Mmm, Mmm Good: My Favorite Gluten-Free Soup
Itís turning a wee bit chillier in the Northeast and my thoughts are starting to turn towards soup to keep me warm. Homemade gluten-free soup is easy to make and a great way to experiment with some of the gluten-free whole grains.
Amaranth is one of my favorite grains to use in soups. Actually, amaranth isnít really a grain but an herb harvested for its seeds.
Amaranth seed is tannish-brown in color and very small ó about the size of a poppy seed. It gives soups a nice thick mouth feel. From a nutritional standpoint, amaranth seed is a tasty way to increase the iron and fiber content of your soups.
Amaranth seed can be found in natural foods stores. It also can be mail ordered, including from Nu-World Amaranth (www.nuworldamaranth.com).
In the Fall and Winter I like to serve soup for dinner. The recipe below is one of my favorites. It is from my book The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide (McGraw-Hill, 2008).
Gluten-free rice chips go great with this soup. I am partial to Lundberg Family Farms brand.
Tomato Vegetable Soup with Amaranth Seed
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced into ľĒ crescents
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 19-ounce can dark red kidney beans
2 cups gluten-free chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup uncooked amaranth seed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Red pepper flakes, optional
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and saute 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the zucchini, peas, corn and kidney beans. Add the broth, water and tomatoes, stirring to combine. Mix in the amaranth seed. Add the garlic powder, oregano, pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Simmer over medium-low heat for approximately 1 hour.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Tricia Thompson, M.S., RD is a nutrition consultant, author and speaker specializing in celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. She is the author of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide (McGraw-Hill) and co-author of The Complete Idiotís Guide to Gluten-Free Eating (Penguin Group). For more information, visit www.glutenfreedietitian.com.
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For a copy of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide click here.
September 20, 2010
Beating Cancer With Fruits & Veggies!
Did you know that if you eat more fruits and vegetables, you are HALF as likely to develop cancer as those who eat the least amount of these foods?
There are irrefutable facts to support this statement. Itís not just pie in the sky dreaming; itís a true promise. Eat more fruits and vegetables, and increase the odds in your favor of living a cancer free life! Is that not incredible??
I know I am constantly beating the fruit and vegetable drum to yíall. I canít help it when I read as much as I do. The amazing thing to me is that bazillions of dollars are spent on researching chronic diseases and for all the pills and treatments out there, nothing is as effective as being preventative by doing a simple thing like eating more fruits and vegetables.
Wouldnít it be incredible if we were to actually take seriously what we KNOW to be true and actually EAT the amount of produce we should each and every day? How do you suppose we could affect change in those statistics?
Hereís some scary stuff to ponder:
*More than 125 million people have some sort of chronic illness.
*About half of chronically ill Americans are under the age of 45 and 15% of that number are CHILDREN with chronic conditions!
*It is estimated that 300,000 to 800,000 preventable deaths per year in the United States are nutrition related. Did you see that?? NUTRITION RELATED DEATH! That means the junk you eat can literally kill you!
Itís time for a revolution, people! Are you ready for it? Are you with me?
Count how many fruit and veggie servings youíre getting each day. If there is a direct correlation between good health and doing this ONE thing ó eating plenty of fruits and veggies each day ó why WOULDNíT we do this?
I am going to challenge each and everyone of you to do what you can to get more green, more yellow, more orange and more red in your meals, each and everyday. Eat by color. Green for beans, broccoli, spinach, kiwis and lettuces. Yellow for squash and bananas, orange for oranges and sweet potatoes and red for apples and peppers. Yes we can do this!
Letís NOT be statistics, letís buck this scary trend and begin to count the good stuff going in. Donít beat yourself up for the past, get busy and get shopping this week for the RIGHT stuff.
Iíll have more on how to get more fruits and veggies into your life, so stay TUNED!
For more about The Dinner Diva, Leanne Ely, please check out her www.SavingDinner.com website.
May 24, 2010
Holiday Weight Loss: The Garter Belt Hypothesis
By using the words "garter belt" in my title, I wanted to grab your attention. However, over the years, I developed a theory that if I wore a garter belt, silk nylons and heels I would feel sexier and eat less.
Eventually it just took up too much time, but on occasion it still works for me. In my opinion, pantyhose are terrifically uncomfortable anyway, so why not give it a try?
It doesn't have to be the garter-belt scenario, but find something that makes you feel like you do not want to overeat.
I believe it was Sophia Loren who said she never wears anything with an elastic waist, as it's too easy to eat too much and gradually gain weight until you put on your clothes that have waistbands and find that you can't zip them. I have found this to be a good tip.
Standing up really straight also helps me to eat less, silly as that may sound.
The holiday season is renowned for being the packing-on-the-pounds season; so between the garter belt and the following tips maybe this year you can maintain or even lose weight during the season:
Chocolates in boxes are everywhere...
Don't have them on your desk or in your house. Don't put them in your freezer as that will not slow you down; they can be eaten frozen and we all know it. Give them away or if you have great self-control, limit yourself to one a day at most for up to five days per season.
When you have your one chocolate, you need to eat it after you eat a salad and do savor it. Remember, food should not be a reward. Being healthy is its own reward. Also, deprivation rarely works long term, so a few chocolates are OK!
The Buf-fat Table
Walk around the buffet table at least once to size up the selections. Are there fresh veggies and fruit? Watch out for all the cheese platters, breads, crackers and high-calorie choices. Your plate should be at least half vegetables with a small dollop of dip -- dips are usually high fat (and it's the wrong kind of fat) and high in sodium. Don't forget to select a protein source whether that is a piece of chicken or fish or a bean dish.
Calories and Sugar in a Glass
That would be alcohol. Four ounces of champagne or wine is about 100 calories. Many people have wine goblets, not glasses and it's very easy to drink much more than four ounces. And this unthinking drinking easily contributes to holiday weight gain.
Drink plenty of water, sip wine only with meals and limit your consumption. Remember in the nutrition world "support your liver" is the mantra; your liver really doesn't like alcohol.
The Bottom Line: Eat more vegetables, limit your alcohol and desserts, up your water intake and, of course, continue regular exercise.
In good health,
Patty James. M.S. is a Vital Health Educator and Nutrition Coach who founded the first certified organic cooking school and nutrition center in America.
December 21, 2009