Easy Gluten Free Italian: Grilled Zucchini Parmesan Recipe and Homemade Vegetarian Sloppy Joe Recipe

October 7th, 2007 yum Posted in American Homestyle Cooking, Easy, Italian, Joanne Stephaniak, Vegetables, Vegetarian, cheese 6 Comments »

frenchbread.jpggrilledzucch.jpgOne of the things I love about Italian food is that you can use very simple ingredients with delicious results. For this reason, Italian food can be perfect for a busy weekday night. Often we’ll just throw some pasta on the stove, heat up some premade, high quality sauce, add some fresh veggies like spinach or lightly sauteed mushrooms, and have a delicious, easy dinner on the table in twenty minutes or less. I usually garnish the dish with pine nuts or add a flavorful hard grated cheese like romano or parmesan. One of my old Italian favorites is a recipe I developed ages ago with balsalmic marinated eggplant, baked with a pre made tomato sauce and topped with some lowfat mozarella cheese. However, given the surplus of adorable zucchini and squash in the market lately, I decided to try a version of my eggplant parmesan with grilled zucchini. I think grilling the zucchini added extra flavor and avoided mushiness. Actually, it was so tasty I might try to make my eggplant parmesan with grilled eggplant some time in the future. DH even enjoyed the dish, but then he likes almost anything if it has cheese in it. ;)

frenchbreadcloseup1.jpgsloppyjoe.jpgLater that week I decided to mix up a batch of Gluten Free Pantry’s French Bread Mix. I’m generally enamored with Bette Hagman’s gluten free french bread recipe, but in this case, I thought it would be nice to use a quick and easy mix. My estimation? In this case, it’s definitely worth the extra effort to make french bread from scratch. But, it must be said that the bread looked absolutely lovely, and DH thought it tasted fine. I used it for garlic bread the first night, and served it with some gluten free Tinkyada pasta topped with the homemade easy pasta sauce below. The next night, we were even busier. We had some french bread and pasta sauce left over, so I cut the bread in half, broiled it briefly with margarine (or butter) and garlic, and then topped it with the thick pasta sauce and sprinkled lowfat mozarella cheese on top. I put it back in the oven and let it melt and get all brown and toasty. Mmmm, mmm, mmm. Easy and delicious!

If you’re in the mood for gluten free Italian recipes, you might enjoy my
Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
Zucchini Crust Pizza Flatbread Recipe

All Purpose Pasta Sauce
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (thyme, sage, oregano), or 1 tablespoon dried spices
1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes or 1 can whole tomatoes and 5 or 6 home grown heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped (reserve juice from can and any from the tomatoes) OR 1 28 oz. can peeled tomatoes and 1 14 oz. can stewed tomatoes
GF Spaghetti noodles
Grill or roast your fresh tomatoes until charred and skin comes off easily. Chop roughly and retain any juice. In a sauce pan or dutch oven, heat the oil to medium, and add your diced onion and garlic, cooking until lightly golden (about 10 minutes). Lower heat if needed. ThroIn a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add spices and grated carrot and cook for about five minutes. Add tomatoes and any juice or liquid from the can or fresh tomatoes and let come to boil, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn. Turn down heat and simmer on low for half an hour until thickened. Add salt to taste.

Use on pasta, and/or for vegetarian sloppy joes.

Zucchini Parmesan Recipe
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Trader Joe’s or Spice Hunter Pasta Seasonings Blend
salt and pepper, to taste

3 Large, fat zucchini, cleaned and sliced into rounds
1 small sliced onion
High quality organic marinara sauce
1/2 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded romano cheese (or other strong cheese, like asiago)
4 fresh pressed garlic cloves OR garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375.

Sprinkle generous amount of Pasta seasonings blend into a pie pan. Add a drizzle of olive oil and pour balsamic vinegar into the pan, whisking the marinade together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Dip zucchini rounds and onion rings into marinade and grill until zucchini is cooked (but not mushy) and has nice grill marks on both sides, turning as needed. Onions should be grilled until softened but not charred. Cut grilled onion rings into squares.

Prepare a baking dish (cookie sheet with rim etc.) by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange zucchini rounds on the dish and festoon with onion squares. Pour marinara sauce on top of the zucchini and onions so they are covered in a light, even topping of sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and try to lightly add a touch of pressed garlic to the top of each zucchini round.

Place baking dish in oven and cook until cheese is melted and browned on top. If you like you can turn up the heat to 425 to hasten browning towards the end of the baking period.

Enjoy with Rice pilaf, pasta, or polenta. Yummy!

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Comfort Food: Dairy Free, Soy Free Creamy Tomato Pasta

May 22nd, 2007 yum Posted in Dairy Free, Joanne Stephaniak, Nutritional Yeast, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian 7 Comments »

For some reason, whenever I’m sick, I crave Cream of Tomato Soup. I also crave plain brown rice, in grain or pasta form, or a plain baked potato. DH endeared himself to me early on by mastering a simple, traditional cream of tomato soup recipe to make for me when I was sick and didn’t feel like cooking. But, since I’ve been limiting my dairy lately, when I ate something that didn’t agree with me yesterday, that night I didn’t quite want a creamy sauce with dairy. DH made me pasta, and then I experimented with some leftover Parm-Free Parm that I had in my fridge to create something that satisfied all urges for a cream of tomato soup. The important thing is to have enough margarine to add richness, enough tomato liquid to make it slightly “soupy” and to stir the Nutritional Yeast Based “parm” in so that it saturates the liquid and is no longer visible as yellow powder. Pine nuts add a lot- and if you have some, avocado cubes would be nice too. I didn’t test this out on my DH’s more conventional palate, but personally I thought this was a terrific Vegan creation that could compare nicely with a real cream of tomato soup. It’s also a very EASY recipe, especially if you have the Parm-Free Parm already made. You will have a lot left over, but you can use parm-free parm on pasta dishes, baked potatoes with margarine and maybe a touch of GF soy sauce, or even on rice, especially brown rice. This recipe is healthy, flavorful and even a bit decadent, depending on how much margarine you use.

Dairy Free Cream of Tomato Pasta
Brown rice pasta variety of choice, cooked, 2 cups
1 14 oz can Stewed Italian Tomatoes
2-3 tbsp DF margarine
Italian Seasonings to taste
Freshly Ground Pepper
Kosher Salt
3 tbsp (or more) Parm-Free Parm (see ingredients below)
Freshly chopped herbs to taste
2 tsp. Pine Nuts (OPTIONAL)
1/8 cup chopped avocado (OPTIONAL)
Parm-Free Parmesan:
1 C Nutritional Yeast Flakes
1/2 cup raw blanched almonds
1/2 tsp salt

Assemble ingredients and process in blender or food processor. Store in sealed container in refrigerator and use as desired.
Combine pasta, stewed tomatoes AND liquid, 2 tbsp. margarine and seasonings in microwavable bowl. Heat for 1-2 minutes in the microwave. Stir in 1 tbsp of Parm-Free Parm and heat for another 30 seconds. Add rest of margarine and remaining Parm-Free-Parm, stir until tomato liquid turns salmon colored and looks as though milk has infused the juice (as if you had added milk that slightly separated, so an imperfect cream texture) Add any chopped herbs and pine nuts and taste. Add any additional Parm-Free Parm or margarine until you are satisfied by the flavor. Garnish with chopped avocado and enjoy.

Parm-Free Parm from Joanne Stephaniak’s “Parmazano” recipe in “The Uncheese Cookbook.” The rest is my creation.


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