Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup

There’s nothing like a bowl of chicken noodle soup on a chilly February evening.  Last night I created a delicious gluten-free, dairy-free chicken n’ buckwheat noodle soup that warmed me up from the Manhattan chill. I tossed in some navy beans and my favorite dinosaur kale along with mushrooms and ginger for an exceptionally delectable soup.

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 4 ounces buckwheat noodles
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 cup navy beans
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cups dinosaur kale, chopped
  • Dash of sea salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • Toppings: Organic corn tortilla chips, crushed; fresh basil, chopped; chili powder

Directions

  • Cook chicken over medium heat until fully cooked and no longer pink. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Prepare and cook buckwheat noodles according to package.  Drain and set aside.
  • In a large pot, combine water, dried herbs, spices and ginger.  Heat until water boils; add navy beans; cover and reduce to a simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, kale and sea salt; cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add buckwheat noodles, chicken and oil; mix well.
  • Transfer to serving bowls. Top with organic corn chips, fresh basil and a sprinkle of chili powder.
  • Enjoy!
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15% Discount on Ayala’s Herbal Water

I’m pleased to announce an exclusive 15% discount for Ayala’s Herbal Water today, February the 17th thru next Wednesday, February the 24th in my Open Sky shop.

We all know water is vital for life…In fact, the human body contains up to 70% water, and it’s necessary for everything the body does.

But sometimes we’d all like something different…a beverage that’s healthy, refreshing and full of flavor. That’s the secret of Ayala’s Herbal Water.

Free of artificial sweeteners and artificial ingredients, Herbal Water gets its great taste and healthful benefits from culinary herbs. It’s got everything you want, and zero of what you don’t.

Zero calories. Zero artificial additives. Zero preservatives. Nothing to worry about. Just 100 percent natural goodness and wonderful taste.

And, Ayala’s Herbal Water is the first nationally available organically certified enhanced flavored water made with all organic ingredients in the following refreshing flavors:

  • Lemongrass, Mint and Vanilla
  • Ginger Lemon Peel
  • Lemon, Verbena and Geranium
  • Cinnamon Orange peel
  • Lavender Mint
  • Cloves, Cardamom and Cinnamon

The Herbal Water story begins in the spring of 2005, in the garden of Dr. Ayala, a passionate cook, trained pediatrician, artist and lifelong vegetarian, Dr. Ayala spent years exploring healthy, tasty ways to feed children and adults.

Seeking an alternative to sugar-laden and artificially flavored beverages, Dr. Ayala created her own blends of herb infused waters that magically satisfy thirst and restore the spirit. Among her family and friends, Dr. Ayala’s herbal waters became famous for their uniquely refreshing tastes and aromas.

Ayala’s Herbal Water is the first nationally available organically certified enhanced flavored water made with all organic ingredients. Each Herbal Water blend is all-natural and sets a new standard for healthy beverages: zero calories, zero artificial sweeteners, flavors and colors, and zero chemical preservatives.

Nothing but great taste from pure water, infused with the finest natural herbs from around the world, kept fresh in a beautiful bottle for your enjoyment.


Take advantage of this amazing 15% discount and let me know how you enjoy the refreshing taste of Ayala’s Herbal Water.

Click HERE to redeem this promotion.

Dark Chocolate Bark

Mer,this fabulous chocolate recipe is for you…it reminds me of when we were younger…after going to see the movie “Chocolat” when we instantly ran out of the theater to our favorite chocolate shop to buy the delicious Dark Chocolate ‘Break-Up’.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I’m dedicating this post to my dear friend, Mer…here’s to you Mer and to all of you dark chocolate lovers…I present my special dark chocolate creation…

Ingredients

  • 2 (3 oz.) Organic Dark Chocolate Bars
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Topping: An additional sprinkle of chopped cherries, macadamia nuts and crystallized ginger.

Directions

  • Chop chocolate bars; place into a microwave-safe glass bowl.  Microwave on high until chocolate is smooth; stir every 1 minute to ensure even melting.
  • Stir in macadamia nuts, ginger and dried cherries; mix well.
  • Spread mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with unsweetened coconut and a few more pieces of cherries, ginger and macadamia nuts.
  • Freeze for 2 hours or until firm.
  • Break into pieces and serve.
  • Enjoy!

Get Those Kids Cookin’…

Ever wonder how to get your kids involved in the kitchen? Here are a few tips that I offer to my clients…whether you have young children, nieces, nephews, neighbors, family or friends…these tips are sure to get your little ones active and entertained in the kitchen.


  • Cucumber Caterpillar: Slices of cucumber held together with natural peanut butter. Place the Caterpillar on ‘greens’ to look like grass.
  • Taco or Burrito Bar: Serve brown rice, black beans, onions, hot peppers, sprouted grain or gluten free tortillas, broccoli, arugula, cauliflower, guacamole and  salsa.  Add nuts, seeds and spices in tiny serving dishes to jazz up the flavors!
  • Salad Bar: Spin your greens in a salad spinner, then dress dry greens with a lime dressings made by combining sesame oil, fresh lime juice, low-sodium tamari, cayenne pepper, agave nectar, balsamic vinegar and water.
  • Mashed Potato Parfaits- Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and carrots mixed together…topped with raisins, cinnamon, shredded coconut and agave nectar
  • Individual Pizzas: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Choose gluten free or sprouted whole grain tortillas, caramelized onions, spinach, red onion, mushrooms, kalamata olives, artichokes, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Add each ingredient atop each tortilla and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Panini Party: Gluten Free or sprouted whole grain bread, SoyaKaas Gluten Free/Dairy Free cheese, tomato slices, eggplant slices, fresh basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, avocado, zucchini and squash slices.  Add all ingredients to 2 slices of bread.  Place onto a panini maker (sprayed with cooking spray); cook until cheese is melted and veggies are warm and cooked.  Dip into marinara (red) sauce.
  • Stir-Fry: Switch up your usual recipe with unique grains such as millet, quinoa or buckwheat.
  • Fruit Salad: Add exotic fruits to spice up the flavors.  Use a melon baller and serve in a wine glass to add to the allure of this meal.  Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt atop each fruit salad serving and sprinkle with cinnamon and stevia.
  • Slaw Wraps: Cabbage, celery, carrots, bok choy, mushrooms, peppers, snap peas, bean sprouts, snow peas, green beans and Napa Slaw can easily be combined and wrapped in rice paper.  Liven up this dish by pairing it with a special sauce of grapefruit juice, ginger, balsamic vinegar, lemonade and seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower.  Toss with fresh apples or cumin roasted chick peas.  Adding berries such as blackberries, raspberries and cherries add a nice antioxidant punch to these wraps.
  • Peanut Butter Chicken Fajitas: The best way to make a good peanut sauce is by combining organic peanut butter, fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, agave nectar and low-sodium tamari/soy sauce.
  • Frozen Basil and Banana Pops: Blend together 2 cups ice, 2 cups fresh basil leaves, 1 ripe banana, 1 cup fresh mint leaves, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup agave nectar in a blender.  Blend well and pour into glasses! This is a wonderful treat for a healthy dessert!

Have fun and experiment with some of my ideas above…Getting the kids active in the kitchen is fun…and who knows, your kids may just start to ‘enjoy’ their veggies!!!

Gingered Cranberry-Orange Holiday Relish

This is a wonderful dish to serve at your holiday table.  I will be serving this relish alongside roasted turkey, grilled fish and roasted root vegetables.  It seems no matter what you pair with this relish, the taste is always exquisite.  I often use leftovers on my turkey sandwich and salad the next day as the relish is a perfect accompaniment to bean casseroles, baked tofu, poultry, fish, crackers, toast and pitas.

Ingredients

  • 2 large oranges, unpeeled and slice into 8 pieces for each orange
  • 1 grapefruit, unpeeled and sliced into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • ¼ cup stevia
  • 2 tsp. honey or agave nectar
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ cup crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. warm water

Directions

  • Place orange and grapefruit pieces (skin-on) in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
  • Slowly add cranberries, stevia, honey, cinnamon, ginger, balsamic vinegar and warm water; pulse until coarsely chopped.
  • Transfer relish to a small bowl and chill before serving.

Gingerbread Cookies

How adorable are these cute little gingerbread men and women? I couldn’t resist…as with every year I have to make my special gingerbread people.  It’s a fun, festive ritual that I take part in and enjoy every second of the process from grading cutting shapes with my cookie cutters to decorating the clothes and features on the gingerbread people.  Here is a wonderfully delicious gingerbread recipe that will surely compliment your gingerbread house this season.

I was so excited to make these gingerbread guys and gals because I used two of my new Open Sky products, my Winco Aluminum Rolling Pin, which was fabulous and created an even and smooth surface for my cookie cutters and my Copper Bowl, which was perfect for mixing my ingredients to create the gingerbread dough.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. cloves
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. wheat germ
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted and softened
  • 1 tsp. honey or agave nectar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar or stevia
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat several baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, flax seeds, wheat germ and salt; mix well. Beat butter, honey, oil and sugar in another large bowl with an electric mixer until it forms a creamy texture.
  • Add egg, molasses and balsamic vinegar; beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • On a floured surface, roll each portion separately to create a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut cookies using cookie festive cutters. Combine scraps and roll dough again to make additional cookies.
  • Place cookies on baking sheets.
  • Bake the cookies, about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Decorate with icing and personalize each gingerbread man and woman.

In The News…

95% Celiac Disease Sufferers Go Undiagnosed

Companies Fall Short in Advertising Health Foods To Children

2010 Predicted Food Trends

Coffee and Tea May Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Try a One Size Fits All Dinner for Vegetarians and Meat Eaters

Chef Creates Healthy Pizza

Apple, Parsnip and Acorn Squash Soup and OpenSky Promotion

There’s nothing like a warm soup on a cool winter evening.  This unique soup pairs acorn squash, parsnips and apples together along with Stonyfield yogurt.  The combination of fruits and sweet winter vegetables makes this soup a perfect way to end your day.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium acorn squash, sliced lengthwise in half
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups  granny smith apples, cored, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 freshly ground white pepper
  • Oikos plain Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1 fresh basil, chopped

Directions

  • Place squash cut side down on rack set over gently simmering water in saucepan. Cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Cool squash slightly. Scoop pulp and set aside.
  • Combine 1/4 cup vegetable broth, apples, parsnips and onion in heavy medium saucepan.
  • Cover and cook over low heat 10 minutes. Add squash pulp, remaining broth, orange juice, ginger and sea salt.
  • Cover and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes.
  • Puree soup in batches in a food processor
  • Strain through into a medium-sized saucepan; gently warm over low heat.
  • Add orange zest. Season with sea salt and pepper.
  • Ladle into bowls. Garnish with Oikos plain Greek yogurt and basil.

OpenSky Promotion!

Check out the OpenSky Holiday Promotion Page here:

http://holidays.theopenskyproject.com/

From now until midnight on Wednesday, you can sign up to receive coupons ranging from $15 to $100 off and 10% to 50% off.

The quicker you enter your email at http://holidays.theopenskyproject.com/ the better your chances for great savings.  You’ll note this page asks users to input their favorite shopkeeper.  For favorite shopkeeper, please input: AMIE

Every user will receive a coupon!

  • OpenSky is the place for your holiday shopping.
  • Sign up for savings here: http://holidays.theopenskyproject.com/
  • I only have 50 Premium Coupons for $15 off a $20 item so sign   up quickly!
  • To save the most, type AMIE as your favorite Shopkeeper.