Sausage, Swiss Chard & Kale Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

On a foodie level, this time of the year is a little bitter sweet.  While I am ready to say goodbye to the long, cold winter, I am hesitant to say goodbye to my fall and winter cooking.  My dinged up, decades old stock pot receives plenty of love and use over the course of those six months.  So many hearty, heart-warming, slow-cooked soups, sauces, and family favorites have emerged from it.   Their scents have filled our home and taken the chill from the air.  They’ve put the comfort in food.

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Gluten Free Pizza Stick Dunkers

I go food shopping once every two weeks.  It’s a plan that has helped our family stay within our budget.  But as we near day 12, 13, or 14, we find that our supply of food dwindles rapidly.  We are often at bare bones, and sometimes, I need to get creative with meals to use up what we have on hand.  My kids often joke that those throw-together-whatever-is-in-the-fridge meals are often the best.

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Parmesan Roasted Baby Broccoli (Broccolini)

There’s no doubt about it; you are bound to see  a wide variety of baked treats here at The Gluten Free Gathering.  My goal is to provide you with choices and options for when you want to make that occasional dessert.

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White Bean, Lemon, and Pesto Dip

I’ve never been a huge fan of hummus.  I admit; I have a completely irrational aversion to garbanzo beans.  I’m not sure why or how this came to be, but I am certain I will never grow out of it.  I’m a bit stubborn like that.

But what I DO like is a nice, creamy bean dip.  My bean of choice is the cannellini bean.  When drained, rinsed, and popped into a blender, a downright luxurious puree results.  This puree is like a blank canvas just waiting to be filled with your favorite flavors.  Seriously, the possibilities are endless.

For years we’ve been making a variation on a white bean dip recipe from Giada DeLaurentis.  My son, who has proclaimed himself to be the official maker of bean dip, follows the recipe loosely, always adding his own little touch.  He does such a great job as is evidenced by the fact that we all gobble it up.

This past Sunday  bean dip was on the menu for our Super Bowl gathering.   My son, bogged down with a heavy course load, did not have time to help me in the kitchen, so he relinquished his bean-dip-making-hat over to me….temporarily.  So, I took the liberty to switch the recipe up a bit.  Instead of adding fresh basil as we traditionally do, I opted to use pesto instead.  Truth be told, this was no moment of brilliance on my part.  I simply had no fresh basil in the house and there was no way I was about to run to the grocery store four hours before the game started.  So pesto seemed like the perfect stand in.  It was a subtle change but one that made a huge difference in the flavor department.

This dip can be used as a healthy alternative to mayo on any sandwich, a dipping “sauce” for homemade chicken fingers (as my kids love to do), or as pictured below, the perfect little lunch plate.  You want to talk about a totally guilt free lunch – this is it.

White Bean, Lemon & Pesto Dip
serves 4-6

1 – 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed until the water runs clear
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons prepared jarred pesto
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Place the beans into a strainer.  Rinse with cold water until the water runs clear.  Set aside to drain.

Place the avocado oil, lemon juice, pesto, and salt into a blender.  Add in the beans.  Mix on high until completely smooth.

That’s it!  Super easy and oh, so delicious!

Cauliflower & Loaded Potato Chowder (Dairy Free)

My family loves the winter, but living in the Northeast sometimes means cold and occasionally bone chilling temperatures.  My husband works outside nearly all day.  When he arrives home, thoroughly chilled to the core, there is little that hits the spot better than a hearty, piping hot bowl of soup.

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