Butternut Squash, Kale & Sorghum Salad

 

Gluten-free | Vegan

Butternut Squash, Kale and Sorghum Salad #foodbymars #glutenfree #vegan #healthy

In between all the cookies, partying, and running around this month - I've made every effort to eat healthy in between with soups and light meals. I'm not sure how it's working... but dear goodness, I am trying. 'A' for effort?

I brought this dish to a party and received great reviews. I think the sweetness of the squash combined with all these earthy flavors is so comforting but light. Also, the sorghum in this really takes it up a notch. If you haven't tried it this way before, it basically tastes like a more al-dente brown rice. It doesn't get mushy or sticky as fast as rice can though, so it works super well in this salad. 

Also, let's just touch base on the kale in this salad - it's massaged. It makes such a big difference in the taste and texture, and apparently brings out even more nutrition because of the breakdown in the tough leaves. Kale is no pansy, because of it's strong leaves it lasts much longer into the season. So giving it a nice olive oil rub down is probably well-deserved. And, hi, olive oil massage on the hands never hurt anyone either... especially in this cold!


Butternut Squash, Kale and Sorghum Salad #foodbymars #glutenfree #vegan #healthy
Butternut Squash, Kale and Sorghum Salad #foodbymars #glutenfree #vegan #healthy

Ingredients

serves 10

  • A bunch of fresh kale (approx. 4-5 cups raw and ripped)
  • 2 cups uncooked sorghum
  • 1 butternut squash (medium)
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • juice of 1 small lemon (or half for large lemon)
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper

Directions

  1. Start the Sorghum, rinse with water and place into a pot, add 6 cups of water for the 2 cups sorghum. Add 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt, bring to a boil.
  2. After sorghum is boiling, reduce heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for approx. 55 minutes.
  3. While that's cooking, roast the butternut squash: pre-heat the oven to 400f degrees.
  4. Peel the squash (I usually soften it first by zapping the whole thing in the microwave for a 3 minutes). After peeling, slice open, scoop out the seeds and cut similar sized cube pieces.
  5. Prep a baking sheet with parchment paper, spread the cut squash pieces across the paper with a small drizzle of olive oil (approx. 1 tsp), add salt and pepper. Roast for approx. 30 minutes.
  6. Now begin the kale! Tear pieces of kale leaves off of the stem, do not use the stem. Rinse kale to clean and let dry.
  7. To your serving bowl, add the kale and massage with 2 tsp olive oil (roll those sleeves up and work the olive oil into the kale with your hands for approx. 3-5 minutes). After a few minutes of this, taste a piece to check that it's not as bitter and you like the taste, then you are finished.
  8. Once Sorghum is finished, drain the excess water from the pot and let cool. When the squash is finished, let cool as well.
  9. Combine sorghum with the kale and add in the squash using salad tongs or two spoons. 
  10. Add: cranberries, walnuts, salt/pepper to taste, lemon juice, and tahini and mix the salad again until well combined.
  11. Serve at room temperature or a little warm!
Butternut Squash, Kale and Sorghum Salad #foodbymars #glutenfree #vegan #healthy
 

Flourless Chocolate-Hazelnut Cookies & The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

 

Gluten-free | Vegan optional

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies #fbcookieswap #foodbymars #glutenfree
Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies #fbcookieswap #foodbymars #glutenfree

COOKIE SEASON IS IN FULL SWING and this year I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! It's a great cause for Cookies for Kids' Cancer, by which great brands match donations for the cause. In the meantime, bloggers get to network and trade cookies! This is the recipe I developed which is a flourless chocolate hazelnut cookie. If you've made a flourless peanut butter cookie - this is an off-shoot to that using almond butter and cocoa powder. It's really simple and versatile, oh and delicious. How could chocolate and hazelnut not be? I've also brought these on numerous pot lucks this season and they are a crowd pleaser!


Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies #fbcookieswap #foodbymars #glutenfree

INGREDIENTS

makes 1 dozen

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp chocolate pudding mix (I like this brand, if you don't have, you can substitute with more cocoa powder)
  • 1 large egg or 1 flax egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • handful of raw hazelnuts, roughly chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350f degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. With a hand or stand mixer, mix all ingredients except hazelnuts until well blended.
  3. Add chopped hazelnuts and fold into the batter.
  4. Scoop cookies onto the parchment paper and bake for approx. 12 minutes.
  5. Let cookies cool on a drying rack for 5 minutes and serve!

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies #fbcookieswap #foodbymars #glutenfree
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Hope you enjoy!
Would love to have your feedback below and remember to follow me on
Instagram, Bloglovin’, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for the latest and greatest.
**Alison
-----------------------------------------------
 

A Winter Solstice Celebration

 
winter solstice celebration #foodbymars
Winter Solstice Party #glutenfree #vegetarian #diy #recipe #foodbymars

Winter Solstice is December 21st each year and is one of the oldest celebrated holidays. It marks the first official day of winter and is the shortest day of the year. It's also a period of time when the sun sets and rises in the same part of the sky. In it's simplest form, it's a great day to gather with your friends and family, enjoy each others company and celebrate starting a new winter together! Decorate with a pine tree (or Christmas Tree!), pine cones, winter berries, rosemary (was popularly used in these celebrations), etc. The idea being to keep a bit of the outside indoors since theoretically... with winter about, we will all be stuck inside with cabin fever! Historically, candles play a huge role in the celebration as well... with a focus on holding on to light.

I feel it's such a lovely and significant way to celebrate a new season, something everyone can relate to. This inspired me to celebrate with friends for a party... a perfect way to have fun over some seasonal food, a hot drink, maybe a DIY project too... like making a wreath?! Yes! 

I quickly put together these plans and called on some of my girlfriends to attend my Winter Solstice Celebration. It was so deliciously fun and the party favor was a beautiful handmade wreath we created together over some laughs, mulled wine, and tapas, on a cold but sunny day here in New York City. 


Winter Solstice Party #glutenfree #vegetarian #diy #recipe #foodbymars
Winter Solstice Party #glutenfree #vegetarian #diy #recipe #foodbymars

With the real Winter Solstice day approaching... How will you celebrate?! Find some inspiration below with NEW recipes featuring one from Justine at Pretty in Pistachio blog. TIS THE SEASON!


Winter Solstice Party #glutenfree #vegetarian #diy #recipe #foodbymars
Winter Solstice Party #glutenfree #vegetarian #diy #recipe #foodbymars
Winter Solstice Party #glutenfree #vegetarian #diy #recipe #foodbymars
Winter Solstice Party #glutenfree #vegetarian #diy #recipe #foodbymars
Winter Solstice Party #glutenfree #vegetarian #diy #recipe #foodbymars

Throwing a Winter Solstice celebration: party Checklist

1. Candles

Shortest day of the year you say? We'll need some light... extra light! And back in the day that meant burning candles. Whip out your votives and scatter them throughout your tables for a candlelit atmosphere and ode to lighting up your winter with warmth and love with those you care about most.

Winter Solstice Party #glutenfree #vegetarian #diy #recipe #foodbymars

2. A HOT Drink

Traditionally, a "Solstice Wassail" would be served... basically a hot ale with cinnamon, cloves, etc. If you're drinking alcohol, this is a great option or my preferred drink of choice is a Mulled Wine. If you're skipping alcohol... try a hot apple cider with the same spices and get yourself WARM! 

Winter Solstice Party Mulled Wine #foodbymars
Winter Solstice Party Mulled Wine #foodbymars

Checkout these Mulled Wine Recipes:

3. Seasonal Small Plates

Technically the plates don't need to be small... but my goodness do I love a good spread of tapas with appetizer plates and mini silverware. It's also great for mingling and letting your guests make their own plates. Invite your friends to bring a dish keeping the theme in mind and use a public spreadsheet like a google doc to keep track of it. Make whatever you can ahead of time so you can spend time decorating and lighting all those candles!

Black Bean-Squash Buckwheat Empanadas (Gluten-free & Vegan) Recipe: CLICK HERE.

winter-solstice-party_foodbymars_empanadas-black-bean-squash2.JPG
party_foodbymars_rosemary-parmesan-shortbreads_2.JPG

 

OLIVE & RED BELL PEPPER TAPENADE RECIPE: CLICK HERE.

from Justine at Pretty in Pistachio

4. Festivities

Bring your guests together with a fun activity like: decorating a tree, baking cookies, or create your own wreaths! We gathered: pine needles, cedar eucalyptus, winter berries, and boxwood, used wire hangers for our wreaths and everyone got to take their's home and hang it on their doors to commemorate the season! Since we have apartments here in NYC, we made our wreaths on the smaller side which turned out beautifully! Check out our results and resources we used.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Photo by NO FOMO

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Photo by NO FOMO

Photo by NO FOMO

Photo by NO FOMO

Great resources we used here:

 

...And if there wasn't a photo booth, it didn't happen.

Photo booths were likely not a part of any traditional solstice celebration (#firstworldproblems)... but it will be a part of mine! After a daring pursuit of photo booth backdrops, I found beautiful pine cone garland at Michael's! I simply hung it on removable wall hooks which worked out perfectly. I then re-purposed the garland for my Christmas tree!

Oh and yes, those are our wreaths on our heads.

winter solstice party #photobooth #backdrop #foodbymars #diy
winter solstice party #photobooth #backdrop #foodbymars #diy
Photos by NO FOMO

Photos by NO FOMO

Photo by NO FOMO

Photo by NO FOMO

Wishing you a warm and bright, happy and healthy

WINTER SOLSTICE!

xoxo,

Alison

 

 

 

Black Bean-Squash Buckwheat Empanadas (Winter Solstice Tapas)

 

Gluten-free | Vegan

Black Bean-Squash Buckwheat Empanadas #glutenfree #vegan #foodbymars

These delicious empanadas were a HIT at my Winter Solstice Celebration (full post here). Sweet from the acorn squash, rich from the black beans and that rustic, hearty taste from the hand-held buckwheat crust is perfect for a spread. Don't let all the directions scare you, I'm just very thorough especially when gluten-free pie crust is involved. I made this the night before my event and kept in a large tupperware, you can easily re-heat this by storing it in the oven before guests arrive on the lowest setting (so you're not cooking it again).

Black Bean-Squash Buckwheat Empanadas #glutenfree #vegan #foodbymars

Ingredients:

makes 18 empanadas

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 cup garbanzo/chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup non-GMO corn starch
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup cold butter, diced up 
  • 5+ tsp ice cold water

Filling:

  • 1 small/medium acorn squash
  • 1 can black beans (pre-cooked)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 small green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • Dash salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
  • Water

Directions:

Crust:

  1. Prepare parchment paper with a little flour dusted on top for when you roll your dough.
  2. Combine all dry pie crust ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
  3. Add the cold, diced butter to the flour and with a fork, work the butter into the dry mix (get those biceps going!). Do this for a few minutes until you no longer see the chunks of butter and you're starting to see crumbles forming in the mix.
  4. Have your ice cold water handy, and spoon in the water as you work it into the flour with the fork. Keep adding the water until you see the dough is forming, if you see a gumminess form... time to stop.
  5. Form the dough into a ball and place onto the parchment paper.
  6. Place saran wrap on the top of the dough ball, and lightly roll the dough out.
  7. Separate the dough into 2 pats, cover both separately with saran wrap, and place into the fridge. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour (adding it to the freezer for 5 more minutes is helpful too). Then get working on the filling below.

Filling:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350f degrees. Lightly drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet.
  2. Slice open the acorn squash length-wise, scoop out and discard the seeds and place the flat sides down on the oiled baking sheet.
  3. Roast for 35-40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prep the beans. Rinse beans from the can in a colander until clean.
  5. Place beans in a small saucepan and pour enough water just to cover the beans (should be near 1/2 cup)
  6. Pour the oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper and stir. Let sit while you make the Sazon (or if familiar with Goya products... Recaito!)
  7. In a food processor, mix the chopped onion, garlic, cilantro, chopped pepper- add salt and pepper to taste. Mix until well combined. If it comes out watery, try to strain out excess liquid so your sauce isn't too thin.
  8. Add the mixture to the beans, stir and bring to a boil.
  9. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and cover slightly. Check on it in 10 minutes, you can turn off the heat once a thick sauce starts to form. Set aside to cool.
  10. When the squash is finished (should be soft, nice and caramelized on the edges. Scoop out the squash and let cool in a bowl.
  11. Combine beans and squash in a bowl with a spoon and let rest (don't put a hot filling in your empanadas or your dough will become a mess!)

Final Steps!

  1. Prep for the final steps with 2 baking sheets, line them with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 350f degrees.
  2. Once the dough is ready, remove only 1 pat of dough and leave the other in the refrigerator. Unwrap the first pat back onto your parchment paper, and keep one layer of saran wrap on top of the dough.
  3. Roll out the dough (about 1/8inch thick). Using a biscuit cutter, cookie cutter, or even the mouth of a jar/glass, make circle cuts into the dough (approx. 3 inches in diameter).
  4. Assemble them directly on your baking sheets, don't be scared adding your filling, it can hold more than you think. Use your fingers to press down around the corners and close and then use a fork to really seal the deal.
  5. Once you're don with that first batch, you can put this tray in the oven. 
  6. Remove the 2nd pat of dough from the fridge and repeat these steps for your 2nd batch.
  7. Hand pies should bake for 25-30 minutes.
  8. Move hand pies to a cooling rack for a few minutes and serve! 
Black Bean-Squash Buckwheat Empanadas #glutenfree #vegan #foodbymars
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Hope you enjoy!
Would love to have your feedback below and remember to follow me on
Instagram, Bloglovin’, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for the latest and greatest.
**Alison
-----------------------------------------------
 

Rosemary Parmesan Shortbreads (Winter Solstice Tapas)

 

Gluten-free

Rosemary Parmesan Shortbreads #foodbymars #glutenfree
Rosemary Parmesan Shortbreads #foodbymars #glutenfree

These savory shortbreads will melt in your mouth. I've topped them with Quince jam that I bought from a local farmer's market and chopped hazelnuts. SCORE. These babies are so versatile and make for a lovely presentation. Make the dough ahead because it does need to be frozen for a couple of hours in a log. I also found that additional refrigeration before guests arrive works perfectly. See my full Winter Solstice Celebration post to see how I styled them on the table spread!

Rosemary Parmesan Shortbreads #foodbymars #glutenfree

Ingredients:

makes 24 shortbreads

  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp hopped rosemary
  • Grated zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) almond flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch, spooned and leveled with a knife 

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix the butter and grated parmesan cheese until combined (I used a stand mixer). 
  2. Add the egg yolk while still mixing.
  3. Stir in the salt, rosemary, and lemon zest, then add the almond flour and cornstarch. Mix well until a dough is formed and it's lifting off of your bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and separate into two logs (approximately 1.5 inches in diameter) 
  4. Wrap the dough in saran wrap and freeze for 2+ hours.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 350f degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Slice the logs crosswise into 1⁄4-inch-thick rounds. Place shortbreads onto the parchment paper and bake for approx. 12 minutes until slightly browned on the corners.
  7. Remove from oven and let dry for 10 minutes. Store in the refrigerator or wait until cooled before topping.

Toppings shown: Quince jam and chopped hazelnuts

Rosemary Parmesan Shortbreads #foodbymars #glutenfree
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Hope you enjoy!
Would love to have your feedback below and remember to follow me on
Instagram, Bloglovin’, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for the latest and greatest.
**Alison
-----------------------------------------------
 

Roasted Garlic Soup with Mushrooms

 

Vegan | Gluten-free

Roasted Garlic Soup with Mushrooms #foodbymars #vegan #dairyfree #glutenfree

I remember the first time I tried garlic soup. It was at a restaurant with my parents for New Years Eve. I thought it was the best thing ever after not knowing what to expect... would it be spicy or too garlicky or what? It turns out to be a super delicate and comforting soup. I wanted to re-create one, dairy-free using coconut milk and have added sauteed mushrooms for something meaty. 

Garlic soup is great for an immune system boost... and check that color... that's turmeric! I've been looking for more ways to incorporate turmeric in my food because it's so good for you. The rich, mustard-like color is just a bonus! It's also safe to say that no vampires will be coming your way. Your house will smell like roasted garlic heaven! 


Roasted Garlic Soup with Mushrooms #foodbymars #vegan #dairyfree #glutenfree

Ingredients

serves 4

  • 4 heads garlic, to roast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, and more for drizzling
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves raw garlic, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (low sodium)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • dash of dried thyme
  • dash of dried rosemary
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (I used full fat)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 8 oz. porcini mushrooms

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400f degrees.
  2. To roast garlic, take the 4 heads and chop just the top to expose the cloves inside.
  3. Wrap the garlic loosely in tin foil and drizzle olive oil over each head (approx. 1 tsp for each head).
  4. Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes (place on a cookie sheet for easy removal when finished)
  5. Remove garlic from the oven and let cool for a few minutes, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the head and set aside.
  6. In a pot, heat the tbsp of olive oil over medium and add chopped shallots, saute until translucent.
  7. Add the minced raw garlic for a couple of minutes and a dash of salt and pepper.
  8. Add broth, water, roasted garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme, turmeric, and bay leaf.
  9. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, saute mushrooms in a pan over medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil, dash rosemary, salt and pepper until soft while stirring (approx. 5-8 minutes)
  11. When the soup is done, remove bay leaf. With an emulsion blender (or pour out into stand blender), blend the soup until smooth.
  12. Add coconut milk while mixing in to the rest of the soup.
  13. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Add mushrooms to the center of each bowl and ladle soup around it and serve!

Roasted Garlic Soup with Mushrooms #foodbymars #vegan #dairyfree #glutenfree
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Hope you enjoy!
Would love to have your feedback below and remember to follow me on
Instagram, Bloglovin’, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for the latest and greatest.
**Alison
-----------------------------------------------
 

Pecan Tart

 

Gluten-free

Pecan Tart #glutenfree #foodbymars #dessert
Pecan Tart #glutenfree #foodbymars #dessert

Wooh! I hosted Thanksgiving this year and it was quite the endurance test and a lot of fun! Since this was my first time hosting Thanksgiving, I of course still wanted to handle dessert but needed to make sure it was easy and could be made ahead. And then a lightning bolt went off and it all made sense: PECAN TART! I built off of another tart recipe I previously made and adapted it for this occasion... pecan-cinnamony-caramely-cocoa sprinkled goodness is what I was left with. I had 0 pieces left over regardless of how stuffed everyone was... so I think it was a success. Feel free to make most of this the night before serving and just add the toppings (caramel sauce and cocoa powder) day of.


Pecan Tart #glutenfree #dessert #foodbymars

INGREDIENTS

For the crust:

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 egg

For the pecan paste:

  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 1/8 cup gluten-free oat flour 
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon extract (or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon)

Top with pecans (approx. 1 cup) 

Other toppings shown:

Drizzled with raw date caramel sauce (from this cookbook, or check this one out, or use your own favorite caramel recipe!)

Sprinkled with cocoa powder

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350f degrees.
  2. Begin with the crust, mix all ingredients in a food processor and press into a 8 or 9 inch tart/quiche pan. (If your pan is bottomless like mine is, add a thin baking sheet underneath incase any excess oil leaks out) Set aside while you make the paste.
  3. For the paste, add nuts to a food processor or blender and pulse until chopped well. Add the rest of the paste ingredients and mix until smooth.
  4. Spread the paste on top of your crust.
  5. Add the pecans to top.
  6. Bake for approx. 25 minutes until the crust is lightly golden and a toothpick comes out of the edge clean. Add additional toppings as desired!

Pecan Tart #glutenfree #dessert #foodbymars
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Hope you enjoy!
Would love to have your feedback below and remember to follow me on
Instagram, Bloglovin’, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for the latest and greatest.
**Alison
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