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.

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November 14, 2012

Mocha Crumb Cake (another Cooking Light makeover)

Filed under: baking, Cooking Light, dessert, gluten-free — Tags: , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 14:55

GF Mocha Crumb Cake

The thing I’ve always liked about Cooking Light is that most of their recipes can be done quickly with ingredients I usually have on hand, which is particularly handy when you want a quick snack.  I know the picture makes the cake look a little moist, but my gluten-free version is just as light and crumbly as the original.  A perfect snack to go with your coffee or a light weeknight dessert.  Even better, it only takes about 10-minutes to gather and mix the ingredients.

Heads Up: The recipe below is as it appeared on page 108 of the May 1998 edition of Cooking Light Magazine.  The items highlighted in yellow are the ingredients that I changed.

Ingredients:

Makes 8 servings

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chilled stick margarine or butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons water

Changes:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour: Substituted 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 cup sorghum flour, 1/4 cup potato starch and 1 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan.

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules: I ran out of instant coffee so I substituted an equal amount cinnamon.  Not quite the same, but it did lend a nice flavor.

1/3 cup low-fat milk: Mr. GF is also lactose intolerant so I try to substitute regular milk with almond or soy milk whenever possible.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 3500
  2. Combine flour (GF substitute) and next 4 ingredients (flour/blend through salt) in a mixing bowl and cut in *butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture resembles coarse meal.  (Trust me on this, a pastry blender is less than $5 and well worth the cost, even if you only use it once a year.)  Reserve 1/2 cup of the the flour mixture for topping and set aside.
  3. Combine remaining flour mixture, baking powder and baking soda; add milk, vanilla and egg.  Beat at medium speed of a mixer until blended.  Spoon batter into an 8″ round cake pan coated with cooking spray.
  4. Combine reserved 1/2 of flour mixture and water; stir with a fork then sprinkle over batter.  (It will look like a lot of dry crumbs on top of the cake batter.)
  5. Bake for 30 minutes at 3500 or until the cake springs back when touched.  Cool on a wire rack before serving.

* I can’t stress enough that the butter needs to be cold.  If it’s a hot, humid day you might want to firm it up in the freezer for a few minutes after you cut it into small pieces.


So that’s it.  A very fast and delicious Cooking Light recipe made gluten-free.  The flour substitute above works quite well with any of the crumb cakes featured in the May 1998 issue.  If you want something a little different give the lemon-rosemary or banana-coconut versions a try.    (They’re both great!) Let me know if you have a problem finding the recipe and I will post it.

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