6 ingredients: gluten and dairy free
- fresh spinach
- cashew cream
- red onions
- grapeseed or sesame oil
- salt and pepper
This is my new favorite side dish. I also sometimes make it in the morning and put it on toast for breakfast. It’s quick, easy to whip up and perfect for this time of year.
- Add about a tsp of grapeseed or sesame oil to a skillet over low-medium heat.
- Add about 1/4 cup of chopped red onion and a grated clove of garlic to the heated skillet.
- Stir for about a minute and then add two big handfuls of raw spinach. (You could also use kale.)
- Pour 1/2 a cup of cashew cream over it all and stir together for about 5 minutes. If the cashew cream starts to stick to the skillet, just add a spoonful or two of water.
- Click here for my cashew cream recipe.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
You can spread it over toast for a warm, filling breakfast or you can put it in a bowl with tortilla chips as an appetizer.
6 ingredients: gluten and dairy free
optional: smoked paprika and/or crushed red pepper
I don’t cook with eggplants very often, mainly because I don’t like peeling them. They’re kind of a pain. Also, I’m the only one in my family who likes them so it seems like a lot of trouble for just me. But not anymore. I watched Curtis Stone from Take Home Chef poke some holes in an eggplant with a fork and place it directly on the oven rack to cook it until it was tender. Then he just let it cool a bit and peeled the eggplant like a banana! I couldn’t believe it. From there it takes about 5 minutes to whip up the Baba ghanoush. Here is how I make mine…
- Poke holes in the eggplant with a fork, like you would a baked potato, and place it on the oven rack to cook at 350 degrees for about 45-60 minutes, or until tender.
- Let it cool and peel the skin off.
- Cut the ends off and then cut it lengthwise and scrape out most of the seeds. (The seeds make it bitter)
- Take the flesh and add it to a bowl and mash it really well with a fork. You can also pulse it in the blender.
- Add a spoonful or two of tahini, a drizzle of olive oil, the juice of half a lemon and a handful of fresh parsley to the eggplant and stir well.
- Salt to taste. I like to use crushed red pepper to give it a little kick but you don’t have to.
Traditionally Baba ghanoush is made with garlic as well but I think it’s really fresh and light without it. I don’t always have fresh garlic on hand and either way it’s great.
I like to dip rice chips or tortilla chips in it. It’s delicious, full of fiber and really easy to whip up.
I have tried a couple of gluten-free pastas that I like. I prefer quinoa pasta to brown rice pasta but I’ll eat either. My kids are a little more particular though and don’t like either of those so after my daughter’s Celiac diagnosis I had to try something new. My kids eat pasta a couple of times a week (at least) so the search began…
I’m so happy I’ve found Bionaturae gluten-free pasta. It’s the BEST! It tastes just like traditional pasta, so much so that it’s the only one I buy now and all of my kids like it.
Some gluten free pastas seem a little slimy after you cook them but not this one. The only catch is that you need to cook it almost twice as long as it says on the package, in my opinion. Small price to pay for good gf pasta.
They have rigatoni, fusilli, spaghetti, penne, elbow macaroni, linguine and spaghetti. (Or as my kids say, “long slurpy noodles”.
Thank you Bionaturae!
I’m still wrapping my head around the phone call I recently received from my daughter’s pediatrician. After two months of my sweet 5 year old having bouts of extreme diarrhea and vomiting, after missing about 4 weeks of school in the first two months of kindergarten, after being told she had a virus, then a stomach bug, then a parasite, we finally ran some blood work and found she tested positive for Celiac Disease. She tested very positive. Her numbers were so high, in fact, that after consulting with a pediatric gastroenterologist and her pediatrician I decided to forgo the intestinal biopsy, which is the recommended procedure (in the U.S.) after a positive blood test. But there is virtually no question she has Celiac based on her blood work. And after just two days completely off of gluten she is feeling much better and has completely stopped having diarrhea and stopped throwing up in her sleep.
I know there are far worse things than Celiac. I have close friends who deal with many other more serious and stressful health issues with their children. I feel very lucky that this is something I can control with diet. But I still felt like I got punched in the stomach when my doctor called the other night. I was in a store and I actually had to sit down. Celiac is an autoimmune disease and she will have it the rest of her life. And, yes, I write a gluten-free blog but my 5 year old is not gluten-free. She is my pickiest eater. She is the reason why I have to sneak veggies and cashew cream into my kids food. And my children are lifelong vegetarians. Most people I know who are gluten-free rely heavily on animal protein in their diets.
But I am not afraid. If anyone is going to have a health challenge with their child that can be entirely controlled with diet, I’m your girl. But I feel for her. How inconvenient and confusing for a 5 year old. As I started to feel sad for her not being able to get a donut at our favorite coffee shop or have pizza and cake at birthday parties, I quickly snapped out of it. First of all, that’s just junk food and there is plenty of junk food that is naturally gluten-free like ice cream, hot chocolate, etc. I don’t want her to have that stuff very often anyway.
The more I thought about it all the more I realized there has probably never been a better time in history to have an allergy to gluten! Grocery stores, restaurants, even coffee shops are offering gluten-free fare. This can be figured out. This is a situation that calls for focusing on all of the things she can still eat, not the things she can’t. Rice, tofu, potatoes, fruits, veggies, peanut butter, popcorn, milk, and yogurt are some of her mainstays and they are still safe. Whew! I have found a fantastic gluten-free pasta and gluten-free pancake mix that all of my kids love so those foods are on the table again. (I’ll talk about those in some upcoming blog posts.)
She has been such a trooper these last few weeks. I think, even at 5 years old, she is relieved to know what was making her so sick and even more relieved to know how to feel good again. We just went to the first birthday party since her diagnosis where we knew she wouldn’t be able to eat the birthday cake. But we brought her new favorite oreo-like gluten- free cookies (thanks Glutino!) and she happily liked the icing out of the middle of them while the other kids ate cake. She’s going to be fine.
I’ll be posting my latest, favorite gluten-free finds very soon…
apple cider vinegar
lemon and/or orange essential oil
Don’t eat this. You probably figured that out from the title of the post…
I’ve been making my own cleaners lately and they’re right in line with The Veggie House. Simple recipes made with vegetarian ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. I scent mine with high quality, pure essential oils which make everything smell better. (Pure lemon oil is also a great astringent which makes it a nice addition to cleaning products.)
This really works too. I wasn’t sure but I thought I’d try it before I bought some gross chemical drain cleaner that makes my whole bathroom smell like bleach for half the day.
Pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain with a few drops of lemon essential oil and then follow that with about 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar. It will start to bubble right away and when it does plug the drain. If you don’t have a plug, just set a dish or something over the drain so that it can’t all bubble out. Leave it for 1/2 an hour or so and then rinse with hot water. Completely unclogged the drain and it has stayed unclogged. Super inexpensive, completely natural and it works. How great is that?
7 ingredients: gluten and dairy free
- coconut milk
- veggie broth
optional: crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper
This is such a good fall soup and very easy to make. I like it spicy so I always add crushed red pepper, black pepper and salt to mine. It’s already a little spicy because of the ginger so I would add the additional spices slowly at the end and taste it as you do so.
In a large soup pot combine the following ingredients…
- 1 32 oz box of veggie broth
- 1 can of coconut milk (I used the lite coconut milk but you can use the full fat if you prefer)
- 5-6 large carrots
- 2 medium/large potatoes
- 1 small white or yellow onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 tbsp of fresh grated ginger (I LOVE ginger and sometimes add more)
The carrots, potatoes and onion just need to be peeled and cut in half or quarters because you’ll blend it all together later. I do grate the garlic and ginger.
Bring ingredients to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about an hour or until the carrots and potatoes are completely soft. Then just transfer to your blender and puree. (You’ll probably have to transfer a little bit at a time. I blend some, then add it to a large bowl and continue doing that until it’s all been blended. Then I pour it back into the soup pot and stir in any additional salt or spices.
It’s so good! Really warming, perfect for this time of year.
(And it was a big hit at the farmer’s market last weekend!)
3 ingredients: gluten and dairy free
I did it! My first experience making preserves and I’m so excited. I have to admit I’ve been afraid of canning. The idea of spending hours in the kitchen with giant vats of boiling water on the stove and kids under my feet just didn’t seem like much fun. It kind of seemed like it would be a huge mess. But I’m hooked. It didn’t take hours and hours, I made a small batch of plum preserves, mostly while my little guy was napping. And there was only one giant vat of boiling water and it was only half full. No big deal.
My neighbor has a beautiful plum tree in her yard and she said I could help myself anytime. (I’ve got great neighbors.) I found a super easy recipe for plum preserves online at http://savorysweetlife.com/2009/09/plum-jam-recipe-no-pectin-needed
There are lots of canning recipes out there but I like this one because it only had 3 ingredients, I didn’t have to use pectin (which I didn’t have on hand) and it was a small batch. It didn’t overwhelm me like some of the canning sites .
I did double the batch because even I knew that the recipe as is wouldn’t make much. The plums off the tree are much smaller than what you buy in the store. This made 4 half pint jars of jam.
So here is what I did…
- I rinsed a couple of colanders full of plums.
- Cut them in half and take out the pit.
- Instead of peeling them I just kind of squeezed each half until the insides came out. (They seemed to small to actually peel.)
- Add 4 cups worth of the peeled plums and 2 tbsp. of lemon juice to a saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add 2 cups of sugar to the plums (I used organic cane sugar) and stir over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. It will thicken up and most of the chunks of of plums will cook down.
- After that add them to small mason jars (I used half pint jars) and process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.
A lot of people told me I would need to use pectin or it would be too runny but I thought it was a perfect consistency. It wasn’t as firm and “gelled” as the type of jam you buy at the store but it was thick and spread easily and I definitely would not describe it as runny. It was so delicious. So fresh and a little bit tart and a little sweet. My new favorite breakfast is now gluten-free toast with plum preserves.
*9 ingredients: gluten and dairy free
- purple cabbage
- cashew cream
- apple cider vinegar
- green onions
- salt and pepper
This is my new favorite dish. I really love it and I have never been a big potato salad fan. I think that’s because I’ve never really liked mayonnaise. I buy Vegenaise once in awhile if a recipe calls for it but other than that I never use it.
I have a great book by Dr. Joel Fuhrman called Disease-Proof Your Child, Feeding Kids Right.
There are lots of family recipe ideas in it but I tend to like them more than my kids. I keep trying them though because I figure eventually they’ll come to it.
He has a Purple Potato Salad recipe (pg. 193) that I had steered away from because of my aversion to mayonnaise but I finally made it and thought it was really good. His is gluten and dairy free but does contain hard-boiled eggs. I changed and added a few ingredients and my version is vegan and gluten free and I have to say, I like it better. But I would never have attempted a vegan potato salad if I hadn’t seen his recipe first. Love that guy.
- Cut up 4 med-large potatoes into halves or quarters and boil until tender (about 30 min.)
- Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool. Once cool, cut into small pieces.
- While the potatoes are cooking I chopped about 2 cups of purple cabbage, half an onion and 2 cloves of garlic. Add them to a skillet with a bit of water and let them cook about 5 min. or until soft.
- Chop up 2-3 celery stalks into small pieces.
- Combine the potatoes, cabbage mixture, and celery in a large bowl.
- Stir in about 1/4 cup of cashew cream. (You can add more to make it creamier if you prefer.)
- Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar.
- Chop a handful of green onions on top and stir it all together.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
6 ingredients: gluten and dairy free
- gluten free ginger snaps
- coconut milk
- soy or coconut butter
- coconut sugar
This is so ridiculously good, you’re going to make some sounds when you eat it. Don’t even tell anyone it’s vegan AND gluten free, they won’t believe you anyway.
There are a couple of different brands of gluten free ginger snaps on the market but my favorite is Pamela’s Simplebites. They’re gluten and dairy free and really crunchy. (I can’t stand soft, mealy gingersnaps!)
- Crush the cookies by hand or quickly in your blender so that it’s the consistency of coarsely ground coffee. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Add 2-3 spoonfuls of melted Earth Balance soy or coconut butter and stir together with the ground up cookies.
- Spread and press the mixture into a pie plate and stick it in the fridge.
- Now you’re going to want to get out your mixer to whip up some coconut cream but here’s the trick… The cans of coconut milk should be cooled for several hours in your refrigerator first so that when you open them, the fatty part of the coconut milk has separated and is sitting right under the lid. Spoon the firm cream off the top and leave the liquid in the can, you won’t need that for this recipe. (I used the leftover liquid in soups, smoothies and sauces.)
- Mix the fatty coconut cream with a spoonful or two of sugar (I used coconut sugar) and a tsp. of vanilla. (If you have vanilla pods, scrape out the insides of one and use that instead.)
- Whip it all together for a few minutes until it’s getting a little thicker and fluffier.
- Slice a thin layer of banana and put on top of the crust in the pie plate.
- Then add the coconut whipped cream on top of that.
- Lastly, another layer of thinly sliced bananas.
It doesn’t come out as easily and perfect as a normal pie but it is every bit as delicious. You can also opt to make this dessert in individual dishes too. Either way, it will be a hit!
6 ingredients: gluten and dairy free
- cashew cream
- fresh basil
- gluten-free flour
- grapeseed oil
Ok, my new favorite TV show is Take Home Chef. First of all the chef, Curtis Stone, is so adorable and charming even my 11 year old gets a little giddy when we watch it. I love cooking shows but I really like this one for several other reasons, I swear! He uses mostly whole foods, fresh ingredients, he doesn’t measure anything (I hate measuring) and most of what he makes is fairly straightforward. Something you could easily recreate.
You can stream the show on Netflix. I just discovered it and thought I had my finger on the pulse but then I realized it it came out in 2006. Just a reminder that I never have my finger on the pulse…
The meals he makes are usually centered around meat but I’ve learned that you can pretty much make any recipe vegetarian or even vegan with a few adjustments so that didn’t scare me off.
This recipe is an appetizer he made on the show. He used some kind of mozzarella in it but I substituted that with cashew cream. I don’t think I’ve ever deep fried anything at my house but Curtis is so cute I’ll do whatever he says. And my daughter and I were practically drooling over these yummy looking appetizers when we watched the show.
Here’s what I did…
- Add several inches of oil (I used grapeseed) into a pot and turn it to med-high.
- Slice an eggplant into thin rounds.
- Spread cashew cream on each round.
- Add a couple of fresh basil leaves on top of the cashew cream and then place another piece of eggplant on top, like a tiny circular sandwich.
- Crack an egg or two into a bowl and whisk.
- Dip each “sandwich” into the egg and then into a bowl of gluten-free all-purpose flour.
- Carefully drop each little eggplant “sandwich” into the oil.
- They start sizzling and frying right away. I left them a couple of minutes then used a slotted spoon to flip them in the oil for another couple of minutes. When they get all crispy and golden brown looking take them out and place on some paper towels to drain. Apparently the eggplant cooks really quickly when you deep fry it.
I sprinkled them with a little salt, cut them in half and served. They were really delicious in that decadent, I-shouldn’t-be-eating-this sort of way. Seriously, I have never actually deep fried anything at home. But they were so good! I would definitely whip these up for a party. And there’s still eggplant in there! They’re not all bad…