Archive for the ‘vegan/vegetarian’ Category

postheadericon Chocolate Pudding

yummmm…. We love creamy, chocolately pudding!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/3 cup corn starch (or arrowroot starch, or tapioca starch)
  • 2 1/2 cups coconut milk, or another milk substitute (soy, rice, hemp, almond…)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Pudding in progress

Method:

In a medium sized pot, whisk together cocoa, sugar, and starch.

Set the pot on the stove, and turn on to medium heat. Stir in milk substitute and salt.

Whisk frequently until it comes to a boil. Turn the heat to low and whisk constantly until the pudding begins to thicken.

Remove from heat, and add vanilla. Pour into a bowl or individual ramekins. Pudding will thicken more as it cools.

Variation: To make it even more chocolatey, add about 1 ounce of allergy-safe semi-sweet chocolate when the pudding comes off the heat.

Variation For a pie-filling, either decrease the amount of milk substitute to 2 cups, or increase the starch to 1/2 cup.

postheadericon Baby’s First Birthday Carrot Cupcakes

This is free of the top 8 allergens, so it is unlikely to be too much for a baby’s first birthday. If your child hasn’t yet had many spices, you can leave out the nutmeg & cinnamon, but it tastes great like this.

This recipe really works best as cupcakes, and since little kids like to do things themselves, mini-cupcakes or full-size cupcakes are a great size for little hands!

If you want to also serve a cake, the Pineapple Carrot Cake recipe is the “grown-up” version of this, with eggs and other treats.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup gluten–free flour

  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (if mixture looks too thick, add up to 1/4 cup more applesauce)
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk substitute with 1 tsp cider vinegar to sour
  • 3/4 cup crushed pineapple (one of the small cans), drained (you can substitute more applesauce in place of the pineapple if you haven’t introduced pineapple)
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (I suggest a food processor for this)

Method
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or prepare cupcake (or mini cupcake) pan with paper liners. This makes about 18 full size cupcakes or 12 full size and 12 mini-cupcakes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, spices, and other dry ingredients.

Use an electric mixer in another bowl to beat applesauce, brown sugar, milk substitute, and pineapple until well blended. Slowly add dry ingredients. Stir in carrots.

Spoon into cupcake liners, fill about 2/3 full.

Bake for 20-30 min (15-20 for mini cupcakes) until cake tester comes out clean. Let sit in pan for 5-10 min, then let cool on a rack.

Serve as is or frost a few with Faux Cream Cheese frosting for adults or for that smashed-in face birthday cake shot!

postheadericon Peach Pie Cake Cobbler

This is a mix of a pie, a cake, and a cobbler. It’s an incredibly easy way to get the flavor of a peach pie without a lot of effort! My grandmother makes this a lot, and everyone loves it. I tweaked it a bit, and changed it for our allergies, but it’s still incredibly easy – how often can you say an allergy-friendly dessert is easy?

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick dairy-free margarine (such as Fleishmann’s unsalted)

  • 1/2 cup milk substitute (soy milk, rice milk, etc)
  • 1 cup gf flour or flour mix
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 large can or 1 quart (4 cups) canned sliced peaches with juice or syrup

Method
Preheat oven to 350 or 375 – this recipe is very flexible with temperature, so bake it at the temperature your dinner requires.

Melt margarine in an 8×8 or 8×11 or similar casserole. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and milk. Pour that mixture into the middle of melted margarine, do not stir.

Pour peaches and juice into the center of all. Do not stir. Bake uncovered for 45 min, and let cool for a bit. It will be a bit jelly-ish, not firm like a cake.

This serves 6, allegedly, but don’t count on leftovers if there arefewer than six people at home!

postheadericon Enchilada Sauce

Sometimes it can be difficult to find gluten-free enchilada sauce, as many of the popular brands use wheat as a thickener. It is very easy to make your own, however, so don’t let yourself be intimidated!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, vegan/vegetarian, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 28oz can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 1/2 cups broth or homemade stock
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 onion, minced or a few scallions
  • a few dashes hot sauce (to taste)
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Method

Saute onion & garlic in olive oil over medium heat. When they have softened, add other ingredients.

Simmer for about 30 minutes, then adjust spices to taste.

Serve over Chicken Enchiladas or Beef and Bean Enchiladas

postheadericon Hearty Lentil and Sea Vegetable Soup

My oldest daughter has been asking for more vegetarian meals. This makes me happy, as we were vegetarian before the celiac and food sensitivities took over. My daughters needed a lot of protein, so we switched our diet. 5 1/2 years later, we are able to reduce some of our dependency on meat, so we are having at least one vegetarian meal a week.

This is an inexpensive and delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, vegetarian and vegan recipe.

Hearty Lentil and Sea Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS cooking oil

  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 piece kombu (seaweed)
  • 1 lb brown lentils
  • 1/2 cup rice (white or brown)
  • 3 TB soy sauce
  • 1 TB rice vinegar
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup dried wakame

Method
Bring the 2 oils up to medium heat in a large soup pot. Add celery and onion, and stir. Sauté until the celery and onion start to soften.

Add all other ingredients other than the wakame, and stir well.

Turn heat up to high, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

When the soup has come to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, and cover. Let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Check the water/broth level after 30 minutes, and add a cup or 2 of water if needed. Remove the kombu & discard.

Soup for me!

Add the wakame, and replace the cover on the soup. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then check rice & lentils for done-ness.

This is a delicious soup that will really fill you up! This served 5 hungry people with enough leftovers for a few more meals.

postheadericon Kitchen Sink Soup

Kitchen Sink Soup

Have you ever started to make a recipe, only to find out that you are inexplicably out of half of the ingredients? Of course, we make do, but sometimes the “making do” recipes are wretched, and sometimes they taste better than the original. Here’s our “everything but the kitchen sink” soup that can help you clear out your crisper and pantry, and please your family all at once! It will also please you, because it’s as quick as it is fabulous.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe. This can easily be a vegan and vegetarian recipe if you omit the meat. This is also a yummy recipe that will be ready in less than 45 minutes!

Kitchen Sink Soup

Ingredients:

  • Splash olive or canola oil

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3+ cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 lbs ground or chopped meat (if using meat)
  • Seasonings to taste – Italian seasoning, cumin & chili powder, or cajun seasoning
  • 2 pinches kosher salt, couple grinds fresh pepper
  • splash wine (alcohol will carry flavors, but this can easily be omitted)
    • 3 yellow squash or zucchini, cut into half-moons AND/OR

    • 2 carrots, cut into half-moons AND/OR
    • 1 box frozen/bag fresh spinach AND/OR
    • 1 cup frozen peas AND/OR
    • 1-2 cups sliced okra (frozen or fresh) AND/OR
    • 1 cup sliced mushrooms AND/OR
    • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes (or not)
  • 1 can beans of choice (or not)
  • 1/2 lb noodles or 1/2 cup rice or 1/2 cup lentils
  • (approximately) 2 quarts stock or water (amount will vary depending on ingredients chosen)

Method
In a soup pot, warm the oil to medium heat. Add the onion and garlic to the pot. Stir, and when they start to soften, add the meat. (if using meat)

Add the spices to the onion, & garlic mixture. As the meat (if using) starts to brown, add any fresh vegetables you have chosen. Stir until meat has browned and vegetables have softened. Deglaze the pan with the splash of wine, if using.

Add canned tomatoes, beans, and stock/water. Add 1 quart stock/water, then add 1 cup at a time until it looks soupy. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.

Add rice/noodles/lentils and any frozen veggies. Simmer 15-20 minutes (depending on directions on your dried good), test and alter seasonings, and serve. Yum!

postheadericon New Allergy-Friendly Foods

Last week I had the opportunity to review a new juice called Froose. It’s a mix of whole grain brown rice and juice, and is gluten-free, kosher pareve, dairy-free, soy-free, and sweetened with brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup or sugar. Please check out our review and check out Froose for yourself. We really like the peach!

We were also lucky enough to receive a sample of some new gluten-free and dairy-free treats from Amy’s Kitchen! They sent us my favorite enchiladas, plus the new gluten & dairy-free pizza, ziti, cream-of-rice.  Yum!  They’ve added a delicious-sounding tamale, and a ziti kid’s meal to their product line, too. Check out the labeling at Amy’s Kitchen – it’s really easy to see what items will fit with your dietary restrictions.

I haven’t seen my kids looking forward to lunch this much for a while!  However, I doubt that when Amy’s Kitchen created their vegan and gluten-free pizza they intended for kids to dream of adding meat-filled pepperoni!

postheadericon Basic Marinara sauce with variations

I feel like I’ve been making marinara almost my whole life (my grandmother’s family is from Sicily). I’ve changed it a bit as I’ve grown older and changed myself. At this stage in my life I’ve tried to make it as easy as possible, while still retaining good flavor. I play somewhat fast and loose with seasonings, so be sure to taste test along the way! This amount makes enough to feed a family of 5 with some left over. It’s easy to half or double as needed.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, vegan, vegetarian, and South Beach safe recipe.

Polenta with marinara and sausages

Ingredients:

  • 2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes, or 1 crushed, one petite diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2+ tsp basil
  • 2+ tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 shake red pepper flakes
  • 2 pinches Kosher or Sea salt
  • a few grinds pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • splash white wine

Method:
Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Sauté the onion and garlic, watching that the garlic doesn’t brown or burn. Sprinkle the spices over the onion and garlic, stirring them together. (Dried herbs will intensify their flavor if warmed like this)

Add a splash of wine, and after the wine has sizzled, add the 2 cans of tomatoes. Add salt and pepper and a bay leaf. (The wine is, of course, optional. However, flavors can be carried by fat (oil), water, acid (tomatoes), and alcohol. My best sauces are always the ones with a splash of wine.)

Turn the heat up to High, and stir occasionally, waiting for the sauce to come to a boil. When it boils, turn it down to low or medium-low, allowing it to simmer.

Let the sauce simmer for at least an hour to let the flavors develop.

Make some polenta or pasta (we like Tinkyada Spaghetti), and serve with a nice salad for a delicious dinner!

If you have leftover sauce, it freezes very well! I will sometimes make a double batch just to have some in the freezer for a quick and easy meal later.

Variations:

  • Pizza Sauce: Add about 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes with the other spices. Let boil a few minutes longer to reduce (concentrate) the sauce. If you cook off some of the extra liquid, it won’t make the pizza crust. Another option is to use 1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained, in addition to the 1 can crushed tomatoes – then there is less liquid in the sauce.
  • Vegetable Sauce (or, not-quite-rattatouille): peel and dice 1 small eggplant, slice a handful of mushrooms, and dice a summer squash and a zucchini. Add the vegetables after the onion and garlic have started to soften. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have started to soften. Return to the above directions, starting with adding the wine.
  • Meat Sauce: After the onions start to soften, add 1.5 lbs ground meat. Cook until meat is browned, then follow other steps.
  • Sauce with Sausages: Before you begin cooking, cut 1.5 lbs uncooked Italian sausages into circles. (Choose sweet or hot sausage as desired) Add sausages after onions begin to soften. Stir and cook until browned, then follow the other steps.

postheadericon Polenta that’s kick-yourself simple

We, like everyone else we know, are finding ourselves on a tighter budget because of the cost of gas and heating oil. My daughters love polenta, and while I am Italian, I always thought it was too tricky to make from scratch. I mean really, would they be selling it in rolls at the store for $3 or more if it was easy?

Yes.

Polenta is incredibly easy to make, and while it requires a bit of time, it’s done in under an hour. You need to simmer your marinara for a while anyway, so let it simmer while the polenta bakes. There’s very little work involved after the first few minutes other than being in the house while the oven’s on. I have adapted a recipe for polenta from The Silver Spoon, a fabulous cookbook for anything and everything Italian. I bought the cookbook for everyone at Christmas a couple years ago, and we’re all still cooking our way through it!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Ingredients:

Home-made polenta
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cups cornmeal (I use fine-ground, but a courser grind is more traditional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • (optional)2-3 shakes basil or oregano or Italian seasoning
  • olive oil

Method:
Preheat oven to 400F

Bring the water and salt (and spices if using) to a boil in a large saucepan or medium-sized soup pot. Make sure you have enough room in the pot to add the cornmeal.

While the water is boiling, drizzle olive oil over the bottom of a 9×13 pan or two smaller pans.

Whisking Polenta

When the water boils, sprinkle in the cornmeal with one hand, and whisk it into the water with the other hand. Whisk carefully so there aren’t too many lumps, and watch out for spitting cornmeal, it can burn. (You may want to don your Kevlar® gloves for this part!)

Once all the cornmeal has been whisked into the water, you will have a nice cornmeal mush. Pat it into the oiled pan(s) with a spatula, then drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Slide it into the oven, and set the timer for 45 minutes.

Polenta with marinara and sausages

Check the polenta – the top should be a bit crisp, and the edges golden brown. Slice and serve with a sauce. You’ll never buy the other stuff again!

Serve this with a lovely side salad and marinara and sausages (if not vegetarian). Mmmm… One of my daughters prefers the polenta plain, then eats the red sauce and sausages with a spoon!

postheadericon Creamy vegetable curry

My family loves my tomato-based curry, and I vastly prefer coconut milk-based curries. I tried to mix a few ingredients they love in the tomato curry, but using coconut milk. It seemed to work – everyone ate it happily! Any meal where people finish without an argument is one that is worth repeating a few times!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and South Beach phase 2 safe recipe. The recipe can served vegetarian and vegan, or with meat.

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TBS Patak’s curry paste
  • 1 head cauliflower, or 1 16oz bag frozen cauliflower
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 14oz can coconut milk
  • 2 handfuls red or brown lentils
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 14oz can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1-2 lbs pork cutlets, pork loin, or just pork, cubed (optional)
  • Cooked rice or cooked lentils on the side

Method

Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan or pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions soften.

Add the pork (if using) and brown, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes.

Stir in the curry paste. Add lentils, coconut milk, and water.

Turn the heat up, and add vegetables. Break the cauliflower into florets directly into the pot, or pour bag of frozen cauliflower into pot. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. If needed, add more liquid – the vegetables and meat should be somewhat submerged.

When the sauce begins to boil, cover loosely. Lower the heat slightly, and cook at a low boil for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn.

After 20 minutes, the sauce should be somewhat thickened, the pork tender, and the cauliflower will have broken into small pieces.

Serve this with lentils or brown rice beneath to absorb the sauce. Delicious!

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