Tag Archives: lowcarb

Pumpkin Pie with Pears with Cranberries (vegan & gluten free)

This is my third Thanksgiving since I have been gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free. The first year, I didn’t have any pie or dessert. It was so sad, and I swore I wouldn’t be deprived again!

Last year I played around with getting the pumpkin right. Making a pumpkin pie that is firm without eggs, took a bit of experimenting. This year, I was inspired by a bag of ripe pears that I had on my counter, so I decided to make a topping. The juicy pears add an extra natural sweetness to balance a tartness from the cranberries; both blend well with the spices and traditional pumpkin flavors.

DON’T FORGET TO PIN IT

pumpkin pie cranberries and pears cover

Pumpkin Pie with Pears and Cranberries

  • Servings: two 9-inch pies
  • Difficulty: easy
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This Pumpkin Pie has a pear and cranberry topping. The juicy pears add an extra natural sweetness to balance the tartness from the cranberries.

Tips: If you do not have a Wholly Gluten Free Pie Crust available near you, you can make a crust from scratch. Click here for a gluten-free and vegan recipe.

Credit: My Real Dish

Ingredients

Pie Filling

  • 4 cups puréed pumpkin (or 1 can of pumpkin purée)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon real salt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

For pear and cranberry topping

  • 8 small pears peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Optional: 2 Gluten Free and Vegan pie shells (I used Wholly Gluten-Free)


Directions

  1. Take pie crusts out of the freezer.
  2. Heat oven to 375
  3. Add pumpkin, coconut milk, non-dairy milk, maple syrup, coconut sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and clove into the mixer. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add real salt and cornstarch to the pie and mix with mixer until fully combined
  5. Add filling to pie crust and bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until the filling is set.
  6. Prepare the topping. Peel and slice pears.
  7. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Lightly spray the pan with olive oil or coconut oil. I used a non-stick Zyliss frying pan with olive oil.
  8. Sauté until slightly tender and place on top of the cooked pie.
  9. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  10. Serve warm or cold. If warm, let the pie cool for 30 minutes on the counter. If served cold, let the pie cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. I found that it was a perfect firmness and texture after it remained in the refrigerator overnight.

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Mayan Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

I had never made Chia Pudding. So when I was considering the flavor that I wanted to make – I had a flashback to one of the best coffees that I have ever had at Coffee & Art in San Diego; it was called a Mayan Mocha. This special coffee inspired this dish, and I wish that this chia seed pudding could bring the beach and perfect weather with it. Anyway, you will savor the flavors of cacao, agave, cinnamon, vanilla, and coconut cream in this pudding – it’s just a special combination.Chia Seed Pudding

  • Servings: 3
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This Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding is a healthy, easy, delicious, gluten-free, and vegan dessert or breakfast.


Credit: myrealdish.com

Ingredients

  • 1 can or 2 cups of full fat coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen)
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Blue Agave Syrup 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder


Directions

  1. Put all ingredients into your Vitamix or blender in order to make it smooth.
  2. Stir in your chia seeds.
  3. Put in a container and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
  4. Optional: top with a coconut whipped topping (you can find my recipe here) and drizzle with the Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce.
  5. Makes a great breakfast or dessert.


Easy Chocolate Crumb Crust (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

Pies. Pies. Pies. I made a chocolate pudding pie with this crust using this Chocolate Avocado Mousse, and a cashew dulce de leche pie (I’ll post the recipe soon). I had been wanting to make an Oreo cookie crust for a while, but there are no gluten-free vegan Oreos that I know of. Although, I’m tempted to try a graham cracker crust using these amazing chocolate wafer cookies.  Regardless, this crust goes well with WHATEVER you’d like to put in it!

Ingredients

Options: If you use almond flour and cacao powder for a healthy twist, it will be very gooey. You will use ¾ of the batter to make a 9-inch crust, and it will be more of a traditional pie crust texture consistency – not a crumb crust. You will also need to check it after 10 minutes to see if it is firm enough; it may need to be cooked for as much as 15 minutes but check it often to make sure it doesn’t crack. While it tastes delicious and cooks well, it doesn’t serve as well on a plate.

If you are on a low-carb diet or want to reduce / eliminate cane sugar, you can see my recipe on powered xylitol here.

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine cocoa or cacao powder, flour, salt and xylitol powdered sugar or confectioners sugar together.
  3. Stir in the vegan melted butter until the dry ingredients are wet and slightly sticky.
  4. Press the ingredients in a 9-inch pie pan.
  5. Cook at 350 for 10 minutes.
  6. Use the Chocolate Avocado Mousse to make a pie! This is an easy quick tasty dessert.

crumb crust cover.jpg

 

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Source: I found a recipe at http://allrecipes.com/recipe/228792/mock-chocolate-cookie-crust/ without cookies, changed it slightly, and adapted it to make it gluten-free and dairy-free!

Xylitol Powdered Sugar

Although I’ve substituted cane sugar out of my diet as much as possible in my baking, I still have been using traditional powdered sugar (until today). I love coconut cream whipped with powdered sugar. I’ve given up dairy, but I won’t give up whipped cream!

I used my Vitamix to make xyilitol Powdered Sugar, and it worked! I’m going to use it to make Chocolate Wafer Cookies & Ice Box Cake and Banana Chocolate Boston Cream Cake (Vegan and Gluten Free) too.

What is xylitol? It’s sugar derived from a birch tree. I’ve talked about its benefits in this post about Vegan Broccoli Carrot Slaw With Cranberry Dressing. It’s ideal for low carb & sugar controlled diets. I bought the XyloBurst Brand at swansonvitamins.com.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups xylitol (you can also use coconut sugar too!)
  • 1 Tbsp Arrowroot (to make it more like processed cane sugar).

FYI – Xylitol is very sweet, you don’t have to use as much as regular powdered sugar to get the sweetness you desire; you will need to play around with it while baking.

Directions:

  • Put the xylitol and arrowroot in the Vitamix, and blend for 30 seconds, until it’s blended to an even consistency.
  • Store in a plastic bag or glass container.new xylitol cover.jpgIMG_1455.JPG

 

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Source: Google is a powerful thing – I followed this recipe from the Whole New Mom, and didn’t re-invent the wheel.

Shepard’s Pie (Gluten & Dairy-Free)

Shepard’s Pie (Gluten & Dairy-Free)

I was craving Shepard’s Pie (also known as cottage pie), but I only had three potatoes. So instead of Mashed Potatoes, I used Mashed Garlic Roasted Cauliflower on top. It added almost a cheesy taste, and it was great with the gluten-free vegan biscuits that I made using Pamela’s Biscuit & Scone Mix .IMG_1114.JPG

Here’s my twist.  In addition to the ingredients for the Mashed Garlic Roasted Cauliflower, you will need:

  • 1 lb ground lamb (or bison or ground beef)
  • 2 tablespoons Worchestire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Redmond’s Real Salt
  • 10 twists on a  pepper grinder
  • 4 drops Young Living Thyme Essential Oil (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • 4 drops Young Living Rosemary Essential Oil (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • ¾ cup chopped carrot
  • ½ cup organic frozen peas
  • ½ organic frozen corn
  • ½ cup organic frozen beans
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour (coconut or almond flour make it Paleo)
  • 2 cups beef broth (I used Home Goodness Organic Beef Broth from Costco)

 

I’m personally a huge fan of cooking with essential oils, because at the time I didn’t have any fresh thyme or rosemary at my house –  I didn’t even have potatoes! The essential oils are so convenient, never expire, and still add great flavor. You can read about my dish with cooking with oils here. If you are interested in purchasing Young Living Essential Oils, you can click here. I’d love to help you learn to use oils not only in your kitchen, but in your daily life!

Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 400ºF & prepare Baked Cauliflower Recipe
    2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, then add lamb. Brown lamb until fully cooked, about 5 minutes (I find there’s enough fat released in the beef that I don’t need to add oil to the pan). While it’s cooking, prepare your vegetables.
    3. Chop onion, and garlic (smash with knife and then chop).img_1063
    4. Chop carrots. I only had baby carrots, so I chopped them in fourths and then cut them.IMG_1068.JPG
    5. Soak up excess grease with a paper towel.img_1067
    6. Add onion, garlic, and carrot, worcestershire sauce,Real Salt, pepper,Young Living Rosemary Essential OilYoung Living Thyme Essential Oil, then cook for approximately 10 minutes, until carrots are soft.
    7. Add the frozen peas, corn, and green beans (I snapped the green beans in half), and cook for 2 minutes.IMG_1076.jpgIMG_1077.JPG
    8. Add gluten-free flour and vegan butter to the pan, and toss around until butter is fully melted and the flour disappears (~1 minute). IMG_1078.jpg
    9. Add beef stock. Then, bring liquid to a boil over high heat.IMG_1079.jpg
    10. Cook for a minute or two until broth thickens into a light sauce.
    11. Remove pan from heat, and transfer meat and veggie mixture to an 8×8 baking dish.IMG_1085.JPG
    12. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
    13. Pull Baked Cauliflower from the oven, and finish preparing Mashed Garlic Roasted Caulflower 
    14. Top lamb mixture with  Mashed Garlic Roasted Caulflower img_1093img_1091
    15. Bake 20 – 25 minutesShepard's Pie.jpg

What are your favorite comfort foods?

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Mashed Garlic Roasted Cauliflower (Vegan & Paleo)

I’m on a cauliflower kick. Last night, I made Baked Cauliflower and Cauliflower Pizza. Well, I had this idea for a cabbage dish tonight, but my husband picked up an extra cauliflower instead of cabbage at the store; I had to change my plans. I wanted to  make a Shepard’s pie, but I only had three potatoes. I did have cauliflower. Here’s how creations are born – lack of ingredients!

I’ve never tried mashed cauliflower before, but I hear everyone talking about it. The simple baked cauliflower is so delicious, so I figured that it would be as equally delicious mashed. And, I was right. It does have a hummus-ish taste. I’m obsessed! Now, whether or not it’s good on my Shepard’s Pie is another question. I shall report back.

Ingredients

  • Baked Cauliflower 
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (I used Culinary Treasures Organic Vegetable Broth from Costco. It has awesome flavor!)

Directions:

  • Follow directions for the Baked Cauliflower img_8984
  • Once completed, put baked cauliflower in the Vitamix or high-powered blender along with the remaining olive oil, garlic, and onion / shallots from the cookie sheet. IMG_1083 updated.jpg
  • Add 1 cup vegetable stock.IMG_1081.JPG
  • If cooking in the Vitamix, set on high power. Start on low speed and turn up to high.
  • Once blended, pour in a bowl and devour! Or, be like me and attempt a Shepard’s Pie!IMG_1084 mashed caulilfower.jpg

 

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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 thatEarth 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 sugar cane, 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 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 remove 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 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 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 remove 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 more dense 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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