Don’t you feel Italian just looking at this picture?
He he! I love my roots and all the food that goes with it! This picture is comforting to me. I feel happy when I see this combination. But….. notice whats missing? Very good! Where’s the pasta? Well my friends, when you are gluten-free, you don’t do pasta, or bread. Depressed? Don’t be, just because you can’t eat pasta or wheat products, doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of some of the most beautiful flavours in the world!
The thing with wheat, is that it’s a great vessel for flavours. It is naturally pretty bland unless you flavour it, and it takes on flavours beautifully. We are so used to eating it and is so readily available, that we don’t even think of choices.
But there are other choices. Rice is gluten-free, so is corn. I personally won’t eat corn because most of the corn grown today is genetically modified and Round up Ready! So is Soy! Don’t get me started on SOY!!!
My new favourite is Quinoa! Out of all the alternative grains (not technically), I find Quinoa the easiest to cook with and expect my food to taste like I want it to.
Having said all of that, here is one recipe cooked 2 ways. These are super easy recipes, so please don’t be intimidated, after all, what’s the worst that could happen? Just roll up your sleeves and have fun!
I stuffed the peppers and put them in a casserole with seasoned strained tomatoes and cooked them in the oven, and I made stuffed eggplant in a deep skillet on the stove with the same stuffing. You don’t have to make both at the same time, I just wanted to show you two different ways you can cook each one. As long as you have a lid for your skillet, you can make either one on the stove, or, you can bake the eggplant in a casserole in the oven as well. The timing, of course, may be different, but will give you similar results.
**For Vegetarian Version, replace the Beef with, chopped and cooked Mushrooms!
1 cup Quinoa, cooked al-dente
2 Hard Boiled Eggs, chopped
1\2 cup soft Goat Cheese
1 large Clove Garlic, chopped
1 tbsp Allspice
Eggplant, I used approx. 5 ” baby Eggplants
Shredded Goat Mozzarella or Parmesan or both for topping eggplant
2 + cups Strained Tomatoes
In a bowl, add the cooled meat, goat cheese, quinoa and egg, chopped parsley and garlic, and mix well.
Take out the core and seeds.
With a spoon fill up the pepper, pressing slightly as you go.
Add strained tomatoes and season with sea salt and garlic powder
Bake at 350 for approx 1 1\2 hrs or until you can pierce the pepper easily and the sauce is bubbling.
You may want to check after an hour and baste.
Hope you enjoy!
Cut eggplant in half, lengthwise and scoop out the inside leaving about 1\2 inch against the skin.
In a deep skillet with a lid, pour a good amount of Strained Tomatoes, (the chunks you see are hamburger, in case you were wondering), enough to reach the edge of the eggplant. Season with garlic powder and sea salt and basil if you like, but not necessary.
Add the eggplant halves, making sure there is room around to spoon the sauce over each one.
Fill with the stuffing, pressing lightly, spoon sauce over top and apply the shredded Goat Cheese.
Turn heat to medium high until it starts bubbling.
Put the lid on and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 35 to 40 min. checking for doneness by piercing the eggplant after about 30 min.
The eggplant is done when it looks soft and the sauce is darker and the smell drives you crazy! hehe
Top with Parmesan Cheese and dig in! Enjoy some real comfort food!
Until next time………….Mangia!