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!
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.
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
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.
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!
Friday, October, 18, 2013
My childhood friend Jim recently shared a recipe with me for a roasted beet spread he has been making for his family. I’m a huge fan of roasted beets and have been known to convert more than a few formerly beet-averse folks into beet lovers with my roasted beet salad. I decided to have a closer look at the shared recipe and see if I could modify it to work for me…and maybe for you. Because I want you to love beets!
The shared recipe contained a slice of wheat bread (tossed that!), some walnuts (shared with a nut-intolerant friend so tossed those, too) but was otherwise pretty terrific just as it was. Instead of using walnuts, I used pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, and pine nuts. If you aren’t a fan of pine nuts, just double the quantity of pepitas. It will be slightly less creamy but still incredible on a sandwich, served with crackers or in a salad with goat cheese.
To make the salad shown in the photos, I used a food ring and layered beet tapenade and goat cheese, pressing down between each layer to compact it. It works best if you chill it for a few minutes before removing the food ring. When serving this on a bed of greens, I found it unnecessary to add any additional salad dressing. Good stuff!
Roasted Beet and Pepita Tapenade
- 3 large roasted beets (about 12-16 oz.)
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic, adjust based on your taste
- dash of sea salt
To roast beets:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash beets and trim off the greens. It is not necessary to peel the beets.
- Toss with just a tiny bit of olive oil and place in a baking dish.
- Roast for 35-40 minutes or until fork-tender.
To make tapenade:
- Combine all ingredients in bowl of food processor fitted with "S" blade. Process until all ingredients are finely chopped and come together into a tapenade.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Monday, October, 14, 2013
It’s no secret I’m a BIG fan of Jackfruit. It’s my favorite ingredient to use as a veg alternative to meat.
When gluten and I had to part ways, I was in a tizzy trying to find replacements for the meat substitutes I had used in the past. Most were full of gluten.
And then I discovered eating copious amounts of soy didn’t jive with me. (I’m only speaking for me. You decide what works best for you, ok?) I needed to balance the amount of tofu and tempeh I was eating nearly every day. Jackfruit to the rescue!
This recipe, like the many others on my site, uses canned young green jackfruit. That is to say, it is not the ripe, sweet jackfruit that works great in desserts and smells like Juicy Fruit gum. Young green jackfruit has little to no flavor and takes very well to the seasonings it is cooked in. It also shreds like pulled pork. You can find it in most Asian markets frozen or canned. I prefer the canned in water as opposed to brine.
I used very thinly sliced jicama to make the taco shells. You could use jicama, lettuce wraps or a traditional taco shell. In addition to the jicama shells and the slaw recipe below, I use shredded red cabbage on these tacos. So good!
Want more jackfruit recipes? Check out the links to my other jackfruit recipes at the bottom of this post…
Korean BBQ Tacos with Jackfruit!
- 1 can young green jackfruit in water, drained & rinsed (most cans will say 20 oz., 10 oz. drained)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup tamari, gluten-free soy sauce, Braggs aminos or coconut aminos
- 2 T. coconut sugar
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 T. grated ginger root
- 1 T. sriracha
- 2 t. sesame oil
- 2 t. olive oil
- Combine all ingredients in a small crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
- Jackfruit will easily shred with a fork.
- Serve hot with taco shells, korean bbq taco slaw and shredded red cabbage.
Friday, October, 11, 2013
A friend recently celebrated her birthday, her first as a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free gal. Her super thoughtful hubby asked me if I would bake a box of treats for her. He quite specifically said, “Chocolate, anything chocolate.” I pressed for a little more direction and he said chocolate and raspberries would work.
I absolutely adore the combination of chocolate and raspberries. Even though we can buy raspberries year round here in the midwest, the best tasting ones are long gone this time of year. Instead of fresh, I decided to use the freeze dried raspberries available at Trader Joe’s and in lots of stores dried fruit departments. I love this frosting for many reasons, the first being that I can keep the freeze dried fruit in the pantry and make a fruity frosting without a trip to the store. Another reason is that the frosting takes on the prettiest color of pink with no food coloring added.
The frosting recipe below will work with any freeze dried fruit, not just raspberries. I’ve also used strawberries and blueberries, both from Trader Joe’s. The blueberries required a bit of smooshing before using, unlike the raspberries and strawberries. Just put them in a ziploc bag and give them a good whack with your rolling pin. A little stress relief goes great with baking.
One last quick note on this recipe: Most of my dessert recipes these days are free of refined sugar. I have been using a lot of coconut sugar and maple syrup lately. That said, the frosting below contains good ol’ powdered sugar. I’m not going to apologize for it, as it’s delicious and meant to be an occasional indulgence. If you prefer to avoid refined sugar, these whoopie pies are delicious without the frosting. I like them with a schmear of nut butter instead of frosting. Everyone’s welcome to eat in my kitchen, regardless of their stance on ingredients.
This recipe makes six complete whoopie pies. You'll make twelve halves with the batter. Enjoy!
- 2 cups Johnna's favorite gluten-free flour blend
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 stick non dairy butter (I use Earth Balance)
- 1 cup unsweetened, non-dairy milk
- 1 T. apple cider vinegar
- 1 T. flax meal in 3 T. of hot water
- 1 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1 t. guar gum
- 1/2 t. baking powder
- 1/8 t. sea salt
- 1 t. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small dish, combine flax meal and hot water. This will combine to make a flax slurry, equivalent to one egg. Set aside and allow to gel while moving on.
- In a liquid measuring cup, add almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Allow to sit while moving on to the next step, creating a buttermilk substitute.
- In bowl of stand mixer, beat together Earth Balance and coconut sugar. Beat on medium for 2-3 minutes until well combined and slightly fluffy. Add the flax meal slurry, milk/ACV mixture and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine gluten-free flour blend, cocoa powder, baking soda, guar gum, baking powder and sea salt.
- With mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients to the ingredients in the mixer bowl. Mix until just combined. The dough will be batter-like, more like a cake batter than a cookie dough.
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
- Once dough has chilled, scoop out scant 1/4 cups (3 T. is perfect) of batter onto baking sheet. This makes 12. Go for a round shape but don't worry about them being perfect.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 9 minutes. The edges will start to appear dry. Overbaking happens quickly with these so keep an eye on them.
- Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets until cool enough to touch. Then move to a cooling rack to completely cool before adding frosting.
- Make the frosting (see additional recipe) while the pies are cooling. To assemble, pair up the pies into six pairs of similar shape and size. Pipe frosting onto one flat side and cover with its mate creating a sandwich.
Raspberry Frosting for Chocolate Whoopie Pies
- 1/2 cup freeze dried raspberries (or other freeze dried fruit, break up full blueberries a bit)
- 1/2 shortening (I use Spectrum Organic)
- 1 t. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsweetened, non-dairy milk (I use almond)
- 1 lb. powdered sugar
- In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix the freeze dried raspberries until they are slightly crumbled. They do not need to be pulverized into a powder, just smaller pieces than what you started with. I let the mixer run for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add shortening and vanilla bean paste. Mix on medium until well incorporated. Add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, allow each addition to incorporate.
- Once all of the powdered sugar is mixed in, add the non-dairy milk a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Once you get to the consistency you like, you can turn the mixer up on high and let the frosting whip for a couple of minutes to make a lighter, fluffier frosting.
- Pipe or spread on the flat half of one whoopie pie and then sandwich its mate on top. Enjoy!
Wednesday, September, 18, 2013
I love the simplicity of bars. Quick to make, fun to share and of course, perfect to soothe a bit of a sweet tooth.
A bit of a sweet tooth? Yep, that’s what I said. I’ve made this one close to free of refined sugar, as seems to be my habit lately. For me, less refined sugar means less puffiness or bloating. I also am discovering that lots of refined sugar just tastes too sweet to me these days. Said the girl who started writing about food because of donuts…
While this recipe features chocolate and strawberries, it works well with any fruit spread/jam/preserves. You don’t have to do the melted chocolate part. You can instead spread a bit of the Justin’s chocolate hazelnut spread on the bottom crust. (Think Nutella but with less sugar and no dairy plus amazing flavor.) What I’m getting at is that this is a good basic recipe. I started with a Martha Stewart recipe and modified to make it gluten-free and egg-free, but it is essentially a basic ratio that is needed to make a shortbread bar. Make it yours!
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Shortbread Bars
- 2 cups Johnna's Favorite Gluten-Free Flour Blend
- 2 sticks non-dairy butter, room temperature (I use Earth Balance)
- 1 cup chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar or jaggery
- 3/4 cup strawberry all-fruit spread, jam or preserves
- 1/2 cup non-dairy chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8 x 8 baking dish by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. I use coconut oil spray.
- In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle blade, combine gluten-free flour blend, non-dairy butter, coconut sugar and nuts. Mix on low to medium-low until it is crumbly.
- Measure out two cups of the crust mixture and press into the baking dish. Place the baking dish into the freezer.
- Next, melt chocolate chips using either a double boiler or the microwave. I use the microwave, heating for only 30 seconds and then stirring.
- Once chips are melted, remove the crust from the freezer. Gently spread melted chocolate chips over the crust. Return to freezer for 15 minutes or until chocolate is set.
- When chocolate chips have set, gently spread strawberry fruit spread over the chocolate-covered crust. Spread to about 1/4" of the edge.
- Sprinkle the remaining crust mixture over the top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
- Allow to completely cool before cutting. Not kidding here, attempting to cut before they are completely cool will result in something more like cobbler than bars. I know because I have trouble waiting on something as delicious as these bars to cool before digging in. Enjoy!
Friday, September, 13, 2013
Here’s another recipe inspired by the question I asked on Facebook when I realized my garden was going to produce hundreds of pounds of tomatoes this year. A friend said ratatouille…and asked me to deliver some. So I made several delicious batches. And of course, delivered it to the person who requested. Perhaps this is a lesson to all of you. When I ask for input over on Facebook, you might just reap the rewards.
This time around, the reward comes in a recipe for you. This is the simplest and quickest way to make ratatouille that I have tried. I have made a version that took over an hour to make. If I followed the directions, I ended up with something that more closely resembled a chunky marinara than ratatouille. This recipe recipe is a less saucy result. Enjoy it over pasta or on a toasted gluten-free baguette.
Ratatouille from the Garden
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 1/2 diced yellow or red onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 cups diced eggplant, skin on
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup diced green bell peppers
- 1 cup diced red bell peppers
- 1 cup diced yellow or orange bell peppers
- 1 cup diced green zucchini squash
- 1 cup diced yellow squash
- 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (I eliminate most of the jelly or seeds but leave the skin on)
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Using a large, deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium until hot.
- Add onions and garlic to the oil, cooking until onions are starting to caramelize, about 7-9 minutes.
- Add eggplant and thyme to the mixture and continue cooking over medium. Stir occasionally.
- When eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes, add the green, red and orange/yellow peppers and both colors of zucchini. Cook for about 5 more minutes.
- Add tomatoes, basil, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook for 5-7 more minutes, until the vegetables have reached the tenderness that suits you.
- Serve hot atop a bed of pasta or hot or cold on gluten-free bread.
Wednesday, September, 11, 2013
I used to love baked pasta. Especially the kind at the fast food Italian place down the street from where I worked. I also liked a version I made at home that was topped with biscuits in a can.
Man, I had some pretty unhealthy eating habits. Looking back, little of what I ate tasted as good as what I’m eating today. I’m grateful I discovered more unprocessed foods, a more real food way of eating. Obviously, one of my favorite things about eating this way is Zoodles, noodles made from zucchini. (There’s a great round-up post of such recipes here.)
Recently I decided I’d give it a try, putting zoodles into a baked pasta-style dish. It works so well! While it won’t cut into loaf-like slices, something that’s possible even with gluten-free pasta, it still makes a very hearty dish similar to baked pasta. I hope you’ll give this one a go. I even snuck in a little kale for good measure, but had to tell my favorite fella it was in the dish, it’s not noticeable. So if you have to be sneaky with the veggies, this recipe may be a good place to start!
- 2 Small Zucchini, cut into noodles with a peeler or spiralizer
- 1 bunch kale, removed from stems and finely chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1-15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1-15 oz. can tomatoes with chiles
- 1-8 oz. can tomato sauce
- 2 c. shredded non-dairy cheese
- 2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 t. cumin
- 2 t. chili powder
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 avocado, optional
- 1 bunch diced green onions, optional
- 1 small can sliced black olives, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have a large, deep dish 9" or larger pie plate OR baking dish ready.
- Cut zucchini into noodles using either a peeler or a Spiralizer. Set aside.
- In a large, deep skillet, saute yellow onion until translucent. Add mushrooms, garlic cloves and kale. Cook over medium until kale has softened.
- Add black beans, tomatoes with chiles and tomato sauce. Cook until warmed through.
- Turn heat off, but leave pan on burner. Add in shredded non-dairy cheese and spices. Stir to combine.
- Carefully add in zucchini noodles. Stir to combine then transfer to baking dish.
- Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, until it is bubbly around the edges.
- Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Optional: you may serve topped with avocado, green onions and black olive slices.