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 slightly larger pan (a 10 x 14-inch glass pyrex pan). I don't have a special roasting pan because for one, I cook smaller turkeys, and two, good quality stainless steel roasters are expensive! 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; 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 Deep Dish 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.




Dairy-Free Hot Cocoa

If you don't own a high-powered blender such as a Vita-Mix or BlendTec, then soak your cashews in the water for at least 3 hours before blending. After blending, it will look very thin, but don't worry, as the hot cocoa heats on the stove it will thicken considerably. If it is not sweet enough then you could add a few drops of liquid stevia or more maple syrup to taste. I like to use Dagoba cocoa powder as it is gluten-free and organic.

1 cup raw cashews
5 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
6 tablespoons maple syrup
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth and frothy. You will want to check it to make sure the cashews are completely ground, and if not, blend again on high.

Pour into a 3-quart pot and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently so the bottom doesn't burn. Once it is heated to your liking, serve and enjoy! Note: If you don't think you will drink this entire recipe immediately then only heat desired portion and store the remaining, unheated portion in a glass mason jar to serve on another wintery day! Source: www.NourishingMeals.com




Stay tuned for more Thanksgiving Recipes this week. And, if you have more ideas for making dairy-free hot cocoa, please share in the comments section below, thanks! Happy Holidays!

More Winter Beverages:
Soothing Tummy Tea
Sugar-Free Cranberry Orange Punch

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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 dry Vita-Mix container, food processor, or coffee grinder to create a finer, more workable texture for cookies. 



Gluten-Free Almond Spice Cookies

These cookies are speckled with currants and a hint of spice....a perfect pairing to a mug of hot apple cider on a cold starry night. I have kept the sugar to a minimum but you can add up to 1/4 cup more per batch if you feel like having a sweeter cookie is important. I grind my raw almonds in the dry container of my Vita-Mix, though a coffee grinder would work too, but you would need to grind them in batches. Make sure to grind them as finely as you can without turning them all into nut butter! 

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups finely ground raw almonds
3/4 cup superfine sorghum flour
3/4 cup superfine sweet rice flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Wet Ingredients:
2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup coconut sugar or organic cane sugar
3/4 cup softened organic butter or Earth Balance
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring


1/4 cup currants 

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk together well. You may need to use your hands to sift though and crumble any ground almond clumps. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl add the chia seeds and hot water. Immediately whisk together well. Then add applesauce, sugar, softened butter, vanilla, and almond flavoring. Beat together using an electric mixer. Add dry ingredients to wet and beat again or use a large spoon to combine ingredients. Fold in currants.



Place dough onto a long piece of wax paper. Gently form it into a 11 to 12-inch log (the dough will be soft) and roll the wax paper around it to help form the shape. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours or in the freezer for 1 hour. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove log from your fridge or freezer and place onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into 1/2-inch rounds. Place cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. You can bake half of the batch and keep the other half of the log frozen until ready to bake....how convenient! Source: www.NourishingMeals.com



More Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes:
Peanut Butter Cookies
Oatmeal Heart Cookies
Flourless Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies



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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.