Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ring In The New Year With A Healthy Meal: Veggie Stuffed Squash

The end of 2009. The beginning of 2010. How do I sum up a year that has been so unexpected? I started eating gluten-free, started a blog, decided to go back to school to become an R.D., saw my sister get married, lost my grandfather, was really happy, was really sad, and even dabbled in getting over my stage fright with an acting class. What a strange journey, huh? And to think, this is only the beginning.

One of my coworkers is in her 60s, and she recently commented to a client, "Hey, remember when we were kids and we thought life would get easier as we got older? How little we knew." And how little I know. As this year comes to a close, I've found myself looking back on all of my teachers this year. The clients that I've struggled with, the relationships that have challenged me, the situations that first brought me pain, but later gave me knowledge. I'm a year older. Perhaps a year wiser? More likely just a year more confused. Life is nothing I expected it to be. And I suppose that's the greatest lesson I've learned this year. That any attempt to predict my future will be woefully incorrect. My future is....well...in the future. So perhaps this year, instead of trying to guess what comes next, I'll simply ask myself, what comes today? I don't have a New Year's resolution, so to speak, but I have a goal. To commit to today, and let the future come as it may, without trying to wrangle it into being exactly as I picture it.

So to begin the New Year off right, here's a healthy side dish that I hope you enjoy. My plans for today? Healthy eating, relaxing, and rest. And blogging, of course.


Veggie Stuffed Squash
Print-Friendly Option

Ingredients:
1 acorn squash, cut in half and baked (Amy has a good tutorial on how to do this)
1 celery stalk, diced
2 leaves of chard with the stalks, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. chicken (or vegetable) stock
1/4 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 Tbsp. honey
2/3 cup cooked brown rice
1 egg
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a pan with oil and heat on medium-low. Saute the celery for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock and chard, and a dash of salt and pepper. Stir and saute about 5 minutes.
  4. Take off heat. Stir in cranberries, pecans, honey, and brown rice.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the egg. Stir it into the rice mixture. Spoon the mix into the two halves of squash. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Serves 4

This post is linked to Friday Foodie Fix at The Whole Gang and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

Happy New Year! May every day in 2010 be a gift!

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Top Ten Favorite: Blog Recipes of 2009

When I started blogging back in April, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had no clue that a weekend spent scouring blogs for information on eating gluten-free would inspire me to start my own blog; no idea that I would become happily obsessed with my little blog and spend hours on it when I should be studying; no idea that more than eight months later, I would still be gluten-free, and no idea that I would actually have followers who weren't my relatives! If you go back to my first few blog posts, you'll notice that I also had no idea where I was going with the blog or how to take food photos. Thankfully I've learned a few things since then, like what the macro button is!


Something else I was surprised about was how many new recipes I would try this year, and how many recipes I would actually create. The blogosphere is a great place to find new recipes because everyone is always working to improve upon their recipes and share them with the rest of us. To make them better, healthier, easier...it's one giant cookbook that's continually growing. As this year comes to a close, I thought I would share with you my top ten favorite blog recipes from this year. And since there are still so many recipes I have bookmarked, but have yet to make, I'm also including my top ten blog recipes I'm dying to try in 2010.


Top Ten Favorite Gluten-Free Blog Recipes
(In no particular order because I love them all equally)
  1. Kimberly's Snickerdoodles from Gluten Free Is Life
  2. Ellen's Cinnamon Rolls from I Am Gluten Free
  3. Linda's Pumpkin Pie at The Gluten Free Homemaker
  4. and Linda's Pie Crust at The Gluten Free Homemaker
  5. My own Acorn Squash Stuffing here at the Daily Dietribe
  6. Shirley's Crustless Pecan Pie at Gluten Free Easily
  7. Selene's Raw Cakes at Veganlicious
  8. Katie's Fudge Babies at Chocolate Covered Katie
  9. Gena's Banana Soft Serve at Choosing Raw
  10. and Gena's Cashew Ricotta with Sundried Tomatoes and Basil from Choosing Raw
I'm seeing a theme here. I think someone needs a little break from the sugar.

Top Ten Gluten-Free Blog Recipes I'm Dying To Try In 2010
  1. Karina's Flourless Chocolate Cake at Gluten Free Goddess
  2. Shauna's Cinnamon Rolls at Gluten Free Girl and the Chef
  3. Lauren's Lavash at Celiac Teen
  4. Amy's Chocolate Cannoli Cupcakes with Ricotta Frosting at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
  5. Katrina's Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta with Kale at Gluten Free Gidget
  6. Anna's Shortbread from London Foodie in New York
  7. Jennifer's Sunny Wholegrain Sushi and Ponzu Sauce at Shmooed Food
  8. Brian's Green Bean Casserole at Fire and Salt
  9. Carol's Pecan Tassies at Simply Gluten-Free
  10. Linda's French Bread Rolls at The Gluten Free Homemaker
There it is! I hope my lists gave you some new recipes to try out! Here's to 2010 and another year of healthy fun in the kitchen!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dairy-Free Potato Soup

Is anyone else having a tough time getting back into the swing of things? I don't know about you, but I'm feeling pretty exhausted and would love nothing better than to lie in bed with a good book all day. I'm going back to NYC and my real life on Tuesday, but I still have tomorrow left for a lazy day of mindless reading. Luckily for me, I got a bunch of books for Christmas. I'm a big fan of Nora Roberts' In Death series, so my mom got me four of those. And my sister got me the most recent Diana Gabaldon book, An Echo in the Bone. So I think I'll curl up on the couch in my pajamas and relax with a book and a bowl of steaming hot potato soup. Is there anything more comforting than that in the winter?

My potato soup recipe was born out of a desire to replicate a creamy potato soup I used to make in high school. The main ingredients were potatoes, onions, butter, and milk. Not exactly the healthiest soup out there. I won't lie to you and tell you that this recipe makes a creamy soup like you would get with lots of butter and milk (although you could probably puree it to make it creamier), but it does make a wonderfully rich soup that will satisfy your potato soup cravings. I hope you enjoy it!

Dairy-Free Potato Soup Print-Me


Ingredients:
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 medium potatoes, cut into bite size squares
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1 cup diced broccoli (about 1/3 head of broccoli)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 Tbsp. wheat-free tamari
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. hot sauce

Directions:
  1. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in soup pan. Add onions and saute until translucent, 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add carrots and garlic. Saute another 3 minutes.
  3. Add potatoes. Stir in pepper, parsley, tamari, bay leaf, and chicken broth. Turn heat up and bring to boil (It took my soup about 10 minutes to boil).
  4. Once the soup begins to boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer until the potatoes are thoroughly cooked and begin to break apart, about 40 minutes.
  5. Take out the bay leaf. Add the broccoli, almond milk, cinnamon and hot sauce. Stir occasionally about 4 minutes, until the broccoli is cooked.

Serves 4Print-Friendly Option
This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, and What Can I Eat That's Gluten Free.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Zester Giveaway Winner!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, if you celebrate it, or at least a day off to rest and rejuvenate before New Year's Eve! I'm working on a potato soup recipe for tomorrow's post, but in the meantime, we have a giveaway winner!

And

the

zester

goes

to...


I hope you enjoy it! A big thanks to CSNstores.com and cookware.com for helping me host this giveaway. And thanks to everyone who entered! I hope you'll all be back for future giveaways!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Challenge: Did She Make It?

I'll let the pictures answer that question...


Jam Thumbprint Cookies! Aren't they cute?


My first gluten-free pie crust baked from scratch! It looks so flaky! Thanks Linda!


Also my first pumpkin pie! I can't wait to try it!


Snickerdoodles!


Oops. Didn't realize they would spread so much!


Oh well. These are the best tasting gluten-free cookies I've made. You know how people always say their cookies don't taste gluten-free? Well, with these ones, I think that's actually true! Thanks Kimberly!


Cinnamon rolls! I used sweet white rice flour this time instead of cornstarch, and they held up much better. They won't be as good as my mom's regular cinnamon rolls, but maybe they'll come close. Once the holidays are over, I want to try Shauna's new recipe!


Banana coconut cookies! I used Natalie's recipe, replacing the M&Ms with chopped banana and coconut flakes.

Wow! That was a whirlwind of baking if ever there was one! Happy baking to everyone who's in the kitchen today! And a special good luck to my friend, Nakiya, who's cooking Christmas dinner for her family this year! I hope you post some pictures for us to devour!


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! I'll be back with a giveaway winner on the 26th! You can still enter until then!

P.s. Stop by What Can I Eat That's Gluten Free for more cookie ideas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Challenge: Two Days To Go


As I stand here -standing because I don't want to take the time to sit- I'm amazed that it's almost 5pm and I haven't even started my baking. Yet I've accomplished a lot today. On Sunday I made a small batch of sugar cookies to test. I didn't have any sweet white rice flour, so I tried substituting tapioca flour. The result? Decent, but not great. So after having no luck in finding the flour at any of the big grocery stores near me, I set off to Chinatown today and found exactly what I needed. I was also reminded how much cheaper grocery stores are there! A bag of flour that would cost me upwards of $3.00 at a store near me cost me $0.79 in Chinatown! Amazing!

I wandered the grocery store, excited by all the fun foods but wishing I knew what had gluten in it and what didn't. I was a little sad as I walked by all the restaurants and contemplated the fact that I couldn't just walk into any of them and order whatever I wanted anymore. But knowing that those thoughts are useless, I shut them down and concentrated on my next task for the day: walking to S'Mac to pick up gluten-free mac and cheese for Christmas Eve. It took me a little longer than it should have because I tend to get lost in Manhattan whenever I can't find a street with a number on it. I had written down the directions, but I have a horrible sense of direction and still walked in circles for a while before finding my way.

Once back home, I had to go back out for pecans and butter...the store was out of both when I shopped on Sunday. Then a couple of more Christmas presents, and....here I am. Almost 5pm. A little tired. But ready to bake. So I'll take you along with me for the ride. Picture country music playing in the background. A little Travis Tritt, a little Dixie Chicks, a little Reba, and a lot of different types of flour lined up on the (clean) floor.

Let's start with the mushroom and leek quiche. I've made it before, so it should be an easy one. I have a lot of broccoli left over from a potato soup I made (recipe to come), so I'm going to make a broccoli quiche also. I'll use the same recipe, but use onions, leeks, and broccoli for the vegetables.

An hour later...

The quiches took longer than expected. I used a bigger pan than my normal pie pan, so I underestimated how long it would take to bake. I kept taking them out and then worrying that they were not set enough in the middle and putting them back in. I second guess myself a lot more when I'm baking for other people.

Now what? Let's go with roasted shallot and mushroom pie squares. That's quite a boring name isn't it? Does someone want to help me come up with a better name for these?


Never mind. They don't need a name. I roasted mushrooms and shallots, and minced them with almond slivers. Then I made gluten free pie dough using Bob's Red Mill Biscuit and Baking Mix. I cut the dough into little squares, topped a square with the mushroom mix, topped that with another square and pinched the edges together. Then I baked them... And they were a FAILURE. I ate one, gave it a minute, then ate another just to make sure they were as bad as I thought. They looked so good after all. Yep, they were awful. I threw the second one away.


So much for roasted shallot and mushroom pie squares. I guess it's a good thing I made two quiches?

On to pecan pie. This is Shirley's recipe from Gluten Free Easily. In my disappointment with my own baking, I'm happy to be making someone else's recipe right now rather than one of my own. This one sounds easy. Just mix, pour, and bake. I can do that.

By the way, it's 9:50 now. I'm getting tired. I want to go to bed.


Well, it looks...decent. Kind of eggy. Perhaps this is a sign that I should put down the spatula and get in bed. I'm sure it will taste amazing, but Shirley's pie looked much more appetizing! I'm learning a lesson here though. Don't try to make a bunch of dishes you've never made before for a family get together!

Ok, it's after 11pm. I've got to get up at 6am tomorrow to be at work at 8. It's time to put away the measuring cups and go to bed. So I'll be back tomorrow night with a final update, and the answer to the question, Can she do it?

And if you missed it, check out my holiday giveaway!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Giveaway!

Can you believe it's almost Christmas!? Where did the time go? I'm busy baking and working on another post for tonight, but in the meantime I'm interrupting myself for a fun holiday giveaway! CSN stores is teaming up with The Daily Dietribe to offer you one of my favorite kitchen gadgets! They have so many great lines, like their Rachel Ray Cookware, that it was hard to decide what to give away. But I wanted to make sure it was something I use all the time myself. My Grandma King -who is a cook extraordinaire- gave me a Microplane premium zester last Christmas, and it's been a bit of a sleeper hit in my kitchen. Although I was excited about it at first, I forgot to use it for months. But once I used it for one thing, I started using it for everything. Grating -excuse me, zesting- fresh ginger for soups, lemon peel for cookies, beets and carrots for salads, parmesan cheese... I was surprised by how often I found myself pulling the zester out.

What do I make with my zester?




What do you want to make with yours?

To enter this giveaway, you can do any of these things. The more you do, the more entries you get. The winner will be chosen randomly on December 26th!

1. Check out CSN Stores and their Rachel Ray Cookware line and leave a comment telling me what your dream kitchen gadget is.

2. Blog about this giveaway, twitter, link to it on facebook, or buzz about it on Foodbuzz, and leave a comment telling me you did so.

3. Become a follower or subscribe to The Daily Dietribe. And again, leave a comment letting me know you did so. :)

Good luck, and stop by later tonight for an update on my Christmas baking challenge!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Challenge

Exams are over...we finally have heat in our apartment...now the baking can begin! The goal: one crustless pecan pie courtesy of Gluten Free Easily, one pumpkin pie from The Gluten Free Homemaker, a variation on Gluten Free Mommy's m&m sour cream cookies, snickerdoodles from Gluten Free Is Life, sugar cookies from Only Sometimes Clever, another go at cinnamon rolls from I Am Gluten Free, my mushroom and leek quiche, and an attempt to make mini mushroom pie squares. What are those, you ask? I'm not quite sure. They're just an idea in my head for now. But I'm going to concoct something and hope it turns out well so I can bring it as a gluten-free option for Christmas.

The challenge: Baking everything in the next four days while still working two more days, finishing my Christmas shopping, getting to S'Mac to pick up mac and cheese for Christmas Eve dinner, finding sweet white rice flour or praying that I can make the sugar cookies work without it, trying not to freeze because my windows let in ridiculous amounts of cold air, and continuing to eat healthy, exercise, and stay calm while I do all this.

The first task: Braving the cold with the largest grocery list I think I've ever had.

The question: Can she do it?

The answer: Tune in to find out...

4 days until Christmas Eve...And...GO!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gluten-Free Hits And Misses

With Christmas just around the corner, there's nothing I want more than to be spending my days in the kitchen, baking cookies and singing (yep, I belt out Christmas carols when no one's around). Unfortunately, I'm in the midst of finals, so there's been no cooking or baking of any sort this week. The only action the kitchen got was from my boyfriend making a ham quiche. Since I didn't have time, he made me a quiche (using my mushroom and leek quiche recipe) so that there would be something gluten-free for me at his friend's Hannukah dinner. It was very sweet of him, but also pretty funny how nervous he was. When I got off the subway, I had three frantic voicemails from him asking what tamari is. "Is it a spice? I can't find it! Is it going to ruin the quiche if I don't have it?" The final voicemail ended with this, "I know you find cooking to be fun and relaxing, but I don't. At all." Despite his nervousness, the quiche turned out wonderful. He simply replaced the leeks with chopped up deli slices of ham.

Since I don't have any recipes for you today, I thought I'd help you do a little holiday shopping. I love buying food for gifts. Christmas stockings are always stuffed with yummy goodies, and I think it can be fun to make themed food gift baskets, like filling one with gourmet pasta, sundried tomatoes, pesto, and cheese. Since gluten-free foods are very hit or miss, and are generally rather expensive, it can be hard to know what to buy. So if you're looking for something for a gluten-free loved one, here are some ideas on what's worth the money, and what you should leave on the shelf:

Gluten-free Hits and Misses

Bionaturae Organic Gluten Free Fusilli


Hit. I loved this pasta. It had such a great flavor that I would even eat it plain. And unlike other gluten-free pastas I've tried, it didn't dry out the next day. At $4.99 a bag, it's pretty expensive, so it's not something I'd purchase every day. But that makes it a nice gift for someone who might not otherwise purchase something so pricey.





Orgran Gourmet Natural Corn & Vegetable Pasta

Miss. Sorry, after trying the Bionaturae pasta, this just wouldn't do. It was very grainy and dry, and I had to use a lot of sauce to cover it. There's still half a bag sitting in my cupboard because I can't make myself eat it.




Liz Lovely Cookies

Hit. Warning: If you eat these, sugar coma will commence! Seriously, these taste awesome, but they come in packages of two, and who can eat just one? Not me obviously. I absolutely love these, but just a warning that if you eat more than one cookie at a time, you won't feel good after. Best to share these with a friend and save yourself the sugar overload!



Oskri Quinoa Bar

Hit. I picked this out of a giant array of bars one day because the ingredients looked healthier than most of the others. Luckily it also tasted really good! I generally stick to larabars since they have the least number of ingredients, but when I'm in the mood for something different, I'll grab an Oskri bar.


Brown Rice Snaps

Hit. I like pretty much every rice cracker I've ever tried, but this is definitely my favorite brand. I've been eating these since way before my gluten-free days started. I haven't found a flavor I don't like, and I never feel like I need something like a dip or slice of cheese to go with it. They're delicious as they are.







Pamela's Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Miss. I can't speak for other Pamela's products, but these cookies didn't do it for me. I think it was the combination of lemon and shortbread, or maybe it was just that "gluten-free" cookie taste that I didn't like, but these weren't very appealing.








Frankly Natural Bakers Wacky Walnut Brownies


Hit. Mmm....these are moist and chewy! Just like any good brownie should be! I love the walnuts in them too. They remind me of brownies my mom used to pack in my school lunch. Little Debbie's maybe?







Trader Joe's Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix

Miss. Although the pancakes looked delicious, they were lacking in flavor. I swamped them in peanut butter and jelly, but even so, they were pretty boring. Definitely wouldn't buy them again.






Nana's No Gluten Ginger Cookie

Miss. This one made me sad because it looked so soft and chewy, but just crumbled apart as I tried to eat it. It was also way too gingery for my taste.







Mary's Gone Crackers

Hit. A great snack when I'm in a hurry and need something healthy. And I love that they come in individual packages too. Sometimes you don't want a whole box! Probably because I know myself well enough to know I'd eat most of the box. Individually packaged servings can be a blessing!



Tully's Cookies and Brownies

Hit. I wrote about Tully's delicious desserts a while ago, but in case you missed it, they're awesome! Most gluten-free desserts that you buy at a store taste a little off. They're not necessarily bad; they just don't taste normal. But these cookies and brownies tasted like any gluten-filled dessert...and I had my fair share in the past, so I know!







Envirokidz Organic Panda Crispy Rice Bars, Peanut Butter Flavor

Hit/Miss? The jury's still out. Has anyone else tried these? They basically tasted like rice crispies, but with a slightly strange flavor. I think it was the brown rice syrup, and I wanted to like it, but I didn't. It had the kind of taste though, that made me think it might grow on me. You know those foods, right? The first time you eat them, you don't like them. But for some reason you go back a second time, and by the third, you're hooked.



So that's it. I hope I've saved you from spending money on something that wasn't worth it. Or even better, introduced you to something new you'd like to try! Although, walking through the grocery store today, I realized how many products I still haven't tried! What have you tried that you think was a big hit or miss?

This post is linked to What Can I Eat That's Gluten Free? Linda also has a great post on gluten-free baking mixes for gifts. I haven't tried many mixes yet, so check out her post to see what she recommends.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mushroom And Leek Quiche With Goat Cheese


I'm declaring yesterday Meryl Streep Day. Why? Well, it's a fun little story that started with a canceled dinner plan and ended with Meryl Streep shaking my hand. Sometimes canceled plans turn out to be a good thing!

My coworkers had been talking about Meryl Streep that day and her new movie, It's Complicated. I love that she stars in romantic comedies at an age when most women (ridiculously so) are relegated to the background in Hollywood. However, she wasn't exactly at the forefront of my mind when I left work to meet my boyfriend for a dinner date at S'Mac. When he called to tell me he was stuck at work and didn't know when he would be done, I decided to keep walking through Manhattan in the hope that he would finish at work sooner than he thought. I had been excited about mac and cheese all day, and wasn't about to give up on my dinner plans that easily! Plus, if I went home, I would feel compelled to study chemistry. Walking aimlessly seemed like a much better plan to me!

My wandering took me to 5th Avenue, where I happened to see a small crowd gathering amid signs for It's Complicated. Reminded of the Meryl Streep discussion at work, I stopped to see what was going on. The It's Complicated Premier! Figuring I had nothing to do anyway, I decided to wait around and watch. At this point, there were very few people there, so I got a prime spot at the front of the crowd, which, at 5 feet tall, is always a blessing!

Now, I'm embarassed to tell you that I did something I've never done before to see the Hollywood elite. I waited around for 2 hours! I know...crazy right? Normally, I'll give it 15 minutes and then move on, but since I had nothing else to do, I just kept standing there. And then suddenly it was 45 minutes later, and I was thinking, "If I've waited this long, I'm not going to leave until I see someone." An hour and 15 minutes later, I finally saw someone. Lots of someones. And I was pretty starstruck. I'll reign myself in and refrain from giving you the rundown of everyone there, but it was pretty exciting. I kept cool though. I wasn't one of the ones yelling, "Alec! Meryl!" I did, however, wave back excitedly when Steve Martin waved in our direction, and was very happy when Tina Fey winked at us (I like to think she was winking at me in particular). Of course the best part though, was when Meryl Streep herself came out and stopped and thanked us all for coming, and shook my hand! As kind as all the others were to come out and wave, she took it a step further and gave everyone her attention graciously and humbly. When the girl next to me told her she looked great, she looked as pleased as any woman is to hear that, and said, "Thank you. I tried!" I am now very much a Meryl Streep fan!

So what does any of this have to do with quiche? Not a whole lot, except that when I got home (and I did get my mac and cheese, if you were wondering), my netflix movie was in the mail. Guess what it was? Julie and Julia, starring Meryl Streep! The culmination of my Meryl Streep Day! And since Julia Child made many fabulously fancy dishes, I thought I would make a quiche because this seems like the epitomy of fancy to me. Did you know, though, that quiches are super easy to make? I had no idea, but now that I know, I'll be making them all the time!

And the best thing about this quiche? Unlike a traditional one which can be rather heavy and high in calories, this is a light dish that you can eat without feeling guilty. In fact, I'm not normally a calorie counter, but I just estimated the calorie count per serving and it's only 84 calories! Eat away!

(And while you do so, stop by Gluten Free Easily for this week's edition of Holiday Food Fest!)


Mushroom and Leek Quiche with Goat Cheese

Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced in very thin rounds
1 leek, thinly sliced (just the lighter parts, not the dark green)
2 cups chopped mushrooms (about 10 mushrooms)
1 Tbsp. wheat free tamari
2 oz. fresh goat cheese
3 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
dash of salt, less than 1/4 tsp. (optional)

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a 10.5 in. pie pan with oil. Layer the slices of sweet potato in it as if it were a crust. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes and then set aside.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are baking, spray a saute pan with oil. Over medium heat, saute the leeks for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and tamari, and saute another 6-7 minutes, until the leeks are translucent and the mushrooms are cooked through. Spread this mixture over the sweet potatoes (once they've been baked).
  4. Cut up the goat cheese into little bits and layer it on top of the quiche.
  5. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond milk, nutmeg, and black pepper (and salt if adding). Pour over the quiche evenly.
  6. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.
Serves 8
Print-Friendly Option

Can you believe the holidays are creeping up so quickly!? I guess creeping isn't the right word...speeding more like it. 3 finals next week, and then I can finally do what I really want...start baking some gluten-free holiday cookies! Any suggestions? What kind of holiday cookies do you like best?

This post is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays Quiche Challenge, and Seasonal Sundays.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Turkey Noodle Soup

Last night was our first night of snow. Sort of. Giant flakes flew through the sky, but turned to rain before they hit the ground. It was definitely cold out though, and I wanted nothing more than to stay in and cozy up with a warm bowl of soup. After making lots of gravy with my turkey stock, I still had enough left for a hearty soup. My original plan to make a turkey vegetable soup turned into a noodle soup when I picked up some rice noodles on my shopping trip. It's been a while since I've eaten at Friendly's, but that's exactly what I thought of when I tried this soup. Friendly's Chicken Noodle Soup, which I used to love when I was little. Unlike that soup though, this one is homemade with all natural ingredients. And it's gluten-free! Enjoy!

Turkey Noodle Soup

Ingredients:
2 cups diced celery (approx. 5 stalks)
1 cup diced carrots (approx. 2 medium carrots)
1 leek, chopped (just the white part)
3 cups turkey stock*
approx. 6 oz. rice noodles (I used half of a 13.2 oz package of rice noodles from Trader Joe's)
2 cups water saved from cooking the rice noodles
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. wheat free soy sauce
2 Tbsp. hot sauce

Directions:
  1. Spray a large soup pan with oil. Saute celery and carrots for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add leeks and saute another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add turkey stock and spices and stir evenly. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, turn heat down to low and simmer.
  4. While the stock is simmering, cook the rice noodles according to the directions on the bag. When the noodles are done, reserve 2 cups of the water for the soup and drain the rest.
  5. Add the reserved water to the stock. Add the noodles, soy sauce, and hot sauce, and stir for another minute.
Serves 5-6

*How I make turkey stock from a whole roasted turkey: I cut off as many good pieces of meat that are left as I can and put them aside in a container. Then I put the turkey carcass in a big pot and cover it with water. For flavoring, I add half an onion, a carrot, and a stalk of celery, all cut into big pieces. Then I add sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary, and parsley. I simmer it on low heat with a top on for 2 hours. Afterward, I use a slotted spoon to scoop out everything but the stock, and then add the chunks of meat back in. This is a great base for soups or gravies, and can easily be frozen until needed.
Print-Friendly Option

This post is linked to:
Seasonal Sundays at Real Sustenance
Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace
Tuesdays At The Table at All The Small Stuff

Stop by for lots of wonderful holidays recipes!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What Goes Around...


One of the things I love about the food blog community is that you can always tell a good idea by how many blogs you find it on. For instance, have you noticed the Green Smoothie movement going around? There's a reason you'll find Green Smoothies on so many blogs: it's because they're amazing! Lately I've been noticing a new recipe making the rounds. Call them Fudge Babies, call them Raw Date Truffles, call them whatever you want, but like the green smoothies, there's a reason you'll find them everywhere. They're healthy, delicious, and super easy to make. And no one has made more versions than Chocolate Covered Katie! After reading about her Fudge Babies for weeks, I knew I had to try them myself. They're little truffles made of nuts and dried fruit (and a few other combinations), and they're a great idea for a party appetizer or a homemade gift. They also have the added value of being a dessert that's much healthier than most, but still tastes sinful.


Fruit and Nut Truffles

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Directions:
  1. These are super easy to make. Set out little bowls with individual toppings in them, like coconut flakes and unsweetened cocoa.
  2. In a food processor, blend the ingredients until they're malleable. You should be able to mold them into little balls and roll them in your palms until they're an evenly round shape.
  3. Dip them in your topping and roll around until evenly coated. They keep well in the fridge.

These were some of my favorite combinations:

Banana Walnut Truffles
1/2 cup raw walnuts
2 dried banana slices (chop up first)
5 dates

Peanut Butter Apricot Truffles (I liked the ones with apricots best)
1/2 cup roasted and salted peanuts
3 dried apricots
5 dates

Dark Chocolate Truffles
1/2 cup raw almonds
8 dates
1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa

Have you tried these truffles yet? What combinations have you come up with? If you haven't, what are you waiting for? Try them out and see why everyone's talking (blogging) about them!

And did I mention that Chocolate Covered Katie's giving away Artisana Nut Butters so everyone can make some fun raw treats of their own? Stop by and enter her giveaway!

This post is linked to What Can I Eat That's Gluten Free. The theme this week is party food, so stop by to find some healthy ideas for your next holiday party! It's also linked to Holiday Food Fest at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. The theme is cocktails, mocktails, and appetizers. Amy made a version of these raw date truffles a few weeks back, and they looked divine! She's also giving away some great prizes for two lucky winners!

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