glutenfreebymarriage

January 29, 2013

Chunky Split Pea Soup (It ain’t pretty but it sure is good!)

Filed under: dairy free, dinner, gluten-free, soup/stew — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:26

chunky split pea soup

Close your eyes and the gently bubbling soup with its wafting smokey aroma will lure you down the hall towards the stove top but whatever you do, DO NOT OPEN THE LID!!!

Don’t worry, lifting the lid will not affect the soup, but the muddy looking green mush will likely turn your stomach, or at the very least make you wrinkle your nose and say “Ewwww.”

There is no getting around it.  Split Pea Soup falls into the same category as oatmeal and a few other mushy, unattractive foods.  It smells great, tastes great, is extremely good for you, but boy is it ugly.

If you can get past its appearance, this recipe has a wonderful thickness that belies its lack of meat and a hint of smokiness that is just the right touch to warm your winter blues.   Setting aside the unseemly color,  it’s an easy recipe that packs a lot of flavor and is well worth trying.  And yes, the picture is accurate.  The color of the soup is exactly how it looked when we ate it last night.

The recipe below is shown as it was originally written. The items highlighted in yellow are the ingredients that I changed.

Split Pea Soup (What’s For Dinner? 365 Lean & Natural Dinners, p. 28)

ingredients:

Makes 6 servings

  • 1lb dried green or yellow split peas
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soft margarine
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 small potato, unpeeled and diced
  • 1 cup diced cook chicken (optional)
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Changes:

2 tablespoons soft margarine: I didn’t see the point of the margarine so I skipped it.

1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped: The leaves on the celery I had left in the fridge were looking a little limp so I just went with the stalk.

1 cup diced cooked chicken: It was optional and I didn’t have time to thaw frozen chicken and cook it so I opted out.

grated Parmesan cheese: Dairy, need I say more?

spices:  I also added 1/2 teaspoon of dried mustard and cinnamon to the pot.

Other Changes:

I used boxed chicken broth and didn’t want to leave 1/2 a box open in the fridge so I increased the broth from six to eight cups and to make up for the extra liquid I also doubled the celery, carrots and potatoes.

Directions:

  1. Wash and sort the peas.  Put in a 6-quart soup pot with the remaining ingredients except the chicken.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer for 2 – 3 hours, stirring occasionally.    All the vegetables should be very soft and begin to fall apart.  The thicker part of the soup will tend to sink to the bottom of the pan and should be stirred in before serving.
  3. Stir in the chicken or turkey about 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with the cheese.

That was pretty much it.  Another of those not so pretty, but oh so tasty meals.  I’m not a big pea fan, but this was an easy meal on a cold and snowy day and made a nice change from my usual lentils or black beans  You could take an immersion blender and puree the whole thing, but the idea of a muddy green puddle in my soup bowl wasn’t too appetizing so I left it chunky.  (It’s much easier to overlook the color when you can make out the potatoes and carrots.)

Also, the stirring really needed some more emphasis in the original recipe.  I got side tracked with work and found that the peas sank to the bottom and stuck to the pot.  I managed to incorporate them back into the soup with some aggressive scraping/stirring, but it was a gunky, clumpy mess.

Note: This is something that could be put in a slow cooker on low for 6 hours.  It could also be made vegetarian by swapping the chicken broth for vegetable broth.  If you can get past the appearance it’s an inexpensive hearty meal with a surprising amount of flavor and I strongly recommend that you give it a try.

January 18, 2013

New Year’s Brunch – dairy & gluten free

Filed under: baking, breakfast/brunch, dairy free, fruit, gluten-free, recipe makeover — Tags: , , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 15:01

gluten/dairy free coffee cake with fresh fruit and piña colada dip

Fresh fruit, tropical piña colada dip and coffee cake, can you think of a better way to greet the new year?   Did I mention that it is gluten and dairy free?

The coffee cake is based on a fruit-filled coffee cake recipe that I found in an old Kraft Foods magazine and the dip from a very old Pillsbury brunch cookbook.

As usual,  the recipes shown below are as they were originally written and the items highlighted in yellow are the ingredients that I changed.

Fruit-Filled Coffee Cake  (Food & Family, Spring 2009, p.41)

Ingredients:

Makes 24 servings

  • 1 pkg (2-layer size) white cake mix
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 21-oz can cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon milk

Changes:

1 pkg white cake mix: I couldn’t find a gf box mix so I substituted my usual recipe for gf yellow (1 1/2 cups white rice flour, 3/4 cup tapioca flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon xanthan, and 1 1/4 cup sugar)

1 cup sour cream: To minimize the dairy, I substituted 1 cup tofu sour cream

1 21-oz can cherry pie filling: I used apple pie filling

1/2 cup almonds: I didn’t have any almonds on hand so I skipped them

1 1/2 tablespoon milk: Again, to minimize the day’s dairy intake I substituted almond milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 3500
  2. Beat cake mix, cinnamon, sour cream, eggs and water until well blended and spread into a greased and floured 9″ X 13″ pan.  I usually use white rice flour to coat the pan.  I found the batter to be very firm with a consistency more like dough than batter and had to use a spatula to spread it evenly in the pan.
  3. Spoon the fruit filling on top of the cake batter.
  4. Bake 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Note: I’m not sure if it was because of the many substitutions, but this took much longer than 35 minutes to bake.  In the end, it baked for 60 minutes.  (I’m pretty sure that it’s not a problem with my oven as meats cook perfectly within the expected time.)
  5. Sprinkle with nuts and cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Mix powdered sugar and milk to make glaze; drizzle over cake.

Cool completely before serving.

This was a nice recipe that I would make again.  It’s a lot for two people to eat in a week, but if I was doing a pot luck or other activity where there were going to be a lot of people, it is definitely worth the effort.

Piña Colada Dip (Pillsbury All New Brunch Cookbook #112, June 1990, p.13)

Ingredients:

Makes 2 1/2 cups (serving size is 1 tablespoon)

  • 8-oz can crushed pineapple in its own juice, un-drained
  • 3 1/2-oz package instant coconut pudding and pie filling
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Changes:

3/4 cup milk: As usual, I substituted almond milk for regular.  Note: Almond milk cannot normally be substituted for regular milk in pudding as it will not set.  The only reason this worked for the dip was because the sour cream and crushed pineapples provide enough thickening to get the pudding to dip consistency.

1/2 cup sour cream: To minimize the day’s dairy intake I substituted tofu sour cream.

Directions:

  1. Using a food processor, blender or immersion blender, combine all ingredients and process about 30 seconds until almost smooth.
  2. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight to set.

Both recipes are really easy to make, especially if you have a box of gf cake mix on hand.  The piña colada dip is a particular favorite of ours and I was really pleased that it didn’t lose any flavor or texture by making it dairy free.  If you need a quick dip or a coffee cake that will feed a lot of people these are definitely recipes worth trying.

August 13, 2012

The real cost of eating gluten & dairy free(ish)

Filed under: Cooking Light, dairy free, dessert, dinner, gelato, gluten-free, menu planning, Uncategorized — glutenfreebymarriage @ 20:10

We all know the drill.   Healthy food is too expensive, cooking is too much trouble and living gluten free is a million times worse.   Not only is the selection of gluten free alternatives both limited and even more expensive, but having to make meals without all those convenience foods (pre-made marinades, dressings, broths, etc…) makes cooking even more of a chore.  My response is hogwash.

My food bill for this week was $47.68 and included seven days worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner for two as well as ingredients to make chocolate chip muffins and a dairy-free version of passion fruit mango gelato, and a few pantry replenishment items such as flax and sugar.  All of the food is gluten free, most is dairy free and the meal plan is for fast, easy summer dishes that most people would enjoy and everyone could make.

Breakfasts: oatmeal with unsweetened applesauce and ground flax

Snack: gluten free chocolate chip muffins

Lunch: German Bologna (yes, the label says gluten free) and American Cheese Sandwich (Ok, processed lunch meat is not generally considered healthy, but Mr. GF likes it and I hurt my back bad enough that I can’t spend too much time on my feet right now, so he gets a sandwich.)

Dinners: Since most recipe feed 4 – 6 people and there are only two of us, we generally get two meals out of a recipe.

Sunday/Monday: Summer Vegetable Stew with Basil Puree (from cookinglight.com)

Tuesday/Wednesday: Greek Tuna Wraps

Thursday/Friday: Grilled Hamburgers with Oven Fries


I meant to post this a couple weeks ago but I hurt my back and it seemed to get worse rather than better as the week wore on and it didn’t happen.  The good news is that except for the hamburgers we did manage to stick to the menu plan that week, even with me more or less flat on my back.   (No way I was going to be able to clean the grill so I substituted a hash with some leftover cooked ham I had in the freezer. )

In this case having a meal plan really made a difference.  We had all the ingredients on hand so that Mr. GF could help with the cooking without having to run to the store or break from the GF/DF diet.

July 17, 2012

Black Bean Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Filed under: chicken, Cooking Light, dairy free, dinner, gluten-free — Tags: , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:16

Black Bean Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Back in the day, long before we knew about gluten or lactose intolerance, we used to rely on Cooking Light Magazine for a lot of our menu inspiration.   It was easy, had lots of great pictures and usually had a nice balance of recipes.

In an effort to get out of our menu rut and show that it’s not that difficult to tweak a published recipe to work for gluten/lactose intolerance I’ve decided to start posting some of the old Cooking Light recipes, starting with Black Bean Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette.

Heads Up: The recipe below is as it appeared on page 112 of the July 2000 edition of Cooking Light Magazine.  The items highlighted in yellow are the ingredients that I changed.

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

Makes 8 servings

  • 1/4 cup chopped seeded tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled

Salad Ingredients:

  • 8 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped ready-to-eat roasted skinned, boned chicken breasts (about 2)
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups fat free baked tortilla chips (about 4 ounces)
Changes:

Vinaigrette:

fresh cilantro: substituted about 1 tablespoon of dried cilantro

Salad:

1 1/2 cups chopped ready-to-eat roasted chicken:  baked my own chicken, substituted legs

1 cup finely diced red onion: substituted 1 small can black olives

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese: Mr. GF is lactose intolerant, but I don’t like soy cheddar (tastes like Velveeta to me and I hate Velveeta) so instead of adding cheese directly to the salad, we sprinkled about a tablespoon of grated soy substitute on his dish and regular grated cheddar on mine.

baked tortilla chips: gf baked corn chips

soy substitute sour cream: sour cream wasn’t in the original recipe, but we had an open container of soy sour cream so we added a dollop (teaspoon) to the top of the salad.

Directions:

  1. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in blender or food processor and process until smooth.  (I used my stick/immersion blender)
  2. Combine all salad ingredients except tortilla/corn chips in large bowl.  Add vinaigrette and toss until salad is well coated.  As noted above, I added the cheese to the individual servings rather than tossing it with the salad.
  3. To serve, place individual servings on chilled salad plates, top with grated cheese and dollop of sour cream.  Tuck tortilla/corn chips around edges of plate.

Overall, nice salad on a hot day, particularly if you use store bought roasted chicken.   With the exception of the lime, we usually have all these ingredients on hand so even though it’s too much for two people to eat, I would recommend it as an easy recipe if you have drop in dinner guests.

July 2, 2012

EasyTropical Fruit Sorbet

Filed under: dairy free, dessert, freezer friendly, fruit, sorbet, Uncategorized — glutenfreebymarriage @ 15:17

quick & easy tropical fruit sorbet

It’s hot and when it’s hot I get cranky.  Real cranky.  The kind of cranky that only a delicious icy cold treat will cure.  Sadly,  Mr. GF is also Mr. Lactose Intolerant so that minimizes our ice cream options.  Yes, he could take a handful of lactase pills with every bite, but that gets expensive and it’s just kind of weird.  (Can you imagine having to take three or four pills just to eat a half-cup of ice cream?)  Not to worry, I have a better option.  Something that is not only dairy and gluten free, but is inexpensive, easy to make, requires no cooking and tastes unbelievably decadent.  (cue the music)

Easy Tropical Fruit Sorbet

makes 6 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 15.25 oz cans Tropical Fruit in Passion Fruit Juice

Directions:

  1. Open cans and transfer contents to freezer safe bowl.
  2. Put bowl in freezer until fruit is hard, but not completely frozen.  It will be solid but just slushy enough that you can poke a spoon (or your finger) through the surface.  Freezer time varies.  My kitchen freezer would take an entire day, but my basement freezer would be about an hour.
  3. Using an immersion blender puree the semi-frozen fruit mixture until all fruit is pureed.   If you don’t have an immersion blender you can divide up the fruit and put it in a regular blender.  You will need to do it in batches to get an even blend and it needs to be done as quickly as possible so that the fruit doesn’t thaw before you are done.
  4. Transfer your semi-frozen fruit puree to serving dishes and return to freezer for about an hour.  (less if you prefer is slushy)

Notes: You can use any fruit, fresh, can or frozen.  Canned fruit cocktail doesn’t work so good, but pretty much anything else in a fruit juice, not a heavy syrup, will be fine.  Just remember that if you are using fresh or frozen you will need to also freeze some liquid with it.

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