Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Lunch, Product Review, Savory

Mediterranean Meatball Subs

Something I definitely miss out on as someone who can’t eat gluten or dairy, is sandwiches. This pretty big setback makes lunch time really difficult. I almost miss the days of my childhood where I had a PB&J for lunch every single day.

Luckily for people like me, BFree Foods exists and is churning out some of the best gluten-free bread products I have ever tried. This is saying a lot since I of course have sampled nearly every brand under the sun. I also must say I was pretty loyal to a brand I shall leave unnamed, until BFree came along and stole my heart.

There are a million and a half things you can do with BFree Foods (literally, they make pita bread, wraps, sandwich bread, bagels, hot dog buns, and more), but I decided to whip up a good ‘ol meatball sub, with a Mediterranean twist. If you are lucky enough to live near me, you know these lamb meatballs with tahini sauce are my go-to meal whenever I’m tryna do it up nice. Enjoy!

Level: Medium

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Total Time: 40-45 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:
For the meatballs
1 pound ground lamb
1 egg
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 slices BFree Foods White Sandwich Bread, yielding 1 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped mint
2 tablespoons dill
For the tomato cucumber salad
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1 1/2 tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dill
1 1/2 tablespoons BetterBody Foods avocado oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
For the tahini sauce
1/3 cup tahini
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons water
salt, to taste
4 BFree Foods Hot Dog Buns

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet with tinfoil or parchment paper.

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    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  2. Place your slices of BFree Foods sandwich bread in the toaster, and toast until golden brown.

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    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  3. Rip the toasted slices of bread in to pieces, and place in a food processor.
  4. Pulse until the bread turns into semi-fine crumbs.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  5. Place your lamb, egg, salt & pepper, dill, mint, and breadcrumbs in a large bowl.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  6. Mix with your hands until all ingredients are fully incorporated.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  7. Roll meatball mixture into 1-inch balls and place onto your baking sheet.
  8. Put meatballs in the oven for about 10 minutes.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  9. Using tongs, flip the meatballs over, and place back in the oven for about 10 minutes, allowing them to brown on the other side.
  10. Once fully cooked, set aside for when you are ready to assemble the subs, but keep the oven on – you’ll need to toast your hot dog buns later.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  11. While your meatballs are cooking, gather ingredients for tomato cucumber salad.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  12. Dice cucumbers and tomatoes, and place into a small bowl.
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  13. Add remaining ingredients – salt & pepper, dill, avocado oil, lemon juice – and mix to combine. Set aside for when you are ready to assemble the subs.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  14. Add the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, water, and salt for the tahini sauce to a blender or Magic Bullet.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  15. Blend for about 30 seconds to one minute, or until ingredients create a smooth sauce.
  16. Place your hot dog buns on a baking sheet into the oven for about 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown and warm.
  17. Once the hot dog buns are to your desired temperature, place three meatballs inside.
  18. Garnish with tomato cucumber salad, and drizzle with tahini sauce.

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

    Photo by Analiese Trimber

  19. Serve!
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Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Lunch, Paleo, Savory

Paleo Pumpkin and Tahini Cream Sauce

The word “creamy” is basically the go-to verbiage to describe some of the most tastiest of foods, from ice cream to chocolate to brie. But while creamy foods both savory and sweet are ones that seem to quench cravings the most, the unfortunate part about the word is that it’s usually associated with dairy. Not trying to hate on dairy consumers, but if you’ve been lactose-intolerant since birth like I have, you probably get really excited when you hear the word “creamy” and then immediately come to the realization that you probably can’t eat it.

Little did you know, there is this magical substance called coconut cream that has existed since the beginning of time (or since the beginning of time that we care about, because a world without coconuts is not a world worth caring about). Imagine some settlers reaching the Pacific Islands for the first time stumbling upon this really weird, hairy, hard as a rock thing. It probably took hours for them to figure out how to crack it open, but they did, and they were probably kissing each other for hours afterwards in triumph.

Anyways, this coconut cream, derived from the flesh of the coconut, is even thicker than other creams. Yeah, it’s actually solid and contributes much more flavor than other dairy-filled heavy creams, making it the perfect addition to a sauce. In this case, the coconut cream adds a luscious thickness to the combination of pumpkin and tahini, which is just about as Fall as you can get. Serve this sauce with your favorite base, whether it’s spaghetti squash, pumpkin soba noodles (oh yes, these exist), or just plain old spaghetti. I don’t think you’ll miss the dairy at all.

Level: Easy

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients:
1/3 cup pumpkin pureé
2 tablespoons coconut cream
3/4 – 1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup tahini
1 teaspoon sesame oil
juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, then turn down and let simmer until mixture reaches desired temperature.
  3. Season with salt and pepper as necessary
  4. Serve with some veggies, unless you’re into mono-chromaticism.
Photo by Analiese Trimber

Photo by Analiese Trimber

Photo by Analiese Trimber

Photo by Analiese Trimber

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Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Paleo

Paleo Lemon and Tahini Stuffed Acorn Squash

You could say I’m a little obsessed with lemons. If my lemon spaghetti squash didn’t give it away, this recipe definitely does. You might think that nearly two lemons in one dish that only yields two servings is extreme, but you have to trust me. There’s just something about lemon juice that makes food taste clean and refreshing, like a sophisticated painting. When I add lemon juice to a dish, I feel like the quality is elevated, like I’m actually dining at a five star restaurant instead of in my own kitchen.

For me, lemon zest and lemon juice is what takes my meal experience to the next level. I think every chef, aspiring chef, or home cook should find that one thing they always love to use in their dishes. Once you’ve found your groove, your go-to, your secret ingredient, that’s when you truly develop your identity in the kitchen. So have fun and experiment. Maybe this recipe will make you love lemons as much as I do, and maybe it won’t. But you’ll never know until you try!

Level: Medium

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients:
1 acorn squash
5 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup quinoa
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1-1/2 lemons
about 1-1/2 cup water
1 pint mushrooms, diced
10 stalks asparagus, diced
2-3 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup pine nuts, optional
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Using your biggest knife, cut acorn squash in half lengthwise.
3. Scrape out seeds and discard.
4. Place both halves of squash face up in a large glass baking dish.
5. Spread 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil on inside of squash, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
6. Bake squash for 35-40 minutes, or until flesh is tender when poked with a fork.
7. While squash is baking, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for the quinoa.
8. Add lemon zest, and several shakes of both salt and pepper. Quinoa needs a lot of flavoring, so don’t be shy.
9. Pour quinoa into saucepan, and let toast for about 2 minutes.
10. Squeeze juice from one half of a lemon into a liquid measuring cup, and top off with water until there is 1 and 1/2 cups of liquid total.
11. Pour liquid into saucepan, turn up heat to high, and bring mixture to a boil.
12. Once boiling, stir mixture, cover saucepan with a lid, and reduce heat to medium-low for about 15 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed.
13. While quinoa is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan.
14. Add diced vegetables and sauté for about 5 minutes.
15. Add juice from one half of a lemon, cover pan with lid, and let vegetables steam for about 5 more minutes. Depending on the size of your lemon, you might need to add a little bit of water so you have enough liquid.
16. At this point, the quinoa should be done, but if it isn’t, reduce heat on vegetables to low in the meantime.
17. Add cooked quinoa,  juice from the last half of lemon, and tahini to vegetable mixture.
18. Mix until fully incorporated and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
19. When squash is finished cooking, take out of oven, stuff with quinoa, top with pine nuts if you have them, and serve.

Photo by Analiese Trimber

Photo by Analiese Trimber

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