Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Menu Planner for December 4-10

Autumn Veggie Paella

Saffron Crocus

Saffron Crocus

This time of year, I have a lot of fun using winter squash in new and different ways. This week I was craving a vegetable paella because one of my favorite spices is saffron.  I find this spice incredibly flavorful and also amazing because it is “derived from the dried stigma of the flower of the saffron crocus” and “it takes 4000 flowers to create 1 ounce!”   I also wanted to use my butternut squash so I decided to create the dish above, Autumn Veggie Paella.  (recipe below)



Also, this week’s fall fruit is Persimmon. I picked this fruit because it is not only in season, it is also such a beautiful and tasty food.  However, you have to be careful when you eat them!

There are two main varieties (that I am aware of) and the one with a pointy bottom needs to be super ripe (almost squishy) before you eat it, otherwise it makes your mouth fuzzy.  The other one (shaped like a pumpkin in the picture to the left) doesn’t need to be really ripe, but do taste better if pretty soft.

I was intrigued by Ali’s Plum Upside Down Cake at Whole Life Nutrition. But I didn’t have any plums, so I decided to use my one ripe persimmon and apples to make the top of my cake.  Also, her cake called for applesauce, which I also didn’t have.  But I did have cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving so I used this instead.  Also, I was out of agave, so I used honey.

To tell you the truth, I’ve had an “upside down” kind of week, between sleep deprivation and my 11 month old getting his first molers.  But this cake turned out great and has helped me remain sane among the chaos and “upside-downess”!  I hope you enjoy it too if you make it.

Persimmon Apple Upside-Down Cake

Persimmon Apple Upside-Down Cake

This week’s dairy-free and gluten-free menu planner:

Monday: Autumn Veggie Paella
Tuesday: Beef or Turkey Tacos and “Cashew Cheese”
Wednesday: Chicken with Cilantro Peanut Sauce
Nut Crusted Tilapia
Friday: Oven “Fried” Rosemary Chicken

Salads and Sides:
Roasted Fall Veggies
Quinoa Pilaf
Persimmon Avocado Salad with Poppy seed dressing
Potato Patties with apple

And for dessert:
Gluten-Free Persimmon Apple Upside Down Cake

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