Posted by alisa on August 7, 2012 | Comments Off
Big news coming soon! But first …
I’ve got a new recipe being featured on Attune Foods today … Healthy “Cheesecake” Grahamwiches! The cheesecake-inspired filling is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and SO easy to make! Check out the recipe by clicking on the image below (yes, I did sandwich some chocolate in there, because why not?) …
Posted by alisa on May 15, 2012 | 16 Comments
I’ve gone back and forth over the years on smoked salmon. We enjoyed it weekly for a while, but then I learned about all of the additives and nitrate issues. Ugh. That knowledge ruins so many awesome-tasting foods, doesn’t it? We were still enjoying some once in a while, but when I discovered the “salmon trimmings” at our local grocer, it was back on!
Not only do they only use hickory smoke and salt to cure their salmon, no other ingredients, but they also sell the “trimmings” for just $8 a lb (basically the leftovers when they cut pretty squares of the salmon). And let me tell you, a half a pound of salty smoked salmon goes a long ways. In fact, we find their salmon to be a bit too strong, so I’ve had to tone down the amount I use per serving.
My husband really liked the following pasta salad recipe, stating that the salmon added a nice flavor, but didn’t overpower the dish at all. One thing I did discover though, vegan mayo doesn’t work quite as well in pasta salads from an overnight standpoint. It was beautiful on the first day, but unlike “regular” mayo-based pasta salads, it didn’t improve with age. The dressing got a bit thick. This was easy to remedy with a touch of added oil, and the dish did heighten in flavor by the next day.
If you want to keep the dish vegetarian / vegan, try using chickpeas in the mix instead of salmon. While it won’t have that fishy flavor, the mixture of vegetables, pasta, mayo, and old bay is quite nice on its own!
Recipe: Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad
- 8 Ounces Pasta, wheat-based or gluten-free (I used this Barilla Piccolini Penne; for gluten-free, we like TJ’s corn-based penne)
- 1/3 Cup Mayo, vegan or regular (I used Earth Balance Mindful Mayo)
- 1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/8 Teaspoon Pepper
- 6 Ounces Smoked Salmon or Lox, diced into little flavorful morsels
- 1 Cup Peas, fresh or frozen and defrosted
- 1 Green Onion, sliced
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced (about 3/4 cup)
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions, and rinse it with cool water.
- Whisk together the mayo, lemon, old bay, and pepper in a small dish.
- Add the mayo mixture and all of the remaining ingredients to the pasta in a large bowl.
- Serve, or cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Diet tags: Gluten free, Dairy free, Nut free, Peanut free, Sugar free, optionally Egg free, and optionally Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 4
Copyright © Alisa Fleming.
Posted by alisa on March 6, 2012 | 4 Comments
Today, you’re going to love me and you’re going to hate me.
I’m sharing my recipe for what we call “Chocolate Crack Bars.”
See, look what they do to the gnome! Everyone gets excited when I pop these out of the freezer, which is far too often since they literally take minutes to make.
The recipe is being featured on Attune Foods today, so “crack bars” seemed slightly inappropriate for the title. You will find them labeled as Addictive Double Chocolate Granola Bars.
Go, check out the recipe here!
Posted by alisa on February 15, 2012 | 16 Comments
I see it all the time. The perfect baked “french fry” that the author swears is the method to make them crisp, followed by mixed reviews of “these were amazing!” and “they didn’t work, not crisp at all!” And you know what, both sets of reviewers are right.
If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that there are a lot of things that can affect a recipe, and this goes well beyond the ingredients and the oven temperature. Yes, there are methods … soaking, rinsing, coating, or none of the above … but the single most important factor, in my opinion, is climate. I’ve lived and recipe tested in them all. Dry as a bone deserts, high altitude, rusty towns by the sea, fertile valleys … and while some recipes will work pretty well everywhere, there is always at least a slight variance in the results.
Right now, we are in that rusty seaside town, and my nemesis is those darn crispy root vegetables. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that roasting could only be done at very high temperatures, and even then, they just get a nice firm exterior with browning. There is just too much darned humidity!
So this simple little recipe may yield “chips” for you, but for me, they were soft and just roasted. I can’t remember in what magazine I saw this “perfect chip” idea. They used some other root vegetable, but a similar one, and I wrote down the temp and cooking time, eager to give it a go. But alas, there was no crisping for me, not even a little bit.
Fortunately, whether or not these roots crisp up for you, they are darn tasty. I was lazy, I use a pre-mix of Cajun spices to make it even easier. So this is more like a recipe idea than a real recipe. But I’m all about sharing ideas, particularly when they use vegetables …
Recipe: Cajun-Roasted Root “Chips”
Summary: I used rutabaga, which has it’s own unique taste. I’m experimenting more with this root, since it is fairly high in non-dairy calcium (14% for 10 ounces!). That said, it has a stronger flavor than some roots. I find parsnips, carrots, and sweet potatoes to have mellower and sweeter flavors, so you may want to start with those.
- 12 Ounces (3/4 lb) Root Vegetables, peeled or unpeeled (your choice)
- 1 Teaspoon Melted Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Cajun Seasoning (mine had salt in it)
- Preheat your oven to 450ºF.
- Slice the root veggies 1/8-inch thick or thinner if possible. This is a good time to own a mandoline (alas, I don’t).
- Toss the chips with the oil and coat them with the seasoning.
- Spread them out on a cookie sheet or in a roasting pan, and place them in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
Keep a close eye on these, particularly if you cut them by hand. Thinner parts may start to burn a little quickly and should be removed early.
If you have wire cookie racks or similar, you can place them on top of the baking sheet to allow the air to circulate under the chips, allowing for a more even cook/roast, and helping to prevent the moisture from locking in.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Nut free, Peanut free, Soy free, Wheat free, Sugar free, Low fat
Number of servings (yield): 2
Copyright © Alisa Fleming.
Posted by alisa on February 6, 2012 | 25 Comments
Today we are honoring our good friend Amy of Simply Sugar & Gluten Free with a Virtual Baby Shower …
For my contribution to the shower, I went out on a limb, choosing something savory that doesn’t involve any butter, cream, or cheese (hang with Amy, you are still going to love it, I promise!). Nonetheless, these little frittatas are rich and packed with flavor.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have any baby shower inspired props for decorating. But, I did my best to honor Baby Boy Green with some little blue plates that I actually won at a baby shower! That’s themed enough, right?
Recipe: Smoked Salmon & Dill Frittatas
Summary: Unlike so many egg-based recipes, these little bites are dairy-free AND soy-free! If desired, you can make them larger in regular-sized muffin tins and serve them for brunch.
- 8 Eggs (organic if possible)
- 2 Ounces Raw Cashews, ground in a spice grinder
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1/4 to 1/2 Teaspoon Salt, or to taste (see note)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Dill (use fresh if you can get it!)
- 1/4 Cup Minced Onion
- 3/4 to 1 Cup Finely Chopped Wild Smoked Salmon
- Preheat your oven to 400ºF and grease 64 mini muffin tins. I actually used silicone candy cups, which worked great – they popped right out! If you don’t have 64 little tins, you can always make larger frittatas.
- Place the eggs, ground cashews, water, salt, dry mustard, and pepper in a mixing bowl and beat for a minute to combine.
- Whisk in the dill, onion, and salmon bits.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared mini-muffin tins, making sure to distribute the salmon and onion throughout. I fill them about halfway full. They do rise a bit, and I like them bite-sized.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until set.
- Let them cool for 10 minutes, then pop them out to serve!
- These can be made in advane and then reheated for a few minutes in a 300ºF oven.
The amount of salt you will need will depend on the saltiness of your smoked salmon. I used a fairly salty one with 1/2 teaspoon salt. They were devoured, but I definitely could have used a little less salt.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Diet type: Pescatarian, Dairy free, Gluten free, Peanut free, Soy free, Wheat free, Sugar free
Number of servings (yield): 12
Copyright © Alisa Fleming.
And don’t forget to check out the other delicious recipes (all gluten-free and refined sugar-free!) for this Surprise Baby Shower by …
Hallie with Chocolate & Vanilla Pudding Parfaits
Maggie with Vegan Gingersnaps
Alta with Grapefruit, Avocado & Jicama Salad
Lexie with Dairy-Free Crepe Quiches
Kelly with Grain-Free Lime Pound Cake
Carol with Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
Cara with Mushroom Pesto Pinwheels
Ricki with Vegan “Wine and Cheese” Charlotte
Kim with Maple-Glazed Apple Cinnamon Squares
Silvana at www.SilvanasKitchen.com
Jen with Tomato Panzanella Salad
Cybele with Allergy-Free Focaccia
Helen with Cranberry Chicken Salad Surprise
Posted by alisa on January 10, 2012 | Comments Off
Today I’m sharing my secrets for cutting back on added sugars in the morning (I have a “no added sugar” before noon policy that I get right 99% of the time) and a quick recipe for Sweet No Added Sugar Whole Grain Cereal (this can also be used for hot cereals without added sugar too!). See my post with the tips and recipe here on Attune Foods.
While you’re there, please share your own tips for healthy breakfasts and cutting back on sugars (You can comment on that post – I will be checking!). I’d LOVE to read them and am always looking for new ideas!
Posted by alisa on December 26, 2011 | 5 Comments
Did you enjoy the holidays?
My husband and I don’t usually exchange gifts during the holidays, so this year, I felt like a little kid again with all of the wonderful surprises! Tony outdid himself in deal-finding (hello, awesome new, more powerful netbook for just $200!!), my in-laws as usual were so generous (love the new powder blue ski coat!), and I even received a cool, and completely unexpected gift basket of treats in the mail ….
Is it just me, or does Starbuck’s always make the coolest coffee accessories? (I’m sitting here right now sipping tea from my favorite Starbucks jumbo “world” mug that I bought years ago). That, above, is a ceramic travel mug – so, so awesome! Oh, and that StellaMare soy candle is heaven on earth. Seriously, I’m not a fan of most scented candles and nearly keel over whenever walking by those candle and bath shops, but StellaMare is now on my Pinterest loves (yes, I even created a new board just to have a place to pin those candles!).
So as some of you know, I adore tea (understatement of the year), but coffee and I are practically strangers. That said, I’ve been wanting to trial coffee in recipes, and the VIA instant coffee that they sent seemed like the perfect excuse. I love the individual packets, as I can use a small amount in recipes and the rest stays fresh! Anyway, I whipped up these amazing, caffeine-infused nibbles …
See the recipe here.
Take a look, do you see what I did? I actually “themed” them with coconut and pistachios for a wintery, holiday vibe. Yes, the girl who typically can’t take 2 seconds to style the food or even think about making it look seasonal. I know, this isn’t huge … but baby steps. Are you proud of me?
But back to those fudge bites, which are delicious! A touch strong in coffee for me … just a touch, so I left the amount in the recipe as is, but I might use a little less next time for my own tastes since the flavor of coffee is still a bit potent for my timid taste buds. But I need more ideas!
Do you have any recipe ideas or loves that use [a small amount of] coffee? (again, baby steps)
Also, the Home for the Holidays – Gluten-Free Event has come to a close. See the ginormous list of winners here.
Posted by alisa on December 18, 2011 | 320 Comments
Even though I’ve never had a gluten-free holiday in the past, as the honorary dairy-free gal in the free-from foodie club, I was invited to join in on the Home for the Holidays: Gluten-Free Style event, hosted by Shirley at Gluten Free Easily. Truthfully, the timing couldn’t be better, as by coincidence (seriously, this is just a coincidence) we will be having our first gluten-free and dairy-free Christmas this year.
Now, the idea of Home for the Holidays is to share a gluten-free recipe that says both “home” and “holidays” to me. I liked this concept, but honestly, I was a bit uncertain about what to post. With a small family scattered around five states / provinces, holidays have become less about tradition for my husband and I, and more about relaxing. While I definitely do not want to get rid of the relaxation part, I’m eager to “settle down” and inject a little more love into the season. So I’m digging deep into my childhood memories, past the toys and gifts, to the things that truly meant the most to me at Christmas.
One wonderful memory that I have is my mother baking dozens of mini-loaves of pumpkin bread to give as gifts. It was a traditional present that she baked up every single year for friends and neighbors, and it filled the house with such warmth and an unforgettable sweet and spicy aroma. She was a bit of a perfectionist, so I wasn’t allowed to help with the baking process, and thus had no “tried and true” family recipe to start with. Not to mention, with Tony on a gluten-free and egg-free diet, conventional recipes just wouldn’t do.
I searched all around for egg-free, gluten-free pumpkin bread recipes, and found a few, but all of them were so different! Which one would work best, and what could I safely modify? It was all so overwhelming that I scrapped the lot and I winged it. That’s right, sans recipe, I threw together a quick bread that is free of the top eight allergens and gluten-free to boot!
And you know what? It turned out fantastic on the first batch! Now that is something that doesn’t happen very often. It must be the magic of the holidays.
Recipe: Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Perfect Pumpkin Bread
Summary: This pumpkin bread has a wonderfully tender (yet cohesive) crumb that hits the sweet spot in texture, not too moist, not too dry. I didn’t get out of control with the sugars, so though it is dessert-like, it’s also passable as a brunch-style treat. We loved snacking on it plain (especially when warm), or even slathered with some dairy-free margarine or nut butter.
- 1-1/3 Cups Brown Rice Flour (can use white rice flour if preferred)
- 1/2 Cup Potato Starch
- 1/4 Cup Tapioca Starch
- 1/4 Cup Buckwheat Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Xanthan Gum (can sub guar gum for corn-free)
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1-1/2 Teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 2/3 Cup Packed Brown Sugar or Coconut / Palm Sugar
- 1 15-ounce Can Pumpkin Puree
- 1/2 Cup Oil (grapeseed, coconut, canola, etc.; your choice)
- 1/2 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Lightly grease and flour (I used a little brown rice flour) 4 mini-loaf tins, and preheat your oven to 325ºF.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flours, starches, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin, oil, maple syrup, water, and vanilla.
- Stir in the flour mixture until all is just combined. It actually becomes smooth quickly.
- Divide the batter between your prepared tins, smoothing out the tops with the back of a spoon or spatula, since it will be a little thick.
- Bake the bread for 45 to 55 minutes, or until firm to the touch. The bread should pull slightly away from the pan when done, and will be lightly browned, but a toothpick inserted may yield a few very small crumbs, so I didn’t rely on the toothpick test.
- Let the loaves cool for 10 minutes, before popping them out to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Resist the urge to cut into these loaves while still hot. Like any bread, they will be a bit crumbly when hot, but firm up perfectly as they cool.
This recipe was baked at sea level. Note that egg-free AND gluten-free bread becomes trickier at high altitude. It may still work, but I haven’t tested it as of yet. Also, you may need to add a little more liquid at high altitude or in very dry climates.
If desired, before baking, sprinkle the tops of the loaves with a little cinnamon and sugar or with coconut sugar, for a little extra crunch and sweet.
This recipe should work well as muffins (will make about one dozen) and as a large loaf (use a 9×5 pan). Since I haven’t tested these, use your best judgment on the baking time. I would start with 22 minutes on muffins, and watch them from there. For a large loaf, it will probably take at least 60 to 70 minutes of baking time.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 50 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Nut free, Peanut free, Soy free, Wheat free
Number of servings (yield): 12
Copyright © Alisa Fleming.
Note: This Giveaway is now closed, but you can still enjoy the recipe above!
I’ve got FIVE PRIZES to share, which means FIVE WINNERS (see below for the big bonus prizes for the event)!
The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen
The Gluten-Free Diner eCookbook + Whole Gang Jumbo Tote
7 Quick Start Tips for Living a Healthy Gluten-Free Fit Life eCookbook (2 winners)
Delight Magazine Subscription
BONUS: By commenting to win on this giveaway, you will automatically be entered to win one of the GRAND PRIZES in the Home for the Holidays event:
- The first 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 second prize is a shopping spree from Free From Gluten (a $150 value!)
- The third prize is a Caveman Cookies giveaway package (an $89 value!)
To Enter to Win:
- Leave a Comment telling me which book(s) and/or subscription you would like to win AND one of your favorite holiday traditions.
- For a second entry, share this giveaway on facebook, twitter, your blog, or via email to friends, and leave a second comment telling me that you’ve shared it. Don’t forget to leave this second comment for your second entry!
This giveaway is open to entries worldwide! The entries will close Tuesday, December 20th at midnight (PST), so enter now!
Note: If you want to join in on the Home for the Holidays event, feel free to grab the badge above and use it in your own gluten-free recipe post. Be sure to link back to the Home for the Holidays event page so that Shirley sees your post!