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Archive for January, 2009

I checked out a book from the library this morning, Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health (I’m still waiting for SuperFoods Rx to be returned and held for me) and I found a recipe I decided to make for dinner.

The Jamaican Black Bean & Pumpkin Soup counts for 2 servings of Fruits and Vegetables and one serving of Beans.  I even made it the way the recipe said to — with two stalks of Celery — and I hate Celery!  Canned beans are pretty high in sodium and I really struggle with Edema in the Winter when I have very much Sodium in my diet.  I discovered, to my dismay, how much salt is in Black Beans last week when I added them to our Seasoned Taco Meat and suffered for several days afterward.  When I went shopping again and replaced the can of Black Beans, I bought the lower sodium version.  But, I learned today from reading this book, that if you drain and rinse the canned beans, you can remove up to 50% of the salt!  So, of course I did.

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Medium Onion, Diced (I put mine through the food processor)

2 Stalks Celery, Diced (again, I put mine through the food processor)

2 Tbsp. minced Fresh Ginger (ours had definately lost its freshness, I used Ginger Paste)

3 Cloves Garlic, minced

2 tsp. Thyme

1/2 tsp. Allspice

1/4 tsp. Cinnamon

3 cups lower-sodium Chicken Broth

2 1/2 Cups Pumpkin Puree

One 19 oz. can Black Beans, drained and rinsed

1.  Heat a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the olive oil, onion and celery.  Saute 4 minutes.

2.  Add the Ginger, Garlic, Thyme, Allspice, and Cinnamon.  Saute for 1 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3.  Pour in the Chicken Broth, then add the Pumpkin and Beans.  Stir Well.  Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve soup and provide hot sauce for those who wish it.

To go with the Soup, I sliced some Cucumber and spritzed it with Lime Juice and a little (very little) salt, then I made Corn Scones from the Sans Gluten, S’il Vous Plait! Gluten-Free Muffin Book.  In keeping with the theme of the Ultimate Foods book, I added 1 1/2 Tbsp. of Flax Meal to the Corn Scones — Go Omega 3!  Dinner looks good . . . 

Jamaican Black Bean & Pumpkin Soup; Corn Scone

Jamaican Black Bean & Pumpkin Soup; Corn Scone

Here’s the family verdict:  El Guapo — Bleah, Needs Salt; Sunshine — Bleah, Needs Salt; Moi — Bleah, Needs Salt.  Cheerleader was gone this evening so didn’t get to participate in the verdict.  The final analysis was that this recipe is not a keeper — but the corn scones were delicious!

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Let Down by the Beaver!

Let Down by the Beaver!

Oh how easily we can be taken in by a cute face!  The Cheery smile and big Beaver teeth!  The fact that it’s “The Original since 1929”; it’s “Rich with Honey”;  it’s “Award Winning” for crying out loud!  And — it’s the the official OSU Mascot complete with Orange and Black School Colors! 

Tell me, would you have read the label?  Or would you have just bought into the idea that such a cute face would never wish you harm?  Well, I bought into the cuteness.  The bottle is 2/3 empty and it wasn’t until last night as I was enjoying Sweet Honey Mustard with my Brat and ‘Kraut that I saw the ingredients list.  I was just casually looking at the back side of the bottle, when the horrible truth popped out at me.  And it wasn’t even a ‘hidden’ gluten.  No.

Ambushed by the Beaver

Ambushed by the Beaver

See it? It says Wheat Flour in black and white, 4th ingredient.  I always read labels, what happened this time?

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Indian Chai

Chai Ingredients

Chai Ingredients

Here is a tasty little recipe for homemade Chai.  It only takes a little more time to make than a plain cup of tea and has a full, rich flavour.  Sunshine, Cheerleader and I love it, especially on a cold, rainy day like today.  As far as the girls are concerned, I can’t make it often enough.

1 1/2 Cups Water

8 Whole Cardamon Pods

8 Whole Cloves

1 inch piece of Cinnamon Stick

2/3 Cup Milk

6 tsp. Sugar (or to taste)

3 Tbsp. loose, unperfumed, black tea (try to find an Indian tea)

1.  Bring Water, Cardamon, Cloves and Cinnamon to a boil.   Cover, turn heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.

2.  Add Milk and Sugar; return to simmer again.

3.  Add Tea. Cover and turn off heat.  After 2 minutes, strain into 2-3 cups.

Chai Party

Chai Party

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Gluten-Free Banana Nut Bread

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Bread

I don’t really care for bananas once they no longer have any green on them, and since I am the only one in the house who eats fresh bananas, sometimes one or two will get away from me and ripen past what I’m willing to eat.  This happened last week, I just didn’t manage to eat the last banana before it over-ripened.  So, I let it go and go, until it was ready to be made into Banana Nut Bread! 

Sunshine is always on the look-out for breakfast options (she just isn’t a cereal kinda gal) and while she doesn’t eat fresh bananas, she really likes Banana Nut Bread.  Maybe its because I always put chocolate chips in my Banana Nut Bread?  Perhaps I should just teach her how to balance chocolate chips along the length of a banana and she would start eating them?

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Gluten-Free Italian Bread Crumbs

Gluten-Free Italian Bread Crumbs

On Sunday, Sunshine came home from Church Winter Camp.  I had sent several pieces of Gluten-Free Bread with her so that she could have the fixin’s for a sandwich if she couldn’t eat what the cooks were serving.  She did use a couple of pieces, but came back with the rest of the bread fairly mangled.  So, I decided it was time to re-stock my Italian Bread Crumb supply.  I’m not sure how many pieces of bread I used, but I ended up with about 1 Cup of bread crumbs.

I put the bread bits into the food processor and processed until they were pretty fine.  Then I spread them out on a piece of wax paper to dry.

Drying Bread Crumbs

Drying Bread Crumbs

After two days, I deemed them dry enough to finish.  I put the crumbs back in the food processor and added 1/2 tsp. Marjoram; 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning; 1/2 tsp. Thyme; 1/2 tsp. Oregano; 1/2 tsp. Basil; and 1 tsp. Parsley.  I processed the crumbs and seasonings until they were well mixed and uniform in size.  Now I just save them for next time I make Zucchini Cacciatore or Potatoes Au Gratin.  Just a note:  I am not as particular as it may seem as to how much of the various herbs I put into the crumbs — this is just the particular proportions I used this time.  Next time, it could be very different.

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Potato-Leek Soup & Spinach Salad

Potato-Leek Soup & Spinach Salad

Today I was in the mood for Winter Comfort food.  Potato-Leek Soup seemed perfect, and I made the same Spinach Salad to go with it that we had for Christmas Dinner.  It was delicious.  It wasn’t nearly as yellow as it looks in the photo!

Potato-Leek Soup

5 Medium Leeks, cleaned and the white and light green parts thinly sliced

4 Lbs. Potatos, peeled and chopped

3 Tbsp. Butter

4 Cups Chicken Broth

4 Cups Water

2 four-inch sprigs fresh Rosemary

1 1/2 tsp. Thyme

Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1.  In a large stock pot, saute the Leeks in the Butter until they are tender, but not browned.

Saute the Leeks in Butter

Saute the Leeks in Butter

2.  Pour the Broth and Water into the Pot.

3.  Add the Potatos and seasonings.

Potato-Leek Soup before blending

Potato-Leek Soup before blending

4.  Cook until the Potatos are very tender.

5.  Remove the Rosemary stems and, using a hand blender, blend the soup until it has a bisque consistency.

Spinach Salad

4 oz. fresh Spinach

5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Walnuts

2 Hardboiled Eggs, sliced

Parmesan Cheese; Pepper

3 TBSP Bacon Grease; 2 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar; 1 tsp. Sugar; 1/2 Dijon Mustard

1.  Assemble the Spinach, Walnuts and Crumbled Bacon on 4 salad plates.  Arrange slices of hardboiled Egg to one side of the salad.

2.  Cook the Bacon Grease, Red Wine Vinegar, Sugar and Dijon Mustard until boiling.

3.  Pour the dressing over the salads and garnish with a small amount of Parmesan and fresh Ground Pepper.

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Gluten-Free Raviolis with Marinara Sauce

Gluten-Free Raviolis with Marinara Sauce

Wow!  I can’t believe I did it!  I made Gluten-Free Raviolis and they were delicious!  Two years ago, when I had the test done to check for Gluten-Intolerance, I was pretty sure the outcome would be positive.  Because of that, I attempted to eat all of my favorite foods — which I knew would be off limits after I got the results.  What I didn’t anticipate, was how quickly my doctor got back to me with the results, and therefore, I didn’t get to eat everything I had been planning — raviolis being a case in point.  But now, two years later, I made them!  I spent most of last weekend looking up raviolis in every cookbook I could find and worked out my game plan.  I finally decided on modifying a recipe in a cookbook I bought in Boston’s North End.

3 Cups Sans Gluten, SVP! All Purpose Flour Blend

2 Eggs and 2 Egg Whites

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum

1/2 Cup Boiling Water

1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the Flour Blend, Salt and Xanthan Gum. 

2.  Make a well in the mixture and add the Eggs and Egg Whites.  Mix with the dough hook until the mixture is crumbly. 

3.  Slowly add the boiling water and continue mixing until the dough forms a smooth ball that cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl. 

4.  Cover the dough with a little plastic wrap and let rest in the bowl for around 45 minutes.  Meanwhile mix the ravioli filling.

1 lb. Ricotta Cheese

2 Eggs and 1 Egg Yolk

1/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

1/4 Cup Parsley

1 Clove Garlic (pressed)

Pepper to taste

1.  Mix ingredients well.

2.  Roll out the dough in small quantities, dusting the suface with Sans Gluten, SVP! Flour Blend as needed to keep it from sticking.  Roll as thin as possible, while still being able to work without it tearing.

3.  Dot the surface of the dough with spoonsful of filling.

4.  Roll out another quantity of dough and place it over the first piece, filling and all.

5.  With a ravioli cutter, cut a circle around the spots where the filling is — making sure the top and bottom pieces of dough are pressed firmly together.  Repeat until all dough and filling are used.  I made 32 two-inch raviolis.

6.  Boil the finished raviolis for approximately 8 minutes in small batches and top with your preferred sauce.

Raviolis ready to cook

Raviolis ready to cook

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