The Diet: Day 19

Good news everyone, I took pictures today.  Bad news, I have been away from the blog too long, so long I failed to realize that I typed a post on Thursday and never published it.  Shame on me!

The last few days haven’t been too exciting culinar-ily, but have been busy!  We helped a friend move in next door to us on Saturday morning and spent the evening with my brother watching my cousin perform with his band.  We went to Northstar with my brother for dinner Saturday night.  Yesterday, morning, I made gluten-free apple pancakes and hashbrowns for my brother and neighbor.  Then, we spent the day with my mother and enjoyed baked cod and steamed broccoli for dinner.

Today I was busy with work (yes, on my spring break!) and doing some yard work.  Dinner wasn’t too fancy, but it tasted great.  For some reason, I was craving soup, even though the weather was probably in the 60s today.  Maybe it’s because I have a stack of butternut squash from my CSA I still haven’t used.  Either way, I stirred up some butternut squash soup and made gluten-free flatbread.  And I am going to share with you what I did!

Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk and Gluten-free Flatbreads

Peel one butternut squash and chop into 1-2″ pieces.  Drizzle with olive oil and roast in a 400 degree oven until tender and beginning to caramelize.  In the meantime, saute one chopped onion in olive oil until translucent.  Add 2-4t of curry powder, 1/4-1/2t cayenne pepper, 1 clove of minced garlic, and 1T tomato paste.  I had a huge squash, so I used the larger amounts of ingredients.  With a smaller squash, I would recommend using less spices.  I also added one chopped ripe tomato.  When the spices were fragrant in the pot (stir together at least 1-2 minutes), add 2-4c vegetable stock and 1 can coconut milk.  Add 2-3 chopped carrots (about 1-2″ long pieces, halved if necessary) to the pot and the roasted squash.  Bring to a low boil and reduce heat.  Simmer at least 20 minutes.  In the meantime, make bread.  First, reduce the heat on the oven to 375 for the bread.

This flatbread recipe is based on one from Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free and Vegan Baking Book.

In a small bowl proof your yeast.  Mix 1 c of lukewarm water, 1/4c agave (maple or plain flavored), and 1/2t yeast.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together 2 3/4c brown rice flour, 1c garbanzo flour, 1/4c flax meal, 1 1/2t sea salt, and 3/4t xanthan gum.  In the bowl to my mixer, I add 1/4c olive oil or safflower oil and 1/3c pumpkin puree  (can also use sweet potato puree).  When the yeast has bubbles rising to the surface and looks a little cloudy, add it to the mixing bowl.  Slowly add the dry ingredients while mixing slowly.  Do not overmix.  I knead the loaf 3-4 times in the bowl, but you could do this on your counter if you prefer.  Divide into 8-10 portions on a rice-floured surface.  I use my hands to roll into a ball and gently flattened until 1/2″ thick, but a rolling pin would also work well.  Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and brush the top liberally with oil.  You can sprinkle the bread with dried or fresh herbs, coarse salt, or leave them plain.  Tonight, I left them plain for my soup.  Pop them in the oven until they are lightly brown and slightly firm, ~15-20 minutes.

When the flatbreads are in the oven, puree the soup in the blender (or with a handy immersion blender, if you have one) until smooth.  Serve together, piping hot!

The play off the sweetness of the coconut and squash against the spicy background was fantastic.  Especially with a piece of bread to dip in and clean out the bowl with.  Yum!  Great dinner, eaten outside with a new neighbor and old friend.  Doggie fun has begun now that the weather is warm.  Wrestling and running around our steaming plate of soup, the sounds of barking and good conversations fill the air.  Ahh, spring!  You may arrive after all!

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