The Health Benefits of Pumpkin

pumpkin_in_patchSource: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/04/pumpkin-health-benefits_n_1936919.html

It’s pumpkin season again. In addition to decorating your doorstep for Halloween with them, did you know all the health benefits for you, your family and your pets?

Help for your eyesight – A cup of pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which can help your eyesight, particularly in dim light, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Great source of fiber – Pumpkin is a great source of fiber with three grams per one-cup serving and only 49 calories. A small amount added to your dog’s food can also help them with their own elimination (plus my dog loves it). Click to continue reading »

Gluten-Free Roasted Chocolate Cake | Triumph Dining

sachertorte-austrian-chocolate-cakeRoasting, although basic, is an easy way to develop flavor in your food. In the process of turning cocoa beans into chocolate, roasting is a necessary and important step that removes the bacteria and bitterness from the bean and develops the more familiar, chocolate flavor that we are used to tasting. If you tried a cocoa bean before the roasting process, you would find it would taste a lot different than the delicious chocolate we all know.

Even though cocoa powder comes from beans that have already been roasted, roasting them again after they have been crushed into a powder helps release even more flavor and builds layers which you can definitely taste in the finished product. Click to continue reading »

Gluten-Free Cocoa Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce

pancakesIf you are one of those families that eats breakfast together every morning because the evenings are just too crazy with sports / homework / showers then this recipe may turn into one of your favorites. It’s a little sweet for breakfast every day but it is a good enticement to get everyone out of bed and to the table on time.

This pancake is also great with chocolate sauce, confectioner’s sugar or bananas sautéed in sugar and butter. Here it’s served with a fresh raspberry sauce.

Ingredients

• 1 teaspoon whole flax seeds

• 1⁄2 teaspoon psyllium husk powder

• 1⁄4 teaspoon chia seeds

• 11⁄4 cups gluten free all purpose flour without added gums* (7 ounces)

• 3 tablespoons high quality cocoa powder (3/4 ounce)

• 1⁄2 cup almond flour (1.8 ounces)

• 1 tablespoon sugar

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

• 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt

• 11⁄2 cups milk

• 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for the pan

• 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar Click to continue reading »

Gluten-Free Tin Foil Dinners | Triumph Dining

0abc4ec06c4c563d42a039e6100f6c11The suffocating summer heat has passed in many regions leaving in its place leaves turning colors, cool mornings and nights, and weather perfect for light jackets. This is a great time of year to go camping. If you find yourself camping and in search of some easy foil dinners, here are a few new ones to try:

Salmon with Artichokes and Kalamata olives.

Double up foil. Set piece of salmon on top. Douse with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic, salt, marinated artichoke hearts and Kalamata olives. Fold the foil into a tightly sealed tent and grill on medium heat for 15 minutes. Click to continue reading »

Gluten-Free Peach Pie | Triumph Dining

peach-crumble-pie-8While the late summer months may mean family camp for some and BBQs for others, to me it has always meant Peach Season with a capital P and a capital S. To celebrate the bountiful harvest each year, I always kick off the late summer season by making my Peach Pie with an Almond Crust and serve it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. It’s the perfect way to end a hot summer day.

Plus, not only are peaches juicy and delicious this time of year, but they are full of health benefits as well. Peaches are great for the skin and contain a high amount of fiber and potassium, which reduces kidney related diseases and lessens the risk of an ulcer. They’re also loaded with vitamins and antioxidants and have been proven to fight cancer and heart disease. Click to continue reading »

Frozen Strawberry Lemonade Pie | Triumph Dining

strawberries_leadBetween school starting back up, end-of-season BBQs and holiday plans popping into our heads earlier and earlier, the last days of summer always seems to be a crazy-busy time of year. For those of you who like to entertain, this is an easy gluten-free dessert that doesn’t require baking. It’s inexpensive and a huge crowd pleaser, too.

The finished result is a light and creamy pie with sweet strawberries and zesty lemon flavors that melt in your mouth. Cool and refreshing, you may end up seeing that this bad boy makes at least one appearance every summer. This recipe makes two pies. Click to continue reading »

Zucchini Soup | Triumph Dining

2009_01_22-zucchiniWhile my garden is growing and while it’s still farmer’s market season in the Midwest I like to  keep our food as seasonal as possible. Just as I picked all types of berries a few weeks ago, now my zucchini and yellow squash plants are really producing. We’ve published quite a few zucchini recipes on this blog. Be sure to check out this easy summer salad and zucchini bread, too.

I love zucchini brushed with olive oil and grilled. It’s easy, simple, fast and tastes great. But when I’m in the mood for something a little different there’s a cold zucchini soup I turn to. It tastes like summer and since it’s served cold, it’s a nice dinner option for a hot day. I serve it with tortilla chips and my kids tend to treat it as more of a dip than a soup.

It’s easy to make so feel free to play around with seasonings. It’s good with basil or dill. There are also recipes that add curry, cilantro or cayenne. You can cut down on the calories by using low fat cream cheese or sour cream. Cutting back on the amount of those makes for a less creamy soup but still tastes great and also saves on the calories. Feel free to make it your own.

Ingredients:

- 4 medium zucchini (I used a huge one from my garden and also threw in a small yellow squash)

- 1 onion

- Chicken broth or vegetable stock

- 16 oz. cream cheese

- 8 oz. sour cream

Directions:

1) Chop the zucchini and onion into large chunks and place into a pot. Pour in enough chicken

broth to cover. Cook down until zucchini and onion is soft.

2) Blend all ingredients together with a food processor, blender or immersion blender.

3) Let cool a bit and blend then blend in cream cheese and sour cream.

4) Chill until cold and serve with corn chips and your favorite garnish.

Happy summer! Enjoy.

Stack’d | Triumph Dining

StackdTo me, pancakes are the ultimate comfort food; you can make them sweet or savory, they aren’t complicated to cook, and they’re absolutely delicious. However, finding a recipe for a non-grainy, good tasting, gluten-free pancakes isn’t easy at all. Too often, the wrong kind of gluten-free flour or sweeteners can make the end product anything but comforting. Given this, I was elated to come across Jessica Kahn’s book Stack’d The Gluten-Free Protein Pancake Cookbook.

Out of the three recipes I have tried so far, they have all been really tasty, but the really great part is that they are packed with protein so you feel fuller longer and they have a great texture to them. Jessica’s recipe’s call for gluten-free rolled oats. I used Bob’s Red Mill, which are blended down to make perfect pancakes. The blending of the ingredients also whips air into the batter, which makes for a lighter and fluffier pancake. Click to continue reading »

Zema’s Foccacia | Triumph Dining

rosemary-450x767Do you participate in the Meatless Monday trend? It’s a goal in our house although it’s not always accomplished on Mondays. No matter the day, I try to plan at least one or two meatless dinners during the week.

This week’s meal was created around a rosemary-millet focaccia mix made by Zema’s Madhouse Foods. We made a tomato pesto focaccia, vegetarian potato leek soup and a green tossed salad.

The mix came in my monthly Cuisine Cube and could be made into focaccia bread or a pizza crust. We opted to top ours with some homemade pesto, sliced tomatoes and a little shredded cheese. The mix required adding egg whites (or egg replacer), water, maple syrup or agave nectar and vinegar. The directions said to mix everything together then layout on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet before adding the toppings. I didn’t have any parchment but the foil I used worked fine.

The focaccia bread turned out thin, browned on the edges and tasty. The whole thing took about 10 minutes to prep and 40-50 minutes to bake so I put it in the oven then made the soup. Click to continue reading »

It’s Berry Season | Triumph Dining

main Markus Mainka shutterstock_90796280This past week alone I was able to pick my own blueberries, cherries, raspberries, gooseberries and currents many in a variety of colors or types. There’s a sense of accomplishment in filling that picking bucket. I often enjoy the picking so much though, that I get home and think: ‘Now what do I do with all these berries?’

The obvious choice is sharing with friends and family so that is easily done. I also wash and freeze some for the winter for a splash of color or the taste of summer on a cold cold day. It’s nice, too, to have frozen fruit on hand for smoothies.

Here are some additional ideas and recipes to use up those fresh berries that you picked or bought from the farmer’s market or store. Please share your ideas if you have others that didn’t make this list.

• Fresh berries with ice cream, whipped cream or yogurt

• Fresh berries with granola, cold cereal or oatmeal

• Make your own jam

• Berry sauce to use as a topping for desserts, pancakes, French toast of crepes

• Berry muffins

• Berry parfait with layers of yogurt, gluten-free granola and berries

• Fruit crisp (made with any fruit on hand)

• Popsicles or smoothies

• Summer salads

• Berry-infused water or lemonade

• Muddled berry wine spritzer or cocktail Click to continue reading »