Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Perfect Weeknight Supper: Kettle Cuisine Soups

Posted in GF product, Uncategorized, vegetarian on February 22nd, 2012 by Betsy – 4 Comments

Recently I had the opportunity to try some delicious soups made by the folks at Kettle Cuisine.  I love making soups and stews in my own kitchen but there are times when the husband’s out of town, or I’m getting home late from a lacrosse game, that I just want an easy dinner that involves minimal work on my part.

Kettle Cuisine makes yummy, hearty soups, in many varieties, that only need to be heated before serving.  Perfect for a solo weeknight dinner or a Saturday lunch.  Most of Kettle Cuisine’s soups are high in fiber and lower in calories than your typical frozen dinner.  More importantly, ALL varieties (including their chicken noodle soup) are gluten-free!  Kettle Cuisine’s founder, Jerry Shafir, started producing entirely gluten-free soups in 2006.  Jerry’s daughter, Kate, was diagnosed with Celiac 20 years ago so he knows how hard it can be to find tasty, healthy, frozen meals that are gluten free.

Some of my Kettle favorites include the chicken soup with rice noodles, chicken chili with white beans, and Thai curry chicken soup.  These soups are filling and won’t leave you hungry. They don’t skimp on the good stuff, like meat, veggies and beans.  When eating one, you don’t feel like you have a bowl of broth in front of you.  I let David try the New England Clam Chowder and he devoured every bite.  He said it was one of the best clam chowders he has ever tasted.  (I’ll have to take his word because I’m not a huge clam chowder fan.)

Kettle Cuisine’s soups can be found all over the country.  Click here to find a location near you.  In Atlanta, you can find them at Whole Foods, Return to Eden, and even at the Kroger on Howell Mill Road.  Check them out for yourself!  You won’t regret sampling this perfect weeknight dinner.  (Warning: These meals will make you wonder why you’ve spent so much time in the past making soups from scratch.)

Revolutionary Soup (Charlottesville)

Posted in travel on February 3rd, 2012 by Betsy – 2 Comments

One of my favorite (re)discoveries last fall was Revolutionary Soup in Charlottesville.  As a college student, this was one of my favorite lunch spots on the Downtown Mall.  Ten years later, they now have a location on the Corner, closer to Grounds, and they are great about labeling allergens in their various items.

When David and I visited Charlottesville this fall, (pre-morning sickness), we ate twice at Rev Soup.  It was a cold and rainy weekend, so their hearty soups were a perfect lunch for us. The lamb curry soup was deliciously spicy and meaty and the salad rounded out the meal nicely.  On our second stop I enjoyed the peanut tofu soup, one that I surprisingly loved.  The best part is they let you sample the different soups so you know which one you really want.  Rev Soup also labels soups that are vegan and vegetarian.

What are your favorites at Rev Soup?  Sadly, the grilled cheese is not gluten free.

Peanut Tofu Soup...delicious!

Revolutionary Soup:

108 2nd Street SW (Downtown Mall Location)
Charlottesville, VA 22902
(434) 296-SOUP (7687)

104 14th Street Northwest (Corner Location)
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(434) 979-9988



Two Things I Love…

Posted in Atlanta, local food, Restaurants on November 1st, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

Urban Pl8 & ScoutmobClick here to get your Scoutmob for Urban Pl8.  This is one of my favorite spots on the Westside and their menu is almost entirely gluten free.  Make sure to tell your server that you’re gluten free so they know to make you the GF version of the dish.

Most recently, I went for brunch and got an amazing egg scramble, with a side of roasted sweet potatoes and GF toast!  Awesome.  Please support this local business that works hard to make delicious gluten-free food.  And paleo friendly too!

Some of my favorites on the menu:

  • Kale chips (don’t knock ‘em ‘til you try them!)
  • Grilled harissa chicken tangine (ask them for some toasted GF bread to dip in the amazing sauce!)
  • Paleo coconut shrimp

Yum!  I also love their mixed green salad with chicken and a side of sweet potatoes.  Sounds simple but they make it so good.

Spring Pesto

Posted in cooking, recipe, vegetarian on May 11th, 2011 by Betsy – 2 Comments

basil final

Last summer I wrote “An Ode to My Food Processor.”  As sad as it was to say goodbye to my mini-food processor, we upgraded to the next level.  This past weekend we broke out the new, bigger, shinier, and improved food processor, to make one of our favorite recipes: pesto.

basil process We were particularly excited to make pesto because we’ve been growing our own basil.  I have many dreams of being a farmer, but sadly our backyard doesn’t have great sunlight.  In attempting to develop our green thumbs, David and I are growing basil, rosemary and thyme in pots.  And boy are they growing.  (I don’t think we can take any credit for it though…mother nature’s pretty amazing.)

basil plant

This was our first time to really dig into the basil and we had enough leaves for a beautiful batch of pesto.  We used it for pesto chicken pasta with tomatoes and chicken.

Cook’s Illustrated’s pesto recipe involves roasting garlic and some other involved steps.  It was late Sunday afternoon and I wanted to make the batch quickly, so I bypassed the complicated parts and just through all the ingredients into the food processor.


Simple Pesto (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)


  • 2 cups basil leaves tightly packed
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • Salt & pepper

Place all ingredients into the food processor and mix until smooth, or about a minute.  You may need to stop occasionally to scrape down the sides.  It’s also good to taste as you go.  I ended up adding a little more olive oil and parmesan.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  If you’re making the pesto ahead of time, transfer pesto into a bowl and put saran wrap tightly over the actual pesto so that air can’t get to it, causing it to lose some of its beautiful bright green.

basil proces2

We grilled bone-in chicken breasts on the grill and cut them up.  (You can also cook boneless chicken breasts on the stove top but I found the flavor of the grilled bone in to be far superior.)  Cook pasta according to cooking instructions.  Once cooked, drain immediately and transfer pasta to a bowl.  Add chopped baby tomatoes, chicken, and pesto.  Toss gently until pasta is covered with pesto.  Dig in!

*We used bionaturae gluten-free spaghetti for this dish.  It’s one of my favorite brands.

basil final2

Enjoy!  What do you like to make with your food processor?  We definitely don’t use ours enough and I would like to put it to more use.

Wild Rice Casserole & Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day

Posted in baking, cooking, recipe, vegetarian on May 3rd, 2011 by Betsy – 3 Comments

One of my favorite foodie writers is Heidi Swanson, creator of the blog, 101 Cookbooks.  I love her photographs, recipes and writing style.  I feel like she and I would be friends…if she knew me.   All of Heidi’s recipes are vegetarian, yet filling and full of flavor.  In the past, you’ve seen me make her Brussels sprouts and chunky lentil soup, two of my all time favorites.  One of my most tattered, well-loved, cookbooks on my shelf is Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking.


For the last year, I’ve been following on 101 Cookbooks that Heidi was hard at work on a new cookbook.  Of course the moment it hit shelves, I ordered a copy of Super Natural Every Day: Well Loved Recipes from my Natural Foods Kitchen from Amazon.  Heidi’s personality and flavors are pervasive throughout the book.  The formatting and style is similar to her first cookbook, but she organizes it differently and of course, the recipes are new.  Because she cooks vegetarian, Heidi uses a lot of unique grains and flours, which appeals to the gluten-free girl in me.  While not everything Heidi makes is GF, it’s easy to navigate around those pages and even the recipes I can’t copy verbatim, I find to be inspirational in my own culinary endeavors.

Last week I had my “Fight Club” over for dinner.  This group of girls that I meet with weekly has played a huge role in why I love Atlanta so much.  It’s hard to believe that 18 months ago, I didn’t know any of them!  Since it was a Ladies’ Dinner, I decided this would be the perfect time to break out Super Natural Every Day. I also knew that I wanted to use the grill and didn’t want to be running back and forth between the kitchen and the back yard.  Heidi’s wild rice casserole stuck out to me because all of the prep can be done ahead of time and then it just bakes in the oven, leaving me to do my thing on the grill.


The wild rice casserole involves quite a few steps along the way and some chopping but it’s worth the work.  AND, when your guests arrive, you’ll no longer be laboring away, but looking relaxed and ready to sit and chat with friends, not slave over the stove.

This yummy recipe makes rice flavorful and adds depth to a grain that, in its most traditional state, can be so bland.  I didn’t change a thing about the recipe and it turned out really well.  I might add a little more salt, but other than that, it was delicious.  And, even better the next day, and the next day, and the next day, for leftovers!  The cottage cheese, sour cream and gruyere cheese complement the rice but also don’t overpower it.  You don’t feel like you had a sour cream and cheese casserole with rice, if you know what I mean.  While this is a hearty dish, it doesn’t feel ‘wintry.’  In fact it was perfect for a spring night on the porch.

Wild Rice Casserole (from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day cookbook)

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups cooked wild rice and/or brown rice (I used a combination and I really liked the different textures)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped  fresh thyme


Preheat oven to 350 with oven rack in top third of oven.  Rub a medium to large casserole/baking dish with butter or olive oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, mustard and ½ teaspoon salt.

In a large skillet over high heat, combine the olive oil and a couple pinches of salt.  Stir in the mushrooms.  Stir them once to coat with olive oil, then let them cook until liquid is released and evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Continue to cook and stir every few minutes, until mushrooms are browned.  Add the onion and cook until translucent and tender, about 3-4 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.  Remove from heat.  Add cooked rice to the skillet and mix.


Add the rice mixture to the cottage cheese mixture and stir until well combined.  Put entire mixture into your casserole dish.  Cover with 2/3 of the cheese and cover with aluminum foil.


Bake for 30 minutes, then remove tin foil.  Cook for another 20-30 minutes until cheese looks brown but not burned. Top casserole with remaining cheese and thyme.  Serve warm.

Enjoy!  What’s your favorite Heidi Swanson recipe?


Let the Countdown Begin…

Posted in cooking, GF product, local food, meals, side dish, Uncategorized, vegetarian on November 18th, 2010 by Betsy – 4 Comments

T minus 7 days until Thanksgiving supper…

Turkey Day  is happening at Casa Metcalf this year.  Yep, that’s right; David and I are hosting his family.  I can’t wait to host everyone in our new house and have an excuse to cook.

So, what are we making this year?


Turkey on the grill: David did such a great job with the turkey last year, so I see no reason to change the preparation method.  Also, grilling our bird, frees up our oven for more baking.  David plans on brining our bird 24 hours in advance.  David has also mentioned covering the turkey with bacon while grilling.  I won’t argue with that.  After much debate, we went with a fresh turkey from Publix.  I had grand plans that we would get a local turkey, that lived a happy and freely roaming life, but the price tag was too steep ($120!!).  Does that make me an awful person?

Brussels sprouts: I just can’t get enough of those little bites of goodness!  Maybe with a little pancetta?  My friend, Hannah, tried brussels sprouts with grapes recently, something I saw in Real Simple.  I’m interested.

turkey cranberry

Canned cranberry: I could attempt making cranberry from scratch, but I’ve always preferred the canned version as I grew up with the oddly smooth cranberry on orange slices.  Fortunately, canned cranberry’s GF.


Mashed Potatoes with baby red potatoes, skin on.  I love the texture the skin adds.

turkey squash

Butternut Squash (my mother-in-law’s recipe)

Stuffing: This is adventurous, and we’ve never GF stuffing before, but we’re going to try a recipe, substituting Sally’s Sandwich Bread for real bread.  Of course our stuffing will have sausage in it!

turkey pies

Apple & Pumpkin Pie (Thank goodness for Whole Foods’ Gluten-Free Bakey Pie Crusts)

I will be serving (but not making) pecan pie and dinner rolls, courtesy of Sally’s Bakery.

I’ve also learned that when hosting Thanksgiving, it’s not just the actual Thanksgiving dinner that you have to think about.  The Metcalves will be with us from Thursday through Sunday, so just a turkey and some cranberry won’t last us.

Here are some other items I’m going to make to keep our bellies happy when the last bit of turkey has been consumed and there’s no more pie left for breakfast:

turkey granola

Granola and pumpkin bread for breakfasts and snacking

Chicken chili for lunches, once the leftovers run out

Honey mustard chicken for a weekend dinner.  It’s just so easy.

What are you planning for your Thanksgiving feast?  What are your favorite gluten-free holiday recipes?

A Little Thanksgiving Help From Sally’s Bakery

Posted in Atlanta, bakery, event, GF product on November 16th, 2010 by Betsy – 1 Comment

Are you hosting a gluten-free Thanksgiving this year?  I am!  David’s family is joining us in Atlanta for the holiday and we can’t wait to have a gluten-free Thanksgiving feast in our new house.  While I’m going to make most of the items myself, I’m looking to Sally’s Bakery to supplement my own culinary goodies.  I’ll be ordering their pecan pie and some dinner rolls for our feast and of course sandwich bread for turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving.

Sallys Bakery Logo

Don’t be daunted by the thought of gluten-free holiday entertaining.  Check out what Sally’s is offering for the holidays and make your special orders:

Sally’s Bakery Holiday Menu:

9” Pumpkin Pie – $12.99 – As a holiday staple, this favorite will round out your Thanksgiving meal or make a great breakfast the next day…if it lasts! – Our pumpkin pie is gluten free and soy free.  Contains dairy and eggs.

Owner, Sally Owings, showing off one of her amazing pies

Owner, Sally Owings, showing off one of her amazing pies

9” Pecan Pie – $14.99 – Our best ever pecan pie is a must have in our house.  No one will ever know it’s gluten free.  We’re using fresh south Georgia pecans to top this pleasantly sweet southern favorite. – Our pecan pie is gluten free and soy free.  Contains dairy and eggs.

Cornbread – $9.99 8×8 square – Our cornbread is a gluten free version of our grandmother’s old-fashioned southern recipe made with eggs and buttermilk.  The only thing missing here is the iron skillet!  It’s perfect for making stuffing or toasted with warm soup. – Our cornbread is gluten free and soy free.  Contains dairy and eggs.

Yeast Dinner Rolls – $5.99 package of 6 rolls – These classic yeast dinner rolls will be a great addition to your holiday menu and are sure to melt in your mouth. – Our dinner rolls are free of gluten, soy, dairy, and eggs.

These additional offerings will be available from Monday, November 15th through Wednesday, November 24th by special order.  Place your order by phone, via email, using the contact form, or in person!

And…perhaps some muffins for breakfast later in the weekend:

Chocolate Chip Muffins – $5.99 – These moist muffins, made with an applesauce base and a hint of cinnamon, are perfect for anyone who likes a little chocolate in their life.  Vegan chocolate chip so these muffins are dairy free. – also free of gluten, and eggs.  Contains soy lecithin.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins – $5.99 – If you’ve had our banana bread, then you’re sure to love these muffins.  They’re made with the same moist and flavorful batter but we’ve added vegan chocolate chips to spice things up! – free of gluten, dairy, and eggs.  Contains soy lecithin.

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins – $5.99 – These muffins are similar to our chocolate chip muffins but are more decadent with the addition of good old-fashioned cocoa powder.  Chocolate for breakfast… yes please! – These muffins are free of gluten, dairy, and eggs.  Contain soy lecithin.

Almond Carrot Muffins – $7.99 – These muffins are the only item on our menu completely free of any refined sugar.  They’re similar to carrot cake but much healthier!  With just the right mixture of almond meal, agave, and a hint of cinnamon, they are sure to please your palate. – Our almond carrot muffins are free of gluten, soy, dairy, and eggs.

Stay tuned for more details on what I’m making for the holiday!

Gluten-Free Discovery

Posted in GF product, vegetarian on November 12th, 2010 by Betsy – 2 Comments

On a recent trip to Starbuck’s, something caught my eye.

No, it wasn’t the fact that the calendar had barely reached November, and they were already serving hot beverages in holiday cups.

Really?  It's not even Thanksgiving!  I do love the holiday cups though.

Really? It's not even Thanksgiving! I do love the holiday cups though.

Nope, I wasn’t salivating over their pumpkin scones, the most missed item from my gluten-eating days.

It was that little basket in the corner where Starbuck’s keeps their pre-packaged, and sometimes, gluten-free snacks, like Lucy’s Cookies.  In that little basket I noticed the Food Should Taste Good chips that I love so much.  But there was something new sitting next to the sweet potato chips…a new variety of Food Should Taste Good chips: “White Cheddar.”  How have I not seen this flavor before at Kroger or Whole Foods?

White Cheddar: Made Exclusively for Starbuck's

White Cheddar: Made Exclusively for Starbuck's

I then looked closer at the bag and saw Exclusively Made for Starbuck’s on the label.  Genius.  Marketing genius.  So of course, I bought a bag.

While the Sweet Potato Chips will always be my favorite (now that they no longer make cinnamon), I must say the white cheddar were a nice afternoon snack and a good change to my usual salty snacks of choice.  Paying $1.50 for a small bag of chips is a bit pricey, but since the white cheddar are only being sold at Starbuck’s, my guess is that I won’t find a more economical price.


Quinoa Salad with Yummy Goodness

Posted in cooking, local food, recipe, vegetarian on November 5th, 2010 by Betsy – 5 Comments
Quinoa: A staple at Casa Metcalf

Quinoa: A staple at Casa Metcalf

Quinoa is a go-to item in my weekly meal planning.  Not only is it yummy, but it has many nutrients and lots of fiber so we can definitely call it a super food.  I love this seed/grain as you can take it in many different culinary directions.

I’ve enjoyed it for breakfast, with cinnamon, blueberries and strawberries…

quinoa bfast

Quinoa goes well with edamame, red onions, and local cherry tomatoes

quinoa edamame

You can make a hearty quinoa dish, similar to risotta with fresh tomatoes and parmesan cheese…


My friend, Mary Stuart, has introduced me to Costco and when I accompanied her on a recent trip to this mega-store, she pointed out the large bags of quinoa to me.  Of course I added the hefty bag to the cart.  We’ll be eating a lot of quinoa in the next few months.

Who knew Costco had quinoa?

Who knew Costco had quinoa?

Earlier this week, I made a batch of quinoa with sautéed onions and served it as a side dish with honey mustard chicken.  Of course I doubled the recipe so for lunch all week, I’ve been enjoying my quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts.  Mmmm…

Last week I tried a new quinoa combo.  I made the Gluten Free Goddesses’ (also known as one of my favorite blogs, Karina’s Kitchen) recipe for Quinoa Salad with Pears, Baby Spinach, Chickpeas and Maple Vinaigrette.  Quite a combination, right?  It was so delicious and the textures worked really well together.  I particularly enjoyed the toasted pecans.  (I just toasted mine on the stove with a little olive oil on medium high heat for a few minutes.  You want to toss them as they cook to prevent uneven cooking.)

quinoa meal

Gluten-Free Goddesses’ Quinoa Salad: (Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side)


  • 1 cup organic quinoa
    Sea salt
  • 2 good handfuls of organic baby spinach leaves, washed, drained
    1 large ripe pear, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into pieces
    1/2 cup chilled chick peas, rinsed, drained
    Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
    A handful of pecans, pan toasted and salted to taste
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    3 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

quinoa pecans
Place the quinoa in a saucepan or a rice cooker. Add 2 cups fresh water, and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and cook on a low simmer until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender- roughly 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and dump it into a large salad bowl.

Toss is the pear, spinach, and chick peas.

Mix in a separate bowl the maple syrup, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Pour on salad and toss gently.  Add S & P to taste.


quinoa up close

Note: If you want the leftovers to keep during the week, I would suggest adding the spinach on an ‘as needed’ basis or even just using it as a bed on your plate for the rest of your salad.  Then it won’t get soggy during the week.

Not only did I make this dish for dinner, but the next night I enjoyed Mary Stuart’s version of the same recipe.  Of course she and I both thought sweet potatoes would go well with the dish.  She also made an amazing GF quiche but more details on that later…

What do you like to add to your quinoa?

Making Pumpkin Bread with Pamela’s

Posted in baking, recipe, Uncategorized, vegetarian on November 2nd, 2010 by Betsy – 2 Comments

Pamela's Baking Mix

I heart Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix.  If you are new to the gluten-free world, Pamela’s is a must-purchase for you.  This is an easy go-to mix for making pancakes, waffles, chocolate chip cookies, and other yummy treats.  The folks at Pamela’s have a great recipe and you can add minimal ingredients to their base mix in order to make a delicious baked good.

David's Saturday morning specialty: Pamela's Pancakes

David's Saturday morning specialty: Pamela's Pancakes

While I love experimenting with my own flour combinations when baking gluten-free, sometimes you just need something quick and easy.  Pamela’s is just that…oh, and it tastes yummy too.  Even my brother, who is the biggest gluten-eater I know, loves homemade chocolate chip cookies with Pamela’s.

pam pump bread 1

Another thing I heart is baking with pumpkin.  Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin bread are all at the top of my list of favorite sweets, especially as we enter the cool weather months.  I find that baking with pumpkin adds moistness (for a lack of a better word) and sponginess to gluten-free treats.  Last week, I wanted to make a quick and easy pumpkin bread and I found this recipe on Pamela’s website.  Perfect!  I didn’t even make the Crumble Nut Topping and it was delicious.  I also like making this pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, if I really want to please my sweet tooth.  Since I was serving the pumpkin bread with soup, I went the more savory route and omitted the chocolate chips.

pamelas pump bre 2

Pumpkin Bread with Crumble Nut Topping

4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup of canned pumpkin
1-1/3 cups Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves

¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Topping: (optional)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of nuts (sliced almonds, walnuts, pecans)

Beat together butter, sugar, egg, and pumpkin. Add remaining bread ingredients and mix together. Gently mix in chocolate chips.  Pour into a greased loaf pan (8 x 4). Mix nut topping ingredients and smooth evenly over batter to the edges. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or when toothpick inserted comes out almost clean.