A Gluten-free Guest: Roasted Seasonal Vegetables with Pesto

Gluten-free is one of the hottest cooking topics around—and no longer the exclusive realm of those with celiac’s disease or gluten-intolerance. More and more diners are looking for strategies to cut down on wheat and grain products.  With that in mind, this week I’m delighted to welcome guest blogger, E. Chloé Lauer, an expert on gluten-free cooking and nutrition. Chloé has an enthusiasm for clean eating that’s infectious, and her approach is both practical and easy. And simply delicious. Chloé’s recipe prompted me to take a peek at our archives, to see how we stack up in the gluten-free world. You’ll notice a new gluten-free tag in our recipe index this week (right side bar), that should make it easier to identify wheat-free recipes. Watch how the category grows as I slog through the files over the next few weeks. 

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Quinoa Salad with Apple and Fennel Three Ways

This salad is light and nutritious.  It’s also loaded with fennel—three versions:  the raw feathery fronds, braised bulb and toasted seeds.  For those less enamored with the licorice-like flavor of the raw vegetable, use more of the cooked bulb, and less fronds. Taste as you toss the salad, and let that be your guide.  Substitute candied nuts if you enjoy a hint of sweetness—I keep a bag of Trader Joe’s Candied Walnuts on hand.  No need to toast them; they’re ready straight out of the package.

Quinoa is an excellent vegetarian source of protein—and a complete one, unlike most other grains.  It offers a wide range of minerals and nutrients as well.

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Lemon Quinoa with Herbs

Quinoa is worth trying — if you haven’t already. It’s high in protein, fast-cooking, and its feather-weight grains are a natural basis for light and nutritious salads. Its neutral flavor is universally appealing and marries well with all sorts of vegetables and herbs. Try tossing in diced cucumber, tomato or stone-fruits when summer harvest arrives. Continue reading

Quinoa Salad with Fresh Peaches and Herbs

I’m hooked on the light, fluffy whole grain, quinoa.  Blame it on the fabulous N.Y. Times food writer, Martha Rose Shulman (if blame must be placed), who recently featured this protein-packed whole grain in her Recipes for Health column. If you haven’t been following Ms. Shulman before now, check out her column for its nutritional information and recipes centered on fresh, seasonal and healthy food.

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Quinoa Salad with Fresh Plums and Herbs

This recipe was inspired by Heidi Swanson’s fabulous cookbooks, Super Natural Cooking and Super Natural Every Day. Feel free to substitute other seasonal fruit for the plums – peaches would be superb. This salad shows off the bounty of even the most modest herb garden. Try adding chives, parsley, arugula or cilantro to the mix.

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