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Tag Archives: dairy-free

An adventure with cookbooks!

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So I’ve decided to take on a challenge this week. Maybe you don’t think it’s tough, but when you’re busy, it gets hard! I’m choosing 5 recipes from 5 different cookbooks/websites for food this week. I’ve already started last night- I had this delicious fall vegetable stew! With Moroccan spices, can you say YUM?

When I finish out the week, I’ll post again with pictures and whether it was a success or not.

What’s YOUR favorite cookbook or website to go to for meal ideas? What’s the criteria you use while sorting through the bazillions recipes available out there? How do you decide?

For me, it starts simply: omit what I cannot have. It narrows down my options by a LOT which has both pros and cons. I prefer to see it as a benefit since it leads to incredible dishes! My husband and I’ll ask each other if we want meat at all or not. Recently we’ve been going vegetarian, we just haven’t wanted meat. No cravings for it and it has also been making us feel crappy. Not a good thing considering we are both very busy people with a lot happening! We need our energy AND as everybody else, we rely on food for that. I also check my food rainbow chart to see if I’ve been getting every colors or not. Each group of colors of fruit and vegetables offer different nutrition, vitamins and minerals that one another does not. This helps me stay balanced.

I’ll keep you guys posted at the week’s end!


Strawberries galore!

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I had a LOT of strawberries and I have been dreaming of ways to use it. I woke up craving a smoothie. So darn it, I made some!

It was so light and tasty- not too sweet which was nice! It felt like a breakfast. I have to admit my Vita-mix helped a LOT.

    Strawberry Almond Milk Smoothie

2 cups of fresh strawberries, hulled
2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
3 TBSP flaxseed meal
1 TBSP raw honey*
1/4 cup shredded zucchini

* I prefer raw honey over processed honey due to both taste and nutritional value. Processed honey might as well be white sugar. Also add more if you want it sweeter.

Combine all in a blender and process until completely smooth! You might want to strain to remove the seeds, but I didn’t have an issue with that.

It makes enough for two people, but I drank it all myself. All that goodness?! Oh yes! Strawberries are packed with antioxidants, especially vitamin C, flaxseed is a cholesterol reducing agent with it’s high lignan count, almond milk contains protein, vitamin B and more, and zukes has plenty of dietary fiber.

Yup! I’m feeling good after my breakfast smoothie! I would have made eggs to go with it but I ran out of time. Another morning!

Whacha have today? Please don’t tell me you skipped breakfast! I cannot function without this most important meal of the day!




Faux cinnamon buns

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I don’t necessarily miss ONE food- but rather the experiences I had with food. Remember those mornings with a warm and sticky cinnamon bun? Already rare to begin with, but it stays with you. The gooey goodness and the satisfaction you gain from enjoying each bite. Well, it’s been awhile.

With dairy being one of my new allergies, I had to bid farewell to Against the Grain. Mmm… Which meant another search. Somebody had once mentioned a food that was fun to cook as well eat, but what was it? I couldn’t remember.

Until one day I went to Whole Foods to pick up Against the grain for my family (they can have dairy), and as I passed the dairy section (believe it or not), there it was!!! Mochi! I picked it up and read the ingredients: sweet brown rice and filtered water. Umm, that’s it? So I bought a few. They also had one with cinnamon and raisins.

I cut it as directed- in squares and placed them on a cookie sheet. 10 minutes later they were puffy! It doubled in size! So cool to see. I popped one in my mouth. Tasted okay. Now this was the original. Later I tried the cinnamon raisin… SO much better! I happened to have my jar of raw honey out, without thinking I took a knife and slathered it on a plate. Shrugging, I dipped a piece in the honey.

I had that experience once again! A warm cinnamon bun with it’s sweetness oozing on it. I ate it all. All of it.

And I baked some more later that week.



I need your recipes

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Have you ever had that moment where you felt like your world was crumbling because somebody told you that you cannot have your favorite food? I’ve had that a few times now. When we found out I could not have gluten, it was not that devastating but I did struggle with the idea of not having “real” bread anymore. Fortunately I was used to the idea, having a cousin who has Celiac.

But last night, when I got the results of a delayed food allergy test, I broke down. I have already been off gluten, corn and soy for years. Many people remark about how difficult that must be, but really? It’s hard but not terrible. After all I’ve got my favorite bread made from Against the Grain Gourmet. Ah-mazing bread! We even will have it at my wedding. I was on cloud 9 when I found that out. But last night changed that.

You see, what makes the bread so wonderful, so out of this world is the fact that it is made with mozzarella.

The test revealed that I cannot have dairy. This includes cheese, milk, yogurt, casein and whey.

Bye-bye Against the Grain.

And sugar. Cane sugar to be exact. Immediately I thought of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had. It uses butter and sugar. Gone.

But my fiance is amazing and reminded me that cane sugar can easily be replaced with beet sugar. So I’ll start doing that. I’m going to try it tonight after a long and needed trip to Whole Foods.

And it looks like I can have soy. Due to that, he said I can try the tofu or soy based fake dairy products. So, that’s something. But my first reaction? I cried on my way home.

So I’m asking you this: do you have a recipe that is gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free that ROCKS your world? No cranberry or sesame seeds please (yes, those too).  Food is what inspires me and I want to keep it that way!

A nutty surprise!

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I was looking for inspiration the other night, and I wasn’t getting any ideas. Also I wanted to use what I already had in my kitchen. So I looked around the pantry and refrigerator. I noticed I had a bag of roasted and salted cashews from Trader Joe’s. I also had jalapeno in the vegetable drawer. I still wasn’t get struck by anything, so I decided to look around online. I found a recipe that called for cashews but I didn’t quite like the recipe itself. So I wrote down a few ingredients and added the rest.

The result? An amazing sauce that complimented the fresh sugar snap peas and broccoli over a bed of brown rice, highlighted by a side of cut up avocado. A definite keeper, both my boyfriend and I agreed. It’s well worth the effort, I tell you! It might seem like much, but the truth? It was quick and easy to make. A little buck for a huge bang? Oh yes. That’s my kind of cooking!

Cashew Sauce

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 TBSP olive oil

1 heaping cup of roasted, salted cashews (I used Trader Joe’s, they use rice bran oil which gives it a unique sweetness!)

1 jalapeno, chopped (PLEASE use fresh, since otherwise you will miss out on the flavor)

32 oz vegetable broth (I used Pacific Natural Foods Organic Vegetable Broth, Low Sodium)

1/4 cup coconut flour

1.) Sautee onion, garlic, salt, and pepper in the oil in a sauce pan (you’ll need a good-sized one since the sauce will end up in this), until the onions are golden.

2.) Puree the mixture in a blender with cashews, jalapeno, and 2 cups of vegetable broth.

3.) Return to saucepan, and the rest of broth, stir in coconut flour with a whisk to ensure that it is evenly distributed. You want it to be creamy, without any clumps of flour in your mouth!

4.) Pour sauce over whatever you feel that this will be a great addition to. My recommendations? Fresh green vegetables such as broccoli and sugar snap peas over brown rice! It’s great over burritos as well. Be creative! Garnish with whole cashews for an elegant presentation.

Cashew sauce served over brown rice and fresh green vegetables

This was a great surprise, having it taste as delicious as it did. I wasn’t quite sure of what to expect, but I do know one thing; I definitely will make it again!

Know what else is great about this? It’s a vegan sauce that is also gluten-free, corn-free and soy-free! And it’s great as leftovers, so you can keep on adding it to whatever dish you want to enhance, until you run out.

Let me know how you like it!