Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gluten Free Berry Cobbler (Happy Thanksgiving)!

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

Berry filling:
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

Cobbler topping:
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

Quick Curried Carrot Soup (Vegan)

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
Vegan; gluten-free

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!