Category Archives: Recipes

Krispy Kale and Parmesan Chips

Kale was only 66 cents at the grocery store today!  So i decided to make a little appeteaser of parmesan paprika kale chips.  They were selling for $7.50  bag at Whole Foods, so I figured that I could make them just as good and for a fraction of the cost!  And I did!

Parmesan Paprika Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale

splash of apple cider vinegar

2 T olive oil

1 t. salt

1/2 t. paprika

3 T. parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. Rinse and dry kale and pull apart into 2-3 inch pieces.  

3.  Combine vinegar, olive oil, paprika, and salt and pour over the kale pieces.  

4.  Mix thoroughly and pour onto baking sheet (I sprayed mine first, but I don’t think it’s necessary). 

5.  Bake for 10 minutes

6.  Take out of oven and flip over, sprinkle cheese on top. 

7.  Bake another 10 minutes, or until crispy.  

These were a great snack.  Crispy, chewy, salty, and good for you!

Plus, very easy and gluten free… of course 🙂

Pasta and Painting

Today I went into the city and picked up some art supplies at Sam Flax.  Then I treked over to Whole Foods and picked up ingredients for dinner.  While I was there I stopped at the in-store Jamba Juice.  Most deliciously over-priced beverages on the planet – except possibly Frappucinos, or those chocolate drinks from Godiva.  

Then I got to work painting, trying to channel my inner child/artist.  Here’s what I came up with!

Grow Together


Not exactly the next Picasso, but I’m pretty proud of myself.  

On to the pasta:

Ricotta Pasta with Tomatoes and Herbs 

*Makes one serving

1/2 cup pasta (I used elbow rice pasta because it’s what I had on hand)

1/4 cup ricotta cheese

2 T. parmesan cheese

2 small tomatoes or 1 large

1/2 cup herbs (I used Italian parsley and basil)

salt and pepper

Cook pasta in salted water until al dente (about 12 minutes for gf pasta).  

While pasta is cooking, cut up tomatoes into chunks, and dice the herbs. 

Drain pasta, except for about 3 T. of pasta water.  Pour pasta and water into serving bowl. 

Add ricotta and parmesan to the pasta and stir until you have a creamy sauce.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Toss in tomatoes and herbs (you could add chicken here if you wanted as well).

Sprinkle a bit more parmesan cheese on top, and enjoy!

This really was the perfect summer meal.  I used basil fresh from my “garden” (a pot in my kitchen with about four sprigs of basil, that’s near death).  It was so quick and simple, I might just have it again tomorrow 🙂

Strawberry Jam Session

The kids I used to nanny for would get in the minivan sometimes after I had been in there running errands alone.  The music would be bumpin’ and they’d go “Anna – were you havin a jam session in here?!”  

Yesterday I had a real life jam session – strawberry style.  

I thought to myself – strawberries are so cheap, and store-bought jam always has high fructose corn syrup in it – you should just make some jam yourself!  So I did…

I started with two pounds of strawberries from the fruit market.

I hulled and rinsed them, then cut them into bite-sized pieces.  I put about 3/4 cups of sugar over them, along with about 3 T. of lemon juice, and put them in the fridge to marinate for about an hour.  Mind you, I had no idea what I was doing at this point – but I figured it would work out. 

After that I put them in a pot and brought the mixture to a boil.  This is where things got sweet (literally ;))  


It almost boiled over a few times, but I lowered the heat and stirred it down.  After about 40 minutes it got to be much more viscous and lava-like…

I let it sit and cool for awhile and then I had to have a taste.  So I put it on some of Udi’s bread, toasted, with butter: 

toast and jam


So good!  Not too sweet and just thick enough.  I put it in a leftover pasta sauce jar and have enough jam to last me a year!  (although I think it will only keep for about a week…)

So, lesson learned – don’t be afraid to have your own jam session.  And don’t buy into that Smuckers stuff 🙂

GW Fins inspired salmon


Salmon with creamy sweet potato and corn hash

I tried to recreate the salmon dish that I had at GW Fins in New Orleans, and I think I did a pretty good job!

Dijon Salmon with Creamy Sweet Potato and Corn Hash

2-3 T. dijon mustard

1 T. gluten free soy sauce

1 small sweet potato

1 ear of corn

2 T. milk or cream

1 T. butter

2 T. parmesan cheese

Set oven to 350 degrees and bake sweet potato for 30 minutes.  As the potato is baking: mix together the mustard, soy sauce, and olive oil.  Spread this mixture on top of the salmon and put it in the oven when the sweet potato is about 20 minutes into the cooking time.  

Take the sweet potato out of the oven when it’s almost finished cooking, let cool until you can handle it, and dice it into little cubes.  Cut the corn kernels off of the cob.  

Melt the butter in a saute pan, add corn and sweet potatoes.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes to cook the corn and heat the sweet potato.  Add in the cream or milk, salt and pepper to taste, and add in the parmesan cheese.  

By this time the salmon should be ready (about 15-20 minutes).  Pile the sweet potatoes and corn on the plate, and place the salmon on top. 

Serves one.  

This is better than it sounds – really simple, but delicious.  This might be one of my favorite ways to eat salmon.  It definitely wasn’t as good as the butterfish dish I had in New Orleans, but it’s great for a quick and healthy meal.

GF Mac and Cheese two ways


Zucchini and roasted pepper mac and cheese


The inspiration for this dish came from when we went to Sangria in Royal Oak, MI for tapas with some of my friends.  Nick and my cousin shared a plate of chorizo and manchego cheese – and he had to figure out a way to make this small plate into a full blown meal.  So, we made gluten-free macaroni and cheese with manchego – Nick added chorizo and roasted red peppers to his, and I added zucchini and peppers to mine.  

Manchego Mac and Cheese

2 oz. chorizo 

or one small zucchini

2 green onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced

8 oz. gluten free macaroni (I used Tinkyada)

3 cups grated Manchego cheese

2 T. butter

2 T. gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose mix)

2 c. milk

1/4 t. paprika

salt and pepper

8 slices of gluten free bagel

1/8 c. parmesan cheese

Heat up some olive oil in a frying pan and saute the sliced chorizo (or zucchini). Remove the chorizo and saute the green onions and garlic in the chorizo oil (I just threw in the garlic and green onions with my zucchini). Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water until the pasta is just tender. Once it is cooked, drain the pasta and then add the chorizo, green onions, garlic, and the piquillo peppers and mix everything together.  I rinse my pasta in cold water after draining to make sure it doesn’t stick together.  We split up the macaroni into two batches to keep the veggie part separated.  



To make the cheese sauce, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and let the roux cook for a few minutes while continuing to whisk it together. Slowly whisk in the milk, about 1/4 cup at a time, making sure to get out the lumps.  Season the sauce base with the paprika and let it gently simmer, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in 3 cups of Manchego cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni and mix everything together.  Pour into a greased pan, and top with the slices of bagel (I sprayed them first with olive oil spray).  Sprinkle parmesan cheese over top and put into the oven. 

Bake the macaroni and cheese in a 350 F degree oven until the croutons are browned and the cheesy top is bubbling. You can put the broiler on for the last few minutes to really crisp up the top.

Nick's Chorizo Mac (mine's up top)


The only downside to this dish is that Manchego cheese is pricey (about $8 for a block).  You could use cheddar and it would be just as good.  The croutons really make the mac and cheese interesting and add a crunchy treat to each bite.  

So yummy.  We ate the whole thing.  And I’d do it again. 

Central Park and Gluten Free Crab Cakes

Saturday was the first day in a couple weeks that I’ve had to just relax: go to the gym, explore the city, and cook in with my hunny.

Central Park was in full bloom, and the people/dog watching was great.  All of the good rocks were taken though…sigh.

Orlando Bloom


After visiting the park, we went to the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle for dinner ingredients.  And miraculously, it wasn’t a total zoo.  On the menu: crab cakes with remoulade and dijon vegetables:

I made the crab cakes based on the recipe on Hey, that tastes good!

Crab Cakes

1/2 lb lump crab meat, picked over for shells

1/2 onion, minced

one big carrot (I used about 6 baby carrots), grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg

2T Dijon mustard

2T horseradish

2T mayo

salt and pepper

a little less than 3/4 cup gf bread crumbs (I used Ener-G Breadcrumbs)

1. Cook the onion, carrot, and garlic in 1T of butter until softened.  Let cool on the stove as you mix the other ingredients together (save the breadcrumbs).  Add the breadcrumbs in 1/4 cup at a time until the mixture is not too wet, and comes together into a ball.  Divide mixture into 6 balls (ours made seven).  Coat in a little more breadcrumb.  

Heat 1T butter and 1T oil in a pan.  Cook cakes for about 3 minutes on each side, until they’re brown and crispy. 

Dijon Vegetables

2 potatoes, cut into half moons (we used Russet, but you could use red-skin too)

2 cups broccoli florets

carrots (as many as your carrot-hating boyfriend will let you put on the pan)

4T olive oil

5T Dijon mustard, or stone-ground

1T basil/oregano/garlic blend

salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Stir together oil, mustard, and spices.  Add to vegetables and stir to coat.  Spread vegetables on a greased baking sheet.  

Bake for one hour.  


This meal was a definite win.  The vegetables are a great side dish, and so easy to make.  You can stick them in the oven while you prepare the rest of your meal, and they’re done right on time.  

And what’s in that pinkish lumpy sauce, you may ask? 

I’ll give you the recipe, but I’m not going to vouch for how good it is, because it wasn’t perfect.  

Remoulade sauce

1T chopped capers

1T lemon juice

1/3 cup mayo

squirt of ketchup

squirt of mustard

Stir it all together.  Then you’re done. 


Nick put hot sauce in his, which I think was a good call.  I mistook cornichons for gherkins in the store, and added those yucky bitter pickle things into mine, so that didn’t really help my case.  

I’ll let you know if I come up with something better.  For now, I’ll say just use tartar sauce or cocktail sauce.

Also, don’t even think about watching the movie 2012.  Nothing can spoil the taste of gluten-free crab cakes like John Cusack and bad special effects.

Paying Homage to Rainbow Jello – Naturally Gluten Free

For Easter weekend, I went home to Michigan to celebrate and eat with my wonderful, loud family.  One of our Easter traditions is the Jello Ribbon Salad.  My grandmother made this salad every year to perfection, and I don’t think that any of us appreciated the labor that goes into it until this year, when we had to fend for ourselves.  My cousin graciously offered to make the dish this year, and I think that she’ll pass the torch to me for next year.  Considering this takes about 48 hours and almost constant monitoring to make, it is definitely a labor of love.

This is one of those 1950s hold overs that’s reminiscent of women wearing aprons, men with crew cuts, and kids hula-hooping in the backyard.  If you have idle hands, or want to make a crowd-pleaser dessert – take a stab at it!

Update (7/2011) – This is the original recipe from my grandma’s cookbook.

Happy (belated) Easter, and may your family traditions live long and prosper 🙂

Rainbow Jello salad

Rainbow Jello Salad:

5 (3 oz. each) pkgs. Jello, any 5 different flavors
5 c. boiling water
10 tbsp. ice water
10 tbsp. sour cream

Dissolve one package Jello in 1 cup boiling water.  Pour 1/2 cup into bowl and add 2 tablespoons ice water.  Chill until set in ring mold or pretty glass serving dish (we use a glass brownie pan).  Blend 2 tablespoons sour cream in remaining Jello and pour over gelatin in mold.  Chill until set, about 20 minutes.  Repeat with each flavor of gelatin remaining.  Pour into mold until ribbon is completed.

Time: about 48 hours.

Serve with a big dollop of whipped cream.