Friday, February 26, 2010

What to Eat when Not eating Meat, Dairy or Gluten

I discovered this soup when I was trying to find a more creative way to eat beans ... then I remembered I loved creamy soups but not eating dairy! So I found an alternative that fit my diet and was good for my training too, since I need the high-protein.

Now, it's been argued that this "soup" looks more like a dip, which in all honestly it can be.  It all depends on the ratio of water to beans.  In this version it came out a little thicker then expected but I just heat it up and enjoy it with some gluten-free crackers or chopped red pepper.  Here's the recipe:


- 3 cups of freshly boiled beans (can use any type, red, black, kidney) - I keep the skins on them
- 1 cup of Salsa (your choice form mild, medium to HOT!)
- 1 cup of warm water


1. Blend the cooked beans in a food processor on high for about 3 minutes, until mostly pureed.
2. Add Salsa, blend agon on high for about 2 minutes.
3. Add water (more or less depending on the consistancy you want) and again on high blend everything until well mixed, about 4-5minutes.
4. Scrap down the sides of the processor with a spatula to make sure no chunks are left behind.

The great thing about this "soup" is that it can be served cold or hot.  I prefer hot.

5. Pour your blended mixture into a stove top medium-sized pot and warm at medium-high heat for about 10-12 minutes.  Try not to let it boil too much as it can burn.

Makes about 5-6 servings.


Friday, February 19, 2010

I Can't Eat These Ripe Strawberries Fast Enough!

Living in Toronto has been an amazing 10+ years experience so far.  One of my most favourite things about the city, is the varitety of places you can go to get your groceries, from supermarkets to Asian markets to farmers markets - you name it!  Besides Farmers' markets in the summer my next favourite place to go is the local Asian fruit & veg markets, which are basically spread out all over the city.  It's true, in almost any given Toronto neighbourhood you are sure to find one.

One of the things I love about these markets is that you can always find ripe, ready to eat produce at very affordable prices, although the items are not always local I do my best to buy Ontario grown produce.  The problem I find, is that sometimes the food is a little too ripe that by the time I get it home and to my kitchen it's starting to turn. I encounter this problem mostly with the berries - more specificaly strawberries!

Hence, my dilemma - I can't always eat the strawberries fast enough!  My solution - gluten-free / fat-free honey strawberry bread! This bread was very yummy and freezes well if you want to save and savour it.

Strawberry Honey Bread
(Gluten-free & Fat-free)

- 2 cups gluten-free flour
- 2 tsp baking powder (GF)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup diced fresh strawberries
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup fat-free soy milk
- 1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
- 1/2 honey
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 375F

2. Lightly coat a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan with coconut oil

3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda

4. In a small bowl, lightly toss the strawberries with 1 Tbsp. of the flour mixture until strawberries are well coated and set aside

5. In another small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, orange juice concentrate, honey and oil.

6. Stir liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients until dry ingredients are moistened

7. Gently fold in the strawberries and spoon the batter into the pan.

8. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean

9. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack

Friday, February 12, 2010

Too Many Ripe Bananas? Here's a Solution ...

More then anything, I LOVE banana bread! Adding blueberries to this recipe just makes this banana bread that much more amazing.  This fantastic recipe is not only gluten and dairy free but also fat-free and high in anti-oxidants and potassium (mmm fruity goodness).

It's also a good excuse to use up those riping bananas sitting on your counter, you know the ones, they possibly have a fruit fly colony gathering right about now? Happy Baking!

Blueberry Banana Bread
(Recipe found and adapted from Fat-Free Vegan)

- 3 large over-ripe bananas
- 2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup fat-free soymilk
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 1 cup gluten-free flour
- 1 cup spelt flour (not considered 100% gluten-free for most)
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with coconut oil.

2. Mix the soymilk with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and let stand until it curdles.

3. In a large bowl, mash the bananas and add the remaining lemon juice, soymilk and agave nectar. Stir well to combine.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir just until the mixture is well-combined.

6. Fold in the blueberries.

7. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center come out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting and serving.

Friday, February 5, 2010

First Mission: Gluten-Free Lime Bread

My new year resolution was to start eating more healthy, clean and gluten-free foods - not that I wasn't eating healthy already but I really wanted to change the way I see food, my lifestyle.

It's been about a month into my meat-free, dairy-free and gluten-free diet and I feel great!  (Still eating eggs though, sorry, just love them way too much to give them up just yet).

Over the holidays I bought myself a great little bread baking book, filled with great recipes but obviously none of them gluten-free so I challenged myself to make them so.  First recipe I tried...

Lime Bread (gluten-free)

- 3/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder (gluten-free)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 cups plain soy milk
- 1 beaten egg
- 1/4 vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2 tsp grated lime peel

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan (I used margarine to grease it) and set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  In a separate bowl, combine milk, egg, oil, lime peel, and lime juice, stirring well.

3. Add wet ingredients to dry mixture once.  Stir just until moistened

4. Turn into a prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.  Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes then transfer bread to cooling rack.

**This bread will be a little denser then your usually sweet or white breads but it's oh so yummy!

Great as a side with soup or for breakfast!
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