Sunday, November 30, 2014

Butternut Bonanza!: Butternut Blondies with a Walnut Caramel Topping

Hi all! I hope you are all doing well! I'm sorry that this post has come post Thanksgiving, but this treat can be eaten any day after or anytime of the year. :) What's also nice is that if you happen to have any leftover steamed or baked butternut squash from Thanksgiving, this recipe is right up your alley. :)

At first I originally wanted to make a butternut and white chocolate swirl blondie, because I thought the flavor combinations would be awesome. But then I got to thinking. I don't really like chocolate (GASP. I know, weird) and I don't really want them in these blondies. I feel that since it is a blondie, it should not have any remnance of chocolate in it. I mean, the brownie gets enough chocolate love, let brownie's cousin have her own spotlight in which to shine. :) And the addition of butternut squash to these blondies keeps them moist without bringing the fat content sky high as well as bringing its awesome nutritional profile with it. An A+ in my book! :)

The ratio for this recipe was inspired by Jonathon from The Canary Files. His post through the Gluten Free Ratio Rally for Vegan Marbled Banana Walnut Blondies won me over and I appreciated that he also was not a fan of chocolate. And his brownies looked fabulous! So I used the ratio as inspiration and ran with it. And the result was fabulous and not to mention, oil free! :D

I hope you all enjoy the recipe and hoped you enjoyed this Butternut Madness Bonanza! :)

Butternut Blondies with a Walnut Caramel Topping

Yield: 12 2"x1.5" squares
Prep Time: ~20 minutes
Bake Time: ~18-20 minutes

75 grams (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) gluten free oat flour
30 grams (1/4 cup) buckwheat flour
30 grams (2 1/2 tablespoons) teff flour
15 grams (2 tablespoons) tapioca flour/starch
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teapsoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
250 grams (1 cup + 1/8 cup) steamed and 1/2 inch cubed butternut squash
100 grams (1/2 cup) coconut sugar
25 grams (1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon) maple syrup
50 grams (3 heaping tablespoons) coconut butter, softened 
7 grams (1 tablespoon) ground flax seed
30 grams (3 tablespoons) water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
18 grams (1 tablespoon) maple syrup
15 grams (1 tablespoon) coconut butter, softened
50 grams (1/2 cup) toasted walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, buckwheat flour, teff flour, tapioca starch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
To a blender, add the butternut squash, coconut sugar, 25 grams maple syrup, 50 grams coconut butter, flax seed, water and vanilla extract and blend until completely smooth.
Add the blended mixture to the flour mixture and whisk to combine. 
Line an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
Pour the mixture into the baking pan and spread it evenly to all corners.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Meanwhile, while the blondies are baking, in a small bowl, combine the 18 grams of maple syrup and 15 grams coconut butter until completely smooth. As soon as the blondies come out of the oven, spread this mixture all over the top of the blondies and sprinkle the walnuts over the top as well. Press down on the walnuts slightly so that they are held in place on top of the blondie. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes. Take out of the pan while leaving in the parchment and set on a cooling rack until completely cooled. 
Cut and enjoy! :)

Here is the nutritional information for these blondies from CRON-O-Meter. These blondies are high in beta-carotene (which is the precursor to vitamin A and is from the lovely butternut squash), manganese and have a good amount of iron and calcium per serving. Woot woot for putting squash in desserts! :)

Thank you all for stopping by and checking out this recipe. I hope you get to try it out! This will be my last post for the Butternut Bonanza but it won't stop me from using butternut squash in creative ways that may show up on the blog in the future... But for now, I think three posts is enough for butternut squash recipes. :) More to come and I will catch you all later! :)

Rawnessa <3

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Butternut Bonanza!: Puerto Rican Butternut Squash and Green Pea Risotto (Risotto de Calabaza y Guisante a lo Criollo)

May I have a bowl, please?
Hi all! I hope you all are enjoying your week so far! I know I am, especially after making this recipe. :) I'm in heaven! It's a little more time consuming than the other recipes that I post, but it is oh so worth it! This is great as a side dish for Thanksgiving (if you want to add a Puerto Rican flair to your dinner feast!) or as a nice dinner entree. It's creamy, filling and oh so good! And no cheese or butter was added, as is what is usually added to a risotto. An A+ in my book! :)

I've been wanting to create a recipe that had a Puerto Rican feel to it but while still remaining vegan, gluten free (which is easy peasy in Puerto Rican cooking. Who knew?) and yummilicious! I love using sofrito (a combination of onions, garlic, bell peppers (or aji dulces if you can get them), and cilantro) in dishes because it brings out so much flavor to anything you make! It's the equivalent to the French's use of mirepoix, but with a Puerto Rican twist. I feel like every culture has their own mirepoix or sofrito and exploring those different cultures makes cooking so much fun! I learned how to make sofrito from my mom and boy am I glad she taught me the basics of Puerto Rican cooking. I'm by no means as good as her at creating the most authentic of dishes (being that I veganize and health-ify every dish I make) but I try my best! I hope you think this is somewhat authentic Mom!

I think the addition of the butternut squash and the peas gives the dish a sweetness and fall flavor that I love. If I was in Puerto Rico, I probably would have used pigeon peas (gandules) for the sweet peas to give a more authentic feel, but the sweet peas lend a nice touch and plus they're much easier to obtain than pigeon peas. Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I did! :)

Puerto Rican Butternut Squash and Green Pea Risotto                                 (Risotto de Calabaza y Guisante a lo Criollo)

 Yield: ~6 1/2 cups
 Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Servings: ~ 6

283 grams (1 1/2 cups) short grain brown rice
588 grams (2 1/2 cups) filtered water
228 grams (1 1/2 cups) 1/2 inch chopped tomatoes
110 grams (heaping 3/4 cup) 1/2 inch chopped green bell pepper
110 grams (heaping 3/4 cup) 1/2 inch chopped red bell pepper
76 grams (1/2 cup + 1/8 cup) 1/2 inch chopped yellow onion
56 grams (1 1/4 cup) roughly chopped cilantro (leaves and some stems)
14 grams (1/4 cup) sun dried tomatoes reconstituted in 1/4 cup boiled vegetable stock
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 cups (1250 grams/1183 mililiters) vegetable stock
1 teaspoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons 1/8 inch sliced green olives
3/4 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
280 grams (1 1/2 cups) steamed cooked 1/2 inch chopped butternut squash
138 grams (1 cup frozen) sweet green peas
11 grams (1/4 cup) roughly chopped cilantro (garnish, optional)

Place brown rice in a medium sized bowl and cover with the water. Let soak for 8 - 12 hours on your counter top. Drain, rinse and set aside.

Place the tomatoes, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, onion, the 1 1/4 cups cilantro, sun dried tomatoes along with the vegetable stock in which they were reconstituted and minced garlic in a blender or food processor and blend (process) until smooth. Set aside.

In a pot, heat up the vegetable stock and keep on a low simmer.

In a large pot, heat up the coconut oil on medium-low heat. Once heated, add the contents from the blender, the green olives, salt, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, turmeric, and cayenne and stir to combine. Heat this mixture and let simmer for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat. Add the soaked rice and stir to combine. Keep simmering (stir every now and then), until more water has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of heated vegetable stock to this mixture and stir to combine. Keep stirring every so often and cook until some of the liquid has evaporated or until when you run your spoon through the mixture, it leaves a valley that slowly fills up back again with the mixture. When this happens, add 1/2 cup more vegetable stock and stir. Wait until the liquid has evaporated and add 1/2 cup more stock. Repeat this process until you have no more vegetable stock left. This may take about an hour.

When you pour in the last 1/2 cup vegetable stock, add the peas and butternut squash and mix thoroughly. Cook until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the chopped cilantro and serve immediately. Enjoy!


  • Feel free to add any vegetable you desire to this dish! Chopped kale or greens would go lovely in here, or some chopped broccoli or carrots. Whatever your heart desires! If you were to add in a harder vegetable (such as carrots), I would add it to the dish at the beginning as opposed to the end like I did with the peas and butternut squash, so it can cook thoroughly. 

Yum! :P
Here you can find the nutritional information for this dish from CRON-O-Meter. What I love about this dish is that it is low in fat but high in flavor and nutrients! A serving of this has 77% of your daily value for vitamin A, 92% of your daily value of vitamin C, is high in magnesium, vitamin K, and high in vitamin B1 and B6! And to boot, it has 6 grams of fiber! Can't go wrong here! :) The only thing I would tweak is the amount of salt I put in the dish in order to decrease the sodium content. If you are sensitive to salt, I would decrease it a bit but I promise it will still be full of flavor! :)

Thank you all for stopping by. I really appreciate you coming to visit the blog. I will try very hard to get in a dessert butternut squash recipe on the blog before Thanksgiving so you have another butternut recipe for the Thanksgiving feast. I am excited using this yummy squash in different ways and I hope you are enjoying the recipes! I will be back soon! :)

Rawnessa <3

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Butternut Bonanza! Rosemary Butternut Hummus and Butternut Flat Bread!

Get in my belly! :P
Hello all! I hope your day is going awesome! Today and for the next few posts, I'm going to be posting ways to use up butternut squash (or any other winter squash) that you may have hanging around your kitchen that you don't know what to do with. That's why I'm calling this the Butternut Bonanza!

I recently bought some organic butternut squash in bulk (about 15 squash were in the box; but at a price of only $18, I couldn't resist!), and have been looking for different ways to use it up. Makes for creative uses in the kitchen! No butternut squash soup here! And as a bonus, these are all seasonal recipes, so if you're looking for cheap ways to make an awesome plant based 'Thanksliving' then here are some recipes for you! They may not be what you expect on Thanksgiving, but you won't miss the traditional recipes after trying these. Promise. :)

After all, I feel like everyone has a different tradition on Thanksgiving. To be honest, the Thanksgiving of my past usually didn't showcase the traditional mashed potatoes but instead had rice and beans. And our stuffing was Puerto Rican inspired with some sofrito thrown in. Of course we had to throw some sofrito in there! Being a Puerto Rican, we put that in everything! LOL!

First recipe I thought I would show you is a butternut squash hummus. Of course it had to be a dip recipe! It's appropriate, being that the name of the blog is Quickie Dips! :P And I have been lacking in posting dip recipes, so I thought it would good to have this as an appetizer. It has hints of rosemary and just a touch of nutmeg in the background just to make you think, 'What is it that I'm tasting?' It really brings the dish together. :) And here's a tip: make this the night before you're serving it, as the flavors intensify as it sits overnight. Yummo!

Now to go along with the dip, we had to have a dipper! It's a butternut squash flat bread that is completely whole grain, gluten free, gum free and has a wonderful chew to it. It's super simple to put together too! It may not taste like butternut squash, but I feel the squash gives the bread a softer texture without adding any fat; and since it doesn't have a 'squash-y' taste, it can be served with anything or as a pizza dough. Yum! :) It's definitely a whole grain taste, which I love, but if you're not into that, feel free to play around with the recipe and add some starches in the mix. So, for half the flours in the recipe, try substituting (by weight) with one or two of these flours: finely ground sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, or arrowroot flour. Have fun and create your own unique bread! :)

If you need a guide on how to peel and break down squash, here is a great demonstration on how to do it. After I cube it, I usually simmer the squash in water that comes up halfway to the squash in the pot until it is soft enough to mash with a fork. Feel free to use any of your favorite winter squashes in these recipes if you don't have any butternut on hand.

Well, here goes! I hope you enjoy the recipes! :)

Rosemary Butternut Hummus

Yield: ~2 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes

220 grams (1 cup 1/2 inch cubed OR 3/4 cup mashed) cooked butternut squash
360 grams (2 cups) cooked and drained chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
40 grams (2 tablespoons) tahini
2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon coconut sugar 
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/16 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

In a food processor, add the squash, chickpeas, tahini, lime juice, rosemary, salt, garlic, coconut sugar, cayenne, and nutmeg and process until smooth. 
Enjoy on some crudites or some butternut squash flat bread (below)! :)

Here is the nutritional information for this dip from CRON-O-Meter. This dip is high in folate, vitamin A, copper, and manganese, low in fat, and high on flavor! Woot woot!! :P No Thanksgiving coma here!

Butternut Squash Flat Bread

Yield: ~400 grams (4 little flat breads about 6 inches in diameter)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes

100 grams (7/8 cup) certified gluten free oat flour
50 grams (1/4 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons) teff flour
50 grams (1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) buckwheat flour
3 tablespoons ground flax
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
130 grams (3/4 cup 1/2 inch cubed OR 1/2 cup mashed) cooked butternut squash
85 grams (5 tablespoons) water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon coconut sugar

Preheat oven to 350F (177C). 
In a large bowl, whisk the oat flour, teff flour, buckwheat flour, flax, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
In a blender, blend the butternut squash, water, vinegar, and coconut sugar until smooth. Add this to the flour mixture and combine until a soft dough is formed. Divide into 4 equal portions (of about 100 grams each) and roll into balls. 
Covering the extra dough with plastic wrap, start flattening the dough into a flat disk (about 1/4 inches in height) on a parchment paper or silicone mat using the palm of your hand. To make it less sticky, place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the dough or spread about 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil on the dough and smooth the dough into a flat disk.
Bake on the parchment or silicone mat for 10 minutes. 
After taking it out of the oven, let it cool for two minutes and slice. Enjoy! :)

  • Feel free to spice these flat breads up by adding some sesame seeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds, Italian herb seasoning, chopped fresh rosemary or sage, red pepper flakes, roasted garlic, dried onion, cumin seeds, etc into the dough or on top of the dough by brushing some water on it, spreading and pressing the seasonings on before baking. The possibilities are endless! :)
  • If you'd like a less whole grain taste to the bread, for half the flours in the recipe, try substituting by weight (not volume) with  one or two of these flours: finely ground sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, or arrowroot flour. 
One of the flat breads with sesame seeds and the other with caraway seeds. :)

Here is the nutritional information for this dip from CRON-O-Meter. Instead of the usual fare of chips, these flat breads give a much better nutritional bang for your buck! High in fiber, protein, vitamin A, iron, magnesium and manganese, these flat breads will be sure to keep you glowing from the inside out! :)

Thank you all for stopping by and I can't wait to show you some more butternut recipes for Butternut Bonanza! Hehehe... I'm having so much fun developing these recipes! If you have any butternut recipes or ideas you'd love to share, I would love to hear them! I love hearing about the many uses for this (and all the other winter squashes!) squash! :) Take care and I will be back soon! 

Rawnessa <3

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