Monday, April 26, 2010

Hummus: A Love Story

Oh hummus, how I love thee, let me count the ways.  I can eat you with carrots or chips or crackers or cucumbers.  I can spread you on sandwiches and wraps.  I can add cumin or cayenne, roasted red peppers or olives.  I can make you in five minutes flat when I’m in need of an afternoon snack.  I can take you in the car, on the airplane, and by train because you don’t spoil quickly.  Hummus, how I adore you!

Garbanzo beans are high in protein and fiber and make a great snack any time of the day.  I’ll eat some hummus and corn chips with a glass of orange juice after working out for a GF/CF recovery snack.  Just be wary because depending on how you prepare the hummus, it can be high in calories from the olive oil and tahini, so serve yourself about ¼ cup instead of eating from the container.

Plain Hummus

1 14 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 glove garlic
1 T lemon juice
½ tsp salt
¼ cup tahini
½ olive oil or olive oil and warm water mixed
Paprika (optional)

1.       1. Put garbanzo beans and garlic in the food processer and pulse until finely chopped.  Scrape the   bowl.
2.       2. Add lemon juice, salt, and tahini.  Puree until smooth, occasionally scraping the bowl.
3.       3. While the food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil and continue to blend until smooth.  If the hummus is still too thick, add warm water until you reach the desired consistency.
4.       4. Sprinkle with paprika and serve with chips, crackers, or sliced veggies.

Optional additions: roasted red pepper, Kalamata olives, cumin, or cayenne


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gluten-Free Bruschetta

When you go gluten-free, something you seem to lose is Italian food.  Sure, there are plenty of acceptable GF pastas out there, but you have to turn gourmet chef in order to replicate those meals you once enjoyed in fabulous Italian restaurants. 

I adore Italian pastas and bread, cakes and cookies.  I’m not of Italian descent but it has always, always been my favorite type of food.  In fact, lasagna was the only thing I required when I got married (never mind the groom).

Due to my mild obsession, I was making bruschetta at home long before I became GF but sadly, I haven’t had this delectable appetizer in two years. 

Until now.

Half of bruschetta is the bread and there is no way to fake it with a really, really tasty topping.   You actually taste and relish the bread in bruschetta, so I never wanted to make it with the cardboard GF excuse of a bread-like product that has taken over my life.

Until now.

Remember how I talked about the fabulous Crusty Boule?  Well, turns out this is the perfect bread for bruschetta!  There are so many different ways to make bruschetta that I’m not going to read you the gospel.  In fact, Ben and I make it differently every time.  You can toast or fry the bread and then add a cold topping.  You can add the topping to the bread with parmesan cheese and toast the whole thing.  You can cook the topping and toast the bread!

This is, very roughly, how I made my delicious gluten-free bruschetta.  It’s all about taste and how you like it so don’t be afraid to sample the topping as you go along.
Gluten-Free Bruschetta

1 loaf GF crusty boule
Fresh tomatoes
Balsamic vinegar
Olive Oil
Basil (fresh or dried)
Garlic, pressed through a garlic press
Parmesan cheese

1.      1.  Slice the crusty boule and toast very lightly so the topping doesn’t soak through
2.      2.  Dice tomatoes and add a touch of balsamic vinegar and an equal amount of olive oil. 
3.      3. Add a clove or two of garlic, a teaspoon or two of dried basil (use tablespoons if using fresh basil)
4.      4. Stir in equal amounts of salt and sugar
5.      5. Taste, taste and taste again!
6.      6. Top lightly toasted bread and grate on a touch of parmesan
7.      7. Bake at 400 degrees F in a toaster oven or regular oven until the bread is crisp and the tomatoes are lightly warmed
8.      8. Serve as an appetizer with wine or as part of an Italian meal.