Posts tagged ‘Gluten Free*’

Simple Potato Soup

This is the soup that my family eats every year on Christmas Eve or sometimes on New Year’s Eve. It’s a super-simple soup with very few ingredients, and part of the fun is adding garnishes to your own bowl at the table. If you want to forego the garnishes, though, it’s still delicious and warming – especially with a bit of green salad and a hunk of crusty bread.

By the way, I’m sorry my posting has been so sporadic this semester. I’m hoping to get back to regular posting now, but we’ll see how this next semester goes!

Simple Potato Soup
Makes 4 – 6 Servings

1 large leek, washed and sliced (white and green parts) – about 1½ cups
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 large baking potatoes, scrubbed and chopped (unpeeled if you like) – about 3 cups
4 cups vegetable broth
½ cup soymilk or cream (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Optional Garnishes:
shredded cheddar cheese
sliced green onions
fresh (or dried) dill
sour cream or plain yogurt

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the leek, stirring until the green parts are wilted and the white parts are translucent and separated (about 10 minutes).
  2. Add the potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft enough to be mashed easily.
  3. Blend with an immersion blender or potato masher until smooth.
  4. Add cream or milk (if using) and salt and pepper.
  5. Garnish as desired.
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December 27, 2009 at 9:27 pm Leave a comment

Homemade Spinach-Feta Cream Cheese

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Sorry I’ve been absent a few weeks. It’s just that time of the semester, but to make up for it, I have for you a delicious recipe that will make your breakfasts sublime this week.

I love spinach-feta cream cheese. Love it! Sadly, I haven’t been able to find it anywhere in New Haven, even at the decent bagel place around the corner from my house. Always industrious, I decided to make my own, reasoning that this would solve my problem and allow me to control the quality of ingredients that I used. I found organic neufchâtel cheese at Nica’s (the little Italian market near my house) that was only slightly more expensive than the regular cream cheese, and bought a nice, sharp feta from their deli. The spinach came out of my freezer, and the pepper was a last-minute addition that adds a bit of a bite without overpowering the other flavours. In the end, this was more expensive to make than simply buying flavoured cream cheese, but it was delicious and easy to make and definitely worth it if you are (like me) without a source of premade spinach-feta cream cheese.

Spinach and Feta Cream Cheese
Makes about 2 cups

8oz. plain cream cheese or American neufchâtel cheese
1 Tbsp. water
4oz. feta cheese (about 1½ cups), crumbled
1 cup cooked spinach, chopped (from about 4 cups raw)
¼ tsp. pepper

  1. You can use thawed frozen spinach but if you are using fresh spinach, start this way: remove spinach stems, and chop the spinach finely. In a medium pot over medium heat, cook the spinach until it has reduced to about a quarter its original volume but it is still bright green. Set aside, making sure that it is completely cool before using.
  2. With an electric mixer (or a good spoon and a strong arm), beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy, adding water as necessary.
  3. Add spinach, feta, and pepper and stir to combine.
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Enjoy on bagels, crackers, or veggies (cucumber slices are especially good).

November 12, 2009 at 2:17 pm Leave a comment

Sweet Potato Fries with Sriracha Mayo

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Nothing is easier to make than a batch of oven fries. Cut up potatoes, put them in the oven, take them out of the oven. Voíla!

In this recipe, the sweet potatoes are tossed in a bit of oil and spice to add a subtle spice to the sweet flavour of the potato, and they are served (if you like) with a super-simple spicy mayo dip (because if you aren’t going to deep-fry your potatoes, you should at least serve them with mayo, right?).

We like to eat these as a side dish with all manner of entrees, from burgers to baked tofu to chili. It’s a fun and simple way to enjoy what is, in my humble opinion, one of the best winter vegetables out there.

Sweet Potato Oven Fries
Serves 4

1 large sweet potato, about 1 lb.
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon chili powder

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Cut potatoes into long, thin strips. Try to make them as even as possible so that they will all finish cooking at the same time.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, oil, and chili powder.
  4. Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 – 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. (20 minutes should be long enough for them to cook through, 30 minutes should make them a bit crispy on the outside. Test a few with a fork to make sure they are done).

Sriracha Mayo
Makes ½ cup

½ cup mayo or vegan mayo (I really like vegenaise)
½ Tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
2 Tablespoons fresh chives (optional)

  1. In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients.
  2. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to about 5 days.

October 24, 2009 at 12:13 pm Leave a comment

Beet and Spinach Soup

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It’s tempting (at least for me) to call any beet-based soup a borscht, but this one doesn’t quite fit the bill. For one thing, it is has fewer beets than a traditional borscht recipe, which allows the flavours of the other vegetables to shine through a bit more. For another, it has a great deal of spinach in it, which adds a contrasting texture and contributes to the iron content of the soup.

This is the perfect meal to make as fall sets in. Hearty and warming, it takes advantage of the winter vegetables that are starting to show up in markets and lets you enjoy a bit more spinach while it’s still around, too.

Beet and Spinach Soup
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 small onion, finely diced (about ½ cup)
1 large carrot, finely diced (about ½ cup)
2 celery ribs, finely diced (about ½ cup)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large beet, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed (or 4 cups fresh, finely chopped)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 Tablespoon dried dill
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
plain yogurt for garnish, optional (about 2 Tablespoons per serving)

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in 1 Tablespoon of water (or oil, if you prefer). Cook until the onions and garlic are translucent.
  2. Add beet, spinach, broth, dill, vinegar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer 10 – 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, and serve.

October 4, 2009 at 10:32 pm Leave a comment

Artichoke Heart and Sun-Dried Tomato Spread

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Heading out on one last picnic before the weather turns cold? Or maybe you need something to munch on at work or school? Wherever you enjoy it, this easy spread makes a nice, healthy treat that works equally well as a sandwich spread or a dip.

The texture of the spread is similar to hummus, thanks to the white beans that provide its base, but the flavour is something else. The artichokes lend a creaminess that balance the rich flavour of the sundried tomatoes, while the garlic steps in with its own unique kick.

I especially liked this as a dip for veggies and pitas, and in veggie sandwiches (with cucumber, tomato, and spinach). I hope that you will enjoy it, too!

Artichoke Heart and Sun-Dried Tomato Spread
Makes 1½ cups

1 cup white beans (such as cannellini beans or navy beans)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
½ cup artichoke hearts
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until creamy. (I like my Cuisinart immersion blender for things like this. It is a bit of an investment, but I got it as a gift a few years ago and I use it almost every day for blending dips, spreads, smoothies, and soups).
  2. Serve with veggies or crackers, or as a spread in sandwiches.

Adapted from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

September 5, 2009 at 4:21 pm Leave a comment

Garlic Grape Gazpacho

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I didn’t mean for this to be a blog recipe; I really didn’t. I had every intention to just follow the recipe in my new issue of Vegetarian Times for a quick, easy (and oven-less!) dinner. Despite my intentions, though, I revised the recipe pretty heavily as I went along – substituting more grapes when my cucumber proved too small, and adding blended arugula to the soup itself. I also amped up the garlic, switched out the almond milk for coconut milk, and well… generally created a new recipe in the process.

I’m sure that the original recipe was excellent, too, but since we enjoyed this revision so much, I thought I ought to share it with you. It was super-simple to whip up and it made a perfect, refreshing (but filling) summer meal. And did I mention that I didn’t have to turn on the oven, or even a burner?

Garlic Grape Gazpacho
Serves 4 – 6

2 cups sliced almonds, divided
1 large cucumber, sliced (about 2 cups)
2 cups green seedless grapes (plus ½ cup for garnish)
½ cup onion, chopped
1 cup baby arugula (plus 2 cups for garnish)
2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup coconut milk
1 Tablespoon sherry
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon olive oil (plus 1 Tablespoon for garnish)

  1. Place almonds in toaster oven and toast 10 minutes at 350F, or until lightly browned. Don’t let them get too dark, because they will continue to cook  a bit, even after you take them off the heat. Set aside to cool. If you don’t have a toaster oven, you can toast nuts in a dry frying pan over medium-low heat until lightly browned.
  2. In a blender or food processor (or using a hand blender), combine 1 cup of almonds, with the cucumber, grapes, onion, garlic, arugula, coconut milk, sherry, vinegar, and oil. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve immediately, or chill 2-3 hours to let the soup get cold.
  4. Garnish each bowl with a small handful of arugula, 4 halved grapes, 2 Tablespoons of toasted almonds, ½ teaspoon of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with thick slices of crusty bread, if desired.

August 22, 2009 at 10:34 am Leave a comment

Basil-Balsamic Baba Ganoush

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I brought home a bag of baby eggplants the other day to make the eggplant and goat cheese pizza that I posted last week, but it soon became clear that I had too many eggplants for just one culinary project. Falling back on an old standby, I decided to whip up a batch of baba ganoush, a Mediterranean dip similar to hummus that I like to use as a dip for veggies and crackers. It also makes a great addition to sandwiches and wraps.

I roasted my eggplants and then opened my cupboards, and found that I was missing two out of the five ingredients for this extremely simple recipe. Time to improvise! I substituted balsamic vinegar for lemon juice, basil for parsley, and pine nuts… well, those I just threw in for fun. In the end, I had a dip very much like baba ganoush but different enough from the original recipe that I thought I should share it with you. I hope you enjoy it!

Basil-Balsamic Baba Ganoush
Makes about 2 cups

1 lb. eggplant (about 1 medium eggplant or 3 baby eggplants)
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon pine nuts (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and place face down on a cookie sheet. Roast for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the skin is blistered and the flesh is soft and browned. Let cool.
  2. When the eggplant is cool, scoop the flesh out of the skin and into a blender or food processor.
  3. Add other ingredients to blender (or food processor) and pulse until smooth.

Adapted from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles

August 8, 2009 at 1:53 pm Leave a comment

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*All entries tagged "vegan" and "gluten free" meet those dietary requirements to the best of my knowledge as long as the vegan or gluten free instructions are followed (where applicable). It is always wise to double-check ingredients (especially when dealing with packaged foods) and to confirm ingredients and preparation methods at restaurants.