Nirvana Pasta (gluten & dairy free w/grain free option)

What a BUSY couple of weeks! There’s been lots going on here at home; between homeschool, another spondylitis flare (I’ll try to update my medical journal soon), working on the editing the cookbook manuscript, Abbi’s birthday, other family birthdays, and a 70 pound yellow lab puppy with a benign tumor on his paw and a bacterial skin infection… the list goes on. Never a dull moment around here!

In other news… THANK YOU for voting me as one of your Top 25 Food Allergy Moms of 2012! I know many of you voted daily and also asked your friends to vote for me. I appreciate all of you and can’t tell you how much it means to have the support of SO MANY. I feel incredibly blessed and loved!

Now for our dinner last night… Nirvana Pasta!!

Gluten free pasta… sauteed kale… roasted cauliflower… a whole head of roasted garlic… bacon. Yes, that’s right… BACON!

I need to give a shout out to my dear friend, Shirley (Gluten Free Easily), who actually helped me name this dish (she just doesn’t know it… yet). A few months ago Shirley shared her recipe for Bacon Chicken that had me salivating. She referred to bacon as nirvana; as a bacon lover, I wholeheartedly agree. So this is my nirvana dish (thanks, Shirley!).

This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, EOA Link Up, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, GAPS Friendly Friday, and Freaky Friday.

Nirvana Pasta
Yields 4 – 6 servings

2 cauliflower heads, chopped in to 2 inch florets (approximately)
1 head of garlic, cloves separated, peeled and smashed
5 – 6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
12 ounces gluten free/nitrate free/uncured bacon (I use Hormel Natural Choice)
1-2 bunches curly kale, stems removed and leaves chopped in to bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
sea salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
16 ounces brown rice spaghetti noodles (I use Tinkyada) OR see Megan’s Recipe Notes for grain free & GAPS Legal option

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F). Toss the cauliflower florets, smashed garlic cloves, olive oil, oregano, basil and sea salt on a large parchment lined cookie sheet with 1 inch sides. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  2. While the cauliflower is roasting, cook the bacon in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Cool on a plate lined with a paper towel and then chop the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces. Set aside.
  3. Using paper towels, soak up most of the bacon grease from the skillet, reserving about a tablespoon (caution, the skillet and grease will still be hot). Cook the kale in the bacon grease over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook until soft (about 5-7 minutes).
  4. Cook the spaghetti noodles 2-3 minutes less than the package directions recommend and strain the water from the pasta (the hot noodles will continue to soften up after you strain them from the water).
  5. On a large serving platter, layer the Nirvana Pasta in this order: pasta, kale, cauliflower, bacon. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Megan’s Recipe Notes:

  1. I only used 1 bunch of kale when I originally made this dish; I think next time I will use 2 bunches. I try (key word is try) to make sure I have more veggies on my plate than pasta, that way I’m eating foods with more fiber (that will keep me full longer).
  2. I cook my bacon in 2 separate batches. I think it cooks more evenly that way.
  3. If I wasn’t cooking for my children, I would add some heat (like dried red pepper chili flakes) to this dish. Feel free to spice it up if you wish!
  4. (GAPS Legal) If you would prefer a grain free dish, replace the brown rice pasta with 1 large baked spaghetti squash. Shred the insides and use them as “noodles.”

I can’t wait to hear how to you like this pasta!




Garlic Lover’s Roasted Cauliflower

I am so addicted to roasted cauliflower. I really could sit down and eat a whole head of roasted cauliflower for a meal. It’s that wonderful!

There are many variations of roasted cauliflower recipes out there. Some of my favorite recipes are from fellow gluten free/allergy friendly bloggers. Like Roasted Cauliflower Soup from Elana’s Pantry, Roasted Cauliflower and Peas with Indian Spices from the Whole Gang, Quick Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon and Garlic from Tessa the Domestic Diva, Gluten Free Penne with Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash from Simply… Gluten-Free, and Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Tahini Sauce from Vegetarian Times.

I know… yum, right? You really can’t go wrong with any type of roasted cauliflower dish. Or maybe that’s just my current obsession talking!

Garlic Lover’s Roasted Cauliflower
Note: If you are NOT a garlic lover, or have someone in your house who is allergic to garlic, simply omit it.

2 cauliflower heads
10 – 12 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
5 – 6 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F).
  2. Chop the heads of cauliflower in to two inch florets (approximately).
  3. Toss the florets, garlic, olive oil, sea salt, oregano, and basil in a 9×16″ glass baking dish (or a parchment lined cookie sheet).
  4. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Whether you eat this as a side dish or a main meal is up to you, but just be warned, you may find yourself fighting for those roasted garlic cloves!

This recipe is linked to the GFE Virtual Support Group, Allergy Free Wednesdays and Wellness Weekend.