Gluten Free Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Pecan caramel sauce

I wanted to make a cake this holiday weekend for my family, but wanted to partake as well. As you may or may not know from a previous post, I have to eliminate sugar from my diet. That presented quite a challenge for me, especially when I’m in the mood for cake & especially for the Holidays! So I went to work in my kitchen “lab” & tried out some recipes. After a flop or 2 (I won’t admit how many flops), I came up with one that works well. I did use Maple sugar and coconut sugar, as I can process those. Thank goodness! If you try it, let me know what you think. 🙂
Gluten free Pumpkin Bundt cake with pecan caramel sauce ❤🎃
Ingredients:

2 cups maple sugar

3/4 cups coconut sugar

3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) earth balance butter sticks, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

6 eggs

3 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 cup canned pumpkin

Caramel Pecan Sauce:

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup real maple syrup

4 TBSPN almond butter

pinch of sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup pecans, halved

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease bundt pan with vegan shortening and lightly flour.
  2. In a large bowl, beat sugar and vegan butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add 1 tsp vanilla & eggs, one at a time, mixing in well after each addition.
  4. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix them together well.
  5. Alternately add flour mixture from small bowl & the 1 cup of pumpkin to large bowl, beating well after each addition.
  6. Pour batter into greased & floured bundt pan.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 15 minutes in pan. Take out of pan on drying rack until completely cooled.
  9. While cooling on rack, make your caramel pecan sauce.
  10.  In a medium saucepan, melt the coconut oil & maple syrup, stirring til melded together for approximately a minute.
  11. Whisk in the almond butter until incorporated into the mix well.
  12. Stir in the sea salt, vanilla extract & pecans. Take off the stove.
  13. Place cake on serving platter & drizzle sauce over cake.
  14. With each slice you cut & serve, drizzle more sauce over the slice.

Oh my this sauce is so yummy!! It would even be so amazing on vegan vanilla ice cream!! Hope you liked the cake!! If you make it, let me hear your thoughts on it! Enjoy!!

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Tofu bacon & lettuce sandwich

I have been experimenting for awhile with some “bacon” recipes for breakfast & for different BLT type sandwiches. I am unable to eat tomatoes, due to heartburn issues, but you certainly can place them on the sandwich if you so desire. ; ) I have found the sauce to make just about anything into a bacon. You can use this recipe for tofu, eggplant, zucchini, and just about anything you wish to make “bacon” with, really! Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family & I have.
Gluten free tofu bacon sandwich
“Bacon” flavoring recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup  soy sauce

2 TBSPN vegan Worcestershire sauce (recipe to follow)

2 TBSPN Real maple syrup

2 TBSPN Bragg’s nutritional yeast

2 TBSPN liquid smoke

2 TBSPN coconut oil

I used 2 blocks of tofu, cut into strips, but have also used eggplant cut into thin strips.(Make sure to blot dry with paper towels, to take out the excess water content of tofu or veggies)

Vegan Worcestershire sauce recipe

1 cup Bragg’s apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/8 cup maple sugar

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground dry mustard

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Make the homemade Worcestershire sauce first. Mix everything together & heat in a saucepan, stirring often. When it comes to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes. Take off the stove and cool for 10 minutes.
  2. While the Worcestershire sauce is cooling, in a separate bowl, stir the “bacon” ingredients together & when the Worcestershire sauce is ready (it will still be warm — that’s ok), measure out 2 TBSPN and stir that in to bacon flavoring recipe.
  3. Soak the cut & blotted dry tofu or eggplant or other veggie strips & marinate them for an hour or better yet, overnight, in the fridge with cover.
  4. Store the rest of the Worcestershire sauce for another time.
  5. When ready, saute on a griddle or fry pan on medium heat with coconut or olive oil, loosening often with a spatula, so it doesn’t stick to pan. Cook on each side for approximately 3 minutes, until browned.
  6. Place on the side as a “Bacon” for breakfast or place on toasted bread of choice with lettuce & tomato along with veganaise or perhaps guacamole! It is a delicious lunch!

Enjoy!! How do you like your vegan bacon?

Changes

This Summer I have been through a roller coaster ride with my digestion! I have discovered sugar, in almost every form, is very upsetting to my stomach & have since dropped it from my diet. It has been a journey for sure & a lot of adjustment. I am able to process maple sugar & syrup, as it is more natural & more gentle on my tummy, but no other sugars seem to make my tummy very happy! This will be a challenging holiday season for me, but a relief to end some of this misery for me. It’s amazing when you find those triggers, how you begin to heal your gut. It explains why I was under the weather a lot! I had a leaky gut! I have other triggers as well. As you all may know, I’ve been working on a book & have since made a lot of changes & essentially had to start over as I’ve eliminated & rewrote recipes according to these new changes in my diet! This cookbook is in progression & have found healing through writing it & testing new recipes! A Wonderful new me is emerging! My goal is to help others as well, who also may be going through similar or exact issues as these. Stay tuned for the cookbook; although it’s taking longer than expected, it will hopefully be worth the wait.

Hoping you all enjoyed your Summer! Despite these challenging events, my family and I enjoyed visiting the Cape once again, took tons of day trips, witnessed the beautiful and proud moment of seeing our daughter graduate from college with a Bachelor in Science & is now working in a Farm and working also as a Garden Manager at a local college!! Thanks to her, we have had a ton of delicious, organic produce and learned a lot about better health. I’ve been busy reinventing the cookbook, visiting with friends, crafting, swimming, teaching our son to drive (yikes!), my son playing in a summer community band, visiting with extended family we don’t see often & now are preparing for the Fall! Happy First day of Autumn tomorrow! Stay tuned!

It's still bizarre to see my son driving! He's a very good driver!
My son learning to drive this Summer
Eastham, Ma. (Cape Cod)
Caden, Paul & Jake taking the plunge!
A little boogie boarding
Mandi & Cayla
My daughter and niece
Cousins❤️Jake & Cayla
My son & niece
Mandi relaxing in the pool this morning
My daughter chillin’ in the pool

On the drums

Beautiful waterfalls in Montague

At a tomato festival

Picking kidney beans from the garden
Picking from the garden
Bella always smelling flowers 🙂
My Jake 🎈🎂🎆😁
My son on his birthday

Roasted Butternut squash

I have been so busy this Summer season & it’s great to be posting again! This is the Harvest season for butternut squash & there are a lot of yummy simple recipes for this nature’s candy. I have a very simple one for you! Enjoy!!

Ingredients:

2 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into medium sized chunks

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 TBspn. real maple syrup

1/2 stick of Earth Balance butter

1/2 tsp salt

parchment paper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (you may need to line 2 sheets depending on the amount of squash pieces & the size of cookie sheets). Place chunks of squash on the lined sheets.
  3. Melt butter in pan. Take off stove. Add brown sugar, syrup & salt. Drizzle all over pieces of squash. Move around to saturate all of the chunks.
  4. Bake for 35-45 minutes or more depending on your oven on 350°F.
  5. Serve warm.  Enjoy!!

These candied sweet potatoes went quickly last night! So good!

Lemon Pudding Cheesecake

I make this cheesecake for Easter every few years & it is always a smash hit! It’s light & lemony delicious! Enjoy! I have to apologize that in all of the commotion & excitement on Easter, I never took a picture of the cheesecake, but it is so very delicious!! It will not disappoint!!

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups crushed g-free graham crackers

3/4 cup plus 1 Tbspn. sugar, divided

3 Tbspns. Earth Balance butter, melted

4 packages (8 oz.each) Tofutti cream cheese, softened*

2 Tbspns. g-free flour

2 Tbspns. almond milk

1 cup Tofutti sour cream*

4 eggs

2 packages  g-free lemon flavor instant pudding & pie filling

1 cup rice whip whipped topping* & white chocolate curls-for top

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix wafer, cookie  crumbs or graham crumbs, 1 Tbspn. of sugar and butter; press firmly onto bottom of 9″ Springform pan. Bake for 10 min.
  2. Beat cream cheese, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, flour, and milk in large bowl with electric mixture on medium speed until just blended. Add sour cream; beat until just blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until just blended. Stir in dry pudding mixes until just blended.
  3. Bake for 1 hour & 5 min – 1 hour & 15 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife or metal spatula around side of pan to loosen cake; cool completely. Refrigerate overnight. Remove side of pan. Top cheesecake with whipped topping & white chocolate curls, just before serving. Make sure to store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

*You can use the dairy versions of these, if you wish, instead of the vegan versions.

lemonpuddingcheesecake
This is the dairy version of the cheesecake I make at Easter. It is a Kraft dessert. mine looks very similar & is just as delicious as a vegetarian version.

 

 

Simple G-free stuffed Mushrooms

G-free Stuffed Mushrooms

4 (10 oz.) packages of whole white mushrooms, stem scooped out & diced. Save the mushroom rounded top whole

1/2 cup gluten free seasoned bread crumbs

dried minced onion (to taste)

s & p to taste

1 vegetable bouillon cube

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) Earth Balance butter stick

1/2 cup water

vegan parmesan cheese (to sprinkle on tops before baking)

Directions:

  1. In a large chef’s pan, saute with a 1/2 stick of Earth Balance butter, the diced mushroom stems.
  2. Put in 1/2 cup of water with 1 vegetable bouillon cube & stir until cube is diluted.
  3. Sprinkle in the dried minced onion, s & p to taste.
  4. Place in the g-free bread crumbs. add more water if it gets too dry. The mixture may be sticky. That’s normal for g-free.
  5. Scoop mixture into the open whole mushroom heads.
  6. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
  7. *Optional: You can sprinkle grated or shredded cheese as well if you wish, or instead of the Parmesan.

These are delicious stand by appetizers or you can even chop up whole mushrooms & use as a stuffing for Portobello mushroom heads as a main dish. Enjoy!!

Gfree stuffed mushrooms

Day 5 of the challenge:Brownie Pancakes

Here we are on the 5th day of the challenge & I decided to make the Brownie batter pancakes. They were delicious, but very small! They made silver dollar sized pancakes. So, as I was feeding my starving family & myself (also famished), I made vanilla regular sized pancakes along with the silver dollar sized brownie ones! Oh Wow, so good together!! (You can find the vanilla pancake recipe from a previous post). Hope you enjoy them as we did!

Brownie Batter Pancakes

Ingredients:

Vanilla Pancakes

1/4 cup All-purpose G-free flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp cocoa powder

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar

1/16 tsp salt (it’s about a pinch)

1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil (liquid form & cooled)

Vanilla & Brownie Pancakes on griddle

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

5 1/2 Tbsp Cashew milk (or milk of choice)

Directions:

1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.

2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry & stir together.

3. Using a ladle, pour small circle shapes onto a hot electric griddle. When you see small    bubbles on top, flip. Heat for a few minutes & when browned lightly, take off heat.

4. Serve with my vanilla pancakes, if you want, on the bottom & top with these silver dollar pancakes on top.

5. Top with your favorite real maple syrup. Enjoy!!
Vanilla pancakes with brownie silver dollar pancakes on top & with real maple syrup

Easter Decor

Creating a pretty & simple festive home for the Easter holiday is always a joy. I love the pastel colors around the home, light & breezy sheer curtains on the living room windows & each year adding  a new element of decor, while usually taking away an item from a previous year. Each year I decorate differently & it’s always fresh & new & oh, so much fun!! My favorite places to shop for decor are: dollar stores, Ocean State Job Lot, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, our local Goodwill stores, flea markets & my own home & woods in my backyard. I’ll be decorating up until the actual holiday & enjoying every minute of it. Here are some of the areas of my home decorated. Nowhere near finished, but here’s what I have so far……

Elements of spring decor around the house ❤
A little pop of Spring! So ready for Easter!!! Love this time of year!!

Day 3: Crispy Roasted Tofu

So, this challenge thus far is going well. Last night the ‘Crispy Roasted Tofu’ was made. My family enjoyed it, but I would have liked it to be less spongy & more crispy. My advice is to cook it for 5-10 minutes longer under a higher temp in the oven or, for a few minutes under broil (watch it the whole time if it’s on broil). We served this tofu with baked sweet potatoes, kale, and sweet carrots. It was a wonderful meal.

**Note: The sauce is mixed with the tofu chunks & is marinated in it overnight.

Ingredients:Crispy roasted tofu. So good!

1 lb. Extra Firm organic tofu

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp real maple syrup

1/4 cup tamari or other g free soy sauce

*I doubled this recipe to feed a family of 4.

Directions:

1. Add this sauce to a large bowl & whisk to combine. Add tofu, cover and let sit in refrigerator overnight.

2. The next day, preheat oven to 450°F.

3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

4.Arrange tofu in single layer on tray.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden underneath. Turn each piece over & bake another 10-12 minutes until golden & crisp all around. This is where if it is not crispy enough for you, you should up the temp higher & place back in oven for another 5-10 minutes or on broil for a few minutes. Watch it so it doesn’t burn.

*** Leftover tofu should be stored in covered container in refrigerator.

Hope you enjoy!

Day 4: Anti-Inflammatory Pineapple Ginger Smoothie

So, continuing on my journey with trying new recipes from my Pinterest Board of Recipes, I decided upon this delicious Pineapple Ginger smoothie. I felt so refreshed & hydrated after it, and I felt like I was on the islands somewhere! What a nice way to start my day!

This beverage is full of wonderful benefits. Here are some of those benefits:

Pineapple: It has a lot of Vitamin C in it.

An excellent source of Fiber.

It has Bromelain in it that helps prevent colds & break up phlegm & mucus to help you heal faster from colds.

It has manganese to help promote strong bones.

Reduces inflammation

Helps prevent arthritis, cancer & heart disease

Boosts immunity & increase circulation

Mango:  Prevents Cancer

Lowers cholesterol

Has Vitamins A, C & E

mango

Improves digestion

Ginger: Helps with Nausea & Muscle soreness.

Helps aid against inflammation.

Drastically lowers blood sugar & heart disease risk factors

Can help with chronic indigestion & even menstrual cramps!ginger root

Lowers cholesterol & prevents cancer

May help with brain function

Can help fight infections

Celery:  Excellent source of antioxidants & beneficial enzymes

Has Vitamins: C, K, Potassium, Folate & B6

Helps prevent dehydration

improves liver, skin, eye & cognitive healthcelerystalks

Coconut Water:Very hydrating (way better than sports drinks)

Has potassium, magnesium & calcium

Contains other natural vitamins, especially B vitamins, minerals, natural salts

It’s a natural diuretic

Lowers Cholesterol & Manages Triglyceride levels

These are some of the many benefits of these ingredients among the many not listed. This was so refreshing! I hope you all enjoy it as well!

Ingredients:

2 Cups ripe pineapple

1 Cup ripe mango

1 piece of ginger (about 3 inches)

1/2 Cup of celery

1 Cup coconut water

1 tsp fresh vanilla

Directions:

  1. Place chunked fruit & veggies, vanilla & coconut water in a blender & mix until all blended well. Serve immediately. Enjoy! Serves 2.pineapple