Carrot Cake Cookies

Today is Iris’ birthday! Iris is the genius behind The Daily Dietribe, and a published author for whom I was fortunate enough to be a test baker.

Iris held a birthday cake challenge this month. I had every intention of coming up with a birthday cake. But, you know what? I didn’t. In no small part because I don’t like cake.

Cookies, on the other hand. We all know how I feel about cookies.

So, how about a carrot cake cookie?

Will that do? Happy Birthday, Iris!

Nut-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan Carrot Cake Cookies

Nut-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan Carrot Cake Cookies

Carrot Cake Cookies

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, ground fine
2-4 T. mesquite flour or yacon powder (coconut sugar would probably work, though I haven’t tried it)
2 t. cinnamon
stevia to taste (I used 14 drops NuNaturals Vanilla liquid stevia)
2 T. chia seed, ground fine + 6 T. water OR 2 eggs
1 cup finely shredded carrots (I used a microplane ribbon grater.)
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a spoon. It will be thick. Scoop out onto parchment-lined cookie sheets, flatten slightly, and bake until barely browned & firm – about 15 minutes.

Note: Using chia “eggs” in this results in a very moist, almost pudding-like consistency. Using eggs results in a more cookie-like consistency. I like both. Your choice.

Want to find more recipes that are allergy-free or super healthy? Check out allergy-free Wednesdays and Wellness Weekends!

Posted in carrots, cinnamon, cookies, desserts, grain-free, nightshade-free, nut-free, vegan | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Nut-Free Paleo Sandwich Bread

We interrupt your regularly scheduled vegan broadcasting for a brief foray into the world of paleo. Well, paleo-lite perhaps. Or in some ways, paleo-plus. Paleo-esque? Here’s the sum total of what I’m allowed to eat on this elimination diet:

  • chicken, eggs, fish (though I’ve yet to partake of any fish)
  • lemons and limes
  • non-starchy, non-nightshade vegetables
  • chia, flax, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin seeds
  • non-nightshade herbs and spices
  • olive oil, flax oil or sunflower seed oil
  • alternative sweeteners (stevia, mesquite, lucuma, maca, carob)
  • kelp noodles (and other seaweed products)

That’s it.

All told, I’m doing fairly well on this restricted diet. I’ve come up with some incredibly, um, creative recipes. Some good, and some not so good.

This one? This one is good.

Of course, it’s almost not mine. It’s almost entirely Danielle’s from Against All Grain. She came up with an amazing looking sandwich bread.

I modified it. It’s so much hers, that I’m going to make you go to her site to get the directions. I’m just going to give you the ingredients.

Seems fair, no?

One note – the sunflower seeds react with baking soda to turn green. The mesquite flour in this recipe “hides” most of the green. (You might still notice a slightly green tint.) There’s nothing wrong or bad with green. But, brown is so much more appetizing, don’t you think?

Nut-free Paleo Sandwich Bread

Nut-free Paleo Sandwich Bread

Nut-Free Paleo Sandwich Bread Ingredients (makes 1 8.5×4.5 loaf)

1 cup sunbutter
4 large eggs, separated (mine weighed about 9 ounces in their shells)
2 tablespoons mesquite flour
2.5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup flax seed
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt

What do you do with all those ingredients? Head on over to Against All Grain and find out.

This might not seem indulgent to you at all. But, after the way I’ve been eating these last few weeks, a baked good of any sort is EXTREMELY indulgent. For other slightly indulgent treats, check out Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

Posted in bread, grain-free, nightshade-free, nut-free, sunflower seeds | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

SRC: Quick Green Beans

My secret blog this month was Mom’s Crazy Cooking – a blog filled with quick and easy recipes (as well as some fancier fare). I’m on an extremely limited diet right now, and I thought it would be impossible to find a recipe that I could both make and eat. (There’s always the kiddo to feed, of course.) But, I found one the fit the bill with only 1 tiny change – Green Beans with Pine Nuts.

Okay, some might consider the fact that I can’t eat pine nuts a rather “major” change. But, when you’re used to modifying every recipe, swapping out a seed for a nut is really no big deal.

One of the best things about the Secret Recipe Club is that I’m introduced to different ways of cooking. My go-to method for cooking green beans has always been to blanch them first. This recipe foregoes the blanching step, and simply skillet cooks them with some onions, salt, pepper, and oil. Truth be told, I hate blanching. I hate boiling a big pot of water in the summer. I hate that it takes so long. And, I hate that it makes extra dishes. (In fact, I hate that part so much I usually blanch in a skillet these days.)

Despite hating the process so much, it never occurred to me just not to do it. But, thanks to Tina, I now have a new favorite go-to way to cook green beans in the summer.

I’m thinking next time I might use sesame oil and lots of ginger and maybe a bit of garlic, too.


Quick Green Beans with Hemp Seeds

Quick Green Beans with Hemp Seeds

Quick Green Beans

1 1/2″ slice red onion, chopped
1 T. olive oil
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and snapped in half
2 T. water
salt and pepper
1.5 T. hemp seeds (or other seed or nut)

In a skillet, sauté the onions in the olive oil until soft. Add the  green beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the water and salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Mine took about 4 minutes.  Top with hemp seeds and serve.

Want to see what everyone else made for this month’s Secret Recipe Club? Check out the blog hop:

Posted in beans, Blogger Community, grain-free, nightshade-free, side dish, vegan | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Peachy Keen Ice Cream

By now everyone has tried the infamous banana soft serve, right? Heck, there’s even a fancy schmancy machine to make it for you (as if your food processor or blender isn’t fancy enough).

We love banana soft serve around here. But, on this elimination diet, bananas are out.

Sadly, so is all fruit as of tomorrow. Pout. Whine.

But, tonight? Tonight there’s still time for a super simple, 3 ingredient, vegan peachy keen ice cream.

Eat up!

3 Ingredient Vegan Peach "Ice Cream"

3 Ingredient Vegan Peach “Ice Cream”

Peachy Keen Ice Cream

1/2 cup (140 grams) frozen peach slices
2 T. Sunflower Seed Butter
1/2 t. cinnamon

Put all ingredients in your food processor and process until creamy. If you have a serious sweet tooth, feel free to add a splash of maple syrup or a few drops of stevia. I don’t happen to need any sweetener at all.

Looking for more slightly indulgent recipes? Check out Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays!

Posted in cinnamon, desserts, grain-free, sunflower seeds, vegan | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Lucuma-sweetened Sunbutter

I’ve tried to make sunbutter in the past. My efforts have been less than successful. Most recently, I attempted it as a part of raw eating. So, of course, I used raw sunflower seeds.

Um, yah. Don’t do that.

Well, do that if you like that sort of green seed taste.

I don’t.

Not at all.

But, roasted and unsalted, and sweetened with a touch of lucuma powder?


Lucuma-sweetened Sunbutter on a flax seed chip

Lucuma-sweetened Sunbutter on a flax seed chip

Lucuma-sweetened Sunbutter

2 cups roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
2 T. olive oil
3 T. lucuma powder
1/4 t. sea salt

Place sunflower seeds in food processor and process until fully ground and they’re forming a ball. Break up the ball, drizzle in the olive oil. Add lucuma powder and salt and process until smooth.

Looking for more healthy recipes? Head on over to Wellness Weekends.

Posted in grain-free, side dish, sunflower seeds, vegan | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Roasted (Mostly) Root Veggies…for Spring?

When your diet is 90% vegetables, seasons kind of go out the window and a girl seeks filling, stick-to-your-ribs food. Well, as stick-to-your-ribs as veggies can get.

And nothing does that better than a big pan of roasted root veggies, right?

This is barely a recipe. But, it’s delicious, and it taught me two important things.

  1. Fennel bulb doesn’t really taste like black licorice, as long as you don’t use the green bits. This is a good thing.
  2. Celeriac, though it smells like celery when raw, doesn’t taste so much like it when cooked. This is also a good thing.

See, 2 new veggies in my repertoire and I’m only 1 day into this here elimination diet.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Roasted (Mostly) Root Veggies

Roasted (Mostly) Root Veggies

Roasted (Mostly) Root Veggies

Note: grams listed for nutritional analysis only. Don’t worry about them unless you’re being all OCD about counting calories.

1 celeriac root (396 g)
1 fennel bulb (256 g)
4-5 carrots (202 g)
3 beets (297 g)
1 leek (275 g)
1/2 large head cauliflower (447 g)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 t. Penzey’s Mural of Flavor (nightshade and salt-free) *
1.5 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut all veggies into approximately equal sizes. Toss in a bowl with the olive oil and seasonings. Spread on 2 large, rimmed cookie sheets. Bake for about 1 hour, or until veggies are soft and beginning to brown. (If you use a cake pan instead of a cookie sheet, it will take longer than an hour to get caramelization.)

*Note: Penzey’s does not list all their herb/spice ingredients in their mixes. But, if you go to a store, they’re happy to pull out a sheet that does list everything. As of the time I purchased the Mural of Flavor mix, it was nightshade-free. Feel free to use your own favorite herb and spice blend.

Makes 5 large servings (about 200 grams (slightly under 2 cups) each).

Calories Carbs Fat Protein Fiber Sugar
Total: 1693 166 111 29 45 57
Per Serving: 339 33 22 6 9 11
Posted in carrots, cauliflower, main dish, nightshade-free, nut-free, vegan | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

What we do for friends….

A friend of mine has been dealing with chronic and debilitating back pain issues. She’s tried most of the conventional (non-invasive) approaches. Nothing has worked. Her primary care doc decided to send her to a naturopath, who asked her to do an elimination diet. Oh, and she suggested that she recruit a friend to do it with her, for moral support.

Guess who she recruited?

So, for the next 10 days, I’ll be joining her in living off of an extremely limited diet. In addition to my typical gluten-free/dairy-free restrictions, I’ll be adding nuts, nightshades, most seeds, all animal products, dried fruits, very starchy vegetables, and tropical fruits to the list of forbidden foods.

What will I be eating? Vegetables, vegetables, and more vegetables. A couple of fruits a day. Unrefined coconut oil. Flax seed, pumpkin seed, chia seed, or sunflower seeds.

We officially start our 10 days tomorrow. But, today is prep day for me, which means I’m going to stick as closely as I can to it today, while I try to figure out just how much food I’m going to need to eat each day. Hint. It’s going to be a lot.

The naturopath wants all the seeds we eat to be ground. So, today I made a pumpkin seed coconut oil butter, and added it to my morning green smoothie.

I already miss my almond butter.

Peach, Blueberry, and Pumpkin Butter Smoothie

Peach, Blueberry, and Pumpkin Butter Smoothie

Peach Berry Pizzazz Smoothie

1 small peach
85 g. frozen blueberries
3/4 cup water
2 cups (85 g) fresh spinach
1 T. (12 g) pumpkin butter (see below)

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serves 1. 168 calories, 8 grams fat, 6 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, 12 grams sugar.

Pumpkin Coconut Butter

2 cups (240 g.) raw pumpkin seeds
5 T. (70 g.) coconut oil
1/8 t. salt

Put all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender and process until smooth – about 15 minutes in a food processor. 24.5 servings. Serving size 1 tablespoon. 8 grams fat, 3 grams protein, 1 gram fiber.

For more healthy weekend eats, check out Wellness Weekends.

Posted in blueberries, breakfast, coconut, drinks, grain-free, nightshade-free, nut-free, spinach, vegan | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments