Thursday, September 8, 2016

Chilled Tomato Soup Shooters

Bring on the party with these delicious tomato soup shooters!
Served at room temperature or chilled, these shooters are the great way to get any party or meal started and they are one of the best tomato soups ever! 

With just 5 ingredients, preparation is a breeze! The recipe meets my criteria for health, ease, convenience and taste. It's made from real food, is naturally gluten free, and vegan.

In addition, it makes a fun presentation and can be served without heating- a real plus when you are trying to juggle last minute details for a dinner party!

A shooter is just the right amount of soup for a big meal. Who wants to fill up on the soup when you have a full meal coming?? And you really get to enjoy the exceptional flavor when you are limiting the quantity.

Get Creative
Or you might want to serve them as part of your appetizers at a party or other gathering! Paired with some cheese and crackers, it's delicious! You could also top the shooters with some fresh salsa, a touch of tabasco, some chopped cilantro, or a celery stick. Personally, I like mine plain without any garnish!

A tasty broth is key
I used organic cherry tomatoes, organic red and white onions, garlic, olive oil, Himalayan salt and vegetable broth. The key is to use a really tasty vegetable broth.

For this soup, I used Tabatchnick vegetable broth. It has a great flavor and really enhances the flavor of the tomatoes and onions. I get it at the regular supermarket. It sometimes is found in the Jewish food section. 

In addition, I roasted the tomatoes with the onions and garlic to bring out the sweetest flavor of the vegetables. When the vegetables finished roasting, I allowed them to cool. Then I blended them in my Vitamix with 4 cups of vegetable broth. 

Depending on the size of your shooter container, you should get a minimum of 12-15 shooters per batch. 

Author: Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Roasting Time : 45 minutes
Blending Time: 3 minutes
Serves: About 12 shooters

1- 16 ounce package of organic cherry tomatoes
1 large regular tomato, cut in quarters and then quarters again ( 8 pieces) 
4 cloves of fresh garlic ( I use 2 frozen garlic cubes from  Dorot ( found at Trader Joe or Supermarkets)
1 medium red onion, cut in half moons
1 medium white onion, cut in half moons 
1/4 cup olive oil ( or less)
Himalayan salt to taste
4 cups Tabatchnick or similar type vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Place a parchment paper on a cookie sheet
Toss the cherry tomatoes and onions in olive oil 
Place on parchment paper
Sprinkle with salt to taste
Roast for 40-45 minutes until onions are slightly reddish
Remove vegetables from oven. 
Allow to cool. 
Placed cooled vegetables and all juice into a Vitamix with 
4 cups of vegetable broth. 
Blend until completely blended. 
Store in a glass Mason Jar in the refrigerator until ready to serve
Divide between 12-15 shooters.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Roasted Carrot Soup with Ginger, Turmeric, & Cardamom

 I love ethnic spices, especially in soups. This roasted carrot soup is rich in warming spices of ginger, turmeric, and cardamom with a touch of cooling coconut milk. This easy soup is low in calories, low in fat, vegan, and and naturally gluten free ( like all my recipes) 

I received carrots, onions, and potatoes this week as part of my CSA farm share. I immediately started to think soup!

Roasted veggies make easy and flavorful soups
One of my favorite and easiest ways to make soup is to use roasted veggies as my base. I got the idea when I had a significant amount of vegetables in the refrigerator, and we were leaving for vacation. I needed to find a way to cook the veggies and freeze them. I decided to roast them all. The result was a deliciously tasty blend of incredibly flavorful veggies. 

My daughter in law Wendy said, " Why don't you just blend those roasted veggies in the Vitamix with vegetable broth." That's exactly what I did and to my surprise I ended up with a  quick and simple soup that tasted outstanding.

That is how I started using roasted vegetables as a base for my soups. Roasting vegetables brings out the veggie's sweetest flavor and adds a wonderful richness.  

It's is so easy too. 
To make this soup, I simply lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper, cut up my carrots into spears, sliced my potatoes, and sliced my onion. Tossed the trio in olive oil and Himalayan salt or sea salt, spread them on the lined cookie sheets and then baked at 400 for about 45 minutes until the veggies were done. While the veggies were roasting, I was free to do other things.

When the veggies were ready, I allowed them to cool, then tossed them into the Vitamix with 4 cups of flavorful vegetable broth and the spices. 

Spices add flavor, nutrients, & antioxidants 
If you like ginger, turmeric, and cardamom, you will love the intriguing taste of this light aromatic soup. There are many reasons to include spices in your cooking. Natural spices are very high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and vitamins. Unfortunately, processed foods often contain artificial flavoring and coloring which not only does not add to our health, those artificial products may actually interfere with our health. 

My husband gave the soup an A+ ( of course he loves all my soups) and ate it with leftover triple bean salad. it seemed like the perfect soup for the beginning of September.  

Author: Judee Algazi @Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Roasting Time: 45 minutes
Blender Time: 2 minutes

1 pound of carrots, sliced into large sticks
2 medium potatoes, sliced in thick rounds
2  large onions, sliced in thick half moons
1/8 cup of olive oil or olive oil spray
Himalayan or sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
4 cups of vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom or substitute graham masala ( different flavor) 
Optional: 1 Tablespoon of coconut milk added to each bowl

Directions for roasting
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper
Slice the vegetables 
Place vegetables in a large mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil . 
Distribute over the cookie sheets. 
OR place veggies on the cookie sheets and spray generously with olive oil spray ( if spraying, you will have to do this one more time after 20 minutes of roasting) 
Roast for 45-50 minutes until all veggies begin to be soft but roasted.
Remove and allow to cool. 

Directions for assembling soup: 

1. Place 2 cups of cooled roasted carrots, 1 cup of roasted onion, all of potatoes ( and any juice from roasting) into the Vitamix or strong blender. 

2. Add the turmeric, ginger, and cardamom ( or graham masala if you prefer) along with the vegetable broth. 

3. Process until smooth. 

4. Add to bowls and mix in 1 Tablespoon of coconut milk to each bowl ( I didn't- we liked ours plain) and garnish with the leftover roasted carrots ( chop them to bite size) and onions which should be kind of caramelized. 

 My notes: 
*** Personally, I really like this soup cold! Make it, refrigerate it, and eat it cold-. If you like hot soup, then by all means heat it up.

I like this soup with either seasoning- cardamom or graham masala. 

***I am defending my right to offer real food natural recipes that are naturally gluten free. If you are looking for substitutes for cookies, cake, crackers, breads etc - it is not the focus of the recipes on this blog. I feature naturally gluten free recipes that are health giving and promote a healthy gut!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Healthy Bean Salad In Under 10 Minutes

Thank you Shirley at Gluten Free Easily! I could't have asked for a more delicious, health conscious fast and easy recipe for dinner tonight. I just didn't feel like cooking, but needed something quick, yet healthy, for dinner. I found this quick bean salad that can be made in under 10 minutes on Shirley's blog. ( Another few minutes for the dressing)

This recipe has everything I love- chick peas, kidney beans, and black beans, chopped tomatoes, chopped red onion, chopped red peppers, cilantro optional. In addition, there is a homemade citrus dressing that enhances the recipe.

7 Reasons I love this recipe: 
1. No cooking involved
2. It's a quick and easy meal
3. Lot's of fresh summer produce
4. It's high in fiber and nutrients
5. It's vegan, gluten free, and allergy friendly
6. It can be made in advance
7. Makes a beautiful colorful presentation and tastes great

No cooking - Sometimes I just don't want to cook! It's already hot outside, so why heat up the kitchen.

Can be made in advance- make it in the morning, the night before, or just whip it up in 10 minutes before dinner. It will be easy and delicious no matter when you make it.

It's a meal- Beans are high in protein, so this salad can be eaten as an entree for a light dinner or if you want something more- make a baked sweet potato to go with it.

Fresh summer produce- summer tomatoes, red pepper, red onion are still really flavorful and plentiful- this salad gives you yet another way to use your summer produce from your CSA, farm stands, or your own back yard!

High in fiber and nutrients- Beans are not only high in protein, they are also very high in fiber. This recipe is a great way to include more healthy beans into your diet. In addition, the tomatoes, pepper, red onion, and cilantro add even more vitamins to the mix. I'd say this is a pretty nutrient dense salad.

It's vegan, allergy friendly, and gluten free- This salad is allergy friendly as well as healthy! Made from all real food ingredients, it meets gluten free, grain free,  egg free, and dairy free standards

Perfect recipe for company or a pot luck- This recipe is served at room temperature, so if you are having company or want to bring it to a pot luck, there is no need to worry about reheating when it's time to serve it. It also is allergy friendly making it a perfect choice for a pot luck!

Makes a great presentation- The finished product is colorful with the blacks, reds, and greens- it looks vibrant and inviting,

Pin it now -don't lose this recipe- I would classify this recipe as an under 10 minute recipe. This is a recipe you don't want to lose, so pin it right now to make next time for a pot luck or a fast dinner.

My notes:
** I buy organic canned beans that have no BPA in the cans
** If you have more time cook your own beans for the recipe
** I cook beans in the crock pot
** Eat over rice for a heartier meal ( buy frozen rice at Trader Joe's if don't want to cook)

Prep Time: 10 minutes for salad + 5 minutes for the homemade salad dressing
Cook Time: None
see recipe at : Gluten Free Easily