Monday, February 28, 2011

Tuscan White Bean Garlic Soup

You will need a food processor.

2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP olive oil
2 shallots (or a med onion) chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 TBSP rubbed sage
2 cans white (Cannelloni) beans - drained & rinsed (or 3 cups soaked and cooked white beans)
4-6 cloves garlic, cut into halves
1 cup cream
pepper, salt (garlic salt) , parsley, onion powder
*1 cup sliced & sauteed mushrooms


Heat butter & olive oil in a big soup pot over med-high heat. Add the shallot/onion and cook about 5 minutes until they become soft.

Add the sage and beans, stir to combine and then add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the garlic and simmer about 15 minutes - until garlic is soft.

Pour the soup into a bowl and transfer 1/3 at a time into the food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer back to the pot over medium heat and add cream, *mushrooms and spices to your liking.
Serve with garlic toast or cheese bread.

**Allergy-free substitutions:
Cream - So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk or Original Almond milk
Butter - bacon fat or use all olive oil
Garlic - omit and replace with more onion powder & pepper

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stuffed Burgers

Simple but fun. A twist to make burgers a little more snappy.
Spice up your ground beef with salt, pepper, italian seasoning, garlic & onion powder and some Worcestershire sauce.
Make two thin patties. Pile the center of one with your choice of cheese. I also add jalapenos! Top with the other patty and pinch the edges tight. The best method for cooking all the way through is by starting it in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook a few minutes on both sides. Turn up the heat, add a little water to the pan and cover tightly; steam 1-2 more minutes. Try not to press down the patties or you will lose all the good juices! I garnish with guacamole and BBQ sauce.

**Unfortunately there is no allergy free alternative unless you can tolerate soy or goat cheese.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cheesy Taco Casserole

This is a favorite with any hungry boy. Used to be one of my favorites too! Super quick.
You will need a big covered fry pan.

1 lb ground beef
3 large cooked italian sausages cut into rounds
1 can tomato soup
1 cup salsa
1/2 water
2-3 large flour tortillas cut into 1" square pieces
grated cheese
sour cream

Cook the ground beef in large fry pan. Pour off fat and add soup, sausage pieces, salsa, water and tortillas. Stir and heat to a boil, cook about 4 minutes. Turn off heat and sprinkle cheese over the top. Cover and let cheese melt. Top with sour cream.

**Allergy-free substitutions:
Tomato soup - S&W organic tomato sauce (the only tomato base i've been able to find without gluten)
Flour tortillas - Corn or rice tortillas
Omit the cheese and sour cream and top with guacamole and/or Tofutti Sour Cream. Tofutti makes non-dairy cream cheese and sour cream substitutes. Not exactly the same of course, but it works for some people.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mustard Chicken with Cauliflower Puree

This is super yummy, very different. You will need a food processor.

2 chicken breasts cut in half
olive oil
2 TBSP butter
1/2 cup green onions-chopped
juice from 1/2 lime
1 1/2 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 - 1 1/2 cups chicken broth - depending how much sauce you want
*sliced mushrooms (optional)

head of cauliflower
2 TBSP butter
1/4 tsp cayenne
parmesan cheese

Cut up cauliflower into large florets and boil.

Prepare large pan with olive oil and butter over med-high heat. Put the breast halves in a gallon plastic bag and flatten with a meat tenderizer. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the pan. Cook about 4 minutes on each side then remove them to a plate and cover.

Add green onions, mustard, lime juice and mushrooms to the pan. Stir around a bit then add chicken broth. Let cook down to desired consistency and transfer chicken back to pan to warm and remove from heat.

Drain cauliflower and puree in food processor with butter, salt, pepper, cayenne, parsley, parmesan (i use about 1/4 cup) and enough milk to make creamy texture. Serve under prepared chicken and sauce.

Also good over rice or with regular mashed potatoes. :)

**Allergy-free substitutions:
Butter-Smart Balance or coconut oil
Milk-So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk or Almond Breeze Original
Omit cheese and add a little more spice!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why I'm blogging

Some people have suggested that I start a blog about the happenings in my kitchen.
I'll start out by saying, I LOVE food. All food, every is life. I look forward to every meal, and when that meal is done, I'm already thinking about the next one. If you know me, you are very aware of this. I am a lover especially of comfort foods, you know, the 'bad' ones.  Nachos, mexican, chili dogs, mac & cheese, pasta, garlic bread, hot fudge sundaes.
However, about 2 years ago I was super sick, I was convinced I was basically dying.....turns out I just had food allergies. Severe food allergies. When the doctor told me I was allergic to all Dairy, Eggs and Wheat Gluten I figured my life was over, lol. I know label reading is a ridiculously annoying habit (that I had always sort of associated with skinny, irritating, diet obsessed, food haters), but that's exactly what I was forced into being. A label reader, not a hater, and it's AMAZING where you find gluten. Places you would never expect or really think about. Honey roasted peanuts, boxed rice dishes, gravy mixes, soup bases, red vines!! Not to mention the delicious obvious: all breads, doughnuts, tortillas, pastas, crackers, cakes, pastries....anything with wheat flour in it. Then there's eggs and dairy. Ice cream! My beloved ice cream. I could go on for days about the foods I cried over losing.
Then, I just got pissed off. Why should I become a food hater, when there is nothing better in life then the Perfect Bite?  You know, when you take that first bite of something so incredible, so YUMMY, that you never want it to end. The food moments comparable with your greatest sexual experiences.
That's what I wanted again. So I got in the kitchen and started cooking. Experimenting, failing, replacing ingredients with new ingredients..... and failing.... and crying a little. After I stopped failing quite as badly I really started getting into it and making some amazing dishes. New ideas and twists on recipes I find.
Now, I want to start sharing some of them with anybody out there that cares to read about it. I'll post the normal recipe with allergy replacement notes at the bottom. I do cook most of my meals for a hungry 'normal' boy, so a few recipes of course won't be for us label readers :)