If you have Celiac Disease, as I do, you are probably eating considerably more rice than the average person. This could potentially be dangerous. We already know that rice contains high levels of arsenic and that we should wash it thoroughly before cooking. Even better, we should cook rice in double the amount of water suggested and then drain out the extra water. This helps remove some of the arsenic from the grain. Now, there is even more reason to be wary of eating rice. Researchers have discovered dangerous levels of lead in white rice, 30 to 60 times higher than the FDA’s provisional total tolerable intake (PTTI) levels. For us Celiacs, who eat three times more than the average person, this can be disastrous to our health.
Of all tested, the rice from Taiwan and China had the highest levels of lead. However that is not to say that rice from anywhere is safe. It therefore becomes extremely important to find other sources of cereal to replace rice in our diet. Just when we thought we’d found something safe to eat.
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 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
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 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.
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.
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.
Gluten 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.
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
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!
If you’re like me, the first time you heard of mulligatawny was from the soup natzi on Seinfeld. Everyone made such a fuss about how good it tasted that I became intrigued. I HAD to find the recipe for this soup. Over the years I’ve tried a number of recipes, some way too complicated and time consuming, and others quicker but lacking flavor. Recently I came up with one gluten free version that has since become a family favorite. I dare you to try it. It will be a favorite of yours too.
324 calories per portion
15 minute prep and 1 hr cooking
1 medium chopped onion
2 medium carrols chopped
2 stalks celery
1/2 chille pepper (You can skip if you prefer your soup not too hot)
3 tblsp butter
2 tsp curry
pinch of thyme
2 tblsp cornstarch
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 apples peeled and chopped
1/2 cup rice (I use brown rice for added nutrition)
2 chicken breasts cut into cubes
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup coconut milk
melt butter in deep soup pan and add vegetables, cook at low heat until they start sweating. Add curry, thyme and cornstarch and mix well. Add chicken broth, bring to a boil, add rice and lower heat to a simmer. Cook covered for thirty minutes. Add chicken, and coconut milk and cook for another fifteen minutes, taste and adjust seasoning. It’s as easy as that.
I normally post recipes including number of portions and calories, but this time I won’t, because there is no point. I guarantee you will have many more than one portion, and that’s okay because it’s totally healthy. Besides, who ever heard of someone getting fat on soup?
Fasolatha (Greek bean Soup)
I had this soup for the first time at a local restaurant and loved it so much I had not two, but three bowls. My husband couldn’t believe it. I begged the owner for the recipe and he kindly gave me the ingredients. I went home and experimented until I got it right.
To eat this soup is to fall irrevocably in love with it. I’ve made it once a week for the last three weeks.
1 16oz can of navy beans
1 16oz can of stewed tomatoes
2 tblsp tomatoe paste
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 half cup chopped turnip
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 large onion chopped
2 stalks celery chopped (leaves included)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove chopped
1 to 1 ½ quart water (I like to add two tablespoons better than bouillon vegetable base)
¼ to ½ cayenne pepper (according to how much heat you want in your soup, although it will still not be very hot)
Salt, pepper to taste
And the secret ingredient is 1 tbsp honey
¼ cup cheese for garnish
In large pot, roast vegetables and garlic in olive oil.
Rinse beans thoroughly and add to vegetables, along with canned tomatoes, tomato paste and seasonings.
When all vegetables have become sweaty, add liquid and better than bouillon, bring to a boil for ten minutes and lower the temperature to a simmer, then continue cooking for one hour.
Serve with 1 or 2 tsps crumbled feta for garnish. YummmmmI normally post recipes including the number of portions and calories, but this time I won’t, because there is no point. I guarantee you will have many more than one portion, and that’s okay because it’s totally healthy. Besides, who ever heard of someone getting fat on soup?
One of the greatest challenges I face on a gluten-free diet is coming up with new ideas for breakfast. Gone are the days of popping a couple of slices of bread into the toaster or frying up a couple of pancakes. Let’s face it, one can have poached eggs only so often. (If you watch your weight like I do, you pick poached over scrambled or fried.) Last night I happened to make brown rice as side dish for dinner. Afterwards I was faced with throwing out two cups of perfectly good rice, or coming up with an idea for using it. Yep, you guessed it. I thought, heck, rice is a cereal, why not have a brown rice pudding for breakfast.
Here’s another little secret. I LOVE desserts, all desserts. It doesn’t matter how fancy or simple, if it’s sweet, I love it. So I sometimes like to have something sweet for breakfast, that way I feel as if I’ve already indulged in my need for dessert for the day, and I and I can more easily pass on it at lunch or dinner.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….So here is my easy recipe for a power-packed (eggs and walnuts) Breakfast Brown-Rice Pudding.
Serves 4—Calories per serving 271
2 cups of cooked plain brown rice
1 cup 2% milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon1 tbsp raw sugar
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup maple syrup
Whip milk, eggs, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon together and then stir into brown rice. Bring to a slow simmer stirring frequently (Otherwise it has a tendency to stick) Will take about ten minutes.
Serve sprinkled with walnuts and a tiny bit of maple syrup. Yummy.