It’s Easy Being Green!
Today we celebrate Earth Day, a day observed nationwide to promote awareness in making our planet a better place to live. There are many ways we can each make a difference. One of which is buying naturally gluten-free fruits and veggies as close to your home as possible. Shopping for gluten-free produce is easy! Here are few tips to help celebrate Earth Day every day:
- Join a CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. In a CSA, people in the community pay a local farmer a set fee for a “share” of their crops during the growing season. Typically from June until October, members pick up their weekly allotment of freshly picked fruit and vegetables.
- Visit your local farm stand or farmer’s market. Stop by the farm stand to pick up ingredients for dinner... You can’t get any fresher than that!
- Grow your own garden. Whether you try your hand at container gardening or have a patch of land you can cultivate, growing your own can be a fun and satisfying activity! Crops such as zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries, and peppers are a great starting point for beginner gardeners.
What to do with all of this fabulous local gluten-free produce? Here are a few seasonal recipes to enjoy!
Gluten-Free Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Lemon Parmesan Sauce
Yield: 4 servings
2 cups broccoli, cut into florets
2 cups asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup diced tomato
6 oz gluten-free brown rice pasta, uncooked
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, reduced by half
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 lemon, zest and juice
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh parmesan cheese, shaved
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees F with baking sheet inside.
- Wash, rinse, and spin dry broccoli and asparagus; toss with tomatoes and 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, and freshly ground pepper and add to hot baking sheet. Return to oven and roast until vegetables are lightly browned and tender, 20 minutes, tossing vegetables once halfway through. Add the sliced garlic during the last 5 minutes of roasting time.
- Meanwhile, add water to a large pot and bring it to a boil; add a pinch of sea salt and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions (about 8 mins); drain, rinse, add back to pot and cover.
- Remove roasted vegetables from the oven and add to the pot with the pasta.
- In a separate bowl, zest and juice the lemon, remove seeds. Mix in sour cream and flat leaf parsley, add to pasta, and toss to coat. Add sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese.
Nutrition per serving: Calories 169; fat 4g (Sat 2g); Chol 57mg; Sodium 99mg; carb 29g; Fiber 3g; Protein 5g; Sugar 2g
Cucumber Melon Salad
1 whole cucumber, peeled and cubed
3 cups cubed watermelon
2 cups cubed honeydew
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons feta or crumbled goat cheese (optional)
- In a large serving bowl, combine cucumber, watermelon, and honeydew.
- Pour lime juice, salt, and cilantro over mixture; stir to coat evenly.
- Cover and let sit in refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Upon serving, garnish with feta or goat cheese.
Zucchini & Squash Polenta Pizza Rounds
Yield: 24 rounds
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 ½ cups skim milk
1 cup masa harina (finely ground corn meal)
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, shredded or finely diced
1 large zucchini, shredded
1 large yellow squash, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
½ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
- In a medium-sized pot, heat chicken broth and skim milk over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and rain in masa harina while whisking vigorously.
- Switch to stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula and cook, stirring constantly, for three to four minutes.
- Stir in butter, Parmesan cheese, and salt.
- Pour immediately onto a greased 9” x 13” cookie sheet. Allow to cool fully until the polenta is stiff and sturdy, about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on room temperature.
- While the polenta is cooling, in a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add red onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, until onions are translucent and fragrant.Add shredded zucchini and squash and cook, stirring frequently, for three to four minutes, until the zucchini and squash are soft. Add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Drain any remaining liquid in the sauté pan and transfer sautéed vegetables into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, gluten-free breadcrumbs, red pepper flakes, and salt. Gently mix all ingredients together.
- Using a pastry cutter or cookie cutter, slice polenta into circles about three inches in diameter. Arrange rounds on a lightly greased baking sheet.Top each round with a heaping spoonful of the zucchini mixture. Top each round evenly with remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and golden. Serve immediately
Sun, April 22, 2012
by Maureen Stanley filed under