Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Creamy Zucchini Soup

I had so much zucchini from my garden this year.  Instead of just shredding it or slicing it and freezing it, I thought I would make a soup stock for the winter.  It freezes much better and is a space saver as well.  I have posted how to make the soup stock as well as how to make my Creamy Zucchini Soup.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

For my Vegetable Soup Stock you will need the following:

2 zucchini (about 12-15 in. in length) peeled, seeded & chopped
2 medium onions chopped
4 stalks of celery chopped
1 Tbl. minced garlic
2 Tbl. ground basil
2 Tbl. ground oregano
1-2 tsp. salt

Combine all of your ingredients into a stock pot and fill with water so it is just covering the vegetables.  Bring to a boil, then cook on medium for 1-2 hours covered.  When it is done cooking, laddle small portions into a blender and puree.  You can store this stock in freezer containers.  I suggest using canning jars.  This stock will last 1 year in the freezer.

To make the Creamy Zucchini Soup you will need the following:

1/2 can coconut milk
ground basil to taste
ground oregano to taste
salt to taste

Laddle out 4 cups or more of your soup stock.  Add your coconut milk.  The color should be a light yellowish green.  If it is ivory you added too much coconut milk.  If you need to, add some more soup stock.  Heat on medium low and add herbs and salt to taste.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Giant Stuffed Squash

For my husband's birthday dinner we decided to try something new, Giant Stuffed Squash. If you are like me than you have had times when you just couldn't get out to the garden fast enough and the squash had grown into a monsterous size. This dish is perfect for oyur garden monsters. It was a great way to use up some of our garden veggies that were too scarce to freeze and too few to cook and eat. The flavor is amazing and one 12 -15 inch squash makes enough side dishes for 8 or main dishes for 4.


1 egg

1 lg. clover garlic, crushed

1/2 cup Le Garden Panko Breadcrumbs

1 giant zucchini at least 12 in. long

1 Tbl. olive oil

1 lg. onion, chopped

1/2 sweet red or green pepper, chopped

2 small carrots, diced

1/4 lb. of any veggies you have on hand

-mushrooms, kolrabi, string beans, cucumbers

1 very ripe tomato, diced

3 Tbl. tomato paste

1 tsp. ground oregano

1 tsp. ground basil

1/4 cup Le Garden Panko Breadcrumbs

1/2 lb. cheddar cheese or cheese substitute, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Beat egg with garlic. Add 1/2 cup breadcrumbs.

Halve zucchini lengthwise, scrape out seed cavity, and spread egg mixture over cut surfaces. Place zucchini in a 9x13 in. casserole dish with an inch of water in the pan and steam in the oven for 10 minutes.

Heat oil; saute onions, peppers, carrots and on-hand veggies until onions are limp and transparent. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano and basil. Drain. Fill zucchini shells with veggie mixture, top with 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and cover with cheese.

Put in oven and steam for 35 minutes then cut into thick slices and serve.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Just Like Batter Dipped but Better!

Who doesn't love fried chicken, onion rings or even batter dipped veggies?  Some of my favorite foods before going gluten-free were traditionally fried foods.  On my search to try and find the best "batter" for gluten-free fried foods on my favorites list...I found out my son was gluten intolerant as well.  This search went into overdrive as my son's favorite food is batter dipped chicken nuggets.  In trying to make a gluten-free batter, I found that it is often times gummy or didn't stick to your food once you placed it in the pan for frying.  After many trials, as a last ditch effort to come up with something that my son would eat in place of his beloved chicken nuggets I found it...the alternative to a batter for dredging your favorite frying foods.  To my amazement it was so simple I just plain overlooked it.  The mystery item...Millet Flour.  that's it, plain and simple. To make that crispy batter dipped texture and taste on your chicken, onions and veggies.

The recipe is simple, you will need:

Your favorite frying food
Millet Flour
egg, milk or water
spices of your choice
frying oil

First, put Millet Flour in a bowl with a blend of your favorite spices to season the flour.  Next, have another bowl ready with egg, milk or water.  Dredge your food in the egg, milk or water and then in the flour.  If you want a thicker coat repeat the process.  Place dredged food in a pan with enough frying oil to cover the food half way (make sure the oil is hot before placing the food in to fry).  Fry till golden brown and then flip and repeat on the other side.

I can't believe it was so simple & delicious.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my son and I do.  If you would like, you can opt to bake your food instead of frying.  It works just as well.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Avocado-Corn Salsa!

This is a great fresh salsa to top any Mexican inspired dish.

3/4 cup frozen thawed corn
1/2 cup quartered grape tomatoes
1 medium diced avocado
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
2 teaspoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

Toss avocado, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and salt in a medium bowl.  That's it, you're done!  Add it as a topping to an enchilada, rice and beans or any of your favorite dishes. 

Have fun in the kitchen cooking up something new today!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

May is Celiac Awareness Month!

Wow, it's already May and boy do we have a lot going on!  May 2nd is our ode to mom, Flash Back! Retro Cookies You Will Love class!  May 7th leads us to Indulgent Vegan Truffles class, all at the Le Garden Bakery kitchen.  Laurie and I will be heading to Jamesville Beach Park on May 22nd to hand out samples of Le Garden Bakery's yummy bread at their annual Celiac Walk.  May 27th is our 2nd Celiac Group meeting at Ithaca Bakery in the Triphammer Mall.  If you are in the area at any of our events please stop by and see us. 

Give your mom the gift of class for Mother's Day!  Give us a call 607-220-9010 or 607-220-7715 today to register for 1 or both of these amazing classes.  I can't wait to see you there.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mexican Coleslaw Recipe

I am loving working with cabbage!  This recipe is a raw dish and is great for spring and summer picnics.


6 cups very thinly sliced cabbage
1 1/2 cups peeled and grated carrots
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt


Place cabbage and carrots in a colander; rinse thoroughly with cold water to crisp.  Let drain for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk cilantro, vinegar, oil and salt in a large bowl.  Add cabbage and carrots; toss well to coat.  Once prepared, serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.  Toss again to refresh just before serving.

This recipe serves 8 and is only 53 calories a serving.  It contains 5g carbs, 2g fiber and 1g protein.  It is a great refreshing side dish perfect for the warm weather.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ithaca Wellness Fair Results!

We had a great time at the Ithaca Wellness Fair!  We handed out Le Garden Bakery Bread samples with hummus, literature and did a lot of educating on gluten intolerance and celiac disease.  At the event we met some loyal fans of Le Garden and individuals who were either eager to learn more about the glutenfree lifestyle or that were newly diagnosed and loved the fact that there was something at the fair for them.  We are making it our mission to reach out to the community by bringing awareness and education on the glutenfree lifestyle to those who have friends or family that have food allergies and help to the newly diagnosed.  Learning how to accomidate those in your life with food allergies can make get togethers enjoyable for everyone.  Come join us at our next community event in Clarence, NY.  The Buffalo Celiac Group is having their annual walk on May 15th.  For more info. on this event please visit

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ithaca Wellness Fair Today!

Come join us at the first ever Ithaca Wellness Fair at Boyton Middle School at 11:00am!  It is free to the public and there will be lots of vendors present.  We are representing Le Garden Bakery and will be handing out bread samples with yummy hummus.  You will find local restaurants, fitness centers, chiropractors, nutritionists and more for you to talk to about your health and sample what they have to offer.  Help make this event a success, come support your favorite local businesses.  See you there!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Bridgestreet Show went great!

I did not get to take any photos of the items I made but I do have a link to the live broadcast

.  You will have to scroll down slightly to the two people that look like they are holding up a tv screen.  On the right look for the 3 bunny cookies on a stick.  Click on them and enjoy the show!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thursday on Bridgestreet Channel 9 Talk Show!

Be sure to tune in Thursday between 9-10am to Channel 9 Bridgestreet Talk Show.  I (Julie) will be showing you some great projects that you can do with your family for Easter.  I will have Bunny Cookie Pops to show you that are just in time for Easter! I will  also have silk dyed eggs, one of the great ideas I got from Martha Stewart's website that is super easy to do with kids, as well as Cupcake Chicks.  These chicks are coated in toasted coconut and are absolutely adorable and delicious!  For more information on these great projects go to and  

Friday, March 19, 2010

Awesome Cinnamon French Toast!

This french toast recipe is amazing when you use Le Garden Bakery's Gluten-free Italian Bread.  I modified this recipe to make it both gluten and dairy-free.  My family loves it, and with 12g of protein for 2 slices and 7g of fiber it is a great start to any day.  You will need:

1 cup coconut milk, soy or nut milk
1 egg, whites only
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon orange or lemon extract (optional) (Flavorganics)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (Flavorganics)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 slices of Le Garden gluten-free Italian bread or gf bread of your choice
maple syrup

In a wide bowl, beat the egg white with the milk.  Add honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange or lemon extract, vanilla extract and salt.  Dip each slice of bread in the mixture for a minute.  Grease skillet and heat on medium.  Cook French Toast on both sides until brown.  Dust with cinnamon one last time and top with remaining honey and maple syrup.

I recommend using organic raw honey if it is available near you.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Easter Basket Ideas continue

Easter is quickly approaching.  I am always on the hunt for great Easter Basket ideas for my 4 yr. old.  I thought I would highlight a company I came across in my search for the perfect basket suffers.  Bluedominoes is a company that makes gluten, dairy, soy, lead, peanut, treenut, fish, shellfish and egg-free finger paints and playdough.  There are no artificial colors either!  I am so excited to have found this great company.   They also have a Bluedominoes Bundle Pack available.  This is a great resource for teachers and schools in the fight against allergies in the classroom.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Great Product for Kids!

I received a magazine in the mail the other day that I love.  It has great products for my 4 yr. old son that is on the Autistic Spectrum and for those kids who have developmental delays.  As I was scanning the pages for the next greatest my amazement I saw that they were carrying a gluten-free playdough.  I thought to myself, "This will be the perfect Easter Gift for him this year!"  As most preschoolers do, my son loves playdough.  I thought I would pass the word along as I am sure there are some parents out there like myself that is trying their hardest to make sure that their child is not left out of any fun activities.  The magazine is called One Step Ahead.  You can go to to view there many amazing products.  The product is called Bubber Modeling Clay.  It is great for those kids who have coordination or sensory issues and there is even no grit, no sticky residue and no staining!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Healthy Snacks

As I was eating my afternoon snack of freshly roasted pumpkin seeds, a banana and homemade coconut milk, I was reminded of the beauty of truly natural foods and I had to snap a photo.  It's easy to forget, in this world of fast and convenient foods, the value of simply prepared foods in their most natural state.

If you would like to make these roasted pumpkin seeds for your own mid-afternoon (or anytime) snack, I've included the recipe here.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Place raw (green) pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet into a 300 degree oven.  Using a spatula, toss occassionally to prevent them from burning.  When they smell fragrant and just start to brown, they're done.  Remove baking sheet and allow to cool before transferring seeds into an airtight container.

Here's some food for thought:

Did you know?... 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds contains 184 mg. magnesium, 405 mg. phosphorus, 5.16 mg iron, 278 mg. potassium, 8 mg. protein & 186 calories making pumpkin seeds a terrific mid-day snack option! Add 1/4 cup of sulfate-free dried fruit for extra flavor and nutrition.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

New Easter Marshmallow Peeps Class Scheduled!

I am so excited about our upcoming class to be held at AC Moore in Ithaca, NY!  On March 24th and again on March 31st from 6:30-7:30pm, we will be holding our Homemade Marshmallow Peeps class - just in time for Easter! This great alternative to store bought peeps is free from the following allergens: gluten, dairy, corn, nuts, fructose, egg, soy and potato.  Please contact Laurie with your specific allergy concerns. 

We will be handing out the marshmallow recipe in class for you to make at home with your family as well. The result is a light and fluffy marshmallow that closely resembles the packaged marshmallows that you would put in your hot chocolate or make rice crispy treats with. You can finish your peeps by rolling them in sanding sugar or by rolling them in powdered sugar.

This class is open to adults and children 10 yrs. old an up. The cost is $30.00 per person plus a few supplies. To register for this class, go to the Events Calender page and click to register online.  You must also sign up at AC Moore in Ithaca, NY by March 23rd in order to participate in this classKeep watching for new classes to be posted to our events calandar.

See you there!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Warm and Hearty Beef Stew

This is one of my family's all-time favorite cold-weather meals.  Use your favorite red wine and give it ample stewing time to allow the flavors to develope.  Enjoy!

Braised Beef Stew

1 ½ - 2lbs. Stewing Beef

Brown Rice Flour

2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

3-4 Potatoes – cut in quarters

3-4 Med. Sized Carrots – cut into ½ in. chunks

2 Celery Stalks – cut into ¼” slices

5-6 Stewing Onions – cut into quarters

2 Bay Leaves

2 Tbsp. Herbs de Provence

4 Tbsp. Tomato Paste

2 C. Red Wine – Merlot is our favorite - however your favorite red wine or even pure concord grape juice can be substituted.

4 C. Beef Broth

Dust beef with brown rice flour. Heat a large skillet or braising pan over Med. heat. Add oil. Brown beef on all sides – approx. 10 minutes – or until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add carrots, celery and onions to pan. Cook 5 min., stirring as needed. Add tomato paste, Herbs de Provence and Bay leaves. Cook for 5 minutes. Add wine; reduce until syrupy – about 15 minutes. Add beef broth and potatoes.

Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until beef and potatoes are fork tender. Discard bay leaves. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quick 20 minute Weeknight Dinner!

This traditional lentil side dish becomes a quick main meal when you add roasted chicken. Roast Chicken Dal has become one of my favorite dishes to make when I have very little time.  This meal takes 10 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to cook.  It doesn't get any better than that! You will need:

1 1/2 teaspoon oil
1 small minced onion
2 teaspoon curry powder (I prefer yellow)
1 15 ounce can lentils or 2 cups cooked lentils
1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 lbs. precooked rotisserie breast chicken diced with bones and skin discarded
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 cup plain yogurt or coconut keifer to make it dairy-free

Heat oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add curry powder and cook stirring, until combined with the onion and intensely aromatic, 20 to 30 seconds. Stir in lentils, tomatoes, chicken and salt and cook, stirring often, until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in yogurt. Serve immediately.

This recipe makes 4 servings and has 36g of protein, 10g of fiber and 345 calories per serving. Enjoy this quick easy dinner with your family tonight!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Another Side Dish I Love

I am having a lot of fun with side dishes lately so I decided to give you another one to try. I love beans but never knew how to cook them as their own dish. I always put them in other dishes...but a dish on their own? I gave this recipe a try and loved it. It is called Easy Black Beans. You will need the following:

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons ancho, chile or pasilla peppers (or you can simply add black pepper to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
30 ounces black beans
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add ground pepper, cumin, oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Add beans, 1 cup of water and tomato paste; stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are heated through and the sauce is slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm.

To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons water over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

This recipe makes 8 servings and has 10g of protein and 10g of fiber per serving! This recipe takes approximately 16 minutes to make. Try it, I know you'll love it as much as I do.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Warm and Delicious Side Dish

One of my favorite side dishes is Warm Apple-Cabbage Slaw. This dish takes no more than 10 minutes to make from prep to completion. Add it to any meat, fish or casserole dish in place of a salad for a unique and healthy alternative. This recipe makes 2 servings and is only 68 calories per serving. You will need:

1 1/2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 apple, thinly sliced
1/4 cup apple juice, broth or water (I use good old water)
cider vinegar to taste

Place cabbage, apple and juice(broth or water) in a medium skillet, cover and cook until tender 5-8 minutes. Stir in cider vinegar and salt to taste.

That's it! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Gluten-Free Options Packed With Nutrition

I know.  It's far easier to pick-up ready-made, gluten-free items at the grocery store than it is to go to the trouble of making it from scratch at home.  After all, who has time to learn which flour goes with what starch and what grains are no longer an option.  And nutrition - who's thinking about that?  Most of us would be happy just to sit down and eat an enjoyable something... something that's gluten-free.

That said, nutrition is key to getting our health back - and keeping it!  So, here are some quick and easy food options that, when given the next opportunity, will help you to make healthier food choices.
  • Instead of... baked goods made with white rice flour  
  • Choose... baked goods made with brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, nut flours and ground chia seeds.
  • Insead of... corn starch  
  • Choose... tapioca and arrowroot starch.
  • Instead of... white rice 
  • Choose... brown rice, millet, amaranth, gluten-free oats, buckwheat groats, quinoa or a combination of them.
  • Instead of... cold cereal like corn flakes & rice crisps
  • Choose... eggs or tofu scramble or a breakfast bean burrito    
  • Instead of... gf pretzles 
  • Choose... trail mix with nuts, dried fruit, coconut, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
Choosing the healthier option often offers more vitamins and minerals, more healthy fats, less sodium, less processed sugars and overall good health.  Bon Appetite'!          

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

So you have Celiac Disease/Gluten-Sensitivity...Now what!?

For those of us who are diagonsed with the inability to eat wheat or gluten containing grains, life can take a dramatic shift down an uncertain culinary path.  "What in the world can I eat?" are the words that I often hear when talking to a newly diagnosed patient.  "A whole lot!", is my response.  I know - long gone are familiar comfort foods that many of us know and love.  Foods like macaroni and cheese, pizza, pasta, muffins, doughnuts... need I go on?  But in spite of this culinary tragedy, there is a silver lining around the gluten-free cloud.  In a word - Creativity.

Our world is so often confined to the small, narrow box in our mind.  We're religious about using the same products, familiar brand-names with virtually no variations.  Many times in the kitchen, it's even worse.  Don't believe me?  Try to make a monthly menu and see how many different meals you can come up with.  Yes, this one is truly sobering.  What's a celiac to do?

I thought it might be worth mentioning here some of these interesting fun facts about food and maybe it will inspire you to expand your culinary horizons:

  • Did you know that there are over 500 different kinds of bananas?
  • Eating 20 tart cherries daily could reduce inflammation and headache pain.
  • There are at least 10,000 varieties of tomatoes, all of which contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant known to help a variety of ailments.
  • There are more than 7,000 varieties of apples in the world.  Each is filled with lots of fiber and makes a great snack for diabetics.
  • Broccoli has more Vit. C than an orange and as much calcium as a glass of milk.  They even contain a good amound of protein!
  • The natural sugar in an apple is more potent than the caffeine in coffee and is better at keeping you awake.
  • 1/2 cup sweet red peppers contain twice as much Vit. C as green peppers
First, step out of the box that we (or someone else) created and step into a world of flavor and color.  Be willing to expand your knowledge and your taste buds.  Here are some ideas on how and where to begin:
  • Enroll in a nutrition/culinary class that focuses on introducing new recipes and ingredients to your specialty diet.
  • Visit sites like and and search gluten-free for delicious new recipe ideas.
  • Make a trip to your local book store and purchase one of the great gluten-free cookbooks available on the market.  Try one new recipe per week.
  • For the adventerous, buy a cookbook that focuses on foods you love.  Get creative and improvise to make it work.
  • Try one new fruit and vegetable per week. 
  • Join a celiac support group.
  • Follow gluten-free blogs like and others to gain valuable information on gf products and recipes.
Today is the first day of your new life - a full, healthy and satisfying life.   



Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Perfect Dinner that's gluten-free and dairy-free!

Tonight I am making Salsa Burgers with Roasted Veggies. This is a great dinner for the weekend when you have about an hour to cook. You will need the following:

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 - 1/2 jar of salsa
1 egg
2 slices of gluten-free bread (I use Le Garden Bakery bread)
2 cup of each: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots
2 tbls. olive oil
salt to taste

First combine your ground beef, egg and salsa in a large bowl. Take the bread slices and crumble them into the mixture. Use your hands to combine thoroughly. It should not be really moist but a firm consistancy. Heat your oil in a pan and make patties about the size of your palm and cook through.

Next chop your veggies and place them on a sheet pan lined with foil. Dizzle some oil on them and season with a little salt. Stir to insure that all of the veggies are coated with oil. Place in a preheated oven at 400 for 30 minutes.

Try this delicious and filling meal tonight in your house. It makes about 8-10 burgers and 2 servings of veggies. That's enough for leftovers! So have some fun in the kitchen tonight!