Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Creamy" Tomato Thyme Soup


2 Tbsp oil (olive or coconut)
1 Medium yellow onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
3 1/2 c chopped tomatoes (including juices)
3 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp sour cream or Greek yogurt
shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oil to medium-low. Add onion, carrot, celery and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 12 min. Add garlic, thyme, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring for 1-2 more mins.
2. Add tomatoes, including juices, and broth. Increase heat to high and bring to boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Puree soup. Serve warm, stirring in yogurt/sour cream if desired and garnishing with Parmesan cheese.

*you can make this vegan by using vegetable broth and removing dairy. Additionally, for those with dairy allergies, try soy based sour cream! Check shredded cheese and yogurt for gluten contents.

Healthy Muffuletta


1- 1 1/2 lb organic chicken breasts
4 tsp olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 zucchini, trimmed and sliced 1/4" thick lengthwise
1/2 cup pimento stuffed green olives and Kalamata olives
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup roasted red peppers, finely diced
1/2 small sweet onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp each oregano and parsley
sliced sourdough or pumpernickel
(low fat) provolone cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 and ensure one rack is on top third and one on bottom third of oven.
2. Brush chicken with 1 tsp oil and season with pepper and half of garlic. Place on parchment-lined sheet and roast on bottom rack in oven for approximately 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, brush zucchini strips with 1 tsp oil and season with pepper. Arrange in single layer on parchment lined sheet and roast on top rack for 25 min.
4. Once cooked, remove zucchini and chicken and let cool.
5. While roasting, prepare olive salad: coarsely chop olives and transfer to medium bowl. (I like to add a touch of the olive juices :) Add remaining garlic, 2 tsp oil, celery, red peppers, onion, vinegar, oregano and parsley
6. Once chicken is cool enough to handle, chop into small pieces.
7. To assemble sandwich, spread olive salad on bottom half of bread. Layer with zucchini, cheese and chicken, then top with olive salad and bread.

*you can also do this with turkey, and it is a great way to use up leftover holiday turkey.

Chicken Korma


5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 7 oz. each), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp. olive or coconut oil
1 large yellow onion
5 garlic cloves
3-4 pods cardamom
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garam masala
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 cup roasted cashew pieces, no added salt
1/2 cup non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
Salt to taste


1. Saute onions, garlic and cardamom in olive or coconut oil until onions translucent.
2. Add remaining spices.
2. Add chicken until mostly cooked.
4. Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the yogurt. Cook until chicken is cooked through.
5. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt and salt to taste.
6. Serve over basmati or brown rice and/or with clean eating naan. Can use quinoa instead if you are gluten free.

*caveat: this dish can easily be made dairy free by omitting the yogurt and adding more coconut milk or a soy based yogurt. Check yogurt for gluten contents

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gluten free information

We are not completely gluten free. Shocker right? But we do try to limit it to some degree. There are plenty of reasons for this:

A gluten-free diet isn’t just for those with celiac disease or a wheat allergy. Although eating wheat products, especially whole wheat, does offer some health benefits, the gluten can actually be harmful. Here are some reasons you may want to go gluten-free.

Humans don’t fully digest wheat. The undigested portions of wheat begin to ferment, producing gas. Icky, belchable, fart-forming gas.

Wheat is a pro-inflammatory agent. A pro-inflammatory agent is rapidly converted to sugar, causing a rise in the body’s insulin levels, causing a burst of inflammation at the cellular level, among other problems.

Wheat can cause leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome is a condition whereby stuff is leaking from your gut into your bloodstream — stuff that shouldn’t be there, such as toxins.

Refined wheat has little nutritional value. Did you know that manufacturers actually have to enrich refined wheat because they’ve taken out all the nutrients? And even then, the wheat’s not that valuable, nutritionally speaking.

Wheat is one of the top-eight allergens. Millions of people are allergic to wheat — so many, in fact, that it has made it onto the top-eight allergen list.

Many people have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, and don’t know it. So, how many people fall into this category? No one knows for sure. But 1 in 100 people has celiac disease — but most don’t know it. No one knows how many people have gluten sensitivity, but estimates are that it may be as high as 50 percent, or even 70 percent, of the population.
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