Tag Archives: gluten-free

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




-Shitake Mushrooms


-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!


Vegan Finds: Sun in Bloom!

This week, my sister was in town visiting from her semester away in California, and to catch up we went decided to try a new vegan restaurant together. Sun in Bloom has two locations. The location in Brooklyn is a full-time restaurant, and the one located in Tribeca is a take-out cafe style restaurant. Sun in Bloom offers gluten-free vegan options, both raw and cooked. The Sun in Bloom cafe in Tribeca offers juices, small entrees, desserts, chia puddings, and other typical vegan foods. When eating vegan, you begin to notice trends in vegan cuisine.

While I would have loved to try the full-time restaurant, we decided to stay in Manhattan and test out the cafe. I had the Shitake Bacon BLT, which was made to imitate a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, but completely vegan. Roasted tomatoes, shitake mushroom bacon, raw almond mayo and crispy romaine, were wrapped in raw collard greens. The roasted tomatoes was extremely flavorful, and the shitake “bacon”, was seasoned with yeast to replicate the salty taste of bacon. The perks of vegan eating is that one gets filled and satisfied, but avoids the feeling of a “food coma”.

Here is how the Shitake BLT comes packaged
The delicious shitake mushrooms look just like bacon

For dessert, Steph got a vegan pumpkin cupcake. It was absolutely delicious, and did not taste “vegan” at all. It takes skills to avoid vegan desserts from tasting bland. I find “Babycakes” cupcakes on the Lower East Side, for example, to suffer from this kind of blandness. However, Sun In Bloom’s cupcake can easily pass for a non-vegan cupcake.

Pumpkin cupcake topped with a pumpkin seed
A spoonful of blueberry cheesecake and nut crust

As for my dessert, I got the raw blueberry cheesecake with a nut crust. The cheesecake, while having a similar consistency to dairy cheesecake, does taste extremely different. It has somewhat of a tangy taste, The blueberry cheesecake does fulfill the craving – as a vegan, good desserts are always hard to find.

here’s the whole slice before I gobbled it all up, this is how everything is packaged

Overall, my experience at Sun in Bloom was great. The customer service was really great too. The cashier was super patient, and sweet. I recommend taking a seat in the small cafe facing the city. The food was extremely tasteful, light, and satisfying, the three major requirements for vegan cuisine. I look forward to one day trying the full time restaurant.

“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.


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.


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.


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.


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…


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.


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!!


Vegan Superhero Soup

The person sitting next to you in class is coughing up a lung and your suitemates are sniffling through the hall. It’s that time of year again–cold and flu season. While most people grow up with their mother’s chicken noodle soup as the cure-all for any runny nose or fever, vegetable broth was the staple in my vegetarian childhood. As Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be food.”

Driven by my fear of getting sick, I whipped up this veg-tastic soup on a blustery afternoon. Full of healing herbs and super foods, it provided a much needed boost to my immune system. Quinoa replaces the noodles you may traditionally eat in chicken noodle soup, giving an added (gluten free!) punch of protein. This recipe makes 4-6 servings, depending on how big your appetite is. Try it out to combat any seasonal sickness!

4 cups organic vegetable stock
6 leaves curly kale
4 carrots
1 can white beans
1 cup quinoa
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp rosemary
pepper, to taste

1. Combine 2 cups water with 1 cup dry quinoa in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until water is fully absorbed.
2. In the meantime, bring vegetable stock to a gentle simmer. Chop carrots and kale and add to the simmering stock. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the mixture. Add herbs.
3. Simmer for at least 15 minutes, allowing the carrots to become tender and the kale to soften. Add quinoa once it is finished and simmer for at least 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Serve hot!

This soup is simple to make but is bursting with flavor, so be sure to try it out! Your immune system will thank you.

Delusions of Grandeur and Teriyaki Chicken

The Gluten-Free Manifesto.  One of my most missed guilty pleasures is Chinese take-out. I don’t miss all of it though; a considerable portion of my freshman fifteen can be attributed Ollie’s. There were too many times I went in ready to tell them off and say “no more to your shitty food,” only to leave with an order of everything. Unfortunately though, despite my allergies precluding me from ordering take out nowadays, I still find myself craving some dishes of old every now and again. To be specific, I’ve always had a soft spot for teriyaki chicken. It’s one of my more glaring weaknesses. One plate of it and my inner revolutionary Marxist can be reduced to a weak willed decadent capitalist consumer (I’ve decided I’m going to fit in “decadent” into all my posts). So when all is said and done, avoiding teriyaki chicken is usually what I try to do, being a seriously legit conduit and activist for a populist revolution and all…

But being a battle hardened revolutionary is a trying profession. It takes its toll. And I hear around that not taking a break everyone once in a while makes you lose perspective… yeah, something like that. Well anyway, while I was home my mom introduced me to a gluten free soy sauce that I could use to cook with.  (This happens only on the rarest of occasions, of course…She supports my “crazy ideations and delusions of grandeur” only as long as I stay in school. Translation, 100% support from the fam!)  Immediately a shiver went down my spine after I tasted the sauce, game on! I thanked the Teriyaki gods (metaphorically…I mean c’mon) and I resolved to make some food as soon as I had to time. Soo, yup! That’s what inspired this post. I hope it’s to your liking!


4-8 Skinless chicken breasts

1 tbsp cornstarch (Brand: Argo GF and DF)

1 tbsp cold water

1/2 cup sugar (brown or white sugar) I used white.

1/2 cup soy sauce (Brand: Tamari GF)

1/4 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)

1/2 tsp of ground garlic

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4-1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Sesame Seeds



Preheat the oven at 400o F and put a pan on the stove over low heat.

Pour the vinegar and soy sauce into the pan.

In a bowl put the black pepper (1/2 tsp gives more kick), ginger, garlic, white sugar, cornstarch and cold water. Take mixture and pour in the pan. Mix everything in the pan. Stir for about 5 minutes, than allow the sauce to simmer only stirring every few minutes subsequently. This shouldn’t last more than 15 minutes. Afterwards either keep sauce on low heat or turn off stove.

In the meantime you can place the chicken breasts in an oven pan. After the sauce has thickened a bit, either using a brush or spoon you can glaze the chicken with the teriyaki sauce on each side. Feel free to put sesame seeds on top. Place in oven.

20-30 minutes later, take the chicken out and brush both sides of the chicken again. You can do this/add as much and as often as you see fit. If there is any extra sauce left in the pan you can get rid of it.

After a total of 45-50 minutes in the oven take the chicken out, and enjoy!

You can boil rice as a side. I would recommend steaming vegetables as well. You can also add the steamed vegetables to the oven pan sauce while the chicken is cooking in the oven.

Spring 2013 Series!

I’m happy to announce our Spring line-up with several new series and writers! Click on Schedule to see what day the posts are, how frequently they’ll occur, and our calendar of events. Below is a brief description of all of our series. I hope you find something that will become one of your favorite series! They are organized below by theme.  The links will let you read series already in existence!

Get Off Campus!

Need somewhere to go?  Use these restaurant reviews to find just the right place to check out for whatever you’re looking for.

The Bucket List by Dawn | making a list and checking it twice, recipes & restaurants to try before leaving nyc

Curious Flavors by James | great ethnic cuisine and unusual combinations

Fika Fridays by Amanda | coffee shops and cultural commentary on Swedish “fikas”

Hidden Gems by Melina | secret, hidden venues throughout nyc

Meaty Vegan by Bukola | a recent vegan reviews restaurants and can offer opinions from both sides of the table

Savor Your Sweet Tooth by Peri | reviews of famous and interesting desserts

Sweets & the City by Jenny | neighborhood adventures + glorious photos

Veg Out by Elyse | monthly visits to veggie-centric restaurants especially those decadent

What’s Cookin?

Thinking of eating instant ramen?  Think again, and read these series to find recipes and inspirations galore for your kitchen adventures.

Ice Cream Sundays by Kierstin | homemade ice cream and deliciousness abound

In-Season by Pippa | incredible creations focused around in season produce

The Seasoned Kitchen by Savannah | recipes and advice from a cook familiar with the spice cabinet

Season’s Eating by Julia | recipes that focus on farmer’s markets and fresh ingredients

Creative Options

These series provide unique perspectives on a variety of different food choices, including vegetarianism, veganism, gluten-free-ism, and more.

Bait and Switch by Carmen | a vegetarian takes classic dishes and gives them a twist

Keep Calm & Veg On by Gwen | healthy and fun ways of eating on a diet or just with veggies

The Gluten-Free Manifesto by Jean | recipes and comedy from a guy who’s gluten-free (and lactose intolerant)

Meaty Vegan by Bukola | a recent vegan reviews restaurants and can offer opinions from both sides of the table

Vegan & Oil-Free by Elizabeth | clean and tasty eating ideas and options

Bon Voyage

These posts come from our Study Abroad correspondents and offer individual students’ perspectives on their different locations.

Hungry Abroad by Shaynah | posts involving recipes & eateries from London and Shaynah’s travels throughout Euorpe

Postcards from Paris by Kelcey | writings from the city of lights and Kelcey’s kitchen

Simply Scandanavian by Jonah | historical, cultural, and of course, gastronomic explorations of “new Nordic cuisine”

Taste of Mendoza by Manon | the culinary life and times for a semester in Argentina

Refreshing Views

These series are Special Interests that the bloggers have developed to explore exciting, particular concepts through writing.  Browse to learn (and love) something new.

Anything Tuesdays by Rachel | miscellaneous musings about life in New York, cultural holidays, and personal recipes

Foodie Flicks by Amanda | whether referencing or centered around food, check this series for movie ideas

Colors by Courtney | these recipes cover the joys and tribulations of cooking, as well as color-coordinated cooking

Fika Fridays by Amanda | coffee shops and cultural commentary on Swedish “fikas”

Twisted Food by Tiffany | coverage of quirky combinations of bright flavors

West Side Watch by Sarah S. | reporting of products at our local grocery store, sharing suggestions

Your Body is Awesome by Rebecca | a scientific look at proteins and other things our body needs & where we can get them

The Chipotle Crown

Jean makes eating at Chipotle an art form by making his own lactose-free, gluten-free version when he finally gets to return home to Colorado.

For most of my adolescent life I grew up in Colorado. I grew to love the rolling plains, imposing mountains, agreeable mountaineers and perhaps the most redeeming quality, the fact that it is the birthplace of the prolific, Chipotle. Chipotle in Colorado is a way of life. Everyone eats it, and everyone loves it. I’m not one of the crazier fans who eat it for every meal, but if I could have it perhaps every week to two weeks, I’d be a pretty happy burrito. There is nothing quite like the food baby you have after a chipotle meal. One’s left wholly satisfied and not wanting for anything after such a marvelous and prolonged insemination. It is a badge of honor to rub your bloated belly signifying the entire ingested meal, one is a proud parent. I imagine it is similar to being with child, with the slight difference of end products.

I know what you’re thinking: Does Chipotle taste better in the 303. Let me ease your disquieted minds, yes, yes it does.

I jest, but Chipotle being one of the only fast food restaurants, if not the only one that caters to celiacs, has made it even dearer to my heart. Nonetheless, problems arise with cross contamination, money, etc, which limit me in my ability to eat it as often as I would like. I just can’t stomach to have to demand that the servers change their gloves and use clean serving utensils. Their eyes look at me with expressions that all but scream, what the f is your problem. My eyes stare back with an expression that murmurs, I don’t think YOU’RE dirty it’s just my dietary restrictions. They seem to understand and come to terms with my trouble, and then gleefully screw me on the portions. I grow weary of the routine, so I don’t say anything and suffer the consequences. But I have come up with a solution, facilitated by our month of repose from school.

What is my goal you ask, the perfect replication of my chipotle burrito bowl, created by my own hands. Continue reading The Chipotle Crown

The Gluten-Free Manifesto: BBQ Ribs & Sandwiches

More precious pages of Jean’s hilarious and informative Manifesto have been found, and this week, it’s BBQ.  I’m not even GF and I know that I’m definitely going to steal Jean’s food make these ribs, too!   Additionally, there’s an extra recipe after the jump for a sandwich (with GF bread which is kind of the coolest invention ever).

The struggle is never over, the food class antagonisms is forever fraught with tension and strife. The struggle to create food on a budget that we love is our mission. To be independent of the dining plan is our goal. The Gluten free disdain to conceal their views and their aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing food conditions. Let the ruling food classes tremble (only a little bit) at a gluten free revolution. The gluten free have nothing to lose but their chains. They have the world to win.

Gluten-Free of Columbia, Unite!

One of my favorite foods since I was a kid has consistently been BBQ ribs. You can never go wrong when you get them. Unfortunately, they were on the shortlist of things that I could eat when you go out. Due to shifting recipes of BBQ sauce you never know if you’ll be glutened if you order the ribs. Also it’s kind of crazy that it had literally been years since I had ribs. That needed to change. So I played around a little bit and have settled on this. Enjoy!

Technically the entire meal should last 4 sittings but I’m a glutton so it usually lasts about 2 sittings because I eat each rib two at a time.

Bourgeoisie Ribs w/GF-Pasta Continue reading The Gluten-Free Manifesto: BBQ Ribs & Sandwiches

The Gluten-Free Manifesto

Jean’s first post for the blog brings up a current hot topic: gluten-free eating.  Whether it’s a necessity or a personal choice, gluten-free is certainly a conversation worth having…especially when it comes to pizza.

A spectre is haunting Columbia… the spectre of gluten-freeinism. All the dining halls of Columbia have entered into a holy alliance to starve this spectre into nonexistence. John Jay, Ferris Booth, JJ’s place, Columbia nutritionists fake promises… Where is the sparse party of Celiacs to oppose the narrative that you can be on the dining plan and not get glutened again, and again, and again… It’s high time that Celiacs openly face the entirety of Columbia, publish their recipes, their shopping nooks, their list of brands that they can eat, their stories about how they’ve managed to scrape by in a continual state of brokeness…

From this abyss, rises the Gluten-Free Manifesto.

It kind of sucks being GF (esp. at CU) if you don’t know where to look or shop for specialty food, the brands that are safe to eat, and how to make things that are relatively quick so you can keep to your high pressured schedule and not get bogged down with lengthy recipes. All the while you have to do this being on a college budget. Don’t worry, I see you.

As you can imagine, when I found out I couldn’t eat anything with gluten on top of dairy, I was pretty depressed. My brother and my mom would cheer me up by finding recipes that still allowed me to eat the things I liked. One of the things I learned how to do was to make my own personal pizza. So even though I sometimes miss my old diet, I find that once in a while I can act like it’s just like the old times again. I’ve established quite a list of foods that make me happy, don’t take long and are good. My recipes are perfect for the lazy, the thought of having to constantly monitor the food I’m making doesn’t really work for me; I’ve got work to do. So I hope you enjoy, it’s totally awesome to make and no stress at all. Continue reading The Gluten-Free Manifesto

Udi’s Bread Internship!

We at the Culinary Society love our gluten, but…

We just got notified by Udi’s, the leading gluten-free bread company in the U.S., and they are looking for college-aged summer interns! This would be a great way to have a food-related summer job. Plus, you would be able to stay in the city! So without further ado, here’s the email we received:

“Udi’s is a gluten free bakery that has enjoyed enormous growth over the past year (close to 500%).  We are now the leading gluten free bakery in the United States with 5 of the top 10 product lines including the top 2 selling gluten free breads.  Currently, we are reaching out across the United States to offer on-campus internships to undergraduate students.  As such, we would like to offer an internship to a student participating in your organization at Columbia.  We believe that this internship offers a wide variety of benefits.  Most notably, the ability to gain: 

  • Marketing and advertising experience;
  • Social media marketing experience;
  • Leadership experience;
  • An extensive, national network of future colleagues, professionals, etc;
  • Experience that will enhance your resume and marketability in the job market; and,
  • A sought after recommendation from a high-ranking, Udi’s executive team member.

In addition, interns will also have the opportunity to travel with the Udi’s team to events, be connected with their counterparts on other campuses, and receive free products and other gifts.    
We would like to begin interviewing candidates as soon as possible.  Any interested candidate can apply by contacting me at 720-763-3423 or emailing me at mnewill@udisfood.com.  Please have a resume available for review.”

The contact’s name is Matt Newill. If you would like more information about the internship, I have additional information that was sent to the Culinary Society. you can contact us at culinary@columbia.edu.

If you would like to sample their products before replying, you can find Udi’s at health food stores such as Whole Foods.