Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Indian Spiced Tomato Soup

Do you love a flavorful, yet easy to make soup? 

The first time I tasted this Indian Spiced Tomato Soup was at a women's night out group that I belonged to when my kids were young. We were a small group  that met once a month for a special night of mental, physical, and spiritual revival. We discussed books, shared ideas, and talked about motherhood. My kids were little, and I savored the opportunity to have an evening out with other interesting women ( I still do) . Our needs at the time were simple:time to ourselves, some good conversation, a little wine, and some hearty soup.

There were eight of us from different backgrounds, and we we took turns hosting and sharing a big pot of soup. The highlight of each meeting was the anticipation of finding being introduced to a special soup.  I'm excited to share this special recipe.

It is slightly spicy, has protein rich lentils and is easy to make.  The recipe boasts fresh tomatoes ( although you can you canned in the winter if you must) , immune protecting onions and garlic, metabolism raising chile peppers, and fresh green cilantro. The addition of curry or turmeric and cumin add an extra kick of immune building spices as well as extra flavor.

This soup is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and egg free. It's protein comes from lentils. Great for adults and even kids who are adventurous eaters!

This is one of those recipes that is perfect on a chilly fall/winter evening.

Baby it's cold outside today! This soup is perfect!!


6 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped ( or 1 large 24 ounce can organic diced tomatoes)
Olive oil spray plus  2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 green chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped (wear plastic gloves) optional
6-8 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp tomato paste
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup boiling water
2 red potatoes ,  peeled and diced small
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
3/4 cup cooked brown lentils, soaked for 2 hours and then washed and drained
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish


Spray a 3 quart saucepan with olive oil spray and the olive oil. Saute the onion, tomatoes, green chile, garlic and diced potatoes until soft- stirring frequently. Add the lentils, tomato paste, vegetable broth, and seasoning and stir until everything is blended- bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook covered until the lentils are soft. 

To serve, divide the soup among 4 serving bowls. Sprinkle the cilantro on top for garnish.

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Food is my passion. I am gluten intolerant, busy. and strive for a healthy balanced lifestyle. It has taken me many years to develop and discover easy healthy recipes that meet gluten free, vegetarian and real food standards. On my blog I share my journey, my struggles, my discoveries, and my new recipes. I hope you find ideas, resources, and recipes that will be helpful to you. Come Back soon.

Author: Judee Algazi

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Wild Rice Stuffing - Gluten Free

There is something about homemade stuffing that everyone loves! Despite being a vegetarian and not having a turkey to stuff , I always make stuffing for Thanksgiving. This gluten free and vegan wild rice stuffing recipe is excellent and is sure to become one of our favorites.

I originally made this recipe when I was participating in the Secret Recipe Club . I was partnered with  Sid's Sea Palm Cooking blog and challenged to make one of Sid's recipes. 

I adapted the recipe a little to make it gluten free. First of all, I used gluten free rolls ( Udi's), I used a wild rice mix from Trader Joe's, I used olive oil instead of butter,  and I used fresh cranberries  instead of dried cranberries and added toasted pecans.

I wasn't disappointed. This recipe adapted beautifully, and we enjoyed it for Thanksgiving.! I also want to mention that we liked it even better the second day. The flavors seem to mingle overnight and we even liked it cold. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes + time for rice to cook
Cook Time: Bake for 30 minutes

1 cup of Trader Joe's Wild Rice Mix prepared according to directions
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 ribs of celery, finely chopped
1 shallot , minced ( I used 1/2 onion) 
2 Udi's gluten free whole grain hamburger rolls toasted lightly and then diced into cubes 
2 TBSP olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped 
1 cup vegetable stock ( bring to a boil) 
1/4 cup of fresh cranberries, cut in halves
1 cup of toasted pecans
optional: 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook 1 cup of Trader Joe's  Basmati and Wild Rice Mix according to package directions and set aside. Saute mushrooms and shallot in olive oil ( or butter if you are not vegan) and then add the carrots, celery, and bread cubes. When all is coated and beginning to soften mix with rice mixture and pour into a greased baking  dish. Pour hot vegetable stock over the mixture, decorate the center with fresh cranberries and bake at 400 degrees for 1/2 hour.

Trader Joe's Basmati and Wild Rice Medley


saute vegetables and gluten free bread

 This is one of those recipes that tastes best after the flavors have extra time to mingle. Wait at least 2 hours before eating or even wait until the next day. Was good hot, at room temp, or cold!

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili

Despite the bad photo, this sweet potato chili is outstanding and a perfect easy meal to make for a group!.Thanksgiving side anyone?

My daughter in Law, Wendy, made a fabulous dinner buffet the other night which included this delicious sweet potato chili. I'm not normally a chili lover, but I loved this recipe. It had some unusual ingredients including cocoa and cinnamon. Wendy had about ten for dinner, a variety of dishes, but everyone seemed to really like the chili the best!.

Optional: You can also add fresh corn

As an easy entertaining tip
Wendy served the chili right out of  the crock pot  on her buffet table to keep it piping hot for her guests to serve themselves.


Got Butternut Squash? 
I use sweet potato and butternut squash interchangeably. Sweet potato is a little thicker, but both are bright orange vegetables that provide similar flavors. Butternut squash may be a little lighter on the carbs and calories. This could be a great addition if you have a having a crowd for Thanksgiving. ( especially if you are having any vegetarians or vegans)

Need to eat more fiber? 
You can't go wrong with this hearty, heart healthy recipe- beans 
(fiber), vegetables (vitamins and minerals), healthy spices
(antioxidants) that is so delicious and so good for you. It's also gluten-free, vegan, and oil free, making it a versatile dish if you have guests with eating restrictions.

Weeknight Convenience 
It's also a great meal for your family for a weekday meal.
Put the ingredients in the crock pot before you go to work. Come home to a fragrant warm nourishing dinner not fast food.

I eat it with a salad ( and my fabulous cranberry dressing see recipe at end of post) and feel very satisfied! 

Beans are really healthy read:  6 powerful reasons black beans are so good for you.


1 med red pepper , seeded and chopped
1 28 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes
16 oz of black beans. cooked (if you don't make your own, use 1- 16 oz can)
16 oz of kidney beans, cooked (if you don't make your own, use 
1- 16 oz can)
1 large sweet potato, cubed (or 1 and cups butternut squash cubed)
1 T ground cumin
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions :
Combine red pepper and cumin, cocoa, and cinnamon and place in a 4-6 qt. slow cooker and add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, black and kidney beans. Cook on low for 7-8 hours until vegetables are softened.
serves 6 dinners- for a larger crowd , double the recipe.

Recipe for Cranberry Dressing    for salad.. ( This is one AMAZING dressing)
2 Tablespoons of raw organic honey (or maple syrup grade B)
Juice and the fruit of one large navel orange
1/4 cup of organic cranberries ( I found them in the supermarket) 
2 slices of fresh ginger ( a must if you like the taste of ginger)
1 TBsp lemon juice
1/4 cup of water

I made this dressing in seconds in my new  Nutribullet  very high power blender ( works like a Vitamix, but is much less expensive) .It's small, compact, easy to use, and takes up very little space and the plastic containers are BPA free..

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Shared on Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking 
at Beth Fish Reads

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