Tag Archives: gluten free

bircher muesli.

When I was in Switzerland a few weeks ago, this was served at one of the restaurants where we ate breakfast one morning. It’s a national specialty there, and the best part about it is that it is infinitely adaptable.

It also makes a great transitional breakfast for the seasons. Hearty and filling, it’s best served cold, which is great as the days get just a little bit warmer and warmer. Consider it spring’s answer to oatmeal.

Bircher muesli is traditionally made with yogurt or cream, so in order to veganize the most traditional, original recipe, I subbed coconut cream. It was the perfect decision! The hint of coconut mixed with lemon, apple, and cinnamon makes an unexpectedly wonderful flavor combo. Since I first made this recipe a few weeks ago, it has become my go-to breakfast…. until I’m back home with my blender, that is.

Be sure to think ahead- you’ll have to assemble this the night before. But it means an extra 10 minutes sleep the next morning!

Bircher Muesli

Serves: 1-2

Ingredients

  • 2 heaping tbsp coconut cream (scooped from the top of a can of coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup raw oats
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1/3 cup almond milk (or more as needed)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • (agave or other sweetener to taste)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl or container, mix the coconut cream, lemon juice, raisins, cinnamon, and almond milk until combined. Cover and put in the fridge overnight.
  2. The next morning, grate the apple (with the skin still on) over the bowl so it captures any juice as well. Stir in the walnuts and sweetener of choice to taste. Depending on desired consistency, add more almond milk as needed.
  3. Serve.

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Filed under Breakfast, Eat, Gluten Free

Vegan Feta and Spinach Pasta

The other day, I was running an errand for work and picked up a spinach and feta wrap for one of my bosses. It smelled so unbelievably delicious that I vowed to myself right then and there to somehow create a version of those flavors for myself. So I got to researching, looking to use nuts as a base for the cheese rather than tofu. A few tweaks here and there and one roasted spaghetti squash later, success!

The feta is a little labor intensive, more so than nut-based cheese sauces I’ve made in the past (macaroni and alfredo) because feta is supposed to be crumbly, not smooth and creamy. Because of this, it had to be pressed and drained in order to work. It’s definitely worth the effort, because the texture is almost spot on and the flavor is packed.

Tossed with spaghetti squash (or pasta!), fresh spinach and mushrooms, and the result is a healthy and hearty take on an old favorite.

Vegan Feta and Spinach Pasta

Ingredients

  • +For the Feta+:
  • 1 cup walnut pieces, soaked in water for 2-3 hours
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 2 tsp miso paste
  • juice of one half a lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • +For the Pasta:+
  • Spaghetti Squash or Pasta of choice, cooked
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. +For the Feta:+
  2. After soaking the walnut pieces, add them (with the water they soaked in) and the rest of the feta ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Lay out two layers of cheesecloth on top of each other, and scoop out the cheese from the blender, placing it all onto the middle of the layered patches of cloth. Bring all the edges together and tie tightly with a piece of twine.
  4. Gently squeeze so any excess liquid drains immediately. Then place in a small strainer over a jar or bowl (I used a tea strainer over a mason jar and it worked wonderfully) and let sit in the fridge overnight, so that any additional liquid will drain as well.
  5. When ready to use, simply remove the cheesecloth and put into a small container to use as needed.
  6. +For the Pasta:+
  7. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil onto a pan. Add the garlic and cook on low until the garlic begins to cook, stirring. Add the mushrooms, and cook until soft.
  8. Add the spinach leaves and tomatoes, and cook, stirring, just until the spinach is wilted. You may need to add a little bit of water or vegetable broth to ensure that nothing burns and the spinach steams well- just use sparingly. Remove from heat.
  9. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta or squash with salt, pepper, and cooked vegetables. Crumble some of your new feta over it at your discretion- I recommend being liberal!
  10. Toss all together once more and garnish with some black pepper and more crumbled feta before serving.

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Filed under Eat, Gluten Free, Main Dishes and Entrees

Pumpkin Baked Acorn Squash with Cinnamon and Fresh Herbs

We’ve got a squash on squash situation.

I have here one of those serendipitous recipes that just seemed like a simple idea to put together but exceeded all expectations. I was quickly reminded that cinnamon as a savory spice is unexpectedly fantastic. And guess what? Pumpkin puree makes a great marinade. Cinnamon and fresh herbs make a great air freshener. And as the chill in the air becomes more pronounced, this recipe is a great excuse to crank up the oven and celebrate the harvest.

P.S. This is already on my Thanksgiving menu.

Pumpkin Baked Acorn Squash with Cinnamon and Fresh Herbs

Ingredients

  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp miso
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • handful each of fresh sage leaves and fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 acorn squash, sliced
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, broth, miso, garlic, soy sauce, cinnamon, and fresh herbs until combined.
  2. Chop the mushrooms, carrots, and acorn squash and put them in a large bowl. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the vegetables and toss, so everything is evenly coated. Transfer the entire mixture to a baking pan, laying out as evenly as possible, sprinkle with pepper, and loosely cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, checking periodically and stirring the mixture. Remove and serve.

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Filed under Appetizers and Sides, Eat, Gluten Free, Main Dishes and Entrees

Pumpkin Earl Grey Tea Cakes

Pumpkin and Earl Grey go great together. Who knew?

I whipped these up on a day that I was feeling the need to make something elegant. They’re so perfect for the season: gently spiced, but with a comforting pumpkin kick. And perfectly complimentary to a steaming mug of tea. Thick socks, blanket, and a good book are all recommended.

Pumpkin Earl Grey Tea Cakes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup oat flour
  • 2 earl grey tea bags
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp ground flax in 6 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp orange zest
  • pinch of salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Soak the ground flax in the water in a small bowl for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the almond milk with the pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla, and the emptied tea bags.
  3. Whisk together gently, and then add in the soaked flax, and then the remaining ingredients. Whisk gently until completely combined. Distribute evenly in a lightly greased but unlined muffin tin (the tins shouldn’t be filled to the brim, but halfway or less).
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cake comes out clean.

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Vegan Samoas

Girl Scout gone vegan.

I had to. Because I came home the other day to this:

It’s that special time of year when omnis gleefully run around clutching Samoas and Thin Mints and Tagalongs and former omnis like myself cry into their pillows dreaming of caramel and chocolate and coconut.

NOT ANYMORE.

I wasn’t going to take this lying down. Puh-lease.

So this morning I got to work. Somehow, I nailed it on the first try.

They’re a vegan version of Samoas (do NOT call them Caramel Delites or whatever). Basically I married a coconut macaroon and an oatmeal cookie, topped it with coconut, and drizzled it in chocolate. You’re welcome.

Vegan Samoas

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

3 tbsp water

1 tbsp vanilla

1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax soaked in 3 tbsp water)

½ cup course oat flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp + 1 tbsp molasses, divided

3 tbsp almond milk

a couple tbsp coconut

a couple tbsp semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Put the coconut and water in a food processor and grind until combined, with course flakes still intact. Add the vanilla and flax egg, and process until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the 3 tbsp molasses gently until it begins to bubble. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, or until it really foams up completely, stirring frequently with a spatula to keep from sticking to the sides of the pan and burning. Remove from heat. Stir in almond milk rapidly until completely combined and continue stirring as it cools and thickens slightly.

Whisk the molasses mixture into the rest of the batter until completely combined. Add one more tbsp of molasses, and stir until combined.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper and drop the batter by rounded tbsp onto it (should make about 8 cookies).  Sprinkle a bit of extra coconut on each cookie and press on slightly. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until browned at the edges and firm to touch. Remove from heat and let cool for a couple of minutes before transferring the cookies carefully to a wire cooling rack over a sheet of waxed paper.

Put a couple tbsp semi-sweet chocolate (chips work fine) into a Ziploc bag and heat at 5 second increments until completely melted. Cut the corner off the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. Let harden and enjoy!

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Red Velvet HippieCakes

So, a litttttllee change of plans… I know I promised a DIY this weekend as usual, but madness with packing, gathering items, etc. for my move this week has proved more time consuming than I thought. I do have some KILLER crafts for my apartment though that will hopefully be done for next weekend, so expect some fabulousness then.

In the meantime, rather than not posting of all I of course could not leave you hanging. So without further ado, here is one my favorite HippieCakes recipes that I have ever created to date! I was looking back at my earlier HippieCakes recipes and could not believe how long it’s been! Happy, healthy baking :)

Red Velvet HippieCakes

1 cup oat flour

2 heaping tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 tbsp ground flax in 3 tbsp water

4 medium beets (cooked)

1/2 cup almond milk or more as needed

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp stevia (or to taste) or agave to taste

1/4 tsp vinegar

pinch of salt

Combine oat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Pour into blender or food processor and add flax egg, beets, almond milk, vanilla, stevia or agave, and vinegar. Blend until smooth. At this point, taste a bit of the batter to make sure that the sweetness is to your taste. If the batter is especially thick, add milk until it reaches a slow-moving but pourable consistency (like a thick smoothie). Pour into greased muffin tins and cook at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until firm to touch and slightly browned around edges. Let cool in tin before removing.

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Filed under Breakfast, Eat, Gluten Free, Hippie Cakes, Sweets

“Fried” Cauliflower “Rice”

That’s a lot of quotation marks for a recipe title.

But it’s necessary, because this fried rice recipe is not actually fried, and *surprise!* doesn’t actually have a grain of rice in it. But trust me, you’ll be tossing your takeout menus in no time with this healthier but equally tasty option. It fit in my detox, it’s macrobiotic, vegan, gluten free, low-carb, blah blah blah. Most importantly, it tastes amazing.

“Fried” Cauliflower Rice

½ head cauliflower

½ medium onion

1 clove garlic, minced

3 tbsp sliced leeks or scallions

5-10 baby carrots, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

4 oz. silken soft tofu (gluten free)

1 tsp ground ginger

vegetable broth

soy sauce (gluten free)

“Rice” the cauliflower with the onion in a food processor. Set aside. Saute the garlic over medium heat on a pan that has been lightly spritzed with cooking spray. Add the cauliflower “rice”.  Stir and add the veggies and tofu. Once the tofu has scrambled and is evenly distributed throughout, add some vegetable broth (1/4 cup or so) and continue to stir so that it all cooks evenly. Add the ginger. Once the liquid has evaporated, add a couple tbsp of soy sauce and stir. Once the liquid has evaporated, the vegetables are cooked, and the “rice” is slightly browned, remove from heat and serve. Makes 2 large servings.

In other news, today is Day 5, the final day of my detox!

I feel great, I ate well, and slept better than I have in a while.

Lessons learned?

  • I can definitely move my caffeine intake wayyyy down. I’m talking like a small cup of coffee a day rather than my usual 2-3 huge mugs.
  • I used to add way to much salt to things! Food tastes better when I don’t!
  • Realists might call me crazy, but this Ayurvedic stuff totally works. I feel so much more in tune with myself and balanced. And the macrobiotic aspect? I miss the nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, etc.) but I will be lessening my intake a lot… to maybe just 2-3 times a week. I also miss greek yogurt, but will be lessening my intake of that as well.

I call that success!

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Filed under Appetizers and Sides, Eat, Gluten Free, Live, Main Dishes and Entrees

Maple Candy

Aaaaandddd…

LET THE HOLIDAY BAKING BEGIN!!!!

I can actually hardly contain myself; I’m just so excited!!!

Before I delve right in, a look at my breakfast this morning…

Another festive choice… Eggnog Smoothie in a Bowl! Greek yogurt, almond milk, silken tofu for extra protein, sweetened with stevia and flavored with vanilla, a drop of almond extract and a tsp of ground nutmeg. SO YUMMY. And in my Christmas bowl, obviously.

I literally thought to myself as I uploaded this, “OOOO I should have a holiday themed Breakfast of the Day for every day this month!!” but then I realized that would be reeeeealllyy difficult to come up with on a daily basis, especially towards the end. So maybe every few days or a breakfast of the week? What do you all think? Regardless, if you like seeing my breakfast posts I’m happy to post it every day, even if it’s not a new recipe or mix.

Moving on…

Yes! Holiday Baking!

I thought this would be a great inaugural post for the season since in theory, it’s quite simple… one ingredient. And a tutorial in candy making is perfect for this time of year! Trust me, it’s super impressive when you offer up molded candies at your holiday party; not to mention they make beautiful gifts. However, candy making can be very tricky, so this is a great introductory recipe.

While you do only need one ingredient for this recipe, a candy thermometer is completely necessary. They’re like $7 at places like Michael’s or even Kmart, and they make your life that much easier. You can also use them for things like melting chocolate and other kinds of baking. Molds are also helpful and will make your candy look very pretty, but you can definitely make do without them. Still, the plastic mold I got was literally $2 at Michael’s.

It might take a couple tries to become a pro at making these candies. You do have to work quickly, but once you get the hang of it, it’s like the easiest recipe ever. So go for it!

Maple Sugar Candy

2 cups maple syrup

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally.

Make sure the pan is deep because the syrup will foam up a lot. Boil until syrup reaches 238 degrees F (110 degrees C) on a candy thermometer.

Remove IMMEDIATELY from heat and cool to 175 degrees F (80 degrees C) without stirring (5-10 minutes or so).

Stir mixture rapidly with a wooden spoon for about until the color turns lighter and more opaque, like caramel. As SOON as this begins to happen (and it happens VERY QUICKLY), pour into lightly greased candy molds or a parchment paper lined pan. Work very quickly as the mixture will become very thick very quickly. If using a pan (not molds), score into squares while the hardening syrup is still a little soft.

Set aside to cool. Once cool, unmold candy. Store in airtight containers up to 1 month.

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Filed under Eat, Gluten Free, Holidays, Sweets

Apple Cinnamon Donuts

With Thanksgiving just days away, is anyone else having visions of apple pie yet?

Consider this your [healthier] fix.

Topped with apple butter, these are perfection. And if I haven’t convinced you to buy a donut pan yet, I hope that this does.

Baked Apple Cinnamon Mini Donuts

1 ¾ cups oat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

1/4 cup sugar

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/3 cup almond milk

1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax soaked for 10 minutes in 3 tbsp water)

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat together wet ingredients in a larger bowl, and add the dry ingredients. Stir until combined. If the batter is too thick, add a couple tbsp milk. Pour into lightly greased mini donut pan to fill each mold about ¾ of the way. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes until slightly golden and firm to touch. Makes 24.

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Vegan “Chicken” Nuggets and Apple Barbecue Sauce

Have you heard of Gardein? It’s a relatively new meat substitute that is really fantastic; the flavors are really spot on. It’s also a great source of protein (it’s made from different plant proteins). I love that the company makes a lot of it in frozen dinner form… it’s great for those junk food cravings like Chinese take out or BBQ wings because it’s actually healthy!

That being said, I love that their BBQ wings come with the sauce in a separate packet. It means that I have the choice to modify the little nuggets myself, and I decided to tackle it with the idea that if vegans can have a great chicken nugget substitute, so should those who eat gluten free!

I considered using oat flour, but then I thought about almond meal! Almond, soy, and orange? The perfect combo. Throw in an applesauce based barbecue dipping sauce that I threw together, and the flavors all mix together just wonderfully. And trust me, these are crispy and zesty, just as chicken nuggets should be… but still spreading the veggie love :)

Orange Almond “Chicken” Nuggets and Apple Barbecue Sauce

Gardein chicken cutlets or nuggets

1 cup (about) of almond meal

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 cloves of garlic, crushed/minced

Mix the almond meal, paprika, salt, and ginger in a bowl. Put aside. In another bowl, mix the guice, soy sauce, and garlic together. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spritz it with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Dip each nugget into the wet mixture before rolling it in the dry mixture until completely coated, then transferring it to the cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly browned (you may want to flip them for the last couple minutes, but it’s not completely necessary).

For the sauce:

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp soy sauce

1 clove garlic, crushed

pinch of ground ginger

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together and serve as dip.

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