The BEST spinach dip there ever was and ever will be EVER and its gluten-free!

spinach dip The best ever

Last week, Steve of Gluten-free Steve asked a number of gluten-free bloggers a number of questions. The whole event can be found on his blog and is definitely worth the read. One of the questions he asked was: “What is your favourite gluten-free snack recipe?”. Well, he actually had a fill in the blank questionnaire which said: “My favorite gluten-free snack is:” but that is beside the point.

The actual point is, I gave Steve the recipe for the best spinach dip ever and I didn’t include a photograph! It was sad. So, I have re-posted the recipe (also available at Steve’s Blog) along with the photo (above) and a warning. The dip looks odd and green — two things that turn people off of the dip when they first encounter this delight. You’ll find that at a party, people will take small spoonfuls when they first approach the food table in order to be polite, but once they try the dip they go back for seconds, thirds and fourths. There won’t be much left at the end of the night. Because of this, I always make a double batch. My photo shows a double batch. I’m not sure the exact dimensions of my dish, but its roughly the size of a 8.5×11 inch (21.6×28 cm) piece of paper. Maybe a little smaller (definitely not larger).

The BEST spinach dip there ever was and ever will be EVER!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz (250 mL) (approximately one package) cream cheese. Yes, you can use light or fat free.

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) Parmesan cheese, preferably freshly grated but one time I was out and found that the powdery processed stuff also works in a pinch. Its not as good, but it works.

  • 1 rounded tablespoon (15-17 mL) freshly grated Romano cheese (again, the powdery stuff works but won’t be as tasty.)

  • 1 rounded tablespoon (15-17 mL) very finely chopped sweet red bell pepper.

  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 mL) garlic powder. DO NOT use garlic salt. Alternatively you can puree or finely mince 2 cloves of fresh garlic.

  • 2 green onions (scallions) white and greens finely chopped

  • 1/2 package frozen finely chopped spinach; (those frozen square blocks) thawed and squeezed dry. Do not use if the spinach is wet! You’ll ruin your dip.

  • 1/2 cup grated medium cheddar – old cheddar is too strong

  • 1 tsp (5 mL) of cayenne pepper — less if you don’t like spicy dip. I usually add 1/2 the regular amount if I’m serving to people who are very…er… meat and potatoes. You know, the sort of people who think anything other than salt and pepper is fancy — they tend not to like dishes with an edge.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Mix ingredients (except spinach) with a hand or stand mixer. If using a hand mixer that isn’t very powerful, you might want to consider microwaving your cream cheese for a minute or two. This will soften it up so you do not burn out your motor.

  3. Fold in spinach

  4. Transfer to the oven-proof dish in which you plan on serving this dip. If desired, sprinkle the top with some more cayenne pepper for decoration.

  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes. You’ll know the dip is ready when the edges begin to bubble.

  6. Remove from oven and serve with gluten-free nachos, gluten-free flat bread, raw vegetables, gluten-free breadsticks or gluten-free pumpernickel-like bread.

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Greenbeans with scallions and ground almonds (for two), naturally gluten-free

Today I’m too lazy to write an intro for this recipe. The photo speaks for itself. YUMMY!

green beans with scallions and ground almonds

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lbs (220 g) green beans
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced scallions (green onions), whites and greens
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter, olive oil, or non-dairy substitute. I used butter.

Directions

  1. Boil green beans in a pot of water for about 4 minutes, until bright green but still crunchy
  2. Place beans in a bowl of cold (or iced if you have it) water to stop the cooking process. To be honest, I just shoved the beans in cool tap water and placed them on the porch. Its -22 F (-30C) outside today.
  3. In a skillet, sauté scallions (medium heat) in butter/non-dairy substitute/olive oil, when soft and the whites have become transparent add the ground almonds
  4. Continue to sauté on medium heat until almonds are toasted a light brown
  5. Add the green beans to the skillet and cook until just heated through
  6. ENJOY!


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Very simple gluten-free mac and cheese, a recipe

Today I decided to take my old gluten filled mac and cheese recipe and create a gluten-free version. All I did was use potato flour instead of all-purpose and then used glutino brown rice pasta elbows instead of my normal kamut pasta.

All I can say is YUM! There really was no difference in taste! The cost of the pasta was a lot steeper, but that was to be expected. Anyway, I am thrilled with the result! I forgot to take a photograph (I just wanted to eat! I was starving) but here is the very simple recipe. Makes 6-8 side servings, depending on how hungry you are!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box glutino brown rice pasta elbows
  • 10.5 oz (300g) old cheddar
  • 1.5 (300 mL) cups skim (fat-free) milk
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) potato flour/starch
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch salt
  • pinch freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta as per instructions, but subtract the cooking time by about 2 minutes. I boiled for 9 minutes when the package suggested 11.
  2. In a small sauce pan melt butter, add the milk and the flour. Stir constantly and simmer for 5 minutes or until it just starts to thicken.
  3. Add the cheese, and stir into the milk until melted.
  4. Put cooked pasta and sauce into a casserole, mix around until even.
  5. Bake in oven at 350F (180C) for 15 minutes, or until the top is starting to brown.
  6. ENJOY!

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Roasted, skilleted potatoes with broccoli and cheese

potatoes and broccoli for uploading

This is a really simple side dish that is very, very tasty. I love to use red skinned fingerling potatoes to give the dish colour, but really if you care more about taste than appearance any old potato will work just as well. I also use frozen broccoli — which means I tend to make this dish when I’ve run out of fresh broccoli and need to go shopping. I have made it with fresh broccoli with excellent results, so whatever you have in the house will work just fine.

Materials:

  • Oven-proof skillet
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • wooden spoon
  • cheese grater

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (500 mL) broccoli spears, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups (500 mL) fingerling potatoes cut in half, or regular potatoes cut in cubes
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) roughly chopped shallot or onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, cut in quarters lengthwise
  • 1.5 cups (300 mL) vegetable stock
  • fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Place vegetable stock, potatoes, garlic, and shallots in skillet. Cover and cook on high heat for 5 minutes, then remove lid and cook on med-high until all the vegetable stock has been boiled down. About 10 minutes. Make sure you stir a few times to ensure potatoes are evenly cooked.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 400F (250C)
  3. Remove spent rosemary and then put skillet, uncovered, in the oven for 10 minutes, or until potatoes are beginning to brown
  4. Temporarily remove skillet from the oven, mix the broccoli in with the potatoes and then return to the oven for 10 minutes
  5. Put cheese on top of broccoli and potatoes, bake another 2 minutes or until cheese is melted
  6. Enjoy!

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Gluten-Free fingerling potato and egg salad

new years day lunch 020 editedI had a craving for potato salad today. Since we were going to a New Years Day lunch I made some to bring along. This super easy recipe is best made with red skinned fingerling potatoes for colour, but I couldn’t find any at the store, so golden skinned potatoes had to do. Of course you can use most potatoes for this recipe, but fingerlings are very buttery and creamy, making this version a treat to eat. If you are going to use non-fingerlings, stay away from baking potatoes and russet types, they will fall apart when you boil them due to their high starch content. The stone ground mustard gives the salad the unique flavour. Without the mustard, the whole thing is very bland. Regular mustard can be substituted if you do not have stone-ground.

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