Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pomegranate Quinoa Salad Recipe

This pomegranate/quinoa salad is refreshing and simple. It would make a nice holiday side dish because it has both red and green in it. Other recipes on the internet call for adding nuts and/or cheese, which would probably be good if those are safe for your diet. This recipe is delicious as-is. Because quinoa has lots of protein its a good dish to share with vegetarians as well.

- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water (to cook the quinoa)
- 1 cucumber, thinly diced
- arils/seeds from 1/2 a pomegranite
- 1/4 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
- salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, to taste

Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Chop and combine remaining ingredients. When quinoa cools, add to the other ingredients. Serve cold.

Photo credit: Wiki Commons user Bob_pcc

Friday, November 26, 2010

Crock Pot Cranberry Sauce

Modified from this recipe at A Year of Slow Cooking.

  • 12 oz. cranberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar*
  • 1/2 cup sugar*
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • dash grated ginger (optional)
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • Note: I've had success with substituting a sweeter berry, like raspberries, for part of the sugar.
Rinse cranberries. Place all ingredients in crockpot and mix. Cover, cook on high for about 2 hours, or until cranberries are soft enough to "pop" when smooshed with a spoon against the wall of the crockpot. Smoosh all the berries and let simmer for another half hour on low. Let cool. Can be made ahead of time. Makes a nice topping for salads and ice cream or pie.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Key Ingredient: Mirepoix; Also, When to Buy Organic

Mirepoix is a French name for a mix of onions, carrots and celery. It is used as a base for stocks, soups, stews and sauces. Some chefs prefer a 2:1 ratio of onions to carrots and celery. Mirepoix can be used raw, roasted, or sauteed. When preparing mirepoix, I like to use "regular" or "conventional" onions but organic carrots and celery. I do this because onions have a fairly low concentration of pesticide residue, while carrots and celery are higher in pesticide residue. Carrots are sometimes on the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" list of fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residue. This year, celery was ranked the item likely to have the highest amount of pesticide residue. The idea behind the "Dirty Dozen" list and ranking fruits and vegetables is that people can maximize their grocery dollars and minimize pesticide exposure by focusing on buying organic where it can benefit them the most.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Easy Crock Pot Braised Chicken

-chicken (I used 1 package of frozen chicken breasts, about 1 lb)
-dash of olive oil
-1 jar salsa verde or tomatillo salsa
-1/2 cup water or chicken broth (you want enough liquid to coat the bottom of the crock pot, but the chicken doesn't need to be submerged)

Place ingredients in crock pot. Cover and set to high for approximately 4 hours or until chicken is done. If you use fresh or thawed chicken, set to low. Chicken will shred a bit on its own, if desired, shred more with a fork before serving. Excellent for tacos or nachos but also delicious on its own. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dairy-Free Indian "Butter" Chicken Recipe

My allergies, including allergies to beans, legumes, dairy, nuts and turmeric, make it difficult to find allergy-safe Indian recipes. When I saw this recipe for Butter Chicken on the Tasty Kitchen website, I knew I had to try modifying it to be allergy-safe. The results were fantastic. I think this is a great dish even for people without food allergies or sensitivities. It is even better as leftovers the next day.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite sized pieces if desired)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper (I used white pepper because I didn't feel like grinding that much black pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom (if you don't have cardamom, you could try subbing a pinch of cinnamon or allspice)
  • 1 whole lime, juiced
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 1 cup frozen spinach (Optional--the original recipe does not call for this but I thought it was a nice addition.)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (Melt before measuring--I used slightly more than this because I wanted to finish off a jar. Note that the coconut oil is in place of the original recipe's butter, you could switch to butter if you prefer and its safe for you.)
  • 1 6 oz. jar of tomato paste
  • 6 oz. water (I use the empty tomato paste can to measure)
  • 2-3 diced fresh tomatoes (could use canned diced tomatoes in a pinch)
  • 1/2 can light coconut milk (This is a substitute for the original recipe's whipping cream.)
  • 1 bunch chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups basmati rice
Combine the first nine ingredients and marinate the chicken (overnight if desired, I did not do this because I wanted to eat it the same evening). Sauté the onion in the coconut oil until soft. Add the chicken and cook about 10 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, prep the tomatoes and wash the cilantro. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes and frozen spinach. Cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat with the lid on. Add the coconut milk and cilantro. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sweet and Sour Cucumbers

These sweet and sour cucumbers are a snap to prepare and last in the refrigerator for days. They are delicious on their own, but also great on top of a salad (in lieu of dressing), or used in place of another moist vegetable like pickles or sauerkraut (I love them on a turkey sandwich).

-3/4 cup of white vinegar
-3/4 cup of water
-3/4 cup of sugar
-2 fresh cucumbers, peeled and sliced
-chopped onions, if desired (I like to use about 1/2 a white onion)

Combine vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan. Heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Combine with cucumbers and onions. Refrigerate, serve chilled. This lasts a long time in the refrigerator and is better if made a day or two ahead of serving.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Rhubarb Pork Recipe

Photo credit: Flickr user foodistablog

(Modified to be allergy-friendly from this recipe:

2.5 cups rhubarb, chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbs flour (gluten free flour OK, I used rice flour)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1.5 tsp. minced fresh rosemary (if you only have dried rosemary, try .5 tsp)
olive oil for cooking
salt and pepper

Brown the pork in the oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Lightly oil a baking dish. Layer half the pork, half the rhubarb mixture, and then the remaining pork and rhubarb. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Uncover and bake an extra 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Summer Tip:
So I wouldn't have to heat up the oven, I baked this in a square Pyrex dish in the toaster oven.
Worked like a charm!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Allergy Friendly Tortilla Soup Recipe

Tortilla soup is a great way to use up leftover corn tortillas. Although it is dairy, soy and casein free, the pureed tortillas give the soup a rich creamy texture. The amount of spice and heat can be adjusted to your taste. Especially delicious on cold winter nights!

  • cooking oil
  • 8-12 corn tortillas
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 serrano peppers, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 lbs boneless chicken thighs
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • optional garnish: lime wedges, extra cilantro, cheese, sour cream, avocado, tortilla strips
Start the chicken.
Place chicken, salt, pepper, half the onion, half the bell pepper, half the garlic, and all the water into a pot. Bring slowly to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours. When finished, the meat will be tender to the point of shredding. Save the broth to incorporate into the soup.

Toast or fry the tortillas.
I like to toast the tortillas in the toaster oven (no extra fat from frying), but if you prefer you can cut them into strips and fry them before adding to the soup. If you toast them, you can just crumble them into pieces over the pot when it is time to add them.

Start the soup.
In large pot, heat several tbs. of cooking oil. Add onions, garlic and peppers, saute for 5 minutes. Add tomato, broth from the chicken, fried tortilla strips or crumbled toasted tortillas, and spices. Simmer, cooking uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and puree the soup (I use a stick blender but you can use a regular blender if needed). Add the chicken and cilantro. Heat until evenly warm.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gluten Free, Legume Free Minestrone Soup Recipe

I've always loved minestrone soup, but I've been avoiding it lately do to my allergies to legumes and gluten since most minestrones have beans and/or pasta. Finally I decided to give it a whirl, and I was very satisfied with the results.

  • olive oil (2 Tbs)
  • 1.5 white onions, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup diced or shredded carrots (I used bagged pre-shredded carrots)
  • .5 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 3 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1 14 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes (can sub fresh, I used a 16oz package of fresh that I diced myself)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • spices as desired (I used a handful of fresh basil, along with liberal dashes of dried oregano, basil, dill, salt and pepper.)
  • 4 cups water (this will give you a thick, stew-like consistency, add more water if you desire a more soupy consistency)
  • 1 cup dry pasta (I used Ancient Harvest quinoa/corn pasta in rotelle)
You can add or subtract to the ingredients above based on your preferences or what you have available. Let me know if you have any favorites I missed!

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add carrots, zucchini and bell peppers and saute for another 5 mins. on low/medium. Add remaining ingredients except for pasta, simmer on low for 15 mins. or so. Bring to a gentle boil, and add in pasta. Simmer until pasta is cooked to desired consistency. Enjoy!