Tuesday, April 30, 2013


The tomatillo is a small fruit in the tomato family that grows enclosed in a husk. When peeled, the fruit resembles a small unripe tomato and is usually green or yellow. The yellow color indicates ripeness, however, tomatillos are usually used when they are still green. Green tomatillos are firmer and easier to slice. The husk that holds the fruit is paper-like and is light brown. The flesh is slightly acidic with a hint of lemon.

The tomatillo is a great addition to soups, salsas, stews.  Tomatillo was included in my previously posted Tortilla Soup recipe.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

Have ready:
3 cups chicken broth
6 tortillas, cut into strips and laid out to dry while preparing soup base
2 chiles pasillas, fried and crumbled (for garnish)
6 heaping tablespoons grated cheddar cheese (for garnish)
Fry 1 medium onion, 3 diced cloves of garlic, 1 chopped red or green pepper until soft, then add 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (or a can of fire roasted tomatoes) and one diced tomatillo.  Saute all for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes start to break down.  Add one can of Herdez Salsa Casera.
 Add the 3 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Add any leftover meat or fish you may have (optional). 
Add the tortilla pieces to the broth and simmer for about 1 minutes.  The tortillas should be soft – like a soft dumpling, but not falling apart.
Garnish each bowl of soup with some of the cheese, and a sprinkling of the chilies.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Margarita - It's a Gluten Free Cocktail!

 While visiting with my sister's family in Puerto Penasco, Mexico - we were served delicious margaritas - while we enjoyed the view from their Margarita Deck!  My brother-in-law splashed these ingredients (below) into our glasses over ice.  He didn't measure anything and it was perfect!
I know they got their ingredients in Mexico, but they can probably be found in the U.S.!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fish Taco

This fish taco was made with flounder fillets sauteed in oil and sprinkled with my special gluten free fish taco seasoning.   Serve on a soft corn shell with avocado, lettuce and mago salsa.

 Fish Taco Seasoning

While browning fish fillets (flounder, cod, or talipia all work well) in a well oiled frying pan, sprinkle generously with this combination of ingredients:

                                    ½ t. ground cumin
                                    ¼ t. salt
                                    ¼ t. black pepper
                                    ¼ t. onion powder
                                    ¼ t. garlic powder
                                    1 ½ t. ground chili powder (optional)
                                    1/8 t. ground cayenne pepper (optional)

  • Omit chili and cayenne if you are on a nightshade free diet, and add more cumin.
  • This seasoning is good for anything “Mexican” – rice or beans.  Cumin is one of my favorite seasonings.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mango Salsa

1 large mango, diced to about ½”
½ red onion, diced to ¼”
½ red pepper, diced to ¼”
½ jicima, diced to ¼” (optional)
¼ cup diced cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
Excellent on fish or chicken.

Below, the same recipe with 1/4 finely diced jicima added. The jicima added a nice crunch, but we prefer Mango Salsa without the jicima.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Baked Whole Fish

 The simplest meal ever - baked whole fish!.  The fish were gutted, but left whole.  They were stuffed with sliced onion and lime.  Covered with foil and baked at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.  This was my first experience with mackerel - an oily fish containing lots of Omegas!  Very flavorful! 
The flesh was super moist and it lifted easily off the bones.  We added the leftovers to soups and tacos the next day!  Yum!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Puerto Penasco - Mexican Fishing Village

 We just got back from a wonderful trip to Puerto Penasco, a fishing village on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.  It is just 60 miles south of the US border and just a fun 4 hour drive from Phoenix, Arizona.  Our visit was precipitated by the fact that my sister owns a home there, and we would be meeting her and staying at her place.

Puerto Penasco is a fabulous place to visit if you enjoy fresh fish and shrimp, as these are available fresh off the boat in the Old Port area.  Above - a picture of the shrimp boats anchored at Old Port.  April is not shrimp season, so most of the shrimp boats were here in port.

Below, a picture I snapped from the patio at the beach house.  Fishermen were out with nets early in the morning.  I watched them pull in a few shiny silvery fish and I also saw them throwing a few back!

 When we went down to the fish market, we were thrilled to see many different whole fish on ice.
This mackerel with it's smooth skin was a favorite pick!

Tomorrow, I'll tell more about preparing them for dinner!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup - Gluten Free Version

Bring prepared chicken broth to a boil.  Add diced carrots, celery, and onion as desired.  If you have meat leftover from making the broth, add that back at this point, also.  After the soup is at a full rolling boil, add 1/2 package of Tinkyada Linguini - a whole grain rice pasta.  Cook for 15 - 20 minutes or until noodles are soft.  Serve immediately and do not overcook.

Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta is my preference.  It has a good texture.  Here is their website.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Corn Muffins - Gluten free, Dairy free, Soy free Recipe

 There was a time when family members were unable to eat sugar in any form.  At that time, I became fairly good at developing recipes using stevia as sweetener.  I am not too crazy about the aftertaste, so I am glad to be able to use a little sugar now and then.  This recipe offers both a stevia and sugar version.
I usually make this recipe with two eggs, but it can be made with commercially available egg replacer.  If you use the egg replacer - you should add xanthan gum or the muffins will be very crumbly.

Wheat and Dairy Free Cornbread

1 cup brown rice or *GF flour mix                     
1 cup yellow cornmeal
¼ cup sugar (or ¼ t. dry Stevia)
4 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt                             
2 eggs, slightly beaten (or 2 heaping teaspoons egg replacer)
1 cup rice, soy, or nut milk          
¼ cup safflower oil

Preheat oven to 425.  Generously grease 12 muffin tins or line with paper muffin tin liners.  (I use PAM – Organic Olive Oil cooking spray).

 In a medium size bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Add eggs (or egg replacer), milk and oil.  Mix only until well blended.  Pour batter into greased muffin tin.  Bake in preheated oven 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean and top is golden brown.  Serve warm.  Makes 8 or 9 servings.

Optional – add 1/2 teaspoon Xanthum gum for a less crumbly cornbread – especially necessary if using egg replacer)

*GF (or gluten free) flour can be made by combining 2 parts brown rice flour with 1/3 part tapioca starch and 2/3 parts potato starch.  (mix together 2 cups white rice flour, 1/3 cup tapioca and 2/3 cups potato starch flour)  This is a very nice flour for baking and substitutes very well in most any wheat flour recipe. 


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Coconut Milk Agave Ice Cream - Chocolate Chip Mint!

Chocolate Chip Mint Coconut Milk Ice Cream

3 cups coconut milk, blended until smooth and creamy
½ cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/16 teaspoon guar gum
1/3 cup finely minced dark chocolate bar

Mix coconut milk, agave nectar and flavorings.  Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth.  Place in refrigerator for at least an hour to chill ingredients.  Pour into electric ice cream machine.  Freeze  for 30 minutes or until fully frozen.  Gradually pour in finely minced dark chocolate during the last 3 minutes of freezing.  Remove from ice cream machine and place into a container.  Freeze until firm in the freezer section of your refrigerator – at least 1 hour.  Or serve directly from the ice cream machine as a soft serve dish.