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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Stonyfield Oikos Recipe: Orange Zest Chicken Gyros

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I have been eager to share with all of you my fabulously delicious Oikos Greek yogurt recipe for the Stonyfield Oikos contest.

I created this yummy recipe last week.  As all of you know, I am a huge fan of Oikos Greek yogurt and always have at least one container in my fridge at all times.  It’s incredibly versatile and I often use Oikos in my morning breakfast, afternoon smoothies, lunchtime tuna salads and evening marinades.

This time around, I opted for creating a fun ‘finger-food’ meal, which is perfect for lunch or dinner.  If you are a vegetarian, feel free to substitute the chicken with tofu, seitan or another alternative.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb. skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 Tbsp. Oikos Greek plain yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 1 small orange
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 5 pitas (without pockets)
  • 1 Tbsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup baby portabello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Yogurt Dressing

  • 2 (16  ounce containers) Oikos Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. spicy mustard
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dash of olive oil

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, whisk garlic, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, oil and cilantro.  Slowly add chicken and rub to ensure coating of the marinade.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Pour a dash of olive oil into a large skillet, cook chicken fully; toss to ensure even cooking.
  • Once chicken is fully cooked, set aside to cool and slice onto a serving platter.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  • Place each pita in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray; heat for 10-15 seconds per side over medium heat.
  • Top each pita with chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, scallions and dressing.
  • Enjoy!

Directions for Yogurt Dressing:

  • Strain yogurt with a cheese cloth over a medium sized bowl; let sit overnight to release moisture.
  • Shred zucchini and carrots.
  • Combine yogurt, shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper; mix well.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Drizzle olive oil on top before serving.

Be sure to visit the Oikos Facebook fan page at: http://www.facebook.com/oikos and the Oikos website here for more tasty Greek yogurt recipes.



Tofu Macadamia Stuffed Squash

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Last weekend, while visiting the Union Square Green Market, I purchased a few acorn squash in hopes to prepare a stuffed squash dish this week.  After browsing through the endless pages of my cookbooks, there was not one stuffed squash recipe that stood out to me…Story of my life, and we all know what happens next…Yep, you guessed it… Amie digging through the pantry and refrigerator for ingredients to toss into a yummy acorn squash.

I stumbled upon a container of dried cranberries, a bag of macadamia nuts (from my nut splurge last week at Whole Foods) and a fresh orange.  Hmmm, I thought…with a quick trip to the corner market I purchased some fresh mushrooms and before I knew it I was in my kitchen chopping away and creating a healthy squash masterpiece.  I didn’t have any rice in my pantry, however, I did have a nice firm block of tofu in my fridge, which I thought would be a perfect way to bulk up my stuffing and add a nice protein kick, as well.

After a few minutes of mixing and experimenting…I was ready to stuff my squash and pop it back into the oven for a hearty, warm dinner.  The end result: Perfecto.  A ’10’ in my book for sure…and if you happen to purchase a few acorn squash this fall, be sure to stuff ’em with my tasty Tofu n’ Cranberry Stuffing.

Acorn squash is a good source of dietary fiber and potassium along with smaller doses of vitamins C and B, manganese and magnesium.  It’s an easy squash to pick out at the market due to it’s cute ‘acorn’ shape and harvest green skin, which is speckled with orange patches and pale yellow-orange flesh.  Acorn is one of my favorite varieties of winter squash because of its sweet and nutty flavor combination.  Do you enjoy acorn squash?  If so, what’s your favorite way to prepare it? I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

Ingredients

  • 4 small acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 block Nasoya Firm Tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 4 cups whole grain/ gluten-free bread cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp. spicy mustard
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice (from a small orange)
  • 1/2 tsp. orange peel zest
  • Dash of sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • On a baking pan, drizzled with olive oil, place squash halves cut side down.  Add 3/4’’ of water and bake for 45 minutes or until tender.
  • Marinate tofu in balsamic vinegar, spicy mustard, agave nectar and orange juice.
  • In a large pot, sauté onions and mushrooms in the olive oil; cook for 2-3 minutes.  Slowly add spices and vegetable stock.
  • Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Slowly add tofu, orange juice, balsamic vinegar and bread cubes; sauté for another 4-6 minutes; remove from heat.
  • Add in macadamia nuts, dried cranberries, basil, cilantro, orange zest , sea salt and pepper; mix well.
  • Transfer the filling into the baked squash halves and return to the oven to bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Meat-less ‘Meat’ Loaf

Since the recent June weather here in Manhattan has been anything but sunny and warm these past few weeks, I’ve decided to be productive on the rainy evenings and keep myself busy in my tiny Manhattan kitchen- stirring up some healthy and delicious ‘comfort-food’ recipes for my dinners. 

Last night, I decided to experiment by making a vegetarian ‘meat-less’ meat loaf–it was absolutely delicious and the best part about this easy meal is that you can easily enjoy it again the next day crumbled atop of pasta or a salad and vegetables for lunch leftovers!

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Ingredients

  • 1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup cashews, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup spinach, cooked
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. brown rice flour
  • 2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of Nu-Salt and pepper
  • Galaxy Vegan Parmesan cheese, for topping

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease baking pan; set aside.
  • Mash black beans and chick peas with a large spoon.
  • In a large bowl, combine mashed beans and peas with all other ingredients.
  • Spoon into pan and press down firmly with a spatula.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Eating a Rainbow of Colors

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By now, we’ve all heard, “Eat your Veggies”, well there’s a whole rainbow out there of amazing produce known as Superfoods.  Incorporating these babies into your daily diet can fight cancer, improve your memory, and keep those nasty colds away.  So, what are these superfoods that everyone is talking about?

Superfoods are fruits and veggies that are full of antioxidants.  It’s easy to incorporate their rainbow variety into your diet; simply mix n’ match various colors for a plate that is not only pleasing to the eye, but your stomach, as well. 

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Yellow and Orange

  • Oranges
  • Cantaloupe
  • Butternut Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Apricots
  • Our yellow and orange fruits and veggies are packed with antioxidants that boost our immune systems and provide a nice, big dose of Vitamin C.  Moreover, eating fruits and veggies of these colors help ward off age-related eye disease.  I personally love cooking Butternut Squash and making my Butternut Squash Fries, which can be prepared in minutes and popped into the oven.  Another easy way to incorporate these colors into your diet is combining the above fruits into a smoothie.

    Green

    • Avocados
    • Asparagus
    • Cucumbers
    • Leafy Greens
    • Green Peppers
    • Spinach
    • Broccoli

    These greens help relieve the effects of serious eye ailments such as cataracts and macular degeneration.  Moreover, they help clear the arteries that keep blood flowing to your brain.  My favorite way to incorporate greens into my meals is sauteing spinach and collard greens with garlic and pine nuts.

    Tan and White

    • Parsnips
    • Turnips
    • Cauliflower
    • Onions
    • Mushrooms
    • Bananas
    • Garlic

    These guys  may not have a lotta color to them, however, they pack a serious antioxidant punch with phytonutrients that help protect the heart and fight cancer.  My favorite way to eat the “whites and tans” is to roast parsnips in the oven with a sprinkle of cinnamon and chili powder.

    Blue and Purple

    • Blueberries
    • Raisins
    • Purple Grapes
    • Purple Potatoes
    • Eggplant

    These blue food friends supply us with a healthy dose of antioxidants, which are beneficial for memory and motor function.  I personally love to cook Eggplant Parm–(the gluten free/dairy free way), of course.

    Red

    • Tomatoes
    • Cherries
    • Strawberries
    • Watermelon
    • Radicchio

    Red fruits and veggies contain lycopene and flavonoids are important antioxidants to help fight diseases and various cancers.  Try a rice dish with garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and tomatoes.

    What’s your favorite way to incorporate a rainbow into your daily diet?