Allergy Friendly Pasta e Fagioli with “Cheesy” Garlic Croutons

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2013_AL_Fall-88

 

PASTA E FAGIOLI WITH “CHEESY” GARLIC CROUTONS

Serves 8

Free of: gluten and all top allergens

Pasta e Fagioli is about as comforting as a bowl of soup can get. The hearty combo of vegetables, beans, and pasta make a complete meal, perfect for any chilly fall night, or wonderful for lunch the next day. The “Cheesy” Garlic Croutons are an added bonus. Store them tightly covered at room temp… but don’t expect them to last, as kids devour them like candy.

This recipe makes enough for a hearty meal for 4, plus leftovers. I’ve swapped out the traditional allergens of gluten/wheat, anchovies (fish), egg, and dairy usually present in this dish, with olive oil, gluten-free pasta, dairy and soy-free “cheese”, and allergy-friendly bread. To make this vegan, swap vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and omit the prosciutto.

 

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 ounces nitrite-free prosciutto, chopped (½ cup)

2 cups diced yellow onion

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

1 tbsp finely minced garlic

1 tbsp finely minced fresh rosemary

½ tsp crushed red pepper

¼ cup dry white wine

Big pinch salt

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup gluten-free pasta shells (I like Tinkyada brown rice pasta for this)

2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

½ teaspoon lemon zest

Salt and pepper, to taste

‘Cheesy’ Garlic Croutons (recipe follows)

 

1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and cook 3 minutes, or until crispy. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

2. Add onion, celery and carrot to the pot and cook 7 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften. Stir in garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper and cook 1 minute. Add white wine and salt, and cook while stirring to deglaze bottom of pan, until almost all wine has evaporated. Incorporate chicken broth, diced tomatoes and pasta with a gentle stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until the pasta is tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.

3. Mash half of the beans. Stir the mashed beans and whole beans into the pot and cook 5 minutes more. Add more chicken broth as necessary if the soup is too thick.

4. Remove from heat, stir in reserved prosciutto, parsley and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

5. Ladle into bowls and top with croutons.

 

‘Cheesy’ Gluten-Free Garlic Croutons

Makes 3 cups

These crunchy croutons can be stored tightly covered at room temperature, but don’t expect them to last as kids devour them like candy.

 

6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp finely minced garlic

½ tsp Kosher salt

½ tsp dried oregano, crushed between your fingers

5 heaping cups gluten-free* bread, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 6 slices, preferably stale)

1 cup dairy-free cheese alternative shreds (such as Daiya or Go Veggie!)

 

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Combine oil, garlic, salt and oregano in a small bowl, whisking well to combine.

3. Put bread cubes in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil mixture, tossing gently with a rubber spatula to evenly coat.

4. Transfer bread cubes to a baking tray, spaced into a single layer. Sprinkle liberally with cheese alternative.

5. Bake 20-25 minutes, turning once, until lightly golden and dry. The cheese may seem goopy at first but it will become crunchy.

6. Transfer the crouton tray to a wire rack, and let cool to room temperature.

7. Break apart any croutons that have clumped together.

 

* For allergy-friendly bread that’s gluten-free and free of the top-8 allergens, seek Ener-G brand.

Allergy-Friendly Pasta e Fagioli with “Cheesy” Garlic Croutons © 2013 by Cybele Pascal

This recipe first appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Allergic Living Magazine

 

 

 

 

New England Pear Soup with Chervil

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pear soup

I get very excited when So Delicious comes out with new products.  Their dairy-free offerings open up all sorts of new recipe possibilities.  Which is why I felt gleeful when they rolled out their “Greek Style” coconut milk yogurts this year.  This new yogurt can be used most places you’d use sour cream or Creme Fraiche.  If you can eat dairy, by all means, go for the Creme Freiche, it’s hard to find excuses to eat full fat dairy. But bare in mind, the So Delicious Greek Style yogurt has no cholesterol and 9 grams of fiber per 6 ounce container! Have your tried this yogurt yet? Is it in your stores?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

 

New England Pear Soup with Chervil

Makes 4-6 servings.

This warm pear soup is light and elegant. It’s the perfect way to dress up lovely fall pears. My husband calls it “Divine!” And if you know my husband, yes, he really said that.

 

Ingredients: 

3 Tbsp. lemon juice
6 large pears (Comice, Anjou, Bartlett, etc. – just under-ripe is perfect because they’ll be firm enough to work with easily)
3 Tbsp. sunflower oil (or other mild flavored oil, such as safflower or canola, try Spectrum)
1 1/2 large shallots, minced (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp.)
3 Tbsp. honey
3 cups organic vegetable broth
white pepper (black pepper will NOT do for this)
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh chervil (or chives), finely minced
So Delicious Plain Greek Style yogurt, (or Creme Fraiche – try Bellwether Farms)

Directions: 

Put lemon juice in a bowl. Peel, core, and dice pears into 1-inch chunks, adding to the bowl and tossing them in lemon juice as you work, to prevent pears from turning brown.

Heat sunflower oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook 2 minutes, stirring often. Add pears and drizzle with honey. Cook 10 minutes, stirring often.

Transfer pears to a food processor and pulse. Pulsing will prevent them from overflowing. Once pears are almost smooth, run food processor about 1 minute until completely pureed.

Return puree to pan, add broth and stir to combine thoroughly. Add a few turns of freshly ground white pepper, (or a couple pinches if it’s already ground). Stir in chervil. Heat soup to just below simmering point, do not boil.

Remove from heat, ladle into bowls and top each with 1 Tbsp. Greek Style yogurt or creme fraiche. Swirl through soup gently.

New England Pear Soup with Chervil  © 2013 by Cybele Pascal (this recipe originally appeared on Gaiam.com)

(Please note that all my recipes are free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.

Allergy Free Eggnog

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Every year I get asked to come up with a recipe for eggnog without eggs, dairy, refined sugar, you name it. And every year I get too wrapped up in holiday cookie baking. But luckily this year, I’m strarting early with beverages.

The tricky part about concocting an allergy-friendly vegan eggnog is that you must avoid the eggs. Most recipes rely on tofu instead, but that wasn’t an option because I wanted to be sure this recipe was safe for those with soy allergies, too. The other substitute for eggs? Nuts. But given my allergy-friendly cooking mandate, those are out, too.

I did see a pretty nifty recipe from Living Without, but it called for young fresh coconut, which is hard to find and potentially allergenic—and it also called for almonds. I decided the time had come to whip up a nog that avoided the top eight allergens and could be toasted by all this holiday season, food-allergic or not.

I soon discovered the key to creating a thick, creamy custard base (without eggs or heavy cream) is tapioca starch. (If you don’t eat tapioca, you can easily substitute cornstarch, potato starch, or arrowroot starch.)

The other trick is simplicity. There is no need to over-spice to compensate for the missing richness of eggs and cream. Less is more with eggnog. My kids and I had a grand old time standing around the kitchen drinking the entire jar of this recipe (I put rum in mine, and left theirs without!).

For cookies that go well with this eggnog recipe, check out my Gluten-Free Hemp Seed Wedding CookiesGluten-Free Allergy-Friendly Old-Fashioned Gingersnaps, or Gluten-Free Allergy-Friendly Double Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies.

 

Allergy-Friendly, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free “Eggnog”

Serves 4

A delicious “creamy,” rich eggnog that’s much lower in fat and cholesterol than the traditional beverage—and allergy-friendly to boot! It’s also free of refined sugar. This recipe may be made with or without rum.

3 cups rice milk (or other vegan milk of choice)

2 Tbsp. tapioca starch

1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

¼ cup maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (preferably freshly grated), plus more for garnish

¼ cup dark rum (optional)

Rice Whip topping (optional)

1.   Combine ½ cup of the rice milk with the tapioca starch. Whisk well until frothy. Add vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine.

2.   Combine 1 ½ cups of the rice milk with the maple syrup in a heavy pot. Whisk. Add nutmeg and whisk well to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Add tapioca starch mixture to pot. Heat, whisking continuously, until it reaches a simmer. Once it’s slightly thickened, add the remaining cup of rice milk. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring continuously, until rich and creamy, about 4 minutes.

3.   Pour into a pitcher or large mason jar. Chill for at least four hours and up to 2 days. When ready to serve, stir or shake eggnog, mix in rum, pour into glasses, top with Rice Whip, and garnish with ground nutmeg.

Allergy-Friendly, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free “Eggnog”
© 2010 by Cybele Pascal

(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns beforeconsumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.