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Fruit Nut & Seed Salad

What is nice about this salad is that you can change it up with anything you have handy. Just mix a couple of fresh fruits, a dried fruit, your favorite nut and seeds. You could never eat the same salad again. This is what I had in my kitchen.

I brought this salad to a church function and came home with an empty bowl.

Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and and toss together with the Strawberry-Vanilla Vinaigrette.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Strawberry-Vanilla Vinaigrette

I was making a Giant Fruit Nut & Seed Salad to take to a church function. This dressing is a little twist to my Strawberry Vinaigrette. It is a strawberry lemonade with a little vanilla. And, it is oh so delicious.

  • 1/2 c strawberries, sliced
  • 1 lemon, zested, juiced
  • 1 tbsp sweetener of choice
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder, or half a vanilla bean seeds
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
  • Pinch pepper

Combine all the ingredients into a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning. Pour on top of salad and toss ingredients.

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Vanilla-Pumpkin Spice Pecans

These pecans are addictive. they have a hint of vanilla, sweetness and pumpkin spices. They are perfect and you can make them on the stovetop. I tasted one, and I wanted more.

  • 1 1/2 c pecan halves
  • 3 tbsp maple sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Spice Blend
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • pinch of Himalayan Salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper

Add all the ingredients to a ziplock bag and shake.

Add pecan mixture to a non-stick skillet. Toast nuts on medium heat, until the maple sugar is melted . Stir the nuts frequently to coat. Once the maple starts to sugar it will go very quickly, about 30-60 seconds. Transfer nuts to a silicone mat. Let nuts cool.

Note: I have used these nuts to top cakes or salads. There are so many possibilities.

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Pumpkin Sheet Pan Bars

I have been trying to come up with different recipes using pumpkin, because I really like pumpkin season.I made these Pumpkin Bars for a church function. It is a take off of my Banana Date Cake with a few changes.

Wet Ingredients:

  • 20 Dates, pitted, soaked until softened
  • 2 c pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 c maple syrup
  • 1/2 c almond butter
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 c Almond Milk, unsweetened, vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c sparkling water

In a large bowl cover dates with hot water, until softened and plump (about 15 minutes).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all the wet ingredients into food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a stand mixer bowl.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 5 c GF All-Purpose Flour blend (I used Cup 4 Cup Wholesome Flour)
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp Baking Spice Blend

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.

Transfer dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the stand mixing bowl. Blend together, starting on low and then increase the speed slowly until batter is well combined.

Spread batter onto a large sheet pan. bake for 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate Ganache Spread:

  • 2 c Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 c Almond Milk, unsweetened, vanilla

Melt the chocolate chips with the Almond Milk in a double boiler, until the chocolate is melted and pourable. You may need to add more milk.

Note: If you are using your microwave, heat at 30 second increments, stirring each time.

Pour ganache over pumpkin bars and spread with an offset spatula. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top of the ganache.

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Optional:

Sprinkle some vanilla powder on top of the ganache and pumpkin seeds.

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Creamy Caesar Dressing

Are you missing Creamy Caesar Dressing? I was missing it, so I decided to make my own. This Caesar Dressing is creamy and delicious. I had been thinking of how I could make caesar dressing vegan. I thought of soy, but I really like the lusciousness of cashews blended into a creamy goodness. Kelp flakes give it that slightly taste of the sea that you would normally get from anchovies. Now I can have homemade… I know what is in it…Caesar Dressing.

I am already thinking of ways to use this Creamy Caesar Dressing. I bring them to you soon.

  • 1/2 c raw cashews, soaked
  • water for cashews
  • 3/4 c Almond Milk, unsweetened
  • 2 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp kelp flakes
  • 1 tbsp Date Paste
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Combine all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend for about 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy.

Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

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Pumpkin-Cranberry Pecan Cookies

It is that time of year that I start thinking of ways to use pumpkin. So you might see quite a few recipes using pumpkin in the near future. This recipe is an adaptation from my original Pumpkin-Cranberry Cookies. This particular recipe uses a fruit paste for part of the sweetener. I like these cookies because they are not overly sweet, just the right amount of sweetness. These cookies are – Oh So Delicious.

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c Date Paste
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 1/2 c almond butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper/silicone mat.

Mix together wet ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

Dry Ingredients:

In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients: GF All-Purpose Flour Blend, baking powder, salt, Baking Spice Blend, cranberries and pecans.

Mix the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Stir until well combined.

I used an ice cream scoop so the cookies are a substantial size. That is just the way I like my cookies. Bake 12-13 minutes. Let cool for at least 5-10 minutes.

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Note: This recipe makes 15 large cookies. Also, these cookies do not spread.

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Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Zucchini-Pumpkin Casserole

This casserole was a conglomeration of different ingredients I had leftover from previous meals. I had zucchini, Pumpkin Filling (from pumpkin lasagna), Marinara sauce and Cashew Béchamel – Basic White Sauce. That is basically the recipe.

I like to come up with different kinds of meals from the remnants from previous meals. It is a great way to clean out the refrigerator and nothing goes to waste. Here is how I made it.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Zucchini Rolls:

Take two slices of zucchini and slightly over lamp them side by side. Spoon some Pumpkin Filling at one end and roll zucchini like a cigar, tucking the zucchini as you go. Continue making the zucchini cigars and set aside. This is what takes the longest, but it is kind of fun to do.

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Layering:

Pour half of the Marinara into an 8×8 baking dish.

Layer in the zucchini cigars on top of the Marinara.

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Pour half of the Cashew Béchamel- Basic White Sauce on top of the first layer of zucchini cigars. Spread with the back of a spoon.

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Layer another of zucchini cigars.

Sprinkle nutritional yeast over the second layer of zucchini cigars.

Pour the remaining Marinara over the the zucchini cigars. Spread with the back of a spoon.

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Spread the remaining Cashew Béchamel – Basic White Sauce over the Marinara in top of the Marinara.

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Bake for 30 minutes, the top will be golden. Remove from oven and set aside for 10-15 minutes.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

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Fruit Paste

I need to make some date paste for some baking I was planning to do. Fruit pastes are a great way to substitute for sugar in recipes and they are so easy to make. They store well in the refrigerator, so you can make a batch and store it for whenever it is needed.

You can make fruit pastes out of just about any dried fruits. Here is the basic recipe using dates. However, you could use dried apricots, mangoes and many other dried fruit.

  • 20 Medjool dates
  • water, just to cover dates.

In a medium saucepan add dates and water just to cover.  Bring water to a boil. remove from heat and let dates soak and plump up, about 20-30 minutes. the dates should be softened and plump.

Transfer dates to a high-speed blender, and some of the water used to plump up the dates. Just enough to cover the dates in the blender.(You probably will not use all the water from the soaking.) Blitz until dates are smooth and creamy.

Refrigerate unused fruit paste in a sealable container.

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Easy Peppers-Orange Soup

I love it when I can transform ingredients into something totally different than what it was initially used for. I made some sautéed peppers and onions to go with something in a meal I was making. There was plenty peppers and onions leftover, and I did not want the same thing. By using two additional ingredients I was able to transform those simple peppers and onions into a wonderful creamy soup.

This soup has a hint of orange, just enough to make the soup more interesting. I sprinkled a few pumpkin seeds for added texture and some fresh cilantro for added flavor and freshness.

The recipe starts from the beginning – The Sautéed Peppers and Onions.

  • 1 onion, medium, thin slice
  • 1 bell pepper of each color, red, yellow, orange
  • 1 tbsp All-Purpose Seasoning
  • 1-2 mandarin oranges, peeled
  • vegetable broth
  • pumpkin seeds, garnish
  • cilantro, garnish

Note: I like to use a large dutch oven to sauté the peppers and onions, because of the large cooking surface.

Sauté onion, peppers and All-Purpose Seasoning over medium heat, until onion is translucent and the peppers are tender. If needed add vegetable broth to unstick the vegetables and deglaze the pan.

Transfer peppers and orange(s) to high-speed blender. Ad just enough vegetable broth to help with the blending. I started with 1/2 c. Add more to achieve your desired thickness.

Pour into bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds and cilantro.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Pumpkin Lasagna

In honor of pumpkin season I made a savory dish using pumpkin – Pumpkin Lasagna. I had all the ingredients in my pantry or refrigerator so there was no extra trip to the market. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

Mushroom Filling:

In a small skillet, sauté onion, mushrooms, sage and All-Purpose Seasoning. Sauté until onions are soft and translucent. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Set aside.

Pumpkin Filling:

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Stir until all the ingredients are well combined. You do not want this filling to be too stiff, if needed add more vegetable broth.

Note: I only used half of the pumpkin filling. I will use it for another dish, however, you can freeze it without any issues.

Cashew Bechamel Sauce:

Because the Cashew Béchamel tends to thicken as it cooks I thinned it out so I could pour it over the noodles.

Assemble:

  • GF No-cook lasagna noodles (12)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour about 1/4 c vegetable broth in a 11×7 baking dish. Layer in 3 noodles.

Note: I like to dip them in the broth on both sides.

Spread pumpkin filling on top of the first layer of noodles. Layer more noodles.

Spread Mushroom mixture on to the second layer of noodles. Pour some of the Béchamel Sauce on top of the mushroom mixture. Layer the third layer of noodles.

Spread more pumpkin filling on top of the noodles. Layer the final layer of noodles.

Pour the remaining Béchamel Sauce unto the noodles. Make sure they are completely covered. Cover baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes.

Uncover baking dish. Now this is where you would put some vegan cheese if you like. bake uncovered for 10-15 until golden.

Let the lasagna stand for at least 10 minutes before cutting.

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Note: You could assemble and freeze for another time. Just thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. You may need to increase the time of baking. A thermometer inserted in the center should read 165 degrees.