Next up in our Very Tasty Thanksgiving series is Cara of Cara’s Cravings. I came across Cara’s site earlier this year and I have always enjoyed every recipe that pops up in my feed from her. Although Cara isn’t exclusively gluten-free or dairy-free, she prepares a good amount of recipes that are naturally both and where she and I really share a common bond with our food is our love of eating clean and wholesome foods! Cara believes in healthy, seasonal clean eating, but doesn’t believe that has to mean compromising the flavor or fun of a meal. I couldn’t agree more. Cara’s sharing a super creative and unique recipe for a Butternut Squash Soufflé, which looks like the perfect dish for just about any holiday celebration, if you ask me. Enjoy.
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As much as it pains me to say it, and surprises all my friends who know I love to cook and entertain, I have never – and probably will never – host Thanksgiving.
Food blogger blasphemy, right?!
But you see, when I married my husband Ben, I also married his family in Philadelphia. And in this family, Thanksgiving is always in Philly. I know, it would seem like we should compromise and switch off every year between my family and his, but thing is, I really can’t complain. My family is all here in Massachusetts. And, I’m Jewish, so we get lots of big holiday dinners with my family: Rosh Hashanah (x3), Yom Kippur (the night before and break-fast), Hanukkah, and Passover (x2.) Oh, and did I mention my Dad converted to Judaism? So yeah, I get Christmas and Easter with the other side of the family too. I have no grounds to demand that we stay here for Thanksgiving. Unless of course there was a snow storm – but we’ve even trekked down there for a Bar Mitzvah when that was the case.
But that doesn’t keep me from making Thanksgiving-esque dishes throughout the holiday season. You should see the amount of winter squash that comes through this kitchen. I love to stock up from farmers’ markets and for some reason they all get stored at the far end of the kitchen counter, which my husband has affectionately labeled, “Squash Alley.”
This year, I got my bottom in gear and prepared a whole turkey dinner weeks before the big day so that I could join in the blogger fun and actually have Thanksgiving dishes to share.
Well, that’s kind of a lie. I made all the side dishes and asked my dear friend V to take care of the bird. I’m not one to do anything too terribly creative with a turkey, but wholesome stuffings, sides, and salads are what I’m all about!
While I don’t eat an entirely gluten free diet, I tend to cook a lot of gluten free dishes, whether that be recipes with more nutritious whole grains that happen to be gluten free, or entirely grain-free dishes. Same goes for dairy. I try to keep in moderation, and that opens up a whole wide world of ingredients like nuts, coconut, and tofu.
This Butternut Squash Souffle is a dairy-free, gluten-free side dish I’ve been making for a couple of years now at this time of year. It’s sweet, but not too sweet (come on, as if there is such a thing!) and has a light and fluffy texture. While I’d love to put it on my Thanksgiving table, I’ll happily settle for serving it at my pre-holiday bash, Hanukkah party, or dinner any time I feel like it.
[print_this]Butternut Squash Soufflé – Gluten-free + Dairy-free
Adapted from The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate Carrot Souffle
- 2lbs peeled, diced butternut squash
- 1 quart low-sodium, organic chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegan option)
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla or plain almond milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a large souffle dish or individual ramekins with coconut oil or cooking spray.
Place squash and broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, until squash is very soft. Drain squash (reserve the broth for another use, if desired) and transfer to a food processor. Cool for 15 minutes.
Add onion, coconut oil, milk, and maple syrup. Process until smooth. Blend in cinnamon and nutmeg, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Lastly, blend in coconut flour and eggs.
Pour the mixture into the greased dish(es). Bake for 45-50 minutes, until puffed and set. Serve hot.
This dish may be refrigerated and reheated when ready to serve, although it will lose its “puff” it will still be just as delicious. [/print_this]
Cara Lyons began blogging at Cara’s Cravings in 2007 out of a love of eating. After losing 75lbs in her early 20’s Cara saw no reason to give up her passion for good food; now, she simply prepares it differently and is always trying to incorporate nutritious, colorful vegetables, palate-pleasing spices, and natural sweetness from fruit and other healthy sources. Nowadays, Cara focuses on using the least processed, wholesome ingredients she can – while still managing to please her husband, family and friends with ever-changing creations. Cara’s original recipes may also be found in Clean Eating Magazine and Simply Gluten Free Magazine.
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