Sunday, February 2, 2014

Potato Leek Soup

It's easy to make your favorite soups gluten and dairy-free, even vegan!  I recently cooked up this quick potato leek soup.  It comes together super quickly and is just as tasty as it's dairy-filled counterpart.

Saute a few chopped leeks with some Earth Balance in the bottom of a heavy pot.  Add in a few diced red potatoes, skin on, and just cover with vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium, add in unsweetened original almond milk and a pat of earth balance.  Cover and cook until potatoes are nice and tender.  Salt and pepper to taste; I add a pinch of cayenne and dried parsley.  Use an immersion blender to blend up some of the soup--I like leaving mine a bit lumpy with chunks of potatoes left.  Relax with a soothing bowl of soup.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Clementine Loaf

Are you tired of eating that box of clementines yet?  Just want to use them a different way? This is an easy quick bread, both vegan and gluten free, that can be made as a loaf or even into muffins.  The above photo is from a half batch.

Preheat your oven to 400.

In a large boil, mix together:
2 1/4 Cups Gluten-Free Flour Mix of your choice
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Sugar
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 Cup Diced Clementine (peeled)
Zest from the clementines diced

Then stir in a mixture of:
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Canola Oil
1 Cup Clementine Juice (or just regular OJ)

Mix well and spoon into a loaf pan that's been sprayed with oil.  Top with additional sugar and brown sugar for a crusty top.  Bake until the loaf is set and a toothpick comes out clean.  Around a half hour.

Next time I think I will substitute half the flour mix for ground almonds.  Blueberries would taste great in this as well!


I love warm applesauce.  Such a comfort food on a cold day and so easy to make.

It's easy to make a lot or a little--this time I used four apples.

Peel and core your apples- I like to use Golden Delicious but whatever you have on hand will work.  I like to leave a little peel.  Roughly chop and add to a heavy pot that has a lid.  Add enough water to the pan to coat the bottom, it's basically there to get the cooking going.  Also squeeze in the juice from half a lemon and add a pinch of cinnamon (or more!).  Cover and bring the apples to a boil (add a bit more water if it seems to need it), then reduce heat to low, covering.  Check on your apples every so often and press the apples with a rubber spatula to see if they're tender.  I like my applesauce pretty chunky so I just squish everything up with the spatula.  Give it a taste when the texture seems right.  Now's the time to decide if you want to add any extra sugar.  I don't like my applesauce that sweet so I usually skip the step or add a teaspoon of brown sugar.  White sugar or maple syrup are nice additions as well.  Enjoy and never be satisfied with store-bought again.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I ended up with some leftover filling after making Artichoke Cashew-Ricotta Ravioli recently.  Ricotta makes my mind go straight to lasagna but I decided to go the simple route of using lasagne corte pasta and mixing everything together.

My faux lasagna contained:

Corn Lasagne Corte Pasta
Your favorite red sauce
Artichoke Cashew-Ricotta
Diced Sweet Onion
Chopped Arugula
Chopped Mushrooms
Mozzarella Teese

Preheat your oven to 400.  Cook your pasta, add to pie plate (or your baking dish of choice).  Stir in your favorite red sauce.  I made a homemade pizza sauce earlier in the day so I used that today--use whatever you have on had.  Drop in small bits of ricotta and the veggies, incorporating everything well.  Top with a few slices of mozzarella Teese.

You won't need to bake this long--just long enough to heat everything up and melt the Teese on top.  Everything kind of sets up together, as seen below.

It really does taste like lasagna, just without all the time making layers.

If you're not gluten and dairy free and love lasagna, here's my REAL lasagna recipe.  This is an old post and I've since started making my own ricotta and using it in place of the cottage cheese.  Of course I started doing this after I couldn't enjoy it...  I still make the lasagna for events and loved ones.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Artichoke Cashew Cream Stuffed Pasta

I've owned Chef Tal Ronnen's cookbook since it came out but somehow never got around to making Artichoke Ricotta Tortellini with Saffron Cream Sauce.  I've had good luck in the past using cashew cream for a mock ricotta so I was excited to use it in both the filling and sauce.  Click on the recipes tab of the chef's website for basic cashew cream instructions.  I made a few changes to the recipe: using a gluten free pasta recipe, omitting the saffron because I'm cheap, and adding a whole lot of lemon--zest and juice--to both the filling and sauce.  Large ravioli took the place of tortellini just to speed things up.

If you compare photos of my version to the original, you'll note that mine appears grainy.  That's because it is.  If you have a super crazy powerful blender, use it when making your cashew cream.  I actually like a bit of graininess for the filling but would have much preferred a smoother texture for the sauce than my food processor could provide.

Finally, this recipe didn't completely click with me.  It was just a little bland, I just kept adding more and more lemon.  I think it is just too much cashew cream based things at once.  I will definitely use the filling and sauce recipes again but probably not together.  Already thinking what a great cajun cream sauce I could make--pair it with some fettuccine, peppers, and onions.  And I have a bit of the filling in the fridge right now that I'll bake up with some pasta, red sauce, and mozzarella Teese.  Glad I finally tried out this!

Remember to check out my other ravioli recipes:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Rice Noodles with Fried Tofu, Peppers, and Carrots

Yep, I love rice noodles.  They're so versatile and I love throwing in whatever I have on hand.  One of my favorite combinations is focused on right here.  

After making bun chay recently I had the rest of a pack of extra firm tofu hanging out in my fridge.  I decided to have some with some rice noodles.

Boil a pot of water for your noodles and eventually cook them.

While this going on, heat a bit of canola oil in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Cut pressed extra firm tofu into bite size pieces.  Throw them into the skillet, mixing with a spatula so that the tofu evenly fries--you'll see a bit of a crust forming.  When they tofu appear halfway done, toss in some diced red bell pepper and shredded carrot (I just make strands with a vegetable peeler).  I like to put in a minced garlic clove when it's almost ready (don't want it to burn).

Add in a tablespoon or two each of tamari (gluten free soy) sauce and red wine vinegar.  I like a touch of Sriracha as well.  Your pan will really sizzle, mix everything up well.  Rice noodles go in the pan now--stir a bit and put on a plate.  Top with black sesame seeds, chopped cilantro, and as much Sriracha as you can handle.

See how easy that is?  What do you like in your noodles?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

I'm sure most of you have made no bake cookies at some point in your life.  I know I sure loved them as a kid--actually.  One of the best things about no bake cookies is that they're made up of 
pantry/fridge staples and come together quickly.  Thankfully, it only takes a couple of tweaks to make these gluten and dairy free.

You'll need:
2 Cups Sugar
4 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1 Stick (1/2 Cup) Earth Balance
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
1 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
3 Cups Gluten Free Oatmeal
Waxed Paper or Oil Sprayed Foil

Bring the sugar, cocoa, Earth Balance, and almond milk to a boil in a heavy pan.  Boil for one minute.  Stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and oatmeal.  Drop, by spoonful, onto the waxed paper or foil.  Let them cool/harden and eat up.

Or, if you're like me, put a bit of the mixture in a bowl or mug for yourself first.  I honestly like eating the warm mixture more than the cookies!