Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving from Des Moines!
I'm here for the week, enjoying the cold weather and getting ready to cook later this week. What is everyone planning to make this year?
On my dessert menu is this Gluten Free Berry Cobbler. I made it the other week with fresh blackberries and raspberries, and it turned out super yummy. It's also a great way to use your frozen summer berries (just defrost and drain them). Serve it with vanilla ice cream for the perfect dessert.
I did use butter in my recipe, but no dairy. If you'd like to make this dessert vegan, simply use shortening or Earth Balance baking sticks instead of butter.
And don't forget to check out my Recipe Archive for Thanksgiving recipe ideas.
Gluten Free Berry Cobbler
Makes 9 servings
Gluten-free; easy to make vegan
4 cups berries (I used a mixture of blackberries and raspberries; if using frozen berries, defrost and drain first)
1/2 cup sugar (use more or less depending on how sweet your berries are and how sweet you like your cobbler)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch or gluten free all purpose flour for thickening
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour (I like the King Arthur brand)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter or shortening
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (you can use regular milk too)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. To make the filling, place the berries, sugar, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon, and cornstarch or flour in a bowl and mix together until berries are coated evenly with sugar. Remember, you can use more or less sugar depending on how tart the berries are (do a taste test) and how sweet you like your cobblers. Let sit for about 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the cobbler topping, in a medium sized bowl whisk together 3 tablespoons of sugar, the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter or shortening with a fork or your fingers, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the egg and milk until the batter is just moistened.
3. Butter a pyrex dish and transfer the berry mixture to it. Drop large spoonfuls of the batter over the top of the berries. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the berries are bubbly and the top is browned. Enjoy!
Monday, November 11, 2013
I've been in a soup-making mode...
I love it for lunch. I love it for dinner. Leftover the next day?
Even better as the flavors soak together. I've been into vegan purees lately using my immersion blender. I swear there's nothing easier to have in your cooking repertoire than vegan purees. They're so tasty—so seemingly fancy—yet so simple that they impress at dinner parties.
Feeling a little under the weather?
Soups are healing for the throat and the winter-weary soul.
Another great tip?
Serve them with a quick cast iron skillet cornbread. I make mine gluten-free and with fresh blackberries (frozen would work great too). Soup and cornbread are a hearty, healthy complete meal.
I almost always have bags of baby carrots in my fridge. They're a great snack, especially with hummus. But they're also great roasted (check out my recipe for Honey Rosemary Baby Carrots) or pureed into a quick soup. Of course, you can use normal-sized carrots too. It's just a bit more prep work peeling and chopping them. The only other big ingredient is a bit of curry powder. The spicy, gingery flavor gives this soup and little bit of added flare. It also comes out of the pantry.
I make this soup all the time. It's basically one of my pantry staples. So I thought I'd finally photograph and write it up for you lovely readers.
You can also swap out carrots for butternut squash in this recipe for a different sort of soup. A great tip—Trader Joe's sells peeled and cubed butternut squash that takes the work out of the prep.
Serve with Gluten Free Blackberry Cornbread
Quick Curried Carrot Soup (Vegan)
Serves 4 to 6 people
Cooking time: about 25 minutes
1 pound baby carrots
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon curry powder (or more to taste)
1 bunch fresh thyme tied together with kitchen twine or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper
good olive oil for drizzling
1. Place the carrots, garlic cloves, stock, and thyme into a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
2. Remove from heat and fish out the bunch of thyme if using fresh thyme. Stir in the curry powder and maple syrup. Puree the soup until smooth using an immersion blender, or transfer to a regular blender and puree in batches. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Note: more stock or water may be added to achieve desired consistency.
3. To serve ladle the soup into bowels and drizzle with good olive oil. If desired garnish with fresh thyme sprigs. Enjoy!
Monday, October 21, 2013
I use Grammarly for proofreading because I'd rather be proofing dough than proofing blog posts.
For this Monday, I thought I'd share my recipe for Gluten Free Blackberry Cornbread. Over the weekend, inspiration struck. I wanted something with dinner that felt decadent with my blackberries, but not too dessert-like.
Adding them to cornbread baked in my cast iron skillet seemed like the perfect match. This cornbread works great as a side dish to any meal, but especially chili or soups. The leftover slices are yummy for breakfast the next day too.
Gluten Free Blackberry Cornbread
Prep time: 10 minutes; Baking time: 25 minutes
Serves about 4-6 people
Gluten free; vegetarian
1 cup gluten free cornmeal
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup milk or unsweetened almond or rice milk
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh blackberries
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl (cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder). In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Then mix the maple syrup, milk, and olive oil with the egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until combined, but be careful not to over beat the mix. Fold in the blackberries.
3. Grease a pyrex dish or cast iron skillet. Pour the mix into the dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Serve with butter. Enjoy!
Monday, September 30, 2013
Fall cooking inspiration is hitting full force.
The summer is subsiding, but preserved summer fruit is still a great cooking option. Some dear friends sent us a Zingerman's care package with their award-winning Apricot Jam. I knew immediately that I had to pair this silky jam with with pork. The zesty, fruity flavors would perfectly complement the rich meat.
I love organic pork tenderloin, both because it's a lean and healthy source of protein, but also because it's mouthwateringly delicious. I rubbed the tenderloin with some blackened seasoning, fresh thyme, salt and pepper, then seared it on the stovetop, before roasting it in the oven.
After it had reached a perfect medium rare, I let it rest for a few minutes and then sliced it, topping it with a quick sauce I whipped up from the apricot jam and some apple cider vinegar. I served the sliced medallions of tender pork over stone ground grits (from Trader Joe's) made with the last of summer's fresh sweet corn and crumbled goat cheese. The resulting dish was fabulous.
Rich, sweet, tangy—very fall-like.
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Sauce
Serves 2 people
Cooking time: about 30 minutes
1 pork tenderloin (about a pound)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, stems removed
1 teaspoon blackened seasoning
2 tablespoons grapeseed or macadamia nut oil (for high heat cooking)
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Rub the pork with the thyme and blackened seasoning and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Heat the oil over high heat in a pan that can transfer to the oven. Quickly sear the pork tenderloin on all sides.
3. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the tenderloin for about 20 minutes for medium doneness (or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit). Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the apricot sauce by adding the jam and apple cider vinegar to a small pan. Dilute the jam with a little water if needed to make a saucy texture, depending on the consistency of the jam. Warm the sauce gently over medium heat and check seasoning, adding a little more vinegar if it's too sweet.
4. To serve, slice the pork tenderloin into medallions and divide them between two places. Spoon the apricot sauce over the top. Enjoy!
Monday, September 16, 2013
Happy September... though it doesn't feel like fall here at all. It still feels like the peak of summer in Southern California. Even so, I've been wanting to eat more fall flavors.
What's more fall-like than root vegetables?
I roasted baby carrots with olive oil and sprigs of rosemary, and then tossed them with a smidgeon of honey. The resulting dish, though simple, was quite wonderful. The sweet honey and herbaceous rosemary flavors really compliment the tender carrots. This little side dish is sure to impress, perfect for the fall season and for the upcoming winter holidays.
Honey Rosemary Roasted Baby Carrots
Serves 4 people
Cooking time: about 20 minutes
1 pound baby carrots (1 bag)
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon honey
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Toss the carrots with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet with rosemary sprigs. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, until tender and browned.
3. Remove from the oven and pick out the rosemary sprigs (you may use them for garnishing if desired). Toss the carrots with honey. Check seasoning (salt and pepper). Enjoy!