Category Archives: dairy free

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Raw Peach Hemp Protein Power Smoothie (dairy free, cane-sugar free, protein rich)

Here’s the deal with me and smoothies.  I love them, but for me to really enjoy a smoothie, it has be just the right texture.  I pass on the super icy watered down smoothies (remember those Slurpees – yeah you do, I drank them like crazy too back in the day).   Anyway, my preference?  I adore a thick, creamy (yes cold, but not icy) smoothie that’s not too sweet with some earthy flavor to it (ha, how’s that for high maintenance).  You know I love putting ginger in smoothies – see here and here, but I also love the earthy flavor of hemp.  That being said, I am also the type of gal who loves her tea bitter and straight up, so there you go.  I recently purchased some raw hemp protein powder.  Hemp is not SCD legal, but folks with Crohn’s disease require extra protein (and hemp does not bother me at all).  I’ve made this smoothie every morning so far this week, and let me tell you, I’m not the type that is easily satisfied on a smoothie alone, but this is super filling.  So great for those last minute mornings when we are rushing out of the house and I didn’t have time to fix breakfast, and I won’t be home for an hour, and my stomach is rumbling for SOMETHING, and I know I will be a crazy irritable tired mom if I don’t have something to kick start my body!   And really, I want to come out the gate running; kick-ass something like this: 
And I try to avoid feeling like this:
You with me on that?
Raw Peach Hemp Protein Power Smoothie

-1 cup dairy free milk (I use a combo of 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk and 1/2 cup water)
-6 ounces ripe banana (1 medium)
-6 ounces of frozen peaches (roughly 1 1/2 cups)
-2 tablespoons raw lucuma power 
-2 tablespoons raw hemp protein powder 

How To:
1.  Add everything to a blender and blend until well incorporated (until the frozen peaches run smooth in the mixture).

*I purchase both the lucuma and hemp powder at my local Natural Foods Coop, but you can also find them on-line.  
*I highly recommend making this smoothie with coconut milk (1/2 cup full fat coconut milk and 1/2 cup filtered water) – it helps create that rich, creamy texture.  Love!    
Posted by Amber at

Labels: cane sugar free, dairy free, raw, smoothie.


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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Raw Banana Coconut "Cream" Pie with Raw Paleo Chocolate Sauce (dairy free, gluten free, grain free, cane-sugar free, SCD/Paleo, raw)

This pie is 100% inspired by Gabby’s No-Bake Pumpkin Mousse Cake.  Gabby is the author of The Veggie Nook and creates some incredibly delicious recipes.  I’ve made her aforementioned mousse cake like, oh, 7 or 8 times!!  It’s delicious and every single time I make it, family and friends rave about it (and they are all traditional eaters).  Her recipe got me thinking about making something of my own with the banana (which is an ingredient in the mousse cake).  My family happens to love bananas and I thought a banana “cream” pie loaded with coconut oil sounded like a fun and tasty challenge.  I’ve tested this recipe many times and feel confident sharing it with you today.  It’s very rich (in my opinion), but what a delightful treat for those on the SCD or following a primal OR raw diet.  If you follow the SCD, omit the chocolate sauce, as it’s illegal.  A nice alternative could be a white chocolate sauce (raw cocoa butter, honey, vanilla and coconut oil) – this would make a lovely drizzle.  I hope you enjoy this dessert as much as we do.  And thank you, Gabby, for the inspiration.  
Raw Banana Coconut Cream Pie with Raw Paleo Chocolate Sauce
(inspired by Gabby @ The Veggie Nook)

Ingredients and directions for everything:



-3/4 cup seeded and chopped Medjool dates
-3/4 cup pecans
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

How To:

1.  Add the dates, pecans, and vanilla to a food processor and blend for 1 minute.  Mixture should be thoroughly incorporated.  
2.  Line the bottom of a 8 inch spring-form pan with nonstick paper (such as wax or parchment) and press the date mixture evenly around the bottom.  Or you can skip the paperit’s entirely up to you.
3.  Place the crust in the fridge while making the banana cream pie mixture.

Raw Coconut Banana Cream Filling


-2 cups raw cashews soaked for 6 – 8 hours (no less than 6)
-8 ounces of ripe bananas (2 medium, please weigh for accuracy)
-1/3 cup melted coconut oil*
-1/3 cup honey
-1 tablespoon vanilla

How To:

1.  In a blender (or food processor, I use my Vitamix to get an extra creamy texture) add the drained cashews, banana, honey, and vanilla.  Start to blend on low, then increase the speed to high, using your tamper as needed.
2.  With the blender running, drizzle in the coconut oil.  I blend until the mixture is creamy (no detectable grit or chunks).
3.  Poor the mixture onto the refrigerated crust.  Place back in fridge for about an hour to set up before you top with the coconut whipped cream.

Coconut Whipped Cream Topping

-1 can of full fat COLD coconut milk* (this brand is SCD legal & BPA free, this one is another choice for BPA free)
-2 tablespoons honey
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

How To:
1.  Into a bowl, scoop out all of the full fat coconut cream from can (leaving the coconut water that remains at the bottom of the can).
2.  To the coconut cream, add in the honey and vanilla, and blend by hand or with a hand mixer until well incorporated.  It’s okay if you have tiny specks of coconut fat in the mixture.  
3.  Pour the whipped coconut cream on the top of the banana cream and smooth around.

Final directions for the pie:
1.  After you top with the coconut whipped cream, top with ground pecans.
2.  Place the pie in the freezer and allow to set for 2 – 4 hours.  When ready to serve, remove from freezer and place in fridge at least an hour before to thaw.  
3.  When ready to serve, remove the spring form, cut and serve. 
4.  Drizzle with chocolate sauce.  

Raw Paleo Chocolate Sauce

-2 tablespoons coconut oil
-2 tablespoons honey*
-1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon raw cacao
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla

How To:
1.  Place all the above ingredients into a 1 cup glass Pyrex.  
2.  Place the glass Pyrex into a pan of very hot water and mix around until everything is melted.  Do not heat over 110 degrees.

*To keep the coconut oil raw, measure out the 1/3 cup in a 1 cup glass Pyrex and put into some hot water.  Mix constantly until melted, then immediately remove from water.  Do not let the oil heat over 110 degree.  I melt the chocolate the same way.  It only takes about 45 seconds for it all to melt and the temp gets to about 93 degrees.  Perfect raw chocolate sauce baby!! 
*I suggest keeping several cans of coconut milk in the coldest part of your fridge, always.  Then you have some on hand when you need it.  When making whipped “cream”out of coconut milk, it’s best to have the coconut milk in there for at least 5 days.
*Non-paleo vegans, use maple syrup to replace all the honey in the recipe.  It’s really the best sub here and tastes fabulous!  I recommend grade B.

Posted by Amber at

Labels: cane sugar free, dairy free, dessert, gluten free, grain free, Paleo, raw, SCD.


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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Healthy Sunflower-Hemp Seed Granola Bites – A Great Afternoon Snack for Mamma (gluten free, dairy free, cane-sugar free)

One of my favorite sweet recipes on my blog is the SCD “caramel” sauce.  It has a wonderful deep flavor, so creamy and (in my opinion) very rich.  I use this sauce as the base in my SCD “granola” bars.  The sauce works great, as it really holds everything together quite nicely.  I figured this sauce would also work great with oats, and it sure did.  Last month I made Shirley’s granola cookie bites.  She inspired me with these little morsels. I like how she made bites instead of bars.  Bars can be hard to form sometimes and often don’t stay together.  And it all tastes the same, so why not make it easy.  So I gathered some of my favorite dry ingredients and added it to the caramel sauce and voila, healthy little granola bites were born.  My husband is addicted to these.  My kids love them too.  They are almost too sweet for me, but I have a very low tolerance to sweet, so I prefer these with cranberries instead of chocolate chips.  These are the perfect mid-afternoon snack for us mommies (you know, around that 3:30 time when the tummy starts rumbling for a little something).   The ingredients are simple and healthy.  I hope you’ll give these little granola bites a try.  They will satisfy mommies…and kids alike.

Healthy Sunflower-Hemp Seed Granola Bites - A Great Afternoon Snack for Mamma (gluten free, dairy free, cane-sugar free)
Recipe type: Snacks, Desserts
  • 4 ounces seeded Medjool dates (7 dates), soaked for 3 hours*
  • 3 tablespoons honey (vegans, maple syrup is a great sub here)
  • 3 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup full fat canned coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups gluten free oats
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • -1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. To a food processor, add soaked and drained dates, honey, cashew butter, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. Blend for 90 seconds. While the food processor is running, drizzle in the coconut milk. Blend until everything is well incorporated.
  3. In a bowl, add the oats, chocolate chips, sunflower, hemp, and chia seeds. Mix.
  4. Add the wet ingredients from the food processor to the dry ingredients. Mix well and let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. With a spring scoop, make little balls and place on a baking sheet with a non-stick surface. Make sure to really pack the mixture in the scoop. Use your hands if necessary. Get a little dirty. It's fun.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes then transfer the bites to a cooling rack.
  7. Makes 24 granola bites. I recommend making two batches at a time. Enjoy.
*I've made these using soaked and dehydrated oats and sunflower seeds. They are equally tasty. The color is more gray-ish and the texture is softer.
*Please soak dates for the time recommended. I cannot guarantee the same results if the soaking time is not as noted in directions.


Posted by Amber at

Labels: allergy-friendly, cane sugar free, cookies, dairy free, dessert, gluten free, snacks.


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Friday, February 1, 2013

Thick and Creamy Dairy-Free New England Clam Chowder (SCD & Paleo)

It’s been years since my last bowl of clam chowder – years!  And oh man, I love clam chowder.  I really crave the stuff.  Lately I’ve been obsessing about it and I’ve had a recipe idea jumping around in my head for sometime now.  This week I finally brought this idea to reality and made an amazing bowl of dairy-free clam chowder that knocked my socks off.  My husband (who is native to the San Francisco/Bay Area, serious seafood lover, and clam chowder connoisseur) gave this recipe a glowing review.  He sat down to dinner, took at bite, and was very surprised by how close it tasted to the dairy laden stuff he grew up on.  And of course, he instantly declared that this was a MUST recipe for the blog.  So I’m not putting this one off.  I’m very proud of this recipe.  It’s very satisfying, tastes like good-ole’ clam chowder, and extremely filling.  I do hope you enjoy this one.  I’m pretty stoked about it.  
-1 ¼ cups yellow onion (1 medium onion)
-2 cups carrots, peeled and small chop 
-1 cup celery, small chop 
-2 cups celery root, peeled and small chop (1 medium celery root)
2 six ounce cans of clams, chopped up a bit* 
-1/3 cup cooked and chopped bacon (omit if you cannot find SCD/Paleo bacon) 
-1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped 
-2 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked for at least 5 hours in filtered water)
-5 cups filtered water (or broth)
-3 tablespoons clam juice
-1/2 + 1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 teaspoons garlic granules
-3 tablespoons olive oil (I recommend olive oil for its buttery flavor)
-Ground pepper to taste, and more salt if needed 

How To:
1.  Crisp up 4 to 5 pieces of GOOD bacon in a pan, then give it a small chop.  Set aside. 
2.  In a soup pot, add in the olive oil, onions, celery root, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and saute for 10 minutes on medium low.  
3.  To the onions and celery root, add in the carrots, celery, and fresh thyme and saute for 5 – 7 minutes over medium heat.  Stirring frequently.
4.  When the veggies are tender, add in the two drained cans of clams and 3 tablespoons clam juice (do not add in all the clam juice from both cansjust 3 tablespoons).  Stir clams around with the veggies.  Then add in the final 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons garlic granules, and 2 cups of water (or broth).  Bring to a simmer for 3 minutes.  
5.  While the veggies and clams are gently simmering, drain the cashews and add them to a blender with 3 cups filtered water.  Blend on high for 30 seconds.  
6.  Immediately add the blended cashews to the pot with the veggies and clams. Stir and allow everything to come to a GENTLE simmer – please do not boil this mixtureit will not taste great if it burns on the bottom.  Simmer very gently for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot, making sure the veggies and cashew cream does not stick.  I use a large wood spoon, a silicone spatula will also work great.  
7.  The mixture will greatly thicken as it heats up.  After the 5 (gentle) minute simmer, turn the mixture down to very low so the simmering stops, cover, and allow it to continue to warm for 30 minutes, stirring once in a while
8.  After 30 minutes you can serve, or turn the heat off and let the mixture sit.  
9.  When ready to serve, gently heat through, taking care to not burn the mixture.  
-Upon serving, add in some pepper to taste.  Other options include chopped crisp bacon, green onions, a lemon wedge, or chopped parsley. Serves 4

*Serve with grain-free crackers to keep this SCD & Paleo or serve with Gluteno original crackers (these taste like those little oyster crackers typically served with New England Clam Chowder).  Grain free “cornbread” is also excellent with this soup.
*The type of clams you use will make or break this dish.  Once I used two 10-ounce cans of baby boiled clams, and I did not like how it turned out at all.  Here is what I used and really liked.  It provided a great clam flavor and overall I was very pleased with the texture and taste.  
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, main dish, Paleo, SCD, Soup.


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Friday, January 25, 2013

Roasted and Mashed Celery Root – A Healthy and Tasty Alternative to Traditional Mashed Potatoes (SCD, Dairy Free, Vegan, Paleo)

Over the Holidays I made mashed potatoes a couples of times for family get togethers (I used red, New Potatoesmy favorite variety).  And so my kids have been asking for mashed potatoes quite often since.  As much I do really loves potatoes, I know they are not the healthiest choice.  Perhaps the most important thing to understand about potatoes is that they are a nightshade, and thus contain alkaloids which can impact nerve-muscle function and digestive function.  Now I can attest to this first hand.  Potatoes do not agree with me (for me, they cause digestive disruption and seem to exacerbate inflammation).  If you follow the SCD, GAPS, or Paleo diet, you know that potatoes are not allowed.  If you’re interested, you can read more about nightshades here.  So I use celery root A LOT as a sub for potatoes.  A while back I made Jill’s celery root fries, and LOVED them.  And I’ve graduated to using celery root to replace mashed potatoes. And I have to say, it’s a very tasty alternative.  One thing you will notice is celery root has a creamy, velvety texture.  I just love this.  Not as starchy as potatoes.  So do my kids love celery root mash as much as mashed potatoes? My son loves it, but by daughter would rather have the massed taters (but my kids don’t get a choice, if they are not allergic to it, they have to eat it).  I usually make roasted celery root mash with chicken and a lovely dairy free lemon garlic gravy, so it all works really well together and I get few objections.  I highly recommend roasting the celery root as a way to impart a deep, rich favor in the dish.  Enjoy!

-4 large celery root, peeled and small chop (5 to 6 pounds)
-4 tablespoons oil + 1/3 cup olive oil (must be olive oil, or another rich, creamy oil)*
-1 teaspoon + 3/4 teaspoon garlic granules
-3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste) 
-Pepper to taste  
-Omit paprika if avoiding ALL nightshades 

How To:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1.  Peel and small chop the celery root.  Add celery root to your favorite roasting dish (I recommend 13×9 inch pan or larger, I use a glass Pyrex), along with 4 tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon garlic granules.  Toss all ingredients well and make sure the celery root is well coated with oil.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 60 minutes* (you will want browning to occur for maximum flavor).  Move the celery root around after about 25 minutes of roasting. 
2.  After the celery root is well roasted, allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
3.  Add the roasted celery root to a food processor.*  Pulse a few times to get things incorporated.  With the food processor on, drizzle in the oil.  Please use more if the mash is not creamy enough for you.  But start with 1/3 cup.  
4.  After you add the oil, add in 3/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon garlic granules, and pepper.  Blend until all the ingredients are well incorporated (see notes).  
5.  The mixture should be creamy, velvety and warm.  
-Serve immediately.  Serves 4 – 5 (depending on serving size).  Top with optional paprika. 

*I honestly recommend olive oil as the oil in this dish, as it adds a creamy, buttery flavor that is difficult to emulate with a light oil. 
*It’s important to roast the chunks until they are very tender, this will ensure it whips up in the food processor.
*I have a fairly small food processor, so I put all the roasted chunks in at first, add the oil, salt, garlic granules, and pulse until everything looks incorporated, then I take half of it out, and whip in two batches to make sure everything is smooth.  If you do not roast the celery root long enough or over pack the pan, you will have a chunky mash.  
Whipping it up in a food processor works really well.  
I have had no success trying to do it by hand.  

Coming soonout of this world lemon garlic chicken gravy (SCD).  Seriously, SOOO good! 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, grain free, Paleo, SCD, sides.


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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chicken, Black Bean, and Delicata Squash Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce (gluten & dairy free)

Hello friends.  When I wrote this post back in December, we were in the middle of painting our new house.  The Holiday and move came on fast, so this post never made it to the publishing stage.  So, here it is.
Home improvement takes so much time and energy, but it’s so fun to be part of the transformation.  I included some pictures below of our home improvement journey thus far.  But before I talk about this delicious recipe, I want to share with you this awesome paint I found on-lineand lucky for me it’s distributed at one of my favorite eco-home improvement stores in the nearby town of Berkeley.  I love this paint for many reasons, obviously because it’s zero VOC, is free of ozone depleting compounds, formaldehyde  reproductive toxins, and very, very low odor, but also because this company is founded and run by two amazing women, Virginia and Janie – I love nothing more than supporting female driven companies – and companies that are in-line with my eco-friendly, green lifestyle.  You can read about there story here.  Because of these smart, innovative women, folks like me can purchase non-toxic paint for their home and not only spare the air, but spare the health of loved ones.  I personally have enough against me with an auto-immune disease and severe chemical sensitivity.  I can’t tell you how happy and thankful I am for Virginia and Janieand Yolo Colorhouse!!  
Okay, on to the food.  I have been meaning to share this recipe with you since last fall.  So I’m glad to finally get it out there.  It’s a ridiculously easy recipe that you can make your own by adding a variety of ingredients.  And the star of the show is the delicious homemade enchilada sauce, that is so very easy, you will never purchased that canned stuff again!  In my ever evolving efforts to uphold a green, low-waste kitchen, I try to make what I can from scratch.  I hope you will give this recipe a try.  Enjoy! 


For the filling
-2 medium cooked chicken breasts, cubed (or shredded)
-3 medium delicata squash, peeled, cubed, and roasted 
-2 cups prepared black beans (soaked and boiled, preferably)
-One bag room temperature Rudi’s Gluten Free plain Tortillas  

Enchilada sauce
-1 pound green anaheim peppers or gypsy peppers*
-1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
-1 cup water
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 + 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
-1/2 teaspoon cumin
-2 tablespoons oil
-Optional 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 

How To:
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.  Wash and seed your peppers of choice, or what is seaonsal.  Chop peppers in half or quarters.  Add peppers and chopped onions to a small 9×9 glass Pyrex (or whatever you have on hand), and to that dish add 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules.  Toss ingredients and roast for 30 minutes.  You want the peppers to start browning a little.  When the peppers are done roasting, remove from oven and set aside. The peppers can be made earlier in the day and set aside for several hours.  When you are ready to make the sauce, simply add the onions and peppers to a blender (I use a Vitamix), along with the 1 cup of water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and optional chili powder.  Blend until well incorporated. 

-I recommend roasting the chicken and squash at the same time with the peppers, in different dishes of course.  For the squash, I drizzle on some oil and add a few shakes of garlic granules.  For the chicken I drizzle on some oil, and add a few shakes of salt and garlic granules. Everything should be done at the same time.  Check the chicken’s internal temp at 30 minutes (needs to be at least 180 degrees), and check the squash for doneness.

3. After your finished with your roasting, turn oven down to 375
4.  Get your room temperature tortillas and start stuffin’.  I lay mine flat then add chicken, squash, and the black beans.  Don’t stuff too full…you want to be able to fold them at least.  Just roll closed, you don’t have to fold down the corners or anything fancy.  
5.  Place tortillas in a Pyrex.  You should fit 8 in there.  Don’t be shy, push them around a bit if you have to.

6.   Pour the enchilada sauce over the tortillas.  Bam, now you have some gnarly enchiladas going on.  Bake COVERED for 30 minutes (I cover with a stainless steel backing sheet – remember, I don’t use foil in my kitchen, so I get crafty and find other ways to cover dishes).  

7.  After 30 minutes, remove from oven, uncover, and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.

-Serve on a bed of fresh romaine lettuce along side fresh avocado, salsa of choice, cashew sour cream, chopped red onion, and a dash of hot sauce.

*I have used three different peppers for the enchilada sauce.  Here’s the breakdown: (1) your basic green peppers yield a very bitter sauce and I do not recommend, (2) Anaheim can be a little spicy if you accidently get a seed in there, but using this variety will yield a more authentic tasting enchilada sauce – I definitely recommend anaheim, and (3) gypsy peppers yield a slightly sweet sauce, I also really love using these. 
*You can also use brown rice tortillas, but you will have to warm with with some oil so they become more pliable.  I have a few pictures of the brown rice tortillas batch below.

Delicata is by far my favorite squash
Gypsy peppers – so pretty
This batch is using Rudi’s Gluten Free plain Tortillas with gypsey pepper enchilada sauce:
This batch is using brown rice tortillas and anaheim peppers for the sauce:  
You can add a little dairy free cheese before you bake 
Anaheim peppers ready for roasting
 Here are some pictures of our December home improvement:
Removed large fireplace to create more space in the kitchen and for the kitchen remodel in a few years…
Prepping floors for new solid wood non-toxic bamboo flooring
Ahhhh, it’s so freakin’ pretty
We had a temporary wall installed where the fireplace used to be.  This will come down when we do the kitchen remodel, but for now it allows us some much needed extra space in the kitchen.
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, fall cuisine, gluten free, main dish, winter cuisine.


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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ode to Cafe Gratitude Part II ~ Almond Vanilla Coconut Milkshake (SCD friendly)

I took a short morning trip yesterday, with my son, to Berkeley to check out some products at an eco-friendly home improvement store.  Ethan is such a great traveler – we have fun listening to music, he enjoys looking through his National Geographic magazines, and loves finding the many cows grazing about in the fields (lots of farm land in between Davis and San Francisco).  Berkeley is only about a 50 minute drive, so perfect for a quick trip.   

I spent an educational hour meeting with super friendly staff and looking at various eco-friendly, non-toxic flooring, paints, and natural fiber rugs.  As mentioned a few times on FB, we purchased a home (just got the keys last week) and now we have 30 days to make a few major improvements.  I’ve been a busy girl meeting with engineers, contractors, pushing permits through, etc.  My main focus right now is ordering the flooring.  I’ve done a ton of research on flooring options and found the perfect option.  I look forward to sharing the information with you soon.  

Anytime I visit Berkeley I ALWAYS allow some extra time to stop by my favorite restaurant, Cafe Gratitude.  CG has a variety of delicious milkshakes and my absolute favorite is called “I am Grace.”  It’s made with coconut ice cream, dates, almond butter, and vanilla bean.  I figured out how to make my own version of this at home, incorporating all their ingredients.  This is such a treat and I love it with their raw deep dish pizza.  Crazy good ya’ll
Almond Vanilla Coconut Milkshake

-2 cups Coconut Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (ingredients include: coconut milk, honey, dates, and fresh vanilla bean). Vegans use maple syrup in place of honey.
-2 cups dairy free milk (I like it with homemade almond milk or walnut milk)
-2 tablespoons creamy almond butter
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

How To:
1.  Add above ingredients to a blender (high speed or otherwise) and blend until everything is full incorporated.  
2.  Add in more milk or ice cream to create your preferred consistency.     
3.  Enjoy anytime of year!
Posted by Amber at

Labels: cane sugar free, dairy free, dessert, drinks, SCD, summer cuisine.


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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rainy Saturday Morning Hot "Cocoa" (vegan, dairy free, cane-sugar free)

Finallyrain!  Glorious fall rain that we desperately need here in drought-ridden Northern California.  It’s a warmish storm, but we’ll take it.  Snow is falling in the mountains, just a short drive away, and waiting for us to come play.  Soon, soon.  But for now we will enjoy this wet weather here in the valley and sip on some sweet, warm “cocoa.” 
-3 cups dairy free milk (I use homemade walnut milk)
-3 tablespoons carob powder*
-3 tablespoons maple syrup
-1 teaspoon vanilla 
-(optional: 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract) 

How To:
1.  Combine above ingredients in blender and blend on high for 30 seconds
2.  Transfer liquid to small sauce pan and gently heat, stirring frequently 
3.  Serve warm (or hot) – warm is good enough for the kiddos
*By all means, use chocolate in place of the carob (such as raw cacao powder).  
Posted by Amber at

Labels: cane sugar free, dairy free, drinks, fall cuisine, vegan.


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Friday, November 16, 2012

Easy Homemade Gluten Free Bread Cubes for Stuffing (gluten free, dairy free)

 Homemade bread cubes are so simple to make!  I hope you give it a try this Holiday.  This is a great idea too if you are having a difficult time locating GF bread cubes at the store.  Also great for salads – you can really have fun with the ingredients.   

-One 18 ounce bag of gluten free bread
-1/4 cup oil (I used grapeseed) 

-2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
-1 teaspoon garlic granules 
-1 teaspoon onion granules 
-1 teaspoon dried parsley 
-1 teaspoon salt
-5 turns of the pepper grinder

How To:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

1. Cut bread into preferred cubes (small, med, or large).

2.  In a large bowl add the bread with poultry seasoning, garlic grans, onion grans, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Toss until incorporated.  

3.  Drizzle in oil and mix very, very well until all the cubes are coated with oil.

4.  Transfer the mixture onto 2 baking sheets (or whatever you have on handI used my stainless steel baking sheet and a glass Pyrex).  Make sure each bread cube is touching the baking surface.  Do not layer the cubes, as they will not toast properly if they are on top of each other.  

5.  Transfer bread cubes to oven and toast for 20 minutes.  After this initial 20 minutes, give the cubes a toss around, and then turn the temperature down to 250 degrees and toast for an additional 15 minutes.  After the total 35 minutes of toasting, check some of the LARGEST cubes for texture.  If they are still soft, then toast for an additional 5 minutes.  Keep checking for texture, being careful to not burn the smaller cubes.  Mine all toasted up within the initial 35 minute toasting (with a medium/large cube cut).  If you go with really small cubes, check for texture after the initial 20 minute toasting time (the smaller cubes will toast up faster and may burn).  

*Please adjust seasoning to your bread weight.  If the bread you purchase weighs more, then add in slightly more seasoning and oil.  And remember to always add your seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste.  Upon making any recipe, always test for spice level.  We all have different preferences and palates, so be your own best taste testing advocate in the kitchen.    

This bread cube recipe will fill an 8×8 Pyrex (with other stuffing fixins’) and serves 4 to 6 (depending on portion size). 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, fall cuisine, gluten free, sides, thanksgiving side dishes.


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Monday, October 22, 2012

Ode to Cafe Gratitute: Part 1 ~ The Community Bowl (Kale, Black Beans, and Rice with a Cashew Cream Sauce)

I learned about Cafe Gratitude a few years ago and it has been my favorite restaurant ever since.  The closest location is about 50 minutes away, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because if CG was located in my town, I would need to find an evening and weekend job just to pay for my addiction to their food.  Nearly every time we travel to the Bay Area/San Francisco we stop at CG.  And every time it’s a delightful treat.  Not only do they serve amazing organic vegan (and raw) cuisine, but they are also a green/sustainable establishment.  They grow their own food at an organic farm just about 25 minutes from our house.  I have such a love affair with this restaurant.  I want to live there (I know, weird).  I’m just a total sucker for earth loving, progressive, friendly, crunchy folks.  Because I can’t eat there for every meal (like I dream about) I make many of their recipes here at home.  Today I’m sharing a dish called the Community Bowl that I always get for the kids when we stop by the restaurant.  They love it and it makes a great dinner.  

(An article in the Huffington Post published October 21, states that Cafe Gratitude will be closing all their Northern California locations due to “aggressive lawsuits” brought about by current and former employees).  
Noooooooooo!!! Well, this just sucks.  First I feel badly for the owners.  I don’t know all the details to this story and don’t know if they did something illegal, but it’s unfortunate these great restaurants are closing.  Really unfortunate.  At any rate, I look forward to sharing some of my favorite dishes and recipes with you over the next few months.
  The Community Bowl
(Kale, Black Beans, Rice and Cashew Cream Sauce) 
-1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped (we like Dino Kale)
-2 cups brown rice 
-3 cups prepared black beans (soaked and boiled) 
-3/4 cups cashews, soaked 4-6 hours
-1 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
-1/4 to 1/2 cup filtered water (or more if needed) 
-1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt 

How To:
1.  Cook the two cups brown rice as directed
2.  Use plain prepared black beans OR saute the black beans with some oil, a splash of water, dash of salt and 1/4 teaspoon garlic granules (I prefer this method)
3. Use plain kale OR saute with a little water and salt to soften greens (my kids prefer kale on the soft side, as it can be a little tough)
4.  In a blender, add the soaked cashews, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Blend.  Add more water to create creamy consistency.  And then taste.  This is were you add in more salt and lemon juice to taste.  What you are looking for is a creamy, slightly tart sauce.  In the restaurant they serve this dish with a garlic tahini cashew based sauce that is amazing, but too spicy for the kids, so when I order it I just ask for the cashew cream sauce.  

Start by mixing the kale and black beans

 Then add the rice 

 And finish with the cashew cream sauce

Shared on: Melt in your Mouth MondaysMotivate Me MondaysMonday Mania, Mealtime Monday My Meatless Monday, Just Another Meatless MondayOn The Menu MondayMix It Up Monday, Meatless MondayGluten Free MondaySlightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Raw Foods Thursday, Keep It Real Thursdays, Wellness Weekend, Whole Foods Friday, 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, gluten free, main dish, vegan, vegetarian.


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