Tag Archives: basil

Brag Blog

This post is purely a bragging post.  This year was the first year I tried to start my own garden.  I tried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, basil, rosemary, lemon thyme, parsley, zucchini, and squash.  I picked my first large tomato the other day, plucked a few basil leaves, and had a great dinner salad!  Perfect for summer.  I’m so proud of myself.  Just a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt, and summer is in full swing!

tomato basil

I’m off for a little summer vacation and will be off the grid for a few weeks.  Can’t wait to come back with new food ideas and inspiration!

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Roasted Tomato Soup

Hello again!  I haven’t posted in a while, but am back, ready for summer, and still in the kitchen!

My mom recently made this Roasted Tomato Soup recipe for me when I was under the weather, and it is delicious.  It comes from Tyler Florence, and is made from actual tomatoes.  Definitely one of my favorites.  All my mom did differently was make it gluten and dairy free!

Roasted Tomato Soup based on a recipe by Tyler Florence

Pieces:

  1. 2.5 pounds fresh tomatoes (a variety- heirloom, roma, grape)
  2. 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  3. 2 small yellow onions, sliced
  4. one half cup olive oil
  5. 1 quart chicken stock (gluten free)
  6. 2 bay leaves
  7. 4 tbsp. (vegan) butter
  8. three quarters of a cup coconut creamer
  9. one half cup freshly chopped basil leaves
  10. salt and pepper to season

Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Wash, core, and cut tomatoes into halves.
  3. Put the cut tomatoes, garlic, and onions on a baking tray.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove the tomatoes, garlic, and onions from the oven and put into a large stock pot.
  7. Add the chicken stock, bay leaves, and butter.
  8. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.
  10. Return soup to low heat and add the coconut creamer.
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Serve hot and garnish with fresh basil.

tomato soup

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

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Sundried Tomato Cashew Pesto

In the summer, I love fresh basil pesto over pasta.  In the winter, basil is not as readily available… so I made this wintertime pesto using a sundried tomato base instead.  I added a few different flavors by using cashews and topping it with lemon zest and goat cheese… delicious!  Hope you enjoy this winter time treat.

Sundried Tomato and Cashew Pesto

Pieces:

  1. 8 ounces sundried tomatoes, drained
  2. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  3. one third cup cashews
  4. one third cup basil
  5. one half cup coconut milk
  6. 1 tsp. garlic
  7. one half cup pasta water
  8. pepper to taste
  9. 1 tsp. lemon zest
  10. 4 tbsp. goat cheese
  11. 1 tsp. chopped basil to top with when plated
  12. handful walnuts

 

Process:

  1. Cook your favorite gluten free pasta until done, reserving one half cup of the pasta water before draining.
  2. In a food processor or mini chop, add the drained sundried tomatoes, olive oil, cashews, one third cup basil, coconut milk, garlic, pepper, and pasta water.
  3. Chop on high until well combined.
  4. To plate, serve the pasta in a bowl.  Top with 2-3 generous scoops of the pesto, goat cheese, walnuts, chopped basil, and lemon zest.  Put on as much or as little as you like!
  5. Enjoy!

cashew pesto

 

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

 

 

 

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Recipe Roll Over

In an attempt to continue to eat healthy despite the busy schedule of fall, I spent a lot of time in the produce section of the grocery store this week.  I bought a large eggplant.  I wasn’t exactly sure why, but I thought it would come in handy.  When I got home, I realized that I had some corn pasta and canned tomatoes in the cupboard, as well as some fresh basil in the front yard.  So, I made a mish mosh of recipes!

I cooked the corn pasta, made a quick tomato sauce, and sliced the eggplant to make crispy eggplant (oh, how I love this recipe!).  I served the pasta and sauce over the crispy eggplant for a perfect week night meal!

To make a quick tomato sauce… in a deep roasting pan, I put:

  • 1 large can san marzano crushed tomatoes
  • one half of a shallot, diced
  • generous seasoning of salt and pepper
  • 6-7 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • one half cup coconut creamer (optional)

I then put the roasting pan in the oven at 375 for about 20 minutes until heated through.  This recipe is similar to Mama’s Meat Sauce, and almost as tasty!  You could certainly use Mama’s Meat Sauce over the corn pasta and eggplant for a heartier meal.

Serve the corn pasta, crispy eggplant, and homemade sauce for a great recipe roll over meal.

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

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Pineapple Coconut Basil Chicken

Whenever I try to think of dishes to cook that can accommodate a gluten free lifestyle, I always laugh at the idea that American food is actually the worst for a gluten free diet.  Traditionally, American fare can be processed and/or fried and thus has a lot of gluten.  So, I often turn to ethnic flavors for a friendly meal.  Here, I took some Thai flavors for a chicken dish over rice, and it turned out great!

Pineapple Coconut Basil Chicken

Pieces:

  1. 2 chicken breasts
  2. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  3. salt and pepper to season
  4. 2 tsp. red chili powder
  5. 2 tsp. ground ginger
  6. 1 zucchini, cut into rounds
  7. 1 yellow squash, cut into rounds
  8. one half can lite coconut milk
  9. 7-8 fresh basil leaves
  10. one can pineapple rings or chunks
  11. cooked rice for serving

Process:

  1. In a large saute pan over medium high heat, pour the olive oil and let the pan and oil get hot for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken, and season both sides of the chicken with the salt and pepper, red chili powder, and ground ginger.  Let each side of the chicken sit in the pan and sear for about 3 minutes each side.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium.  Add the zucchini, yellow squash, coconut milk, and basil leaves.  Cover and let simmer until the chicken is just about cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  4. When the chicken is almost done, add the pineapple rings or chunks.  Cook uncovered until the chicken is fully cooked.
  5. Serve hot over rice, being sure the plate the chicken, zucchini, squash, pineapple, and sauce.

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

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Not Your Average Tomato Basil Salad

Summer practically begs for fresh tomato and basil salads.  It is such a fresh combination, and summer is the perfect time for home grown basil.  Here is a tomato basil salad that will add some spice to any summer night… it certainly isn’t what you are expecting.  And one of my new favorites.

Not Your Average Tomato Basil Salad

Pieces:

  1. 2 tomatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces
  2. 1 mango, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
  3. one cup freshly chopped basil
  4. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  5. 1 tsp. curry powder
  6. 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  7. salt and pepper to taste

Process:

  1. Chop the tomatoes, mango, and basil.
  2. Toss in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle curry powder, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.
  4. Serve cold.

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Lemon Basil Chicken

Have you entered the Slim Kicker Giveaway yet?  You could win a free slow cooker.  It is 6 quarts, stainless steel, and FREE!  Just go to Tuesday’s post, share your idea for a healthy tip, and SlimKicker will pick the winner.  I will notify the winner next Tuesday.  Good luck, and can’t wait to hear your ideas.

On another note… living in a house means I can grow my own fresh herbs.  Right now, I have dill, basil, and parsley.  I have been trying to cook with these fresh ingredients (and be thankful that I don’t have to spend extra money at the grocery store).  So, I made a very mild chicken dish… Lemon Basil Chicken.  It is slightly sweetened with brown sugar, and is a quick and easy summer dish.

Lemon Basil Chicken

Pieces:

  1. 2 chicken breasts
  2. 1 lemon
  3. about 6 basil leaves
  4. 3 tsp. brown sugar
  5. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  6. salt and pepper to taste

Process:

  1. Thinly slice 4 lemon slices.
  2. In a saute pan with the olive oil and 1 tsp. brown sugar, saute the lemon slices for about 2 minutes each side.  This will sweeten them.
  3. Cut each chicken breast in half, like a pita pocket, making sure not to slice all the way through.
  4. Stuff the each chicken breast with 3 basil leaves and 2 sweetened lemon slices.
  5. Squeeze the rest of the lemon juice over the chicken, sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar, and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, until chicken is done.
  7. Enjoy hot!

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

 

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Sunday Breakfast

I usually eat half of an avocado and some gluten free granola with soy milk for breakfast.  But I like to get a little more creative and involved on the weekends.  I also try to eat one egg on the weekends, in hopes that my body will be “less” allergic to them in the future.  I can handle one egg, but am scared to try more.  So, with my one egg indulgence, I made a sausage and egg scramble that was scrumptious on this lazy Sunday morning!

Basil and Apple Sausage Scramble

Pieces:

  1. one quarter cup onion, chopped
  2. one tsp. vegan butter
  3. salt and pepper, to taste
  4. one chicken apple sausage (cooked), cut into small pieces
  5. one egg
  6. one half tsp. smoked paprika
  7. 2 tbsp. goat cheese
  8. 1 basil leaf, chopped

Process:

  1. In a saute pan, add the onion, butter, and salt and pepper over medium heat.  Saute until onion is soft.
  2. Add the sausage and saute just another minute or two, until the sausage is browned.
  3. Add the egg, and stir to get the egg scrambled and cooked.  Reduce heat to low.
  4. Sprinkle with smoked paprika.
  5. When cooked through, pour into serving bowl.
  6. Add the goat cheese and chopped basil.
  7. Give it a stir and serve hot.

Happy Allergy Free Breakfasting!

 

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Spring Rolls

Inspired by gluten free rice products found in Asian cuisine, I took on the challenge of making Spring Rolls in rice wrappers.  I made them with veggies, although putting grilled chicken in them would be just as good.  I think I got the basic wrap down, but it will definitely take more practice to master.  Those rice wrappers are tough!  Overall, the flavor was really delicious… I think it was a combination of all the ingredients an totally worth it!  I will definitely make these again.

Spring Rolls

Pieces:

  1. rice wrappers (I found them at a local Asian market)
  2. one yellow pepper, chopped into long thin strips
  3. one orange pepper, chopped into long thin strips
  4. one cucumber, peeled and chopped into long thin strips
  5. one cup frozen corn, defrosted
  6. one cup frozen edamame beans, defrosted
  7. half of an avocado, cut into pieces
  8. half of a cup of gluten free soy sauce
  9. juice of one orange
  10. juice of one lemon
  11. juice of one lime
  12. 1 tbsp. ginger
  13. 1 tsp. cumin
  14. 2 tbsp. chopped basil
  15. 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  16. 2 tbsp. chopped parsley

Process:

  1. Chop the peppers, cucumber, avocado, and defrost the corn and edamame.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, ginger, and cumin.
  3. Chop the basil, cilantro, and parsley and set aside.
  4. Fill a large saute pan with warm water.
  5. Dip each rice wrapper in the water for 13 seconds (the magic number!) and place on a plate.  Pat dry with a paper towel.
  6. At the bottom edge of the wrapper, place the peppers, cucumber, avocado, corn, and edamame.  Sprinkle with chopped herbs.  Drizzle one teaspoon of sauce over the mixture.
  7. Fold in the sides of the wrapper, then wrap up like a burrito.
  8. Eat as is, or dip in more sauce.  Enjoy!

 

 

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

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Spring has sprung… time for pesto!

Happy spring to all those enjoying these wonderfully warm days!  In my mind, winter is officially over… but I will only bring out the flip flops one day at a time until we all really believe it.

In the summertime, I enjoy making pesto with fresh basil.  Basil is available this time of year, but it is not as good as it is in the summer… so I made Spring Pesto.  Spring Pesto uses a basil base, but other in season ingredients to boost its flavor.  It is very rich and easy to make.

Spring Pesto

Pieces:

  1. 1 cup basil leaves
  2. one quarter cup chopped walnuts
  3. one half of an avocado
  4. 1 cup spinach leaves
  5. 3 tbsp. olive oil
  6. one quarter cup non dairy creamer
  7. one half tsp. garlic salt
  8. 1 tsp. lemon pepper

Process:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Chop on high until well blended.

Normally, pesto is served on pasta.  Instead, I stuffed chicken breasts with red peppers and smothered them with the pesto.  Then I baked them at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes, until done.  Delicious!

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

 

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