February 23, 2010

Gluten Free Pumpkin & Rice Soup

My comprehensive exams are coming up and I'm stressing it a little.  I know that all I have to do is pass them, but my pathological drive to always go the extra distance is pushing me to want to get the best scores possible.  Although I know that it really doesn't matter what score you get, a passing mark is a passing mark, I just can't help myself.  On top of comps I have a chapter I'm writing for a book on Civic Engagement that is due (in rough form at least) by Monday.  It'll be bloodshot eyes and sore wrists from typing by the end of this weekend for sure!

With the lack of free time, I've been keeping it simple in the kitchen.  The following recipe can be made with fresh pumpkin if you like, but for sake of cost and convenience, I went with canned pumpkin.  Also, although I didn't add any, feel free to add crumbled bacon or diced ham to this soup to give it a little tasty protein kick:)  Regardless of how you alter this soup, it's sure to warm your insides with a sense of comfort, and put a smile on your face.

Serves 2


  • 1 - 24-28 oz. canned pumpkin (I used pureed)
  • 1 1/2 - cups GF chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 - cups low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 - tsp sugar
  • 1/2 - tsp ground cinnamon (to serve)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup cooked rice
  • Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper

  1. Add all the ingredients, except the rice and cinnamon, in a soup pan and heat till boiling (stirring occasionally). 
  2. Reduce heat to low. Stir in most of the rice (leave a little to sprinkle on top of soup) and cook for another 5 minutes. This is the point where you'd add bacon or diced ham if you prefer.
  3. Adjust the S&P to taste before ladling into serving bowls.  Top off with a sprinkle of rice and cinnamon.
  4. That's it!  Like I said, simple and fast! Enjoy!

February 9, 2010

Gluten Free Restaurant Review: Tortilla Press Cantina

Collingswood, NJ has it going on for GF dining choices!  Not long ago I was asked by Lydia and Chef Mark from Tortilla Press Cantina to stop by for a complimentary dinner to discuss their new GF-friendly menu.  There were four of us Celiac sufferers present, including one other GF blogger, Michael, from Gluten Free Philly.  On top of being served some amazing food, we were allowed to communicate our opinions about what would make Tortilla Press Cantina as GF friendly as possible. Some of our suggestions were: Advertise the fact that they have a designated GF fryer; place a "GF" next to every gluten free item on their menu; advertise on the outside of their restaurant that it's a GF-Friendly establishment; and educate the waitstaff about gluten sensitivity issues.  They were more than happy to work on all of our suggestions:)

This is Chef Mark

Although I don't have any good pictures of the food I ate that night, I've got to tell you, their Coffee Rubbed Braised Baby Back Ribs "slow simmered in our famous rub and served with mango bbq sauce and maple glazed sweet potatoes" were out-of-this-world!  And although they contract out for the GF dessert (Boston Cream Pie) I picked out, it was absolutely mouth watering scrumplicious! I'm sooo happy they have that on their menu:)

Not only have they taken our suggestion to list all their gluten free menu items with a (GF), they even went so far as to create a special GF Valentines Day menu! How cool is that!  Below I've pasted their menus for you to check out.  If you're ever in the area, I highly suggest you take the 15 minute trip from Philadelphia to chow down at Tortilla Press Cantina.  The prices are fair, the food is delicious, and the GF-friendly atmosphere is like an Oasis in a desert of unsympathetic, GF-ignorant eateries!

Here's the link:  Tortilla Press Cantina

February 3, 2010

Gluten Free Vegetarian Chili Yam Boats

Those who have been reading this blog know my affinity for the mighty yam.  Of course that's completely due to my insatiable sweet-tooth. Yams are sweet, but also very good for you... Which is why I love them so much.  I can eat them all day long and not feel a pinch of guilt.

The following dish was made especially for a vegetarian friend of mine who came to dinner.  I sided it with partially boiled Fennel topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese that had been placed under a broiler to brown and crisp.  The meal was absolutely deeeliiiish!  I had a lot of the veggie-chili leftover.  It was perfect all by itself, so I ate that for days.  The spices and the flavors of the vegetables was amazing.  I'll probably end up making this dish, minus the yams, sometime soon.  It was good enough to truly miss it:)


  • 3 small-medium yams
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 - 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup GF vegetable stock
  • 1 large zucchini (cubed)
  • 1 - 10 oz can sweet corn kernels (drained)
  • 3 - 14 oz cans red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • sour cream (to top)
  • grated sharp cheddar (to top)

  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F.
  2. Rinse the sweet potatoes and poke holes into them with a fork (so they don't explode)
  3. Place the yams on a baking tray and bake for 1-1/2 hours, or until you can easily push a fork into them.  You want them soft and mushy.
  4. While the yams are baking, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until soft and golden (stirring occasionally). Add the garlic and spices, cooking and stirring for another minute or so.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, GF vegetable stock, and beans. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Partially cover and cook for another 20 minutes.
  6. Uncover, increase the heat to medium-low for another 15 minutes to thicken the liquid.
  7. To serve, cut the yams in half lengthwise. Spoon the veggie chili mixture over the top of your yam-boats.  Add a dollop of sour cream and a few slices of sharp cheddar.
  8. Chow down and love the healthy yumminess of it all!


Just So You Know...

The information presented in this blog is intended to educate and entertainment. However, I'm not a medical expert.  I also do not know absolutely everything about Celiac Disease.  What I do know has been learned through trial and error, research, and what has been taught to me by friends who also share my food-related affliction.  Please take the time to do your own research about Celiac Disease and gluten-related issues.  I have a list of links to useful resources along the left-side of this blog. Also, feel free to cross-check my statements. If you find contrary information, please let me know. Thanks so much for visiting Trav's Gone Gluten Free!