Thursday, November 15, 2012

Turkey Curry Soup

One of the best things about Thanksgiving is having so many great leftovers. This Turkey Curry Soup is a wonderful way to use up leftover turkey and vegetables. The curry is a great way to completely change the flavor of your leftovers and create an entirely new meal.

Have a Delicious Thanksgiving with all of your loved ones!

Turkey Curry Soup

1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Teaspoon Curry Powder
3 Cups Turkey or Chicken Broth
2 Chopped Potatoes
6 Carrots, Sliced
4 Celery Stalks, sliced
2 Tablespoons Chopped Parsely
2 Cups Cooked Turkey or Chicken Shredded
1- 10oz. pkg. Frozen Chopped Spinach
1 Cup Cream (optional)
Salt and Pepper

Saute onion in olive oil over medium heat, add garlic and curry, stirring for one minute. Add rest of ingredients through parsely. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and warm through. Sprinkle with fresh parsely to serve.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper-Pumpkin Soup

Fall is such a wonderful time of year for so many reasons, but one of my favorites is the arrival of the pumpkin. It is no secret that I love to bake with pumpkin, but really I love to eat pumpkin just about any way I can. This Roasted Red Pepper-Pumpkin Soup is a perfect way to warm up on a cool Autumn evening. It can also be a great starter for any fall gathering.

Roasted Red Pepper-Pumpkin Soup
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Shallots or 1 Red Onion, Chopped
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
4 Cups Chicken Broth
1Yukon Gold Potato, chopped
2 Large Red Bell Peppers, Roasted and Chopped*
1 Teaspoon Cumin
¼- ½ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
2- 15 oz. cans of pumpkin
¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar

Over medium heat in a large stock pot, add olive oil and shallots or onion. Sauté until translucent, then add garlic. Stir for one minute. Add chicken broth, potato, bell peppers, cumin, red pepper flakes and pumpkin.  Bring to simmer and cook 15- 20 minutes or until potato is cooked through. Add balsamic vinegar and simmer another 3-5 minutes. Puree soup with a handheld blender.

Roasting Bell Peppers- Cut bell peppers in half removing seeds, veins and stems. Place the bell peppers on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Press your hand on the bell pepper forcing it to be as flat as possible. Place the baking sheet under the broiler on high for 3-5 minutes. When the skin of the pepper is black and bubbly remove the baking sheet from the oven. Wrap the aluminum foil up over the peppers to form a sealed package. Remove foil package from the baking sheet. Wrap a kitchen towel around the aluminum foil package to keep the heat in and set aside for 15 minutes.  Open the package saving any juices from the peppers to add to the soup. Remove the outer blackened skin from the pepper. At this point the pepper can be chopped and added to the soup.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rice Contains High Levels of Arsenic

No one wants to hear about arsenic in their food. It is especially concerning when the item is consumed often. Rice is such a staple for so many people who live gluten-free that the latest reports about arsenic levels in rice are extremely concerning.

Consumer Reports has recently reported the levels of arsenic found after testing many common brands of rice and rice products. These results can be alarming, especially when you stop to consider how many gluten-free products and recipes contain rice, rice flour, rice bran or rice syrup.

Consumer Reports and the FDA are working together to make products safer going forward, but are strongly urging consumers to reduce their consumption of rice products. Their recomendations are listed in this consumer reports article.

Luckily there are other alternatives out there. This would be a great time to give buckwheat a try. Buckwheat is related to the rhubarb family, therefore not a grain at all. It is a very safe and nutritious gluten-free alternative to rice. Buckwheat can be found in the form of light and dark flour to be used in baking. Buckwheat can also be found in the form of groats. Groats can replace rice or other grains and be used as a side dish, in a salad, or as a cereal.
My cookbook, Delicious Gluten-Free Baking with Buckwheat Flour, is full of incredible gluten-free recipes that use only buckwheat flour. The recipes are easy to follow and fun to bake. Look at this as an opportunity to try something new. You may be surprised at how Delicious it can be!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dark vs. Light Buckwheat Flour

Dark versus light, which buckwheat flour is ideal? Well, that all depends on what you hope to achieve.

Light buckwheat flour is ground from the buckwheat seed once the hull has been removed. This flour is lighter in color and very fine in texture when compared with dark buckwheat flour. Dark buckwheat flour is made from grinding the seed with the hull. There are often dark specs found throughout the flour, giving a slightly darker appearance in color. Dark flour will appear coarser in texture when compared to light buckwheat flour.

Light Buckwheat flour is a perfect choice when baking. The results will give a moist, delicate crumb with a light and airy appearance. A perfect choice for delicious cakes, breads, muffins and all baked goods.

Dark buckwheat flour contains a higher fiber content and nutritional value. While dark flour can be used in baked goods, the end product will have a coarser texture and crumb, often not found as desirable. However, this may be advantageous when making something like granola where a higher nutritional value and a variety of texture is sought after.

Either way, light or dark buckwheat is packed full of essential vitamins and minerals and is an excellent source of protein, fiber and healthy carbohydrates. Making this an excellent choice for the gluten-free baker.

Happy Baking!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Little Love

Valentine's Day is a day that can be so fun. I have great memories from my childhood, which is probably why I still love it today. My Mom always did something special and unexpected even though she was always busy working. Every year was a little different, which was part of the fun. I have enjoyed continuing that tradition with my own family.

Of course, like many of you, I am always busy so it has to be easy. Valentine's falls in the middle of the week so the evening will be busy with homework, sports and extra activities. I think breakfast together is a great way to start the day. Raspberry, cherry or cranberry muffins are beautiful for Valentine's Day. They are quick and easy to make ahead of time and are great with an omelet, quiche or scrambled eggs. If there isn't time for breakfast, the muffins can be fun to put in their lunch bags with a little Valentine note.

Everyone just wants to know that they are loved on Valentine's Day. It doesn't have to take a lot of money or time to show someone that they are special to you. It is also a wonderful time to think of your friends, family or neighbors that might be feeling a little lonely. It makes all of the difference in their day to know that someone has thought of them! So, give a little love!