Foodie Blogroll

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cranberry-Squash Panini

I was trying to think of a new way to use the leftover cranberries from my delicious Petite Thanksgiving Cassoulet and came up with this satisfying sandwich recipe. Like the cassoulet, the Cranberry- Squash Panini is also Thanksgiving inspired (although almost anything with cranberries seems to remind me of Thanksgiving) and includes a wonderful combination of squash, cranberries, pumpkin, and cheese To make the simple panini, the squash and cranberries are roasted until tender then combined with the pumpkin puree before being layered between the jam and cheese. After a few minutes on the panini press, you’re left with a delightfully toasty and slightly gooey panini.

Cranberry-Squash Panini
Gluten Free
Serves One
Click Here for Printable Recipe

cran squash panini

1 ounce (about 1/3 cup) fresh cranberries
2 ounces butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into small cubes (about 1/4 cup, once chopped)
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
Dash of ground nutmeg
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons Cran-Apple Jam 
1 wedge Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese 
2 slices light gluten free sandwich bread (I always use Ener-G brand)
1 teaspoon coconut oil, divided
Salt & Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Add cranberries and squash to baking sheet, spray with olive oil spray and season with crushed red pepper, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Toss to coat cranberries and squash in spices, than transfer baking sheet to oven.

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2. Roast for 20-23 minutes, or until squash is just fork tender (but still has a little bite to it) and cranberries are beginning to burst.

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3. Transfer roasted squash and cranberries to a small mixing bowl. Add pumpkin, garlic, and ginger to bowl and stir to combine.

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4. Preheat panini press (I used my Griddler) to medium high.

5.  Arrange bread slices flat on a cutting board or plate. Spread jam on 1 slice of bread and Laughing Cow cheese on the other slice. Spread pumpkin filling onto bread slice with cheese, then close sandwich with jam covered slice of bread. Spread 1/2 teaspoon of the coconut oil on top slice of bread.

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6. Spray panini press with olive oil spray, then carefully place sandwich on press, oiled side facing down. Spread remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oil on top slice of bread (both sides of bread should be oiled at this point), and close panini press.

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7. Cook panini for 4-6 minutes on toasted and slightly golden on both sides (don’t worry if some of the filling oozes out slightly). Carefully place panini on serving plate, cut in half and enjoy!

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Nutrition Information--approximately 215 calories per serving (entire recipe)
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Apple-Butternut Chowder

I’ve done a few pureed squash soup recipes before (Curried Kabocha Squash Stew, The Ultimate Soup ) but every time Fall rolls around, I can’t seem to resist making a new variation on my favorite kind of soup. You just can’t beat a  bowl of warm and comforting winter squash soup! I decided to call today’s soup variation  a “chowder”, which might seem a little odd for a vegetable soup but this recipe is so unbelievably creamy that no other name is suitable. The delightful Apple-Butternut Chowder is packed with squash, apples, cauliflower, and carrots that are tossed in Indian inspired spices and then roasted to bring out their maximum flavor. After roasting, the vegetables (and apple) are pureed with a combination of broth, milk, and pumpkin puree to create a silky and flavor packed curry-spiced chowder.

Apple-Butternut Chowder
Gluten Free
Serves 8
Click Here for Printable Recipe

apple butternut chowder

Roasted Vegetables:
1/2 of a medium head of cauliflower, broken into florets (about 4 cups of florets)
1 large carrot (about 4 ounces), chopped
1 butternut squash (about 3 lbs.), peeled, seeded & diced into small cubes (about 5 cups once diced)
1 Gala Apple (about 8 ounces), peeled and chopped into large cubes (about 1 cup once chopped)
4 teaspoons grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Salt & Pepper
1/2 teaspoon grapeseed oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2-3 teaspoons fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1.5 cups unsweetened original almond milk (like the kind by Silk)
6 cups vegetable broth, divided
1.5 cups pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt & Pepper
Optional Toppings:
Fresh Parsley, chopped
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray with a layer of nonstick spray.

2. Add cauliflower and carrots to one baking sheet then place squash and apples on the other. Drizzle each baking sheet with 2 teaspoons of oil, then divide spices between baking sheets (for EACH sheet: 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin). Season both sheets with salt and pepper, then stir to coat vegetables in spices and oil.

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3. Place baking sheets in oven (if baking sheets are too big to fit side by side, it’s fine to place one on the upper rack and one on the lower rack) and roast vegetablesfor 20 minutes. Remove baking sheets from oven and gently stir, then return to oven (rotate position of baking sheets if you’re using two different racks).  Continue to roast 20-22 minutes more or until vegetables are very tender and nearly falling apart.

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4. Scoop out two cups of the squash and set aside (it’s fine if a few apple pieces get scooped out as well). Leave remaining vegetables on baking sheets until ready to puree soup.

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5. Add oil to a large saucepan and heat to low. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for about 1 minute.

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6. Add roasted vegetables (except for reserved 2 cups of squash) to saucepan along with milk and 3 cups of the vegetable broth.

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7. Use an immersion blender to puree soup until smooth (be sure to keep blender submerged so you don’t splatter liquid everywhere). Alternatively, if you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer ingredients to a blender, puree until smooth, then pour into saucepan.

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8. Stir in reserved squash, pumpkin puree, and 2 more cups of broth. Add in garam masala, dried parsley, and dried thyme and season soup with salt and pepper. Bring soup to boil over medium high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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9. If soup seems too thick after simmering, stir in some of the additional 1 cup broth. Taste for seasoning, then ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley or crushed red pepper, if desired.

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Nutrition Information--approximately 135 calories per serving (1/8 of the recipe; approximately 1.25 cups of soup)

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Note: If you don’t want to eat all 8 servings at once, the chowder stores wonderfully in the refrigerator for a few days. Simply let cool completely, then ladle into covered containers or jars. Prior to serving, reheat soup on the stove, or in the microwave and thin out with a little more broth, if necessary.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

While some people may  think that that it’s not acceptable to eat pie for breakfast, if you transform the pie into french toast, I think it becomes a totally reasonable breakfast meal. This amazing French toast recipe has all the wonderful components of pumpkin pie layered between two pieces of delicious gluten free french toast. The “crust” of the pie is created by coating the French toast in puffed rice  cereal that becomes perfectly toasted in the skillet. The “pie filling” is a simple combination of pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and spices that’s layered on top of the crusted bread Finally,  Greek yogurt, cinnamon, and more maple syrup provide the ideal toppings for this tasty dessert for breakfast dish.

Pumpkin Pie French Toast
Gluten Free
Serves One
Click Here for Printable Recipe 

pump pie french toast

French Toast--
1 cup gluten free puffed rice cereal (I used Arrowhead Mills**)
1/4 cup liquid egg substitute (like the kind by Egg Beaters)
2 tablespoons unsweetened original almond milk ( like the kind by Silk)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 slices light gluten free sandwich bread ( I like the kind by Ener-G)
Pumpkin Pie Filling--
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons sugar free maple syrup
2 teaspoons Truvia Sweetener
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
dash of ground cloves
1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup
2 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
Dash of Cinnamon & Truvia

1. Start by preparing the filling--stir together all filling ingredients in a small mixing bowl until combined, then set aside.

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2. To prepare the French Toast, add rice cereal to a flat bowl (large enough to fit a slice of bread). Add egg, milk, and vanilla to separate bowl (also large enough to hold a slice of bread) and whisk until combined. Arrange bowls side by side next to stovetop.

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3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large oven safe skillet with nonstick spray and heat to medium. Dip one slice of bread in egg mixture. Use a fork to flip bread slice, being sure that all sides are thoroughly coated in egg mixture. Remove bread from egg and place in rice cereal. Press down gently so cereal adheres to bread, then flip and crust the other side. Carefully remove bread from cereal and place in skillet. Repeat entire process (egg, cereal, skillet) with remaining slice of bread.

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4. Cook French toast for 6-8 mintues or until bottom begins to turn golden brown. Use a wide spatula to carefully flip toast, and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes more or until golden on both sides.

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5.  Scoop about half of the pumpkin filling onto each piece of toast and spread into an even layer. Place skillet in oven and cook for 3-4 minutes or until filling is heated through.

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6. Carefully transfer French toast to serving plate. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and Truvia, a drizzle of maple syrup, a dollop of yogurt and enjoy!

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Nutrition Information--approximately 248 calories per serving (entire recipe)

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**** Please note that Arrowhead Mills does not certify their puffed rice cereal as gluten free but it is found in the gluten free sections of many stores . I mistakenly assumed it was gluten free when I saw it in the gluten free section of my health food store (always read labels before buying!) and had been eating it for months by the time I discovered my error. While not certified, the ingredients are gluten free and when contacted, Arrowhead Mills says there should be no cross contamination.  I eat the cereal everyday and have never had any problems but if you have any concerns, choose a puffed rice cereal that is certified gluten free.