Sunday, March 27, 2011

Vegetable Beef Soup with Quinoa

My mom made this soup all growing up.  I put it off because she put barley in it and of course we can't eat barley.  I had some extra roast from dinner and decided I needed to reinvent the vegetable soup.  This is what I came up with and we loved it.  It is very filling and also healthy!  I made mine a little thicker, like stew, but just add more broth if you prefer it runnier.  Also, add the vegetables you like, leave out the ones you don't like - my choice of vegetables and numbers are just guidelines.  It has a pretty mellow flavor, so feel free to experiment and make your taste buds happy.  Have fun, you really can't ruin it. 

Vegetable Beef Soup
1 15 oz can tomatoes(blend)
6 c. water
3 T. beef bouillon
1/3 c. quinoa
Chunks of roast(cooked)
1 Onion, diced
3-4 medium potatoes, chunked
3 Carrots, sliced
2 Celery stalks, sliced
1-2 zucchini, quartered & sliced
1 handful of frozen corn
1 handful of frozen peas
1 handful of frozen beans
½ t. salt & pepper
1 t. oregano & parsley(optional)
In large pot combine tomatoes, water, bouillon, quinoa and roast.  Let simmer for 20 minutes.  Add in potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery and bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook 15 min.  Add in remaining vegetables and simmer for 10 min.  Add salt, pepper and any spices.  Add more water & bouillon if you want a brothier soup.

Linda at gluten free homemaker is doing a seasonal soup roundup this month for "Go Ahead Honey It's Gluten Free."  Check out all the yummy soups.

*If you have never used quinoa before, this is a great recipe to try it out.  It doesn't add much taste, just nutrition.
**Whenever I have a roast, I just save a few slices, chunk them up, and then throw them in the freezer.  When soup time arrives you will be ready to go!  You really don't need a lot but it adds a lot of flavor.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oatmeal Cookies

The other day I was craving homemade cookies.  I whipped these up in no time and they really hit the spot.  You are going to see lots of oatmeal cookie recipes out there, but they are full of starch or unnecessary ingredients.  These cookies have no starch, use all whole grain, they are dairy free and soy free, and are also delicious!  Make sure you have gluten free oats!

Oatmeal Cookies

1/3 c. shortening(I use Spectrum Organic - it has no trans fats and is dairy & soy free) 
1/2 tsp. baking soda                         
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. salt
½ c. brown sugar                              
1 egg                                                  
1 tsp vanilla 1 c. GF oat flour(I just blend them in the blender - about 1 1/4 c. oats will = 1 c. flour)
1 ¼ c. GF rolled oats
1 c. chocolate chips(Guitard or Ghiradelli semi-sweet are dairy free, Enjoy Life is dairy & soy free)

Cream shortening, brown sugar, egg and vanilla together.  Mix in flour, soda, and xanthan gum, then stir in chocolate chips. Drop onto greased baking sheets(or Silpat liners).  Bake 375 for 8-10 min.  This only makes about 2 dozen so feel free to double or triple!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Southwest Chicken & Rice

This is my "go to meal" when I need something quick, healthy, and yummy.  I always have the ingredients on hand, plus all my kids will eat this.  Dinner is done in 20 minutes - you can't beat that!
Southwest Chicken and Rice

2-3 Chicken breasts, cut into long strips(or chunked or whole or whatever you like)
1 c. salsa(mild, med, or hot - you decide)
1 pkg. taco seasoning(I use a southwest blend that doesn't have fillers- like milk, sugar, and extra junk- therefore it is more potent so I use between 2-3 T.  But if you buy the regular stuff from the store use a packet or 1/4 c.)
2 c. water
Bring the above mixture to a boil in a large skillet.  Simmer 10-15 min.(or until chicken is done)  Return to boil and add:    
2 c. minute rice(I have used brown rice with great results, I usually just cook it longer until all the moisture is absorbed)
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Simmer 5 min.(or until water is absorbed).  If you do dairy,  sprinkle with cheese, sourcream, or whatever you dairy loving souls do.  It is great dairy free.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Angel Food Cake

This is one of our very favorite treats.  I will argue that it is better than "gluten" angel food and in a taste test, everyone will choose this.  I had to purchase 2 pans so I could make enough to feed the masses. I make this year round, but especially during the Spring when the berries come around.  There is nothing better than the typical Strawberry Shortcake, but I also use this for various trifles and other yummy desserts(As you can see by my chunks of cake).  Stay tuned for those upcoming posts.  But for now enjoy this light, fluffy and heavenly cake!

Angel Food Cake
1 c. gluten free flour (1/4 c. each of millet, sorghum, potato starch & tapioca flour)
1 tsp. xanthan gum                                        ¼ tsp. salt
12 egg whites                                              1 T. vanilla
2 tsp. cream of tartar                                  1 ½ c. sugar

Beat egg whites until foamy, add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.  Slowly add ¾ c. sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Meanwhile sift together flours, xanthan gum, salt and ¾ c. sugar.  Slowly add to egg mixture, then fold in vanilla.  Pour batter into angel food cake pan, run knife through to get rid of bubbles.  Take top rack out of oven and place cake on lowest rack.  Bake 325 for 1 hour + or until dry and cracked on top.  Turn upside down and cool.  If your pan doesn't have lets, place a towel over a cup and let the cake cool upside down on that.  When cool, run knife around the edges and push base out of the pan.

*Make sure you  don't get any yolks when you separate the eggs or they won't be as fluffy.  They separate easiest cold, and whip up best at room temperature.
**Do not grease the pan.  It needs to stick so you can turn it upside down to cool.
***I have used sweet rice flour instead of sorghum with good results-substitute at your own risk- and let me know if it works!

****This is also linked to Linda's Gluten Free Wednesdays - check out her blog.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Crock Pot Chicken Soup

Since winter is hopefully winding down, I thought I better post another favorite soup recipe.  This is great because there is nothing better than having dinner done in the morning!  I got this recipe from Karina at Gluten Free Goddess so check it out for the original recipe.  This will make a lot!  You won't think it will fit in your crock pot, but it will, just keep filling it up.  Use more or less of any of the vegetables or ingredients according to your likes.
Crock Pot Chicken Soup
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
3-4 chicken breasts
8 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups thinly shredded cabbage (I use cole slaw mix)
1 colored pepper,diced
1 yellow summer squash, diced
2 zucchini squash, diced
4 potatoes, diced
1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon each of: dried basil, oregano and parsley
Hot red pepper flakes, shake to taste
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth, give or take

Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil into the bottom of a crock pot. Lay the chicken breasts in the bottom; top with garlic, sea salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, pepper, yellow and zucchini squashes, potatoes, and green chiles; and toss them with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt, ground pepper, herbs and a shake or two of hot red pepper flakes. Toss to coat.
Pour the veggies into the crock in an even layer. Pour on the diced tomatoes and add the chicken broth.
Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours, until the chicken is tender.  Taste test and add any additional seasonings and serve.