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!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Macaroni and Tomatoes

When I was a kid, one of my mom's favorite quick meals for herself was macaroni and tomatoes.  I always thought it was gross since kid me only liked tomatoes as pizza/pasta sauce or ketchup. Eventually I realized tomatoes are awesome and that my mom (and lots of other moms out there) knew what was up.  So, when on a recent night a new recipe didn't work out I turned to an old standby, my way.

During tomato season, for goodness sake, use fresh, but any other time use a good quality canned tomato.  I like diced San Marzano tomatoes for this.

Cook a 1/2 pound of macaroni (I use Sam Mills brand corn pasta)

While waiting for your water to boil and during the pasta cooking process:
In another pot or large skillet on medium (medium-high to get things started) heat add:
1 16 oz. can of tomatoes, with juices
1/2 small sweet onion, diced small
2 tablespoons of Earth Balance
Salt to taste

Once the macaroni is done, drain, add to the tomato mixture, mix, and enjoy.  

One of the great things about this meal is that you can easily change up the amounts and even just make enough for yourself.  Like spicy?  Add a pinch of cayenne or a few red pepper flakes.  Sweeter?  A teaspoon of brown sugar.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bún Chay

Bun Chay is a Vietnamese rice noodle salad.  My photo has the ingredients separated but it is served/eaten in a bowl all together.  It is a great change from your typical pasta salad or warm noodle dishes.  I especially love the freshness of the dish and it makes a wonderful packed lunch. 

I based my bun chay on this recipe over at The Kitchn.  Make sure to replace the soy sauce with tamari to avoid gluten.  I added a bit of zest to my dressing.  Take the toppings list as a suggestion--use what you have one hand!  I was out of lettuce so I made sure I had extra herbs.  Bean sprouts aren't my favorite so I included carrots and jalapeno.  I was out of peanuts so I quickly roasted up some raw cashews I keep on hand for cashew cream.

And maybe make extra fried tofu.  I am forever telling people that fried tofu is super tasty.  It's great in the salad but a lovely snack on its own--especially with peanut sauce.

You'll like this- make it.

Keep up with The Gluten Grapple on:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Oldham Family Punch

Sometimes you like things because they provide a nice memory.  This punch reminds me of holidays with my family.  A punch bowl full of this is mandatory.  It is nothing fancy but I still enjoy the taste and make it from time to time.

Mix together:
1 Big Can of Pineapple Juice
1 (same) Can of Water
2 packet of Cherry Kool-Aid
1 packet of Lemonade Kool-Aid
1/2 Cup of Sugar (or more to taste)

Fun Fact: These days my mammaw makes this with already sweetened Kool-Aid and then adds even more sugar.  Typically, a cup of sugar is called for but I like it a bit more tart.

This is nice with some blood orange juice too.  Or Sprite or ginger ale in place of the water.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hot Chocolate

For an easy hot chocolate, over a medium burner, heat up 2 cups of unsweetened original almond milk.  Once hot, mix in 1/2 cup chocolate chips- I use the ones from Enjoy Life as they're free of all the major allergens.  Stir well until the chips melt and everything incorporates.  Pour into a mug.  I like a splash of Bourbon in mine and some Dandies marshmallows.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Homemade Hummus

I think it is well established that I love a good hummus plate/snack.  Of course it's easy to buy a container of it at the store but making your own is easy and cheap!  Here's how I like to do it...

Get a can of chickpeas and open it (but don't drain it!).  For a really smooth hummus recipe, remove the skin from each pea--it's really easy, just put between your fingers and squeeze a bit.  Place each pea in a food processor.  Pulse.

Add, pulsing as you go along:
One clove of garlic, chopped
1/3 Cup Tahini Paste
Juice from 1 1/2 Lemons
Zest from half of lemon, or more to taste
1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch of Cayenne
Salt to taste
Use the reserved chickpea liquid to thin to desired texture

Just keep processing until it's wonderfully smooth.

Top with some more olive oil and any spices you like.

A few notes:
I add even more lemon sometimes because I love lemon.
This recipe is light on garlic since I love eating hummus with roasted garlic, feel free to add another clove or two.
Change it up by adding roasted red peppers, jalapenos, etc.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Quick gnocchi with arugula pesto

I love planning my meals so that even the smallest bit of leftovers become something else.  I ended up with just a few mashed potatoes left after making a potato enchilada recently.  Mix mashed potatoes with a bit of gluten-free flour mix and a touch of olive oil and gnocchi are ready to go.  Boil and serve with your favorite sauce.  Since I have a tub of arugula right now, I made a pesto of baby arugula, olive oil, vegan parmesan, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and dried parsley and basil.  Ready in under ten minutes--closer to five!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Green Sauce (with enchiladas)

Enchiladas aren't really the prettiest of meals so prepare for some not-so-fantastic photos.

I recently made some of my fresh tomatillo salsa--using jalapenos this go-round.  I had more produce than I needed so a few days later I decided I wanted some enchiladas verde.

Broil the following with just a spray of oil:

3 Tomatillos, husked, rinsed, chopped in half or quartered
1/2 Onion, quartered
2 Jalapenos, stem removed
2-3 cloves of garlic

You want some char and for everything to soften up a bit.  It won't take long.

Throw everything into a food processor.  Add the juice from at least one lime (more to taste, I like a lot of lime sometimes) along with a bit of zest.  Pulse in a handful of cilantro and a tablespoon of apricot jam.  Salt to taste.

I couldn't quite decide what kind of enchiladas I wanted so I ended up making three different kinds, as seen above--all with a bit of Teese Vegan Mozzarella Cheese.  I had mashed potato, black bean, and sauteed arugula/mushroom.

To help with messiness I don't always dip my tortillas in the sauce.  Instead I cover the bottom of my pan with sauce and then surround each enchilada with sauce as I place it on the pan.  Then cover the entire thing.

Bake at 350 until set.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I love cornbread.  I grew up on southern cornbread, the kind that isn't sweet.  While I appreciate a nice sweet corn muffin, it's something I prefer alone--not really to go along with my savory meal.  A bit of sweet is nice though and so you'll see the slightest bit of honey in my recipe.  Maple syrup or sorghum would taste lovely as well.  A few easy substitutions make the bread gluten and dairy-free.  Play with the cornmeal/flour proportions until you decide just what you like.  I go heavy on the cornmeal as I think it works better for gluten-free, but you may prefer more flour.  AND BUY GOOD CORNMEAL.  I get mine from Carriage House Farm through Green Bean Delivery but look locally for wonderful stone-ground goodness.

As I've yet to acquire my very own cast iron cornbread pan, this bread was made in a pie pan.  Any round cake, square, or muffin pan will work great.  My favorite way to cook cornbread is actually fried.  I first had fried cornbread as a little kid; made by my great-grandmother Mrs. Grant.   Fun fact about the great-grandparents Grant: even when I was a kid (I'm only 30) they still only had an outhouse. 

Heat your oven to 375

Mix together:

1 1/2 Cups Cornmeal
1/2 Cup King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
1 Egg
1 Cup Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Canola Oil

I usually start off with this mix and may add more flour or liquid (just hot water) if the texture isn't quite right.

Lightly oil your pan and pour your mixture into it.  At this point, lightly drizzle honey over the top.  Do this to taste, somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon.  I use a straw to drizzle.  Bake for 25 minutes or so until the top is brown and the edges begin pulling away from the pan.

Flip onto a plate.

Slice and enjoy.  I like a bit of Earth Balance on mine.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cherry BBQ Jackfruit

I look forward to posting more and more this year.  I think knowing what people eat is helpful--things that are thrown together from this and that...not necessarily an exact recipe each time.  Maybe something you see here will inspire your own dinner.

Have fun with the recipes you find online, change things around, make them your own.  Combine ones that you like!

Over the last year or so I happily became a huge fan of jackfruit.  Mostly due to Bake and Destroy's mention and basic recipe for All-Purpose BBQ Jackfruit.  It really is a wonderful substitution for BBQ and I recommend her recipe as is.  Throw in your favorite sauce and enjoy.

After picking up some beautiful cherries at the store last week I was in the mood for one of my favorite sauces-- it is a cherry BBQ sauce that has a great tangy/sweet taste.  To save time, I decide to make everything at once.  I use the ingredients for around half a batch of sauce to go along with the one can of jackfruit.  I threw all ingredients into the pot at once.  Switch the butter for Earth Balance, make sure your Worcestershire sauce is vegan, and make any changes you want.  I exchanged sorghum for brown sugar, added some cayenne.  Adjust the sweet and vinegar to taste as you cook!

A few hours later and look what you get:

Enjoy on a bun, in a taco, on a potato, salad, as is, any way you want...  This particular night I had it on a bun with my favorite potato salad on the side--recipe for that coming along soon!