Allergy-Free Pumpkin Pie Popsicles
This recipe was inspired by one I saw on TAKEAMEGABITE.com, which was inspired by one on OMFGSOGOOD.com. I was smitten by the concept of a no-bake Thanksgiving treat, with all the rich flavors of pie, but a lighter hit on the tummy, post feast. I tried the recipe as written and found it much too sweet for my taste. I’ve cut the sugar in half, and made them allergy-free, vegan, and gluten-free by using my allergy-friendly Cybele’s Free-to-Eat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, and swapping light coconut milk for the cream (also bumping up the proportions by an extra half a cup so you get a truly creamy piesicle). The only problem? These pops won’t make it anywhere near Thanksgiving. I already ate 2 today!
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup canned light coconut milk
pinch of salt
6 Cybele’s Free-to-Eat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, crumbled (1 scant cup), or 1 scant cup of allergy-free granola
1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, about 3 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the pumpkin puree and warm through, stirring until completely combined. Remove from heat, and stir in the coconut milk and pinch of salt. Once completely combined, stir in the cookie bits.
2. Use a ladle to spoon into popsicle molds.
3. Freeze overnight or at least 6 hours.
Allergy-Free Pumpkin Pie Popsicles
© 2013 by Cybele Pascal
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Millet, Spinach, Cranberries, and Hemp Seeds
Who says millet is just for the birds? Not anymore, it’s not! This old-world gluten-free grain is high protein and delicately flavored. It’s the perfect stand-in for couscous if you cook it right. Read on for the most delicious stuffed squash, packed full of nutrients galore. And so easy! I was shocked by how much my kids loved this, and I will be making it in heavy rotation now.
1/2 cup millet
11/2 cups water
2 small acorn squash, halved and seeded
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped sweet or yellow onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 (5- to 6-ounce) bag baby spinach
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds, toasted (see note)
4 heaping teaspoons fine gluten-free breadcrumbs (I like Ener-G for this)
4 heaping teaspoons Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread or olive oil
1. Combine the millet and water in a small pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, for 18 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Don’t stir the millet or it will become creamy. You want it to cook up like rice, and refraining from stirring will accomplish this.
2. Meanwhile, spray the insides of the acorn squash halves with cooking spray or brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place face down on a large microwave-safe dish (I just use the microwave tray). Cover (I use a large mixing bowlâ€”it’s okay if the squash halves have to overlap a bit) and cook for 16 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large heavy pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and cranberries and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook, stirring often, until wilted, 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar, stir, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the hemp seeds.
4. While the millet is cooking, preheat the broiler on high.
5. Once the millet is cooked, fluff it lightly with a fork. Combine 1 cup of the millet with the spinach mixture and toss. Put the squash halves cut side up in a broiler-safe pan or on a rimmed baking tray. Divide the filling evenly among the squash halves, mounding it slightly. Top each squash half with â€¨1 heaping teaspoon breadcrumbs and dot each with 1 heaping teaspoon buttery spread. Broil â€¨8 inches from the heat source for 4 to 5 minutes, until browned.
* Note: To toast hemp seeds, heat a small frying pan or â€¨skillet over medium heat. Add the hemp seeds and â€¨cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden â€¨and aromatic.
“Reprinted with permission from Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking: 30-Minute Meals Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, and Sesame by Cybele Pascal (Ten Speed Press, © 2012). Photo credit: Chugrad McAndrews.”
This picture is one of my all-time favorite examples of brilliant food styling. So much beauty, emotion, and texture, represented with such economy. All the lines are perfect, and the photo does exactly what it’s supposed to, it makes you want to reach through the page or the screen and EAT THAT FOOD. This scrumptious little spoon was styled by Karen Shinto, who styled both my Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook, and Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking. This is a photograph by Annabelle Breakey for Sunset Magazine. This is what my stuffing would look like, if Karen and Annabelle were here. In fact the recipe is an homage to this picture. I hope you enjoy it even half as much as I enjoy looking at this spoon full of stuffing!
Allergy-Friendly (Gluten-Free) Cornbread and Wild Mushroom Stuffing
This allergy-free, gluten-free stuffing can be made vegan or non-vegan, depending on personal preference. Either way, it is rich-tasting, exotic, healthy, and delicious.
3 cups allergen-free cornbread, preferably stale so it’s dried out a bit
1/2 cup diced nitrite-free pancetta (optional, omit if making vegan — otherwise, look for artisanal brands at stores like Whole Foods)
4 Tbsp. olive oil
5 large shallots (both halves), minced fine
2 large stalks celery, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 lb. wild mushrooms (I like shiitake, but you could also use chanterelles or morels, quartered, or cut into eighths if very large)
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup rice milk
1/3 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth if making vegan — Kitchen Basics is Allergen-Free
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut cornbread into 1-inch-thick slices and place on baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and dried out a bit, about 10-15 minutes, turning the slices once. Keep a close eye on it, because you don’t want it to burn. Remove from oven and let cool.
2. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Once pan is really hot, add the pancetta and cook until crispy.Remove pancetta from pan and set aside. (Skip this step if making vegan).
3. Add olive oil to skillet, then shallots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly soft, about 4 minutes. Add white wine and cook, stirring until it’s been absorbed, about 1 or 2 minutes. Add rice milk and cook about 1 minute more. Remove pan from heat.
4. Crumble the cornbread and measure out 3 heaping cups. Add to the pan. Add the crispy pancetta bits (if using). Toss gently. Oil a 9×13-inch pan (or whatever you’ve got that’s comparable) with olive oil. Spoon in the stuffing and drizzle with chicken broth or vegetable broth. Bake at 350 degrees until crusty and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Allergy-Friendly Cornbread and Wild Mushroom Stuffing
© 2010 by Cybele Pascal