Pumpkin Chili

What a lovely weekend! Yesterday, instead of hitting the gym, GF Guy, Dickens, and I went on a two hour walk around one of favorite Denver neighborhoods picking out million dollar homes that, one day, we will live in. (Dream big, right?) Then, it was a quick stop at the dog park for a little doggy social time. It’s always more fun to get outside then it is running like a hamster on the treadmill. 
Dinner, was a special request by GF Guy…. Pumpkin Chili!

I posted this recipe two years ago, but thought it was time for an encore. 
This recipe is a legend in our family. They pass it from person to person, even giving the ingredients away as house-warming and birthday gifts! Trust me… it is that good!
Pumpkin Chili
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 (1.25 oz) packet gluten-free Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 15 oz Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can Light Red Kidney Beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 cups Water
  • Hot Sauce and Red Pepper Flakes, to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook turkey, onion, and garlic, in a large pot over medium-high heat, until turkey is no longer pink.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes.
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New Year’s Crab Soup….

Happy New Year!
2011 has been a year of changes. I started a new job (twice), moved across the country, and learned how to ride a bike! Looking back, I have a lot to be thankful for. So, instead of focusing on the aspects of myself that I want to change in 2012 (lose weight, exercise more, etc…), I am looking back and relishing my accomplishments from this past year. 
So now I ask you: In 2011, I am most proud of __________.
For me, I am most proud of my new ability to just relax and let go. Things are not up to me. God is in control. In 2011, I finally learned to accept that, and it has made my life that much richer.
This weekend has been amazing. GF Guy and Dickens have finally joined me in Denver, for good. We have been enjoying each other and the city, and just relaxing. Here are some pictures I took of our dog park adventure. It was 21 degrees outside, and Dickens isn’t sure if he is okay with the cold! 
Yesterday, I made my dad’s New Year’s Crab Soup. It’s not really a “recipe”, per say, which made it kind of a challenge. The original recipe calls for only 4 ingredients, but I ended up “gidgetizing” it. I had leftovers for lunch today and the flavors tasted even better after sitting overnight. 
New Year’s Crab Soup
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Crab Claw Meat
  • 1 carton Fig Food Co. Condensed Split Pea Soup
  • 1 carton Fig Food Co. Condensed Tomato Soup
  • 1 Fig Food Co. carton full of Water
  • 1 Fig Food Co. carton full of Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tblsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 cup Dry Sherry
  • Black Pepper & Sea Salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a pot over medium-high heat. 
  2. Cook stirring occasionally until heated through. Enjoy!

A Date Night with Myself….

GF Guy has hit the road again. (sad face) It was a fantastic 2 weeks though. We explored the town & its many restaurants, took in a play & a ballet, & even had time for a walk in the park! I can’t wait until he comes out again, hopefully for good.
Last night, I arrived home from a long week in Pennsylvania to…. a kitchen!!!!!!
YESSssss!!!!!!!!!
This is how I decompress. I walk in, toss my suitcase/bag in the bedroom, put away groceries, & immediately start cooking. I don’t even take off my high heels! (Which, in my opinion, every girl should wear. They make you feel so powerful!)
Even when I’m cooking for one, I will make what I want to make and freeze the leftovers. Just because it’s only me doesn’t mean I shouldn’t cook a grand meal! Last night, I was in the mood for some sort of vegetable soup. As usual, when I make soup, there was no initial recipe. It came together on its own accord and turned into the best soup I have ever made!!!!! Seriously… I was quite proud of myself! 
I think it was the Kabocha Squash that put this soup over the top. It infused the broth with a light sweetness that mellowed out the acidity of the tomatoes. Kabocha Squash makes everything better! 
I made myself a GF/DF Grilled Cheese sandwich to go alongside the soup with Udi’s Multi-grain Bread & Daiya Cheddar Cheese. It got nice and “charred”, just like I like my grilled cheese! YUM! 
Admittedly, I’m a dipper. How about you? 
To dip, or not to dip? That is the question!
The Very Best Vegan Vegetable Soup
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • drizzle Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 1-2 Carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 of a Kabocha Squash skin on, chopped
  • 2 Zucchini, chopped
  • 4 cloves, Garlic
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp No-Salt Added Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground Thyme
  • 1-2 tsp Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup White Wine
  • 1 (15 oz) can No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Tblsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 (15 oz) can Organic Kidney Beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 quart Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 2 cups Organic Salad Greens (mix of spinach, etc….)
  • 2 Tblsp fresh Basil, finely chopped
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot of medium-high heat.
  2. Add chopped onion, celery, carrots, and kabocha squash. Cook 5-7 minutes until soft.
  3. Add zucchini & cook about 3 minutes more.
  4. Add garlic & cook about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  5. Add poultry seasoning, thyme, parsley, salt, & pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. De-glaze the pan with wine & add bay leaf. Allow alcohol to cook off for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, & broth. Bring to a low boil. Cover, reduce heat & allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  8. After 30 minutes, add the greens, basil, & adjust seasonings. 
  9. Recover and simmer until greens are wilted.
Questions:
  1. How do you decompress after a long week?
  2. Do you rock the high heels, or are you more of a sensible shoe wearer?

San Francisco & Soup….

I’m baaaaaack!
 I have been off visiting GF Guy in San Francisco the past week and a half. 
It was glorious! If you have never visited, you simply must. I had practically zero problems finding GF options. Even the corner store stocked Pamela’s Cookies, LaraBars, & Kombucha! 
GF Guy took me on a surprise getaway to Sonoma where we visited the amazing Benziger Family Biodynamic Winery, ate at The Girl & The Fig, and hiked around Muir Woods. (Fun Fact: Return of the Jedi was filmed in Muir Woods) 
We also went on the not-to-be-missed GoCar Tour, ate at Cafe’ Gratitude and the Hot Spud, and saw the Sea Lions at Pier 39
My flight back was cancelled (thanks Southwest), and I was forced to spend an extra day on the West Coast… darn…. 😉
So… what did we do to celebrate? We went to House of Air and bounced around on trampolines for an hour!
We took a bunch of video footage. Hopefully GF Guy will have it edited and ready to go soon. 
Now, get ready for a new recipe featuring….
Until recently, I had never experienced the joy that is Broccoli Soup. No offense to my wonderful mother (Hi, Mom!), but growing up, I thought the only way to eat broccoli was nuked, fresh from the freezer. 
I now know this to be ridiculous! Thank goodness! 
Last time I attempted to make Broccoli Soup was a dismal failure. It was a bland, tasteless mess! I blame this on not cooking the broccoli long enough. When I tried to puree the soup, the broccoli was too hard and clogged my blender. 
Determined not to make the same mistake twice, I made this version in my crock pot. Believe it or not, it tasted delicious and didn’t leave a lingering aroma of broccoli smell! (You know what I’m talking about.)
Enjoy this supper on a sunny spring day with a side of toast. (Gluten-Free, of course!)
Broccoli Soup
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 Sweet Potato, peeled & cubed
  • 1 Carrot, chopped
  • 1 large Scallion, chopped (or 2 small)
  • 1 lb Broccoli Florets
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Low-Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 1 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • pinch Red Pepper Flakes
  • pinch Sea Salt
  • 1/3 cup Coconut Milk

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a crock pot, in the order listed.
  2. Cook on HIGH 4 hours.
  3. Using an immersion blender, puree to desired consistency.

Chickpea Zoodle Soup….

Lent, you have struck again! 
I have been fighting a sore throat/sinus thing and wanted nothing more than a big bowl of Chicken Soup. FAIL!!!!! It was Friday…. no chicken for me. Time to improvise! No chicken? Try chickpeas instead! No noodles in the pantry? Make your own with a zucchini!
I must confess….. this soup is delicious! 

I set up the shot & was clicking away with my camera when a thought struck! CHEESE! Topped with a little Vegan Mozzarella, this soup was transformed! Enjoy!
Chickpea Zoodle Soup
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 Celery Ribs, chopped
  • 2 Carrots, chopped
  • 1 small head Broccoli, chopped
  • handful Green Beans, chopped
  • 1 Yellow Squash, chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tblsp Poultry Seasoning
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme
  • 2 tsp Tarragon
  • 1 quart Organic No-Chicken Broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can Organic Garbanzo Beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 bunch Spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 Zucchini, spiralized
  • Daiya Vegan Mozzarella Cheese, garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Saute onions 3 minutes, add celery & carrots, cook 3-4 more minutes until soft. Add broccoli, green beans & squash, cook 3 more minutes.
  3. Add garlic and saute stirring constantly 1 minute.
  4. Add spices & herbs, stir to combine.
  5. Deglaze pan with broth and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add garbanzo beans & spinach and cover.
  7. Reduce heat to low & simmer 15 minutes.
  8. Add spiralized zucchini “noodles” & cook 5 more minutes until soft.
  9. Garnish with vegan cheese & serve.

Kuri Squash Soup….

I made up a new recipe and it was yummy!!!!! In fact, it was more than yummy! It was gosh darn delicious, and I will definitely be making it again!

The inspiration for this recipe was this week’s CSA pick-up. Red Kuri Squash and Rainbow Chard in all of their organic, locally-grown glory seemed to belong to one another. I worked on pure instinct, marrying the flavors and enjoying their pristine beauty. Bon Appetit!

Rainbow Chard & Kuri Squash Soup
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Red Kuri Squash, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 cloves Garlic in skins
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • dried Thyme
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs Celery, chopped
  • 2 Carrots, chopped
  • 1 palmful dried Thyme
  • Herbamare & Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1 quart Low-Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 1 can Great Northern White Beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 bunch Rainbow Chard, removed from ribs and chopped
  • dash Nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place Kuri Squash & Garlic cloves in a bowl and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and dried thyme.
  3. Pour squash & garlic onto a foil lined baking sheet and roast in preheated oven about 30 minutes.
  4. While squash is roasting, prepare remaining ingredients.
  5. Heat a large pot and a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  6. Saute onion, celery, carrot, and spices until soft, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the stock and bring to a low boil.
  8. Add beans and roasted squash. Squeeze roasted garlic cloves from their skins, mash with a fork, and add to the soup.
  9. Add the chopped rainbow chard and nutmeg. 
  10. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer about 30 minutes.

Missing My Man, Mariposa, & Miso….

This week is rushing by at a crazy pace! A complete departure from the idyllic weekend I just spent with GF Guy….

I swear… I don’t know how people get anything done! It all started on Sunday. My husband’s side of the family threw an impromptu birthday celebration at our weekly Sunday dinner. Tita (my 82ish year old Grandmother) made me a GF/DF vanilla bundt cake with homemade Dairy Free Frosting! This was a huge feat for a woman who had never heard of gluten about 4 years ago. It was also a tremendous show of love! 

I brought my latest Pumpkin Pie experiment (everyone approved, even after I asked for their honest opinions!) 

Then work began….

I worked a 12 hour day on Monday, a 9 hour day on Tuesday and again today. I finally made it to the gym after a week and a half of not being able to work out! I hurt my achilles last time I visited GF Guy and it’s been very painful ever since. It killed me not being able to hit the gym. Working out always makes me feel more normal and in touch with myself and my life. 

Upon returning home, I was greeted by a fantastic surprise. A box from Mariposa Bakery was waiting on my doorstep with delicious Cinnamon Toast Biscotti, Pumpkin Bread, and Bread Cubes! Thank you Cari!!!! I had never tried their products. So far, I’ve only tried the Biscotti…. but it is PERFECTION!!! GF Biscotti tends to be rather soft and “un-biscotti like”, not so with the Mariposa Biscotti! Paired with a cup of hot tea, it was the perfect treat.

I “borrowed” this photo from the Mariposa Bakery website.

For dinner, I whipped together a pot of Miso Soup and enjoyed it with an unlikely pairing…. Pumpkin Cornbread. Somehow, it worked! Now, sit back relax and enjoy a delicious, comforting bowl of soup. You deserve it!
 

Miso Happy Soup
(Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups No-Chicken Broth (made by Imagine Foods)
  • 1/2 cup Zucchini, julienned
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, julienned
  • 1/2 cup Sugar Snap Peas, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 cluster fresh Beech Mushrooms
  • 2 Tblsp Red Miso (made with brown rice)
  • 1/2 cup Scallions (green onions), sliced
  • 1 (12oz) pkg Kelp Noodles, rinsed and cut to desired length
  • 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped

  Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. 
  2. Lower the heat to medium, add the carrots and zucchini, and cook until crisp-tender; about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the sugar snap peas and cook until slightly tender, but still bright green; about 1 minute.
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook about 45 seconds.
  5. Remove from the heat.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the miso and a ladelful of hot broth. Combine until smooth.
  7. Add the miso mixture to the soup. (Caution: Do not bring the soup to a boil once the miso is added or it will become gritty!)
  8. Just before serving, add the kelp noodles, scallions, and cilantro.

 I’m excited for this weekend. First, I will be manning our company’s booth at the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network’s Walk for Food Allergy. Then, I’m meeting up with my sisters and their boys. They are making me a surprise birthday dinner!
We all love cooking for each other and just hanging out. We don’t get to do it very often, so I am SUPER EXCITED!!!!!

Kale Pesto + Soup = Love….

Made with another gift from my Fairy Blog-mother, this next recipe is a symphony of fall flavors brought to a mighty crescendo by rustic Kale Pesto.
Paired with freshly baked Corn Bread, this is a comforting, filling meal. Bon Appetit!

Kale Pesto Cannellini Bean Soup
(Gluten-Free, Vegan)



Ingredients:

  • drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 small Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 stalk Celery, chopped
  • 1 Carrot, chopped
  • 1 Zucchini, chopped
  • 1 New Jersey Sweet Potato, chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tblsp Poultry Seasoning
  • 2 tsp Thyme
  • 2 tsp Rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 quart No-Chicken Broth
  • 1 can Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup frozen Peas
  • 2 handfuls Spinach
  • 1/4 cup Kale Pesto

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Saute onion until translucent.
  3. Add celery and carrots and saute about 3 minutes.
  4. Add zucchini and saute about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, herbs, and spices and stir to combine.
  6. Add the stock sweet potatoes and beans and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat to low, add the peas and spinach, cover, and allow to simmer about 10 minutes.
  8. Stir in pesto just before serving.

    Miso Happy….

    I acquired some Red Miso a few weeks ago. Every time I open the refrigerator door, there it is… staring at me…
    Okay…. That’s not the Red Miso, but that’s the grumpy face it was making in my imagination!
    Does anyone else get “ingredient guilt”? You know… that guilty feeling every time you see a really cool ingredient you bought on a whim, but have never used.
    Currently, my “ingredient guilt” items are: 
    • Chestnut Flour
    • Carob Chips 
    • Coconut Flour 
    • Coconut Nectar
    • Gluten Free Pancake Mix
    Anyway, I finally decided to be brave and experiment with my miso. 
    I was inspired by a Chef Cat Cora recipe I saw in the newspaper for Udon Noodle Soup. She used White Miso, but I decided Red was going to have to cut it! 🙂
    The resulting soup is delicious, light but filling, and a new favorite!
    Bon Appetit!
    Kelp Miso Noodle Soup
    (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

    Ingredients:

    • 4 cups No-Chicken Broth (made by Imagine Foods)
    • 1/2 cup Zucchini, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup Sugar Snap Peas, sliced on the diagonal
    • 1 cluster fresh Beech Mushrooms
    • 2 Tblsp Red Miso (made with brown rice)
    • 1/2 cup Scallions (green onions), sliced
    • 1 (12oz) pkg Kelp Noodles, rinsed and cut to desired length

      Directions:

    1. In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. 
    2. Lower the heat to medium, add the zucchini, and cook until crisp-tender; about 2 minutes.
    3. Add the sugar snap peas and cook until slightly tender, but still bright green; about 1 minute.
    4. Add the mushrooms and cook about 45 seconds.
    5. Remove from the heat.
    6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the miso and a ladelful of hot broth. Combine until smooth.
    7. Add the miso mixture to the soup. (Caution: Do not bring the soup to a boil once the miso is added or it will become gritty!)
    8. Add the kelp noodles and scallions.
     ***I enjoyed my soup with roasted Kabocha Squash. It was a delicious addition! Follow this link for the recipe, just subtract the potatoes.***
    This is one meal GF Guy would not have like. Fungi freak him out! Along with being able to pee with the bathroom door open, being able to cook new and unusual foods is a perk of being a “theater widow”! (You’ve got to look on the sunny side of life, my friends!)
    Until next time… Chin-up, smile, and carry on!

    (PS- The next post will be a sprouting tutorial! My cousin used to run a major sprouting farm, and he showed me the ropes this week!)

    Did You Miss Me?!….

    I am back! 

    I’ve been going through a lot, personally, and have had no desire to cook. (Crazy! I know!) Thank you for understanding. 
    Tonight, I took some time for myself. I did a little cardio work-out, gave Dickens a bath, scrubbed the bathtub, and did some laundry. Man did it feel good to do normal, mundane tasks!  When I was done I finally felt like creating a bit in the kitchen. I used leftover bits of randomness that I found lurking in my sad, nearly empty refrigerator to create a surprisingly delicious and comforting meal for one. As you have probably guessed, these are going to be a majority of my recipes for the next couple of months. That, or I will be giving away LOTS of leftovers, which I doubt anyone will mind too terribly! (Locals- Let me know if you want to be added to the “leftover list”!) 

    Chicken “Noodle” Soup
    (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

    Ingredients:

    • 1-2 Tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 1 Shallot, diced
    • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
    • 1 carrot, chopped
    • 1 Tblsp dried Tarragon
    • 3 cups Organic, Low Sodium Chicken Broth
    • 1/4 cup White Wine
    • 1/2 leftover, pre-cooked chicken breast, chopped
    • 1/2 Zucchini, spiralized into “noodles”
    • 1 handful organic Baby Spinach
    • 1/4 cup fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
    • Herbamare and Black Pepper, to taste

    Directions:

    1. Heat a oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
    2. Saute’ carrots until slightly softened, add shallots and garlic and continue cooking about 1 minute.
    3. Add tarragon to pan and deglaze with White Wine and chicken broth.
    4. Bring to a slight bubble and add remaining ingredients.
    5. Cook until heated through, about 3-5 minutes.
    This simple supper is quick, delicious, and the perfect dish to go along with my new Vegan Herb & Feta Biscuits
     Tune in tomorrow for that recipe! 
     I’m such a tease!
    It’s going to be a busy week full of cooking classes, demonstrations, and lots of work! I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful job where I get to help so many people! Off to bed!