SRC: Red Lentil Soup

It’s Secret Recipe Club reveal day! This month I was assigned the amazingly fabulous blog, Oh! You Cook!, written by Dena, who is a published cookbook author! Neat, eh? But, my favorite thing about her blog is that she’s a Kosher cook.

What’s that? I’m psyched about a Kosher cook? Even though I’m not Kosher? Yes! Yes, I am. The great thing about Kosher cooking is that there’s a whole category of dairy-free foods. Yay! One restriction taken care of!

It just so happens that Dena also labels her gluten-free foods.

Can I just say I was in SRC blogger heaven this month? Squeeee!

The downside to that is it was really hard to pick something to make. I gave her blueberry banana bread some serious consideration. And these Black Forest Kulfis look totally amazing. And, the kiddo has been begging me to make cinnamon sugar almonds ever since he got hooked on the ones from Trader Joes.

But, I decided that with all the holiday baking coming up, and the Thanksgiving pies already indulged in, that I should stick with something healthy. Her Red Lentil Soup is the perfect thing – filling and warming, but light and bright at the same time. It’s so good, I’ve already made it twice. (And the kiddo says he’ll eat it, as long as I give him chips with it. That’s a bargain I’m willing to strike.)

I only made the slightest of changes, so I’m going to send you to her site for recipe. I skipped the cayenne and used a no-mato sauce in place of the tomato paste (similar to this, but homemade). So, my version was nightshade-free. And, I used 2 cubes of my super stock concentrate and 1 quart of water instead of the chicken stock. And, completely by accident, I skipped the extra cup of water entirely. Both times. Oops. (I like my soup thick.)

Thanks so much, Dena. Love your site, and I’ll definitely be back to make more recipes!

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

Photo credit to Amanda Thorne.

Check out the rest of the Secret Recipe Club submissions!

Posted in Blogger Community, nightshade-free, nut-free, soup, vegan | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Almond Shortbread Cookies

You know those cookies that they have at all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets? They’re crispy and almondy and probably made with lard and chemicals. And, I loved those things.

There aren’t too many things I really miss from my gluten-filled life, but Chinese buffets are one of them. (Someone really needs to open a gluten-free Chinese restaurant.)

Anyway, I tried to make some of those cookies. 4 times.

These aren’t those.

But, they are the best of my 4 trial runs.

Sometimes, you just have to run with what you’ve got.

Grain-Free, Vegan Almond Shortbread

Grain-Free, Vegan Almond Shortbread

Almond Shortbread Cookies (grain-free, vegan)

1/2 cup (96 g) palm shortening
1 t.  psyllium powder
1/3 cup palm sugar, ground in a blender until powdered
1/4 cup (28 g) tapioca starch
1.5 cups (135 g) blanched almond flour
1 t. almond extract
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
handful of whole almonds

Preheat oven to 350°.  Put shortening and psyllium powder in a bowl and beat until creamy. Add powdered palm sugar and beat well. Add starch, flour, baking powder, and salt and blend well. Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough onto parchment-covered cookie sheets. With wet hand, slightly flatten each cookie. Top each with a whole almond. Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating pan once.

Looking for more healthy treats? Check out Wellness Weekends.

Posted in cookies, desserts, grain-free, nightshade-free, nut-free, nuts, vegan | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

SRC: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

It’s time for another episode of Secret Recipe Club. This month, I was assigned Lynsey Lou’s blog, Making Your Days Delicious. It was the kiddo’s turn to pick a recipe. So, while I was thinking of making crushed hot potatoes or fanned potatoes, he went straight for the sweet stuff. First he wanted to go with overnight cinnamon rolls. Then it was brown butter banana muffins. But we settled on pumpkin snickerdoodles – so seasonally appropriate.

These aren’t remotely healthy. They’re not vegan or sugar-free. But, I did manage to make them grain-free. The kiddo and I agreed that they needed more cinnamon. But, otherwise, they were downright tasty.

Perhaps a little too tasty.

So, they’re going to a Halloween party, lest I eat them all.

And making a healthier version of these is definitely on my to-do list. Mmm…pumpkin.

Grain-Free Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Grain-Free Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Grain-Free Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

3 cups blanched almond flour
3/4 cups tapioca starch
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 t. cream of tartar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/8 t. ground nutmeg
1 cup organic palm shortening
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 t. vanilla extract

For the coating-
1/2 cup sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/4 t. allspice


Cream together the shortening and sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients and beat well. Chill for 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Scoop balls of dough and roll in coating mixture. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten with the palm of your hand. Bake for 14 minutes.

Check out what the rest of the Secret Recipe Club is up to:

Posted in Blogger Community, cinnamon, cookies, grain-free | 16 Comments

October Unprocessed: Super Stock Concentrate

This isn’t a recipe so much as a technique – a really simple technique at that. But, if you’re trying to avoid processed foods, stocks and bouillon can be a sticking point. Even the organic ones tend to contain sugar or “natural” flavors. And, really, who needs sugar in stock?

But, having stock on hand in the freezer takes up a lot of space. And, often, all I want is  that jolt of flavor that you get from tossing a bouillon cube in with your sauteed veggies.

The answer? Concentrate your stock.

First, you need stock. Use your favorite recipe, or simply throw all your veggie scraps in a big pot with a lot of water and simmer, then strain. (I don’t recommend using salt in your stock. Concentrated salty stock is really salty.) You want about 10 cups of stock.

Great, now you’ve got stock. Now what?

Put it in a crockpot. Turn it on. Prop the lid open just a crack. (I use a popsicle stick under the edge of the lid.) And walk away. Come back a day (yes, 24 hours) later. Your stock should have reduced. A lot. Mine was about 2 cups. Exact time will vary depending on how hot your crockpot runs. Check it after 12 and 18 hours (or there-abouts).

Chill your concentrated stock, and then freeze it in ice cube trays. I used small, heart-shaped ice cubes.

Super Concentrated Stock (frozen bouillon "cubes")

Super Concentrated Stock (frozen bouillon “cubes”)

(What? They’re cute and it’s heart-healthy. And, they’re just the right size.)

There, now you have frozen bouillon. Completely unprocessed, and taking up a fraction of the freezer space that stock would have.

Want more healthy recipes? Check out Wellness Weekends.

Posted in soup | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Super C Porridge

In case you’ve been living under a blog-world rock, let me just mention that it’s October Unprocessed.  (Don’t worry, I was living under a blog-world rock until about, oh, September 29th.)

I won’t reiterate all the rules of October Unprocessed here, but the gist is, for this one month, don’t eat crap. If you can’t make it in your own kitchen, don’t eat it.

I can get down with that.

Of course, it also coincides with the start of my crazy elimination diet again. Ever since I quit, I’ve had pain in my hands and fingers. I’ve seen the doctor & the hand specialist, and things have gotten better (yay for inflammation-reducing finger exercises!) but, I’m still not 100%. And, while I don’t know if it is diet-related, it all seems rather coincidental.

So, back on the elimination diet I go, this time with the friend that I was supporting, supporting me. To recap, here’s what I’m currently eating (note there’s not a bit o’ processed food in the bunch:

  • non-nightshade veggies
  • non-“sweet” fruits (berries, apples, etc – no tropicals or dried fruits)
  • chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • turkey, chicken or eggs
  • “super foods” – lucuma, carob, mesquite, etc
  • non-nightshade herbs and spices

What’s a girl to do for breakfast with that tiny list of approved foods? Well, I can do a berry smoothie, but as the weather is turning colder, I’m not enjoying that as much. I want something hearty, that fills me up and sticks around for a while. And, so I came up with this Super C Porridge.  The “C” in the name refers both to the fact that it contains a multitude of ingredients that start with C, as well as the fact that it’s high in Vitamin C – super important as we go into the cold and flu season. (A single serving of cauliflower has 46% of your daily RDA for Vitamin C. Who knew?)

Super C Porridge - a vegan, grain-free hot start to your day

Super C Porridge – a vegan, grain-free hot start to your day

I know, I know, when you read the ingredients you’re going to say, “ick.” But, don’t knock it ’till you try it, okay? (Also, I vary these amounts all the time. I doubt I’ve made it exactly the same way twice. Don’t sweat it. I’ve also thrown in a zucchini when I had one that needed to be eaten. Super flexible recipe. You’re going for oatmeal consistency – just adjust your water accordingly.)

Super C Porridge

4-6 small or 2-3 big carrots, chopped
4 cups (1/2 a head) chopped cauliflower
water to cover (about 3-4 cups)
1 T. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/2 t. allspice
1/4 t. cloves
1/4 cup chia seeds

Optional stir-ins (note: I always use at least one of these, but which combo varies)
unsweetened carob powder
stevia (Note: stevia, unless you’re using the plant or powdered dry leaves, doesn’t qualify as “unprocessed.”)
unsweetened coconut flakes or coconut butter
sunflower seed butter (Make your own to avoid sugar.)

Put the carrots in a 2 quart saucepan and fill the sauce pan 2/3 with water. Boil on high for 10-15 minutes, until carrots are nearly soft. Add the cauliflower and the spices. Boil until cauliflower is soft, but not mushy. (You want to avoid that sulfur smell over-cooked cauliflower gets. Err on the side of underdone. As long as you can purée it, you’re good.) Remove from heat and purée. (I use a stick blender for this. I like to leave some texture. I don’t recommend a high-powered blender or you’ll end up with total soup.) Stir in chia seeds and allow to sit for 30 minutes while chia seeds plump. Reheat if desired. I usually stir in a spoonful of carob powder and a sprinkling of unsweetened coconut flakes. This makes multiple servings. It stores well in the fridge and is a quick heat and eat (or don’t heat – just eat).

For more super healthy vegan recipes, check out Wellness Weekends.

Posted in breakfast, carrots, cauliflower, cinnamon, coconut, grain-free, nightshade-free, nut-free, sunflower seeds, vegan | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

SRC: Fruit Nachos

It’s time once again for the Secret Recipe Club.

Secret Recipe Club

This month, I switched to Group D, and now I get to explore a whole new group of blogs. And, as luck would have it, I was actually assigned the Group D hostess’ blog, Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. Lucky me!

Fantastical Sharing of Recipes is written by Sarah, a young mom that is chronicling the recipes she tries and loves.  She has a wide variety of recipes, and there’s probably something in there to suit just about everyone’s tastes.

This month I let the kiddo choose the recipe. And, I’m sure you’re all shocked, but he chose a sweet recipe. He is currently sitting in the dining room making nom nom nom sounds while noshing on Fruit Nachos. For breakfast. It’s a sleepover morning. That’s how we roll.

I, of course, had to modify the recipe just a bit, to suit our food restrictions. But, the spirit of the recipe is the same.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Fruit Nachos for Breakfast

Vegan, Gluten-Free Fruit Nachos for Breakfast

Fruit Nachos

5 gluten-free “flour” tortillas. (I used brown rice tortillas.)
1/2 cup sugar
2 t. cinnamon
spray oil (I use the hand-pump sprayer – just oil pumped with air.)
1 container non-dairy yogurt (I used So Delicious Vanilla Coconut yogurt.)
Sauteed Apples (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375°. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Spray each tortilla with oil (or brush with oil). Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on tortillas. Cut into 8 pieces. Bake until crispy. (Gluten-free tortillas take a bit longer – mine took about 11 minutes.)

Top tortilla chips with sautéed apples (or other fruit of choice) and dollops of yogurt. Nosh.

Sautéed Apples

1 T. coconut oil
2 apples, cored and diced
2 T. maple syrup

In a skillet, melt the coconut oil. Add apples and maple syrup. Sauté until edges are brown – about 10 minutes.

View all of Group D’s Secret Recipe Club submissions.

Posted in apples, Blogger Community, breakfast, desserts | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (vegan & grain-free)

The kiddo said to me this weekend, “Mom, we need more treats in the house.” I guess he meant besides the Coco-Nutty Truffles he’s been scarfing down whilst making Homer Simpson-esque drool noises.

He’s in another growth spurt. That means he’s eating non-stop. Non. Stop.

So, treat-baking shall commence.

I first saw a non-vegan version of this recipe posted on Facebook by Shirley of Gluten-Free Easily. It’s from Allergy Free Alaska, but it’s a guest post by Laura of Laura’s Gluten-Free Pantry. Did you follow all that? This gluten-free blogger community – it’s intertwined.

Anyway, I had ripe bananas screaming to baked, and I’ve been trying forever and a day to come up with a decent grain-free & vegan muffin recipe. With only 1 egg and some honey to swap out of Laura’s recipe, I thought – this is it!

And yep, it IS it. A grain-free, vegan muffin that didn’t collapse in the middle? Oh yes, please. The kiddo (with mouth full) proclaimed them blog-worthy, so blog them I shall.

Grain-Free, Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Grain-Free, Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Grain-Free, Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Adapted from Laura’s Gluten-Free Pantry.

Wet Ingredients
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup (56 g) melted coconut oil
1 t. apple cider vinegar
1 t. vanilla
1 T. psyllium husks (not powder) mixed with 3 T. hot water

Dry Ingredients
1/2 cup (60 g) flaxseed meal
1/2 cup (70 g) arrowroot starch
1 1/2 cups (160 g) blanched almond flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease 12 muffin cups.

In a large bowl, beat the wet ingredients together until completely blended. In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat with electric beaters for about 1 minute. Stir in the chocolate chips. Portion batter into 12 muffin cups evenly. (Cups will be about 3/4 full.)

Bake for 25 minutes, rotating once during baking. Cool for 10 minutes in tins. Remove and allow to cool on wire racks.

Laura also happens to be one of the hostesses for Allergy Free Wednesdays – a great link up to find all sorts of allergy-friendly recipes.

For more slightly indulgent recipes, check out Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

For more healthy vegan recipes, check out Wellness Weekends.