Monday, May 17, 2010

Sweet Potato Pasta and Sweet Potato Pie

I've been out of town for a while. And that means so much good food. Before I left I made lunch for a friend. Naturally it turns into a little bit of a story. I had visited the farmers market and bought a small basket of sweet potatoes, which I hadn't gotten around to eating. I decided I really needed to eat them before I left for a few weeks, but I wasn't interested in just baking them. So I surfed around for a little while and found a recipe for sweet potato and goat cheese pasta with sage brown butter.

Of course, I thought this was perfect because it has 5 ingredients and except for the goat chesse, I had all of them in my house.

Let me tell you some of the changes I made.

1. I used gluten-free penne pasta. I liked that a lot better than lasagna.
2. I mixed the sweet potatoes and goat cheese while the sweet potatoes were really still hot. I used my Kitchen Aid and they were really smooth and creamy.
3. I discovered that goat cheese tastes quite a bit like cream cheese, so when I made this for my family last week, I used half goat cheese and half cream cheese.
4. I added the sage to the brown butter after the butter was completely brown and slightly cool. This kept the sage from going crispy and I liked that better.

I did make this for my family and they really liked it as well (except for Kim who doesn't like sweet potatoes).

In all truth, I had so many sweet potatoes that I also decided to make the "Haitian Sweet Potato Bread." My thinking was that it would actually be a good snack to take on the airplane. Somehow with the description I thought that it would be bread, a nice sweet bread like muffins. Yeah, not at all.

My friend and I ate it and it was actually really good. It is sweet and creamy. But it is definitely not bread.

I decided to rename it "Crustless Sweet Potato Pie." Now I am from North Carolina and so I know that this is not at all like a sweet potato pie. But a pie filling is the closest thing I can think of to this.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dressing and Bean Salad

If you have been gluten-free for a while, you have probably already learned a trick. Take food with you everywhere.

I truly do this. Meeting someone for lunch, yeah, I bring something. No I don't bother asking, oh can I bring something? I just show up with food in hand -- and enough to share. I have had people say, "Oh you didn't have to do that!" But the truth is, they eat it anyway.

This is absolutely a necessity if the event is a potluck. There is absolutely no guarantee that there will be anything that is safe for you to eat at a potluck unless you bring it. Also, with most potlucks it is extremely difficult to find out the contents of most of the dishes. So you know what you bring yourself is safe.

I had two potlucks this weekend. The first was for work on Friday.

What this meant for me this week was that I was shopping for food on Thursday night at 9:30 pm. When I got home I tossed the pasta in the pot for Heather's pasta salad. Because I was shopping so late, I didn't feel like reading all of the salad dressing labels to find a gluten-free, sugar-free italian salad dressing that frankly would cost too much no matter how it fell out.

At home, with the pasta boiling away, I tossed together this dressing and whisked vigorously.

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbs tamari
1 Tbs oregano
1 Tbs basil
1 Tbs parsley
(all dried herbs)

The pasta salad got rave reviews from my coworkers.

For the second potluck I made bean salad. I told a friend this and she wrinkled her nose and said, "Um, ew. No one is going to eat that." To which I naturally responded, "I don't care if anyone else eats it. I am making it for me."

My mom makes a good bean salad with an oil and vinegar dressing that I have made several times as well. This time though, I decided to kick it up a notch. I found a different bean salad with a salsa dressing. In my world, everything is better with salsa.

Spicy Bean Salad

1 can black beans

1 can red beans

1 can garbanzo beans

1 can pinto beans

1 pkg (10 oz) frozen corn

1 tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp lime juice

1 jar chunky salsa

1 pinch parsley

Drain and rinse all beans. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve cold.