenly between all of the cups.

 

Here’s where you can show your personality.  Add in any fillings (or not, plain is good too) that you like in a Quiche.  I chose leftover steamed Rapini with Garlic and Olive Oil, leftover sautéed Crimini Mushrooms with Olive Oil and Garlic, diced Tomatoes, freeze dried Chives and topped each with more DF Parm.  Bake 15-20 minutes or til the Eggs are set.

Allow to cool slightly before removing, using a plastic-disposable knife is best.

Serving Suggestion above, either warm or at room temp.

*Cooks Note: For convenience, just buy a bag of already Riced Cauliflower, also they stick like a son-of-a-gun!  Be sure to spray non-stick-spray liberally just before putting in the Cauliflower mixture.

Also, Mrs. DF later tried this recipe as well and used a silicone Muffin pan, works even better!

This was a lovely Easter Potluck Brunch, what a schpread!

(You’ll note that the only  Meat, Dairy or Gluten ((those are GF Crackers and Chips there)) is the Ham and Cheese Sandwich Platter meant for DH)

Fresh Fruit From California

DH and I just got back from California.  We drove out to the San Joaquin Valley to visit with my Mother. The best, as well as the worst time of the year to go is early Summer, when the fresh fruits are bountiful.

For years my husband would ask me, “Why don’t I ever see you eating fruit?”  Well, when you’ve spent a good number of your Summers in “The Food Basket of the World” , where you can pick our own tree/vine/bush ripened produce, sit own your Great Grandmother’s back stoop and eat a still warm from the Sun piece of fruit, you’re spoiled for life.  I always have had a hard time eating “store bought” fruit with no taste, no heady fragrance, no juices running down your arm, I mean, come on man!

REALLY!!  How delicious does that look? 

That’s a flat of Peaches and Nectarines, we figure probably about 20 pounds.  Two pounds of Cherries, 3 quarts of the biggest, red-est Strawberries I’ve seen in a long time; we also got 2 pints each of Blueberries and Blackberries.  All are so sweet and juicy, they taste the way that they should.  My husband kept whispering in my ear, “That’s enough now, don’t buy too much.”

Mom and her best-est friend from childhood, took us around to the different orchards.  Of course they each had know the families that own the fields for three generations.  There’s no street signs, so if you didn’t know where you were going, you’d be SO LOST! This rural farm lands.

On our car trip home, our car smelled like heaven!

We do plan on sharing our bounty with others, like Mr&Mrs Dear Friend’s as well as our favorite neighbor.

Hawaiian-Style Lunch For Two At Home In The Middle Of The Desert

Yup, that’s right.

My husband made a request the other day, he said that he was really ono (hungry for) for some Poke and Sushi.  Well, I was out and about and stopped into my favorite green grocer.  HEH! They’ve got a Sushi Counter, ya know the kind were they make it right in front of you to take home, complete with Wasabi, Pickled Ginger and a small packet of Shoyu (they had chopsticks and forks too 😉 ).

Also in the fresh fish case they had Ahi fillets, CHEAP…I love this place.

DING DING DING!!!  LUNCH!  YUM!

When I got home, I made up a batch of Shoyu Ahi Poke with a beautiful half pound Ahi steak and served that with the Unagi (Fresh Water Eel) Nigiri Sushi.

What a treat!

Meyer Lemon & Thyme Infused Sea Salt

Meyer Lemons just arrived in our local Green Grocery.  These little darlings have the most wonderful smell.  They kinda brighten up a Winter’s Day.  I wanted to try something different with them, AH!  Flavored Salt.

Ball® Brand Dry Spice Jars

I found these jars at the Mega-Mart and thought this would be perfect for Food As Gifts.

So here’s how it went …

 

Auntie Doni’s Meyer Lemon & Thyme Infused Sea Salt

½ C. Coarse Sea Salt

2 Meyer Lemons, zested (approximately 2 Tbsp. of zest, no white pith please)

2 Tbsp. fresh Thyme, cleaned and dried well (leaves only, stripped off the stems)

Place all of the ingredients into a Food Processor and whiz it up to the coarseness of your choice.

Ball® Brand Dry Spice Jars filled with my Sea Salt

You’ll have enough Salt to fill 2 four ounce Mason Jars.

Refrigeration is not necessary in an airtight container, such as a Mason Jar.  Your infused salt will last indefinitely in a cool, dark cupboard.

Shucks, I had to use different jars

And this my friends is why I had to return those uber cute jars, they’re not airtight, DANG IT!!  I transferred the salt into regular 4 oz. jars, fitted with new lids and rings.  Oh well.  But I mean, come on man!  How great does that look?!

I shared a jar with Missus Dear Friend, who has tried her share of the bounty on acoupla things already.

Her first try was on some Baked Salmon Fillets served with her KILLER Caesar Salad; next was her outstanding Guacamole, MMM!

The possibilities are endless.

*Cook’s Tip: You don’t need to go out and buy expensive labels.  Use your favorite Word Processor and print out whatever you like, in the font and colors that tickle your fancy; use your choice of crafting scissors and a glue stick.  That’s it.  It’s simple, cute and the label will wash right off with warm, soapy water.

Enjoy!

Fish Vera Cruz Style Ala Missus Dear Friend

I’ve mentioned my Dear Friend before several times here on my blog.  A few months back she and her husband decided, for better health, that they would go Gluten Free-Dairy Free-Pescetarian.  We started to talk about different Seafood, mainly Fish, recipes.  I suggested this one for them

https://mykitcheninthemiddleofthedesert.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/vera-cruz-style-fish-our-way/

Might tasty!

So as we talked about this particular recipe, I suggested that I contribute to her pantry some of the ingredients to make up this dish and she could go from there if they enjoyed it.  There’s no sense in investing in a whole jar of capers and you discover that you don’t care for them, then what?  Remember, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, make it your own.  If you don’t like a component, leave it out.

WOW! Missus DF you knocked it out of the park girl friend!!  She used Cod, which is a nice mild fish for sure, and her choice for a side dish was Cabbage Steaks.  If you’ve never tried them, do!!

So if you’ve been following my blog over the past 4 years and you’ve EVER tried any of the recipes or concepts that I’ve posted, please let me know…a photo of the dish would be awefully nice too 😀

A Different Twist On Salad Dressing

I really like to make my own Vinaigrette.  This way, I know what’s in it; I can control the amount of salt and vinegar, which we don’t care too much for.

My husband just loves Anchovies added to his salad, so I found some in a jar at one of those high end markets and he went absolutely wild for them.  Mind you, they’re not cheap (as compared to the stuff in a tin), so when he finished off one of his jars, I noticed there was all this oil left and it had that potent fish smell and taste to it.

Hmmm  💡

What if I used that oil in the dressing?  Let’s try it.

Homemade vinaigrette ingredients

Anchovy Vinaigrette

2 Tbsp. Anchovy Oil

4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. White Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 tsp. Mustard

1 Garlic Clove, finely minced

1/2 tsp. dried Oregano

Salt and Pepper to taste

Find some sort of covered glass container that you’d like to keep your dressing in, I use a half pint mason jar.

First into your jar is the vinegar, then the salt, I use just a pinch.  Shake well to dissolve the salt into the vinegar. Next in is the Mustard (this helps to emulsify the dressing), what ever type you have on hand, I have Spicy Brown Mustard in our `fridge; give it another good shake.  Everybody else, into the pool… Add the remaining ingredients and give it one more health shake.

Oops, don't forget the mustard in your homemade vinaigrette

Isn’t that beautiful? (oops, I forgot the Mustard in the other photo  😀 )

Give it a taste!  It does not taste like anchovies! Believe me, I can’t stand anchovies; I gross out ever time I come near them, ACK! :/  But this dressing has that umami flavor, that nice mouth-feel, ya know?  It truly is good.  And yes, you got it!  The basic recipe that I use for any Vinaigrette is 1:3, one part Vinegar to 3 parts Oil, easy-peasy.

Keep your dressing in the refrigerator and it’ll be okey-dokey for a super long time, but I think it’ll be gone pretty quickly.  ⭐

Missus Dear Friend was just saying the other day that she too will be making her own salad dressing, so I made an extra jar for her as well.

ENJOY!

(As always, remember that a recipe is just someone else’s idea.  Take it and make it your own, using different components, like maybe Rice Wine Vinegar or Canola Oil .. the skies the limit 😉 )

A Bit Of Home In Central Arizona

It has been a VERY stressful, well, seven months for my husband and I, what with listing our home, open houses, 3 offers to buy our home and finally selling it, MAN!  It’s rough, let me tell you.  So we both decided that we needed some comforts from home, Hawaii that is!

Cucumber Sushi

The first dish I made was Cucumber Sushi, super easy!

Limu Ahi Poke

Next up was some Limu Ahi Poke, MMM!  Now that just screams Hawaii, doesn’t it?

As I always do, I made WAY  too much food.  You know the drill, I gotta share it, so who better than our new landlords.  We’ll just say that Mister Landlord liked the sushi.