Cupboard Supper: Seafood Spaghetti

Spring is the season for asparagus, spring onions and peas. I love them all served together with spaghetti and garlic and lots of butter. This recipe can be made from stuff in your pantry other than the scallions. You could use red onion or shallots in place of the green onion but it wouldn’t be the same.

This is the only seafood and pasta dish where I grate cheese on top; normally taboo – considered not a good combination but it works fantastically in this fast to throw together entrée.  This meal is visually appealing with the greens and the white.  I have been making variations of it for many years.  This is one of my favorite versions.  Great flavor and so speedy to make; how fast can you get the water boiling and cook the pasta?  That is how long it takes to create a great meal in one fantastic dish.

Yes, I make it with gf pasta.  Use the brand you love, don’t overcook it; barely done is best.  I made it for years and years with regular pasta before I had to go gluten free.  The original recipe didn’t have the asparagus and peas; my addition.  Good no matter what veggies you add; just don’t take away any of the basic ingredients.

Try to use tuna packed in olive oil; makes all the difference, especially for Italian dishes, much better flavor than any other kind of tuna. Giant carries it as does Wegmans. If you totally hate tuna you could use half a pound of small cooked shrimp. Ditto on using real butter, margarine will ruin the flavor for sure.  And I really love the greens; especially the onions; buy scallions if you can’t find spring onions.  I always cook the white parts a few minutes but the green tops can be close to raw. Better that way than overcooked. Last but not least by any means, use the real deal for your parmesan cheese, that shreddy stuff in the jar is not gf a lot of the time and the flavor is sad when compared to a chunk you just grated on your pasta. You can thank me after you taste this masterpiece!

Seafood Spaghetti with Greens

Ingredients

1 package of gf spaghetti

½ stick of butter

6-10 spears of asparagus

½ cup fresh snap peas, cut in half (frozen oetite peas are fine)

1 can light tuna packed in olive oil

1 can diced clams

1 bundle scallions or spring onions

1 big garlic clove

Directions: Boil a big pot of salted water, add the entire box of spaghetti; usually 12 oz size in gf.  Cook stirring often until barely done.  Drain.  While it cooks make the rest of the dish.

Veggie Prep: I like to snap the asparagus into manageable lengths; like 1 ½ inches long.  Ditch the tough ends. Cut the peas in half, cut the spring onions into ¼ inch rounds. If using frozen peas add in the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Melt 3 tbsp. of the butter in a big saucepan.  I use my mini wok. Add the veggies, cook a minute, and add the garlic pressed or minced.  Stir and cook another minute.  Throw in the white part of the onions; add the tuna and clams with ALL the juices and olive oil in the tuna can.  Stir gently and cook a minute.  Toss in the green parts of the scallions and the cooked hot pasta.  Stir a bit.  Add 1 tbsp. more butter if you dare and up to a quarter cup of pasta water to moisten the pasta.  It is really not a wet sauce; the stuff should cling to the strands of spaghetti.

Serve and top each portion with a healthy amount of finely grated real parmesan cheese.   Should serve four but if you are piggy only serves 3! seafood spagetti on plate

+++++++++++++ Variation for those with a garden +++++++++++++

Yes, you can eat kale flower buds, a lot like broccolini.  I sometimes blanch them in hot water before sauteing with olive oil and garlic.

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These pictures above show my latest and quite yummy variation: I quick sizzled unopened kale flower buds from my last year’s plants and topped the finished pasta dish with it; really nice and I am guessing this kale option is quite good for your health

Originally posted May 2015.

Chocolate Chip Cookies…Delish of Course

Searching for the holy grail of GF baking: home made chocolate chip cookies.  Bet you thought I was going to say some sort of bread!  That’s another post entirely.  Anyway, when I went GF 7 years ago I made a batch of chocolate chippers that were gf. They were rather sweet and didn’t taste all that great.  I keep looking for something that would approximate the real deal cookies I loved all my life.  Recipes I came across seemed to require that I buy weird vegetable shortenings or use Crisco. I draw the line at Crisco. Or they used odd flour blends and I feel it’s just not worth it to me to add another flour mixture just for one cookie recipe.  So I had not made chippers in years.  Missed them….desperately.  Store ones I tried were small, hard, drab in flavor and incredibly pricey. Until I went to King Arthur’s website and looked in their cookie recipes.  There it was: cookies made with the same flour blend I use and made with butter, one of my few chosen shortenings.  Glowing reviews and advice; said to make them and refrigerate a day or better yet, freeze them formed and ready to bake in a few minutes.  Comments about how much they are like Tollhouse cookies, great texture and flavor.  Bingo, this seemed so hopeful. So…Less than a week later I made up a batch; Goal scored; perfect brown sugar nutty flavor and texture; not too hard or too soft. I am a happy chocolate chip cookie lover at last!

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I put some in my cookie jar, closed it tightly and 4 days later those cookies (what remains) are still delicious. That is pretty long for a gluten free baked good. By the fifth afternoon my last cookie in there was getting soft so suggest not holding them for more than 4 days in a jar. I love that they can be frozen ready to bake in like 12 minutes.

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chocolate chip cookies on rack

This is my go to chocolate chip cookie recipe; none other will do. I love that I can freeze them ready to bake and in 12 minutes I have warm fresh gooey cookies!

So, if you are still looking for a great gf chocolate chip cookie look no further: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe.  Enjoy!

Originally published in 2016.

Comfort Food; A Few Suggestions

I don’t know about you but I am craving comfort foods right now. So, this will be a list you can easily pull up recipes from.
Today I made my favorite guilty pleasure; creamy rice pudding; here is the link to it. https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2015/02/21/not-grandmas-rice-pudding/
Another comfort treat is bread pudding; make it with leftover cookies or fancy gf bread if you have some: https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2019/01/02/holiday-bread-pudding/
coconut cookies baked
How about a great cookie recipe?
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2018/02/14/brownies-to-love/
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2015/11/30/peanut-butter-beauties/
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2018/01/17/chocolate-chippers-that-please-everyone/ as well as http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe.
https://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-oatmeal-peanut-butter chocolate-chip-cookies/

Quick and Delish Muffins: pear muffins
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2016/05/31/banana-muffins-tried-and-true/
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2019/04/02/kitchen-sink-muffin-2-0-version/
Pie/Tarts:
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2019/12/01/banana-custard-pie-2-0/
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2018/03/12/shoo-fly-pie-shoe-fly-pie-at-my-house/
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2019/12/06/alsatian-apple-tart-deliciously-creamy/
Soup/Stew: roasty chicken soup
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2019/01/30/roasty-chicken-soup/
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2018/09/30/chunky-mushroom-soup/
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2018/03/21/noreaster-lentil-stew/
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2018/01/08/stormy-day-bean-soup/
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2015/01/24/pasta-e-fagioli-meaning-pasta-and-bean-soup-fantastico/
Easy Entrees:
Beef: https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2016/03/31/corned-beef-hash/
Casserole:
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2018/04/06/hearty-shepherds-pie-cause-it-still-be-like-winter/
Chinese food:
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2019/04/18/chinese-chicken-with-broccoli/
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2019/03/14/sweet-and-sour-pork-stir-fry/
Chicken: https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2019/03/25/chicken-tenders-crunchy-meal-treat/
Fish: https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2014/06/23/fabulous-fish-fry/
Shrimp: https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2018/04/15/shrimp-risotto-made-easy/
And a few salads for those who prefer something light.
Salads:

papaya salad, Easter eggs 004

Papaya and fennel salad…healthy and yummy


https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2017/02/20/fun-winter-salads/
https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2016/04/14/super-spring-salads/

I hope you found something comforting to make from my list. Enjoy!!

Meyer Lemon Tartlets; Delicate and Delightful

We were lucky enough last month to get a small shipment of fresh Meyer lemons from my brother who lives in Texas and has a tree in his back yard. I saw a bag of 4/5 of them in Giant Food Market this past week so they are available locally.

I have made plenty of full sized lemon tarts but not so much in my small 3 inch across flat bottomed tartlet pans, I made this recipe maybe a couple of years ago. I have two 4 piece pans so I could make up to 8 at a time. I made 6 tartlets and had a tiny bit of filling left over. 

We ate a couple last night for dessert and I served them with full fat plain Greek yogurt from Aldi’s which has great flavor and a thick smooth texture. It is rich and still somehow light.  A better topping than ice cream which melts…rather unfortunate in a lemon tart and the yogurt is less work than making whipped cream. StonyField Organic Low Fat is my preferred choice for great quality yogurt you might find in Giant or Wegmans.

I make my standard pie crust dough and chilled it before rolling out chunks of it. I didn’t make thick fancy edges; smaller edges being better for putting the lemon filling as the forward taste of these tartlets. I ended up with six shells.

Notes: You can make these tartlets with regular lemons that you freshly juice. You might want to up the sugar by ¼ cup if you do that.  Also, these tarts should be stored in the fridge until serving. Enjoy!

tartlet shells

lemon tartlet

Meyer Lemon Tartlets  makes six

Crust:

1 c plus 2 Tbsp. brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 Tbsp. sweet rice flour

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Directions: Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes.  Roll chunks of it out to thin circles and fit into tartlet pans. Mine have removable disc bottoms and I highly recommend them. Prick the bottoms with a fork to prevent puffing up and bake at 375 degrees for about 11 or 12 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool.  You need six tartlet shells as the filling is enough to fill six.

Lemon Filling:
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My Gluten Free Life…7 Year Update

Update on being gluten free: I went GF seven years ago this past February. My diagnosis was on the last day of January but it took two weeks for me to gradually transition off gluten. I remember the first day I was supposed to be fully gluten free and in the faculty room I absentmindedly popped a chocolate cookie into my mouth and chewed. I was aghast and just felt I couldn’t spit it out in front of everyone. So, the next day was my first fully gf day. It is seven years later and most days I am fine. But once in a while I really morn the loss of the normalness of being able to buy a donut or bagel at a convenience store for a treat. I mourn the inability to be flexible and easy when my family or friends want to eat out. I watch my loved ones eat things I cannot eat anymore. I often can’t eat at church events; nothing safe for me. I feel sad over that. I won’t lie or sugar coat the situation: it still can be difficult and my food choices do leave me feeling left out at times. It is not easy long term, especially when I am eating outside my house and kitchen. There is temptation, there are no options for me most of the time and it just wrenches me to be forbidden many foods I used to enjoy.

On the flip side, I feel much better; the pain in my gut left not that long after going gf. I actually had the start of ulcers in my stomach due to the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. I underwent a two week treatment of two heavy duty antibiotics to get that crap out of my stomach! They found it during my endoscopy to confirm my diagnosis of celiac disease. But once I was gf two weeks and the antibiotics were done I was hugely better. It was a great feeling. I highly recommend being fully gluten free if you have the diagnosis of celiac disease. Just don’t eat gf until you have completed your testing; being gf can reduce your symptoms and give a false negative result to testing.

So, how do you do this gf thing every day? One day at a time. With the support of your loved ones. With the knowledge that if you continue to eat gluten you will get sicker and sicker. I knew gluten was at the root of my gut pain and discovered a host of issues that I had been suffering from that are directly linked to my auto immune disorder. I hate how I feel if I do eat gluten and that knowledge is a major factor holding me back from cheating. I am not willing to deal with the pain and the side effects from cheating.

I used to know someone who said she had no symptoms of her disease. I imagine that would be much harder to stay gf without the drum beat of painful hours post gluten feasting! I hope she is sticking to gf. For her health and for her family.

I see folks in social media talking/bragging about their recent cheating and wonder how they do it? How they make that bad choice. I am guessing it is for the taste of regular food, for the freedom to eat something at 711 or Dunkin or a family gathering and a beloved holiday food that is hard to resist. I see their posts, half bragging and half whining about how sick they got. I know we all have moments of weakness. Seeing what they say and have done I feel sure I am on the right path; the choice of eating safely, totally gluten free.

It is just not worth it to me to cheat. To risk damage to my small intestine for that treat, that glass of beer or that plate of regular pasta. I am also afraid that once I start cheating it will become normalized and I will slide downward into daily consumption of a substance I know to be deadly to me. I hold on tight to the knowledge that I am doing what is best for my family and the uprising subsides in my brain. Life goes on.


I eat well. I enjoy many tasty homemade meals and treats. I made focaccia this week for first time in years. Great with soup. I have a lot of awesome go to recipes for things like Italian bread, muffins, cookies, pie, angel food cake and cobbler. People clamor to eat those foods and none of them have to be gluten free. It is totally possible to eat well with a bit of planning, basic willpower and a little effort. So, life is good; even gluten free. Hang tough; you can do it! Thousands of us do it. Have an awesome gluten free day!

Cheddar Brats For the Win!

Quick update. So I went back last week and got some Cheddar Brats at Lidls…a German supermarket located in Wilson Boro. A plus is that they are super cheap; $2.49 a six pack. So…the bratwursts were on the menu twice so far. Yummy; not too cheddary, juicy as well as mildly smokey. We had them with a version of tater tots called tater crowns; discs of crunchy potato bits. Less than 8 minutes to brown them lightly before diving in. I recommend these brats for a quick tasty meal. Pleaser for the 8 year old. Go get em! smoked brats with cheese