Avocado Cream Sauce- Perfect with Gluten-Free Pasta

Avocado Cream Sauce

This vegan/raw “cream” sauce is super easy to make, ridiculously fresh tasting and will be your best friend if you are a big fan of avocados and lemon. This is one of those recipes that I can see people being very divided over. If you like the simple ingredients listed I guarantee this will become a go to recipe. If you aren’t crazy about avocados you might want to stay away. It tastes like a light and lemony creamy pasta without the dairy. Since it is basically just avocado you will have to eat it up right away, I can only imagine it will be an ugly colored mess the next day.

You will need:

  • one ripe avocado
  • juice of approximately half a lemon
  • handful of fresh basil (other herbs should work)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 TBSP olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine it all in a blender (I used my magic bullet) and served it on your favorite gluten-free pasta. I served mine on my go to gluten-free fettuccine. It’s almost too easy!

This recipe feeds two. Or one, if you are like me and eat the remainder on gf toast immediately.

Original Recipe: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/31/15-minute-creamy-avocado-pasta/

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Cashew Cream Sauce (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

Gluten-Free Pasta with Cashew Cream Sauce

If you love cream sauce and cashews there is little better than this easy sauce served with your favorite roasted veggies and pasta. I had put off making this sauce forever thinking it was complicated and my best friend showed me that it is the easiest recipe ever. All you really need is a high powered blender. This recipe really is a lazy, gluten-free, vegan cooks dream. This is a great go to healthier alternative to dairy based cream sauces. While it is amazingly delicious, no one will mistake this for a classic alfredo sauce. I almost think it’s better, but that’s coming from a cashew obsessed vegan food lover.

BTW- That Parma Veg alternative “cheese” is delicious and 100% gluten-free.

Cashew Cream Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups raw plain cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (gluten-free)
  • a few pinches of chili flakes to taste
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard (gluten-free)
  • 2 cloves garlic (one if you prefer it less garlicky)

Place all the ingredients in a high powered blender (we used a NutriBullet)  and combine until it makes a sauce. About 30 seconds. It’s that easy. You can add more water if you want a thinner sauce, more nutritional yeast if you want it “cheesier” and or more spice if that’s how you like it (we added sriracha).

We served ours with pasta and roasted veggies (mushroom and broccoli roasted with oil, salt and pepper for about 20 minutes). You can bake the finished product in the oven for 15-20 minutes to make a kind of baked macaroni if you want, but we served it as is. The sauce stores well in the fridge for a few days.

Adapted from this recipe by Tara Stiles

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Spaghetti with Veggie & Chickpea “Meatballs” (Gluten Free)

Spaghetti with Veggie Meatballs (Gluten-Free)

Being gluten-free and averse to eating red meat means I had not had spaghetti and meatballs since I was a child. This realization motivated me to make a veggie “meatballs” for an impromptu dinner party. These were a big hit and were loved by the vegetarians and the meat eaters. They are pretty easy to make, super delicious and a great vegetarian alternative to the classic meatball.

The recipe below was adapted from this recipe by Mary Ann Esposito. I made a few substitutions and found this recipe to be extremely versatile, there are no real measurements needed.

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small sweet red pepper
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 TBSP fresh parsley
  • 3 TBSPs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free bread crumbs (I used gf panko)
  • sea salt to taste
  • Canola Oil for Frying (the recipe calls for 4 cups but I used much less, just coating the bottom of the pot)
  • Optional for serving: fresh basil, freshly grated cheese

Note: I couldn’t find a key piece to my food processor so I grated the carrot, garlic and zucchini and chopped the red pepper, onion, garlic and parsley. I used a potato masher to squish the chickpeas. If you are using a food processor don’t forget to chop your veggies first.

Pulse the chickpeas in a food processor, transfer to a bowl and set aside (or use a potato masher to squish them up in a bowl).

Add the pepper, zucchini, carrot, onion and garlic to the food processor and pulse until the mixture looks minced (or finely chop/grate).

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan and stir in the grated/minced vegetables; cook until softened. Cool for about 5-10 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the chickpeas. Add the 1/2 cup grated cheese (optional), parsley, salt (or other seasoning) and one egg, mix well (If mixture seems dry you can add another egg).

With wet hands form 1 inch balls and set aside.

Beat the remaining two eggs in a bowl and place the bread crumbs on a plate.

Coat each ball in egg then in bread crumbs and place on a dish. When all the balls are coated, heat oil in a heavy duty pot.

Fry the balls a few at a time until golden brown and use a slotted spoon to transfer them to absorbent paper to drain. If using less oil make sure to turn the balls so they are cooked on both sides.

I served these “meatballs” with my favorite corn spaghetti, basic tomato sauce and fresh basil. I could see these making great fillers in wraps or served on a salad. The recipe made more than enough for 5 of us, which means lots of leftovers on a non-dinner party night.

I would definitely recommend keeping this recipe around for a great vegetarian meal option.

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Salmon with Roasted Beets, Quinoa, Arugula & Goat Cheese

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One of my favorites meals is this simple roasted salmon with goat cheese, crispy shallots, roasted beets, quinoa and arugula. This is a very informal recipe (kinda thrown together), feel free to try different flavors and ingredients such as potato instead of quinoa and spinach in lieu of arugula. It’s super easy to prepare (each part can be prepared before hand) and most importantly delicious and pretty healthy. I like to make extra for salads during the week.

Ingredients

  • Cooked quinoa
  • Beets (any color, I love the look of candy striped beets),  peeled
  • Salmon fillet
  • Arugula
  • Mild Goat Cheese
  • Thyme Dressing
  • Shallots sliced

To roast beets: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut beets in halves or quarters, toss in a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet. roast beets for about 40 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork.

Bake salmon: Heat oven to 400 F. Place salmon in a shallow dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for about 15 minutes until cooked through.

Crispy shallots: Sautee shallots in butter in a cast iron skillet or pan for about 10 minutes until crispy.

Thyme dressing: Olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper and fresh thyme to taste.

Toss arugula with dressing and place on a plate. Top with a sprinkle of quinoa, roast beets, salmon, crispy shallots and goat cheese.

Enjoy!

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Gluten-Free Polenta Crust Pizza

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I found this recipe for GF Polenta Crust Pizza on Pinterest and had to try it. This pizza crust hits all my expectations for a gluten-free recipe: delicious, easy and inexpensive. The recipe called for making the polenta dough in the microwave (which was a first for me) and then forming the polenta into crusts and making a basic pizza. While this didn’t taste exactly like a traditional pizza, it makes a great gluten-free alternative and you will particularly love it if you are a fan of polenta. Be prepared to serve this pizza with a knife and fork, it isn’t as firm as a normal pizza crust.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup cornmeal (medium grind works well)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 TBSPs olive oil (plus more to grease the pan)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Pizza toppings of your choice

Preheat your oven to 375-400 F (depending on the strength of your oven and the thickness of you crust)

Combine the cornmeal and water in a microwave safe bowl. Cook the polenta in the microwave on the highest setting for 5 minute intervals, stirring in between each interval. After the second interval (10 minutes) the polenta should be coming together (like in the picture below). After 10 minutes, place the polenta back in the microwave for up to 5 minutes, stirring it every few minutes. The polenta should be very thick. Once cooked add the olive oil, salt and pepper and combine.

Place dough on a well-greased pizza or baking pan. I made two individual pizzas and there was enough dough to make at least 3. The recipe I followed recommended to make the crust 1/3 inch thick.

Top the pizzas with your favorite toppings such as:

  • Tomato Sauce
  • Pesto
  • Cheese (we used vegetarian mozzarella)
  • Veggies

Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until it begins to brown in spots (make sure to keep an eye on it). Let it stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.

I served mine with spaghetti squash and salad on the side.

Polenta Crust Pizza

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Polenta Pizza Crusts

Polenta Pizza

Polenta Crust Pizza