This weekend I went to a really fun housewarming party hosted by a fellow graduate student. She had just moved to Berkeley with her sister, and wanted to show off their super-cool new city-style apartment. I was looking forward to the party, but wasn’t too sure if there would be anything I could eat or not. One of my cohorts was making cupcakes, so I thought maybe I’d make some gluten-free, vegan brownies to share with everyone. I followed Karina’s tips on using Pamela’s gluten-free brownie mix and baked up a batch. I had used almond milk to bake them, and I usually use either rice milk or soy milk. I was a little disappointed in the final results (probably because I don’t actually LIKE almond milk) and so at the last minute I decided not to bring them to the party. But, I had to bring something, right? As it happened, I had randomly decided to boil some eggs that afternoon. I rummaged in the cupboards looking for something I could make, and came across some Ener-g foods white rice pasta. I decided to make it, and then I had a sudden inspiration. I always used to love heavy American salads like potato and macaroni salad on special occasions when I was a kid. It had been years since I had macaroni salad- but it occurred to me that I could mix up a quick batch of the pasta salad using my noodles. Then I would have a main dish to enjoy at the party, and surely everybody would enjoy a nice macaroni salad. I did some internet browsing and was inspired to come up with the following recipe. I did a quick taste test and enlisted the DH to try some too. We both thought it was really yum, so it was settled. I threw the pasta salad in the car and went to the party. It turned out to be a pizza party (oops!). Luckily there was plenty of time before the party, so when we were at the store picking up some things for the hostess, I grabbed one of Amy’s Gluten-free, dairy free spinach pizzas. Luckily since the pizza was ordered in, no one needed the oven and it was fine if I used it to make my own pizza. To make sure there weren’t any CC issues, I lined their cookie sheet with aluminum foil and baked my pizza. Twenty minutes later, I had my own pizza to enjoy along with everybody else. :)
In case you’re wondering, to combat the possibility of CC, I waited until there was a lull in the gluten pizza chomping and then asked if people wanted macaroni salad, and then dished out everybody’s individual servings. There wasn’t any counter room anyway, so it worked great. I was really happy because it seemed like everyone loved the salad. My favorite comment was “Wow, it tastes like summer.” One of the guests’ family apparently always makes macaroni salad during family vacations in the summer, so it reminded her of that. I don’t know when I’ve ever heard a nicer compliment. Anyway, the next time YOU feel like an “all-American” summer classic, why not try this simple and satisfying pasta salad recipe?
*By the way, I was completely touched when we went to pick up my cupcake-making friend for the party. She had made tons of beautiful gluten-filled cupcakes, but also had a little white box for me decorated with stickers from Japan. Inside were two delicious-looking, individually wrapped and labeled Gluten-Free Brownies by Wow, a gluten-free company I’d never heard of before. She knows about my gluten-intolerance and had thoughtfully gone to a local gourmet grocery store and asked about gluten-free desserts. She even thought about CC, so carefully picked out a sealed product made by a gluten-free company. Even better- the brownie turned out to be absolutely delicious, and rivaled Mariposa’s finest. Isn’t that the coolest thing ever? What cool stories do you have about thoughtful friends who make being gluten-free easier? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments…
Summery Macaroni Salad Recipe
4 cups cooked GF white rice or corn macaroni, slightly al dente, rinsed and drained (2 cups uncooked, half a 16 oz box of Ener-g Foods macaroni)
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced in half with yolks removed
1/4 cup minced red onion, soaked in cold water for at least 5 minutes, and drained
1/3 any of your favorite crunchy veggies (red pepper, green pepper, jicama, or cooked peas) minced *optional
1/2 cup prepared lowfat GF mayonnaise
1 or 2 tsp prepared GF mustard (I like Annie’s horseradish mustard)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Boil eggs, Prepare your pasta and other ingredients. Start the minced onion soaking in water to take off the edge. Meanwhile, stir all your dressing ingredients in a small bowl (mayo, mustard, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper if you like). Add your hard boiled egg yolks and mush them into the dressing. Chop the remaining white parts of the egg. Put your rinsed, drained pasta in a large bowl, and add your egg white bits, drained minced red onion (you can reduce amount if you want a milder salad), and crunchy veggie bits. Mix thoroughly. Drizzle dressing over the salad, folding the ingredients together until it is evenly covered. You can let sit in a refrigerator for a few hours if you want the flavors to develop, or enjoy right away. Mmm, tasty.