Thai Curry with Cauliflower “Rice”

Thai Jungle Curry + Cauliflower "Rice" {gluten-free, vegan}

Adam made me this cutting board.  There is something so much more intrinsically beautiful in a gift that is made versus bought.  He’s a little protective of it, though, re-sanding the surface every now and then to maintain the smooth, glassy finish.  I’ve even been gently reproached for allowing strawberry hulls to sit too long on its surface.

There is symbolism in this cutting board, too.  In the early years of our marriage my husband was a full-time carpenter, a surprisingly lucrative job for any twenty-something in a ski-town.  “Building America,” he would always say with a wink.  He loved the work.  The life-style.  However, with the arrival our first child he felt it was time to move up the ranks, to trade in the hammer and tool belt for collared shirts and client meetings.  Management.  He had arrived.

Life is full of irony.  As it turns out, he quite liked that old hammer and tool belt.  So much so that he’s decided its time to take a leap, to set aside the nine-to-five for a while and test out furniture making full-time.  I’ll be sure to share more of his work going forward.  It’s beautiful stuff.

This change coincides with another, perhaps even more important.  In the last year-and-a-half since Cecil was born we have become increasingly aware of the distance that separates us from our kinfolk, the sweet people who love us and our son the most.  As we’ve talked, and talked, and talked some more about this decision, it has become abundantly clear that the time is now.  Everything all at once.

At the end of July, with quiet enthusiasm and measured certainty, we will move back to the Oklahoma hills where Adam was born.

Thai Jungle Curry + Cauliflower "Rice" {gluten-free, vegan}

Adapted from Whole Living

This is one of my favorite vegetarian/vegan dinners.   It just feels good to get full on a bunch of colorful vegetables.  You could easily substitute any number of different veggies: asparagus, green beans, a handful of spinach, etc.  If cauliflower “rice” sounds too fringe/new-age-hippie I completely understand, sometimes I’m not feeling it either, so I just substitute brown rice.  Or serve both for more bulk and a little grain.

Cauliflower “Rice”
2 cups cauliflower, florets only
1 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil  (olive oil works, too)
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
sea salt
1/4 cup vegetable broth

Thai Curry
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste (more or less to suit your spice level)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup coconut milk (I prefer full fat, but “lite” would be fine)
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
2 carrots, julienned
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned

3 tablespoons shelled and toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or peanuts
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
fresh sprouts (optional)
fresh lime slices for garnish
Sriracha sauce, to serve

  • Pulse cauliflower florets in food processor until they resemble the texture of rice (see pic above).
  • Heat coconut oil in a medium sized skillet over medium-low heat, add onion and garlic and saute until softened, approximately 3-5 minutes.  Stir in the cauliflower “rice”, a pinch of salt and veggie broth.  Partially cover the pan and simmer/steam 5 minutes until broth has evaporated and the cauliflower is tender but still toothsome.  Keep warm.
  • While the “rice” cooks, make the curry.  In a large skillet or wok, heat the remaining coconut oil over medium to medium-high heat.  Add the garlic, ginger, curry paste and brown sugar and cook for 1 minute, stirring to incorporate the ingredients.  Add the veggie slices: onion, carrot, broccoli and red bell pepper.  Stir-fry 2-4 minutes until tender-crisp and just beginning to brown on the edges.  Decrease the heat to low and add the coconut milk, stirring to loosen any browned bits.  Allow curry to simmer gently and thicken for 2 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  • To serve, spoon veggies and sauce over cauliflower “rice”.  Top with pumpkin seeds, cilantro, fresh sprouts, and a lime wedge.

Serves 2


Stone Fruit Tea Cake {gluten-free}
Stone Fruit Tea Cake 
Carrot, Kale, and Nori Salad with Sesame Dressing {gluten-free, vegan}
Carrot, Kale, and Nori Salad with Sesame Dressing 
Maple-Sunbutter Cookies {gluten-free, vegan}
Maple-Sunbutter Cookies 

Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce

Albondigas en Chipotle {gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free}

I’m afraid I’m asking you to endure an untimely braise of meatballs.  My sincerest apologies.  Spring and Summer have both been a little coy.  Hopefully you’re eating gazpacho on the deck or something.  If so, just bookmark this recipe for those first cool nights of September.

Adapted from Williams Sonoma Mexican cookbook

We’ve been making these meatballs since we were first married.  Naturally, the recipe has evolved quite a bit over that eight year span.  When I get in a dinner rut, this is one of my favorite back-pocket meals.  They’re spicy and unctuous and comforting.

If you’re avoiding gluten, do carefully read the ingredients on the can of chipotle chiles.  Some are gluten-free and some are most certainly not.

This recipe is the perfect divide-and-conquer sort.  One person can make the sauce while the other person prepares the meatballs.  Then just simmer it all together for 20 minutes.  Serve over rice.

2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 – 2 chipotle chiles in adobo from a can, plus 1 teaspoon of sauce (adjust to your spice preference)
4 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
3/4 – 1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups beef or chicken stock
1 tablespoon oil

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (1 pound ground beef & 1/2 pound ground pork is also good)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 -2  garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
1 tablespoon milk of choice (cow, soy, rice, etc.)

Sauce Preparation:

  • In a blender, combine the sauce ingredients except oil (diced tomatoes through stock).  Process until smooth.  Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking.  Pour in sauce and bring to a lively simmer, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to gently simmer, uncovered, until sauce has thickened almost reduced by half, about 5-10 minutes.

Meatball Preparation:

  • While the sauce simmers, in a large bowl, add the beef, pork, cumin, garlic, and salt and pepper.  Mix gently but thoroughly with your hands or a fork until the ingredients are evenly distributed.  Stir in the breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon of milk.
  • Gingerly roll meat mixture into golf ball-sized balls, being careful not to overwork the meat mixture.  Drop each meatball as it is made into the gently simmering sauce.  The sauce should at least come half-way up the meatballs and possibly almost cover them.  Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, remove one meatball to a plate and cut in half to check for doneness. If the meatballs begin to stick, stir in a tablespoon or two of water.  Remove one meatball to a plate and cut in half to check for doneness.  Serve directly from pot, ladled over rice.

Serves 4-6


Cumin Kebabs with Muhammara {gluten-free, dairy-free}
Cumin Kebabs with Muhammara {gluten-free, dairy-free}
Low & Slow Pulled Pork {gluten-free, dairy-free}
Low & Slow Pulled Pork {gluten-free, dairy-free}
Ethereal Cream Biscuits {gluten-free}
Ethereal Cream Biscuits {gluten-free}


PantheonSpanish Steps St. John the Lateran

Travel has a way of awakening the senses, making every moment that much more vivid.  The details of the day, even the most mundane, become forever-memorialized in the mind’s eye.  Adam, the seasoned traveler in our home, pointed this out many years ago, and I must say it has made our periodic gallivanting even more enjoyable, knowing that the pleasure of travel doesn’t end abruptly when we return home.  Quite the opposite is true.  We get to revisit every memory, as often as we’d like, for the rest of our days.

It has long been a dream of mine to visit Italy.  I know there is nothing really singular or unique about that statement.  Nonetheless, these kind of desires still feel very personal.  We started our ten day trek in Rome and then ventured on to Florence.  It was rainy and chilly most days.  No bother.  The rain left a picturesque wet sheen on the streets and ruins; the cool air only made the atmosphere more romantic.

Rome was rumbling with excitement over the papal conclave, various colors of  smoke, and eventually the selection and celebration of Pope Francis all while we were there.  It was tremendously thrilling.

For the duration of our trip the daily routine was much the same.  Fortified with the hotel’s breakfast and too many cappuccinos (Adam and I) and plenty of whole milk (Cecil), we would pound the streets of both great cities, cramming in as much as possible.  Then we would cram our faces with good food, take a nap, repeat.

Streets of Florence San Lorenzo MarketStreets of Florence

I did want to share a few of our favorite meals and restaurants.  These were the highlights.  We had a few more mediocre experiences than I was anticipating, but mostly when we were dining on the fly in touristy areas.  The great news – eating gluten-free was pretty easy.  Every establishment I entered was able to accommodate me.  Italians are very well educated on Celiac Disease.  I did bring one of those handy little gluten-free cards from Celiac Travel that you can find here.  However, we ended up learning a few very basic Italian phrases for asking about/ordering senza glutine and never had to resort to the card.


Farmacia –  Okay, so this isn’t a restaurant, just the term for Pharmacy in Italian.  I swear there must be one if not two pharmacies on every block.  This was the best place to find gluten-free snacks: pretzels, cookies, snack cakes, gluten-free mixes, etc.  Grocery stores were very hit or miss, but the pharmacies were the mother-load.  Italy’s (and Europe’s?) commercially made gluten-free snacks were very, very good.  I especially loved this brand’s madeleines.  Oh my.  I should try making my own sometime.

La Soffitta Renovatio – Just around the corner from Vatican City.  This place is a little pricy, but they have a very extensive gluten-free menu.  I’m almost certain our waiter told me that they can make anything from the main menu gluten-free.  I had a wonderful gluten-free pizza with buffalo mozzarella, the best gluten-free beer of my life, and then a heavenly dessert for which I have no name.  My guess is that a handful of meringue cookies are piled into a saran-wrapped domed bowl and then covered with a mix of sweetened mascarpone cheese and whipped cream.  Like an icebox cake, once set, the domed dessert is lifted from the bowl via the plastic wrap, which is then discarded, and finally the top of the dessert gets generously drizzled with a thick caramel glaze.  This is definitely on my to-do list.

Vecchia Roma –  By far our best meal in Rome and the best meal of the trip.  The trattoria was full to the brim with tons of loud Italians!  A very good sign indeed.  Thankfully, we were there with a couple of Roman friends because these people were understandably not catering to the tourist crowd but locals.  The restaurant’s specialty is the all’Amatriciana flambe with guanicale (pork jowl), which they apparently toss together in huge cheese wheels.  It was divine.  I so badly wanted to finish my bowl and then lick it clean, but I simply ran out of room.  They even had gluten-free penne for me, cooked perfectly al dente.  This was the most delicious and memorable pasta I have ever had.  I have already set to work recreating this dish at home.


All’Antico Vinaio –  I’m a little embarrassed to admit that this is the #1 rated restaurant in Florence per Trip Advisor.  It’s nothing flashy.  As a matter of fact, you could easily walk right past it and never know.  It is an inexpensive, good and filling little sandwich shop with a great selection of cured meats and cheeses.  They only make sandwiches.  Antico doesn’t claim to be gluten-free.  I just brought my own bread (bought at the Farmacia) and asked a lot of quick questions in bad Italian.  All went well, but this place would definitely be a slippery slope for someone with Celiac.

Sadly, this was our only really good meal in Florence.  Don’t get me wrong, we still ate relatively well, but nothing exceptional or unique.  I was far less prepared for Florence versus Rome.

All-in-all, a wonderful vacation full of inspirational sights, sounds and tastes.  I can’t wait to return.

Via dè Tornabuoni


Pasta with Fried Prosciutto and Chives {gluten-free}
Pasta with Fried Prosciutto and Chives {gluten-free}
Zippy Red Pepper Vinaigrette {gluten-free, vegan}
Zippy Red Pepper Vinaigrette {gluten-free, vegan}
Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter {gluten-free, vegetarian}
Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter {gluten-free, vegetarian}

Olive Oil + Maple Granola {gluten-free, vegan}


First, I should probably address the obvious: Making Roma Roma has a new layout.  I thought a little spring cleaning was in order.  Please forgive some remaining untidiness as I get things shipshape.

In other news, we just returned from a lovely trip to Italy.  It was somewhat last-minute and a wonderful whirlwind.  Cecil came, too, and couldn’t have been a better little boy.  I have so much insight to share on traveling with babies/toddlers/small children that I’ll have to postpone for another day.  Today I just wanted to share my hands-down-favorite photo of the trip.

Streets of FlorenceMore on our trip later.  I’ve been tarrying over this silly granola post the entire month of March.

Much like banana bread, I’ve never met a granola I didn’t like.  So to use superlatives like “best” would certainly denote uncharacteristic partiality on my part.  BUT.  If I had to pick only one…

Olive Oil and Maple Granola

In this version, the more traditional ingredients like honey and a neutral-tasting oil or butter are swapped out for the dark, heady flavor of real maple syrup and the grassy notes and pleasant bitterness of olive oil.

Not only is this unexpected pairing of flavors complimentary, but it also creates a markedly unusual texture.  Whereas most granolas are pleasantly chewy – giving one the sense you’ve earned your morning nutrients through prolonged chomping – this recipe is almost brittle, crumbling to pieces in your mouth.  I tend to hover over the hot heap right out of the oven, picking out the toasty coconut shards and eating them one-by-one.

This cereal doesn’t stop at breakfast, either. We eat it all day long: soaked in milk with the addition of dried cherries (Molly’s idea), a dry handful as we dash out the door, even sprinkled over greek yogurt for dessert.  And, to bring things full circle, it makes a great snack for long-haul flights.  It’s no wonder a single batch of the stuff never lasts more than 48 hours!

This recipe was created by Nakisia Davis, owner/founder of Early Bird Foods.  She was generous enough to share it eons ago with the good folks over at Food52 as part of their “Genius Recipes” column, a weekly post that’s been a real boon to anyone’s ongoing search for delicious food.

3 cups gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
1 cup raw sunflower seeds, hulled
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
1 1/4 cups raw pecans, whole or roughly chopped
3/4 cup real maple syrup
1/2 extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl mix all ingredients together, stirring until everything is evenly moistened.
  • Spread granola mixture onto lined sheet pan and bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until toasty brown, approximately 45 minutes.
  • (Try to) cool completely before serving or storing.

Yield: 7 cups.


Salade de Carottes Râpées
Salade de Carottes Râpées {gluten-free, vegan}
Shoo-Fly Pie {gluten-free, vegan}
Shoo-Fly Pie     {gluten-free, vegan}
Pomodori col Riso {gluten-free, vegan}
Pomodori col Riso {gluten-free, vegan}

Maple-Sunbutter Cookies {gluten-free, nut-free, vegan}

Maple-Sunbutter Cookies {gluten-free,vegan}

I had one of those accidental taste-bud epiphanies a while back.

Desperate for a snack, and having already raided my cupboards only to find a measly bag of stale tortilla chip crumbs, I settled instead upon the sad slice of cinnamon-raisin bread languishing away in the back of the freezer.

Of course it became toast.  Because toasting improves everything.  I topped it with a few smears of sunflower seed butter.  Then, because cinnamon-raisin-sunflower-seed-butter-toast wasn’t interesting enough, I added a generous drizzle of maple syrup, too.  And a sprinkle of coarse salt.

Like I said, I was pretty desperate.

Strangely, the combination was good.  The touch of  maple syrup and pinch of salt not only complimented the sunflower seed butter, or sunbutter (as the cool kids say), but helped it push all those savory-salty-sweet buttons like a good peanut butter cookie.

Winter Daybreak

I’ve tried this recipe with all sorts of gluten free flours, oils, and, at times, I have even veered from my original plan by substituting other sweeteners.  However, maple syrup was my muse, and I just kept coming back to her.

I also wholeheartedly preferred sorghum flour over rice flour for both it’s flavor and the attractive way it made the cookie tops crackle.

The choice of oil seemed to make less of a difference.  I give a couple of options below.  If you opt for coconut oil, be sure it is melted.  Like butter, it solidifies at cooler temps and will seize up into little chunks when it meets a cold substance (hello refrigerated maple syrup!).

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I used grade A, but I bet grade B would be even better)
3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil (melted), olive oil, or organic canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.  Add the dry mix to the wet mix and stir until evenly moistened.  Allow the dough to rest a minute or two.
  • Using a tablespoon, drop the dough onto the cookie sheet and give each mound a gentle press to barely flatten into disks.
  • Bake 9-11 minutes, depending on your cookie personality: soft vs crumbly.

Yield: About 1 dozen


Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Quinoa Flour {gluten-free, vegan}
Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Quinoa Flour {gluten-free, vegan}
Spatchcock Chicken with Herbs de Provence {gluten-free}
Spatchcock Chicken with Herbs de Provence {gluten-free}
Dilled Cucumber Salad {gluten-free, vega
Dilled Cucumber Salad {gluten-free, vegan}