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Archive for the ‘Soup’ Category

Here, in the midst of Summer, we are finally back to regular posting. Quite honestly, we missed all of you, as well as the process of creating a post, birthing it and releasing it out into the world. But life has a way of changing everything up a bit. Our lack of frequent posts, sadly does not imply that we were on vacation – far from it.  However, we do feel the call – somewhere out there, two beach chairs are calling our names.

Back in June, our initial plan was to take a couple of weeks off  from our recipe development projects, especially the creation of so many yeast-based recipes. Between finalizing recipes for our upcoming book and our participation in the wonderful TWD group, we felt a little overwhelmed.  Considering that our personal diets don’t include an abundance of baked goods, our digestive systems demanded a break. Don’t get us wrong, we do eat some bread and other baked goods – just not every day. The recipe that follows fits much more into the way we like to eat, and is also delicious on these extremely hot Summer days.

Edible Sunshine - Fruit Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Anyway, back to the story of our Summer so far.  Just as our brief break began, our cat Bhakti was diagnosed with a highly advanced stage of  intestinal lymphoma. That was completely unexpected, devastating and sadly no hope was offered.  Conventional treatments, with their many devastating side effects, still only offer, at best, a life expectancy of just a few short months. We spent a significant amount of time researching all options available for Bhakti. The stage of cancer that he is in, apparently only allows for remedial help, i.e. pain relief, anti-inflammatories, etc. We learned that Veterinary Science does not even attempt to seek a cure, but rather hopes to alleviate the accompanying symptoms until the inevitable end arrives; in other words when the drugs fail, the body becomes too toxic, or is no longer able to metabolize the drugs. It is just curious that with all the liberal amounts of money being thrown at our so-called scientists to find a true cure for cancer, none has yet been found. Perhaps, the lucrative incomes derived from the production of pharmaceutical drugs, does not offer a true incentive?

Bhakti-Our Summer and Edible Sunshine, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

As you might imagine, this has been quite an experience.  Having rescued and adopted into our family quite a number of animals over the years, we are very familiar with the journey  of life, and the process of birth and death. These cycles are a normal part of life. But, the question begs to be asked, why as a society at large,  we have not endeavored to find a truly humane and effective treatment for cancer for both ourselves and our animal companions?

As of this moment, Bhakti is still alive, supported by holistic veterinary means (turmeric, boswellia  and homeopathy) and lots and lots of love.  He amazes all of us on a daily basis with his ever present fighting spirit and will to live. His courage is inspiring.

Amidst our work and our care of Bhakti, we were also inundated with massive storms – unheard of sand storms. Remember the wall of dust that hit Phoenix, AZ last year? We came very close to that this summer. Wow!  Then followed the hail, as a result of the cooler Northern air moving South, turning the ground white, like a fresh snowfall in Winter. The hail packed a damaging punch, we will have to restucco some walls and have the roof and skylights replaced as a result. Finally,  after our prolonged drought, the monsoon has arrived, which we are, on one hand, ecstatic about, but on the other, we now get a little nervous every time it rains, due to the damaged roof and walls. Everything is awaiting insurance settlement and ensuing repair. Living in the Southwest High Desert, truly is feast or famine, all or nothing. We went for nearly eight months without a drop of moisture before the monsoon came. On the upside, it is finally greening up all around us,  like a belated Spring in the midst of Summer.

 Edible Sunshine - Fruit Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

The excessive heat leading up to our present monsoon has inspired today’s recipe. The mere thought of turning on the stove when it is in the mid to upper 90s everyday is unappealing. Our morning ritual has now become a green energy soup or a green smoothie, but with the abundance of fruit available, a savory fruit soup offers another delicious and easy to make alternative for lunch. You will need a blender (does not have to be a high end one – we used a Ninja) and the following ingredients:

Edible Sunshine - Fruit Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved.

This recipe makes two large servings:

  • 1 organic avocado, seeded and chopped
  • 2 peeled and diced mangoes
  • 2 peeled and segmented organic oranges, or 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 whole organic cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 handfuls organic cherry tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lime, peeled and segmented
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. organic olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Himalaya salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Reserve  a small amount of avocado, cucumber, mango, tomato and cilantro for garnish. Blend all the remaining ingredients until smooth. Serve in two large soup bowls and garnish with the reserved ingredients.

This soup offers a surprising and delicious harmony of flavors and might just become something you want to make again and again.

Edible Sunshine - Fruit Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

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Energy Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

When most of you land on our website, your have come to expect yet another gluten free dish, ideally in a baked version. Don’t worry, we are still developing gluten free recipes and plan on doing so for some time to come. However, in our own home, we also prepare many raw food dishes as well. We especially enjoy the many nutritional benefits they offer.

I was first introduced to raw foods about 25+ years ago,  through friends and acquaintances and through their convincing arguments, enthusiastically  purchased a champion juicer. I loved making vegetable and fruit juices, as well as the occasional nut butters. Some of the resulting vegetable pulp was used in making delicious vegetable burgers, blended with spices, seeds and some rice, or spelt. But my all time favorite comfort foods have always been salads.  Now, I am not talking about the currently popular “tossed meals”, overflowing with the addition of too much meat and cheese, and, of course, the inevitable croutons.  I am talking about salads that are primarily made with a variety of greens, sprouts, carrots, avocados and some fruit. In those days, I was completely unaware of being gluten intolerant and, no doubt, consumed too many gluten containing breads, crackers, etc. No one ever talked about gluten intolerance, or celiac disease. In fact, everyone talked about adding whole grains to one’s diet. Some health books espoused this untruth and many followed these teachings, myself included. At the time, book selections involving nutrition and health, were far more limited than they are today. But Ann Wigmore’s books were readily found in most health food and book stores.  I read most of them and found her to be  a fascinating lady. In her autobiography “Why Suffer? How I Overcame Illness and Pain Naturally,” Ann Wigmore (1909-1994) recalls observing her grandmother using herbs and natural remedies, growing up  as a child in Lithuania. As an adult, she began testing various whole foods and dietary approaches, which she credits with solving her medical problems and changing her life.

Energy Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Together with  Viktoras Kulvinskas, Ann Wigmore co-founded the Hippocrates Health Institute back in 1968 . She was an early pioneer in the use of wheat grass juice and living foods for detoxifying and healing the body, mind and spirit. In case you are not familiar with her work, you may want to check out two  living food lifestyle and health facilities that continue to spread her teachings.  One is located here in New Mexico, the other program is located in Puerto Rico.  Today, Brian Clement owns the Hippocrates Health Institute, which he moved from Boston to West Palm Beach, Florida.

If you are familiar with her teachings, you already know that she recommends a raw living food lifestyle to heal from disease. [ Please note, that we are not advocating a particular program to heal from disease. If you find yourself ill, do your homework, and, if necessary, consult with an accredited health professional of your choice.] It should also be mentioned, that we are not living a 100% raw lifestyle, but generally abide by a whole foods lifestyle ,with the exception of the occasional recipe development project. All we know is that if you have celiac disease, are gluten intolerant, or just sensitive to gluten, please, do yourself a favor, and eliminate it strictly, completely and permanently. Even the occasional small ingestion of gluten can leave a residual and damaging effect that can last for months. You don’t have to necessarily exhibit symptoms either, although most do.

Energy Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Now to my favorite raw soup recipe. Aren’t we all looking for a little more energy around now? This tasty and very simple to prepare soup offers a lot of that.  When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, juices and smoothies offered an easy to digest and prepare alternative.  Always having had an interest in nutrition, I read countless books on raw food cuisine. The original “energy soup” recipe recommended by Ann Wigmore, calls for the addition of rejuvelac, a fermented beverage made from sprouted wheat berries. Some say, that there is no, or little gluten in the finished product, but I personally would want proof, and no has been able to offer me that. As a result this recipe does not include any form of grains, gluten free, or otherwise – the emphasis is strictly on organic greens, sprouts, cucumber, lemon, garlic, herbs and one fruit. It is best to use a high powered blender to achieve that desired creamy consistency in the end product. A Vitamix, or Blendtec would be perfect, but we are currently using a Ninja blender, which does the job adequately. . . for now.

Ingredients for 2 large servings:

  • One head of organic romaine lettuce
  • Large handful of organic baby spinach
  • 1 organic cucumber, peeled, cut into smaller chunks
  • 1 organic avocado
  • Leaves from several sprigs of Thyme
  • small handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 organic lemon, peeled and quartered
  • 1 organic apple (any variety), quartered and seeds removed
  • 1 cup of your favorite sprouts (sunflower, alfalfa, radish, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup organic cherry tomatoes
  • a few small pieces of dried dulse, (optional)
  • 1-1/2 cups of purified water

Cut the avocado in half, remove the seed, scoop out the flesh, and add it to your blender. Top with the remaining ingredients (tomatoes, cucumber, romaine, spinach,  apple pieces, lemon, sprouts, garlic, thyme, dulse and the purified water). Pulse several times, incorporating the ingredients and then blend for a couple of minutes at the highest setting until everything is well blended and creamy.

Energy Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Pour into your favorite soup bowls, garnish with some fresh herbs and enjoy right away. It is a wonderfully tasty and delicious alternative to regular soup, and of a slightly heavier consistency than green smoothies. If you enjoy this soup, or green smoothies, also plan on growing some of the vegetables in your own garden this Spring and Summer.

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The days are getting cooler, in fact, it has been downright cold – with nightime temperatures hovering in the teens and low twenties. The beast, our fireplace, is being fed regularly. We can barely keep up with the demand for more wood. On our daily walks we are definitely reminded that Fall is here and Winter just around the corner. The smell of pinon wood smoke in the crisp Fall air beckons one to spend time indoors in front of a warming fire.

A few days ago we had a last opportunity to take in the the last glimpses of a Fall scenery along the Rio Grande River in Albuquerque, NM. Here are just a few pictures to share with you. They were taken at the Rio Grande Nature Center.

Nature Sanctuary Along the Rio Grande River, Albuquerque, NM

Cottonwood Trees Along the Rio Grande River

Thanksgiving!

The year has turned its circle,

The seasons come and go.

The harvest all is gathered in

And chilly North winds blow.

Orchards have shared their treasures,

The Fields, their yellow grain,

So open wide the doorway —

Thanksgiving comes gain.

~Old Rhyme~

Rio Grande Nature Center

Fall weather invites all of us to not only spend more time indoors but to look  inside of ourselves and reflect on just where we find ourselves. Where have our decisions taken us, where are we going? Are we content, or are we looking to make changes? What is most important to us and what are we truly thankful for?  There are no doubt as many scenarios as there are people. These are interesting and exciting times, filled with possibilities and opportunities, if we choose to take them.  For many people this is a time filled with great challenges. Yet, each challenge also offers the opportunity of change and the discovery of a truer self. As the trees shed their leaves each Fall, it also invites each and every one of us to let go of what no longer serves us. In turn, we can see ourselves anew with a fresh perspective, birthing a renewal in spirit and the ability of  giving and receiving of more love. LOVE is what we are truly thankful for this season. What are you thankful for?

Thanksgiving being just around the corner, this naturally offers greater togetherness with family and friends, since it is also the beginning of the holiday season.  In the spirit of sharing, we are offering a recipe each day leading up to Thanksgiving. There will be a variety of main dishes, side dishes, appetizers, desserts and refreshments. We are focusing on simple and easy to duplicate dishes, the first of which is our Fall Pumpkin Stew with Caramelized Onions.

It is a fairly simple dish to make but requires a little prep. time. It will provide for 6 large servings. You will need the following ingredients:

2 Pie pumpkins

3 medium-sized sweet potatoes

5 medium-sized red potatoes

32 oz. (1 quart) vegetable broth

1 red onion

1 yellow onion

3 cloves of garlic

several sprigs of fresh thyme

2 tsp. curry powder

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. no-salt herb seasoning

1 tsp. Himalaya salt

1 tsp. sucanat

coconut oil for caramelizing the onions

The longest prep. time involves baking the pumpkins. Cut the pumpkins in half. You will need a very sharp knife, so mind the fingers in the process. Scoop out the seeds and set aside. Place the pumpkins, cut side facing down, on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350°F/180°C oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. While they are baking, wash the sweet and red potatoes, peel and cut them into roughly l-inch cubes. Place them into a large stock pot, or saucepan with at least 1-inch water,  and steam until tender (about 25 minutes). Set the potatoes aside. Remove the baked pumpkins, scoop out the flesh and add it to the steamed potatoes together with the vegetable stock, salt, curry, no-salt herb seasoning and chili powder. Cook over medium heat.

Baked Pie Pumpkins

Meanwhile, wash the pumpkin seeds and remove and remaining stringy flesh. Let them dry, place on a cookie sheet or glass baking dish, coat the seeds with a little extra curry and chili powder, as well as a little salt, and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. If you prefer, you can also season the seeds with a gluten free tamari sauce, or, if you prefer them sweet, with 1 tsp. cinnamon and a dusting of sucanat. They turn out great either way.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Peel and cut half of the red onion and one whole yellow onion into thin slices (rings). Add a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil into a frying pan. Heat and add the onions. Cook over medium heat. Wait until the onions are translucent and then  coat them with 1 tsp. of sucanat. Continue to brown (caramelize) them over medium heat only. Transfer to a oven proof dish and place them in a warm oven to keep warm until the stew is done.

Onions and Garlic

Red Onions

Caramelized Onions

Cut the remaining half of the red onion as well as the peeled cloves of garlic into small pieces and cook separately in a saucepan with a little coconut oil until they are well done and translucent. Add these to the stew together with the fresh thyme.

Fresh Thyme

Combine all ingredients well and let simmer for another 20 minutes. If you wish, you can remove the thyme pieces before serving. Taste the stew and add any additional salt, curry or chili powder, to taste.  Serve in soup bowls topped with the caramelized onions.

Fall Pumpkin Stew

This stew is a tasty, warming and flavorful addition to our Fall lineup of recipes.

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As the temperatures are dropping and snow is falling across many parts of the country, this soup, which can be prepared in a vegetarian, or meat-based version, helps to keep the winter chills at bay. So search your cupboards for a large pot, line up the ingredients and get busy. This soup takes about 1-1/2 hours to cook. After many hours spent outside shoveling snow, there is nothing like coming inside to the warm, inviting aroma of a steaming hot cup of soup. :)

Coconut-Chicken-Vegetable Soup

Ingredients needed:

  • 32 oz. organic free range chicken stock, or organic vegetable broth
  • 14 oz. coconut milk
  • 46 oz. purified water
  • 12-16 oz. of  chicken meat, cubed (this is optional)
  • 3 whole large carrots, thinly sliced
  • 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped (if you have a cold,triple the amount ;) )
  • 2 large potatoes, washed and cubed (with skin)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 10 drops of cayenne tincture (or 1/4 tsp. of hot cayenne powder)
  • 1 tsp. Himalaya salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • Juice of one lime (added when fully cooked)

In a large soup pot, combine all the ingredients except for the lime juice, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a low setting and let simmer for at least 40 minutes. Just before serving, add the lime juice to the soup. Best served with a slice of warm Hungarian Farm Bread (recipe is in our book “A Celebration of Gluten Free Baking.”)

Enjoy and keep warm!

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