Friday, December, 06, 2013
I’m a professed fan of chia pudding. I shared my super simple version here. It’s one of the things I have nearly every week, making a few jars and tucking them in the fridge for a quick, healthy snack. I turn to chia seed to get Omega 3s into my plant-based diet.
This time of year, I get super excited when I spot the So Delicious dairy free nogs. The Pumpkin Spice is my go-to when I crave a fancy coffee drink but know I can’t get a Pumpkin Spice Latte at the nearby coffee house that fits within my way of eating. So I just pour a little into my coffee–so good! And the Nog flavor is great straight from the carton in the grocery store parking lot. Kinda sorta not kidding.
So the two must come together: egg-less nog and chia seeds. This is so simple I’m not sure it even qualifies as a recipes. I am, however, certain it qualifies as a yummy treat. I’ve made this with both the regular nog flavor and the pumpkin spice flavor. Both are good but I think I might like the nog flavor best. Probably because I’m hoarding the pumpkin spice for coffee drinks.
One quick note on chia seed: if you have a finicky eater in your house or are trying to introduce chia seeds to your kiddos, you might consider trying white chia seeds first. Seeing little black bits in pudding might not be welcomed by some. The white chia seeds look a bit more like tapioca pearls.
Eggnog Chia Pudding (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, Vegan)
- 1/3 cup So Delicious nog or pumpkin spice nog
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons chia seed
- 1/2 pint mason jar
- Combine ingredients in 1/2 pint mason jar. Screw lid on tightly and shake the jar well so no clumps of seeds are visible.
- Place in refrigerator overnight or longer before eating.
- If you think of it, shake the jar when you get in the refrigerator just to make sure the seeds are not clumped.
- Serve cold.
This post contains affiliate links for products I personally own, use and believe in. Should you click on the links and purchase these items, I may receive a small percentage commission. By purchasing via links in my blog posts, you are helping me earn a few pennies to buy a bunch of kale, a pound of flour or a new spatula. This allows me to continue producing high-quality, free content including original recipes. I appreciate your support!
Wednesday, December, 04, 2013
Last week, while having lunch out with a friend at Lulu’s, she noticed heart-shaped green onions in her egg flower soup.
I snapped a photo and shared it on Instagram. And then I was asked for an Egg Flower Soup recipe. Perhaps you call it Egg Drop Soup? Whichever name you prefer, it’s the beautiful broth based soup with whispy strands of egg in it. I’m guessing the “flower” part of the name comes from how the egg blooms when you add it to hot broth. It does look like it is blossoming.
This is another example of a really delicious, yet basic, recipe, that I never would have thought to share until someone asked. I appreciate you guys reaching out and letting me know what appeals to your tastebuds. And I’m happy to share the tried-and-trues from my kitchen. Sometimes I just need a little nudge.
This recipe makes one very generous serving or two small cups of soup if you want to share. This is a quick lunch for me when the kitchen is looking pretty bare. It’s also one of my favorite soups for days when I just can’t get warm or when sickness lurks around the corner. Traditionally made with chicken broth, I make mine with veggie broth. You pick what works best for you!
- 2 cups vegetable broth (check to make sure it is gluten-free)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil.
- Set a fork and a whisk nearby.
- Once boiling, turn off the burner and remove the pan from heat.
- A little bit at a time, pour the egg over the tines of the fork and into the saucepan. Stop after each addition of egg and gently whisk in a clockwise motion. This will help to develop the whispy strands of egg as opposed to clumps of egg.
- Continue adding egg until all has been incorporated. Serve immediately, garnish with green onions.
- Optional: Some folks stir in a bit of gluten-free soy sauce, sesame oil and white pepper to taste. I like mine with just the three simple ingredients.
This recipe is included in the Gluten-Free Wednesdays Carnival hosted by Linda at The Gluten-Free Homemaker. Click over to see lots of other terrific recipes!
Tuesday, December, 03, 2013
Recently I wrote about Taco Republic, a relatively new addition to the food offerings in the Kansas City area. Today, I’m writing about Port Fonda, a place that isn’t as new, a place I frequent, a place I can’t believe I haven’t written about already! What started as a beautiful food trailer (a vintage Airstream with a chef’s table inside) is now a fun and funky restaurant in KC’s Westport.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed I go to Port Fonda nearly every Sunday night. Sunday is like most people’s Friday to me. I work on the weekend and look forward to Monday. Sunday night is when I wrap up the week…and that usually means I have a cocktail at Port Fonda.
While my favorite fella often gets their Coupe Davilla, a concoction with a ginormous square ice cube, I often try the featured margarita.
They’ve recently partnered with another of my local favorites, Little Freshie, to make margaritas flavored with simple syrups created with natural ingredients. This is a Prickle Me Pink, a prickly pear cactus margarita shaken with an egg white.
I love getting chips and salsa here, sometimes guacamole, too. And sometimes instead of chips, I get veggies with guacamole.
There are two housemade salsas served with chips. One has a deep smoky flavor, I’d like to buy it by the gallon.
The menu changes seasonally here. I’m hoping that soon these amazing tempura-battered avocado tacos make another appearance on the menu. These are by far my favorite taco ever.
Right now, I’ve been getting the hongos (mushroom) tacos that come with huitlacoche and goat cheese. Also divine. If I don’t get tacos, I get the Rancho Gordo, a small skillet with beans, seasonal greens and veggies. While not quite avocado tacos, this is one of my favorite dishes anywhere. It’s not fancy, but it’s filling and food I feel great about eating. Oh, and I often get a fried egg on top of it, an egg from a local farm with happy hens.
Occasionally, I’ll have the enchilada special. It’s always excellent. Being able to eat enchiladas out as a gluten-free gal is nice, since so many use some processed sauce that has gluten in it. I’ve never had an issue with gluten at Port Fonda and servers have always been great about running to the kitchen to clarify if they are uncertain.
Breaking from my Sunday routine, I ate here on a Friday recently and was excited to find the dessert of the day was gluten-free. Persimmon panna cotta with pecan chantilly, caramel apples and candied pecans, simply divine! While I haven’t had that happen again, it’s a possibility.
If you read reviews of Port Fonda, you’ll find one consistent gripe: the volume level of the music. If you’re looking for an intimate, romantic meal, this might not be the place. If you’re looking for the best margaritas in town and really, really good tacos, this IS the place. I like the atmosphere here, the music works for me and the food is always terrific.
In warmer months, there is a bit of outdoor seating right along the sidewalk. There’s a sizable bar in the dining room with TVs for watching whatever sporting event happens to be on. Sometimes there is a DJ spinning tunes. It’s always great food and always a fun environment. Oh, and always plenty of gluten-free food to choose from. Just go, you’ll get it…
Want to read another writer’s take on Port Fonda? My friend Valerie who lives in DC and writes at city | life | eats shares about Port Fonda here. And she’s got a pic of the mushroom tacos that I don’t!
Port Fonda is located at 4141 Pennsylvania Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri, 64111. 816.216.6462. There is parking along the street and parking lots within easy walking distance.
Eat With: Minimal caution. I eat here often and haven’t had a single gluten concern. That said, it’s always a good idea to let your server know about your food intolerances/allergies. Can’t be too careful!
Johnna’s I Ate Here series is not intended as a restaurant review, rather a summary of Johnna’s experience dining out. You may or may not have a similar experience. Menu prices, items and ingredients featured were current at the time of writing. Please read the menu carefully and ask your server for assistance in ordering if you have dietary restrictions. It’s a good idea to call ahead and let the restaurant know of your food needs.
Tuesday, November, 26, 2013
Why am I sharing these recipes today of all days?
Because tomorrow or Thursday you might find yourself in the kitchen, frantically digging through your spice collection for that jar of Pumpkin Pie Spice you haven’t used since last year.
So three things about that:
1. It’s gonna be old. It’s best to not keep ground spices more than a year (some say six months). You and your guests deserve all of the full flavors of pumpkin pie spice that is fresh.
2. You’ve probably got everything on hand to make the spice blend. Then you’ll have an easier time keeping your spices fresh AND you won’t have so many rarely used containers of spice blends floating around.
3. Do you know what’s in those spice blends? Sometimes an anti-clumping agent is added. Maybe it’s got gluten in it. If not it’s got corn or maybe something you can’t pronounce. Best to read the labels on spice blends very carefully. OR…just make the blend at home. It’s easy and you can make as little or as much as you’d like!
Ok, so I’ve convinced you to either make your own out of desperation or because you like the idea of a fresher blend with no mystery ingredients. So here’s the scoop: folks aren’t in agreement on what spices are used in Pumpkin Pie Spice. I’m going to share options for you and hopefully you can find everything you need already in your cupboard. I’ve listed three recipes in order of my flavor preference.
These recipes are created using “parts” instead of a set measure. You choose how much a “part” is based on how much Pumpkin Pie Spice you need to make. Mix all of the ingredients together in a glass container. I like 1/2 pint mason jars or empty spice jars sold at Penzeys.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Version #1
1 part ground cloves
2 parts ground ginger
2 parts ground nutmeg
4 parts cinnamon
Pumpkin Pie Spice Version #2
1 part ground cloves
1 part ground allspice
4 parts ground nutmeg
6 parts ground ginger
12 parts ground cinnamon
Pumpkin Pie Spice Version #3
Equal parts ground spices:
Wishing you the happiest of Thanksgivings! I’ll be back on Black Friday with my holiday wish list, just in case you want to buy me or your favorite home cook a little something.
Monday, November, 25, 2013
Is it cold where you live? Here, in the Kansas City area, it’s so cold that all I want to eat is hearty soups, stews and chili.
This soup is terrific ladled into a generous soup bowl and even better ladled over gluten-free egg noodles. I used Jovial’s egg noodles, cooked according to the instructions on the box. I prefer noodles separate from the soup, as most soup recipes create enough for leftovers. I’m not a fan of noodles that have been sitting in soup for a few days, I prefer that freshly made pasta feel.
Speaking of leftovers, if it’s possible, this soup improves after hanging out in the fridge for awhile. Yesterday for lunch we had the last little bit of a batch of this soup. My favorite fella commented that this soup just keeps getting better. He liked it better the third time around than when it was fresh!
I cook most soups in my Lodge 5 quart Dutch oven. I love cooking in cast iron because of the rich, deep flavors that seem to live in a well-seasoned cast iron pan. I’m also buying into the thinking that cooking in cast iron puts a bit more iron in food, which works great for me. Oh, and also, toting this pan around counts as a workout. I believe it weighs something like 15 pounds. I honestly don’t move mine around much, it lives on my cooktop because it gets used so often.
For those keeping track, this is the October recipe from the Twelve Months of Healthy Eating calendar project. October’s recipe was for Beef and Mushroom Soup. Biggest change: no beef. I’ve also amped up the veggies and seasonings. Below the recipe, I’ve included links for all of the recipes so far this year. Next up, an amazing recipe remodel for meatloaf!
Hearty Mushroom and Veggie Soup
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil of your choice
- 2 cups sliced carrots
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 cup diced potatoes
- 1 cup diced butternut squash
- 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 4 cups vegetable broth (make sure it's gluten-free)
- 1 cup gluten-free beer (I used Trader Joe's NGB)
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- (Optional) gluten-free egg noodles
- In dutch oven or large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Stir in carrots, celery, potatoes, butternut squash and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes.
- Once vegetables start to soften, add broth, beer and water. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Season with basil, oregano, cumin and black pepper.
- Optional: cook gluten-free egg noodles according to package instructions. Place a serving of noodles in the bottom of soup bowl, ladle hot soup over the noodles.
Here are the recipes so far in the Twelve Months of Healthy eating project. Enjoy!
January: Hummus Wrap with spicy orange cashew creme
February: Pumpkin Kale crockpot chili
March: Spinach Artichoke Panini
April: Weeknight Vegetable Stir Fry
May: Double Bean Salad
June: Double Blueberry Shakes
July: Mini Tomato Basil Pizzas
August: Dairy-Free Raspberry Ice Cream
September: Pesto Stuffed Mini Potatoes
This post contains affiliate links for products I personally own, use and believe in. Should you click on the links and purchase these items, I may receive a small percentage commission. By purchasing via links in my blog posts, you are helping me earn a few pennies to buy a bunch of kale, a pound of flour or a new spatula. This allows me to continue producing high-quality, free content including original recipes like the one above. I appreciate your support!
Thursday, November, 21, 2013
I bet you thought I had given up on my calendar project. Nope, I’m about to conquer that silly twelve month goal.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the scoop: last December I got a calendar at Fausto’s in Key West. It featured a recipe each month that was healthy but didn’t necessarily work for me. I decided I would re-create each of the recipes to work for how I eat…and maybe how you eat.
I’m admittedly not a calendar person. I keep a paper day planner for business appointments and use my phone’s calendar for everything else. We don’t usually have pretty calendars on the wall in our house. I hung this one in the kitchen and realized late last week it was still on the September page. That means I’m three months behind in my project!
The September recipe, Pesto Stuffed Potatoes, called for baby potatoes that were sliced in half, bottoms leveled off and then scooped out. I had issues with this. First, what was I gonna do with the itty bitty pieces I sliced off of the bottom to make them stand upright? Second, what was I gonna do with the potato goodness I scooped out? Oh, yeah, right…I was gonna eat it while making these. Instead of doing that, I made an even easier variation. These are good hot or cold AND they are perfect for holiday party nibbles. Perhaps being behind in this project isn’t such a bad thing. I just created my new favorite party food!
So here we go, I’m gonna catch up and share with you four more amazing recipes. And I’m gonna hope Santa sends me a plane ticket to Key West so I can get another calendar for next year.
- 1 pound Small potatoes (I use Melissa's peewees, micro-steamed or baked)
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup kale, stems removed
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, plus additional for garnish
- 1/4 cup brazil nut parmesan (dairy parm works, too)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook potatoes by either microwave steaming or baking until fork tender. I use the Melissa's peewees, which are in 1-pound packages in the produce department. Any small potato is fine.
- Allow potatoes to cool while preparing pesto.
- In bowl of food processor fitted with "S" blade, combine all ingredients except olive oil.
- Process until all are finely chopped.
- With process running, drizzle in olive oil. Stop when combined.
- Place potatoes you will be using on a flat surface. This is important, as you want to see how they sit flat. Once you have determined which is the bottom of the potato, cut a small slit in the top of the potato and get it a little smoosh from the ends, opening the potato up just a bit to make room for the pesto.
- Fill with a small spoon full of pesto and top with a few pine nuts. Serve either hot or cold, they are tasty both ways!
- Store any leftover pesto in the refrigerator. It's excellent spread on crusty bread, with zucchini noodles or pasta.
Want to see more of the recipes I’ve remodeled from the calendar? Here they are:
January: Hummus Wrap with spicy orange cashew creme
February: Pumpkin Kale crockpot chili
March: Spinach Artichoke Panini
April: Weeknight Vegetable Stir Fry
May: Double Bean Salad
June: Double Blueberry Shakes
July: Mini Tomato Basil Pizzas
August: Dairy-Free Raspberry Ice Cream
Wednesday, November, 20, 2013
In my last pumpkin post, I mentioned it was almost time for me to become cranberry-obsessed.
That time has officially arrived.
I eat cranberries year round, but love this time of year when more folks are interested in joining me in the combination of sweet and tart that goes just as well in desserts as savory dishes. I’m kicking off the cranberry fest this year with cookies. Because, well, cookies. That’s enough, right?
A few notes on ingredients: I used dried cranberries from Eden Organics in these cookies. They are sweetened with apple juice instead of refined sugar. While I’m not completely eliminating any trace of refined sugar in this recipe, I am reducing it where possible. For white chocolate, there are a couple of options. The cookies in the photos were made with Lieber’s white chocolate decorating chips, which are dairy-free. I order mine from Vegan Essentials. Because I tolerate goat milk better than cow milk, I sometimes splurge and buy a bar of Davao White Chocolate from Askinosie. Unlike most “white chocolate,” Askinosie’s white chocolate is technically chocolate. It’s also technically divine and made with three simple ingredients: organic cane juice, cocoa butter and goat milk powder. It’s almost too good to eat any other way than straight out of the wrapper, but I put it in cookies for special occasions. For the crystallized ginger, I used the Crystallized Ginger Chips from The Ginger People. You can use any crystallized ginger, just dice it finely.
Ok, let’s dive in to the recipe and get this cranberry obsession rolling…
White Chocolate Cranberry Ginger Cookies (Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free)
- 3 cups almond flour (I use Honeyville)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil (coconut oil, liquified, is also fine)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (I use Grade B)
- 2 Tablespoons flax seed meal in 1/3 cup hot water (egg replacement)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips or chunks
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup finely diced crystallized ginger
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line large baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine flax seed meal and hot water. Set aside, allowing it to gel.
- In large mixing bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.
- In medium mixing bowl, combine oil. maple syrup, flax seed meal (which is now a slurry), and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
- Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Fold in white chocolate, cranberries and ginger.
- Drop batter by heading tablespoons* full onto baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes. Edges will be lightly browned. After removing from oven and cooling on baking sheet for a few minutes, move to cooling rack. Allow to completely cool before moving to an airtight container for storage.
- *I use OXO's medium cookie scoop for this size cookie.
Monday, November, 18, 2013
I’m almost done with pumpkin recipes for the year. Almost.
Oh, okay, not at all.
I eat pumpkin year round, hoarding the inexpensive cans of organic pumpkin puree from Trader Joe’s deep in my pantry, as though someone might take them and use them for some less-than-delicious purpose. We eat pumpkin in overnight oats almost every week. It’s an injustice that a superfood such as pumpkin gets only seasonal love.
Today I’m sharing a recipe that will ease me out of my preoccupation with pumpkin and into my next obsession, cranberries. These pumpkin pancakes are fluffy yet moist, the cranberry syrup thick enough to almost be a compote. Both the pancakes and the syrup have a hint of maple syrup, perfect for autumn. Or any other time of the year if you eat at my house!
Couple of ingredient tidbits: I used cashew meal/flour in the pancakes. Trader Joe’s is carrying it now for about half the price I can buy almond meal at my local market. That said, almond meal works just as well in these pancakes with a less sweet result. Second, I use Eden Organics dried cranberries. They are sweetened with apple juice, not sugar. I also think they rehydrate better than the sugared counterpart.
- 1 cup cashew flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup nut butter of your choice (I use cashew butter or sunbutter)
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1/2 t. baking powder
- Mix all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.
- Warm pancake griddle of low-medium to medium heat. Spray with a small amount of oil of your choice.
- Scoop batter onto griddle 1/4 of a cup per pancake. Cook until bubbles form around the edges and into the middle. Flip and cook until second side is firm.
- Serve with cranberry syrup or pancake syrup of your choice.
This makes a small quantity of syrup, just about enough to go with pancakes for two. If you have leftovers, refrigerate.
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup maple syrup (depends how thick/thin you want the syrup)
- Soak the dried cranberries in hot water until the water has cooled, 30 minutes or so.
- Using an immersion blender in the bowl the cranberries soaked in OR transferring to a blender, puree cranberries and water until there are no large chunks of cranberry.
- Transfer 1/2 of the cranberry mixture to a small saucepan. Over medium heat, stir in cornstarch or arrowroot powder, incorporating well to make sure no clumping occurs. Once incorporated, stir in remaining cranberry mixture.
- Add coconut sugar and lemon juice, stirring often. Once coconut sugar crystals are no longer noticeable, stir in maple syrup. If you like a thinner syrup, you may choose to use the entire 1/2 cup. I like thicker syrup and add only 1/4 cup.
Monday, November, 11, 2013
Are you all pumpkin’d out? I sure hope not! I’ve got a couple more pumpkin recipes to share before I get all cranberry crazy.
This Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip is delicious with gluten-free gingersnaps and with apple slices. I’ll be serving this before Thanksgiving dinner, a sweet nibble to keep the hungry masses out of the kitchen. It can be made a couple days ahead of time, freeing you up for more time-sensitive dishes on the big day.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)
- 1-13 oz. can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- 2 containers Daiya non-dairy cream cheese
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned works)
- 2 t. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 t. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- dash of sea salt
- cinnamon to sprinkle on top
- Open the can of coconut milk that has been refrigerated overnight. Remove the solidified part and place in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk/whip attachment. Keep the liquid in the can of coconut milk for making a smoothie or cocktail later.
- Turn the mixer on medium to medium-high and let the coconut milk whip until it resembles whipped topping.
- Add all other ingredients, mixing until well combined.
- Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Serve with gingersnaps and apple slices.
Thursday, November, 07, 2013
Have you ever made cookies with a cake mix? Back in my gluten days, I made and ate a few of them. Not a crunchy cookie, not cake either but somewhere in between.
By mistake, I created a cookie that has the texture of a cake mix cookie. Except I didn’t use a cake mix. I can’t remember the last time I had a cake mix in the house. I’m not opposed to them, I just like scratch baking best right now. These were a happy surprise if you like a soft cookie with an almost cake-like crumb to it.
Because these are a soft cookie, they aren’t great for shipping as holiday gifts but are sure fun to share with the neighbors. Enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies Without the Cake Mix (gluten-free, dairy-free)
- 2 1/2 sticks Earth Balanace non-dairy butter substitute
- 2 cups coconut sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cups Johnna's favorite gluten-free flour blend
- 10 oz. Enjoy Life chocolate mini chips (a scant 1 1/2 cups)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
- In bowl of stand mixer fitted with standard blade, cream Earth Balance and coconut sugar together for approximately 2 minutes.
- Add eggs and vanilla, mixing until incorporated.
- In a smaller bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet in the electric mixer bowl 1/2 cup at a time, allowing each addition to incorporate before adding the next.
- Add the chocolate chips last, mixing just to distribute evenly in the batter.
- Scoop batter out in approximately 2 Tablespoon size mounds on baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 11 minutes.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
Wednesday, October, 30, 2013
While traveling recently, I had Bananas Foster French Toast that blew. my. mind. Like one of the best meals of my life. Can’t stop thinking about it, wish I could have it every single day for breakfast, that kind of good. I’m gonna tell you all about it soon. It seems like I’m traveling non-stop lately, stopping only to make a few meals at home before hitting the road again. And I love it!
But first, I’m going to share what I’ve been eating when I find myself at home. My favorite fella likes pancakes more than French toast. So we’ve been having Bananas Foster pancakes, inspired by that amazing French toast I mentioned. Easy enough for a weekday breakfast, fancy enough for a special occasion.
I gotta say, as you can see this photographed so ugly. Please don’t let that keep you from making this. I’m sharing it because it tastes great, not because it’s pretty. I’m committed to sharing tasty dishes with you, not just the photogenic ones.
Banana Pancakes with Bananas Foster Topping
For the pancakes:
- Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix to combine.
- Combine egg, milk, mashed bananas and oil in a medium bowl. Mix to combine.
- Add wet ingredients to dry, stir to combine.
- Over medium heat, drop pancakes onto griddle 1/4 cup at a time. Flip when bubbles have formed in the middle of batter. Makes approximately 16 pancakes.
For the Bananas Foster Topping:
- In a large skillet, liquify the coconut oil. Add coconut sugar and cinnamon, cooking until sugar has dissolved.
- Carefully, add 2 Tablespoons of the spiced rum. (It is important to do this carefully, so the rum does not catch fire.)
- Add in the sliced bananas, stirring to coat well.
- Immediately before serving, add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of spiced rum. Using a kitchen torch, candle lighter or gently tilting pan into the flame if you have a gas stove, ignite the rum. This will create a beautiful caramelized finish on the dish.
- Top pancakes with the Bananas Foster topping and serve.
I hope you will give this recipe a try. While not photogenic, it’s so indulgent and feels like a gourmet treat for breakfast. It comes together in a hurry, but makes me feel like I’m enjoying breakfast at a tropical resort. If only I had a cabana boy to cook it for me…
Monday, October, 21, 2013
Last Winter I went a little crazy making all sorts of creamy, cheesy sauces with butternut squash and nutritional yeast. Last week I craved comfort food and was thinking about making a similar sauce again. Since it’s the season of all-things-pumpkin, I started wondering how I could use pumpkin for a similar sauce.
Truth be told, it was really mac ‘n cheese I was craving. That’s the king of comfort food for me. Creamy, cheesy goodness with pasta, baked in the oven until the top has a little crunch to it. It really doesn’t get much better. With an abundance of pumpkin puree right now, working it into a dairy-free sauce was a good plan.
So here’s the outcome. You’re gonna love this part: this recipe makes sauce for THREE batches of mac ‘n cheese. Make one batch the day you make the sauce, split the others and refrigerate or freeze them for use later. Talk about a quick weeknight meal, already prepared sauce for mac ‘n cheese so all you need to do is boil your pasta and pop this under the broiler for an easy meal. I think that’s what I’ll do for dinner tonight!
Quick note: I used Woodchuck Hard Cider’s pumpkin flavor to make one batch of this. I’ve also used just a regular, non-seasonal flavor hard cider to test a batch. While I like the flavor of the pumpkin cider, this is great with a regular hard cider as well. I share this because in a few weeks, the pumpkin cider will be gone. I don’t want you to limit your consumption of this creamy, cheesy dish to the time of year when pumpkin cider graces the shelves.
Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheese (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 Tablespoons brown rice flour
- 1 cup hard cider (I've used Woodchuck hard cider pumpkin and also a standard apple hard cider)
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch ground cloves
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1-15 oz. can pumpkin puree
- 1 3/4 cup Daiya cheddar style cheese shreds
- smoked paprika, to sprinkle on top
- 12 oz. gluten-free pasta PER BATCH (this recipe makes enough sauce for 3 two-quart casseroles)
This recipe makes sauce for THREE two-quart casserole dishes of mac 'n cheese. You will use 1/3 of the sauce with 12 oz. of pasta. Reserve the remaining sauce for use another time.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt coconut oil.
- Add in brown rice flour and whisk for 3 to 4 minutes. This will not clump the way butter and regular flour will when making a roux, but whisking is important to prevent browning.
- Add in hard cider. Reduce until it has nearly evaporated and sauce base is thick.
- Add maple syrup and milk, along with spices. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is thick enough to coat the spoon.
- Whisk in pumpkin puree and Daiya shreds. Stir until sauce is thickened and Daiya shreds are incorporated.
To make into baked Mac 'n Cheese:
- Prepare 12 oz. gluten-free pasta according to package instructions. Drain and place in a 2 quart baking dish.
- Pour two cups of the prepared sauce over the top of the pasta, stir to combine.
- Top with 1/4 cup Daiya shreds.
- Place under the broiler, heating until the top is just starting to brown. Sprinkle with smoked paprika. Regular paprika is fine, too, but the hint of smoky flavor is a nice addition with the pumpkin and fall spices.
This recipe was inspired by a pumpkin mac 'n cheese recipe Rachael Ray demonstrated on her show back in 2011. I've modified it to be gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. I like to give credit where credit is due, so kudos to the Rach for this one!