Tomato Soup and Lentil “Bread” (gluten free)

So last fall I was eating some lentils, and the thought popped into my head, I wonder if you can make bread with lentils?  So of course, I did what every good internet user does: I Googled it.  This brought me to Nora’s blog, Natural Noshing, where she had coincidentally posted a recipe the previous day about using lentils to make a flatbread.  So I tried it and actually made it numerous times throughout the semester.  I hadn’t made it in a while, but then my mom reminded me about it and I decided to try it again a few times.  The other night tomato soup sounded good, so I made the bread to go with it.

Nora’s recipe is obviously my inspiration for this adaption (even more coincidentally, she posted another lentil bread recipe today!), but here is my take on it.

Lentil Bread  (gluten free)

1 cup cup green lentils
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
1 cup water
1 egg
3 TB olive oil
1/2 TB paprika
2 TB dried minced onions
1/2 TB garlic powder
1/2 TB basil
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 375F. In a small food processor, grind up the lentils until they are like a coarse flour. I used a Vitamix with the dry foods blade/container. Pour into a bowl (or keep in the blender), and mix in the water, then the egg, oil, and spices. It should be a relatively thick mixture, although thinner at first; the lentils will absorb the liquids. Grease a 9×9 pan with your oil of choice, pour into the pan and smooth out the mixture, sprinkle spices on the top to garnish (optional). Bake for 24-30 minutes, or until the top is crispy and browned. Let cool and enjoy!

This recipe for tomato soup is from Eileen Gotschall’s book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle, which details the specific carbohydrate diet.  This is recommended for those who live with Crohn’s Disease, Diverticulitis, Celiac Disease, autism, Candida overgrowth and Cystic Fibrosis.  I’d recommend looking into it even if you’re just looking for ways to eat healthier, it’s very informative.

Cream of Tomato Soup

2 cups tomato sauce
1/2-1 cup homemade yogurt
honey to taste
1-2 tsp salt
1 TB basil

Blend together the tomato sauce, yogurt and honey (I used a Vitamix); then add the salt and basil. Pour into a pot and cook on medium high until hot and steaming. Serve into bowls and enjoy.

I hope you find these recipes helpful – let me know if they try them and how they turn out! :)

grain free lasagna

While I will be the first to admit that this blog is most likely going to feature food selections of the sweeter variety (if the past is any indication), I thought that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to feature some alternative meals as well.  This is a popular one that I intend to revisit soon, but I will post the recipe now, as best as I recall it.  Thankfully, it isn’t something that’s easy to mess up, so I guarantee it will taste good either way!

My roommate at the time gave me the idea for this, because she mentioned something about eggplant permesan.  I was craving lasagna at the time and decided to put the two together.  This recipe is for “regular” lasagna, but it could very easily be made as vegetarian or any other variety depending on what you add to it.

1 lb. ground beef
1 TB garlic powder
1 small onion, minced
25 oz. spaghetti sauce (I made my own but you can easily use a pre-made variety.)

1 large eggplant
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
basil to garnish
Any other vegetables, such as spinach, mushrooms, etc.

Preheat oven to 375.

Start by caramelizing the onions in a medium skillet on medium high heat, adding the beef and garlic shortly afterwards.  When fully cooked, drain the fat, then add the spaghetti sauce.  Simmer on low heat for about 10 more minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Peel the eggplant (I just used a knife, but you could use a vegetable peeler).  Then, cut in thin slices about 3 inches in width and 1/8″ or less thick, depending on the size of the eggplant.  These are the “noodles”; add them to the boiling water for about 5-7 minutes, until they are softer and more easily cut (might want to test it out).

Spread some spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9×13″ pan, to prevent the eggplant from sticking to the bottom.  Arrange the “noodles” in one layer covering the bottom of the pan.  Add a nice layer of ricotta cheese, followed by another layer of eggplant.  Top this with a layer of the meat/sauce mix, and continue until all of the ingredients are used up (it could and will be a bit uneven, but that’s ok).  Here’s where you can add in any other vegetables you may want to use, layering them in with the rest.  Finish the layers with the parmesan and mozzerella cheeses, and garnish with basil to taste.  Bake for about 30-45 minutes, until bubbling.  I turned on the broiler for another couple minutes to add a crispy top, but that’s optional.

Makes one 9×13 inch pan of lasagna.

Enjoy!  Let me know if you change it up or add in anything else, it is really is very customizable and the eggplant is only recognizable upon close examination, trust me.

What other “unusual” uses have you found for vegetables?  I love hiding them in recipes where no one expects them to be!

Edit: I have heard that the lasagna has the potential to turn out a bit watery…this wasn’t the case when I made it but I have a feeling it could be from the eggplant.  After cooking it, try putting it in the warming oven for 5 minutes to dry it out, or roast it instead of boiling it.  If either of these works for you, let me know so that I can let the rest of you know!  Thanks. :)

tuesday

So today is Tuesday, and I have been cooking wheat free, gluten free, dairy free, yeast free, sugar free and (mainly) egg free meals for my family for about two weeks. At first, this was nearly impossible and I was tempted to just gnaw on a hunk of vegetables for each meal. But that wouldn’t do…I wanted real food. I wanted real meals. And I wanted them to taste GOOD. These restrictions really seemed to limit that, however. Thankfully, I have been used to eating “weird” food for most of my life, seeing as my brothers used to be allergic to gluten and dairy, so my mom would cook different things than most moms. They managed to rid themselves of those allergies a couple years down the road (or did they…) so lately my mom has been into general health food (keifers, soaking flours, alternative foods, etc.). However, the past month, my mom has become convinced that we are all suffering from an overgrowth of the yeast Candida, which is normally found in all humans, but exorbitant amounts of it can cause problems like allergies, brain fog, nausea, bloating, tiredness, psoriasis, and pretty much every other ailment under the sun. So, in an effort to cleanse ourselves of this, we are now following a very strict and rigid diet, which bans pretty much every food item found in common “normal” dishes. This is where the art of the challenge comes in: I am given the duty of creating dishes that please everyone (including unrealisticly high standards of my 19 year old brother) and still do what food was always and originally intended to do: nourish our bodies.

I decided to start this blog mainly to remember what I made each day (or at least the interesting things) and maybe help other people out in the process. Although – I am greatly at the mercy of the many many other blogs and research I found out here, I am merely a receiver of their tireless recipe-making efforts! So, I really claim no recipe as my own, although I do generally make many alternations.

So, today I made Strawberry Coconut Muffins – this is a HUGE landmark because my past three batches of muffins (one of which was this recipe, but with all applesauce instead of eggs – crazy, I know) failed in some aspect or another. Finally – what I had in my head actually materialized on the plate! Amazing. I only used 2 real eggs, because I didn’t feel like using up 6, and used 3 flax “eggs” (1 TB ground flax seeds to 3 TB water, per “egg”), and one cup of mashed left over spaghetti squash. And I also eliminated the sugar and added more coconut oil and some water. They were delicious!


And for dinner, I made Chicken Alfredo with homemade buckwheat noodles. I made a few alterations because we only had half a zucchini, so I put broccoli in with the noodles, and used the stalks from the broccoli in the sauce. It was soooo good…my parents had no idea! And thankfully I was pretty good with the cashews – I’ve been having some problems with them sometimes (brain fog and some tiredness). So all in all, a good day! I also made brown rice waffles for breakfast, but I didn’t get a picture of them. Maybe tomorrow, since there were leftovers. :)