Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mushroom Barley Soup ( Gluten Free)



I know it seems strange to make a mushroom barley soup without the barley. But being gluten free, I can not eat barley ( It is not gluten free) .  This recipe is my best gluten free version of a soup that reminds me the most of Mushroom Barley Soup.

When I was young, my mother used to make a thick heavy soup in the winter that was authentically called mushroom barley soup. The recipe originated in Eastern Europe where mushrooms could be dried and stored for the  long very cold winter and barley was always plentiful. The soup was hearty and delicious.

Over the years,  I've longed for the soup that I remembered from my youth. I've tried to make a gluten free version . It's not exactly the same, but it is similar and exceptionally delicious.

I'm still using mushrooms, but replaced the starchy  barley with a starchy dried bean. I used a baby lima bean. It works great and dried baby lima beans do not taste ANYTHING like a green lima bean.. trust me on that one. The soup is hearty and delicious ,  just like the soup my mother used to make.

If you prefer a Paleo version, just leave out the beans- it will still taste great! Just cut the cooking time to 45 minutes.

This soup is perfect for the colder weather and is extremely satisfying. I think it would also be a nice addition to a Thanksgiving meal.

When I have a group, ( as I often do because we are a very large family) ,I use my crock pot as a warmer  and keep my soup in the crock pot until ready to serve. For a formal dinner I serve it, for a buffet I keep a ladle next to the crock pot and allow everyone to serve themselves in mugs! It works great!

Author: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Requires: overnight soaking of beans
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Ingredients: 
1 cup of dried baby lima beans, soaked overnight
 ( available in a bag in the dried bean section of the supermarket- does not taste anything like the green lima beans- trust me on that one!)
1 cup of chopped onion
1/4 cup olive oil or coconut oil
1 cup of chopped celery with leaves
1 cup of diced carrot
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 cups vegetable broth
6 cups water
1/4 cup chopped curly parsley
2 cups of sliced white or baby portabella mushrooms


Directions: 
Soak the dried baby lima beans in a large bowl of water overnight
In the morning, drain the beans and do not use the soaked water.
In a large soup pan, slowly sauté the onions in the olive oil.
When onions begin to soften, add the celery, carrots, and garlic.
Saute until all vegetables begin to soften.
Add the vegetable broth and water..
Add the rinsed soaked lima beans to soup pot.
Allow to cook for an hour covered on a medium heat. Check to stir occasionally.
After the hour, add the sliced mushrooms and parsley and continue to cook for another hour partially covered on a medium heat. **If the liquid starts to cook down, add a cup of vegetable broth and then a cup of water alternately.

Note:( If you are not gluten free and are able to eat gluten,  my mother's original recipe called for 3/4 cup of soaked pearled barley that can be added when  add the beans- of course it will no longer be gluten free)



dried baby lima beans soaking overnight in water 

Chopping veggies for the soup

I couldn't decide which photo to use - I made the one above on Picmonkey and the one in the beginning of the post on Canva! S0 - I've included them both!

What would you use instead of the barley? Is there a better substitute? Please leave a comment

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Food is my passion. I am gluten intolerant, busy. and strive for a healthy balanced lifestyle. It has taken me many years to develop and discover easy healthy recipes that meet gluten free, vegetarian and real food standards. On my blog I share my journey, my struggles, my discoveries, and my new recipes. I hope you find ideas, resources, and recipes that will be helpful to you. Come Back soon.



Author: Judee Algazi
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Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Amazon and receive a very small compensation when you buy anything from Amazon by clicking on to Amazon from my blog - This helps me defray the cost of my blog expenses. Thank you for your support.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix


Almost any recipe that calls for pumpkin puree will also call for pumpkin pie spice mix. They sell the pumpkin spice mix in the store, but it is expensive and you only need it occasionally during pumpkin season. It's so easy to use the spices that you already have in your pantry to make your own pumpkin spice mix .


grain free pumpkin pie


Let's face it, we want our spices to be fresh so they taste their best. I found that a small can or jar of pumpkin spice mix would last me for over 5 years ( and then I usually discarded it when it didn't have a strong smell of the spices). Spices are freshest that are stored for only 6 months ( of course we all keep them longer)

The ingredients that go into the pumpkin spice mix are very common and more likely to be spices you may have on hand because they are used in a variety of recipes. The ingredients are spices you may already be using daily. I find that my spices are fresher, more potent, and tasty when I make my own mixtures.

Did you know that spices actually add vital nutrients and antioxidants to our food? Research convinces us that they are more than just seasoning. For centuries and all throughout civilization spices were counted on for their protective and medicinal properties.

My husband often buys ground ginger (caspsules ) in the health food store before we go on a cruise. He has successfully taken ginger when he has felt nauseous ( sea sick)  on the cruise . It works great.

A typical pumpkin spice recipe will call for cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, and
allspice - I've sometimes just used only the spices that I've had like on hand like cinnamon, ground ginger, and all spice. Any combination of these spices seem to work in a pie recipe depending on your taste. I think the cinnamon is essential, but If you leave one of the other spices out, personally I have not noticed a considerable difference.

Here is the typical pumpkin pie spice mix formula that you can make at home for this season~
                                                                    Pin It

pumpkin pie spice mix

 Here are some seasonal recipes that may use pumpkin pie mix


pumpkin pie soup
Pumpkin PIe Soup



glazed butternut squash
Cider Glazed Butternut squash


Pumpkin cupcakes gluten free
Pumpkin Cupcakes


vegan pumpkin pie slice with whipped topping
                                                 Vegan ( blender) Pumpkin Pie



sweet potato with cranberries
Hasselback Sweet Potato with cranberry pecan topping for Thanksgiving
grian free pumpkin pudding bars

                                                      Pumpkin Pudding Bars 

Pumplin pie spice mix
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Food is my passion. I am gluten intolerant, busy. and strive for a healthy balanced lifestyle. It has taken me many years to develop and discover easy healthy recipes that meet gluten free, vegetarian and real food standards. On my blog I share my journey, my struggles, my discoveries, and my new recipes. I hope you find ideas, resources, and recipes that will be helpful to you. Come Back soon.- Judee 


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Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Amazon and receive a very small compensation when you buy anything from Amazon by clicking on to Amazon from my blog - This helps me defray the cost of my blog expenses. Thank you for your support.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Do This One Thing To Improve Your Health


Do This One Thing To Improve Your Health



You can do one thing to improve your health!

Sometimes I get off track and do not do all of the the healthy things I know I should and want to be doing for my health. It's usually because I get too stressed, busy, or tired. During times that I get offtrack, I like to remember to do at least this one thing to improve my health: Drink more water.

I'm basically a healthy eater, but I don't drink enough water. 

Drinking water has many benefits. Hydration is important for many reasons:

  • detoxification
  • elimination
  • proper thinking
  • weight loss 
  • and all bodily functions
  • How well can our minds work when we hold onto our toxins? 
  • How well can we feel if we hold onto our toxins? 
  • We may not feel it right away, but in time the proof will be in the pudding. 


Water is a great flusher of toxins and essential to good health. In addition, I've read that students should drink water before a test, it helps them make better thought connections.

The only water that I know that I get every morning is because of a healthy habit that I've developed.  I find when I make it a routine, I do it without thinking. It's like brushing your teeth. No thinking or planning is involved.

My morning routine. 
I get up early . My daily routine includes drinking a 16 ounce glass of water with a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar.

                                    ( click her for my apple cider weight loss drink recipe)

Apple cider vinegar is really good for you and helps detoxify and balance body ph. It's a habit I developed, and I just do it every morning . I sip it as I get dressed, check my emails, check my blog etc. It's like my morning coffee. but healthier.

Then I make sure that I exercise before I do anything else. If I don't do my morning run or exercise machine first thing- I usually get distracted with other things or  too lazy and just don't exercise. That's why 5-6 mornings a week- I just get up and do it!

Since I have those habits in place, I stick to them but I need to develop an afternoon routine to drink water. As the day progresses and I'm busy,  I don't always feel as good about my choices and I certainly forget to drink water!

So my new mantra is if I do nothing else- I need to drink more water- 


Not drinking enough water is where I fall short and yet it's so easy. I am going to get into the habit of drinking another 16 ounce glass of water ( maybe with fresh lemon ) before I begin to cook dinner around 4:30 or 5:00..

That is my new habit to develop. It's simple and very beneficial. My message for today is
" If you do nothing else, drink more water"



If you like this post,  please pin it on Pinterest 
Pin It 

This post will be shared on  

My blog carnival list

including Gluten Free Homemaker and Allergy Free Wednesday

Wan't to be added to My blog list? Let me know




If you are new to my blog and would like me to email you my recipes when I post them, please enter your email on my subscribe box in the right top column of the blog.  Don't miss a recipe - about one or two a week.  ( you can unsubscribe at any time)




Food is my passion. I am gluten intolerant, busy. and strive for a healthy balanced lifestyle. It has taken me many years to develop and discover easy healthy recipes that meet gluten free, vegetarian and real food standards. On my blog I share my journey, my struggles, my discoveries, and my new recipes. I hope you find ideas, resources, and recipes that will be helpful to you. Come Back soon.- Judee 


3K+
 Please leave a comment so I know you stopped by. I love comments and love to be introduced to your blog. I usually visit and follow your blog on G+ , Bloglovin, and Twitter. Thanks for stopping by. To Comment: Scroll down to the end of the post and click on comments

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Amazon and receive a very small compensation when you buy anything from Amazon by clicking on to Amazon from my blog - This helps me defray the cost of my blog expenses. Thank you for your support.

3K+


Pin It Please leave a comment so I know you stopped by. Scroll down to the end of the post and click on comments.