Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ultra Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese - Gluten, Dairy & Soy Free



This is basically a re-posting of my Dairy Free Pumpkin Mac & Cheese with a minor tweak that really sets it apart.  This truly tastes (and feels) like the real deal.  And while there is still pumpkin in this recipe, you won't taste it at all.  It serves to make the sauce rich and creamy.  The small addition of the onion and garlic powder truly enhances the "cheese" flavor in this dish.  This has become a family favorite and I can change it up so many ways.  Adding mix-ins will also make the meal stretch farther and either feed more mouths or provide another meal as leftovers.  It also reheats really well, it, does not get that dry, waxy texture that traditional re-heated mac & cheese tends to get.

Here are just a few of the ways I mix it up...

Tuna Casserole:  Mix in 1-2 cans of tuna (I prefer white albacore), and 1 small bag of frozen peas (cooked) to the prepared mac & cheese.
Mac & Cheese Burger:  Brown 1 package of ground turkey, add about 1 C of pasta sauce, fold into the prepared mack & cheese
Frank & Cheese:  Dice up grass fed beef or Applegate turkey hotdogs and cook in a pan.  Add to the prepared mac & cheese

Ultra Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese

Gluten, Dairy & Soy Free


Ingredients:


1 package of gluten free pasta of your choice (I love Tinkyada Brown Rice Elbows, Shells or Spirals)

2 Tbl. Sp. Earth Balance Buttery Spread (I use the soy free version).

1/2 C Daiya Mozzarella style shreds

1 C Daiya Cheddar style shreds

1/2 C unsweetened almond milk

1/2 C canned or freshly roasted pumpkin

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder or roasted garlic powder. (I like the roasted best)

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Directions:

1.) Prepare the pasta according to the directions. *The best method for Al Dente texture:  Follow the energy saving directions on the package but, check texture after 8-10 min rather than 15.

2.) Drain and rinse the pasta and set aside.

3.) Use the same pot to make your cheese sauce.  Over Medium/High heat, add the Earth Balance, both Daiya shreds, the almond milk, pumpkin and spices all at once.

4.)  Stir briskly and continuously until the shreds have completely melted  It will look lumpy/curdled at first.  Don't fret, just keep stirring.  It WILL come together into a beautiful sauce.  This is what I get after about 3 min...



5.)  Remove from the heat and gently fold in the pasta until well coated.  (Fold in any other prepared mix-in's at this time too)

6.)  Add salt & pepper to taste and enjoy!


 *Affiliate Disclosure: Some (or all) of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.*

Monday, June 16, 2014

5 Ingredient Cookies & Cream Ice Cream - Vegan, Gluten Free & Soy Free


Miss M really wanted me to make cookies and cream ice cream for her.  Making it dairy and gluten free would be no problem for me but, making it soy free was proving to be a challenge.  I have seen 3 or 4 different gluten free brands of chocolate cream cookies (ya know, the ones that look like Oreo's).  But, every single one of them has soy.  Why do they feel this is such an important ingredient?  Ugh!  Well, just like with the last recipe I made (my vegan, SF, GF Banana Pudding), I was munching on some HappyTot Best Friends Chocolate Pumpkin cookies and realized, they really so taste like the chocolate sandwich cookies without the cream.  So, I set to work on my recipe and came up with an easy to make, 5 ingredient solution.  There is no cooking involved and no waiting for it to chill.  If you keep cans of coconut milk stocked in the fridge, then you would likely be able to make this on a whim.  If you keep them in the pantry, then it's best for you to at least wait for a can of coconut milk to completely chill before making this.  It will be a soft serve when it's done.  It gets pretty hard when fully frozen but, letting it sit at room temp for just a few min, makes it soft enough to scoop.  Honestly, it would probably be softer if you use 2 cans of the full fat stuff, but, I'm trying to keep the calories down here.  ;)

Cookies & Cream Ice Cream

5 Ingredients, Vegan, Gluten Free & Soy Free

Ingredients:

1 can of full fat coconut milk
1 can-full of unsweetend coconut milk (such as Silk or SoDelicious) *pour it into your emptied can to measure)
2/3 C of honey or maple Syrup
1 vanilla bean scraped, or 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 package of HappyTot Best Friends Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies, crushed

Directions:

  1. Add everything except the cookies to a blender and whip for 30 seconds
  2. Pour into your ice cream maker (follow manufacture instructions)
  3. When the ice cream has gotten pretty thick (about 12-15 min in mine), add the crushed cookies. *Do NOT over-mix*
  4. Serve as is or place in freezer to harden.  It may be helpful to give it a quick stir every 30 min but not necessary.
  *Affiliate Disclosure: Some (or all) of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.*

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

EASY Banana Pudding - Dairy, Gluten, Soy & Refined Sugar Free



There are many dairy & gluten free of banana pudding recipes out there already so, why make another one?  Well, after looking at said recipes, I came to find that some just didn't fit that authentic, nostalgic bill.  No cookies?  No layers? Really???  Some were far too complicated for my liking.  I mean, I love the idea of making my own vanilla wafers but, I'm a busy, homeschooling mama... ain't nobody got time for dat!  (Okay, I know, that line is probably overused but, I had to do it).  I may eventually get around to trying my own but, for now, I wanted simple & easy.  Some recipes involved soy which makes me crazy.  (No, really, it does!).  Anywho... As I was browsing recipes for that one that would hit the nail on the head (with no success), I was snacking on a few of my toddlers cookies HappyTot Best Friends Honey Buckwheat cookies and that's when I got a brilliant idea.

Basically banana pudding is vanilla pudding layered with fresh banana slices and vanilla wafers.  I already knew how to make dairy free vanilla pudding (it's so easy) so I set to work to make my own creation.  I pondered using tapioca starch since I know so many of you are grain free out there but, It's just a little trickier to work with in a pudding (too much can make it gummy) and since the cookies are not grain free, I figured it didn't make a difference if I used corn starch.  I recommend Organic, Non-GMO Cornstarch of course.  The end result was...Oh! My! Wow!  It's Banana Pudding perfection folks.  Creamy, banana goodness in a bowl.  YUM!  I enjoy it as is but, it's also great with a dollop of Coconut Whipped Cream (found at the bottom of that link).  And, the next time I make it, I plan to try the HappyTot Best Friends Chocolate Pumpkin cookies.  (They are SO yummy).  Then it will be a Chocolate Banana Pudding.  Mmmm. I hope you try the recipe (despite my awful photography skills) and I hope you love it as much as we do.

Easy Banana Pudding  

(free of dairy, soy, gluten & refined sugars)

Ingredients: 

1 Can (14 oz.) of Organic, Full Fat Coconut Milk
2 Eggs
1/4 C Maple Syrup
1/4 C Honey
2 TblSp of Organic Non-Gmo Corn Starch
3 Tblsp of water
2 tsp pure Vanilla extract
Bananas (6 Small or 5 Med. or 4 Large), sliced thin and divided in half
1 Package of HappyTot Best Friends Honey Buckwheat cookies

Directions:

  1. Slice bananas, separate and set aside 
  2. Mix cornstarch and water and set aside
  3. In a pot, whisk coconut milk, maple & honey together over Medium heat, whisk constantly
  4. When mixture just starts to bubble, pour in cornstarch mixture (you may need to give it a quick stir first)
  5. Continue to whisk until mixture is thickened
  6. Remove from heat and add vanilla and half of the banana slices.  Whisk well until bananas are broken down.
  7. In your dish of choice and layer 1/3 of the pudding, banana slices and cookies and repeat, ending with pudding on top and cookies for decoration.  (Could add Coconut Whipped Cream for decoration too AFTER it cools).
  8. Let chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving. 

 *Affiliate Disclosure: Some (or all) of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.*

Maple Orange BBQ Sauce - Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free

 Maple Orange BBQ Sauce

Free of Gluten and Refined Sugars

Ingredients:

6 oz. Tomato Paste
1.5 C Orange Juice
1/4 C Balsamic or White Wine Vinegar (I have used both but, I really love the depth the balsamic gives it)
2 tsp Molasses
1 Tbsp Low Sodium, GF Soy Sauce
1/4 Red Onion
1 Tbsp Mustard prepared (I like Organicville Stone Ground Mustard)
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Chili Powder (I like the spicy kick in Frontier's Fiesta Chili Powder but, any is fine)
1/2 tsp Celery Seed
1/2 tsp Xanthun Gum
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1/4 c Coconut Sugar OR Honey (It will be slightly thicker with the coconut sugar but, either way tastes great)
1 tsp of smoked salt (or sea salt if you don't have smoked)  I just like a slightly smoky flavor to my BBQ sauce.

Directions:

  1. Put everything into your blender and blend on high for 15-20 seconds.
  2. Transfer to a pot
  3. Bring to a boil while whisking and then reduce to a very low simmer.
  4. Let cook for at least 30 min, stirring periodically
  5. Alternatively, you could cook on low for 3-4 hours in the crockpot.
*Affiliate Disclosure: Some (or all) of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.*