Beans and Tomato Chili

Beans and Tomato Chili

Don’t you just love chili season?!! Chili is warm, comforting, and screams fall to me. This recipe is probably the easiest recipe I will ever post in my culinary lifetime because all you need is a can opener! This chili has plenty of fiber to keep you full and satisfied. It is also full of phytonutrients to keep your body protected. My boys love this chili wrapped in a corn tortilla or eaten with tortilla chips. Delicious!

Beans and Tomato Chili 2

Beans and Tomato Chili 3

15 oz. can black beans, undrained

15 oz. can pinto beans, undrained

15 oz. can kidney beans, undrained

15 oz. can garbanzo beans, undrained

10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes

7 oz. can Herdez Salsa Casera

15 oz. can crushed tomatoes

1 pkg. prepared gluten-free chili seasoning mix
Pour beans, including their liquid, into slow cooker. Stir in tomatoes and chili seasoning. Cover. Cook on Low 6-8 hours. Serve over cooked rice topped with your favorite chili toppings.

NOTE: Try to use low sodium varieties for ALL of these ingredients.

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Curried Cauliflower Soup 3

I love this time of year when soups become more plentiful in the making! This soup is one of my favorite recipes because it is creamy and rich with just the right amount of heat at the back of the palate. The curry powder really adds a bit of zing to the cauliflower that I love! Cauliflower is one of those versatile vegetables that can be a wonderful canvas for so many culinary applications. It is also a very nutrient dense vegetable and cancer-fighting all-star. This veggie should be a regular in your diet…one bite of this soup and I’m sure it will be!

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Curried Cauliflower Soup 2

1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and cut into 1/2-inch florets
1 onion, halved and sliced 1/2-inch thick
4 teaspoons grape seed oil (optional)*
Salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the cauliflower and onion with 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then spread out over a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned and softened, 30 to 40 minutes. *Note: if you choose not to use oil, toss the cauliflower with some vegetable broth (enough to moisten it well) and 1/2 teaspoon salt and roast. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering, or if you aren’t using oil just dry saute the roasted cauliflower. Add the roasted vegetables and cook until the cauliflower begins to fall apart, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits, and simmer until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in the broth and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the broth is flavorful, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Puree the soup in a blender, in batches, until smooth. (I used an immersion blender and it worked great) Return the soup to a clean pot, stir in the coconut milk, and cook gently over medium-low heat until the soup is hot, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle individual bowls with the cilantro before serving.

Coconut Millet Breakfast Bowl

Coconut Millet Breakfast Bowl 3

Millet is one of my favorite gluten-free grains! It is very easy to digest and oh so tasty! It is a good source of vitamins and minerals and is neutral in flavor – making it a great canvas for different flavor profiles. I LOVE this breakfast bowl. LOVE. I make this every week and enjoy it so much! It is filling, slightly sweet, slightly salty, and SO good. I love the creaminess of the millet and the textures of the fruit, nuts, and coconut…it makes for a simply delightful breakfast! Start your day in a delicious way with this breakfast bowl – your taste buds and tummy will thank you!

Coconut Millet Breakfast Bowl 4

Coconut Millet Breakfast Bowl 2

2 cups water

1/2 cup millet

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup blueberries

1 banana, sliced

toasted pistachios, macadamia nuts

shredded coconut
To prepare the millet, in a medium pot, bring the water to a simmer. Stir in the millet, reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes. Once the millet has absorbed most of the liquid, add the coconut milk and stir gently. Place a lid on top and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the millet is creamy and tender. Be sure to stir frequently, so the millet doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pot. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey and a pinch of sea salt. Top with blueberries, bananas, pistachios, macadamias, and coconut. Serve immediately.

Date Paste

Date Paste

Are you looking for a sugar substitute? This whole-food sweetener is awesome! I LOVE dates, so I am a bit partial to using dates as my sweetener. Dates boast a pretty impressive nutritional profile including vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients. Dates are also very sweet naturally and they are delicious! Now, you can use any dried fruit – mangos, apricots, plums, etc. but take into account the flavor profile that you are wanting to achieve. Dried fruit is a wonderful alternative to sugar, so get creative and enjoy the natural sweetness!

Date Paste 2

Date Paste 3

1/2 cup dried fruit of choice
1 cup water

Soak the dried fruit for 1 to 2 hours. Drain fruit, and then blend the fruit in a high speed blender or food processor until smooth. Add water as needed to help blend the fruit. *If using the paste in baking recipes, try to use as little water as possible when blending, so that you are not adding any extra water to the recipe by adding a runny paste.
This paste will keep for over a week in the refrigerator. OR it can be frozen for several months – it does not freeze solid, so it is great for being able to scoop out the amount you need.
Note: To mix up the flavor a bit, try adding a pinch of spice such as cinnamon, or sea salt and a bit of fresh lemon juice. (Recipe Source: Rouxbe)

Yaki Udon

Yaki Udon 2

When I was in college, I used to frequent a Japanese restaurant for their delicious noodles. I didn’t know the name of the noodles because it was in Japanese, but I thought they were delicious! Years later, I discovered that Udon noodles are traditional Japanese wheat based noodles! They are typically served in soups or stir-fried with vegetables. I love Soba noodles, but Udon noodles are thicker and chewier in their texture. This recipe is a stir-fry of Udon noodles, onions, ginger, mushrooms, carrots, red pepper, and green onions which are enveloped in a sweet, slightly spicy sauce. The noodles are incredibly tender and chewy. This dish hits the palate in such a pleasing way with sweet, salty, a bit sour – it is umami. This is a challenging dish because of the time commitment and effort in making the noodles, but one bite of this dish makes all the effort worth it! Note: this recipe is not gluten-free and sadly, the gluten is what gives these noodles their distinct, chewy texture. I make this dish for family and friends who are not gluten-free!

Yaki Udon 3

2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 tablespoon sweetener

To prepare the sauce, in a bowl, whisk together the tamari, worcestershire, sesame oil, mirin, red curry paste and sweetener and set aside.

1/3 cup onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup bell pepper, julienne thin
1/3 cup carrot, julienne thin
1/4 cup green onion, julienne thin
1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, fine julienne
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 cups Fresh Udon Noodles, cooked (recipe follows)

Cut all the vegetables and cook the Udon noodles.

2 1/2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil

In a hot wok, add the oil and onions and stir–fry until golden. Add the rest of the vegetables, ginger and the cooked noodles and stir–fry for 1 minute. Add sauce around the edge of the wok and stir–fry for 3 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Udon Noodles

2 3/4 cups bread flour
1/3 cup corn or tapioca starch
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

To prepare the dough, in a bowl, dissolve the sea salt in warm water. In a separate mixing bowl, sift the flour and starch.
Next, make a well in the flour bowl and pour about 1/2 of the water into the well. Mix with both hands and all fingers, scraping the bottom of the bowl as you mix until the water is incorporated.
At this point, add about 1/2 of the remaining water and continue to mix until the dough begins to separate into strands. Finally, add the rest of the water and mix and squeeze the dough together until it binds into a ball. The dough will not be smooth at this point but will begin to show elasticity. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 30 minutes.

To knead the dough, on the countertop, sprinkle on a bit of corn or tapioca starch, just enough to prevent the dough from sticking. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on the lightly–dusted counter. Knead until very smooth and shiny, about 8 to 10 minutes. At this point, form the dough into a tight ball and rub with a bit of oil. Place the dough ball into a clean bowl, cover with a cloth and allow to rest for 3 to 4 hours before rolling

To roll out the dough, sprinkle some corn or tapioca starch on the counter and roll out until the dough is very thin (about 1/4 – 1/8 –inch thickness).
Before cutting the noodles, sprinkle the dough lightly again with corn or tapioca starch and spread over the entire dough surface. Grasp the far edge of the dough and fold it in half toward you to meet the close edge. Sprinkle and spread some more corn starch and bring the far edge toward you again, folding in half a second time. Spread some more corn or tapioca starch on the top and let the dough rest for another 30 minutes.
Once the dough has rested, apply a slightly heavier amount of corn or tapioca starch on top and some additional starch on the counter. This will help make sure the noodles do not stick together when cutting.
With a sharp chef’s or similar knife, begin cutting the dough crosswise into noodles about 1/4–inch wide. After cutting the noodles, separate to prevent them sticking together, using a bit more starch if needed. Set the noodles aside on a dusted counter or tray until ready to cook.

Cook the noodles in boiling salted water, stirring occasionally until they float to the surface, about 3 minutes, continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes once floating at the top, but careful not to overcook since they will get slightly rubbery. Test for fineness before removing from water. Lift them out with a spider and place them immediately into ice cold water until it is time to serve. (Recipe Source: Rouxbe)

Udon Noodles

Coconut Yogurt Banana Bread

Coconut Yogurt Banana Bread 3

Bananas are a staple item in my house. You would think a bunch of monkeys live here with all of the bananas that are eaten! There are always over-ripe bananas on my counter, so consequently, I make a lot of baked goods with mashed bananas in them. Bananas are a great egg replacer and add sweetness, moisture, and delicious flavor. I happen to be a BIG fan of banana bread…I mean really, who doesn’t love a piece of warm banana bread?!! This recipe is super yummy! The coconut yogurt adds a bit of richness and the perfect amount of subtle coconut goodness. This bread is so tender, moist, and perfectly delicious! Perfect with a cup of tea for a relaxing afternoon snack. Mmmmmm…

Coconut Yogurt Banana Bread 2

Coconut Yogurt Banana Bread

1½ cups gluten-free flour blend

1½ teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ceylon cinnamon

1/2 cup applesauce mixed with 2 teaspoons baking powder

2 medium/large bananas, mashed

1/2 cup coconut milk yogurt (I like vanilla flavored)

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup coconut sugar

Preheat your oven to 350ºF, and lightly grease a 9 x 5 bread pan or line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir until well combined and set aside. Place the applesauce and baking powder in a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix well. Add mashed bananas, coconut milk yogurt, vanilla, maple syrup, and coconut sugar. Stir until well combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently. Do not over-mix. Pour the batter into the loaf pan, spreading it out evenly, and bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Sorghum Breakfast Bowl

Sorghum Breakfast 4

There is something very comforting about a bowl of hot cereal in the morning. One of my fondest childhood memories is waking up to a warm bowl of cracked wheat cereal with raisins, nuts, honey and milk. (This is a bit ironic that one of my favorite food memories is of wheat! Ha-ha!) Well, I have replaced the wheat with one of my all-time favorite grains – sorghum! Have you ever tried this powerhouse grain? It is delicious! I love the texture because it reminds me of wheat kernels. Sorghum is a great canvas for flavor because it is quite mild in flavor. It is naturally high in fiber and iron, with a high protein level as well (22 grams in 1 cup). Sorghum is also rich in antioxidants, which are believed to help lower the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and some neurological diseases. Best of all, this dynamo grain is gluten-free! I used apples, raisins, dried cranberries, and pecans in my photo. Feel free to use whatever dried fruits, nuts, and spices you love in this recipe – virtually any combination will be delicious!

Sorghum Breakfast 3

Sorghum Breakfast 2 3 cups cooked sorghum 

1 cup non-dairy milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup toasted nuts of choice

1/2 cup mixed dried fruit of choice

2 firm apples (or pears)

1 tablespoon Earth Balance butter (optional)

pinch of sea salt

dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, ground ginger

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place 1 cup sorghum and 4 cups water in a pot with a lid. Place the pot on the stove and bring sorghum to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and place lid on the pot. Place the pot in the oven and turn the oven off. Leave sorghum in the oven overnight. In the morning, place the sorghum on the stove over low heat to warm it through.
To prepare the apples (or pears), first wash and then peel them. Cut the fruit into small chunks. Heat a fry pan over medium-high heat and add the butter (if not using butter, I recommend sautéing the fruit in a bit of apple juice), followed by the fruit. Saute the fruit until softened through, about 5 minutes. Near the end, add the dried fruit, sea salt, and spices and toss to combine. Place sorghum in bowls and top with milk, warm fruit, maple syrup, and nuts. Enjoy!

Mushroom Bourguignon

Mushroom Burguignon

In the culinary arts, Burguignon (pronounced bore-geen-yone) refers to a recipe prepared in the style of the French region of Burgundy. This recipe usually includes a meat braised in red wine with mushrooms, onions, and bacon. I remember watching Julia Child make her infamous ‘Boeuf Burguignon’  –  it seemed incredibly intimidating to make and took a lot of time. I thought it would be much easier to just sit down with the bottle of wine and call for take-out! Mushrooms are a wonderful substitute for meat because they have a ‘meaty’ texture and are quite filling. I encourage everyone to eat more mushrooms. They are such a good source of vitamin D and contain amazing phyto-nutrients that boost immunity. White button mushrooms rank the highest in these photo-nutrients, which are a widely available variety. I used a standard red cooking wine in this recipe, which contains quite a bit of salt. The aroma and taste were divine, but if you want to substitute more broth for the wine, then go ahead. You just won’t get the depth of flavor that the wine brings to this dish. My whole family savored this dish! I think you will too.

Mushroom Burguignon 2

Mushroom Burguignon 3

1 pound portobello mushrooms, chopped

1 pound white button mushrooms, chopped

1 cup pearl onions, peeled and ends trimmed (thawed if frozen)

1 large carrot, diced

1 sweet onion, diced

1 heaping teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried

sea salt & cracked pepper, to taste

2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup red wine

2 cups vegetable broth

2 tablespoons canned pure pumpkin

1 1/2 tablespoons gluten-free flour

To serve
Grain of choice, pasta of choice, mashed potatoes, or cauliflower mash.

Heat a large dutch oven or heavy pot over high heat. Add mushrooms and pearl onions. Stir frequently and sear until they begin to take on a little coloring, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully remove from pot and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium. Add the carrots, onions, thyme, salt and pepper, saute for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned. Toss in the garlic and cook for another minute.

Slowly add the wine to the pot and scrap any bits that are stuck to the bottom or sides. Turn heat to high and reduce wine by half. Stir in pumpkin and broth, mix. Add in mushrooms and pearl onions, including any juices that have collected, back to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are very tender. Let simmer, covered.

In a small bowl, mix together a tablespoon of water, with flour to make a paste, stir into the stew. Simmer for 10 minutes. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to the right consistency. Season to taste.

Serve spooned over a bed of grain, pasta, mashed potatoes, or cauliflower mash. Enjoy! (Adapted from Recipe Source: Deb Perelman’s Mushroom Burguignon)

Cranberry Cheesecake

Cranberry Cheesecake 3

Cheesecake happens to be one of my all-time favorite desserts! Did you know that you can make a whole-food, plant-based cheesecake that tastes out of this world delicious? Well, you can. And you should! I made this cheesecake for a family party and received ample praise. Everyone kept saying, “Are you sure there is no dairy in this?” and “This tastes incredible!” Yes, my friends, it is possible to create amazing nutrient-dense desserts without dairy, refined sugar, or yucky chemicals that you can’t pronounce! Give this cheesecake a try and impress your family and friends! *Note: You can sub out the cranberries in this cheesecake for berries, cherries, or chocolate chips! Yummy!

Cranberry Cheesecake 2

Cranberry Cheesecake

Cookie Crust

1/4 cup agave nectar

20 drops plain or vanilla-flavor stevia liquid

2 teaspoons chia meal

1 tablespoon almond milk

1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract (I used 1/4 teaspoon doTerra lemon essential oil)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup + 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour blend of choice

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 cup coconut oil, solid at room temperature

Cranberry Swirl

1 cup fresh cranberries

3 tablespoons coconut sugar

20 drops plain or vanilla-flavor liquid stevia

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Zest of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon water

Cheesecake Filling

1/2 cup whole-grain dry millet

1 cup almond milk

1 (12-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk

1/3 cup light agave nectar

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (I used 1/8 teaspoon doTerra lemon oil)

Zest of 1 medium lemon

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/3 cup coconut butter (not coconut oil)

Grease an 8- or 81/2-inch springform pan or line it with parchment paper.

To make Cookie Crust, whisk together agave, stevia, chia meal, milk, lemon extract and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. Drop coconut oil by small spoonfuls over dry ingredients. Using your hands, pinch mixture between your thumb and fingers until it comes together and the oil is completely blended into the flour. Mixture should appear crumbly but hold together when squeezed. (All coconut oil should be blended into the flour.) Add wet mixture to the dry and stir well to create a soft dough. Pat dough evenly over the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate until ready to bake.

To make Cranberry Swirl, place ingredients in a small pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture bubbles and most of the cranberries have popped, Lower heat. Cover and simmer another 5 to 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To make Cheesecake Filling, place millet and almond milk in a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir and then lower heat to simmer. Cover and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the milk is absorbed. Add coconut milk, agave and salt. Return to boil. Then lower heat again and continue to simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until millet is extremely soft, the grains have begun to fall apart and mixture is very thick. (Stir often to avoid scorching.) Continue to cook until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 cups. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla, lemon extract, lemon zest and lemon juice (don’t add coconut butter yet).

Transfer mixture to a high-powered blender and blend, scraping down the sides as necessary, until perfectly smooth and silky with no trace of grittiness from the millet. This could take a few minutes. (If your blender isn’t high-powered, blend mixture in small batches of 1/2 cup; transfer to a bowl after each batch.) Once mixture is smooth, transfer to a bowl and stir in coconut butter by hand until perfectly incorporated. Set aside.

Place crust in preheated oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes until top is dry and sides are just beginning to brown. Remove crust from oven and pour Cheesecake Filling over it.

With a tablespoon, drop spoonfuls of Cranberry Filling randomly over the cheesecake. Gently swirl with the tip of a knife, taking care not to cut into the crust.

Return to preheated oven and bake an additional 30 minutes, until top is dry and edges are just beginning to brown.

Allow to cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate cheesecake at least 8 hours or overnight before serving. (Recipe source: Living Without)

Sweet Onion and Olive Focaccia

Olive Focaccia

I admit that I am a die hard bread lover! One of the most difficult things to accept with my gluten sensitivity was no more yummy gluten-filled bread! I loved going to my favorite Italian restaurant and dipping the soft, delicious focaccia in olive oil and balsamic. How was I ever going to have that experience again? Well, I can and do have that experience because I make my own focaccia now that is SO GOOD! This recipe is one of my go-to’s that I serve with soup or salad. This bread is hearty, slightly salty, and dips well! Who says you can’t have great bread on a gluten-free diet?!! Enjoy!

Olive Focaccia 3

Olive Focaccia 4

2½ cups high-protein flour blend 

½ cup millet flour

1 tablespoon xanthan gum or guar gum

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons chopped dry or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

5 teaspoons instant active dry yeast

1⅓ cups warm water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1/2 sweet onion, large dice

12 Kalamata olives, chopped

Preheat oven to 450° F. If using a pizza stone, place it on the lowest rack before preheating the oven. Do this 30 to 60 minutes ahead so the stone is very hot. If you’re not using a stone, it’s not necessary to preheat the oven for an extended period of time.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Drizzle with a bit of oil and add onions with a bit of salt. Cook the onions until they develop some color. Turn down the heat to low and cover to develop caramelization. When the onions are done, let them cool to room temperature. In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the high-protein blend, millet flour, xanthan gum, salt and rosemary. Blend well. Add the yeast and blend. In a small bowl, combine water, oil, honey and vinegar. Add to dry ingredients. Beat at medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes or until the dough thickens. Add in the onions and olives and mix to combine them into the dough. Place dough on a piece of parchment paper and smooth into a round or whatever shape you want your focaccia. Place parchment with dough on your pizza stone and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove focaccia from the oven and let cool a bit before slicing and serving.