Sunday, October 30, 2011

White bean soup with herb bread

My contribution for the annual pumpkin carving party:

White bean (butternut squash) soup with herb bread


Soak 1 1/2 c. white beans overnight

Put a large pot over medium heat and add 1 T. olive oil.
Chop and add to the pot:
3 carrots
3 stalks of celery
1 potato
1/2 red onion

Cover and let the veggies heat up and get slightly tender, mixing frequently.
Pour in vegetable broth, or some butternut squash soup (like this). If you use the soup, thin it out with some water because it's kind of thick.

Mince and add in:

2 cloves garlic
1 sage leaf
6 basil leaves
few sprigs of fresh parsley

Season with salt, pepper, and ground thyme. (I didn't have any fresh)

Bring to a boil, then cover and bring the temperature down to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about an hour or until the beans are tender.

The butternut squash makes it less savory and a tad bit sweet, even with all the herbs.

Serve with herbed bread.

Herbed Bread:

Proof your fast-rising yeast by adding 1 t. sugar to 1 c. water at 110-115 degrees. Add in the yeast and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix into a large bowl:

1 1/2 c. gluten free flour mix (see sidebar)
1 t. xanthan gum
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

In a smaller bowl, beat 1 egg and mix in 1 T. light olive oil.
Mince 2 sage leaves and a few basil leaves, and add it to the flour mixture, along with 1 t. dried oregano.

Mix the yeasty mixture (if it's good, it will be foamy on top) and the egg mixture into the large bowl with the flour. Form a wet-ish dough.

Pour it into a greased 8x8 pan and cover it with a towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place it in a warm place to rise for about 20 minutes, then bake at 425 for appx 20 minutes.

Has a subtle herb taste- to punch it up, simply add more.

Let it cool and cut into squares and serve with soup. Perfect fall meal.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin, chocolate chip, oatmeal... cookies

I had leftover pumpkin after making some muffins, so these cookies were born. I was actually laying in bed this morning thinking of what kind of cookie to make. Once I had it all figured out in my head, I had motivation to get up.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1 large egg
1/4 t. vanilla
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cups gluten free oats
1/4 c. brown rice flour
1/4 c. sorghum flour
1/4 c. potato starch
1/8 t. xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips

cinnamon & sugar (1/2 c. sugar + 1 T. cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Using an electric mixer, beat shortening and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg, pumpkin, and vanilla, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to wet mixture, mixing well. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets and sprinkle with cinnamon/ sugar mixture. They won't spread. Bake for 15 minutes or until set. Cool on wire rack.

These cookies bake up not too sweet, with a hint of every flavor.

Makes appx 18 cookies

Wednesday, October 26, 2011



Inspired by the movie, of course.

Real ratatouille has zucchini and eggplant and peppers and stuff, and I only had an abundance of squash and a small sweet potato in the pantry. There was no way I was going to the store, so I improvised.

The vegetables turn out tender but not mushy.

I was surprised by how good this is. I figured it would just be vegetable-y and meh. But it's flavorful, has a perfect texture, and is very satisfying.

Overall, this is just a really tasty dish and I will absolutely be making it again-- even if I don't find myself with a ton of squash needing to be eaten.

I used:

5 small yellow squash
1 small sweet potato
1 (8 oz) can of tomato sauce
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
5 basil leaves, chopped finely
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 375.

Slice your sweet potato and squash thinly. Pour the tomato sauce into the casserole dish and stir in the garlic and basil, as well as the pepper, any small bits of veggie that will be too small to arrange nicely.

Arrange your veggie slices around the edge of the dish, then on the inside. Jam any leftovers wherever they can fit.

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the top. Generously salt and pepper the dish, and sprinkle on a little thyme.

Cover the dish with a lid or foil, and bake for 45 minutes, until the veggies are tender.

I served this over leftover brown rice and it was soso good.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin gingerbread muffins

The inspiration for this post comes from Oh She Glows. To be honest it was the spiced buttercream that caught my eye- what a great idea.

The muffins have a stronger gingerbread taste and a subtle pumpkin taste, and the pumpkin helps keep them moist.

The recipe was modified a bit to make it gluten free and use what I had on hand.

Again, the original vegan recipe is here.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins

1 c. plus 2 T. canned pumpkin
2/3 c. loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 c. light olive oil
1/4 c. molasses
1 egg, beaten
1 1/3 c. gluten free flour mix (See sidebar -->)
1/2 T. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. ground cloves

Preheat your oven to 350.

Mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl. Use the same measuring cup for the oil and the molasses- after you measure the oil, the molasses will slide out easily. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, and combine the wet & dry ingredients well.
*Don't forget your xanthan gum. I did, and they turned out a little crumbly.

Scoop into lined muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

These muffins are very tasty on their own.
To get more of a dessert taste, top with spiced frosting.
I combined cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, a ton of pumpkin pie spice, and a tiny bit of milk to make an icing/ glaze. For an actual recipe for spiced buttercream, see the original recipe at Oh She Glows.

Since the recipe doesn't use an entire can of pumpkin, expect another pumpkin recipe soon!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cupcake win

Chocolate cupcake (made with black beans!) + Nutella frosting* = WIN

*To give the Nutella a stiffer consistency for piping, mix 1/4 c. Nutella with 1 t. corn starch.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


This is first time I've EVER cooked pork. I know, such a milestone.

Six of these "boneless wafer thin center loin chops" were on sale for less than 2 bucks, so I grabbed them. Then I coated them in a tangy marinade/sauce. Good call. It's tangy with a hint of fruity, balanced with a little bit of sweetness.

Then I made a rice pilaf to go with them. Actually, I just throw sliced almonds into some rice and some other stuff and call it a pilaf. It works for me.

Anyway. Recipe.

Preheat a heavy skillet on medium/high heat. It's ready when water droplets dance around for a second before evaporating.


1/3 c. yellow mustard
2 T. balsamic vinegar (Used this fabulous pomegranate balsamic vinegar that I got at the farmer's market)
1 T. brown sugar

*I didn't have time to actually marinade them, and they still turned out tasty. Next time I'll try leaving them in there for a few hours.

Coat the meat in the sauce/marinade, and throw it in your pan. Cook it literally about a minute on each side, because they're so thin. After they're all done, splash a small amount of chicken broth (2 thawed cubes) into the pan and make a sauce with the stuff that carmelized in the pan. Serve with rice pilaf.

Rice pilaf-ish:

1 c. brown rice cooked in 2 cups beef broth
1/4 c. slivered almonds
1 handful of finely chopped spinach
2 T. toasted coconut
sprinkle of paprika

Mix it all up. Done.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

slightly cooking: pizza bagels

I still have a bag of Udi's bagels in my freezer. I've tried using them up as much as I can, here and there. But I still had more!

Tonight I wanted to use up some tomatoes that have been sitting on the counter. The next logical step was pizza bagels.

And it's not really cooking, but at the end your belly's not hungry anymore and all you have to wash is a knife, a cutting board, and a plate. Dinner WIN.

Take a bagel. Toast it.

Top with sliced tomato. Cover up the hole so no toppings get lost.
Layer on fresh chopped basil and spinach leaves.
Sprinkle on pepper and oregano.
Sprinkle on shredded (or bits of) mozzarella cheese.

Broil for a few minutes-- watch it, because as soon as you walk away, they will burn.

Enjoy dinner.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Oat and Cranberry Muffins

The other day I found myself checking out a blog called Frills in the Hills. I saw this muffin recipe and HAD to make it.

photo courtesy of Frills in the Hills- hers just looked SO pretty.

So I converted this recipe to be gluten free, and it turned out really well. I love the oats in the batter- they make it more of a rustic texture. You can find the original recipe here.

1 c. gluten free flour (1/3 c. each of brown rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch. Plus 1/8 t. xanthan gum)
1/2 t. baking powder
1/8 t. baking soda
1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup craisins or dried cranberries, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
2 T. light olive oil
1 egg
1/2 + 1/3 cup buttermilk or yogurt (I used vanilla yogurt)
1/2 t. vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350. Mix the dry ingredients together, and mix the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Mix them all together. Drain the cranberries and mix those in, too.

Pour the batter into 6 lined muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Post gluten free cereals

Kellog's and General Mills aren't the only mainstream cereal brands jumping on the gluten free wagon.
Did you know that Cocoa Pebbles are gluten free??

I didn't. One of my coworkers eats Cocoa Pebbles every day for breakfast like I eat Cinnamon Chex. She asked me the other day if I ate Cocoa Pebbles. I said no, because they're not gluten free. She was all, "Yeah they are. Says it right on the box." And I was like, "Whaaa?"

Sure enough, I went to the store and they were there, with a huge GLUTEN FREE right on the box. So are fruity pebbles and the marshmallow ones. And so are the snack bars.

I don't know when this happened, but it happened under my radar. And I totally had cocoa pebbles for breakfast today.