Asian Wild Rice Salad

Asian Wild Rice Salad 2

Welcome SUMMER! I don’t know about where you live, but it is HOT here! I crave cool foods in the summertime, so salads are my favorite go-to meals for lunch and dinner. I love using whole-grains as the base for my salads. They give me plenty of fiber and nutrients, along with a wonderful platform for loads of flavor! I used wild rice in this recipe, which I feel is quite the under utilized grain. Wild rice is not even rice, it is actually in the grass family…go figure. The Asian flavors and wonderful textures in this salad simply sing in your mouth! The fresh basil takes this salad to the next level of good – it makes me happy to use my fresh herbs in dishes! This has become one of my favorite salads so far this summer…there are more to come! Enjoy!

Asian Wild Rice Salad 3

Asian Wild Rice Salad 4

1 cup wild rice, uncooked

1 large celery stalk, chopped

2 scallions, chopped

1 cup frozen green peas, thawed

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

Dressing

2 tablespoons grape seed oil

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons coconut aminos or Bragg’s liquid aminos

1 tablespoon coconut vinegar or rice vinegar

1 small garlic clove, minced

salt and pepper to taste

Cook wild rice according to package instructions. Drain and place in a medium bowl. Add in celery, scallions, peas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and basil. Mix to incorporate all ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Serve at room temperature.

Pull-Apart Honey Rolls

Honey Pull Apart Rolls

Love a good sweet roll? I sure do. These honey rolls have just the right amount of sweetness that I love! I served these for breakfast and my family LOVED them warm from the oven. The rolls are soft and yummy, but the glaze really makes these rolls special. We ate these with extra Earth Balance spread and honey, which was DIVINE. These are easy to make and even easier to eat! Enjoy!

Honey Pull Apart Rolls 2

Honey Pull Apart Rolls 3

Honey Rolls

4-4½ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour blend of choice
3 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if already in your flour blend)
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
½ cup neutral oil of choice (such as grape seed oil)
2 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons applesauce mixed with 2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups warm non-dairy milk of choice (about 100° F)

Glaze

⅓ cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons Earth Balance Spread, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon non-dairy milk

Line two 8×8-inch baking pans with parchment paper and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl, if blending by hand), place 4 cups flour, xanthan gum, cream of tartar and salt. Mix on low speed until well combined. Add the yeast and mix again until well combined. Add the oil, honey, and applesauce mixture and mix until wet ingredients get incorporated into dry mixture. With the mixer on low, add milk to the mixture in a slow, steady stream. Once the mixture has started to come together, turn the mixer up to about half speed and beat for about 6 minutes. The dough should be thick and smooth, but tacky to the touch. If it seems too wet, add more flour by the tablespoon and mix well until you reach the right consistency. Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured flat surface, ideally a silicone baking mat. Pat down the dough into a mound about 1½ inches tall and divide evenly into 24 balls. Roll each piece between wet palms to make a proper ball and then, if necessary, in the flour on your flat surface. Divide the balls of dough between the two prepared pans, spacing them evenly. They will be relatively close together. Cover the pans with plastic wrap and place them in a warm, moist, draft-free spot. Allow the dough to rise for about 30 minute or until the rolls are about 150 percent of their original size and touching one another. While the rolls are rising, preheat oven to 375°F and mix the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the rolls generously with the glaze. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven until lightly browned, rotating once while baking. (Adapted slightly from Recipe Source: Nicole Hunn)

Banana Coconut Macadamia Bread

Banana Coconut Macadamia Bread

I make A LOT of baked goods with bananas. I love the natural sweetness, texture, and moistness bananas give…not to mention the yummy flavor. This banana bread has all the right flavors and textures to make it a superstar banana bread! Coconut is used in 5 different applications here to make this bread a tropical dream – coconut milk, coconut vinegar, coconut sugar, coconut oil, and large flake coconut. The bread itself is moist with a light banana/coconut flavor and then the macadamia nuts and coconut flakes add just the right crunch and texture. This bread is DREAMY! I think this may be my new favorite banana bread recipe! Note: to take this banana bread to the next level of yummy, slather it with some dark chocolate spread…I dare you!

Banana Coconut Macadamia Bread 2

Banana Coconut Macadamia Bread 3

2 large ripe bananas

1 cup coconut milk

2 T coconut vinegar

2 cups gluten-free flour

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 T baking powder

2 T coconut oil, melted

2/3 cup large flake coconut or coconut “chips”

1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment or grease with coconut oil. Whisk together mashed bananas, coconut milk, vinegar, and vanilla. Set aside for 10 minutes. In another bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix in the melted coconut oil with the dry ingredients. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients by folding them in with a spatula. Add the flaked coconut and macadamia nuts and mix thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread out evenly. Sprinkle the top with more coconut and chopped macadamia nuts. Place in the oven for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting. Enjoy! (Adapted slightly from Recipe Source: anettvelsberg)

Double Chocolate Brownies

Double Chocolate Brownies

I must admit that I get serious chocolate cravings. Serious. I would not classify my craving as an addiction, probably because I can live my life without chocolate. I don’t want to, but I can. My little boy has a friend who doesn’t even like chocolate. What the WHAT?!! I mean c’mon, you don’t have to LOVE chocolate, but not even like it! Wow. Just WOW. These brownies seriously satisfy my chocolate cravings with double the chocolate flavor. Bring it! AND this little decadent treat is sweetened naturally with dates and honey – not processed white sugar (win for me!) Baking with dates is so fun because they not only add sweetness, but they give texture, moisture, and nutrients. No one even suspected that these brownies were gluten-free, dairy-free, and plant-based! They were a hit with my little guys and their friends…except for our little non-chocolate buddy. Hmmm, I may need to come up with a blondie recipe for him! In the meantime, enjoy these chocolatey, chewy brownies! YUM!

Double Chocolate Brownies 2

Double Chocolate Brownies 3

½ cup packed soft, pitted dates

Warm water

⅓ cup coconut oil or applesauce

3 ounces Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

⅓ cup honey

⅓ cup sorghum flour

2 tablespoons arrowroot starch

⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon xanthan gum

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons applesauce

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Place dates in a bowl. Add warm water to cover dates by an inch. Let soak for 2 hours. Drain dates and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease an 8-inch springform pan, an 8-inch square pan or a 9-inch round pan. Line with parchment paper, if desired. Combine coconut oil and chocolate chips in a small saucepan over very low heat. Stir occasionally with a whisk until smooth. When almost melted, add honey. Stir and remove from heat. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, arrowroot, cocoa powder, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt until well combined. Combine dates, applesauce and vanilla in a blender or food processor, processing until smooth and creamy. Add melted chocolate mixture and blend. Add dry ingredients. Mix until well combined. Do not over-mix. Batter will be stiffer than conventional brownie batter. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Smooth top with a damp spatula. Bake in preheated oven on center rack until edges begin to pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 to 24 minutes. Do not over-bake. The center may seem unset but will firm up as it cools. Place pan on a wire rack to cool. When cool, run a knife around pan edges. Invert brownies and turn onto a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares. Store covered for up to a week. (Adapted slightly from Recipe Source: Gluten Free & More)