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So, last weekend, we woke up Saturday morning to find that our air conditioner was busted.  Of course this would happen on a weekend, when the repair people are not making calls.  It was a very hot weekend, unfortunately, and the dude couldn’t come out until Wednesday.  Monday and Tuesday were hot, and Wednesday morning when the dude came we woke up to a cool spell (of course).  The fix lasted a WHOLE 3 DAYS until today, when it stopped working again (of course).  Oh, the joys of home ownership…  At least it’s somewhat cool out and has been raining off and on throughout the day, which has fended off the heat.

Needless to say, cooking at a hot stove or oven has not sounded all that appealing.  I’ve done some things here and there, but between our social calendar being so full and both of us working now, it’s been harder to find time, anyway.  Before The Great Collapse of the Air Conditioner, I was doing a lot of cooking.  Shortly after our move, we had a friend from med school and his girlfriend over for dinner.  Said friend, Dr. F (which we will say stands for “food restrictions” but is actually the first letter of his last name) has Celiac’s disease and can therefore not digest gluten.  He also does not do well with dairy, so I thought it’d be a tasteless fun challenge to cook for him. 😉

I’ve not been a big fan of curry in the past, but I’ve been meaning to develop a taste for it for some time, in order to expand my horizons and whatnot.  I find that, if I don’t like something, I can typically generate an appreciation (and even a love, sometimes) for it by continuing to try it over time.  There are, however, exceptions:

  1. Lima beans
  2. Bananas
  3. Bologna

There are others, but I prefer to focus on foods I do like 🙂

Anyhoo, hardest part of putting this meal together was finding recipes that are gluten free and dairy free but not vegan (Dr. F does eat meat, thankfully).  There were also a lot of recipes which called for ingredients which I would not likely use again or are tough to find (i.e., almond meal, which was in the dessert ingredients but I did not use).  In the end, I made a Thai quinoa casserole and we grilled chicken breasts spiced with salt and lemon pepper à la Dr. Matthews.

Thai Quinoa Casserole


1.5 cups of quinoa

2 red bell peppers, chopped

3 small jalapeno peppers, chopped

2 minced cloves of garlic

1 15 oz. can of black beans (drain and rinse)

1 15. oz can of coconut milk

1 cup of raisins

2 tbsp of coconut oil (side note/fun fact: it got so hot in our house last weekend that my entire jar of coconut oil, which is usually solid, completely liquefied)

1/2 tsp of salt

1 1/2 tsp of curry powder

dash of cayenne powder

dash of chili powder

1 cup of chopped cilantro

1/2 cup of chopped green onions


1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly and boil for 7-10 minutes. (Mine took a little longer to absorb the water – make sure to check your package directions)

3. In a large skillet (cast iron, preferably), cook the garlic in the coconut oil on medium heat. After a minute, add the red bell and jalapeno peppers, cayenne, curry powder and chili powder. Cook for 6 minutes.

4. Add the sauteed mixture to the quinoa in a separate mixing bowl.

5. Stir in the black beans, cilantro, raisins, coconut milk and salt. (I saved my cilantro for garnish at the end, as I’ve heard that baking or cooking fragile herbs can reduce flavor)

6. Transfer the mixture to an 8×11 dish and cook for 30-40 minutes.

7. Top with more garnishes if you prefer. (i.e., cilantro)

Thai Quinoa Casserole

Strawberry Peach Quinoa Crumble


  • 3 large peaches
  • 2 cups strawberries (or one carton)
  • 2 Tablespoons almond meal (I omitted this, as it is not something I think I’ll use again and so did not want to buy a whole jar of it)
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 cup gluten free/vegan granola OR Rolled Oats (I used rolled oats)
  • one can coconut cream (Trader Joe’s Brand), chilled for 2 hours (they were out, so I got coconut milk ice cream instead)
  • I added brown sugar, too.  Both in the crumble mix and on top.


  1. First, preheat oven to 350F. Then, grease a medium size cast iron pan (or normal medium size frying pan with NO rubber) with coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. Next, dice peaches and strawberries into one inch cubes. Place in a medium size bowl. Add almond meal, maple syrup, and orange juice, and mix.
  3. Transfer into cast iron pan.
  4. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
  5. While the fruit is baking, mix together about 1 cup of cooked quinoa and 1/2 cup of your favorite granola. Spread evenly over fruit.
  6. Place back in oven for 15 more minutes or until the fruit begins to bubble.
  7. While the crumble cools off a bit. Pour chilled coconut cream in a large bowl. Mix with a hand mixer for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until fluffy. Feel free to add a tablespoon of sweetener or a few drops of liquid stevia if preferred.

Strawberry Peach Quinoa Crumble

Both recipes turned out really well and were not difficult to make.  I even liked the curry flavor!

Dr. F was a happy camper!

Dr. F was a happy camper!

He had to get a shot in his new sunglasses...

He had to get a shot in his new sunglasses…

Do any of you have any gluten/dairy free recipes to share?