Turkey Curry with Yummy Yammy Sweet Potato Salsa

YummyYammy_postcardSo my friend Lisa has this awesome company that sells sweet potato salsa- Yummy Yammy. Yeah- you read that right- sweet potato salsa. And it’s freaking delicious!!

In addition to running a boutique food company, Lisa- like me, has two amazing daughters, and divides her time between growing a company, her girls, and managing all the ins and outs of parenthood, homeownership, and spousehood. Plus she’s super cool, and she makes time to mentor other folks- like me. Ingredients for a super-hero as far as I’m concerned.

Yummy Yammy has been on my radar for well over a year. I LOVE salsa, but like many, I have to be careful about how much tomato I consume. These salsas have no tomato, but all the flavor you could want. They’re great on chips,  heated up over rice, with a fried egg (yeah we did that this morning!) or out of the container with just a spoon.

Added benefit? It’s good for you! They give you a huge dose of beta-carotene anti-oxidant love. Did I mention you won’t be able to stop eating it?

Yummy Yammy is in over 100 stores from Wisconsin to Florida- many of them Whole Foods! For those of you outside of that area, you can get them on Amazon.com though- and if you go to the Yummy Yammy Website and sign up to become a YAMBASSADOR (who doesn’t love that?!?) you can get a coupon for free shipping to try them. I recommend you try them all- they are that good! Also- any orders over $50 naturally come with free shipping. Guess what I’ll be doing for stocking stuffers this year?

YummyYammy Turkey Curry SauceNow about that Turkey…..

I’ve seen the facebook posts over the last few days- you all are sick of your turkey and ham. May I suggest an easy way to get rid of the rest of it that is so delicious you’ll stop eating long after your stomach screams it’s full?

I like curry, but I really like saying “turkey curry” because that reminds me of Bridget Jones- one of my favorite movies. One year I even had a turkey curry buffet birthday party (my birthday is close to Christmas). Of course, the curry was pork as I didn’t have turkey on hand, but who cares? And like the movie- I shamelessly orchestrated an introduction of two friends that culminated in their marriage last year 🙂 I wish all my matchmaking attempts turned out so well.

Onto the recipe! This is pretty fast to put together, and like many Adventuresome Kitchen recipes, there is plenty of room for creativity and modification. If you make some changes, let us know what you did in the comments below- we’d love to hear! And be sure to visit the Yummy Yammy website and check out all the fun things Lisa has going on over there!

Cheers & Happy Eating!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:21]

Best Cream of Chicken Soup Ever- Gluten Free

Cream of Chicken Soup GFI am a convert. I’ve never been much of a fan of ‘cream of’ soups. But then I came up with this because I was working on a recipe that called for 2 cans of Cream of Chicken Soup. (Yes, occasionally I do follow a recipe!)

Celiacs and other Gluten-Freers know that most creamy soups are thickened with flour. That means bye-bye clam chowder, lobster bisque, cream of mushroom (the key ingredient in Green Bean Casserole) cream of chicken soup, etc…

Well, after a bit of research I realized that this is not rocket science, and away we went. The result? A creamy, chickeny, rich and tasty soup that literally comes together in less than 20 minutes. The prep time took longer than the actual cooking! And, if you’re really in a hurry, purchase pre-cut veggies and use canned chicken. (You might be compromising on flavor if you use canned chicken, but it’s definitely fast!) This is also a great starter recipe for the Junior Chefs in your life.

The secret to thick and creamy soup? Sorghum flour. Sorghum is a staple flour in our kitchen, and my go-to for things like making a roux. It’s finer than rice flour which means it doesn’t leave a grainy texture like some gluten free flours can. It’s got a pretty neutral flavor which in my opinion makes it better than potato flour. And it’s not a starch. Starches like tapioca, potato and corn can thicken, but in my experience they are not good for making a roux. Roues, in addition to thickening soups, also add a key flavor component. The flour absorbs the fat of the butter (you don’t want to make a roux with oil) and as the roux is cooking the sugars in the flour and butter caramelize and add depth of flavor.

See the recipe below for additional variations we came up with (Like using leftover Thanksgiving Turkey) Seriously- this soup is so yummy it’s now part of our weekly winter soup rotation.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:20]

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie & Cranberry Pear Salad – 2 Easy Make Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes

Easy Make-Ahead Thanksgiving RecipesFor those of you who are working right up until the Holidays- I sympathize. For those of you who work retail, hospital shifts, night jobs, or more than one job- I really sympathize.

If you’re a working foodie- this time of year can be really tough to channel your inner Kitchen Diva, work, be attentive to family and friends, and take care of yourself… I know. I’m right there in the trenches with you this year… Happily, sales of my GF Pie Crust are out of control…I’m excited…but that also leaves little time for much else..blogging? Recipe development? Photography? Housecleaning??!!!?? Thankfully (or not-so-thankfully, depending on how you look at it) a malfunctioning mixer and a delay in an ingredient order left me with time to catch up on some much needed kitchen activity.

I am not hosting dinner this year..But, I still intend to eat well with a few friends and play in someone else’s kitchen. What’s on our menu? Easy stuff. Stuff I’m making tomorrow with the Kitchen Divas in Training so I can sleep in on Turkey Day and loll about in my pajamas taking in the Macy’s Parade with the girls while sipping a mimosa and enjoying a gluten-free scone! So what’s on the dinner menu??

  • Duck Confit (already made, you can check out the pics on our Facebook Page)
  • Smoked Chicken Liver Pate w/ Gluten Free Baguettes
  • Baby potatoes roasted in duck fat and truffle salt (pop in the oven at 400 and cook stirring occasionally until done)
  • Fresh Cranberry Pear Salad (Recipe Below- only 20 min to make and seriously delicious)
  • Roasted Brussels (Check out our Adventuresome Kitchen Recipe with Mint Sauce)
  • Roast Duck or Goose (we’re channeling our Pilgrim roots and dispensing with the Turkey (but I’m not making that!!)
  • Gluten Free Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie (Easy, No Bake, and all the Pumpkin Pie Flavors you love- Recipe Below)

Now that might seem pretty ambitious to some of you- but here’s the deal: With the exception of the baguettes which are a little more involved, everything else listed above is 10-15 minutes of prep and into the oven, or can be completely made in 20 minutes or less… My kind of food these days.. All of it can be made now or on Thanksgiving and still taste great.  My point? Even if you’re crazy busy this year and the thought of cooking makes you want to take a nap…pick one or two fast, easy recipes and eat well. Your tastebuds will be the first to Thank you!!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:14]

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:15]

 

How to Make Any Soup Taste Great- Essential Ingredients

Curry Sausage SoupIt is said that the shoemaker’s children never have shoes. So it could be said for the chef’s children- they only eat (gluten free) toast! Thank heavens the Kitchen Divas in Training are no strangers to meal creation! Over the last month we’ve been working round the clock to bring our gluten free baking mixes to market. Since time has been at a premium and the weather has cooled off, we’ve relied on soups, stews, and the occasional take-out to stay well nourished.

Most soups can be on the table in 30 minutes and clean-up is easy. We’ve frequently found ourselves dumping our leftovers into the stock pot and coming up with a quick meal- preventing food waste and saving money. But- in order to do that and have the finished product taste delicious, we’ve learned there are a few essential ingredients that are needed to make any soup taste great. These are the basics- if you have these and nothing else, you’ll still have a great soup, but add these to any premade box soup, pile of fresh/frozen vegetables, or leftovers-  you’ll be smiling all the way through dinner!

 

How to make any soup taste great- essential ingredients:

Vegetable Soup with Green Chile SauceOnions- Onions are a staple base flavor- throw them in raw to a box of tomato soup, add a little kale and you’ve got a zesty, nutritious addition that will liven your ‘cuppa’ soup. Carmelize them first for a sweet addition, or use them as part of a classic “mirepoix”  (pronounced Meer-Ah-Pwah)which is the traditional french base for most soups and stews. Onions are also rich in quercetin- those same great immune boosters found in apples.

Carrots- reference the above for classic mirepoix. Carrots add a level of sweetness to any soup, and they’re rich in beta-carotene – an important anti-oxidant!

Leafy Green KaleCelery- the 3rd necessary ingredient for a mirepoix.

Kale- Most of us don’t get enough fresh green vegetables in the winter. Our secret? Chop up kale and put it in the bottom of each soup bowl. Pour the steaming liquid over it. The heat from the soup will wilt the kale perfectly, preserving its nutrients.

Sausage- most of the time a pound of sausage (link or bulk) is the perfect protein addition to any soup. We use this on the days when our vegetable soup needs to be heartier, or when we want a bolder flavor. Go for the strongly flavored sausages like hot italian sausage, chorizo (not exactly a sausage, but you get the idea). We also like sausages that have plenty of fennel. (You could also use any leftover meat in the fridge- we’ve made soup with chicken, pork, potroast, hamburger…whatever’s on hand)

White Bean, Kale, Sausage & Butternut SoupCelery Root- We don’t often have this on hand, but when this ugly root is peeled and diced it adds a depth and fullness to soups we really enjoy.

Starches- Could be a lonely forgotten potato, rice or quinoa, or even a handful of pasta. We use this when we need to fill out a thin soup.

Sea Salt or Chicken Stock- sometimes you want one- sometimes the other. If we’re adding sausage to a pot, the flavors might compete with chicken stock. If we’re using just vegetables, sometimes the chicken stock adds a richness.

Cream of Carrot and Leek SoupCanned Beans- we always have a variety of canned beans on hand- our favorites for soups (When we’re not making chile) are the white beans. Red Kidneys come in a close second. High in fiber and protein, beans are an excellent addition- especially if you want to avoid meat.

What else is on hand? Really, that answer is up to you and your imagination. We just finished reading “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder..As a child, I thought it was the most boring book of the series. As an adult- the most captivating. We’ve been inspired by the Ingalls’ resourcefulness to not waste so much food in our fridge.

Need some recipe inspiration? Try one of these delicious soups on the Adventuresome Kitchen Soup Page

Gluten Free Pasta for One: 30 Minute Meal & ICDS2013 Round-Up

I don’t usually write about Celiac Disease. I was 27 when I was diagnosed, although I’m fairly convinced I had Celiac even as a little girl- I was one sick kid. But Celiac Disease isn’t how I define myself- it’s just kind of there. I know I need to avoid gluten for the rest of my life, and that’s that.

As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather jump in enthusiastically to explore all the delicious foods and meals that are naturally Gluten Free, or can be easily made gluten free than get hung up on what I can’t eat. Sure, do miss croissants? Yeah- I guess- sometimes. But I’m happy and healthy without most carbs in my life. And in fact, on a recent recipe testing binge- I actually felt pretty gross after eating piles of gluten free biscuits for 2 days!

So, as a food writer and foodie, it was really interesting for me to attend the International Celiac Disease Symposium last week in Chicago.  The opening reception, hosted by some of Chicago’s best restaurants, did not disappoint. If you want to eat well as a Celiac- come to Chicago.

WildFireRestaurantOn the vendor side of things, there wasn’t much new to report. All the usual biggies were there- Udi’s, Rudi’s, Enjoy Life, etc. My favorite by far, was a company from Sweden called Fria. They are making what is quite possibly the best gluten free bread on the planet. Too bad they are only available in Europe!

Fria Gluten FreeThe clinical sessions were super fascinating for me. Some of the world’s premier doctors and researchers presented their findings- all of which have been published and peer-reviewed. This was a point that was hammered on over and over again.

Why?

Because there’s a lot of research going on right now that has been published in books (Namely “Wheat Belly”) that hasn’t been peer-reviewed or formulated into randomized double-blind tests.

My favorite session was the myth-busting session. This session was devoted to dispelling the pop-culture myths as to why more people are claiming to have trouble with gluten. Here’s what I learned:

ICDS2013 Clinical ForumMyth: Because of GMO, wheat has more gluten than ever before.

Reality: In a comparison of European traditional tall wheat, and American hybridized short hard wheat- a slide showing the gluten pattern of both grains was shown. There is *no significant difference in gluten between the two.

Now, it is true that different varieties of wheat have slightly different amounts of gluten, and that those wheats have been traditionally used for different applications- pasta vs pastry, for instance. But for the Celiac- the differences are minimal. For the non-celiac, use of one variety of wheat over another isn’t going to have an effect on your digestion.

Myth:  Our diet has more wheat in it now than at any time in history.

Reality: Our ancestors in 1900 ate  *significantly more wheat as we do now. We do eat more wheat now than in the 1950’s.  Now- our diet is higher in processed food and sugar than at any other time in history… hmmm.

Myth: Our obesity epidemic is linked to wheat consumption.

Reality: Italians eat about 5x as much wheat as Americans, yet do not have the obesity epidemic we do, and they live longer too!

Myth: Gluten is cross-reactive with coffee and corn. If you have gluten problems you should also avoid corn & coffee.

Reality: There is NO- 0- Zip Scientific evidence to support this. I’m living proof that this is flat out false.

Myth: Celiac symptoms can be alleviated by over the counter glutenaze-enzymes.

Reality: Nope. Don’t waste your money. Again- peer reviewed scientific evidence shows this isn’t the case at all.

Other cool facts I learned:

  • Preliminary studies show that probiotics can help alleviate Celiac symptoms, but do not change gut permeability.
  • 39% of products that claim to be Gluten Free, but also disclose they were manufactured in a facility containing wheat, were in fact *not Gluten Free, and tested well above the 20ppm threshold.  This is why the recent FDA regulations concerning labeling of Gluten Free are so important.
  • Lastly, the reason we have scientific evidence that 20ppm is a safe threshold for Celiacs is because of the bravery and willingness of Italian Celiacs to put their bodies on the line in a randomized double-blind study documenting the effects of gluten exposure on the body. Any Celiac who knowingly risks illness so that the scientific community can come up with definitive and measurable safe guidelines is a hero and deserves to be publicly thanked.

Chicago-ViewNow, in addition to eating some great food, I also got to spend a little time cooking on my own. It’s the first time I’ve cooked for only myself in who knows how long. I’m often asked about writing gluten free recipes for one, as the proportions I normally suggest are for a hungry family of 4. I’ve forgotten that as a solo eater a few leftovers can go a long way, and 1 bag of groceries is usually more than enough to last a few days. I enjoy cooking though- even if I’m the only beneficiary of it. So, while I sat and worked and enjoyed the nighttime view- I came up with this fun Pasta alla Carbonara-esque recipe that you’re sure to enjoy. It’s super-fast (a ‘must’ these days) and easy to scale up for a family of 4 if you like the flavors. I’ll try and post a few more of these solo recipes I invented while in Chicago- my tastebuds were happy!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:13]

 

 

Chicken Pasta w/Greens & The International Celiac Disease Symposium

20 Minute GF Chicken Pasta Tomorrow I head out to attend the International Celiac Disease Symposium in Chicago.

For 4 days, the world’s premier scientists, researchers, doctors, and gluten free vendors will gather to share the latest research, practices, and discoveries about diagnosing and living with Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance. The Adventuresome Kitchen is thrilled to be a Virtual Exhibitor and Participant!!

I’ll be Tweeting (@AdvKitchen) and posting updates on The Adventuresome Kitchen Facebook Page so if you haven’t yet ‘liked’ the AK FB Page- click the link to the right and stay up to date! There’s going to be a Gluten-Free Food Fair, so you can bet I’ll be tasting and taking pictures to share with you.

Upon my return, stay tuned for a big, Big, BIG announcement! One that I can’t WAIT to share with you!!

In the meantime, we are in the thick of school busy-ness and activity, so short, quick meals that the Kitchen Divas in Training can help create are the rule of the day.

This quick and easy chicken pasta combo was conceived of by the Kitchen Divas in Training while we were testing the various Gluten-Free Pastas. While we used chicken sausage in this recipe, any protein you have on hand would suffice: Italian Sausage, leftover steak, chicken strips- you name it. This is a fast recipe that’s easy to throw together with whatever you happen to have on hand. The idea is there should be no trips to the store to make this happen! Enjoy Good Food this weekend!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:12]

 

Chicken with Garlic Sauce, Tomato & Basil – 30 Minute Meal

Gluten Free SpaghettiSo we were in the store recently and noticed the explosion of new gluten-free products- especially pastas. Like most parents, I tend to get into a rut and just reach for my tried and true favorite- Tinkyada – where pasta is concerned. But The Kitchen Divas in Training were anxious to try something new. So over the course of a week, we decided to have a “spaghetti-off” and try a few new pastas- grading them on ease of use, taste, texture, and how they hold up the next day. We tried: Tinkyada, Bionaturae, Hodgson Mill, and Ronzoni.

For those of you who may be thinking “all gluten free pasta tastes alike”, think again. There were some big differences in these brands.

For consistency’s sake, we agreed that we would put aside our thoughts about how pasta should be cooked, and trust the recommendation on the back of each package. We followed the instructions to the letter. Sometimes that meant rinsing, other times not. It also meant varying the cooking times.

First up- Bionaturae: I had high hopes for this pasta because it’s made by an Italian company, and in Europe the Italians are far ahead of the gluten free curve. The pasta had a nice flavor, but quickly became mushy and broke while serving. Not a bad thing if you have small kids, since you’d want to cut their spaghetti anyways, but you couldn’t twirl it. If I were to use this again, I would cook for a shorter period of time then is recommended on the package, rinse and coat in olive oil. It might hold up a little better that way. The pieces really stuck together.

Hodgson Mills: This New England company has a reputation for making fine flours, and they also have a gluten free facility. However, the Kitchen Divas in Training (and I agree with them) thought they should stick to their flour mixes. The pasta was just okay. It had a fine flavor, but turned mushy and fell apart. There was also a bit of a telltale “gluten-free” grainy texture that wasn’t very appealing. Again, if I were to use this pasta again, I would cook for a shorter period of time, rinse and coat in oil.

Ronzoni: This was a surprise. The pasta is made with corn and quinoa in addition to the rice flour blend. I don’t personally care for quinoa flour as it has a very distinctive, bitter aftertaste. And corn in pasta can also be a little off-putting- making the pasta too crunchy. But the flavor was very nice and the texture – albeit slightly more al dente than I usually prefer- was also good. The pasta was also pretty sturdy and didn’t fall apart. It also twisted on the fork nicely- much to the Kitchen Divas in Training’s delight- But this brand does contain mono and diglycerides.  You can read more about those here, and decide whether you like them or not.

Tinkyada: Still my favorite of the bunch. I don’t know what magic they put in their rice, but in my mind, this is still the best pasta on the market. A good al dente texture that doesn’t turn to mush if you accidentally overcook it, a flavor comparable to any glutenful pasta, and a flexibility that allows for significant pasta twirling.

I could not bring myself to cook the same exact meal for 4 nights in a row however, so the Kitchen Divas in Training helped me come up with a few fun variations. Happily all these recipes can be completed in under 30 minutes- making them the perfect school-night meal choice.

20 Minute Chicken Recipe 1[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:9]

From the Junior Chef: Egg Salad Snack Bites

Egg Salad Snack BitesHi Junior Chefs, it’s ‘A’ from The Adventuresome Kitchen. I’ve just started back to school, and if you’re like me- I bet you’re really hungry when you get home every afternoon. Learning really gets your appetite going!

Here’s a delicious, easy snack I whipped up. Although it would also work great as a meal for lunch too. Egg salad is filled with protein, so it really tides you over until dinner, and gets you through your afternoon activities. The addition of dill pickles in this recipe gives a nice tangy contrast to the richness of the eggs. And I like the paprika not just for flavor but for color. Don’t you like eating pretty food? Plus, by using different cookie cutters you can inject your personality into it. I like that.

Be sure that you have an adult help you when you cut the eggs and pickles- if you’re using a sharp knife, you need to have an adult with you to show you how so that you keep your fingers safe. Eggs are soft enough though, you could probably use a butter knife.

I hope you enjoy this recipe- we do! And if you make it at your house, take a picture of you and your creation and have your grown-up post it on The Adventuresome Kitchen Facebook Page! Have a great week at school, and have fun in your kitchen!

Thanks for reading,

‘A’

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:8]

Gluten Free Seafood Chowder- 30 Minute Meal

Gluten Free Seafood ChowderWell the Kitchen Divas in Training loved their first week of school. We’re all in the process of adjusting to earlier bedtimes, rising times, and an increasingly busy after school schedule. We- I- no longer have the luxury of hanging out on the back steps socializing with Mr. Kitchen Diva after he arrives home from work, and then deciding to think about dinner, oh at 7:30…

Nope. The thought process is more like this: “Crap. It’s 3pm.. A has to be here at 3:30, K has to be someplace else at 4:15. We’ll be home at 5:15. A can practice while K takes a shower…What’s in the fridge? Oh yeah- I didn’t plan meals this week…ok- well we’ve got some basics…and dinner has to be ready by 6pm…and I didn’t thaw any meat, and it’s too late to cook the spaghetti squash….and Oh CRAP- I left the frozen seafood sitting in the grocery bag all afternoon!!”

Enter Gluten Free Seafood Chowder.

I *love* chowders. However, unless I make them myself, I usually have to go without because most chowders in restaurants and in cans are thickened with flour.  Fortunately, they’re pretty easy to whip up and thanks to the fast cooking time of seafood they don’t take long to prepare. Chowders are also great for using up leftover veggies.

This is a super easy, *super fast*, wholesome, hearty meal that can be easily thrown together and varied depending on what’s in your fridge, freezer, & pantry. So have at it- let your imagination take over. Your tastebuds will thank you!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:7]

 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

A New ChapterAnd just like that, a new chapter has begun in the lives of the Kitchen Divas in Training- and therefore ours. Today, with a good measure of excitement and a few salty tears, my precious, magical, incredible daughters attended their first day of public school. They are happy, so I am happy. The nervous excitement was palpable this morning as we left the house, and when I walked down the street to collect them this afternoon,  they literally bounded home- brimming with stories of how their day went, what new friends they made, and how excited they are about all that lies in front of them. As a parent- can you ask for anything more?

Getting to this point was not easy. We have wrestled with this for months. First one way, then the other. In the final moments, when I just couldn’t stand the agony any longer- when my worry had exhausted me to the point of surrender- I finally said “I don’t care where you go or what direction you choose- I want you to be happy in your heart” I had asked this before, but I think they were worried about disappointing us.

It’s funny though, when given the freedom from adult repercussion, children are remarkably clear about what they need and what makes them happy. I think adults have a hard time hearing that…. We have baggage….We think we know better.

But we are not them. We haven’t had their experiences, their joys or their heartaches. And if homeschooling my children for 2 1/2 years has taught me anything, it’s taught me that my daughters are powerful. Resilient. Strong. Brilliant creatures who love me with the same fierceness that I love them. And that no matter what -we are here to help each other become fully who we are. They have taught me too.

This new direction means radical change for us in some ways. We’ve had complete freedom from traditional discipline. My children listen to their bodies- sleep when they’re tired, eat when they’re hungry. Unfortunately, the mass education of children in this country doesn’t allow for that- it would be too chaotic. And so we adjust. Earlier bed, earlier rising. Dinner before- God forbid- 6PM!! Discipline. Rigor. Schedule. Not evil words by any stretch of the imagination, but a new challenge.

Roasted Red Pepper HummusSo-as we move into fall, we’re attempting meal planning, shopping lists, schedules- left-brain orderly stuff. I’m grinning and laughing as I write this- because underneath this unruly artist is a disciplined, type-A planner… And I’m not one to shy away from a challenge.

What does this mean for my cooking? Fast, easy, bulk, finger food, etc… Lunches of hummus and veggies, extra big dinners so we can have leftovers, cooking extra on the weekends…all good- just different. And so today- I give you an easy, adaptable roasted red pepper hummus recipe. We live off of hummus in the summer- and make this with many variations. It’s so easy- even a 7 year old can make it- although they might need help with the can-opener! We hope you’ll enjoy this as much as we do.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:6]

Welcome Note

 

Easy Coleslaw Recipe

Fruity Summer SlawThis super easy coleslaw recipe is from the oldest Kitchen Diva in Training. You’ve already seen some of her fabulous pictures, but she and her little sis are pretty regular recipe developers these days, and you really should benefit from their creativity.

All of the recipes from the Kitchen Divas in Training- since they’re designed by young ones- are super easy (which means they don’t take much time to whip up), and they taste great!

One thing I love about this recipe is that it doesn’t call for mayonnaise, making it the perfect picnic item. No chance of food spoilage here. Likewise, it’s paleo, vegan, egg free and dairy free. With all that ‘free-ness’ happening you might also think it’s free from flavor- but it’s not!! The sweet from the apples and raisins,  and the crunch from the cabbage, carrots, & nuts make this quite addictive!

So- without further ado- I present to you ‘A’! (PS- she took the food pictures too!)

DSC05564

Hey little chefs, it’s ‘A’  from the Adventuresome Kitchen!

Today I made a delicious Summer Salad. It works great for a refreshing snack, or even for lunch. I’m calling it ‘Fruity Summer Slaw’. It’s easy to make and tastes good too.

 

 

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:4]

 

 

Gluten-Free Penne with Morels, Asparagus, & Watercress

Gluten Free Pasta PrimaveraIn the span of a few short days, we’ve gone from piles of snow to drenching midnight thunderstorms. A sure sign that spring is here in the Midwest. Spring in these parts is always a battle. First, a battle between ice and warmth. Later, a battle between balmy breezes and the oppressive heat that will invariably settle in all too soon. For now, the 108 degree temps from last summer a distant memory, I’m just glad to take off my indoor puffy coat!

I also realized this week as I was scanning through previous recipes on my site that I have *one* traditional pasta recipe! There are several funky and fun recipes, but I seemed to have overlooked basic quick and easy pasta ideas! What was I thinking? As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve got so many irons in the fire right now, fast dinner is about the only option for us these days.

Pasta-  like polenta, quinoa, and rice, is a great canvas to showcase fresh, seasonal ingredients. We don’t eat a lot of pasta because it doesn’t have much nutritional bang for the buck. But it’s fun, fast, and with a ton of vegetables added, not so bad.

For those of us that eat seasonally, spring means piles of asparagus, tender greens, and my favorite fungi- morels. It’s not quite morel season yet, but I couldn’t wait any longer. And, it seems I’m not the only blogger with spring food on the brain! My friend Toni Dash, host of Boulder Locavore, posted this fabulous lemon-asparagus pasta yesterday. Great seasonal minds do indeed think alike! Whatever recipe you end up preparing for your next pasta dish- do consider using fresh spring ingredients like asparagus, greens, herbs, or other flavors that catch your fancy.

A word about spring greens: I love spring greens. They are tender, super flavorful, and pack an anti-oxidant punch. They can also brighten up any dish- from salad, to smoothie, to any dish with starch as a backdrop. Below are a few of my favorites:

Watercress: A peppery green that grows wild near riverbeds (hence the name!)

Sorrel: A lemony green that pairs beautifully with asparagus, seafood, and other salad greens.

Beet greens: A sweet, earthy (but not *dirt-like*) flavor, great with eggs, cheese, and sauteed.

Mustard greens: A tangy, spicy flavored green that works well sauteed, in a salad mix, and with cured meats and cheeses.

Baby Arugula: A milder version of the mature green- a flavor that is a combination of watercress & mustard greens- peppery, a little hot, and tangy.

Do you have a favorite spring recipe? Share it in the comments below, or on the Adventuresome Kitchen Facebook page!

Gluten-Free Pasta Primavera: Penne with Morels, Asparagus, & Watercress

IngredientsGluten Free Penne Pasta

1 bag gluten-free penne pasta

6oz prosciutto, diced

3/4-1 lb asparagus, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

1 1/2 cups loosely chopped morels (fresh or rehydrated)

3 cups watercress leaves (or other spring greens)

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup pasta water

1 1/2 cups shredded pecorino

1/4 cup white wine

2 tsp salt

zest of 2 large lemons (or more if you like!)

Directions

Place water in a pasta pot and heat to boiling.

Meanwhile chop prosciutto and place in a second, large pot- or a tall, wide skillet. The pasta will end up in this pan at the end, so make sure it’s big enough.

When the prosciutto has begun to crisp, add the morels. If the morels have been rehydrated, you will have to cook off some of the water. When the pan has started to dry and turn a bit brown on the bottom, add the wine and scrape up all of the bits.

** At this point, the pasta water should be boiling, and you should add your pasta and the salt into the boiling water. Do NOT go further with the recipe until this step has been completed. The pasta should take 7-10 minutes to cook to al-dente**

When the pasta has cooked for about 5 minutes, add the asparagus to the morels and prosciutto. Add a ladleful of the pasta water- about 1 cup.

When the pasta is a little bit chewier than al-dente (about 7 minutes) pour off the water and add the pasta to the pot with the morels, prosciutto & asparagus. Add the heavy cream and stir to coat. Add the pecorino and the lemon zest. Stir to combine. Turn off the heat.

Just before serving, add the watercress or other greens. Spring greens in particular are very tender and wilt very rapidly. The residual heat will be more than enough to wilt the greens, yet retain their bright color.

* to make a saucier sauce, double all (including the wine) the liquids, and increase cheese to 2 cups.

No leftovers. It was that good!
No leftovers. It was that good!

Mushroom Leek Frittata & Roasted Asparagus- Under 30 Mins.

Mushroom Leek & Goat Cheese FrittataSpring finally arrived with the Easter Bunny this past week. And we welcomed it in style! To see a round-up of some of the fabulous food we cooked up in The Adventuresome Kitchen for Easter, go check out (and be sure to ‘like’) our facebook page.

While this post does include an egg recipe, it won’t be a ‘what to do with your leftovers’ kind of recipe. For that- I recommend checking out my Pesto Deviled Eggs. I did toy with the possibility of a new deviled egg recipe, but that will have to wait for another day. We ate all our hard-boiled eggs!

So in the spirit of fast meals- which seems to be how we’re rolling in the kitchen these days (With the exception of super-fancy-snobby-food-extravaganzas like Easter), it was breakfast for dinner again the other night. I tend to gravitate towards frittatas over omelets because I confess, I have trouble flipping the omelets. Julia Child might say that I’m not committed enough to my flipping- and that very well may be the case. There has to be no fear when it comes to flipping the omelet. Incidentally, if you want to read the best-ever description of flipping an omelet, go out and purchase Deariea biography of Julia Child by Bob Spitz. His description of her first television appearance will have you crying with laughter.

At any rate, I like frittatas because they’re fast and they make a great canvas for whatever leftover food pieces you need to rescue from certain death in the back of the fridge.  Oh yeah- and they’re naturally gluten-free, so they’re a no-brainer. Quiche, omelets, risottos and polentas can all work in the same manner, but I say frittatas are the fastest and easiest- hence their continual appearance in my kitchen.

This mushroom leek frittata also includes goat cheese. If there had been any leftover bacon from Easter (there wasn’t), I would have added that as well. The roasted asparagus literally took 10 minutes and cooked while the frittata was finishing in the oven. So delicious there were no leftovers!

The Adventuresome Kitchen is working on some long-term and very exciting projects, including collecting stories of people’s gluten-free experiences. If you are interested in sharing your story, or know someone who would be willing to share their story, please contact me at: adventuresomekitchen (at) gmail (dot) com

Mushroom Leek Frittata w/ Goat Cheese

Ingredients

See how the egg is starting to pull away from the pan? This mean's it's ready to go into the oven!
See how the egg is starting to pull away from the pan? This mean’s it’s ready to go into the oven!

6 eggs

1 1/2 cups chopped leeks (about 2)

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup goat cheese

salt & pepper to taste

olive oil- about 2 Tbs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Heat a large pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, drizzle a generous swirl of olive oil in the pan (this is not an exact science). When the oil shimmers add the leeks and mushrooms. Cook about 5 minutes, until they are softened. Allow any juices to cook off so the pan is fairly dry.

While the leeks and mushrooms are cooking, beat the eggs and whisk in the goat cheese. Most of the goat cheese will ‘melt’ into the eggs, but there will be some pieces that don’t. This is fine.

When the leeks and mushrooms are ready, add in the eggs and give the pan a quick swirl to evenly distribute the egg mixture. Don’t stir the eggs- unless you want egg scramble (which would be okay). Sprinkle salt and pepper over the mixture and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes.

When the eggs start to pull away from the pan, and begin to get a little firm in the middle, place the pan in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes.

The eggs are done when they are firm in the middle- 10-12 minutes.

Oven Roasted Asparagus

Oven Roasted AsparagusThis is one of my favorite ways to prepare asparagus. For a small batch, use the toaster oven,  for a larger batch, use the regular oven.

Rinse the asparagus and snap the bottom ends off. If you’ve never snapped asparagus, it’s pretty easy. Grab the woody end with one hand, and hold the stalk with the other. Bend until it snaps. This gets rid of the tough woody part.

Place asparagus side by side on a cookie sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your desired taste. Cook at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Et Voilá! Finger licking good.

Sweet Potato Polenta with Spring Greens

sweet potato polenta with spring greensSpring cannot arrive fast enough. It is the end of March and I am staring out the window at snow covered ground and a grey sky threatening to dump more of the white stuff. My cooking has turned to beta-carotene filled items reminiscent of hot days and summer sun. This sweet potato polenta not only fits the bill with its combination of spring and summer flavors, but it’s fast too. And these days, it’s all about making dinner in a hurry. I’m sure you can relate.

I’ve written about polenta before. It’s been awhile since we’ve enjoyed it, and it’s back in our regular rotation for awhile. It’s fast, delicious, and a great way to show off sauteed greens and other flavors. It also makes great leftovers. Wherever you are- may spring’s sunshine find its way into your kitchen!

Sweet Potato Polenta w/ Spring Greens

Polenta Ingredientssundried tomatoes, mushrooms and onions

1 cup cornflour, cornmeal or polenta (grits)

2 cups chicken stock (or veggie stock)

1 cup milk

2 tbs butter

1 cup shredded cheese

1-2 cups mashed sweetpotatoes

Spring Green Saute

2 tbs olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cups coarsely chopped mushrooms

1 1/2 cups sundried tomatoes (I use a 2oz pkg)

1 bag of mixed spring greens (if buying loose, use about 5 cups)

Directions

sweet potato polenta with spring greensBring the chicken stock and milk to a boil. When it’s boiling, whisk in the corn in a steady stream. Cornflour yields a finer polenta. Use what you have on hand or what you prefer. Whisk constantly until the polenta begins to thicken. Remove from the heat. Stir in the mashed sweet potatoes, the butter and the cheese. Cover and let sit while you make the greens.

Heat a large saute pan over medium. When the pan is hot add the olive oil, the mushrooms, onions and sundried tomatoes. When the onions are translucent an the mushrooms have softened- about 6 minutes- turn off the heat and add the greens. The residual heat will easily wilt the greens without overcooking them.

Et Voila! Dinner in less than 30 minutes!

To serve: Place sweet potato polenta in a shallow bowl, top with greens. Sprinkle with parmesan and for added sunshine- a little lemon zest. Top with salt and pepper to taste. We enjoy truffle salt!

Sauteed Kale with Quinoa- 20 Minute Easy Meal

IMG_0771

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This also happens to be the 3rd Anniversary of The Adventuresome Kitchen- so my heartfelt thanks to all of you who have shared the journey and spread the word about this community. Without your support and encouragement, none of this would have been possible. I am so excited about what The Adventuresome Kitchen will be rolling out in the next couple of months- so stay tuned!!

GF Irish Soda Bread FinalOne of the inspirations for starting this blog three years ago was my ongoing effort to come up with a good Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread. I don’t make it much anymore- especially since our diet has moved away from a lot of unnecessary carbs. But for St. Patty’s or another special occasion, where you want a simple quickbread with great flavor and texture,try it out.

Pan Seared Chipotle Rubbed Corned BeefI’m very proud of it. And, upon further review- since it’s yet again cold and rainy- I think perhaps some pan seared chipotle corned beef is in order too!

However- if simple and fast is all you have time for- and that about sums up my life these days. Enjoy a nutritious, healthy and delicious meal of Sauteed Kale over quinoa. We’ve been eating this a lot lately. It’s one of those dishes that leaves you filled up both in stomach and heart. And it’s super high in protein and antioxidants. How can you go wrong?

Sauteed Kale with Quinoa

IngredientsSauteed Kale & Quinoa

2 cups uncooked quinoa (we used tri-color, but any will do)

4 cups water

2 bouillon cubes (optional)

16oz de-stemmed kale leaves, chopped into small strips

2 tbs olive oil or butter

salt or other herbs of your choice

lemon juice and/or parmesan for garnish

Directions

Rinse quinoa and place in a medium pan with 4 cups water. Add bouillon or salt if you desire. Bring to a boil and turn heat to low. Cook until water has absorbed and seeds have popped- about 20-25 minutes

When the quinoa is ready, heat a large skillet. Add olive oil or butter. When the olive oil shimmers, add the kale. Saute very briefly- no more than 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. The residual heat will wilt the leaves the rest of the way. Add salt, truffle salt, herbes de provence, or other seasonings of your choice.

To serve- place quinoa in a bowl, top with Kale. Garnish with your preferred flavorings: A squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of parmesan, or a drizzle of garlic tahini or even pesto. YUM!

See? I told you this was easy!!

Gluten Free Fondue

Kansas City Blizzard 2013Before I get going, I must thank my friend Steve, author at Oui Chef, for inspiring me to hop on the fondue bandwagon last night. Kansas City has been buried under snow again. This is highly unusual- especially considering that the last two winters left us with less than 11 inches of snow combined! Steve is one of my favorite bloggers. He trained at Le Cordon Bleu, and is passionate about subjects such as local food and food sustainability. And most importantly, teaching his children to cook- as am I. While not everything on his blog is gluten-free, it’s a place I go for inspiration and encouragement to explore new flavors and techniques. If you don’t subscribe to his blog-you should!

Yesterday, Steve posted a great fondue recipe by Rachel Ray (it also happens to be gluten-free!). As I was sitting at home wondering what to cook as the snow started to fly- fondue seemed perfect. It brings up images of snowy chalets, cosy fires, and decadent eating.

gluten free fondueNow, I am probably the only fondue fan in the world who doesn’t actually own a fondue pot. They’re unitaskers, and I am firmly opposed to unitaskers. Until I can justify a rarely used piece of equipment taking up precious space in my cabinets, I won’t be buying a fondue pot. But don’t despair. If you find yourself in the same boat, a good stainless steel pot or my favorite- enameled cast iron, will do the trick nicely. I pulled out my small Le Creuset and went to town. If you opt to use a regular cooking pot, your fondue will thicken as it cools and get a bit stringy. If that bothers you- simply place the pot back on the stove for a few minutes to melt everything again.

My gluten free fondue recipe was adapted from The Bonne Femme Cookbook. Many cheesy fondue recipes call for the addition of a few tablespoons of flour. You can easily substitute sorghum flour, rice flour, or even cornstarch in these instances, and not compromise the flavor or texture of the end result.

herbes de provenceI also opted out of the traditional nutmeg seasoning in favor of the sunnier and warmer flavors invoked by herbes de provence. I happened to be lucky enough to receive some freshly dried herbes from my dad, and they’ve gone into everything I’ve made over the last few days. They are a great way to jazz up everything from broccoli to eggs to soups and salads.

Lastly, there are no hard and fast rules about what to serve with fondue. We enjoyed broccoli, mushrooms, gluten-free toasted garlic bread (directions will appear below), pears & bresaola. Basically- anything you enjoy with cheese is a candidate to dip in the fondue pot. As always- feel free to modify this recipe as your heart desires. Fondue is a fun finger food to enjoy with the people you love!

Gluten Free Fondue (a main dish for 4 or an appetizer for 8-10: adapted from The Bonne Femme Cookbook)

gluten free fondue with gluten free garlic toastIngredients

1 1/4 lbs shredded gruyere, emmental, or comte cheese (or a combo)

5 tbs sorghum flour (other gf flours would work too)

1 garlic clove, + 2 tbs minced garlic

1 1/2 cups dry white wine (we used a burgundy)

3 tbs herbes de provence

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup milk

Directions

Toss the shredded cheese with the flour. Make sure that the flour is evenly distributed and coats and many of the cheese shreds as possible.

Rub the whole clove over the inside of the pot. Place the minced garlic and the wine in the pan. Bring to a simmer. Add the cheese one handful of a time and allow to absorb completely before adding the next handful. It is really important to not let the mixture actively boil. Your pot needs to be hot enough to melt the cheese, but not so hot that it boils. For my stove, this was just under the half-way mark on the stove.

When the cheese has been fully incorporated add the milk, herbes, salt & pepper, and continue to stir. The fondue is ready when it’s a thick, liquidy (ie non-stringy) mass. Bring to the table and enjoy with your dipping ingredients.

Dipping Ingredients

raw vegetables or fruit, gluten-free crackers, or gluten-free garlic bread. Gently roasted vegetables (enough that they’re partially cooked and softened, but not so much that they’re mushy- you want them to hold up in the sauce)

roasted broccoli & mushroomspears & pomegranates

To Make Gluten Free Garlic Toast

gluten free garlic toastTake 4 (or whatever number you like) pieces of gluten-free bread. Place them on a toaster oven tray or a cookie sheet if using the oven. Brush olive oil over the tops- make sure you get into the little nooks and crannies. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or until you start smelling the bread toasting.

Remove from the oven. Take a clove of garlic, cut off the end, and rub it vigorously over the toasted top. One clove is usually good for about 4 slices. Of course, if you like bread that is more garlicky- you can be more generous, or scrape the garlic on both sides of the bread. Discard the skins and enjoy!

White Bean and Kale Soup w/ Chorizo

Gluten Free Soup with KaleHappy Friday! Did you know that Italian Wedding Soup has nothing to do with weddings? It has to do with the ‘marriage’ of flavors. And while I would love to eat this white bean and kale soup w/ chorizo at a winter wedding, I think that you’ll find the ‘marriage’ of these flavors perfect for a winter day.

Dinnertime has become synonymous with ‘quick and easy‘ around here. The Kitchen Divas in Training have finally reached the age where they are often running in opposite directions. And anyone who thinks homeschooling will simplify your schedule?

Ha! Think again! While our lives are simpler in some ways- for instance there is not mad chaos from 7-8am every morning- our schedule seems to become increasingly complicated.

It’s one pot cooking these days. Less mess, less clean-up, less headache. That leaves more time for mastering how to make macarons, or anything else we decide to cram into our busy schedule.

While I made this soup on the stove, it could easily be made in a crock pot. If you’re using dried beans, you could even start the chorizo and beans the night before, and add the additional ingredients in the morning.

Remember, the trick to super-bright green kale (and super nutritious) is to cut up the kale and place it raw in the bottom of each bowl. The heat from the soup is more than enough to wilt the kale. What are your quick and easy dinner tricks these days?

It’s not too late to challenge yourself with Gluten-Free Baking. Join us this month as The Kitchen Divas and I learn  How to make Macarons! Feel free to post your comments and stories below, or email me pictures of what’s happening in your kitchen!

White Bean and Kale Soup w/ chorizo-serves 6-8 with leftovers

Ingredients Gluten Free soup with Kale and Chorizo

1 lb chorizo (links or ground)

2 cups white beans, dried and soaked (about 2 cans)

2 cups chopped potatoes (about 3 medium sized red potatoes)

1 small-medium onion, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

3 carrots, diced

3 quarts water

There is no salt in this recipe because there is enough salt from the chorizo. However, you are welcome to season with additional salt at the table.

Directions

Gluten Free Soup In a large soup or stock pot, saute the chorizo. When the chorizo has browned, pour off the fat, and if they are in link form, take your kitchen scissors and cut them into small bite-sized pieces.

Add the onion, carrots and celery, and sauté for 2-3 minutes- until the onion has softened. Add the potatoes and beans. Cover with water and place the lid on the pot. Allow to come to a boil and simmer gently until the potatoes and beans have softened- about 30 minutes.

If you are using dried beans, you will need to allow the soup to remain at a nice bubbly boil for 30-45 minutes, so that they will fully soften.

When you are ready to serve. Cut up the kale and place it in the bottom of each bowl. Pour the hot soup over the kale and enjoy!

Breakfast Quinoa

Black and White Breakfast Quinoa“Special Breakfast” has been a household tradition since the oldest Kitchen Diva in Training could reach the counter top. It usually consists of pancakes or some kind of eggy bacony thing on the weekends, but the Kitchen Divas in Training have started to use “Special Breakfast” as an opportunity to experiment in the kitchen. I’ve also noticed that it’s become a successful delaying tactic for weekday school!

Remember a few weeks back when I wrote about Shrimp Scampi w/ Black & White Quinoa? Well call it good planning, or laziness, but I always make extra quinoa. With two voracious and growing girls, I’ve finally learned to make LOTS of food. Leftovers usually do not last long in this house, and the quinoa was no exception. I like quinoa for breakfast. While it doesn’t have the cholesterol-fighting reputation of its oatmeal cousin, it is very high in protein (an important part of breakfast for you nutrition conscious folks), very high in fiber, and very filling. This is a winning combination for me. Oh, and did I mention it tastes good too? This recipe is entirely the creation of the Kitchen Divas in Training, and I have to proudly say they hit the nail on the head. We’ve enjoyed this on several occasions since its incarnation, with slight variations each time. I like that it’s warm and crunchy. The ladies like that it’s got fruit and a touch of honey (usually, we are a pretty sugar-free household). The recipe is very easy to expand/adapt based on your tastes and the number of people you’re serving for breakfast. We believe this will become a breakfast staple in your home during the cold months. Enjoy!

Black and White Breakfast Quinoa

Ingredients (serves 4-6) Black and White Breakfast Quinoa

4 cups cooked quinoa

1 apple- diced

1 cup slivered almonds

2 tsp cinnamon

1 TBS Honey

2 cups milk

fresh fruit for topping

Directions

Place leftover quinoa in a medium pan. Add ingredients and stir gently to combine. Heat on med-low for 10 minutes, or until the milk begins to steam (avoid boiling). Remove from heat. Scoop into bowls, and top with fresh fruit- we used raspberries.

Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup w/ Ginger & Turmeric

 In France, Rentrée signals the resumption of the regular life- the beginning of the school year, the resumption of Parliament, etc. For me, this signals the return to the things in my life that keep me grounded: cooking, eating with loved ones, chopping vegetables with my favorite knife. For the last 4 1/2 months, I’ve been directing a political campaign for a good friend of mine. To say this was all-consuming is a modest understatement. I was left with no time to sleep, eat, breathe, see my family, do laundry, clean, or read, let alone even think about cooking and writing for pleasure.

In spite of the strain, there were many discoveries we made along this journey-  for instance the oldest Kitchen Diva in Training is becoming more proficient and creative in the kitchen. She is growing up too quickly, and rapidly making the transition from little girl to young lady. And, Mr. Kitchen Diva has discovered that he’s not the schlump in the kitchen he always thought he was. In fact, he is downright impressive!

Our kitchen is changing. Cooking is no longer a solo event where I am Queen of all I survey. It has become a collaboration and a time of connection. The simplest meals take on new dimension with a dash of inspiration here, a suggestion there, a sprinkle of this and that. We have re-entered our lives transformed by the experiences of the last several months; deeply appreciative of our connection to each other and the meals that bind us together.

Our soup- an East meets West version of gluten free chicken noodle soup- is wholly comforting, and very easy to throw together. The best part? Getting reacquainted with my favorite knife while chopping the onions. Our secret for bright greens that don’t lose their color? Place them in the bottom of the bowl and pour the hot soup over them. They’ll cook perfectly without going too far- no need to lose those nutrients to overcooking.

Wherever you find yourself this fall, whether in the kitchen, on the road, or climbing mountains (physical or metaphorical); share the journey. And remember, too many cooks in the kitchen is sometimes a good thing!

Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup w/ Ginger & Turmeric

Serves 4 with a little leftover

Ingredients

2 small onions (1 large)

3-4 celery stalks

3 carrots

2 cups of diced potatoes

2-3 cups of diced leftover chicken

2 cups of uncooked, gluten-free pasta

3 quarts chicken stock

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ginger powder or 2 tsp minced fresh

1 tb crushed thyme

1 tsp garlic powder or 2 tsp minced fresh

ground pepper to taste

salt to taste (likely not necessary unless using low-sodium stock)

4-5 cups uncooked spinach or other greens

1 cup chopped basil

2-3 tbs olive oil

Directions

Chop onions, carrots and celery into a small dice. Heat a large stock pot and drizzle the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Add the veggies (not the potatoes). When the onions and celery have softened, add the potatoes. Next, add the herbs/spices. This should have the effect of making  a paste. As soon as the paste begins to stick to the pan, begin to add the stock. Add a little at first in order to deglaze the pan, and then add the rest. Add the chicken and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, add the pasta and cook 6-8 more minutes- until the pasta is just undercooked- it will soften the rest of the way as the soup cools down.

While the noodles are cooking,  place the uncooked greens in the bottom of each bowl. Just before serving, chop the basil and use it as a garnish. Ladle the soup over the greens and garnish with the chopped basil.

Vegan Tacos w/ Quinoa & Black Beans

This post is a little bit special to me, as the recipe was developed with great enthusiasm by the Kitchen Divas in Training. I love more than anything that my girls are expanding their culinary horizons and working to create delicious, nutritious meals. I also love watching how a recipe idea takes shape and then morphs as they move through the process. This originally started out as a quinoa-salad, but as the flavors combined the girls thought it would be even better in a taco- and I have to say I wholeheartedly agree! The recipe is pretty simple, and could be used as a salad if you don’t have taco shells available. Enjoy, and don’t forget to play with your food!
Vegan Tacos- serves 4 with leftovers

Ingredients

1 cup red quinoa (white is also okay)

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 large tomato

1/2 large onion

1 can black beans

1 small cucumber

1 small red pepper

1/2 cup cilantro

2 tbs apple cider vinegar

2 tbs lime

salt and pepper to taste

8-10 cabbage leaves

Avocado and hot sauce for garnish

Taco Shells

Directions

Rinse quinoa, and place in medium pan with stock. Bring to a boil and turn to low. Cook about 20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, chop the tomato, onion, cucumber, pepper, and parsley and set aside. Thinly chop the cabbage leaves, squirt with a 1/4 lime and set aside for garnish.

When the quinoa has cooked, pour into a large bowl. Add all the vegetables except the cabbage and combine.

Fill taco shells, and garnish with cabbage, avocado, and of course- New Mexico Red Chile Sauce! Squirt with a lime and eat your heart out!