Apple Cider, Crab, & Winter Squash Soup {gluten-free}

I’ve been feeling a little creatively blocked lately when it comes to cooking. Part of this is for financial reasons.

I don’t think people are honest enough about this in the food blog and maker communities: When you are testing out concepts, it gets¬†expensive. Especially if you’re someone who’s gluten-free, and you often need to use multiple types of sometimes-pricey flours.

I work for a nonprofit, so I don’t make a huge salary, and my finances are a little out of whack due to some travel and the fact that I am honestly kind of terrible at budgeting. So it’s been especially hard these days to justify recipe development that falls outside of my uber-cheap meal plan strategy. Eating on the cheap when gluten-free is definitely something I want to cover in future blog posts, but it’s not what feeds me (no pun intended) creatively right now. I mostly want to make like four thousand desserts, but sometimes recipes fail, and the fear of losing money on an unsuccessful recipe attempt has been preventing me from trying out much lately.

This week, if I wanted to post a recipe at all, I had to give myself permission to take a risk with my grocery list. So I went to the farmer’s market.

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Ginger-Garlic Fried Rice with Chicken and Greens {gluten-free, dairy-free}

Ginger-Garlic Fried Rice

There’s something so gratifying about using an entire vegetable.

A few months back, my boyfriend and I tried out several meal delivery services. While they didn’t end up being the right fit for us (I like coming up with my own recipes way too much to have them pre-determined for me), I did pick up one or two tricks that I’m still using. One tip from a Plated recipe was to use the stems of leafy greens like Swiss chard in your cooking, instead of throwing them out. You remove the stems from the greens, then finely dice the stems. Throw them in pan with some oil and maybe some garlic or onions. They’ll soften beautifully and add a unique flavor. Then add your greens, let ’em wilt, and voila. You just used a whole plant! This tip is also awesome for using up those so-often-wasted beet greens.

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