gluten-free

Sassy Split Pea Soup

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  Split pea soup is ridiculously easy to make and really good for you because the peas are so high in protein. You might have seen pea protein powders taking over the shelves at your local health food store or Whole Foods, and that's why.

Rather than consume highly-processed protein powders (I'm tossing the canister I bought last month) can I suggest you make this soup instead?

I call it Sassy Split Pea because I added a ton of garlic, enough to keep a vampire away as well as everyone else, and a dash of chili powder, curry powder and some other spices and herbs because I was in a creative mood. I felt a little sassy tossing stuff in there that wouldn't normally be included in a recipe. I felt a little rebellious.

As we head into cooler weather, make this soup in large amounts and freeze for those nights you don't feel like cooking.

 

Sassy Split Pea Soup (with or without bacon)

2 cups green split peas 4 cups water or broth (add 3 bouillon cubes to the water if you aren't using broth) 3 small carrots, sliced 1 medium Russet potato, diced 3 large cloves of garlic, minced 3 pieces well-done organic, uncured bacon (like Niman Ranch or Applegate) 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables 1 cup collard greens, finely chopped

1/2 tsp dried sage 1/2 tsp dried thyme 1/2 tsp curry powder 1/4 tsp chili powder 1/2 tsp sea salt

 

Soak the split peas in a large pot, covered with water for 4-5 hours. Strain and rinse. Fill pot with 4 cups water or broth and bring to a boil. Add peas and reduce heat to medium, stir and let peas cook for 20-40 mins, checking often and stirring.

Add carrots, potatoes, collards and spices. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until peas are broken down completely and vegetables are soft.

Serve hot alongside some multi-grain or gluten-free toast with butter.

 

Creamy Tahini and Broccoli Pasta

YES! I made something new and different! It's no secret, dearies. Whilst I love real food, I am NOT a creative culinary genius. Nope. Not my strong suit. My skills lie elsewhere in the intuitive, cheerleader, get-off-your-ass-and-change-your-damn-situation realm.

With less damn and more "you can do it! Rah Rah!"

Back to the recipe.

I do enjoy cooking whole, real food. And sometimes I need help doing it. I took this from Whole Foods and pretty much made it to the T the first time (whoops! Totally forgot to add the apple cider vinegar. oh well!). Next time, there will be some changes. Oh yes! Yes, there will. Namely, more veggies. It's a good rule to apply to each and every day and each and every meal.

So, here you go. Enjoy!

 

CREAMY TAHINI BROCCOLI PASTA

Ingredients

1 can garbanzo beans (we've talked about Eden brand beans and why you want them, right? Good.)

1/4 cup Bragg's Liquid Aminos (soy-based 'sauce')

1/2 tahini (sesame puree)

1 whole wee lime, for juicing

4 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp Maine Coast Sea Seasonings Kelp Granules (low-sodium salt alternative)

1 (16-ounce) package gluten-free pasta of your choice

1 small onion, diced

however much broccoli you want. Chopped. Stems included.

**I added in sun-dried tomatoes**

 Instructions

1) In a food processor or (*ahem* VITAMIX) blend together the first 7 listed ingredients. Blend until smooth. I totally forgot the apple cider vinegar and LOVED this sauce anyway. Just goes to show ya, screwing up is all about how you look at it.

Set the sauce aside.

2) Bring 5 cups of water to a boil and prepare pasta according to package directions.

3) In a saute pan, add onion and stir until browned. Add broccoli, cover, reduce heat to med-low and cook until bright green and somewhat soft (about 2 minutes).

4) In a large bowl, combine ~1 cup broccoli/onion mixture and 1/2 cup pasta. Drizzle over about 1/3-1/2 sauce. It's totally bean and seed based so why the heck not?! Toss and serve hot.

 

You know how you go out to eat and they never give you enough broccoli or sun-dried tomatoes? You cooked. You call the shots, now.

Heck yes.

 

 

 

Gluten-Free Chicken Cutlet Dinner

So here's the thing: this was not a low-fat, low-calorie meal. It wasn't plant-based. I didn't make all the ingredients from scratch--I shopped at the local heavenly Dave's Fresh Pasta for the pasta sauce. I didn't even use super heart-healthy oils this one time.

But here's what it was:

1) familiar from childhood, but improved to be gluten-free

2) delicious and nutritious

3) comfort food for two people who need some comfort lately

My mom makes the best chicken cutlets. It was one of my favorite meals as a kid. Lately, I'm needing some of that home-cookin' comfort food. We eat plant-based, minimal-ingredient, meals all the time. Once in a while, it's nice to have something that's tastes really good and makes you feel good. I made some modifications so I can stick to my goals of eating less wheat and sugar as I enter the spring season.

So here's the recipe. Make it like I did. Make it the way you want to. I hope it brings you as much comfort and joy as it did for us. My girlfriend and I are each struggling with some stressors in our lives right now---car repairs, haircuts that didn't come out right, some medical hurdles. I knew just the solution: sunlight streaming through our curtains, crisp cutlets, soft quinoa pasta and tender arugula and spinach leaves.

Our food was truly our medicine.

Mangia!

Gluten-free Chicken Cutlet Dinner 

Ingredients

1-2 lbs organic, free-range chicken cutlets (I added some dried thyme to dress them up a bit)

1 package gluten-free breadcrumbs (or homemade, if you can make 'em)

2-4 Tbs vegetable oil (enough to cover bottom of large saute pan)

2 eggs

1 package gluten-free pasta (rice or quinoa)

fresh pasta sauce (I used the mascarpone tomato sauce from Dave's Fresh Pasta in Somerville, MA)

grated romano or parmesan cheese

fresh baby greens, arugula or spinach (I used BOTH!)

light salad dressing (I used Honey Poppyseed from Dave's Fresh Pasta)

Instructions

1) Lay out two plates: one has a generous pile of bread crumbs the other is for the finished cutlets in a deep dish, crack open two eggs and whip with a fork to combine

2) Lay each cutlet in the bread crumbs, coat, move to the egg dish, coat and back to the bread crumbs again. Lay the breaded cutlet on the plate. When you have done this to all your cutlets, move over the stove.

3) Add 4 quarts of water to a pot and bring to a boil for your pasta.

4) Heat oil over medium high heat in a deep, flat saute pan. If the oil sizzles when you put of drop of water in it, you know it's ready.

5) Carefully lay each cutlet in the pan. Brown one side for a minute or two and then turn over. Place browned cutlets on a plate beside your stove. Be careful! The oil will be hot and the gluten-free crumbs formed a hard shell around the chicken, unlike when I've used wheat breadcrumbs. Make sure the chicken is cooked by cutting into it with a knife.

6) When your water is boiling, add the gluten-free pasta and cook according to package directions. drain in a colander and quick rinse with cool water.

7) Warm pasta sauce in a small pot over medium-low heat.

8) Toss baby greens in a colorful with dressing.

9) Set your table.

10) Finish browning cutlets and serve with a portion of pasta and spoonful of pasta sauce.

Simply delicious.