Meandering down a path of Creativity

Archive for the ‘Recipes (Gluten free)’ Category

Muscles & Meat Sauce, Oh My! (Gluten-free)

As I mentioned in my post earlier today, I need to increase my protein intake. Normally, my preference on from-scratch red sauce for pasta is a chunky garden-style sauce, with lots of fresh veggies and tomatoes I put up from the previous year’s garden… and absolutely NO added sugar (a high quality sweet balsamic vinegar does the job quite nicely). ¬†The ingredients and amounts always vary and I never really measure anything. Well, tonight I’m adding some meat to the mix *and* I carefully measured everything, except the herbs. Hopefully this beautiful gravy will have my muscles nice and happy and ready to take on the chicken kicks tomorrow at MMA!


meat sauce cooking

Yummy gravy in the making…



Chickpeas, Lentils, and Sausage, Oh My!

Easy Soup in the slow cooker…

garbanzo sausage lentil soup

This is going to be tonight’s dinner. Hopefully it will be tasty…

As always, all measurements are approximate.

Get out the slow cooker and put the following in it:

  • 2 quarts diced tomatoes (or 2 28-oz cans)
  • 1 16 oz can chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, mashed up a bit
  • 1/2 c brown lentils
  • 3 links Italian sausage, cooked and chopped
  • 2-3 c frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 c carrot pieces
  • 1/2 c roughly chopped¬†celery
  • 1 tbsp dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried herbes de provence
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 c water

Give it a stir to mix everything up and cook on high for 6 hours.

I’m guessing it will yield about 8 hearty servings. If all of my guessing, between ingredient quantities & final yield, is accurate, then the nutritional info is as follows (based on calculator at
Cal 218
Fat 9.2g (Sat 4.8g)
Cholesterol 32.2mg
Sodium 998mg
Potassium 699mg
Carbohydrate 18.9g (Fiber 5.3g; Sugar 7.0g)
Protein 11.6g

-I used leftover cooked sausage that was in the freezer. I recommend chopping it before you freeze it.
-I don’t like putting frozen stuff straight into the crockpot, so I stuck the spinach and water in a container and microwaved it for a few minutes, then added the chopped sausage to the container and microwaved it for a few more minutes.
-I chopped up the remainder of a package of baby carrots and did not measure them at all. There were probably 12-15 of them.
-The ingredients should be fairly flexible here. No tomatoes? Try salsa. No chickpeas? Try navy or cannellini beans. No spinach? Try collards, kale, mustard, or beet greens. No carrots? Either skip ’em or maybe try some sweet potato chopped small. No celery? Add a bit of celery salt and don’t stress over it. Use fresh or frozen onion instead of dried. No thyme or herbes de provence? Replace them with Italian seasoning blend, or, if you used salsa instead of tomatoes, maybe try cilantro and oregano instead. No garlic or onion at all? Replace the tomatoes with salsa and/or replace the water with a well-seasoned broth that you like. Yep, like I said, it’s pretty flexible!

The soup turned out quite nicely and received rave reviews from the family. Next time I make it, though, I’ll be a lot more heavy-handed with the seasonings… a whole sweet onion and 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped, and probably closer to a tablespoon of thyme… plus maybe a drizzle of a sweet & fruity balsamic vinegar to round it all out. All in all, though, it was a very tasty dinner and took all of 5 minutes to prepare. So yeah, it’s a win!

Recipe- Creamy Potato Florentine Soup (GFree, vegan option, leftovers)

What do you do with leftover mashed potatoes & spinach? Make soup!


Zoe’s Summer Squash Soup

Another squash recipe! It’s gluten-free, it’s vegan, and it uses up a lot of squash! Oh, and it’s pretty darn tasty, too! This soup recipe works great with either just zucchini or a mix of zucchini and crook neck or straight neck yellow summer squash… I’m sure it would work well with patty pan squash, too, but I haven’t tried that yet. It’s also excellent if you add a couple of cloves of minced or chopped garlic in with the onions, but since Mom can’t have garlic, my standard recipe doesn’t include that. Oh, and it fits in with my ‘waste not, want not’ philosophy- you know those giant zucchini that seem to appear overnight, with the giant seeds and tough, spongy flesh? They are perfect for the broth base!

Two giant squash from my garden, with playing cards and veggie peeler for scale


Quick n Easy Pasta Topper… GF

This is just a quick post to give you a quick n easy ‘recipe’ if you’re in the mood for something new to put on your pasta. It’s very flexible on the ingredients, too. As a bonus, the version I made tonight used up some leftover hot Italian sausage- and I love being able to give the leftovers new life!

What you’ll need: (more…)

Recipe: Gingered Marmalade with Honey GF, vegan

So maybe I’m showing my age here, but I love the movie The Witches of Eastwick. There’s one line of that movie that has always tickled my curiosity, though.

As Michelle Pfeiffer was ushering her kids off to school, she reminded them to take their lunch, and upon being asked what it was, she responded that it was peanut butter and jelly.

The child suspiciously asked her, “What kind of jelly?” and she responded that it was zucchini jelly. The child was not happy about it, but it made me giggle. Ever since seeing that, I have been on the lookout for a recipe for zucchini jelly.

Now mind you, I wasn’t expecting it to be particularly good, but I was intensely curious. Curious enough that when I finally found a recipe for it recently, I became very excited to make it. And here’s the kicker…

It is absolutely delicious! Seriously, my husband tasted it first (he’s such a good guinea pig, LOL!). His response? “Oh, this is just… terrible. I think I might have to eat all 9 jars just to save you from it.”

A few minutes later, on his second slice of bread slathered with it, he commented, “You could get money for this stuff!”

A few days later, a friend was having an open house for her new business and I grabbed a jar to take as an office warming gift. He didn’t say anything, but definitely gave me the stink eye. (Once I’d reassured him that I’d make more he was okay with it, though.)

I really need to get some good 'photo shoot' worthy dishes & plates!

sorry for the poor plating and photography!

I found the original recipe in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. I made 2 versions- 1 was according to the recipe, almost exactly. The other, which is the recipe I’ll be sharing today, was made using honey instead of sugar, and had a few other small tweaks to it.

PLEASE NOTE This is NOT a tested recipe for canning. Although it is based on a tested recipe, it has undergone sufficient changes to make me feel that I should warn you, if you choose to can this, you are doing so at your own risk. I will include the canning procedure that I followed if you should choose to be adventurous.

So, without further ado…

Gingered Squash Marmalade (more…)

Recipe: Baked Zucchini ‘Fries’- Vegan, Gluten Free

Do you have a garden? Are you growing any summer squash- yellow crook neck, yellow straight neck, zucchini, patty pans? Are any of your neighbors or local friends growing summer squash? If so, then odds are good that you, like me, have begun looking for new and interesting ways to use it up!

Aside from the standard steamed squash, I’ve got a few other ‘go to’ recipes for the annual summer squash glut. They include stuffing & baking, making squash soup, grilling, and fritters. That list of go-to recipes now also includes this one…

Oven-Baked Squash ‘Fries’ (more…)

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