Easy dinner recipes: Hearty salad ideas for Gluten-Free Wednesday

It's Gluten-Free Wednesday. Whether you're looking for a substantial one-dish meal or great gluten-free side for your main course, you can't go wrong with these robust salads.

Roasted potato salad: This is far from a one-note recipe. Roasting the potatoes concentrates their earthy flavor, and binding them and the bacon together with mayonnaise spiked with the sharp flavors of capers and red onion makes for a wonderful contrast.

BLD's fresh vegetable salad: BLD tosses its homemade dressing -- fresh, lightly herbal, sweetened with a touch of honey and with just the right amount of tang -- with a wonderfully bright and colorful salad of crunchy fresh corn, edamame, roasted bell peppers and green beans, along with diced avocado and toasted cashews. They top the salad with fresh sprouts and a drizzle of nutty hemp seeds. Note that the dressing contains soy sauce, which may be an issue for certain gluten-sensitive individuals; be sure to use gluten-free soy sauce or substitute tamari sauce.

QUICK & EASY: 99 terrific recipes in about an hour or less

Warm quinoa salad: Red quinoa lends bright colorful to this rich salad, which is served warm and tossed with roasted butternut squash, haricots vert, Swiss chard, crunchy almonds and a tangy orange blossom vinaigrette.

If you are sensitive to gluten, check all ingredients to make sure they are gluten-free before using, as many may contain trace gluten (such as spices, a number of which include flour as an anti-caking agent), and/or are produced in facilities that also process gluten-based products.

And for more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

RECIPES: 99 easy dinner ideas in about an hour or less

ROASTED POTATO SALAD

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes | Serves 8 to 10

4 pounds new or fingerling potatoes, cleaned and halved lengthwise
3/4 teaspoon chopped garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound thick-cut bacon
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard, or to taste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or to taste
1/2 red onion, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 1/8 -inch slices
1/4 cup capers

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the garlic, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Place the potatoes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast the potatoes until golden brown and tender, about 1 hour, tossing occasionally. Remove and cool.

2. While the potatoes are roasting, cut the bacon crosswise into one-fourth-inch pieces. Cook the bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 15 minutes. Stir frequently, watching that the bacon does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and drain the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the grease for another use.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard and red wine vinegar. Season with one-half teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Taste and adjust mustard, vinegar and seasoning if desired.

4. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes and bacon with the sliced onion. Gently stir in enough dressing to coat, then stir in the capers. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.

5. Cover and refrigerate the salad for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to develop. The salad will keep for 3 days, refrigerated. Allow the salad to warm slightly at room temperature before serving.

Each of 10 servings: 420 calories; 11 grams protein; 34 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 28 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 29 mg. cholesterol; 696 mg. sodium.

BLD'S FRESH VEGETABLE SALAD

Total time: 40 minutes | Serves 4 to 6

Note: Adapted from BLD in Los Angeles. Hemp seeds can be found at select well-stocked markets as well as most health food stores.

SALAD DRESSING

1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely chopped shallot
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons sweet rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup canola oil

1. In a blender, grind the ginger, shallots and rosemary to a paste.

2. Add the soy sauce, honey, vinegar and lemon juice to the ginger mixture and blend until fairly smooth.

3. With the blender running, slowly add the oil. This makes about three-fourths cup dressing, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The dressing will keep, up to 3 days, covered and refrigerated.

FRESH VEGETABLE SALAD

2 cups shelled edamame beans
1 cup raw fresh yellow corn
2/3 cup diced avocado
2/3 cup toasted and salted cashews
1/2 cup sliced or diced roasted and peeled red bell peppers
1 1/2 cups French green beans (haricot vert), blanched, shocked and chopped
2 cups diced jicama
1/2 cup salad dressing, more as desired
1 cup daikon sprouts
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hemp seeds

In a large bowl, combine the edamame, corn, avocado, cashews, peppers, green beans and jicama. Add one-half cup of the dressing and toss to coat. Taste, and add additional dressing if desired. Divide the salad among 4 plates and garnish with the daikon sprouts and hemp seeds. This makes about 8 cups salad. Serve immediately.

Each of 6 servings: 387 calories; 14 grams protein; 29 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams fiber; 26 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 10 grams sugar; 306 mg sodium.

WARM QUINOA SALAD

Total time: About 1 hour | Serves 4

Note: Adapted from Fig Restaurant. Red quinoa is available at well-stocked markets.

ORANGE BLOSSOM VINAIGRETTE

1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup orange blossom honey
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. In a small saucepan, bring the orange juice to a simmer. Reduce the orange juice by one-third to yield two-thirds cup, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and place the reduced orange juice in a medium bowl. Set aside until cool.

2. To the reduced orange juice, whisk in the honey and then the vinegar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to emulsify. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed. This makes about 2 cups dressing, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe; the dressing should keep for about 5 days, refrigerated.

SALAD AND ASSEMBLY

1/4 pound peeled, seeded butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
Canola oil
salt and pepper
1/4 pound haricots vert, ends trimmed (about 1 cup)
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored and cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
1/4 pound Swiss chard, ribs removed and coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
Orange blossom vinaigrette
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup red quinoa
1 (2-inch) rosemary sprig
2 tablespoons Marcona almonds
Toasted sliced almonds

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss the squash cubes with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Spread the cubes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until tender and golden, about 10 to 15 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly, then set the warm squash in a medium bowl.

2. While the squash is roasting, blanch the beans. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the haricots vert and blanch quickly to bring out the color, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and drain the vegetables, then quickly shock in a bowl of ice water. Remove from the ice bath and set aside.

3. In a medium saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. Add the beans, cubed apple and Swiss chard together with one-fourth teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Saute, tossing frequently, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes, adding one-fourth cup vinaigrette toward the end to deglaze the pan. Add beans, apple and chard to the squash in the bowl.

4. In a large saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a simmer over high heat. Stir in quinoa and rosemary sprig and gently simmer, covered, just until the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, discarding the rosemary.

5. Toss the warm quinoa and Marcona almonds in the bowl with the squash. Dress with additional vinaigrette as desired and season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Mound the warm salad on 4 plates, drizzling over additional vinaigrette if desired. Garnish with the toasted almonds. Serve immediately.

Each serving: 468 calories; 10 grams protein; 54 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams fiber; 25 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 14 grams sugar; 461 mg. sodium.

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