Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Baba Ganoush with Sweet Meyer Lemon twist - a healthy Dip

This is no ordinary Baba Ganoush
The juice of sweet Meyer lemon is brilliant in this traditional Baba Ganoush!
Have you resolved to make healthier snack choices this holiday season? 

This easy Mediterranean vegan dip provides lots of fiber, nutrients, and taste.
It's actually a show stopper!

Roasted eggplant, cooked chick peas, juice from Meyer lemon, fresh lime juice and Mediterranean spices blend into a wonderful dip that can be eaten with gluten free  baked chips, gluten free crackers, or WW simple to make 1 point gluten free bagel rolls. ( no yeast - simply mix and bake) 

I'm making this for New Years's Day with my WW gluten free bagel rolls!

Slice open the roasted eggplant

Scoop out the roasted eggplant

Information about Meyer lemons 

Sweet , less acidic and more fragrant than regular lemons.

According to Wikipedia

"Citrus × meyeri, the Meyer lemon, is a hybrid citrus fruit native to China. It is a cross between a citron and a mandarin/pomelo hybrid distinct from the common or bitter oranges. Mature trees are around 6 to 10 ft tall with dark green shiny leaves. Flowers are white with a purple base and fragrant. Wikipedia

An article in the Los Angeles times called 100 Things To Do with a Meyer Lemon shared that Meyer lemons are 

"A cross between a lemon and a sweet orange, imported to the U.S. from China exactly 100 years ago by the man whose name they bear, the Meyer lemon is a furiously addictive fruit"

Most Meyer lemons are now grown in California, many in people's backyards- and the fruit is seasonal
Author: Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z 
Prep: 15 minutes + cook time
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 1 large bowl of dip 


1 cup ( or more) of roasted eggplant pulp
2 tablespoons of tahini
1/2 teaspoon cumin 
juice of 1/2 lime 
juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon 
Himalayan pink salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees-
Place a whole ( washed) eggplant on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for about 1/2 hour until soft. Remove from oven, slice eggplant down the middle, discard excess seeds and juice, and reserve the roasted eggplant and set aside.

Using a food processor and the metal blade, add the cooked chickpeas, tahini, cooled eggplant, cumin, lime juice, Meyer lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend in the food processor until smooth.

Remove from food processor and place in a bowl or flat plate. Spread the surface somewhat flat and garnish with a little more cumin and 2 tablespoons of whole cooked chickpeas.

Shared on Weekend Cooking where anyone is welcome to share a food related post. 

My notes: 

  • You can use canned chick peas

Saturday, December 22, 2018

How and Why To Cook Dry Beans in the Instant Pot

One of the benefits of owning an Instant Pot is the ease and health benefits of cooking your own  dry beans as opposed to the downside of using canned beans which I will explain.

There are basically two easy steps- 

  • Soak dry beans overnight- 
  • Pressure cook for 20 minutes- (see step by step instructions at end of post)

Dry beans such as chick peas, black beans, pinto beans, etc. usually take hours to cook on the stove top . I used to make them in the slow cooker but again it was time consuming and the beans often came out mushy.

The Instant Pot seems to be the easiest and best way to make perfect beans from dry beans. You can then use the beans the same way you would canned beans.

Why do I cook my own beans as opposed to opening a can of beans?  I have a few reasons. 

1. Canned beans are very high in salt - which is not good for anyone. For example, a 1 cup of black beans from a can have up to 1000 mg of salt - that's too much-

2. Almost all cans have BPA or similar chemicals in the can lining which seeps into the beans. 

3. Most cans are made of aluminum- a metal that can accumulate in the brain and has been suspect in Alzheimers since Alzheimer's patients often test for high levels of aluminum .

4. Economical- A bag is dry beans are very economical. A bag can cost 1.29 and make 5 times as many beans as a $1.29 can of beans. 

5. Although cans are convenient - making your own is so much healthier and less toxic-


1. Soak 2 cups of dry beans overnight or for at least 8 hours. The soaking process makes the beans easier to digest. Discard water. 

2. Place soaked beans, 4 cups of water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt ( garlic is you like) in the IP. 

3. Close lid and secure that the steamer valve is closed.  

4. Pressure cook for 20 minutes and allow steam to self release for 15 minutes. 

Enjoy your beans!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Low Carb Tomato "Cauliflower Rice" Soup

Roasted tomatoes, sweet carrots, and hot pepper to taste, makes a delightful soup that is sure to warm you up on a damp chilly day.

Healthy and Easy

This delicious rich orange soup is easy to make and provides an excellent variety of health building nutrients, antioxidants and vital fiber! For the record it's vegan, parve, nut free, soy free and gluten free as well- perfectly allergy friendly!

For this recipe I roasted a pint of organic cherry tomatoes and 4 medium to large organic carrots. Roasting enhances the flavors and brings out the vegetable's natural sweetness. I then added my roasted vegetables and a container of organic vegetable broth to my blender and blended until completely smooth. 

At this point I switched into shortcut mode and added a half jar of Aldi's organic salsa ( I love the flavor of this salsa) which comes in a jar and has three varieties: mild, medium and hot! Your choice!

My final step is to add a cup of frozen cauliflower rice to the pot, bring to a boil to cook the cauliflower rice and serve-

It has the consistency, appearance and even taste of a tomato rice soup without the carbs!

And cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable which research is indicating is a powerful anti cancer vegetable.

The quality of the vegetables, the taste of your salsa, the depth of your vegetable broth will all make a difference in taste of the soup- I have noted my preferences -

Author: udee Algazi - Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 6 cups

4 medium to large organic carrots, cleaned and sliced into a medium slice
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, washed and cut in halves
3 cloves of garlic , chopped into 4 pieces per clove
Olive oil spray
1 32 ounce container of vegetable broth ( Tabatchnicks, Publix brand organic, or Walmart brand organic)
1 cup of organic frozen cauliflower rice

Preheat oven to 375  degrees
Lay carrots on a baking sheet, spray with olive oil spray. Place in oven for about 20 minutes or until carrots are soft. After 5 minutes, carefully and with a mitt remove tray and dd sliced tomatoes and garlic. Spray again with olive oil spray and cracked pepper and salt. Place back in the oven for about another 15 minutes.  When done, remove from the oven, place in a pot with the vegetable broth. Blend with an immersion blender. Add frozen cauliflower rice and bring to a boil. Serves 6 cups.

Shared on Souper Sunday where anyone can share a soup, sammie, or salad recipe.

Shared on Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads where anyone can share a food related post, 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Shirataki Noodles- no calories and tastes great

If you haven't tried Shirataki noodles, run don't walk to your nearest supermarket for a package of these delicious no or low calorie noodles! 

They are found in the refrigerator case next to the tofu. That is because some of these packages are made from tofu and some are made from white yams! 

Since I try to keep my consumption of tofu to a minimum, I usually opt for the noodles made from white yams. It is made by a company called House Foods, is gluten free, non GMO, and has a kosher certification. The best part is that it tastes more like pasta than zucchini pasta, doesn't need cooking ( just heating), and has zero calories!! Most supermarkets carry it ! 

I made a simple delicious side dish made with sauteed onions, garlic, and baby portobella mushrooms.

When you open the package, drain it, put it in a bowl and soak it in water for a minute. Then drain and wash and drain again. Now it's ready to use and toss in the skillet for heating.

I just added it to my saute to heat the noodles and enjoyed a really DELICIOUS low calorie noodle dish!

2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, cut in half moons
6 baby portobella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 
1 package of Shirataki noodles 
Olive oil Spray or 1/4 cup vegetable broth for sauteing. 
Salt, pepper, and 21 Salute ( salt free seasoning from Trader Joes) 
Optional: a shake or two of turmeric powder at the end of cooking 

Add vegetable broth or olive oil spray to a wide skillet. Add onions and garlic and saute for 3 minutes stirring. Add mushrooms and continue to saute for another 2 minutes. Add well drained Sharataki noodles and stir well. Cook one more minute until everything is well heated.  Season with salt, pepper and 21 Salute. Enjoy

My notes: 
1. If you are on Weight Watchers- this is ZERO POINTS 
2. It is also vegan 
3. Can be made oil free
4. Of course it's gluten free
5. In response to Mae's question- How can they have no calories if they are made from sweet potato.
It seems that white yams are a Japanese Mountain yam that is a tuber that contains no carbohydrates and mostly fiber. It has no calories!

Shared on Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post.