Category Archives: gluten free

Borscht

We are solidly in soup season here in Seattle. There is a Russian cafe tucked in Pike Place Market that serves delicious salads, pelmeni, and soups, including a tasty Borscht. I took home a bunch of beautiful beets from the farm the last week and was inspired to recreate this Borscht. The flavors are very clean and light, but the root vegetables make it pretty substantial. Be sure to have some sour cream or Greek yogurt on hand to swirl into the soup to add some richness. Unfortunately, I ran out when I got the chance to photograph this for lunch the next day. Keep tasting this soup as you are cooking and adjust the seasonings so it is a good balance of sweet, salty, and sour.

Simple Borscht

adapted from food52

10 cups water

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium-large onion, diced

3 medium carrots, chopped small enough to fit easily on a soup spoon

3 large beets, peeled and chopped

1 large or 2 smaller potatoes, chopped

3 small turnips, chopped

1 celery stalk, sliced thinly

1 small bunch of dill, chopped

1 lemon’s juice

1-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

salt, pepper

10 juniper berries, optional

sour cream or greek yogurt for serving

Set the pot of water over low to medium heat. Add the juniper berries, oil, and 1-2 tsp of salt. Add the onions, beets, carrots, potatoes, turnips, and celery. As the vegetable soften, skim the foam off of the broth. When you can easily pierce the vegetables with a fork, add the lemon juice and dill and taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the thinly slice garlic right before turning the heat off. Serve hot or cold, with sour cream or yogurt.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under gluten free, quick, soups, vegetables

apricot blackberry jam

Summer after summer, I have wanted to start canning. I didn’t want to can in our small kitchen here in Seattle, afraid that it would be too messy or there would not be enough room to work. However, all of these worries were uncalled for and I have been making lots of jam and pickles this summer. One of my favorites so far is this apricot blackberry jam, which, I think is better than apricot or blackberry jam. I used half apricots and half black diamond blackberries with a split vanilla bean and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. I also prefer to make a low sugar jam and, as a result, need to use a commercial pectin to thicken it up a bit. There are some rules that you need to follow if you want to actually can, be sure to read some general guidelines from the ball canning site or book.

I have been baking the jars to process them, instead of using the traditional water bath because my biggest pot is not quite big enough to accommodate standing pint jars with an inch of water on top. This method definitely is much easier and less intimidating, but I found the results a bit less reliable than the traditional water bath. Whichever¬† you chose, you will hear little “pings!” as the jars cool and the lids get vacuum sealed.

Preserving is much easier and less intimidating than most people think it will be. You don’t need to can 20 pounds of fruit in order to can. All you need is a couple pounds of apricots and berries to stretch the August into winter.

Apricot Blackberry Jam

2 cups mashed apricots (about 1 pound)

2 cups mashed blackberries (about 1 pound)

2/3 cup apple juice or white grape juice

1/2 cup evaporated cane juice or sugar

1/2 large lemon, juiced and zested

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

low sugar commercial pectin (i used the ball low sugar pectin, 3 tbsp)

Prepare the fruit. Pit and slice the apricots, no need to peel. Rinse and mash berries and apricots together. In a wide mouthed pot, like a dutch oven, Combine the apple juice, mashed fruit, lemon juice and zest, and the split vanilla bean and bring to a boil, constantly stirring. I usually cook this down until the juices are a reduced. Stir in the pectin and bring the jam back up to a boil. Stir in the sugar and boil hard for about a minute. If you wish to process and can this jam, follow the standard process. If not, spoon into clean glass jars and store in the refrigerator (eat soon) or freezer.

1 Comment

Filed under breakfast, fruit, gluten free

shredded zucchini salad

Hmmm… Doesn’t this look familiar? I was hesitant about posting this because this salad is quite similar to the one that I made last summer. However! This zucchini salad is tossed in a tangy Greek yogurt based dressing and diced avocado, two of my favorite things. Summer was slow to start here in the Pacific Northwest, but this week looks awesome. When the sun is shining and you can leave the house without a rain jacket, everyone in Seattle seems to stand taller and smile a whole lot more.

This (very) easy salad is easy to adapt to whatever you have in your pantry. Add some shaved cheese, change out the herbs and nuts, use different types of squash, etc. One note: the dressing and salt do break down the squash a bit and release some liquid. If serving fancy people, drain it off before eating. Serve with tomato sandwiches for a complete summer experience.

Oh, and those bay leaves in the background are from a garden that I have been volunteering at. A garden with blackberries, marionberries, raspberries, and strawberries that I have been studiously consuming while I am suppose to be weeded. And! yesterday I was given 8 perfect basil starts of all types! Wish I had a p-patch here to plant them.

Shredded Zucchini Salad, part two

2-3 small or medium zucchinis, julienned on the mandoline

1/4-1/2 cup finely mined fresh green herbs (parsley, basil, dill are all good options)

1 large avocado, diced and tossed with a bit of lemon/lime juice

1/3 cup Greek Yogurt

2 tbsp(ish) sherry vinegar or red/white wine vinegar or lemon/lime juice

2 tbsp olive oil, good quality preferred in this application

salt/pepper

handful of almonds, toasted and chopped

Whisk the dressing together in the bottom of your serving bowl. Combine yogurt, vinegar or lemon juice, olive oil. and salt and pepper until smooth. Toss with the shredded zucchini, herbs, and avocado. Taste and season well. Right before serving, top with the chopped, toasted almonds. Enjoy!

2 Comments

Filed under gluten free, quick, summer, vegetables

gluten-free strawberry cupcakes

i wanted to make something for a gluten-free friend for her birthday many, many weeks ago. unfortunately with charrette and finals, i didn’t get a chance until this past week. continuing with the strawberries from this past week, here are gluten-free strawberry cupcakes!¬† gluten-free baking is certainly another beast. there are so many flours and starches to chose from! but here, coconut flour seems like a good idea and i like that these are sweetened with honey or agave nectar. i liked the dense crumb and the fluffy cream cheese frosting. but in the end,¬† i liked that i could make something (successfully!) for a friend to enjoy, most of all.

gluten-free strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

from joy the baker

after eating one two, i thought that next time i could lighten this up a bit if i beat the egg whites separately and folded them in at the end, like an angel food cake. if anyone does this, let me know how it turns out. also, these baked up pretty dark in my oven, so keep an eye on them. or use cupcake liners. also, these really do only need 1/2 cup of coconut flour!

1/2 c coconut flour

1 tbsp arrowroot powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

4 lrg eggs (room temp)

1/2 cup agave nectar or honey

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 c finely diced strawberries, plus more for garnishing

preheat oven to 350. line or grease 8-9 cupcake molds.

whisk together the coconut flour, arrowroot powder, salt, and baking soda. make sure to whisk out any lumps in the coconut flour. in a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, agave, and vanilla. add the egg mixture to the flour mixture all at once and stir well. the batter will get thicker as you stir. fold in the diced berries. scoop out to the prepared pan and bake about 20 minutes or until cakes are done. cool on a rack and frost.

cream cheese frosting

1/3 cup heavy cream

4 oz cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp honey

beat the cream to stiff peaks. in another bowl, beat the cream cheese to lighten and beat in the vanilla and honey. fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and frost your cupcakes!

photo taken at pondicheri, houston, texas

Leave a comment

Filed under fruit, gluten free, sweets