Maple-Glazed Carrot Salad

Sometimes some of my favorite recipes come from trying to find ways to use jumbo bags of carrots from Costco! This salad is one of those recipes. It’s Sunday so I’m not working; I made a stew and had some carrots leftover. My son likes maple-glazed carrots, so I made him some for lunch and then I looked at my salad bowl. Why not add them to my salad?! It was a good experiment.

I’ve talked before about my husband’s limited vegetable preferences. He, of course, is not a carrot lover, but if they are coated in a little maple syrup – that is a different story! However, since he’s not a vegetarian, he added 4 gluten-free chicken nuggets to it, and he ate a huge bowl. I am just happy that he ate his carrots!



  • Servings: ~2 large salads
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Credit: My Real Dish

Tip: (1) I didn’t have any fresh lemon when I was making this dressing. So I used Young Living Lemon Vitality Essential Oil. You can use this for so many things, not use cooking. I talk about using essential oils in cooking here. You can purchase the lemon essential oil here. Or, feel free to substitute 1 tablespoon of lemon juice instead. (2) This salad only requires 2- 3 tablespoons of dressing, so you will obviously have remaining dressing. But I stored it in the fridge and have been using it on so many different salads. (3) It serves two large salads as a full meal, or you will have 4 – 5 side salads.



  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped (~10 cups lettuce)
  • 3 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • pepper to taste

Maple-Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 5 drops Young Living Lemon Essential Oil  (or you can add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice)
  • 1/16 teaspoon Redmond Real Salt


  1. First, prepare the carrots. Chop 3 cups of carrots.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon vegan butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add carrots, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and sauté continuously (~8 minutes until they are slightly tender).
  4. While carrots are cooking, chop lettuce and prepare the salad dressing.
  5. Chop the lettuce and serve with warmed cooked carrots, along with all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss. Serve with the Maple-Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing!




Spaghetti Squash Alfredo (Vegan, Gluten-free)

This recipe is inspired by an amazing spaghetti squash lunch that I had at Café Gratitude in Kansas City. I kept wishing the restaurant was closer!! Afterward, I realized that I haven’t had spaghetti squash for a while. Now I’m obsessed with experimenting with it as a gluten-free noodle alternative! It goes very well with a spaghetti sauce!

However, one item to check off my dairy-free checklist list has been a vegan alfredo sauce. I have been working for several years to create the perfect combination of lemon and nutritional yeast! YAHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have created it!


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Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

  • Servings: ~6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Creamy delicious vegan alfredo sauce served over spaghetti squash with sautéed vegetables.

Credit: My Real Dish


Sautéed Veggies

  • ½ teaspoon real salt
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons veggie stock (GF)
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Vegan Alfredo Sauce

  • 1 cup unsalted cashews (soaked for at least 4 hours)
  • 1 cup gluten-free vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon Redmond Real Salt
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Roasted Eggplant (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 400.
  2. Prepare your spaghetti squash first. Slice squash in half, scoop out seeds (I use an ice cream scooper, place squash insides down into a roasting pan, add a little water (~1/2 inch) to the roasting pan, and cook squash for 30 – 45 minutes until it is tender when pricked with a fork. Begin prepping the rest of the meal while the squash cooks.
  3. Optional: Prepare eggplant. Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch slices and place on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with real salt and pepper. Spread 1 teaspoon of minced garlic over the eggplant. Brush 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the eggplant slices. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the 400-degree oven or until tender.
  4. Prepare vegan alfredo sauce in the Vitamix or high powered-blender. Add soaked cashews, veggie stock, minced garlic, lemon juice, real salt and nutritional yeast and purée until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Prepare sautéed vegetables. Slice the zucchini, mince the onion and chop the red bell pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté vegetables over medium heat until almost tender, approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Scoop spaghetti sauce from the shells, using forks to shred the squash into thin noodle-like strands. Add squash to the to the sautéed vegetables along with cashew alfredo sauce, 2 tablespoons vegetable stock, and 1 can diced tomatoes. Sauté for 2 minutes until fully combined.
  7. Plate the squash with eggplant served on top, and salt and pepper to taste.

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Chipotle Lime Chickpea Salad

We grilled zucchini and I made an extra so that I could have leftovers. I’m always trying to switch up my salads because I eat one every day and I don’t like to be bored. I’m obsessed with this Chipotle Lime Rub from Wildtree. I bought it in my freezer meal kit back in March and I’ve purchased four more jars since. Kind of insane, I know. I put it on everything from tacos to butternut squash. So I’ve decided that this rub will be the inspiration for my next Wildtree food series.


chickpea salad

Chipotle Lime Chickpea Salad

  • Servings: ~1
  • Difficulty: easy
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This Chipotle Lime Chickpea Salad features avocados, grilled zucchini, carrots, pistachios, and a homemade salad dressing made with Wildtree Chipotle Lime Rub.

Credit: My Real Dish


  • 1 grilled or sautéed zucchini  
  • ½ cup baby carrots sliced
  • ½ of a large avocado
  • ½ cup chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • ½ tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Wildtree Chipotle Lime Rub (You can buy it here.)
  • ½ teaspoon Redmond Real Salt
  • 3 grinds on the pepper grinder
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • Drizzle with 2 teaspoons avocado oil (you can also use olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon pistachios
  • 3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped


  1. Slice zucchini. Then grill or sauté it. If you sauté it, heat 1 tablespoon olive over medium heat or use a non-stick pan and cook for 2 – 3 minutes a side.
  2. Chop or tear romaine lettuce.
  3. Place romaine lettuce at the bottom of the bowl, add the baby carrots, rinsed garbanzo beans, and pistachios.
  4. Make the dressing. Combine the juice 1/2 of a lime in a liquid measuring cup along with the Wildtree Chipotle Lime Rub, Redmond Real Salt, pepper, and avocado or olive oil.
  5. Pour dressing on your salad, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.


Festive Peppermint Brownies

It’s Christmas, so I was trying to make something to bring to bring to my Mom’s house. This was so easy. I just made my Perfect Paleo Brownies (Vegan & Gluten-free) and added a twist for Christmas by added a dark chocolate icing and some crushed candy canes. Merry Christmas!


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Festive Peppermint Brownies

  • Servings: ~8
  • Difficulty: easy
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These gluten-free, refined-sugar free, and vegan brownies are easily made into a Christmas dessert with peppermint and a rich dark chocolate icing.

Credit: My Real Dish


  • 3/4 cup vegan butter softened (I used olive oil, soy-free Earth Balance)
  • Egg Replacer for 2 eggs (I used 3 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer and 4 tablespoons warm water) or 2 eggs (if not vegan or allergic)
  • 4 oz chocolate chips (Use Lily’s Baking Chips to make a sugar-free & vegan – they are sweetened with stevia for Paleo Brownies, or Enjoy Life chips to make them vegan, but they won’t be Paleo)
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ⅔ cup cacao powder
  • 1 ½ cup almond flour (I used Blue Diamond that I bought at Costco)
  • ¼ teaspoon real salt
  • ¼ baking soda

Dark Chocolate Icing

  • 1 can chilled coconut cream (I keep in the refrigerator overnight, hard creamy part only)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons Xylitol Powdered “Sugar” or Powdered Sugar


  • candy canes crushed
  • 1 drop Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil


  1. Heat oven to 350, and lightly grease an 8-inch baking pan.
  2. Melt vegan butter and chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove, stir and microwave for 15 seconds. Or, melt them on low heat in a medium saucepan.
  3. Prepare egg replacer in a glass mixing bowl (3 teaspoons egg replacer and 4 tablespoons warm water). Stir to combine to a nice paste.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine the applesauce, coconut sugar, vanilla, butter/chocolate mixture, cacao, and egg replacer. Beat well to incorporate.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda.
  6. Add to dry ingredients to wet and mix until well combined.
  7. Add 1 – 2 drops Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil (if desired extra peppermint flavor, but not necessary). It can be purchased here.
  8. Spread evenly into greased pan.
  9. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.
  10. Let cool completely.
  11. Make dark chocolate icing by scooping the hard creamy part of the coconut cream, and blending with a high-powered mixer with cocoa powder and Xylitol Powdered “Sugar” or Powdered Sugar until well combined. Will be creamy and thick.
  12. Spread icing on brownies and top with crushed candy canes (if desired).

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What did you bake for Christmas?


Chocolate Wafers (GF, V, Paleo)

Let’s talk about Christmas Traditions. Every year we make an Ice Box Cake with Chocolate Wafers; you can read about it here in a previous post. This is my second year making them vegan and gluten-free. This year, we are home for the holidays. I decided to make a healthier version of my gluten-free vegan cookies and you would never miss the sugar!


chocolate wafers cover

Chocolate Wafers (GF, V, Paleo)

  • Servings: 50 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Tips: If you’d like to make an icebox cake with the wafers, see my instructions here. I whipped 2 cans of chilled coconut cream (firm part only) with 2 tablespoons agave, 10 drops of stevia and 2 teaspoon vanilla until peaks form.

Credit: My Real Dish



  1. Combine the gluten-free flour, cacao, coconut sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Using a pastry cutter, scoop 1 tablespoon of vegan butter at a time into the bowl, continually combining with the pastry cutter as you incorporate each tablespoon. (If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you could put them in a Vitamix or a food processor).
  3. Combine the coconut cream and gluten-free vanilla extract in a small cup.
  4. Add the liquid mixture and continue to combine with the pastry cutter until it is fully combined.
  5. Knead a few times to make sure that it is evenly blended with your hands.
  6. Transfer the dough onto a cutting board lined with wax paper or foil.
  7. Form the dough into a log about 14 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter.
  8. Wrap the log in wax paper or foil and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour, or until needed.
  9. Place your oven racks on the top and bottom slots.
  10. Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  11. Using a scraper and chopper (I used the OXO Good Grips Multi-purpose Stainless Steel Scraper & Chopper), slice the cookies as thinly as possible.
  12. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper approximately 1 inch apart.
  13. Cook for 6 minutes on the top rack of the oven. After 6 minutes, transfer them to the lower rack and cook for another 6 – 9 minutes.
  14. Makes ~50 – 60 cookies depending on how thin you slice them. What’s good about these cookies is that they are flat at the bottom and are perfect for making an icebox cake!

What are some of your favorite holiday food traditions or recipes?


Top 15 Gluten-Free and Vegan Foods 2018

When I first found out that I couldn’t eat wheat, dairy or eggs – I wondered what I would eat. Everyone recommended Veggie Straws and Skinny Pop, and while they are gluten-free, I’ve decided to share some of my favorite allergy-friendly, vegan and gluten-free products. If you have recently discovered a gluten-intolerance and have no idea what to eat, or have a gluten-free vegan family member staying with you over the holidays and have no idea what to have in the house for them, then this list is for you!

FYI – I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. However, all of the products I am recommending in this post are my personal favorites that I frequently eat, make and enjoy.

Breakfast Foods

I am focusing on breakfast, because not only is it the most important meal of the day – it’s often the meal that gluten-free folks struggle with the most.

(1) Cherrybrook Kitchen Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix, 18 oz

Cherrybrook Kitchen makes a pancake mix that does not require eggs. I substitute non-dairy milk and the pancakes are fluffy and delicious!


(2) Van’s Gluten Free Waffles (Original, Blueberry and Apple Cinnamon)

I love Van’s Gluten-free Waffles. They are vegan and gluten-free! I often like to eat them with peanut butter and maple syrup (don’t knock it until you try it)! My kids eat them almost every day.


(3) Simple Mills Naturally Gluten-Free Almond Flour Muffin Mixes, Pumpkin Muffin, Chocolate Muffin & Cake and Banana Muffin, 3 Count

All of the Simple Mills Mixes are delicious. I use non-dairy milk, and instead of egg I substitute 1/2 banana per egg in the banana muffin mix, 1/4 cup pumpkin purée per egg in the Pumpkin Muffin Mix and 1/4 cup applesauce per egg in the Chocolate Muffin mix in order to make them vegan.


(4) Pamela’s Products Gluten Free Biscuit and Scone Mix, 13 Ounce

I never thought that I would eat biscuits again until I found this mix! I made the drop biscuits because I don’t have time to roll out the dough.


(5) Arrowhead Mills Organic Rice & Shine Hot Cereal

This cereal is available at my local grocery store Dierbergs here in St. Louis, Fresh Thyme and Whole Foods. It takes 3 minutes to make, and I serve it with a little fresh fruit, non-dairy milk, and maple syrup.


(6) Envirokidz Organic Gluten-Free Cereal, Peanut Butter Panda Puffs, 10.6 Ounce Box (Pack of 6) 

There hasn’t been an Envirokidz Gluten-Free Cereal that we haven’t liked. You really can’t go wrong with any of them, it just depends if you want your kids to have chocolate for breakfast! They are available at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods too.

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(7) Bobo’s Oat Bars Stuff’d Bars

Everyone knows about Kind Bars and Larabar Bars (the Chocolate Coconut Chew and the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip are my favorites). However, my local grocery store, Dierbergs gave out a sample of these bars and I fell in love! The Bobo’s Stuff’d Bars are my favorite – I’ve had the Chocolate Almond Nut Butter Filled, The Coconut Almond Butter, and Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter and all are to die for!!!. If you don’t want to spend the extra money for the stuff’d bars, the non-stuff’d are good as well; I particularly like the Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip Bar.


(8)Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Quick Cooking Rolled Oats, 32-ounce

Overnight Oats are all the rage right now. I have been experimenting with some recipes too. Pick up some of these Gluten-Free Quick Oats and you’ll be grateful!


Gluten-Free Vegan Bread & Pasta

(9) Schar Deli-Style Bread Gluten Free — 8.5 oz(Case of 6)

This is the best gluten-free sandwich bread on the market. It doesn’t crumble and it tastes like a normal slice of bread!


(10) SCHAR | Baguettes- [Gluten Free] 12.3 Oz [1 Pack]

This is the only vegan and gluten-free baguette that I’ve found, and I won’t look any further unless I find one that can beat the price but still tastes as good. I often slice it, spread some vegan butter on it and make a toasted garlic cheese bread with it! I love it with pasta.

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(11) Andean Dream Fusilli Quinoa Pasta Gluten Free (3×8 Oz)

This pasta is a no-fuss gluten-free pasta that doesn’t get mushy or stick together. It is delicious!


Gluten-free Crackers

I love these crackers crumbled into soups, eaten as a snack, dipped in peanut butter, hummus or avocado.

(12) Simple Mills – Almond Flour Grain Free, Gluten Free Crackers



(13) Ka-Me Gluten Free Rice Crackers, Sesame, 3.5 Ounce





(14) Mi-Del GF Pie Crust, Choc Snaps, 7.1 Oz

If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to make a crust from scratch, this chocolate cookie crumb pie crust will make the rush worthwhile!

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(15) Enjoy Life Crunchy Cookies, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free and Soy-Free, Chocolate Chip, 6.3 Ounce (Pack of 6)

It is a hard choice between the regular gluten-free chocolate chip cookie and the chocolate chocolate-chip cookie. Both are delicious!


Enjoy LIfe Cookie

What are your favorite gluten-free foods? Share in the comments!


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Chocolate Peanut Butter “Caramel” Overnight Oats (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

I have been playing around with overnight oats. I will say this, at first I wasn’t a huge fan. However, after achieving a good flavor with my Pumpkin Overnight Oats, I continued my search for good recipes. I love the easiness of just preparing something the night ahead and having it ready for the next day. I know I’ve mentioned many times that I am constantly scrambling to get out the door in the morning.

So one night I was messing with ingredients, and I had been grinding up dates with a little non-dairy milk in the Vitamix and putting them in my oats. Well, in the USA we have a sauce that’s called The Date Lady Syrup. It’s 100% ground dates. It has become my caramel sauce substitute, and we put it on apples, bananas, pancakes, and waffles.

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So I was wondering, could I just put this syrup in my oats instead of puréeing dates in the Vitamix with the non-dairy milk? The answer is YES and it’s amazing. Especially the way I have it paired with chocolate, peanut butter and banana. YOU. MUST. TRY. THIS.

Date Lady Oats

  • Servings: 4 oz
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Tips: (1) If you do not have The Date Lady Syrup you can add 5 dates to the Vitamix with the non-dairy milk and purée before adding to the oats. (2) You can smash the banana before adding to the oats, or slice on top. (3) Works best in at least a 6 oz container. (4) I’ve made the oats with or without the chocolate chips. If you prefer them without chocolate then skip them.

Credit: My Real Dish


  • ½ cup gluten-free quick oats (I used Bob Red Mills
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I’ve used hemp or almond)
  • ¼ teaspoon chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon date lady syrup
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (I prefer crunchy peanut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 banana (see tips, can be smashed or sliced on top)


  1. Add gluten-free quick oats to a 6 oz jar.
  2. Add non-dairy milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, The Date Lady Syrup, peanut butter, and chocolate chips to the jar.
  3. Stir well, put the lid on, and shake.
  4. Put them in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Heat them for 50 seconds in the microwave in the morning or serve cold. I prefer them warm.
  6. Serve with a sliced banana on top.
  7. Sprinkle them with a bit of cinnamon and / or drizzle with more of The Date Lady Syrup