Tag Archives: dairy-free

Hutterite Bean Soup


Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

I haven’t posted in a while because of some life changes so I was excited to try a new recipe and have the time to write about it!

Hutterite Beans from Shady Side FarmI’ve never made Hutterite Bean Soup. I had never even heard of Hutterite beans until I saw them at the Holland Farmers Market. Locally grown by Shady Side Farm, the Hutterite variety is a white bean that’s not quite as soft as a navy bean.

Inspired by a recipe I found online, I took the Tuscan route, as I once did with another bean recipe I made.

First I soaked the beans overnight. If you don’t have the opportunity to plan ahead, you can always do the quick soak method, which is written on the back of the bean bag. Just put the beans, well covered in water, into a large pot. Bring to a boil for two minutes and remove from heat. Cover pot and soak for an hour. It’s a handy trick!

Hutterite Beans

Here they are all plumped up with water, rinsed and drained.

Hutterite Beans

In the stock pot I sautéed a whole onion (chopped) and a couple cloves of garlic (minced) in olive oil.

Chopped onions and garlic

Then I added a ham hock. This one happened to be fresh, not smoked, so the meat looks more like pork than ham.

Fresh ham hock for Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

I browned the ham hock in the olive oil after pushing aside the onions and garlic. Then I added about 2 1/2 quarts of water. It would be great to use stock if you have it. Instead, I added a teaspoon of organic chicken bouillon, which is my back-up plan when I don’t have stock on hand. I also added dried sage (fresh would have been better!). Then I simmered the soup on the stove about two hours, until the ham hock meat was tender.

Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

Once the meat was done, I removed it from the pot, pulled the meat off the bone, and returned the meat to the soup.

Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

Then I added a bunch of lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves chopped.

Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

Simmer another half hour or so until the kale is tender, and it’s soup! Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This could easily have been an excellent vegetarian recipe. With the beans and kale, you have a very nutritional meal easily devoured from a bowl.

Hutterite Bean Soup recipe

Chez Marcita Presents: St. Paddy’s Lamb Stew


I’m not Irish, but I love lamb. What could be better for St. Patrick’s Day than lamb stew? Join Bill and me in the kitchen as we create this wheat-free, dairy-free, corn-free one-pot meal. Find the recipe on page 40 of my cookbook, Nothing to Sneeze At: Main Dishes for People with Allergies.

Chez Marcita Presents: Bill’s Fab Meatloaf


I already posted Bill’s meatloaf recipe a few years ago on Life Is Fare, but now you can see the chef in action as he prepares this cozy comfort food. It’s wheat-free, corn-free, and dairy-free, and made with grassfed beef and pastured pork. Happy food heaven!

Chez Marcita Presents: Coq au Vin


I’m not sure who started the big-meal-on-Sunday tradition but it works well for Bill and me. It’s the one day we generally don’t go anywhere so we have plenty of time to cook in the kitchen together. I love making a one-pot meal in the oven those days, especially in the wintertime.

This demo on Coq au Vin is from our cooking videos series. It’s a variation on the recipe in my cookbook Nothing to Sneeze At, which is a variation on Julia Child’s recipe for Coq au Vin. No wheat, no corn, no dairy. I’ll show you how to make this easy chicken-in-a-pot-with wine. And I’ll even show you how to cut up a chicken!

Sirloin Tip Roast with Red Wine


So the last time I made Sirloin Tip Roast I let myself be inspired by dry-heat cooking methods, even though my heroine, Irma Rombauer of The Joy of Cooking, literally shows us in black and white that this meat cut deserves moist heat.

When Bill and I ate it, the meat did seem a bit dry, but I figured at the time that the lean-ness of grassfed meat had a lot to do with the end result.

This time I decided to stick with Irma’s suggestion. I found a recipe on Food.com that called for a dry heat method, i.e., roasted uncovered in the oven, but you also add water and wine to the pot. I loved the idea of rubbing the roast with Dijon mustard—which is really yummy on prime rib—but I decided not to add it because I was going to put a lid on my Dutch oven and that wouldn’t make the mustard nice and crispy like on prime rib. It turned out to be the right approach.

The recipe is simply called Sirloin Tip Roast. As the diagram above shows, this cut is either adjacent to the rump, the flank, or the shank of the cow. And for grassfed beef, it’s extremely lean so cooking time must be reduced.

I followed the beginning of the recipe by taking the roast out of the fridge an hour ahead of time, then sprinkling it with salt and pepper.

Then I poured olive oil in the bottom of my Dutch oven and browned the meat on all sides.

Afterwards, I cut slits in the meat and added sliced garlic cloves, then poured 1/2 a cup of water and 1/4 cup of dry red wine into the pan. Like I said, I skipped the mustard. And, I basically skipped the rest of the ingredients except for some fresh chopped rosemary.

Even when a recipe calls for a rack, I never use one because I don’t own one. Sure, it might be a good idea sometimes, but I don’t want to wreck my pans and I seemed to have done just fine so far without one.

I put the 3-lb. roast in a 325-degree oven with the lid on for just 1  1/2 hours.

I believe it was more moist than last year’s recipe. Served au jus alongside roasted root vegetables, it made a delicious autumn meal—and great leftovers during the week!

Grassfed Oxtail Stew


The mixed quarter of beef that Bill and I got from Lubbers Farm this year included an oxtail. Not a whole oxtail, I guess, because it weighed less than one pound. And not really from an ox! It was a partial tail divided among the other people who share the meat from our cow.

I’ve never eaten oxtail before but I have heard of Oxtail Soup (and stew). So I looked for a recipe online and came across this delicious one that I followed to make the recipe: Simply Recipes Oxtail Stew.

Most of the time I search for recipes they become the inspiration for something I make, or I need to substitute ingredients to accommodate Bill’s allergies. In this case, I pretty much followed the recipe to a “t” except for altering quantities since I only had a third of the weight in oxtail.

It’s so easy…..

First you separate the oxtail by the joints.

After seasoning the meat with salt and pepper, you brown the pieces in olive oil, then remove the meat from the pan and add a chopped onion, carrot and stalk of celery–sauteing until the onion is translucent.

I also added a chopped clove of garlic to the mixture instead of leaving the cloves whole with the skin on. And, I added tomato paste in the next step, when I added the red wine, beef stock, thyme, and bay leaf.

While the stew simmers on the stove for three hours, you cut up the root vegetables and toss them in olive oil with salt and pepper.

Then you roast them in the oven for about an hour at 350 degrees F.

When the meat is falling off the bone, you remove the oxtail, take the meat off, then put it back in the stew. Then add the root vegetables and heat through.

It’s a delicious fall dinner with just a slice of bread (with or without wheat!).

Lentil “Chili” with Lamb Stock


I call it “chili” because the first thing Bill said when he tasted this soup was, “It tastes like chili!”

Last weekend I made Slow Grilled Leg of Lamb and I never like to waste any part of the animal so I boiled up the leg bone to make stock. I also happened to have some lentils I wanted to use up so I Googled “lamb stock” and “lentils.” The first result in my search was a lentil soup recipe from this blog: “Sh*t I Bake.”

I love Angela’s recipe. What I made is pretty much on par with what’s in her recipe. The only substitutions I made were tomato paste for tomatoes, since I didn’t have them on hand, and lemon juice for lemon pepper. Also, I only had 3/4 pound of lentils so I modified the recipe accordingly.

Per her instructions, I sautéed the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in olive oil until the onion was translucent.

Then I added about half a 6 0z. can of tomato paste to the oil and stirred it into the mixture.

I added about 6 cups of lamb stock, the lentils, and the following spices: ground coriander, cumin, and dried oregano, as well as salt and pepper. (See Angela’s recipe for quantities as well as how she makes her lamb stock.)

After bringing the soup to a boil, I simmered it, covered, about 40 minutes.

It turned out pretty thick so when I heated it up the next day, I added some water as well as a good squeeze from half a fresh lemon. But you could also cook up some rice to accompany this lentil dish, without thinning it, for a satisfying meal of legumes. Maybe that’s how we’ll try it tomorrow. For today, it was the perfect lunch. Filling and delicious. Thanks, Angela!

Bill’s Spaghetti


Neither Bill nor I have an ounce of Italian blood in us but we think his pasta sauce is pretty darn good. It’s something he’s been working on and perfecting for a long time.

It started out as doctored-up jar sauce. Using Muir Glen Organic Tomato and Basil sauce, (which is pretty good as jarred sauce goes), he’d add onion and meat to it and it was good. Then one time he used tomato puree instead because that’s  what we happened to have on hand. Getting the herb/spice/tomato ratio down is the tough part but I like his method. Then we had an aha, or maybe more of a “duh”: tomato puree is simply tomato paste and water! We always have tomato paste on hand so now the recipe has evolved to this:

Bill’s Spaghetti Sauce

Serves 2.

Pinch of fennel seeds
1 T. (or more) olive oil
1/2 a large onion
Optional: 2 cloves garlic
1/2 lb. grassfed ground beef
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch crushed red pepper
2 T. tomato paste
One cup (or more) water
1 T. sugar
Optional: Splash of dry red wine

In a skillet, heat the fennel in olive oil over medium heat until toasted. Discard fennel.

Add meat to the pan and brown, stirring occasionally. (For vegetarians, you can certainly eliminate the meat and continue with the rest of the recipe.)

Create a space in the center of the pan and add the onion. Saute until tender.

If you like garlic, you could add a couple of chopped cloves at this point and saute with the onion. Then add the dried herbs, salt, and ground black pepper. Saute for about a minute.

Add a little water to deglaze the pan and scrape up the bits of beef. Clear a spot in the center to add the crushed red pepper. Stir and simmer about a minute.

Add the tomato paste, stirring it into the mixture. Then add water, a little at a time, stirring, to create the sauce. Add more or less water depending on the desired consistency. Add sugar and mix well.

Add a splash of red wine, if desired, cover, and simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water or wine to thin sauce if necessary.

Serve with pasta of your choice. We use Pasta Joy brown rice spaghetti because of Bill’s allergies. Top with grated cheese, if desired.

How to Eat Healthy on $5.00 a Day: Day 5


Well, we made it to Friday. Were we hungrier than usual during this experiment? Yes. However, I didn’t think about snacking in between meals….it’s just that I was famished when it came time to make each one.

I’ll admit, this was a brain drain. I enjoy planning menus and recipes but weighing quantities and doing the math, that’s what hurt my head so much! Still, Bill and I made it through our challenge of trying to spend only $5.00 per person, per day, except where we went over budget. After all, as I disclaimed in my introductory post, this was an experiment.

While we may not have eaten as much in quantity that we usually do, and we certainly missed enjoying wine with dinner, I think we ate pretty well overall. For a recap of each day, check out the results from Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.

Here’s what we ate on Day 5:

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Split Pea Soup in a Crock-Pot


It doesn’t take much to make Split Pea Soup, especially if you have a slow-cooker, such as a Crock-Pot. If you work full-time, you can throw all the ingredients into the pot in the morning and have dinner on the table when you get home.

Seriously, it doesn’t take long to chop up a few veggies, but if you really don’t have much time in the morning, you could chop them the night before and then combine everything in the morning.

I found my trusty Crockery Cookery book to be very helpful with recipes that I can make in the pot, which I’ve had for more than 30 years.

For split pea soup, all you need is an onion, a carrot, and a stalk of celery. Chop each one and add it, along with the dried split peas and 8 cups of water to the pot. Turn it on  low for 8-10 hours. (You may need to change the temp. to high at the end if the peas aren’t falling apart.)

This soup makes a good one-dish meal and it’s a great choice for vegetarians.