Orange + Almond Black Rice Salad

Orange + Almond Black Rice Salad | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree

I try to get all of my grocery shopping done on Friday night on my way home from work. I love grocery shopping, but if I don’t try to squeeze it in between 5pm and dinner my first glass of wine on a Friday, it takes up too much of my Saturday or Sunday. I hem and haw over what to cook for lunch and dinner for week, what to make for the blog, furiously flipping through cookbooks, Bon Appétit, Food and Wine, Cooks Illustrated, Pinterest and by the time I’m out the door, half of Saturday is gone and I’m starving.

Friday night grocery shopping doesn’t necessarily mean my decision making is easier, but it forces me to commit ahead of my old schedule. Last week, I decided to buy ingredients for a “Chinese salad” because 1. more salads and 2. Chinese New Year. The new South End Whole Foods has TWO AISLES of bulk bins and when I spotted bulk black rice (aka forbidden rice), I had a salad vision and went with it.

Orange and Almond Black Rice Salad with soy ginger vinaigrette is full of flavor and texture. If you’re like me and need a break from all the heavy winter foods, this salad will be satisfying. It’s filling, but full of light and crunchy veggies, like cabbage, snap peas and scallions. Isabel has been encouraging me to make these sesame clusters for a while now, and I regret not having made them sooner. Along with the roasted almonds, the sesame clusters give the salad another dimension, making it heartier and more filling than most, perfect as a main dish.

Orange + Almond Black Rice Salad | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree

Read More »

Vegan Gluten Free “Fried” Pickles

Vegan Gluten Free "Fried" Pickles | ourfourforks.com
Josh’s mom, Jackie, makes the best pickles I’ve ever tried. At the end of every summer, friends and family drop off their garden cucumbers and Jackie pickles them. Last weekend Josh and I met up with Jackie and received our batch: four huge jars of pickles, each with varying degrees of heat (from peppers) and spices.

 

Though Josh and I have been known to eat through several jars in several hours, we showed enough restraint this year to be able to makes these vegan gluten free “fried” pickles, as per Jackie’s request.

 

These “fried” pickles are my healthy take on the classic appetizer. This version uses only vegan and gluten free ingredients and calls for baking rather than frying: all the flavor with a lot less refined flour and fat.

 

Vegan Gluten Free "Fried" Pickles | ourfourforks.com

Read More »

Roasted Almond Butternut Squash Sauce + Potato Spaghetti

Roasted Almond Butternut Squash Sauce + Potato Spaghetti

As soon as the weather turns, I quickly abandon summer salads and turn to fall foods: butternut squash, roasted root vegetables, sweet potato, kale and almond salad, cornbread. For breakfast, I’ve been craving pumpkin granola and for dinner this: roasted almond butternut squash sauce.

 

My plan for this meal was elaborate. We have over 5 lbs of new potatoes sitting in our fridge from our CSA and I wanted to make this gluten free potato gnocchi to pair with the sauce. I took a trip out to Cambridge to visit H-Mart, an amazing Asian market, to pick up some sweet rice flour, then spent hours in the kitchen baking the potatoes, rolling out the dough, shaping the gnocchi. It looked good and I had high hopes. But when I boiled them, they turned to mush: inedible.

 

The piece of this plan that did work out, thankfully, was this roasted almond butternut squash sauce. Roasted squash, almond butter, coconut milk, onions and sage are blended together to make this smooth and rich sauce that is deliciously creamy and vegan. This sauce is perfect for gnocchi (if you have a gluten free recipe that works, let me know) or a pasta (or pasta-like alternative) of your choice including spaghetti squash or this gluten free potato spaghetti. Topped with fried sage and roasted almonds, this is fall comfort food at its best.

 

Roasted Almond Butternut Squash Sauce + Potato Spaghetti

Read More »

Roasted Green Beans with Vinegary Dill Sauce

Roasted Green Beans with Vinegary Dill Sauce | ourfourforks.com

I’ve never been a huge fan of green beans. They used to be that vegetable that I ate because they were cheap at the farmers market, not hating them but never fully enjoying them. Until these roasted green beans changed my life. I don’t know why it had never occurred to me to roast green beans before, but if you’re like me and somehow missed the memo on this one, go roast some now.

 

In this version of roasted green beans, the beans are covered in a vinegary dill sauce, a type of pesto made with roasted almonds, dill, parsley and scallions. The vinegar makes the sauce taste more like a dressing, which is the perfect flavor for a summer side dish. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’d imagine the dill sauce would also be the perfect compliment to grilled chicken, fish (like salmon) or even steak.

 

Roasted Green Beans with Vinegary Dill Sauce | ourfourforks.com

Read More »

Healthy Baked Onion Rings (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Healthy Baked Onion Rings

Growing up a Jets fan (I know, I know), I’ve been programmed to hate the Patriots. And since moving to Boston, I’ve had a good time watching Pats games and hoping for New England loss. But now that the Pats are out too, the fun is over. So, of course, I look forward to the food. Super Bowl food is notoriously unhealthy, so every year I challenge myself to make healthy game day food that actually tastes good. Usually, this doesn’t mean making food that is a low-calorie version of something else; it means making something that is inherently healthy and delicious as is (think pastured bacon wrapped dates).

 

But after having onion rings at our new burger place this weekend, Josh suggested I try a lightened up, gluten-free and vegan version for Sunday. And this recipe fits the bill.

 

Healthy Baked Onion Rings

Read More »