Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lose Weight With Quinoa + stuffed pepper recipe





Today's guest blogger, Kimberly Olson,  will tell you why quinoa is a great food for weight loss.
As soon as I heard this, I knew I would want to incorporate more of quinoa into my family's diet.

 Kimberly is sharing some valuable information about quinoa and a really easy and delicious quinoa stuffed red pepper recipe to help you get started.
For additional quinoa recipe here are my 10 Best Quinoa recipes

Kimberly authors a health and fitness blog called Fitkim and quite an impressive bio. Her blog has great articles and tips for living a healthier lifestyle. Personally, I really find her blog supportive for weight loss and weight management ideas! Definitely can help to get back in balance after all the holiday food..

Here is Kim's post:

Kimberly Olson from  Fitkim   
Whether or not someone is on a gluten-free diet, I find people are more and more interested in incorporating quinoa into their cooking. Although it is generally categorized as a whole grain, quinoa is actually a gluten-free super seed. It is extremely versatile and easy to prepare as you will see in the recipe below.

Before we dive into my favorite quinoa recipe, let’s first take a look at its health benefits so you understand why you would want to start using more quinoa in your diet.  I think my favorite thing about quinoa is that it supports overall health, weight management, and is just super easy to cook with.

 These are my favorite things about quinoa:

It’s a Complete Protein
I know you’ve heard of amino acids, but there are actually nine we have to get from our food.  These nine do not have to be in one meal, but quinoa naturally contains all of them.  The number of people trying to eat more vegetarian or vegan meals is growing dramatically, as well as those diagnosed with gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease.  With this change in diet, many of my clients come to me wondering how they could possibly still get adequate protein in their diet.  To satisfy everyone, my number one go-to staple is quinoa.

Whole Grain without Gluten
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, "three or more servings of whole grain foods everyday could reduce the chances of developing metabolic syndrome - a condition marked by a combination of abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, poor blood sugar control, low HDL 'good' cholesterol and high blood fats."  We see this and instantly think we need to start eating more whole-grain cereals and granola bars.  This is so unnecessary.  Remember, there are millions of dollars tied into the grain industry, so this message is purely marketing.  You can meet your whole grain need with a gluten-free super seed, and get even better results.

Health Benefits
Not only is quinoa a complete protein, but it offers a non-dairy source of calcium. This calcium is easily absorbed by the body, allowing for an increase in bone and teeth strength. I love that! Also, it has been shown to reduce cholesterol and help improve the transport of oxygen to our cells. This is super important to all of our bodily functions. Not only does magnesium support heart health, but it impacts everything from sleep to anxiety to stress. Quinoa is loaded with magnesium, with one cup contributing to 14% of our DV.  This little seed is truly a powerhouse of nutrition!

Now remember, quinoa is something you can easily incorporate into many of your recipes, but I wanted to share with you my favorite quinoa recipe. My Stuffed Red Peppers are healthy, loaded with nutrients and a crowd favorite. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

FitKim’s Stuffed Red Pepper recipe and instruction video

Looking for a way to sneak more veggies into your diet? Try my Stuffed Peppers recipe that is loaded with nutrition!

I
Ingredients:
½ cup Quinoa, dry
1 cup Vegetable Broth
4 Peppers (Red, Green, Yellow or Orange!)
½ cup Black Beans
1 Tomato, seeded and diced
1 Jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 stalk Green Onion, chopped
1 Tsp. Black Pepper
½ Tsp. Sea Salt
Directions:
1.Place quinoa and vegetable broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer until liquid is absorbed (about 10 minutes).
2.Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3.Cut tops of peppers similar to how you would carve a pumpkin. Use a spoon and scoop out the insides.
4.Combine the beans, tomato, jalapeno, garlic, green onion and quinoa in a medium sized bowl. Season with black pepper and sea salt.
5.Spoon mixture evenly into the red peppers. Place peppers in a greased baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.
Nutritional Content
Servings: 4 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes
Nutritional Content per serving:
Calories: 156 Protein: 7g Carbs: 30g Fats: 1.5g Sugar: 7g Fiber: 6g

Stuffed Pepper Video Watch Video

Thank you Kimberly for this highly informative guest post and delicious recipe that is naturally gluten free and packed with nutrition. I love your healthy weight loss approach. If you would like to know more about Kimberly, her blog, and her books, read on: 

Bonus: my 10 Best Quinoa recipes

Kimberly's bio: 

Nationally renowned nutrition and fitness expert Kimberly Olson, CNC, CPT is the creator of FitKim, a nutrition and fitness blog that teaches people how easy it is to be healthy.  She has completed her Master’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition, become a Certified Nutritional Consultant & ACE Personal Trainer, and travels nationally public speaking. She has been consulting clients for over ten years, and has developed a passion for combining nutrition and fitness.


Kimberly is the author of The FitKim Lifestyle: Food & Fitness to Get YOU Fit!, a complete guide to teach readers everything they need to know to live healthier, become more active and learn how to finally lose those stubborn pounds.  She has been featured on Fox San AntonioCBS MinnesotaABC West MichiganYahoo!,YouTube, Houston Woman Magazine, O’Fallon Nutrition Radio and has reached Expert Author status onEzine Articles.
She is currently working on two PhDs in Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition, as well as her next book,Cooking with FitKim.  Kimberly resides in Austin, Texas with her husband, Scott, who is her official taste-tester.  He continues to give her five stars for her recipes.  She can be contacted at Kim@FitKim.com for freelance and consulting inquiries.
May be shared on a few of the following blog carnivals
Like my recipes? I post lots more ; Follow me on Pinterest Gluten Free A-Z  and Twitter .

Please leave a comment so I can be  introduced to your blog . I will visit you and  I usually follow on G+, Twitter, and Pinterest. I would love if you followed me as well Follow me as well : Gluten Free A-Z  and Twitter .

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Roasted Vegetables Over Pasta




Roasted vegetables and gluten free pasta  is a great "go to" recipe when you need something company appealing and delicious, but yet fast and easy. And amazingly tasty..

Roasting any vegetable in the oven brings out its sweetness and flavor, making it perfect to toss over gluten free pasta. I use the gluten free brown rice rigatoni noodle from Trader Joe's.

Most of my guests have no idea that these noodles are gluten free because they taste so much like regular noodles. In addition, they are very reasonably priced at $1.99 a package, which makes enough for a meal.

If you eat dairy,  sprinkle the pasta dish with a grated Romano cheese or even some goat cheese. I  not because I wanted to keep our dinner vegan.

Ingredients: 
A significant amount of any  roasted veggies that you like. I used roasted red pepper, sliced yellow pepper, carrots, tomatoes and garlic, onions, eggplant, zucchini, etc.


How to roast the veggies?

 I cut them up , throw them in a large plastic zip lock , toss with olive oil and seasoning of choice ( I use Trader Joe's 21 Salute) or salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic powder etc. Put on a covered cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until veggies are cooked. ( Always preheat the oven so its nice and hot)

Will be shared on the following blog carnivals:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

3 Powerful strategies to avoid weight gain during the holidays- Guest Blogger

Weight gain over the holidays is always a concern, but my guest blogger, Gabriela,  author of Renaissance Life and  Renaissance Woman ( lots of healthy recipes) has 3 powerful strategies that can help you maintain, detox, and glow even during this season of eating!! This is a great post so enjoy! 


                           Gabriela 

Greetings!
My name is Gabriela and I'm a health coach and blogger over at Renaissance Life.  After struggling for many years with extreme exhaustion, dizziness, skin problems, and respiratory issues, I experienced complete healing through a change in diet.  Because of my own experiences, I'm passionate about sharing my knowledge to encourage others on their own path to health!  Thanks Judee, for having me here at Gluten Free A-Z!

Living for Health During the Holidays

Oh I love this time of year - smack-dab in the middle of the holidays!  The generous, joyous spirit and festive holiday decorations, seeing friends and family - all of it.  It's a good time.
But there is one thing that's not so welcome.  The generous spirit of the season can also be a little too generous with overeating, sickness, and unwanted weight gain.

It's true, healthfully speaking, we're in the most challenging time of the year.  The abundant feasting of Thanksgiving can set a pretty fine stage for back-sliding all the way through to New Year's can't it?  Well, that's only if we let it!  While appearances seem to be against us, rest assured it is more than possible to maintain, improve, and even come out far ahead on our health goals during the "most wonderful time of the year"!

With Thanksgiving behind us, we've got about a two week window of time before Christmas to give ourselves a health boost before "the next go-round".  How about we put some strategies to work for us!  I'm ready to set myself up for success leading up to, through, and after the holidays.  (Not to mention grabbing a jump start on New Year's resolutions.)  Are you with me?

The Big 3

I've found that there are three powerful strategies that are invaluable in not only maintaining weight but keeping your overall health this time of year.  These work together effectively and build on each other, so if possible give all three of them a go at once.  And when you do, lookout!  You'll see some very positive changes.  And they are...




  • Detox
  • Boost Immune System
  • Portion Control

Detox

Detoxing...  Think of it as a deep clean.  We all need one now and again!  Some benefits of detoxifying your body are: improved clarity of mind, clearer skin, increase in energy, healthy weight-loss, and getting rid of drainage and congestion.  (If you have bad allergies, try detoxing!)

On a personal note, I like to take about week every couple months or so and detox.  Some effective ways I detox is by drinking warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice as soon as I rise in the morning, starting my day with a green juice or a smoothie, eating fresh fruits and veggies and staying away from processed foods.  When your body is in detox or "super clean" mode, it's vital to make sure you're getting 8 - 10 hours of sleep as it's working hard and needs time to recharge.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes that gently support your body's natural detoxifying process as well as promote weight-loss:
Power Juice, Ultimate Fountain of Youth Smoothie, and in my post, "A Case of the Winter Blues - and how to bust 'em!", you'll find Herb Salad, Insanely Moist Rosemary Chicken, & Coconut Cereal with Pom Jewels. (scroll down on the page to see recipes)


Boost Immune System

This one is obvious!  Who wants to be coming down with the flu or a cold right now?  (Or ever, really.)  No one!

Another benefit to detoxing is that it's a huge immune system booster.  Green juices and smoothies are immune building as well (see how it all works together?).  Leafy greens contain massive amounts of vitamins and minerals and give your body an edge in fending off disease.

For added benefit, start taking a probiotic daily.  Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support healthy intestines.  Healthy digestion is crucial for the proper absorption of nutrients as well as the swift and efficient exiting of toxins from the body.  When your body is laboring to process food it can cause partially digested matter to decompose while still in the body.  

Without getting too in-depth here, this can cause the lining of the intestine walls to rot.  This is Leaky Gut Syndrome - when toxins leak into the blood stream and cause all sorts of problems!  (We get bombarded with pathogens from without who wants 'em from within?)

Another effective and simple way to guard against sickness is by drinking herbal teas.  Echinacea is a powerful herb that protects the immune system and is available in many different tea brands.  Try Celestial Seasonings, Yogi, or Traditional Medicinals.  It's always nice to have a warm something to drink when it's cold out.  Why not have it be building your health up as you sip?




Portion Control

Ah ha.  This one can be a little tough at first.  We all know this but... we eat too much!  Abundant is different than excessive.  It is good to enjoy abundance but it is harmful to eat excessively.  Extra, unnecessary food (especially if it has little nutritional benefit) just puts a drag on our bodies and strain on the wardrobe!  Pesky little calories!  So what are some ways to cut back on the portions we take and how much is enough?

A good rule of thumb is eat what can fit in both of your slightly cupped hands.  Eyeball it when you serve yourself.  If you're at a restaurant feel free to put extra food in a to go box right away so you won't be tempted.  Chew food slowly, enjoying the tastes and textures - don't inhale!  Give yourself half an hour to enjoy your meal.  Remember, don't rush. 

 Food really is a gift and should be enjoyed.  If you're still hungry, sit a few minutes before going for more.  Your brain signals when it's full down to the stomach and it's a good idea to give your brain the chance to make the call before you go off and stuff yourself. ;)

The Sugar On Top

The key to all this - the sugar on top - is something we all know but need to be reminded of...
No one can make us do or EAT something that is outside of our health goals.  Yes, avoiding unhealthy food takes a little planning and forethought.  But it's oh so worth it!  Because giving yourself the gift of health is also giving to others.

Let's be empowered this holiday season to take care of ourselves!  And when you feel tempted to completely leap off the wagon (so to speak) here's a trick:  invoke the power of  the "NO".  Really.  It will work.  ;)  (For more on navigating holiday parties without completely blowing your health check out this post.)

So gear up to enjoy greater well-being this Christmas and New Year's and be a glowing, healthier you!  Because you are worth it!

For other helpful and motivating posts please visit my blog at Renaissance Woman, I'd be happy to have you drop in!
_________________________________________________________________

Gabriela, 
Thanks so much for your informative and inspirational post; I know that I'll be using some of the ideas.

Please remember to  leave Gabriela a comment.

May be shared on a few of the following blog carnivals
Like my recipes? I post lots more ; Follow me on Pinterest Gluten Free A-Z  and Twitter .

Please leave a comment so I can be  introduced to your blog . I will visit you and  I usually follow on G+, Twitter, and Pinterest. I would love if you followed me as well Follow me as well : Gluten Free A-Z  and Twitter .

.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Best Ever Hanukkah Potato Latkes are baked not fried


baked potato latkes
Baked Latkes
potato latkes on plate on gluten free a-z blog
Fried grated potato and carrot latkes
 My Best Ever Hanukkah potato latkes are baked, not fried. The first night of Hanukkah I invited our extended family over to celebrate the holiday.. I made four different kinds of latkes: three were fried and one was baked .Believe it or not the favorite of the crowd, which I am now calling my best ever Hanukkah latkes, were  the " Baked Latkes"
The choices were  Harriet's fried Blender Potato latkes ( vegan alternative) , Weight Watcher style sauteed broccoli slaw latkes, coconut oil fried grated potato/.carrot latkes and my potato cheese baked latkes ( recipe below) ! Don't get me wrong, they were all good, and not one of the sixty latkes were left over , but everyone loved the baked potato cheese latkes!

Next year, I'm sticking with this baked version! After all frying is very time consuming, really smells up the house, your clothes, etc. and personally I don't like to eat fried food because I need to lose weight. So there you have it. Baked in my house is best!

Ingredients:

6 large baking potatoes (about 750 g), peeled and grated
2 carrots, grated
1 cup of grated cheese ( I used Parmesan that I hand grated,can't use the powdery stuff) 
3 eggs
5 scallions, finely chopped 
Salt, freshly ground pepper


Grate potatoes and carrots. Wring as much liquid from them as possible. It is easiest in a clean tea towel - .Stir  together all ingredients well. 

Preheat oven to 425. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil. Be sure to spray with a little oil or the latkes my stick. Drop tablespoons full and flatten somewhat onto the cookies sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes-20 minutes until crispy.   Take them out and serve immediately. Top with Plain Greek Yogurt or homemade applesauce.


Grate potatoes  and carrots ( I did mine by hand  but you can use your food processor )
and wring out water
carrot, potato, eggs, and grated cheese mixture
                               
Baked Latkes

                                                   



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Friday, December 7, 2012

Good Quote


Had to share this one because it is so true!! I have to remember this during the holidays! Aint' it the truth!!






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Potato Latkes from Hanukkah Past


My favorite Hanukkah Platter

I've posted a few of my latke ( potato pancake) recipes from Hanukkah's past and  one new one.
Eastern European Jewish Tradition dictates that we use oil to fry food especially latkes ( potato pancakes)  during the holiday of Hanukkah to commemorate the miracle of the little bit of oil that lasted for eight nights and lit up the Temple!My mother in law is of Sephardic Tradition, and she fries luchmadas ( donuts)  for the holiday.



I hate to eat fried foods, but I struggle with the tradition verses my diet!

When I was growing up, My mother used to fry up batches of delicious potato latkes for dinner each of the eight nights of Hanukkah; My cousin Harriet still carries on the same tradition. Their recipe is very similar and the batter was made in blender. I usually don't make fried ones. My recipe is under Harriets.

Harriet's Fried Latke Blender recipe: ( I changed her use of matzo meal to gluten free bread crumbs to make it gluten free)
Ingredients:
6-7 all purpose potatoes, peeled and quatered
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 egg or 1/2 cup of applesauce if you want it to be vegan
1/2 cup gluten free breadcrumbs ( or less- just enough to hold it together somewhat)
salt and pepper to taste
optional : 1/4 tsp of garlic powder

Put the egg in the blender ( or applesauce) , add onion, and potatoes a few at a time while blending. add enough gluten free breadcrumbs and seasoning to hold together loosely. Drop in tablespoon size mounds in hot frying oil. Remove to paper towels and drain. Eat immediately covered in sour cream or homemade applesauce .

Weight Watcher broccoli slaw latkes
 I usually only fry latkes one night of Hanukkah or at least I only eat them one night!
Last year, I made a Weight Watchers style latkes  recipe that was made from broccoli slaw instead of potatoes and then sauteed. They were actually good and low in carbs and calories

                    
I'll be making the muffin latkes tonight and posting about them late this week.

Need a topping for your latkes? Don't forget my recipe post from yesterday for a quick homemade applesauce .

                               
Me and My cousin Harriet 1950's in Brooklyn, NY
                     
My cousin Harriet and Me as adults; she is in Florida; I am in Pennsylvania
                                           


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Homemade Apple Sauce

                                   
                                       
                                         
Homemade applesauce is very popular during Hanukkah. It is the perfect topping for the homemade potato latkes ( pancakes) which we eat during the holiday. It is fast and easy to make, and it tastes absolutely delicious.  I'm sharing my friend Paula's recipe which is made from a combination of apples and pears.

Ingredients
8 medium Winesap ( or other cooking) apples
1 Bartlett pear
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup water
1-2 tsp. cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla ( my addition)
Peel ( I didn't)  core and cut the fruit into chunks. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook partially covered for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender


Cut up apples and pear ( I left the skin on since my fruit was organic)
             Do you eat your latkes covered in applesauce or sour cream?
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Can Cinnamon Help You Lose Weight?


Product DetailsProduct Details


If you want to know why I always add cinnamon to my oatmeal, it's because cinnamon can encourage weight loss and is beneficial in helping regulate blood sugar.

I recently read an article about cinnamon and weight loss By carolyn_ on a blog called Healthy EatingI have always known that spices are good for you, and that many spices are loaded with antioxidants and could be viewed as natures little pharmacy. Cinnamon, it turns out,  is certainly one of those spices. 

The following is a small excerpt from the article on Healthy Eating. There is additional information in the article that you might like to view.


"Cinnamon and Weight Loss
A recent report speaks to the health benefits of cinnamon as a miracle spice that has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant, as well as cancer-fighting and cholesterol-lowering effects. However, the amount of clinically controlled trials to corroborate cinnamon’s effect on humans is scant. 

One such study of Type 2 diabetes patients showed profound effects on the levels of fasting blood glucose and an added weight loss perk to boot. The double blind, randomized trial assigned participants to a three-grams-per-day cinnamon supplement for eight weeks.

 Though there were no significant differences in baseline characteristics, dietary intake and physical activity between groups, when compared to placebo, those who took the supplements saw a reduction in weight, BMI and body fat mass which all decreased significantly compared to baseline. Other study findings include:
  • A ½ teaspoon of cinnamon a day can help lower LDL, your "bad" cholesterol.
  • Cinnamon can be used as a natural preservative, inhibiting bacterial growth and food spoilage.
  • Cinnamon is a natural cure for headaches and migraines, and may lower fever.
  • The smell of cinnamon alone can boost your cognitive function and memory. "

The article also stated that 2 teaspoons of cinnamon has 2.5 gms of fiber, which is a great way to add fiber to foods. It's no secret that  fiber and weight loss go hand in hand.

Oatmeal and Cinnamon are a great team!




Cinnamon and blackberry Overnight Oatmeal



Cinnamon and Oatmeal Pancake

                                             Cinnamon and apples taste great together. 
Roasted Apples and Cinnamon
                     These cookies were posted by a  blogger friend who has a great website called  
                                                             Sweet and Healthy Living
Cinnamon Maple Spice Cookies ( vegan )                 

Don't stop with just cinnamon. All spices are full of potent antioxidants, and studies are finding that spices provide protective and health giving properties. Remember spices like turmeric, cumin, oregano, basil, etc.a little powerhouses and there are lots of ways to add these to foods. 




Sunday, December 2, 2012

Will you gain weight over the holidays?

My Photo

I always look forward to the holidays: getting together with family and friends, enjoying special meals, and celebrating. It's such a joyous time, but I also get nervous about gaining weight because we go to parties, entertain, bake, eat out, and overindulge. What I'm realizing is that I have to make a choice in advance

. The "holidays" are going to be celebrated all through December. I have a choice whether to make an eating plan and stick to it, focus on eating healthier foods,  or just be victim to all the rich, plentiful, inviting food that will be all around me, and have a weight gain. I know there will be times that I might falter, but with a plan I might just have a very small weight gain or stay the same. Without a plan, from past experience, I know I can gain at least 5 pounds.
.
I heard a Weight Watcher lecturer say that most people gain between 5-15 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years! Yikes..

What is your weight loss goal for this month over  the holidays?
Will you gain, lose , or maintain your weight over the holidays?

Please join me in a 30 day action plan for the holidays ( month of Dec)- doesn't matter what eating plan you are following as long as you follow it during the holidays! Leave a comment in the comment section that you are going to create your 30 day month of December plan . 

_______________________________________________________________________________
Interested in being a guest blogger??
I would love to have other bloggers share how they plan to eat healthfully and consciously  during the holidays. Maybe some healthy low cal real food recipes? Some tips etc. 
Email me at vegyid2@yahoo.com if you are interested.
________________________________________________________________________________
During the month of December, I plan to follow Weight Watchers and track and post everything I'm eating.
I'm doing this for two reasons.
1. I don't want to gain any weight- and would actually like to lose weight
2. I want to eat consciously and healthfully even through the holidays so I feel good
( when I overeat, eat junk, and high carbs which is what's around during the holidays- I feel bloated, tired, and stuffed)

What is your goal for this holiday season? 

Lose Weight? 
           going to stick to your eating plan no matter what!

Maintain your Weight? 
          Enjoy extra food, but with restrictions  

Accept a small gain? 
         Enjoy extra food, and exercise more.

No plan? 
  Don't restrict myself- enjoy all the goodies of the holidays and forget an eating plan


Personally, I just returned from an all inclusive Carribean vacation, and I didn't follow an eating plan. I did a lot of walking , but still managed to gain about 4 pounds. Since, I need to lose those 4 pounds ( and more) I am going to be very conscious of my eating during the month of December, so I don't become one of those Weight Watcher statistics who gain 5-15 pounds during the holidays!

My Plan: 

1. Exercise daily or 5 times/week - I go to the gym and use the Elliptical machine, lift weights twice a week, and jump on my rebounder for about 15 minutes /day. It helps you feel great. Or just walk at least 1/2 hour day.

2. Follow my Weight Watchers plan which includes eating lots of veggies, fresh fruit, and for me beans and small amounts of grain. ( I'll be sharing a recipe for roasted vegetable soup which is warming, filling, delicious, and zero points plus ( I get 26 points plus/day)

3.  Write down what I eat- trust me , it helps to see what I am eating in writing even if I overindulge. It's easier to get back on track. 

4. Plan- this step is vital for me.. I have to plan in advance, especially if we are eating out. 
   Going to a party? bring a vegetable tray
   Going out for dinner? check their menu on line in advance and plan what you will order
   Going shopping? pack some healthy snacks ( cut up veggies, cheese stick, pre- measured food, nuts, a piece of fruit ) 

If I don't plan , I know I will get hungry and sometimes there are no good choices.. so I always have something for me in my purse- 


Will be shared on the following blog carnivals: 


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Indian Spiced Tomato Soup






Do you love a flavorful, yet easy to make soup? 

The first time I tasted this Indian Spiced Tomato Soup was at a women's night out group that I belonged to when my kids were young. We were a small group  that met once a month for a special night of mental, physical, and spiritual revival. We discussed books, shared ideas, and talked about motherhood. My kids were little, and I savored the opportunity to have an evening out with other interesting women ( I still do) . Our needs at the time were simple:time to ourselves, some good conversation, a little wine, and some hearty soup.

There were eight of us from different backgrounds, and we we took turns hosting and sharing a big pot of soup. The highlight of each meeting was the anticipation of finding being introduced to a special soup.  I'm excited to share this special recipe.

It is slightly spicy, has protein rich lentils and is easy to make.  The recipe boasts fresh tomatoes ( although you can you canned in the winter if you must) , immune protecting onions and garlic, metabolism raising chile peppers, and fresh green cilantro. The addition of curry or turmeric and cumin add an extra kick of immune building spices as well as extra flavor.




This soup is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and egg free. It's protein comes from lentils. Great for adults and even kids who are adventurous eaters!

This is one of those recipes that is perfect on a chilly fall/winter evening.

Baby it's cold outside today! This soup is perfect!!



Ingredients:

6 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped ( or 1 large 24 ounce can organic diced tomatoes)
Olive oil spray and 2Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 green chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped (wear plastic gloves) optional
6-8 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp tomato paste
4 cups vegetable broth
2 peeled red potatoes , chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
3/4 brown lentils
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:
Put 3/4 cup raw brown lentils into a saucepan, add 1 1/2 cups of water, bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer, cover and cook until lentils are soft ( follow directions on bag). Set aside

Spray saucepan with olive oil spray . Over medium heat,  saute the onion, chile pepper, and garlic and slowly saute for about 4-5 minutes until onion starts to become translucent,. Add olive oil, allow to become hot and  stir in the fresh or canned tomatoes: cook, stirring often, for 5-8 minutes until tomatoes begin to blend.

In a small bowl, blend the tomato paste, vegetable broth, and curry powder.Add to the saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes covered and last two minutes uncovered.  

To serve, divide the soup among 4 serving bowls. Sprinkle the cilantro on top for garnish.

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Food is my passion. I am gluten intolerant, busy. and strive for a healthy balanced lifestyle. It has taken me many years to develop and discover easy healthy recipes that meet gluten free, vegetarian and real food standards. On my blog I share my journey, my struggles, my discoveries, and my new recipes. I hope you find ideas, resources, and recipes that will be helpful to you. Come Back soon.



Author: Judee Algazi

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