Tag Archives: Dairy Free

Favorite Fall Weather Soups!

23 Oct

It’s October and it’s crazy chilly!  We’re talking I’m in California, fall is barely under-way,  and I’m already freezing my butt off chilly!  Don’t talk to me about the East Coast or somewhere that’s actually considered cold, please, or I’ll literally have to park myself in front of a blow dryer or my car heater to thaw out for the better part of the season!  I may end up doing that anyway.

I have to admit, one of my favorite ways to warm up AND eat something delicious at the same time is to make soup!  There are just so many variations, and so many possibilities!  Here are my two very favorite soups at the moment – warm, hearty, and immune-boosting sweet potato & coriander, and garden vegetable! Don’t even try to tell me you don’t see people getting sick left and right already!  I refuse to let that be me!  Don’t let it be you!  Just click on the links below for the full recipes, and whip up some soup to watch movies and cuddle up on the couch with!

Sweet Potato and Coriander Soup

Garden Vegetable Soup

Happy snuggly soup-making!

Stay warm, be healthy.

PS: I can’t wait for Halloween!

A Heart-Felt Heart-to-Heart about LA & Gluten Free Vegan Carrot Cake

21 Aug

As my time spent in Los Angles this summer is coming to an end, I can’t help but get a little teary-eyed, thinking about all of the amazing things I’ve done and seen, and the unforgettable people in my life I’ve had the privilege of reconnecting with and spending time with.  Time has literally flown by, and it feels like just yesterday I over-packed my AC-deprived car and headed southbound in 110 degree heat to the town I left my heart in many years ago.  I remember the promise of freedom, relief, excitement, and a summer to be remembered filling the air, and my wide, happy eyes.  It’s not often I get to up and take off, though my spirit often wants to – I call it wanderlust, and the yearning for a new beginning, new experiences, sights, sounds, etc. rather than being restless and discontent.  Restless, I can be, but I’m often content, so that’s not what I would call it.  And now, here I am wrapping things up, both physically and emotionally; now experiencing that discontent thing a little as I wish for a few more weeks, at the very least.  Instead, I have just a few more days.

Going through my last two months here, I’ve been filtering, revisiting, and questioning, but am happy to have come out realizing I wouldn’t have done anything differently, nor would I trade my time here for anything in the world!  I’m so pleased to say I can go back home with no regrets, knowing that I’ve had the best of intentions and kept my heart big and open,  I’ve learned a lot about myself, and certainly re-confirmed what I already knew about the beach before in that somehow it heals me, soothes me, and always keeps me coming back! The other night, I planned to make a trip to the gym, and instead drove right on by, heading for the ocean instead.  I spent a blissful evening walking in the sand, breathing in the sea breeze, and meandering around the pier in Santa Monica, which is basically a carnival on the water that is brilliantly lit up at dusk.  It’s not the first time I’ve found myself at the beach instead of somewhere else while I’ve been here, that’s for sure, be it Santa Monica, Venice, Laguna, Newport, San Diego….the ocean just does that to me 🙂

No matter where I’ve been, or what I’ve been doing, the common thread in my lovely time here, as I mentioned before, has been the people.  I have some amazing friends that I don’t get to see anywhere near as often as I’d like, and though with some of them it had been months or years, I know they are true friends because everything seems to come right back.  I’ve spent time with friends from high school ( Hi, AP and Brett!), from my days at UC Davis (Love you, Steph!), from years and years back in my Newport Beach days (ahem, TK), and so many more I hope to see and keep in touch with much more often.  I even decided since I’ve been here that I’d love to start writing  hand-written notes or postcards to the people more special in my life so that we can check in with each other and say hi in a much cooler way than with email and Facebook!  The internet is an amazing thing (obviously! haha), but sometimes the most precious and thoughtful means of showing you’re thinking of someone are often lost to quick text messages.  I’ll be getting in touch for your addresses – you know who you are! 😉

I’ve had the summer of my life, in the most cheese-ball sounding, but completely serious way possible!  So many thanks, I love you guys!

I’m positive I’ll be writing more about my time and experiences in LA some more soon, but for now, let’s get into a recipe I tried for the first time while here: gluten free vegan carrot cake…and of course, vegan cream cheese frosting!  It was super awesome, if I do say so myself 🙂

Gluten Free Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe

It’s not often I really really enjoy a gluten free AND vegan cake or bread recipe, since I have yet to fully perfect that art form, but this cake was really delicious.  The flavor was spot-on, from what I remember a good carrot cake to be – a yummy spice-cake with lots of carrot, and the pineapple was a new addition to me, but I think it worked in the crushed form.  It’s pretty dense, and much like a quick bread.  Loved it

Ingredients:

* 1 cup gluten free flour mix (I used Bob’s Redmill)

* 1/2 coconut flour
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Artichoke Heart, Kale & Black Olive Pizza {Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian}

27 May

I’m going to keep this one short and sweet in the interest of the long, gorgeous, holiday weekend!  Things started off a little cloudy yesterday, but cleared right up today!  On to the food…

 

I wish I could say this pizza was entirely made from scratch, but alas it was assembled with the help of Bob’s Red Mill pizza dough mix – Shhhhh!! 😀

If it wasn’t so dang delicious, I’d be sorta ashamed. Or not. Sometimes you just need a quick, yummy, GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE pizza on a Friday night!

This one’s really simple, and dare I say, the BEST pizza I’ve made, hands down, with the help of Bob since I started using this dough mix! Self-proclaimed kale fanatic that I am, obviously I threw it on a pizza, tossed on some artichoke, a generous helping of black olives (LOVE!), and of course, the best thing to happen to dairy-free cheese since…since nothing! Daiya is just waves beyond the competition, nothing even comes close.

Artichoke, Kale, & Black Olive Pizza

(Gluten-Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian)

Ingredients:

* Bob’s Red Mill packaged pizza dough mix, divided in half
* 1 egg
* 2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil
* 1/2 package included yeast
* 1 package Daiya mozzarella cheese
* 1 clove garlic, diced
* 3-4 medium-sized kale leaves
* 1/2 large can artichoke hearts, quartered
* I small can sliced black olives

Directions:

Follow the directions on the Bob’s Red Mill pizza crust mix to make the dough. Spread dough out on oiled cookie sheet or a cornmeal-sprinkled pizza stone. Poke small holes all over the dough with a fork.

Pre-bake crust according to the package directions. Spread olive oil over the crust in an even layer and sprinkle with diced garlic.

Sprinkle on as much cheese as you’d like (I like to put some down, add the rest of the toppings and then sprinkle on a bit more cheese to hold it all down). Layer on the kale, artichokes, and then black olives. Top with more cheese, if desired.

Bake 20-30 minutes, depending on how browned you like the top of your pizza. Slice and enjoyyyyy!

I kid you not, I made this pizza, had it for dinner, and then both lunch AND dinner the following day. It’s THAT good!

Om nom nom nom…

Happy Holiday Weekending, all you Memorial Day-ers!

Super Bowl XLVI (aka Tom Brady Bowl) Guacamole & Baked Sweet Potato Fries

5 Feb


NOoooooOoooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

I think by now you can tell I’m a bit of a New England Patriots/Tom Brady fan, and by a “bit” of a fan, I mean I could care less about the team and feel like my heart is breaking right along with Tom’s.

I was so hopeful that history wouldn’t repeat itself and I wouldn’t end up once again typing on my computer as it short-circuits from the tears streaming from my eyes as I try to muster a congratulatory smirk in the general direction of all the Giants fans out there.  Hey, I never said I was a GOOD sport, per say…;p

Anyway, the one good thing that came out of the Super Bowl, and I mean aside from getting to stare at Tom Brady for several hours in tight, butt-hugging spandex, was the food!  I had some pretty awesome snacks lined up, and although they did nothing for the Patriots, at least I got to drown my anxiety in yummy treats like guacamole dip and baked sweet potato fries.  I know what you’re thinking, but game day snacks can be both delicious AND healthy, and you’ll never convince me that they have to be one or the other!  I know what you’re thinking again, and you’re about to throw this post in my face and say game day is over and you can’t use any of these recipes during the Super Bowl…but I assure you, you can eat this dip and these fries any dang time you want!  And also, there will be other games, duh!

Fresh Guacamole

Bursting with flavor and healthy ingredients, this guac is as perfect with veggies or crackers as it is with traditional tortilla chips!  I’m pretty heavy-handed with the garlic and lime juice because I love the bold flavors, but feel free to amp it up even more or tone it down if you prefer.

Ingredients:

* 3 avocados
* 1/4 cup salsa, or fresh-chopped tomato and jalapeno
* 1/8 finely chopped onion
* 2 cloves finely minced garlic
* 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional)
* Juice from 1/4 of a lime
* Salt & pepper to taste
* Pinch of cumin

Directions:

Scoop out the “meat” of the avocado and mash into a bowl with a fork. Add in the salsa or fresh tomato and jalapeno, and onion. Stir in the garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cumin.

That’s it – simple! Enjoy with chips, crackers, veggies, whatever your little heart desires!

And now, on to the spuds!

 Martha Stewart’s Baked Sweet Potato Fries

These are slightly adapted from the baked fries on the Martha Stewart website here!  They’re more like a thick-cut steak fry than a thin, flimsy fry, in that they’re hunkier and  don’t get crispy all the way through.  Trust me, I don’t usually like fries, and won’t touch a regular potato “Jo-Jo”…and I think these are super delish!

Ingredients:

* 3 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2″ sections
* 3 egg whites
* salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, & basil to taste (I used Italian seasoning)

Directions:

Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a Silpat. Lay out cut sweet potatoes on a microwave safe plate, and microwave for 2 minutes. Flip and microwave another 2 minutes. Allow to cool while preparing the egg whites.

Separate 3 egg whites into a bowl and whisk until frothy. Once cool to the touch, dip each fry into the egg whites and allow to drain before arranging on lined pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and basil. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip the fries. Bake another 10-15 minutes. Test for fork-tenderness, and crispiness, and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until brown and slightly crispy. Allow to cool before enjoying!

True, they’re not the most photogenic little fries around, but they sure are DELICIOUS!  They get the job done and are super healthy!

 

I snapped a few pics of the most important part of this whole Super Bowl thing.  Look at the concentration, the determination, the anxiety?! :

And of course for dessert, I suggest Tom Brady Martha Stewart’s coconut cupcakes & my awesome coconut buttercream frosting!!

Congratulations or whatever, I guess, New York Giants!…I still love you, Tom Brady!

Grapefruitalade – Is that a word?

16 Mar

Another culinary triumph by yours truly.  With no help from anyone else, I made the world’s best grapefruitalade.

Whoa, whoa. As if.  I guess now would be a good time to tell you all that this is, I suppose officially, the first guest post on my blog.  It wasn’t by choice.  This is my older bro’s handy work, and I would have discouraged it (heavily) had I known it was happening.  Read the above sentence again and I think you will see why.  See, I made this grapefruit marmalade a few weeks back in celebration of citrus fruit, and well, my burgeoning quest to become the best jamstress in all the land.  It was enjoyed by all.  He was jealous.  I later found this very post on my brand new blog.  No help from anyone?  Generic photo?  Grapefruitalade??  Ruined. Obviously that’s not a word.

Do a google search for “grapefruitalade.” I dare you. I guarantee mine is the only site that comes up. Sighs.

Anyway, you can make some yourself.  You probably should.  Google doesn’t have it. And it ain’t makin’ itself! 😀

Grapefruit Marmalade AKA “Grapefruitalade”

* 3 lbs grapefruit, about 6
* Zest from at least 4
* 3 cups sugar
* 1/2 small box of pectin
* About 4 medium sized mason jars with lids

Directions:

Zest as many grapefruit as you’d like. Supreme grapefruit and avoid all of the nasty pith and membranes.  Add everything to a big pot and cook on high until mixture comes to a rolling boil, about 10 min. Reduce to a simmer, add sugar and cook until it reaches at least 165C. This should take about 30-40 min.  Add pectin, and simmer an additional 5 min.  Gather your sanitized glassware and lids, pour in the hot mixture, and submerge in a large pot until the tops “pop.” Remove from water, let cool, and then refrigerate until set. Yum!

…And then change your password and kick your brother off your site!