Home For The Holidays – Gluten-Free Style

Posted by on November 29, 2011 | 8 Comments

I’m a bit late on this since Alisa Cooks was down for two days, but I’m back and playing catch-up! Though I’m not traditionally a gluten-free blogger, I run with a gluten-free crowd and they let me join in on fun events like this one …

Gluten-Free Home for the Holidays EventWelcome to Home for the Holidays

Welcome to Home for the Holidays … Gluten-Free Style, hosted by Shirley at gfe—gluten free easily!

Please join me, Shirley, and 23 other gluten-free bloggers as we make  the recipes that mean both home and holidays to us. You know the ones—one smell or one bite and you’re enveloped in warmth, love, and holiday wonder. Sometimes they’re recipes that have been passed down by generations and now you have succeeded in making a gluten-free version.  Others might be new, naturally gluten-free favorites. But all are ones  that we enjoy sharing with family and friends.

I’ll be sharing my recipe with you on December 18th!

A Ton of Giveaways—including a VitaMix Blender!

In addition to the recipes that say Home for the Holidays, we’ll also be hosting giveaways of the resources you value the most … cookbooks, resource books, apps, and much more.

This event will take place from Monday, November 28 through Friday, December 23. The daily giveaways will be announced each day and there will be a quick turnaround on entering so please follow along closely.

Each entry on all the individual blogs will be eligible for the final prizes. Enter each daily giveaway once and you’ll have 26 entries for the final prizes!

The third prize is a Caveman Cookies giveaway package (an $89 value)!

The second prize is a shopping spree from Free From Gluten (a $150 value)!

And the grand prize is a top-of-the-line Vita-Mix professional blender 5200 Super Healthy Lifestyle package and a free copy of the super cool e-book Eat Fresh and Detox your Life (a $560 value)!

The Lineup for Home for the Holidays…Gluten-Free Style:

Monday, 11/28–Your host, Shirley Braden | gfe–gluten free easily

Tuesday, 11/29–Diane Eblin | The WHOLE Gang

Wednesday, 11/30–Heidi Kelly | Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom

Thursday, 12/1–Ali Segersten | The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen

Friday, 12/2–Sunny Busby | And Love it, Too!

Saturday, 12/3–Stacy Toth | Paleo Parents

Sunday, 12/4–Maggie Savage | She Let Them Eat Cake

Monday, 12/5–Melissa McLean Jory | Gluten Free For Good

Tuesday, 12/6–Kim Maes | Cook IT Allergy Free

Wednesday, 12/7–Alexa Croft | Lexie’s Kitchen

Thursday, 12/8–Brittany Angell | Real Sustenance

Friday, 12/9–Elana Amsterdam | Elana’s Pantry

Saturday, 12/10–Kelly Brozyna | The Spunky Coconut

Sunday, 12/11–Ricki Heller | Diet, Dessert and Dogs

Monday, 12/12–Iris Higgins | The Daily Dietribe

Tuesday, 12/13–Stephanie Fourie | Gluten Free by Nature

Wednesday, 12/14–Jules Shepard | Jules Speaks Gluten Free

Thursday, 12/15–Silvana Nardone | Silvana’s Kitchen

Friday, 12/16–Heather | Gluten-Free Cat

Saturday, 12/17–Carol Kicinski | Simply…Gluten Free

Sunday, 12/18–Alisa Fleming | Alisa Cooks

Monday, 12/19–Linda Etherton | The Gluten-Free Homemaker

Tuesday, 12/20–Gigi Stewart | Gluten Free Gigi

Wednesday, 12/21–Zoe | Z’s Cup of Tea

Thursday, 12/22–Lillian Medville | Lillian’s Test Kitchen

Friday, 12/23— Wrapping it up with Shirley Braden | gfe—gluten free easily


Filed Under: What's Leftover

Chili with a Chocolate Kick

Posted by on November 29, 2011 | 8 Comments

tasteandcreatelogoI decided to join in for one last hoorah on Taste & Create and was paired up with Kat of the blog Study Food. She’s a relatively new food blogger, which made narrowing down options easier! I ended up going with her Chilli Con Sausage recipe, which was inspired by a Nigella recipe.

I picked this recipe because I’ve always wondered about cocoa in chili. It is a “spice” that I’ve never used before and thought it might be great for making a more full-bodied flavor.

I used a hot sausage, so I skipped the jalapeno and used juste chili powder for a little more heat. We like our chili lightly spicy. A very bad inedible chili experience keeps me timid with the spices these days. I also used all tomato puree plus a little honey instead of tomato puree and ketchup.

For some reason (the weather perhaps?) I’ve been craving richer foods, and though the cocoa powder added to the flavor, I wanted a little more … so I added a chunk of dark chocolate too. Melted that in, and it worked great!

We served it with tortilla chips (no rice) and diced avocado. I forgoed the spoon, since it was nice and thick, and used the tortilla chips for scooping instead …

Chili con Sausage


Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes

Maple-Walnut Pear Crisp

Posted by on November 21, 2011 | 15 Comments

My friend Sea at Book of Yum invited me to be a part of her Thanksgiving Recipe Carnival, and since she is so darn sweet, I simply couldn’t say no. The idea behind this particular event is a bit unique … she wants to show people that it doesn’t need to be difficult to feed gluten-free vegetarians and vegans for Thanksgiving.

Book of Yum - A Vegetarian / Vegan Thanksgiving Event

I’m not a meat alternative guru, so I thought I would stick with one of my specialties, baking. At first, I dreamt up some elaborate ideas, but then I realized, why complicate things? Thanksgiving can be tireseome enough without having to accomodate special diets. Simplicity wins almost every time.

So I went with one of my top two favorite desserts (tied with cookies), crisp. I’ve never been a fan of pie crust anyway, I prefer just the filling and a nice crispy topping. And the great thing about crisp is that you don’t need gluten or eggs to bind, and you can even adjust it as you go, adding more sugar if you want it sweeter, more flour for drier, more liquid for more moisture. Very forgiving.

In terms of making a crisp gluten-free, there are actually many options. For extra simplicity, you can go paleo and just use nuts for all of the flour. Truth be told, I wasn’t a big fan of that option. I like a little flour in my crisp. However, I did find that coarsely grinding nuts added nice texture to the crisp and was actually a great replacement for oats (certified gluten-free oats can be hard to find, and some people who are gluten-free cross-react to oats regardless!) and some of the added fats. From there, the flour is very flexible.

People who aren’t gluten-free normally might want to just pick up gluten-free flour blend at the store. I recommend one that uses a brown rice, rice, or sorghum flour base for the most appeal. I tried one that was bean (garbanzo) heavy and um, yuck. That was our personal taste though! You can also get away with just one or two flours in a gluten-free crisp. In one batch (the Pecan-Apple crisp, see my link below – oh and I cheated, the picture below is the pecan-apple crisp – I didn’t get a picture of the pear one, sorry!), I used just brown rice flour and tapioca starch. It turned out great. You can use cornstarch for the starch in a pinch, which may help to simplify things further for non-gluten-free bakers.

Oh, and I have to talk about the fruit. I often read reviews of crisp recipes on recipe sites where people complain that the recipe didn’t work because the filling turned out mushy. This is NOT the fault of the recipe. Choose your fruit wisely people! Not all varieties are the same. Some are firmer than others, and hold their shape when baked, others turn to mush. For crisp, I recommend D’Anjou (or just Anjou) Pears. They are firm, smooth (easy to peel), and pretty easy to find, even organic varieties.

Alright, enough of my blabbering. Let’s get baking …

Recipe: Oat-Free Maple-Walnut Pear Crisp

Summary: Crisps are amazingly versatile for various diets, particularly since the topping is permitted to be crumbly. Ingredients that bind or help with rising are of little to no concern and there’s no need to fuss with trying to get the perfect flaky crust! This particular crisp recipe isn’t overly sweet (as far as crisps go – but it’s still dessert-like!). I made it this way on purpose, so that it would be an excellent canvas for your favorite dairy-free vanilla ice cream or as something that pairs nicely with afternoon tea or coffee. If you prefer a more “sugary” topping, you can increase the brown sugar to 2/3 cup or more … give the topping a taste test and adjust to your liking. If it’s too sweet, simply cut in a little extra flour and/or starch – up to 1/4 cup.


Crisp Topping:

  • 3/4 Cup Walnuts
  • 3/4 Cup Flour (see flour note below)
  • 1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar (and I mean packed!)
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (can sub Palm Oil Shortening if desired), solid or softened, but preferably not melted

Fruit Filling:

  • 5 Cups Pears, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup or Packed Brown Sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and lightly grease the sides of an 8×8 baking dish (I use glass). No need to grease the bottom here; you are just keeping the topping from sticking to the sides of the pan.
  2. Place the walnuts in your spice / coffee grinder, and pulse them 4 or 5 times to coarsely grind with some chunks remaining. I do this in two batches.
  3. Place the walnuts, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, spice (if using), and salt in a large bowl, and stir with a fork to combine.
  4. Add the coconut oil and maple syrup and stir with a fork to create a coarse meal. It will be a wetter, chunkier crumb than some crisps. That is okay. Just make sure you mash in any large chunks of coconut oil.
  5. As for the fruit, place the pears in your prepared baking pan and drizzle with the lemon juice.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine (no cornstarch should remain visible).
  7. Shake the pan down a bit to even out the fruit (this will pack it down a little too), and then evenly sprinkle the crumble topping over all.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the topping begins to brown.
  9. Let the crisp cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. Serve topped with vegan vanilla ice cream.

Quick notes

Flour: Crisps and crumbles are very forgiving when it comes to flours. If you don’t have dietary issues, feel free to use all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour for the flour. I made ours gluten-free using a gluten-free all purpose flour (Namaste’s Perfect Blend works well, but there are many options in stores). Another option (if oats are okay) is to grind 3/4 cup oats in your spice grinder to make a flour (takes just 30 seconds), or make your own flour blend with 1/2 cup brown or white rice flour plus 1/4 cup starch (I prefer potato and/or tapioca starch for baking). Remember, if you are gluten-free and want to use oats, be sure to get certified gluten-free oats.


See my Maple-Pecan Apple Crisp Recipe for another version on Go Dairy Free.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegan, Dairy free, Egg, free, Gluten free, Peanut free, Soy free, Wheat free

Number of servings (yield): 6

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.

Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-Free Maple Pecan Apple Crisp


Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes

Healthy Holiday Spice Mylkshake

Posted by on November 18, 2011 | 19 Comments

Elsewhere Note: I interviewed Alison St. Sure of Sure Foods Living on the topic of a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving. She offers great tips and a couple of family-tested recipes that are at their feast every year. You can see the post here: Making Gluten Free Holidays Merry.

After discovering that many of my online friends didn’t have a single acorn squash recipe posted, I went a little nuts with trialing out different recipe ideas to inspire them … and this one was too delicious not to share. Yes, it is November, freezing, and I’m talking about smoothies and milkshakes, but really, ice cream never goes out of season, so why should shakes?

I think what surprised me most about the flavor was how it tasted a bit nog-inspired. No, I’m not claiming that this tastes just like eggnog (see my article on Dairy-free Egg Nog for some options in that department), but it does have a similar rich and creamy texture, in addition to those “warm” holiday flavors. And more importantly, this holiday beverage is virtuous enough to enjoy for breakast or as an afternoon treat. The acorn squash provides loads of vitamin A, vitamin C, and a whole host of other nutrients, the pecans and flaxseeds balance the carbohydrates with a touch of protein and some healthy fats, and don’t even get me started on the banana. Bananas are a key “superfood” in my world. I’m also addicted to adding fresh ginger to my smoothies lately. It adds a clean, but spicy taste, along with some more healthy benefits to help ward off winter colds.

The recipe below makes one really big serving, but I still wanted more …

Recipe: Dairy-Free Holiday Spice “MilkShake”


  • 2 Tablespoons (.5 oz) Pecan Pieces
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Flaxseeds
  • 1 Medium to Large Ripe Frozen Banana, broken into chunks
  • 1/2 Cup Cooked Acorn Squash (roughly 1/4 of a medium-sized acorn squash – see below for other options)
  • 1/2 Cup Vanilla Milk Alternative (I used Pacific Foods 7-Grain Vanilla Non-Dairy Beverage)
  • 1-Inch Chunk Fresh Ginger, peeled
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Maple Syrup
  • 1 25mg Scoop Pure Stevia Extract (or sweeten to taste with more maple syrup or your sweetener of choice)


  1. If you aren’t using a high power blender (that can pulverize little seeds and such), place the pecans and flaxseeds in your spice/coffee grinder and whiz them for about 30 seconds, or until finely ground (the pecans may start to clump, that is okay).
  2. Place all ingredients, including the pecan-flax mixture in your blender, and blend until smooth. I recommend making sure the squash is closest to the blades to allow the blender to work with ease before it hits those frozen bananas. This is particularly important if you aren’t using a high power blender.
  3. Feel free to adjust the liquid (by adding more milk alternative) and/or sweetener to taste.


  • I had some leftover roasted acorn squash, which worked so well in this, but you can substitute pumpkin puree, cooked sweet potatoes, or cooked butternut squash for the acorn squash.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegan, Dairy free, Egg free, Peanut free, Soy free, Refined Sugar free, optionally Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 1

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.

Dairy-Free Holiday Spice Milkshake - Healthy, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Pumpkin, Pecan, Squash

 Blog Events:

I’ve submitted this recipe to Wellness Weekends ate Diet, Dessert & Dogs.


Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes

Giveaway: Introducing the Fab Uplift Detox Program from Nutritionist Meghan Telpner

Posted by on November 7, 2011 | 79 Comments

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Mary Horowitz, she won the Fab Uplift Detox Program. To sign up for any of Meghan’s nutrition programs, and to see her great recipes, visit Meghan’s blog, Making Love In The Kitchen.

I’m veering away from my usual “foodie” giveaways to offer a healthy gift from my friend, Meghan Telpner …

Even when we know the right things to do- it is so easy to get derailed by the busyness of everyday. Suddenly that time when we can eat the best food possible, look and feel amazing becomes some foggy lensed vision of the way off magical time in the future when we have all the hours in the world.

You know what I’m talking about, right?

Well, the adorable Ms. Meghan Telpner, the Toronto-based nutritonista you may know from her blog Making Love In The Kitchen is here to the rescue.

Meghan Telpner's Fab Detox

She has put together the ultimate detox program. Now this is not one of those lame, cheesy fad detoxes that requires you to starve yourself while pumping your bod full of supplements and laxatives. No way. Not her style. Meghan and her team have put together a Food Detox! The ladies over there have named it The Fab Uplift Detox Program. And wouldn’t you know, she is giving away a few spots in this program, and one of them is for one of you! (read on)

Included in the program is all of the following:

  • A full 16-Day Detox Program ebook which you can download immediately upon registration.
  • 4 day pre-cleanse coaching tips and recipes.
  • 8 Day Cleanse program including meal plan, shopping list and recipes.
  • 4-Day Post Cleanse guidelines.
  • Loads of info on why you should detox, what it means to detox, what this detox entails, and how to keep it going after the sixteen days have passed.
  • A daily email offering tips and support, progress, and bonus recipes.
  • Daily tweet coaching tips throughout the day (follow at #fabdetox)
  • Group TweetChat on Sunday, November 20th at 9:00pm EST
  • Live stream video chats with Meghan and her team (Scheduled for Friday November 18th and Friday, November 25th at 11:00am EST)
  • Email support throughout the main eight days of the detox with my resident nutritionists Alexa and Jill
  • Extra sweet incentive: At the end of the cleanse, send in a before + after on how you feel or a general testimonial and you will be entered to win some of our most fave detox goodies from some of our most fave detox loving brands.

To note, participation in Meghan’s Detox is valued at $79, though if you register on Monday, November 7th, the cost is just $69 and you can live anywhere in the world to participate.

You can get full details on the program over on Meghan’s website.

Now, for a chance to win a spot in The Fab Uplift Detox Program, simply leave a comment below and tell me your favorite healthy food.

This giveaway is only open for a few days. The winner will be chosen on Thursday, November 10, 2011. So comment now to enter!


Filed Under: Giveaways

Crispy Curry Potato & Carrot Croquettes

Posted by on November 3, 2011 | 9 Comments

I’ve got a recipe featured on Attune Foods this week. Head over and check it out:

Crispy Curry Potato & Carrot Croquettes – You are going to love this combination. The carrots add a light sweetness, the curry gives it a warm and earthy flavor, and who doesn’t love the crisp coating you get from a light pan-fry? Plus, this is a “normal” recipe that just happens to be vegan/vegetarian, free of the top eight allergens, optionally gluten-free, and sugar-free! Suitable for almost everyone. Enjoy!

Crispy Curry Potato & Carrot Croquettes - Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, optionally Gluten-Free

Blog Events:


Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes

Giveaway: Stonehouse 27 Exotic Indian Cooking Sauces and Lundberg Brown Rice

Posted by on November 1, 2011 | 42 Comments

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Lexie of Lexie’s Kitchen, she won a gift package from Stonehouse 27 and Lundberg!

Congrats to Jsv888, who responded, “I would love to try the unsweetened almond milk in my latte and on my sons oatmeal since we are both dairy free!” to the Earth’s Own + Whole Foods Giveaway. She is the winner! Now onto the next giveaway …

I know, it’s like giveaway central around here lately! I’ll have a killer recipe coming soon, but first … I received a fun challenge from Stonehouse 27 and Lundberg Family Farms, involving a review, a recipe, and a giveaway for readers. It wasn’t something I could pass up. For my part, I was required to pick one sauce, one Lundberg Heat n Serve Rice Bowl,  and add just three more ingredients to make a meal. Easy enough …

First, those extremely bold Stonehouse 27 sauces come in six varieties, so an initial selection had to be made. Alas, you would think (or at least hope) that sauces called Cashews & Cream would be thickened with cashew crème, but no such luck. I’ll have to work on making those two sauces dairy-free at home. Regardless, with four amazing flavors to choose from, I decided to whip up a gluten-free and dairy-free recipe with the Dates & Tamarind sauce. The label said that it goes well with two ingredients that I had on hand, pork and bell peppers (note: the dairy-free sauces are vegan, so you can easily enjoy them with just vegetables and/or tofu for a vegetarian meal).

Before adding the sauce I gave it a quick taste test, and boy was I glad I did! This stuff is SPICY! At that moment I decided to make my fifth ingredient coconut milk – something to tame the heat a touch and add a little richness to the final dish …

Stonehouse 57 Tamarind & Dates Sauce over Lundberg Brown Rice

Recipe: Creamy Tamarind & Date Pork and Bell Peppers over Brown Rice


  • 1/2 Cup Stonehouse 27 Tamarind & Dates Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Canned Coconut Milk (full fat / regular)
  • 1 Large Sweet Bell Pepper, sliced
  • 6 to 8 Ounces Lean Pork or Chicken Breast, trimmed of excess fat cut into 1/2-inch cubes (can sub an equivalent amount of cubed extra-firm tofu for vegan or vegetarian)
  • 1 Lundberg Organic Heat & Eat Brown Rice Bowl


  1. Toss the sauce, coconut milk, peppers and meat in a saucepan.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and allow to simmer until the meat is cooked through (mine took about 10 minutes).
  3. When the sauce is almost done, heat up the rice in a saucepan or in the microwave.
  4. Divide the rice between to large bowls and top with the sauce.


If they would have allowed 6 ingredients, my final addition would have been pumpkin puree. I swirled some into leftovers, with a wee bit of salt, and it upped the flavor to a new level. For vegan or vegetarian, use tofu.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.


A full review will be on its way on Go Dairy Free! But for now, lets get to that giveaway …

Giveaway Prize: A Gift Pack to include Five Stonehouse 27 Exotic Indian Cooking Sauces (winner picks!) and all Three Lundberg Organic Heat ‘n Eat Brown Rice Bowls ($40 value in total!)

To Enter: Comment below and tell me what 5 Sauces you would select (you can get more than one of a single flavor if you wish!) and if you can think of one, what 5-minute recipe you would make first with one of these sauces!

For More Info: Stonehouse 27 Website, Lundberg Website, Stonehouse 27 on Facebook, Lundberg on Facebook

This giveaway will be open through Monday,  November 7, 2011. Enter now! …


Filed Under: Giveaways


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