Fun & Easy Glutenfree Treats for Kids


It's a P.D. Day on the homestead today and I thought it might be fun to do a little baking with the girls.  Stella loves helping me in the kitchen and Alice is our official taste tester.  But the recipes need to be quick and simple as the girls lose interest pretty quickly.

So here's a few simple treats I found that the kids will love to make and they're all Gluten-free and Vegan (or can be made vegan)!
Birthday Cake Bites #glutenfree #vegan #treats for kids! SuperGlueMom 3
Birthday Cake Bites from Superglue Mom
http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Fruit-and-Nut-Fudge.jpg
Fruit and Nut Fudge from All Day I Dream About Food



http://positivelyvegan.blogspot.ca/2014/01/sweet-debbies-organic-treats-giveaway.html
Sunflower Buttercup Brownies from Positively Vegan

Raw Nutella Bites from The Tasty Alternative. Great portable & healthy treat for kids & adults alike! @AmberHusten #glutenfree #dairyfree #raw
Raw Nutella Bites from the Tasty Alternative




Now the hard part will be to decide what to make! 
Got a gluten-free, kid-friendly recipe?  Tell me about it so I can try it out!
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Foodie Friday: Meatless Mexican Stuffed Peppers

In an effort to keep up with my New Year's Resolution I thought I would share with you a family favourite dinner recipe that's easy to make and tastes great.  I'm working on cutting down on the amount of meat I eat so I took a the classic Stuffed Pepper recipe and made it Vegan.  The best part is you can easily change up this recipe with what you have on hand; make it spicier or milder or cheesier. It's all up to you!



Meatless Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:
1/2  cup uncooked rice
1/2 can of black beans
1 small onion - diced
1 tomato - diced
2 garlic cloves - minced
4 whole green peppers - medium to large
1/4 cup corn niblets (optional)
1/2 cup tomato sauce (optional - if not using double the salsa)
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 Nutritional Yeast or Vegan Cheese (optional)
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil, grape seed oil or coconut oil

Instructions:

Cook your rice according to the instructions and set aside.  While rice is cooking, wash your peppers thoroughly.  Slice the tops off as close to the stem as you can and remove the seeds.  Remove the stems from the top and dice up the tops and set aside.  These will go in your stuffing.  Add the peppers, onion, tomato, garlic, chili powder, cumin and oil to a medium sized fry pan.  Sautee on medium heat until onions are softened. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove pan from heat and stir in Nutritional yeast/ vegan cheese, salsa and tomato sauce and rice.  Stir until everything is nicely mixed together.  Then it's time to stuff those peppers!  Fill each pepper with the mixture and place in a baking pan.  I use a glass one with a lid for baking.  But you can always just cover them in foil instead.  Place in the oven for about 30-40 minutes or until peppers are tender.

Remove from the oven and  top with extra vegan cheese if desired.  Or maybe a little guacamole or sour cream too!  Serve them with a salad and a couple nacho chips and you've got a delicious, vegan stuffed pepper that everyone will enjoy!  Oh yeah...and it's good for you too!
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Foodie Friday: Loving those Leftovers


The big dinner is done, your belly is full and your fridge is packed with food.  If you're like me you completely overestimated your guests appetites and are left with a ridiculous amount of leftovers.  Now don't get me wrong, I love turkey as much as the next guy.  But after a day or two of nothing but turkey I really get sick of it.  I thought it would be nice to share a couple of my favourite leftover turkey ideas that might be a little different from the usual.  Hope you enjoy some of these wonderful takes on turkey!

Turkey Cobb Salad - Martha Stewart Recipes
Turkey Cobb Salad


Turkey Shepherd's Pie Casserole with Garlic-Parmesan Cauliflower Topping from Kalyn's Kitchen (Thanks to Yummly for including my Shepherd's Pie in a great round-up of leftover turkey ideas!)
Turkey Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Topping


Turkey and Mushroom Risotto-turkey leftover idea
Turkey & Mushroom Risotto
Curried Turkey and Israeli Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries-turkey leftover ideas
Curried Turkey and Israeli Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries
Roast Turkey Cuban Sandwich
Roast Turkey Cuban Sandwich

Crispy Turkey Tostadas. #Thanksgivingleftovers http://www.ivillage.com/thanksgiving-leftover-ideas/3-b-56104#496654
Crispy Turkey Tostadas


What's your favourite way to eat your turkey leftovers?  Chili, Turkey Pot Pies, Sandwiches?  Share your best leftover recipes!

Cheers,

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Foodie Friday: Gluten-Free & Vegan Holiday Treats

Better late than never I say.  After construction workers cut our phone and Internet yesterday I've been scrambling to try and get some work done.  So I guess this is more like Sweet Saturday.  Here's a few fantastic holiday treats to put a smile on your face.  You don't need to go without just because you don't eat wheat or animal products.  Check out some of these festive favourites:

 5 Gluten-free Vegan Holiday Treats

1. Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Men courtesy of Inhabitots
 2.  Frosted Chocolate Peppermint Cookies


Sarah Bakes shares this delicious recipe!



3.  Sugar Cookies with Vegan Buttercream Icing

Goodies from Our Good Food Life!



 4.  Cardamom Christmas Cookies

Courtesy of the Community Food Co-op

5.  Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Red Velvet1
These beauties from The Sweet Life

 What's your favourite Christmas cookie? I LOVE the classic Sugar cookies and Shortbread.  Mmmm....

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Foodie Friday: Vegan Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins

My pantry was bursting with with sweet potatoes and I really wanted to do some baking. So I found a great recipe from Pink Patisserie and tweaked it just a bit to come up with these tasty & healthy muffins.  Trust me, you'll want to bookmark this for sure!


Vegan Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins

Ingredients: 

1 med to large cooled, peeled, sweet potato
1/2 c. melted coconut oil
1/2 c. unsweetened coconut or almond milk
3/4 c. pure maple syrup (plus 2 tbsp. additional)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. All-purpose Gluten-free flour mix
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 Tbsp. Garam Masala spice powder
1/2 Tbsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Instructions:

First you need to cook your sweet potato.  You can bake it or boil it until it's nice and tender.  To bake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prick the sweet potato all over with a fork, wrap in foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and remove foil.  Allowing the potato to cool completely, peel the potato. Or to boil: Peel potato and chop into smallish chunks and boil until nice and tender.  Then drain.

In a large bowl mash the potato thoroughly using a beater or the back of a fork. Add the oil, milk, the 3/4 C. maple syrup and vanilla extract. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing thoroughly to combine.

Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners and fill each cup.  The batter is thick so you will likely need to scoop it rather than pour into your muffin pan. Bake for 20 minute. After 15 mins, baste with the leftover 2 Tbsp. of maple syrup for the last 5 minutes of the baking time.  Remove from oven when golden and a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool slightly and enjoy.

I doubled this recipe from the start and had no issues.  I don't usually double recipes without having tried them first, but these muffins came out beautifully.  Dense, moist and sweet; the muffins are vegan & gluten-free! We ate through the first dozen in just a couple days and the second dozen is in the freezer, but I doubt they'll last much longer.
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Foodie Friday: Family Pizza Night

It's 4pm, the end of the week and nothing in the fridge.  Kids are going crazy and you need to feed your clan before the meltdown begins! Swim lessons, dance class, homework - you need real food, real fast. But you don't want to fork out a lot of cash and you want something nutritious. What to do??

Grab a ready made pizza shell from Organic Works Bakery and you'll calm the feeding frenzy with some fun, gluten-free natural food.

We made one with meat & cheese and the other vegan for me!

 Organic Works has 2 types of frozen pizza shells - Plan and Herb & Garlic. We recently tried the Herb & Garlic and it was a hit on the homestead.  Perfectly seasoned and its strong enough to hold our toppings and sauce.  No saggy crusts here.


Making a pizza is a family affair in our house; I select and prep the toppings and Chef Stella decorates the pizzas and waits eagerly for them to come out of the oven.

Frugal, fast & fun;  Organic Works pizza shells are sure to please your family and your budget. They are gluten-free, nut-free & VEGAN! 

And did I mention delicious!?

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Disclaimer: I am a Brand Ambassador for Organic Works Bakery and  received this product free of charge for the purposes of this article.  The opinions expressed are my own. 

Foodie Friday: Kale & Avocado Hummus

In an effort to use up some of my veggies I came with a cool green take on hummus.  Hope you enjoy it and it's not only delicious, but good for you too!

Kale & Avocado Hummus

Ingredients:

2-3 medium kale leaves
2-3  ripe Avocados
2 heaped tablespoons of Tahini
Juice from 1 or 2 fresh lemons
2-3 cloves of garlic (more or less depending on your taste)
3-4 green onions
salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

Place all ingredients in your food processor or Vitamix and blend until smooth.  You may need to add a bit of water if it's too thick or some more lemon juice. Let sit in refrigerator for 20 minutes and enjoy.

Great for dipping veggies or chips. Would be amazing in a layered dip with salsa and sour cream.   Great on wraps or add a dollop to your omelet or a bowl of chili!  There are so many options you'll find endless uses for this dip.

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Foodie Friday - Chocolate Cherry Chia Truffles

I found this recipe from one of my fave gluten-free ladies - Kathy Smart!  These addictive bonbons have no added sugar and are gluten-free.  Plus they are a cinch to make and taste unbelievable!  So thought it only fair to share this amazing recipe . I changed it up a bit adding my own little twist!  Hope you enjoy them as much as we have.  (I've made them twice this week so far!)

Chocolate Cherry Chia Truffles
(original recipe from Kathy Smart)

1/2  cup Sunflower Seeds (Original recipe calls for walnuts, but  I wanted to be able to send them in the kids lunches so used seeds instead)
1/2 cup dates - pitted
1/2 cup dried cherries
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
4 tablespoons whole chia seeds
pinch of cinnamon & sea salt
Unsweetened Shredded Coconut - for coating (optional)

Place all ingredients (except coconut) into your food processor or Vitamix.  Blend ingredients until crumbly and sticking together.  Use slightly moistened hands and roll into small balls.  If using coconut,  place some in your hands and  press into the balls. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes and then enjoy! 

These little bites are chewy, chocolaty and decadent.  The kids loved them!  And so did I.  Thinking I may make a grown-up version for the holidays spiked with a little liqueur.  Yum!
 

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This post was shared on the following the Girl Meets Nourishment blog, check it out to read more great articles!

Foodie Friday - From Biscuit Boondoggle to Breakfast Beauty

Yesterday I decided to tackle my new dairy-free and egg-free diet by attempting to make some simple biscuits for dinner.  Couldn't be that hard, right? Apparently I was wrong.  So I found this Vegan Biscuit recipe online from About.com and figured I would substitute the flour with my gluten-free mix and the margarine with coconut oil.  And I followed these instructions to a tee.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp margarine
  • 3/4 cup soy milk

Instructions:

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Using a fork, blend the margarine into the dry ingredients until the mixture breaks down into fine particles.Add the soy milk and stir until the particles cling together. Turn out onto a floured bread board or counter top and knead for 1 to 2 minutes or until the dough is smooth. Add more flour as needed if the dough is sticky. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into rounds (a drinking glass works well), place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.

I kneaded and rolled the dough and cut it into perfect circles and popped it in the oven.  13 minutes later I had some round dough circles that didn't look really any different from when I put them in. I don't blame the recipe as it had great reviews and lots of others had success.  So maybe it was my substitutions or maybe I kneaded the dough too long or rolled it too much, but my biscuits were not very biscuity.  They didn't rise and were just like hard round cakes.  On the upside, they were quite tasty with the coconut oil.

So instead of failed biscuits, they are now my Buckwheat Coconut Breakfast Cakes.  Covered with some peanut butter or no-sugar added jam, they are a perfect way to start the day and are a perfect companion to my morning java.  Not a bad recovery all in all.

Not a baking failure, but a baking discovery! 
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Foodie Friday - Lazy Day Leek & Potato Soup

After foraging in the fridge yesterday I discovered some long forgotten Leeks.  I wouldn't usually buy Leeks, but they arrived in our CSA Produce box last week and I felt they deserved to be eaten since the farmer had worked so hard to grow them.  Realizing I didn't have a whole lot of time to come up with or research some fabulous and delicious recipe, I decided to whip up my own Lazy Day Leek & Potato Soup.  With just a few simple ingredients this soup can easily be prepared in about an hour and a half.  And it's healthy and yummy too.  Hope you enjoy it...I had to keep my husband at bay as he wanted to slurp the whole batch!

Lazy Day Leek & Potato Soup

Ingredients:
2 leeks
3-4 medium sized potatoes
2 tablespoons of oil (olive, grape seed, peanut etc)
2 cup of chicken or veggie broth
3-4 cups of water
Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions:
Clean and chop your leeks and potatoes in to bite sized pieces.  I used both the white & green parts of the leeks and left the skin on the potatoes. In a large pot, toss the leeks, potatoes, oil and some salt & pepper if desired. Sautée veg for 3-5 minutes and stir occasionally.  Then add your stock and water and bring to a boil.  Turn down the temperature and let simmer for about an hour or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.  Remove from heat and let cool a bit.  At this point you can simply enjoy your soup.  But if you like a creamier version then simply blend half of your batch with a hand blender or food processor.  Then stir it all back together and voila!  A creamy Leek & Potato Soup sans cream.

On a side note, I had meant to add some smokey bacon to the mix, but my good intentions were forgotten.  It would be lovely added to the soup at the end or simply sprinkled on top.  Use veggie broth for a vegan soup or add a dollop of Crème Fraîche or cream for serving to make it a little more heavenly.  You could  also add some fresh herbs; I decided to to use minimal seasoning to highlight the natural flavour of the organic leeks.  The choice is yours and the options are endless.

It's grey and rainy here at the homestead so I think a steaming bowl of soup for lunch is in order! 
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