Cashew Cream Sauce (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

Gluten-Free Pasta with Cashew Cream Sauce

If you love cream sauce and cashews there is little better than this easy sauce served with your favorite roasted veggies and pasta. I had put off making this sauce forever thinking it was complicated and my best friend showed me that it is the easiest recipe ever. All you really need is a high powered blender. This recipe really is a lazy, gluten-free, vegan cooks dream. This is a great go to healthier alternative to dairy based cream sauces. While it is amazingly delicious, no one will mistake this for a classic alfredo sauce. I almost think it’s better, but that’s coming from a cashew obsessed vegan food lover.

BTW- That Parma Veg alternative “cheese” is delicious and 100% gluten-free.

Cashew Cream Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups raw plain cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (gluten-free)
  • a few pinches of chili flakes to taste
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard (gluten-free)
  • 2 cloves garlic (one if you prefer it less garlicky)

Place all the ingredients in a high powered blender (we used a NutriBullet)  and combine until it makes a sauce. About 30 seconds. It’s that easy. You can add more water if you want a thinner sauce, more nutritional yeast if you want it “cheesier” and or more spice if that’s how you like it (we added sriracha).

We served ours with pasta and roasted veggies (mushroom and broccoli roasted with oil, salt and pepper for about 20 minutes). You can bake the finished product in the oven for 15-20 minutes to make a kind of baked macaroni if you want, but we served it as is. The sauce stores well in the fridge for a few days.

Adapted from this recipe by Tara Stiles

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Nachos- The Perfect Gluten-Free Snackfood

Easy Gluten-Free Nachos

Sometimes we need to be reminded of the basics, at least I do. This isn’t really a recipe, more of a reminder of how good nachos can be. This winter has been pretty brutal and sometimes you need a little comfort food. Nachos are the perfect comfort food in my books. They are delicious, filling, crowd pleasing and super easy to prepare.

So get out your favorite corn chips, cheese and veggies and make the best nachos ever. Sometimes snack food for dinner is just what you need! And it’s kinda healthy, look there’s vegetables! We didn’t this time but you can add beans, chicken or beef for more protein!

Ingredients:

  • Corn chips (most are gluten-free, but always check!)
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Veggies: chopped red peppers, jalapenos, red onion, green onion and avocado (add the avo only after baking)

After baking in a 450 F oven  for 5-10 minutes (or as much time  it took to brown the cheese a little, you can also broil) we added chopped avocado and served with salsa and lime on the side.

Tip: tinfoil is the lazy nacho makers BFF! Minimal clean-up.

There are no rules! Try a bunch of different combos!

Some more ideas:

  • blue corn chips or flavored chips
  • beans (black beans or refried beans)
  • more protein options: chicken or tofu
  • different cheeses (you can used Daiya for vegan nachos)
  • more veggie options: tomatoes, corn, sprouts..
  • olives or pickled jalapenos
  • fresh herbs (coriander or chives work well)
  • serve with : sour cream, guacamole…

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The Real Deal Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Real Deal Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip CookiesI want to have this as a snack every afternoon…

These cookies from Alton Brown have been brought to my attention several times. The first time was years ago when my friend George called me telling me he had a whole bag of xantham gum for me because he had Googled “World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie” and bought all the ingredients for what turned out to be a gluten-free recipe. He decided to not make the cookies because a gluten-free cookies can’t be the world’s best and I ended up with a free bag of xantham gum. The second time, after I had forgotten about the xantham gum from George, was when my friend Meline brought over this dough for a dinner party and made these amazing cookies that taste like the real deal buttery cookies my mom used to make. I was sold. I will not say these are the “World’s Best” but I will say these are great cookies or as I say, The Real Deal. This is my go to for a decadent, sure to please everyone cookie.

These cookies call for more ingredients than I am usually a fan of but once you have them in the cupboard you are good to go for the next time. They are definitely worth the small effort of measuring, sifting together the flours and bringing out the mixer (I am the laziest baker!). These are definitely a treat (nothing healthy here) and are full of butter, I often freeze some cookie dough already in balls so there aren’t too many around to eat at once!

Ingredients

Makes between 24-30 cookies depending on the size.

  • 1 cup butter (it calls for unsalted but I use salted and it works well)
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free cornstarch
  • 2 tbsps tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (can put a bit less if using salted butter)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/4 light brown sugar (you can use what you have on hand, works with light or dark)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsps milk (any kind will work: whole, almond, soy…)
  • 1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • Optional: chopped nuts
  • Melt the butter in a large mixing bowl in the microwave (or in a pot on the stove).
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca flour, xantham gum, salt and baking soda.
  • Add both of the sugars to the bowl with the melted butter and using a hand or stand mixer, cream together on medium speed for about 1 minute. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until properly combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir to distribute.
  • Put that delicious cookie dough in the fridge for about an hour, or longer if you get distracted or want to save them for later.
  • Once the dough is almost cooled heat the oven to 375F.
  • Once out of the fridge form the dough into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating the pans mid-way minutes for even baking. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on the pans or a wire rack if you are fancy. I definitely prefer my cookies a little undercooked.
These are pretty serious cookies, so try to restrain yourself but it’s pretty hard. There is nothing whatsoever missing.
Adapted from this recipe.
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GF Product Review: Gluten-Free Matzo Ball & Soup Mix

2013-03-29 20.13.02My good friend introduced me to this gluten-free matzo ball & soup mix and it’s perfect. The matzo balls are soft and fluffy and the broth is simple, we sometimes add some spices and fresh dill. The box calls for adding celery and carrots. My friend recently made me this soup when I had a never ending cold, now that is a real gluten-free BFF! There is nothing better than a big bowl of gluten-free soup made my someone you love and gluten-free matzo balls make it even better.

You can find this Streit’s Matzo Ball & Soup Mix in the kosher section of some grocery stores.

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Super Chocolatey Flourless Cupcake Brownies

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Don’t say those 2 words! Gluten-Free! Oh the judgement! Blame it on a few really, really bad gluten-free products or some of my early attempts at gluten-free baking, but gluten-free shouldn’t equal tasteless, dry and disgusting. I definitely had my share of baking failures before being diagnosed with celiac disease. Bad food happens, gluten-free or not, and like anything there is a learning curve to cooking and baking 100% gluten-free in gluten-filled world. To me gluten-free now means health. It means eating without illness. And as someone who loves food it means preparing and eating amazing food everyday that happens to be gluten-free.

I made these brownies for my friends recently and they all agreed they tasted like amazingly delicious brownies and not all gluten-free.  It’s a bit of a backhanded compliment, but I’ll take it. So make a batch of these and remind everyone that gluten-free is great and especially great when it means those with severe food allergies can eat great food with everyone else.

Super Chocolately Flourless Brownie Bites

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup melted butter (you can use vegetable oil if you want them to be dairy free)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsps vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)

Preheat the oven t0 350 F.

Lightly grease your baking pans, you can use: mini muffin tins, a muffin pan or a 9×13 baking dish.

Mix the sugars and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until well combined. Mix in the eggs and add the vanilla. Beat for about two minutes. In a separate bowl mix together the cocoa and salt, add the to the batter and blend until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts. Pour into prepared pans and pop them into the oven.

I chose to make cupcake and mini cupcake brownies. I would recommend about 20 minutes cooking time for the minis, 30 minutes for the larger cupcakes and 25-30 minutes if you are making classic brownies in a pan. If using the muffin pans make sure to let the brownies cool before removing them from the pan. The baking time may very depending on your oven so make sure to check on them.

These are perfect on their own, with icing or with ice cream.

This recipe was inspired by a great blog: Yammie’s Gluten Freedom

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Healthy Cookie Dough Baked Oatmeal (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

2014-01-28 15.09.15I have been dying to try this simple recipe for baked cookie dough oatmeal that I adapted from one of my favourite healthy baking websites. The original recipe made them look like cakes but because I am inpatient and insist on eating my food hot mine worked out better kept in the ramekin. This recipe tastes like a decadent cookie but is super easy to make, pretty healthy and makes a great breakfast, snack or dessert. It is also really easy to play around with the ingredients and try different combos, baked oatmeal is hard to screw up. In my books anything that is this yummy, easy, comforting and falls into the healthy column is a definitely a winner.

How have I gone my whole life without trying baked oatmeal!?!?

Ingredients

These proportions make 3 to 4 small ramekins full of oatmeal. You could also bake it in one large dish.

  • 1 cup certified gluten-free rolled oats (I like Cream Hill Estates)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3 or 4 TBSPs maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk (any kind) or water
  • a few handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • Optional: chopped nuts, coconut flakes and cinnamon (pecans and almonds worked well)

Preheat your oven to 400F.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and distribute into 3 or 4 ramekins (depending on their size). It is not necessary but you can coat the ramekins with a little coconut oil or vegetable oil. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until set and then increase the heat to broil for several minutes for a crispy top or just continue cooking them for a few more minutes (the cookie time really depends on your oven and how crispy you would like your top to be).

Enjoy this filling and delicious treat right out of the oven. Perfect for this cold weather we have been having. It can also be made ahead. I kept mine in the fridge for 24 hours before baking and they tasted exactly the same.

Note: If you would like it to come out as a little cake make sure to coat the ramekin with a little oil (I prefer coconut) so it will release once cooled.

Inspired by this great blog Chocolate Covered Katie that features amazing healthy version of almost every dessert imaginable, many being gluten-free.

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Super Easy Egg & Corn Tortilla Breakfast Wrap (Gluten-Free)

gluten-free egg and tortilla breakfast wrapOne of my favorite super quick gluten-free breakfasts/snacks is this easy kinda omelet wrapped in a corn tortilla. It takes one minute to make and you can fill it with just about anything!

Ingredients for one breakfast wrap:

  • one egg, whisked in a small bowl with a pinch of salt
  • one corn tortilla
  • a small amount of butter or oil for pan (optional if using non stick)
  • For serving: cheese, onion, avocado, herbs, tomatoes…

Heat a pan over medium heat. Heat butter or oil. Pour in the egg and top with the corn tortilla. Once the egg is set flip the tortilla and heat it on the other side. Once cooked to your liking remove from heat and add your cheese and other fillings.

I filled mine with avocado and red onion and served it with hot sauce.

I brought these made in Quebec corn tortillas that are labeled gluten-free at Adonis

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Easy Smashed Chickpea Salad (Gluten-Free)

2014-01-13 20.16.35This smashed chickpea salad is one of my favorite things to make and it only takes a few minutes. I often make a double batch to eat throughout the week. It is great on it’s own, as a filler in a sandwich or as an addition to a salad. My preference is to serve it on gluten-free toast with mayo.

The simple combo of chickpeas, lemon, red onion and parsley is always perfect. It’s an easy thing to throw together for a group and make in large quantities if you want to bring something that is healthy and gluten-free for everyone to share.

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 TBSP finely chopped red onion
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
  • Zest and juice from half a lemon (you can use more to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few TBSPs of  olive oil (to taste)

Note: This is really a no measurement recipe. I just gave suggestions, feel free to play with amounts.

Mix everything but the olive oil in a medium sized bowl and lightly smash the chickpea mixture with a fork or a potato masher (I sometimes omit this step if using it as a salad). Add the olive oil and mix it all together.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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Simple Roasted Savoy Cabbage

2014-01-05 17.24.58-1What to do with that 1/2 cabbage you have left from that other recipe? Roast it! Roasting is always a great way to cook left over veggies and savoy cabbage is surprisingly good this way. I know this is a super easy recipe but it’s just a little reminder to eat your veggies, particularly the ones that are being ignored in the back of your fridge.

Ingredients

  • Savoy cabbage, cored and thinly chopped
  • A few drizzles of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: lemon, nuts, gf tamari…

Heat oven to 400 F.

Spread cabbage on a baking sheet (not over crowded) and with your hands coat leaves with olive oil, salt and pepper. If you are using tamari you can add it now. Cook for about 15 minutes, checking and mixing it half way. You can season it with a squeeze of lemon or garnish it with chopped nuts.

I served mine with tofu and quinoa.

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Gluten-free should be easy: Flourless PB Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flourless PB, Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookies (GF)The coming New Year has motivated me to write a little more and share more recipes. As always they will be easy, mostly healthy, mainly vegetarian/vegan and completely gluten-free.

I want to put the word easy in front of every recipe I post because that is what is most important to me. While I have the highest level of admiration for gluten-free blogs featuring the most amazing perfect gf cakes, bagels, croissants… I don’t have the patience. I don’t have a food scale, I can’t be bothered with conversions and I try to avoid going to a million stores to buy special ingredients. What you get are simple recipes such as this cookie that calls for ingredients you probably have in your cupboard or can get at a normal grocery store, except maybe the certified gf oats- my little grocery definitely does not carry those.

The reality is that I have a not so fancy kitchen, zero pricey kitchen gadgets and an unreliable oven. That being said if this year is the year you want to start doing more in the kitchen there isn’t a better time. There are thousands of amazing gluten-free recipes out there to try, my Pinterest has a bunch: How Sweet it is to be Gluten-Free and Gluten Free.

2014 will feature lots more of my staple, easy recipes that won’t keep you in the kitchen for more than an hour and won’t have you cleaning up all afternoon. Because who has time for that!

All the best for 2014!!!!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are the perfect combination of PB, oats and chocolate.

What would happen if a peanut butter cookie, oatmeal cookie and chocolate chip cookie got together and had a cookie baby?

Ingredients

Makes 18-22 cookies

  • 2/3 cup Certified Gluten-Free Oats (I use Cream Hill Estates)
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter (not natural, you need the processed kind)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp GF Vanilla
  • 1 tsp GF Baking Soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350F.

In a small bowl mix the oats and baking soda.

In a large mixing bowl combine the peanut butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla with a spoon or hand mixer, mixing for several minutes until well combined (at least 3 minutes). Add oat mixture and mix until combine with a spoon and then fold in chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet (2). Press the cookies down lightly with your hand (just a little). Note: If your dough is too runny to roll into balls just spoon the batter onto the cookie sheet, they will still bake perfectly.

Bake in oven for 9 to 11 minutes until they are just starting to brown on the edges. It’s okay if they look a little undercooked, they taste better this way and firm up after a few minutes.

Let them cool slightly and you’re done!

Note: Make sure to use certified GF oats and even then some people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity cannot tolerate oats.

Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen

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