Friday, December 7, 2012

Black Bean Tortilla Soup

Perhaps it's the cold weather or maybe I have an unrealized obsession with soups (I do find myself eating soup even on the hottest days of summer), but I noticed I have been pinning a lot of soup recipes on pinterest lately. In an effort to actually make the things I pinned, Kevin and I decided to try out a Black Bean Tortilla Soup recipe--though it turned out to be more of a Spicy Black Bean Soup! 
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion
1 avocado (for garnis)
1 green bell pepper
2 cuban peppers
3 jalapeño peppers
3 cups veggie stock
3 cans black beans
 Seasonings: Cumin, Salt/Pepper, and Hot Sauce (if you like it spicy)
Finely chop onion and peppers, mix together in a large pot with 3-4 tablespoons olive oil and season with cumin and salt/pepper.
Add some hot sauce for some additional spice.
Drain/Rise black beans and add to onion/pepper saute with 3 cups vegetable-stock.
 Stir contents frequently and continue to cook until comes to a simmer.
 Cut avocado and serve on top of finished soup.
I absolutely loved this recipe! Even though it doesn't look exactly like the original and it was probably a little pepper heavy, I thoroughly enjoyed the extra spice. Kevin did not have the same opinion so I think we will have to make some alternations for our next attempt, i.e. limiting the number of peppers and possibly rice for more depth. One of my favorite Festive-Friday recipes so far!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Spaghetti Squash

Since the recent acceptance of my gluten-allergy I have been attempting to eat gluten-free (beer doesn't count right?), though it can be extremely challenging at times. My Madre has been amazing and is constantly making me gluten-free versions of my favorite foods (because she knows I'm too stubborn to do it myself). Long story short, pasta used to be one of my favorite foods so my Madre bought me a squash to try out spaghetti squash--a recipe I had been dying to try.
It's probably the most simple recipe I've ever tried, with cutting the squash in half being the most difficult part, ha!
Once you chop that bad boy in half preheat the oven for 375-400 degrees (different recipes gave varying temperatures), place the squash on a baking sheet and let it bake for about an hour.
I didn't really have the time or resources to make my own spaghetti sauce from scratch so a store-bought jar would have to do. I did however throw some chopped zucchini and carrots into the mix to make it my own.
 After about an hour in the oven you should be ready to go.
Scrap the insides of the squash with a fork--it will begin to take the shape of regular spaghetti.
 It's like magic!
 Throw some sauce on those "noodles" and you are good to go.
I'm so happy I finally gave this recipe a try. It was easy, delicious and best of all I didn't have to deal with any gluten-reactions. Win-win-win my friends!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Black Bean and Potato Soup

Being gluten-free can be extremely tough at times, especially when you are craving a substantial carb to fill you up. It's when I get these cravings that I turn to potatoes--the perfectly filling gluten-free carb. And so black bean and potato soup became our next festive friday challenge.

1 red onion
1 green bell pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 cans cooked black beans
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
Seasonings: Salt/Pepper, Cumin, Oregano
Sauté chopped onion, bell peppers, and garlic in pan with 1 cup water over medium heat 2-3 minutes, or until vegetables soften.
Place half of vegetables in blender and purée until smooth. Add 3 cups beans and 6 to 7 cups water; puree until mixture is consistency of thick soup.
I think we may have blended our vegetables/beans a little too much, so I would suggest watching the consistency very closely.
Place the vegetable/beans puree and the remaining beans and sauteed vegetables to a large pot with chopped potatoes, cumin, oregano, and salt/pepper. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 20 minutes covered or until potatoes are soft.
The soup was good but slightly bland so perhaps our next attempt will include some cilantro or other powerful seasoning to spice things up a bit.