Soy Free

Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup

Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup

To be completely honest this Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup surprised me.  I expected it to be tasty, and I knew it would be satisfying thanks to the coconut milk, but I was surprised at how subtly fragrant and delicious all of the flavors combined to be.

The flavors are mildly of curry, but not a kind of curry that beats you over the head or fills your house.  The cumin and coriander are savory, and yet the ginger and coconut milk provide a light fragrance and sweetness as well.  If you’re not a lentil lover red lentils might be just the thing for you – in this soup they practically dissolve, and in the end you’d hardly guess they’re there, as they combine with the coconut milk to provide an overall thick and creamy texture that is lovely.  Sauteed garbanzo beans make the soup hearty enough for a meal and add an extra layer of umami and texture.  The jalapeno provides a nice counter to the sweetness of the coconut milk.  Overall the soup has such a well-rounded yet subtle flavor profile that I just loved.

The kiddos gave it their endorsement as well, captured without words in this lovely portrait.  They think you should give it a try!Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup Love

Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup
From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Adapted from Coconut Red-Lentil Curry, Gourmet 2006
Total Prep Time: 45 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Serves:  4 with [...]

  • White bean chili with sweet potatoes and jalapeno
    Permalink White bean chili with sweet potatoes and jalapenoGallery

    White Bean and Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Jalapeno

White Bean and Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Jalapeno

White bean chili with sweet potatoes and jalapeno White bean and turkey chili with sweet potatoes and jalapeno

This chili has been very popular with the kiddos for dinner, and will be a new winter staple in our house.  That’s my 3 year old’s chili – the supermodel in the above pic. It’s a sweet, savory, and if you want, slightly spicy take on chili.  Half-way between a traditional chili and a white chili it’s not too acidic, which I really enjoy with the traditional savory chili spices (and it’s easier on sensitive tummies).

I served mine with a little grated white cheddar cheese, some sliced green onions, and a spoonful of plain yogurt – delish.

Possible adaptations: omit the turkey if you’re vegetarian and add an extra can of beans, or a little diced firm tofu.  If you’re not into sweet potatoes (my husband isn’t), simply omit those – it’ll be just as good without them, and a little more traditional.

Recipe:  White Bean and Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Jalapeno

From: Eat Happy Meal Plan: 2/17/14
Total Prep Time: 45 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Serves:  4 with leftovers

Ingredients
4 ½ cups cooked white beans, such as cannellini, from 1 ½ cups dried or 3 cans
1 lb ground turkey, preferably free-range and pasture-fed
1 jalapeno minced small, seeds removed if you want less spice
2 poblano or green bell peppers, minced (use bell peppers if you want less spice)
4 teaspoons minced garlic, from about 4 cloves
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 cups chicken [...]

  • Whole Grain Waffles
    Permalink Whole grain waffles (gluten fre) with fresh strawberry sauce and toasted pecansGallery

    Whole Grain Waffles with Fresh Strawberry Sauce and Toasted Pecans

Whole Grain Waffles with Fresh Strawberry Sauce and Toasted Pecans

Whole Grain Waffles Whole grain waffles (gluten free) with fresh strawberry sauce and toasted pecans

Yesterday I absolutely delighted my daughter when she asked me what was for dinner.  I wish that was a daily occurrence, but it isn’t always – she is 3, after all.  When I responded with “waffles”, her immediate response was “that’s crazy” (she meant in a good way!) and all through dinner she had a big smile at the treat that was breakfast for dinner.

I figured if I was going to make waffles for dinner I should make them good.  So I took a little more time and made some tasty toppings to pair them with: toasted pecans and a fresh homemade strawberry sauce.  The end result was a family-pleasing dinner treat.  And the waffles were still nutritious, as I primarily used rolled oats, ground into flour in the food processor, along with some buckwheat flour and sorghum flour (you could certainly use whole wheat or all-purpose flour).

So here is how to delight your family with dinner!

Whole Grain Waffles with Fresh Strawberry Sauce and Toasted Pecans

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cups any whole grain flour or all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 buckwheat and 1/2 sorghum, but you can use whatever you like)
2 cups whole milk (sub dairy-free milk if you like)
4 eggs
2-3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 package frozen strawberries, with no added sugar
1 1/4 cups raw pecans
5 tablespoons butter
real maple syrup
sea salt or kosher salt
high-heat oil for your waffle maker, if necessary

Directions:

  1. Heat a [...]
By |February 13th, 2014|Gluten Free, Soy Free|

Oregon Blueberry Brunch Cake

A nice slice of Oregon blueberry brunch cake A nice slice of blueberry brunch cake

I’m ringing in the new year with something old – my mom’s Oregon Blueberry Brunch Cake.  My mom would make this for us frequently when my sisters and I were growing up living in Oregon.  We’d pick mountains of blueberries in the summer and freeze them to use throughout the coming year.  This was hands-down my morning favorite.

Of course I adapted it a little – just a smidge.  I used oat flour – my favorite gluten-free flour, and just a tiny bit of all-purpose gluten free flour mix to help with stability.  I used maple syrup in the cake instead of sugar, and real butter instead of oil.  And I used my favorite wild blueberries, which are now widely available in grocery stores.

The result was simply fantastic.  And you would NEVER – I swear to you – NEVER know this is gluten free.  You would also not guess that it’s almost entirely a whole grain cake.  That’s the fantastic thing about oat flour – it doesn’t have any of that cardboard-like flavor of whole wheat.  It’s sweet, and bakes up to be soft like white flour – not grainy.  But, as you can (kind of) see from the picture, it will have a golden color, and in this cake has an almost graham-y flavor.

I implore you to make this brunch cake.  You will be happy that you did.

Blueberry Brunch Cake Oregon Blueberry Brunch Cake

Oregon Blueberry Brunch Cake

Ingredients
1 cup oat [...]

By |December 31st, 2013|Gluten Free, Recipes, Soy Free|
  • Roasted Squash Salad with Two Beans and Tahini Lemon Dressing
    Permalink Roasted Squash Salad with Two Beans and Tahini Lemon DressingGallery

    Roasted Squash Salad with Two Beans and Lemon Tahini Dressing

Roasted Squash Salad with Two Beans and Lemon Tahini Dressing

Roasted Squash Salad with Two Beans and Tahini Lemon Dressing Roasted Squash Salad with Two Beans and Tahini Lemon Dressing

Beautiful, delicious and simple.  There really isn’t anything not to love about this dish.  But my favorite thing about, besides the taste, it is how efficient the preparation is.

When I’m in a rush, and I usually am, I try to think of recipes that consolidate prep steps.  In this “salad” (I only call it a salad because it is tossed with a dressing – there’s no lettuce in it), you can roast the squash, garbanzo beans, and green beans all at the same time.

Then, while they’re getting tasty in the oven, you have plenty of time to whip up the super quick and simple dressing.  You’ll even have time to clean up the kitchen, play with the kiddos, throw in some laundry, or do whatever you need to do.

When the roasting is done, plop everything in a large bowl and toss with the dressing.  Dinner is served.

Honestly, most of the work is in peeling and chopping the squash.  For that you’ll want a good knife – this is my favorite – and peeler.  And if you’re not sure how to do it watch this video first.  Or, if you’re not into all that, some handy already-prepared squash from your grocery store.  It’s worth it, cause then you get to eat this:

Roasted butternut squash Roasted butternut squash on parchment paper

Roasted butternut squash

The recipe has the option to serve over brown [...]

Salmon and Black Bean Burgers with Cumin and Lime Dressing

Salmon and Black Bean Burgers with Cumin and Lime Dressing Salmon and Black Bean Burgers with Cumin and Lime Dressing

Getting a last-minute, super-nourishing and complete dinner out of pantry staples isn’t necessarily easy.

In my house the need for this kind of meal typically arises at the end of the week.  In a way it’s a good problem to have, because it means that my left-overs from earlier in the week have been eaten.  That always makes me happy.

On the other hand, by the end of the week I’m pretty sick of cooking.  I just want something easy, low effort, low mess.  But still substantial and nourishing.  After all, I’m trying to grow a couple of healthy kids here.  They need high-quality protein, omega-3 fats like DHA and EPA, and an array of vitamins, minerals, and micro-nutrients.  So I’ll suck it up and cook, but I want it to be under a 30 min effort.

Enter the canned goods: black beans and salmon – both excellent pantry staples.  While I usually make my beans from dried, I keep a few containers of canned or tetra-packed beans for last-minute recipes like this.

For the salmon, I like Alaskan sockeye salmon, which is wild and contains the highest levels of those beneficial omega-3 fats.  If you can handle it with the bones, it’s actually better for you – the bones add great calcium and they’re soft enough to easily mash up.

Now I’ve made black beans burgers, and I’ve made salmon burgers.  This time I thought, why not mix it up a little and make them together, along with some mutually beneficial seasonings like cumin, [...]

Buttercup Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Cheddar

Buttercup Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Cheddar Buttercup and Spinach Lasagna with Cheddar

This is the prettiest lasagna I’ve ever made. Vibrant orange from the squash alternating with deeply green sauteed spinach. All layered with salty pecorino romano and savory cheddar cheeses.

It’s a dish that’s equal parts lovely, nourishing and comforting.

Unlike traditional lasagnas, this dish isn’t drowning in cheese or heavy sauces. Instead it uses sweet and creamy puree of buttercup squash with just enough cheese to provide a savory compliment. Garlic-infused greens round out the flavors and provide a wealth of nutrients.  It’s just as comforting as traditional lasagna, but deceptively light.

To provide a meaty bite you can opt for a little chicken sausage, like I did, or for a vegetarian version some sauteed mushrooms. You can’t go wrong either way.

I used gluten-free lasagna noodles, which I under-cooked by about 3 minutes, resulting in perfect texture once the casserole was baked.

Please try it, you’ll be glad you did.

Buttercup Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Cheddar

From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Total Prep Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Active Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:
12 large lasagna noodles, preferably whole grain
1 large winter squash (buttercup, butternut, etc), peel and seeds removed,
then cut roughly into 1-inch cubes – this will be about 5 cups of cut squash
1 lb package frozen chopped spinach, or 16 ounces fresh
1 onion, minced
3 teaspoons minced garlic from about 3 cloves
6 ounces high-quality cheddar cheese, hormone-free, shredded
2 ounces grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, about ½ cup
16 ounces sliced mushrooms OR 12 ounces of [...]

Polenta Pizza with Mushrooms, Kale and Cherry Tomatoes

Polenta Pizza with Mushrooms, Kale, Cherry Tomatoes and Baked Eggs Polenta Pizza with Mushrooms, Kale, Cherry Tomatoes and Baked Eggs

Me and pizza go way back.  My first job was at a pizza parlor, many of my favorite restaurants have been pizza places, and I’ve traveled fairly extensively in pursuit of amazing pizza.  And now I eat gluten free.  Sometimes there is a small hole in my heart where pizza should be.

I have experimented with gluten free pizza crusts, both my own and store-bought.  Nothing has really filled the void.  I’m still working on it.

Polenta pizza is its own thing.  It’s not trying to be regular chewy-crust pizza.  It’s just plain delicious in its own right, and yet it satisfies that craving for something pizza-like: savory, comforting, cheesy, and with the right ratio of crust to toppings.  And frankly polenta pizza crust is way easier than making your own regular or gluten-free pizza crust, so it’s really a win-win.

Feel free to experiment with whatever toppings you like.  Polenta pairs beautifully with a traditional tomato sauce.

Polenta Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes, Kale and Mushrooms

Total Prep Time: 50 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Serves:  4

Ingredients
1 cup coarse corn meal (aka polenta)
½ cup whole milk, optional (can sub water)
16 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms (baby bella, shiitake, oyster, etc)
5 large kale leaves, thick stems removed and minced
4 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (or sub any mild white cheese or vegan cheese)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
4 eggs, optional
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), sea salt, freshly [...]

Curried Quinoa Salad with Raisins and Chickpeas

Curried Quinoa Salad with Raisins and Chickpeas Curried Quinoa Salad with Raisins and Chickpeas

Curried Quinoa Salad with Raisins and Chickpeas

Cooler temperatures call for more warming foods.  But I don’t always want the heaviness of meat and potatoes (sometimes yes, but not always!).  This curried quinoa salad provides the warmth and savoriness of curry paired with the sweetness of plump raisins and meatiness of golden chickpeas.

I came up with this recipe when I didn’t particularly feel like cooking dinner.  But I still had to feed the family, so I wanted something quick and easy – ideally a one-dish meal.  This came together in under 30 minutes and was pulled primarily from pantry staples like dried quinoa, canned chickpeas, and raisins.  Although fresh spinach will be tastiest you can also use frozen in a pinch – simply saute it in with the onions and chickpeas to thaw it.  Like many grain salads this will keep well for days and is a great leftover for lunches.

Curried Quinoa with Raisins and Chickpeas
Total Prep Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Serves:  4

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 ¾ cups water or chicken or vegetable stock
1/3 cup raisins
1 small onion minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic from about 2 cloves
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 large carrot cut into small dice
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas from ½ cup dried or 1 can
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

  1. Bring the water or stock to a boil, add [...]

Wild Coho Salmon with Mushrooms and Shallots

CohoMushrooms

Wild Coho Salmon with Sauteed Mushrooms and Shallots

It’s the tail end of salmon season.

 On the other end is the vibrant, deep orange-red, velvety, wild Coho salmon.  Coho salmon is only one of the multiple varieties that lives wild in the pacific northwest, but it is one of my favorites.  Here he is in all his glory:

All you need to accomplish fancy-restaurant-quality salmon is a good-quality fish and to not overcook the bejeesus out of it.  The good-quality fish is really key.  And getting fresh fish that hasn’t been frozen is really a nice treat – the texture is buttery and smooth.  At my grocery store some beautiful Coho salmon is available through the first week of October.

I decided to pair my lovely salmon filet with some oyster mushrooms from the farmer’s market, a little dried thyme, and some minced shallot.  Easy peasy.  I sauteed the mushrooms and shallot while the fish was roasting in the oven.

My rather large, 1 1/3 lb salmon filet was too big to fit into a 13×9 inch baking dish, so I cut that bad boy in half and he was snug as a bug.  He was done roasting in 15 minutes.  Just enough time to saute my fungi.

I served this with some roasted red new potatoes and some collard greens sauteed with a little tomato.  Get this recipe in the context of its complete meal-plan by signing up here.

Coho Salmon with Sautéed Mushrooms and Shallots
From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Total Prep Time: 25 minutes
Active Time: 25 minutes
Serves:  4

Ingredients
1 [...]