Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cleaning Out the Fridge Soup

This afternoon I truly became my mother in the kitchen! No recipes, random ingredients, no mixing, soup on the stove, beets in the oven, hummus in food processor on counter ..... I guess that is what cool fall days are for!

I had leftover pumpkin puree from a loaf I made last week and it was starting to annoy me everytime I opened the fridge. You know those ingredients that you buy for one dish but have no clue what to do with the rest of it?!?!

So I was making my typical hummus and decided to throw in 1/2 cup of the pumpkin puree to see what the flavour would be. Yum.... something different and good way to bump up the nutritional content of hummus. The orange colour was perfect for fall too :) So I still had 1 cup of the pumpkin AND I had half a jar of unsweetened applesauce left from the gluten-free brownies I just baked as well. I had one parsnip so I decided I'd make a soup (and try out my new dutch oven my parents got me for my birthday 2 weeks ago!) Apple and parsnip and pumpkin should go well together I thought....

A little olive oil, chopped onion, 2 celery ribs, 2 carrots, 1 parsnip and threw in some red chili flakes, and garlic. Then the pumpkin and applesauce went in with a bay leaf. I remembered I still had some chicken stock in the freezer so defrosted it and put it in and let it simmer for an hour. I had some strange looking oregano in the fridge that was on the verge of garbage so I put that in with some sea salt and pepper and ended up pureeing half of it.... So we'll have this tonight with a roast chicken that's in the oven and some leftover green beans. Random but healthy and delish!

Gluten-free Brownies...... Chickpea Flour!

Friday night Chris and I were going to friends for dinner so I decided to bake a couple of goodies for the crew. We got to dessert and I said a disclaimer that the treats were all gluten-free and I was using all 7 of them as guinea pigs. I love playing this game .... especially with non-gluten-free friends aka Chris' friends!

I had baked them for other friends last year but I wanted to change things around a bit as I don't love using xanthum gum in gluten-free baking. Xanthan gum derives its name from the strain of bacteria used during the fermentation process, Xanthomonas campestris. X. campestris is the same bacterium responsible for causing black rot to form on broccoli, cauliflower and other leafy vegetables. The bacteria form a slimy substance which acts as a natural stabilizer or thickener. So it's a fermented sugar with alcohol basically.....

Here's the recipe if you feel like something chocolately without gluten. If you don't do a lot of baking you can go to a bulk store and just get enough to keep the cost down.

1 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar (I've tried substituting with honey and maple syrup and it didn't work out!)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract (buy pure instead of artificial as it makes the chocolate really pop!)
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup chocolate chips (don't skip these as they really 'make' the brownie)

Preheat oven to 325. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet in another and then combine until smooth. Scoop batter into greased (use a bit of coconut oil) muffin tins. Bake for 5 minutes then rotate and bake another 5 minutes. Let them sit for 10 minutes and then eat away!