Monday, November 26, 2012

I am thankful for...

My boringly normal family. No holiday drama to report. Everything went swimmingly - I had no food breakdowns and there was only one big exciting thing to happen - my cousin and his wife announced they are having another baby (That's great news!). The weather was gorgeous. As soon as lunch was eaten we spent the afternoon outside playing Frisbee, soccer and cornhole.

Food-wise, I contributed several dishes I was proud of.

To my dad’s family gathering I took:
                Cranberry rice pilaf
                Lemon-garlic green beans
                White chocolate blondies

For Scott’s family gathering at our house I contributed:
                Steamed broccoli (boring, but a good standby)
                Baked zucchini with butternut squash sauce
                Summer sausage, hummus and crackers
                GF brownies

Everything turned out great. For the cranberry rice pilaf, I made baked brown rice adding a finely diced carrot, finely diced celery, and about ½ finely diced onion. I also threw in a little (about a tsp each) cumin and coriander and a bay leaf. Once the rice was baked, I added chopped craisins and walnuts. This was my sub for stuffing. I love stuffing, but I didn’t have the time to look for a GF recipe for stuffing so I just went with something I knew I liked. 

Lemon-garlic green beans are so very easy. I buy the steamer bags of green beans in the produce area of the grocery store. I steam those in the microwave. In a small bowl I mix together 1-2 Tbsp olive oil (I used garlic infused, but the other option is using regular olive oil and adding 2 minced garlic cloves), tsp of Dijon mustard and about a Tbsp of Mrs. Dash Lemon-Pepper seasoning. I add a little salt as well (I like Himalayan or Real Salt, but sea salt works well also). Toss green beans with the “dressing.” I like them room temperature. 

The blondies were from Chocolate-Covered Katie’s blog. I don’t remember who directed me to her blog, but she’s been a lifesaver in terms of vegan and gluten-free homemade desserts. 

For the baked zucchini, I used my food processor (Thank you Scott for the awesome Christmas gift last year), to slice several zucchinis into coins. Put a little olive oil on the bottom of a glass casserole dish, then layered the zucchini with a jar of butternut squash pasta sauce I got at Aldi. This sauce is seriously AH-MAZ-ING. I really need to hit the Aldi this week and see if they have more of this sauce. Anyway, I layer the sauce and zucchini, cover it with aluminum foil and bake it at 400 for about 35 minutes. Scott very lovingly stated “it looks absolutely disgusting, but tastes amazing.” I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not! 

Lastly for the brownies, I used a Hodgson Mill gluten-freebrownie mix, used about 1 cup pumpkin and about ¼ cup melted coconut oil and a tiny bit of coconut milk plus some chocolate chips to make the batter, then baked them according to the directions on the box. They turned out great – fudgy and they got better after they’d sat for a couple days!

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