Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Curried Butternut Squash Soup for a Cold and Cloudy Day

In Orlando, we have been having quite a few cloudy days.  It is even a bit cold today!  I just checked the temperature and it is 61 degrees at 10:00 a.m. So what better day than today to share my Butternut Squash Soup recipe I received from my longtime friend, Kevin Fuller.  It is perfect for a yeast-free healthy diet, plus it is tasty!  I had been wanting to try butternut squash in a soup recipe for a long time.  Recently I baked some butternut squash for a side dish and it was delicious.

Here is the recipe:

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 thin slice fresh ginger, peeled & grated
10 cups cubed butternut squash (about 3 1/2 lbs.)
1 t sea salt
2 t yellow curry powder
6 cups low sodium organic vegetable broth
1 cup coconut milk

1.  Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.
2.  Add onion, garlic & ginger; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 - 5 minutes, or until soft & fragrant.
3.  Add squash, salt & curry powder; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.
4.  Add broth; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 - 15 minutes, or until squash is soft.
5.  Place soup in blender or food processor, in small batches; cover with lid & kitchen towel.     Blend until smooth.
6.  Place blended soup back in saucepan.  Add coconut milk.  Cook over medium heat, for 2 - 3   minutes or until heated through.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can use 4 packages of frozen butternut squash instead of fresh squash, if you would like.  It saves on preparation time.  Also, you can substitute light coconut milk instead of regular coconut milk to save calories.  When I made the soup, I cut the recipe in half, using 2 packages of frozen butternut squash.  I did use regular coconut milk.  I also used 1 t of ground ginger (since I cut the recipe in half), not fresh ginger.  The soup turned out to be spectacular!

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Delicious from any angle!

I hope you try this soup! Here's to a Happy New Year!



Friday, November 29, 2013

Yeast-Free Pumpkin Banana Bread

I hope that everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!  I wanted to post this recipe before the holiday, but I didn't make my deadline!  Hopefully, you have some leftover pumpkin puree you can use to make this delicious pumpkin banana bread.

I adapted this recipe from a recipe I found on sugarfreemom.com.  Brenda, the author, has many gluten-free and sugar-free recipes on her site that you may want to try.  One reason I wanted to try this recipe was that it called for vanilla liquid stevia.  I have been given some NuNatural samples (liquid stevia) to experiment with in recipes.  This is the perfect time of year to begin cooking and developing recipes with the flavored NuNaturals.

Once I experiment a bit more with NuNaturals, I will have my first GIVEAWAY event on my blog.  I will award to (4) four readers (1) one bottle of each of the Lemon/Orange/Peppermint Flavored Stevia Liquids, PLUS the NEW CHOCOLATE STEVIA LIQUID.  So, keep reading the blog to see when the GIVEAWAY will be announced.

NuNaturals Pure Liquid Vanilla Stevia (Alcohol Free)


Yeast-Free Pumpkin Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon NuNaturals Pure Liquid Vanilla Stevia
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
Baking Instructions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix eggs, vanilla, almond milk, applesauce, and NuNaturals Pure Liquid Vanilla Stevia with a hand or stand mixer.
3.  Add bananas.
4.  In a separate bowl stir together flour, flaxseed, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, xanthum gum and pumpkin pie spice.
5.  Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients a little at a time until mixed together.
6.  Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and pour batter into the pan.
7.  Bake 60-70 minutes until a toothpick in center of loaf comes out clean.  
(My loaf baked for 60 minutes.)
8.  Let cool 30-60 minutes before removing from loaf pan.

Yeast-Free Pumpkin Banana Bread (before baking)

Yeast-Free Pumpkin Banana Bread Warm Out-of-the-Oven


So Yummy and Ready to Eat!

This yeast-free pumpkin banana bread is delicious! You can eat it plain or add a vegan, dairy free cream cheese alternative to it, such as Go Veggie! brand.


Go Veggie! Vegan Dairy Free Classic Plain Cream Cheese Alternative

It has healthy ingredients and no added sugar.  I am so excited to share this recipe with you.  I hope you continue to enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend!  Abbey sure is...

It's a Dog's Life!!



Sunday, October 27, 2013

Avocado Chicken Salad (No Mayo)

I was intrigued by this recipe for Avocado Chicken Salad I saw come across my Facebook News Feed.  It was from Humana Vitality, who obtained the recipe from thelemonbowl.com  The reason I liked the recipe is that it did not require mayonaise.  Although I have been using Vegenaise, both Original and Grapeseed Oil, this receipe used a combination of avocado, plain yogurt, and lime juice as the creamy base for the salad.

The recipe is easy and if you buy precut red onion, celery, and a rotisserie chicken, it is even easier!  That's what I did!  Here is the recipe.  I modified it a bit:


  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup plain fat free yogurt (I used Stonyfield Organic.)
  • lime juice to taste
  • 12 oz. or so of chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro - minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
1.  Mash together the avocado, plain yogurt and lime juice.
2.  Add the chicken, celery, red onion and cilantro.
3.  Add salt and pepper.

The dressing has a great, creamy taste and the entire recipe follows a yeast-free diet.  I don't know about you, but I get extremely happy when I find a mayonaise substitute.  I think the dressing could easily be used as a dip, too.  

I hope you try this recipe and like it as much as I do!

Avocado Chicken Salad



Monday, September 2, 2013

More Yeast-Free Snacks for Loving Life and Living Yeast-Free

I'm so happy today to be writing a new post.  Between foot surgery and going back to teach a few weeks ago, I have been lax with posting.  Now that I'm on more of a schedule, I will be posting more often.  I have a lot of new ideas for my upcoming posts.  One will include a contest!!

Also, I was so happy to be going back to work this year 38 pounds lighter!  I feel such a sense of accomplishment.  I truly owe this to living yeast-free and the Weight Watchers program.  I had to buy a new wardrobe before I went back to work!  That felt awesome!  I am well on my way to meeting my goal.

One of my most popular posts has been the one on yeast-free snacks.  I think anyone who is following the Candida diet is looking for snack items that are tasty as well as healthy.  I know that is what I am always hunting for in the grocery store or in a blog.

Last week I went to Publix, my local grocery store, and found two new items that were also on sale!  They are Late July Organic Summertime Blues Multigrain Snack Chips and Lake July Organic "How Sweet Potato It Is" Multigrain Snack Chips.  They taste fantastic!  Both are Certified Gluten-Free, peanut free, and tree nut free. They are also vegan and non-GMO.

Late July Summertime Blues and Sweet Potato Multigrain Snack Chips
The Summertime Blues Multigrain Snack Chips contain organic ground whole blue corn, organic expeller pressed sunflower oil and/or organic expeller pressed safflower oil, organic brown rice, organic chia seeds, organic grain & seed blend (organic flax, organic millet, organic brown rice, organic quinoa, organic amaranth), evaporated cane juice, and sea salt.  The nutrition facts state that they contain 0g of sugar per serving.

Summertime Blues Ingredients
Summertime Blues Nutrition Facts

The Lake July Organic "How Sweet Potato It Is" Multigrain Snack Chips contain organic ground whole white corn, organic ground whole yellow corn, organic expeller pressed sunflower oil and/or organic expeller pressed safflower oil, organic sweet potato, organic brown rice, organic evaporated cane juice, organic chia seeds, and sea salt.  The nutrition facts state that they contain 1 gram of sugar per serving.

"How Sweet Potato It Is" Multrigrain Snack Chip Ingredients


"How Sweet Potato It Is" Multigrain Snack Chip Nutrition Facts


I also found a new brand of hummus that contains no preservatives.  It is Organic Pita Pal Hummus.  It is Certified USDA Organic as well as gluten free.  The ingredients are:  organic chickpeas (garbanzos), organic sesame tahini, organic lemon juice, organic spices, organic sea salt, organic olive oil, and a lot of love.  It really does say "and a lot of love" on the list of ingredients!  It is fantastic!

Organic Pita Pal Hummus

I hope you enjoy these new snack finds.  Let me know what you think of them!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Yeast-Free Pizza

I went to my favorite vegan bakery, Raphsodic Cooperative Company (710 N. Mills Ave., Orlando, FL), on Wednesday to pick up scones (caramel and blueberry).  So yummy!! I also bought some yeast-free pizza crust and biscuit mix.  I can hardly wait to try the biscuit mix.

Biscuit Mix


Ingredients

Nutrition Facts


Here is the pizza I made with Raphsodic Bakery pizza crust mix.  It is a vegan pizza.  I used Daiya Mozzarella cheese, Amy's Organic Family Marinara Pasta Sauce, organic spinach, onions, and black olives. I baked it according to the directions on the pizza crust mix box.  It was delicious!!  And, there is enough mix for two pizzas!!! (Check back to my earlier post on Raphsodic Bakery for nutritional information on the pizza crust mix.)

Vegan Pizza!

Yeast-Free, too!!



Sunday, July 7, 2013

Yummy & Healthy Cookies on a Yeast-Free Diet

Hope everyone has had a super Fourth of July Weekend!  As it winds down, Abbey is still wearing her stars and stripes hat!



Also, my crepe myrtles are blooming in the front and back yard.  They are so beautiful!



Just so you know, I am still doing very well on the combination of the Weight Watchers program and yeast-free living.  My total weight loss at this time is 34.7 pounds!  I am getting closer to my goal.  I can hardly wait until my toes heal and I can get into the pool at the gym and swim.  

This week I adapted a recipe I found at www.theskinnyfork.com.  I adapted it from "Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies" to Almond Butter Oatmeal Cookies.  They contain no oil, no flour, no eggs, and no added sugar!  

Here are the ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 Cup Almond Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • Dash of Ground Cloves
  • Dash of Nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1/4 Cup of Organic 42% Cacao Chips (optional, if not on a yeast-free diet)
Mash the bananas.  Add the almond butter and stir until mixed.  Add the applesauce and stir until mixed.  Next add all of the spices.  Add the oats, and then the optional cacao chips.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

If you are interested in the cacao chips I bought, they are from Sunspire. www.sunspire.com

They do contain organic evaporated cane juice, organic unsweetened chocolate, and organic cocoa butter.  They also contain traces of milk.  So, as I stated, use with caution or leave them out.

I had the cookies as a snack today with a glass of unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  Milk and cookies!  This is about as good as it gets! Hope everyone has a wonderful week!  









Friday, June 21, 2013

Avocado Pasta on a Yeast-Free Diet

One of the girls I work with shared this recipe for Creamy Avocado Pasta with me.  (Thanks Nicole!!)  It on the Greatist website.  www.greatist.com  This site is an excellent source for health, fitness, and inspirational tips.  Many of the recipes are paleo and vegan which can be adapted to the yeast-free diet.  
I love this recipe.  I have already made it twice. It is absolutely delicious, especially if you use fresh garlic, lemon and basil.  I'm convinced that is the key to the tastiness of the sauce.  Here is the recipe:
  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced and lemon zest to garnish 
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (I used 4 because I like garlic!)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1.  I made this with Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta Garden Pagodas.  I cooked it according to the    package.  I think this sauce would go well over brown rice pasta, too. 

2.  While the pasta is cooking, place the garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil into a blender or food processor.  Process until everything is a smooth consistency.
3. Next add the avocado, basil, and salt.  I cut the avocado and tore the basil into manageable pieces to help along the processing.
4.  Drain the pasta.  Pour on the sauce and toss until the pasta is fully covered.  Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper.
This recipe makes enough for two servings.  If you have any leftover sauce, you can eat it as a dip with brown rice crisps for a snack.  
Here is the final product!  
Avocado Pasta
A great meal for a lazy summer afternoon or evening.  Just ask Abbey!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Quinoa and Living Yeast-Free

Quinoa is being called the new superfood.  It is definitely a food that you can eat on a yeast-free diet.  Used by the Incas, quinoa is grain-like, but is actually a seed.  Its protein content is high and it is a source of dietary fiber, magnesium and iron. It also is a great source of calcium and it is gluten-free.  What more can one ask for?


You can find organic quinoa at your neighborhood grocery, at most health food stores, and in large quantities at Costco.

Quinoa is simple to cook.  One thing is very important.  Rinse the quinoa before you begin.  Then combine 2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa.  Bring it to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  It will be done in about 15 minutes.  Be sure to drain the quinoa.

I have found quinoa to be versatile in cooking.  It can be put into many dishes to add protein and fiber.  Here are a few ways I have used quinoa recently.



Quinoa topped with onions and spinach (sauteed in olive oil) and rotisserie chicken; finish with sea salt and ground pepper



Quinoa added to a salad of organic greens, tomatoes, avocado and rotisserie chicken; dress with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, sea salt and ground pepper


My latest quinoa "find" at the grocery store is quinoa pasta.  I tried it for the first time this weekend and I love it!  I bought Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta Garden Pagodas.  It is gluten free.  Below is the package, ingredients, and nutritional information.






I first made the pasta according to directions and put Amy's Organic Pasta Sauce (Family Marinara) on top.  It was delicious!  With the leftover pasta, I made the pasta salad featured below.  I cut up black olives and tomatoes.  Then I tossed them with the pasta, Veganaise (grapeseed oil style), and rotisserie chicken.  I placed all of that on top of organic greens.  I added a bit of sea salt and ground pepper to taste.  Voila! A great lunch!!  Healthy and yeast-free!




And now for an Abbey moment...  Oh well, I guess I won't disturb her.  She is fast asleep in her new bed!






Monday, May 27, 2013

Raphsodic Cooperative Company Bakery and Store & Living Yeast-Free

Happy Memorial Day, Everyone! Thinking of those who are serving or have served in the military today!

Abbey is all decked out in her red, white and blue!


Things that I've really missed when on a yeast-free diet include pizza, scones, biscuits, and cookies.      I did a Google search one day of vegan bakeries in Orlando, Florida and found Raphsodic Cooperative Company Bakery and Store.  http://www.raphsodic.com/index2.php#/home/  To my surprise, I have been driving past the bakery for years!  It is near the corner of Highway 50 (Colonial Drive) and Mills Avenue.  Specifically, the bakery is at 710 N. Mills Avenue.  You can park in front of the bakery (on Mills) or in the back.  It is very quaint inside and the employees are extremely friendly and helpful.  All products are homemade.



In addition to being vegan (no animal products used), they have many gluten-free options, which are great for those of us on a yeast-free diet.  All of their cupcakes, scones, cookies, etc. are yeast-free.  They are very happy to assist you if you have any type of allergy.  The gluten-free options are sweetened with raw blue agave nectar instead of sugar.  I just buy the scones or the cupcakes sweetened with the raw blue agave nectar, since they have the smallest amount of sweetener of all of the products.  I have them as an occasional treat because I don't like to cheat too much!  Every time I visit, they have different flavors of scones available.  I've had baked apple, chai, ginger, and the Mexilatte (which has chocolate chips--a big cheat day for me). They also have mango and orange scones.  They are all delicious!



Mexilatte Scone

Baked Apple Scone



You can also purchase organic tea and fair-trade coffee to go along with your bakery goods.  Local art is featured on the walls.  


What I was really excited about is that they sell yeast-free pizza dough, scone, biscuit, and cookie mix.  I bought the pizza dough, but haven't used it yet.  That will be for another blog.



  



In the meantime, visit the Raphsodic Cooperative Company Bakery if you are in the Central Florida area.  They are open until 3:00 p.m. today, Memorial Day.  They have a Facebook page and you can follow them on Twitter and Tumblr.  Hours are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m - 8 p.m.  Their phone number is 407-704-8615. If you are not in Orlando, find a vegan/gluten-free bakery in your area and ask them about their yeast-free options.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spaghetti Squash and Yeast-Free Living

Well, I've been a bit late in posting this week. I had surgery on a couple of toes to straighten them so I can fit into some dancing shoes in the near future! I've found that crutches are not fun, but are much more manageable after a 30-pound weight loss due to Weight Watchers and a yeast-free diet.

A few weeks ago my sister, Glenna, talked to me about spaghetti squash as an alternative to pasta. I tried it out and I really liked it. Last night she came over and made me dinner. I liked her way of making the spaghetti squash better than my way.

She took a spaghetti squash and cut it in half. She put the seed side down on a baking dish that was sprayed with either butter or olive oil cooking spray. She baked it for 40 minutes at 375. When it was finished, she scooped out the seeds, and then took the flesh out of the squash with a fork. It turns into spaghetti-like strands. To that she added cooked mushrooms (which I couldn't have), onion, and fresh broccoli. Then she topped it with Amy's Family Marinara Pasta Sauce. http://www.amys.com/products/product-detail/pasta-sauces/000712 She also sprinkled some Daiya Mozzarella Cheese on top. This was a delicious and very filling dinner. The whole meal was 3 Weight Watchers points on the Points Plus Plan!

I'll have to have her cook for me more often!!





Sunday, April 28, 2013

Yeast-Free Snacks

One of my favorite yeast-free snacks is hummus. I usually buy Sabra brand. I can purchase it at my neighborhood Publix. Costco carries it, too.  Two tbsp. of hummus is 2 Weight Watchers points on the Points Plus plan.




Since I haven't been able to find a yeast-free pita bread, I eat the hummus with Riceworks Gourmet Brown Rice Crisps, Sea Salt flavor.  I have mentioned these crisps in prior posts.  I just love them!  A serving of 10 crisps is 4 Weight Watchers points on the Points Plus plan.  The crisps are gluten and wheat free, too.  


I also have hummus with Mediterranean Snacks' Baked Lentil Chips (sea salt flavor).  They are gluten free and yeast free.  A serving of 22 chips is 3 Weight Watchers points on the Points Plus plan.  They are very tasty, too!  In the Central Florida area, you can find them at Publix and Chamberlin's.  There is a coupon for a dollar off your purchase on their website.  http://www.mediterraneansnackfoods.com/ They can also be purchased online at Amazon.



Here's to enjoying hummus with alternatives to pita bread!