Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Treats: Giveaway #5 (Go Dairy Free Cookbook)

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living

As the title suggests, this is more than just a cookbook. It's a guide for anyone eating dairy-free or even just considering reducing the amount of dairy in their diets. Alisa Marie Fleming, author and creator of and, wrote Go Dairy Free as a resource for those of us wondering what to do once we say goodbye to dairy.

The best thing about Go Dairy Free is not, in my opinion, the recipes. Don't get me wrong...the recipes are awesome (I never knew you could use hemp seeds to make milk at home!), but Go Dairy Free also has information on the science of milk - What is it? Do you need to buy organic? What about the calcium conundrum? How can you make sure you're getting enough calcium in your diet?  I might be in school for nutrition now, but I honestly learned so much from reading Go Dairy Free that I never learned in my classes!

As for the recipes, I literally wanted to try every recipe I saw. But due to my various sensitivities right now, I'll have to hold off until I can eat more foods. I did, however, make the Quick & Creamy Bean Soup, and it was a hit at a recent dinner. I also really want to try the Spiced Autumn Soup, which I will be able to eat! Not all of Alisa's recipes are gluten-free in Go Dairy Free, but many are and those that aren't could be easily adapted.

I've really only just touched on all the reasons why any kitchen would benefit from having Go Dairy Free in it. To check out more of Alisa's recipes, check out She actually has a really awesome giveaway up on her blog right now too!

Update: This giveaway is now closed. 

Today's Giveaway: Alisa is sending one copy of Go Dairy Free straight to your door! (continental U.S. only)
How to Enter:
  1. Leave a comment! That's all. :) 
  2. For a second entry, post about it on your blog. 
  3. For a third entry, post about it on Facebook. 
  4. For a fourth entry, tweet it. 
This giveaway will stay open until November 4th.

And that's all she wrote! Happy Halloween! Safe tricking and treating, y'all!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Harvest Lentil Soup and Halloween Treats Giveaway #4

Fall ushers in a gust of cold, a dash of cozy, and a sprinkling of spice. This Fall Harvest Lentil Soup incorporates all three. Banish the cold with a good book and a warm fire while sipping on this sweetly spiced soup.

And while you're at it, scroll down past the recipe for today's giveaway!

Fall Harvest Lentil Soup (Print-Friendly Option)

The sweet potatoes in this recipe can be replaced with any winter squash (butternut, delicata, etc.). Just peel the squash and dice it. Lentils can also be substituted with any other bean that’s already been cooked. Because this makes 8 hearty servings, it’s great for dinner parties, or can be frozen and reheated. 

1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced (3/4 cup)
1 carrot, diced (1 cup)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 small jalapeño, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 large red pepper, diced (1 ½ cups)
1 large sweet potato, diced (2 cups)
¾ teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups water or vegetable broth
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
½ cup dry lentils, rinsed


  1. Heat oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, oregano and basil. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the pepper and sauté another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potato, salt, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, add tomatoes and lentils, then turn heat down to a simmer. Cook, covered, about 35 minutes (until lentils are cooked through). Serve hot. 
Makes 8 servings.

Update: This giveaway is now closed. 

Today's giveaway is a mish mash of gluten-free samplings I picked up at the Gluten & Allergen-Free Expo in Dallas earlier this month. Not one to ever turn down anything free, I gave some of the goodies to my friends and family, but the rest I saved for you! I'll send a Halloween goodie bag of these treats to one winner (sorry, continental U.S. only!), plus a batch of my gluten-free, vegan, stevia-sweetened cinnamon toast crunch cookies (recipe to be posted in December). Contest open until November 3rd.

To enter:
  1. Leave a comment! That's all. :) 
  2. For a second entry, post about it on your blog. 
  3. For a third entry, post about it on Facebook. 
  4. For a fourth entry, tweat it.
Happy Thursday, and tune back in tomorrow for the final day of Halloween Treat Giveaways!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Treats: Giveaway #3 (Kettle Cuisine)

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway open until October 31st
NuNaturals Stevia giveaway open until November 1st

Kettle Cuisine soups are unfortunately something I've never been able to try. I'm a soup girl myself, so if I could eat these, I would. But as you know, I can't eat much of anything and blah blah blah. Right. You know the story. So back to Kettle Cuisine. They offered to let me try their soups recently, and as much as I wanted to, I knew I had to turn them down. But I asked if they'd be willing to extend that offer to my readers, and they were more than happy to do so.

The giveaway: 3 free Kettle Cuisine Single Serving Soup coupons, 3 $1.00 off coupons, and 3 $0.50 off coupons. All packaged in a cute little cooler pack (they did send me the cooler pack as a gift and it's great for packing lunch!)

The company: "Our founder Jerry Shafir's daughter Kate was diagnosed with Celiac Disease over twenty years ago as an infant and when the FDA finally announced a proposed definition of gluten free for prepared foods Jerry jumped at the opportunity to serve the Celiac Disease community with great tasting, wholesome, real food offerings."

The food: "We are proud to offer ten chef-inspired varieties that are all natural and all gluten free.  Our savory soups, hearty chilis, and rich chowders are available in convenient, single serving bowls and can be found in your grocer's natural food freezer." Rest assured that I looked at the ingredients of their soups, and these are all foods I would eat myself if I were not on a super strict diet. 

Update: This giveaway is now closed.

How to enter: You can do any one of the following, or more than one for multiple entries. This giveaway will be open until November 2nd. Leave a comment for every entry and leave your e-mail address with your comment!

1. Tell me which soups you would like to try from Kettle Cuisine
2. Like Kettle Cuisine on Facebook. 
3. Follow Kettle Cuisine on Twitter. 
4. Sign up for the Kettle Cuisine newsletter 

I have two more giveaways to go! Stop by Thursday and Friday to finish out the week!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Treats: Giveaway #2 (NuNaturals Stevia)

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway: Open until October 31st

Last February, I received a generous sampling of products from NuNaturals. I often have to turn down offers for review samples because I can't eat most of the products I'm offered. But in this case, I was delighted to give the NuNaturals stevia a chance. I had heard from other bloggers that it was the best brand, and had only tried Sweetleaf before that. Now, I hate to play favorites, and in all honesty, I really love Sweetleaf stevia as well, but the NuNaturals stevia truly does have the best flavor of all the brands I've tried so far. Their vanilla stevia is my particular favorite, which is why I'm happy NuNaturals is offering a giveaway of their vanilla stevia and their white stevia packets to not one, but four of my readers! The vanilla stevia is delicious in hot breakfast cereals, like my quinoa porridge. And while it may seem like a tiny little bottle, you can be assured that it lasts for a long time! I was sent the original sample nine months ago, and only recently ran out. In fact, I was about to go buy more when I was sent another bottle from NuNaturals, along with a generous sampling of their other products, including their Cocoa Extract, which I have to tell you will transform any hot cereal into something amazing.

Update: This giveaway is now closed.

Now what's the deal with the giveaway? Here's how it goes.  Four readers will receive one box of NuNaturals NuStevia Packets (50 count box) and one bottle of NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia Liquid (2 oz. bottle). (Sorry, open to continental U.S. addresses only, no P.O. boxes.)

Here's how you enter: 

  1. Leave a comment telling me if you've tried stevia before, and if so, what your favorite use is for it. 
  2. Post about this giveaway on your blog, on facebook, or on twitter. You can tweet daily for more entries. 
  3. Follow NuNaturals on Facebook, twitter, or both. 
 Lots of ways to enter, 4 winners in all! Leave a comment for every entry so that I can count them all! This giveaway ends on November 1st, 2011. 

What else? NuNaturals also has a FREE SAMPLES program for continental U.S. addresses. To receive free samples of their NuStevia packets, you can send a self-address, stamped #10 envelope to:

NuNaturals, INC
2220 West 2nd Ave. # 1
Eugene, OR  97402


If you order through the NuNaturals website between now and December 31st, you can receive a 15% discount on your order using this code: BLG1211. Any orders over $35.00 will also receive free shipping (continental U.S.)

Still trying to decide if you want to give stevia a chance? See this little guy here? That's my Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookie, a recipe I'll be posting for the December holidays. It's gluten-free, vegan, and completely stevia sweetened. If you win this giveaway, you'll be able to make these cookies!

My Stevia Recipes: 
Baked Fruit Pockets
Sweet Coconut Biscuits
Coconut Quick Bread 
Banana Chocolate Bread
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Pear Walnut Muffins
Salmon and Cabbage with Kelp Noodles
Sweet Parsley Glazed Roasted Vegetables
Summer Fruit and Herb Salad with Cucumbers
Spring Mint Salad
Creamy Sweet Curry Salad Dressing
Carrot Cream Soda
Cherry Pie
Mini Blueberry Pies
Lemon Cake with Raspberry Syrup
Raspberry Orange Mint Sorbet
Orange Zest Cake

Disclaimer: NuNaturals provided me with a free sample of their products to review, and I was under no obligation to review them if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Treats: Giveaway #1 (Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil)

Coconut oil is the new olive oil. Next year, I think ghee might become the new coconut oil. And then we're going to come full circle, and eventually butter will be the new...butter. Just a guess. But for now, everyone is suddenly in love with this most fabulous of dairy-free alternatives. Personally, if I could eat butter, I would happily do so. But since I can't, I'm happy to have a substitute that works in so many ways. I use coconut oil to replace butter, shortening, or oil in my baking. I coat sweet potatoes and butternut squash in melted coconut oil and roast them for the most delicious fries you've ever had! And it's an easy butter alternative for toast and muffins (for those of you lucky people who eat such things).

I was more than happy to receive a free quart of Tropical Traditions virgin coconut oil this last week. I practically cried when I broke down and bought a 54 ounce jar of coconut oil earlier that week. Mostly because I go through it so quickly... So when a 32 ounce jar arrived on my doorstep, I was ecstatic. More coconut oil for my recipes?? Heck yes! This is why I was able to make my High Fiber Pear Walnut Muffins over and over again last week!

Tropical Traditions is well known for their amazing coconut products, as well as their great sales. In fact, I'm pretty sure I first heard about them from another blogger when they were having a big sale. I'm not going to tell you all about coconut oil. You can read all about their virgin coconut oil here. I'm just here to tell you that it's the best butter substitute I've found, and I know many people actually prefer the light taste to butter. If you're already a coconut oil fan, you know how wonderful it is. And if you've been deterred by the high price, now's your chance to give it a shot. Tropical Traditions is offering one of my readers their own quart of coconut oil, delivered straight to your door! All you have to do to enter the giveaway is one of the following (you can do all three for 3 entries):

Update: This giveaway is now closed.
  1. Follow Tropical Traditions on twitter @troptraditions
  2. Like Tropical Traditions on Facebook
  3. Subscribe to the Tropical Traditions e-mail sales newsletter.
Of course, come back and leave a comment letting me know what you did! And please please please leave an e-mail address. I won't pick your entry if I don't have a way to contact you! I'll choose a winner on Monday, the 31st! Until then, enter the giveaway, then come back tomorrow for day #2 of the Halloween Giveaways!

Want some more coconut recipes? Check out the Tropical Traditions Free Recipe Site!
Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

High Fiber Pear Walnut Muffins (Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan) plus Halloween Treats Ahead

Because I shouldn't eat most of my baked goods these days, the best way I have of knowing if something is tasty is by how long it lasts on the kitchen counter. These particular muffins disappeared, one by one, every morning. I had to make a couple of batches to be sure I had them exactly as I wanted them, and I had assumed that no one else would like them since my goal was to make a "healthy" muffin, meaning hearty, dense, and sugar-free. But disappear, they did, and I was assured that they were indeed a delicious and filling breakfast. In fact, with the addition of dates, flax seeds, and chia seeds, my housemates told me they were satisfied for hours after eating these muffins. They also told me that the best way to eat them was to toast them and add a pat of coconut oil or Earth Balance.

Since I'm such a fan of making recipes your own, you can easily sub in 4 cups of your own gluten-free flour blend for the flours and starches in this recipe. This particular mix of flours was chosen for its hearty nutritional profile, but if you prefer a lighter muffin, feel free to increase the amount of starch and decrease the other flours accordingly.  Just make sure your blend doesn't include xanthan or guar gum, as this recipe doesn't need them.

Now, before I get to the recipe, I have some fun news for you all! Since we're gearing up for that most delightful of holidays, I thought it would be nice to send you all some Halloween treats. No, it's not a big bag of gluten-free candy (although that would be cool too). I've just been sitting on a number of giveaways, too lazy busy to post them for you. So this week, I'm making it a Pre-Halloween Giveaway Week of Treats! Two of them are actually ingredients in this recipe... Want to know what they are? Stop by tomorrow for the first giveaway of the week!

High Fiber Pear Walnut Muffins (Print-Friendly Option)

1 ½ cups pitted dates
4 tablespoons flaxseed meal
2 tablespoons chia seed meal
1 cup boiling water
2 cups garbanzo bean flour
1 ½ cups amaranth or buckwheat flour
½ cup arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ cups unsweetened nut or seed milk (hemp, almond, etc.)
½ cup coconut oil (room temperature)
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon liquid stevia
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup diced pear (1 large pear)
½ cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. Place dates, flaxseed meal, and chia seed meal in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over them and let sit while you prepare the other ingredients. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, starch, spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together milk, oil, vanilla extract, stevia, and apple cider vinegar. 
  5. Pour the date mixture into a blender and puree until smooth. Add the wet ingredients (milk, oil, etc.) and continue to puree until completely smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until just combined. Fold in the pears and walnuts. Scoop into the muffin tins. The batter will overflow the tins. You can wet your fingers with water to smooth the batter so the tops are nice and round. Bake for 28 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins. You can store these hearty muffins in an airtight container on the counter for a few days or put them in the freezer. 

This post is linked to Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert and Dogs, a love fest of vegan food!
Visit this month's Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten-Free at For the Love of Food

Friday, October 21, 2011

Seared Chicken Breasts with Pear Sauce

On Faith

I grew up in a non-religious (although not necessarily non-spiritual) house. At some point as a child, I remember asking myself what I would want God and heaven to be like if they existed. I made up my own idea of what the perfect religion would be. It went a little something like this:

Up in the sky, there was a head God, the GOD of all Gods. Below "him" (I've got the male image in my head because that's what we grew up with, but I'll reserve the right to assume that God is neither male nor female) were all these smaller Gods, Gods in training if you will. And each lower God was assigned to an individual. Which meant every person had his or her own God, sitting in a chair with a telephone, just waiting to be called upon. The image in my head was literally that of a telethon.

For years, this image stuck with me. Not that I told anyone I secretly thought my God was hanging out in a big room full of phones with lots of other lower deities. Okay, I didn't really think that, but it didn't stop me from mentally dialing the heavenly 911 and praying when I needed to.

Today, my image of God has grown, changed, morphed as I have. Whether I call it God, the collective unconscious, a higher power, or simply the power of the universe, the one thing that has remained the same is my deep conviction that something (someone?) is watching out for me. I've felt this my whole life, a belief that I feel physically more than I intellectually understand. In fact, the only time the feeling disappeared was during the months a few years back when I first became depressed, before I cut out gluten.

It was this belief that held me together when I moved to Seattle, and the same belief that has carried me this last year as I've consciously gone against my "better judgment" all year and instead followed my gut. It's led me to take on projects I've had no clue how to do (like write a cookbook), take time off from school, and make decisions about my future that scare the bejesus out of me.

Some would call it faith.

Writing a cookbook is no small task. It's time consuming and it's expensive. I can't eat most of what I make these days, so I give it all away. Just pass it along to my housemates or give it to a friend who brings it to Food Not Bombs. Sometimes I think about my school loans and then I look at my checkbook, and wonder how it will all work out. On those days, I begin to crunch numbers, to obsessively write down all the pluses and minuses, something I've done so many times there's truly no need to do it again. Recently, I asked a good friend how she handles the uncertainty of a life following her passion without knowing where the money will come from. In the end, it all comes down to one thing, she told me: faith.

I took that to heart. I've always budgeted myself well and been careful with my money. No amount of tedious jotting down of numbers will make more money suddenly appear under my pen. But for the first time in my life, I've let love and passion be more important than money. For the first time in my life, I don't know where my next paycheck is coming from. And I can honestly say I feel more fulfilled than I ever have. One housemate just left on a trip to Paris, and while my initial instinct was to think, "Man I wish I could do that," my second thought was the realization that I want nothing more than to be where I am, doing exactly what I'm doing. I'm not sure I've ever felt that way before. All I want now is the ability to continue doing what I'm doing.

Today, I stopped myself in mid complaint. About to utter the same old tired, "I'm broke," I just halted. And decided to have faith. Faith that I'm following the right path, and that God/The Universe is in my corner. My 911 to heaven would be heard and the money would come, somehow, someway. Not money to travel around the world or buy fancy clothes. But simply enough to live on, enough to bake, to buy quality ingredients and feel healthy. Just enough to be myself.

That was this morning. This afternoon I came home from an expensive cookbook grocery shopping trip, ready to tackle another recipe. And then the FedEx man came. With three packages. Containing a 32 ounce jar of Tropical Traditions coconut oil, a whole box of NuNaturals stevia products, and a $50 Bob's Red Mill gift certificate. The first two to review on the blog here, the last one a gift for participating in the Spar for the Spurtle contest a few months back. All free. All ingredients I need for the cookbook and blog.

The universe works in its own unique way. It's like my God was dialing down from the telethon to tell me, "Hey Chickadee, I got your back. Just have faith."

Seared Chicken Breasts with Pear Sauce (Print-Friendly Option)

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup packed parsley, minced (or substitute with 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch (sub: tapioca)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground mustard
½ teaspoon ground cloves
4 boneless skinless organic chicken breasts
4 pears, diced (leave peels on)
¼ cup raisins
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, zested
4 cups chicken broth

Fresh baby spinach (enough for 4 plates)


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir together parsley, starch, cumin, mustard, and cloves in a shallow dish. Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts with a paper towel, then dredge in the spice mixture until completely coated on both sides. Place chicken breasts in the skillet and sear for 3 minutes on each side.
  2. After searing the second side, add pears, raisins, and ginger to the skillet. Turn heat down to medium low and pour in chicken broth. Adjust heat to a gentle simmer and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, covered. 
  3. After 15 minutes, check your chicken breasts (pierce with a knife to make sure they’re no longer pink inside) and remove to a serving dish. Cover with a top or tin foil to keep warm. If you have large chicken breasts and they’re not fully cooked, leave them in for five more minutes of the next step, then remove to a serving dish.
  4. With the top off the skillet, turn heat back up until broth reaches a gentle boil (medium to medium high). Allow broth to reduce until almost gone (about 10 minutes). 
  5. Serve chicken on top of a bed of spinach and pour pear sauce over the chicken. 
Serves 4.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cherry Pie With My Favorite Pie Crust (Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan)

I find that as the weeks cycle, so does my willpower. From Sunday to Monday and back around again to Sunday, I find myself living in circles. It seems about once a week, I cave and eat something I shouldn't. Then I spend the rest of the week eating perfectly (perfectly for me, which would seem imperfect to someone without my particular health problems), only to succumb to something once again by the end of the week. Of course, when I began writing this cookbook, I had no idea I would have to give up all grains, making it pretty much impossible to eat anything I bake. As it stands now, my housemates and friends eat everything I make, and for the most part, I can sit back and eat my own food, hoping that eventually I'll be able to eat the baked goods from my own cookbook. But I have some weaknesses, and I've definitely learned what they are. Pie is a weakness. I cannot seem to make pie without eating it, and so I'll have to stop baking pie. Well, pie that includes traditional crust, that is. I have every intention of recreating this apple pie without the rice! But as for the more traditional pies, I guess this will be my last one for a while. It wasn't even for the cookbook, to be honest. I made this crust months ago to use up the tart cherries in our backyard, and I was so enamored, I had to make it again so I could share it with you all. I really hope you get a chance to try this because I'll tell you, if this was my last pie for a long time, it was worth the two three slices I ate. Even if it did make me feel yucky, and I'm still recovering.

The cherry filling here is delightful and if you've only ever had store bought cherry pie, you must make it from scratch! It's super easy, and I can't even describe the difference! I don't even like store bought cherry pie...

The real star here though is actually the crust. It has cinnamon and ginger to give it a hint of sweet flavor, and a flaky crunch that is reminiscent of my mom's traditional pie crust, yet stands on its own. Without a doubt, it's the best pie crust I've had in years, and if I could eat it without feeling sick, I would certainly make many a pie with this crust. Don't be afraid of the long ingredient list. It is the longest list of ingredients I've ever seen for a pie crust, but it's truly worth it. And it's really very easy to make, especially since you don't have to roll it out. Just pat it in place, add your filling, bake, and enjoy!

Pie Crust (Print Friendly Option)

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons boiling water
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweet white rice flour (135 grams)*
1/3 cup potato starch (57 grams)
2 1/2 tablespoons teff flour (25 grams)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup Spectrum Organic Palm Shortening**
1/4 cup any mild flavored oil (e.g. extra light olive oil)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia 

*Sweet white rice flour and rice flour are NOT the same thing. Sweet white rice flour (a.k.a. mochiko or glutinous rice flour) can be found at Asian grocery stores if you can't find it at your regular store. This is necessary for the pie to turn out right, so make sure you find sweet white rice flour and don't just sub in another flour.
** I use shortening and oil here because it's more affordable, but I'm pretty sure you could sub in 1/2 cup of coconut oil for the shortening and oil.

  1. Pour boiling water over flaxseed meal in a small bowl or cup. Set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, starch, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. 
  3. In a second bowl, whisk the shortening, oil, applesauce, and stevia together. Whisk in the flaxseed meal and water. 
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir together. Use your hands to knead it into a ball. Press the dough into a 9.5-10 inch pie pan. You want the pie crust to be no thicker than 1/4 inch, so if you use a smaller pie pan, you might have a little dough left over. 
  5. Place plastic wrap over the crust and put in the fridge while you make the filling. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Once you've made the filling, pour it into the crust and bake for 45 minutes. At 35 minutes, place tin foil over the crust to keep the edges from browning too much. 
  7. Remove from oven and cool completely. Eat room temperature or chill in the fridge (I like my pies cold). 
Cherry Filling
6 cups pitted cherries (fresh or frozen and thawed)
1 tablespoon potato starch
10 drops liquid stevia

  1. Place all ingredients in a sauce pan. Turn heat to medium-high until the cherries begin to bubble. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
Made with tart cherries from our backyard

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vegetable Frittata (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

I've been sitting here for about thirty minutes now, trying to figure out what to write. My problem is not that I don't have enough to say, but rather that it's sometimes hard to know what you want to hear. I could ramble on and on about anything, but let's be honest... Unless I have something important to say, you're probably just going to skip to the recipe and pictures, right? That's what I do. 

I could go on about how delicious this frittata was, but I'd feel like a liar if I didn't also admit that I didn't eat it. I made it for my housemates, who proclaimed it my best yet, but didn't eat it myself because I'm avoiding eggs. If you're wondering how I can post recipes I've never tried, trust me that my friends have learned to be honest with me when it comes to recipes. If it's no good, they let me know. Mostly by their silence.

I could tell you how I'm really hungry and wishing I hadn't already brushed my teeth. For that matter, I'm wishing it wasn't 10:30 because that means it's already past my bedtime. And that means I have to decide between getting enough sleep tonight and doing morning yoga. Which is it going to be? 

I could tell you how money's been on my mind (with Occupy Wall Street, I guess it's been on everyone's mind), and I feel this constant battle in my head between the security of financial stability and the standing-at-the-edge-of-a-cliff feeling of stepping outside my boundaries and being my own boss. 

I could tell you how I'm writing a cookbook, during which I have discovered an obsessive love of baking that has also coincided with a diagnosis of Leaky Gut/Hashimoto's/Can't Eat Much of Anything Itis. Yes, that's a medical term. I could tell you how I should be coming up with recipes for the blog that I can actually eat, recipes with fish, meat, fruits and vegetables. And I will, I swear. But I have this insatiable need to bake. Which is why I made a cherry pie tonight that I have no intention of eating. And also why I made crispy gingerbread cookies. The good thing is that I get to share them with you. The bad thing is that I'm torturing myself. Why? I honestly don't know. There's just something so magical about putting something in the oven and waiting to see what it turns into.

Okay, clearly there's a lot I could talk about. But seeing as how I've already turned this post about nothing into a long post about nothing, I'm going to stop. I need to go to bed so I can get up and do yoga. And you really just want to check out the recipe and see if it's something you might want to make. So please enjoy, and let's meet back in a few days when I will hopefully write a long post about something

Vegetable Frittata (Print Friendly Option)
This makes a beautiful dish for company, and is especially appealing if you use more than one color of tomato. If you can have dairy, I highly recommend adding a sprinkling of cheese when you add the tomatoes. Serve it with a side of roasted asparagus for a light breakfast. If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet,you can cook your vegetables in a skillet, then transfer them to a lightly oiled pie pan, and bake it in that.  

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, diced
1/2  medium sweet potato, grated (leave the skin on)
1 carrot, grated
1 zucchini, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened nut or seed milk (hemp, almond, etc.)
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¾ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon packed fresh basil, minced
2 large tomatoes, sliced in thin rounds
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and sauté the onions for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. 
  3. Add the sweet potato, carrot, zucchini, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of water. Stir briefly, then turn heat to medium-low and put a top on the skillet. Allow to cook for 15 minutes, adding 2 more tablespoons of water about halfway through.
  4. While the vegetables are cooking, whisk together the eggs, milk, oregano, and salt. Mince the basil and slice your tomatoes so you’re ready to add them as soon as the vegetables are done.
  5. After 15 minutes, take the skillet off the heat and pour the egg mixture evenly over the vegetables. Sprinkle the basil evenly and layer the tomatoes on top. Add freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  6. Put in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Serve hot. 
Serves 6.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Waffle Cookies (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free)

I tried not to bake today. I really tried. I told myself it was my day off and I was not allowed to bake. Why? Because when I bake, I want to eat. And eating baked goods, no matter how healthy they are, is not going to help my leaky gut!

I still baked. And I may have eaten a cookie or two. (All right, I admit it! I had cookies for dinner.)

I just get on these kicks sometimes and can't stop myself. I made four batches of waffle cookies today: two of them pumpkin spice and two of a "trailmix waffle bite" that still needs a lot of work. Yesterday I baked two batches of chocolate chip waffle cookies and a batch of chocolate pecan waffle cookies.

Out of all of these cookies, I only came up with two so far that I've liked. The chocolate chip waffle cookies are for the cookbook. But the pumpkin spice are for you. They're for your afternoon tea after a walk in the autumn mist. They're for a cozy night curled up by a fireplace with a good book. They're for little ones who want a treat before bed. They're for big ones who want a treat once the little ones are asleep. They're for late nights studying with your biostats book or early mornings cramming for an exam. They're for any time. Because they're small enough that you can eat a couple without feeling guilty. Because they're chock full of fiber and make you feel really satisfied. Because they're actually a lot healthier than most commercial breakfast cereals, so why not just have one for breakfast?

Pumpkin Spice Waffle Cookies. Because I just couldn't help myself...

Pumpkin Spice Waffle Cookies
Print-Friendly Option

1 1/2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1 1/2 teaspoons whole psyllium husks
1/3 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
3/4 cup quinoa flakes
1/8 cup teff flour
1/8 cup coconut flour
1/8 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup shortening (pretty sure you could sub butter/Earth Balance/coconut oil, but haven't tried it)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Whisk together the flaxseed meal, psyllium husks, and pumpkin puree in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the quinoa flakes, flours, starch, and spices. Set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, shortening and vanilla. Beat in the pumpkin mix, then gradually beat in the dry ingredients until completely mixed.
  4. Turn your waffle iron to the highest setting, spray with oil to prevent sticking, then drop batter onto iron by the tablespoon full (one cookie per waffle segment). I find it's helpful to let the cookies bake about 30 seconds longer than when the iron says it's done. Put the cookies on a cooling rack and serve warm or keep in an airtight container at room temperature. 
Makes about 20 cookies.

This post is linked to Inspire Me Mondays and Mondays with Countrified Hicks.


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