Friday, November 19, 2010

Tomato Rice Soup

Have you ever looked into your bare refrigerator and skimpy pantry and wondered what am I supposed to make with what I have?  I've got plenty of Nothing in my pantry.  And on top of it all, it's probably too cold, windy, rainy, or snowy to venture outside and get something to eat (assuming you could eat out), or go to the store for more ingredients.  Well, lately that happens to us a lot.  My asthma keeps me from venturing too far at the moment, and now that I'm not touching eggs or corn, I find myself looking at my kitchen wondering, "What the heck am I supposed to eat!"  With the weather like it is, I'm craving soup. This soup solves it all.  With creamy soups out of the picture, we always have canned tomatoes on hand.  And being gluten free, we always have rice on hand.  Celery, onions, and garlic are always on hand as well.  Voila!  Tomato rice soup!  Made out of almost nothing, but so perfect with a peice of homemade GF bread.  Did I mention this soup is beyond easy to make?

Tomato Rice Soup

1 Large can of whole peeled tomatoes (28 oz.)
3 ribs of celery diced
1 large onion diced
3-4 cloves of garlic smashed and chopped
1/2 cup white or brown rice, raw
1 T. sea salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
any appropriate vegetable oil

Drizzle a couple tablespoons of cooking oil in the bottom of your soup pot, and sautee your onions, celery, and garlic for about 5 minutes.  Add your canned tomatoes, breaking them up with your spoon.  Next add two full cans of water using the same 28 oz. tomato can.  Then add your rice and seasonings, and stir.  Let this simmer for 30 to 45 minutes depending on what rice you use.  Brown rice will take longer and will be closer to 45 minutes to cook.   Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Faux Eggs

I just got allergy tested recently and discovered that I'm very allergic to corn and eggs, in addition to wheat, dairy, and soy.  But corn and eggs were the highest on the scale there, so I need to eliminate those.  I came across this egg substitute in one of my vegan cookbooks, and I thought I would share it.  It's great for baking.  Today I made blueberry muffins using these "eggs" and they came out wonderful. Here it goes:

Faux Eggs

1/3 cup flax seeds
1 cup water

Blend the flax seeds in a blender or food processor to an even meal.  While the machine is still running, slowly add the water.  Blend another 30 seconds or so till the mixture resembles a thick milkshake.  You can store this in the fridge for 3 to 6 days.  I think 1/4 cup equals one egg.  This recipe supposedly makes the equivalent of 6 eggs. 

I think I'll try this in my pancakes tomorrow too!

Vegan, Gluten Free Lentil Stew

It's Meatless Monday!

My friend started doing Meatless Mondays on her blog, and I thought I'd start doing it too, since we eat meatless about 3 to 4 times a week.  So tonight I made lentil stew.  Lentils are a staple in our house, and this comforting bowl of stew is so inviting.  Not only my kids love it, but friends & relatives love it too.  It's thick, hearty, full of flavor, and full of "Love", as my daughter would say it.   Try it just to say you had a bowl of "Love". Seriously, that kid cracks me up. 

Lentil Stew

1 lb. French lentils (or Brown  lentils, but the cooking time will be shorter)
1 onion, diced
2 carrots sliced
2-3 ribs of celery sliced
8-10 oz. of mushrooms sliced
3 cups chopped kale, packed as good as you can
2 med. potatoes large diced
2 bouillon cubes, vegan and GF like Rapunzel brand
1 T. sea salt (use to your liking)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 Tsp. dried herbs of your choice (I used Italian Seasonings years ago till I discovered Herbs de Provence. Tonight I'm using a blend from Germany that my brother brought me.  It has dill and curry in it. Strange combination, but wonderful on veggies!) 

Sautee the the onions, carrots, & celery in olive oil in a 5 qt. soup pot for 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile sort and wash your lentils to remove any pebbles or dirt clods from the beans.  Add the lentils, mushrooms, kale and potatoes.  Then add 3 quarts of water (12 cups).

This is when I add the salt and pepper and herbs to the stew.  Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for around 2 hours depending on your lentils, the elevation, and whatever other factors that could affect cooking.  When the lentils melt in your mouth, it's done! Serve with your favorite GF crackers or add a dollop of short grain brown rice to the bottom of your bowl and ladle the soup on top.  That's what we did!    

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gluten Free, Casein Free Cereal Bars!

Two new bar recipes that the kids and adults love! Try them out.

I got this one from Ellie Krieger on Food Network, but I modified it for our needs.

Crispy Rice Treats

1/2 cup honey or sometimes I use agave or brown rice syrup
1/2 cup natural nut butter of choice. I use cashew butter
6 cups crispy brown rice cereal, GF of course
2/3 cup chopped dried cherries (3 ounces)
Cooking spray, or grease your 13x9 with oil, butter, or something else

Melt the nut butter and honey in a pan over med. heat. When it's smooth and well combined, add the cereal and cherries. Stir to combine and press into your greased pan. This recipe is a little crumbly, but it's healthy. If you want to junk it up, add some marshmallows to your nut butter mixture and melt those in for an extra gooey treat! Just make sure your marshmallows are gluten free.

Nut Butter Chocolate Bars

6 cups GF cheerios-like cereal. (Glutino Honey Nut O's or Nature's Path Whole O's in the health section of the store)

1 1/2 cups GF marshmallows (cram them into the measuring cup any way you can, or just eye-ball it like I do.)

1 cup nut butter (I use almond or cashew butter)

3/4 cup brown rice syrup (you could try agave or something else. Original recipe said corn syrup, but I have a problem with that)

3 T. butter (I clarify mine, or use Ghee) or non-dairy alternative

1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips. These are allergen friendly.

1 tsp. Spectrum organic shortening (for the chocolate)

Grease your 13x9 pan with an appropriate fat like butter or Spectrum shortening, or cooking spray. Measure cereal in a large bowl and set aside. Melt your nut butter, butter or shortening, brown rice syrup, and marshmallows in a pan on low heat, stirring occasionally until smooth. Pour over cereal stirring until evenly coated. Press into 13x9 pan using a spatula. In another pan or double boiler, melt the chocolate with the 1 tsp. shortening stirring constantly as to not make fudge. This happens really easily with this chocolate. As soon as it's almost melted, turn off heat, and continue to stir until smooth. Immediately drizzle (or glop) on the chocolate over the bars, trying to spread it out over all the cereal mixture. Cool before cutting into squares. Enjoy!

These bars are Gluten free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, and peanut free

Gluten Free, Casein Free Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Now that it's colder here in upstate NY, soups are perfect comfort food. I just made this one last night, and it was a hit. Even the baby ate it, despite the spiciness of the soup! I don't have pictures of the process this time, but go ahead and try it. It's a good way to use up that huge butternut squash collecting dust in the pantry. Enjoy!

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

4 cups cooked butternut squash, packed; usually one large squash (I split it in half, seed it, and bake it cut side down in the oven for an hour at 400 degrees. Can be done a day before.)

5 cups water

1 large onion diced

3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped and/or 1-2 shallots chopped

1 T. fresh grated ginger

1 heaping tsp. curry powder

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tsp. salt (adjust to your liking)

dashes of white pepper (optional)

2 T. Agave nectar or honey

1 can of coconut milk (mine was 13 1/2 ounces)

Heat some olive oil, or other suitable vegetable oil in a 5 qt. pot and add the onion and garlic, and/or shallots. Sautee for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ginger and spices and sautee for one minute more. Add your cooked squash and water. Simmer for 20 minutes or until all the veggies are soft. I use a hand blender right in the pot and puree the ingredients till smooth. You can put this mixture in the blender in batches and puree till smooth. Use caution not to fill the blender more than half full or it could cause the top to blow off and cause you burns! Add puree back to the pot and add the coconut milk and agave syrup, or honey and gently heat through taking care not to boil. Serve with a big, baby greens salad and a GF baguette! (I use a bread mix that's both pizza dough and french bread. I think the brand is Gluten Free Pantry.) Let me know what you think!

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, corn free, egg free, and nut free (if you don't consider coconut a nut)