Tag Archives: allergy elimination

Soup of the Day: Summertime Black Bean Soup

I don’t know about you, but growing up in the south soup was not a summer food.  At least not in my house.  We ate cold food whenever possible, and my mother did her best to forget that we owned a stove (not a judgment, just the facts: she is the best mother in the world and she will be the first to tell you that she gets “hurmpy”– hot grumpy).  Given that background, I was surprised to find on our recent trip to Mexico that soup was served every day.  Yes, in Mexico, during their hottest season, delicious, delectable soups were offered every evening: beet soup, lentil, vegetable, chickpea, onion. . .they were varied and, despite the heat, perfect.

Well, I suppose Jason took a liking to the idea; in spite of the 90 degree plus weather here in Virginia he has requested soup a few times since we came home.  The one I’m going to share with you today we eat as a full meal, rather than a soup course, but I imagine you could make it fit beautifully into a larger menu.

This recipe is inspired by a long time favorite from the Dairy Hollow House Soup and Bread cookbook by Crescent Dragonwagon, Cuban Black Bean Soup Santa Fe.  If you are on the lookout for a fantastic and healthy cookbook that you will turn to again and again, I highly recommend this one.  Beyond that, I suppose both our recent trip and the beautiful, abundant produce available at the market just now are responsible for the evolution of this soup.  Doing the Allergy Elimination Diet?  This soup is a great option for you.  Enjoy.  (Please forgive the rotten pictures; I just can’t seem to work the camera properly these days :S ).

 

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Summertime Black Bean Soup with Roasted Corn and Avocado Salsa

makes 5 -6 main course servings

Soup Ingredients:

2 cups dried black beans, rinsed, picked over, and soaked in water to cover

2 bay leaves

2 Tbs cumin seeds

1 large jalapeno, chopped with seeds

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large white onion, medium dice

2 green bell peppers, medium dice

6 cloves garlic, sliced or uniformly chopped

Salt

Pepper

Directions:

Soak beans overnight in enough water to cover (four cups is a good starting number).  In large pot or slow cooker, combine beans with soaking water, cumin seeds, jalapeno, bay leaves and 1 tsp of salt.  Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and bring to a simmer, cooking, partially covered, until beans are tender, roughly 2 hours.

In a large skillet add olive oil and garlic and turn to medium heat.  When garlic becomes fragrant, add diced peppers and onion.  Season with salt and pepper (start with no more than half a tsp of salt. . .you can always add more, but you can’t take away).  The goal here is to sweat the vegetables, not brown them, so keep the heat gentle as you sautee then until softened.

When the beans are tender and the vegetables are softened, using an immersion blender or food processor, blend half the beans (being sure to include the two bay leaves) and 1/4 to 1/3 of the vegetables together until thick and smooth.  Add this and the vegetable mixture to the remaining beans in your large pot.  Stir thoroughly to combine and taste for seasoning.  Simmer for another 20 minutes.  Serve garnished with roasted corn and avocado salsa.

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Roasted Corn and Avocado Salsa

Ingredients:

2 ears of corn

2 ripe avocados

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

lemon or lime

1/8 tsp. chipotle chili powder

Directions:

Set oven to broil.  Line baking sheet with foil.  Remove husks from corn; cut avocados in half and remove seed.  Rub corn and avocado lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Broil, turning as needed until uniformly charred.  Avocados will finish before corn.  When cool enough to touch cut corn from cob, remove avocado from skin and cube.  Combine corn, avocado, cilantro, chipotle chili powder and the juice of 1 lemon or lime.

Black Rice Jewel Box Salad via www.oneishungry.com

Black Rice Jewel Box Salad

For a whole host of reasons, we are not having a Christmas tree in our condo this year.  First, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, we only have half a floor.  Second, we are making a long visit home to the land of cotton blossoms for the holidays.  Third, there is a distinct possibility that I am allergic to them (usually that would not be a factor for consideration, but this year, as my doctor put it yesterday, I’m already behind the eight ball!).  Finally, all of our Christmas decorations are in storage, as we eagerly anticipated the possibility of having sold our condo by now.  By the way, yes, the whole losing our floor bit really put a damper on our plans to get this place on the market in a hurry.  On the plus side, we know we will be passing on a mold-free, beautifully re-floored and re-doored apartment to the eventual owners, and that is a nice, cozy feeling!

Because we don’t have any holiday decorations up, my soul has been longing for some traditional seasonal color and sparkle.  Say hello to Christmas on a plate!

Black Rice Jewel Box Salad via www.oneishungry.com

Aren’t the colors gorgeous?  We had a bit of black rice left over in the pantry from the last time we made Broiled Salmon with Spicy Greens and Black Rice, and green beans that didn’t all make it into this fabulous dish.  Tiny clementine segments and small diced red onion are fantastic, but the star on top is the pomegranate seeds.  Breaking into the luscious, glimmering interior of a pomegranate is an aesthetically satisfying experience for me.  You can see why some scholars believe the fruit in the  garden that tempted Adam and Eve was not an apple, but this glorious jewel box of an hundred rubies.

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A light vinaigrette to pull all the flavors together, and your salad is complete.  We had ours with garlic crusted lamb chops; how would you serve it?  Do you have a food that sings “Happy Holidays” to your soul?  Leave a note in the comments below, and tell me all about it!

This recipe is great for those on the Allergy Elimination Diet. IF you are testing for citrus (i.e. have eliminated citrus from your diet) be sure to substitute another fruit or veg. for the clementine slices!  Fresh carrot slices would give the same beautiful color and a fantastic crunch to boot!  This salad opens itself to a world of easy substitution; play around and make it your own.

Black Rice Jewel Box Salad

serves 4-6 as a side

Salad

2 cups of cooked rice, cooled slightly

1/4 of a small red onion, small dice

2 clementines (or carrots), segmented (or slices)

handful of fresh green beans, sliced on the diagonal

pomegranate seeds

Vinaigrette

1 Tbs sherry or red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp maple syrup

2 1/2 Tbs olive oil

Assemble salad. Place vinegar and salt in mason jar or bowl, and agitate until salt has dissolved.  Add mustard and maple, and shake or whisk to combine.  Now add oil, and shake it like a piggy bank!

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Allergy Elimination Diet Baked Apples

Happy Friday, my friends!  Before we all slide gratefully into the weekend, I want to share one last recipe for the week. These luscious baked apples are designed with allergy elimination diet participants in mind, but they are really a gorgeous treat for anyone.  So haul out those left-over cranberries (and if you are feeling a little naughty, grab the caramel or homemade whipped cream as well. . .not you a. e. d.’ers) and add these to your weekend breakfast/brunch list.  These apples can be prepped and stuffed the night, or several days, before baking.  Peeled or not, it doesn’t matter, just be sure to rub the naked bits with lemon juice or brush them with maple or agave to keep them from discoloring.  To make your cavity, you may use a corer, melon baller, spoon, or, my favorite, a sharp edged 1/2 tsp. measuring spoon.  You are not going all the way through the apple; leave at least a 1/4 to 1/2 in of flesh at the base.

If you are not on an allergy elimination diet, or if you are, and you are not avoiding oats, by all means throw a handful of gluten-free rolled oats into the mix.

Allergy Elimination Diet Baked Apples

make 2 med/lg apples

2 apples (I always prefer pink, but use your favorite, so long as it is firm and good for baking)

(2 Tbs. g.f. oats optional)

2 Tbs. chopped cranberries

2Tbs. pumpkin seeds

2 tsp. flax seeds

1 tsp. chia seeds

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

1/4 heaping tsp. ground cinnamon

pinch freshly grated nutmeg

1 1/2 tsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 tsp. + maple syrup (extra to brush over outside as desired)

lemon juice

Hollow out cavities in apples, being careful to remove very hard core areas.  Rub exposed apple flesh with lemon juice. Mix all remaining ingredients and divide evenly between apples.  The size of your apples could change the amount of filling needed.  If using apples immediately, preheat oven to 375.  Place apples in baking pan lined with tin foil.  Bake until knife blades slips through apple flesh with a bit of pressure, but still solid (you don’t want stuffed applesauce).  Remove from oven and serve immediately.  If making ahead wrap apples individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 or 4 days.

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Cumin and Cayenne Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Looking for ideas on how to use the pumpkins seeds left over from the Maple-Roasted Pumpkin and Crispy Bacon Risotto?  Try this.  Preheat oven to400.  Toss cleaned and dried pumpkin seeds (I soak mine in water overnight) with 1/2 tsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/4 cayenne, and salt to taste.  Roast on parchment lined pan for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until light, dry and crackly.  Toss on a salad or enjoy by the handful.

French potato salad from http://www.oneishungry.com

Salad days

Last Friday night we went to a friend’s house for a bbq with our small group from church and about eight Chinese students attending George Washington University.  It was great!  Despite the rain, despite the headache-cum-migraine I’ve been carrying around for weeks, despite everyone’s individual worries and concerns, those few hours were lovely.  I got to play with one of the cutest babies ever, catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while, and meet new people.  The students were divided up between accountants and hospitality services studies and the topics under discussion were diverse to say the least.  At one time I heard meningitis, George Washington, electric bikes, home-stay, and DSLR camera specs floating up from the different knots of people around the house.

Of course, being a bbq there was also food!  Our small group pitched in for pot luck; Jason and I took enormous bowls of potato salad, fragrant with herbs, and fruit salad with a twist.

 

French potato salad

French potato salad

(adapted from the Barefoot Contessa)

ingredients (serves 4-6). . .we tripled it!

2 pounds small red potatoes

4 Tbs. chicken stock

3 Tbs. champagne vinegar

3/4 tsp. dijon mustard

2 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

8-10 Tbs. good extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)

2 Tbs. minced fresh dill

2 Tbs. minced flat-leaf parsley

2 Tbs. chiffonade of fresh basil leaves

Boil potatoes in salted water until they are just cooked through.  Remove potatoes to bowl and cover with a towel to steam for 10 more minutes.  Halve or quarter potatoes and toss gently with chicken stock.  Allow liquid to be absorbed into potatoes before proceeding.

Combine vinegar, mustard, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and oil in mason jar and shake it! (or slowly whisk oil into other ingredients to emulsify.)  Add vinaigrette to potatoes and gently toss with herbs and remaining salt and pepper.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Fruit Salad a la Oyamel

Fruit Salad a la Oyamel

ingredients (serves 4-6)

2 grapefruits

2 pink or green apples (or pears)

1 mango

1 banana

1/2 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped

2 tsp cayenne powder

1-2 limes quartered

Segment grapefruit and break segments into medium chunks.  Cut apples (peel off or on) in large dice.  Peel mango and cut likewise.  Peel and cut banana in rounds.  Squeeze 1 lime quarter and gently toss together.

Decision time:  if everyone to whom you are feeding this salad likes a little spice, then toast your pecans in a dry pan over medium heat with the cayenne pepper.  If you are uncertain of you fellow diner’s pepper tolerance, just toast nuts plain, and provide limes dipped in cayenne for squeezing over individual portions.