Simon Madjumdar’s Life Saving Dahl

It is very easy to say that this is my favorite soup I’ve ever made when I am sick.

Eating this soup when you are sick, makes you forget the sickness instantly. All of a sudden, you can move your once achy muscles again, you can breathe through your nose, you can smell, you can taste, your sore throat disappeared. It really is incredible.

Unfortunately, they come back about an hour after you are finished, but some relief is better than none.

I found out about this soup and Simon Majumdar after listening to¬†The Alton Browncast, AKA my new current listening obsession. Simon sounds lovely. I also ordered his book “Eat My Globe.” It’s a lovely read so far. I want to propose that he and I write “Eat My Gluten Free Globe” next. No one take my idea, or I will send you to court. This is in writing. ūüėõ

Anywho… on to this Life-Saving Soup….

Life Saving Dahl

Adapted from: Simon Madjumdar

Ingredients:

1 cup of red lentils (Toasted first in a dry pan. I use my fingers to stir and when it is too hot to touch, it is done)

1 unwaxed lemon chopped in quarters
1 onion sliced

1 cup frozen peas
2 cardamom pods (I used ground cardamom, around 1 tbsp)
2 cloves (I used ground cloves, around 1 tsp)
1 cinnamon stick (I used ground cinnamon, around 1 tbsp)
3 cloves garlic3 fresh green chillies
2 inches of fresh ginger
1 tsp each of ground turmeric/ginger/cumin/coriander seed/hot chilli powde
r¬Ĺ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1¬Ĺ Pints of water or stock (I used chicken stock)
1 Bag of spinach (washed)

1 lb chicken breast (Free Range), cut into 1/2 inch cubesInstructions:

  1. Saute chicken cubes in olive oil until cooked all the way through. Put on plate and set aside.
  2. Make a paste by blending the ginger/garlic/fresh chilli with a little salt and water.
  3. Put 2 tablespoons of oil into a hot pan and when it comes to heat, add the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon stick. Cook for 1 minute on a low heat until they release their flavor.
  4. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften and turn golden.
  5. Add the ginger/chilli/garlic paste and cook for two to four minutes until it loses its rawness.Add the ground spices, sugar and salt and mix well with the onions and cook out for 4 mins until the spices lose their rawness. If the mixture begins to stick add a little water.
  6. Add the lentils and mix well so all the pulses are covered with the mixture.
  7. Add 1¬Ĺ pints of water/stock and the quartered lemons and simmer for 30 mins until the lentils have broken down. Add more water if it sticks. Some lentils may take a little longer.
  8. 15 minutes after adding the stock or water, add the frozen peas and chicken. Cook for at least 15 more minutes.
  9. Add the spinach, cover and allow to wilt.

Enjoy and feel better!!

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Maple Roasted Winter Vegetables

Roasting vegetables is a brilliant thing. Roasting brings out complex flavors that are not found in other cooking methods. The best example is probably roasted cauliflower. That usually bland vegetable is transformed into a savory treat by just using the oven.

In this recipe, I’ve used a few fall favorites– Sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, and cranberries. You can really add whatever you would like, but I highly recommend the sweet potato/cranberry combination. They are the perfect compliment of sour and sweet. Cauliflower would be excellent with this.

Maple Roasted Winter Vegetables
Adapted from: Plainville Farms

1 lb sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
2 cups brussel sprouts
3/4 cup whole cranberries
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
Salt & pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Combine olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
3. Toss sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, and cranberries in mixture.
4. Scatter onto sheet pan and bake for 35-40 minutes stirring half-way through.

Quick, easy, healthy, and delicious!

Enjoy!

Chicken Piccata with White Wine Lemon Sauce, Garlic Zucchini, & Capers

For some reason, I was craving this dish. Chicken Piccata is lovely and probably pretty hard to mess up. It’s also very easy (always a plus). I think someone came up with this recipe because they only had these ingredients left in their kitchen. I feel like every Italian home has flour, olive oil, lemon, white wine, and capers.

I borrowed the recipe from¬†Elise Bauer¬†who started¬†Simply Recipes, and adapted it to make it¬†gluten free. I also made it dairy free by excluding the Parmesan cheese, which I thought I would miss, but it honestly doesn’t need it. I also added the addition of zucchini and pasta, which I feel completes the dish perfectly. (PS: I don’t usually eat butter, but there are times when it works better for a dish and I use it. Just use it this time. It won’t kill you.)

Just a note: When I tasted this dish, I described it as “life-changing.”

You should try it.

Chicken Piccata with White Wine Lemon Sauce, Garlic Zucchini, & Capers
Adapted from Elise Bauer

Ingredients:
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (if you can find thin cutlets, do it! Go for 4 or more in this case.)
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional, I did not use)
1/3 cup gluten free flour
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp butter (or substitute, I used Soy-free Earth Balance)
1/2 cup of white wine (or chicken stock)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup brined capers
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1-2 zucchini, chopped into spears
1 tbsp garlic
Gluten free corn pasta (mine was penne from Trader Joes)

Directions:

  1. Cut the chicken breasts horizontally, butterflying them open. You want your pieces to be as thin as possible, about 1/4 of an inch thick. If they are not, place between plastic wrap and pound with meat mallet.
  2. Mix flour, salt, pepper, and parmesan, if using. Rinse the chicken pieces in water and dredge them in flour mixture until well coated.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add chicken pieces to the pan and cook until brown on each side, about 5 minutes each.
  5. In the mean time, start to boil pasta water and cook by the package’s directions. **With gluten free pasta, ALWAYS rinse the pasta in strainer with cold water immediately after cooking.**
  6. Also heat smaller skillet over medium heat, spray with cooking spray, and cook zucchini spears and garlic until slightly browned.
  7. Remove chicken from pan and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm while you prepare the sauce. You might have to repeat this step for the chicken that wouldn’t fit in the pan.
  8. After removing the chicken, deglaze the pan with white wine, then add lemon juice and capers.
  9. Use a spatula to scrape up the browned bits. Wait until the sauce has reduced down by half and whisk in 2 tbsp butter.
  10. To serve, plate the pasta with zucchini and chicken, then top with the sauce. Garnish with Parsley.
Cheers!

Salmon Tacos with Mango Salsa

This recipe is delicious and healthy.

So, why wouldn’t you try it?? It’s easy too, so skip that excuse as well.

Wild Caught Salmon is full of Omega-3s, which help reduce inflammation (the basis of every disease and illness), promotes brain function, and assists cell production.

Salmon Tacos with Mango Salsa Recipe
Adapted from: Alison Needham

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pound salmon filet with skin on
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
corn tortillas
1 avocado, sliced
feta cheese, optional

Salsa:
1 mango, skinned and cut into small dice
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
handful chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 juice lime
pinch salt

Directions:

  1. Pat the salmon dry. Combine the chili powder, sugar, salt and cumin in a small bowl and sprinkle over the surface of the flesh-side of the salmon. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the salsa. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste for seasoning, cover and refrigerate.
  3. Spray the grill with cooking spray and light a medium-hot flame. To test heat on a charcoal or gas grill, hold your hand about 5 inches over the flame. You should only be able to keep it there for 3-4 seconds.**
  4. Place salmon skin side down on the grill, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish (cook fish about 10 minutes per inch of thickness). Flip salmon over, peel off the skin and cook for 3 minutes more, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove from heat and place it pink flesh up on a plate. (The underside of the skin will be an unattractive gray color).
  5. Place the corn tortillas on the grill for a few seconds a side to warm up. Flake fish and divide evenly between the tortillas. Top with mango salsa, sliced avocado, and feta cheese. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

**You can also prepare the Salmon in a pan on the stove. Cook as stated above over Medium Heat with olive oil in pan.

Turkey & Apple White Chili

These cool nights have put me in a soup mood. This week I made¬†Turkey & Apple White Chili¬†by¬†EatInEatOut. ¬†I was scared to try this recipe because it has apples in it. I couldn’t get it out of my head, however, so I had to try it.

I couldn’t have been happier with the results. IT IS DELICIOUS! You really must try it.

The flavors are incredible. The apples actually stay slightly crisp which adds a nice texture. It doesn’t take too long to cook and is an inexpensive set of meals (it’s just me, so I eat mine for days).

Turkey & Apple White Chili
Adapted from: EatInEatOut

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground turkey (antibiotic-free, free-range)
1 onion, diced
5 tsp chili powder (wheat-free)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
salt & pepper
2 apples, cored and cubed (I used Granny Smith; you want something tart)
1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 can red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
2 tbsp butter alternative (I used soy-free Earth Balance)
2 tbsp gluten free flour
2 cups chicken broth (organic, free range)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
green onions and cilantro (optional for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Place ground turkey in saucepan and cover with water. Heat over Medium Heat (simmering) until cooked all the way through, about 10 minutes. Drain and stir in cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  2. In large soup pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add apples, garlic and onion and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 -7 minutes.
  3. In the same pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minute.
  4. Slowly whisk in chicken broth bringing to a simmer. Cook until thickened; about 5 minutes.
  5. Add turkey and beans. Continue to simmer for 7-10 more minutes.
  6. Stir in lime juice and heat through. Re-season with salt & pepper if needed.
  7. To serve, top with green onions and cilantro if using.

Happy Eating!

Sweet Corn and Vegetable Chowder

I am starting to use wordpress again. I have been using blogger, but I want to see which one I like more. So, here we go.

This Sweet Corn and Vegetable Chowder took a while to make, but it was delicious and worth the time. The amount of leftovers you have after can last you majority of the week. Or a few days if you are feeding two or more.

I found the¬†recipe¬†on Pinterest, but the blog where it is from is called “the dinnervine.” Their recipes all look delicious.

I followed the recipe for the most part, but I omitted the cheese and used unsweetened almond milk to make it dairy free. I saw some tips from famous food bloggers today, and they suggested using cashew cream. This is made by soaking 1 cup of raw cashews in water for 6-8 hours, draining and rinsing them, and then blending them with 3/4 cup of water until smooth. Definitely trying that next time for the half and half.

I also used Yukon Gold potatoes from the farmer’s market because they contain more nutrients than white baking potatoes. In the pictures you will see red corn that I actually got for FREE from Earth Fare because they had to pull it off the shelves after so many days and it was still perfectly fine. It’s sad to think about how much food we waste because of expiration dates which are actually just an estimate.

Sweet Corn and Vegetable Chowder
Adapted from: the dinnervine

Ingredients:
7 ears fresh white corn, kernels cut off cobs
5 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1/2 large sweet white onion, chopped finely
1 large carrot, chopped finely (or 2 small carrots depending)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1, 32 oz carton free-range chicken stock
3 T dairy-free, soy-free butter
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (plain, not vanilla)
2 tbsp gluten free flour (optional, but I used to thicken soup)
5 strips bacon (or turkey bacon), for crisping, topping and reserving drippings
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped smaller
fresh thyme sprigs for garnish & sautéing
1-2 tsp kosher salt (to taste)
1-2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp red wine vinegar

Directions:
1. Cut corn kernels off cobs, set aside.
2. Preheat a large dutch oven, or enameled cast iron soup pot, melt 1T of the butter and crisp all 5 strips of bacon, chopped.
3. Once bacon is crisp, remove from pot & drain on paper towels, setting aside for garnish.
4. Reserving bacon drippings, to pot add chopped potato and sauté on medium for about 6 min, stirring often.
5. To pot now add onion, garlic, carrot, salt, pepper, and remaining 2 T butter.
6. Sauté mix adding 1/2 cup of the chicken stock carton and a few thyme sprigs (will remove later), for about 10-15 minutes.
7. Once mixture is tender, remove thyme sprigs, add the corn kernels, chopped thyme, paprika, bay leaf rest of chicken stock and bring to a slow boil with lid on.
8. Once beginning to boil, remove lid and reduce heat to low, continue to simmer for about 10 minutes.
9.  Add white time and remove the bay leaf.
10. Remove hot pot from heat and allow to cool substantially**, then slowly add some of the almond milk and around a tablespoon of gluten free flour, return pot to low heat, stirring well (Soup will begin to thicken).

11. Gradually add more almond milk, a tbsp of gluten-free flour, salt & pepper as desired.
12. Add the red wine vinegar if you feel a little acid is necessary; I did and it worked well!
13. Continue to simmer on low until ready to serve & eat!**
14. Garnish with bacon and fresh thyme sprig.

** I noticed that the almond milk dramatically reduced the temperature of the soup, so you might not want to wait for it to get too cool because it will take a while to heat back up. You also might have to turn it up to medium or medium-low to heat back up.

Enjoy!!