Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Butternut Squash Risotto and Carrot Cupcakes

Good Evening Everyone!

Living on my own has been a great experience.  This is the first time in my whole life where I feel 100% responsible for myself.  I have lived on my own before, in college and when I was an au pair, but I never really felt on my own.  Now I can do what I want to do, when I want to do it without anyone judging me.  So, I can eat a whole pint of ice cream without my dad giving me funny looks, and I can clean my apartment 2 times a week if I want.  And yes little sister, I still scrub my walls.  Living on my own has been great for my cooking.  I have been able to stock my fridge and cupboards full of the food that I want to eat. 

The only problem with living on your own is that there really aren't recipes for one person.  I always have left overs, even if I try not to.  I think it comes from my days of cooking for nine people in the Grimme household.  My host parents always told me I cooked for the whole block.  And when I bake, I have dessert for days.  I am lucky that the people I work with enjoy my cooking.  

These two recipes have created the most amount of leftover yet, but they are delicious.  I hope you all enjoy and share with someone else.

Butternut Squash Risotto
Courtesy: My friend Cynthia

I recently acquired a lovely butternut squash from the market and had no idea what to do with it.  It was one of those veggies that I had never cooked with.  I called my friend Cynthia, who happens to be a vegetarian, and asked her if she had any good ideas for me.  She sent me this recipe.  It turned out quite lovely.  I would actually replace the basil and oregano with rosemary and thyme for a more bold flavor.  Also, if you can do cheese, I would recommend throwing a little parmesan in there too!

1 Butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Teaspoon agave nectar
2 Tablespoons fresh basil (or rosemary)
2 Tablespoons fresh oregano (or thyme)
1 Large onion
1 Pound arborio rice
1 Tablespoon vegan butter
6 Fluid ounces Dry white wine (3/4 cup)
2 Pints low sodium veggie stock (you might need a little more)
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the squash in a roasting pan.  Mix 1 Tbs of the oil and the agave nectar and spoon over the squash.  Turn the squash to coat with the mixture.  Roast in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, put the herbs and 2 Tbs of oil in a food processor and blend until finely chopped.  Set aside.

Heat the butter and remaining oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes, or until soft and golden.  Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stiring to coat the grains in the oil mixture.

Pour in the wine and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat slightly and cook until the wine is almost absorbed.  Add the stock, a little at a time, and cook over med-low heat, stirring constantly on low for 20 minutes.  *Add about 1/2 cup of stock at a time and wait until the rice absorbs it before adding more stock.  It may take longer than 20 minutes.

Gently stir in the herb oil and squash until thoroughly mixed into the rice and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the rice is creamy and cooked, but retaining a little bit in the center of the grain.  Season with salt and pepper before serving.

I served this dish over a pile of sauteed chard.

Carrot Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

     Courtesy: Erin McKenna "Baby Cakes"

      I picked up this book because the idea of making a gluten free and vegan cupcake was too irresistible.  And to be honest, the recipes are to die for,  I love the chocolate chip cookie.  Oh, and the frosting...I could have eaten it every day, it tastes like cream cheese frosting!

     Carrot Cupcake - Makes 24 

     3 Cups Bob's Red mill gluten free all-purpose baking flour
     1 Tablespoon baking powder
     1 Tablespoon baking soda
     1 Teaspoon xanthan gum
     1 1/2 Teaspoons salt
     1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon ( I would add more )
     2 Teaspoons ground ginger
     1/2 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
     2/3 Cup coconut oil
     1 Cup agave nectar
     1 Cup rice milk
     1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
     1/2 Cup hot water
     3 Cups shredded carrots
     Vanilla frosting!

     Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line 2 standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.

      In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  Add the oil, agave nectar, rice milk, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir until a thick batter is formed.  Using a plastic spatula, gently fold in the carrots just until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

      Pour 1/3 cup batter into each prepared cup, almost filling it.  Bake the cupcakes on the center rack for 25 minutes.  Te finished cupcakes will bounce back slightly when pressed, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.

      Let the cupcakes stand in the tins for 20 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely.  Using a frosting knife, or a spatula, gently spread 1 tablespoon vanilla frosting over each cupcake.  Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

      Vanilla Frosting

      1 1/2 Cups unsweetened soy milk
      3/4 cup dry soy milk powder
      1 Tablespoon coconut flour
      1/4 Cup agave nectar
      1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
      1 1/2 Cups coconut oil
      2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

      In a blender or a food processor, combine the soy milk, soy powder, coconut flour, agave nectar, and vanilla.  Blend the ingredients for 2 minutes.  With the machine running, slowly add the oil and lemon juice, alternating between the two until both are fully incorporated.  Pour mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate for 6 hours or for up to 1 month.  It was best the next day.

No comments:

Post a Comment