Who doesn't love Italian food? With pastas, breads, sauces who could resist? These foods have great flavors, but for those who have a wheat intolerance it can be hard to enjoy Italian fare, until now.
Today we'll look out recipes with lots of flavor. You won't even miss the wheat.
Bruschetta is the best. Let's face it, the tomato mixture is good stuff. Replace that bread with chewy eggplant. You will love this.
1 large eggplant
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
4 roma tomatoes, diced
½ cup artichoke hearts, quartered
¼ cup kalamata olives, halved
¼ cup capers
3 tbsp avocado oil (get it here)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
¾ tsp onion powder
¾ tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
In a large mixing bowl, combine basil, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, capers, avocado oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, onion powder, sea salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°
Slice eggplant in ½ inch slices. Drizzle with a little avocado oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip slices over and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Top each eggplant slice with bruschetta mixture.
ITALIAN HOAGIE SALAD
Here is another case where the good stuff is the in the middle. This salad will surprise you.
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon coarse (granulated) garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (5 ounce) package Applegate Farms Natural Pepperoni, julienned
1 (4 ounce) package Applegate Farms Natural Genoa Salami, julienned
1 (4 ounce) package Applegate Farms Natural Prosciutto, julienned
1 (6 ounce) can anchovies, drained and chopped (optional)
1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
a few handfuls of baby spinach
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, sliced very thin
1/2 sweet onion, sliced very thin
2-3 pepperoncini, sliced very thin
1/2 (15 ounce) can red beets, julienned
1 (14 ounce) can hearts of palm, sliced thin
1 (6 ounce) can black olives, halved
Equip yourself with an enormous mixing bowl. Place vinegar, oil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in bowl and whisk to combine.
Prep the meats and add to the bowl, then prep the veggies and add to the bowl as they’re chopped.
When everything is in the bowl, toss with two spoons while sing a rousing rendition of “That’s Amore.” (Seriously. You want to toss for at least 2 minutes.)
Here are the lyrics to help you out:
And in case you want to treat yourself to a soothing dose of Dean Martin, here’s video of the ultimate crooner. https://www.youtube.com/embed/aFSv-tq5GAY
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you’ll sing “Vita bella”
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella
When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You’re in love
When you walk in a dream but you know you’re not
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli
SPAGHETTI SQUASH BOLOGNESE
We can't forget a pasta dish. Grab that spaghetti squash and get cooking.
1 large spaghetti squash (approx. 5 lb)
2 lb ground or minced beef
1 onion, diced
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomato
1 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
8 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup coconut oil to cook the beef with
2 Tablespoons coconut oil to cook the spaghetti squash with
Salt and pepper to taste
Place 1/4 cup of coconut oil into a large pot and saute the diced onion in the oil on high heat. Add the ground beef to the pot once the onions turn translucent.
Once the meat is browned, add the diced tomatoes and turn down the heat. Simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes (simmer for 1 hour if you have time). Stir regularly to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Meanwhile, chop a spaghetti squash in half, remove the seeds, smother the insides with a thin layer of coconut oil (you can use your hands to do this), cover with a paper towel to avoid splattering, and microwave each spaghetti squash half for 6-7 minutes on high power. (Alternatively you can bake the coconut oil covered spaghetti squash halves in the oven at 375 F (190 C) for 45 minutes.)
Use a fork to scratch out the spaghetti squash strands and divide them between 4 plates.
Add the basil, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste to the meat sauce, cook for 5 more minutes, and spoon on top of the spaghetti squash.
Here is a dish that originated in Milan in the 19th century. You have to try this.
3-3/4 lbs beef shanks
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 cups bone broth
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp dried mustard
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
6-8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
½ tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Pat the meat dry and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Melt a generous amount of healthy cooking fat such as lard, ghee or coconut oil in a heavy skillet set over high heat.
Add the meat and cook without moving until a beautiful golden crust forms, which will take 3-5 minutes. Flip the meat and continue cooking until a crust forms on that side too. Remove the cooked pieces of meat to a 7 quart Dutch oven.
Once the meat has been cooked and removed, lower the heat to medium, add a little more fat to the pan if necessary then throw in the onion, celery and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are fragrant and become slightly golden.
Add broth, tomatoes, water, balsamic vinegar, dried mustard, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, cinnamon and clove and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, then pour over the meat in the Dutch oven.
Cover and cook in a 325F oven for 3 to 3½ hours or until the meat easily detaches from the bones.
Serve immediately with a side of cauliflower mash.
PALEO PIZZA CRUST
We can't forget the pizza. Here is a great, grain-free crust to top with your favorites.
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour or arrowroot starch plus 2-3 tbsp more for spreading/kneading dough
6 tbsp coconut flour divided into 3 (first) and 3 (after adding the egg)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
3/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup light flavored olive oil
1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 egg room temp, whisked
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet (round if you prefer) with parchment paper
In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, tapioca or arrowroot, 3 Tbsp of the coconut flour, onion and garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt. Stir well to fully combine.
In a measuring cup, combine the water, oil, and vinegar, then pour into the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
Now stir in the whisked egg to combine well. Once you have a sticky mixture, you will slowly add the remaining coconut flour. I recommend adding a Tbsp at a time and mixing well, allowing the dough to sit a bit after each Tbsp to absorb the liquid, until you have a dough that's still a bit sticky yet able to be spread out. Don't add more than 3 additional Tbsp of coconut flour in this step, even if the dough seems sticky to work with - you can use extra tapioca to help spread it out.
Sprinkle extra tapioca or arrowroot on your parchment lined baking sheet, transfer the dough to the sheet and sprinkle with more tapioca/arrowroot. Work the dough into a 10 inch circle (12 for a very thin crust), then bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes depending on how crisp you want the crust. I baked mine for about 10 minutes before adding my toppings, and baking again. Bake time will depend on the toppings you plan to add, how crispy you want the crust, and how thin you spread it out.
Top your crust however you like! Enjoy!
Make Italian food your way. In no way are you sacrificing flavor with these recipe variations. Give them a try tonight. Get a little Dean Martin going and have fun!
Here's to your health! Happy Cooking!