Orange and almond upside down cake

Orange and almond upside down cake | Me & the Moose. Cara cara oranges, clementines, and kumquats baked in a light syrup really shine in this simple, lightly sweet, and naturally gluten-free upside down cake. #meandthemoose #citruscake #citrusrecipes #healthybaking #oranges #almonds #glutenfreerecipes #glutenfree #upsidedowncake

Jump to the recipe!

Upside down cakes, specifically citrus upside down cakes, are a dime a dozen this time of year. And I get it! Citrus is where it’s at in the winter and what else do you do with the giant bag of oranges or lemons that you find in your fridge?

Also, WTF do you do with kumquats? I always want to buy them because I’m a sucker for anything miniature, but they freak me out. And I’ll be honest: I’ve read online that you can eat them raw, skins and all. STRONG DISAGREE. The ones I’ve had are entirely too bitter to eat without any cooking. But this cake is the magical trick!

Orange and almond upside down cake | Me & the Moose. Cara cara oranges, clementines, and kumquats baked in a light syrup really shine in this simple, lightly sweet, and naturally gluten-free upside down cake. #meandthemoose #citruscake #citrusrecipes #healthybaking #oranges #almonds #glutenfreerecipes #glutenfree #upsidedowncake

I love this cake for many reasons, but primarily because it’s less sweet and naturally gluten-free. It bakes in under 30 minutes, you only need one bowl, AND it’s fancy enough for company, but simple enough for a weeknight.*

* (Don’t you love when people say that? Who has time for dessert on a weeknight?? But if you did, this would be the cake to make.)

Orange and almond upside down cake | Me & the Moose. Cara cara oranges, clementines, and kumquats baked in a light syrup really shine in this simple, lightly sweet, and naturally gluten-free upside down cake. #meandthemoose #citruscake #citrusrecipes #healthybaking #oranges #almonds #glutenfreerecipes #glutenfree #upsidedowncake

A couple of notes:

  • To make this cake dairy-free, just sub in some non-dairy yogurt and use clarified butter or coconut oil for the syrup.

  • When prepping your pan, butter JUST the sides of the pan, not the bottom. The butter/sugar syrup won’t spread out properly, which means, you’ll have pockets with syrup and pockets without.

Orange and almond upside down cake | Me & the Moose. Cara cara oranges, clementines, and kumquats baked in a light syrup really shine in this simple, lightly sweet, and naturally gluten-free upside down cake. #meandthemoose #citruscake #citrusrecipes #healthybaking #oranges #almonds #glutenfreerecipes #glutenfree #upsidedowncake
Orange and almond upside down cake | Me & the Moose. Cara cara oranges, clementines, and kumquats baked in a light syrup really shine in this simple, lightly sweet, and naturally gluten-free upside down cake. #meandthemoose #citruscake #citrusrecipes #healthybaking #oranges #almonds #glutenfreerecipes #glutenfree #upsidedowncake
Orange and almond upside down cake | Me & the Moose. Cara cara oranges, clementines, and kumquats baked in a light syrup really shine in this simple, lightly sweet, and naturally gluten-free upside down cake. #meandthemoose #citruscake #citrusrecipes #healthybaking #oranges #almonds #glutenfreerecipes #glutenfree #upsidedowncake

Orange almond upside down cake

4 cara cara oranges, 4 clementines, and a pint of kumquats
½ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup + 2 Tbsp finely ground corn meal or polenta
2 cups almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp kosher salt
2 tsp orange zest 
½ tsp almond extract

For the syrup:
2 tsp butter
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 350.

Butter ONLY the sides of a 9-inch baking pan and set aside. *See notes above

Peel the oranges and clementines, removing the outer pith. Slice the oranges into 1/8-inch thick slices (you should get about 7 slices per medium orange) and remove the seeds. Set aside.

Slice the kumquats and set aside. (No need to peel these, but I do remove the seeds for ease of slicing. When you hit a seed, just pop it out with your knife or give the slice a gentle squeeze and the seeds will pop out.)

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, brown sugar, and eggs.

Stir in the corn meal, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.

Add the orange zest and almond extract and stir again to combine. Set aside.

To make the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, and water. Heat over a medium low flame and stir frequently, just until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce thickens slightly, about 3-4 minutes.

Pour the hot syrup into your prepared baking pan and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. Place the orange, clementine, and kumquat slices in any pattern you like, nestling them into the syrup. It’s okay if there are some open spots.

Top with the cake batter and smooth out gently so you don’t move the citrus.

Bake for 23-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool for 5 minutes. Run a small knife around the sides of the cake. Place your cake plate upside down over the cake and, using oven mitts or a towel to protect your hands, carefully invert the cake and place the cake stand right side up. Carefully lift off the baking pan, being careful of any steam that might escape.

Yield: 8-12 slice

Orange and almond upside down cake | Me & the Moose. Cara cara oranges, clementines, and kumquats baked in a light syrup really shine in this simple, lightly sweet, and naturally gluten-free upside down cake. #meandthemoose #citruscake #citrusrecipes #healthybaking #oranges #almonds #glutenfreerecipes #glutenfree #upsidedowncake
Orange and almond upside down cake | Me & the Moose. Cara cara oranges, clementines, and kumquats baked in a light syrup really shine in this simple, lightly sweet, and naturally gluten-free upside down cake. #meandthemoose #citruscake #citrusrecipes #healthybaking #oranges #almonds #glutenfreerecipes #glutenfree #upsidedowncake

Purple kale and cabbage salad

Purple kale and cabbage salad | Me & The Moose. A simple winter salad with greens, cabbage, roasted vegetables, and garlicky pumpernickel croutons tossed with a shallot vinaigrette is as filling and cozy as a salad can be. #meandthemoose #salad #wintersalad #saladrecipes #vegetarian #kale #cabbage #purplefoods

Yada yada yada…take me to the recipe

Do your kids eat salad?

Leafy greens are hit or miss around here, as are all foods these days. M is doing a lot of refusing to eat at meals— and not just healthy stuff, but ALL stuff— and the struggle is real.

I follow @kids.eat.in.color on Instagram and her feed is a sanity saving reminder that kids’ appetites change dramatically from day to day and week to week for a variety of reasons, so I’m trying not to sweat this testing phase. I think it has a lot to do with control and independence because when he gets really hungry, he eats. Last night he took down about 8 homemade dumplings, peanut noodles, broccoli, and scallion pancakes.

I actually talked to a dietitian friend about it and her mealtime strategy is to serve everyone the same main dish, but to also put bread and hummus on the table so that her kiddos have an alternative if they aren’t into the main. If they ask for something else, her response is a gentle but firm, “Sorry, that’s not on the menu tonight.”

I LOVE this strategy and am going to implement it on our table. An apple with almond butter is M’s go-to if he doesn’t like what I’ve made. So instead of letting that be the end point of a power struggle, I’m just going to start putting it out on the table as a way to de-fang this dinner time dance we’re doing.

I just want to make sure that I don’t take the joy out of eating for M, you know?

I recently read the book The Eating Instinct and it was fascinating. The author talks about how we start off using food for comfort and connection when feeding infants, but pivot to a whole different way of looking at food for older kids and throughout our lives. Sure, food is medicine and can be vital to our health, but it’s also love and community and comfort and it should be all of those things.

Another of my takeaways from the book is that our culture’s messaging around food really undermines our ability to trust ourselves to know what and how much to eat. I really don’t want to do that to M. I want to trust him that if he’s had two bites of dinner, he really is done.

I realize what a privilege it is that I get to worry about my kid not eating a kale salad. I mean, it may not get bougier than that, right? So, I also want to let that bit of perspective slow my roll when I start to get worried or frustrated that he isn’t eating.

Purple kale and cabbage salad | Me & The Moose. A simple winter salad with greens, cabbage, roasted vegetables, and garlicky pumpernickel croutons tossed with a shallot vinaigrette is as filling and cozy as a salad can be. #meandthemoose #salad #wintersalad #saladrecipes #vegetarian #kale #cabbage #purplefoods

Anyhoo, when things are working normally, I have a few tricks to getting M to eat salad:
1) Let him help with mixing the salad and tossing in the dressing.
2) Cut everything really small.
3) AAC, or Always Add Croutons: Bread is pretty safe for most kids and the added crunch can be a fun textural element.
4) Deconstruct: If your kids like to isolate textures, you can also deconstruct the salad so they eat each element on its own.

Purple kale and cabbage salad | Me & The Moose. A simple winter salad with greens, cabbage, roasted vegetables, and garlicky pumpernickel croutons tossed with a shallot vinaigrette is as filling and cozy as a salad can be. #meandthemoose #salad #wintersalad #saladrecipes #vegetarian #kale #cabbage #purplefoods

This salad is lovely and complex, but shockingly simple. I made it with just carrots the day I took photos, but it’s better with the roasted radishes and carrots. The carrots are sweet, which is great for kids, but the radishes add a slightly bitter edge that balances that sweetness. Roasting the radishes also takes away about 99 percent of the bite, though, so they’re very mellow.

Purple kale and cabbage salad | Me & The Moose. A simple winter salad with greens, cabbage, roasted vegetables, and garlicky pumpernickel croutons tossed with a shallot vinaigrette is as filling and cozy as a salad can be. #meandthemoose #salad #wintersalad #saladrecipes #vegetarian #kale #cabbage #purplefoods
Purple kale and cabbage salad | Me & The Moose. A simple winter salad with greens, cabbage, roasted vegetables, and garlicky pumpernickel croutons tossed with a shallot vinaigrette is as filling and cozy as a salad can be. #meandthemoose #salad #wintersalad #saladrecipes #vegetarian #kale #cabbage #purplefoods

Don’t skip rubbing the bread with garlic once it’s toasted and before you cut it into croutons. So so good.

And don’t be shy with salt. Salads are so much better with salt.

Purple kale and cabbage salad | Me & The Moose. A simple winter salad with greens, cabbage, roasted vegetables, and garlicky pumpernickel croutons tossed with a shallot vinaigrette is as filling and cozy as a salad can be. #meandthemoose #salad #wintersalad #saladrecipes #vegetarian #kale #cabbage #purplefoods


Purple kale and cabbage salad

1 small bunch purple carrots, peeled and sliced into large chunks
1 bunch radishes, cleaned and trimmed on top and bottom, quartered
3-4 thick slices of pumpernickel bread
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
Large pinch of salt
1 bunch purple kale
½ small purple cabbage
½- ¾ cup balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)
1 large clove garlic, cut in half
Aged gouda (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425.

Prep the carrots and radishes. Toss with 1 1/2- 2 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt.

On the same sheet pan, place thick slices of bread and brush with olive oil and top with a pinch of salt.

Roast the carrots, radishes, and bread for 10 minutes. Remove the bread slices and return the carrots and radishes to the oven. Cook, checking for doneness every 5 minutes.

While the vegetables and bread are roasting, chop the kale and cabbage into very small pieces and toss well with the dressing. Set aside.

When the bread is still hot, but you’re able to handle it, rub the raw garlic over the crusty bread. Cut into small cubes and set aside.

(If you plan to make this salad ahead and serve after a few hours, stop assembling at this step. Store your cheese, croutons, and roasted vegetables separately and assemble the components just before serving.)

Add the carrots, radishes, and croutons to the salad and toss. Top with slices or shreds of cheese and serve immediately.

Yield: lots of salad.

Balsamic vinaigrette

1 small or ½ large shallot
1 small garlic clove
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp Dijon mustard
Pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a small blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Check the seasoning. Dressing will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 weeks.

Yield: about 1¼ cups or 9 oz

 

Purple kale and cabbage salad | Me & The Moose. A simple winter salad with greens, cabbage, roasted vegetables, and garlicky pumpernickel croutons tossed with a shallot vinaigrette is as filling and cozy as a salad can be. #meandthemoose #salad #wintersalad #saladrecipes #vegetarian #kale #cabbage #purplefoods





Tomato soup and cheese waffles

Tomato soup and cheese waffles | Me & The Moose. Winter weather means tomato soup and grilled cheese, so switch it up for your next snow day with cheese waffles. Also, you can skip the dairy and still make a creamy tomato soup if dairy isn’t your thing. #meandthemoose #tomatosoup #cheesewaffles #wafflerecipes #souprecipes #dairyfreesoup #lunchrecipes

Well, we're two months into official winter and it FINALLY snowed for real in NYC. We've had some accumulation here and there, but it was always sandwiched between 50-degree days and melted right away. The only things I like about snow are the quiet, dampened hush that blankets even this manic city, and the excuse to make tomato soup and cheese waffles. Grilled cheese is the typical tomato soup accessory, but I've made these waffles for M a few times this winter and it was time to break them out again.

I've thought about making these with whole wheat flour, but snow days feel a little indulgent. Also, to cart a toddler around a city in the snow, Ethan and I take turns on human sled-dog duty because no way are a stroller or little legs making it over those snow drifts. So...we earn that white flour. And, on the flip side, the soup is Whole 30 as long as you use clarified butter and compliant chicken stock. On balance, this meal is healthy-ish.

Tomato soup and cheese waffles | Me & The Moose. Winter weather means tomato soup and grilled cheese, so switch it up for your next snow day with cheese waffles. Also, you can skip the dairy and still make a creamy tomato soup if dairy isn’t your thing. #meandthemoose #tomatosoup #cheesewaffles #wafflerecipes #souprecipes #dairyfreesoup #lunchrecipes
Tomato soup and cheese waffles | Me & The Moose. Winter weather means tomato soup and grilled cheese, so switch it up for your next snow day with cheese waffles. Also, you can skip the dairy and still make a creamy tomato soup if dairy isn’t your thing. #meandthemoose #tomatosoup #cheesewaffles #wafflerecipes #souprecipes #dairyfreesoup #lunchrecipes

A couple of notes: I like to use parmesan and mozzarella in these waffles, but one could easily sub other cheeses. And don't be shy with the pepper. It may seem like too much to feed a toddler, but the pepper really gives the waffles a punch and doesn't taste spicy in the final product. AND the Tbsp of maple syrup (or sugar of your choice) is vital. I've omitted it before and the waffles don't taste the same.

If possible, look for homemade chicken stock or, if you can muster the energy, make your own. I am unbelievably lazy about making my own because we have a store near us that sells delicious and inexpensive homemade stocks. I will say, if we ever leave the city and don't have access to said stock, I'll start making me own. The difference is remarkable. And try to use the potatoes. While ESSENTIAL if you don't have any on hand, the potatoes and the butter give the soup its creaminess without adding actual cream.

First things first, get your soup started.

Tomato soup and cheese waffles | Me & The Moose. Winter weather means tomato soup and grilled cheese, so switch it up for your next snow day with cheese waffles. Also, you can skip the dairy and still make a creamy tomato soup if dairy isn’t your thing. #meandthemoose #tomatosoup #cheesewaffles #wafflerecipes #souprecipes #dairyfreesoup #lunchrecipes

Non-dairy Creamy Tomato soup

2 Tbsp butter (clarified or regular)
½ red onion, roughly chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
3 new potatoes or 1 small russet potato, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (about 6 oz)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
28 oz box or can of diced tomatoes
2 cups rich chicken stock
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
Optional: 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Fresh oregano

Melt the butter over a medium low flame. Add roughly chopped onions and caramelize for 5-10 minutes. The more color the onions have, the sweeter and deeper the flavor will be in the finished product. When onions are caramelized, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the potato and tomato paste and stir to coat, cooking for about 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, water, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn down flame to low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Whizz the finished soup in your blender or with a hand blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a glug of balsamic vinegar and/or some fresh oregano, if desired.

Yield: about 6 cups or 48 oz

Tomato soup and cheese waffles | Me & The Moose. Winter weather means tomato soup and grilled cheese, so switch it up for your next snow day with cheese waffles. Also, you can skip the dairy and still make a creamy tomato soup if dairy isn’t your thing. #meandthemoose #tomatosoup #cheesewaffles #wafflerecipes #souprecipes #dairyfreesoup #lunchrecipes

Savory cheese waffles

Adapted from Martha Stewart
1 cup white flour
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 egg, lightly whisked
3/4 cup buttermilk
½ cup parmesan
½ cup mozzarella
1 Tbsp maple syrup

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir lightly to combine. Add the lightly whisked egg, buttermilk, cheeses, and maple syrup and stir to combine.

Spoon 3 Tbsp of batter onto each side of your waffle maker and cook according to your machine’s directions. If you like a larger waffle, spoon ¼ cup onto each side. In that case, yield will be about 5-6 squares.

Yield: about 8 waffles

Tomato soup and cheese waffles | Me & The Moose. Winter weather means tomato soup and grilled cheese, so switch it up for your next snow day with cheese waffles. Also, you can skip the dairy and still make a creamy tomato soup if dairy isn’t your thing. #meandthemoose #tomatosoup #cheesewaffles #wafflerecipes #souprecipes #dairyfreesoup #lunchrecipes