Gluten Free Pumpkin and Sour Cream Thanksgiving Pudding

I was scrolling through my postings a few nights ago and noticed that last year on Thanksgiving I posted a bunch of traditional dishes. With a smile, I thought back to the previous holiday I spent in warm Arizona, enjoying the dry heat, spectacular sunsets, and beautiful cacti of my dad’s hometown and my grandmother’s home. This year, my grandmother flew up to New York City and we celebrated my first New York Thanksgiving. We planned on walking downtown at night to watch the inflating of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons. From what I’ve heard, locals crowd the area and hang out all afternoon/evening. This is preferred over infiltrating the crowded parade madness on Thanksgiving Day.

Unfortunately, due to a history essay due online at 11pm, I had to stay home on Thanksgiving Eve and learn about the 4th Amendment’s implication in vehicular searches (btw I love constitutional law and would highly reccomend). However, when I finished the essay, my brother and I (he’s in college and also had homework), were able to spend the night making this unique and delicious Thanksgiving pudding. My mom found the recipe on the Smitten Kitchen website, and I have been dying to make it since. My brother and I, since we were talking back and forth incessantly (as always), took FOREVER to make this relatively simple pudding. Since he’s away at school for the majority of the year, and we haven’t cooked together in months/possibly years, this night was incredibly special.

I’m not sure if it was bias because my brother and I made it together, but this pudding might have been the best dessert that I have ever made. We added extra spices, because we tend to like holiday flavors better when they are more ‘dimensional’. The sour cream topping may sound weird, but it was absolutely perfect. The sweet pudding and the sour cream complimented each other perfectly, making for a not-too-sweet and flavorful dessert. ENJOY!

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Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (homemake if possible!)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 large eggs

SOUR CREAM TOPPING

1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Combine the pumpkin, sugar, salt, and spices in a mixing bowl or a automatic mixer. Blend for 2 minutes until completely blended.
  3. Transfer to a large saucepan and heat to medium-high heat.
  4. Cook for around 6 minutes, stirring frequently. The mixture should thicken as it cooks.
  5. Reduce heat to medium heat and whisk in milk and cream. After around 30 seconds, turn off the heat.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs lightly. Whisk them into the saucepan off of the heat.
  7. Divide the mixture between around 6-7 ramekins or pudding cups. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. The puddings should be barely jiggle when shaken and a inserted knife should come out clean. DO NOT OVER BAKE.
  8. While they are baking, make the topping:
    • Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk or spoon. No need to use mixer.
  9. Once the puddings are done leave the heat on and spoon around 2 tablespoon of the sour cream topping onto the top of one pudding. Quickly, the sour cream will melt fast, spread it evenly around the top of the pudding.
  10. Repeat with every pudding.
  11. When finished, put the puddings back into the heated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on counter until completely cool (around 90 minutes)
  12. After cooled, chill until ready to serve.
    • We used an additional sour cream topping for the top of the pudding: Whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream until thick. Stir in 1/2 additional cup of soup cream and 2 tablespoons sugar. Spoon onto the pudding and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon. (see pictures)

Love,

Ally

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Vegan Quinoa and Roasted Veggie Bowl

Another week, another vegan recipe! So…. I started out faced with a dilemma with this recipe.

I eat pretty much every food on the planet that I am not allergic to except jelly, soy butter, sesame butter or almond butter. For a long time I wouldn’t touch sandwich bread because I convinced myself that I absolutely hated sandwiches. Looking at the obvious, I’m sure that as a kid I developed a subconscious fear of anything that reminded me of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the classic lunch of my classmates. If someone around me ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich I would have to move to another table, and often eat on a bench outside of the cafeteria. Flash forward to 8 years later, and I still cannot touch jelly or any peanut-butter substitute. This is not out of stubbornness, I have repeatedly tried, over and over again, and every time I would end up with a terrible taste in my mouth and a lost my appetite.

When I came across this recipe on Minimalist Baker, I immediately knew that I HAD to make it for dinner. It was a beautiful and clean-food recipe with my favorite starches and vegetables. It wasn’t until I took my first bite of tahini that I realized it had the exact taste and texture as sesame-butter. Immediately feeling nauseous and convinced that I had just created the worst dish in the world, I served this dish to my parents with an apologetic grimace on my face.

My mom took her first bite, which was covered in the tahini sauce, and smiled. She said that the sauce was incredible, and that she was delighted by the subtly sweet flavors of the vegetables contrasted with the tangy and potent flavors of the tahini. She loved it. My mom tucked the recipe away into her recipe book and promised to pull it out only after I head off to college.

It’s not for me, but that’s personal.  ENJOY!

Love,

-Ally

 

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INGREDIENTS

VEGETABLES

8 whole carrots, peeled and quartered (large pieces halved)

2 cups quartered baby yellow potatoes

2 Tbsp maple syrup, divided

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

Healthy pinch each sea salt + black pepper

1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (or dried)

3 cups halved Brussels sprouts

1 cup squash or zucchini cut into 1 inch pieces (OPTIONAL)

QUINOA

1 cup white quinoa, well rinsed + drained

1 3/4 cups water

Pinch sea salt

Tahini Sauce

1/2 cup (120 g ) tahini

1 lemon, juiced (~3 Tbsp or 45 ml)

2-3 Tbsp (30-45 ml) maple syrup

GARNISH with basil, parsley etc.

 

 DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the carrots and potatoes (and squash or zucchini) to the sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp maple syrup, 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Toss to combine and bake for 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, for the quinoa, heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add rinsed quinoa to lightly sautée before adding water to evaporate leftover moisture and bring out a nutty flavor.
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to a simmer and cover.
  5. Cook for 18-22 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Then open lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Tilt the lid, remove from the heat, and set aside.
  6. When the veggies are at the 12-minute mark, remove pan from the oven and add the Brussels sprouts. Top with remaining 1 Tbsp oil, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, and another pinch each salt and pepper. Loosely toss to combine.
  7. Return pan to oven and roast for 10-12 minutes more or until Brussels sprouts are golden brown and the carrots and potatoes are fork tender. (This ensures that the potatoes and carrots are cooked through and the Brussels don’t get too soft.)
  8. Prepare the Tahini Sauce by adding tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Add 2 Tbsp (30 ml) warm water at a time and whisk until thick but pourable. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness or lemon juice for acidity.
  9. To serve, divide quinoa and vegetables between serving bowls and top with a generous drizzle of tahini sauce. Top with garnish of choice, such as pomegranate arils or fresh herbs.

Love,

Ally

 

 

(Minimalist Baker https://minimalistbaker.com/roasted-vegetable-quinoa-harvest-bowls/)

Mango and Strawberry Chia Smoothie

If I was asked to choose the food group I loved most, I would, without hesitation, say fruit and then proceed to go into a ten minute monologue explaining all the reasons why I love fruit. It seems that today, with all of the GMOs and huge factories processing the bread, crackers, guacamole, vegetables, oatmeal, sauces, etc. that we eat, it is hard to find foods that are completely natural. While grocery store fruit is often grown using pesticides, chemicals, genetic modification and other gross capitalistic methods, organically grown fruit is one of the only foods that I feel comfortable eating directly off the shelf.

Last summer I was biking through the mountains of Oslo, when we came across a hillside covered in raspberry bushes. My family and I stopped our bikes and ate a bunch of raspberries right off the vine. The fruit had not been watered by a farmer, grown using fertilizers, protected with complex technologies or chemicals, or bathed in UV lights. The raspberries needs no salt, no pepper, no dressing nor sauce to make them mouthwatering and satisfying.

I was scrolling through my past entries in this blog the other day, and I realized that my use of fruit (outside of desserts) was almost nonexistent. There always seemed to be a lack of recipes involving fruit that also didn’t mandate loads of sugar! So this morning, I decided to make a simple, yet unique smoothie for my mom. I found a few recipes online and consolidated them into a single, simple recipe for my mom.  Enjoy!

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Ingredients (one serving)

3/4 cup of fresh strawberries

1/2 cup of frozen mango in chunks

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (soy milk if allergic to almonds)

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon almond butter (exclude if allergic)

1 teaspoon of chia seeds

Directions:

Add all of the ingredients into a large blender and blend on high until completely smooth. ENJOY!!!

 

Love,

Ally

Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins

When I was 9, and living in California, my mom and I decided to take on a fun project for the spring and create a vegetable garden. We spent hours in our backyard building a garden, planting seeds, watering the plants, etc. Every day, I would walk in circles around our two planters closely examining every plant, just in case something new had begun to sprout. Our first year, I (very proudly) reaped a huge harvest of pumpkins, zucchini, tomatoes, squash, peas, and (I think) basil. While I don’t remember exactly what we grew, I can clearly picture my excitement in telling my grandparents, teachers, and most of all our gardening-savy neighbors about how successful we were.

Being somewhat inexperienced, we let a squash in our garden grow until it was about the size of a cat, not knowing that you were supposed to pick them when they were small. When we finally picked the squash, we made the craziest squash-based dinner and I decided that I had become (in 2 months) “the best vegetable garden-grower in California.” It turned out that overgrowing the squash resulted in a squash that lacked in flavor and had an odd, mealy texture. Nevertheless, we grew some pretty delicious zucchini and made the most incredible zucchini bread. For the next several years my mom and I had a tradition of making zucchini  bread with fresh zucchini from our garden.

When we moved to New York City we obviously lost our beloved garden. As a result of the move and my mom’s newly discovered intolerance to gluten, we stopped making the delicious zucchini bread. Two days ago, for the first time, I began to think about our garden in California. I began to miss the days of sifting through dirt and the excitement of eating juicy tomatoes or carving a home-grown pumpkin for Halloween. In this moment I realized that while I can’t grow my own food, my mom and I can still make the zucchini bread together. I found a recipe for zucchini muffins online and we got to work. Although our kitchen is much smaller than it was in California, the moments where my mom and I stood side by side, my mom grating zucchini while I mixed the applesauce into the batter, felt like we were transported back six years.

 

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INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 Cups of All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

2 Eggs

1/2 Cup Coconut sugar

1/2 Cup Unsweetened applesauce.

1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Grated Fresh Zucchini

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare your  Muffin Pan – use a Non-Stick Spray if necessary.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the dry mix ingredients & set-aside.
  4. Add the eggs into the bowl of your Stand Mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on Medium-High until they are light – approx. 2-3 minutes.
  5. Pour in sugar and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Add the applesauce slowly and beat for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add vanilla & grated zucchini and beat until just combined.
  8. Add the dry flour mixture to your wet mixture & beat until combined.
  9. Stir in any optional ingredients.
  10. Pour into your loaf pan or muffin cups.
  11. Bake Muffins for 20-25 minutes.
  12. Cool in pan for a few minutes before turning the loaf out on a wire rack to cool thoroughly.
  13. Store in airtight container or in the fridge.

Love,

Ally

Roasted Autumn Acorn Squash

Last week I decided to go on a hunt for the most ‘autumn-like’ recipe in the world. I wanted to avoid the typical pumpkin-spice soup/ apple cider cookies and find something that someone could only eat in the fall and would feel a bit wrong eating in any other season.

Union square, while not the most beautiful park in my city, is home to a tri-weekly farmer’s market. I often used to buy fresh fruits and veggies here, but since we moved out of Greenwich Village, the market is a bit far away. However, last week I found myself walking around Union Square on a gorgeous, crisp Fall Saturday. I saw tiny pots of honey, gooey cheeses, vegan brownies, and a BUNCH of variety of squash. After realizing that I only had $4 in my wallet, I decided that I would have to buy just a tiny amount of something very special. I walked past a table piled high of acorn squash and realized that they were the perfect autumn-only food, and that one squash was only $3.50! I bought the squash, took the train home, and got cooking!

I wanted to make sure that the seasoning on the squash wasn’t overpowering, so I decided to avoid any online recipes and instead make my own. The seasoning is really subtle and the squash tasted so so so so much like fall. Acorn squash is my new go-to!!

 

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Ingredients:

1 acorn squash

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise (along the equator line) and then cut again so that there are 4 pieces of squash. Cut thin u-shaped slices from each quarter. See above images for guidance.
  3. Toss the squash pieces with the oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.
  4. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet.
  5. Cook in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Toss the squash pieces and cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a plate or a cooling rack until cool.
  7. ENJOY!

Love,

Ally

Gluten Free All-Natural Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins

Happy Autumn! Happy October!🎃🍂🍁👻

October is the best month in the year, and if anyone disagrees with me than you might as well just leave this website right now 🙂 . I could go on a 20 minute tangent about how much I love this season and this month, but I think I’ll stick with writing about food….

My mom is very interested in being the most natural version of herself. She relishes yoga, uses all-natural products, and recently ‘forced’ our entire family to participate in a “7 Days of Meditation” program. With food, she stays away from overly processed food, and after reading about the negative effects of sugar on your liver, has tried (and often failed) to stick to low-sugar foods. (She also insists that my title for this recipe should be “Gluten-Free HEALHTFUL Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins.)

Anyway, I decided that I wanted to make the most natural, gluten-free muffin that I could. After coming across this recipe and seeing how delicious it looked, I knew that I had found the one. These muffins were SOSOSOSOSOOOO moist and flavorful. The honey was extremely subtle and my mom tasted no excessive sweetness. She was also glad to see that this recipe contained no processed ingredients, sugar, nor “bland and dry” gluten-free flours. I would recommend this recipe to anyone, whether you are trying to eat more naturally or not. I have enjoyed them as a small breakfast muffin for the past few mornings before school, and it has been the perfect way to start off my day! ENJOY!!

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INGREDIENTS

2 ½ + 2 tbsp cups old-fashioned oats

3 large overripe bananas

2 large eggs lightly beaten

1/3 cup honey

3/4 cup milk

2 tsp real vanilla

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

muffin tin

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place oats on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, stirring once (about 4 to 6 minutes). Let cool to room temperature. (If you are in a hurry you can skip this step, however the toasting adds flavor!)
  2. Divide oats into portions of 1.5 cups, 1 cup and 2 Tbsp
  3. Place 1.5 cups of oats in a food processor and blend/pulse until they reach a rough, flour like consistency.
  4. Mash bananas with a fork, there should be no lumps.
  5. Add eggs, honey, milk and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  6. Add dry ingredients (including the ground oats and 1 cup whole oats) to wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Allow these to sit for 10 minutes to soak the oats.
  7. Scoop into muffin tin lined with muffin wrappers (would reccomend scooping to almost the top).
  8. Sprinkle muffin tops with the 2 Tbsp of reserved oats, press lightly to make sure they stick.
  9. Bake at 350 for about 20 -23 minutes, a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean.
  10. Refrigerate for keeping, but reheat in a microwave for 15 seconds on full power. These muffins taste much better warm than cold.

Love,

Ally

Vegan Squash with Zucchini Spaghetti

Spaghetti with meat sauce has been my favorite food (besides artichokes) since I knew what a favorite food was. I’ve seen many pictures of me sitting in my high chair with tomato sauce slathered all over my face. Every year, on my birthday, I would ask for a spaghetti dinner. When I would arrive home after school and smell cooking pasta sauce, I would instantly give whichever parent was cooking the meal a huge hug. Since my mom has been gluten-free for the past five years, and we only eat gluten-free spaghetti, I have begun to enjoy this favorite dish less and less. Honestly, I don’t taste much of a difference between regular noodles and gluten-free noodles, but because there is less variety of gluten-free noodles I’ve grown bored.

So, last week I decided to take matters into my own hands and buy precut fresh zucchini strips and squash at Trader Joe’s. That night, I cooked up my own zucchini spaghetti with squash and had the best meal that I had made in a long time. This dish was not only much healthier than traditional spaghetti, but it also tasted so much fresher. The veggies filled me up more than expected, and I savored every bite. ENJOY!

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INGREDIENTS

2 teaspoon olive oil

2 yellow squash sliced into 1 inch pieces (see image)

1 clove of garlic

1 medium diced onion

1 can of spaghetti tomato sauce

6 zucchini cut into long and thin slices (like a thicker spaghetti noodle)

Trader Joes sells pre-sliced fresh zucchini noodles. I use these and would highly reccomend for anyone that wants longer and more perfect zucchini strands.

1 cup of tomatoes sliced in half

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil (dried as last priority)

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large frying pan or medium sauce pan over medium heat sauté the squash in the oil  heat for 2-4 minutes. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until the onion is brown and the squash are slightly soft.
  2. Add the tomato sauce and the tomatoes to the pan and stir for 3 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat to low and add the zucchini, followed by the salt, pepper, oregano, and basil.
  4. Let all of the ingredients simmer for 10-20 minutes. If desired, drain a little bit of the thin liquid to make a thicker spaghetti dish.
  5. ENJOY!

Love,

Ally