I need a better plan. I am starting the South Beach diet. Honestly, I don’t know if I can do phase one. So I may end up with something between phase one and phase two. I don’t have that much weight to loose anyway so going without phase one is not that big a deal. I’ve been using some of the recipes all along so why not just be on the whole diet.
I found a really great blog with tons of South Beach resources here. So many of the recipes are already gluten free, but there are some here and there that would have to be converted.
The one thing I will not be doing from the South Beach diet is using artificial sweeteners. I don’t like them and would just prefer to do without. I also won’t use fat free replacements for foods. There are just too many chemicals and fake ingredients in them. I would rather eat as pure a food as possible.
Natalie at Gluten Free Mommy is the host for Menu Swap this week. The ingredient of the week is vanilla. She has a lot of interesting facts about vanilla. My favorite vanilla is bourbon vanilla from Trader Joe’s. There is no bourbon in the vanilla. It’s just a particular type of vanilla and it’s really wonderful!
This weeks menu, with the exception of one of the days, will be South Beach diet friendly. The one that is not South Beach friendly was from over the weekend. We had company and I made cheesecake. I have to include it because the whole meal would be a great super bowl party supper. I know a lot of you are planning for that.
Weekend company meal- (See recipes below) Taco soup, veggies and dip, cheesecake
Monday- Chicken Parmesan, Broccoli, Salad
Tuesday- Flank steak, mashed cauliflower, green beans with almonds
Thursday- Indian Chicken, roasted sweet potatoes (I know it’s phase two food), salad
Friday- Balsamic salmon, roasted veggies, slaw
I did not get a picture of my taco soup. I had company. They were friends of my husband’s from when he was young. I did not know any of them and would have felt rather silly whipping out my camera and taking pictures of my food! But trust me, this is yummy soup. It’s great to make for company because everyone likes it and it so quick and easy to make for a large or small group of people. I served it last year on super bowl Sunday when the Colts won. This year we will be eating something different and cheering for a different Manning.
2 pounds ground beef (or you could use turkey)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can 28 oz. tomatoes (I use crushed tomatoes)
1 can 15 oz. tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 can 15 oz. pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can 14 oz. corn, drained
1 package of gluten free taco seasoning (I used Old El paso)
In your favorite soup pot, cook ground beef and onions. Drain off fat. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for at least an hour on low heat. Serve with your favorite toppings. We use cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, fresh chopped cilantro and corn chips.
One recipe will easily feed six people. I doubled the recipe and fed eleven people and still have plenty of leftovers.
I think this cheesecake is one of the best I’ve made. I found the recipe in The Bon Appetit Cookbook. I have found I love to make cheesecake for dessert because it’s so easy to make gluten free. I have some helpful hints in making cheesecake.
Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature
When you are ready to bake your cheesecake, place a pan of water in the oven on the rack just under your cake. The steam from the water will help keep it from cracking while baking.
If you want nice edges on your cheesecake when you cut it, use a sharp, wet knife. Wash it off with each cut but don’t dry it.
Cheesecake is best eaten at 2:00 in the afternoon with a huge cup of coffee or at about midnight when everyone is sleeping
Leftover cheesecake freezes really well. There is a piece in the freezer right now with my mom’s name on it. Won’t she be happy!
Triple Cherry Cheesecake
3/4 cup dried tart cherries
1 1-pound bag frozen pitted Bing cherries, thawed, drained, juice reserved
1/2 cup cherry jam
2 tablespoon brandy
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup whole almonds
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (I used Jo-sef brand gluten free. You could use any gluten free cookie.)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3 8-oz. packaged of Philadelphia brand cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
For topping: Combine dried cherries and reserved juice from thawed cherries in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Cover and let steep 20 minutes.
Mix cherry jam, brandy, and cornstarch in small bowl to blend. Stir into dried cherry mixture. Add thawed cherries. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Cool slightly, then refrigerate until cold.
For crust: Finely grind almonds in processor. Add cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter; process until clumps form. Press into bottom of a 9 inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4 inch sides. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
For Filling: Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Blend cream cheese and next 5 ingredients in mixer or processor just until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl several times.
Pour filling over crust. Bake until edges of cheesecake are puffed and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Run knife around pan sides to loosen. Refrigerate cake uncovered overnight.
Serve with cherry topping spooned over top. I won’t tell anyone if you sneak some at midnight!