Citrus & Avocado Shrimp Noodles

This is another light seafood-focused dinner that’s perfect for the sweltering heat.

gluten-free, pescatarian

Citrus & Avocado Shrimp Noodles

1 bundle rice noodles (I used rice udon noodles) or buckwheat soba

Hand full leftover shrimp, chopped

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

2 tsp. lime juice

1/2 avocado, peeled and chopped

1 tangerine, peeled, segmented and chopped

1/2 small red onion, minced

1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

2 tsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos

Stock to cook the noodles (I used a quick shrimp stock I’d made at the beginning of the week with the shells from the shrimp and a little water)

Sesame seeds for garnish

Cook the noodles according to package directions in stock. Drain, leaving a Tablespoon or two of stock in with the noodles.

Toss with the rest of the ingredients and serve.

Serves 2 for a light dinner.

Bruschetta Zucchini Boats

This is another quick and light little dinner for one – apparently, I was inspired to create while the hubby was gone on his trip.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian

Bruschetta Zucchini Boats

4 small globe zucchini or 1 medium zucchini

1 small red onion

2 small tomatoes

2 sprigs fresh basil

2 tsp. fresh thyme

1 tsp. dried oregano

Drizzle balsamic glaze

2-3 glugs olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp. vinegar

Preheat your oven to 375F/200C. Halve your zucchini and semi-scoop the middles out. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle heavily with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet cut side down.

Bake about 20 minutes or until browning and cooked through.

Meanwhile, make your bruschetta topping. Dice the tomato, mince the onion and garlic tear or chop the basil, chop the picked thyme. Add to a bowl with a couple good glugs of oil, a generous amount of salt & pepper, 1 tsp. your favorite vinegar, and a generous drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Let sit while your zucchini bakes.

To assemble, fill each zucchini like a boat and serve.

To bump this out to be a more substantial meal, add some chopped leftover shrimp like I did, or add some pearl couscous cooked in stock to the bruschetta mix.

Serves 2 for a light dinner

Cucumber Salad with Zhoug Sauce

This is a great riff on a classic Middle Eastern sauce (kinda like the ME version of chimichurri) with a nice, light salad.

This sauce can also be used as a meat marinade, as a topper for crispy potatoes, as a sauce in a sandwich, mixed with zucchini, avocado & peas in pasta, and as a mix-in for rice. I’m sure there are 999999 other ways to use it, but I ran out before I could try more. Which I will. I suspect this would be bomb with a Kewpie mayo egg salad sandwich.

I think next time I make this sauce, I’ll use a mortar & pestle instead of a blender – my favorite version from a local restaurant has a thicker mince and even punchier garlic.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, low-carb

Cucumber Salad with Zhoug Sauce

Zhoug

6 cloves garlic

3 jalapeños (or a mix of jalapeños and other peppers – seed if you need to)

1 cup flat leaf parsley

1 cup cilantro

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

Pinch cayenne

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

Pinch sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. lime juice

1/2 c. olive oil

Blend to combine in your food processor or blender until your desired consistency is reached.

Salad

2-3 small cucumbers or 1 large English cucumber, sliced thinly or diced

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1/4 c. fresh dill, chopped

1 small red onion, sliced wafer thin

Generous amount flake salt & black pepper

1/2 c. zhoug sauce

Combine and let sit 1/2 an hour or more to let the flavors meld.

Serves a few as a simple side with a protein. Would also make a fantastic bbq side in place of a Southern-style cucumber salad.

Veg-Forward Hash Bowl Base

I know, *another* hash. Can you get any more basic?

Nope. Nope you can’t. This girl loves breakfast, and hates eating dinner off of a plate at home. I also had an inexplicably strong desire for shredded zucchini, so hash it was.

I’m glad I listened to my weirdo craving – this was dang good. I’ll be making it again because this base is super versatile.

Some topping options:

  • Like I served it with leftover crumbled sausage, cherry tomatoes & Choula
  • Taco meat, guacamole and salsa
  • Chorizo or breakfast sausage & a fried egg
  • Turkey bacon & a fried egg (had this for breakfast the next day and it was 💯
  • Marinara & shredded protein of your choice with red pepper flakes
  • Salmon burger or crab cake with lemon aioli and capers

Let me know if you make any of these other options, tag me on Instagram @gastography – I’d love to see how they turned out!

On to the actual recipe.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Ignore my poor little abused Ikea bowl. She’s got problems.

Veg-Forward Hash Bowl Base

4 small waxy potatoes (about 2 cups shredded)

1 small red onion, shredded

1 large zucchini, shredded

2 cloves garlic, grated

1/2 cup sautéed minced red pepper & onion

Salt & pepper

Neutral oil

Shred the veggies and add in a pile to a clean tea towel. When all the veggies are in, twist as hard as you can to release as much water as possible. You want your mixture pretty dry so it picks up a bit of color rather than just steaming – if you’re me. You do you, though.

Heat a Tablespoon or so of your favorite fat over medium high heat. Add the squeezed veggies and stir to break up.

Hit with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Stir again.

Let sauté until browned to your liking. Add the pepper & onion mix. Stir to combine.

This process took me about 12 minutes to hit my desired level of brownness (stirring pretty frequently to avoid all-out burning) and for my potatoes to be cooked through.

You could also use frozen hashed browns here and that may take a different cooking time.

Taste for seasoning and hit with more salt, pepper or garlic powder if needed. Smoked paprika would also be nice here – cumin would be good, too. I made mine plain so I had maximum topping options.

Serves 2 for dinner

Eggplant Curry With Meatballs

Ooh, this is a sneaky good one. I had *hoped* it would turn out well, but don’t have the best track record when I’m winging a coconut-based curry.

I’m happy to report that bland track record has been rectified – this dish is zippy, tangy, and still manages to give that ‘hug in a bowl’ feeling of a good coconut broth. Plus: it’s paleo, which is even better feeling for my particular body – and I didn’t miss the rice one bit.

gluten-free, paleo

Eggplant Curry With Meatballs

First, make the curry so it can simmer while the meatballs cook.

2 small potatoes (white and kinda waxy – you want something that won’t fall to mush after a good simmer)

1 medium purple eggplant

1/4 cup tamarind paste (this one is good)

1 Tbsp. roasted chili paste (this one is good)

1 can full fat coconut milk

1/2 cup good broth (I used a homemade combo chicken & ham bone broth)

Heaping Tablespoon of your favorite curry powder

Small chop the potatoes and eggplant. Add to a large pan over medium heat with a couple teaspoons neutral oil. Hit with a little salt and pepper.

Sauté a couple minutes while you gather the rest of your ingredients.

Add the stock, bring up to a simmer and let cook a couple more minutes.

Add the tamarind and chili pastes. Stir well to combine.

Add the coconut milk. Stir to combine.

Add the curry powder. Stir to combine. Bring up to a simmer, kick the heat back and let barely burble 20 minutes or until the potatoes are well cooked and the eggplant is super soft. Taste. Add a little more salt and pepper if necessary.

While the curry is working, make the meatballs.

Preheat the oven to 375F/200C. Prepare a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine:

1 lb. ground chicken

1/4 red onion, grated

1/4 red onion, minced

1/4 cup cilantro, minced

1 Tbsp. baking soda mixed in 1 Tbsp. water to form a slurry

2 cloves garlic, grated

1 inch ginger, grated

1 Tbsp. your favorite curry powder

Salt & pepper

Form your meat mixture into ping pong sized balls and arrange on the sheet.

Bake 15 minutes while the curry works.

To serve, a squeeze of lime is nice on top but isn’t necessary.

Serves 3 – 4 for dinner

Non Dairy Greek-Style Frychos

This recipe came about because of a video from one of my favorite kitchen hack channels: RachLovesLife. She’s got a ton of videos testing viral recipes, and they’ve been great fun to watch over this past year & some change of varying levels of lockdown. She did a recipe on fry hacks, and this was something she mentioned wanting to morph one of them into – just with my own non-dairy twist, ‘cause I’m not trying to die.

gluten-free, non-dairy, comfort

Non Dairy Greek-style Frychos

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 bell pepper

1 red onion

2 cloves garlic

1/2 batch this 6-ingredient vegan tzatziki sauce from the Minimalist Baker

1/2 a block of vegan cheese (this is the one I used)

Olive oil

Salt, pepper, oregano

Optional toppers: sundried tomatoes, black olives

1/2 a bag of your favorite fries (I used McCann’s crinkle cut)

Chop the onion and pepper fairly small. Mince the garlic. Add to a pan with a couple teaspoons oil and sautee over medium until soft. If the heat is a little high and the mix looks like it’s going to burn before getting nice and soft, hit with a little water and let that evaporate off as the mixture steams a bit. Make sure to hit with salt, pepper and a couple teaspoons oregano as the mix cooks to season.

While the mix works, add the fries to the oven and bake according to package directions. Salt about halfway through baking.

After the veggies are done, remove from the pan.

Add the chicken, chopped into small bites, with a Tablespoon of oil. Sautée, seasoning with salt, pepper and oregano, until cooked through.

Set aside when fully cooked.

Dice or shred the cheese.

When the fries are browned to your liking, pull from the oven, and sprinkle with the cheese. Pop back into the oven long enough to melt the cheese.

To serve, pile cheesy fries on a plate, top with chicken & veggies, drizzle sauce over top and finish with the optional toppers.

Serves 2 for dinner with enough left over toppings for another couple meals – or a nice pasta the next night

Chai Spiced Baked Oatmeal

This is a great grab-n-go to have in your back pocket any time you’ve got too many bananas and need a quick breakfast.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Chai Spiced Baked Oatmeal

2 cups rolled oats

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp. ground ginger

1 Tbsp. ground cardamom

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 over ripe bananas

1.5 cups your favorite milk (I’ve used both hazelnut and oat milk and they were both great)

1/4 cup tahini

2 Tbsp. date molasses or maple syrup

2 Tbsp. chia seeds

3 Tbsp. pepitas

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Optional topper: a drizzle of nut butter, fresh or frozen berries, more banana

Preheat your oven to 200c/375F.

In a small baking dish, combine the dry ingredients. Mix to incorporate.

In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and add the wet ingredients. Stir to combine.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix to combine fully. If you still have little chunks of banana, mash them with the back of a spoon while combining. You want to make sure all the oats are wet.

Bake about 25 – 35 minutes, or until the bake is set and nicely browned.

Slice into 6 big squares and serve with your optional toppers.

Mediterranean Chicken Bake

This one is a pretty, pretty show stopper. Just look at that Insta bait.

Not only is this pretty enough to entertain with, it’s delicious. And low key Mediterranean enough to not squick out my wary-of-all-things-Med-DH.

I also want to just eat this cheese every day. Sitting in the house while this baked was t-o-r-t-u-r-e.

Gluten-free

Mediterranean Chicken Bake

3 – 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (sub your favorite chicken)

1 lemon

1 small red onion

2 cloves garlic

A few small vine ripened tomatoes or Roma tomatoes

Vegan feta (this is my favorite)

1/2 c. good stock

Salt, pepper & olive oil

Oregano

Optional add-ins: Zaatar, fresh parsley, your favorite olives, pine nuts

I served last week’s Garden Orzo alongside and it was the perfect accompaniment

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F.

Arrange the chicken in the bottom of a pan (or sheet tray). Sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano on both sides.

Chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan. Halve the lemon and add.

Nestle the tomatoes around the chicken. Pour the stock in and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake 10 minutes, chuck the cheese on top and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese at least begins to brown.

Top with a generous sprinkle parsley, one of the squeezed lemon halves, a sprinkle of Zaatar, and the olives if you like olives. I love them and ended up eating the whole hand full in one sitting.

Serves 3 – 4 for dinner – take care to double the orzo recipe if you are serving 4; you could stretch it if you’ve got dinner bread to 3, but 4 would be a bit light of a meal

Garden Orzo

Orzo is an ingredient I under-utilize and I’m always surprised how much I like it each time I remember to make it. I’m imagining it’s because I spent years exclusively eating paleo, and have been into low carb for years upon that – but this is really good.

This recipe tastes fresh and makes a great accompaniment to next weeks recipe – a baked Mediterranean chicken. It’s also great as a standalone dish.

Vegetarian, vegan

Garden Orzo

1/2 cup orzo

1.5 cups liquid – I used 1/2 a cup of good stock & 1 cup of water; you do you, though I’d suggest using some good flavorful broth as well

6 sundried tomatoes

500g baby spinach

2 cloves garlic

2 tsp. your favorite oil

Optional add-ins: pine nuts, a good salty cheese (this one from Violife was what I used for the dish I made to go with and it was fantastic – they also make a “Parmesan” that would probably be great here), a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of Zaatar

Sauté the garlic in the little bit of oil until just beginning to turn tender.

Add the stock & water and bring up to a boil.

Add the orzo and cook, stirring quite frequently to prevent sticking, until just al dente, a minute or so before the cook time is up.

While the orzo is working, chop the sundried tomatoes.

When the orzo is al dente, remove from the heat.

Chuck the sundried tomatoes in, stir, and add the spinach on top.

Let steam a couple minutes, and stir the wilted spinach in.

Top with your optionals and serve.

Serves 2 for dinner

Okra Curry

Finally. A curry with taste! I have been crap at making truly flavorful curries in general – I find recipes either too light in the spice for my taste, or just generally falling flat of the kind of deeply layered taste thing I love when enjoying my favorite delivery curries.

This is a step in that direction. It’s complex, flavorful, and wholly satisfying.

A word of caution for this recipe: I served mine with just a side of basmati rice, and I was still hungry. Either the carb ratio was off, or the meal needed some protein or fat to be truly filling.

Note: This recipe uses some of the Good Standard Curry I posted last week. That curry is a fantastic base for all number of other curries – I’m hoping I’ll get one more shot at transforming it into something else before I run out. Luckily, it freezes beautifully in batches.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Okra Curry

1/2 yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

1 green chili of your choice

400-500g can diced or crushed tomatoes

1 Tbsp. ground coriander

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. smoked paprika

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1.5 c. chopped okra

1 bell pepper

1 c. of the Good Standard Curry I posted a recipe for last week

Your favorite cooking oil

Salt & pepper

Chop your onion and garlic. Mince the chili. Fry in a little oil until just beginning to brown.

Add about a quarter cup of water, let simmer about 5 minutes while you are prepping the next step.

While the aromatics are softening, in another pan, fry the coriander, cumin, smoked paprika and tomato paste in a little oil about a minute, or until fragrant.

Add the canned tomatoes, stir well, and simmer 10 minutes.

While the tomatoes are simmering, Whiz the onion mixture to form a paste. Chop the okra and bell pepper.

Add the onion mix, okra, bell pepper and curry base. Simmer 20 minutes, season well with salt and pepper and serve.

I served mine with basmati rice cooked with a little butter – you do you.

Serves 4-6