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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Monday, November 12, 2012

Wild Rice Stuffing SRC





There is something about homemade stuffing that everyone loves! Despite being a vegetarian and not having a turkey to stuff, I always make stuffing for Thanksgiving. This gluten free wild rice stuffing recipe is excellent and is sure to become one of our favorites.

Secret Recipe Club'  I found this recipe on a blog called, Sid's Sea Palm Cooking, which is my Secret Recipe Club assignment for the month of November. The Secret Recipe Club is sort of like a Secret Santa. I make a recipe from another blogger's blog who doesn't know that I am making her recipe until reveal day! ( which is today)

I love participating in the club because every month I get to meet bloggers who I didn't know and so do my readers! Today is reveal day. If you scroll down to the bottom of this post, you will see all the November reveal day recipes from all the participants of the Secret Recipe Club group B!

Sid is from Florida and has an incredible variety of recipes on her blog. Sid says her blog  is "  A collection of recipes, some mine and some from my friends, how to's, hints and ideas for food" 

Although there were quite a few recipes I wanted to try, I made Sid's wild rice stuffing because it is perfect for Thanksgiving, and I also really like wild rice!

I adapted the recipe a little to make it gluten free. First of all, I used gluten free rolls ( Udi's), I used a wild rice mix from Trader Joe's, I used olive oil instead of butter,  and I used fresh cranberries  instead of dried cranberries.

I wasn't disappointed. This recipe adapted beautifully to being  gluten free and vegan. It will be on our Thanksgiving table ! I also want to mention that we liked it even better the second day. The flavors seem to mingle overnight. ( we ate it cold)

Ingredients: 
1 cup of Trader Joe's Wild Rice Mix prepared according to directions
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 ribs of celery, finely chopped
1 shallot , minced ( I used 1/2 onion) 
2 Udi's gluten free whole grain hamburger rolls toasted lightly and then diced into cubes 
2 TBSP olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped 
1 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup of fresh cranberries, cut in halves
optional: 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook 1 cup of Trader Joe's Wild Rice Mix according to package directions and set aside.
Saute mushrooms and shallot in olive oil ( or butter if you are not vegan) and then add the carrots,celery, and 
bread cubes. When all is coated and beginning to soften mix with rice mixture and pour into a greased baking  dish. Pour hot vegetable stock over the mixture, decorated center with fresh cranberries and bake at 400 degrees for 1/2 hour.
Trader Joe's Basmati and Wild Rice Medley

                                       

saute vegetables and gluten free bread
Add caption

I enjoyed this recipe best after it was out of the oven for about 2 hours and the flavors had time to mingled . We liked it at room temperature. I might have thought about adding some tasted pecans to the mixture!

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili




Despite the bad photo, this sweet potato chili is outstanding and a perfect easy meal to make for a group!.Thanksgiving side anyone?



My daughter in Law, Wendy, made a fabulous dinner buffet the other night which included this delicious sweet potato chili. ( OK.. I got a really bad picture) I'm not normally a chili lover, but I loved this recipe. It had some unusual ingredients including cocoa and cinnamon. Wendy had about ten for dinner, a variety of dishes, but everyone seemed to really like the chili the best!.

You can also add fresh corn


As an easy entertaining tip
Wendy served the chili right out of  the crock pot  on her buffet table to keep it piping hot for her guests to serve themselves.

                                


Got Butternut Squash? 
I use sweet potato and butternut squash interchangeably. Sweet potato is a little thicker, but both are bright orange vegetables that provide similar flavors. Butternut squash may be a little lighter on the carbs and calories. This could be a great addition if you have a having a crowd for Thanksgiving. ( especially if you are having any vegetarians or vegans)

Need to eat more fiber? 
You can't go wrong with this hearty, heart healthy recipe- beans ( fiber) , vegetables ( vitamins and minerals) , healthy spices( antioxidants) that is so delicious and so good for you. It's also gluten free, vegan and a skinny recipe  making it a versatile dish if you have guests with eating restrictions.


Weeknight Convenience 
It's also a great meal for your family for a weekday meal.
Put the ingredients in the crock pot before you go to work. Come home to a fragrant warm nourishing dinner not fast food.

I eat it with a salad ( and my fabulous cranberry dressing see recipe at end of post) and feel very satisfied! Beans are so healthy read 6 powerful reasons black beans are so good for you.

                                            

Ingredients:
1 med red pepper , seeded and chopped
1 28 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes
16 oz of black beans. cooked ( if you don't make your own, use 1 16 oz can)
16 oz of kidney beans, cooked (  if you don't make your own, use 1 16 oz can)
1 large sweet potato, cubed ( or 1 and cups butternut squash cubed)
1 T ground cumin
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions :
Combine red pepper and cumin, cocoa, and cinnamon and place in a 4-6 qt. slow cooker and add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, black and kidney beans. Cook on low for 7-8 hours until vegetables are softened. Optional: When done, top with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, scallions, or tortilla chips
serves 6- for a larger crowd , double the recipe.

Recipe for Cranberry Dressing    for salad.. ( This is one AMAZING dressing)
2 Tablespoons of raw organic honey ( or maple syrup grade B)
Juice and the fruit of one large navel orange
1/4 cup of organic cranberries ( I found them in the supermarket) 
2 slices of fresh ginger ( a must if you like the taste of ginger)
1 TBsp lemon juice
1/4 cup of water




I made this dressing in seconds in my new  Nutribullet  very high power blender ( works like a Vitamix, but is much less expensive) .It's small, compact, easy to use, and takes up very little space and the plastic containers are BPA free..

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