Friday, February 19, 2010

Complete Protein Bean Soup

One of the things that I have noticed since being retired is that I can't seem to decide on what to prepare for dinner. This can be a bit difficult when one must remain on a wheat free (wheat, rye, barley) diet.

A quick meal can be a fast trip for sandwiches or pizza for those without food allergies. That is not an a option for me without driving and asking questions about cross-contamination. It is simpler to just prepare my own meals.

I haven't quite perfected gluten free bread baking, so I either make corn muffins or buy a loaf of Udi's bread. The cost of the purchased bread helps in preventing my eating a lot of sandwiches. That's not to say that I do not make cookies, brownies and cakes.

I haven't managed to reduce the amount cooked, because, in the past, I planned for enough to take to work for lunch. Now I am trying new ways to do 'left over make overs'.

I had tomatillos and 2 half cans of beans in the refrigerator. I had no idea what to do with tomatillos until someone used them in salsa. The light bulb popped and I decided to add them to bean soup!

So here's to my version of a complete protein meal without meat!   note the amount of protein.  
A view from the breakfast nook.

Complete Protein Bean Soup
1 cup black beans
1 cup kidney beans
2 cups red beans
2 cups corn kernels
6 medium tomatillos
2 cups low sodium vegetable juice
2 Tbs diced dyhydrated onion
1/2 cup canned chopped chili peppers
2 tsp sweetner (used sweetnlow)
2 tsp spanish paprica
1 Tbs salt free Cajun spice mix
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Remove outer skin from tomatillos, cut into cubes.
If using canned vegetables look for low-sodium varieties, rinse and drain.
Place all ingredients in a medium slow cooker on low at least 3 hours before you plan to eat.
Test for seasoning 30 minutes before serving. If salt is needed, sprinkle 1/2 tsp sea salt over the top, do not stir. replace top on slow cooker.
Serve with avocado cubes, if desired.
Note 16 ounces = 2 cups

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (17.1 ounces).
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.
Amount Per Serving - bean soup only
Calories 347.8

Total Fat 2.84g
Saturated Fat 0.49g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 497.34mg
Potassium 1426.59mg
Total Carbohydrates 67.62g
Fiber 17.07g
Sugar 10.19g
Protein 18.01g

Monday, February 15, 2010

How to Use Leftover Pasta Sauce

How to use left over Kicking Vegetarian Pasta Sauce

Make Lasagna!
Finally got around to posting this one!
Mexican Inspired 'Lasagna'
1 15 / 16 ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 15 / 16 ounce can refried black beans
1  small can Rotel Tomatoes
1 16 ounce low fat cottage cheese
1 box Boles Gluten free no boil lasagna noodles
1 cup nacho flavored cheese, divided
1 tbs dehydrated onion
1 tsp cajun style spice
1 tsp  chipotle pepper
1 small eggplant, thinly sliced

Cut the ends off the eggplant, cut in half lengthwise, then slice into thin slices
Saute the eggplant in an iron skillet with about 2 tablespoons of oil. Cook on high, turning frequently. Reduce the head to low and place top on skillet to finish cooking. Turn off heat.
Pour refried beans in a pot with half of the Rotel tomatoes, heat on low heat stirring to combine
Place drained black beans in a small pot or dish, add a tablespoon of Rotel, stir, set aside
Pour the pasta sauce in another pot, add remainder of Rotel tomatoes,onions, spice and pepper, heat on low heat
Spray a large baking dish with non stick spray. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Spread a thin layer of pasta sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Start with placing slices of lasagna noodles in the bottom of the dish.
Continue layering, alternating with ingredients. Finish up with lasagna noodles and pasta sauce.

 Sprinkle with cheese.

Cover with non-stick aluminum foil or foil sprayed with oil.

Bake for 45 minutes. Remove cover.
Sprinkle mixed cheese evenly over top and return to oven.

Reduce oven to 250 F.
Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let it set for 10 minutes before serving.

Servings: 8

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (10.6 ounces).
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 408.01
Total Fat 7.07g
Saturated Fat 3.87g
Cholesterol 19.37mg
Sodium 801.18mg
Potassium 433.58mg
Total Carbohydrates 61.84g
Fiber 7.18g
Sugar 3.98g
Protein 23.98g

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gluten Free Coconut Pound Cake

  Coconut cake was one of the cakes we had growing up for Easter.  My memory of it was moist and sweet with lots of frosting and coconut.  Those were the days when I could eat sweets and not worry about the pounds, as we were very active physically.   Today, I plan the goodies.  Recipes get downsized and rightsized.  That brings back the thought of going thru the rigors of employment: down size, right size, centralize, de-centralize, .......

Since becoming gluten-free(wheat, barley, rye), I haven't had a good non-chocolate cake.  Chocolate can improve the taste of almost any dessert, so I made chocolate. Chocolate dessert is slowly being pushed aside as I have had an over-abundance of it over the past five years.  My tastebuds have been crying for the simple desserts like tea cakes and lemon pound cake.

I made a vanilla pound cake for Christmas, based on a recipe fron  It was so so in that I prefer not to drizzle frosting on vanilla pound cakes. 

For the past week, I have had visions of coconut cookies or coconut cake.  Finally, yesterday I decided on coconut pound cake.

Coconut Pound Cake
8 servings

Dry Ingredients
1 cups sugar
1 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 cups rice flour (brown or white) used white
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
Wet Ingredients
1/2 cup whole milk or half and half
2 eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
Add Ins
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
Frosting (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs coconut oil , softened
1 Tbs whole milk or half and half
1 tsp coconut extract
1/4 cup toasted coconut

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. Stir together all Dry Ingredients in a bag or lidded container. Shake to completely mix. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
3. Combine eggs with milk and cooled melted butter.
4. Gradually add Wet Ingredients to Dry Ingredients, beating at low speed until well mixed (about 2 minutes).    Fold in the unsweetened coconut.
5. Pour batter into greased and floured 4-cup Bundt or 6-inch tube pan.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan.

6. Place all frosting ingredients in a small mixing bowl, blend with a hand mixer until smooth.
7. Drizzle with frosting. Sprinkle toasted coconut lightly over frosting. refrigerate any leftover frosting in a covered container.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (3.5 ounces).
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 356.98
Total Fat 15.8g
Saturated Fat 13.32g
Cholesterol 54.79mg
Sodium 100.25mg
Potassium 111.01mg
Total Carbohydrates 49.25g
Fiber 1.75g
Sugar 27.6g
Protein 3.82g
There are different sizes and types of pans suitable for pound cakes.  A smaller Bundt pan  (on the right) was used for this cake.