Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Dinner

Last, but not least, what did we have on Christmas Day....

Stuffed Duck with Cherry Sauce and Asparagus!

Stuffed Duck with Cherry Sauce

This was just OK. It was pretty good actually. I just really love duck and was hoping the sauce would be more yummy.


* 1 (6 lb) duck (approx)
* salt
* garlic pepper seasoning
* 4 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 7-8 sprigs fresh sage, chopped
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 3/4 cup chopped pecans
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 (15 ounce) can pitted cherries, drained
* 2 cups red wine
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar


Preheat oven to 375ºF.
To prepare the stuffing: Sauté onion in olive oil until onion is transparent.
Remove from heat.
In a large bowl Add salt, and combine with rice, chopped sage and pecans.
Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste.
You may wish to add more salt and if you like you can add a bit of garlic pepper, but that is optional.
Remove the bag from the duck cavity that contains the giblets and neck bone and set aside in refrigerator, you won't need it for this recipe.
Rinse and dry the duck.
Stuff the duck with the prepared brown rice stuffing and sew the stuffed cavity closed or secure with round tooth picks.
Place the stuffed duck on a rack in a roasting pan breast side up and sprinkle all over top and bottom with salt and garlic pepper.
Ducks contain lots of natural fat so require no basting.
Roast at 375ºF for about 22 minutes a pound.
A 6 pound duck should be done in about 2 1/4 hours.
When duck is done let it set for about 20 minutes to let the juices settle before carving.
While the duck is resting prepare the cherry sauce: In a medium size saucepan, combine the 15 ounce can of cherries, honey, wine, and Balsamic vinegar.
Heat over medium flame until the mixture is reduced by half.
Transfer to a serving touraine with a ladle.
Place the touraine on table beside the carved Duck and let guests spoon as much sauce as they like on their portion of duck.

Balsamic Asparagus

Just like it sounds. Saute it up in olive oil, then add a splash of balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper.

I love asparagus, but I think a different veggie might have been better with the duck. We decided maybe green beans....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Dinner

So this was not so much a complete GFCF meal as one of my traditions is to make my husband a big old meat lasagna. Works out OK as I don't eat the meat either!

To add to it, I made "Stuffed Shrimp" and one of my favorite spinach dishes.

Stuffed Shrimp

We cheaped out and bought smaller shrimp, so I just layered them in a baking dish and put the filling on top. They were still really good!


1 cup chopped mushrooms (about 1/4 pound)
3 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons minced celery ribs
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 tablespoons Earth Balance
1/2 pound scallops, chopped, or lump crabmeat, picked over
1/2 cup chicken broth
32 Ritz crackers (about two thirds of a 12-ounce package), crushed into coarse crumbs - I used almond meal because I was out of gluten free bread crumbs, and it was quite yummy!

18 jumbo shrimp (about 2 pounds), shelled, leaving tail and connecting shell segment intact
2 tablespoons Earth Balance

Garnish: chopped fresh parsley leaves
Accompaniment: lemon wedges


Preheat oven to 375°F. and butter a large baking dish.

In a large heavy skillet cook mushrooms, onion, celery, garlic, and parsley in EB over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add scallops or crabmeat and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in broth and cracker crumbs and remove skillet from heat.

Butterfly shrimp by cutting lengthwise along inside curve, almost completely through. Split open shrimp and devein. Mound about 2 tablespoons stuffing onto each shrimp, pressing gently, and put shrimp, stuffed sides up, in baking dish. Melt EB and drizzle over shrimp. Sprinkle shrimp with paprika and bake 20 minutes, or until stuffing is golden.

Garnish shrimp with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Roman Spinach


* 3 tablespoons raisins (black or golden, smallest available)
* 4 bunches spinach, bunches washed at least twice but not dried, trimmed of stems (2 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
* 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
* 5 medium garlic cloves, peeled and well crushed
* 4 tablespoons pine nuts
* 1 pinch salt (big pinch)
* fresh black pepper (6-7 grindings)


Put the raisins in a small bowl with enough warm water to cover. Soak for about 15 minutes and set aside.
Put the wet spinach in a frying pan large enough to hold it all and cook over a high flame until it collapses and turns dark green, stirring constantly. Transfer the spinach to a colander and set aside. If the frying pan is wet, dry it with a paper towel.
Pour olive oil into the frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and brown it, being careful it doesn't burn. Remove and discard. Take the raisins from the water, squeeze as dry as possible and add them to the oil with the pine nuts. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the nuts turn a golden color. Be careful because the nuts can burn easily.
Return spinach to the pan, stir with a fork and add salt and pepper, to taste. Mix all ingredients and continue cooking for about a minute. You may add additional olive oil if desired.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Solstice Dinner

Our Solstice Dinner was entirely dairy and gluten free. Sometimes I make a separate thing for my husband if I am doing a special meal, but this dinner came together fine without that. And it was all Solstice themey too!

Sundried Tomato Meatloaf

Candied Sweet Potatoes - just substituted Earth Balance in a basic recipe

Zucchini Solar Circles :)
I just sauteed them with olive oil, garlic, saffron, thyme and paprika - pretty yummy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Chickpea Crackers

I have been putting off trying this recipe because I don't like the taste of chickpea flour, but my niece was here over Thanksgiving and asked if we had any crackers, so I thought I would give it a try since I had all this stuff on hand. And low and behold, the nutritional yeast totally cuts that bitterness and they were great! They were also really easy. The picture is my son poking the holes in the crackers before baking. He cut the shapes too! I somehow lost the picture of the finished product. I would love to try them with some herbs for extra flavor next time.

Chickpea Crackers

1/2 cup chickpea flour (besan), sifted before measuring
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
2-4 tablespoons water

For dusting: gluten-free baking flour (or flour of choice)
Optional: Smoked Spanish paprika for tops

Mix all dry ingredients together well. Stir in the oil and begin stirring in water one tablespoon at a time. The amount will depend on the moisture in your flour. When the dough can be formed into a ball, you have added enough water. (I used 4 tablespoons, but your results may be different.

Knead the dough several times to distribute the ingredients, and then roll it in plastic wrap and set it aside while you preheat the oven to 350F. Dust your work area and rolling pin well with the gluten-free flour. After the dough has rested for 10 minutes divide it in half, put half on the floured surface, and sprinkle the top with flour. Roll it out until it is as thin as you can get it and still be able to pick it up. (Mine came out a little less than 1/8 inch thick or about 3 mm.) Cut it into 1x1-inch squares or use a cookie cutter. Place crackers on a non-stick cookie sheet and repeat with other half of dough. Prick each cracker once or twice with a fork (allows for air to escape and keeps them from puffing up). Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, being careful not to over- or under-bake*. Remove from oven and allow them to cool and become crispy. Test one, and if it's not crispy, return to the oven for a few more minutes. After cooking, keep in a sealed container. If they get soft, a few minutes in a hot oven will return them to crispiness.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving contains 63 Calories (kcal); 2g Total Fat; (20% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 172mg Sodium; 2g Fiber.

* Mine baked up much faster, I think only about 7 or 8 minutes. Maybe I had them rolled thinner.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Yet Another Review!

I grabbed these the other day while at New Seasons because I was pretty sure they were the ones my friend Jenn made that were just killer good!Yeah, that was them! So, so yummy.

But more importantly, it is also egg free, so it was a totally worry free experience in cookie dough eating! We decided to make 12 cookies and just eat the rest of the dough LOL.
I have come to the conclusion that I like cookie dough better than cookies. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Trader Joe's Gluten Free Brownies

Well as long as I am in product review mode, I might as well write these up too! I have had them twice before, once awesome and once not so good, but neither time make by me. When I made them this time, I added chocolate chips, and oh my goodness was that a win! My only complaint is that they seem to get a bit overbaked around the edges, so I am thinking about trying to cook them longer at a lower temp.