The Tomato Tart http://www.thetomatotart.com Handmade, Homemade, Gluten Free, Sat, 21 Mar 2015 16:33:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie: Gluten Free & Vegan! http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/gf-vegan-chocolate-peanut-butter-pie/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/gf-vegan-chocolate-peanut-butter-pie/#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 16:30:31 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=5126 This gluten free vegan chocolate peanut butter pie is amazing!! Chocolate cookie crust is filled with creamy chocolate peanut butter mousse and topped with a shatteringly crisp chocolate topping!

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Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie inspired by Girl Scout Cookies on www.thetomatotart.com

Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie inspired by Girl Scout Cookies on www.thetomatotart.com

Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie inspired by Girl Scout Cookies!

This gluten free vegan chocolate peanut butter pie is (no joke) amazing!! A chocolate cookie crust is filled with creamy chocolate peanut butter mousse which in turn is topped with a crisp layer of chocolate ganache. Peanuts and chocolate shavings make this easy pie look fancy and who doesn’t like a fancy chocolate peanut butter pie? Jump Straight To The Recipe

I never made it to the Girl Scouts. As a matter of fact, I never even made it to a second Brownie meeting. At the time, sleeping outside seemed like something only a crazy person would do. As a result of my tent-phobic-tendencies, I never had the experience of hocking those tasty little discs known as Girl Scout Cookies.

Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie inspired by Girl Scout Cookies on www.thetomatotart.com

My parents liked to support the local kids no matter what they were selling, from magazines to raffle tickets to those “World’s Finest Chocolate Bars” (with almonds, ALWAYS)! But Girl Scout Cookies were always the best door-to-door treat. Thin Mints were the household favorite with Tagalongs being a close second. What’s not to love when you talk chocolate peanut butter cookies ?

Though it’s been many years since I’ve had a Girl Scout Cookie, I love what the Girl Scouts stand for and I like to buy a box or two for friends when cookie season comes. I don’t usually lament the fact that I can’t eat Girl Scout Cookies, but this year, the craving hit as soon as I saw the Girl Scouts outside of our local farmers market. I bought a box for my neighbor thinking I’d forget about my silly chocolate peanut butter craving, but it stuck.

Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie inspired by Girl Scout Cookies on www.thetomatotart.com

So, I did what any self-respecting food blogger would do, I made a Tagalong-inspired gluten free, vegan chocolate peanut butter pie. This decadent tart has a thick cookie crust, a silky and velvety chocolate peanut butter mousse (soy free!), and a crisp dark chocolate top. Basically, it’s the best gluten free, vegan chocolate peanut butter pie ever! As a matter of fact I could just leave out the gluten free and vegan qualifiers and say it’s the best chocolate peanut butter pie I’ve ever had!

Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie inspired by Girl Scout Cookies on www.thetomatotart.com

I shared it with friends, including a picky eater and a killer chef and they both agreed, it was amazing. Joshua went into a crazy chocolate peanut butter-induced frenzy. He ate a serious amount of this chocolate peanut butter pie. Luckily, we had an extra one in the fridge, so I was able to have a slice and still share some with friends.

Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie inspired by Girl Scout Cookies on www.thetomatotart.com

Now, this is not exactly health food, but it is a bit lighter than your typical dairy and egg filled mousse pie. The vegan chocolate peanut butter mousse is made from cashews and coconut milk and is free of refined sugars. Butter is out; coconut oil takes its place and the results are fantastic.

This recipe will make two 4 x 14 rectangular tarts or one 9-10 inch fluted tart. Need a tart pan? Try these: Rectangular Tart Pan or 9.5 Inch Round Tart Pan

Be sure to soak your cashews to get a nice smooth mousse. The chocolate ganache topping will be crisp like Magic Shell (remember that stuff?!!) and will shatter when you remove the tart from the pan. If you want a perfectly smooth top, you can allow the tart to set completely before adding the ganache layer and then gently remove it from the pan, add the ganache, and then cool in the refrigerator for another 20 minutes. Personally, I love the cracked top and the visual interest it provides.

Vegan Chocolate Cookie Pie Crust
2 cups gluten free and vegan chocolate cookie crumbs (from about 8-10 oz of cookies)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
½ cup melted coconut oil

Instructions for Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Thoroughly mix cookie crumbs with sugar and coconut oil. Press firmly into tart pan(s) that has been greased with coconut oil. Using a flat bottomed glass, even out the cookie crust and press it partly up the sides of the pan.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes- until crust starts to smell toasty. Cool all the way before filling

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in filtered 4-24 hours and drained
  • 1 15 oz can full-fat canned coconut milk
  • ½ cup natural cocoa powder (I used TCHO brand)
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 droppers of liquid stevia (I use Sweet Leaf Vanilla Creme)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar

Instructions Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse

  1. Combine cashews, coconut milk, cocoa powder, peanut butter, stevia, and sugar In the bowl of a food processor or high speed blender. Process until completely smooth.

Vegan Chocolate Ganache

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 oz chopped dark chocolate (72% or higher)

Ganache Instructions

  1. Melt coconut oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan and add chocolate. Stir frequently until completely melted.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before adding this layer to the pie.

To assemble

  • Spoon half of the mousse into the prepared and cooled tart shells. Use an offset spatula
    or a butter knife to smooth the top.
    Add the chocolate ganache and gently smooth with the offset spatula. Refrigerate for four hours or up to overnight.
  • When ready to serve and unmold the tart, rest on the counter for about 20 minutes before trying to remove from the pan. The chocolate will have stuck in the flutes of the tart tin. To loosen them, use a small sharp knife. Don’t worry about cracking the topping when you remove this from the pan. The cracked top gives visual and textural interest!

Once unmolded and ready to slice, top with more chocolate shavings and some chopped peanuts or even some non dairy whipped cream.

Check out these awesome gluten free and vegan chocolate desserts:

Vegan chocolate cupcakes from Minimalist Baker

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Cake Balls from Oh She Glows

No Bake Peanut Butter Pie from Detoxonista

Triple Chocolate Banana Bread

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Oven Roasted Asparagus with Blood Orange Vinaigrette http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/oven-roasted-asparagus/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/oven-roasted-asparagus/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 14:20:36 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=5104 These oven roasted asparagus are cooked on a bed of lemons and blood oranges and served with a blood orange vinaigrette. This super easy twist on a classic French dish is ready in 10 minutes.

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Roasted Asparagus with Blood Orange Vinaigrette from http://www.thetomatotart.com

Roasted Asparagus with Blood Orange Vinaigrette from http://www.thetomatotart.com
These oven roasted asparagus are cooked on a bed of lemons and blood oranges and served with a blood orange vinaigrette. This twist on a very classic French dish is ready in 10 minutes. Jump directly to the recipe.

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
~Margaret Atwood

This weekend, we began digging. Eight wide rows are marked in our back garden, four of them dug, turned, and covered with old leaves. We’ve four more to dig, and this weekend, I will cover them in compost and fill them with seeds. For our inaugural year of a Sacramento food garden, we’ll plant tomatoes, beans, summer squash, winter squash, melons, a wide variety of herbs, lots of lettuces, corn, cucumbers, eggplants, onions, potatoes, strawberries, and carrots. Most of my favorites will be well-represented.

Roasted Asparagus with Blood Orange Vinaigrette from http://www.thetomatotart.com

I will also be dedicating a big space to asparagus, though we cannot harvest them until next year at the earliest. Asparagus are outliers in the vegetable world, perennials, they come back year after year, to give you delicious food and stinky pee.  You do not eat the first crop of asparagus as they need time to establish themselves and grow strong. I’ve heard it said that a well-established asparagus bed is a reason to remodel your house rather than move.

Roasted Asparagus with Blood Orange Vinaigrette from http://www.thetomatotart.com
I grew up with asparagus vinaigrette. Because my grandmother had been a classic French chef, the asparagus were poached until they bowed when lifted. Slightly soft, mossy green, and served with a shallot-heavy vinaigrette, was the way they were served. I never ate a bright green, stiff, spear of asparagus until I was an adult and it took some getting used to.
Though I still love a thick spear of poached asparagus, these days, I usually buy the thinner ones and throw them in a hot oven or on the grill. Joshua would be fine if we never ate asparagus at all, but if prepared correctly, he really enjoys them. Honestly, I think he grew up with poorly cooked asparagus and it remains in his head as a food he dislikes. Then, when I make them, poof, he eats them up with gusto.

Roasted Asparagus with Blood Orange Vinaigrette from http://www.thetomatotart.com

Oven Roasted Asparagus with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

When buying asparagus, please don’t fall into the false belief that skinny spears are the only ones worth eating. Skinny asparagus are not necessarily the first shoots of spring. When asparagus grows, lots of stalks shoot up from the root system. The stalks in the middle are the fattest and at the edges are the skinniest. The fat asparagus are my favorite for poaching and grilling because of their soft and creamy center. The skinny asparagus are great for roasting, risotto, frittata, and stir fry.

This roasted asparagus recipe lends itself to either thin or chubby shoots. If you’re using the thicker spears, cut off the bottom inch and a half and peel the shoots. Refrain from the bending to break advice, you’ll waste a lot of tasty asparagus. If you do not have blood oranges, any type of orange or tangerine will be beautiful and tasty in their place.

Oven Roasted Asparagus Ingredients

  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 blood orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Preheat your oven to 400º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Instructions:

  1. Lay lemon and orange slices on the lined sheet, top with asparagus laid out in a single row. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 400º for 10 minutes. If your asparagus are very thin, start checking at 8 minutes. Asparagus are done when they have a slight bend to them when you lift them by the bottom and are cooked all the way through.

Blood Orange Vinagrette

  • 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons blood orange juice (about one small blood orange)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • heavy pinch of salt
  • heavy pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (parsley or tarragon are perfect here)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  1. In a small lidded jar, mix vinegar, orange juice, shallot, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Shake well to combine and allow to rest for 10 minutes. This softens the flavor and texture of the shallot and garlic and infuses the liquid with their flavors. When you are ready to serve the asparagus, add the herbs and olive oil and shake vigorously. Give your vinaigrette one last taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.

Serve the asparagus on its own or atop a bed of fresh greens. I used arugula, here.

 More recipes to welcome spring:

Gluten free rhubarb crisp
Spring pea salad with creme fraiche and herbs
Ina Garten’s roasted asparagus
Asparagus risotto from Simply Recipes
Strawberry rhubarb salsa

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Gluten Free Scones with Lemon and Vanilla Bean http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/gluten-free-scones-lemon-vanilla-bean/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/gluten-free-scones-lemon-vanilla-bean/#comments Sat, 07 Mar 2015 11:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=5079 These gluten free scones bake up light and flaky and are so simple to make. Fresh lemon juice and lemon zest make these a perfect treat to perk up your afternoon tea or even a nice little breakfast

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Gluten Free Scones with Vanilla Bean and Lemon from The Tomato Tart http://www.thetomatotart.com

Gluten Free Scones with Lemon and Vanilla Bean from http://www.thetomatotart.com

These gluten free scones bake up light and flaky and are so simple to make. Fresh lemon juice and lemon zest make these a perfect treat to perk up your afternoon tea or even a nice little breakfast. Jump straight to the recipe:

I have a little secret to share. Truth is, I have never seen the appeal in scones. Most of the ones I’ve tried are heavy, dense, dry bricks. Don’t get me wrong, I see photos from my fellow bloggers and I think, “Wow, those are pretty scones; too bad they’re well… scones.” or “Wish I liked scones, those flavors sound killer.” I actually never even bothered trying a gluten free scone because I figured that if the regular ones were so insipid, the gluten free ones had to be worse.

My scone skepticism was turned around after one bite of a maple walnut scone from my favorite gluten free bakery, Pushkin’s Bakery here in Sacramento. That first bite revealed everything a gluten free scone could be when it is is living its best gluten free scone life. I thought, “Well, that’s cool. I’ve now had a delicious scone.” but then sort of put it out of my head.

That is, until, I picked up the latest issue of GFF Magazine (my new FAVORITE mag). In it, Jeffrey Larsen shares his recipe for gluten free scones. He does two versions: one with berries and one with cinnamon and pecan.Though I didn’t have berries in the house, I did have some really lovely lemons. So, I decided to try Jeffery’s recipe with a few tweaks.

Let me just say that these gluten free scones bake up fluffy and tender with a marvelous whole grain taste imparted by the sorghum flour, a super bright lemon zing, and a lovely vanilla bean flavor. The optional lemon and coconut sugar glaze is delicious and criminally easy to make.

Gluten Free Scones with Lemon and Vanilla Bean from http://www.thetomatotart.com

Gluten Free Scones with Lemon and Vanilla Bean

I made these on a crisp and cool Sunday morning. When my scones were ready, I sat right down, poured myself a hot cuppa, and enjoyed my gluten free lemon scone dunked into my milky tea. I opened up my GFF magazine, turned to the article about Maui, and drank in the moment while I sipped my tea. The sun on my back, the scent of vanilla bean and lemon, and a nice quiet moment. Here’s to that!

A key to flaky light gluten free scones is to have cold hands. I like to run my hands under cold water for a few seconds and thoroughly dry them before turning the dough out onto my work surface for the final shaping.

These gluten free lemon scones are made with simple, but good quality ingredients. I use a super fine Sorghum Flour from Authentic Foods. I am now purchasing most of my flours from them and the fine milling makes such a huge difference in the texture of finer crumb baked goods like cakes and cookies. Also, speaking of flour, please don’t confuse potato starch with potato flour unless you like mashed potato scones.

I replaced the xanthan gum in the recipe with ground chia and psyllium husk and traded out the cane sugar for coconut sugar. I love the deep caramel taste that coconut sugar provides, but if you would prefer to use cane sugar, it will work just as well. I also used unsalted Kerrygold butter for the baking and I may have slathered a warm scone with a bit more of it and a spoonful of blood orange marmalade. Maybe.

Gluten Free Scones with Lemon and Vanilla Bean from http://www.thetomatotart.com

INGREDIENTS GLUTEN FREE LEMON SCONES

Adapted from Jefferey Larsen’s recipe in GFF Magazine

  • 150 grams superfine sorghum flour
  • 35 grams arrowroot flour
  • 100 grams potato starch
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground chia seed
  • ½ teaspoon psyllium husk
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • zest from two lemons
  • 8 tablespoons of very cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 2 eggs at room temperature (one set aside for the egg wash)
  • 1 vanilla bean (or one tablespoon vanilla extract)
  • ¼ cup full fat Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • more coconut sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS GLUTEN FREE LEMON SCONES

  • Preheat the oven to 375º and line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together sorghum flour, arrowroot, potato starch, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, chia, psyllium, salt, and lemon zest. Whisk until fully combined. With a pastry cutter, a fork, or cold hands, cut the butter into the dry mix until it resembles a crumbly coarse meal.

Gluten Free Scones

  • In a small bowl, whisk one egg until it’s frothy and light in color. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the egg (or add the vanilla extract, add Greek yogurt and lemon juice and stir. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until fully incorporated. The dough will be thick, sticky, and shaggy.

Gluten Free Scones

  • Dust your work surface with a bit of flour and turn the dough out onto the board. Sprinkle some flour on the top of the dough and work into a thick circle about 7 or 8 inches in diameter. Slice into 8 equal triangles using a very sharp knife.
    Transfer triangles to the prepared baking sheet with at least an inch of space between them. Beat the remaining egg with a tablespoon of warm water. Brush the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle with the coconut sugar if using. Place baking sheet in the freezer for ten minutes to ensure flakier, lighter scones.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Drizzle with lemon glaze if using.

Gluten Free Scones with Lemon and Vanilla Bean from http://www.thetomatotart.com

  • FOR LEMON GLAZE
    ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Place coconut sugar in a high speed blender and process until fine and powdery. In a small bowl, mix powdered coconut sugar, lemon and vanilla extract. Drizzle over warm scones.

Check out these killer lemon, orange, and grapefruit flavored sweet treats:
Candied Citrus
Gluten Free Lemon Pudding Cakes
Gluten Free Lemon Rosemary Bread
Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Muffins
Grapefruit Brulée

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Whole Red Snapper Roasted with Shiso and Lemon http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/whole-red-snapper/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/whole-red-snapper/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=5063 This whole roasted snapper recipe is simple and so healthy. Crisp skin and a succulent interior, fragrant with lemon and shiso, make this rustic fish recipe something truly special. This gluten free, dairy free, paleo recipe is also low carb!

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Whole Red Snapper

whole-snapper-shiso-hero

This whole roasted snapper recipe is simple and so healthy. Crisp skin and a succulent interior, fragrant with lemon and shiso, make this rustic fish recipe something truly special. This gluten free, dairy free, paleo recipe is also low carb! Jump straight to the recipe

When I first met my husband, I had been a vegetarian for nearly half of my life. Shortly after we moved in together, that changed. I started eating meat as though I was making up for lost time.

I devoured chili, and burgers, and pizza. I tried real chorizo for the first time after eating soyrizo for a decade. I ate Japanese food- especially sushi, sushi, and more sushi!

Whole Red Snapper

I definitely had some quirks in my early days of eating meat and fish. The number one rule was that meat, could not, in any case, look as though it had once been alive. Yeah, I know, it’s a little crazy. Bacon was okay, but a roast chicken was out of the question. Hamburgers yes, whole fish no.

The first time I cooked a whole fish for Joshua it was a Thai red snapper. I stuffed it with chilies and onions and lime and kaffir lime leaves. It smelled so good and some of my favorite flavors were represented, but I got squeamish at the last moment and couldn’t even eat it. The worst part is that I knew what I was missing with that delicious whole red snapper.

Whole Red Snapper

That squeamish phase lasted longer than I’d like to admit, but eventually I started to learn about humanely raised meat and sustainable fish. I began to respect the meat and recognize how precious it was. I learned how not to waste anything.

One whole fish might go through three incarnations in our house. A fish dinner one night, fish cakes the next, and a batch of fish stock which becomes the base for a fish soup or stew. A whole fish makes for a gorgeous, rustic presentation, and is very simple to prepare. 

Whole Red Snapper

This recipe was inspired by the lovely La Fuji Mama. Believe it or not, she is even more delightful than her blog. I had pinned this recipe a while back and when I picked up my sustainably certified snapper at my local fishmonger, Suhn Fish, I knew exactly what I was going to make.

Whole Red Snapper

Oven Roasted Whole Red Snapper with Shiso and Lemon

Adapted from La Fuji Mama
When looking for red snapper, ask your fishmonger if it is true red snapper. There are quite a few imposters on the market. Snapper is a fish that has been overfished in the past, so it is important to ask if it is sustainably fished. This recipe will work with just about any whole fish. You may have to adjust cooking times depending on weight and thickness. Shiso is a Japanese herb which you can find at any good Japanese market. It tastes like a cross between lime leaf, mint, and… heaven. If you’d like to substitute this herb, try a mix of parsley and cilantro or kaffir lime leaves with basil and lime wheels. This lovely fish dinner can be on the table in under an hour with only a few minutes of active time.

  • Whole Red Snapper Ingredients
  • Whole red snapper about 3-4 lbs
  • Shiso leaves
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper

1. You will need 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt per pound of fish. Divide the salt in half and sprinkle each side of the snapper with equal amounts. Allow the fish to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes on a rack over a baking sheet. After 30 minutes, rise the salt and dry the fish very well.

2. Preheat the broiler to high, for at least 10 minutes and line a baking sheet with parchment.

3. Make two big slashes in the fleshiest part of each side of the fish. Using your fingers, press salt into the slits, the gills, and the cavity of the snapper. Place lemon slices inside the cavity along with about 8 shiso leaves. Also place a half a lemon slice and a shiso leaf in each of the gills. Sprinkle the whole fish with sea salt and black pepper.

4. Transfer the fish to the prepared baking sheet and cook for 8 minutes under the broiler. Remove the fish from the oven, carefully turn over, and return to the broiler for another 4-5 minutes.

5. Check for doneness by prodding the slit with your finger. It should feel firm and should easily flake away from the bone using a fork. The juices will run milky white. If the fish is not done, return to oven checking every two minutes and pulling out when slightly underdone. Allow the cooked fish to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

6. Serve with a bit a shiso garnish and a nice bowl of rice or a daikon salad.

Follow The Tomato Tart’s board Amazing Fish & Shellfish Recipes on Pinterest.

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Gluten Free Boxty AKA Irish Potato Pancakes http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/gluten-free-boxty/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/gluten-free-boxty/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=5031 I can’t say that I nabbed my man by making these gluten free Irish potato pancakes, but I can tell you that everyone who’s tried them has proposed marriage. Okay, fine, no one proposed marriage, but our Irish friend Mike liked them a bunch and complimented me profusely. Close enough?

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Gluten Free Irish Potato Pancakes, AKA Boxty. Serve at your St. Patrick’s Day Party. from http://www.thetomatotart.com

Gluten Free Irish Potato Pancakes, AKA Boxty. Serve at your St. Patrick’s Day Party.  from http://www.thetomatotart.com

Gluten Free Boxty Recipe for St. Patrick’s Day

This post is sponsored by Gourmet Garden herbs. Though I received monetary compensation for this post, my opinions are entirely my own. I only work with brands I love and that I feel will be useful for my readers. In addition, some links to books or products I mention may be affiliate links.

When brainstorming ideas for St. Patrick’s Day, I thought of my friend Siobhan. Siobhan is from Dublin, and I have had the extreme pleasure of eating her tasty food for many years. We’ve lived together a couple of times in the past, and one of my favorite things about it was coming to the smell of a hot curry on the stove. On weekends, I often arose to a hot cuppa, the New York Times, and the sizzle of spuds in a cast iron pan. Jump straight to the recipe.

Siobhan and I at my 30th birthday pajama party!  Look at my eyebrows EEP!

I knew I wanted to make a potato dish as a nod to my good friend. Colcannon and champ crossed my mind, but as I dug deeper, I thought of the potato cakes that my mom had made when I was growing up. Leftover mash always became potato pancakes. Siobhan did the same exact thing. In Ireland, it’s called boxty, and boxty is such a fixture of life in some parts of Ireland, there is even a nursery rhyme:

Boxty on the griddle,
boxty on the pan,
If you can’t bake boxty
sure you’ll never get a man

I can’t say that I nabbed my man by making these gluten free Irish potato pancakes, but I can tell you that everyone who’s tried them has proposed marriage. Okay, fine, no one proposed marriage, but our Irish friend Mike liked them a bunch and complimented me profusely. Close enough?

Gluten Free Irish Potato Pancakes, AKA Boxty. Serve at your St. Patrick’s Day Party.  from http://www.thetomatotart.com

I looked at a ton of recipes on the web and I think there are as many recipes for boxty as there are Irish grandmothers. What I didn’t find were a ton of gluten free boxty recipes, but lucky for me, it is a very simple task to convert the basic formula. I started with the recipe from a fantastic cookbook by Clodagh McKenna , Clodagh’s Kitchen Diaries: Delicious Recipes Throughout the Year.

I decided I wanted to stray a bit from Clodagh’s recipe in that I wanted to spare you rolling the dough. I also knew I wanted to spice things up a little, so I added some Gourmet Garden lightly dried parsley and some of their lightly dried chili. The result is a brightly flavored potato pancake with just a hint of heat. The herbs add a pretty bit of color to the potatoes, too!

If you’re not familiar with Gourmet Garden’s lightly dried herbs, I can’t recommend them highly enough. They’re nothing like the freeze dried, dusty-flavored herbs you might remember lingering at the back of your mom’s spice cabinet. They’re pretty amazing and keep for a month in the refrigerator once opened. Though I love growing my own herbs, my parsley and cilantro (my favorites) never last through the winter. I hate it when I buy a bunch of herbs only to have them turn into a slimy mess within a couple of days. When I first had the opportunity to try these, I was blown away by the way they completely rehydrate as soon as they’re in the proximity of moisture. Even a little steam does the trick.

Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Herbs

These gluten free boxty come together really quickly especially if you have leftover potatoes. They make a great light meal for Meatless Monday when served aside some cabbage or kale. Of course, if you ask my husband and our friend Mike these gluten free potato cakes are a pretty killer snack. Though I haven’t tried to serve these to my friend Siobhan, I’ll venture a guess that she’d approve.

Gluten Free Boxty Recipe

Gluten Free Irish Potato Pancakes, AKA Boxty. Serve at your St. Patrick’s Day Party. from http://www.thetomatotart.com

These gluten free Irish potato pancakes (boxty) are very simple to make. Choose a potato that is not too crumbly or starchy. I like red potatoes here. Be sure to choose potatoes that are all roughly the same size to ensure even cooking. This recipe adapts very well. Try adding crumbly bacon to the mix, or a bit of finely grated Irish cheddar. Green onions are amazing in these too! Have fun and happy St. Patrick’s Day.

  • Makes 8 potato pancake patties (boxty)
  • 3 lbs red potatoes
  • ½ cup sour cream, greek yogurt, or creme fraiche
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup gluten free flour mix (I used 3 tablespoons extra fine brown rice flour and 1 tablespoon tapioca starch)
  • 2 tablespoons Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Chilies (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 oz Irish cheddar, finely shaved or grated (optional)
  • Extra lightly dried parsley for garnish
  1. Fill a pot with cold water high enough to cover the potatoes by an inch. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until you can easily pierce the largest potato with a fork. Immediately plunge the hot potatoes into a bowl of ice water. Use your finger to gently push the skin aside and remove all the skins.Gluten Free Irish Potato Pancakes, AKA Boxty. Serve at your St. Patrick’s Day Party. from http://www.thetomatotart.com
  2. Mash potatoes with a fork or potato masher add sour cream and eggs and stir to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, parsley, and chilies with salt and pepper and add to the potato mixture.Stir very well to combine. Using your hands, form the potato mix into 8 equal patties.Gluten Free Irish Potato Pancakes, AKA Boxty. Serve at your St. Patrick’s Day Party. from http://www.thetomatotart.com
  4. Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add a bit of butter, and as it melts, swirl the pan to spread the butter.
    Cook patties on medium high for 4-6 minutes on each side, they should be crusty and golden. Serve with Irish cheddar and herbs.

Gluten Free Irish Potato Pancakes, AKA Boxty. Serve at your St. Patrick’s Day Party. from http://www.thetomatotart.com

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Healthy Whole Grain Salad with Citrus http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/healthy-whole-grain-salad/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/healthy-whole-grain-salad/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 22:29:59 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=2794 A gluten free oat groat salad studded with blood oranges,, kumquats, and mandarins can brighten even the darkest of days. Festooned with creamy chevre and peppery arugula then dressed with vanilla bean champagne vinaigrette, who can resist a salad like this?

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Gluten Free Whole Grain Salad with Citrus from www.thetomatotart.com

Gluten Free Whole Grain Salad with Citrus from www.thetomatotart.com

This healthy whole grain salad is gluten free and vegetarian. Made from gluten free oat groats and a mix of beautiful citrus, like blood orange, mandarin, and kumquat, it is finished with a really special vanilla bean vinaigrette, pistachios, and goat cheese. This is a hearty salad with tons of flavor. Perfect for a lovely lunch or dinner.

Healthy Whole Grain Salad with Citrus

Almost exactly one year ago, my back was so bad that I took three months off work. I considered back surgery, and really struggled with what it meant to be unable to do the work I’d done my entire adult life. While I was off work, I also had a cooking accident, which almost cost me a fingertip. It was a rough patch to say the least.

A few weeks ago, while getting ready to have my friends Lani and Tom for dinner, something snapped in my back. I acted fast this time, going on steroids, getting an epidural shot right away and doing pilates at home as well as my physical therapy exercises that I’ve become all-too familiar with.Three Citrus Farro Salad with Goat Cheese and Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette

Then came another cooking accident- this time a burn from hot butter and spices, stretching from my neck to my solar plexus. It looks like a map of Hawaii, and it hurts like mad.

Worse than the pain, is the fear. I’ve been here before, and I am not the kind of person who likes to be in stasis. Recently, I’ve let this fear completely paralyze me. There have been no posts here, no meals photographed, no recipes written.  I’ve been stuck, and unable to push myself from the ledge.

Three Citrus Farro Salad with Goat Cheese and Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette

I keep thinking of my friend Michael Procopio. We dined together a few months ago when he was suffering from a bout of writers block coupled with a case of serious perfectionism.  I went back to reread the piece he was working on at the time of our dinner. One line jumped out at me:

 “All the bad things are the product of my own, fertile imagination.”

 Leave it to Mr. Procopio to drop some pearls of wisdom.

Three Citrus Farro Salad with Goat Cheese and Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette

It turns out, another of my friends and fellow bloggers has been struggling. Like me, he’s been cooking (or rather baking) and doing some upgrades to his site, but hasn’t been posting. The longer he waited the harder it became to post. Kamran of The Sophisticated Gourmet, is a fantastic writer and photographer, the pressure became overwhelming.  He finally posted late last week with some delectable (and simple) cupcakes and some very big news. Congratulations on the fantastic post Kamran, and on the book! I’m so glad you’re back.

The thing is. I know better than to get wrapped up in my own head about things I can’t control like my back, and  burning myself, and the idea of being perfect, but sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder to just get unstuck. The tremendous thing about blogs/Twitter/social media is that we support one another sometimes without even realizing we’re doing it.

Three Citrus Farro Salad with Goat Cheese and Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette

So I’d like to thank my friends Michael and Kamran- one just a few miles away, one all the way across the country, you both helped me, immensly.

I can’t let fear and judgement get in the way of what I really love like cooking, and writing, and photography. Like seeing friends and family and experiencing joy fully every day. Yeah, I’m going to put those in the important pile. Those and whole grain salads.

Three Citrus Farro Salad with Goat Cheese and Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette

  • INGREDIENTS HEALTHY WHOLE GRAIN SALAD WITH CITRUS
  • 2 cups gluten free oat groats
  • 4 blood oranges
  • 2 mandarin oranges
  • 4 kumquats
  • a couple of handfuls of spicy greens like wild arugula, mizune, or peppercress
  • 4 oz chevre
  • ½ cup roasted unsalted pistachios, chopped
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • *pistachio oil (optional)
  • INSTRUCTIONS HEALTHY WHOLE GRAIN SALAD WITH CITRUS
  • Cook oats in 5 cups of cold salted water, bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 50-60 minutes, drain if any water remains
  • Peel mandarins and blood oranges using a knife removing as much a white pith as possible (as shown) slice, and remove pithy center.
  • Slice kumquats
  • INGREDIENTS VANILLA BEAN VINAIGRETTE
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup grape seed oil
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped for seeds or teaspoon whole vanilla powder
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallots
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • INSTRUCTIONS FOR HEALTHY WHOLE GRAIN SALAD WITH CITRUS AND VANILLA BEAN VINAIGRETTE
  • Make dressing, whisk champagne vinegar, grapeseed oil, and vanilla bean until combined. Add shallot and salt and pepper.
  • Toss with warm oat groats and allow to cool.
  • Once cooled, add blood oranges, mandarins, kumquats, ¾ of the chopped pistachios and greens, season with salt and pepper, and finally top with crumbled chèvre and toss very lightly. Top each serving with a bit of pistachio and a drizzle of pistachio oil

 

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Sautéed Shrimp with Smoky Tomato Sauce http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/sauteed-shrimp-recipe/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/sauteed-shrimp-recipe/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 11:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=4993 Every cook should have, in her arsenal, recipes that take nearly no time or effort to prepare. This Spanish-style sautéed shrimp can be on the table in just a few minutes. Easy to cook and way faster than takeout, these smoky garlic shrimp are a household favorite.

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Spanish Style Sautéed Shrimp with Quick Garlic Tomato Sauce from http://www.thetomatotart.comSpanish Style Sautéed Shrimp with Quick Garlic Tomato Sauce from http://www.thetomatotart.com

Every cook should have, in her arsenal, recipes that take nearly no time or effort to prepare. This Spanish-style sautéed shrimp can be on the table in just a few minutes. Easy to cook and way faster than takeout, these smoky garlic shrimp are a household favorite.

Spanish Style Sautéed Shrimp with Quick Garlic Tomato Sauce from http://www.thetomatotart.com

Warning, if you are in the throes of a winter storm, you may to skip this post and get straight to the recipe. Or perhaps the promise that spring is right around the corner will give you hope. Or perhaps you just saw 50 Shades of Grey and you’d like a side of torture with your sautéed shrimp.

Spring Flowers

So with that, I will tell you that is has been warm here in Sacramento. On Saturday, I actually had a few minutes of feeling hot as I stood outside of our local farmers market and chatted with the market manager. This weekend, I was determined to drink in the warm spring-like sunshine and the scent of my newly blossoming plum trees.

Plum Blossoms in Sacramento

I was practically giddy from my trip to the market- my first since my surgery 5 weeks ago. I browsed the stalls and found the makings of a spectacular salad: green garlic, mustard greens, radishes, and spring onions. When I got home, I looked in the fridge and saw the sustainable shrimp I’d picked up the day before. I thought I’d like something a bit smoky, a little spicy, and super quick.

Mustard Greens, radishes, spring onions, Farmers Market, Sacramento

I whipped up this Spanish-style marinade and had a lunch of Spanish-style sautéed shrimp and mustard greens salad on the table in about 20 minutes. All the more time to enjoy the gorgeous sunny day.

Spanish Sautéed Shrimp with Garlicky Tomato Sauce from http://www.thetomatotart.com

Spicy Spanish Sauteed Shrimp with Smoky Garlic Tomato Sauce

Spanish Style Sautéed Shrimp with Quick Garlic Tomato Sauce from http://www.thetomatotart.com

These Spanish Sautéed Shrimp are flavorful, bright, and simple to prepare. If you are starting with frozen shrimp, be sure they are thawed before you cook them. To thaw, place shrimp in a zip top bag, push out all the air, and seal. Place that bag in a bowl of warm water. Change the water every few minutes. Your shrimp should be ready to cook in about 15 minutes.

  • Spanish Sautéed Shrimp

  • 1 lb shrimp, cleaned tails in tact (16/20 Count)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + 2 teaspoons for cooking
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • juice and zest of one small lemon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  1. Whisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil, smoked paprika, cayenne, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Marinate shrimp in the mixture for 5-20 minutes, then drain reserving marinade.
  2. Heat a heavy skillet over medium until it is hot but not smoking. Add a teaspoon of olive oil and half of the shrimp. Cook for two minutes on one side and one minute on the second side. The shrimp are cooked when they are curled into a perfect c-shape. Remove the cooked shrimp and any liquid from the pan and cook the remaining shrimp in the same manner.
    Serve with quick smoky tomato sauce and top with lemon zest.

Quick Smoky Tomato Sauce

  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes (I use the Bionaturae brand)
  • reserved marinade
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  1. In a small heavy-bottomed sauce pan, cook diced tomatoes, reserved marinade, and minced garlic over medium high heat for 5-8 minutes. Stir often to prevent sticking. The sauce is done when it looks thick and chunky.

Check out these great gluten free shrimp recipes
Sautéed Garlic Shrimp
Gluten Free Lemon Pasta with Shrimp
Pad Thai with Shrimp
Sriracha Shrimp with Zoodles
Thai Shrimp with Mango Dipping Sauce

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Quick Blood Orange Marmalade http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/quick-blood-orange-marmalade/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/quick-blood-orange-marmalade/#comments Fri, 13 Feb 2015 08:29:49 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=4972 I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe for honey-sweetened blood orange marmalade. It’s gluten free & paleo-friendly. The traditional way of making marmalade means soaking and blanching the orange peels to take away the bitterness. I wondered what would happen if I avoided the bitter white pith in the first place. I hypothesized that removing the pith would allow me to skip the blanching and the waiting. That hypothesis was correct.

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Blood Orange Marmalade Paleo

Quick Homemade Marmalade with Blood Oranges and Honey from www.thetomatotart.com

Warm café au lait, raisin toast kissed with salted butter, and topped with marmalade— this was the weekday breakfast at my grandmother’s house. The smell of toasty cinnamon raisin bread would coax me awake.The promise of “chunks” and hot coffee for dunking lured me from my cozy bed.

At home, I eschewed marmalade in favor of my dad’s preferred strawberry jam. Somehow, the marmalade was always better at my grandmother’s house. It was sweet and tart and excitingly bitter to my young palate. At my grandmother’s house, I wouldn’t have dreamed of choosing any jam other than marmalade.

Quick Homemade Marmalade with Blood Oranges and Honey from www.thetomatotart.com

It’s been more than 30 years since my grandmother died, but all it takes is the whiff of cinnamon and marmalade to bring me back to that big table. It is remarkable how quickly I’m transplanted to a time when my feet dangled and my head was far below the apex of tall-backed dining room chairs.

When I set out to make this batch of blood orange marmalade, I was unprepared for the flood of emotions that struck me as I smelled it bubbling away on the stove. Scent and memory are intertwined in our brains and I am so grateful for the memories of marmalade and raisin toast and coffee and love.

Quick Homemade Marmalade with Blood Oranges and Honey from www.thetomatotart.com

Honey Sweetened Blood Orange Marmalade

I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe for honey-sweetened blood orange marmalade. It’s gluten free & paleo-friendly. The traditional way of making marmalade means soaking and blanching the orange peels to take away the bitterness. I wondered what would happen if I avoided the bitter white pith in the first place. I hypothesized that removing the pith would allow me to skip the blanching and the waiting. That hypothesis was correct.

This blood orange marmalade is so much quicker than the traditional recipe and still shines with the sweet, tart, bitter notes that I love in a great marmalade. It is fantastic on raisin toast and mind-blowing on a crostini with goat cheese, rosemary, and black pepper. I even paired it with a piece of cold roast chicken to great success.

For this recipe, you can mix and match any kind of citrus, though if working with grapefruit or lime, I recommend tempering those sharper flavors with sweet oranges like cara cara. Also, if you’re using grapefruit or lime, go gentle on the peel of those fruits. You can always add more. I have made this marmalade with vanilla bean, with black pepper, and with rosemary. All are equally delicious.

Here’s a little refresher on how to segment citrus.

  • ¼ cup blood orange peel, white pith removed
  • 3 lbs blood oranges segmented and juiced
  • 1 large meyer lemon segmented and juiced
  • 1 ¼ cups honey
  • 1 vanilla bean (optional)
  • pinch of salt

Quick Homemade Marmalade with Blood Oranges and Honey from www.thetomatotart.com

  • Add all ingredients to a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium low heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is mostly evaporated and it easily gels when it hits a cold spoon (about 40 minutes)

Here are some gorgeous recipes using blood oranges

Candied Citrus 
Beet and Citrus Salad with Kale and Pistachios
Blood Orange and Blueberry Macaroons
Roasted Salmon with Citrus and Fennel
Small Batch Blood Orange Marmalade
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Gele

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Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleon with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/beet-and-goat-cheese-heart/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/beet-and-goat-cheese-heart/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 11:32:22 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=4957 This little appetizer is made from fresh goat cheese sandwiched in between layers of heart shaped beets. The dressing is a meyer lemon vinaigrette because I believe beets and citrus are a serious love match. Now, this particular love match is a love triangle because there is nothing beets and meyer lemon love more than goat cheese. There is something utterly magical about a mouthful of earthy sweet beets, creamy goat cheese, and the bright pop of lemon.

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Gluten Free Beet and Goat Cheese Appetizer with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette Gluten Free Beet and Goat Cheese Appetizer with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Heart Shaped Beet and Goat Cheese Appetizer with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Heart Shaped Beet and Goat Cheese Appetizer with Meyer Lemon Dressing

A couple of years ago, I made a heart-themed dinner for Valentine’s Day. We sat at our little kitchen table, and indulged in a meal of cocoa- dusted beef hearts and heart-shaped beet salad finishing with a hazelnut crusted chocolate tart.

This year, we’re continuing our tradition of having a home-cooked dinner on Valentine’s Day. While I don’t know if there will be beef heart, we have continued incorporating heart beets into our Valentine’s Day.

Heart Shaped Beets and Goat Cheese Appetizer

This little appetizer is made from fresh goat cheese sandwiched in between layers of heart shaped beets. The dressing is a meyer lemon vinaigrette because I believe beets and citrus are a serious love match. Now, this particular love match is a love triangle because there is nothing beets and meyer lemon love more than goat cheese. There is something utterly magical about a mouthful of earthy sweet beets, creamy goat cheese, and the bright pop of lemon.

Fresh Beets

It’s hard to talk about this beet and goat cheese appetizer without talking about how lovely it looks. Whether you go for heart-shaped for Valentine’s Day, leave the beets in natural rounds, or cut them into squares for an elegant and modern look, these beet and goat cheese napoleons are striking. The rich magenta hue from the beets, sunny yellow zest, and green of fresh chives, will leave you thinking it’s almost too pretty to eat. Notice, I said almost.

Heart Shaped Beet and Goat Cheese Appetizer with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Heart Shaped Beet and Goat Cheese Appetizer with Meyer Lemon Dressing

This beet and goat cheese appetizer is pretty with or without a heart-shaped cookie cutter. I find that it’s easier to spread the goat cheese with a Small offset spatula but a regular knife or even the back of a spoon will work.

If you don’t have a meyer lemon, you can use a regular lemon and just add a bit more honey. A deeply flavored raw unfiltered honey works beautifully here.

If you’re cutting the beets into hearts, choose a cookie cutter that is close to the same size as your beets to avoid waste. I usually eat the scraps, but you could dice them and use them in a salad. In short, this pretty appetizer is simple and no need to fuss about it. As good as it looks, it tastes even better.

Makes two beet and goat cheese napoleons

INGREDIENTS:Heart Shaped Beet and Goat Cheese Appetizer

  • 2 medium sized cooked beets (I like boiled beets for this)
  • 1 tablespoons fresh goat cheese
  • zest of one meyer lemon
  • finely chopped fresh chives (optional)

Slice cooked beets into ¼ inch slices. Use a heart cookie cutter to make the heart beets (optional). Place one slice of beet on a plate, spread goat cheese to the very edges of the beet. Press another slice of beet to flatten the layer. Top with another layer of goat cheese and finish with a slice of beet. Use a knife to clean up the edges of the goat cheese and top with meyer lemon vinaigrette, chives, and lemon zest.

INGREDIENTS: Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey (slightly warmed if it is crystalized or very hard)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • heavy pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of black pepper

Whisk together meyer lemon juice and honey then drizzle in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Add salt and pepper and taste before serving- adjusting seasoning as needed.

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Paleo & Gluten Free Brownies with Avocado http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/paleo-gluten-free-brownies-avocado/ http://www.thetomatotart.com/recipe/paleo-gluten-free-brownies-avocado/#comments Fri, 06 Feb 2015 11:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetomatotart.com/?p=4939 When I first developed this recipe, it was for The California Avocado Commission. I tinkered and tweaked it until I got it just right. I like a rich and fudgy brownie- cakey brownies aren't so much brownies as they are... cake. It took me a few attempts to get the recipe just right. Luckily, my sweet husband was right there at my side- tasting every batch. What a good guy, right?

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Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free Brownies @thetomatotart

These paleo-friendly gluten free brownies are hiding a heart-healthy secret. No one will ever guess you’ve replaced most of the butter with the good fat from avocados!
Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free Brownies @thetomatotart

Gluten Free Brownies With Avocado

When I was four, my boyfriend was Odin, the flaxen haired love child of a fabulously morose Swedish Artist named Agathë. Odin and I went on our first date accompanied by my Uncle Johnny. We rode the carousel in Golden Gate Park and shared  pink popcorn while rowing Stowe Lake.

When I was five, my boyfriend was Sean. Sean wore super stylish bell bottoms and rocked a pretty fine afro. We always ate our lunches together and when it came naptime, we laid our mats side by side.

When I was six, my heart belonged to Douggie S. I told my parents that I would marry Douggie and we’d share our lives together until we were “two toothless old hags” Only Douggie didn’t even want to share our lunches, much less eternal love.

In a last ditch effort to win the heart of my beloved, I convinced my mom to let me have a Valentine’s Day Party with my whole 1st grade class. I remember exactly what I wore: my white party dress with the red velvet flocked hearts, white ankle socks, and black patent mary janes. I remember my mom made heart-shaped brownies.
Paleo & Gluten Free Brownies with Avocado

You know what I don’t remember… whether Douggie was there.

You’ve probably already guessed that I didn’t marry Douggie. I actually spent the better part of my high school years making out with his best friend, who I also didn’t marry.

Paleo & Gluten Free Brownies with Avocado

I did marry Joshua who came along a good while after Danny and Douggie and Odin and Sean. Joshua seems pretty content sharing his eternal love with me, but not so much his sandwich and certainly not his gluten free brownies.

PS… it’s all chocolate all day at The Tomato Tart. If chocolate avocado brownies aren’t enough chocolate for you (is there ever enough chocolate?) Then head over to check out my recipe at everydaymaven.com. I’m guest posting for my friend Alyssa today
Paleo Chocolate Mousse

Now, back to your regularly scheduled brownies…

Paleo & Gluten Free Brownies with Avocado

When I first developed this recipe, it was for The California Avocado Commission. I tinkered and tweaked it until I got it just right. I like a rich and fudgy brownie- cakey brownies aren’t so much brownies as they are… cake. It took me a few attempts to get the recipe just right. Luckily, my sweet husband was right there at my side- tasting every batch. What a good guy, right?

These gluten free and paleo brownies are moist and fudgy, yet a bit lighter in texture than my gluten free brownies with spicy caramel or my candy cane crunch gluten free brownies. I’ve replaced most of the butter with avocado, so these grain free & gluten free brownies aren’t just heart-shaped, they’re also rich in heart-friendly monounsaturated fat. Now, that’s something to fall in love with.

Ingredients: Gluten Free Avocado Brownies

  • 3 tablespoons grass fed butter (or coconut oil for paleo)
  • 8 oz dark chocolate (70% or darker) cut into squares
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large avocado, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

 Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease an 8×8 pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. Set a heat proof bowl over a pan of boiling water- so that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Melt the butter over medium heat then add the chocolate, stirring occasionally to mix. Add the coconut palm sugar and cook for three minutes, stirring to combine.
  3. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat the chocolate mixture on medium for 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time beating for at least one minute between additions. Add the avocado and continue beating for 3 minutes, until smooth.
  4. Whisk together tapioca, cocoa powder, and salt. Add one half dry ingredients to the mixer and run for 2 minutes, add the second half and mix until completely smooth- about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from pan and use cookie cutters to create heart shapes.

Follow The Tomato Tart’s board Avocados on Pinterest.

Check out these gluten free recipes featuring avocados and chocolate

Chocolate Avocado Truffles

Chocolate Avocado Donuts

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Chocolate Avocado Cake

Paleo Zucchini and Avocado Chocolate Cake

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