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Gluten-Free Chicken Tikka Masala

If you were to look at my text messages, emails or the nicknames assigned to people in GChat, you might think that half the people I know don’t have actual names. Or that I have friends who fancy themselves celebrities on a mission to have the cleverest of names. Maybe you would think I was a secret agent (actually, it would be pretty cool if you thought that). Read more

Quinoa with slow roasted tomatoes

quinoa with slow roasted tomatoesI apologize for not having super awesome photos, but I forgot my camera in Chicago 🙁

I spent Saturday in the Chicago suburbs for a baby shower. I baked brownies and my mom made lemon squares and a fabulous neopolitan cake with ruffles.

Talk about sweet overload.

So, today, although I was recipe testing for a cookbook (sweets of course), I managed to make something, savory, spicy & healthy (egad! I never utter those words on this blog!).

Vegetables, protein and spice. In perfect opposition to all this sweet.

And yes, smoked paprika and aleppo pepper are necessary. Substituting them will make the dish have less pop. But, if you don’t have them, just make the dish without them. It will still be delicious.

Quinoa with Slow Roasted Tomatoes
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Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 3 hours
Total time: 3 hours 10 mins
Serves: 4
Before you tell me that this is too much work, or time, it is totally worth it. This is a perfectly easy thing to throw together on a Sunday for lunches for the week.
  • 3 large tomatoes, heirloom are best
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups stock
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon aleppo pepper (or cayenne if you can’t find aleppo)
  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Slice tomatoes thinly and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake for 3ish hours. The tomatoes should look a little shriveled, but shouldn’t be completely dry.
  2. In a large saucepan or duch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic & onion and cook until translucent. Add paprika & aleppo and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in dry quinoa and cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Add the stock, stir and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes, until water is absorbed.
  4. While that is cooking, cut the tomato slices into quarters.
  5. When quinoa is cooked, stir in tomatoes and enjoy.
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Stove top mozzarella mac

This is not my best photo. I was in a hurry. I was hungry.

That said, I found myself in a bit of a pickle. In fact, it was worse of a pickle than normal. I had a fridge full of nothing to eat and a dad who had driven me from Chicago to Champaign for the bajillionth time this year and he was in the garden pulling weeds (and scolding me for planting cilantro where he told me he had planted the beans, oops).  I had to make dinner. I couldn’t let my dad go hungry.

My fridge had: caramel sauce, 3 bottles of beer, mustard, jelly, half a bag of shredded mozzarella, eggs, milk, yogurt and cilantro. This is not the stuff of great recipes. It is the stuff of a single girl who had not been home all weekend. I couldn’t let my dad go hungry. I found myself wishing that I had cheddar cheese and evaporated milk to make Alton Brown’s stove-top mac and cheese. I couldn’t get mac and cheese out of my head, no matter how many things I pulled out of the cabinets, nothing else sounded good. Or wouldn’t kill my dad.

So, out of desperation was born a new favorite around here.

Stove-top Mozzarella Mac
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Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4
Inspired by/ adapted from Alton Brown’s Stove-top mac & cheese.
  • 8 ounces gluten free pasta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/8 cup whole milk
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 1 1/2 t granulated garlic
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Fresh basil (optional)
  1. Boil pasta & drain. Return to pot.
  2. Whisk together egg, milk, yogurt & granulated garlic.
  3. Put pot on low burner and add the butter. Stir until butter is melted.
  4. Stir in egg mixture & shredded cheese until a uniform sauce is made. It will be stringy & thick.
  5. Stir in tomatoes & season with salt and pepper to taste.
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