Vegan Baked Mac & Cheese (Gluten Free)

It’s been so long since I’ve had macaroni and cheese. I used to just eat the boxed kind that you just simply toss on the stove with a few added ingredients.

Unfortunately, since I am lactose intolerant, I’ve had to get a bit creative for this comfort food recipe. I found a recipe for nondairy cheese which is actually pretty simple. I’ve used it here as a cheese replacement since I cannot have nut or soy cheeses too.  You can find this recipe at AIP Friendly NonDairy Cheese.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy this comfort food recipe for Macaroni and Cheese!

Baked Vegan Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cups cooked pasta of choice (I used Trader Joes Organic Brown Rice Pasta)
  • 1 cup cooked broccoli
  • Water

Sauce ingredients:

  • 1 cup nondairy milk
  • 5 cloves of garlic, mashed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of ground mustard
  • 1 tsp of arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 block of nondairy cheese (or about 1-2 cups equivalent of your favorite cheese shredded)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large sauce pot, bring water to a boil. Then add your pasta and broccoli and cook until al denti according to the pasta’s instructions.
  3. While your pasta is cooking, in a small saucepan, add all the sauce ingredients and let simmer until a thick consistency. Stir occasionally to make sure the cheese is melted and does not burn or the sauce starts boiling.***
  4. Once the broccoli and pasta are cooked, drain then add to a large casserole dish.
  5. Add your sauce to the pasta and stir until well coated.
  6. Place a lid on the dish and place in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  7. In the last 10 minutes, remove the lid so the top can get brown and crispy.
  8. Once heated thoroughly, remove from the oven, serve, and enjoy!

Optional: You can also add breadcrumbs before placing in the oven for a more crunchy topping.

*** Alternatively, once you drain your pasta, you can add all your sauce ingredients back into the same pot with the pasta and simmer on low heat till cheese sauce is mixed thoroughly. Then transfer to a casserole dish and continue with the above instructions.

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Lemon-Garlic Chicken Spaghetti with Spinach (Gluten-free)

Since I am visiting my family for the holidays, one of the evening meals was pasta night. Since I have difficulty with nightshades, that makes it pretty difficult overall to partake in the simple spaghetti and meatballs. Hence, a new recipe was born!

Lemon-Garlic Chicken Spaghetti with Spinach! I used Trader Joe’s brown rice spaghetti noodles with some minced garlic and a juicy large lemon. Of course also used salt and pepper to help add to the flavor too.

To create the lemon garlic sauce, I remembered a recipe I found on Pinterest awhile back about a rosemary, lemon, and garlic chicken dish. It came out pretty amazing I must say and did help inspire this recipe. You can find this recipe here: Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Garlic, and Rosemary 

Anyways, below you can find my version that is a great substitute for a pasta night with your family and friends!

Lemon-Garlic Chicken Spaghetti with Spinach
(Gluten-free)

Garlic Chicken Spaghetti with Spinach

Ingredients:

  • Minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Gluten-free brown rice spaghetti noodles
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and diced into bite-sized pieces
  • Handful of spinach
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • Olive oil approx 2tbs + a drizzle in reserve for the end if needed.

Directions:

  1. Set oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken on baking sheet then place in oven for about 30 minutes to bake.
  2. Bring water for spaghetti to a boil in a medium saucepan before adding spaghetti and cooking al denti according to package instructions.
  3. Stir noodles occasionally but make sure to not overcook! Once spaghetti is done, drain the water and rinse noodles in cold water to stop the cooking process. Then set aside if the chicken is still cooking.
  4. While your chicken and spaghetti are cooking, slice and juice 1 large lemon into a bowl. Then take your garlic cloves and mince them.
  5. Add the minced garlic to your lemon juice and stir to combine. You can add a dash of salt and pepper to it too at this point. Set aside.
  6. Rinse your spinach and set aside.
  7. Once your chicken breasts are fully cooked, place them on a cutting board and dice into bite-sized pieces. Add this plus your olive oil to a medium or large frying pan.
  8. Use medium heat till chicken browns on the outside and starts getting crispy.
  9. Then add your noodles, spinach, lemon garlic mixture, salt and pepper in the frying pan. You might need a bit more olive oil at this point so drizzle enough in so your food does not burn.
  10. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until spinach is reduced and everything is hot.
  11. Add to a bowl or two if sharing and enjoy!

Easy Chocolate Chip and Blueberry Sheet Pan Pancakes (Vegan, Gluten Free, and Allergy Friendly)

Easy Chocolate Chip and Blueberry Sheet Pan Pancakes (Vegan, Gluten Free, and Allergy Friendly)

This week while perusing social media (aka Facebook), I saw this really interesting set of pancake recipes from Buzzfeed. They had a set of about four recipes including peaches, blueberries, mixed berries, and banana chocolate chip. It looked really easy and good so I thought about how to change it to a vegan, gluten free, and allergy friendly diet. As you can see below, it’s pretty easy.

Though I must admit, I have the hardest time flipping pancakes. As funny as it is, this recipe is absolute perfection for my lack of flipping skills in the kitchen.

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Banana and Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Now as I was looking at the ingredients, it seemed pretty easy overall. You have a dry pancake mix, eggs, milk, and toppings. It’s pretty easy overall to substitute the eggs and milk for vegan versions. For me, I used home made hemp milk and flax eggs to replace those two. The pancake mix I used was from Namaste though you can use any pre-made mix or even your own dry mix. Also, since my baking sheet is small, I halved the recipe and it still came out perfect. Below is the half recipe. For the full recipe, you can find it on Buzzfeed here. The directions are pretty much the same as the original recipe. I just used a smaller temperature in the oven.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Pancake Dry Mix
  • 1 cup Nondairy Milk
  • 2 Flax Eggs
  • Toppings of choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line your baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.
  3. In the meantime, grind a couple tablespoons of flax seeds into a flaxseed meal. Add 5 tablespoons of water to 2 tablespoons of the flaxseed meal in a bowl. Stir and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken.
  4. In your electric mixer (or bowl), add all ingredients except your toppings. Then mix together.
  5. Pour the batter into the sheet pan and spread to the edges. Add your toppings then place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until cooked.
  6. Once fully cooked, serve immediately and enjoy!

Chicken Tacos Over Rice (Vegan Options)

Chicken Tacos Over Rice (Vegan Options)

Tacos are just one of those meals that are easy to prepare yet savory for a busy weeknight. Most of the time, it’s beef or pork that you get in the various restaurants but the chicken is pretty awesome too. If you’re vegan or interested in going a vegetarian route, the Lightlife brand has some amazing soy crumbles which are perfect and less expensive than a pound of hamburger.

If you’re not into rice, it also tastes amazing on top of a bed of lettuce as a salad. Lately, when I make my chicken “tacos” (I don’t have any home made tortillas on hand when the craving hits at times), I just toss it onto a bed of lettuce and add all my toppings from non-dairy queso cheese sauce to home made guacamole with a bit of extra lime squeezed over everything. It tastes amazing!

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts (approx. 1lb) (If Vegan/Vegetarian, use soy crumbles or extra firm tofu! 🙂 )
  • Taco seasoning (ex. McCormick, Old El Paso, or even home made is fine)
  • Rice of choice
  • Bell peppers sliced thin
  • Sweet onion sliced thin (1/2 to whole onion)
  • Medium to High heat oil of choice (I use canola oil)
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Prepare rice in your rice cooker or saucepan as directed on the bag of rice.
  2. Cut chicken breasts and add to large frying pan with oil. Turn heat on medium to medium low.
  3. Cut bell peppers and onions fajita style. Set aside till chicken is fully cooked.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, add the vegetables to the pan. Add a bit more oil if necessary so the vegetables do not stick to the pan. Stir then cover with a lid. Occasionally, remove the lid and stir the chicken and vegetables till the vegetables are desired softness.
  5. Add taco seasoning and water according to instructions on the seasoning packet.
  6. Cook for about 5 minutes on low heat or till sauce is thickened.
  7. Once rice and your chicken tacos are ready, plate and serve over the rice.

Options (Vegan/Vegetarian): If you’re vegan or wanting a vegan/vegetarian option, try replacing the meat above with soy crumbles or even extra firm tofu. 

Option 2: If you want to add an Asian flair to your meal, try a Thai Sweet Chili sauce instead of taco seasoning. 

How to Make Easy Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal (Vegan, Gluten Free, & Non-Vegan Options)

How to Make Easy Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal (Vegan, Gluten Free, & Non-Vegan Options)

I don’t know about you but since fall weather is approaching (Yay for no scorching heat days!), I tend to want warm, hearty meals for breakfast. What better breakfast than oatmeal? It’s simple, you can make it sweet or savory, and it can be vegan or non-vegan too!

My all-time favorite flavoring for oatmeal has been maple and brown sugar. Ever since I was young, this has been my ultimate go-to. Usually, it was instant oatmeal, as it was quick and easy to make, but now that I am experimenting more, I like using my own ingredients to make it rather than just using it out of a box. It has fewer chemicals and preservatives overall. Below is a photo of the ingredients I used minus the oatmeal. I love purchasing Gerbs Gluten Free Oats as they are allergy friendly and I can get a 4lb bag for about $30 on Amazon Prime.

Ingredients Maple & Brown Sugar

Ingredients – Cinnamon Powder, Vanilla Extract, Light Brown sugar, and Maple Syrup

The longest wait, I must admit is getting the water to boil. I love my pans but getting the water to boil on medium heat seems to take forever! Though must admit, doesn’t everything seem to take forever when you’re feeling hungry? Anyways! I hope you all will enjoy the simple and semi-healthy (at least less of a chemical storm really) for your morning breakfast!

20170902_075455

Gluten Free Oats Cooking in sauce pan

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked Gluten Free Traditional Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup of Water
  • 2 heaping Tbs of Organic Light Brown Sugar
  • A Dash of Vanilla Extract
  • A Dash of Ground Cinnamon
  • Maple Syrup to taste

Directions:

  1. Add water to soup pot and boil.
  2. Once the water comes to a boil, add oatmeal.
  3. Bring water back to a boil and boil for a couple of minutes.
  4. Cover and remove from heat for about 5 minutes till oats are soft.
  5. Pour cooked oatmeal into a serving bowl (or 2 if your sharing!). Then add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
  6. Enjoy while hot!

Optional (vegan): Add fruit like cut bananas for an extra healthy and sweet bonus! Another option would be to add some flavored tempeh or extra firm tofu possibly with a sauce drizzled on top.

Optional (non-vegan): If you’re not vegan, you can add ham, bacon, eggs, and perhaps a bit of spice like chili flakes or sriracha on top to make it more savory and have an added bonus of protein and heat. The possibilities are endless!

Vanilla Apricot and Cinnamon Chia Pudding (Vegan)

Hello all!

I know it has been a bit since my last recipe post. I just came up with a new recipe for a Vanilla, Apricot, and Cinnamon Chia Pudding. Its nondairy and can be made allergy friendly too.

Vanilla apricot cinnamon hemp chia pudding

Anyways, this is really easy to put together. I just used a basic recipe for the pudding – 1 cup nondairy milk, 3 tablespoons of chia seeds, a dash of vanilla extract and cinnamon, and some premade apricot preserves. I added the preserves the next morning once the “pudding” part had formed overnight.

Of course this did come out super sweet so if anyone has suggestions on how to cut that sweetness back, I would appreciate it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nondairy milk
  • 3 tbs chia seeds
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • Dash of cinnamon powder
  • 2 tbs or so of apricot preserves

Directions:

  1. Collect and measure out your ingredients above except the preserves.
  2. Mix the ingredients together (except the preserves) and let sit in the refrigerator overnight in a closed container.
  3. In the morning or just before serving, layer the preserves and the chia pudding.
  4. Then serve and enjoy!

Optional: can add fresh fruit and nondairy whipped cream as a topping.

Vegan Coffee Hemp Smoothie

Vegan Coffee Hemp Smoothie

Vegan Coffee Hemp Smoothie

I find that every so often I could use a pick me up. Especially in the mornings or early afternoons where I feel like I’m running low on energy. Hence a Vegan Coffee Hemp Smoothie idea!

I found a good base recipe from http://www.kiipfit.com/coffee-hemp-smoothie/. Many thanks to the creator Gunjan Dudani!

This is approximately 1 serving size though could be split into two if your wanting to share. 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBS Instant coffee granules (I used decaf)
  • 1/2-1 cup of ice
  • 1 cup hemp milk
  • 1 tsp approx of vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • Agave nectar (or sweetener of choice) to taste

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the blender and blend till mixed.
  2. Enjoy!

Optional: You can also add frozen sliced bananas instead of ice cubes to make the smoothie more thick and frothy!

Easy Apple Cinnamon Pancakes (Vegan)

Easy Apple Cinnamon Pancakes (Vegan)

Easy Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Happy Sunday morning!

Talk about having a creative cooking weekend! Three recipes in a week! I figured since it’s been awhile since I last made something for breakfast other than overnight oatmeal or ham biscuit sandwiches with a coffee smoothie, why not try pancakes?

So I decided to try making Apple Cinnamon Pancakes! Who doesn’t love pancakes once in awhile? Especially when it’s topped with fresh fruit and drizzled with delicious maple syrup. I decided to use a diced Gala apple as my topping. Of course, it would have tasted better if it was more of a compote but it’s a quiet Sunday morning.

Easy Apple Cinnamon Pancakes Diced Apple topping with a bit of lemon juice

To make this, I mostly followed the directions on Namaste’s Pancake and Waffle mix box but I just replaced the eggs and milk with nondairy/vegan options. You can use any box mix you like really, but just need to adjust the ingredients below to replace any eggs or milk it asks. For the eggs, I replaced it with 1/4 cup of applesauce per egg. You can, however, use any other type of substitution from flax eggs, a chia egg, 1/2 banana per egg, etc. Then for the 1/2 cup of milk, I just used some homemade hemp milk.

Easy Apple Cinnamon Pancakes Batter Mix Prep

This recipe makes about 6 to 8 pancakes overall.

Easy Apple Cinnamon Pancakes Pan cooking step

Ingredients:

  • Namaste Waffle and Pancake mix
  • 1/2 cup Nondairy milk
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (to replace eggs)
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • About 1-2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Maple Syrup
  • Toppings of choice
  • Vegan butter or oil for the frying pan/griddle

Directions:

  1. Prepare and measure your ingredients before adding them to a kitchen aid mixer with whisk attachment. (Or can add all the ingredients minus the maple syrup, toppings, and butter, to a regular mixing bowl and just whisk everything together)
  2. Turn on your mixer to a low setting and mix all the ingredients above with the exception of the last three.
  3. While your pancake mix is mixing, heat a frying pan or griddle over low heat. Add some butter or spray with oil. Once the pan/griddle is hot enough, take about a 1/4 cup of the now mixed together, pancake mix and add to your pan or griddle. (If there’s enough room, can try making two at a time.) You can add some additional cinnamon to your pancakes in this step too.
  4. Once your pancakes are starting to bubble, flip your pancake over to brown the other side. Once both sides are brown and cooked through, set on a plate before repeating step 3 and 4. You might have to use additional butter or oil spray to make sure your pancakes do not stick tot he pan/griddle.
  5. Once your pancakes are all cooked, add your toppings and syrup and enjoy!

Easy Unsweetened Cinnamon Applesauce

Easy Unsweetened Cinnamon Applesauce

Unsweetened Cinnamon Applesauce

Making applesauce is quite easy. I never realized it till as of late and started cooking more. My dad originally found a recipe on how to make applesauce and it called for juice and sugar too I think. (It’s been awhile since I saw the recipe really) Anyways, It’s pretty simple overall to make. You can even omit the juice if you like as well as the sweetener if you’re wanting unsweet applesauce.

Unsweetened Cinnamon Applesauce In Prep Stage

The only time-consuming part us just slicing and peeling apples. If you have an apple slicer, this process will go much faster but if you’re just using a knife, it will be a bit slower time wise.

Now the apples you choose will make your applesauce either sweet, sour, or roughly in the middle. If you want your applesauce to be sweet, I suggest using like Red Delicious or Fuji apples at least. If you’re looking for more sour, then Granny Smith apples would be a good choice. I usually use whatever apples are moderately sweet, like Gala, that Aldi’s offers for a good price and just add a bit of stevia as needed to make it perfect.

 

Unsweetened Cinnamon Applesauce In Blender

I use my Ninja Pulse food processor to make everything I need from applesauce to smoothies and even dough too. It has been a great investment and works rather well. Next on my “to make” list will be trying out juicing recipes.

This recipe will make a small amount. If you’re wanting a large container of applesauce, I suggest at least doubling the recipe.

Unsweetened Cinnamon Applesauce

Ingredients:

  • 5 small to medium sized apples
  • 1/4 cup apple juice (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp of lemon juice
  • Cinnamon (optional to taste)
  • Stevia (optional to taste)

Directions:

  1. Wash, slice, and peel your apples. Then place each slice in your food processor or blender.
  2. Add lemon juice to keep apples from browning and add your cinnamon and stevia if you’re planning on sweetened cinnamon applesauce.
  3. Then add your liquid so it’s just enough to help blend everything together.
  4. Once blended to desired consistency, pour into a sealable container and place into your fridge to become cold.
  5. Enjoy!

Vegan Baked Onion Rings -Gluten Free & Allergy Friendly

Vegan Baked Onion Rings -Gluten Free and Allergy Friendly

Vegan Baked Onion Rings

Happy National Onion Rings Day!!!

Onion rings are a guilty pleasure of mine. When I used to dine out, if they had the option of replacing a side with onion rings I would (or even as an appetizer)! Having them with ketchup or ranch dressing was a simply divine crunchy explosion on your taste buds amazingness.

Of course, they were nowhere near healthy but that’s to be expected when dining out. Now that I am currently working on being “healthier”, I found a good base recipe on making baked onion rings but seems like I lost the link. I’ll add it once I can find it again.

The ingredients I used were mainly allergy friendly but you can easily replace the ingredients with your favorite brands.

Vegan Baked Onion Rings - Baking in progress

Ingredients:

  • Sweet onion sliced approx 1/4″ thick
  • 1 cup Flour of choice + 2 TBS
  • Nondairy milk of choice
  • 1 TBS of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs (I use Full Circle Organic Gluten Free)
  • A dash of salt & pepper
  • Oil or nonstick spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Using a bowl, add 1 cup of nondairy milk of choice, 1 TBS of apple cider vinegar, 2 TBS of flour, and salt and pepper. Whisk to mix together then let sit for 10 minutes to thicken.
  3. While your waiting for your milk to thicken, place about 1 cup of flour on a plate or bowl and your breadcrumbs on another plate or bowl. For the breadcrumbs, feel free to add spices like salt and pepper or parsley and mix together.
  4. Take your sweet onion and slice it about 1/4″ thick. Separate the rings and use the larger rings.
  5. Coat each ring in flour before dipping into your nondairy “buttermilk” and then coating it with breadcrumbs.
  6. Set each ring as they are finished on a nonstick baking sheet (or foil-covered too and sprayed with nonstick oil).
  7. Once done, place in the oven for about 20 minutes flipping over halfway. You can spray each side with oil to make it extra crispy while cooking.
  8. Once the rings are cooked, enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce!