Monthly Archives: March 2013

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DSCN0022As I’ve said before, the most challenging part of being gluten free is finding good pastries, and I LIVE for pastries. So imagine my joy when I came up with an amazingly delicious cherry pie, my favorite desert in the world. And it’s so easy even the most challenged baker in the world could whip it up no problem.

Serves 8,    calories per serving 172

served with 1/4 cup whipped cream, add another 205 calories

or served with 1/4 cup non-fat vanilla flavor Greek yogurt, add another 33 calories

Ingredients

1 can of light cherry pie filling

2 cups of Chex rice cereal (I used the honey Chex)

1/4 cup ground almonds (Almond flour or almond meal)

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup slivered almonds

butter for pan

 

Instructions

In a food processor, break up your Chex cereal until it has approximately the consistency of cornmeal. In a bowl, blend your cereal, with ground almonds and butter. Pour into a greased pie plate, and flatten along the bottom and the sides, and then bake for ten minutes at 400 degrees.

Once the pie shell is cooked (It will still look white at this point) pour in the pie filling and top with slivered almonds. Bake for 30 minutes at 375.

Instead of using whipped cream or Crème fresh, I serve it with Greek-style vanilla yogurt and save myself over 140 calories. So so yummy. The danger is that no matter how few people you are serving for dinner, chances are there will be no leftovers.

 

 

A long time ago, one of best friend’s father was a master chef in Montreal (Mr. Landurie from 563930_425819304147359_316607911_nLes Halles for anybody who wants to know) and the first recipe I ever got from her came directly from him.
Amazingly delicious and easy breezy.
serves 4 people at 250 calories each (But so worth it)
In a glass jar, mix;
1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp. old fashion mustard (The type with seeds)
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1 garlic clove mashed
Instructions
 shake like hell, and serve over your favorite salad.
 (also delicious in cold potato salad)

Raw beef and vegetables on white background

Did you know that the average American eats sixty six and a half pounds of beef a year? I don’t know about you but I was shocked to learn this statistic.

When we know how much the raising of beef contributes to the problem of global warming , how much of our agricultural resources are used for raising and feeding livestock and how many pounds of wheat it takes to produce one pound of beef, it’s a wonder anybody eats beef at all. And to make it even worse, now we also know that many types of cancer are directly linked to the consumption of beef, especially a certain type of breast cancer  that is linked to estrogen.

But, all beef is not equal.

It turns out that grass-fed beef is dramatically different from its corn-fed cousin. Grass-fed is considerably lower in fat and calories.

Even if you can’t give up beef in your diet, you can still lose an average of six pounds a year by simply changing to grass-fed beef—that’s if all else in your diet remains the same. Also, grass-fed beef is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help prevent certain types of cancer. So, when you look at the benefits of grass-fed versus corn-fed beef, a leaner trimmer and healthier you, all while slowing global warming,  the choice seems simple. Don’t you think?

Pass the grass-fed beef please.

Years ago I came across a wonderful recipe for Butternut Squash Soup. It was simple, with few ingredients and so delicious I couldn’t wait to make it again. But, silly me, I had forgotten to write it down, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember where it came from. Since then I must have tried a dozen different versions, some with curry, some with tomato paste, and some with cream. None ever compared. Then, low and behold, a few weeks ago I came upon a recipe and was sure this was THE one. And sure enough, it was. So here it is, for everyone to enjoy.

Butternut Squash Soup (gluten free and vegan)

prep 1 hour, cook 35 minutes total an hour and thirty five minutes  soupe de légumes 6 servings of 127 calories each

This is the basic recipe, after which you can use any garnishes you wish. Or, as my daughter likes it, add one carrot, one small potato and a tblp. of tomato paste.  This will only add an extra 20 calories per serving.

1 large butternut squash (About 4 1/2 pounds) peeled, deseeded and cut into cubes of approximately 1 square inch

2 medium onions chopped

3 cloves garlic (optional)

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1/2 tsp. salt plus more to taste

8 cups vegetable broth

pinch of nutmeg

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400.

Place cubes of butternut squash on cookie sheet, cover with tinfoil and bake until just beginning to turn golden–about forty five minutes. Once these are done, remove from oven and move on to the next step.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and the chopped onion. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. If you add other veggies to the soup, do so now.

Add the squash and the broth. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Transfer small batches to a blender. Hold a kitchen towel over the top (to prevent burns) and whirl until completely and utterly smooth, 2 to 3 minutes per batch.

Return the soup to the pot and add more salt to taste, and a pinch of nutmeg.

 

Hello everyone,  I don’t have a new recipe to post today since we had leftover Thai Turkey Balls for dinner tonight. (I’m happy to report they were just as yummy as last night.) I thought I’d share a picture of my wonderful old stove, Bessie, with monique's stove 001 (1)you. I just love this old lady.

She wasn’t keeping the oven temperature very well anymore, so my husband decided it was time to let her retire. Poor thing is in the garage until I find her a good home. Still, her picture belongs right here

along with pictures of a few of the great dishes she helped me cook. Have a lovely retirement old one. I’ll keep a picture of you and remember you always. Isn’t she a beauty?

 

And by the way, if you think the stove pictured on the cover of my latest novel, Getting Skinny looks familiar, maybe there’s a good reason for it. amzon

Roasted meatballs and vegetable saladOnce in a while I just NEED to cook something a bit different for diner. And tonight I decided to give Turkey Thai Balls a try. They were very easy and so, so delicious that my husband had seconds. Okay, so that doesn’t mean much because he pretty much always has seconds–please don’t tell him I said this–but this time I had seconds too.

Prep time 15 minutes, cooking 30 minutes.

Makes 20 meatballs at 85 calories each. The calories above are per meatball. For 1/2 cup of plain rice add 120 calories and for 1 cup of whatever green steamed vegetable you serve alongside, add another 40 calories.

For example, a normal serving of 3 meatballs, 1/2 cup rice and 1 cup green vegetable, your entire main course would add up to  415 calories–a delicious low-cal dinner.

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (white meat)

1 cup gluten free bread crumbs (I usually dry about 4 slices of my own homemade all-purpose-flour bread or Udi white-bread slices in a low-heat oven for about 2o minutes and crush them.)

1 cup fresh cilantro chopped

1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce

2 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. peanut oil

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

reserve 1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce for later

Instructions preheat oven to 350 F

Stir all ingredients (except oil and reserved Thai sauce) until thoroughly mixed and roll into small balls about 2 inches in diameter. These balls will be quite soft in texture and must be handled with care. They will shrink considerably as they cook.

Heat oil  in large skillet until medium hot, and drop meatballs carefully in pan and cook at medium heat turning over frequently. Only cook about 6 to 8 balls at a time. You will have about three batches to cook, for a total of 20 meatballs. When the outside of the balls is golden, transfer them to an ovenproof pan and continue cooking in the oven about ten extra minutes. Just before serving, drop one tsp. of  reserved sweet Thai sauce on each meatball. I like to serve these with plain rice and green beans or broccoli.

Enjoy and pass it on.

 

 

Gluten Free Pancakes

using 1.4 cup scoops of batter, this recipe will make 19 pancakes/ 69 calories per pancake plus 50 calories for every tbsp. of syrup.

pancakes

Ingredients

2 egg

1/4 cup canola oil

2 cups buttermilk, (or if you are lactose intolerant you can use soy or almond milk)

2 1/2 cups of my special all-purpose gluten free flour (See recipe on substitutions page)

2 tbsp. sugar (I like to use natural organic sugar but plain white works just as well)

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. xanthan gum1 tsp. salt

Pam for your skillet

Beat eggs into a large bowl. Add oil and buttermilk and stir. Mix all dry ingredients thoroughly into a separate bowl (You want the xanthan gum to be evenly distributed in your recipe) and then add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients, whisk until smooth.

Here are a few tips.

1) I love to use an ice cream scoop for measuring. Most of the scoops on the market measure a perfect 1/4 cup amount. Or, if not, measure 1/4 cup of water into your scoop to test how full your scoops of batter should be.

When cooking pancakes made from rice flour, as these are, it is best to cook them on a slightly lower heat and for a slightly longer time. So turn your burner on medium (Not all burners heat equally so you’ll have to test yours.) Cook your pancakes thoroughly on one side until bubbles start appearing in your cooking batter. It will take longer than normal wheat pancakes. Lift side of pancake and check that the underside is dark golden, and flip.

Serve with your favorite syrup and enjoy. Ahhh heaven.

 

 

 

368799Gluten Free Chicken Enchilada (Trust me, these are to die for)

Some time ago I attended a dinner party and had to sit and watch enviously as my friends enjoyed the most delicious looking Chicken Enchiladas I had ever seen. (Think of enchiladas as a Mexican version of lasagna.) It was the first time I actually debated going off my gluten free, if only for this one meal. I have to be honest here and admit that I’m not usually a huge fan of Mexican food. I like it, but I’d rather have French or Italian. So for me to come home and start searching chicken enchilada recipes on the net…well, you can just imagine how mouth-wateringly good those enchiladas looked. I found a bunch of recipes and then tried them, working and adapting until I now have what I think is the best Chicken Enchilada recipe ever gluten-free or not. And special bonus. It takes no time to make.

45 minutes

Serves 4/ 332 per portion

Gluten Free Chicken Enchilada (To die for)

Preheat oven to 425 F

1 tbsp canola oil

1 small onion chopped

1 can diced tomatoes 15.5 oz

½ cup light sour cream

½ cup salsa (I like it hot, but you might like it milder)

8 Gluten free Corn tortillas (soft)

2 breasts of precooked rotisserie chicken, shredded

1 cup grated Monterey Jack

Directions:

In a medium sized saucepan, cook onion in oil until transparent, then add the can of tomatoes. Simmer at very low until the tomatoes fall apart.

During this time, you can quickly roast your tortillas in a non-stick pan, a few seconds on each side until golden–they will soften and become easier to roll with roasting–and fill tortillas with shredded chicken and about I tbsp of Monterey Jack. Roll and place inside a rectangular baking dish.

Return to your sauce, which by now should be ready for the next stage. Add the salsa and the sour cream and stir. Allow to come to a simmer and immediately pour sauce over the enchiladas. Then sprinkle grated cheese and pop into the oven. Bake at 425 until the cheese is nicely melted and beginning to turn golden.

For lower calories, serve with a side of salad. YU-UM!