Nov 19, 2012

White Bean and Pumpkin Soup with Ham, Gluten Free

This gluten free lite bean and pumpkin soup will warm even the coldest heart! Growing up we ate a lot of beans or as they are properly called, legumes. People with Celiac disease, especially those just diagnosed, often experience malabsorption of vital nutrients due to damaged intestinal microvilli. This puts Celiacs at higher risk of folate deficiency. Legumes — a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils — are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. They are also rich in folates, potassium, iron and magnesium, low in fat and contain no cholesterol. They contain beneficial fats and soluble and insoluble fiber. A good source of protein, legumes can be a healthy substitute for meat. This is all great stuff but the reason we ate a lot of beans is because they are cheap!  We couldn't always afford meat so we had beans, in every possible shape and form.  I love beans now but I have to admit I went through a period that I just avoided beans at all cost. 

Nov 17, 2012

Egg Muffins, Gluten Free

The all incredible, edible egg!  What a perfect little power breakfast to grab on the run.  Inspired by the little quiche muffins that I used to eat in Panera Breads, but without the flour. I hate egg whites and I am not too fond of hard boiled eggs either, unless they are smothered in  These baked little muffins provide a great source of protein. Numerous vitamins, including vitamin A, potassium and many B vitamins like folic acid, choline and biotin, are also packed into this oval-shaped staple [Source: USDA]. In fact, very few foods share the same diverse nutrient makeup available in a single egg. Many of these are specifically needed for the health of the nerves and the brain. I also added low-fat cheddar cheese and lots of spinach which in addition to its high nutritional content is also also extremely rich in antioxidants.

I have a 15 year old son who refuses to stop for breakfast.  However, he is at the age where appearance is important and he wants to get "brolic, buff, diesel." these high protein muffins provide good leverage for me to get him to eat breakfast.  I explained how important it is to eat foods that are high in protein content. So when I hand him 2 of these on the way out the door he eats them willingly and happily cause they are delicious! I love having them after a good run. They are filling, yet light. You can make them with whatever you like; use ham, turkey or any other choose your favorite veggies and make them full vegetarian.  These can easily be made dairy free as well.

These are so easy to make as well!  This recipe makes 6 muffins, you have your breakfast for the week!
and only 3 points per muffin. 

Oct 24, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Protein Pancakes

I love pancakes! However, in the first year of my diagnosis of Celiac Disease I gained over 15 pounds.  I was so focused on food and what I could or couldn't eat that it became an obsession.  I always felt deprived so I would double, sometimes triple up on the foods the foods that I could eat.  I stayed away from pancakes for a long time because I could eat and eat and never feel full.  Till I started running. I always loved to run but somewhere along the line, I fell in love with running.  So I began to eat foods that were higher in protein and lower in fat. Now, let me remind you I am a glutton.  I didn't decrease my intake, but I thought it was genius, "I could eat anything I want if I just keep running." Well, eventually I realized that I wasn't happy with my weight and I had to change.  I started eating pancakes again but I figured out a way to increase satiety....that's just a nice way to say, stay fuller longer. 

Apr 2, 2012

Sauteed Cabbage

Ahhh, the cabbage!  you either love it or hate it!  but the cabbage is one of the world's most ancient and remarkable vegetables and its nutritional value is indisputable. Interestingly to note is that it also has medicinal value. They say Captain Cook used it as a compress to prevent gangrene in his wounded soldiers.  Nowadays, new nursing mothers are advised to line their bra cups with cabbage leaves to reduce discomfort and it is also recommended as a hangover remedy when pickled in vinegar.  Others are using it to lose weight in the "cabbage soup" diet. More importantly, for those of us with Celiac Disease, it is high in Vitamins C and K, which are two of the vitamins that many Celiacs are deficient in. This makes a great side dish for any meal.  I made it with the brown stew chicken in order to have a full Jamaican style dinner without the fat.  If you are tight on your points, you can have this with the brown stew chicken and skip the coconut rice. It is really hearty and only 2 points for a generous portion.  

Feb 13, 2012

Shrimp, Mango, and Roasted corn lettuce Cups light

I'm sexy and I know it! I can't think of a better combination then shrimp, fresh mango and roasted corn with a hint of lime and cilantro topped with chili pepper and that's hot! Wait, I didn't add the mayonnaise!  But you could not taste the difference. 

 I first had a similar combination of this at a feast in Brooklyn.  A Mexican family was selling grilled ears of fresh corn smothered in mayonnaise and sprinkled with lime and cotija cheese and chili powder. I could not believe the joy I got eating this corn.  In fact, I don't remember much more about the feast.  In any event, this corn is called Elote. I have made my own version over the summer during BBQ's but without the mayo.  Here I used similar ingredients but I added a few things and changed the mayonnaise to sour cream.

Shrimp Creollo with low-fat Garlic Mashed Plantains/ Shrimp Criollo & Mofongo

Talk about spicy and hot! I told you in the about me section that certain latin dishes could not be made light.  Making them gluten free is easy enough. However, when I calculated the points on some of my recipes I was so embarrassed I could no longer share my recipes without the disclaimer that I may be putting you at risk for a myocardial infarction....that's a technical way of saying Heart Attack!  So I have decided, thanks to weight watchers that I will make a greater effort to preserve my arteries and those of my family.  This is a very typical dish in Puerto Rico made with plantains double fried in rendered pork fat and stuffed with deep fried pork crackling.  This dish would probably total over 25 points easy.  I created a lightened version and trust me I did not sacrifice taste!

 Let's start with the Mofongo.  First of all let me start by saying this is an all time favorite of mine and if you ever visit Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic it is a must-try typical dish. It is a very versatile side dish and can be topped with almost anything; seafood, meat or even veggies. It's delicious no matter what you top it with.

In my recipe I boil the plantains, mash them in garlic and fat free chicken stock.  I then add an ounce of pork skins in a bag that adds the crunch and flavor without sacrificing the integrity of the traditional dish.

Valentine's Day gluten free light recipes

Ahhh, Valentines day is here! A day where people around the world are exchanging candy, flowers and gifts and making reservations to all of these wonderful restaurants who are currently serving "fixed" menu's.  So what are the chances for anyone who is gluten free and on weight watcher's to be able to get a savory dish that is not just green?  I'm telling you, I think we should revolt! I am so tired of eating green food.  Don't get me wrong, I love my veggies and salads but there are days where that is just not cutting it. 

Since this is a day of romance and intimacy, why not break out the nice dinnerware and candles and tantalize your partner's taste buds with a delicious meal that is both savory, light and wheat free? add a nice bottle of wine and enjoy the evening without the hustle and bustle. I'll even give you a little conversation starter.  Do you know how the Valentines Day tradition started?  It is a holiday that dates back to ancient times and the rise of Christianity.  There are many legends about it's patron saint, St Valentines. 

One legend contends that St Valentine was a priest who continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret after the Emperor decided to outlaw marriages for single men because he believed single men made better soldiers. When the priests actions were discovered he was put to death.

Another legend claims that the Christian Church may have decided to place St Valentines feast day in the middle of February in an effort to "Christianize" the pagan celebration of Lupercalia which was a fertility festival celebrated in the Ides of February or February 15. Without going into all the details, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn and the city's bachelors would each choose a name and became paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

Feb 2, 2012

Gluten free Asian Turkey Lettuce wraps

So I was craving PF Chang's gluten free Chicken Lettuce all know how it is to be able to eat Asian food again. I think this is the food I miss most of all!  PF Chang's has a nice selection of gluten free foods and I am a very happy camper whenever we venture out there.  It is however, about a 40 minute drive....sheesh, what we gluten free people are willing to do to get our 
Anyway, I decided to try my hand at it and the results were AMAZING!!!  I didn't have chopped chicken so I used turkey.  I had most of the other ingredients except the hoisin sauce, which I wasn't even sure they sold a gluten free version.  I also wanted to find a sweetened saki that a friend told me about called Mirin.  So I did find the ingredients and they had gluten free versions....woohoo!!! 
Have you ever heard of chino-latino food? well, let me tell you about it, it is a very special fusion of chinese and spanish food.  Growing up there was a restaurant on the corner that was called chino-latino. That food was....well just ridiculously two favorite foods blended together.  Growing up I thought they were the coolest people ever. After all, they went out of their way to learn the language of the community and cook our food!  Of course as I grew older I learned that spanish was their language just as much as it was mine since Spain had ruled many of the Asian countries and spanish was the language they spoke ....but they were still cool!

Ok so back to my Turkey wraps...the reason I wanted to share that information is because I made a few changes to the wraps that are not typical.  Instead of using watercress, I used Jicama.  I am loving this Jicama!  I also threw in a little cilantro.  The results was a mouth watering aroma of Chino-latino cooking....yummy!!  The sauce was pure experimentation.....that being said you can delete or even add sauces that interest you.  I am not to fond of the hoisin sauce but it was nice in combination with the others sauces.

Jan 15, 2012

Bacalao Guisada - Codfish stew with Casava

Growing up I hated fish! I never understood why the adults seemed so excited at even the mention of seafood dishes. This gluten free dish was a childhood favorite for me but that's because my abuelita called it white meat! 
 I never knew this was a fish at all.  I remember my mom would say abuelita cooked white meat and I would get so happy. What makes this dish even more appetizing now is that it is that not only is it delicious, and comforting but it is also low in calories. I put the bacalao guisado over yuca (casava) which is a root vegetable and another vegetable I hated growing up....OK so I have evolved, I love this dish!     

Bacalao Guisado - Codfish stew 

Ingredients: Codish

  • 1 lb dried Codfish
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup Cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp Manzanilla Olives
  • 1 Tbsp Capers
  • 4-5 chopped Galic Cloves
  • 2 Tbsp Sofrito
  • 4 oz tomatoe sauce
  • 2 tbsp extra virgen olive olive
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup of water
Preparation:  The first thing you need to do is remove the salt from the Codfish.  This can be accomplished in 2 ways.  You can soak it in cold water for 24 hours and change the water 3 to 4 times.  I never remember to soak, so I boil it in water and after it boils I change the water with fresh cold water and boil again. I do this 3 times.  This usually removes the perfect amount of salt without removing it all. There have been times when it still tasted a bit salty so I recommend tasting it after the third boil and if you think it could use another boil then go for it. I like a little salt....but if you remove too much you could always add a little table salt.  

Jan 7, 2012

Spicy Cilantro sauce

    This sauce is a staple on my table, and can be used on everything from rice, steak or even eggs. It just adds a whole lot of flavor to anything you make...if you're not into spicy try it without the jalapeno peppers.

Jan 6, 2012

Waldorf Lettuce Wraps

       About a year ago I was watching a Spanish food show that featured this recipe but it was made with pork tenderloins. Unfortunately, I did not write down the entire recipe and have searched everywhere for the actual recipe with no success. In any case I had to improvise on this recipe so I decided to make it with chicken and top it with my favorite dressing and Voila!

My family and I were very pleased with the results. I was still mourning the loss of wheat/ gluten in my life and a gluten free blog was only an idea in my head.  I still don't think I have fully recovered from my loss but I have accepted the inevitable....a gluten free life!  There is an upside to this gluten free lifestyle. First off, I would never have known what a "Jicama" was.  This recipe has all of the ingredients of a Waldorf salad but it also includes Jicama.  This is a root vegetable and looks like a hybrid between a potato and a brown turnip.  It has a mild, crisp texture like an apple or unripe pear. They are native to South America and Mexico and can grow as large as 6 lbs. It is a carb that is very high in fiber with a minuscule amount of fat. It is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-iinflammatory.

Jan 4, 2012

Broiled Adobo Pork Chops

So growing up, my favorite food in the whole world was fried pork chops, a lot has changed since then except that pork chops are still my favorite. I lived in an apartment building and the aroma of my grandma's pork chops had everyone salivating....being gluten free does not mean we have to sacrifice flavor and I certainly don't.
So the first picture are the pork chops before cooking,  this is what a well seasoned pork chop looks like......and they are so simple to make!  All you need is my adobo recipe, some center cut pork chops with the bone, let's face it...why even eat a pork chop if you can't suck on the bone?, lemon or lime, and an orange.

This is what they look like after they are cooked! So I told you before my grandma fries her chops.  The biggest challenge for me was making them taste the way my grandma makes them taste without frying them. So I put them to the test with the Grand Puba....that's what I affectionately call her.  She was very impressed when I told her they were not fried, they were broiled. So what to eat with this flavorful piece of meat? I have gained 13 pounds since I learned I had celiac disease! So I am with the few million people out there who have made a resolution for weight loss in 2012.  My challenge will be to make my latin recipes lighter......that's not an easy feat. Here I made stir-fry vegetables and an Organic Quinoa & Whole Grain Brown rice. Quinoa is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered the food of the Gods, it was used to increase the stamina of their warriors. Clearly they new something that we didn't; we do now!  It is very high in protein and gluten free! I bought it at Costcos, and will definitely get more.  The reviews are amazing as well and you can order it on Amazon.