Banana Bread Oatmeal

Banana bread oatmeal for breakfast today. Yum!
On a hectic morning, you need to have a quick breakfast, but a healthy & hearty one to start the day right. This was something I made one morning in just that situation & it was delicious & satisfying, as well as healthy. If you have Celiac Disease, like myself, or a sensitivity to gluten & wheat, make sure the oats are gluten free. Sometimes they’re processed in a facility where there’s cross-contamination, so, making sure it’s certified gluten free is crucial to your tummy. Enjoy. 🙂

Ingredients:

3/4 cups gluten free oats

1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk of our choice

1 Tbspn. real maple syrup

1/2 tsp. real vanilla extract

1 banana (cut into small coins)

pinch of salt

*optional: 1/8 cup chopped walnuts

*optional: 1/2 Tbspn. light brown sugar

This recipe is for one serving.

Directions:

  1. Place everything in a saucepan & stir constantly over a medium-high heat. Don’t let it burn. It only takes a few minutes to get the flavors melded together, heated & a nice consistency.
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Buddha Bowls

Ok, so I am in love with buddha bowls! I love creating different flavorful meals all in one bowl! You can make all kinds of delicious combinations! Here is one combo that I made a few days ago. Try your hand at some! It’s delicious when it all mixes together.
Yummy Buddha bowl

Ingredients:
brussel sprouts (roasted with olive oil, s & p)

mushrooms

onions

spinach

rice

chickpeas

olive oil

nutritional yeast (1/8 cup)

ground turmeric

ground cumin

ground cayenne pepper or paprika

garlic salt

onion powder

s & p

chopped dried chives

dried parsley

Instructions:

  1. Roast brussel sprouts in a 350°F oven with olive oil, s & p & most of nutritional yeast minus a tablespoon, for about 10 minutes or until soft & browned.
  2. Saute onions until transparent, soft & browned. Add mushrooms & saute until soft & browned. Put to the side.
  3. Heat frozen or fresh spinach. Add olive oil, garlic salt, and a Tablespoon of nutritional yeast. Put to the side.
  4. Saute chickpeas in olive oil, s & p, turmeric, cumin, garlic salt, onion powder, parsley & chives until browned & the flavors are melded together. Place to the side.
  5. Cook up rice according to instructions. Add some vegetable broth if you’d like.
  6. Add seasoning to taste & place each food in sections in bowl.
  7. Enjoy! These one bowl meals are the best for busy nights & they are just as cozy as a warm soup on a cool night.

Faux Pumpkin Craft

 I LOVE CRAFTING!!! I had these faux Styrofoam pumpkins from the dollar store from last year & they were way too orange-y and I like the Cottage/Farmhouse look, so I decided to paint them & make them more that style. I only needed the materials I had on hand in the house to give them a different look.

Materials needed:

Faux Styrofoam pumpkins from the dollar store

white paint

black paint

gray paint (or mix the white & black to make gray)

brown paint

varying sizes of paint brushes

paper plate to put paint on

rag(s)

cups of water (to rinse in between & to water down paint at times)

newspaper or other material that can get paint on it to protect surface

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your surface & gather all materials. Put water in cups for rinsing in between. Wear paint clothes.
  2. Paint with a bigger brush — white all over most of the pumpkin, except the bottom. Ans some in gray, if you wish, (I did 2 in white & 2 in gray). Let dry.
  3. After ten minutes, paint bottom. Let dry.
  4. In creases, paint with watered down gray or brown & wipe away lightly.
  5. Any touch ups?
  6. Put pumpkins outside on newspaper or in a deep sink & dip large craft paintbrush in black & fan out to splatter specks on pumpkins (not too much). Be careful not to get paint everywhere.
  7. Dry for ten minutes.
  8. Paint stems on pumpkins black or brown.
  9. Any touch ups? After they dried for about an hour or so, they are ready to be placed where you want them. Check to make sure they’re dry.

Happy Autumn!!

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!!

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