Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

sweet potato soup with coconut milk

Got leftover cooked sweet potatoes ? 

You can make this spicy sweet potato soup in just minutes. Serve topped with a drizzle of full bodied coconut milk and some diced avocado and you have a company worthy bowl of soup that is colorful and healthier than you may think.

 I am notorious for making fast and easy vegan soups. This wonderful  soup is no exception and of course is naturally gluten free!

boxes of sweet potatoes

I  blend left over cooked  and cooled sweet potatoes, some mild salsa, and some good tasting vegetable broth in the blender until smooth. I then top each bowl with a little coconut milk and chunks of avocado.  I make the soup in just three minutes and another 2 minutes to garnish.

sweet and spicy sweet potato soup

I like it at room temperature- or if you use a Vitamix you can use the soup function, or just re-heat it slowly in a pot.  Do you know about foods with resistant starch ?

I feel good eating this soup because of it's powerful health benefits

Cooked and Cooled Sweet Potatoes Contain Resistant Starch 
When cooked and cooled,  sweet potatoes ( and rice and white potatoes)  provide what is known as " resistant starch " which provides the body with excellent fiber, good carbs, and especially absorb-able nutrients. In addition, research is indicating that this type of starch plays an important  role in cancer prevention, See article on Everything You Need to Know About Resistant Starch that I found by Yuri Elkaim.

Concerned about blood sugar?
In his article Yuri Elkaim says, "Numerous studies have shown that when resistant starches are added to a meal or consumed for a short time,  a person’s blood sugar is lowered and their level of insulin release is decreased." 

According to many sources, the best way to cook a sweet potato is to boil or steam it to create resistant starch. You can boil or steam them on the stove or use your little steamer basket in the Instapot to pressure cook on 16 minutes. 

You can cook  a sweet potato in the Instant Pot in 16 minutes

Overall, you will enjoy this ease, the delicious taste, and the health benefits of this super food soup!

Author: Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: None ( unless you want to re heat it) 
# Gluten Free # Vegan #parve
Serves: 2 bowls 


1 large sweet potato, cooked, cooled and peeled
4 Tablespoons of mild salsa ( use medium if you like the heat) 
2 cups of flavorful vegetable broth. 
2 Tablespoons of diced avocado ( 1 Tablespoon for each bowl)
1/4 cup of coconut milk ( or cream) ( half for each bowl to top)

Cut cooked sweet potato into chunks and place in the blender. Add the salsa and vegetable broth. Blend until smooth.  Pour contents into two soup bowls, Divide the coconut milk and diced avocado between the bowls. Drizzle the coconut milk and top with the avocado

My notes: 
1. This soup can be eaten at room temperature or reheated, For best benefits from the resistant starch re-heat slowly and do not boil.
2. I place the coconut milk in a baggy and snipped off the edge . Then slowly drizzled over the soup.
3. I find Tabatchnick Brand garden vegetable broth the tastiest..( available in the kosher section of most supermarkets)
4. This soup is parve so it's a perfect match with any menu
5. Want a bigger pot of soup ? Ratio- 1 large sweet potato and 4 Tablespoons salsa and 2 cups of broth per 2 bowls of soup- Want to make this soup for 8 people? Multiply everything by four.
6. I get my salsa at Aldi- It's organic  and only $1.99
7.  Are you a Weight Watcher? Reduce the recipe in half and substitute non fat yogurt for the coconut milk and omit the avocado - then it's only 2 points!

Linking to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post. This week Beth review the Netflix series called Rotten which explores the many problems in our food industry,. 

This post is also linked to Souper Sunday where anyone can share a soup, salad, or sammie recipe. Check out this week's recipes.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and I am not trying to diagnose or treat disease. Always check with your medical doctor before making changes in your diet. The information in this post and on this blog is for educational purposes only. ( I do not endorse Yuri Elkaim- just found his post and am sharing)  

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Chinese Noodle Salad

red lentil pasta and veggies

It's the Chinese New Year and what better way to celebrate than with a delicious Chinese Noodle Salad. Blogging is an opportunity to learn about different cultures and delicious flavors from all over the globe.

Twisted noodles in a bowl

This simple hearty side dish that is both flavorful and healthy. Sauteed cabbage and noodles have always been one of my favorites.  Chinese Noodle Salad is my variation of my noodle salad, but I've added sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds to give it that Asian flavor that so many people just love.

noodle salad and vegetables

In addition, I've added some uncooked chopped veggies and sunflower seeds  for a little crunch and fiber.

Whether you are looking for a dish to bring to a pot luck or a side to serve for dinner, this easy recipe is sure to please. After all , who doesn't love pasta and best of all it doesn't need to be heated up. It is delicious at room temperature for easier serving.

You have your choice of what type of pasta to use. Of course I selected a gluten free variety-
I have been seeing red lentil pasta twists at Whole Foods, Aldi's and even the supermarket.  It's made from 100% red lentils. The ones I've bought at both Aldi and Whole Foods are both organic and gluten free.
box of red lentil pasta

I love the slightly reddish color of the red lentil noodle, and it's firm texture in the salad. However, I did feel the red lentil flavor  was a little overbearing in this recipe so next time I might change to a brown rice gluten free pasta that I get at Trader Joe's and save my red lentil pasta for a palin bowl of pasta and cheese.

It's a great side for a group because it takes into consideration guests with specific diets needs. It is gluten free ( of course you need to use a gluten free pasta) , egg free, diary free. If you leave out the sunflower seeds , it can also be nut free.

two heart shaped bowls with pasta
Maybe I'll make some for Valentine's Day

Chinese New Year is on Feb 16 2018 - Celebrate and Enjoy!!

1/2 head of white cabbage, chopped
1 onion, sliced 
2  of olive oil 
1/2 red pepper, chopped 
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
1 cup of chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup of toasted sunflower seeds
1 Tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup of sesame oil 
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons of 21 Salute salt free seasoning from Trade Joe's ( or Mrs. Dash) 

In a large skillet, suttee the onions in the olive oil on a low flame for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped cabbage and saute until the cabbage is soft and set aside.  

Cook 12 ounces of dry noodles according to the directions on the package.  Drain noodles and toss with the sauteed onion and cabbage mixture in a large bowl. Add the raw chopped vegetables ( red pepper, parsley, tomatoes) and the sunflower seeds. Add the sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, salt and pepper, and a salt free seasoning like 21 Salute from Trader Joes.  Serve at room temperature.

Variation: omit the sesame oil and sesame seeds and toss with Italian dressing and 1/2 cup of feta cheese

Linking to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post. This week Beth review the Netflix series called Rotten which explores the many problems in our food industry,. 

This post is also linked to Souper Sunday where anyone can share a soup, salad, or sammie recipe. Check out this week's recipes.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Flu ? Natural Flu Prevention

Are you afraid you will get the flu? 

Some of the first things I do if I start to come down with the slightest sore throat, sniffle, or cough.  

1.  I Reach for the Zicam immediately- the sooner the better-
 Zicam really works for me if I start to take it immediately. Last week I was developing a cough-I was afraid I was getting the flu because so many people in my building had it. I took Zicam before bed and first thing in the morning for 3 days- despite feeling something coming on - I am fine

2.  I Start taking Manuka Honey K-factor 16- Why? Manuka honey is from New Zealand where the bees pollinate with the Manuka bush. Known for it's antibiotic properties, I always feel it's a good addition to my routine if I feel like I'm coming down with something. Read Dr. Axe's article on Proven benefits  of Manuka honey

3.  I increase my Vitamin C and Vitamin D for a few days or more to help boost my immune system

4. I drink lots of warm water and lemon, herbal tea, and homemade soup. In fact I have a  stove top soup recipe that can be made easily and quickly. or use one of my Instant pot recipes. It is soothing, delicious, and has lots of antioxidants.

5. I diffuse essential oils like Thieves, Raven, eucalyptus , or oregano- here is a good article for essential oil and colds 

6. I wash my hands frequently especially if I am playing cards or mah jong and 
I never eat anything while I am playing or eat from a communal bowl of snacks.

I  come across interesting posts and articles that might also be of interest to you my readers.  I'm sharing an exceptionally good article by best selling author and nutritionist Louise Gittleman. I have been following Louise for years. Her post offers some very simple yet powerful suggestions to help prevent or deal with the flu. Here is a link to her article - where Louise shares some valuable information
What I Would do If I Had The Flu by Anne Louise Gittleman

Don't Rub Your Eyes
I never realized that you can pick up flu germs through your eyes!!! if you touch something like a table top or handle with the germ ( someone coughed or sneezed) and then rub your eyes - you can make contact into your body that way

What natural things do you do ? 

wkendcookingLinking to Weekend Cooking, at Beth Fish ReadsWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share:

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and I am not trying to diagnose or treat disease. Please always check with your medical doctor if you have the flu or are feeling sick.  This information in this blog is strictly for educational purposes. 

I am an affiliate for Amazon. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a very small compensation at no cost to you.  Most bloggers do this to defray the costs of running a blog. I appreciate your support.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Go Healthy For the Superbowl -12 Real Food Appetizers

Healthy Appetizers for superbowl

I'm sharing some of my favorite healthy appetizers for the big Superbowl Game !  No reason to eat a lot of junk when you can make some of these great tasting healthy appetizers.

Go Eagles 

This year I am especially interested because I live just outside of Philadelphia ! It will definitely be exciting cheering on the Eagles while enjoying some of these healthy appetizers that meet gluten free and vegetarian standards as well.

cheesy bean bake

Mexican Corn and Bean Bake- A hearty appetizer  that is fast, easy , and delicious

guacamole and tomatoes

Classic Guacamole - easy to make and so delicious ( vegan) 

captrese salad vegan

Avocado Caprese Salad - dairy free and delicious ( vegan) 

homemade baba ganooj and dippers

Homemade Baba Ganooush 

stuffed mushrooms vegetarian

Spinach and artichoke stuffed mushrooms

vegan mushroom scampi

Mushroom Scampi

pesto stuffed mushrooms

Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms 

Mango Salsa Dip

Asian  Party  Slaw

Cauliflower Low Carb Breadsticks 

Mozzarella Cheese Caprese Salad Platter

Cauliflower low Carb Snow patties - cut in quarters for appetizers 

Hope you have a great time watching the game- but we have to say, Go Eagles!! Who are you rooting for ?