Arroz Verde (Green Rice)

Arroz Verde (aka Green Rice)

Green Rice

adapted from (p. 53)

Being gluten-free I eat massive quantities of rice . . . long grain brown rice mostly, but also basmati rice, Thai sweet rice, Arborio rice, short grain brown rice, and even plain old long grain white rice. Needless to say, I keep my eye out for ways to make rice more interesting. Here’s one I really enjoy.  (When I’ve posted about it on Facebook people asked for the recipe . . . so here’s what I actually did.)


  • 2-3 oz. (1-1/2 – 2 cups) bulk spinach, divided (see below)
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 Serrano pepper, stem removed (Serranos are the little thin green ones usually sold near the jalapeños; if you can’t find one, use 1/2 a jalapeño, seeded and stem removed; I don’t bother removing the seeds from the Serrano)
  • approximately 2 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water, divided (see below)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white or yellow onion, diced or minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 cup long grain or basmati rice, rinsed
  • Salt to taste (I use 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon)


  1. Wash and thinly slice 1-1/2 to 2 cups of the spinach. Set aside approximately 1/2 cup to be mixed into the rice AFTER it cooks. Combine the rest of the sliced spinach (1 to 1-1/2 cups) with the cilantro, the Serrano pepper, and 1/2 cup of the broth or water in a food processor, blender, or mini-chopper. Blend until smooth (or well-minced, depending on how you like it). Pour into a liquid measuring cup (or use the markings on the blender) and add broth/water to make 2-1/4 cups total liquid.  Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan with a well-fitting lid. Add the onions and sauté until transparent (approx. 5 minutes). Add the garlic and the rice. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4-5 minutes, until the rice is lightly golden.
  3. Add the broth/vegetable mixture (spinach/cilantro/pepper) and salt. Stir to mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff the rice with a fork, and replace the lid until you are ready to serve. (This rice is easy to burn to the bottom of the pan, so check it at 20 minutes to see how it is cooking.  If it is getting stuck, just turn off the heat and put the lid back on.  It will continue to cook.
  5. Just before serving, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup sliced spinach.


NOTE: Updated on May 6, 2015 to correct inconsistencies and modify Preparation instructions.  After a few times I found a better way.  The old way worked (if you have that version), but this worked better.

©2014 Lucinda DeWitt


Eggplant Rollups (aka Rollatini)

Eggplant Rollups (aka Rollatini)

Eggplant Rollups Final

When I heard my family out on the East Coast was having Eggplant Parmesan (aka parmigiana di melanzane, or melanzane alla parmigiana) for Christmas dinner, I got a taste for eggplant . . . only I needed a gluten-free, dairy-free option.  So I searched for “Vegan Eggplant Rollups,” then melded what I found into the following recipe.  For a first try it was amazing!!

Here are the recipes I started with:

And here’s what I actually ended up doing:

Eggplant Rollups


  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 ounces sliced olives (half a 4-ounce can)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Herb Seasoning (I use Penzey‘s brand which is a blend of oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 batch cashew cream cheese (see recipe below)
  • 5 ounces Vegan “Mozzarella” Cheese, shredded (I used “Follow Your Heart” brand)
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce (you can find my recipe at )


  1. Prepare the mushroom/spinach filling: Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add shallots and garlic and stir until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes.  Add mushrooms and sauté until they release their moisture and start to brown.  Add spinach and olives and cook until heated, stirring frequently.  Add Italian Herb Seasoning and  salt and pepper to taste.
  2. If you haven’t already done so, prepare the Cashew Cream Cheese and heat the tomato sauce.
  3. Thinly slice the eggplant lengthwise.  The slices should be approximately 1/4″ thick.  I used my OXO mandoline slicer set at 1/4″ (though the slices seemed thinner than that).  I ended up with 19 slices from my two eggplants.
  4. Line two cookie sheets with paper towels.  Spread out eggplant on the cookie sheets (it’s okay if they overlap a bit).  Sprinkle both sides of each piece with salt.  Let sit for 15-20 minutes to release moisture (and bitterness).  Pat dry.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Arrange eggplant on parchment-lined baking sheets.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Cover tightly with foil and bake 8-10 minutes until tender and pliable, but NOT fully cooked.
  6. Gather all your prepped ingredients at your assembly area: Eggplant Rollups Prep
  7. Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9″x13″ baking dish (glass or ceramic, not metal).
  8. Spread each slice of eggplant with a thin layer of cashew cheese.  Then spread a small amount (approximately 1 Tablespoon) of spinach mixture over the cheese.  Roll up and place seam-side down in baking dish. Eggplant Rollups #2

NOTE: I ran out of spinach filling after 15 rollups, so the last four (on the bottom right in the picture) are filled only with cashew cheese & vegan mozzarella.

  1. Once all the rollups are in the dish, top with the remaining tomato sauce and the vegan mozzarella cheese.  Cover tightly with foil. Eggplant Rollups #3
  2. Bake until tender, about 60 minutes.  (I removed the foil for the last 10 minutes to get them nice and browned.)  Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving. Eggplant Rollups Final

Cashew Cream Cheese
(based on )

Cashew Cream Cheese

NOTE: this is not exactly what I did for Christmas.  I made this recipe again later (to use on pizza!) and liked the second version better, so that is what I’ve written down here.

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 2-4 hours, then drained
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • a pinch of sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • pepper and/or herbs (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or mini-chopper.  Blend until smooth and thickened.  You may need to stop a few times and scrape down the sides of the processor.  These proportions worked well as a spread.  If you want to use this as a “dip,” add more water or some coconut milk (or other non-dairy liquid) until it is the consistency you like.

©2014 Lucinda DeWitt


Indian Delights

Rogan Josh and Saag Aloo
(Lamb Stew and Spinach with Potatoes)

Over the summer I bought some lamb from Sheepy Hollow at Native Oaks Farm when I was at the Midtown Farmer’s Market.  Last week I finally got around to using it.  And now I am finally typing up the recipes.  These are gluten-free and dairy-free versions of two classic Indian dishes.  I served them with basmati rice.

Rogan Josh

adapted from recipes found in Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking (1982), Good Cooking from India by Shahnaz Mehta with Joan Bravo Korenblit (1981), and on the jar of Rogan Josh spice blend from Penzey’s Spices.

Rogan Josh is a popular lamb dish from Northern India/Persia/Kashmir.

This recipe makes 6-8 servings; can be halved.


  • 2 lb. lamb shoulder or stew beef, cut into small cubes (1/2″-3/4″)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2″ piece of ginger root, peeled & grated
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Rogan Josh seasoning (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-1 cup water (see note)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (see note)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut manna (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven (or other large pan that can go from stovetop to oven) over medium-high heat. Brown the lamb in 1 Tablespoon of the oil.  Remove the meat.
  3. Add 1 Tablespoon oil to the pan.  Add onions and sauté for several minutes, until transparent.
  4. Add Rogan Josh seasoning, salt, ginger, and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Return meat to pan. Slowly blend in water, coconut milk, and coconut manna.  Bring to a simmer.
  6. Cover and place in the pre-heated oven.  Cook for 1-2 hours or until very tender.  Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary.


  • Rogan Josh seasoning is a blend of paprika, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and saffron.  I buy mine at Penzey’s Spices.  Feel free to create your own blend from a combination of these spices.
  • The original recipe used yogurt instead of coconut milk & coconut manna.  This recipe is a dairy-free version.  I use Nutiva Coconut Manna™.
  • You may want start with a smaller amount of water and add more later if needed.  If the sauce seems too thin after cooking, you can always thicken it a bit before serving.  Simply return the pan to the stovetop and stir in 1-2 Tablespoons of flour mixed with 2-3 Tablespoons of cold water. (I use a gluten-free flour blend, but any standard “thickener” will do (arrowroot starch, corn starch, etc.).  Heat & stir until thickened.

While the Rogan Josh is in the oven, prepare the Saag Aloo.

Saag Aloo

(Indian Spinach and Potatoes)

adapted from recipes found in Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking (1982), Good Cooking from India by Shahnaz Mehta with Joan Bravo Korenblit (1981), and the local coop sale flyer

Serves 4-5

  • 10 ounces fresh or frozen spinach
  • 1 pound potatoes
  • 4 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2-1 fresh jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons water


  1. If using fresh spinach, chop roughly, then sauté in a bit of oil until wilted.  If using frozen spinach, thaw and drain using a sieve or by squeezing in your hand to remove most of the water; then heat in microwave or sauté pan.
  2.  In a medium-sized pot bring 1-2 quarts of salted water to a boil.  Peel and cut the potatoes into bite-sized chunks; add them to the boiling water and cook for about 7 minutes.  (You’re just parboiling them; they will cook more in the skillet.) Remove them from the heat, drain, and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and pepper and sauté for a few minutes until limp.  Add the parboiled potatoes and fry for about 8-12 minutes or until they begin to brown.  Turn down the heat;   Add the garlic and spices; sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.  Add the spinach, lime/lemon juice and water; cook, stirring frequently, until all is combined and hot. Serve hot.

©2012 Lucinda DeWitt