Monthly Archives: October 2013

Spinach Sausage Soup That is Full of Flavor and Free From Gluten, Sugar and Yeast!

SpinachSausageSoupI have been really pleased lately because the weather has been delightful. Not only have I been able to enjoy the outdoors, my CSA farm share extended its season for an additional five weeks! I am still receiving fresh produce that is inspiring me to try new recipes.

Last weekend I had a bounty of farm fresh carrots, garlic, parsley, thyme and spinach. I also had a nice chicken sausage sitting in the fridge that had not yet been spoken for. I decided to whip up a spinach and sausage soup, which seemed like a nice accompaniment to the cool temperatures in the evenings.

If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, the soup will do well with the dried versions – just use smaller quantities. All of the ingredients can be purchased either at the grocery store or farm stand. My sausage of choice is Aidell’s Roasted Garlic and Gruyere because it does not contain anything that I am sensitive to. Their web site has a useful list of their products with allergen information so you can choose a sausage that will work with your dietary needs. And if you need a yeast/gluten/sugar/onion free broth, Pacific Organic Mushroom Broth is a great option.

The soup is full of flavor and is great as an appetizer or entree. I hope that you find this soup to be delicious too.

Ingredients:
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbs. olive oil
2-3 carrots, sliced
2-3 celery stalks, sliced
12 oz. smoked sausage (4 links), sliced
2 cups broth (mushroom, vegetable, or chicken)
4 cups water
1 tsp. pepper
2 Tbs. fresh parsley (or 1 Tbs. dried parsley)
1 Tbs. fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried thyme)
1-2 cups fresh spinach, washed and ripped/cut into bite-siced pieces

Preparation:
Heat a large saucepan on medium high. Add olive oil and garlic to pan, and allow the garlic to start sizzling. Add the carrots, celery, and sausage to the pan, and allow to brown, stirring occasionally, about 5-10 minutes. Add broth and water to the pan, turn up the heat to high, and bring to a boil. While heating up, add the pepper, parsley and thyme. Once the soup has reached a boil, add the spinach and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes; then your soup is ready to enjoy.

I am sharing my recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

Fresh Pear and Fig Muffins – and Sugar Free Too

Pear Fig MuffinsHello, everyone! I hope that you are enjoying a beautiful day. The weather forecast predicted clouds and rain yet we have sun and a warm temperature. I am keeping myself busy with a bit of baking rather than thinking of decreasing my estimates for GDP growth due to the federal government shutdown.

Early fall is a good time to use fresh pears and the last of the season of fresh figs. If you can’t find fresh figs in the grocery store, a dried version will also be good in this recipe. If you prefer an alternate dried fruit, apricots or raisins would work well too. My inspiration was Five and Spice’s version of Pear and Fig Morning Muffins since the pictures looked delicious. I substituted the all purpose flour with a combination of whole wheat and oat, swapped the butter with canola oil, added some cinnamon, and used plain yogurt instead of buttermilk. Yes, these ingredients worked out very well together. Hopefully our federal legislators will work together soon too.

If you have not yet answered my current survey, please do since economists really thrive on analyzing survey results. Just visit my homepage and in two clicks you can provide an opinion to your favorite way of enjoying apples and pears, along with seeing the current tally of results. Thanks!

Ingredients:
4 Tbs. canola oil
1/3 cup figs, finely chopped (either fresh or dried)
1 small-medium pear, ripe but still firm, finely chopped
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbs. honey
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. yogurt

Preparation:
Preheat your oven to 400F.

In a small-medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium-large mixing bowl whisk together the honey, egg, and egg yolk for a couple of minutes, until the color lightens. Then whisk in the canola oil until well combined. Finally whisk in the yogurt.

Pour in the dry ingredients and stir together with a wooden spoon. Add the chopped fruits on top of the batter. Stir just enough to mix it in, then stop.

Use 2 spoons to drop heaping spoonfuls of batter into the lined muffin tins.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.