Here's a great flexible recipe for homemade tomato soup.
2 TB. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Medium onion chopped
1 TB. Tomato paste
3 Cloves garlic minced
1 Tsp. xylitol
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (I recommend Muir Glen's organic fire roasted diced tomatoes)
1 Tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Teas. dried basil
1 Teas. dried thyme
2 Cups water
1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and the garlic and saute until clear. Add the tomato paste and xylitol and stir well for 1 minute.
2. Stir in the tomatoes, vinegar, thyme, basil and water. Bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Transfer the soup to a blender or blend with an immersion blender until desired consistency is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Optional variations include adding 3/4 cup light cream in step 2 and/or 2 Tbs. organic butter. Top with croutons or a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese or chopped fresh basil if desired.
I don't usually write about a specific product, but as I was making soup in my Vitamix Blender last night I thought it was time to share the truth about the blender. The simple truth is the companies claim that the Vitamix is amazing is absolutely true. Check out the recipes on their site. For example, if you blend your soup recipe long enough it even heats the soup up for you!
I bought my Vitamix Blender over 20 years ago. It was the first major kitchen appliance I ever purchased. It was a big decision for me, let's face it, they are definitely on the pricey side. I can't even tell you how many times over the years I've been thankful I decided to invest in one.
I have not been easy on my blender. I often pile in more vegetables than I should or not enough liquid. I've been known to pile in too much of ice with some organic half and half for my homemade ice cream milkshakes (recipe below). The blender has handled it all with aplumb.
One day I overdid it, the motor was clearly struggling with a very thick nut butter, and then it stopped altogether. A quick call to the helpline relieved my fears that I'd finally broken the poor thing. At their advice I turned it off for a while and sure enough, the motor was revived and started working again just like new.
The Vitamix Blender is definitely an investment and if you want to make an investment on a kitchen appliance that you'll always use, this is the one. (They have slightly lower priced reconditioned blenders available too.)
Here's a current favorite dessert recipe of mine. If you have another heavy duty blender give it a try, it may work just as well. It never fails with the Vitamix.
Yummy & Organic Sugar Free Milkshake (1 Personal Servin5)
Place in blender:
5 ice cubes
1 cup Organic Half and Half (Organic whipping cream can be used for a richer shake)
3/4 dropper full Liquid Vanilla Stevia (or to taste)
Optional: 1/3 cup blueberries or other berry of choice, so yummy!
Blend until the ice is completely ground and pour into a tall glass for an amazing and healthy milkshake.
~ If you're low fat dieting you can use fat free half and half for a really low fat dessert treat! Use organic with the lowest sugar content you can find as low-fat usually means some added sweetener.
~ If you freeze some half and half or cream as ice cubes ahead of time and use them with some liquid cream you will get a lovely ice cream consistency.
Click on this link to see the variety of choices of Vitamix Blenders and what they can do.
I tried a gluten free dinner roll recipe over the holidays and I have to say, they didn't really thrill any of us as the spicy herbal dinner roll I was expecting. I immediately recognized them as the perfect gluten free alternative to fill another place however. They puff up and are stable enough to be perfect sandwich or hamburger rolls! Here's the recipe -- let me know what you think.
Makes about 8 burger sized rolls.
3 cup almond flour
1/2 cup hard cheese of choice (Parmesan or cheddar work well)
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
optional: 1 small onion grated
1 tbsp. chives
1 tbsp. parsley chopped
1/4 cup water
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 325
2. Mix almond flour, baking soda and powder, cheese, chives & parsley in a bowl.
3. In another bowl whisk the eggs, then add yogurt, garlic, onions & water
4. Add wet to dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Batter is very wet, I didn't think it would bake -- but it does!
6. Using a spoon scoop onto a baking pan lined with parchment papaer or greased and floured. Because it's such a wet batter, parchment paper works best.
7. Bake at 325 for 15-18 minutes.
Recipe adapted from AndreAnna
I've tried several of the pizza dough's made with cauliflower and nut flour that can be found on the web and I haven't been happy with any of them. I decided to work on a flour-free cauliflower snack instead. I love the recipe I've come up with. It can be frozen and warmed up for a snack very quickly in the oven. It's a delicious alternative to a piece of bread with a meal and yes, it can even perform well as a pizza dough for a small personal sized pizza. If you wanted to add a couple of tablespoons of nut or garbanzo flour I'm sure it would be even stronger. For myself, I've decided I love the cheesy feel of the recipe without the flour.
So if you're eating paleo (with eggs) or gluten free , or just want a yummy snack without any flour or sugar - here it is.
1 head cauliflower
2 egg whites
1 cup mozzarella cheese ( 8 oz.)
1/8 teas. pepper
1/2 teas. onion powder
2 grated cloves garlic
Optional if using for mini pizza -- 1 Teas. Italian seasoning
Turkey pepperoni or other toppings of choice to put on top for
last 5 minutes of baking.
1. Pre-heat oven to 450.
2. Grate the cauliflower in a blender or with a box grater. You want fine granules about the size of split peas.I do it in my blender in 3 portions so it chops well.
3. Cook the grated cauliflower in a dry skillet, stirring constantly, until it's cooked through and softened, about 5 minutes. Pour it in a bowl to cool.
4. In a food processor or blender mix the remaining ingredients well.
5. Add the cauliflower and blend a minute longer to mix it.
6. Scoop by the tablespoon onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten them to your preferred size. They will be the same size when they're cooked so experiment with your preferred size. I make small ones for cracker-like snacking and slightly bigger ones for mini pizzas.
7. Bake for 10 minutes or until starting to brown, then turn them over. I sometimes flatten them a little more with a paper towel at this point. Cook for another 15-20 minutes until browned. If you're making mini pizzas you can add some additional mozzarella cheese to the top a minute before removing from the oven.
8. If you want to freeze some lay them on a baking pan in the freezer to freeze individually, then wrap several together in foil. To reheat just put them in the oven for 5 minutes at 350.
I've Found It!
You've been there I'm sure. You spend an hour chopping up vegetables for a great meal or the weeks lunches, and then your glow of achievement is totally dashed when you try to gracefully transfer the scraps to your compost container. Some make it, others are all over the floor and stuck under the edge of the sink.
I've been struggling with trying to find a way to get my compost scraps to my temporary kitchen scrap container without having vegetable scraps all over the floor. My kitchen isn't equipped for a big electric under the counter composter, even if there were a reasonably priced one, and I have to have something inside until I have time to take my scraps to the outdoor composter.
I've done a lot of searching; whenever I get frustrated enough to spend some time researching options I try again. Well, today I found the Kitchen Art Scrap Trap. It fits over the top of a drawer or door so you can set it right under your work counter and just scrape your scraps into it! To add to the thrill of a useful kitchen find -- it's under $12.00!