Monday, November 26, 2012

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed With No-Sugar Added Mock Mince Pie (Vegan/Grain-Free, Nut-Free)




































Before I talk about this Mock Mince Pie, I want to share some news and tidbits with you:
  • There's a new blog in town and it's called All Gluten-Free Desserts, All The Time. Shirley Braden, the mastermind behind the popular blog, Gluten-Free Easily, has started a new blog so she can share her love of desserts with us. I've been checking it out daily to see what new dessert she's found. 
  • In the first week of December, I'll be sharing with you some gluten-free products I love that I think would make great holiday gifts. There will also be some giveaways so stay tuned...
  • For my WA state readers, I'll be presenting at The Lynnwood Library on December 13th from 7-8:30pm. This will be a guided meditation aimed at discovering your inherent wisdom and learning what you can do this month to take care of yourself, stay stress-free, and begin 2013 feeling your healthiest. Registration is limited to 25 people so please register well in advance if you want to be there. You can read more about the event here.  
Okay, now let's talk pie. My goal this past Thanksgiving was to create some recipes for myself that would allow me to eat dessert with everyone else without paying for it later. I decided to try a mock mince pie because it includes lots of natural sugar from apples, raisins and oranges. I'll admit that even raisins are a bit more sugar than my body can tolerate well, but I knew I would handle this treat better than a slice of gluten-free pie.

Most people would actually consider this an appetizer or side dish rather than dessert. It depends on your family's taste buds. For me, this would be a perfect dessert with some coconut whipped cream or coconut ice cream on the side. 


Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Mock Mince Pie (Vegan, Grain/Nut-Free) Print-Me

Ingredients: 
5 acorn squash
4 medium apples (I used McIntosh but that's not necessary)
1 small orange
1 small lemon
1/2 cup each regular and golden raisins
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
20 drops liquid stevia
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil


Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the acorn squash in half, take out the seeds, then place cut-side down in a baking dish filled with about 1/2 inch of water. You'll probably need a few baking dishes. Bake until tender when pierced with a fork, approximately 40 minutes. 
  2. While the acorn squash is baking, prepare the filling by dicing the apples (I leave the peels on) and zesting the orange and lemon. Add the apples, orange zest, and lemon zest to a large bowl. Squeeze the juice from the orange and add it to the bowl. Add the raisins, pumpkin pie spice, stevia and salt. Mix well.
  3. Heat a large pan on medium. Melt the coconut oil, then add the apple filling and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off heat and set aside. 
  4. Once the squash is cooked, allow it to cool enough to touch, then set each squash on a serving platter and spoon in the apple filling. You can serve this hot or allow to cool to room temperature. To serve 10 people, leave each squash half intact. Alternatively, you can cut them in half again for smaller servings for more people.
Serves 10+

Linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cranberry Cinnamon Flatbread (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

Let's talk almond flour. There are a lot of blogs that have almond flour recipes. My cookbooks have a whole chapter dedicated to it. It's an amazing flour that creates light, tender baked goods, and if I could only bake with one flour, that would be it.

That being said, almonds cause an instant reaction for me in the way of face flushing, itching, and digestive problems. It took me a while but I finally came to terms with this and stopped trying to use it. This was quite a disappointment since I had just developed a bunch of recipes for the cookbook and had many more in development that will probably wither away in my recipe development pile.

Until now.

My friend, Amy Munson, likes to make my yeast-free English muffins with pumpkin seed flour instead of almond flour. Her sister, Laura, is almond-challenged like I am so she got creative and started grinding pumpkin seeds into flour for almond flour recipes.

The result?

Just as good as the original. Possibly better.

So here's the deal. For this recipe, you take about 2 cups of shelled raw pumpkin seeds and grind them in a food processor or blender until they look like flour. That will make about 2 cups of flour, which is a little bit more than you'll need for this recipe. Mine wasn't super finely ground and I definitely found a few un-ground pumpkin seeds here and there. For this recipe, it's not a big deal because it's not a fussy recipe. At all.





































The original recipe that I adapted was from my cookbook and so I included exact gram amounts. This time? I just threw the recipe together quickly, barely measuring the flour and starch. I knew it was the type of recipe that would hold up to sloppy measuring.

And I was right.

I'll tell you a secret. I didn't measure the salt, cinnamon, cranberries or sugar either. Just threw some in and then guesstimated for this recipe. Seriously. Have fun with it. Don't want to use cranberries? Try another dried fruit. How about making it savory with rosemary and thyme? Play around.

Life isn't that serious and neither is baking.




































Cranberry Cinnamon Flatbread (Grain/Dairy/Egg/Nut/Refined Sugar-Free) Print Me

Soft and chewy inside with a crispy exterior, this pumpkin seed flatbread has a hint of sweetness from the dried cranberries and a sprinkling of sugar. You can use whatever type of granulated sugar you prefer for this recipe, including coconut palm sugar or xylitol. 
 

Yield: One 12 x 14 inch rectangle 
Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup pumpkin seed flour 

3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons arrowroot starch
(sub: potato or tapioca starch)
2 1/2 teaspoons guar gum
or xanthan gum
4 teaspoons baking powder (grain free baking powder recipe) 

½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups water 

¼ cup olive oil
1/2-1 cup dried cranberries 
1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar (coconut palm sugar, xylitol, sucanat, etc.) 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Liberally grease a cookie sheet (approximately 12 x 14 inches) and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin seed flour, arrowroot starch, guar gum, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  
  3. Stir in water and oil until well mixed. Stir in cranberries.
  4. Spoon the dough onto the middle of the cookie sheet. Using a spatula, spread the dough until it almost reaches all four corners of the sheet. It can be about half an inch thick, but no more. If it's too thick, it won't bake inside. It will be really sticky, but this is how it should be! Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until it begins to get golden brown on top.  
  5. Let cool, then cut into slices.
Best when eaten fresh from the oven, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for days or frozen for later use. 

Note: These cannot be made without guar gum or xanthan gum, although you're welcome to experiment

This post is linked to Mom's Test Meal Mondays

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10 Tips for Staying Sane During The Holidays


Are your vegetables prepped? Your turkey brining? Pies baked? Are you ready for Black Friday? Have you made a list and checked it twice? Or fifty times?

As the winter holidays roll around, I get visions of Martha Stewart dancing in my head. I see beautifully decorated tables filled with mountains of glorious photo-ready food. I see guests swooning in delight with every morsel they taste. I see a snapshot of a Lifetime movie, with me as the hostess.

Reality check. I am not Martha Stewart. I cannot do it all.

And besides, none of my friends will watch Lifetime movies with me anyway. That should probably tell me something.

Last Christmas I went to such lengths to make perfect gluten-free recipes that I completely missed the point of the holiday. Family. Love. Togetherness.

This year, I'm doing things differently. This year, I'm focusing on what matters and letting go of what doesn't. 
"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials." -- Lin Yutang (Thanks, Shirley, for this reminder!)
Want to join me in the Martha Stewart Holiday Perfection Recovery Club? Here's how: 

1. Start right now by getting out a piece of paper and making two columns. On the left side, write down everything you get out of trying to be perfect. On the right side, write down everything you get out of letting go of perfection. Everything. Even things that might seem silly or don't make sense. Here's an example of what my list would look like: 
 



















2. Take a good long look at that list. Look at the left side. Look at the right side. Make an honest decision about which side feels better to you. If it's the side of perfection, forget the rest of this post and go get in the kitchen! You have homemade bread to bake! If it's the side of letting go of perfection, keep reading.

3. Have a chat with your inner superwoman.

4. Pick three simple words that describe the meaning of the holidays to you. For me they would be: Family. Peace. Warmth. Write down those words in big letters on a piece of paper and post them where you'll see them daily. Whenever you get that feeling that tells you you're trying too hard - you know the feeling, the tightness in your chest and angst-ridden need to breathe deeply - go stare at those words. Ask yourself if what you're trying to accomplish is in service to those values. If not, ask yourself how can you modify it or change it so that you're maintaining the meaning of the holidays in your actions. Example: Rather than spending hours baking bread, buy a loaf of bread at a local bakery and take a walk with your family instead. (Reality check: I'm sensitive to everything, so I know that many of you HAVE to bake your own bread because you can't buy it. This is just an example. Work with me...)

5. Pick a song you love to dance to and tell your family to play it every time you begin to turn into superwoman (a.k.a. supermeanie). Make a rule that you have to stop whatever you're doing and dance each and every time that song comes on. You can frown the whole time, but you have to dance. Use it as a reminder that your family would rather have you be happy than perfect.

6. Choose one thing that you're really good at. Aim to be perfect at that one thing and let everything else go. This year, I'm aiming to make the perfect gravy. But I'm not going to worry about making rolls, pie or anything else. If I have time, great. If not, I'll let it go. There's ALWAYS more than enough food at the table.

7. Delegate. If you ask someone else to help you, the task won't necessarily get done your way. But it will get done and you'll have more time to enjoy life.

8. Make a commitment to take a daily walk. Don't think you have time? Make time. Take a look at your to-do list and choose something that is not really that important and instead take a walk. You'll burn calories, relieve stress, and give yourself time to think clearly.

9. Let go of distractions. It's hard to DO EVERYTHING when you're constantly buzzing about like a bee from one flower to the next. Look at your list, pick the absolute essentials on it, and set aside time to do those things. Turn off your computer and cell phone if necessary during this time. Once you've accomplished the essentials, congratulate yourself and put your list away. Go kiss your husband/wife/partner/kid/dog/teddy bear.

10. Add one more item to your to-do list and put it at the top. Take care of myself. This is your #1 priority. It's a scary thought, I know. What would happen if you actually put your own well-being above anything else??!! Afraid to make that a priority? Give me a call and I'll remind you why taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do this holiday season AND EVERY DAY. Seriously. Here's my number. Call me anytime: 413-320-2402. Consider me your Martha Stewart Holiday Perfection Recovery Sponsor.

11. And here's a bonus tip. Give yourself a day off from Facebook, blogs, gossiping or any other activity in which you compare yourself to others. Believe me, NO ONE is as perfect as Martha Stewart. Even Martha Stewart. I know from experience that the more perfect someone seems on the outside, the more demons she's likely to be battling inside. Assume life is just as hard for everyone else as it is for you and have compassion for all the other Martha Stewart Holiday Perfection Recovery Club members out there.

Happy Thanksgiving and blessings to you all!  
No more social media for me until Thanksgiving is over. I have a baby niece to fawn over and some perfect gravy to make...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Caramelized Onion Cranberry Spread




















I've been invited to a party and I want to bring you all as my guests. My friend, Cara, is hosting and she's an amazing cook. She's also invited some of my favorite people, ladies who know how to make treats like Pumpkin Caramel Blondie Bars and Pumpkin Pecan Bites. Yes, this is definitely a party I want to be at.

I'll be bringing my Caramelized Onion Cranberry Spread. I personally like to put mine on roasted acorn squash, but you might want to spread yours on crackers or bread. To each her own!

Join me at the Clean Eating Cocktail Party at Cara's Cravings today and every day this month.

Caramelized Onion Cranberry Spread

Clean Eating Cocktail Party home page

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Love and Spaghetti Squash with Grain-Free, Egg-Free Meatballs in a Dairy-Free Cream Sauce
















Romantical. Urban Dictionary definition: excessively romantic, bursting with romance.

Ladies and Gents, that describes my boyfriend to a T. He is absolutely the definition of romantical. This is not a shout out to the world about how I'm dating the best man in the world. I see that on Facebook all the time, and while I may someday be guilty of doing that, it drives me crazy.

So this is not that.

No, this is simply fact #1 about this man. If you know nothing else about him, know that he doesn't exactly live in the same world as the rest of us. No, this man lives in a misty world that's neither here nor there. He's old-fashioned in his approach to life, yet not exactly in a John Wayne sort of way. More of a Midwesterner meets Farmer Joe meets Lord of The Rings meets Occupy Wall Street way.

Make sense?

Right.

Well, if you can imagine that, then you know my boyfriend.

Fact #2: He's a traveler. Since I've met him, he's quit his job, moved to Hawaii for six months, worked on various farms around Washington, and just generally been a traveling vagabond. Get him outside working in the dirt, and he's happy.

Fact #3: He's a damn good cook. And he loves to make bread and pizza, although since meeting me, he hasn't made either. I haven't let him. Sorry, no gluteny bread for this lady. Someday I'll teach him how to make gluten-free bread and then let him experiment to his heart's content. I think he'll like the challenge of it.

Fact #4: He's gone paleo to support me in sticking to my diet, and the other day, came up with a grain-free, egg-free, squash-based crust that we're pretty sure will make a great pot pie. So we'll be working on that together and hopefully we'll get it right for you.

Fact #5: He's changed my life. Completely.




















Spaghetti Squash with Grain-Free, Egg-Free Meatballs in a Dairy-Free Cream Sauce Print-Me


Ingredients:
2 large beets
1 spaghetti squash
Approximately 3 tablespoons olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
1 13.5 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
4 large garlic cloves, minced  1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 pound grass-fed, organic ground beef
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon ground flax
3 tablespoons hot water


Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash the beets and place in a glass baking dish lined with parchment paper. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place cut side down in the baking dish. Drizzle the beets and squash with olive oil. Bake for about an hour or until tender when pierced with a fork. You may need to take the beets out before the squash is done. 
  2. Now onto the sauce: Once the beets are done roasting, puree them in a food processor or blender with the coconut milk, garlic, and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Set aside until step 8.
  3. Now it's time to make your meatballs. Heat a saute pan on medium-low heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the onions from the pan into a large mixing bowl and let cool for a few minutes. 
  4. Once the onions are cool enough to work with, add the ground beef, 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, coconut flour, salt, and pepper. Work together with your hands until mixed well.
  5. Make a flax egg by mixing the flax with 3 tablespoons of hot water in a small bowl. Let sit for a few minutes, then add to the beef and mix well. Form into balls about the size of golf balls. This makes about 15 meatballs. 
  6. Heat a large saute pan on medium heat, add olive oil, then add meatballs. Allow to brown for about 3 minutes, then turn and brown for another 3 minutes on another side. Continue until the outside is mostly browned.
  7. Add the cream sauce to the pan of meatballs, turn the heat down to medium-low, and put a top on. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes, turning the meatballs occasionally for even cooking. 
  8. Shred the spaghetti squash with a fork and serve hot topped with meatballs and cream sauce.
Serves 4. 

p.s. I'm not eating mushrooms right now, but I think this would taste amazing with some sauteed mushrooms mixed into the cream sauce!

p.p.s. The winner of the giveaway was Katie of www.alwaysalethia.blogspot.com. Katie, I sent you a message letting you know. :)

This post is linked to Hunk of Meat Mondays.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Cranberry Upside Down Cake plus a Gluten-Free Baking Giveaway






































When I posted my links to 50+ Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Desserts on Saturday, I needed a stock dessert photo. I grabbed a random one from my files. A reader noted that it wasn't one of the links and wondered where she could find the recipe. I gave her the link to The Essential Gluten-Free Baking Guide, Part 2 and told her she could find it in the teff chapter. But then I decided it really wasn't fair of me to post the photo and then not supply the recipe! Of course, I want you all to go out and buy my cookbook... I will shamelessly remind you that Christmas is around the corner and this would make a great present for the gluten-free peeps in your life.  I'll also remind you that nuts.com has an awesome package that includes Part 1 of my book plus almond flour, coconut flour and millet flour to help you bake the recipes in it. And my publisher, Triumph Dining, has a combo pack of Book 1 and Book 2 that saves you some money for purchasing both.

So shameless. Just call me a brazen little cookbook hussy.

And now that you're ready to go out and buy my books, I'm going to give them away for free. Why?

Because I love you.

Because it's almost Thanksgiving and I know there are some of you out there newly diagnosed with gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease and you need a little help this holiday season.

Because I'm practicing letting go and that includes my own stuff. You see, I'm not just giving away my cookbooks. I'm also giving away some of my favorite gluten-free baking products.

Want to know what I'm giving away? Scroll down past the recipe for the giveaway. And excuse the awful lighting in the giveaway photo. I'm working with morning light in Seattle.


 















Cranberry Upside Down Cake  Print me
This moist cake is sweet with a tart cranberry glaze. Serve it warm with ice cream for dessert or on its own with your afternoon tea. 

Yield: One 8 x 8 inch cake

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh cranberries
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground flax seed meal
1 teaspoon whole psyllium husks or ground chia seeds
3 tablespoons boiling water

155 grams teff flour (1 lightly filled cup)
60 grams tapioca starch (1/2 lightly filled cup)
43 grams potato starch (1/4 lightly filled cup)
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

½ cup Spectrum Organic Palm Shortening
¾ cup honey
3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened milk

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper. Pour cranberries in and coat evenly with ¼ cup of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Set aside.
2. Stir together flaxs eed meal, psyllium husks, and boiling water in a small bowl and set aside.
3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the teff flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat the shortening, honey, applesauce and vanilla extract for about 3 minutes on medium speed. Beat in the flaxseed mix, then beat in the dry ingredients and milk, alternating between the two until a smooth batter is formed. Pour the batter over the cranberries and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
4. Remove from oven and let sit in dish for about 5 minutes. Use a knife to separate the edges from the pan, then turn over gently onto a plate. If it doesn’t come out right away, tap on the bottom of the pan to help it along!

Serve warm or room temperature. Best eaten the first day, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge or frozen for later use. 






















Gluten-Free Baking Giveaway
There are actually two giveaways today. One is here on the blog. And one is on my Facebook page. Click here to enter the Facebook giveaway. Both giveaways end at 10am PST tomorrow (Tuesday).  

I'll be sending a gluten-free baking package to one winner that includes:
Rules of the game: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Giveaway closes at 10am PST Tuesday 11/13/12. If you enter, you MUST leave a way for me to contact you. So if you comment anonymously, please leave an e-mail address.
To enter, you must leave a comment below telling me what Thanksgiving means to you.  In one word. 

To get a second entry, share this giveaway via twitter, facebook, pinterest, etc. and come back and leave a comment letting me know you did. You can enter as many times as you would like. 

To enter to win my second gluten-free baking giveaway, go to my Facebook page and find the giveaway there!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

50+ Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes (Vegan, Paleo, Sugar-Free, etc.)




















And onto the desserts! Yesterday I shared my list of 50+ links for gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner recipes. Now I'm doing the same with dessert. Keep in mind, just like yesterday, the fewer ingredients a recipe has, the higher it is on the list.

Dessert

Pie Crust Recipes
Walnut Pie Crust (Grain-Free, Egg-Free)
Flaky Pie Crust (Dairy-Free)
Basic Pie Crust (Egg-Free)
Sweet Cinnamon Pie Crust (Vegan)

Apple Pie or Crumble
Elimination Diet Apple Pie (Vegan, Sugar-Free)
Apple Crisp (Grain-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free)
Spiced Apple Pie (Vegan, Raw, Grain-Free)
Easy Gluten-Free Caramel Apple Tart (uses a Chebe mix)
5-Spice Cran-Apple Crumble (Vegan)
Individual Flourless Apple Crisps (Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free)

Pumpkin, Sweet Potato and Squash Pie
Crustless Sweet Potato Pie (Dairy-Free)
Crustless Pumpkin Pie (Dairy-Free)
Sweet Potato Pie
Squash Pie (Vegan, Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free)
Pumpkin Cheesecake (Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Sugar-Free)
Raw Pumpkin Cheese Pie (Raw, Vegan, Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

Pecan Pie
Crustless Pecan Pie (Dairy-Free)
Chocolate Pecan Pie (Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free)
Maple Pecan Tart (Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free) 

Mock Mince Pie: 
I couldn't find gluten-free mock mince pie recipes, so you'll have to adapt these slightly. 
Mock Mincemeat Pie (Replace the crackers with gf crackers and use a gf pie crust)
Mock Mincemeat Pie: (Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free) Use a gf flour blend in place of the flour called for and use gf pie crust)
Crustless Mock Mincemeat Pie (Grain-Free)

Other Pies
Mini Blueberry Pies (Grain-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan)
Blueberry Pie (Vegan, Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free) 
Salted Chocolate Tart (Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Vegan)
Perfect Sweet Cherry Pie
Cherry Pie (Vegan, Sugar-Free)
Cranberries and Cream Tart with Chocolate Crust (Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free)
Chocolate Silk Pie with Nut or Seed Butter Crust (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free) 

Ice Cream
Chocolate Ice Cream (Raw, Vegan)
Cranberry Ice Cream (Refined Sugar-Free)
Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan, Sugar-Free)
Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream (Vegan)

Cookies
Nutty Almond Pecan Cookies (Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Grain-Free)
Flourless Pumpkin Pie Cookies (Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Vegan)
Ginger Molasses Cookies (Grain-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free)
Rosemary Lemon Shortbread Cookies (Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free)
Honey Spice Cookies (Vegan Optional)
Cream Cheese Cookies (Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free Optional)
Molasses Spice Cookies (Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free)

Other Desserts
Orange Fig Bars (Vegan, Nut-Free, Grain-Free,Sugar-Free)
Caramel Curry Pumpkin Brittle (Vegan)
Apple Pie Larabar Balls (Grain-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free)
Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Dip (Vegan, Sugar-Free Optional)
Pumpkin Parfait (Vegan, Sugar-Free) 
Raw Lavender Blueberry Bars (Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Vegan Optional)
Pumpkin Pie Fudge (Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free)
Asian Pear Galette (Vegan)
Paleo Pumpkin Bars (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)
Raw Cashew Cheesecake with Pecan Date Crust (Grain-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free) 
Toffee Bars
Orange Pie (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free)
Chocolate Glazed Apricot Brownie Bites (Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free)
Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars (Grain-Free, Vegan)
Sweet Potato Doughnuts (Dairy-Free) 
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Quinoa Pumpkin Doughnuts with Maple Glaze and Pecans (Dairy-Free)

See the visual board on pinterest

If you have a recipe you think should be on this list, leave the link in the comments below for readers to see. And if you try one of these recipes, come back and let us know what you think. 

Tune in on Monday for a gluten-free baking giveaway you won't want to miss! 

-Iris-

Friday, November 9, 2012

50+ Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes (Vegan, Paleo, Sugar-Free etc.)




















Happy November and Happy End-of-Election-Season! No matter who you voted for, I'm sure you're glad the ads will stop! And now we can start thinking about something more fun: Thanksgiving. This will be a paleo Thanksgiving for me, and I have only just begun to think about what I'll be eating. But I wanted to create a menu for all of you who are gluten-free or will have gluten-free guests: paleo, vegan, and everything in between.

What we have here are links to lots of scrumptious looking recipes. All gluten-free, of course! Some are also grain-free, vegan, sugar-free, etc. so I've tried my best to designate them clearly. Of course, if you have any questions, just click on the link and check out the recipe!

I did two more things because I thought it would be helpful for you:
  1. I found links from a variety of blogs and websites so that you could find some new recipe sources.  
  2. I organized the recipes based on number of ingredients. I know how annoying it can be to find a recipe that sounds good but then see it has a gazillion ingredients. So the recipes with fewer ingredients come first! That means if you want something super simple, go for Easy Roasted Turkey. If you want something equally delicious but perhaps more work, go for Cider Brined Roast Turkey. Got it? Okay, get your click on!

And p.s. If you use any of the recipes on this post for Thanksgiving, I would be ever so thankful if you would come back later and leave a comment letting us know what you thought of it. Or if you have a recipe you love that deserves to be on this post, just leave it in the comments as well. That way our readers next year will get some tips before heading into the Thanksgiving season.


-Iris-

Dinner

Turkey
Easy Roasted Turkey
Roast Turkey with Onions, Carrots and Potatoes (Dairy-Free)
Apple Butter Glazed Turkey
Cider Brined Roast Turkey

Gravy
My own personal gravy tip: Make your mashed potatoes first and save the cooking water. Then use some of that water to cook your giblets in (about 1 hour). Once you have a broth from your giblets, add pan drippings from your turkey, and use a combination of sorghum flour and starch (potato, tapioca) to thicken it.
How to Make Gluten-Free Gravy
Paleo Gravy (Grain-Free) 
Dark Pan Gravy (Vegan)
Mushroom Gravy (Vegan)
Caramelized Onion Gravy (Vegan)

Vegan and Vegetarian Main Dishes
Marinated Portabello Caps and Cauliflower-Cashew Mash (Vegan, Raw)
Carrot and Pecan Nutroast (Vegan)
Lasagna (Vegan)
Roasted Veggie Lasagna (Vegetarian - contains eggs and dairy)
Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole (Vegan)

Appetizers
Corn Dog Mini Muffins
Sunflower Seed Pate (Vegan, Raw)
Gingered Clementine and Pomegranate Shrimp
Spinach Balls 
Easy Cheesy Sweet Potato Stuffed Skins (Egg-Free)
Cracked Pepper Whole Grain Crackers (Egg-Free, Nut-Free)
Fig Tapenade with Walnut Crackers (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free)
Rosemary Caramel Almond Popcorn (Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

Soups
Pumpkin Ginger Soup (Dairy-Free)
Autumn Squash Soup (Dairy-Free)
Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup (Vegan)
Creamy Parsnip Soup (Vegan)
Sweet Potato Coconut Soup (Dairy-Free)
Smoky Lentil Soup with Spinach and Mushrooms (Vegan)

Stuffing
Basic Bread Stuffing 
Rosemary and Sage Bread Stuffing (Grain-Free, Nut-Free)
Crunchy Long Grain and Wild Rice Dressing (Vegan Optional, Nut-Free)
Mashed Potato Stuffing
Cornbread Stuffing with Curried Apples and Cranberries (Vegan, Nut-Free)
Apple Sage Stuffing Mushroom Stacks (Vegan, use gf bread)
Acorn Squash Stuffing Muffins (Vegan, Nut-Free, Grain-Free Options)

Sweet Potatoes
Scalloped Sweet Potato Dessert (Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free)
Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Cashew Cream (Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free)
Sweet Potato Puree with Bananas and Buttered Pecans
Sweet Potato Pie with Toasted Marshmallows (Dairy-Free)
Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole

Potatoes
Creamy Mashed Potatoes (Vegan)
Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes
Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes (Vegan Optional)
Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Seasoned Fingerling Potatoes (Vegan)

Green Beans
Easy Green Bean Casserole
Last-Minute Skillet Green Beans (Vegan)
Green Beans in Morel Cream Sauce
Green Bean Casserole (Vegan, Grain-Free) 

Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Acorn Squash and Brussels Sprouts (Vegan)
Simple Sautéed Brussels Sprouts (Vegan)
Sweet Parsley Glazed Roasted Vegetables (Vegan)
Buttered Bacon Brussels Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Walnuts (Vegan)
Brussels Sprouts and Cranberry Salad (Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free)

Onions
Perfectly Cookies Onions (Casein-Free)
Creamed Onions (Dairy-Free)
Buttermilk Onion Rings
Creamed Onions and Sage

Other Vegetables
Creamy Mashed Cauliflower (Vegan)
Wilted Dandelion Greens with Onions, Raisins, and Balsamic Vinegar (Vegan)
Pan-Fried Parsnips and Leeks (Vegan)
Crimson Salad with Pecans and Pumpkin Seeds (Vegan)
Beet "Ravioli" with Root Vegetable Filling (Vegan) 
Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Salad 

Cranberries
Cranberry Sauce (Refined Sugar-Free)
Holiday Cranberry Sauce (Refined Sugar-Free)
Cranberry Clementine Sauce (Sugar-Free)
Fennel Orange Cranberry Sauce

Bread and Biscuits
Baking Powder or Soda Biscuits (Vegan)
Flaky Biscuits (Grain-Free, Yeast-Free)
Pecan and Apple Bread (Grain-Free, Yeast-Free, Dairy-Free)
Crescent Rolls (Yeast-Free)
Pumpkin Quinoa Cornbread (Dairy-Free)
Cranberry Almond Loaf (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Yeast-Free)
French Bread Rolls (Dairy-Free)
Italian Style Flatbread (Vegan, Grain-Free, Yeast-Free)
Artisan Bread (Vegan)
Sweet Potato Buns (Vegan, Yeast-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)
Soft Dinner Rolls (Dairy-Free)
Cheese Filled Olive and Onion Bread (Vegan, Yeast-Free)

Drinks
Pumpkin Spice Latte (Dairy-Free)
Tea Infused Vodka
Kombucha Sangria 
Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider
Cranberry Orange Punch (Refined Sugar-Free)
Reindeer Antlers
Holiday Nog (Vegan, Sugar-Free) 

See the visual board on pinterest.

Click here for the desserts!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Practice of Letting Go




















There's a book called, The Art of Letting Go, isn't there?

Okay, I just googled it. There are a ton of books by that name. Including one by Richard Rohr, which I've read and highly recommend. But that's neither here nor there.

I am convinced that letting go is very much like art itself. There are those who naturally excel at it. My boyfriend is one of these. Like any artist, he still needs to practice daily, but letting go simply comes much easier for him.

And then there are those who will tell you that they have no artistic ability. And since I believe that everyone is an artist, I will just tell them to go practice. Now, when it comes to letting go, I am one of these unfortunate ones without natural talent. I am much in need of practice.

I hold on like a hungry snapping turtle.

I know how to scrimp and save and never to throw anything away. I know how to sew patch after patch on my jeans, and I still wear clothes that I wore when I was in middle school.

I have trouble letting go of big things and little things, which is why the past week has seen me in tears more times than I can count.

The coming week will likely do the same, although thankfully my dreadful PMS should pass in a few days and I'll be more able to handle my life.


My life, right now, is about letting go. 

I told you recently that I had decided not to finish school and was picking up and heading to Bellingham. Well, plans have changed again. My boyfriend and I have a final destination, but as it's not for another four months, we're doing some traveling in the interim.

Me. Queen of home and hearth, she who never leaves the house, stereotypical Cancer Crab, I need my own kitchen, me... is going to be bouncing from home to home over the next four months. I'll be in California, Massachusetts, New York, maybe even Arizona.

And this means letting go.

Letting go of half of everything I own. Then going through the "keep" pile and letting go of more.

Letting go of a stable home, stable job, and having my own kitchen.

Letting go of how things are supposed to be and just trying to accept them as they are. 

Letting go of baking until my health improves. This has nothing to do with traveling and everything to do with the personal decision that the best thing for my health would be to take a complete break from baking. However, this also means letting go of my conception of myself as a gluten-free baker. It means letting go when I begin to fantasize about different flour combinations. Letting go of what I know readers want, letting go of the desire to bake for friends. Just...letting...go...

Letting go of my perceptions of who I am and the kind of life I am expected to live.

Letting go of trying to live for anyone other than myself. 

Letting go of my time table. Um...remember when I thought I would be married and having kids at 24? Well, I do. I let go of that one a long time ago, but right now I also have to let go of that awful "I'm thirty and not married and don't have kids, what is wrong with me!?" fear.

My life, right now, is about letting go.

And I am no Van Gogh. No Degas or Monet. I am someone taking her first painting class, timidly dipping my brush first in the green, then the purple, then the blue, as I attempt to create something resembling a garden.

I am a beginner in this art they call Letting Go. 

I look around my room, and see everything I am still holding onto. I fall asleep at night, my mind creeping back to everything I've tried to let go of.

I am practicing. Today, I decided to let go of the skirt I love with such passion, but haven't worn in years because it has a stain, and if you look closely enough, there's a tear in the lace. I decided to let go of the boots that are the perfect shade of blue... And as I'm typing this, I suddenly thought, "Why am I letting go of those boots? I'd better put them back in the keep pile." But I won't. Because it's all practice. The boots don't matter. Even if they are really cute.




















It's simply the fear of letting go. I don't really know what happens next.

But every once in a while, I get a glimpse of the glory of letting go. I get a feeling, so tiny like the brush of butterfly kisses on your cheek, and I know that beyond the fear is something more. And so I continue to practice the art of letting go.

It begins with stuff. But that's not where it stops.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gluten-Free Healing Sweet and Sour Chicken Soup (Vegan Suggestions Included)




































Welcome to November 2012. 

The time of the year for soup has begun.

As I've been craving Sweet and Sour Soup lately, I decided to make my own sugar-free version. This can easily be made vegan with the substitutions I'll note below, but I love a steaming hot bowl of chicken soup on a cold night. 

I also think the world could use a little extra healing right now, don't you? 

With the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in the news, I'll admit that I've hesitated to post for a few days. In fact, I wrote a post and subsequently erased it. All my friends and family on the East Coast are okay, but there's something very hollow to me about searching Facebook, twitter, and the news to find out what's happening to the people I love. I keep thinking how we used to have no clue what was going on in other parts of the world, simply because we didn't have the technology. I know it's better now to have access, to be aware of the rest of the world, and thus more able to do our part.

But sometimes I wish I didn't know.

I wish I could wake up, make breakfast, go outside and start my day.

Instead I wake up and check the internet. That is the start of my day.

I feel such sadness for those who have lost friends and family to Hurricane Sandy, who are without power still, whose lives have been turned upside down. And yet I know that it only hits me so hard because I've lived in Brooklyn and miss it still. Things like this happen all over the world every day, and yet I think we inure ourselves to others' grief. With the onslaught of news we receive each moment, it's the only way to live.

But when it happens in a place we've been, a place we know, a place we consider a home, it's harder to flip that switch and turn off our feelings. It's easier to feel the humanity, to share in the collective grief.

It's also easier to get caught up in the news, the constant information. And so I think it's time for me to have breakfast and go outside. Perhaps take a walk in the cool air, see the glorious reds and golds of the trees, and be thankful for today.

It is a blessing, and I am blessed. 


Gluten-Free Healing Sweet and Sour Chicken Soup Print Me

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 cups chicken broth (use vegetable to make this vegan)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
5 drops liquid stevia
2-3 cups shredded cooked chicken (use tofu or preferred meal alternative for vegan)
Sea salt to taste

Directions:
  1. Heat a soup pot on medium-low and add oil. Add zucchini and garlic. Cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Add broth, turn heat up and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat back down to a gentle simmer and cook for ten minutes. Take pot off the heat and puree the soup. 
  3. Return the soup to the pot (still off the heat) and add in the apple cider vinegar and stevia. Add chicken and salt to taste. Serve hot. 
Note: If you don't use stevia, try using your favorite sweetener, but in a very small amount. Just to give the soup the slightest hint of sweet. 

Serves 4.

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