Menu of the week: Vanilla; Cocktail of the week: Blood orange and vodka

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday - Vanilla


Grilled center cut pork loin (from our pig Pancetta) with my fennel coriander rub, lemony (no lemon in the house) lime-y steamed broccoli and sage (sage plant looks a bit weary) thyme and shallot Parmesan polenta with a Hen of the Woods mushroom sauce on the side. I have never used Hen of the woods before and Trader Joe had them priced to try.

Cocktail of the eve: blood orange juice and vodka refreshing and healthy!

blood orange and vodka


Moroccan chicken (just found some preserved lemons at the store) recipe via Elise and GF cous cous (throw basmati rice in your spice grinder and add a dash of turmeric while cooking – pretty close). Still thinking about a Moroccan veg.

Edited to add, that I went to see There will be Blood, so I popped everything in the crock pot, doubled the preserved lemon (and skipped the raisins, not a fan of them) and put the rous cous (rice cous cous ha!) in the rice cooker.  I forgot about a veg.  By the way, the movie was great!


Seared scallops with garlic buerre blanc on a bed of angel hair pasta with broccoli rabe


Argentinian Chimichurri grilled beef (grass fed), marinated grilled asparagus (from Peru – I know, horrible of me, but my boyfriend will eat about three different vegetables – asp, broc and greens – at least it is on South American theme night) and tostones/patacones (twice fried plaintains).


Green chile cheese empanadas, Mexican rice, frijoles (pinto beans) with onion, cucumbers in lime and chile and chile de arbol salsa

Oh yeah, vanilla. BF has planned a very raspberry valentine cake and I will make a vanilla sauce to go with it.

Edited to add:  I just made a batch of very dense chocolately brownies with vanilla, raspberry puree and coconut flour.  It is almost a flourless brownie.  As soon as they have cooled, I will update you.  They look and smell delish!

i’m out

couscous gf style, some mango salsa and halibut

I have been missing the quickness and versatility of couscous lately. So I decided to try a few things. First, I broke up some GF spaghetti noodles and put them in the spice mill. Not gonna work. Second, I did a search for GF couscous online. There was one recipe and it recommended grinding up some basmati rice. I went with that idea. Threw a 1/2 cup basmati into the spice mill and pulsed until it looked coarse enough. Repeat until you have as much “couscous” as you need. I then threw it in the pot with turmeric (or maybe I used a generic curry powder that has turmeric in it), a shake of red pepper, salt and pepper. Add water or broth and cook for a much shorter time. I didn’t pay attention to how long it took, sorry, but it didn’t take long. Have chopped scallions and cilantro ready to toss in when finished.

I couldn’t just eat couscous, nor was I planning to. I based the whole meal on my craving for some mango salsa and some organic mangoes I found. Yes, these were not grown in Michigan. But it was less fuel than if I went to Mexico for a vacation, although I would rather do that.

Mango salsa:

one peeled and pitted diced mango

minced mild white onion (1/4 of a med onion)

one or two serrano peppers – deseeded to tame the heat

chopped cilantro to taste

salt and lime juice

Of course I couldn’t just eat mango salsa. When I think of mango salsa I think of grilled fish. So we thawed some Trader Joe’s frozen halibut (this stuff is a bargain) and drizzled it with olive oil, salt pepper and I think I put a bit of coriander powder on it.

The rainbow swiss chard has been calling my name from the garden for a while. I was waiting for the leaves to get larger, but that seems unlikely at this point so I just went and picked what I thought to be two serving’s worth from the garden, chopped them up, heated up some olive oil, threw in some garlic and red pepper flakes and then the chard. Add some salt and you are done. All together, it looked like this:

halibut, gf couscous and mango salsa

and this:

halibut, gf couscous and mango salsa

It was delicious. Halibut is such a satisfying fish, especially topped with cool and spicy mango salsa on a bed of swiss chard and gf couscous. Now I am not sure why this text is suddenly now in blue and underlined, but it must be a sign that you should whip up this dinner asap.

i’m out