Gluten-free On the Road in Israel: Easy Chickpea Pasta Recipe

September 18th, 2011 yum Posted in Chickpeas, Israel, Italian, Pasta 6 Comments »

Eating gluten-free is more difficult on the road, and most difficult of all when traveling internationally. This is why when the DH and I planned a trip to Israel this September, I insisted that we stay somewhere with a kitchen at least part of the time. We chose the Atlas hotel affiliated Tal hotel in Tel Aviv, located within walking distance of the Tel Aviv Port. I learned later that there was a gluten-free store at Hangar 13 of the Port (Aditta’s), so it ended up being an especially good choice. One thing I was not anticipating was the difficulty of navigating labels in Hebrew. I had heard that everything would be in Hebrew and English, so I thought labels would be easy- it turned out that the only thing typically written in English MIGHT be the title of the food item. Labels were NOT in English unless the product was imported in or designed for export. This made all kinds of things complicated. Also, our kitchen was very, very small, which was not a problem, but I found that the hot plate liked to blow the kitchen fuse, which was a hassle until they switched out the hot plate. It was handy that Israeli buffet breakfasts are reasonably gluten-free friendly. They serve (gluten) bread… but they also serve salad, which may consist of arugula-like greens and apples or plums if you are very lucky, several kinds of dairy including soft cheeses like Tsfatit, fresh cheese, a cottage cheese and my favorite, Labane, a smooth, creamy yogurt cheese. They will tend to have labane plain or (my favorite) with chives or possibly dill.

A pescatarian breakfast of salad with tahini as an un-dressing, cottage cheese, labane, tsfatit cheese, and pickled fish.
The nicer hotel buffets will also have an espresso machine, although the machine will be at rest on Saturday morning. I ate breakfast at the hotel every morning, which was a relief to not have to worry about feeding myself or Toddler Yum. Having a kitchen for lunch was wonderful, though. I was able to fry eggs, make gluten-free grilled cheese sandwich, and gluten-free pancakes, when eating out was too complicated. My favorite meal was thanks to some gluten-free pasta I bought at Adittas (also available through an online gluten-free store that delivers or other health food stores. I had bought a can of chickpeas, and had some milk and butter. It was a simple dish, but satisfying, and Toddler Yum gobbled it up like candy. The best thing is that you could make this dish almost anywhere in the world in a dorm kitchen, a weekly mansion hotel, or even at home, with simple, easily available ingredients. I hope you enjoy it.

Chickpea Pasta Recipe for limited kitchens
1 tbsp. butter or olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 thin slices or 1 large grated handful tasty cheese (optional)
1 tbsp. gluten-free flour or baking mix (I used Pamela’s pancake mix because it is what I had)
milk (regular or plain soy or almond milk)
fresh herbs, diced (optional)
minced fresh veggies (red, yellow, green pepper or carrot)
nuts (such as pine nuts etc. if available), lightly toasted

1/2 package of gluten-free corn spaghetti (or your favorite variety)

Heat 1 tbsp butter or olive oil in a small skillet. Add your diced onion and saute until translucent. Toss in your gluten-free flour and mix to combine with the softened onions. Add 1/2 cup milk, stir until combined and heat on medium-low, whisking (with fork or fancy whisk) as needed. When sauce begins to thicken slightly add more milk, whisk together, heat more and let thicken. Add more milk until you have enough sauce for your taste. Then add your chickpeas and simmer until the chickpeas have been flavored by the sauce. Add your (optional) cheese and let it start to melt. Turn off the heat and let it continue to melt.

Cook your favorite pasta until al dente and drain. Stir your chickpea sauce. Top your pasta with your chickpea pasta sauce and add diced fresh herbs (if you have them), salt, pepper, and sprinkle minced fresh veggies and nuts on top. Enjoy!

Perfect for limited kitchens with at least one stove burner and a dorm refrigerator. This recipe only uses commonly available ingredients, except for the gluten-free flour and gluten-free pasta. When I know I will have at least one burner at a destination, I pack pasta and flour in my suitcase.
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Dairy-free Gluten-free Arugula Herb Gnocchi Salad Recipe

September 27th, 2009 yum Posted in Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday, Gluten Free Product Database, Italian, Potatoes, Vegetarian 7 Comments »


This week I thought I’d share a really unique salad recipe with you- one for herb or arugula gnocchi on a bed of fresh arugula that I drizzled with a (bottled) balsamic vinaigrette. I couldn’t resist making it with the fork tin decor on top, even though it doesn’t really end up showing in the final product.

This week the gluten-free menu swap is hosted by Cheryl at GF Goodness with vegetarian meals as the theme. Don’t forget to check out more menus at Org Junkie. In the meantime, here’s my gluten-free menu of the week- Cheryl should be very happy with me as every single meal is vegetarian!!! heheh.

Sunday: Vegetarian
Roasted beets and root veggies
Pan Fried Oregano Okra
French Rice in the Rice Cooker

Tuesday: Chinese
soy-free Mushroom Broccoli stir-fry

Wednesday: Thai
Vegetable Green Curry
Jasmine rice

Friday: Indian
Red lentil fritters (Masoor Dal Vada)
Bette Hagman flatbread
Vegetable curry

Saturday: Irish
Vegan pot pie

I recently came across an intriguing recipe for arugula gnocchi in a magazine and was inspired to convert it to be gluten and dairy free. I’ve become obsessed with arugula as a zesty alternative to lettuce since Trader Joes started selling a mild organic arugula. I thought it was a great idea to treat arugula like spinach. Further, it serves as the perfect foil for neutral floury potatoes. Although the arugula becomes quite muted by the starch in the recipe, if you don’t like arugula or don’t have any in your area, you can always substitute spinach or use a nice fresh herb (without blanching it). I have made gluten-free gnocchi several times and had the best results not with gluten-free cookbooks (the author used potato flour along with the fresh potatoes and it gave it a dreadful, heavy flavor) but rather by adapting gluten based recipes. I made a yummy kabocha pumpkin gnocchi once, and a gluten-free ricotta cheese gnocchi, and I even made novel buckwheat gnocchi recipe, but I hadn’t adapted a plain potato gnocchi recipe before until I found the inspiration for this recipe. We thought it was delicious, and the treatment with balsamic vinegar was intriguing. Next time I think I’ll saute the gnocchi in a pan with fresh herbs… What’s your favorite way to enjoy gnocchi?

Read about Cupcake Kitteh’s Gluten free gnocchi recipe

Don’t want to make your own? You can try Conte’s Gluten Free Gnocchi *I haven’t tried their gnocchi yet but have ordered their perogies and ravioli and they were pretty good*

Gluten Free Arugula Herb Gnocchi recipe
1lb. unpeeled yellow potatoes
4 oz. fresh arugula or your favorite herb or green
1 cup your favorite gluten free blend (i used brown rice based Rebecca Reilly mix)
1 tsp.xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg

*2 tbsp olive oil, or some oil from oil packed sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup julienned sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup minced onion
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (white preferred)
3/4 cup water

salt,pepper to taste

8 ounces Fresh arugula or more, for salad

*this is for a whole recipe. If you freeze half of the gnocchi to make later, reduce these ingredients by half.

Boil potatoes in water in a medium saucepan about 40 minutes or until done. Drain and cool. Blanch your arugula. If using another more delicate herb do not blanch but simply add to gnocchi dough. Drain arugula, squeezing water out if necessary, and chop. Reserve. Remove potato skin and press potato through a ricer or use a potato masher to mash into a large bowl. Add chopped arugula, flour blend, xanthan gum and salt to the bowl and gently fold ingredients together. Add egg in well in the center. Whisk egg to combine egg white and yolk, and stir into the rest of the ingredients. Create a dough ball and form into five balls. take each ball and make it into a 3/4 inch thick log. If ready to make now, slice log to make gnocchi ovals. Otherwise, freeze and use later.

Bring salted water in a saucepan to boil and add your gnocchi. Boil until it floats to the top, and then gently fish out with a metal strainer. Leave to drain.

Heat olive oil in a nonstick frypan on medium and add your gnocchi and let it start to brown. Turn and once the second side has browned, add onion and sundried tomatoes, drizzling the gnocchi with your balsamic vinegar. As the onion starts to soften add water and cook for a few more minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve on bed of fresh arugula. Enjoy!

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