Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ginger Cake with Cranberry Rose Cream Frosting (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free)

Happy Blogiversary to Sweet Roots!

A year ago, my first recipe incorporated one of my favorite roots: ginger. A Sweet Root indeed! In honor of my one year blogiversary, I wanted to make another sweet ginger recipe... which leads me to this beauty.

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This delicous thin and golden battered cake is laced with flavorful spicy bites of crystallized ginger.

Topped with this pink and creamy frosting.

Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, and vegan optional (just use maple syrup or agave instead of honey)! It uses primarily sorghum flour as the base, mixed with flaxseeds and a little almond flour. The cake is wonderfully moist and the bites of ginger warms those tastebuds!

This recipe makes only two layers. Double to make four. The icing recipe is plenty for one batch though.

Ginger Cake Recipe
3 Tb flaxseeds
1 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp powdered ginger

1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, diced
1 cup non-dairy milk (such as soy, almond, or coconut)
1/2 cup applesauce
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tb oil

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2.Grind flaxseeds in coffee grinder.
3. Combine dry ingredients
4. Combine wet ingredients. Then combine wet into dry. Fold crystallized ginger into the batter.
5. Divide batter between two 9" round cake pans.
6. Bake for twenty minutes, alternating the cakes between racks.

Cranberry Rose Cream Frosting
1 tablespoon homemade rose water
1 can coconut milk (full-fat, heavy ceam)
3/4 cup cashews
2 cups Washed Cranberries
1/4 cup honey

1. Blend all ingredients in the blender. Put in freezer for twenty minutes, stirring two or three times to make sure it cools evenly. Or stick in the fridge overnight to thicken.

To make the cake, layer ginger cake and a fat dollop of cranberry frosting. Then scoop the rest of the frosting out on to the cake. Spread it around or let it sit naturallly.

Now I will let you enjoy! Please do go enjoy some Sweet Root recipes. And again a big thanks to all my readers! This blogiversary just wouldn't be the same without you!

Indulge sweetly, my friends.

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One Year Blogiversary + Favorite Sweet Root Recipes

Today is an exciting day! One year ago, I posted the first recipe here on Sweet Roots:

Pecan GingerSnaps with Frothy Matcha Milk

This year has been an adventure and Sweet Roots has been my little "mommy vacation." Somewhere to exercise my creative output (without it being like work - ok, it did feel like work a couple times) and share with all you wonderful people some of my favorite recipes. I'm really enthused about how developed Sweet Roots has become and how many people it now reaches. I loved receiving emails from Sweden (who knew my little blog would reach that far?) and gracious comments from all of my readers. Thank you!

Later today, I am planning to post a sweet treat but so far, I'd like to provide a snapshot of the past year...

Most Popular Blog Post goes too... Drum Roll please! (ha ha)
Vegan Quesadillas with Homemade Coconut Milk Cheddar

Most Pinned Blog Post:
Creamy Cleanser fit for a Queen
(actually, most pinned was Coconut Milk Cheddar from Blog Post above but it's no fun if one post wins everything)

Most Gawked at Blog Post (ie foodgawker):
Carrot Cake Smoothie for Breakfast

Weirdest Recipe (because I love weird):
I almost forgot I used to use flickr for my pictures...
Hibiscus and Red Walnut Lettuce Wraps by Mary Banducci
Hibiscus and Red Walnut Lettuce Wraps with Cashew Sour Cream and Avocado

Other past Sweet Happenings...

Does anyone remember when the banner used to look like this?
I'm thinking the new one is definitely an improvement.

This year has been wonderful! There were chai-inspired recipes, chia seed recipes (don't confuse the two), mommy monday posts, and lots of tea.

And don't forget the marshmallow root round-up!
I have several ideas for Sweet Roots this next year and look forward to sharing them all with you! Have a wonderful, Sweet Sweet Day!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Autumn Inspired Quinoa Waldorf Salad with Butternut Squash and Pecans (vegan, gluten free)

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
             ~George Eliot

To celebrate Autumn, here is a new take on Waldorf Salad. It incorporates butternut squash, a wonderful Fall vegetable and some autumn herbs like sage. It's also a healthy alternative and is very light on the dressing. If you want it creamier, feel free to double the dressing. The salad is vegan and uses quinoa as the main source of protein. Although, if you have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, feel free to add it!

This was made for a surprise party for a very special person who is very dear to me. The party was a potluck so I brought one salad and one dessert. This could potentially serve a dozen or so people (it's potluck size) so halve it and store the rest in the fridge if you are only feeding a couple of people.

There was lots of love, laughter and dancing (the cutting-the-rug, hand-jiving and heel-tapping kind) at the party. Which paired perfectly with this salad which is filling but also light.

Autumn Inspired Quinoa Waldorf Salad with Butternut Squash and Pecans
2 cups quinoa
3 apples (I used granny smith for that delicious tart sensation)
1 heart of celery
1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups butternut squash, cubed (about 1/2" cubes)
3/4 cup pecans (or walnuts)

Salad Dressing:
1 1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp thyme
1 1/2 cup unsweetened plain yogurt (I used soy but feel free to use coconut milk yogurt or regular yogurt if you can or choose to eat that)
2 Tb Dijon mustard
Juice of one lemon
3 Tb olive oil
Dash of nutmeg (I use freshly grated)
Sprinkle of Salt

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions (I add to boiling water and simmer for 30 minutes or so).
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the squash for 30 minutes or until cooked, tossing halfway through.
3. Dice the celery and apple. (I like my celery small but apple chunks big but cut them according to your wishes. Also to keep apple from browning, add extra lemon juice to a bowl of water and soak apples in after cutting).
4. Chop dried cranberries and pecans.
5. Mix all the ungredients for the dressing and set aside.
6. Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Stir. Then add salad dressing and mix until completely incorporate. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Oat and Almond Drop Biscuits with Herbed Olive Oil Gravy (gluten free, dairy free, egg free)

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." ~ Lewis Carroll

What impossible things have you dreamt? believed?

I believed I could make a dairy-free and gluten-free biscuits and gravy (they also happen to be soy-free, egg-free, sugar-free, and vegan optional)... It took some hardwork and mulitple tries but everything worth doing is worth doing well particularly breakfast. And Voila! Here it is in the flesh (or shall I say gravy?). A tried-and-true delicious oat and almond biscuits with a creamy and lightly herbed gravy.

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They are perfectly crumbly, have a wonderful biscuit texture and can be enjoyed sweet with jam and tea or savory with gravy. The biscuits are vegan. As per the gravy, you can choose to make this vegan by using vegetable broth and sauteed mushrooms (or lentils for protein) instead of chicken broth and cooked sausage. Here we use some deer breakfast sausage.

These biscuits are drop biscuits. No need to roll out any dough. Just grind the oats, mix and drop on to a baking sheet. Easy peasy, right? You can even make the mixture the night before and refridgerate (they may need to cook a minute or two longer). I was tasked to bring gluten-free rolls for thanksgiving but I plan to make a double batch of these the night before.

{Update: I just wanted to give you a little info on why I made the recipe the way I did. I've found my gluten-loving husband prefers oat and nut flours vs premixed commercial gluten-free flour mixes so I want to make the whole family happy. I too love these flours - slightly sweet with wonderful flavor also they are great for you! Don't get me wrong though. Premixed Gluten-free flours are awesome and super convenient. Nuts give the biscuits protein and oats have great fiber (chia seeds add both of these). I do NOT buy oat flour because everytime I bake with it, it goes rancid quickly (like within a day). Grinding my own oats seems to be no problem.
Also I use coconut oil here instead of a butter substitute. I don't like all the additives of processed vegan butter. Why hinder your digestive system when you're trying to heal it?
These biscuits have whole ingredients. They are nutritious and oh so good. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!)

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Oat and Almond Biscuits
1 1/2 cup rolled oats (GF certified if sensitive)
3/4 cup almond flour *
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
2 TB chia seeds
1/2 cup milk of choice (unsweetened - I've used coconut milk, soy milk and almond all with good results but prefer the coconut)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
1/2 cup + 1 TB solid coconut oil)

1. Add the vinegar to the milk and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 425.
3. Grind rolled oats and chia seeds (using a blender, food processor or coffee grinder) until oats resemble a flour.
4. Combine all dry ingredients.
5. Add coconut oil (or butter substitute) to mix and use a pastry cutter or a potato masher to combine the oil into the flour until it resembles little balls.
6. Add milk and mix in.
7. Divide the dough into eight balls and drop on baking sheet (I use my pizza stone from pampered chef). Bake 18 minutes.

*You can also make this recipe with home ground almond meal instead of almond four. Use only 1 TB chia seeds and add 3 TB tapioca starch (otherwise the biscuits may crumble too much with the almond meal).

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Herbed Olive Oil Gravy
3 TB potato starch
1/4 cup olive oil (feel free to use a grapeseed oil if you prefer a lighter gravy)
1/2 cup broth
Ground pepper to taste
1/4 tsp Thyme  (double herbs if using mushrooms instead of sausage)
1/4 tsp sage
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk (unsweetened and unflavored - I used So delicious coconut milk)
3/4 cup cooked sausage or sauteed mushrooms

1. In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk potato starch into oil. Add herbs
2. Turn up to medium high heat and add remaining ingredients  (except for sausage or mushrooms) while whisking (if it starts to clump you can run it through your blender or use an immersion blender like this one ).
3. Add sausage or mushrooms and simmer 3 minutes.
4. Serve over biscuits!

This recipe has been shared on Lifeologia's Gluten-Free Potluck Party.

The weather has been so mysterious these last couple days. Grey sky. Snow. Rain. Moody It makes me just want to cuddle up and read a book. I finished The Secret Letters of Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy for my book club. It was a lot better than I thought it would be. I loved how the women's friendship developed and strengthened - quite a bit of gossip and intrigue as well.

What books would you recommend that you've read recently?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Creamy Curry Coconut Butternut Squash Soup (vegan, gluten free, nut free, soy free, dairy free, egg free)

Soup in a cup? It's delicious autumn blended for easy drinking. Come on over and enjoy some creamy vegan squash soup. Yum!

The other night, a dear friend and relative brought over some delicious squash soup from Cafe Carambola located downtown Coeur d'Alene. Their dishes are amazing and if you ever come to visit North Idaho, please visit this authentic little cafe. My zesty quinoa salad was inspired by their menu (with my own flair, of course). Cafe Carambola's flavors are fresh and vibrant while still embracing the season. Here is my creamy coconut curry butternut squash soup, somewhat inspired by their delicious concoction.

This soup recipes calls for only a quarter of the squash. You can use the whole squash, quadruple the other ingredients, and freeze the remainder for later or give to friends.

Creamy Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup
3 cloves of garlic
2 tsp curry powder
1 Tb coconut oil
1/4 butternut squash, peeled and cubed (the smaller the cubes, the quicker the cooking time)
1 1/2 cups broth of choice
1 cup coconut milk, unsweetened

1. Melt coconut oil in medium saucepan. Add curry powder and minced garlic, toast in the oil until fragrant.
2. Add broth and cubed squash. Boil then simmer, covered, until squash is tender (about 20 minutes).
3. Add ingredients to blender with coconut milk and blend until completely incorporated and frothy (30 seconds in my vita mix). You can also add the coconut milk to the sauce pot and use your immersion blender if you like.
4. Sprinkle with cinnamon, salt or a little olive oil and enjoy.

Serves 3

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