Category Archives: vegetarian

Haloumi Salad with Caramelised Onion Dressing

haloumi salad with caramelised onion dressing

Oh, haloumi, how I love you! Let me count the ways!  I really, really love haloumi. I also really, really love caramelized onions and tomatoes and arugula. I basically just really, really love this salad. There is something about the salty (and squeaky) haloumi and the kind of sweet, kind of not caramelized onion dressing that just makes for the most amazing flavor combination. The peppery arugula was also a flavorful addition that worked really well with the rest of the ingredients.

I’m not going to lie, making the dressing is going to take you a bit of time. To get really delicious, rich, sweet caramelized onions, you are going to need about an hour. Don’t believe anyone that says it will only 10 to 20 minutes, that’s a lie. And don’t believe anyone that says you can add sugar to caramelize them, that’s just gross. (I am very passionate when it comes to caramelized onions and these two points, if you couldn’t tell….) The onions will get naturally sweet and it is definitely worth the effort, you just need to give them time. You can definitely blend the onion dressing in a food processor if you prefer a more vinaigrette-like dressing. I left the onions un-blended (more like a chutney almost) because I felt it would make for a heartier salad.

haloumi salad with caramelised onion dressing

Haloumi Salad with Caramelised Onion Dressing

2 salads

Adapted from Donna Hay.

Ingredients

    For the Salad:
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 block of halloumi, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 bag of salad greens (I used arugula)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

    For the Dressing:
  1. Heat oil in large pan over medium-high heat. Add onions when oil begins to shimmer. Let onions sit for 10 minutes and sprinkle with salt. Reduce heat low and continue to stir onions every 10 minutes until they are a rich, caramelized brown. It's going to take about 1 hour, give or take 10-20 minutes either side.
  2. When onions are caramelized place in bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Adjust flavors and spice to your taste. If you prefer a smoother dressing this can be done in a food processor.
  3. For the Salad:
  4. Wash and prepare lettuce and tomatoes. Divide between two plates
  5. Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat (you can reuse the same pan you caramelized your onions in). Once oil is hot add haloumi slices and cook until starting to brown, about 2-3 minutes, then flip the haloumi and repeat on the other side.
  6. Top tomatoes with halloumi, then add the onion dressing and freshly ground pepper.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
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Gluten Free Greek Yogurt & Herb Potato Salad

Greek Yogurt & Herb Potato Salad

 It’s already getting warm here. We had approximately two days of rain and a maybe four cold-ish (by Southern California standards) days and we are apparently heading right back into summer. I’m not a fan. The only plus side is that I now have a legitimate reason to insist on barbecuing as often as possible. I was all set to grill up a delicious meal the other day and it turned out we had no propane left, which is kind of a major component to using a gas grill. Memo to Self: always check for propane.

The meal was not a total loss because I had made some delicious side dishes to go with the meat. This salad is probably going to be in regular rotation over the next few months around here. It’s a very easy to make and very delicious. I originally used white balsamic vinegar in my dressing for this salad, but I honestly thought it turned out a bit too sweet. I think apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar would be a much better match. I used dill in the potato salad because it had a ton on hand, but you could use just about fresh herbs you have on hand. Parsley or basil would be great and I think arugula really would be great too.

Gluten Free Greek Yogurt & Herb Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds unpeeled red or yellow potatoes
  • 3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Add potatoes, cover and cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and when potatoes have cool enough to touch, cut into quarters and halves (depending on size). Let cut potatoes cool to room temperature.
  2. Combine yogurt, scallions, dill, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the cooled potatoes and toss to coat.
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Gluten-Free Cauliflower-Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Cauliflower-Broccoli Cheddar Soup

In another round of my second favorite kitchen game*, clean out the fridge roulette, I was lucky enough to come up with a winner! I am sure I am not the only one to do it, but sometimes you buy some vegetables and then kind of forget about them for a week or two. I always feel awful if I don’t rediscover them until after the use it or lose it stage, but luckily I found a kind of wilted bunch of broccoli, a cauliflower that was about to cross to the dark side and some lonely looking carrots.

I like to let my onions get nice and brown (preferably caramelized) in most of my soups, so I diced up the onion and shallot and threw them on first thing. I let them get soft and caramelized while I chopped and washed the rest of the vegetables. I don’t mind my veggie soups having a bit of a bite in them, but if you prefer a softer or more blended soup, you might want to add the carrots with the onions so they get super soft. I added them after the onions were well softened and thought they came out perfectly. Truth be told, I used less stock than usual (3 cups instead of my usual 4) because that what I had left on hand and didn’t feel the need to open or make more. This resulted in a much thicker, almost chowder-like soup, which was delicious and filling.

I topped my soup with a sprinkle of cheddar, freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of dill. After tasting the dill with the soup, I wish I had added some to the main recipe. Next time!

* – my favorite kitchen game is Don’t Cut a Finger While Cutting Onions, but I’m really not all that good at that.

Untitled

Broccoli-Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 6+ garlic cloves, minced (I used a whole head)
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 large head broccoli, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and shallot and cook until soft and just beginning to brown. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add the cauliflower, broccoli, spices and 3 cups stock. Bring broth to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and reduce to a simmer and cook 10-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and easily cut, stirring occasionally. The broth will not totally cover the vegetables but don't worry- stirring will be enough to ensure the cauliflower cooks through.
  3. Using a regular blender or immersion blender, blend the cauliflower mixture until desired consistency is reached. (If you are using a regular blender, you will probably have to do this in batches so pour the blended soup into another large pot as you go. If using an immersion blender, you can blend the soup right in the same pot. Once blended, stir in the cheese and serve.
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Creamy Jalapeño Ranch Dip

Jalapeño Ranch Dip

So apparently this March Madness business is finally coming to an end this weekend. Finally. I used to care about sports, but now I am more or less completely apathetic (with one exception). I think this is partially due to the false advertising of surrounding professional and college athletics in America. “March” Madness. We are now a week into April. Stop encroaching on a perfectly innocent month NCAA. However, I will consent to watching sporting events mainly because they allow for drinking at otherwise inappropriate hours of the day and snack foods, both of which I am a fan of.

Creamy ranch, a little kick from the jalapeños, tangy lime. It’s pretty much perfect  the perfect dip in my book. I used mild jalapeños and mild green salsa, and while I did increase the amounts from the recipe I based my dip on, I didn’t find the jalapeño flavor or spiciness to be overwhelming at all. If you are a little more hesitant about spicy, you might want to cut back on the jalapeños and salsa and add to taste.

Creamy Jalapeño Ranch Dip

Recipe adapted from Capturing Joy.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup tomatillo salsa (or any green salsa)
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 5 Tablespoons ranch powder (or 1.5 packets)
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeños
  • 2 limes, juiced

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until desired consistency is reached (I left mine a little chunky). Add more lime juice if dip is too thick
  2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips and veggies and enjoy!
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The World’s Best Tomato Soup!

The World's Best Tomato Soup

I am going to make a bold statement right now and say this is the best tomato soup I have ever had. Ever. EVER! I consider myself a bit of tomato soup connoisseur and I thought I had found the only recipe I needed for the rest of my life, but I was sorely miss informed. I could happily eat this every day for the rest of my life and not even care. This soup was sooooooo good it inspired me to blog again. This is a very simple recipe, but when you let all the ingredients get friendly, it turns into an extraordinary soup.

This is not the world’s fastest soup, but you really do not want to rush it. The more time you give it the more flavorful it will be, and trust me! It’s worth it. There are so many flavors in this soup and they way the all come together is absolutely amazing, but it takes a little bit. Taking the time to fully caramelize the onions is essential. Luckily, since the onion is diced, it takes a little less time than caramelizing normally does (25-30 minutes). I made gluten-free Black Pepper and Cheddar Biscuits with a Chebe mix that were the perfect addition to the meal.

The World’s Best Tomato Soup!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 6+ garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup dry vermouth
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 large (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes (splurge on the good ones!)
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-2 Tablespoons dried Italian herbs
  • Freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste
  • Fresh basil, chopped, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and continue to cook until caramelized, about 25-30 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the vermouth and stir everything around to deglaze the pot. Let cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the vegetable stock and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and Italian herbs and stir until well mixed and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Using an emersion blender, blend together all of the ingredients. (A food processor or blender will work as well)
  8. Cook about 10 minutes longer to all the soup to reduce and thicken up.
  9. Serve and enjoy!
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Greek Yogurt Chipotle Ranch Dip

Greek Yogurt Chipotle Ranch Dip

Oh, poor little neglected blog, how I have missed you! Last semester was so crazy and so interesting (microbiology!) that I barely had time to procrastinate and since most of my blogging is born out of procrastination, things just kind of stopped around here. Luckily, I have a much easier course load this semester and I have already been accepted to nursing school (yay!), so hopefully things will start looking a little more normal around here…

I made this dip at the beginning of football season to go with some football watching. It was an instant hit in my (play)book and since the season is now only one game away from being over, I guess I better share it before it’s too late (I’m not even going to apologize for those horrible football puns).

Chipotle and ranch are probably two of my favorite flavors. Combining them resulted in what I think is the world’s best dip. This dip is the perfect combination of slightly spicy, tangy and absolutely delicious. I served the dip with some veggies and kettle chips, but I think it would be a great dipping sauce for chicken wings if they are your thing.

Greek Yogurt Chipotle Ranch Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
  • 1/4 high-quality mayonnaise (I recommend Hollywood Safflower Mayo)
  • 3 Tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped and some reserved for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1+ canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced (add more if you like it spicy!)

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together yogurt, mayonnaise, ranch mix, almost all the green onions, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and chipotle. Mix until well blended. Refrigerate until needed. Serve with veggies or potato chips.
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Super Simple Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

 

 

 

This is by far the easiest gluten-free dessert I’ve ever made! Almost easier than opening a prepackaged mix. You only need two dishes to make this; a mixing bowl and a baking pan and you are ready to go. Start to finish, your cake will be ready in under 45 minutes!

I tried to cut down on the sugar since 1 cup seemed like a lot. I started adding it 1/4 cup at a time. I’m not sure if it was the cocoa powder or the gluten-free flour, but found that I definitely needed the whole cup. This cake is extremely rich and chocolatey. I ended up freezing about three-quarters of the loaf (I made mine in a loaf pan, not a cake pan). The slice I’ve defrosted since was just as good as the freshly baked. I think making this recipe into cupcakes, might make freezing a bit easier.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

 

Super Simple Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

From Food.com via FitSugar.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix (I used Better Batter.)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon guar gum or 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (only not included in GF flour mix)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 5 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add all liquid ingredients and mix well.
  4. Bake in greased and floured nine-inch square pan (or lined with waxed paper) for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. Serve as is or with some berries and cream for extra indulgence.
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Fromage Fort

Hi Fromage Fort, I'm your newest fan. #cheeseoverload

I doesn’t look like much, but I cannot even begin to put into words how amazing this is. Amazing! That’s all I can say. I was faced with the awkward situation of having a whole bunch of cheese, but not enough to make a legitimate cheese plate. You know that awkward spot where you’ve had a wine and cheese night and there is some cheese leftover, but not really anything worthwhile. It’s always a dark day. There are just tiny bits of that, something with a bit of a rind, some soft stuff that was kind of sad looking, a tad of blue begging to find a second chance. I poked around the internet for a bit and thanks to the magic of Google, I discovered the most glorious way to  save the cheese! Fromage Fort! You can’t really go wrong with the combination of cheese. I used some blue, Boursin, goat, brie and parm. Delicious.

Serving wise, baguette, crackers, even some crudités would be great to serve with this. I used toasted gluten-free bread. If I had been by myself, I probably would have just used a spoon.

Final word of advice, get on this. Stat!

Fromage Fort

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound mix leftover cheese, harder cheeses grated, softer ones cut into chunks
  • A couple pats of butter, if using mostly firm cheese varieties
  • 1-3 small clove garlic, minced, or more to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 cup leftover white wine
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, rosemary or chives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Blend cheese, butter (if using) and garlic in food processer until combined. Drizzle in wine with the motor running until you get your desired consistency — some like it completely smooth, others prefer chunks. Add herbs, pulsing the machine until just combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Fromage fort can be used right away, or kept in the fridge until needed. In the fridge, it will thicken and age a little; the flavors will mingle and deepen. Let sit out for a few minutes to slight soften and make serving easier.
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