Cream of broccoli soup and Mac ‘n cheese….does it get any better?

Monica and Daria say:

Can you say yum?

Can you say it twice?

Well, that’s what you will be saying when you make these two great dishes!

The first and last soup of our celebration this month is a wonderful recipe shared with us by a great friend, Mike.  We remember tasting it for the first time several years ago and we were hooked!

It’s relatively easy but you’ll need some patience and a good blender.

Since it’s a creamed soup, you will need to purée it when all of the ingredients are done cooking. It’s so worth the extra effort….you’ll see!

First begin gathering your ingredients and then follow this recipe!

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Saute on medium heat:

1 head of celery, chopped

2 large onions, chopped (we used sweet Vidalia onions)

3 or 4 cloves of garlic, chopped

¼ cup olive oil (we used organic coconut oil)

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Add:

½ cup Uncle Ben’s White Rice (We used Jasmine rice and have also used brown rice but it takes a wee bit longer)

½ gal chicken stock (64 oz. OR 8 cups; we use unsalted stock)

Salt and pepper

Heat on medium until soft boil (about 10 minutes)

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Add:

2-3 chopped crowns of broccoli

Heat broccoli until it can be fork-pierced

 

Purée the soup in a blender. We split the batch in two and then added it back into pot!

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This soup can be served with a dollop of sour cream or grated cheddar cheese or plain.

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We love to garnish it with fresh parsley!

© 2005, Mike Hurley

 

And now…for our homemade gluten-free Mac ‘n Cheese to eat alongside the soup!

Gluten-free Mac ‘n Cheese

This recipe fills an 8“ x 8” glass baking dish with oooey, gooey goodness!

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Cook 8 oz of your favorite gf pasta according to package instructions (we love Tinkyada rice pasta and used  half of a bag of elbow macaroni).

Meanwhile, gather your other ingredients!

1 T butter

1 clove minced garlic

1 T arrowroot flour (or gf blend)

¾ cup skim milk

4 oz shredded cheddar cheese

4 oz shredded Fontina cheese

Pepper and red pepper

Gluten-free bread crumbs

Romano cheese

Directions:

On medium heat, melt the butter and add in the garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds, add in arrowroot flour and whisk to create a roux.

Now whisk in the milk. Reduce heat to low and add in the cheeses and melt (should melt really quickly!).

Combine the cheese mixture with the pasta. Add a dash of pepper. You may also add some red pepper, if you like.

Place into a small baking dish sprayed with Pam or any cooking spray.

Top with some gluten-free bread crumbs and sprinkle top with Romano cheese.

Bake at 400˚ for 20 minutes.

If you want the top of your mac ‘n cheese golden, you can place it under the broiler for a few minutes before serving….just watch it doesn’t burn!!

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© 2016, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk  whisks

 

This is such a satisfying lunch or dinner!

The combo of these two comfort foods is the best!

Hope you try these and if you do, let us know how you like them!

Enjoy!

© 2016, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The “Souper” days of January!

Monica and Daria say:

Happy New Year, everyone!

2016 is here and we are excited about the possibilities to come in the next 12 months!

Since our weather here has been so mild, we haven’t been thinking about one of our favorite foods….soup!

However, these past few nights have reminded us that we are, in fact, in the season of winter and are now feeling its frigid temperatures. When we took Molly for her daily walk today, it was an amazing 16 degrees….did we say 16 degrees at 2:30 in the afternoon?

Yikes!

Anyway, this is now soup weather and every week in January we will be sharing a great homemade soup recipe with you!

Our first recipe is for a lentil soup that is not only super easy but is super good!

Lentils, which grow in pods and are part of the legume family, are a super food. They not only help lower cholesterol but pack some serious fiber. If you love your heart, lentils are the way to go because these little powerhouses contain not only fiber, but magnesium and folate, which help prevent heart disease.

So, how about a great recipe for lentil soup?

You got it!

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Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

2 T coconut oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds

1 T minced garlic

½ tsp dried thyme

½ tsp kosher salt

½ cup chunky tomato sauce

1 ½ cups lentils (we used orange hulled lentils)

32 oz unsalted chicken or veggie stock (we used chicken)

Dash of pepper

1 T red wine vinegar

Directions:

Chop onion, peel and chop carrots, and mince garlic. Set aside.

Heat the olive or coconut oil over medium heat.

Add onion and carrot rounds and sauté until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the minced garlic, dried thyme, and salt. Stir into mixture for about 30 seconds.

Now stir in chunky tomato sauce and cook for 1 minute.

Add lentils and cook for an additional 1 minute.

Now add the 32 oz of stock and make sure that the mixture is covered with the liquid. If not, add some additional stock or even water.

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Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and then lower the heat to simmer. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the lentils are tender.

Season with additional scant amount of salt and pepper as taste requires.

Stir in the vinegar just before serving.

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The flavors in this soup blended so well; each spoonful was delicious!

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It really hit the spot on a blustery day!

Hope you get a chance to try this recipe….it won’t disappoint and you will gain some nutritious benefits, too!

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Enjoy!

© 2016, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk  whisks

 

 

Halloween “Monster Tacos”

Monica and Daria say:

Happy Halloween!

It’s one of our favorite holidays!

Every year when our family was growing, we looked to this holiday with great anticipation! We always had so much fun trick-or-treating in the neighborhood and enjoyed costume parties, too!

All of us participated! Sometimes, we worked out a themed Halloween, while other years, we each decided what we wanted “to be!”

Either way, it was great; the memories are long lasting!

Since we are a fan of tacos, this year we decided to make some yummy ones with some grass-fed beef. It seems that we have gotten away from the traditional taco “shell” and prefer to use taco chips instead. You can really get into your mound of beef and scoop up all the goodness without having such a mess on your hands!

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We are calling these “Monster Tacos” since we decided to switch out the customary cheddar cheese for muenster cheese….hence, the name!

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And, using fresh organic salsa really elevates the flavor! Add in some fresh arugula for a peppery taste and you’ve got some great tacos to munch!

We are including our recipe here for homemade taco seasoning…there’s really no reason to ever buy it! It’s super easy to make and if your pantry looks like ours, you will have these items on hand!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (1/8 tsp ground red pepper)

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt (1/2 tsp salt)

1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.

Store in an airtight container.

When cooking:

Add 1 T of cornstarch to 2/3 cup of water; mix well and add after adding seasonings. whisks

 

Last, but certainly not least, we LOVE Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Black Bean Infused Tortilla Chips….they are curved and crunchy and hold all the yummy goodness from the plate to your mouth!

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So here’s wishing you a safe and happy Halloween!

Now go enjoy a scary lunch!

© 2015, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

 

 

Sushi, sushi, sushi

Monica (mom) says:

Ever since my Daria taught me to roll sushi, I have been hooked!

Since it’s not only easy to do and doesn’t take a long time, I find all kinds of reasons for making sushi!

Since we don’t eat raw fish in our diet, I have gotten used to making veggie sushi….although I have made a great jerk chicken recipe that I found in Cat Cora’s cookbook, Cooking from the Hip.

All you have to do is make short-grained sushi rice according to the package instructions, and while the rice is getting all happy, cut your veggies into long thin pieces.

I love to make carrot and cucumber rolls, and avocado with peanut rolls.

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Once your rice is done, place it in a glass or ceramic bowl and mix in 4 T of rice vinegar and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and let it cool. It should become very sticky!

You will need a bamboo rolling mat and a package of Nori seaweed wrap. Keep a bowl of warm water handy on the table or counter where you are rolling, because you will need to dip your fingers quite often. Sticky rice makes sticky fingers!!

Place a piece of Nori (shiny side down) on the mat, spread rice on ¾ of it (leaving top empty for sealing the roll). If you place clear plastic wrap over the entire mat, it will stop the rice from sticking and you will not have to wash it as often. Then at the bottom (side nearest you), place a row of veggies.

Now roll!

Here is a YouTube video from allrecipes.com on making sushi rolls:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKUSI8ElgRc

If you are not serving the sushi immediately, keep the rolls intact. When you are ready to eat your creations, you can cut each roll into bite-sized pieces and can top with ginger, wasabi, and/or dip in tamari or gluten-free soy sauce!

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You can use your fingers or chopsticks…whichever you choose, just enjoy!

© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

 

It helps to plan ahead….and have a helper, too!

Monica (mom) says:

Today was the first day of my occupational therapy for my right elbow. I had to drive (yes, I can drive!) to a nearby town to meet Nick, my OT, and I knew that when I got home, I would be beat and hungry. So last night, with the help of my hubby, I baked some organic chicken tenders (called “Skinny Chicken” on the package) with some garlic, basil, salt and pepper.

While the chicken was baking, Lewie cut two stalks of celery and some red globe grapes.

Meanwhile I was using a rolling pin to “hit” a plastic baggie of walnuts, not to smash them completely, but just to make little pieces. I needed a job since I can’t stand not being able to help! Of course, I was using my left arm, which isn’t so coordinated….it worked anyway!

When the chicken was done and cooled, Lewie cut the tenders into bite-sized pieces. We placed them in a bowl and added the celery, grapes, and walnuts.

To hold it all together we added 2 T of mayonnaise, added some oregano, and an extra dash of garlic powder. Mix it all together. I love to scoop up the chicken salad with gluten-free crackers.

Yum!

A little bowl of delight!

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I know the addition of a diced red onion would not only be pretty, but taste awesome. But since neither of us can eat raw red onion without getting heartburn, we leave it out. Just a thought!

Special thanks to my Lewie!

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Easy and delicious….what could be better?

© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk