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Adopt a Gluten-Free Bloger: Diane of the Whole Gang’s Portobello Polenta Pesto Recipe

Posted By yum On May 29, 2009 @ 8:00 am In Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger, Blog Event, Fellow Food Bloggers, Gluten Free Blogs, Gluten Free Recipes | 6 Comments

mushroomtempeh4 [1]chicknuts3 [2]mushroomtempeh6 [3]This month after much soul and blogroll searching, I decided to adopt one of my favorite people- Diane of the Whole Gang. Diane describes herself as a gluten free food coach, and promotes whole, healthy, organic food on her blog. While recipes are just one of the features of her blog, she has a select, quality variety of recipes that appeal to me, including recipes for Gluten-Free Jalapeno Pepper Poppers [4] and Black Bean Cakes. Tempting though these recipes are, Diane inspired me to adopt her based on one of her most recent recipes- one for Pesto Shrimp on Polenta Portobellos [5]. Lately I’ve become obsessed with the peppery-flavor of arugula, thanks to lovely bags of the stuff available at Trader Joe’s. And, Diane’s dairy-free pesto recipe called not only for basil (one of my favorite herbs) but combined it with arugula as well as toasted pine nuts. How could I possibly resist? And I loved the idea of layering grilled portobello mushrooms with polenta and then a grilled or pan fried protein in pesto. I always try to follow recipes as closely as possible in adoptions, but in this case, I found that I was out of parsley so had to make the recipe with basil, arugula, and chives instead. I also am not tolerating garlic well these days (darned sensitive pregnant tummy) so left that out. Otherwise, though, I made her pesto as written, and found it rich but tangy. I used arrowhead mill polenta and tried microwaving it instead of boiling it on the stove, but came close to overcooking the polenta as their directions suggest far too long of a cooking time. Luckily I was able to add water and recover a nice, creamy, but thick polenta. I always like to season the polenta itself, so I added some pesto to the polenta for flavor and interest. I grilled the portobello on our gas grill and covered it with the pesto-flavored polenta and let it begin to set. I had considered using edamame for my vegetarian-shrimp substitute, but then I found a package of Tempeh in the fridge and decided to lightly baste it a mixture of coconut oil and olive oil and light salt and grill strips. It worked beautifully and added great texture to the dish. I found that once you let the polenta sit, you can also deconstruct the dish by slicing the mushroom and topping it with tempeh. Beautiful and delicious, too! I loved Diane’s idea to use arugula in pesto, as well as the fun combination of mushrooms, polenta, and protein, and I will definitely be making my vegetarian version of her dish again! This wasn’t the only recipe I made, though- I also mixed up a batch of her Amazing Toasted Mixed Nut Recipe [6]. This dish is essentially a high protein snack of canned chickpeas and nuts, seasoned with spices and a drizzle of agave nectar. I’m not sure if it is because my oven runs hot or because my canned chickpeas were on the small side, but I found that some chickpeas burnt slightly on 400f, so next time I would either shorten the cooking time or lower the temperature. I did enjoy the seasoning (although I used smoked paprika instead of chili pepper), but I also reduced the oil since I didn’t need the extra calories. Diane is right, though- these mixed nuts (and beans!) are addicting. I enjoyed everything I made from Diane’s blog, and look forward to seeing the recipes to come from this dedicated and healthful gluten-free blogger.

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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/mushroomtempeh4.jpg

[2] Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/chicknuts3.jpg

[3] Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/mushroomtempeh6.jpg

[4] Jalapeno Pepper Poppers: http://thewholegang.typepad.com/blog/gluten-free-jalapeno-pepp.html

[5] Pesto Shrimp on Polenta Portobellos: http://thewholegang.typepad.com/blog/2009/05/pesto-shrimp-on-polenta-portobellos.html

[6] Amazing Toasted Mixed Nut Recipe: http://thewholegang.typepad.com/blog/amazing-toasted-mixed-nut.html

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