Nothing like a nourishing boost for the mood than to receive a cookbook in the mail that is destined to become a treasured favorite. One of my newest acquisitions is written by Ricki Heller, a fellow cook, baker, blogger and published author whom I have been following since I ventured into the world of food blogging nearly 7 years ago.
I've tried more than a few of Ricki's recipes and I've never been disappointed. Indeed, I have been excited with the results each and every time. Her latest book, Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free, is packed full with over 100 recipes that are free of gluten, dairy, eggs and refined sugars. Most are also soya free.
Ricki transformed her diet after years of eating refined sugars and decadent treats that led to a diet free of dairy, gluten and refined sweeteners, and to the path of wellness. You won't miss out at all when you try some of these whole food recipes that taste just as good, if not better, than the Hyde version of your favorite treats. A bonus is that many of the ingredients are already staples in my kitchen and fairly easy to find too. Informative, friendly and just what you want to eat, Ricki's book is one of the best of the season. It's lavishly illustrated too. Nourish yourself with some positive and creative energy from Ricki. Treat yourself to this lovely book and get baking to good health.
I meant to incorporate some dried fruit into the mix, such as cranberries or cherries, but I forgot … but no matter, as this is one recipe that stands alone just as developed. I only made a few minor changes. If you drink coffee, brew up a cup and indulge. Typically, I am not a big coffee girl, but in this case, that little extra indulgence is just right.
There's nothing quite like a bowl of chili when you are chilly, and I often am because my apartment is on the upper flour of an old drafty house. I call it the igloo.
Not only is this dish warming, but it is especially appealing because of the multitude of perhaps surprising flavors that go into the pot. It's nice and thick with plenty of texture from the beans and nuts, and lots of spicy and salty goodness from the chipotle, paprika, tamari, Worcestershire, vinegar and tomato. The chili even includes coffee and beer, lending additional layers of flavor to the bowl. And then there is the corn and avocado salsa that proved to be an ideal and refreshing topping to the chili — actually quite delicious even on its own, I'll be keeping the salsa recipe on hand for snacking with tortilla chips. Surely this is one vegetarian meal that won't fail to impress your family, especially if you serve it up with some homemade biscuits such as these classic Southern-style buttermilk biscuits.
More often than not, when I cook with paneer cheese it usually is an Indian-style dish, although I did once make a Thai Massaman curry with paneer cheese that certainly will be making an appearance again in the near future at the table.
This time, I went with a fusion dish, mixing up typical Indian spicing with prominent Thai flavors. It was a match made in heaven.
Expect to see a fair number of soups offered up here for the next good while. Those who know me understand how much I detest the cold months. They also know my weakness for mushrooms. What better way to warm up than with an earthy bowl of Thai inspired goodness.
Although I am most at home with Indian cooking and spicing, over the years I have become almost as fond of Thai dishes. It's generally a spicy cuisine, as Indian is, so it's really no wonder that I gravitate toward this rich heritage of cooking. The idea of this soup especially appealed to me because in addition to coconut milk and mushrooms, the soup showcased other vegetables and, to fill it out, plump red kidney beans.