Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gardening, pizza, and pasta - finding ways to cope until spring

Those of you who are gluten free - did you ever think you would say, in exasperation, "I am so OVER pizza right now!"? One of those foods we think upon diagnosis that we will never again be able to enjoy - pizza - is not only incredibly easy to make at home, but apparently becoming the hot item in pizzerias all over Portland.

During our errand-running this weekend, we drove right past a pizza place on Hawthorne Blvd with a large banner advertising their new gluten-free pizza. I'm sorry, I can't remember the name, but I think it was Oasis cafe? Does anyone in the area know? I was surprised to see it, but we didn't try it out. Ironically, the main reason we were driving is because Ben had a show Monday night at Mississippi Pizza, so we rented a car to haul his bass guitar around and we took advantage of the increased mobility to do some heavy errands. Mississippi Pizza also makes GF pizza and sells gluten free beer and I can't tell you how excited I was that Ben was finally playing a show at a place I could not only get gluten free beer, but also gluten free food! And pizza no less! I was really looking forward to it.

But, it turns out there really IS too much of a good thing and, after our gluten free pizza Friday, and pizza at the show on Monday, I actually got tired of eating pizza this weekend! I happily let Ben take the pizza leftovers for his lunch at work. How's that for someone who is supposed to be "limited" in their diet! ha! His band's show was great - one of my favorite new additions to the set was an enormous drum (a marching-band-like, beat-on-the-sides, HUGE drum), which was added to one of their already established songs and incorporated into one of their new songs. Not only did it add a great sound, I couldn't help but to think how much fun it would be to play!

Part of our errand running this weekend included picking up a fig tree and two blueberry bushes for our container garden...and containers, and soil, and mulch, and fertilizer (organic), and, and, and... We also planted some of our spinach seeds in a 12x12 container and started two of our brussels sprouts seedlings. My heating pad is getting some good use, warming our little seedlings. I want to call them 'cute' before they are even sprouted...but that is how I think of them - all warm and cute and waiting to sprout up through their soft dirt blanket.

I also worked on draft number 2 of my dissertation this weekend, which, on top of all our errand running and band playing, made this three-day weekend feel like it was over in a wink. But, here we are looking at Thursday tomorrow already (!). I think I will skip GF pizza Friday this Friday (if Ben agrees)- I'm just still too pizza-ed out!

This is the incredibly easily, impossibly delicious pasta I threw together the other night (in between pizzas!). Slice up a couple of those pathetically small zucchini that are in the grocery stores right now and saute with some diced onion, a couple of minced garlic cloves, a can of quartered artichoke hearts, and a smattering of capers. Add some dried basil and freshly grated pepper. Just before the zucchini and onion looks done, throw in a few handfuls of spinach and stir until the spinach is mostly wilted. Toss the veggies with your favorite GF pasta (I recommend Tinkyada brand) and top with a dollop of creme fraiche and more fresh pepper.



Steph said...

That pasta does look good! I had something similar in Disney World a couple weeks ago, it had shrimp in it. But it was incredible! The whole time I was eating it, I was thinking that I wished I could figure out a good replication recipe. I thin this one might just fit :)

Dave said...

That's too funny about being "pizza'd out." Dave and I have not gotten to that point yet, but I don't think we've been eating it enough maybe? We've been to Picazzo's in Sellwood two times and even though they're not PERFECT (I wish their dough was cooked a bit longer), we keep dreaming about going back. We definitely liked them better than Mississippi Pizza Pub, and I don't think we ever thought we'd be fortunate enough to be picky about our gluten-free pizza options! Like you, we've heard about Oasis but haven't tried it yet. That's probably next on our list! :)

Lauren Denneson said...

Steph - Mmmmm...shrimp would definitely be delicious in this pasta!

Dave - I haven't heard of Picazzo's in Sellwood yet, but I'll have to check it out! Thanks for confirming the Oasis cafe, and, yes, it is certainly strange (and a blessing) we are fortunate enough to be picky around here :) Definitely let me know if you have any other favorite GF friendly restaurants around town.