Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Vegan Valentines Day menu, gluten free lentil meatballs, strawberry banana ice cream recipe and more.....

Valentines Day Menu

I let the kids choose the valentines day menu, hubby and I had a delicious vegan valentines dinner at Sage's Cafe on Saturday night so Valentines Day was a family meal.  The kids wanted Spaghetti, I think that is a perfect  centerpiece of a valentine menu. 

If you think about Lady and The Tramp and the spaghetti dinner scene, what could be more romantic than a Spaghetti valentine meal?

I decided to make the valentine menu a little more hearty by adding some delicious gluten free lentil meatballs to the spaghetti.  This turned out to be a hit with the whole family, everyone loved the gluten free lentil meatball recipe!  I am going to share with you our simple valentines day menu.

Valentine Gluten Free Lentil Meatball Spaghetti Recipe

Delicious Gluten Free Quinoa Pasta
This makes a DELICIOUS meal!  These noodles look like white pasta, let me assure you, they are not!  These are delicious, gluten free quinoa noodles.  This gluten free pasta has a good amount of protein and a similar texture and taste to wheat pasta.  

Valentine Dessert Recipes
Raspberry Banana Ice Cream Recipe
Gluten Free Chocolate chip Cookie Recipe
Low Fat Chocolate Sauce Recipe

We all decided we needed to have a red or pink valentine dessert, so we chose Raspberry Banana Ice Cream.  This raspberry banana ice cream recipe is about as healthy as ice cream gets!!  It is sweetened with dates and it contains only fruit and coconut milk.  It was SOOOO Delicious!!  I couldn't believe how decadent this raspberry banana ice cream was.  The kids loved it as well, we had left overs so I poured it into popsicle molds and the kids had healthy fruit popsicles for later.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

My son's scout troop was having a Cake contest for the Blue and Gold banquet.  As I was trying to figure out a cake recipe to make my daughter BEGGED me to make a gluten free chocolate cake recipe.  She said that there wouldn't be any other gluten free cakes there for her to eat and she REALLY wanted to be able to have some dessert.  I was very concerned about making a gluten free cake recipe.  Gluten free cakes tend to be crumbly, dry and they generally aren't very good. 

Finally, I decided I could try to come up with my own gluten free chocolate cake recipe and just cross my fingers it would turn out okay.  Well, it turned out MORE than okay, it was FABULOUS!!!    I know you probably hear many gluten free bakers claim that their recipes are 'just like gluten containing food.'  Well this time it really was!!  I was absolutely blown away at how amazing this gluten free chocolate cake recipe turned out!! 

This Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe Won Second Place and was the MOST eaten cake on the table!!!!

When I say no one knew this was a gluten free chocolate cake, I mean it!  It was moist and delicious!!  So, on to the recipe.....

Amazing Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

Vegan Fondant Icing Recipe
I must state first that I DO NOT believe this is a healthy vegan fondant icing recipe by any stretch of the imagination!!!  However, I created this vegan fondant icing recipe to ice the cake for the Blue and Gold Banquet.  I personally would not make this for my family, we strive to eat a whole foods diet that is low in sugar.  However, on special occasions when we are serving other people I will make unhealthy vegan recipes to serve others.  At times I believe it is important to expose people to the fact that vegan food can be every bit as decadent and delicious as the food they are used to without the devastating impact.
This vegan fondant icing is RICH and VERY sugary.  I personally couldn't eat it so I ate a little cake without icing but for those who are used to sugar foods you will certainly enjoy this recipe.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

creamy rosemary potato soup recipe, gluten free biscuit recipe and gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe

Creamy Rosemary Garlic Potato Soup Recipe

This is comfort soup at its best!  This soup is packed with nutrients and tastes amazing!!!  I was at a loss for what to make for dinner one night and was trying to figure out how to use my fresh rosemary.  I had already made a few Italian dishes so I wanted to create something different.  I was brushing my hair and it came to me, rosemary and potato soup....YUM!

This potato soup recipe is very simple, quick, easy and yet so delicious.  The best recipes are those that delight the tastebuds but take very little to prepare.  The mix of rosemary, garlic and the subtle hint of sweetness from the carrot juice really make this creamy soup pop.  I hope you enjoy the creamy rosemary garlic potato soup recipe.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Tips

I have been working on gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipes along with low sugar and sugar free cookie recipes as well.  I found a few AMAZING tricks to making a delicious gluten free cookie that I want to share with you.  The gluten free cookies you see in the photo above are low sugar cookies but they are absolutely decadent.  I have also found the tricks to decreasing sugar content in dessert recipes without compromising texture or flavor.

Gluten free baking takes a little getting used to but once I got the hang of it I have had a lot of fun playing around with different gluten free flours, our favorite go to dessert is chocolate chip cookies so creating a delicious gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe was an absolute MUST in my house. 

The most exciting thing for me is to have my kids BEG me for these low sugar gluten free chocolate chip cookies, they truly LOVE them, even more than the sugar filled cookies they are served other places.  For parents who want to serve their children healthy low sugar desserts stay tuned because I have some great dessert recipes coming. 

My #1 gluten free baking tip:  Use coconut flour!

Coconut flour absorbs A LOT of liquid and acts similar to eggs in vegan recipes so this is a must have for vegan gluten free baking.  I put about 1/4 c. of coconut flour in all my gluten free cookie recipes.  You don't need a lot because it does absorb a lot of liquid, but just a little coconut flour really helps gluten free cookie recipes have the little extra something they need.

#1 low sugar cookie recipe trick:  Use ripe banana and applesauce in all low sugar dessert recipes.  I mix the banana and applesauce together until creamed in the mixer.  Then I add about 1 Tb. of stevia and a couple Tb. of maple syrup.  The combination of sweeteners seems to really do the trick.

It is important to remember that low sugar cookie or dessert recipes will NOT be as sweet as full sugar varieties!  They will be delicious but obviously not as sugar headache inducing.  I prefer the subtle sugar taste to the sickeningly sweet flavor of most dessert recipes.  I have served low sugar cookies to die hard sugar fans and have had excellent reviews so it is definiately doable.

The gluten free, low sugar chocolate chip cookies you see above contain:

bob's red mill flour
brown rice flour
coconut flour
1 Tb. coconut oil
peanut butter
salt, baking soda and chocolate chips

I did not measure the ingredients :-D  It is just one of those things I do sometimes, but once I get the recipe down I will publish one.....stay tuned you WILL want this gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe whether you are gluten free or not.

Gluten Free Drop Biscuits

The biggest challenge in creating a gluten free biscuit is to make it light and fluffy and not crumbly.  I have an even greater challenge making whole grain, vegan and low fat gluten free biscuit recipes.  I have found that you do not have to add a lot of refined oils in order to produce a light and delicious gluten free biscuit recipe, you just have to know how to substitute ingredients that will provide the moisture you need.

I was not sure how this gluten free biscuit recipe was going to turn out, a couple ingredients are outside the norm for a biscuit recipe.  I was thrilled with the result, these gluten free biscuits were gone quickly.  My children ate these gluten free biscuits until they were gone!   The trick in this recipe is the soymilk, vinegar and cooked quinoa combination.  The soymilk and vinegar mixture makes a dairy free buttermilk and provides a good rise to the gluten free biscuit recipe, the quinoa provides moisture in place of refined oil in the recipe.

The biggest accomplishment with this biscuit recipe, they were NOT crumbly at all!!  Enjoy this decadent, light, moist and delicious gluten free biscuits!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Vegan Nacho Cheese Chip recipe, Nacho Bake Recipe, Enchilada Sauce,

Vegan Nacho Cheese Chip Recipe

Delicious nacho cheese 'Dorito' style homemade chips!!  

These chips may not be exactly like the store bought kind, they do not contain MSG and other unhealthy ingredients, but my kids LOVED them!  They have a delicious chili cheesy flavor and they are very easy to make! I haven't seen any homemade dorito chip recipes anywhere, this homemade chip recipe is sure to make kids AND mom's happy.

These dorito style chips are an excellent substitute for traditional chips at your superbowl party, healthy snacks for kids, and they are delicious in mexican style recipes!

I thought this would be an excellent time to post the nacho cheese chip recipe just in time for the superbowl.  I have always loved chips, however, most bagged chips contain 150-200 calories for 7-15 chips!!  200 calories for a 4 foot 10 inch tall woman is about an entire meal!!  I can't eat that, not to mention all the refined oils in traditional bagged chips.  I decided to create a delicious, cheese flavored chip that I could ENJOY without all the junk and excess calories in chips from the grocery store.  You really have to try this homemade dorito chip recipe to appreciate how simple and delicious it really is. 

Enchilada Sauce Recipe
This enchilada sauce is delicious, the carrot juice adds a lot of extra nutrition, cuts down on the need for sugar or refined sweeteners and creates a delicious sauce.   There are very few enchilada sauces in the grocery store that do not contain MSG or High Fructose Corn syrup so if you choose to use canned enchilada sauce in a recipe please read he label and make sure you are not getting unwanted ingredients.
This enchilada sauce recipe is very simple and delicious and can be used in any recipe that calls for canned enchilada sauce.  I used this enchilada sauce recipe in the nacho pasta bake recipe below and it was fabulous!

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce Recipe

Here in this photo you see the vegan nacho cheese sauce on top of the nacho bake...YUM!!
This delicious vegan nacho cheese recipe can be made as a superbowl dip recipe for chips or veggies, it can be used to make nacho cheese quesadillas or to top your favorite mexican dishes.

Nacho Pasta Bake Recipe

This is a delicious kid friendly recipe!!  My kids loved this meal, it has all their favorites, nacho cheese dorito style chips, pasta, cheese sauce and a few veggies to make mom's happy too!  This recipe takes a little extra time to make the nacho chips but it is so worth it!

Blueberry Banana Ice Cream Recipe
This AMAZING blueberry banana ice cream recipe is SOOOO simple!  You won't believe how creamy and delicious this healthy, sugar free blueberry ice cream is.  This is an amazing sugar free dessert and is made with only fruit!  This recipe is vegan, dairy free, sugar free and absolutely delicious!
There are two ways to make this dessert, I realize that most people do not have a champion or green star juicer with a blank plate so I will give you two ways to make it.

***If you do not have this type of juicer you can put the frozen bananas and blueberries in a high powered blender or if you do not have a high powered blender put them in a food processor.  Blend with about 1/2 c. of Silk almond or coconut milk until thick and creamy.  Add the almond milk slowly and only enough to get it mixed well or your ice cream will be runny.
Gluten Free Chia Seed Pancake Recipe
This is a delicious, very simple gluten free pancake recipe, it does not require expensive xanthan gum and makes perfect, delicious little gluten free pancakes.  My children beg for these pancakes every morning, in fact, my 11 year old makes this gluten free pancake recipe by herself, it is so simple and contains a lot of nutrients and is packed with omega 3 fatty acids!
My daughter loves these gluten free pancakes with pure maple syrup, they can also be made as gluten free crepes if you thin the batter enough.