I have a file box where I keep interesting and creative ideas for recipes that I either come up with myself, or that I find in magazines and elsewhere. It’s full of exciting things that I’ve labeled “re-create” because they don’t fit a gluten free/grain free, dairy free, lifestyle. And of course those of you who’ve been following me for a long time know that’s the very reason I started this blog. To prove to people that those of us with food allergies CAN eat delicious, lovely, satisfying foods just like everyone else – with a little forethought and tweaking.
This pancake recipe was inspired by a mainstream (full of allergens) recipe I tore out of a magazine in 2010! I was a little shocked myself to see that date, actually. I’ve been lugging around a file box of ideas with me for at least 8 years. That means those inspiring ideas have moved with me back and forth from one end of the country to the other – twice. I only keep things I’m very serious and excited about so that should tell you how I feel about these pancakes. I was thrilled that I could use the magazine’s idea of a carrot cake pancake and make it my own allergen free treat.
I haven’t eaten carrot cake in many years. It used to be a staple on Easter and other celebratory holidays. So as I was thumbing through my file box the other day and ran across the carrot cake pancakes inspiration…well, sign me up! I’m used to baking with gluten free and grain free flours now so trying to create my own allergen free recipe wasn’t difficult. In fact, it worked the first try. Now that I’ve been able to create a carrot cake pancake mix that works well, I don’t foresee any issues in the future with being able to create a carrot cake recipe – so stay tuned!
This recipe could be very versatile. That’s something that’s important to me – to have a base to work from where I can switch up flavors and add things. These would also be great with the addition of unsweetened shredded coconut, raisins, and walnuts in the batter. You could also try toasted coconut along with the toasted nuts on top if you don’t want it in the batter. You could play with the texture of the carrots as well. I did a fine grate, but I think I may have even been happier with a medium grate.
Purple carrots would make them fun for kids, even grated beets. If you add grated beets, they’ll likely turn your batter red which would be fun. I would add 2 or 3 extra Tablespoons of coconut sugar to offset the earthy tone of the beets. You could also do grated apple (pat them dry first). You could do candied nuts on top, or add miniature chocolate chips or other diced dried fruits. For a kids sleepover breakfast you could do s’more pancakes with marshmallows and chocolate chips and then add crumbled graham crackers on top.
The options are only as limited as your imagination and the willingness of your palette!
Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup
1/4 Cup of Chopped Toasted Pecans
1/2 Cup of Buckwheat Groat Flour (ground buckwheat groats)
1/4 Cup of Coconut Flour
1/2 Cup of Arrowroot
2 teaspoons of Double Acting Baking Powder
1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1 1/2 teaspoons of Ceylon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon of Ground Nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon of Ground Ginger
1/8 teaspoon of Ground Cloves
1/4 Cup of Coconut Sugar
1/2 Cup of Full Fat Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon of Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon of Avocado Oil
2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Cups of Finely (or medium) Grated Carrots
Pure Maple Syrup
Dairy Free Butter
(For the cinnamon syrup: Simply add however much syrup you think you’ll need to a bowl, add about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and whisk to combine. When pancakes are done, heat the syrup, whisk again, and serve with the pancakes.)
Whisk dry ingredients together. Whisk coconut milk, water, and lemon and let sit for 10 minutes. Add the oil, vanilla, and eggs, and whisk until frothy. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in carrots.
Heat and butter a skillet. Cook pancakes until bubbles form on top and the underside is golden. Flip and cook for about 2 more minutes until done.
Serve with dairy free butter (or regular) and cinnamon syrup above.
Incredibly easy. Simple, healthy, ingredients.
Gets rave reviews every time I serve it. Makes the house smell amazing. Gorgeous.
You can’t ask for much more from a dessert.
Flourless Chocolate Dream Cake
For The Raspberry Sauce:
4 Cups of Frozen Organic Raspberries
2/3 Cup Organic Coconut Sugar
For The Cake:
4 Bars (12oz) of Theo’s Organic Fair Trade Pure 70% Dark Chocolate
7 ounces of Earth Balance Soy Free Dairy Free Butter (I used the tub – the cubes sometimes produce a different result.)
6 Organic Eggs
6 Tablespoons of Arroy-D Coconut Milk (full fat)
2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon of Organic Coconut Sugar
For The Ice Cream:
I like to serve mine with Coconut Bliss’s Dairy Free Vanilla Island ice cream for those that cannot do dairy and with Tillamook Vanilla Bean ice cream for those that can tolerate dairy.
For the sauce add the Raspberries and 2/3 cup coconut sugar to a medium saucepan and heat on medium low. Once the raspberries are melted, turn to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour or until lightly reduced and thickened. Refrigerate for 3 hours. This can easily be made a day ahead and thickens more upon cooling.
Line the bottom of a 9 inch removable bottom tart pan with parchment and spray with non stick spray. (I spray the underside of the parchment as well.) Set the tart pan on a baking sheet and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
For the cake add the dairy free butter and broken up chocolate to a medium saucepan. Heat on low to medium low being VERY mindful that it doesn’t get too hot and seize the chocolate. Stir as it begins to melt and once the mixture is smooth and incorporated, remove from heat.
In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, coconut milk, vanilla, and the 1 Tablespoon of coconut sugar until thoroughly incorporated and frothy.
Very slowly drizzle the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture whisking quickly. Don’t add the egg mixture too quickly, or the eggs will cook. You want to temper the chocolate first. When you’ve added about half of the egg mixture slowly – then you can pour in the remaining and whisk thoroughly.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the tart pan and bake for 24 minutes. There should be a little jiggle in the middle. The sides may also puff up while baking, but once it’s removed from the oven and begins to cool the cake will settle.
These are Oh. SO. Good.
And the best part is that they’re easy to make and look gorgeous. They work for a casual dinner or lunch with family or for a more special meal with guests – paired with a big salad, a great bottle of wine, and a fresh sorbet for dessert.
Grain Free Pesto Chicken Flatbread
*Makes 8 Flatbreads
1 Package of Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenders
2 Tablespoons of Avocado Oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Italian Seasoning Herbs
1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt
Few Grinds of Fresh Pepper
1 Package of Chebe Focaccia Mix
1/4 Cup of Avocado Oil
1/2 Cup of Water
8 Tablespoons of Vegan Pesto
1 teaspoon of Sea Salt
16 Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 of a Small Onion, thinly sliced
1 Cup of Chopped Baby Spinach
2 Cups of Goat Gouda Cheese
2 teaspoons of Italian Seasoning Herbs
1/4 Cup of Freshly Chopped Oregano
1/4 Cup of Freshly Chopped Basil
Heat the 2 TBS of avocado oil in a medium skillet. Place thawed chicken in the skillet and sprinkle both sides with the Italian Seasoning, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper. Saute until done and set aside to cool. When cool, chop chicken, set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line three baking sheets with parchment and set aside. Combine the Chebe Focaccia Mix, egg, 1/4 cup of avocado oil, and 1/2 cup of water and knead until smooth and dough is easily formed into a ball. You may need to flour hands (I use arrowroot). Cut the dough into 8 equal parts and pat out into rounds on the parchment covered baking sheets. Prebake the flatbread rounds for 10 minutes and remove from oven.
Heat the marinara in a small sauce pan and simmer on low until you’re ready to serve the flatbread.
Spread a TBS (or more if you like) of the vegan pesto on each round. Using 1 teaspoon of Sea Salt, sprinkle each. Top with the chopped spinach, onions, chicken, and 4 tomato halves each. Top each flatbread with the cheese. Sprinkle with the Italian Seasoning. Bake for 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly bubbling on the edges. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the chopped fresh basil and oregano.
They also freeze well. I wrap mine individually with saran wrap and then store in a double bagged ziplock. To reheat, remove from plastic and thaw on counter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place flatbreads on a parchment covered baking sheet and heat for 10-15 minutes.
Just in time for your weekend.
The best gluten free and dairy free cinnamon rolls that will ever pass your lips!
Don’t be intimidated if you’re not necessarily a baker. These cinnamon rolls are really easy and the result will wow everyone in your family. Follow along with the directions and step by step photos below and I’ll walk you through the entire process.
Gluten Free & Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls
For The Dough:
4 Cups of Mama’s Almond Blend Flour (plus more flour for rolling)
4 teaspoons of Xanthan Gum
4 teaspoons of Double Acting Baking Powder
2 teaspoons of Baking Soda
1 1/4 teaspoons of Sea Salt
1 3/4 Tablespoons of SAF Instant Yeast
6 Tablespoons of Earth Balance Soy Free Dairy Free Butter
1/2 Cup Sugar (I used granulated white sugar but you can use coconut sugar – it will change the color of the rolls)
1 Cup of Full Fat Coconut Milk (I use Arroy-D)
1/2 Cup of Avocado Oil
2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Scrape down the bowl and add the coconut milk, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Mix on medium until incorporated. It make look a little curdled, that is OK. Add the dry ingredients and mix on medium for about 1 minute until fully incorporated.
Place a large sheet (or multiple sheets if you use the pre cut sheets – I use 4) of parchment on the counter and sprinkle with flour. Turn the dough out onto the floured parchment and pat lightly into a rectangle. Flour the top of the dough and your rolling pin and roll out to about a 25×17 (approximately) rectangle. Top with filling below.
For The Filling:
1/2 Cup of Earth Balance Soy Free Dairy Free Butter (mash with fork to soften)
1 1/2 Cups of Dark Brown Sugar
2 3/4 Tablespoons of Ceylon Cinnamon
Couple Pinches of Sea Salt
Gently spread the softened but not melted butter across the entire top of the dough with the back of a large soup or serving spoon being careful not to tear the dough. (Once you soften it with a fork, it will be easy to spread with the back of a spoon) Sprinkle the brown sugar all over the top, spreading it out with your hand. Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon across the top and then sprinkle with the sea salt.
Take the edge of the parchment closest to you and use it to roll up the edge of the dough. Continue rolling the dough using the parchment (but don’t allow the parchment to roll up into the dough!) until you have one large log. Pinch the ends of the dough shut and carefully go down the log squeezing it and making sure it’s uniform and the end edge is pinched or at least flat up against the rest of the dough.
Coat a 9×13 inch pan with non-stick spray. Slice the rolls (starting in the middle) into 12 somewhat even pieces. Place them in the treated pan and top each one with a little (about 1/4 teaspoon) dollop of dairy free butter.
Set the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a piece of plastic wrap and lay the sprayed side lightly over the top of the rolls. Cover with a light towel and set the rolls on top of the stove to rest for 45 minutes.
Remove the towel and plastic wrap. Don’t panic if they don’t look like they have risen, they will rise in the oven. Place on the middle rack and bake (I use convection) for about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
For The Frosting:
5 Cups of Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup of Earth Balance Soy Free Dairy Free Butter
3 1/2 Tablespoons of Pure Almond Extract
A Little Water for Spreading Consistency
This is just your typical powdered sugar frosting but flavored with almond extract rather than vanilla, very easy! Melt the butter and add it and the almond extract to the powdered sugar. Whisk to combine and add a little amount of water at a time (2 Tablespoons at a time) until the frosting whips smooth but spreadable and not too thin.
Top the rolls with the frosting. Let set for 30 minutes. You can serve them right away or they will stay fresh and delicious on the counter very lightly covered for up to 24 hours.
How’s your vegetable intake? Better than it used to be? Freaking fabulous? Or are you having a hard time trying to train yourself to like vegetables?
(Purple cauliflower. Eat colors!)
Sometimes when we have to change our diets, or even when we choose to change up things to simply feel a bit healthier, we can get stuck with the same old same old. We have that idea of what a salad “should” look like and after a week of experiencing that with a low-fat vinaigrette or lemon juice, even dry rice cakes sound better than another salad.
(Arugula, roasted onions, roasted mushrooms, roasted cauliflower, avocado, grilled chicken, white balsamic.)
I like food that is satisfying, full of flavor, and food that makes me feel like I’m sitting down to something meaningful that is not only healthy but tasty and nice to look at. There’s no excuse to eat a boring salad when there are so many choices!
(Mixed vegetable salad, leftover grilled hamburger, roasted sweet potato, roasted beets, blue corn tortilla chips, and salsa.)
Maybe when you change your diet you have the mindset of eating like a “skinny” person? Skinny is not synonymous with healthy. A strong body with a strong immune system is a healthy body. Our bodies need proper fuel to build muscle, feed our brain, manage life, and to burn stored fat.
(Micro greens, arugula, roasted mushrooms, roasted cauliflower, roasted purple sweet potatoes, roasted onions and garlic cloves, Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale & Basil Pesto, roasted salmon, and white balsamic.)
For most of us, food is an important part of life. It’s not just simply energy. We gather with family and celebrate with food, it surrounds every holiday, and if you’re anything like my husband and I, it’s a huge part of every vacation and weekend getaway. Healthy food can be fun and it can be satisfying.
(Micro greens, avocado, cucumber, cassava flour tortillas spread with TJ’s Vegan Kale & Basil Pesto, roasted chicken breast, sugar peas, TJ’s Balela Bean Salad.)
The only requirement is that you set aside that mindset of having a “before and after” life. Healthy is a lifestyle, not just something you do for a while to fit into a pair of summer shorts or to temporarily please your cardiologist. If you look at dietary changes as a punishment or something short-term whether the changes are due to allergies or weight or cholesterol numbers, you’re going to be miserable and it will always be a struggle.
(Mixed vegetable salad with TJ’s Green Goddess Dressing, micro greens, roasted beets, Bubbie’s Fermented Sour Kraut, and green olives.)
Instead, think of your life full of fresh colorful vegetables and fruits as your “new norm”. Throw everything you thought a salad looked like out the window and fill that bowl with healthy foods that are packed with different flavors, colors, textures, and topped with a satisfying and flavorful dressing. There’s a reason why we all love looking at magazines and cookbooks with gorgeous food photos. Bloggers and photographers and chefs are not the only people capable of making beautiful and healthy food that people are excited to eat. Your plate can look like that too!
(Romaine, spinach, roasted brussels, raw red cabbage, hard boiled eggs, green olives, raw red peppers, olive oil, and white balsamic.)
Don’t tell me you ‘don’t have the time’ to prepare a salad every day for lunch or to take 45 minutes here or there once a week to roast some veggies, or make some meatballs, boil some eggs, or roast a chicken or some salmon for healthy meal prep. It CAN be done. And you will love how you feel when you aren’t rushing to work snarfing down an egg mcmuffin and a Coke or a jelly filled doughnut and a cigarette – or heading to the vending machine at lunch to grab a snickers and a Mt Dew or even worse, skipping breakfast and lunch and living on energy drinks and coffee with 6 spoons of sugar.
(Mixed vegetable salad with lemon & olive oil vinaigrette, roasted purple sweet potatoes, TJ’s Vegan Kale & Basil Pesto, leftover sautéed mushrooms onions & garlic, and grass fed beef kielbasa.)
What you put into the body directly and dramatically affects what you (and others) get out of your body physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s time to shift the scales and balance properly. Healthy 95% of your week – treats and special indulgences 10%. Most people have those numbers flipped and they are paying a very high price for their choices.
(Romaine, spinach, TJ’s Green Goddess Dressing, roasted purple sweet potatoes, sliced and peeled english cucumber, raw red cabbage, roasted cauliflower, roasted beets, Bubbie’s Fermented Sour Kraut, baked meatballs.)
If you want to read an absolutely miraculous story about how healthy vegetables and fruits can heal a broken body, I would highly recommend Dr. Terry Wahls book “The Wahls Protocol”. Dr. Wahls had severe MS and healed herself right out of a wheelchair with food. She talks all the time about the healing properties of food. She recommends great diet tweaks but the most important one is 9 cups of different varieties of vegetables and fruits a day. Two of those cups, colorful fruits and berries. It takes some serious mindfulness to get all of that on your plate throughout your day and it doesn’t leave much room for all the other junk you’re used to self medicating with. It won’t take long before you notice an incredible positive difference in how you feel. You can also watch a great talk she does on YouTube called Minding Your Mitochondria.
(Romaine, chicken tomatoes peppers red cabbage onion and cilantro mixed with olive oil mayo and apple cider vinegar, avocado.)
Remember, if you get stuck, message me! I’m always here to support you and help with ideas and diet tweaks. Every one of these meals was made easily by me and if I can do it, you can do it!
Nine cups of vegetables and fruits a day is your “work up to” goal. Like most things in life, if we want to form a good habit we need to start small and be consistent. Start with 1 large salad a day and a piece of fruit and a cup of fresh berries. When you feel like you’ve got that down as a good daily habit, you can then start incorporating vegetables and fruits into every meal and snack. Sautéed spinach or kale and roasted vegetables with your eggs in the morning, baggies of fresh veggies with some pesto dip or humus for snacks, two kinds of vegetables with dinner – one step at a time, I have faith in you.
Scroll down for more salad ideas and some tips on roasting vegetables!
(Romaine, spinach, micro greens, red onion, bell pepper, cucumber, TJ’s Green Goddess Dressing, roasted new potatoes with olive oil sea salt rosemary thyme and oregano, leftover grilled steak.)
(Mixed green salad with vegetables, white balsamic and olive oil, shredded roasted beets, avocado, steamed broccoli, and roasted sweet potatoes.)
(Mixed vegetable salad with english cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, red onion, and sliced sugar peas, tossed with and olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing lightly sweetened with coconut sugar.)
(Skipjack tuna on top of spinach and arugula with olive oil and white balsamic, and sliced mandarin orange.)
(Romaine, spicy shredded chicken red onion, tomatoes, chopped avocado, cilantro, and topped with salsa – not shown).
(Mixed vegetable salad, arugula, spinach, shredded chicken, sliced and peeled english cucumber, roasted purple sweet potato, TJ’s Vegan Kale & Basil Pesto, TJ’s Green Goddess Dressing.)
(Micro greens, roasted cauliflower, roasted purple sweet potatoes, roasted beets, Balela Bean Salad, baked meatballs, TJ’s Vegan Kale & Basil Pesto.)
You’ll notice there’s a lot of roasted vegetables in my life. I love them and roasting them brings out such amazing, satisfying flavors and textures. The best part is that roasting is incredibly easy and it keeps well in the fridge so you can add whatever you’ve roasted to numerous meals throughout the week.
For basic vegetable roasting I line a pan (or two or three) with parchment paper. The parchment is my preference because I don’t want to waste a half hour scrubbing pans when I’m done. I typically drizzle the veggies with olive oil or avocado oil and season them with sea salt and either fresh herbs or dried herbs. I roast them at 425 degrees (I use convection) until they are fork tender (or a little crispy on the edges for potatoes). Feel free to experiment! Remember though, different types of vegetables have different roasting times so keep an eye on them. Zucchini roasts very quickly and will get mushy if you overcook it, as does asparagus and the tips will burn if left for too long. Broccoli doesn’t like high roasting temperatures so I’d turn that down to 375 degrees and cut them small -ish.
(Beets, cauli, and sliced purple sweet potato headed into the oven.)
(You can roast meatballs too! These are grass fed ground beef, 1 egg, sea salt, pepper, and diced onions, peppers, garlic, and chopped spinach.)
(Sliced purple sweet potatoes, cauli, onions, mushrooms, and brussels.)
(Roasted squash and sliced sweet potatoes. Brushed with avocado oil and sea salt and roasted open side down. If you roast open side down they retain more moisture and caramelize.)
(Tri color potatoes headed into the oven for a roast.)
(Cubed sweet potatoes, purple cauli, and brussels, ready to roast.)
(Acorn squash roasted open side up with dairy free soy free butter, coconut sugar, and sea salt.)
(Roasted zucchini – cut thick if you’re going to roast it with other veggies because it roasts quickly, red onion, yellow beets, mushrooms, yellow bell pepper, and cauli.)
(Roasted tri color beets.)
(New potatoes and asparagus headed in for a roast.)
If you’d like more daily inspiration you can follow me on Instagram where I post a lot of our weekly meals, juicing, smoothies, and special treats.
A few weeks ago I tried to make the plain tortillas on the back of the Otto’s Cassava Flour bag, they were really dry and I had to keep adding liquid. The final product was stiff and not so appetizing.
This time I tried more oil and water and I also wanted to add some more nutrition and color with the spinach.
The result was a much smoother dough that was easy to work with. After kneading it I covered it with a damp paper towel to make sure I didn’t lose any moisture when it came time to roll it.
I tried a few different ways of rolling but the tried and true method of rolling out tortillas between parchment worked the best. If you’re using the sheets like I did, you can stack them and cut them in half. I’m sure you could also use a tortilla press but I would be mindful of the plastic wrap and either go without and lightly flour the press or lightly flour the plastic wrap.
Get them all rolled out first rather than rolling and cooking one at a time. You’ll be working with a very hot pan and it will get too hot if you roll between cooking tortillas.
I haven’t perfected my rolling technique to have perfectly round edges yet – but I really like the rustic look after they’re cooked.
Wait for it to bubble and it should slide around in the pan when it’s cooked on the underside when you tip and swirl the pan.
The first time I tried making homemade tortillas I learned the hard way not to use a plastic spatula for flipping. I had melted plastic all over the pan! I have special directions in the recipe below.
Loved the texture and they also got two thumbs up from the hubby.
Grain Free & Dairy Free Spinach Tortillas
*Makes about 8 Tortillas
1 1/2 Cups of Otto’s Cassava Flour
1 1/2 Cups of Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves
1/4 Cup of Water
1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt
5 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cup of Water
Puree the baby spinach and 1/4 Cup of water in a blender or NutriBullet. Whisk the sea salt and flour together and add the pureed spinach, olive oil, and 1/2 cup of water. Knead until completely smooth. Cover with a damp paper towel and set aside.
Cut 16 pieces of parchment paper (for rolling the tortillas). Split the dough into 8 somewhat equal pieces, form into balls, and place in the middle of a sheet of parchment. Press down the dough ball with your palm to form a flattened circle then cover the top with another piece of parchment and roll out into a thin circle. Continue with the remaining dough.
Heat a medium stainless steel or cast iron skillet on medium high (no oil). Hold the tortilla (in its paper) on your hand and flip it over. Loosen the bottom sheet first then flip back over and carefully remove the top parchment sheet (if you rub it lightly all over with your hand, it will peel off more easily). Holding the tortilla with the bottom parchment sheet, flip it into the hot pan. When it begins to bubble, life the edge and check to see if it is slightly browned on the underside. It should also slide pretty easily in the hot pan when it is ready to flip. **DO NOT use a plastic spatula to flip the tortillas because it will melt and leave streaks of plastic in your pan. Use a flat wooden spatula or you can also slide a butter knife under the tortilla and hold the top with your other hand to flip it.
Remove the cooked tortillas to a cooling rack to cool or tortilla holder if you’re serving them immediately and repeat the process with the remaining tortillas.
**For the tortilla in the header picture, I mixed some garlic and herb goat cheese with a little olive oil mayo, and pepper – poached some boneless skinless chicken tenders, and then added micro greens, onion, broccoli, and bell pepper and rolled the tortillas with a folded piece of parchment so they were easy to hold and eat.