Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Macadamia Nut Cheese Recipe

This vegan nut cheese recipe is perfect for topping homemade gluten-free pizza or for using in between layers of lasagna noodles, vegetables, and sauce. It is easy to make using a high powered blender, such as the Vita-Mix.

I find the flavors of this dairy-free "cheese" sauce are best balanced with the acidity of tomatoes, such as my Homemade Pizza Sauce recipe.

Macadamia nuts are expensive and exotic, I know. Just think of this sauce as a treat. A little goes a long way, macadamia nuts are very rich.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thin Buckwheat Pizza Crust (Gluten-Free, Yeast-Free, Vegan)

I am not sure how many of you have fond memories of pizza. From what we hear, pizza is sorely missed when going gluten and dairy-free. This yeast-free, gluten-free (and xanthan gum-free) crust recipe is a newer creation of mine. I do have another yeast-risen sorghum crust that I haven't shared yet. What I like about this recipe is that it only has a few ingredients and can be prepared in a snap!

I have made this recipe several times, sometimes making a quadruple batch for large gatherings. It turns out great each time. I have replaced the tapioca flour with arrowroot powder and it works too, though I needed to add a few extra tablespoons of water to the dough.

The predominant flour in this recipe is raw buckwheat flour. Raw buckwheat flour, made from grinding raw buckwheat groats, is quite delicious and very mild in flavor. It is not gritty at all and is light in color. The raw groats are soft and can easily be ground in a coffee grinder (one preferably not used for grinding coffee beans). I use the dry container of my Vita-Mix now but used to use a coffee grinder before the day of the Vita-Mix! Just make sure you keep grinding until a soft powdery flour is formed.

Buckwheat is super nutritious! Did you know that buckwheat is not a grain but rather a seed related to rhubarb and sorrel? The nutrients in buckwheat help to control blood sugar and lower harmful LDL cholesterol.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

Pizza! Yay! Today I am sharing my recipe for homemade pizza sauce. And do you know what that means? Yes, a gluten-free pizza crust recipe to come soon!

This sauce is so easy to make. I use a 7-ounce glass jar of Bionaturae organic tomato paste to start. Then I mix in olive oil, honey, salt, and herbs. That's it! Pictured here is a triple batch. We are visiting with family right now so large batches are the norm these days.

Our two girls and their two cousins played restaurant tonight complete with hand written menus, aprons, and wine! This pizza sauce with a Gluten-Free and Yeast-Free Buckwheat Crust, Homemade Gluten-Free Seed Crackers with apples and french sheep cheese, a large Pear Pomegranate Salad, Whole Grain Flatbread, freshly made butternut squash lasagna with Macadamia Nut Cheese, Vanilla Tapioca Pudding, and a sparkling hibiscus cooler were all on the menu! It was quite a feast for all 12 of us.

Luckily the adults got to relax while the girls busily took orders and ran back and forth from the dining room to the kitchen carrying plates of food!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Candied Walnuts: An Edible Holiday Gift

If you are looking for a great (edible) gift idea during the last minute Christmas frenzy, I've got a quick an easy one for you. Candied nuts made without refined sugars! The girls and I like to make them every year to give as gifts. This year we made them, packaged them in glass jars, placed pretty Christmas fabric and ribbon on them, and gave them as gifts to teachers and friends.

I actually posted this recipe last November, just after I started this blog, before I understood that it is best share one recipe per post. You can view this recipe in my Pear and Hazelnut Salad with Creamy Cranberry Dressing post. Just scroll down, you'll find it.

Happy Holidays to all! Hope your days are Merry and Bright!

Candied Walnuts

These nuts make a fantastic appetizer at a holiday gathering, especially Christmas eve. Or package them into glass jars to give as gifts. I like to use the wide-mouth pint-size jars. This recipe also works with other nuts such as pecans. I usually make a few batches of candied walnuts and candied pecans. Sometimes I omit the cinnamon and they are still just as delicious. Watch them carefully so they don't burn. You may need to adjust your oven temp. My kids gobble these up as they cool, it's a wonder I actually had some left to give as gifts!

2 cups walnut halves
3 tablespoons maple syrup (grade B)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch or two of sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place all ingredients into a baking dish (I use a 7 x 11-inch glass baking dish). Stir well with a spoon. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, watching carefully so they don't burn.

As soon as they come out of the oven stir them up so the syrup sticks to the nuts and not the pan. Immediately transfer them to a plate to cool. Source:

Other Wonderful Holiday Recipes:



Whole Grains & Bread

Main Dishes


Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Orange-Wasabi Cabbage Salad

I absolutely love raw cabbage. I love the crispy crunch with every bite. I love the way it makes me feel...healthy and alive, my digestion strong. It feels cleansing. Luckily my children like cabbage too, though my girls have decided they like their cabbage plain, no dressing please. I gave this salad to my twin boys who turned two yesterday and one of them loved it while the other one spit it out (photo below).

I have found that the first three years of life is the most important time for introducing foods. Offering toddlers a wide variety of foods is key to their eating habits for the rest of their lives. They will most likely go through phases where they turn their nose up at foods they loved just a month ago. For example, our first daughter, Lily, decided around 3 years old that she didn't like beans. She was almost 4 until she ate them again. I just kept offering and didn't give up. One trick I have found to be helpful is to offer a child a "try-it bite" of a new food or flavor. I tell my girls they can spit it out if they don't like it. Every time we have that food I offer anther "try-it bite" and sometimes, but not always, they decide they like it. The key is to not give up on your children just because they don't like something at first.

So if you have young children, you may want to save some of this salad before dressing it. They can munch on the cabbage and carrots with their meal and then try some with the dressing too.

Fun Food Fact: Did you know that the phytochemicals in cabbage signal our genes to produce enzymes involved in detoxification? In addition, the phtyochemicals in cabbage are cancer-protective. So eat up! :)

Orange-Wasabi Cabbage Salad

This festive winter salad was inspired by a salad I tried at a friend's house. It would be great as part of any holiday celebration meal. It is quick and easy to prepare. Plus, you can add the dressing up to 30-60 minutes before serving (which actually improves the flavors). Add toasted sesame seeds to garnish the salad if desired.

3 to 4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
3 to 4 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
4 to 5 large carrots, peeled* or shredded
3 to 4 green onions, sliced into thin rounds

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or brown rice vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons wasabi powder
1/2 teaspoon Herbamare

You can either use your food processor fitted with the slicing disc to cut the cabbage or first cut it into chunks then slice thinly with a sharp knife. For the carrots you can use a vegetable peeler to make wide, thin strips (pictured here) or shred them. Place all salad ingredients into a large bowl and toss together.

To make the dressing add all ingredients to a blender (or use an immersion blender in a glass jar) and blend on high for 30 seconds or so. I find that the wasabi powder doesn't mix in very well unless blended. Pour dressing over salad, toss, and serve. Source:

Other salads you might like:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Soothing Red Lentil Soup

It has been cold lately, very cold! It seems as if soups and stews are the daily staple now. Today I'd like to share with you a fairly new recipe of mine. One that was created about a week and a half ago. A warming, nourishing......soothing red lentil soup.

We've been very busy lately, and frankly who hasn't these days. I have made multiple batches of this soup since its creation and it has been just perfect for a quick, warming lunch or an easy dinner. The soup is chock full of greens, ginger, garlic, and onions...just the thing to boost the immune system during cold and flu season. I do use a little citrus to liven up the flavors but the soup is tomato-free.

We brought this soup up to the mountains with us in a large Thermos last weekend and it was just the thing to warm our bellies after an afternoon of sledding. My 5-year old nephew was just in town visiting with my mom. He liked the soup so much that he asked me to make sure I would send the recipe to his mom. He ate bowlfuls of it everyday while he was here! He also asked me to make sure I send her the Milk Chocolate Cupcake recipe and the Molasses Cookie recipe!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Soy-Free Tamari Roasted Nuts

For those of you following a soy-free diet, and who are desperately missing your tamari, I have found a fantastic alternative! The South River Miso Company makes a wonderful gluten/wheat-free and soy-free tamari! How do they do it?

Here is what they say on their website: In Japanese, tamari means "little puddle" and refers to the savory liquid that collects in a vat of miso. Our genuine tamari is similar to its cousin, soy sauce, but much sweeter and lighter in taste. Friends who buy directly from our shop come back year after year, declaring that there is no seasoning comparable to South River Miso Tamari. Gathered from the vats of AZUKI BEAN MISO -- Made from deep well water, organic brown rice, organic azuki beans, sun-dried sea salt, organic sea vegetables, and koji culture. Aged in wood for a minimum of 3 months.

I was so happy to recently find this soy-free tamari alternative on Kim's Affairs of Living Blog! Kim writes a great blog full of recipes and ideas for Elimination Diet-friendly meals. If you are doing the Elimination Diet from our cookbook, then her site will be a big help.

If you have a chance to try South River's chickpea miso or adzuki miso please do! They are simply delicious. The miso is made using rice koji instead of barley koji. If you live in Bellingham you can find this fabulous miso at Terra Organica. They don't sell the tamari least not yet!

Smokey Soy-Free Tamari Roasted Nuts

If you don't have any issues with soy you could of course use regular wheat-free tamari in place of the adzuki bean tamari. I've added a little smoked Spanish paprika to these which gives the nuts more flavor with a hint of smoke. This is totally optional. You could omit the paprika or add crushed dried rosemary for a savory flavor or try chipotle chili powder for a kick! Make sure you follow the directions and roast the nuts first, then add the tamari, and roast again for a few minutes. You'll have a burned mess if you roast them all at once, trust me, I know! These nuts make a fabulous appetizer for a holiday gathering or a great afterschool snack for your kids. Enjoy!

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw almonds
2 to 3 tablespoons tamari
1 to 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts into a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish.

Roast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes (watch timing as oven temps vary). Remove pan from oven and quickly add the tamari and smoked paprika. Toss together with a spatula.

Return pan to oven and roast for about 3 minutes more.

The nuts become crispy when cooled. Store in an airtight jar. Source:

*Notes: You may need to alter the amount of tamari here if you use the regular wheat-free tamari. Start with less as I am not sure how the salt content differs.

Other appetizer's you might enjoy:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Milk Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Agave Frosting (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Welcome to day three of our Gluten-Free Progressive Dinner Party! Today's theme is chocolate! I am sharing a favorite allergy-free cupcake recipe amongst the younger crowd. This chocolate cupcake is light, moist, easy to make, and has a mild chocolate flavor. The great thing about this recipe is the fact that all children love it, gluten-free or not. I also have another fun giveaway for you, read on to find out....

My 5-year old nephew was just in town visiting. I made these cupcakes for a bake sale at my children's school this past weekend. Of course I had to save a few of them! My nephew, who isn't gluten-free, loved them and asked me to send the recipe to his mom (along with a number of other recipes I made)!

Like my Soft Molasses Cookie recipe, I use either Sucanat or Coconut Sugar for the sweetener in these cupcakes. I have tested it with organic cane sugar and the overall flavor lacked the depth that only a dark, rich sugar can give. Sucanat or Coconut Sugar work beautifully. If you haven't yet entered the giveaway for the 2-pound bag of Coconut Sugar, you still have time, go to my last post to enter.

If you are interested in baking gluten-free cakes or cupcakes from a mix then I have just the thing! Authentic Foods has offered 6 Vanilla Bean Cake Mixes for a giveaway here. I love using their superfine flours in baking. You'll see a number of recipes on this blog using their flours and arrowroot powder. To be entered in the giveaway just leave a comment. To be entered twice you can share this on twitter or facebook, just be sure to come back and leave a second comment! The giveawy will remain open until 9pm PST on December 11th. I will choose 6 names using Random Number Generator so please check back to see if you won and then email me with your contact info!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Soft Molasses Cookies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Welcome to our December Gluten-Free Progressive Dinner Party! This month's theme is desserts. Today I am sharing my recipe for soft molasses cookies. These cookies are delicious and so easy to make, I am sure you will enjoy them. Although I normally use Sucanat to sweeten them (unrefined dried cane juice), I have also tried making them using coconut sugar. I brought a batch, made with coconut sugar, to our large Thanksgiving gathering this year and they were a hit with the children! I have a 2-pound bag of coconut sugar I am giving away today, so be sure to leave a comment to enter!

The trick to making perfect molasses cookies is to CHILL the dough for at least an hour or more! If you are hasty and don't wait for the dough to chill completely, the fat will spread quickly while baking before the other ingredients have a chance to set up. This leads to very flat, thin cookies. The dough can actually be chilled for days before baking. I store mine in a large, tightly covered glass container. I don't use plastic wrap if I don't have too.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gluten-Free, Vegan, Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I am sharing with you a delectable little cookie recipe. A version of chocolate chip cookies that you've probably never seen before. One that doesn't contain any flour, sugar, eggs, or butter. No xanthan gum or starches either. Yep. A true "whole foods" cookie. One that pairs well with a glass of fresh, raw almond milk for dunking.

The base of this cookie is made from almond butter and quinoa flakes. It's a high protein, refined sugar-free, vegan cookie. Crispy on the outside and slightly gooey in the center.

The inspiration for this recipe came from a sample cookie I tried at our annual Gluten Intolerance Group Event a few weeks ago. The company that makes them is called Bonte Natural Foods and they are located right here, just north of Bellingham! I took one bite then looked at their ingredients. It read: Almond butter, eggs, GF oats, date paste, almond meal, honey, vanilla, and chocolate chips. For about a week I mulled the idea around in my mind and then finally created this recipe. It came out perfect the first time but I wanted to be sure so I sent it off to about 25 of my recipe testers.

The feedback I have received thus far has been fantastic. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as we do.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Muffin Recipe and a GIVEAWAY!

I have something fun planned for today. First, a wonderful gluten-free, casein-free, refined sugar-free muffin recipe to share that is full of healthy ingredients. No starches, no xanthan gum, just a few whole food ingredients. The recipe isn't mine though, it comes from another lovely food blogger, Kelly of The Spunky Coconut! And second, I'm giving away a free copy of her cookbook, The Spunky Coconut Cookbook (a $30 value). Read on to learn how to enter the drawing.

Kelly's cookbook contains 115 Gluten-Free, Casein-Free, and Sugar-Free recipes with 65 color photos. There are 100 vegetarian recipes and 30+ raw inspired recipes. She does use eggs in many of her baked treats though. But there are still plenty of egg-free recipes for those with sensitivities or who are vegan.

As the name of her book and blog suggest, many of her delicious recipes involve coconut; whether it is coconut milk, coconut oil, or shredded coconut. Here is a taste of a few of her recipes: Butternut Souffle, Chicken Meatballs, Creamy Pea Soup, Caesar Salad, Funa (fake tuna salad), Chocolate Chip Bars, Vanilla Toffee Cake, Pumpkin Ice Cream, Mango Lemon Sorbet, Banana Bread (grain-free), Quinoa Almond Muffins, Creamy Bean Dip, and much much more!!!

You can view a wide variety of sample recipes on Kelly's blog. This high protien, low sugar Vanilla White Bean Cake with Chocolate Frosting is my favorite!

Kelly began to study nutrition in Maryland when her girls were very young. Her daughter Ashley was a baby, and daughter Zoe was a toddler at that time. Both girls were not well. In order to help them, her naturopathic doctor worked with them to radically change their diet (by removing gluten, casein, and sugar). She and her husband soon realized that their own health problems could be resolved as well. It was very eye-opening to see how many kinds of issues could be treated. So, after years of research and experimentation, Kelly has created recipes so similar to the old ones that nobody feels deprived. Together, through diet and biomedical treatments, their family is overcoming celiac disease, gluten-intolerance, ADD, and autism with great success.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Butternut Squash Casserole with Sage and Shallots

Here is a vegan alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving turkey....a casserole with the flavors of Turkey. Poultry seasoning, sage, shallots, beans, squash, and apples all slowly cooked to perfection in the oven. The vegetable stock and arrowroot provide a thick sauce that holds the flavors. Served over wild rice and topped with a cranberry sauce, you have yourself a great meat-free Thanksgiving main dish!

This recipe was inspired by a phone conversation I had with a friend of mine. She was looking for meat-free Thanksgiving recipes, like casseroles with beans and squash, and asked if I had any recipes. For hours after our conversation and while cleaning my house, this recipe slowly evolved in my mind. I made it a few days later and it was good, but tasted a little flat when served without the Cranberry Sauce. It needed something acidic to balance the flavors. I thought about using tomatoes, vinegar, or citrus but wanted to keep those out in order to create a recipe that didn't consist of any common allergens (citrus and tomatoes are common).

Granny Smith Apples! Yes!

I added two peeled, chopped apples to the casserole and made it again today using Cranberry Beans instead of Cannelini beans. It was delicious! I served it with my Whole Grain Flatbread recipe for dinner this evening.

I should mention that my kids didn’t like the casserole….unfortunately. They usually will only eat squash if it is made into a puréed soup. I don’t know why they are picky with this vegetable, but they are. Luckily I had also just made a big pot of lentil soup which they happily devoured!

Please note that these photos were taken with my first batch of casserole. The second batch (the following recipe) has more of a saucy casserole feel from the apples which practically fall apart during cooking.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Vegan Dark Chocolate Almond Tart with a Pastry Crust!

Welcome to day 5 of our Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Progressive Dinner Party! It's time for dessert! Today I am going to share a favorite recipe for the holidays. It is a rich chocolaty tart meant to be shared among many.

It was one of those recipes that came to me in a flash of inspiration around midnight the night before Thanksgiving last year. I was up late baking yummy vegan, gluten-free pumpkin and apple pies, soft molasses cookies, and pumpkin cake to bring to our large Gluten-Free Thanksgiving gathering of friends. I began tossing ingredients for a tart crust together, measuring as I was going, and then whipped up a filling to go with it. It ended up being every one's favorite dessert and I hope you'll like it too!

FYI: This isn’t really a kid-friendly dessert, unless that is, you have an almost 2-year old (or in my case two of them) – who happens to stumble upon chocolate (i.e. crack for children) and grabs the whole slice off the counter (the one on the plate that you are about to take a photo of) and stuffs the whole thing in his mouth as fast as he can before anyone sees him. Not that this happened to me. So who knows you might have a child that likes this rich chocolate tart. My girls won’t touch it. The crust however, they pick off and eat like candy!

The first time I made this crust I did not use any xanthan gum, and it worked. But since then I have made it several times and found that adding 1/2 teaspoon does help with the overall integrity of the crust.

Since I use cashews in the filling I decided to also share one of my vegan pastry creams to use with the crust instead of the chocolate tart filling. I know there are many people reading this blog allergic to cashews and I want to make sure everyone can enjoy this awesome tart crust. After the crust has been baked and cooled, use the pastry cream to fill the crust then top with sliced pears and pomegranate arils and a dusting of cinnamon! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pear Pomegranate Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Today I'm excited to share with you my Pear Pomegranate Salad recipe with Orange Vinaigrette. This delicious antioxidant-rich salad recipe would be a lovely addition to this coming "Giving Thanks" day. The orange-cinnamon dressing pairs perfectly with the crunchy pomegranate, sweet pears, and toasted pecans!

Pomegranates are my children's favorite fruit to eat as of late! Well that and those delightful little satsuma mandarins. Even my twin toddler boys can eat a whole, large pomegranate themselves. In fact, they love this salad, dressing, greens and all!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Orange Pepper Salmon with Cranberry Sauce

Today I will be serving up a main course alternative to the traditional T-day turkey. This salmon recipe is one of my children's favorites. They just love it!

I like to serve it with my Cranberry Orange Sauce. Pictured here, it is also served with a quick red quinoa pilaf I like to make.

If you are vegan or vegetarian, please stop back soon for my Sage and Shallot Butternut Squash Casserole recipe. This recipe makes a great Thanksgiving day main dish, especially served with the cranberry sauce!

The trick to cooking moist and delicious salmon is NOT to over cook it. One or two minutes too long and your salmon can become dry and tough. Make sure you take it out of the oven before it is cooked all the way through. You should still be able to see pinkness in the center of the fillet. Once it is opaque throughout it is overcooked. Remember, fish continues to cook after you remove it from the oven.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sugar-Free Cranberry Orange Punch

Welcome to the first stop of our Gluten Free Thanksgiving Progressive Dinner Party! Today I will be serving Cranberry Orange Punch. Our dinner party will be held at eight different blogs on Monday through Friday of this week and you’re invited to attend! By the end of the week you'll have many new ideas and recipes for your gluten-free Thanksgiving day menu. Enjoy!

Today's punch recipe is very simple to prepare and only takes a few minutes. You'll need one 8-ounce bottle of unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate. I buy it from our local food co-op in the juice isle (it is not refrigerated). Simply mix the cranberry concentrate with sparkling mineral water, orange juice, and either liquid stevia or agave nectar. I like to float orange slices and cinnamon sticks in the punch bowl which add extra flavor and make for a nice presentation.

Every year I make a variation of this punch for Thanksgiving and Christmas but never measure. Last night I made this punch eight different ways to get it just right! You'd think it would be easier than that, I mean, it's just punch! Come on, I created a gluten-free, vegan, flourless (and sugar-free) chocolate chip cookie recipe the other day which came out perfect the first time. But the punch? Well, it took a little more work. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Soothing Tummy Tea

The holidays are famous for overeating, aren't they? I thought I would share with you a digestion-stimulating herbal tea recipe of ours. It is a unique combination of roots, leaves, and flowers. First you simmer the roots, called a decoction, and then you add the leaves and flowers to steep.

We make a pot of this herbal brew a few times a week. Sometimes we add nettles, sometimes burdock root, but always ginger and licorice.

I am not an herbalist so I can't explain the details of how this tea works on your digestion, just know it works, and it works well.

Briefly, dandelion root stimulates the liver to help digest dietary fats. Ginger decreases inflammation and is soothing to the stomach. Spearmint relieves gas and nausea. Licorice is soothing to the stomach lining, promoting more mucous production which then in turn reduces acid indigestion, ulcers, and an upset tummy. Chamomile contains compounds which relax the smooth muscles in the digestive tract to relieve pain and cramping.

The tea has a delicious blend of sweet and spicy flavors with overtones of mint and chamomile. It is perfect for the holidays or simply sipped while curled up on the couch with your kids and a pile of books on a windy Autumn day.

Tummy Comfort Tea

This tea is great for children who may have eaten food that doesn't agree with them or for children with food sensitivities who ate something they react to. We dilute this tea with water for our children. The younger they are, the more dilution. You'll have to decide the best ratio of water and tea for you. Strain tea and store in a large glass jar in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, heat in a small pot. The licorice makes this tea naturally sweet but you could add a touch of fresh honey to each cup if desired.

6 cups purified water
2 to 4 tablespoons (we use 4) sliced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons dandelion root
1 tablespoon licorice root
2 tablespoons dried spearmint
1 tablespoon dried chamomile

Place the 6 cups water, fresh ginger, dandelion root, and licorice root in a medium-sized pot. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and add spearmint and chamomile, cover, and steep for about 10 to 15 more minutes.

Strain, pour into small tea cups and dilute each with water to desired taste. Source:

We buy most of our herbs locally from Wonderland Teas and Spices here in Bellingham, WA.

Other News:
Next week I will be posting Thanksgiving Recipes for a Gluten-Free Progressive Dinner Party I am participating in along with a few other bloggers. I will be linking up with them so you will have lots of ideas for yummy Holiday recipes. Look forward to that beginning Monday, November 16th!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sugar-Free Holiday Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Cranberries are one of my favorite fruits. Blame it on growing up in Wisconsin, or maybe their tart and tangy nature, or beautiful ruby color. Whatever the case may be, I love cranberries!

I created this sauce to go over my Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake, but it would also work as part of your Thanksgiving feast. Traditional cranberry sauce uses loads of cane sugar. This one doesn't. I use either coconut nectar or raw agave nectar to give it a little sweetness.

Serve it warm or cold, either way it is sure to please. When it is cold I like to use it as a jam to spread over toasted Hemp Bread. Mmmm, so delicious!

Update: This is a cane sugar-free sauce. It still needs quite a bit of sweetener to make it palatable and not overly tart. The sauce is still not very sweet even with this amount. There are infinite ways to make cranberry sauce. Some suggestions include adding diced pears or apples, increasing the orange juice and decreasing the sweetener, or using coconut sugar. Please read the comments below for all of the suggestions. Be creative here and try what works for you. If you come up with something great then leave your recipe in the comments section below. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spicy Dairy-Free Tahini Dip

I thought you might enjoy this thick and creamy dairy-free dip recipe for your upcoming holiday gatherings. It would make a great appetizer! In this recipe I use a fresh jalapeño pepper and cayenne pepper for a very spicy dip, but below the recipe I have a variation for a non-spicy herbed version.

This recipe is a slightly altered version of one found in a very lovely cookbook entitled, I Am Grateful, Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude. This cookbook is primarily a raw foods cookbook (or uncookbook I should say). In addition to the wonderful recipes with color photos, the book permeates warmth and love. Each recipe is an affirmation. I Am Flowing for a veggie noodle dish, or I Am Light for a dairy-free Tzatziki recipe, or how about I Am Cherished for a Cashew Lemon Cheesecake? They all sound so inviting, don't they?

I can feel the loving energy that was put forth to create this book on each and every page and this is why I want to share it with you. I have other raw food books, but I like this one because of how approachable it is. Enjoy!

Spicy Dairy-Free Tahini Dip (I Am Attentive)

The original recipe from the book, I Am Grateful, calls for 3/4 cup fresh coconut milk. Since I don't have any young coconuts sitting around, I used canned, organic coconut milk and part water to replace the fresh milk. I also replaced the 1/4 cup of white miso called for with 1/2 teaspoon of Herbamare (or sea salt). The only gluten-free, soy-free miso I have in my fridge is a dark, rich adzuki bean miso. I didn't think it would work here. If you don't already know this miso is normally made from soy beans and barley, so it is not gluten-free. The South River Miso Company makes a number of different soy and gluten-free misos that are excellent! Enjoy this dip with a variety of raw veggies, it's delicious!

1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup raw sesame tahini
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup almond butter
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded
4 to 5 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Blend all ingredients until creamy. Add more water if you would like a sauce, or keep it thick for a dip.

Variation: Replace the jalapeño pepper and cayenne pepper with a large handful of fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and marjoram). Add about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.

Other News:
Tom recently did a Webinar on the Digestive and Nutritional Complications in Celiac Disease. Click on the link to listen to it. The password is CeliacCCK and the customer code is 007. This is a follow-up webinar for those wanting more information on the article he wrote. The link to that article is posted in my Spiced Chicken and Rice Stew post.

Other dip, sauce, and dressing recipes you might like:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Jalapeño-Lime Kale Slaw

Here is a simple recipe for a raw kale slaw. It is very quick to prepare but actually tastes best about 12 to 24 hours after preparing. The dressing is spicy, not the burn-your-mouth type of spiciness, but hot.

Disclaimer: my kids won't eat this!

Tom and I, however, love it. The spiciness feels just right to warm your belly on a cool fall evening. Last night we served it with warmed black beans and sticky brown rice, diced avocados, and baked delicata squash. I think it would be great with toasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top just before serving. The other week we served it atop a curried lentil and yam stew and the flavor combinations were fantastic!

You could go a lot of ways with this recipe. For example, the dressing would be great tossed with shredded Napa cabbage and carrots for another variation. Or use it to dress a salad topped with black beans and toasted pumpkin seeds. You'll probably come up with many ways to use this very tasty dressing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe (Vegan)

If you are looking for a great alternative to traditional cheesecake for your Holiday celebrations, I’ve got one for you. A dairy-free, egg-free cheesecake with a gluten-free pastry crust….and the filling? Well, fresh baked sugar pie pumpkin to start, then cashews, and maple syrup….but what else? Hint: it is also soy-free!

I got the idea for this "cheesecake" from the Lemon Teascake recipe in our cookbook, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. Though that original recipe came from the vegan, gourmet Café Ambrosia restaurant in Seattle. It was such a lovely restaurant but is no longer in business. Tom and I dined there only a few times as it was a little pricey for our student budget back then, but their amazing food was worth every penny!

Recently on our Facebook Page, Nichole E. left me a little note on our wall asking for a gluten-free pie crust recipe. Well, today I am going to share one of my pastry crusts. Interestingly, I didn’t realize until last week that our Facebook Page had a wall where people were leaving notes and questions for us. I clicked on something and then they all popped up! I am not technical at all, I haven’t even figured out how to use Twitter yet!

You’ll need a 9-inch spring form pan for this recipe, which can be found at most kitchen stores. Here is one from if you are interested. I don’t use non-stick bakeware but this one on Amazon is.

This lovely dessert has more steps than most of my recipes but is really very easy to accomplish. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. (All of the little indents in the photo below are from my twins poking their fingers into it while it was setting)!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gluten-Free, Vegan Hemp Bread Recipe

This fantastic gluten-free yeast bread recipe utilizes high protein hemp flour along with other gluten-free flours such as teff flour and brown rice flour. It is dark and hearty, perfect for sandwiches. For a slight variation you can create a flavorful "Rye" bread by adding onion powder and caraway seeds.

Here is the feedback from my taste testers: rustic, hearty, "dessert bread," mmm, I'd like to make this!

I buy my hemp flour from our local Community Food Co-op, though here are a few other places that sell it online: Nature's Perfect Food, Essense-of-Life, and Healthy Hemp Food.

Hemp's nutrition profile is no laughing matter. This seed boasts over 33 grams of digestible protein per 100 grams. It contains all essential amino acids; is high in minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium; and is high in essential fats.

I won't go into much more detail about the nutritional benefits of hemp, but you can read more about it here

Pictured below is the hemp bread with my homemade honey-sweetened bluberry jam.

Gluten-Free Hemp Bread

This hearty, nutritious hemp bread is great for making nut butter and jam sandwiches. It is also great for toast in the morning. I would suggest making a few loaves at a time, let them cool completely, slice them, and then freeze. That way you have a loaf ready to go when you need it.

2 ¼ to 2 ½ cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
1 teaspoon organic cane sugar, maple sugar, or honey
⅓ cup grapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup teff flour
1 cup hemp flour
¾ cup potato starch or tapioca flour
¾ cup arrowroot powder
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda

Oil a 9 x 5-inch bread pan.

Place the warm water and teaspoon of sugar into a small bowl (a 4-cup liquid measure works well). Make sure the water is the right temperature. If the water is too cold the yeast will not become active and if the water is too hot it will kill the yeast. Add the yeast and stir. Proof the yeast by allowing it to stand for 5 to 10 minutes. It should become foamy and/or bubbly, if not start over with fresh yeast and water.

Add the oil, honey, and apple cider vinegar. Stir well with a fork or wire whisk.

In a large bowl, add the brown rice flour, teff flour, hemp flour, potato starch or tapioca flour, arrowroot powder, xanthan gum, sea salt, and baking soda. Combine the flours with a wire whisk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk them together as you are pouring to avoid lumps. Continue to stir with a large spoon for another 60 seconds or so, or until the batter thickens and becomes smooth.

Spoon dough into prepared pan. Use the back of a spoon to shape into a loaf form. Place pan in a very warm spot. Let rise for about 45 to 60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for about 60 minutes. Allow bread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove and place onto a wire rack to cool. Tip: to get a crustier loaf, turn up your oven to 425 degrees for the last 10 minutes of baking.

Variations: Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of caraway seeds and 1 to 2 teaspoons onion powder for "Rye" bread. Or try adding 1/4 cup each of flax, poppy, sesame, and sunflower seeds for Seeded Hemp Bread.

More gluten-free bread recipes:
Dark Teff Sandwich Bread
Best Gluten-Free, Vegan Sandwich Bread
Yeast-Free Whole Grain Flatbread

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thai Coconut Fish Sticks (Gluten-Free + Egg-Free)

Here is a yummy recipe I created a few weeks ago for gluten-free fish sticks using halibut. This is one of my super-quick-and-easy meals! I use shredded coconut for the breading and a unique slurry to dip them'll see in my recipe below. I also like to serve these with a Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce (recipe to follow).

I find these fish sticks very filling and only eat about 2 or 3 before I am done. I like to serve them with plenty of fresh, organic greens. I usually just drizzle some of the peanut dipping sauce over the greens for a dressing.

I haven't been posting much lately and the truth is that my 22 month old twin boys are really difficult right now. Last Sunday they figured out how to climb out of the crib at nap time. The daily two hour nap is forever gone I am afraid. I have not figured out how to get them to sleep otherwise. Usually I read them a few books, nurse them, and put them in the crib. Then I blow kisses and close the door. They normally just go to sleep. Not anymore! Evenings are much more difficult now because they are just so darn tired by dinner time...and so am I! They were asleep by 6pm tonight. We had an early dinner that took about 10 minutes to prepare. Got to love that!

Along with the fish sticks and greens, we had leftover brown rice, quinoa, lentils, and green smoothies (for the twins). Tom made his own vegan coconut curry with the Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, napa cabbage, collard greens, onions, garlic, and Kaffir lime leaves. Hope you enjoy my recipe....

Thai Coconut Fish Sticks

For a vegan version of this recipe (if you tolerate soy) try cutting extra firm tofu into sticks and marinating them in a mixture of brown rice vinegar, red curry paste, and tamari. Then use the breading recipe below. These fish sticks are great as leftovers too. To reheat, use a skillet with a touch of coconut oil. Saute on both sides until warm. I did this last time I made them and it worked great. Fish cooks very fast so make sure you don't ever cook these. They will dry out if cooked too long. Also, have the skin cut off when you purchase the fish, it is much easier that way. I cut it off today. If you decide to do it just make sure your knife is super sharp.

Fish Sticks:
1 1/2 to 2 pounds halibut, skin removed and cut into "sticks"
1/4 cup sweet rice flour (or arrowroot powder)
5 to 6 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Thai Kitchen red curry paste
1 teaspoon Herbamare
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
coconut oil for cooking

Peanut Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup creamy organic peanut butter
1/2 cup water (plus more if needed)
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
1 teaspoon Thai Kitchen red curry paste
Herbamare, to taste

First, rinse the halibut, then cut into "sticks." In a separate bowl whisk together the sweet rice flour (I use Authentic Foods superfine sweet rice flour), water, red curry paste, and Herbamare.

Begin heating a large 11 or 12-inch skillet over medium heat. You want your skillet to be hot when adding the fish.

While your skillet is heating, place the fish into the rice flour/water mixture and coat evenly. Then add the shredded coconut and mix it with the fish to coat, using your hands to press the coconut into the fish sticks.

Add abut 3 to 4 tablespoons of coconut oil to your skillet. Make sure the oil spreads out quickly. This means your pan is hot enough. Add the fish sticks, I do mine in two batches (adding more oil in between). Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Use tongs to flip them. You may need to cook yours shorter or longer depending on the thickness of the fish. The fish sticks will continue to cook after you remove them from the pan. You can check for doneness by breaking apart the thickest stick with a fork.

To make the peanut dipping sauce, whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Add more water to desired consistency. Add sea salt or Herbamare to taste. Source:

For more gluten-free breading ideas you can read a past post I did on this subject. It contains plenty of ideas for breading along with a few extras that readers left in the comments sections.

This post is also linked up to Amy's Slightly Indulgent Mondays.

More easy dinner recipes you might like:
15-Minute Poached Salmon
Thai Fresh Green Curry
Spiced Chicken and Rice Stew
Chipotle Black Bean and Yam Stew
Slow Cooked Chicken Tacos
Zucchini Bake...tastes like cheese

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