Category Archives: Gluten-Free Dorm Cooking

Avocado Egg Boats

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Hi everyone! 

As the semester draws to a close there are two things running through every student’s mind:

  1. WINTER VACATION
  2. Finals. Finals. And more finals.

So, because we’re all so busy right now, I wanted to share one of my simplest, healthiest, and tastiest recipes. It’s a hearty, filling treat that takes almost no time and will keep you kicking through these final few weeks. 

An Avocado Egg Boat is basically an egg baked inside an avocado half. There are a few simple steps, and all you need is one avocado and two eggs.

Preheat oven or toaster-oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with tin foil.

First, cut a ripe avocado in half. Remove the pit carefully by piercing it with the knife and pulling it out. 

Next, scoop out another fourth of each half around the pit. You just want to make a bigger hole than there already is. 

Place each half on the tin foil covered sheet.

Then, crack an egg into the hole you just made. One egg goes in each half. Carefully, put baking sheet in the oven.

Cook for 30-40 minutes. Note that a toaster-oven will cook on the faster side.

Finally, top the finished product with salt and pepper. If you have some fresh herbs, add some on top for a bit of freshness!

Eat up, stay nourished, and good luck on your finals! 

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Raspberry Peach Olive Oil Cake

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Hey everyone!

So, I think it’s time we made something sweet, right? It’s a complete myth that gluten-free baking can only be done well by a professional. There are some things you can make with no flour at all like cookies, fudge brownies, and oatmeal bars. But what happens when all you want to do is have a nice fork-full of cake? All you need is to get a really good gluten-free flour blend. (A little tip: the more unknown the brand, the higher the likelihood that the flour blend will be better. Try to steer clear of the big brands trying to embrace the gluten-free craze.)

This recipe is not entirely mine. I was on a farm in Spain when I first tried it. One of my hosts made it to have with coffee, and I could not stop eating it. So, I obviously begged her for the recipe. The best part is, it’s incredibly simple! My addition to the recipe is the flavors, which can be altered to your liking as long as you stick to the basic recipe proportions. 

The secret to making this cake is one thing: a personal-sized yogurt. Not only is the yogurt used in the recipe, but the container is your measurement tool for everything! Amazing, right?

You’ll need:

  • 1 Personal-Sized Yogurt (peach)
  • 3 Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Olive Oil
  • Gluten-Free Flour Blend (or regular flour for those who can tolerate wheat)
  • Baking Powder
  • Raspberry Preserves
  • 3 Peaches

Preheat the oven to 350.

First, dump the contents of the yogurt in a bowl. Rinse out the container and dry it.

In a separate bowl, mix together 3 room-temperature eggs and 2 containers-full of sugar. 

Then, add the yogurt and 1 container-full of olive oil. Mix together well.

Finally, stir in 3 containers-full of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. 

Now that you have your mixture, line a 9-inch circular pan with parchment paper. Pour your mixture into the lined pan and cook in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes (but check on it after 20 and do the toothpick test to see if its done.)

While it’s cooking, slice your peaches in thin crescents.

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When it is done, let it cool. Then, spread the raspberry preserves generously over the top of the cake. Finally, layer the peaches on top. When you’re ready to serve, take the parchment paper off the cake and enjoy! Goes best with tea or coffee, and good friends or family. 

Happy baking everyone!

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Pantry Shakshuka

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The best thing about shakshuka is how simple it is to make. It’s pretty quick, completely satisfying, and can me made with just a few basic pantry ingredients and whatever fresh veggies you have on hand. I’ve made this one with spinach and bell peppers, and it was delicious! However, fresh tomatoes, kale, mushrooms, and squash would have all been great options too.

Here’s what you need from the pantry:

-can of diced tomatoes

-tomato paste

-Italian dry spices (oregano, basil, rosemary, & thyme would all work)

-garlic powder

-olive oil

-bread (I use gluten-free of course, Udi’s is good!)

Here’s what you need from the fridge:

-onion

-bell pepper (any color, but I used yellow)

-spinach

-egg

First, dice half an onion. Heat olive oil is a frying pan. Once oil is hot, add the onions and cool them until they’re soft and slightly translucent. Add chopped pepper and spinach (or whatever vegetables you choose) and cook until soft.

Then, add the can of tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste and stir thoroughly. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes. 

Finally, make a dent in the mixture and crack in an egg. Cover the pan and let the egg cook for about five minutes or until the egg white is just opaque. Any additional cooking would affect the yolk. So, if you like it runny, definitely stop the cooking as soon as the white turns solid, but if you like it harder keep it going for another minute or so.

In the meantime, toast your bread. 

Add hot sauce for an extra kick!

Enjoy! Break into that yolk and scoop the mixture onto your toast. If you haven’t tried it before, you’ll be an immediate convert. It’s so savory and comforting, you’ll want to eat it for every meal of the day. Happy cooking everyone!

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Sushi Made Simple

Welcome back to the blog!

We’re going to jump right into it and play a little game. Answer the following questions:

  1. What do I pick up at the Diana Cafe when I don’t have time to wait online for pizza, but still want something filling and delicious?
  2. What do I grab at m2m sometimes when I don’t have any dinner?
  3. What is a naturally gluten-free, balanced meal, that I love to get when I eat out? (other than chipotle…)
  4. What is… okay it’s sushi.

IMG_6978Sushi! We all love it, and we all think for some reason that we can’t make it. But listen up, it’s really really easy! Just takes a little practice, but I’m going to give you some tips that will help.

Today we’re going to make a version of Futo Maki, which is typically a combination of vegetables and egg. We’re going to stuff ours with some of the traditional ingredients, and some that are equally as delicious, but easier to find at the store. I also make mine with brown rice, to make it just a bit more healthy. Here’s what you’ll need:

-Nori- Sheets of dry seaweed, can be found at most super markets or asian food stores (m2m!)

-Sushi Seasoning- This is a combination of sugar and rice wine vinegar sold in a bottle. (also m2m!)

-Brown Rice

-Eggs

-Cucumber

-Carrot

-Shitake Mushrooms

-Avocado

-Soy or Tamari Sauce (Tamaria is a gluten-free alternative to soy)

Here’s your FIRST TIP. Make extra of everything. Sushi is all about preparation. So if you prepare a lot, you’ll be able to keep the ingredients and make rolls for days. So make as much or as little of any of the below as you want. 

To make the rice… Cook rice on stove top or rice cooker. Brown rice takes 2 times as much water as rice, so 1 cup of dry rice will need 2 cups of water. It will take 30-35 minutes to cook. Stir occasionally if cooking on stove top. Once finished cooking add about 2 tablespoons of the sushi seasoning. You can taste it as add more if you like the rice to be very flavorful.

To make the mushrooms… In a sauce pan, add about a cup of soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free alternative). Place shiitake mushroom caps (cut of stems) top-down in sauce and bring to a boil. Let the mushroom soak up the sauce for about 5 minutes. Then, flip the mushrooms and soak the other side for 5 more minutes. Once done, take them about, let them cool enough to tough, and slice them in thin strips.

To make the egg… Scramble eggs in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste in the mixture. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a sauté pan on low heat. Once the oil is hot, add the egg mixture. Cover the pan to let the omelette set. Should be about 2-3 minutes depending on how many eggs you use and the size of your pan. Once cooked, slice omelette into thin strips.

To prepare the rest of the veggies…slice the carrots and cucumbers into long, thin strips (like matches.)

Now you’re ready to roll!

1) Place a sheet of nori on a hard, flat surface. 

2) Add about half a cup of rice, and spread it evenly over the sheet. SECOND TIP: Leave an inch long strip of nori empty on the top of the sheet. This will be your seal. Dampen that strip of nori with some water.

3) Add some of each filling to the center of the rice horizontally. Try not to overstuff or else cutting the rolls will be a nightmare.

4) Roll the sushi as tightly as possible, using your fingertips to tuck the fillings in and keep the roll in tact.

5) Use a sawing motion to cut the sushi in inch-thick pieces. If you try to press the knife straight down, you’ll smash it down and your lovely coin-shaped rolls will look deflated. 

Pair your sushi with some steamed spinach or kimchi! Enjoy!

Ultimate Green Smoothie

The sun’s out, birds are chirping, the world is blooming and for healthy foodies this all means one important thing: smoothies are back!

Personally, the emergence of spring is not only an opportunity to spend more time outside, but also an excuse to break out the blender. Nothing beats a cool, refreshing, nutritional boost on a warm spring day.

I’m giving you my all-time favorite smoothie recipe today AND three different ways you can use this delicious blend. Yes, three! 

But first, here is your recipe:

  • 3 Leaves of Kale
  • 1/2 Orange (or a whole one if its tiny)
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 2 Dried Dates (for sweetness)
  • 1 Cup of Coconut Water

BLEND… all these ingredients in a blender, and add extra coconut water if the mixture isn’t moving smoothly in the blender.

Voila! Smoothie done.

Now, the first variation is the standard, drinkable form. It is perfect for anytime of day to accompany meals or serve as a delicious snack. I top mine with chia seeds for an extra boost of Omega-3s and fiber. 

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The second variation, is a good mid-day snack. It’s a fruit topped smoothie bowl! For this, all you need to do is pour the smoothie into a bowl, and cut up a bunch of fruits or berries to put on top. This gives the smoothie a little more substance, and it’s also just fun to eat! Sometimes drinking a smoothie doesn’t completely satisfy your cravings, but adding a bite can make you feel like you’re eating more. Sometimes we just need to chew! However, remember that this is best to eat in the middle of the day or later. It’s not quite enough to get you going in the morning.

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The last variation, and my personal favorite, is the breakfast smoothie bowl! You can add fruit to top this one too, but the most important additions are nuts, seeds, and oats. Seeds are more nutrient dense than budded and grown plants and will make a smoothie into a sufficient meal, especially to kick off your day! I use walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seed shells, chia seeds, and raw oats (pssst, that homemade granola from last week would be awesome here too!) This bowls fills you up, and keeps you full. If that’s not enough, it tastes amazing!!

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Try one, try them all! Let me know in the comment section below what your favorite variation is! Happy blending!

Simple Homemade Granola

Since we’ve covered lunch and dinner, I thought it would be only natural if we paid a little tribute to breakfast. 

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Hands down. There are so many delicious oatmeal and smoothie bowl recipes that I’m dying to share with you, but I realized that there’s one thing we need to do first. This staple is something we all know and love, and is best when piled on top of all of those other delicious recipes I just mentioned. I’m talking homemade granola.

A good granola recipe is something everyone should have, especially my gluten-free peeps out there. The best part? It’s easy, its fast, it lasts for weeks and the recipe is super flexible. This is an eye-ball-it kind of recipe, and as long as you’ve got the base ratio down, you can add however many mix-ins you desire.

Personally, I have a few granola recipes I like to make. However, the one we’re doing today its the easiest to do in a dorm kitchen. It’s protein-packed, and coconut oil-based. Really filling, healthy, and delicious.

Here’s what you need…

Base:

  • 4 Hand-Fulls Rolled Oats
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Protein Powder (I used vanilla flavored to make it a little sweeter)

Nuts & Seeds:

  • 1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1/8 Cup Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)

Fruits:

  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Dried Dates
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Dried Cherries
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries

Directions:

1. PREHEAT… the oven or confectioner’s oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. CHOP… all your dried fruits and nuts as indicated in the list above.

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3. MELT… coconut oil for 30 seconds in the microwave. Then mix all the base ingredients in a bowl until completely combined. All oats should be damp.

4. MIX… nuts and seeds into base mixture. Then spread the mixture on cookie sheet.

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5. COOK… for 20 minutes on 325 degrees, stirring occasionally.

6. ADD… fruits to mixture once done cooking. This is important! If you add it before, the fruit gets really hard and dry. You could honestly chip a tooth.

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7. If you like your granola sweet, drizzle a little honey, or maybe even some cinnamon on top. Let everything cool, OR eat it hot with some cool milk. Mmmm! 

8. Finally, use this on top of everything! Or eat it dry by the hand-full. It’s a great, filling snack or meal whenever you want.

Veggie “Hand Roll” with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Hello again everyone!

This week we’re going to move out of the realm of dinner and explore a lighter, and usually more rushed, meal: lunch! The goal is to show you all that lunch doesn’t need to be a rush job. Instead, it should be the mid-day break that you look forward to. So here’s your challenge: pick a day next week that you’re going to forgo to protein bar and on-the-go yogurt and make lunch in the morning. If you need some help deciding what to make, I can help!

Today I’m sharing with you Veggie Wrap “Hand Rolls” with a Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce. This recipe is an obvious play on sushi. We’re going to put a ton of fresh, crunchy veggies and hummus in a crisp seaweed wrap. Our “soy sauce and wasabi” is going to be a deliciously sweet and savory honey mustard. It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s so good.

Here’s what you’re going to need to…

Wrap/Hand Roll

1 Raw Nori Seaweed Sheet

1 Red Bell Pepper

2 Carrots

2 Leaves of Kale

A heavy dollop of your favorite hummus

 

Dipping Sauce/Soy Sauce

1 tsp. Dijion Mustard

1 tsp. Honey

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FIRST… Wash your veggies well. Julienne the pepper and carrots (cut them into long, thing strips as seen below.) Cut the tough, center core out of the kale. Then, just rip the kale into bite-sized chunks.

When all is said and done, your cutting board should look like this…

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TO MAKE THE SAUCE…Put your teaspoon of both dijon mustard and honey into a small bowl. Mix it up. (How easy is that?!) You can use another kind of mustard if you have no other choice, but I strongly encourage the dijon. The difference in flavor is really noticeable.  The dijon has a kick that plays off the honey brilliantly. It’s borderline magic.

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NEXT… Toast your seaweed. You can do this several different ways. If you have a convection oven, that’s the easiest. Pop the sheet in there and toast it for about 30 seconds, or until it turns green and is flexible to the touch. The change from toasted to burnt happens really quickly, so keep your eye on it. Other ways you can do this is holding the seaweed in tongs over an open flame or in a dry pan on your stove top.

TO ASSEMBLE… Do this quickly while the seaweed is still malleable. First spread a generous heap of hummus into the middle of the wrap on the diagonal (because thats the direction you’re going to roll it.) Then, add your cut vegetables. You can put as many as you feel comfortable with. I like to really load it up. If you have extra, just make another wrap, or dip it in more hummus!

Roll it all up on the diagonal, using your fingers to scrunch in the veggies and keep the roll tight. Channel your inner Chipotle worker. Then, slice it down the middle and you’re ready to eat!

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Happy lunching everyone! Let me know how this works for you in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you!

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“Spaghetti” and Tomato Sauce

Welcome to the first ever blog post for ‘Gluten-Free Dorm Room Cooking!’

(Disclaimer: This series is in NO WAY limited to the gluten-intolerant/celiacs of the world. It’s for anyone who loves food as much as I do!)

Living a life that lacks gluten may seem impossible at first. Sure, initially you may think it will be okay, but then your friend orders a bagel for breakfast and you want to cry. Do not despair! With a little creativity and devotion, eating a gluten-free diet can be transformative for your health, and for your creative mind in the kitchen. If you’re like me, being gluten-free doesn’t limit your options, it expands them and forces you to think outside the box. It’s what made me fall in love with cooking.

Enough about me, let’s eat! I’m sharing with you today what I believe to be the ultimate comfort food: (zucchini) spaghetti and tomato sauce.

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This dish is extremely flavorful, and also ridiculously healthy. It satisfies and surpasses any pasta craving whether you are gluten-free or not. To prove this, I fed a friend whose intestines are perfectly capable of digesting gluten. She agrees.

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Here’s what you’re going to need to feed two hungry people…

Grocery List:

  • Zucchini (x2)
  • Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Onion (1/2)
  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Fresh Basil
  • Fresh Mozzarella

From the Pantry:

  • Canned Tomatoes (diced preferably)
  • Tomato Paste
  • Salt n’ Peppa
  • Olive Oil
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Italian Herb Blend (Oregano, Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, or any that you have on hand)

Special Tools:

  • Spiralizer (I use the Veggetti. You can get it at almost any drug store.)

P.S. If you are gluten-intolerant or a celiac, and you do not have a spiralizer, leave your computer NOW and go get one. It will change your life.

FIRST, get the magical spiralizer ready. Wash your zucchinis well because we are leaving on the skin. Turn both zucchinis through the machine and into a small pot. Once they’re both spagghetti-fied, pour a splash of water into the pot. Set it on a burner with extremely low heat. Stir every now and then to make sure all of the strings get some steam and warmth at the bottom.

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NEXT, dice up your half an onion, and mince your two cloves of garlic. Throw them in a small saucepan with just enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Turn the burner to high heat, and let them cook until the onions turn translucent. When people on your floor start to peek their heads in and ask where the amazing smell is coming from, that’s your cue.

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NEXT, dump a generous amount of whole cherry or grape tomatoes into the onion/garlic mixture. Let everything cook and sizzle until the tomatoes begin to blister and pop. It should look like this…

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NEXT, stir in half the can of diced tomatoes. Gently pour some of the excess fluid from the pan into the sink. Once everything is mixed together, you’re going to add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to thicken the sauce. Carefully fold in the paste, and make sure there are NO CLUMPS. Eating a chunk of tomato paste is not so fun.

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SEASONING TIME. Remember to never season any sauce until it is done cooking. If you season prematurely, the heat will cook away almost all of the flavor. No one wants that. So, now that your sauce is cooked and looking delicious, add a generous amount your Italian spices (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme.) You can also add a dash of crushed red pepper flakes if you like a kick of spice. Finally, salt and pepper the sauce to your liking. It’s always good to sample the sauce at every stage of the seasoning process.

GARNISH the top of the sauce with fresh basil. To cut, layer the leaves one on top of the other, roll them up tightly, and slice the roll.

This is me staring lovingly at my sauce because it is so beautiful!
This is me staring lovingly at my sauce because it is so beautiful!

FINAL TOUCHES. Dice up your fresh mozzarella. Give your zucchini spaghetti once last toss to make sure its warm in all areas. Throw a handful of spinach onto each plate as a base for your spaghetti.

Finally, build your plate and enjoy!!

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