Salmon Fagioli w/ Sauteed Balsamic Tomatoes

One word: Delicious.

Additional words: Made entirely from ingredients purchased at ALDI, plus tomatoes from neighbor’s garden.

To make the Sauteed Balsamic Tomatoes:

In a large skillet, heat just a little olive oil or spray with a thin coat of olive oil. Cut up tomatoes in large chunks or halve cherry tomatoes, enough to fill the large skillet (about 15 large cherry tomatoes, or 4 regular sized tomatoes, or 2 pecks of grape tomatoes).

Saute tomatoes with a little salt, balsamic vinegar (not a lot) and a very tiny bit of sugar. Do this until tomatoes are wilted and the juice from the tomatoes becomes thick.

To make the Salmon Fagioli, add the following to a soup pot:

1 can salmon, undrained

1/2 of a 32-oz container of chicken broth

1 cup of water

1 white onion, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

2 potatoes, diced into 1-inch bite sized pieces

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 10-oz can of mushrooms (or fresh if you have them)

1 14-oz can of white beans

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp ground sage

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp ground mustard

salt and pepper to taste

Boil and bring to hard simmer. Add 1 cup of gluten free pasta and cook until the pasta is done.

Take off of the heat and serve with the sauteed tomatoes. My fiance preferred this without the tomatoes but think the tomatoes would be great in a bruschetta application. So, I guess it depends on your taste (which is why I kept the tomatoes separate). My son doesn’t like tomatoes, but loved the addition of nutritional yeast to give this soup more of a Fish Chowder flavor.

“Just Peachy” Ice Cream

In the late summer, peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums and various stone fruits are in season. This is my favorite time of year because these stone fruits are my absolute favorite. I love peach pie, peach smoothies, peach sorbet, peach ice cream, peach jam. Yummmm.

In the days when I could eat real ice cream and frozen yogurt, I was always annoyed that I needed to work my way down into a pint to get another bite of a frozen peach encased in ice cream. And when I couldn’t eat ice cream anymore and I had to pay $7 or more for a pint of disappointing non-dairy ice cream, it was all good cause for me to respond with a sarcastic “Just peachy,” (if anyone were to ask how my day was going). Well, now that I’m in control of my own ice cream, I can say “Just peachy,” with a little happier tone in my voice. All it takes is a can of coconut milk for $1.79 blended with some inexpensive fresh or canned fruit, and the cost for a pint comes down from $7.00 to about $3.00. It’s so nice to afford this summer treat again.

“Just Peachy” Vegan Ice Cream

4 ripe apricots, peeled and chopped

1 14oz can of peaches in syrup (or the equivalent of fresh peaches)

1 14oz can of coconut milk (NOT cream of coconut) – always double check the ingredients

1 cup of corn syrup or 3/4 cup of sugar

1 tsp vanilla (gluten free)

In a food processor, blend all of the ingredients together. Transfer to an ice cream maker and run it according to your manufacturer’s directions. Freeze and enjoy the next day. Make sure you make more ice cream before you run out of that batch.

Chicken Nuggets

Again, all allergens avoided. And this is very simple and easy to make on a busy weeknight. I just made these for my son and his friend that I’m watching. She doesn’t have food allergies and absolutely loved these and wanted more. How cool is that? They kept eating these nuggets until I distracted them with the banana bread that I had just pulled out of the oven (see previous post). Lol. Enjoy!

Chicken Nuggets

In a bowl, stir together:

1/2 cup gluten free flour mix (see banana bread post for the gf mix I use but it doesn’t have to be exact like it has to be for baking because the gritty of whatever you choose will add to the overall crispy effect of these nuggets).

Then add 1 teaspoon each of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika and stir well.

Add 1/4 tsp of back pepper if you like.

Then cut up 2 – 2.5 pounds of chicken tenders into 1 inch pieces. Toss into the flour mixture. No egg coating is needed.

Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a skillet over medium heat. When oil gets up to about 325 degrees Fahrenheit,  carefully add the chicken pieces. Cook in two batches if needed and do not crowd the pan. Cook the nuggets about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Before cooking the second batch, lower the heat a bit before adding the second batch as the second batch will not cool down the oil as much and may burn.

Totally Allergen-Free Banana Bread

Banana BreadThis tastes sooooo good. And I’m so excited about this accomplishment because I’ve been working on this for almost a week. This has zero allergenic foods, meaning it is gluten free, diary-free, egg-free, soy-free, corn-free, peanut-free and nut-free. No coconut, either. I promise you that I test my recipes before I post and the picture of this bread was just taken after we devoured a couple of pieces. My son’s friends are over and they begged for another. I will have to guard the rest for sweetheart since he’s been wanting me to make another banana bread for him and I need him to taste this. I think it actually came out better than the egg version I made last weekend. So far, the biggest challenge has been baking things without eggs. A friend suggested applesauce and upon reading more about it, the pectin in the applesauce helps act as a binding agent the way eggs do. Flaxseed meal mixed with water is suggested in some recipes as an egg replacer but if you are trying to avoid treenuts or soy, you may have to be extra careful with flaxseed meal. I have also used Ener-G egg replacer but that is just one more expensive special product to buy, and as you can relate, it is expensive enough to buy different kinds of flours. So, if I can use oil and applesauce instead of Earth Balance and Ener-G egg replacer, all the better.

Enough chat. Here is the  the recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat an 8 inch loaf pan with a little bit of canola or safflower oil (do not use the spray if you are avoiding soy because most oil sprays use soy lecithin). If your applesauce is cold, warm the 1/2 cup of applesauce in a saucepan on low heat while you prepare the ingredients. (Warm ingredients help fats coat the flour and improve performance of leavening ingredients).

In a large bowl, mix together the following:

  • 2 cups of gluten free flour mix (either use your favorite one for quick breads or you can use mine as follows: 6 cups superfine brown rice flour + 2 2/3 cup potato starch + 2/3 cup tapioca flour or starch + 2/3 cup sweet rice flour OR an addition of 2/3 cup tapioca starch if you do not have sweet rice flour).
  • 11/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum

In the saucepan of warm applesauce, mix the following wet ingredients together:

  • 1/2 cup applesauce (warmed up if cold)
  • 1 cup of mashed bananas (about two very large ripe bananas or 3 small ones)
  • 1/3 cup of oil

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in the center of the oven for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Enjoy warm with some soy free Earth Balance or cooled down – however you like, right?