It’s Whole30 time! In addition to eating right all month, I’ve committed to posting everyday as part of Blogher’s January NaBloPoMo. The theme is pressure, which seems fitting–I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to eat clean food and blog about it every single day for a month! I probably won’t be able to share 31 new recipes, but instead will sometimes blog about how I’m feeling and what resources I’m using. I’ll be sharing lots of simple recipes, which will hopefully inspire you to get in the kitchen and whip up something healthy even if you aren’t committing to a whole Whole30.
You heard it here: cranberry is the new pumpkin! I am pretty much ready to put these little red super-berries in everything I make from now until Christmas. I love the depth the tart flavor of cranberries adds to desserts, and they’re great in savory dishes, too.
This recipe is so easy–just two ingredients, and you end up with two delicious and giftable condiments. The cranberry maple syrup would be great on pancakes, but I’m also thinking about incorporating it into a festive cocktail. I’ve already used it as the base for another dessert (involving chocolate) that would make a great gift, so stay tuned! If you want to be really prepared, make a batch of this now and just stash it in your fridge. I promise you won’t be sorry you did!
The cranberry compote is also delicious, and less sweet than the syrup for those of you who don’t want to get a toothache. I used some to make a parfait with yogurt and pecans this morning, and it was amazing. (Holiday parfait–it’s a thing! A delicious thing that rhymes!) You could also spread the compote on toast or even serve it with pork chops.
I had so much fun watching and listening to the cranberries pop while I was making this recipe. It’s more subtle than popcorn, but still great. I tried to make a video of it to post on Instagram, but it turns out I don’t know how to do that. Anyway, it made me think of the song “Get It Poppin’” (warning: explicit lyrics) from ten years ago–it’s a completely ridiculous Fat Joe song where he asks the ladies what they’re gon’ do, and they say “I’ma get-get-get it poppin!” over and over again. So, yes … that song has been stuck in my head since I made this. Still totally worth it, though!
I’m on a really big soup kick right now. It’s so comforting to sit down with a bowl of soup on a chilly fall day, especially a soup that’s both kinds of hot: warm and a little spicy. The only problem with soup is that it sometimes takes a while to make. Not this one, though. You can have this soup on the table in less than 15 minutes! It’s a deliciously creamy, warmly spiced fall soup that has a depth of flavor not usually achieved in super fast recipes. If you have a well-stocked pantry, you can whip up this soup at a moment’s notice. It’s great for lunch when paired with a big salad, and would also make a great Thanksgiving starter!
I used homemade chicken stock made from a rotisserie chicken for this soup. It was my first time making chicken stock, and I’m so glad I took the time to do it! It made the whole house smell wonderful, and I felt like I was being really frugal. I froze some of the stock in an ice cube tray, so now I have a bag of homemade stock cubes to use to make sauces and other recipes. This recipe will also work with store-bought stock, though–the real flavor star here is the curry paste.
To make the soup vegan or vegetarian, just omit the fish sauce or use a splash of coconut aminos instead. The soup will still be nice and flavorful with just the curry paste, stock, and pumpkin. You can even omit the sunbutter or almond butter if you’re out, but it adds a nice richness to the soup.
This summer, my vegan & paleo strawberry ice cream was a runner-up in Rodelle Vanilla‘s Great American Ice Cream Contest, and the prize was a basket of Rodelle Baking Goodies. I asked the wonderful folks at Rodelle if they would include a few extra goodies for you all, and they said yes! I picked up a couple of other treats over at Taza Chocolate yesterday, and am beyond excited to bring you a vanilla and chocolate giveaway.
One winner will receive a prize basket including:
- Two whole Madagascar Vanilla Beans from Rodelle
- A 6-ounce bottle of Rodelle Pure Madagascar Vanilla Extract
- A 2-ounce bottle of Rodelle Organic Chocolate Extract
- A 2-ounce bottle of Rodelle Anise Extract
- Two discs of Taza Chocolate’s Organic Fire Puncher 70% Dark Chocolate Mexicano (2.7 ounces)
- A bag of Taza’s Organic 55% Dark Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs (2 ounces)
- A recipe card for Molten Spiced Chocolate cake and a Direct Trade pamphlet from Taza
Me and pumpkin–it’s not over! Whenever I have leftover pumpkin in the fridge, I can’t stop myself from adding it to almost all things. This past weekend, I went to see my little sister, who’s 15, cheer at her high school’s last home game of the regular season. The game fell on my dad’s birthday, so I wanted to bring a little something sweet for the post-game celebration. Unfortunately, in addition to her dairy and soy allergies, my sister is also currently avoiding nuts, citrus, and chocolate as part of an anti-migraine diet. And, of course, I wanted whatever I made to be gluten-free.
Well, what was left that COULD go in these treats? Pretty much just pumpkin (and a few coconut products). I ended up making gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free pumpkin cupcakes, and while I didn’t think they were good enough to share with all of you, my sister really liked them.
The cupcakes only used a cup or so of pumpkin, so I was left with some extra, which was burning a hole in my pocket/fridge… Can that expression apply to food you really want to use up? Or is it only for money you’re dying to spend?