Banana Peanut Butter Bites

“Mom! These melt in your mouth!” cried the swooning kiddo.

I’ll take that as a sign.

If you want a vegan version, check out my Almost Elvis cookies.

Combine banana, peanut butter, and chocolate and what do you get? Yum.

Combine banana, peanut butter, and chocolate and what do you get? Yum.

Banana Peanut Butter Bites

1 very ripe banana
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 packed cup almond flour
1/2 cup (spooned and leveled) tapioca starch
1/2 cup (spooned and leveled) white rice flour
1/2 cup (or so) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, beat the banana until smooth. Add the peanut butter and sugar. Beat until smooth. Add the egg. Beat until fluffy. Add everything else except the chocolate chips and beat until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for about 14 minutes, until just beginning to brown.

Posted in bananas, chocolate, cookies, peanut butter | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Tropical Tart

It’s the dead of winter, and it’s cold. Wouldn’t we all like just a little bit of the tropics right about now?

You know you would.

Unless you’re my kiddo, who absolutely turned his nose up at this one.

Silly boy.

Banana, Pineapple and Coconut make this tart truly tropical

Banana, Pineapple and Coconut make this tart truly tropical

Tropical Tart

Coconut Crust

3 cups flaked, unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup coconut or white sugar
1 egg or 1 flax egg (1 T. flax + 3 T hot water)
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
1 packed cup almond flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, process the coconut until liquid. (You’re making coconut butter. Yum!)
When it’s liquid, add the rest of the ingredients and pulse to combine. Press mixture into a 9 inch spring form pan. Press some of the dough up the sides to form a shell. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until edges are browned. Cool.

Banana Pineapple Filling

3 bananas, sliced
1 cup pineapple juice, reduced to 1/2 cup (simmer over low heat)
1 T. coconut oil
1 T. cold pineapple juice + 2 t. arrowroot starch

In a saute pan, melt the coconut oil. Add the bananas. Saute for a few minutes until bananas begin to soften, but aren’t mush. Add the reduced pineapple juice. When the juice is warm, drizzle in the slurry of cold juice and arrowroot starch, stirring constantly to coat the bananas. Cook for a minute until thickened. Pour mixture in cooled shell. Chill.

Coconut Topping

Just before serving, toast 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut until nicely brown. Sprinkle on top and serve.

Posted in bananas, coconut, desserts, grain-free, vegan | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Pasta Veggie Soup

As the kiddo would say, “Mom, this is more pasta than soup.”

So be it.

Pasta? Soup? Soupy Pasta?

Pasta? Soup? Soupy Pasta?

2 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 ribs celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 T. minced fresh herbs (I used rosemary and thyme) (You could swap in a teaspoon or so of dried herbs de Provence, too.)
6 cups veggie broth
1 /4 cup nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
1 8 oz box GF pasta of your choice. (I used Ancient Grains elbows. I’ve used shells before, and I prefer those.)
salt and pepper to taste
2 large handfuls spinach, chopped

In a stock pot, saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add everything except the pasta and spinach. Boil until carrots are beginning to soften (10-15 minutes). Add the pasta and boil for 10 minutes until pasta is al dente. Toss in spinach and stir until wilted. Serve immediately.

Warning – the pasta will continue to soak up the stock. So, after a little while you’ll definitely have pasta with veggie bits, not soup. We like it that way, too, though.

Posted in main dish, vegan | 5 Comments

Spaetzle Mac

Well, I’m still in a cast. And, generally, that means I’m still avoiding the kitchen.

But, I can only feed my kid hummus and carrot sticks for just so long before he revolts and says, “would you please cook something?”

[Side note: he can now cook his own scrambled eggs, pancakes, and grilled cheese with tomato soup. And, there’s been a lot of raw spinach-eating. Hey, it’s a vegetable.]

So, tonight he asked for spaetzle mac, and I obliged.

What, you might ask, is spaetzle mac? Well, it’s a weird combination of spaetzle and mac and cheese. Only it’s grain-free and dairy-free. And, yes, yes, I know that the spaetzle actually replaces the mac part of mac and cheese. So, it should rightfully be called “spaetzle cheeze” or something.

But, the kiddo called it “spaetzle mac” and that’s what it henceforth shall be.

I’ve only made this with an actual spaetzle maker. One of these things:

Loaded Spaetzle Maker

Loaded Spaetzle Maker

But, I hear tell you can use a large-hole colander, too.

Spaetzle Mac

2 eggs
1 t. salt
1.5 packed cups almond flour
1/2 packed cup tapioca starch
1-3 T. water

2 large handfuls broccoli (optional)
1 batch of sauce (see below)

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Mix everything together except the water. Gradually add in the water until you have a thick dough. You may only need 1 tablespoon, depending on how humid it is and how moist your almond flour is. 

When the water is at a full rolling boil, load your spaetzle maker and “grate” the dough into the water. (If using a colander, you push the dough through and then slide a knife on the outside of the colander to cut off bits of dough.)

Boil until all the pieces are fluffy and floating – about 5 minutes.

Optional: I usually throw a couple of handfuls of cut up broccoli florets right in the boiling water with the dough. When the broccoli is tender, the spaetzle is done.

Drain. If using right away, you don’t have to rinse. If storing, rinse with cold water.

When ready to eat, toss spaetzle and broccoli with cheezy sauce and gently heat.

Cheezy Sauce

2 T. lemon juice
2 T. tahini
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 T. olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground yellow mustard (powder)

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. (Note, I usually have this ready to go so that as soon as the spaetzle is drained, I can mix it with the spaetzle and broccoli in the same pot I cooked the spaetzle in and serve right away.)

The end result is not gorgeous.

Grain-free Spaetzle with Vegan Cheeze Sauce

Grain-free Spaetzle with Vegan Cheeze Sauce

But, it’s the kiddo’s new favorite comfort food.

The recipe is really forgiving. I usually eyeball all the sauce ingredients. And, sometimes I add other spices or flavorings. And, I’ve used various proportions of almond flour to tapioca starch, too. So, no stress on this recipe, okay? Give it a whirl!

Posted in broccoli, grain-free, main dish, nightshade-free | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

So, this happened.

Broken-footed mommy.

Broken-footed mommy.

Yes, yes I do have a broken foot. *sigh*

Needless to say, I haven’t been doing much recipe development lately. Or, actually, I’ve been throwing stuff together that’s quick and easy and never writing anything down.

Popcorn for dinner? It’s not so bad.

But, last night the kiddo looked at me with big eyes and said, “Mom, I need cookies. With peanut butter. And oatmeal.”

Who can resist big eyes?

Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 cup GF oatmeal, ground in coffee grinder
1/2 cup oatmeal, not ground
2 T. almond milk

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a medium-size bowl, blend all ingredients together in order listed. Drop by tablespoons onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes.

Posted in cookies, oatmeal, peanut butter | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Your Stories Are a Gift

“Your stories are a gift,” she said. “A gift for all those who don’t yet have the courage to tell their own stories. And for all those that never will.”

I heard those words just hours ago at the first read-through for the 2013 Madison Listen To Your Mother show.

And, as I listened to each person’s story – stories that made me laugh, stories that made me cry, stories that made me think “I know exactly how that feels,” and stories that made me think, “I hope I never have to know how that feels” – this idea of our stories being a gift kept coming back to me.

A gift.

The perfectionist in me wants every gift to be well-planned, personalized, the perfect thing at the perfect time. All wrapped up in the perfect paper. With a Martha Stewart bow.

The kiddo has never made a Martha Stewart bow. He’s never wrapped anything in perfect paper. His presents to me sometimes come with the worst possible timing – like every time he’s handed me a hand-picked bouquet of dandelions, sap pouring out onto my already-full hands, no water or vase in sight, with the expectation that I will love and cherish these weeds for all eternity. And, while I can’t say I haven’t surreptitiously “replanted” those dandelions, the gift was no less loved.

Maybe gifts don’t have to be perfect. Maybe the best gifts are the ones that are slightly flawed, but given with love.

And so it will be that I will offer my words as a gift on Mother’s Day this year. My messy, jumbled, heartfelt words. They will be so imperfectly perfect.

Listen To Your Mother is happening in 24 cities on or near Mother’s Day. What a gift to mothers everywhere.


Posted in Random Thoughts | Tagged | 8 Comments

Whipped Coconut Butter Frosting

Remember the coconut cake? I teased you then and said I’d post the recipe for the frosting soon. Today’s the day! Alas, there are no photos. You’ll just have to refer back to the cake and picture what it might look like on your favorite cake. Or here, let me remind you:

Coconut Cake (grain-free)

Coconut Cake (grain-free)

This is a variation on a family favorite, whipped chocolate frosting.  Eventually, I’ll post that one, too.

Whipped Coconut Butter Frosting

6 T. coconut oil
4 ounces coconut butter (You can make your own by whizzing 4 ounces unsweetened, dried coconut in the food processor until liquid.)
2 cups powdered sugar (I’ve not tried this with powdered palm sugar.)
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs (I used the pasteurized kind, as they will be raw in this recipe.)

Melt the coconut oil and coconut butter in a heat-proof bowl. Fill your sink with ice water to half-way up the bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and whip, with the bowl sitting in the ice water, until light and fluffy.

This is a soft frosting. It should be spreadable and slightly hold its shape, but you won’t be able to pipe flowers with it.


Posted in coconut, desserts, grain-free, nightshade-free | Tagged , , | 5 Comments