Archive for June, 2011

Gluten Free Red Lentil and Tomato Soup

Gluten Free Red lentil and Tomato SoupLentils  are a good source of not only protein but dietary fiber,  iron, Vit. B1 and minerals , as well.  And knowing them to be as such, I have been trying to explore the lentil culinary world if you will.

So far, I have had lentils in the form of a salad and two kinds of soup.  Loved the salad, am happy to report.  And the soups?  So far, so delicious and hearty!

At this time, I will be sharing with you a red lentil soup that works really well with both cornbread triangles and french bread slices. Topped with my version of creamy Gouda horseradish spread  and/or pimiento cheese spread –  so yummy!   All of these are gluten free and all egg free, of course 🙂

Gluten Free Red lentil and Tomato Soup

What we will need to have:

1 Tbsp. good extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves, fresh if possible
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
4  celery ribs, roughly chopped
1  (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (32 fl. oz) Gluten Free/MSG free Chicken  or Vegetable Stock or Broth
6 cups filtered water
1/2 cup red wine (one you don’t mind drinking)
3  Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 lb. (16 oz. dry weight) red lentils, rinsed well with warm water
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

What we will need to do:

  1. In an 8 qt.  soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Into this add, onions and saute until almost translucent.
  3. Add garlic, bay leaves, basil. red pepper flakes and oregano, carrots and celery. Saute for about a minute.
  4. Then, add  in tomatoes, stock, water, wine and balsamic vinegar. Bring all this to a boil, cover then reduce heat to simmer.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes, before adding in lentils.   Stir together and cook for  30 minutes more.  All the vegetables should be soft but not mushy and lentils are somewhat creamy.
  6. Ladle out about a third of the soup. Puree this then add back into your still simmering pot.
  7. Stir and taste at this time. See if you need more salt and want the added spice of black pepper.
  8. Serve hot with some cornbread triangles or gluten free bread on the side.


–If you want more flavor for the kiddos to dig into, go ahead and spread your cornbread and/or bread slices with either some creamy Gouda horseradish spread or, pimiento cheese.   Or, splurge and treat them to a choice of both 😉

–Make sure that after you have rinsed the lentils that you also pat them dry or, drip dry in a colander with small holes – smaller than the lentils so you don’t lose any of them.  We don’t need our lentils soaking up excess liquid.  At least, not before we cook it in our soup.

Gluten Free/Eggless Embutido (Filipino-style Meatloaf)

Gluten Free Eggless Embutido Filipino style meatloafMeatloaf is considered a comfort food by many people.  It is a comfort food on both sides of my family.  Although the similarity ends in the term meatloaf.

The meatloaf my husband’s family grew up eating is made with beef,  with maybe just a bit of ground pork, a variety of herbs, then is usually baked and served with an herbed tomato based sauce.

Meanwhile, my family’s version of meatloaf is generally made with ground pork ,  minced vegetables,  sweet pickles, raisins, stuffed with sausage and eggs, wrapped (foil, parchment, banana leaves) and steamed.

Where I come from this meatloaf version is called Embutido.  It is usually served on special days with banana catsup on the side.  My children, husband and I like them with russian dressing; the kind I make of course 😉

Since one of my kiddos have a bad reaction to eggs, I tend to either omit the eggs or substitute firm tofu.  I have to say that it is good either way.   Embutido can be served  as an appetizer or as a main dish with a side of lightly steamed vegetables and/or plain cooked rice.

Differently sweet, not overly salty and a bit tangy – Embutido is a special Filipino dish that is worth the time and effort to make and then share with those you care about.

Gluten Free/Eggless Embutido (Filipino-style Meatloaf)

What we need to have:

2 lbs. ground pork
1  1/2 cup bread crumbs (gluten free/wheat free – I usually use my french bread crumbs for this)
1 cup carrots, minced
1 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup black currants
1/2 cup red bell pepper, minced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, minced
1/2  white onion, minced (about a cup)
1/2 cup sweet pickles, minced
1/2 cup tomato catsup
1/2 cup white cheddar cheese (can be omitted)
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. Tapioca starch
2 cloves garlic,  crushed and minced
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1.5 to 2 tsp. sea salt
flaxgel for 2 ( 2 Tbsp. flaxmeal stirred into 1/2 cup hot water; cool b4 using)
12 pcs. vienna sausage, cut lengthwise or  6 wiener sausage cut lengthwise then halved
1 lb. firm tofu cut in strips (each about the size and thickness of a halved vienna) or, 3 hard boiled eggs, sliced into wedges
8 pcs. foil, each about 10 inches by 12 inches
a steamer (I  use a bamboo one that you just set over a pan of boiling water)

What we need to do:

  1. In a big bowl put in ground pork.  Over this, sprinkle Tapioca, Cornstarch and Baking Powder.
  2. Add in bread crumbs, raisins, currants, carrots, peppers, onions, sweet pickles, catsup and cheese (if using).  Mix well.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour in cooled flaxgel mixture and with a fork or spatula, stir together until well combined.  Now you have your meat mixture.
  5. On a piece of foil,  spoon out about an 8th portion of your meat mixture.  Flatten out to approx. 5 inch wide by 8 inches long.
  6. Put in the sliced vienna sausage and sliced  tofu or boiled eggs (if not allergic) alternately on the middle of the flattened meat mixture.
  7. Roll the foil to form a cylinder, locking the sausage and egg in the middle of the meat mixture.  Sort of like rolling as you would sushi.  Once done,  twist ends to lock in meat loaf , sealing the edges of the foil wrap. Repeat process until you have used up all of your mixture.  You should have about eight meatloaf rolls wrapped in foil.
  8. Place in prepared steamer and steam for 1 to 1.5 hours – depends on what kind of steaming device one uses.  I happen to use a bamboo one that is just set over a boiling pan of water (medium heat).
  9. Once cooked, take out  “rolls”, do not unwrap but let cool a bit before placing in your fridge.
  10. Once cold, unwrap, slice and serve with preferred sauce  or fry individual slices and serve warm.


–  Delicious even with just plain catsup or get fancy with russian dressing
–  Stays good refrigerated (in foil) for 10 days.  Keeps in the freezer wrapped in foil for a month.