Tag Archives: #glutenfree

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

I know that I’ve been posting a lot of chocolate recipes lately, but in my house Valentine’s Day requires a lot of chocolate; it’s the way to my husband’s heart! 

Since I posted the 2 Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes, I’ve been thinking about making the Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies With Almond Flour with chocolate; tonight I made them, and they were a perfect Valentine’s Day treat! 

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

  • 2 cups Almond Flour (I used Blue Almond from Costco)
  • ¼ cup Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend
  • ½ cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup organic pure maple sugar (I bought Coombs Family Farms Maple Sugar at Fresh Thyme)
  • ½ cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons egg replacer + 4 tablespoons warm water (I used Ener‑G Egg Replacer – it’s available at Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme and Amazon) – If you aren’t vegan or allergic to eggs you can use 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips + ¼ cup chocolate vegan chips set aside (Use Lily’s Baking Chips to make a sugar-free Paleo cookie since they are sweetened with stevia, or Enjoy Life chips to make them vegan)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon  Redmond’s Real Salt
  • ½ banana IMG_0996 cover photo.jpg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease cookie sheet and set aside.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and Redmond’s Real Salt in small bowl.
  4. Prepare your egg replacer (take 3 teaspoons egg replacer, 4 tablespoons warm water, and mix until it thickens).
  5. Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla in large bowl until creamy.
  6. Add Ener‑G Egg Replacer
  7. Gradually mix in dry ingredients.
  8. Mash the 1/2 banana.
  9. Add the  banana and continue to mix until combined.
  10. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  11. Drop tablespoons of dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet. I used a knife to get the dough out of the tablespoon. because they were very sticky, and then gently smoothed the top. If you don’t smooth the top  – they will look jagged.
  12. Bake for 14 – 15 minutes until they are browned  and firm to the touch. (I baked them for 15 minutes)
  13. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  14. Put ¼ cup of chocolate chips in a glass bowl and microwave for 30 second increments stirring in between sessions until melted and smooth.
  15. Drizzle melted chocolate over cookies.IMG_0992.JPG
  16. Makes ~2 dozen cookies

susanellenlogoweb

 

Chocolate Wafer Cookies & Ice Box Cake (Gluten-free & Vegan)

Every year we made an icebox cake for Christmas. My daughter wrote all about it in her tradition story project at school. That’s when I got scared. This was the first year with the kids being wheat, egg, and dairy free. How was I going to make a gluten-free and vegan cake without the Nabisco cookies and whipped topping? I couldn’t break the tradition. See how sweet they are making this cake! My son was 2 here.

Last Christmas, we traveled to Florida to see my mother-in-law, so my husband and I went to the local Walmart on Christmas Eve, in attempt to get Christmas gifts and the ingredients to recreate the treasured icebox cake.  Peace & Calming to the rescue; seriously it helped me survive the crowds and chaos! I deserved the mother of the year award for a trip to Walmart, followed by Toys “R” Us on Christmas Eve!

While at Walmart, I bought Pillsbury Best Multi-Purpose Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend, Smart Balance (Vegan Butter), and Hershey’s Cocoa Powder. I was sincerely surprised at how delicious and crisp these gluten-free vegan chocolate wafers were, and very inexpensive! FYI,  I don’t recommend the heavy coconut cream from Wal-Mart, it has tons of sugar and water, because of the dilution it doesn’t whip well – it tastes like marshmallows. I prefer the Trader Joe’s Brand or Tai Kitchen full-fat coconut cream. Or, if you’re lazy, you can use the CocoWhip!, but it will taste more like Cool Whip.

Since it was Christmas, my mother-in-law requested that I try to stick to traditional cane sugar and cocoa powder instead of cacao and coconut sugar. I get it, she didn’t want to “ruin” the cookies with my typical healthier experimentation. I’ll have to experiment another time and report back!

Regardless, my mother-in-law (who had wanted to go buy the Nabisco cookies and make her own separate cake) declared, “These are really really good! Are you going to put these on your blog? You should!” I take that as a vegan gluten-free win!

Chocolate Wafer Cookies (Gluten-Free  & Vegan)

  • 1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (2.4 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons vegan butter, slightly softened (I used Smart Balance)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk (I prefer Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Combine the gluten-free flour, cocoa, 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 vanilla 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.img_9255
  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. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  11. Using a pastry cutter (the Betty Crocker with measurements printed is great for this), slice the cookies as thinly as possible.
  12. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper approximately 1 inch apart. The first time I placed them too close like this and they grew together but were easily separated. The next time I placed them 1 inch apart and they were perfect.img_9286
  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.

Makes ~60 cookies if you slice them very thin. What’s good about these cookies is that they are flat at the bottom and are perfect for making an icebox cake!

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Icebox Cake (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate Wafers
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 can coconut cream or full-fat milk  (refrigerated overnight)

Directions:

  1. First, make the vegan coconut whipped cream. Since I made this dairy free, I used 1 can coconut cream (you can also use full-fat coconut milk) that had been in the fridge overnight and ¼ cup powdered sugar. Mix with a mixer on high until fluffy. If you don’t have a good mixer, you can use a Vitamix, or put your metal bowl in the freezer before whipping the cream.IMG_9451.JPG
  2. Then, ice your gluten-free vegan chocolate wafers and create a stack of cookies.
  3. After four sandwich cookies lay them on a wax paper covered tray, and continue to put a layer of whip cream on each chocolate wafer, lay it down on the tray creating a row of cookies. Repeat this for three rows. If you’re fancy you can try to make a design – like a Christmas tree with your icebox cake, but I’d try traditional rows for the first time.
  4. Carefully push the chocolate wafer rows together with a cookie inside the filling of another. Then, smooth the vegan whip cream around the entire outside of the cookies.
  5. The icebox cake needs to sit overnight. The wafers will soak up the cream and become soft. Note how the chocolate wafers absorb the coconut cream.img_9378-updated
  6. So in the meantime, the kids didn’t want to wait. I took extra chocolate wafers, put them in a cupcake liner, topped them with coconut cream, and enjoyed them right away! They are little mini-icebox cupcakes!img_9369

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

susanellenlogoweb

Inspiration: https://smittenkitchen.com/2009/03/homemade-chocolate-wafers-icebox-cupcakes/. I adapted her recipe to make it gluten and dairy free (vegan) and changed the directions.

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Eggplant Pizza Bake

Eggplant Pizza Bake

I was craving pizza, and planned on making eggplant pizzas. However, when I started to brainstorm my meals for the week, I wanted a way to stretch my recipes and save prep time. So after making the Protein Loaded Pizza SauceI prepped the veggies for pizza, and then made extra for this dish. It’s a divine combination of tomato, eggplant, zucchini, cajun spice, and goat cheese. 

Start with the Protein Loaded Pizza SauceIt will take 30-60 minutes to simmer. Then prep your veggies and start your Eggplant Pizza Bake.eggplant-pizza-bake

Ingredients

Directions:Prepare the Protein Loaded Pizza Sauce.

  1. Preheat oven to 500.
  2. Clean the veggies. I soaked the mushrooms in Young Living Fruit and Vegetable Soak – it is the best at getting dirt off fruits and vegetables.
  3. Chop garlic and shallots.
  4. Slice zucchini into ¼ inch thick slices, and slice mushrooms.
  5. Slice eggplant in ¼ inch slices, and place them on a couple cookie sheets. img_0799
  6. Put 1/4 cup olive oil in a measuring cup with 4 drops Young Living Basil Essential Oil and 2 drops Young Living Thyme Essential Oil. I talk about my dish with essential oils here in this veggie pasta sauce post. I’m available to help you use them in and out of the kitchen. Click here to learn how to order them. img_0798
  7. Brush the olive and essential oil mixture on the slices of eggplant. Salt and pepper generously. Flip them over and repeat with the other side.
  8. Sprinkle 2 chopped cloves garlic on the eggplant.
  9. Broil eggplant at 500 for 7 mins
  10. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan on medium-high heat, add zucchini, shallots, and remaining 2 cloves of garlic, and sauté for 3 minutes. 
  11. After three minutes add 2 tablespoons olive oil, mushrooms, 2 drops Young Living Basil Essential Oil, and 1 drop Young Living Thyme Essential Oils. Cook until tender, but not mushy.
  12. Change the oven temperature to 350.
  13. Slice the sausages (if desired). I like this brand because it’s antibiotic, gluten, casein, nitrates, nitrites, and MSG-free. This flavor has a little kick, and one sausage adds just a hint of cajun spice to the dish. I’ve been in search of vegan / gluten-free sausages and they are a hard findimg_0805
  14. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce at the bottom of a 10 x 12 glass pan – this prevents the eggplant from sticking without using a spray.
  15. Place eggplant on top of the sauceimg_0811
  16. Sprinkle the goat cheese over the eggplantimg_0816
  17. Top with a layer of mushrooms, zucchini, and sliced andouille chicken sausage (omit for vegetarian, but consider a sprinkle of a cajun spice if avoided).
  18. Repeat layers. Eggplant, sauce, goat cheese, mushrooms, zucchini, and sausage. IMG_0824.JPG
  19. Bake for 45 minutes. 
  20. Remove from oven, and let it cool for 10 minutes.IMG_0831.JPG
  21. Serve & enjoy!img_0841

What are your favorite eggplant dishes?

susanellenlogoweb

Sweet & Spicy Peppers In a Taco Bowl (Paleo)

We were leaving out of town, and I was trying to avoid going to the grocery store. We didn’t have much in the fridge, but whatever we had – I wanted to use up! Then, I got an idea after looking at these 2 gorgeous green peppers – taco bowls! I was out of fresh lime, but I had Young Living Lime Essential Oil, so at least it didn’t stop me from making dinner! 

First, start your rice. I selected an organic short grain that I cooked with veggie stock instead of water to add extra flavor. Next, pick your protein; I put a can of organic black beans in a small pan, and turned it on low. A pack of organic bison is great, to include an easy tasty lean protein; feel free to sub any protein to make it vegan. Personally, I like Beyond Meat in this recipe. It sounds like a cliché, but you will NOT know that it’s not from an animal. It’s only available here in St. Louis at Whole Foods, and it’s made of pea protein.

The Best Taco Meat EVER

  • 1 lb bison or lean beef (organic grass-fed preferred) or Beyond Meat for a great vegan option
  • ½ packet of Taco Seasoning (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 can organic tomato sauce (I used Kirkland’s from Costco)
  • 1 tablespoon organic blue agave syrup
  • ½ onion
  • 1 clove garlic

Directions:

  1. Brown your meat in a large pan. Drain the fat, if you’re using beef or bison. You may want to use an non-stick spray or add a little avocado or olive oil to the pan if you are using the Beyond Meat, because it can have a tendency to stick.
  2. Add in the taco seasoning, tomato sauce, and blue agave syrup.
  3. Keep the heat on low and let it simmer.

I got this idea of including agave syrup from my favorite chef Erin Thero! It’s the key to creating a spicy and sweet mix.

While I was waiting for my meat to brown, I prepared my peppers…

Sweet & Spicy Peppers & Onions

*options: I love garlic. If I add 1 clove of garlic in this recipe, then I use 1 full lime or 6 drops of Young Living Lime Essential Oil

Directions:

  1. Slice your peppers and onions long and thin
  2. Coat the 3 tablespoons avocado oil in a medium skillet on medium high
  3. Sauté the onions and the peppers
  4. Add the taco seasoning, salt, and Young Living Lime Essential Oil (or a couple slices of fresh lime)
  5. Continue to sauté the peppers until they are tender, but slightly crisp.
  6. Stir in the blue agave syrup and remove into a bowl so that they don’t overcook.img_9192

Pretty much this dish works with any pepper!img_9470-update
I plated the bowls with scoops of beans, rice, meat, peppers & onions, and avocado.Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, Non-Hydrogenated Plain is my personal favorite addition. I also served it with organic blue corn tortilla chips to add a little crunch. This bowl is the perfect mix of spicy and sweet!img_9197

If you haven’t cooked with Young Living Essential Oils, you should. Message me about them, because you will love the flavor that they add to veggies!

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The Perfect Sliced Potatoes

When I got the results of my wheat, egg and dairy allergy, I thought – how will I eat breakfast without a cheese omelette?! Well, the answer is a good potato. It is a great base for a load of veggies; it tastes amazing as a side dish for dinner, like with ketchup and a burger. It is a homemade and healthier way to fulfill my craving for french fries. I miss being able to go to a restaurant and have a side of fries, but if I succumb to temptation then my stomach and head will pay the price (I don’t need a migraine for days!). Cross contamination kills me. So, I make these sliced potatoes instead.

The Perfect Sliced Potatoes

You can find my dish about cooking with oils here. The oils add a savory flavor with these potatoes, and you don’t have to worry about having fresh herbs on the counter.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425
  2. Clean the potatoes – I put them in a bowl of water with the Thieves Fruit & Veggie Soak in order to clean them naturally without chemicals
  3. Chop the onion or shallot
  4. Smash the garlic with the flat part of a knife, and finely chop it
  5. Spread the potatoes on a large cookie sheet
  6. Evenly distribute the onion / shallot over the potatoes
  7. Pour the ¼ cup olive oil in a liquid measuring cup; add the garlic and herbs / drops of the Sage, Basil and Rosemary Essential Oils.
  8. Pour oil mixture over your potatoes
  9. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes – I like mine a little crunchy.
  10. Remove from the pan and salt and pepper to tasteimg_9007
  11. Serve with ketchup if desired or use as a base for a veggie hash. I’ll share this dish soon!IMG_9091.JPGlogo-small

Chili Peppered Cabbage (Paleo)

One day, my son and I were rushing to Costco while my daughter was at gymnastics. They were giving samples of the Columbus Turkey Bacon (it’s nitrate, MSG and gluten free). In attempt to keep my kid quiet in the store, I gave him a sample. He LOVED it. So I tried it, and it was really good! I normally do not like turkey bacon, but this has a nice texture. My kids will eat it plain for breakfast. So, if you think you dislike turkey bacon, try this brand and let me know your thoughts!

Did I mention that I never used to eat bacon because it is bad for you? And, it is…Ugh, guilty pleasures. I felt like I had given up everything with my diet, so I caved after I went dairy, wheat and egg free. I felt like I needed some pizazz in my diet. But, guess what?!  You can make this recipe vegan in a snap with coconut bacon! Cookie and Kate has a recipe! Check it out at: http://cookieandkate.com/2014/how-to-make-coconut-bacon/.

Chili Peppered Cabbage with Bacon, Peppers, Onions and Garlic

  • bacon (whatever kind floats your boat: 1 pack turkey, pork, or coconut; if you are making coconut bacon you will need coconut flakes, GF soy sauce, GF liquid smoke, and maple syrup)
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 drops Black Pepper Essential Oil (I use Young Living Vitality Black Pepper) or 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free chili powder 
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt (I used Redmond Real Onion Salt)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste – I used Redmond Real Salt)
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons olive oil

Tips: 

  • If you are making the coconut bacon it takes 2 minutes to prep and 13 minutes to cook. Set your oven for 350 degrees, and mix it together.
  • For the turkey bacon, I set the oven to 375 degrees, put the bacon on a cookie sheet, and bake it for 15 – 20 minutes. I like to bake my bacon on a cookie sheet in the oven because it’s easy; I set the timer, and start chopping my veggies. Then I won’t burn it on the stove, splash grease everywhere, and set off the smoke alarm.
  • You can read about my dish on cooking with essential oils here and real salt here.

Directions:

  1. Prep the bacon, and while it’s baking – chop the cabbage, onion, and garlic.
  2. Heat a large pan to medium heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil for turkey bacon or 4 tablespoons for the vegan / vegetarian option using coconut bacon.
  3. Pull the bacon from the oven, and pour a little of the grease, and put the bacon back in the oven. Obviously, skip this part if you are using coconut bacon.
  4. Add the cabbage, onion, and garlic to the pan.
  5. Chop the red bell pepper next, and then add it to the pan (I like it a little crisper so I don’t cook it right away).
  6. Continuously sauté vegetables and add the Young Living Black Pepper Essential oil, paprika, chili powder, onion salt, and salt. The secret to this dish is the chili powder, and I like the subtle flavor of the Black Pepper essential oil. 
  7. Vegetables will be tender and done at approximately the same time as the bacon. Pull your bacon off the pan, and chop it into small chunks with a knife.
  8. Mix the bacon and the veggies together, and serve.

My son and I ate it as a complete dish. My 4-year-old gobbled it up!! He said that it needed the bacon because he didn’t like the cabbage and peppers alone; that’s cool with me – when he eats cabbage and peppers, I do a happy dance!

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Gluten and Dairy Free Lasagna

What food did I miss most when I eliminated wheat and dairy? Lasagna. My uncle owned a fine-dining restaurant, and he taught me how to make a melt in your mouth delicious lasagna. It’s the perfect comfort food. I tried to recreate it with Daiya cheese, and it was just disgusting. I could not bring myself to eat it. So here is my twist…

The only vegan cheeses that I enjoy are the cashew cheese that I make and Vegan Chao Slices. We did a French raclette meal and I used the Chao Slices – they actually melt like real cheese and don’t have a weird taste. It is the closest to dairy cheese that I’ve tried so far. Anyway, buy Chao Slices; they will change your veggie burger.

ChaoCombo3DF_Rgb-1024x547.pngWhen I first made this, I had never used Chao Slices at the top layer of my lasagna. I used a goat cheese block from Trader Joe’s, and grated the cheese at the top of the lasagna to give it the firmer cheese top.img_9060

If you are vegan, or are allergic to goat cheese, use Chao Slices on top if you want a solid cheese top to your lasagna. Or, just add the cashew cheese first, then sauce to the top and sprinkle with Veggie Go parmesan.

Gluten Free Dairy Dairy Free Lasagna

  • Loaded Veggie Pasta Sauce  – my husband says you can’t even taste the veggies!
  • 1 box of rice lasagna noodles 
  • cashew mozzarella cheese (I doubled the recipe)
  • Veggie Go “parmesean”
  • 1 brick Goat’s Milk Cheddar Cheese or Chao Creamy Original Slices – you can decide if you want to make it vegan

Directions:

  1. Create your Veggie Pasta Sauce.
  2. Bring a large pot of hot water to boil for your lasagna, and begin your Cashew Cheese. 
  3. When your water is boiling, stagger your lasagna noodles in the pot in a  criss-cross placement around the pot; it keeps them from sticking together and helps them cook evenly.
  4. Cook your noodles ½ the time that the box suggests. This keeps them from getting mushy.
  5. Carefully remove the noodles from the water, place them on towels, and pat them dry. This keeps them from sticking together and overcooking in the water.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375.
  7. Begin to prep the lasagna.
  8. First spread a layer of sauce at the bottom of a large pan (instead of using an oil spray).
  9. Put one layer of lasagna noodles, a layer of sauce, scoop the vegan cashew cheese, top goat cheese (if desired but not needed) and then repeat for 3 layers. I have done it with or without goat cheese – both ways are delicious.img_9057IMG_9062.JPG
  10. On the top layer pick what suits your preference: start with lasagna noodles (1) put a layer of sauce, vegan cashew cheese, goat cheese, and Veggie Go parmesan cheese as pictured. Or, (2) put a layer of sauce, the vegan cashew cheese and top with chao cheese slices (3) put a layer of the vegan cashew cheese, then the sauce and sprinkle with Veggie Go parmesan cheese 15 minutes before the dish is complete. IMG_9066.JPG
  11. Cover with aluminum foil, and cook at 375 minutes for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the foil, and cook for another 15 minutes until cheese is melted on top.
  12. Let cool for 15 minutes and enjoy!img_9074

2 Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes

 

My Quest for the Perfect Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie

All the cool gluten-free kids talk about almond flour, because it’s low in carbohydrates, high in fiber and a high source of protein...blah blah blah. I felt like I should experiment with it, but I’d been sheepish because sometimes nuts bother my stomach. When I’m making a gluten-free vegan cookie, I want a nice texture so that you don’t know that it’s vegan and gluten-free. And, when I’ve experimented in the past with dense nut flours, they offer a different texture. I’m especially picky because I love Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend. It rises well, and is the most similar to actual wheat flour that I’ve tried; my cakes, cookies, and cupcakes rise light and fluffy. I buy it cheapest in bulk at Costco. However, it’s available online at vitacost.com if you don’t have a Costco membership or a store close, and don’t want to pay an arm and a leg.

Speaking of Costco, while I was there I walked by this bag of Blue Diamond Almond Flour. I figured if I’m going to experiment – go big or go home! There was a chocolate chip recipe on the back, so they must rise and make a decent cookie, right?! Here’s how I adapted the recipe to make it vegan and cane sugar-free. Note: I played around with it, and it could not be made completely vegan and not mushy without adding in another flour.

Oh, the decisions… I made two batches of chocolate chip cookies for a taste test: one with Blue Diamond Almond Flour and the other with my treasured Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend; then I let my family and friends say which one was best. The taste test was on!

Tips for Making them Vegan:

  • To eliminate eggs: You will need an egg replacer (I use Ener‑G Egg Replacer – it’s available at Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme, and Amazon) AND you will need half of a banana or ¼ cup applesauce regardless of using egg replacer. If you skip the banana or the applesauce, they will be too dry and crumbly. 
  • To eliminate dairy: You will need an alternative to “butter.” I used Smart Balance because they had it at Costco, and I was on a shopping mission that day, but I’ve had great results withEarth Balance too. I love that Earth Balance comes in easy to use sticks instead of just a container.

Tips for Making Them Sugarcane Free:

  1. Organic Pure Maple Sugar instead of brown sugar – you can buy the Coombs Family Farms Maple Sugar brand from Fresh Thyme or Whole Food. I also like Pure Indiana Maple Sugar that I get from a local co-op. It is a great flavor, it has a lower glycemic index than sugar, and contains important antioxidants and minerals like zinc and manganese.
  2. Coconut sugar instead of cane sugar – coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular table sugar because it contains a fiber called inulin, which may slow glucose absorption. A lower glycemic index means that you don’t get as much of a sugar rush and insulin spike with maple syrup sugar and coconut sugar.
  3. Chocolate chips –Lily’s Baking Chips are sugar-free and are sweetened with stevia. Vitacost has them for less than the store. They are awesome. If you can’t find any Enjoy Life contain cane sugar, but are vegan, dairy free, soy free, and allergy friendly option. My mom used carob chips growing up, but I just don’t like the flavor they provide.

If you aren’t sugar conscientious, then just throw in the brown sugar and the sugar cane. However, if you give these a chance, you will never taste the difference.

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie With Almond Flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine gluten-free and almond flours, baking soda, and Redmond’s Real Salt in a small bowl.
  3. Prepare your egg replacer (take with 3 teaspoons egg replacer, 4 tablespoons warm water, and mix until it thickens)
  4. Beat vegan butter, sugars, and vanilla in large bowl until creamy.
  5. Egg replacer 
  6. Gradually beat in dry ingredients.
  7. Add in the ½ banana and continue to mix.
  8. Stir in the chocolate chips
  9. Drop tablespoons of dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet. I used a knife to get the dough out of the tablespoon because they were very sticky, and then gently smoothed the top. If you don’t smooth the top with your hand – they will look jagged like the top right image. 
  10. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until they are lightly browned on top and firm to the touch. (I baked them for 12 minutes)
  11. Cool for 2 minutes then move to wire racks to cool completely.
  12. Makes ~2 dozen cookies

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine gluten-free flour, baking soda, and Redmond’s Real Salt in a small bowl.
  3. Prepare your egg replacer (take with 3 teaspoons egg replacer, 4 tablespoons warm water, and mix until it thickens)
  4. Beat vegan butter, sugars, and vanilla in large bowl until creamy.
  5. Add Egg replacer.
  6. Gradually beat in dry ingredients.
  7. Add ½ of the banana for vegan cookies
  8. Stir in vegan chocolate chips.
  9. Drop by small rounded teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet.
  10. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. (I cooked them for 11)
  11. Cool for 2 minutes then move to wire racks to cool completely.
  12. Makes ~34 cookies

Taste Test Results

Both are delicious, and you would never know that they were vegan and gluten-free! The appearance is smoother and lighter with the Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend cookie; you must smooth out the top of the Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookie if you want it to look like rounded and smooth. The Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookie Cookie is denser and a tad sweeter, which is rare, because it has less sugar. I consider that a plus! It also has a crunchier browner outside. The gluten-free vegan chocolate chip cookie with theNamaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend has a softer texture, more like a normal cookie, and is a little lighter color. You really can’t go wrong with either one! After tasting the almond flour vegan chocolate chip cookie, I have visions of chocolate almond flour cookies dancing in my head!

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Broccoli Carrot Slaw With Cranberry Dressing (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Ever wonder what to do with the extra cranberries in your fridge from Thanksgiving? Here’s your answer! I’m a Trader Joe’s fan, because I feel like they make it easy for me to throw together something that is quick and healthy to eat. I was inspired by the recipe on the back of the bag, but I modified it to make it my own and tried to use some of the fresh cranberries from my fridge! I’m always searching for ways that I can veggies a full meal. This slaw is so filling that I can eat it a huge bowl of it for lunch, and it’s healthy and delicious. Plus, it’s a hit with my daughter that loves the color pink, and it adds a nice punch of color to the table.

Vegan Broccoli Carrot Slaw

  • 1 bag Organic Broccoli Slaw from Trader Joe’s
  • 2 small apples
  • ½ cup nuts optional – (I did Candied Walnuts from Trader Joe’s)

Cranberry Dressing

  • ¾ cup vegan mayo (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar (I used Bragg Organic)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Xylitol (I use the XyloBurst brand. You can sweeten to your preference with the sweetener of your choice. Stevia is another good option, or just regular sugar works.)
  • ½ cup fresh cranberries
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s talk about Xylitol. I try to avoid sugar when I can. Although, sometimes I make a quick gluten free box cake, brownies, or cookies when I’m stressed for time. However, when I cook from scratch, I skip the sugar if possible. Why did I use Xylitol?

  1. It is a natural sweetener derived from the birch trees (check the label to make sure that it’s not from corn).
  2. It has 40% fewer calories and 75% fewer carbs than sugar
  3. It is just as sweet as sugar
  4. It’s what they put in natural chewing gum, because it can help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth and it prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth.
  5. It’s better for your teeth and health, and tastes great!

Directions

  1. Prepare your vegan cranberry dressing. Put cranberries, vegan mayo, apple cider vinegar and xylitol in your Vitamix or blender / food processor.
  2. Puree until blended and smooth. If you do not have fresh cranberries, don’t worry, just skip them and include ½ cup dried cranberries in with your slaw. Pour ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Cut your apples into small chunks
  4. Combine broccoli slaw and cranberry dressing and combine until evenly distributed.
  5. Mix in apples and nuts (if desired). If you are using dried cranberries, mix them in now. Stir until evenly coated in dressing.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. Serve and eat!

What do you like to do with your thanksgiving leftovers?

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