G-free Lemon Trifle

This past weekend before my daughter returned from Spring Break from college, we celebrated her 22nd Birthday early & she wanted a lemon flavored dessert. I made her a lemon trifle. It was delicious! 
Gfree lemon trifle
This dessert was so simple as I cheated & made a semi-homemade trifle. We ate the trifle a few hours after I made it, but the next day it was even more delicious! I think after it settled more & the flavors melded together more, it became more heavenly! I hope you enjoy this dessert & try this for Easter or other Spring function.

Ingredients:

1 box gfree yellow cake mix

1 tsp. lemon extract (instead of vanilla as said on box)

butter (amount needed on box directions)

water & eggs (amounts given on box)(3 eggs)

2 boxes of lemon instant pudding mix (make sure it’s gfree)

almond milk (follow directions on box as to how much)

5 bananas, coined & placed in a small bowl, soaked in lemon juice

cool whip

Directions:

  1. Bake cake according to directions.
  2. Make both puddings, with almond milk, according to directions on boxes & place in fridge for an hour.
  3. When cake cools, cut into small squares.
  4. Cut bananas into coins & soak in lemon juice.
  5. Fold cool whip into pudding mixture.
  6. Begin layering in a large Trifle dish, beginning with cake squares.
  7. Continue with spoonful of bananas spread over squares.
  8. Top with pudding/cool whip mixture.
  9. Keep continuing the layers until all used up, ending with pudding mixture.
  10. I topped a little extra cool whip on top, then used some of the cake crumbs to sprinkle on very top.

Hope you enjoy this decadent dessert. It really was even more delicious the following day!
More please....

Fruit Salad

With all of the sugary foods out there, it’s always so refreshing to get that sweet flavor without all of the harsh after-effects of sugar, by eating a simple & healthy fruit salad! I do love to make desserts, but after awhile, I like to detox a little by eating a variety of fruits. I try to have fruit everyday & make a fruit salad every weekend breakfast. Every fruit contains a plethora of vitamins & nutrients & they play an important part in preventing cancer & other various diseases. Berries are number one for me & my family, especially what’s in season. We love to grow fruit in our home garden & I simply cannot wait for the season to begin!!
Beautiful fruit salad for breakfast
Most weekend mornings we have a mixture of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries (all of which are grown here in my garden in season), as well as pineapple, and on occasion what’s in season in the markets. Lately, we have been putting citrus fruits in our fruit salads. This past weekend we had oranges, bananas, mangoes, papaya & blueberries.
Spring greens with chopped pecans, black pepper & strawberries
My favorite combination is with berries & watermelon! What combination do you like? Do you like fruit in a green salad with nuts & seeds, or in a fruit salad combination? Do you like to make desserts, like pies, with fruit? Whatever the combination, try to get in fruit everyday! Try to grow some or buy at your local organic Farmer’s Market. Here’s to your health!

Leftovers

Leftover baked gfree  vegan macaroni and cheese... Yummier the next day!
Oh the wonders of recreating leftovers!! I was taught by my grandmother, Lola — who had owned & operated two restaurants & a catering business in her lifetime — how to reinvent leftovers. She was the master (Or mistress, I should say) of this skill. Anyone could heat up leftovers, but she repurposed a dish to feel brand new & taste as if it was just made! It became a running joke in our family, when we all used to vacation together at the family cottage at the Cape, never to leave your leftovers around for her to see, because she would take them & serve them up as a new dish. Mind you, she NEVER did that to customers in her restaurant! It was just our family’s leftovers. Every time I serve a new dish from a previous dish, I am always reminded of her & thank her for the creativity. She must have learned that from the Depression Era. I, for one, learned to “waste not”. Thank you, Nana.

One such dish recently was nothing really extraordinarily special or too different from 2 days before that. I simply reheated homemade baked macaroni & cheese, but I decided to serve them in small individual sized ramekins & placed heavy cream on the bottom to soften it up again as it was dried out a bit (especially being a gluten free pasta). I also sprinkled the top with vegan parmesan cheese, s & p, plus a dot of butter, placed in a deep pan & placed in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes served alongside with (recooked in the oven on a cookie sheet) slices of leftover Irish Soda bread that a friend of mine made for me. I sliced the rest of the bread up, and placed dots of butter on that as well & put it in the oven for the last 5 minutes of the macaroni & cheese time. This was a delicious lunch for my family & me for our snowed-in day (we had a blizzard & everyone was home!). 🙂

What types of leftovers do you like to reinvent? Do you change a recipe up & make it different another time? Do certain recipes seem tastier for you the next day?

G-free Baked Vegan Macaroni & Cheese

A Delicious Dish for a chilly day! Its ooey gooey yumminess is perfect for a cold Fall or Winter day. If you feel like more substance, add some spinach or broccoli to the dish!

Ingredients:

2 packages Brown Rice & Quinoa gfree penne pasta

4 cups almond milk, or other non-dairy milk

1/2 cup gfree all purpose flour

1/2 cup vegan butter (I like Earth Balance sticks)

S & P

Vegan cheese shreds (2-3 packages, depending on your preference, I like 3)

(Mix it up with Mozzarella & cheddar varieities)

1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese

1 cup gfree bread crumbs for the topping

Sprinkle of dried parsley for top

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions.
  3. Melt butter in a Large stockpot.
  4. Take off fire when butter is melted & stir in flour. Stir ’til smooth.
  5. Add 1/2 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper & mix altogether.
  6. Put back on fire & gradually add the 4 cups of milk. Keep stirring, being careful not to scald the milk. When it begins to bubble & thicken, it’s ready to set aside.
  7. Pour pasta into pan with sauce & add cheeses. Stir around until all coated.
  8. Pour all of this into a large rectangular baking dish (Or you can individualize into separate ramekins per person).
  9. Top with bread crumbs spread on top.
  10. Cover with aluminum foil for 10 minutes. Bake in 350°F oven.
  11. Take foil off & bake for 15 minutes longer.

Enjoy!!

Bean Stew

Here in New England, we have a Nor’Easter approaching us & there’s nothing in the world like having a nice hot cup of soup or stew when you’re stuck in the house! I Love that I get to spend a day with my whole family & relax with a warm cup of stew & a light dessert; a day full of games & just hanging together, maybe a movie or two thrown in there! Hoping that all of you are safe who’ll be in the midst of this storm or another one, before Spring arrives! Hoping you all enjoy this recipe or any other comforting food to get you through the storm! Make the best of it! :D!!
Homemade bean stew for a cold day
Ingredients:

4 vegetable bouillon cubes

8 cups of water

4-5 potatoes (depending on size, rinsed dried & cut in chunks)

3 cups frozen spinach

1 can sweet peas

1 can black beans, drained & rinsed

2 cans cannellini beans, drained & rinsed

2 tsps. celery salt

2 tsps. garlic salt

2 tsps. onion powder

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. parsley

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. chives

1/4 tsp. rosemary

1/4 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. salt (or more to taste)

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 TBSPN tamari sauce

3 TBSPNS marinara sauce

Directions:

  1. Measure water into a large stockpot & boil with bouillon cubes. When bouillon cubes are dissolved, add potatoes & spinach. Cook for 12 minutes.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Cook / simmer for 15 more minutes.
  3. Serve & enjoy with homemade bread or biscuits.

Stay Warm & Enjoy!!

Our Yard during the last Winter Storm   2017

G-Free Irish Blessing Bread

Happy St.Patrick’s Month!! I grew up in an area where St.Patrick’s Day is a very big deal & the weekend after the official Holiday (March 17th), there is always a Road Race, and then the St. Patrick’s Day Parade the following day! For an Irish/Italian/French/English gal, this was the month that I really tapped into my Irish heritage! Irish Blessing bread, among other fantastic Irish recipes, were always served at my Nana & Grandpa’s house after we watched the parade at the corner of their street (The Best seats in the whole parade!)

Since then, many years later, we still go to my aunt’s house, also nearby, but on a different corner & these days we all bring appetizers, beverages & order in a pizza. We all have a wonderful time these days, but I pine for the good ole days of how it used to be.

Here is a g-free version of the ever-popular & well-known Irish Blessing bread recipe. It won’t rise as much as the original, but it’s still very good & it is our tradition. Hope you enjoy this recipe & this Wonderful Holiday!! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

“May the Road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the Sun warm upon your face. The rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
-Traditional Gaelic Blessing

Irish Blessing Bread

Ingredients:

2 quart casserole dish

oil spray

2 1/2 cups gfree all purpose flour (with xanthan gum already added to flour)

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking sodaMaking an Irish Soda bread today for my Irish themed friend's gathering tomorrow night!

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup vegan butter (I like to use Earth Balance stick), cold & in cubes

1 egg (if vegan, you can use flax or chia egg)

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups almond milk with 1 TBSPN white vinegar in it (homemade buttermilk)

1 cup raisins

1-2 TBSPNS caraway seeds (your preference as to how much you want, I like 2 Tbspns)

Directions:

1. Measure out almond milk in a glass measuring cup. Put 1 TBSPN vinegar in it. Let it sit & curdle. This is your buttermilk. Set aside.

*If using a chia or flax egg, make now & set aside.

2. Sift dry ingredients in small bowl, or use whisk.

3. Cut butter into sugar in large bowl with pastry blender. Then add egg.

4. Add dry ingredients to sugar mixture, alternating with buttermilk as well. Mix with a hand mixer.

5. Add raisins & caraway seeds. Stir.

6.Pour into greased 2 quart casserole pan.

7. Bake in 375°F oven for 30 minutes.

8. Reduce temperature in oven to 325°F for 30 minutes more.

9. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Then transfer to cooling rack until completely cooled.

Completed Gfree Irish Soda bread!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you enjoy this bread recipe!

What do you do to celebrate the Irish holiday? What recipes do you eat on this festive day?Shamrock

Polenta

This is a recipe my Beautiful Grandmother used to make & gave to me. Polenta is an Italian staple & you can make it simple or with different toppings. I serve it mostly with cannellini beans & butter or with various vegetables, with marinara sauce or with parmigiano cheese.

Here’s the basic recipe to begin with & add whatever you wish to it after!

Ingredients:

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup cold water

mix these 2 together in a bowl & set aside.

1 tsp. salt

3 cups boiling water

butter

topping of choice: optional

Directions:

  1. Boil 3 cups boiling water with 1 tsp salt.
  2. Add cornmeal mix that was set aside slowly to boiling water & salt mix.
  3.  Whisk constantly over low heat for 20 minutes. When done, put in hunk of butter.
  4. If planning on doing a topping, cook while stirring constantly, so it’ll be ready when Polenta is done.
  5. Place whatever topping you wish on top.

Enjoy!! I double this recipe almost every time I make it, as I have a growing son, hungry husband & daughter to feed as well as myself. Serve with a salad on the side and/or g-free crusty bread! Yummy!

Tonight's dinner: Polenta with pistachio pesto & Parmesan zucchini along with crispy beets. Oh goodness, how yummy!! 🙂
Polenta topped with parmigiano cheese & zucchini bake (recipe from previous post). There’s also roasted rosemary beet crisps on the side)

A Tip:

If having the second day, always reheat on stove top, with more butter & either a non-dairy milk, or water to rehydrate & smooth, s & p. It’s always just as good as the first time you make it!!

avocado chocolate ice cream

This is an odd combination for an ice cream, but it tastes very good & it’s a lot healthier for you! Hope you enjoy this recipe. You could even throw a tsp. of peppermint extract & chocolate nibs into it & omit the cocoa powder & vanilla extract, for a mint chocolate chip version!
Yum! Homemade Avocado chocolate ice cream!
Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados

1 1/2 cups cashew milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup full fat coconut milk in a can

1 tsp. lime juice

1/4-1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

bananas & pistachio nuts for topping (optional)

rice whip or homemade whipped cream (aquafaba-recipe in this blog)-optional

Directions:

1. Puree cashew milk, coconut milk, sugar, avocados, lime juice, cocoa powder & extract in a blender until smooth. Take blade out & leave in blender & refrigerate for at least 4 hours if not overnight.

2.Pour into an ice cream maker & mix for 15 minutes.

3.Place into your dish of choice & *optional: sprinkle sliced bananas, pistachios, maybe even whipped topping on top. Enjoy!!

Tofu “Egg”in a Pepper

This was a delicious breakfast! It took some time to make, but well worth the wait. I served these with fresh fruit on the side & it was a perfect meal! Hope you enjoy!!
Tofu egg baked stuffed pepper for breakfast. Yum!!

Ingredients:

2 green peppers, washed, seeded & sliced in rings

1 block of firm tofu

frozen or fresh spinach cooked with garlic salt to taste

6 mushrooms, cleaned, sliced & sauteed in coconut oil, s & p

2 Tbspn. almond milk or other non dairy milk of choice

2 Tbspn. vegan parmesan cheese, plus more to sprinkle on top

2 Tbspn. potato starch

2 tsp. tahini

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. salt

dash of ground black pepper to taste

chives, to sprinkle on top

2 Tbspn. coconut oil to sautée per 2 filled peppers

Directions:

1. Clean mushrooms as you wish (I rinse lightly & dry). Mince them. Sautée mushrooms in coconut oil. Add s & p.

2.Cook spinach with very little water. Spinach has a high water content, you don’t want spinach to be watery. Add garlic salt to taste.

3. Mix spinach & mushrooms together & sautée together for a minute to meld the flavors.

4. Blend tofu, milk of choice, parmesan cheese, potato starch, tahini, onion powder, turmeric, salt & pepper.

5. Place oil in a sautée pan & sautée sliced peppers. While sauteéing, pour in tofu “egg” mix, sprinkle top with chives & extra parmesan to taste.

6. Sautee 2-3 filled peppers on one side for at least 5 minutes on medium heat. Make sure they don’t burn. Place on baking sheet that is sprayed with cooking spray.

7.Cook for approximately 5 minutes in 350°F oven.

These are so yummy! Enjoy!!

vegan gfree chocolate cream pie

Oh Wow, the yumminess!!! I made this chocolate cream pie the other day, just because. I Love “Just because” recipes! This one is seriously good, guys & gals!! It takes a little time of prep, but it is so worth it! It’s so chocolatey!!
Vegan gfree chocolate cream pie-step one. Now in freezer for the night. Cannot wait to eat this tomorrow!
Ingredients:

Pre-made gfree crust (recipe in previous post)

Filling:

1 (12 oz.) Silken tofu, drained

1 3/4 cup Enjoy Life semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup cashew milk

Directions:

  1. Using recipe from previous post for crust, make the crust. Poke with fork on bottom & sides of crust. Bake on 450°F for 10/11 minutes. Cool on cooling rack completely.
  2. In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips. When melted, set aside.
  3. Add silken tofu & cashew milk to pan with melted chocolate. Use an immersion blender & blend well all filling ingredients until smooth. Pour into pre-made crust.
  4. Freeze in freezer overnight or for at least 2 hours.
  5. Top with homemade whipped topping & serve.

*If you freeze overnight, it may be too frozen, so you may need to defrost slightly for a couple hours in fridge. You can place in refrigerator overnight, instead of freezer for a creamier fill. If you wish to make it prettier, place chocolate curls on top or sprinkle with cocoa powder. Enjoy!!
Yummy vegan gfree chocolate cream pie today! Oh my goodness!!