Cilantro Pesto de Esteban

Kick up the usual pesto with fresh, citrusy cilantro.

One of our favorite pesto recipes doesn't have a scrap of basil in it. Nope. It's a cilantro pesto- fresh, citrusy and different. Slather on salmon, corn on the cob, or toasted gluten-free bread. Spoon a dollop into spicy Mexican soups and chili.
It's been quiet on the GFG blog but not-quite-so-quiet here in our little casita by the windswept mesa. You see, a certain gluten-free goddess has been wrestling bare handed with some nagging health issues that living gluten-free hasn't squashed so far (what's up with that?). I'm contemplating a post about it because I suspect what I'm going through isn't exactly unheard of. In fact, I'm willing to bet many gluten-free readers will be able to relate. 

And Babycakes, you know I'm always one to share. But I'm not quite ready to write about it. I'm still in the thick of it- but finding some help, at last. And the past two days have been better. And so, I thought I'd grab my camera and share a new pesto Esteban just whipped up after a quick trip to Wild Oats in Santa Fe today.

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Karina's Savory Gluten-Free Vegetable Kugel

Gluten free kugel recipe with savory roasted vegetables and gluten free bread crumb topping
This gluten-free kugel is Jewish soul food.

What the heck is a kugel, you ask? Jewish comfort food. And if it's done right- with handfuls of roasted vegetables, fresh herbs, and crunchy toasty gluten-free breadcrumbs- it can make you weep, Bubela. Because kugel is soul food - wrapped in love.

But first- as with any good family recipe- a story.

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Notes from a movie set...

On set The Canyon, Williams AZ

I am posting from a movie set in Williams, AZ. A spur of the moment decision this week and here we are, on the set of Steve's first film The Canyon (some of you may remember he sold the screenplay last fall, his first script sale). After a ten second discussion starting with What if... and ending in Why not? we hopped in our Honda Fit and made a bee-line for Arizona, cooler packed with the standard celiac travel kit of rice cakes and peanut butter, a few bananas and apples. And a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. I also schlepped my rice cooker in true gypsy fashion (brown rice and red beans are cooking in the hotel room as we speak).

Today was the first day of the shoot. I was persuaded nudged by the producer Mark Williams to video some behind the scenes footage of the crew [truth is, I am introverted and clumsy I am sorry to tell you and was reluctant to get in too close, but Mark snuck up behind me and steered me over cables and into the action]. I was too nervous to set a white balance. Goddess only knows if any of the footage is viewable. But did I care?

In all honesty I was too busy drinking in the goose-bump inducing electric vibe of a film set, feeling chills flicker up my spine as we watched Steve's script come alive. The female lead is played by actress Yvonne Strahovski (cast before she snagged the role of Sarah Walker on the television series Chuck) who is not only beautiful, she is a smart, strong and capable actress. And Will Patton? Soulful, sly and poetic. It was pure shivering pleasure to watch him do his thespian thing as the grizzled guide Henry. I even got the chance to suggest a word of dialogue for him on set, which, I am humbled to tell you, he used. I was thrilled beyond belief.

So that's where I'm at. Crazy happy. Dead on my feet. I leave you with a snapshot of the director, Richard Harrah, Steve, and producer Mark Williams. Yeah, I know. How lucky can a goddess get?

The Boys. Richard Harrah, Steve Allrich, Mark Williams 
on the set of The Canyon
Watch the trailer:

Gluten-Free Vegetarian Lasagna

Gluten free vegetarian lasagna is light and healthy
Gluten-free lasagna - my favorite Italian comfort food.

This a hearty vegetarian lasagna recipe spiked with a touch of hot pepper heat and unexpected dots of sweetness from the golden raisins. And the best part? It tastes even better the next day. So plan ahead.

It is wild and windy here by the mesa. Spring has sprung. The skies are thick with sheets of rain, gray and pitted with bursts of hail that hammer our flat casita roof then disappear beyond the mesa as quickly as it came. Low churning clouds obscure the distant peaks of the Jemez. The young jack rabbits are hiding. Even the ravens are tucked away from sight today.

We have been kindling fires in the kiva to warm us. And I have been conjuring comfort. In the form of vegetarian lasagna.

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Quinoa Breakfast Cake Recipe

Gluten free quinoa breakfast cake
Tender and moist quinoa breakfast cake- really delicious.

There are some days [okay, I confess!] I eat a brownie for breakfast. And not just a brownie. A tender, dark chocolaty coconut and brown sugar laced delectable gluten-free blondie style brownie. A brownie to delight in. A brownie to savor. A brownie even gluten-eaters would covet. And I lick my fingers. Is it a nutritious choice? Um, probably not.

Except as food for the soul.

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Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Vegetarian shepherd's pie- gluten-free comfort food.

Why I've been craving mashed potatoes lately, I don't know. Spring has arrived here in the high desert. The days are longer and kinder. Apple trees are blooming. And all I can think about is a mound of soft creamy mashed potatoes.
This means something.

Yeah. What it means is I am craving some serious comfort food in the form of a baked shepherd's pie- only my version is vegan and brimming with fresh vegetables. Forget the meat. And forget the lentils (so 1970's). And fake meat- er, I mean, highly processed soy protein or vital wheat gluten? I don't think so. Seitan is evil.

That's why they call it seitan.

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Banana Snacking Cake with Almond Flour

Easy, simple gluten-free snacking cake.

This simple, straightforward banana cake is mighty tasty despite its humble unadorned appearance. If it came to a party it would be a wallflower. The shy one no one notices, lost in the shuffle and glitz of more charismatic confections. She may not ever be the center of attention or the one you call upon to impress your boss, but she's the one you turn to when you need something satisfying and real. Comforting.

And like lasting friendship that doesn't care about the superficial- if your shoes are out of style or your nails remain unmanicured- she is lovely sharing a mug of tea.

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