Monday, August 25, 2014

Paleo Portobello Roasted Vegetable Towers

portobello mushrooms and roasted vegetables

Need a vegetarian and naturally gluten free  idea for a Labor day weekend BBQ ? These Portobello roasted vegetable towers, made with end of summer vegetables,  make a beautiful presentation, are easy,  and delicious! They are a nice addition to any BBQ!

You know the large beautiful Portobello mushrooms that that you see in the produce section of the market? Trader Joe sells them in packages of two, so I treated myself the other day. Once I got them home, I really wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them. I could have simply grilled them and had a vegan burger substitute, but I wanted something a little more interesting and more special!

I decided to make a roasted tower that I remembered eating as my vegetarian entree at a friend's  wedding.  It was a layer a large grilled portobello mushroom with large gilled zucchini slices, grilled red pepper slices, roasted eggplant slices, roasted red onion slices, grilled asparagus and yellow pepper slices. Actually, you could make any roasted sliced vegetable combination that you like. They will all work!  I added some guacamole as the base.  The guacamole made the towers more filling and added some protein, making it a perfect vegan entree.

For convenience: BJ's sells a package of 6 individual sized guacamole containers that are slightly spicy. I like the individual packagas because I can just take out one individual sized container whenever I need it. I do make my own guacamole from fresh avocados but I often have problems getting the avocados ready to use when I need them. They either ripen too fast or they are hard when I need them. They are never just right. But the little individual containers are really convenient. ( they are in the refrigerator section) They are perfect for one or two people with no leftovers! Or use my delicious easy to make guacamole recipe 

roasted eggplant, zucchini, asparagus, yellow pepper, red onion

The towers:  I grilled my vegetables in advance and allowed them to cool ( or you could roast them in the oven at 400 degrees) I them grilled the portobello mushrooms on both sides  in a small Forman Grill.( or you could use any grill or roast in oven) You do not want to overcook then mushrooms ; you want them cooked but on the firmer side.

large roasted portobello mushrooms
I know it looks like a burger, but it's portobello mushrooms 

When they were done, I  spread each half with the spicy guacamole and then took my roasted vegetables and layered them into a tower on each of the mushroom halves.

portobello mushroom caps stuffed with roasted veggiesThey were really delicious.  I ate it with a salad and dressing.

This could be used as a side dish for two or a vegan meal for one!

1/2 red onion, sliced and roasted
1/2 yellow zucchini, sliced on a diagonal and roasted
1/2 green zucchini, slicked on a diagonal and roasted
1 red pepper halved and roasted
2 slices of eggplant roasted
2 large portobello mushrooms
4-5 Tablespoons guacamole
* You could grill instead of roast the vegetables
* season vegetables with spices and salt and pepper to taste if desired

Grill or roast all of the vegetables and set aside. Prepare your guacamole recipe  ( or use slices of avocado)
Grill your 2 portobello mushrooms and lay on plate with the inner part of the mushrooms facing up.
Spread guacamole on each mushroom, layer vegetables on top and enjoy!

portobello caps and roasted vegetabesPin ItPlease leave a comment so I know you stopped by. Scroll down to the end of the post and click on comments.

The inside of the portobello mushroom

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Sticks

Just like everyone else right now, I'm overloaded with zucchini!  I've been searching Pinterest and the Internet for some interesting recipes. I found this baked Parmesan recipe the other day that was a big hit , and it was easy easy to make too. It did require the use of oven, but I worked early in the morning, so I wouldn't heat up the house too much.

Use 3 of this size 
I simply cut the zucchini into wedge-like sticks. It will depend on the size of your zucchini how many sticks it will make. I used 3 medium zucchini for my first batch.

 It tasted amazing when it first came out of the oven because it was sizzling and crispy, but I also put some in the refrigerator, reheated and it was still very very good.

The original recipe that I found on Jo Cooks called for some Panko breadcrumbs along with the Parmesan cheese for the coating. Truthfully, I believe they do sell Panko Gluten free breadcrumbs, but I didn't bother to even try to find them. Ive stopped eating grains ( 3 months)   and after all who needs the extra carbs?  The recipe came out great and no one missed the breadcrumbs.

This is a great way to eat zucchini. Everyone will love it because it comes out of the oven so nice and crunchy, you may not even realize you are eating zucchini. Let's face it zucchini is everywhere right now so its a convenient and economical buy at the farmer's markets.  If you are growing your own, you are probably overloaded.

This is one of those cut, dip, dredge and bake recipes. I used coconut flour ( grain free and low carb) .

Zucchini is one of those vegetables that is mild and most people will eat it. Made this way, most people will love it!

What's the nutritional benefits of zucchini?

1. A cup of zucchini has only 36 calories
2.  Rich in potassium
3.  Has lots of protective Antioxidants
4.  Provides Lutein and carotene for the eyes
5.  No fat or cholesterol

Ingredients: adapted from  Jo Cooks
3 medium zucchini
3/4 cup of coconut flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-2 eggs
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper 
Cut zucchini into 8 ( or more ) sticks depending on size of your zucchini
( Cut zucchini in half , then cut each half in half lengthwise, then each quarter in half again until you achieve zucchini sticks) 
Beat the egg ( s) in a small bowl and add pepper.

In another small bowl place the coconut flour
Put the Parmesan in another small bowl
  1. Dip each stick in the egg  and then dip and roll in the coconut flour 
  2. Dip in egg again and then cover with Parmesan cheese
  3. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
  4. Serve with Ranch dressing or Marinara sauce.

I grated my own Parmesan and then crushed it a little

The recipe made 2 trays 

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Grain Free Baking Recipe Roundup ( Crepes, cookies, cake, pancakes, )

Some of the best and easiest gluten free baking recipes can be made without the use of any grains at all.
Although corn meal, rice flour, and other gluten free grains are permissible on a gluten free diet and can be used for baking, many people think they actually feel best when they eliminate all grains from their diet.  Some feel that grain may be contributing  to inflammation in the body and may be a culprit for joint pain, eczema, arthritis, fatigue, etc.
Brownie Recipe

 The Paleo diet, a popular healing diet,  eliminates all grains and many Paleo bloggers have found easy and delicious ways to bake without grains.

Because I recently decided to eliminate grains from my diet, I have been on the look out for recipes. Grain free baking can taste just as good as regular baked items.

I made the switch after reading two bestselling books 

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

Grain Brain- Dr. Perlmutter 

Both books explain the health concerns and weight problems that are felt to be caused by today's genetically modified grains which in their new forms can contain 3 times the carbohydrate content  from what our parent's grains contained. ( this sets us up for weight gain and other problems)  not to mention the toxic foreign substances that the body doesn't recognize in GMO Corn, Soy, Wheat which are three big offenders.

Scroll down for 25 Grain Free Delicious Recipes 

The books are worth the read. Sometimes what you don't know ( especially about our changing food industry) might hurt you.

The good news is that even if you choose to eliminate grains from your diet, you can still make and enjoy grain free baking which is absolutely easy and delicious You can still enjoy your breakfast pancakes, muffins, breads, cakes, cookies, donuts that are made from grain free alternatives from real food that contributes to health and not ingredients that drain your health.

Coconut flour and almond flour are two excellent choices for alternatives to grain and are used on the Paleo diet. For those not following the Paleo diet but would still like to eliminate grains, many bloggers use black beans in cake, brownies, and cookie recipes.


Coconut flour is available in most health food stores and many supermarkets in the gluten free section. Almond flour is usually available in most health food stores. Black beans and white beans can be found in all supermarkets.
  • Coconut flour is not a grain , and it is made into a great tasting low carb flour. It does require more liquid or eggs in it's recipes, since it can be dry otherwise. But these recipes are made specifically for coconut flour which is available at any health food store or Whole Foods. 
  • Some of the gluten free recipes use beans, almond flour or almond butter. 
  • These recipes are from a variety of blogs to help introduce you lots of gluten free recipe sites where you can find additional gluten free recipes.
                            cookies that are grain free on a plate

Grain Free Breakfast Ideas: 


2 Ingredient pancakes light and delicious

Coconut Flour pancakes

Blueberry Muffins 

Grain Free Desserts

Baked Maple Donuts 

Brownie Recipe 

Gingerbread Cake 

Almond Butter Brownies

Blender Muffins 

Dark Fudge Brownies

Chocolate cake 

10 minute chocolate  muffin 

40 Grain Free Cookies

Grain Free Tortillas

Apple Crisp

Grain Free Coffee Cake

 Chocolate cake with shredded coconut crust

Lemon Pound Cake

Lemon Berry Skillet Cake


Dinner rolls ( non yeast) 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

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