Archive for February, 2012

This is a great family dish.  Even if non allergic people want to have it with egg noodles,  rice noodles will be an ideal accompaniment for anyone with allergies.  Whichever way, the whole family can eat together, as the turkey meatballs are safe to have and are delicious.


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely crushed cornflakes.  (Place cornflakes in a plastic bag, and roll a rolling pin over it)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 Tablespoons finely cut fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 level Tablespoons corn-starch.
  • Salt to taste.
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line jelly roll pan with foil.  Grease foil with a small quantity of oil, or use a cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl,combine ground turkey, cornflake crumbs, applesauce, salt, corn-starch, garlic, parsley and sage.  Mix well.
  4. With hands, shape mixture into approx. 16 balls
  5. Place meatballs about an inch apart, in prepared pan.
  6. Roast meatballs 20 minutes, or until they lose their pink color throughout.
  7. In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, water, sugar and cayenne pepper.
  8. Bring to a boil over medium heat,
  9. Cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens slightly.
  10. Remove from heat.

To serve, place prepared noodles on individual plates.  Top with meatballs and cranberry sauce.

Read Full Post »

lamb quinoa

This dish has an exotic middle Eastern flavor and is great served with quinoa, the ‘super’ grain. It is a one dish meal with lots of nutrition and flavor.

Ingredients for 4 Servings

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, washed and drained
  • 1 pound lean, boneless lamb cut into 1inch cubes
  • 2 large carrots, sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • 2 zucchinis cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 turnips or potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 large onion cut roughly into chunks
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons washed and chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (optional– check ingredients carefully for allergy issues.)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh, garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger.
  • Salt to taste.


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium heat
  2. Add onions and sauté for a minute.
  3. Add lamb and stir fry till meat is browned.
  4. Add garlic and ginger and stir for another minute.
  5. Stir in cumin and paprika
  6. Add 1 cup water, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Add carrots, turnips and potatoes.
  8. Add 1/2 cup water, bring to a boil and let simmer, covered, for 10 minutes on medium heat.
  9. Remove lid and check in between to make sure that water is sufficient (add more if required).
  10. Add zucchini and raisins and continue to simmer for 10 minutes more or until lamb and vegetables are cooked.
  11. Add salt, curry powder and fresh cilantro leaves.
  12. If there is more liquid, and you would like to thicken the stew, mix a little corn-starch in cold water and add to the stew, stirring all the time, till sauce thickens.

      To Prepare Quinoa

  1. Gently wash and rinse quinoa in water and pour through a fine strainer.
  2. Repeat process two or three times.
  3. Heat 3 cups water.
  4. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  5. Slowly pour the rinsed quinoa into the water.
  6. Cook uncovered on low heat till most of the water is absorbed.
  7. Cover and cook for a few more minutes, till quinoa grains are fluffy.

     To Serve

  • Pile some quinoa onto a serving platter and make a well in the center.
  • Arrange the stew in the center.

Read Full Post »

These are all time favorites and good for snack time to give that extra bit of energy.

mangal blog pictures 026


  • 2 cups “Grandma’s Gluten-Free Flour”mix
  • 1/2 cup butter / soy free margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus two Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Egg Replacer prepared to equal one egg (as per package directions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a bowl, sift together flour and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter using a mixer and add prepared Egg Replacer.
  4. Gradually add both the confectioner’s sugar, then the granulated sugar.
  5. Beat in oil and vanilla.
  6. Slowly fold in the flour with a large spoon or spatula, then mix well using the mixer.
  7. Shape dough into 3/4 inch balls and roll each ball into the extra 2 Tablespoons of sugar placed in a saucer. You can color granulated sugar with food color of your choice, or use colored sugar crystals.
  8. Place balls 2” apart on large ungreased cookie sheet or parchment paper.
  9. Flatten each ball into one and a half inch rounds.
  10. Using any cooking tool lightly press and form a pattern on each cookie. You can use the mixing ends of mixer blades.
  11. Bake cookies 10-11 minutes or until edges are slightly golden.  Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Read Full Post »

Quinoa is an excellent substitute for couscous in any recipe, and is, of course, more nutritious.

Quinoa should be rinsed in a fine mesh strainer.  It has a slightly bitter coating which is removed by washing and rinsing.


  • 1/2 cup quinoa grain
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, diced cucumbers
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced green onions -white part only
  • 1/4 cup ( or more) vinaigrette dressing of your choice.


  1. Place quinoa grain in a fine sieve.  Wash carefully under slow flowing water, rubbing the grain gently as you wash.  Drain water.  Repeat process 3 times.
  2. Heat 1 cup water in a medium pot.  Add rinsed, drained quinoa to hot water.
  3. Add a pinch of salt.
  4. Simmer uncovered over low heat till most of the water has been absorbed,
  5. Stir and check if you need a little more liquid for the grain to soften and cook well.
  6. Add extra water if required, cover and cook on low heat for a few more minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and keep covered for 5 minutes or so.
  8. Uncover and spread cooked quinoa on a flat dish.  Let it cool.
  9. In a bowl, combine cooked quinoa with cucumber, bell pepper and green onion.
  10. Pour dressing and gently stir it in.

Fact File

The National Academy of Science describes quinoa as “the most nearly perfect source of protein from the vegetable kingdom”.

Ancient Incas revered it and called it the “mother grain”. It has nine essential amino acids and can be called a complete protein.

For more on quinoa, check the write up on “Grandma’s Gluten Free Flour Mix” in the Cakes, Cookies and Desserts category.

Red peppers are a great source of Vitamin C. Peppers of all colors are rich in carotenoids and antioxidants.

They make meals more colorful and help us follow one good criterion that a balanced meal must have—as many colors of the spectrum as possible.

Every color in food yields different kinds of antioxidants / phytochemicals.

Read Full Post »

Dressings and Dips

A simple vinaigrette dressing is excellent with crunchy leaves. For kids who might find vinegar too tart, there is lemon juice. Vinegar is mostly gluten free, except when derived from barley malt. If malt is derived from any other source, it is usually mentioned on the label.

Some of the dressings available on the shelf might be just fine, but please read every ingredient in detail.

Some quick and simple dressings for (4-6 servings)

Basic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar / lemon juice
  • 2-3 teaspoons sugar
  • Whisk all ingredients, then pour on salad.

Orange Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Beat well, using a whisk or fork.

Herb Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar / lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt.
  • Mix and beat well.
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed slightly
  • Dried or fresh, finely chopped herbs of your choice—basil, oregano, thyme, parsley,—just get creative with flavors.

Additional Ideas for that Extra Zing

  • Use lemon or orange zest, berries, cherry tomatoes, grapes, oranges, pineapples—fruits of your choice, with good crunchy lettuce, spinach, arugula and other such green leafy veggies.
  • Vary dressings, garnish with sunflower or pumpkin kernels,serve with cooked meats of your choice, and watch the salads disappear!

Caramelized Sunflower / Pumpkin Kernels

  • For half a cup of kernels, use 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. Roast seeds lightly in a pan, add sugar and continue to roast till sugar caramelizes and forms a rich brown coating on the seeds. Remove from pan and cool before adding to salads. These are wonderful alternatives for nuts. Seeds are also rich in vitamin C.
  • Lightly roasted, roughly crushed flax seeds also create a healthy,nutritious and crunchy topping.


  • Sour cream or thick yogurt is an excellent base for dips. Soft silken tofu or tofutti is a good dairy free alternative. If ready dips on store shelves have dubious additives, get plain sour cream and flavor it with simple ingredients of your choice—finely chopped green onion, dill, cilantro, basil, garlic—the list is endless

Gluten free, Eggless “Mayonnaise”

Mayonnaise is just off the list for most people with allergies. But try this delicious alternative, which is a great substitute for the original.


  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup milk /soy milk
  • 2 teaspoons corn-starch
  • 3 Tablespoons vinegar/lemon juice,
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon wheat free, gluten free mustard powder or paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


  1. In a small saucepan, heat 3/4 cup milk.
  2. Mix corn-starch into remaining 1/4 cup milk.
  3. When the milk in the saucepan has almost come to a boil, add the cold milk-corn-starch mixture, stirring continuously till sauce thickens.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. When sauce has cooled, add remaining ingredients and chill.

Use with potato salad, chicken salad, wheat and gluten free macaroni, and anything else you fancy.

Chef’s tip: Add a dollop of sour cream before using the prepared ‘mayo’.


To one cup gluten and egg free “mayonnaise”, add 1 Tablespoon finely chopped green pepper, 1 Tablespoon very finely chopped green onion, and toss in another Tablespoon of finely chopped olives or pimiento.

You have just created an allergy free Thousand Island-like dressing!

Olive Oil

This is great to use, especially for dairy allergic people. It is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, Omega 6 and the Omega 3 fatty acids. Nutritionists recommend extra virgin olive oil, as the process through which it is obtained ensures retention of maximum nutrients. It has the highest percentage of monounsaturated fatty acids.

Extra virgin olive oil is ideal for salad dressing, while virgin olive oil is good for cooking as it has a higher smoke point.

It is important to store olive oil (and other oils) in dark colored bottles or steel jars. Too much light and air destroys nutrients

Sunflower, Pumpkin and Flax Seeds

These are good sources of Vitamin E Buy kernels, as seeds have a husk like covering which needs to be removed. It is always good to lightly roast sunflower kernels. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc. they give us essential fatty acids and protein when eaten raw.

Flax seeds are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, and are excellent for those who cannot have fish.

Flax meal is convenient to buy, as dehusking and coarse grinding is not necessary. Flax meal is best when lightly roasted and stored in an airtight bottle in the fridge. Flax can turn rancid very quickly.


Make sure that the mustard you buy is gluten free.

American mustard is usually made from white mustard seeds blended with sugar, vinegar and colored with turmeric.

English mustard is also made from white mustard seeds but has a greater pungency. It is sometimes mixed with wheat flour for bulk and has turmeric for color. It is important to watch out for any wheat ingredient before using this mustard.

Dijon mustard is made from husked black mustard seeds blended with wine, salt and spices. It is necessary to find out from the manufacturer whether wheat or gluten ingredients have been used in the wine fermentation process.


Read Full Post »

This wonderfully refreshing, ‘fruity’ salad can actually be made a day ahead, and kept overnight in the fridge—ideal to serve along with birthday eats or to add color and flavor at a luncheon.  This recipe actually comes from my American ‘Mom”, Happy Hopkins.  I have modified it a little to suit special food needs.

make ahead apple salad


  • 3 cups diced apples
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 20 oz can diced pineapple (drained and liquid reserved)
  • 10 cherries. cut into half, seeds removed (to add just before serving)
  • 1 cup pineapple liquid reserved from can
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon corn-starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom.


  1. Combine sugar, corn-starch, cardamom and water in saucepan, and stir to blend.
  2. Over low heat, stir mixture. gradually adding pineapple liquid, until mixture is thick and clear.let sauce cool.
  3. Combine apple, celery and pineapple in a bowl and pour cool sauce over them.
  4. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. Decorate with cherry halves and serve.
  6. Variation: Use chopped dates to mix in and also for decoration, instead of cherries.

Fact File

One apple has more fiber than a serving of oatmeal. A medium apple has nearly 160 g of potassium, like oranges and bananas. Researchers in the UK say that kids who are big apple eaters have better lung function and are at a lower risk of asthma. An apple a day just might keep the doctor away!

Some fruits such as pineapples (along with papayas and mangoes) contain certain protein breaking enzymes which can attack the mast cells which are part of the body’s immune system.

Nutritionists recommend that these fruits should not be eaten on an empty stomach. Canned pineapple is generally safe as the heat used in canning destroys this enzyme. Use caution when introducing a never-before-tried fruit.

Read Full Post »

This is an interesting variation of the traditional leek potato soup. The squash enhances its nutritive value, makes the soup light in texture, and gives it a fresh taste.

Ingredients for 4 Adult Servings

  • 3 cups yellow squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup potato peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup leek, washed thoroughly and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter / olive oil
  • 1 cup milk or 4 ounces soy or rice milk
  • 4 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese for garnish (optional)


  1. Saute leek in butter / olive oil
  2. Add potato. Saute for ½ a minute.
  3. Add ½ cup water, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add yellow squash and ¼ cup water.
  5. Cover and cook on medium heat till vegetables are fork tender.
  6. Remove from heat, Cool and blend.
  7. Add milk or soy/rice milk

For a richer soup add ¾ cup half and half, or 4 ounces of pureed soft silken tofu.

Fact File

Squashes are rich in antioxidants and beta carotene.

Leeks, which are close cousins of onions and garlic, have a unique combination of flavonoids and sulphur containing nutrients. They are especially rich in Vitamin K. Leeks also have a more delicate and subtle flavor than onions.

The Potato is nutrient dense. It is rich in potassium, the B group vitamins, namely niacin and riboflavin, and contains significant levels of iron and vitamin C.

Read Full Post »

Broccoli-Carrot Soup

Adding carrots reduces the heavy flavor of broccoli and gives a lighter, sweeter, taste.

Ingredients for 4 Adult servings

  • 1lb. broccoli cut into florets
  • ¼ lb carrots, peeled and roughly cut into pieces.
  • ½ medium onion, thinly sliced.
  • 2 Tablespoons white unsalted butter / olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, or one garlic clove crushed
  • 1 bayleaf
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups milk or 6 ounces soft Silken Tofu
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 Tablespoons grated cheddar cheese (optional)


  1. Place saucepan on medium heat. Add butter/oil, bayleaf and thinly sliced onions.
  2. Saute onions for a couple of minutes, till golden. This converts the raw onion ‘smell’ into an aroma!
  3. If using fresh garlic, add at this stage.
  4. Add carrots. Saute for half a minute, lower heat, add ¼ cup water, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add broccoli florets, then add the remaining water. Cook till fork tender.
  6. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder. (if fresh garlic has not been added)
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. When cooled, add milk/ tofu and blend in food processor on high speed till smooth.
  9. Warm, pour into bowls and garnish each serving with grated cheddar cheese.


Broccoli is rich in calcium, vitamin A and antioxidants One cup of cooked broccoli contains as much calcium as 4 ounces of milk and gives us 10% of our daily iron requirement. It is also a good source of folic acid. though dairy products are rich in calcium, they offer very little of the other element that is required for calcium absorption—magnesium. Broccoli contains magnesium.

Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene and the protective antioxidants. Beta carotene is better assimilated by the body when carrots are cooked, but there is some goodness in raw carrots too.

Read Full Post »

Kids love this mildly sweet taste.  These potatoes are an excellent accompaniment with pork and poultry entrees


  • 20-24 small new potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons butter/olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint or 1 heaped teaspoon dry mint flakes.


  1. Place in a large saucepan of cold water with just enough water to cover potatoes.
  2. Bring to a boil on medium high heat, lower heat to medium, cover and cook till potatoes are cooked and fork tender.
  3. Drain water.
  4. In a large skillet melt butter or add olive oil.
  5. Gently toss in the potatoes.
  6. Add orange marmalade
  7. Shake pan to coat potatoes with butter/ oil and marmalade.
  8. On medium high heat, stir potatoes gently till golden brown and caramelized
  9. Add mint, and remove from heat.
  10. Serve warm.

Read Full Post »


  • 2 pounds chicken leg quarters
  • (I prefer to use skinless chicken to minimize the fat)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium onion cut into quarters
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • 1 large stalk of celery
  • 6-8 peppercorns
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and slightly crushed
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 4 cups water


  1. Place chicken quarters in pressure cooker. Add all the other ingredients and water.
  2. Follow manufacturer’s directions to cover, cook and bring to high pressure.
  3. Reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat Allow pressure cooker to cool or follow directions for slow release of pressure.
  5. Transfer chicken pieces onto a plate and strain the broth and solids through a sieve into a bowl. Press solids to release any liquid (I prefer to press down on a sieve to obtain maximum liquid)
  6. When chicken has cooled, remove meat from bones. The meat may be used to garnish soups, add to stews, rice etc. But generally meat that cooks for a long time till it is very tender, may lose some of its taste as the juices and goodness have been released into the broth.

Broth can also be made in a large saucepan on a stovetop.

Put in all the ingredients and an extra cup of water. After it comes to a rolling boil, lower heat and cook on low for 35-40 minutes, till the meat is very tender and is partly loosened from the bones.

Chicken broth can be used in many delicious ways

  • Make Chicken Noodle Soup with flat rice noodles and thinly   sliced vegetables of your choice.
  • Make a hearty soup from leftover veggies and,chicken chunks. Add pinto/kidney beans and a handful of cooked pasta or leftover rice.
  • Use broth to add to other soups for enhanced flavor.
  • Use as additional liquid in white sauce.
  • Use in place of any canned soup that a recipe demands—just add a level teaspoonful of corn-starch mixed with cream or water and add to one cup of chicken broth. Bring to a boil till it thickens.

This is a great substitute for canned Cream of Chicken soup required in any recipe.

Fact File

Chicken Soup is the best comfort food ever—both for body and soul! For centuries,much before Grandma’s days, it has been a favorite remedy for colds and asthma. Recent scientific studies support this belief. Chicken soup helps to clear congestion. The blend of nutrients it contains is said to slow down the activity of certain white blood cells, reducing the pain and inflammation which occurs when these cells fight infection, thus relieving cold and flu symptoms. Also the spices in this soup, garlic and pepper for instance, help to clear mucus, make breathing easier, and boost the immune system.

Whatever the factors, chicken soup is delicious, and this basic broth will help you create yummy varieties.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: