January 26, 2011

Black Bean and Salsa Soup

This soup is incredibly simple and super, super delicious. You can top it with chopped onions, sour cream or shredded cheese.

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup salsa (try it with my classic salsa)
1 teaspoon cumin
sour cream, chopped onions, shredded cheese (optional for garnishing)

Combine beans, broth, salsa and cumin in a food processor. Blend until fairly smooth. Heat soup in a saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated. Put soup in bowls and garnish as desired. Enjoy!
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Decadent Chocolate Bundt Cake

This is gluten-free, vegan, sweetened with maple sugar and loaded with pureed beats. Believe it our not it is guilt-free delicious! I topped it with warm berry sauce (recipe below), whipped cream and homemade chocolate syrup.

Complements: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook

2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup grated cooked beets, pureed
1/2 cup melted virgin coconut oil
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a bundt pan with coconut oil. In a medium sized bowl place the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and sea salt; mix together well with a fork. For the 1 cup of pureed beats, first trim the ends off of the beets then cut them into quarters. Place the quartered beet into a steamer basket in a pot filled with about 2 cups of water. Place a lid on the pot and steam for about 30 minutes or until beets are very tender. Let cool then remove the peel and puree. In a separate bowl, place the grated beets, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, water, apple cider vinegar and vanilla. Mix well with a wire whisk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well, though be careful not to over mix. Immediately pour batter into oiled bundt pan and place into the preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Then flip it over onto a cake platter or plate. Serve with warm berry sauce (recipe below) and whipped cream. Enjoy!

Warm Berry Sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch or kudzu
1 cup apple or berry juice
2 cups fresh or frozen fruit
1 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

Place the corn starch or kudzu and juice in a small sauce pan to dissolve. Use less cornstarch or kudzu for a thinner sauce. Blend the berries in a blender until very smooth. Add the pureed berries to the pot along with the sweetener. Whisk together, and then place pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, whisking continuously until mixture has thickened. Serve warm. Enjoy!
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January 23, 2011

Turkey Bean and Kale Soup

1 turkey carcass
10 - 12 cups water
2 cups great northern beans (dried)
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
1 large bunch of kale, torn into bite sized pieces (to make 5-6 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme

Put the turkey carcass in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer several hours. Put the dried beans in a large saucepan and cover with water that is several inches above the beans. Bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes and turn off heat and let sit an hour. Strain. Turn off the heat and strain the soup into another large pot. Let the bones cool and pick off the meat and return it to the stock. Discard the bones. Turn the heat back on and add the beans and seasonings. Simmer for an hour and a half and then add the vegetables, and simmer an additional hour (or longer). Taste the soup and if necessary add additional seasonings. Enjoy!
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January 19, 2011

Simple Cabbage and Potato Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium potatoes, diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
6 cups vegetable stock (or organic chicken stock)
1 (15 ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans, such as navy)
1/2 medium cabbage, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch ribbons
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)

Place a large, heavy stockpot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl around to heat. Once oil is shimmering, add potatoes. Cook until they are a bit tender and starting to brown, about 5 minutes, stirring a few times during cooking. Stir in the onions and carrots and cook for another minute and add in the garlic. Cook for an additional minute and add the stock and the beans. Bring the stock to a simmer and stir in the cabbage. Simmer for about 20 minutes longer. Taste and add seasoning as needed. Serve with a good a mount of Parmesan sprinkled on top. Enjoy!
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January 13, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-free)

If you are allergic to wheat gluten and have craved an old fashion baked chocolate chip cookie then this recipe is a must. It is loaded with butter and brown sugar (not nutritious by any means) which is one reason it resembles a true chocolate chip cookie. The key is using the xanthan gun to help in binding the ingredients together. Even the cookie dough is addicting like any "regular" chocolate chip cookie.

Complements: You Won't Believe It's Gluten Free

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons yogurt (or brown rice milk or cows milk)
1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium-size bowl. Add the egg. Mix until light and thick. Add all the other ingredients except chips. Beat until thick and creamy. Beat in the chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the prepared pan. Press to a 1/4 - -1/2 inch thickness with moistened fingertips. Bake for approximately 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer from the cookie sheet to a rack and let cool completely. Enjoy!
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January 12, 2011

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls

This picture does not do justice. It is the best one I have since the sun was setting at 4:30 in the afternoon on a winter's day. The filling for these egg rolls is simply scrumptious. I used the extra filling the following night. I heated it up and served it over brown rice.

Complements: www.annies-eats.net

2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (for vegan use vegan cheese, add crumbled tofu or omit)
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles, drained
4 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 package egg roll wrappers (about 24 total), I have not looked, but I believe you can find gluten-free egg roll wrappers (if not in the refrigerator section of a nutrition center then try the freezer). If you are not able to find gluten free wrappers then I recommend serving the filling warm over brown rice.

In a large bowl, combine everything but the egg roll wrappers. Mix well to blend. Lay an egg roll wrapper out on a work surface so that one of the corners is pointing toward you and place 1/4 cup of the filling in the center. Fold the tip closest to you up over the filling, roll a bit, then take the points pointing outward and fold them in toward the center. Continue rolling into an egg roll shape until a small part of the remaining point is still free. Dip a finger in water or beaten egg and lightly brush on the edges of the free corner. Finish rolling and press to seal closed. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the sealed egg rolls on the baking sheet seam side down and spray the tops of the egg rolls with cooking spray (or very, very lightly brush with butter or olive oil). Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly brown, turning halfway through baking. Serve warm with salsa. Enjoy!
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January 10, 2011

Almond Cookies

These make a hearty snack! They are similar to a shortbread. These cookies contain almost all whole food ingredients.

Complements: Modified from Bob's Red Mill

1 cup oat flour
1 cup almond meal (I blended 1 cup of whole almonds in my Magic Bullet)
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons raw cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Wit a mixer, blend the butter, maple sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the almond meal flour and the oat flour and mix until the dough sticks together. Form the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Slightly smash the cookies flat and place an almond in the center. Bake for 25-28 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow cookies to cool completely. Enjoy!
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January 3, 2011

Brown Rice "Saltine" Crackers

These are a marvelous (gluten-free) addition to any soup or salad! Simply addictive.

Complements: You Wont's Believe It's Gluten-Free, by Roben Ryberg

8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded fine
8 tablespoons butter, softened (or earth balance)
1 1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons milk (of your choice)

Topping: Salt, dried herbs or spices as desired (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the ingredients, except the milk, in a medium-size bowl. Mix until the mixture resembles a fine crumb. Add the milk and mix well. On a lightly floured surface, pat or roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness (this is important to roll it thin). Cut into 3/4 inch squares or other small shape that you like. You can also cut the dough into larger round or square cracker shapes, if desired. Prick the tops of the crackers with a fork and sprinkle lightly with your desired topping. Bake on baking sheet until golden brown and crisp, 9 to 10 minutes. The crackers will be light and crispy, although barely browning at the edges. The bottom of the crackers will have a bit more color. Enjoy!
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January 2, 2011

Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites

These are not as hard as they seem to make and they last for a day or two in an airtight container.

Complements: www.annies-eats.com

For the dough:
1 1/2 teaspoon yeast
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
2 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup whole grain spelt flour (or whole wheat)

For the filling:
1/2 cup small diced ham
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

To finish:
6 cups water
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon butter, melted (or Earth Balance spread)
coarse sea salt, for topping

To make the dough, combine the yeast, brown sugar, water, milk and 2 1/2 cups of flour in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until a dough has formed. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed until a soft, elastic dough forms. Add the remaining flour 1-2 tablespoons at a time until the dough is tacky but not sticky (may take a bit more then 1 cup). Knead the dough for 8 minutes on low. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, until the dough has doubled in size and bubbles on the surface, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Stretch or roll one piece of the dough into a 12 x 4 inch rectangle. Sprinkle some of the diced ham and the shredded cheese over one third of the dough closest to an edge, lengthwise. Roll up tightly, filling edge first, so that the filling is tightly sealed inside. Slice the log into 12 pieces and transfer to a slightly greased baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 3 portions of dough, and the remaining filling.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring the 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the baking soda and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Boil the pretzels in batches, cooking for about 20 seconds and turning once. They should be slightly puffed. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to transfer them back to the baking sheets.

Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Brush the warm pretzel bites with the melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt.
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