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Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’

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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This is a fabulous dessert, which makes both a wonderful birthday/celebration cake as well as a delicious finish to any dinner. You only need a few basic ingredients, many of which can be substituted for whatever you have on hand. We used these ingredients because they were easily available to us at the moment.  The combination of gluten free rice crispy cereal,  chocolate chips, coconut milk ice cream and fresh fruit, invokes images of fun and childhood birthday parties. Many years ago, we used to make ice cream birthday cakes, using rice ice cream (Rice Dream), dressing it up with little umbrellas, fresh fruit and lots of candles. Just be forewarned, placing lots of candles too close to tiny paper umbrellas has, on occasion, presented some problems. Children and adults alike love this particular cake, especially, if you are limited to eating gluten, dairy and/or egg free.

The steps to make it are very simple and easy, you just need to set aside a little time for freezing the cake.

Ingredients needed:

  • 4 cups of gluten free rice crispies (Koala Crisp, by EnviroKidz)
  • 1/2 cup of gluten free chocolate chips
  • 1 pint of Purely Decadent Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream, slightly softened
  • 1 pint of Trader Joe’s Vanilla frozen Greek yoghurt, slightly softened (for a dairy free option, just use the vanilla coconut milk ice cream)
  • 3 fresh Nectarines, washed and thinly sliced (peaches, strawberries, or other fresh fruit of your choice)

Melt the chocolate chips over low heat. Mix with the rice crispies. Lightly grease the 9-inch spring form pan with a little butter. Fill the chocolate rice crispies mixture into the spring form, creating an even layer both on the bottom as well as the sides, which should be about 1-1/2 inches in height. Fill with the chocolate coconut ice cream, spreading it out evenly and smoothing out the top. This will be your bottom layer. Cover with a layer of the frozen vanilla Greek yoghurt (or vanilla coconut milk ice cream of your choice). Place the dessert in the freezer for about 2 hours.

Remove from the freezer and top the cake with a layer of sliced nectarines before serving.

This makes for a great dessert any time of the year, but especially during the heat of the summer, when the mere thought of turning on the oven becomes unbearable. It is delicious, and the best part is, that it is gluten and egg-free! If you wish to make this recipe dairy free as well, just substitute the Greek yoghurt with vanilla coconut milk  ice cream.

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Inspired by our last visit to Paris, here is our recipe for our own favorite savory galette. There are truly endless ways of preparing a filling for these galettes, only limited by what you have available at the moment. Since we find ourselves in the midst of Summer, tomatoes and herbs are generally readily available. Alas, our own garden was not as productive this year, due to the excessive heat and complete absence of any rain. We could only add a few small tomatoes from our own garden and purchased the rest.

During our visit to Paris, the savory galettes were intriguing, reminding us somewhat of German Salzkuchen, a Swabian specialty in the Southwestern part of Germany.  This dish is by no means even similar to a galette, since the crust is made with a yeasted dough, except for the filling, which consists of sour cream, salt, eggs and herbs, sometimes found in the savory galettes offered in the patisseries of Paris. International cuisines tend to mingle in the close proximity of borders, that have happened to change many times over the  last couple of hundred years. Each region tends to lay claim to a particular dish, or method of cooking, when, in reality, memories tend to blur, and creative cooks draw inspiration from many areas, across borders and cultural boundaries. So many of our own recipes reflect this, in that they incorporate the best of our own experiences. Learning to prepare our own family meals entirely gluten free, we again had to draw inspiration from a multitude of different sources, incorporating the aspect of nutritional balance, and yet keep alive a sense of simplicity and fun.

This recipe reflects both the simplicity of preparation and cultural diversity in the ingredients used, and the combination of flavors created. This recipe is gluten free but does contain dairy. If this presents a problem, there is the possibility of using  plain coconut yoghurt, as well as any of the dairy free cheeses available to you.

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. tapioca flour
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. rice bran
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. almond meal
  • 1 tsp. evaporated cane juice
  • 3 Tbsp. Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 7 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Filling:

  • 4-5 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • leaves of 2-3 sprigs of fresh oregano
  • 7-8 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • approx. 2 oz. mozzarella cheese, finely grated
  • approx. 2 oz. raw cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp. Greek-style yoghurt

Preparation:

Place all the ingredients for the crust in a food processor and pulse until it forms into a ball. The dough will be very soft to the touch. This is normal.  Remove, cover in cling wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash and slice the tomatoes and chop the herbs. Set aside.

Grate the cheese and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the egg and the yoghurt, and whisk to a creamy consistency.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line a larger size cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Dust the parchment covered cookie sheet with a little rice flour and roll the dough out directly on the parchment paper, into an approximately 12-13 inch circle.

Place the shredded cheese and herbs on top of the dough, leaving about a 2-inch edge free. Top with the sliced tomatoes, allowing the edges to overlap in concentric circles. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold in the edges of the crust over the outer edges of the tomatoes, making sure to smooth out any potential breaks in the dough where the filling could leak out. Now slowly pour the liquid egg/yoghurt filling over the tomatoes.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cheese filling has set.

Remove and let cool for about 5 minutes before cutting it with a pizza cutter. This makes four generous servings, if you are very hungry, and want to serve it as a dinner combined with a salad. This could serve as many as eight, i.e. as an appetizer, or as a small accompaniment to a meal.

Believe us when we tell you that this galette will disappear before your eyes, almost as quickly as you manage to slice it. It took extreme self-control to photograph it, since we made it on a day when all we had time to eat was a small breakfast that morning and this was dinner.

We served it alongside a large green Romaine salad, topped with shredded carrots, cabbage, small orange tomatoes, fresh apricots, sprinkled with a small amount of Parmesan cheese and tossed with a gluten free Balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Enjoy this simple, yet delicious, Internationally (German, French, Italian) inspired dish!

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