Category Archives: gluten free

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Medley (gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian)

Well hello fabulous you!  How is your weekend?  I am up in gorgeous Northern California – we are up visiting family this weekend (which is only about a 2 1/2 hour drive north of us from here in the Sacramento Valley).  My awesome-possum sister is visiting from New York!  I’m close with my brother toowe all enjoy spending time together and laugh uncontrollably quite often.  My brother lives close by here in California and my little 8-month old nephew is the cutest thing EVER (see for yourself below)I just want to eat him up with two scoops of ice cream.  He’s just precious and he loves playing with his cousins.  Okay, so back to the food.  I’ve had some time this weekend to finish up this post with an Indian inspired recipe I’ve been making for a few months and very excited to share with you.  It’s a sweet dish that’s full of wonderful spice and flavors.  Great on its own, as a side, with rice (I serve it with boiled millet) or with with a meat (such as lamb or chicken), also GREAT for potlucks or such gatherings.  Enjoy.  
-1 cup chopped yellow onion
-2 cups peeled chopped carrots 
-2 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes 
-3 cups soaked and boiled garbanzo beans (or 2 cans garbanzos)
-2 cans salt-free chopped tomatoes*
-1/2 cup dried Turkish apricots (small chop)
-3/4 cup canned coconut milk 
-2 tablespoons honey (vegans use maple syrup or coconut sugar)
-3 tablespoons of oil
-1/2 teaspoons salt
-2 teaspoons garlic granules
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
-1/4 teaspoon ground coriander 
-1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon 
-A few turns of the pepper grinder 
-Optional 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

How To:
1.  In a large pot add 3 tablespoons of oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the onions.  Saute for 3 minutes.  Next add in the carrots and sweet potatoes and saute for 5 minutes.
2.  Next add in the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, apricots, coconut milk, and all the listed spices.
3.  Bring to a boil for 2 minutes.  Turn down to low, gentle simmer and cover for 30 minutes (stir once in a while).  After 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue simmering on low for another 30 minutes allowing some of the liquid to thicken.  Before serving, you want to make sure all the veggies are soft and cooked through and the garbanzo beans are soft.  Keep on low heat until ready to serve, or reheat thoroughly before serving.  
Serves 4 to 6 (depending on the serving size – this can be served as meal or as a side dish).

*like this brand for canned tomatoes for off season cooking.   If making this dish in tomato season, use 3 cups fresh chopped heirlooms or small slicers – these have lots of juice.
And here is my sweet, adorable, practically edible nephew
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, gluten free, main dish, sides.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Enchilada Lasagna with Homemade Enchilada Sauce (gluten and dairy free)

Do you have a favorite food?  Mine is, hands down,  Mexican.  It’s been a favorite for years, and it was an easy transition food when I went dairy and gluten free.  And living here in California we are spoiled with amazing Mexican restaurants.  The Mexican culture is also a big part of our lives, as our children are in Spanish Immersion school (learning this great language that is so prominent here in California).  While I would not consider myself a creator of traditional Mexican dishes, the basic spices and staples of the cultural food inspired me greatly.  I reserve two nights a week for something Mexican inspired and with the help of so many amazing gluten and dairy subs these days, it’s easy to create something satisfying and delicious.  I hope you enjoy this fun spin on enchiladas.  
Enchilada Lasagna with Homemade Enchilada Sauce 

-16 ounce jar of your favorite salsa.  We like this one
-Daiya non-dairy shredded cheddar cheese*

For Chicken Mixture 
-2 large cooked chicken breast shredded or well chopped up (great use for leftovers)
-1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (small chop)
-1 1/2 cups chopped yellow pepper (small chop)
-1 1/2 cups squash – I used a mix of leftover butternut and sweet potato.  (You can use any leftover veggie you have in the fridge.  Or just skip if you don’t have anything).
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon garlic granules
-Oil for the saute 

For the Enchilada Sauce
-8 ounces Anaheim peppers, seeded and veins removed (this is where the heat it)
-1 cup chopped yellow onion
-1/4 teaspoons salt + 1/2 teaspoon salt 
-1 1/2 cups filtered water
-1/2 teaspoon cumin 
-1/4 teaspoon garlic granules 
-2 tablespoons oil 
-Salt and pepper to taste

How To:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees 

1.  Anytime that day, preferably before you start making the enchiladas, roast the Anaheim peppers for the enchilada sauce. In a 8×8 glass Pyrex (or favorite roasting dish).  Combine the seeded and de-veined Anaheim peppers, onions, oil, and 1/4 teaspoons salt and toss the ingredients together.  Roast, uncovered, in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes (or until you start to see some browning and roasting action).  After the peppers are roasted, remove and set aside until you are ready to make the sauce.

2. Start now by sauteing the 1 1/2 cups of onions and 1 1/2 cups yellow peppers in a large skillet with about 2 tablespoons of oil and a dash of salt.  While this is sauteing, work on the chicken mixture.

3.  In a large bowl, add in the chopped (or shredded chicken), vegenaise, salt, and garlic granules.  Mix.  

4.  Return to the onion/pepper saute and add in your cooked squash to warm through.  Then add in this entire sauteed mixture to the chicken mixture and mix thoroughly. 

5.  Now build your enchiladas in a 13×9 glass Pyrex (see instructions and pictures below)

6.  Finally, make your enchilada sauce.  To a blender, add in all the roasted Anaeim peppers and onions.  Add in the 1 1/2 cups filtered water, 1/4 teaspoon garlic granules, 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cumin.  Blend on high until mixture is smooth.  Now it’s important to check for spice and add in more salt, cumin, garlic granules, or pepper if needed.  Then pour a generous amount of the enchilada sauce on the enchiladas, making sure to get it all around the sides.  

7.  Baked covered for 45 minutes.  Since I don’t use foil in my kitchen, I simply cover with a stainless steel baking sheet.  Allow enchiladas to cool for about 20 minutes before cutting.  Serves 6.

*Top with dairy free sour cream, avocado, hot sauce, or cilantro.
*I understand that Daiya cheese is not for everyone, so just use real cheese if you can have it, or just omit.  It’s not necessary for this dish to turn out.  It simple adds a cheese-like flavor that my kids love.
Chicken mixture 
Saute mixture
Chicken and saute mixture becomes friends 

How to Assemble

1.  Spread 1/4 cup salsa with some oil on the bottom of the dish
2.  Add in tortillas 
3.  Spread around 1/3 of the chicken mixture
4.  Add some cheese 
5.  Add some Salsa 
6.  Place two more tortillas in the dish
7.  1/3 of the Chicken
8.  Cheese
9.  Salsa 
Then tortillas, chicken, cheese
I layered 3 times for a total of 8 tortillas used
Top everything with the two remaining tortillas and pour on enchilada sauce (I don’t use all of it, but I do drench the dish with it so the top and all sides are covered.  This sauce thickens and firms up when cooking, so you won’t have a sloppy mess – it’s okay to add in lot of sauce.  

Here is the top.  
At this point, pour on your enchilada sauce
Here we are fresh out of the oven
Here is what it looks like cut
Posted by Amber at

Labels: allergy-friendly, dairy free, gluten free, main dish.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Monday, April 1, 2013

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (gluten free, dairy free, cane-sugar free)

It seems I’ve had it all wrong.  You see, I tried to perfect gluten free vegan baking before I was successful in simply gluten free baking!  I have plenty of experience with traditional baking from years of helping my baking-extraordinaire Gramie bake everything from apple pie to German chocolate cake (from scratch).  But for me, attempting to perfect gluten free vegan baking first was not the best order of things.  Especially for someone who never really loved to bake as an adult.  Case in point – it took me nearly 4 months to feel comfortable sharing my gluten free vegan chocolate cake recipe after making it like 15 times, and I am STILL tweaking it here and there.  Blasted baking.  If you follow my blog you know I’m not a huge baker and don’t really enjoy it.  And now please allow me to reframe that thought.  I did not really enjoy baking until I made these muffins.  For the first time I think I felt what avid bakers feel: exhilaration.  I created a baked good that was fantastic and it workedit actually worked, and tasted awesome!! What a rush.  Anyway, I do believe I have fallen in love (in a big way) with baking.  I plan on experimenting much more with gluten free baking and bulking up that sorry excuse of a baking section on my recipe page.  I hope you try this recipe.  Especially if you’re new to gluten free baking, this will be a great starter recipe for you.  Listen, if I can do it, you can FOR SURE do it.  I promise.  Be sure to read over my notes below before you get going.  Salud.
Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins 


-10 ounces of peeled banana (about 3 largish bananas)
-1/2 cup coconut sugar (3.0 ounces)
-2 room temp eggs (weighing 4.5 ounces with shell)
-3 tablespoons full fat canned coconut milk
-1/2 cup melted coconut oil
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia

-80 grams sorogum flour (3/4 cup)
-100 grams brown rice flour (3/4 cup)
-60 grams tapioca starch (1/2 cup)
-1 teaspoon baking power 
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (if you can’t use xanthan gum, try 1 teaspoon of psyllium husk instead). 
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (optional, these contain cane-sugar).  I like mine with chopped walnuts. 

How To:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
1.  In a bowl add in the banana and mash it around for a bit with a fork until it’s a wet mixture.  Then add in all the other wet ingredients and mix everything with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) for 45 seconds on medium speed.
2.  In another bowl, add in the dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and whisk everything together until everything is well incorporated.  
3.  In small batches, add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue mixing with the hand mixer.  Mix until everything is well incorporated.  The batter will be somewhat think.    
4.  Add in the chocolate chips and stir by hand.  
5.  Fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter.  The muffins will rise quite a bit here, so don’t over fill them.  This recipe makes 12- 14 muffins (depending on how full you make the cups).
6.  Top muffins with chopped walnuts and coconut sugar 
7.  Bake for 18 minutes on the middle rack.  
8.  Remove the muffins from the muffin tin and allow to cool on a cooling rack.  

*When baking, I suggest following the weight of the ingredients exactly (even the banana).  This might mean investing in a small kitchen scale.  I cannot guarantee results if the recipe is not followed as specified and measurements are not accuratejust sayin’.
*For wet ingredients use only a 1 cup glass Pyrex for measuring.  *For dry, use metal measuring cups.  And when measuring flours, spoon the flours into the measuring cup, then level off with a knife.  Never pack in the flour. 
*The muffins will stay moist for 3 or 4 full days at room temp in a container.  
*Oh, and I only use these large baking muffin cups.

  These muffins are incredibly light, yet moist.  They have been taste tested many times (and by traditional eaters) with rave reviews.  I’m very proud of this recipe and I hope your family enjoys it too! 
Coconut butter tastes fabulous on top of these puppies 
Posted by Amber at

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


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:  

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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Friday, September 14, 2012

Delightful Vegan Double Chocolate Cake (free of: gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, and cane-sugar) – with a VIDEO

Last week I shared my trip to the East Coast.  It was all amazing.  But there is one thing I just CANNOT get out of my head: Babycakes.  It was there in that small, cramped, ridiculously cute and hip little bakery I fell in love with chocolate cake.  Yes, we are in love and it’s going greatalthough we haven’t seen each other since May.  Humhow to see more of this chocolate cake?  This long distance thing is NOT working out.  So I set out on a mission.  Recreate this moist, fluffy, delicious cake at home.  Now I know Babycakes has a cookbook, but I thought this would be a great learning experience and baking challenge.  You see, I’m NOT a baker (it’s not something I particularly enjoy).  But I plan on changing this.  So this non-baker is ready for the challenge: to make the perfect dairy-free, gluten-free, cane-sugar free, vegan chocolate cake.  Well my friends, after much trial and error, this non-baker did it (can I call myself a baker? perhaps after I perfect my grain free baking).  At any rate, I am pleased to share with you: my very own chocolate cake recipe.  And it’s everything I love about chocolate cake (er, or cake in general), everything I never knew I loved.  I’m no chocoholic (like my sweet husband) but I will say this cake makes my toes curl up a little.  I’ve baked this thing about 15 times (no joke) and the last 3 batches came out perfectly consistent, so I feel confident sharing the recipe.  I wanted to make sure the recipe was precise with exact measurements.  Please follow my notes too, as this will ensure a superior cake.  I’m very proud of this recipe.  I hope you enjoy it too.  Tastes fab with a cold glass of dairy-free milk (such as my homemade walnut milk).  Cheers.  
~See below for chocolate cake making video~

P.S.  Nine people taste tested different variations of this recipe (and yes, I even printed out questionnaires regarding the texture, sweetness, chocolaty-ness, etc.).  The below recipe was the favorite, and overall, the taste testers claimed they could barely tell this cake from traditional chocolate cake (taste testers also favored frosting #2).  

Delightful Vegan Double Chocolate Cake


Dry Ingredients (please see notes below about weighing flours)
-1/2 cup (55 grams) garbanzo/fava bean flour  
-1/2 cup (60 grams) (1/2 cup) sorghum flour 
-1/3 cup (40 grams) (1/3 cup) tapioca starch
-1/2 cup (50 grams) raw cacao powder 
-1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon GF baking powder 
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) xanthan gum
-1/4 teaspoon salt 

Wet Ingredients (please see notes below about measuring wet ingredients)
-1/2 cup room temp maple syrup (I recommend grade B)*
-2/3 cup room temperature unsweetened applesauce 
-1/2 cup liquid coconut oil  
-2/3 cup hot water (just before it starts to boil)
-1 tablespoon vanilla
-1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia 

How To:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Prepare cake pans by oiling and dusting with flour (I use coconut oil or grapeseed and sorghum flour for dusting  – or you can use parchment paper, but I prefer the oil/four method.  I DO NOT recommend using a glass pan.  If you do use a glass pan use baking parchment paper for the bottom to prevent sticking.  A regular non-stick cake pan is recommended and I’ve only made this recipe in non-stick pans. 
3.  In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients  
4.  In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients
5.  SIFT dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until well combined (do not over mix).  The batter will become thick, this is normal.  Scoop batter into cake pan and spread out with silicone spatchula.  Tap down pans to even out batter. 
6.  Baking instructions: 
-For two 9″ cake pans filled with one batch of batter, bake for 20 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out dry). You may need to bake 3 to 5 minutes longer in the wet, winter months.  Check at 20 minutes and continue on from there.    
-For one 9″ cake pan filled with one batch of batter, bake 20  – 25 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out dry). Bake up to 28 minutes in the wet, winter months. Check at 20 minutes and go continue from there.  
-For cupcakes, bake 20 – 25 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out dry).  Bake a little longer (maybe 2 or 3 minutes) in the wet winter months. When cupcakes come out of the oven, immediately remove the paper cups and cool the cupcakes on a cooling rack.  
7.  Allow cakes to cool on cooling rack for 30 – 45 minutes

-The recipe in this post will yield 15 cupcakes, or 1 round cake which would be just a single layer (baked in one 9 inch cake pan), or two single layer cakes (which is the double layer shown in the pictures – the batch is obviously split between two 9 inch cake pans). 

Frosting #1:

-2 very ripe avocados 
-3/4 cup raw cacao powder 
-1/2 cup maple syrup + 10 drops liquid stevia (adjust sweetness to taste)
-1/3 cup melted coconut oil

How To:
1.  Mix all ingredients in a food processor until creamy, smooth and well incorporated.  Frost cake.  This frosting yields enough for two layers (the above recipe baked in two 9 inch cake pans).

Frosting #2:

-1/3 cup vegetable shortening
-1/3 cup grade B maple syrup (or more to taste)
-1/4 cup liquid coconut oil 
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-5 – 10 drop liquid stevia (to taste)
-1/2 cup (40 grams) raw cacao powder 

How To:
1.  Add ingredients to a food processor and blend until well incorporated.  Frost cake.  This frosting yields enough for one layer of cake (the above recipe baked in one 9 inch cake pan).
2.  Place in fridge to firm up frosting if need be.

Recipe Notes:
*I cannot guarantee results of this recipe if flour weights and liquid measurements are not followed exactly.  Just sayin…!
*I highly recommend weighing the flours.  This will ensure a superior cake.  Being off with the flour too much or too little will compromise the texture of the cake.  So PLEASE invest in a scale with grams and ounces.  
*Please ONLY use a glass Pyrex measuring cup when measuring liquids.  Do not use tin measuring cups, as there is a big difference in these measurements.  I’ve also included liquid measurements in grams for accuracy.   

Single Layer with shortening frosting:

Double Layer with avocado frosting:

Cupcakes with avocado frosting:

Shared on: Melt in your Mouth MondaysMotivate Me MondaysMonday Mania, Mealtime Monday My Meatless Monday, Just Another Meatless Monday, On The Menu Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Slightly Indulgent TuesdaysAllergy-Free WednesdaysGluten Free WednesdaysReal Food Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays, Tastetastic Thursday, Keep It Real Thursdays, Pennywise Platter Thursdays, Wellness WeekendFight Back FridayFresh Bites Friday, Freaky Friday, Friday FoodWhole Foods Friday, My Birthday Pot Luck Party Friday, Allergy-Friendly FridaysSweet Saturday, 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: allergy-friendly, dairy free, dessert, egg free, gluten free, vegan.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mini Vegan Garden Pizzas (allergy-friendly, gluten free, dairy free)

Last weekend I wanted to make something fun for lunch.  Pizza sounded good – garden pizza sounded GREAT.  Although we have many more warm days ahead here in Northern California, I have been dreaming about my winter garden.  So I picked some of our last tomatoes and zucchini and used them for mini pizza toppings.  Some sweet pineapple rounded out the flavors perfectly.  Beet cashews spread (beet “cheese” spread) was a delightful contrast with the pesto sauce.  I hope you enjoy this fun little spin on traditional pizza – and what great way to use up your summer garden veggies.     
-Pesto sauce here or here 
-Cashew beet sauce (recipe can be found here)
-3 medium zucchinis, peeled, chopped and sauteed with salt 
-2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced
-1 1/2 cups pineapple chunks 
How To:
1.  Make pizza dough as specified.  Don’t be shy with the flour, as this will help you roll out the dough.  Treat it like any other dough.  
2.  Roll out and use a cookie cutter to make the mini pizzas.  Transfer to non-stick surface (such as a silicone mat).  Place the mat directly on a cooling rack to bake or use something like this pizza rack with some parchment paper, and bake for 8 minutes (at 400 degrees).  
3. After baking, remove crusts from mat and cool on the cooling rack (do not cool the pizzas on the mat, as moisture will form).  
4.  Build your pizzas and bake (directly on the cooling rack, no mat) for 8 – 10 minutes.   
Serves 4

Shared on: Melt in your Mouth MondaysMotivate Me MondaysMonday Mania, Mealtime Monday My Meatless Monday,Just Another Meatless Monday, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free WednesdaysReal Food Wednesdays,  Whole Foods Wednesdays, Tastetastic ThursdayKeep It Real Thursdays, Pennywise Platter Thursdays,Wellness Weekend, Fight Back FridayFresh Bites Friday, Freaky Friday, Friday FoodWhole Foods Friday

My Birthday Pot Luck Party Friday

Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, gluten free, lunch, summer cuisine, vegan, vegetarian.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *