Pear-Almond Power Smoothie

Posted by on October 19, 2011 | 30 Comments

I’m attempting to pack right now for a trip with some wonderful friends. Do you ever look at your closet and absolutely hate everything you own? I realize it will be a casual trip, one without expectations, without judgement, and certainly without having to look trendy. It’s already been clearly stated that hoodies are welcome (Amen!). Still, nothing looks comfortable, nothing matches, and the last thing I want to have to pack for a three-day trip is five pairs of shoes.

So I’m procrastinating.

Of course, when I’m avoiding something I become hungry. Famished even. Time to head to the kitchen and fuel up.

Fortunately, we stocked up on organic pears this week (89 cents a pound for the organic ones people – recession / depression take that!), because my latest obsession is ripe pear and bananas in smoothies. Have you tried it? Seriously amazing. I got the idea from the new Thrive Foods book/cookbook by Brendan Brazier. Though some of his recipes are a little extreme in the expensive superfood arena for me, he escalated himself to master chef, in my opinion, when he paired flavors like these two fruits.

Naturally, since we are smack dab in the middle of fall, I had to add some more earthy flavors to the mix. I’ve got a big carton of Almond Fresh almond milk in the review works (to note: love it, it has a very pure almond taste), so I chose almond and “spice” (yeah, that means lots of cinnamon!) for my flavors of the day. It turned out so, so good. The only downfall was that my pear was just barely ripe, not quite soft and a little under-sweet, so I used stevia to sweeten. Should you find yourself in this predicament, stevia works great, but I think a little maple syrup would also go beautifully in this smoothie.

Vegan Pear Almond Spice Smoothie - Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, and Sugar-Free

I hope you enjoy this nutritious smoothie as much as I do! Time for me to take a computer bread and stare at my dreadful clothes pack.


Recipe: Pear-Almond Power Smoothie

Summary: I call this type of smoothie a power smoothie, as it energizes me with natural sugars and fiber, but offers just enough balance in fats and protein to keep me from crashing. If you want even more fuel, feel free to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite plain or vanilla protein powder (egg or brown rice protein would be a great match). This recipe was inspired by Thrive Foods by Brendan Brazier.


  • 1 Very Ripe Frozen Banana (medium to large in size), broken into chunks
  • 1/2 Ripe Pear
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Almond Butter
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Pinch Salt (omit if using salted almond butter)
  • Pure Stevia Extract or Maple Syrup, to taste


  1. Combine the banana, pear, almond milk, almond butter, cinnamon, and salt in your blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Taste test, and blend in sweetener to taste, if desired.
  3. Pour in a glass and sprinkle with additional cinnamon if you want it to be pretty.

Quick notes

If your blender is wimpy like mine, make sure the fresh fruit (pears in this case) is closest to the blades, with the frozen fruit on top. This allows those blades to get moving before they hit the tough stuff.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Peanut-Free, Soy-Free, Wheat-Free, Sugar-Free

Number of servings (yield): 1

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.

Vegan Almond Pear Spice Smoothie - Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, and Gluten-Free


Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes

Cajun Potato Skillet (Easy Shortcut Meal)

Posted by on October 10, 2011 | 19 Comments

Lately, I’m in love with pan-fried potatoes, and keep experimenting with different seasonings. One of the top spice contenders has easily been cajun.

At a recent conference I received a free container of cajun seasoning by Butterball. I admit, the taste is quite good. Okay, really good in recipes. It is spicy, but not too hot, and rich with flavor. But, on the con side it contains what seem like “unnecessary ingredients” such as silicon dioxide (anti-caking), cornstarch, and natural flavors. I’m always left wondering, if they’re so natural, why can’t they tell me what they are? Also, the seasoning “may contain milk” (and wheat and soy). From an allergen standpoint, I’m okay with trace dairy, but even so.

I’ve attempted a homemade cajun seasoning in the hopes of further improving on this dish and moving away from the additives, but haven’t found a version that is quite right as of yet (still testing!). If you have a homemade cajun seasoning that you prefer, feel free to use it in this recipe (and even share it perhaps in the comments? Hmm?). If not, simply pick-up one of the many premade cajun seasonings available (Butterball or otherwise), and enjoy this as a quick and easy meal option with loads of flavor and just five ingredients!

This makes for a surprisingly meat-heavy dish. If you prefer more veggies to your meat, feel free to reduce the meat to 4 to 6 ounces (or see the vegan and vegetarian options below) and add in a tasty veggie like roasted cauliflower. I did that one night, and all I can say is Yum! About 1 lb of cauliflower shrivels up to just 2 servings when roasted and tastes amazing with these cajun seasonings. For some added greens,  I like this with just a side salad or some steamed broccoli. I’m posting the basic recipe as is, since Tony is happy to skip the greens and cauliflower altogether and enjoy this as a “manly” meal.

Recipe: Cajun Potato Skillet

Summary: See my notes below for vegan or vegetarian options. Everyone should enjoy cajun-seasoned potatoes!


  • 1 lb Diced Red Potatoes, ½-inch cubes
  • 8 Ounces Lean Ground Pork or Turkey (see below for vegan and vegetarian options)
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Cajun Seasoning, divided (As noted, I used Butterball, which does contain salt. If using a salt-free version, you may need to add salt to taste)
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil (I used peanut, but olive or grapeseed would work great too)


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil.
  2. Add the diced potatoes, and boil them for 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, combine the meat with 1/2 teaspoon of the cajun seasoning.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onion, and saute for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the meat, and cook, breaking it up until no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Remove the meat and onions to a bowl and set aside.
  7. Drain the potatoes. I usually put them back in the pot for a minute to quickly steam off any excess water.
  8. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet, and heat it over medium heat.
  9. Add the potatoes to the skillet along with 1/2 teaspoon of the seasoning, stirring to combine.
  10. Fry the potatoes for 10 to 20 minutes, just stirring them once every few minutes. This gives them time to brown and offers some valuable time to quickly clean up the kitchen!
  11. Return the meat and onions to the skillet with the potatoes, add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of cajun seasoning, and cook, stirring to coat everything, for a couple of minutes, or until everything is heated through.
  12. Serve in two big bowls.


Vegetarian: Omit the meat and the 1/2 teaspoon of seasoning you would use on the meat. Instead, follow the directions for making the potatoes and onions, and serve the potatoes topped with poached eggs. Sprinkle with a few shakes of the cajun seasoning to serve.

Vegan: I haven’t yet tried a completely vegan options, but did love this dish with roasted cauliflower added. You could go with just roasted cauliflower or I think white beans would be nice in this dish if you are looking for some extra protein. Obviously, vegan sausage crumbles are an option, but I’d choose the cannelini beans personally.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 35 minute(s)

Diet tags: Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Nut free, Peanut free, Soy free, Wheat free, optionally Vegan or Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 2

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.

Cajun Potato Skillet


Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes

Two Words: Chocolate Granola

Posted by on October 6, 2011 | Comments Off on Two Words: Chocolate Granola

Quick note: If you haven’t seen the Cooking Challenges Recipe Contest yet, go check it out! Three people will win $200 in groceries and more!

I received some sad news at Attune Foods last month. Their chocolate probiotic granola is being discontinued. Since it has a loyal following, they requested that I come up with a chocolate granola recipe to help ease the blow. You can imagine how that elaborate conversation went … something like:

Attune: “Next month, could you make a chocolate granola re …”

Me: “Hells yeah!”

Okay, I didn’t really respond like that, but that’s what was going through my head. And I really have no idea what else was mentioned beyond that first half sentence. The words chocolate and granola were uttered, and I was in the kitchen within about, um, 30 seconds.

The resultant recipe has already been tested by me, my husband, our neighbor, our neighbor’s entire office, and an Attune chocolate granola customer. The verdict? Awesome. And that is me being modest about it.

I kept the recipe simple, vegan, and nut-free, so that it is school-friendly, allergy-friendly, and you can customize to add in any nuts or seeds if desired. I also like that it has a crispier crunch than your average granola.

You want the recipe you say? Here it is: Chocolate Dairy-Free Granola

If you like it, have any questions, or suggestions, please leave a comment on that post. I will be checking them!

Chocolate Granola - Nut-Free, Vegan, optionally Soy-Free


Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes

Super Natural Birthday Cookies

Posted by on October 3, 2011 | 30 Comments

Quick Note: this giveaway is open until Oct 5th now since I messed up the date. Enter to win Cooking with Crispbread gift pack!

When it comes to online presence, I’m certainly not hard to find, but I rarely offer many personal tidbits. A little mystery is good, right? But since today is my birthday, I thought I would share just a little more about myself … and a recipe, of course ..

  • I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my entire life. Does that make me just weird or an outright freak of nature?
  • If given the choice between carob and chocolate, I’d always choose carob. I’m just not given that option very often.
  • My dream is to run a boutique hotel in the Caribbean with my husband one day … serving up yummy breakfast that is made and grown onsite of course. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but rationalized that it might be more likely to happen if I keep sharing it.
  • I’m 37 as of today, but tend to accidentally age myself often … like rounding up to the next year or even putting my birthdate as two years earlier in my StumbleUpon profile. Oops! It looks like my 40th is scheduled for 2012 in social networking years.
  • When it comes to birthday treats, I love frosting, but could live without cake. Oh the dilemma. However, I adore cookies. So I decided to make myself a batch of extra-special cookies for the occasion …

Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies - Vegan, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free


Recipe: Super Natural Mesquite Chocolate Chips Cookies

Summary: Yes, I gave in. I received some Mesquite Flour at a recent conference, and well, how could I not try this legendary recipe for Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies? It is adapted from David Lebowitz, who adapted it from Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Cooking and famed blogger at 101 Cookbooks. I made quite a few modifications so that it would be dairy-free and egg-free (a vegan version!), and just a touch sweeter. Everyone loved these!

Mesquite flour has the taste and texture of what I would describe as a malted cocoa powder. It’s mellower, yet deep and rich. I definitely recommend giving it a trial for something new and flavorful. David Lebowitz states that buckwheat flour might be an optional subtitute if you don’t have any mesquite flour on hand. I think you could also sub cocoa powder, carob powder, or a combination of the two, but the resultant flavor would definitely be different from the original.


  • 4 Teaspoons Flaxseeds
  • 6 Tablespoons Milk Alternative (I used unsweetened hemp milk, but any type will do)
  • 1-1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Mesquite Flour
  • 1 Cup Quick Oats (not instant, can sub rolled oats if desired, but I prefer the quick oats in these)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Grapeseed Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey, Agave Nectar, or Maple Syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2/3 Cup Dairy-Free Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. Whiz the flaxseeds into a powder in your spice/cofee grinder (about 2 Tablespoons of ground flaxseed).
  3. Whisk together the ground flax and milk alternative in a mixing bowl, and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the two flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Returning to the flax mixture (which should have thickened a bit), blend in the sugar, oil, liquid sweetener, and vanilla.
  6. Add the dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated.
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips. The dough will be quite thick, so you may need to press some of the chocolate chips into the dough.
  8. Roll the dough into balls roughly the size of ping pong balls, and flatten them to about 1/2-inch thick on the baking sheet. They will spread a bit while baking, but not much.
  9. Press any chocolate chips stragglers into the cookies.
  10. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. You want to underbaked these if anything. They will just be beginning to set.
  11. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Diet tags: Vegan, Dairy free, Egg free, Nut free, Peanut free, and optionally Soy free

Number of servings (yield): 24 cookies

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.

Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies - Vegan, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free


Sigh. The last cookie. That’s what I get for making the batch the day before my birthday. At least I have this one …

Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies - Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, and Vegan


I think this recipe definitely does justice to Heidi’s original recipe and David’s adaption, even without the eggs and butter! But you be the judge.

Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies - Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, and Vegan


Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes

Sweet & Spicy Crisp Mix Recipe + Giveaway

Posted by on September 28, 2011 | 46 Comments

After posting up this egg-free, dairy-free meatball recipe, the folks at WASA offered up a prize package for a giveaway, and who was I to say no? One of you will receive this fun loot:

Cooking with Crispbread Giveaway

  • The Cooking with Crispbread full-color, hardback cookbook
  • A cool WASA bag
  • Three boxes of WASA Crispbread, assorted flavors

To Enter: Simply comment on this post, and let me know if you have ever had crispbread and if so, your favorite way to eat it! I’ll pick a winner on Wednesday, Oct 5th, so enter now!

Personally, I’ve enjoyed their crispbread with almond butter, in meatballs, and in this party mix recipe …

Crispy Dairy-Free Party Mix

Party gnome approve. Hope you enjoy it too!


Recipe: Sweet, Salty, Spicy, Crispy Party Mix

Summary: This mix combines an array of textures and flavors for a little bit of everything. It isn’t overly sweet or overly spicy as is, but you can certainly amp it up if desired. The flavors meld nicely when the mix is allowed to rest, so I make it earlty in the day or  night before and store in an airtight container. This recipe is adapted from the Cooking with Crispbread cookbook.


  • 1-1/2 Cups Broken Crispbread Pieces (I used the Rosemary WASA)
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil or Dairy-Free Margarine (I used coconut oil for a rich and buttery flavor without margarine)
  • 3/4 Cup Seeds and Nuts (I preferred sunflower seeds in this; almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds go nicely also)
  • 2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Honey, Maple Syrup, or Agave Nectar
  • 2 Teaspoons Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne (you can double it if you prefer the mix HOT, but this was enough heat for us)


  1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF.
  2. Place the crispbread pieces and seeds or nuts on a baking sheet and spread them out.
  3. Toast the crispbread and seeds or nuts in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. While that is toasting, melt the margarine or coconut oil and combine with the remaining ingredients.
  5. Place the toasted crispbread mix in a large bowl, and while still hot, pour on the oil/spice mixture. Stir to coat.
  6. The flavors meld more as it rests, so feel free to make a batch of this at night to enjoy the next day.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

Diet tags: Vegan, Dairy free, Egg free, Peanut free, Soy free, optionally Nut free, optionally Gluten free (with a GF crispbread or crackers!)

Number of servings (yield): 6 snacks

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.

Dairy Free Crispy Party Mix - Vegan


Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes, Giveaways

Wholesome Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Posted by on September 26, 2011 | Comments Off on Wholesome Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Just in case you didn’t see it on Go Dairy Free, I have a guest post today over at Attune Foods, and I’d love for you to check it out and offer feedback (on that post please! I’ve closed the comments here). Yes, there is a yummy, 6-ingredient recipe for granola bars over there that was created in my little kitchen … but … I’d also love for you to read the article / intro I wrote also.

You see, this month the theme for Attune is “clean eating,” and I thought it would be neat to compare the ingredients of a store bought product to a comparable (but obviously better!) homemade version. However, as I was writing out the ingredients for the store-bought granola bars (leading brand), I started to get a little concerned. In paragraph form it didn’t look like THAT many ingredients. Would they really differ that much? Would my ingredient list be shorter and would it really look healthier to help people understand the value of homemade?

Holy cow! Was I worrying myself over nothing. It actually shocked me a little when I looked at the two ingredient lists side by side. Go check it out for yourself, and enjoy the recipe while you’re at it: Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars Recipe.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Whole Grain Cereal Bars - Dairy-Free


Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes

Easy Garlic and Herb Croutons

Posted by on September 24, 2011 | 8 Comments

Quick Note: Congrast to Casi Leigh! Winner of the Rudi’s Giveaway this week. Another giveaway coming up soon!

Since I have so many wonderful gluten-free friends, I frequently hear the sorrow of croutons arriving on a prepared salad when dining out. But what many may not realize, is that strict dairy-free people must also be on guard when it comes to croutons. Most are made with butter, margarine of unknown origin, and/or parmesan cheese. Not to mention whey powder, lactose, and other strange “flavoring” ingredients if the croutons were mass produced. Croutons aren’t a luxury that I indulge in often … well, until now.

Seriously, why is it that we forget how insanely easy some things are to make?

In college, my good friend and roomate Annette worked at Casa de Fruta. In addition to loads of delicious dried fruit, she would bring home day old bread at least once a week. Almost immediately upon walking in the door, she would chop up the bread, put it back in the paper bag it came in, drizzle in oil, sprinkle in some seasonings, give it a shake, and bake them for a few minutes. We had freshly made croutons available ALL. THE. TIME. Dang I miss her.

Yesterday, when staring down a half loaf of stale bread that I knew shouldn’t go to waste, I thought of that friend, and realized it was time for me to make croutons! And make croutons I did …

Dairy-Free Garlic & Herb Croutons with Gluten-Free Option

Recipe: Garlic & Herb Croutons


  • 4 Cups 1/2-inch Bread Cubes, cut from stale bread (I leave the crusts on, but you can cut them off if desired)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley, Basil, or Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt, or to taste
  • Generous Dash Black Pepper, or to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl, and drizzle on the olive oil, stirring as you drizzle. I like to keep it moving so that just a few of the bread cubes don’t soak up all of the oil!
  3. In a small dish, combine the seasonings, salt, and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the bread cubes and stir to coat.
  5. Bake the croutons for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they have crisped up to your liking.

Quick notes

You can use whatever bread you like, including gluten-free! As a matter of fact, most gluten-free bread improves in texture when toasted, making this a perfect recipe for using up leftovers. I stuck with wheat-based bread, using a combination of white-wheat and 100% whole wheat breads for an appealing light-darl mix of croutons.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Diet tags: Vegan, Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Nut free, Peanut free, Soy free, Sugar free

Number of servings (yield): 8

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.


Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes

Giveaway: Organic Rudi’s Bread & Sandwich Boxes

Posted by on September 21, 2011 | 88 Comments

This is my favorite commercial bread bakery, and frankly, the only brand I’ve purchased in years. I’m big on homemade bread, but when this stuff goes on sale, I sometimes cheat and pick up a loaf for breakfast toast. I love that they run a dairy-free bakery!

To get warmed up for the giveaway, here are a few fun Rudi-related things that might interest you:

  1. Today I posted a Banana Hot Dog “Sundae” Recipe from Rudi’s Bakery on Go Dairy Free. This is a fun snack that you and your little ones can enjoy whether vegan, gluten-free, or nut-free!
  2. A couple of months ago I reviewed Rudi’s Whole Grain English Muffins and Tortillas. Yum!
  3. A Coupon for $1 Off Any Rudi’s Organic Bread (vegan).
  4. A Coupon for $1 Off Any Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bread (gluten-free and dairy-free).

Okay, are you ready? Comment on this post to enter to win:

  • Two Rudi’s FREE Loaf Coupons (gluten-free or regular/wheat – your choice!) AND
  • Two Rudi’s sandwich boxes

Tell me, which loaves of Rudi’s bread would you purchase? You can see the whole line-up at Rudi’s Organic and Rudi’s Gluten-Free. I’ll pick a winner in two days, on Friday, September 23rd!

Me personally? I just bought the 100% Whole Wheat Organic Bread from Rudi’s using the coupon, but if I could find that Spelt Ancient Grain bread, I would be all over it.


Filed Under: Giveaways

Cocoa-Crusted Macadamia Nuts

Posted by on September 20, 2011 | 15 Comments

One of the joys of blogging is making friends with amazing people, and even meeting a few (in person!) whose work you’ve admired over the internet for what seems like ages. For me, one of those people was Amy Green. I got to chat with this sweet lady nearly a year ago (my how time flies!) and meet her face to face at the GFAF Expo earlier this year. Now that I know her personally, it is that much more fun to use her cookbook, Simply Sugar & Gluten Free. Knowing her voice makes me feel like she is right there in my kitchen as I read the recipes.

Some cookbooks I tag like mad with excitement, then set them down, never to return again. But Amy’s was easy to dive into. The recipes are every day gems, with a definite slant toward baking. Granted, some of the recipes use dairy, but this isn’t a milk-heavy cookbook, and most seemed easy enough to convert for me. Even so, I started with ones that were dairy-free as is, and wasn’t a bit disappointed …

First up was the Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice. The chicken came out so perfectly tender, but the surprise was really the rice. I used a wild rice blend from Lundberg, and it turned out like a really rich risotto! I enjoyed the brown and wild “risotto” for a light lunch the next day with broccoli. Doing just this rice and vegetable portion alone, would be an easy vegetarian crockpot meal if desired. The only change I made was to add a little garlic, and I doubled the mushrooms.

Next up was the Cocoa-Roasted Nuts. This is such a lovely and creative recipe! I love how Amy doesn’t rely just on stevia to sweeten, but rather uses it in combination with other unrefined sweeteners for a pleasant flavor that isn’t overpowering (as stevia alone can be). Amy uses almonds and egg whites in this recipe, which I didn’t have on hand, so I made quite a few modifications. The version I ended up with was a little more than “cocoa” and almost bordering on dark chocolate. However, I was true to her flavors, which made for a snack that was just lightly sweet and salty, but rich with cocoa flavor. Below is my version, adapted from Amy’s original. But, for a lower fat and more “polished” version, try the Cocoa-Roasted Nuts in Simply Sugar & Gluten Free.

To note, other scrumptious recipes that I have marked to trial (soon!) from this cookbook include the Banana Oat Bars, Buckwheat Blinis, Slow Cooker Ketchup, Ruthie’s Apple Crisp, and the Grilled Balsamic Dijon Chicken.

Recipe: Cocoa-Crusted Macadamia Nuts

Summary: Recipe adapted from Simply Sugar & Gluten Free: 180 Easy and Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less by Amy Green. Keep in mind, this is just a lightly sweet, lightly salty recipe – good for some cocoa antioxidants in snack form. For more of a dessert, I’d coat them in melted chocolate once cool (mmm, nuts with a crisp cocoa coating enveloped in chocolate!), but that’s just me.


  • 1 Tablespoon Oil (I used melted coconut oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1-1/2 Cups Macadamia Nuts (or nuts of your choice!)
  • 2 Tablespoons + 2 Teaspoons Coconut Sugar or Palm Sugar (If you can’t find coconut sugar, regular or organic powdered sugar will do. Simply use 3 tablespoons, omit the cornstarch, and skip the spice grinder step – the result will be a little sweeter)
  • 1 Teaspoon Cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 1 25mg Scoop Pure Stevia Extract Powder (some of the blends have dairy in them, so I use only the pure one, like this one from NuStevia)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 250ºF and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. Combine the oil, maple syrup, and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Add the nuts, and stir to coat.
  4. Place the coconut sugar and cornstarch in your spice grinder and whiz away until you get a powder (about 30 seconds).
  5. Stir the sugar mixture in a bowl with the remaining ingredients until well combined.
  6. Add the powdered mixture to the nuts and stir to coat. It will be very thick, creating a paste-like coating on the nuts, but should stick!
  7. Spread the nuts out on your prepared baking sheet. In general, they should be spaced out so that they aren’t touching and clumped together.
  8. Roast the nuts for 25 minutes, rotate the pan and roast them for another 20 to 25 minutes.
  9. Remove them from the oven and let the nuts cool before handling (hot nuts!). They will crisp up as they cool.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 50 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Peanut-Free, Wheat-Free, Refined Sugar-Free

Number of servings (yield): 6


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Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes, Cookbook Trials

Egg-Free Meatball Marinara

Posted by on September 15, 2011 | 26 Comments

I received a few interesting packages recently that begged to be made into a meal. The first included several boxes of Wasa Crispbread along with a Crispbread cookbook! How cool is that? That shipment was followed by several jars of Barilla pasta sauce and two boxes of Barilla Piccolini pasta. Can we say Italian night?

After thumbing through the cookbook, I honed in on the Crispbread Meatballs recipe. I loved that it didn’t use eggs or cheese, and could even be a really quick meal when coupled with the Barilla sauce and pasta. The “glue” in the meatballs is actually a soaked mixture of “milk” and crispbread crumbs, making them incredibly moist and tender. I admit, they are a touch fragile, especially if you make them big. So make them smaller and/or be gentle when turning the meatballs if you have fear of breakage. They do hold together pretty well once browned, and the two “casualties” we had tasted equally delicious!

Obviously, as I made it, this recipe is not gluten-free. But if desired, you can use your favorite hearty gluten-free crackers and some brown rice pasta to make this a gluten-free meal with ease.

Recipe: Egg-Free Meatball Marinara

Summary: Recipe adapted from Cooking with Crispbread: 32 Delicious Ways to Get Whole Grains by Art Smith. This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Peanut-Free, Soy-Free, Low Fat, and optionally Gluten-Free (see my notes above).


  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Hearty Cracker Crumbs (I used Wasa Rosemary Crispbread, and processed it in my spice grinder to make crumbs), divided
  • 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Plain Soymilk or Rice Milk (You can sub your favorite unsweetened milk alternative)
  • 1 lb Lean Ground Beef (My husband ground sirloin steak, so it was quite lean. You can also use half ground pork, half ground beef for a different flavor)
  • 1/2 Medium Onion, diced
  • 1/2 to 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked or Regular Sweet Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder (or 2 medium garlic cloves, crushed – I was out)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 8 Ounces Sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 24-ounce Jar Marinara (I used Barilla Traditional Marinara)
  • 8 Ounces Pasta (I used Barilla Piccolini Penne (a rich in fiber white pasta – it cooked up perfectly and fast!))
  • Chopped Olives, optional for garnish


  1. Place 2 tablespoons of the cracker crumbs and the milk alternative in a medium-sized bowl and let it soak for about 20 minutes.
  2. Once the milk mixture has had time to soften and thicken, add the ground beef, onion, salt, parsley, oregano, paprika, garlic, and pepper. Stir well to incorporate the ingredients.
  3. Shape the meat mixture into 12 to 20 meatballs. Twelve if you like them big, twenty if you prefer smaller meatballs that hold shape best.
  4. Place the remaining 1/4 cup of crumbs (or more if needed) in a bowl and roll the meatballs in it to coat.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  6. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat.
  7. Add the meatballs, and fry them, turning occasionally, until brown all over.
  8. Place the meatballs in a casserole dish.
  9. Add the mushrooms to your fry pan and cook them for just a few minutes to soften. Sprinkle the mushrooms over the meatballs, and marinara sauce over all.
  10. Cover and bake the meatballs for about 20 minutes, while you prepare the pasta according to the package directions.
  11. Serve the meatball marinara atop your prepared pasta, sprinkle with olives (if using), and add an extra dose of greens with a side salad or steamed broccoli, if desired.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.

Egg-Free No Cheese Crispbread Meatballs


Filed Under: Alisa's Recipes

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