Salsa soup (gf)

mexican soup 2

I love winter! The cold weather inspires you create warm,hearty courses,such as slow roasted dishes, hot chocolate, complexed desserts and soups.

A great thing about soups,is that you can make any kind of soup,if you know how to marry different flavors and the combinations are plenty!

Every time,I started on a new soup recipe,my husband is always hesitant at the beginning,but he ends up eating two or three bowls of soup every time! How much I love when I prove him wrong!

Last time,I made a last minute soup. A Tostitos salsa jar was starring at me  and I knew that I had to do something with it. Something creative without too much effort. That’s possibly one of the quickest and easiest soups.

A kick of spiciness,the beans and the refreshing and soothing dollop of sour cream along with the cheese,it will tickle your taste buds!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar  medium restaurant style salsa (I used Tostitos)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (substitute with vegetable broth for vegetarian version)
  • 1/2 cup black beans,boiled,drained and rinsed (you can always used can instead
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 sprigs of time
  • 1 bay leaf

For the toppings:

  • cheddar cheese
  • sour cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash and peel carrots. Cut them in 1/4 inch cubes.
  2. Add a tablespoon of olive oil,in a medium pot,on medium high heat. Add the carrots for two-three minutes.
  3. Add the salsa,chicken broth,thyme,bay leaf and beans.
  4. Let it boil for five minutes,and reduce heat at low. Let it simmer for half an hour. That allows flavors to blend.
  5. Add salt and pepper and your soup is done!
  6. Top it with  a spoon of sour cream or Mexican crema and cheddar cheese

mexican soup

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Sausage and white beans cassoulet style(gluten free)

As a kid I’ve never had much appreciation about beans,I’ve always underestimated them. Well,now I know I was wrong. They is so much fiber and iron hidden in there! But sausages are different.. Mild,spiced or zesty,in Greece there is an abundant of sausages,all from different place or Greece.

Luckily, things have changed  20 years later and mothers are more open minded as far as the food. They are willing to learn new recipes,find different ways to incorporate the food their kids hate.

As a grownup I love the  bean-sausage marriage. But not smothered in sauce! Simple and sophisticated. Just like French do. How much I love french cuisine! Their desserts,their wine,their cheese… There is nothing to hate about it!

After a long time,I remembered Cassoulet,a beautiful casserole kind of dish,slowly cooked with beans and sausage or chicken or both and topped with crunchy breadcrumbs. So fragrant,with the flavors married so perfectly together! If you are in a hurry,like me,you would love this version of Cassoulet!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes
  • 4-6 mild Italian sausages
  • 4 large garlic cloves,smashed
  • 1 onion,cut into wedges
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder(optional)
  • few sprigs of thyme
  • 3 cups cooked white navy beans or kidney beans OR 1 19 oz can of white beans,rinsed and drain well
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 *F.
    Scatter tomatoes over bottom of dish (reserve about 1/2 cup to add later).  Add garlic, onion and sausages over top.  Drizzle with balsamic and olive oil.
  2. Toss on thyme and sprinkle with S & P.  Bake about 25-30 minutes, for sausages to be golden and tomatoes start to burst.
  3. Remove from oven and stir in beans and reserved 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes.
  4. Add  white wine and  chicken stock.
  5.   Return to oven and bake 20 minutes longer or until beans are cooked through.

cassoulet 3

cassoulet 2


Apple pie cake (gluten free)

apple pie 2Food has always had a big impact in my life. I have fond memories of my family gathering around,cooking,laughing, baking for hours, and making up mess in the kitchen. I remember our house,every winter was bathed with those beautiful aromas of cinnamon and brown sugar, my father mastering the apple pie cake and bragging about it,and he had every single right to do it. Besides,his cake was just heavenly!

Once you sink your teeth into it,first you hear the crunchy crumble on top. Then you are getting deeper into the soft but not mushy ,perfectly spiced apples and finally to the fluffy,airy,like a cloud in your mouth,cake.

Not overly sweet,the spices and apples marry so well together and the hint of orange brightens the cake. You can’t deny a piece of cake like this! I had to make the gluten free version of this cake as soon as possible!

For the base of the cake,I  used the same with my scrumptious Toblerone cakes!

APPLE PIE CAKE

Servings: 12

Cooking time:40 minutes

Ingredients:

for the cake:

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • zest and juice of an orange
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the filling:

  • 3 medium Fiji apples
  • 1 tablespoon Rum (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • juice of half orange

for the topping:

  • ¾ cup gluten free all purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter,cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 cup almond flakes

Instructions:

Preheat oven at 350 F. Grease a 13×8 inch pan.

To make the filling:

  1. In a medium bowl,peel the apples and cut them into ¼ inch slices.
  2. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and toss well.
  3. Keep it on the side.

To make the cake:

  1. In a medium bowl,whisk together eggs and sugar for two minutes.
  2. Add canola oil,yogurt,orange juice and zest,vanilla extract and whisk again.
  3. Add rice flour,corn starch,baking powder,salt,almond flour.
  4. Whisk again until thoroughly mixed.

Pour the cake mixture on the bottom. Place the apple slices in order and pour the liquid that’s left on the bowl. That’s the yummiest part!

Sprinkle topping over the apples and cake batter evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, Cool completely before serving. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar and it’s ready!

apple pie

 

apple pie 3