Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How to Make Gluten-Free Gravy

Making gluten-free gravy is so simple. No need to add butter and make a roux. I have a few tips for creating rich, flavorful pan juices from cooking a bird, whether it be a turkey or chicken. These photos use a local, pastured, organic chicken, but I cook a whole turkey the same way using a larger stainless steel roasting pan. And if you want nothing to do with cooking a turkey this year then check out my recipe for this vegetarian main dish: Butternut Squash Casserole with Sage and Shallots.

To create rich pan juices, place your rinsed bird in a glass baking pan (9 x 13-inch for chicken or 10 x 14-inch for turkey). Chop up a large onion and a few stalks of celery. Toss them with a few teaspoons of Herbamare. Fill the cavity of the chicken with the celery and onions. If you are cooking a turkey you can use your favorite gluten-free stuffing recipe. I use my Wild Rice Stuffing.

Place the remainder of the celery and onions around the bird in the bottom of the pan. Add plenty of sprigs of fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, sage, and marjoram. Add a few chopped carrots and a whole head of garlic, cut in half cross-wise.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Cranberries

As I mentioned in my last post, I have a few Thanksgiving side dish recipes to share. I don't have time to share all of the recipes I will be preparing this year but here is my menu.....squash from our garden stuffed with a Red Quinoa, Cranberry & Apple Filling; a Yam Casserole topped with Chopped Pecans & Cinnamon; Sesame Crackers; Roasted Red Pepper Dip served with plenty of raw veggies; Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls; Cranberry-Pear Sauce; Cranberry-Orange Punch; Herb Roasted Turkey; Wild Rice Stuffing; and Mashed Red Potatoes with Roasted Garlic. I will make my Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake and an apple pie for dessert. A friend of mine is bringing a few raw salads, and of course, I will be making this divine Brussels Sprouts recipe. The combination of the almonds, dried cranberries, and shallots creates a balanced, flavorful dish that is worthy to be part of any Thanksgiving Dinner.

Last week we harvested our Brussels Sprouts, just before the cold temperatures hit. This was the first year that I had grown them and I definitely plan to allot a larger space in the garden next year to grow more. We love brussels sprouts prepared most any way!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dairy-Free Hot Cocoa Recipe

The wintery blast that hit us last night brought snow and hot cocoa too. I had some vegetable side dish recipes to post for Thanksgiving....but hot cocoa calls when the wind is whipping and the snow is falling! We woke up this morning to a couple of inches of snow on the ground and the kids decided to go out early to play. After a few hours of sledding and a couple of snow ball fights, they came inside with frozen hands and hungry bellies. I made them some snacks and a batch of this rich and creamy dairy-free hot cocoa.

This recipe uses maple syrup as the sweetener and a combination of coconut milk and cashew milk to create a rich, warming drink. Make sure to add the salt as it balances all of the flavors. If you have a finely ground sea salt then you can add the lesser amount below, but if you use a coarser ground salt then use the full 1/4 teaspoon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pumpkin Quinoa Cornbread Recipe

This pumpkin cornbread recipe uses quinoa flour as part of the ingredients, though the overall cornbread flavors are not overpowered by quinoa's strong taste. Adding in a whole cup of pumpkin puree adds a touch of sweetness that creates balanced flavors and a wonderfully moist cornbread.

This cornbread recipe is naturally gluten-free and doesn't require any gums or starches. It only has a few ingredients and can be whipped up in a snap! Serve it with a spicy chili recipe or your favorite warming bean soup. This recipe would also be a fantastic accompaniment to this Black Bean and Yam Stew recipe.

For detailed instructions on making pumpkin puree you can view a recent blog post I did on How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree. If you are gluten-sensitive then be sure to purchase a gluten-free cornmeal. Many companies grind their cornmeal on equipment that also grinds wheat flour and other glutenous grains. Bob's Red Mill offers a gluten-free cornmeal but make sure to read the label because they also offer a cornmeal that is not gluten-free. Arrowhead Mills also offers an organic gluten-free cornmeal.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gluten-Free Almond Spice Cookies for Martinmas!

This past evening we celebrated Martinmas, the day of St. Martin, with a lantern walk. My daughter's kindergarten class all made their own lanterns using watercolor paper and tissue paper. With their candles burning bright, we headed out into the cold, starry night to walk the wooded trails, singing our lantern songs. This time reminds us to bring light into the world at a time of year when the Earth is beginning to turn inward. We carry this light with us as we journey deeper into the colder, darker winter months.

Typically, the end of the lantern walk is celebrated with hot cider and sugar cookies cut into the shapes of stars and moons. Our kindergarten classes opted out of this part of the festivities this year but my other daughter's 3rd grade class will be needing a gluten-free, egg-free recipe to accommodate everyone in her class. So I created this recipe for the next lantern walk coming up in a few days.

This is another xanthan gum-free recipe. It is also egg-free and can be made dairy-free as well. I used organic butter in my test batches. To make this dairy-free and vegan, I would consider using Earth Balance buttery sticks in place of the butter. Another thing to note: you can use either organic cane sugar or coconut sugar in this recipe. If you use coconut sugar, or even Sucanat, be sure to give it a whirl in your Vitamix or coffee grinder to create a finer, more workable texture for cookies.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Deep Dish Apple Pie ~ Gluten-Free & Vegan

Before I get into describing this luscious apple pie, I wanted to mention that our blog has a whole new look. I've added an About Us page and the ever-important Recipe Index! Now you'll easily be able to find the recipe you are looking for. Thank you everyone for your feedback through emails and comments over the last two years!

And now onto this nutritious gluten-free, vegan Apple Pie! I first created this crust for a potato-pea samosa recipe. Everyone loved it so I decided to create it into an apple pie. The dough isn't your normal pastry dough because I don't use a saturated fat. Instead I use a mix of grapeseed oil, applesauce, ground chia seeds, and baking soda to create the flakiness. This dough only requires two flours, one of which is Superfine Sorghum Flour. You'll want to purchase this flour, don't be tempted to use a regular sorghum flour. The end result will be very grainy. The Gluten-Free Mall sells this flour. It isn't sold anywhere here in Bellingham that I know of so I have to order it.