Apple-Blueberry Crumble with Vanilla Cardamom Ice Cream – gluten-free, vegan, and decadent!

Apple Blueberry Crumble with vegan Vanilla Cardamom Ice Cream

The other day, I picked up a huge container of Honeycrisp apples, and another huge container of blueberries. I brought them home and browsed through cookbooks, looking for something good to do with apples and blueberries. In Moosewood Restaurant Cooking For Health I found a recipe for an apple-blueberry crumble. It had oats in it, so I converted it to be oat-free. Then I made a frozen-banana vegan ice cream recipe to serve on top of it, with a trace of cardamom. The result was gorgeous and delicious!

The perfect bananas for this recipe are very ripe but not overripe. They should have brown freckles but the skin should not yet be solidly brown. Peel them, break into chunks, and freeze.

Apple-Blueberry Crumble with Cardamom Ice Cream
 
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This gluten-free vegan apple-blueberry crumble with banana ice cream is healthy, beautiful, and delicious!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
Fruit Filling:
  • 3 cups sliced apples
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons potato starch or 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
Crumble Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons quinoa flour (or other gluten-free flour)
  • 2 tablespoons teff flour (or other gluten-free flour)
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
Ice Cream:
  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled, broken into chunks, and frozen
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of cardamom (about 1/32 teaspoon)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put the fruit filling ingredients into an ungreased 8 or 9 inch square pan.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. While the fruit bakes, combine the crumble topping ingredients in a bowl.
  5. When the fruit has baked for 30 minutes, remove from oven. Stir it well.
  6. Break the crumble topping into small crumbs, about the size of grains of rice, and sprinkle them all over the fruit.
  7. Return the crumble to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  8. While the crumble bakes, put all of the ice cream ingredients into a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  9. Serve scoops of cold ice cream on top of the hot crumble. Delicious!

 

 


virtual vegan linky potluckI submitted this recipe to the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck.

In last week’s potluck, my recipe for Chocolate Nanaimo Pumpkin Pie was an editor’s pick – neat!!

Potato Salad Deluxe – warm, nutritious, and satisfying

Potato Salad Deluxe

This deluxe potato salad makes a filling, satisfying, warm dinner.  You can load it up with healthy veggies and make it a very well-rounded meal.

This recipe is loosely based on the version in a long-ago edition of the Betty Crocker cookbook.

I add lots of veggies to potato salad each time I cook it, so it is never exactly the same food twice. Some nice items to add are herbs and spices, chopped vegetables (raw or cooked), cashews, and veggie dogs.  You can also vary your varieties of potatoes — Yukon Gold or Yellow Finns are great!

This potato salad can be served cold or warm. I like it better warm! The original Betty Crocker recipe says to chill potato salad for 2 hours before serving, but I usually serve it as soon as all the ingredients are mixed together. It makes a good winter dinner that way.  Though it’s lovely served warm in the summertime, too.

Last night when I cooked this, my twelve-year-old daughter, Kendra, said, “Mom, I really like that you are doing this blog. You are making all of my favorite dinners, like potato salad.”  Yum!

Potato Salad Deluxe
 
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This deluxe potato salad makes a filling, satisfying, warm dinner. You can load it up with healthy veggies and make it a very well-rounded meal.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Serves: serves 5 or more, depending on how many optional extras you add
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 2-3 pounds potatoes (about 8-10 medium potatoes -- Yukon Gold are great here)
  • 1 batch Beannaise - a quick homemade mayo replacer, or use 1/2 cup of mayonnaise -- but this recipe tastes much better and is healthier with Beannaise
  • 1 medium stalk celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1-2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • Optional: 1 cup cashews
  • Optional: cut-up tofu dogs
  • Optional: quartered artichoke hearts
  • Optional: asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Optional: olive slices
  • Optional: cabbage, chopped small (uncooked is fine)
  • Optional: spinach
  • Optional: summer squash / zucchini
  • Optional: spices, herbs, fresh parsley, dill weed!
  • Optional: chopped pickles
Instructions
  1. Put eggs in a pot of cold water. Heat to boiling; lower heat. Simmer for 15 minutes. Pour out the water, add ice cubes and cold running water. Peel the eggs. Chop them, or slice them twice with an egg slicer, slicing in two different directions.
  2. While the eggs are cooking, chop the potatoes into half-inch cubes. Put in a pot. Add enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Heat to boiling. Boil 10 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes pierce easily with a fork. Drain.
  3. While the potatoes are boiling, make the beannaise.
  4. Put all of the ingredients into a big bowl. Stir thoroughly.
  5. Serve right away, or chill it for several hours before serving.

 

Chocolate Decadence Mug Cake

chocolate decadence mug cake

chocolate decadence mug cakeMany years ago, after eating dinner at Seva restaurant, I ordered a dessert that was the most dense and chocolatey confection that I had ever tasted. I loved it — but didn’t remember its name! After that, I spent ten years ordering desserts at Seva, wondering what it was, hoping to some day solve the mystery of what the amazing dessert had been. Finally, it did come up again. I found out that the amazing dessert was called Chocolate Decadence.

Later, I found the recipe for Narsai’s Chocolate Decadence on the Internet and tried making it myself.  (Tip: If you make the original recipe, “bake” it in a glass pie plate in the microwave for six minutes, rather than in the oven, to cook it fully without risking any burned bits.) It came out wonderfully and is a birthday favorite at my house.

Last year my partner gave me the very much fun cookbook Mug Cakes: 100 Speedy Microwave Treats to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth. I enjoyed baking the creative, original, tiny cake ideas from that cookbook.  When you are making a cake the size of a coffee mug, it is easier to take risks and bake something that you might not want to try a full-sized version of, such as a Sesame Ginger mug cake — which, by the way, came out great!

Anyway, I came up with the idea to try making a Chocolate Decadence Mug Cake.  This recipe is the result.  It mixes up in about five minutes, then needs to sit in the refrigerator overnight, and voila!

The night before the first day of school after a long break, I make each of my older two kids a Chocolate Decadence Mug Cake. The next morning, if they get ready for school expeditiously, they can have it. It’s a fun way to motivate them to get moving in the morning. They each stretch out their mug cake to last all week. My son Arlo says that high school is way too early in the morning, and that the only thing that keeps him awake through his classes is Chocolate Decadence Mug Cake!

Anyway, this is a really wonderful recipe, and very easy to make. I hope you will try it!

Some notes on the recipe:

If you mix up the batter in the mug, it is hard to get all of the ingredients stirred through evenly.  It works better to mix it up in something bigger, such as a two-cup Pyrex measuring cup, and then pour the batter into a coffee mug for baking.

I like Equal Exchange semi-sweet chocolate chips in this recipe, because they are organic, fair-trade, and vegan.  (The link goes to a 12-pack of chocolate chips on Amazon.)

Use at least a 12-ounce mug. The batter gets a lot taller during baking, then sinks back down again, so the recipe needs the full twelve ounces of space to expand into. American coffee mugs are usually twelve ounces.

You can also divide up the batter into ceramic ramekins and bake it in there.

 

Chocolate Decadence Mug Cake
 
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An incredible chocolate cake, adapted to coffee-mug size.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1 mug cake
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons potato starch or flour
  • 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Put the chocolate chips and canola oil into a two-cup microwaveable bowl or cup, such as a two-cup Pyrex measuring cup.
  2. Microwave for 1 minute.
  3. Stir.
  4. Microwave another 30 seconds.
  5. Stir until all the chocolate is melted.
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients. Use the fork to stir thoroughly. Be detail-oriented with the stirring, so that the egg gets blended very thoroughly with everything else.
  7. Pour into a 12-ounce coffee mug.
  8. Microwave for 90 seconds.
  9. Let sit until cool.
  10. Refrigerate overnight.

 

Black Bean Tostadas

Black Bean Tostadas

This quick and delicious meal has a story behind it.

Many years ago, when I was a young single person, my friend Rob and I were discussing what to do for dinner. It went something like this:

What do you want to do for dinner?
I don’t know. What do you want to do for dinner?
I don’t know.
Too bad Ann Arbor doesn’t have vegetarian restaurants like Ithaca.
Yeah. Ithaca has great vegetarian restaurants.
Too bad we can’t eat dinner there.
Yeah. It would be neat to eat dinner in Ithaca.
We couldn’t go there, could we?
Well, maybe we could! Want to go to Ithaca for dinner?
Okay, let’s go have dinner at the Moosewood!
Are you serious?
Yeah! Let’s go!

washing black beansThat was on a Saturday in the late afternoon. We hopped in the car and drove eight hours to Ithaca, New York, stopping for a few hours of sleep in a tiny motel somewhere in Canada. We reached Ithaca in time for Sunday dinner — which I thought was really the perfect day to be there because I loved the cookbook Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant. I had never been to Ithaca before, but I loved reading cookbooks from the three vegetarian restaurants there, especially the Moosewood.

The meal we ate at Moosewood was Black Bean Tostadas.

It was worth the trip.

Afterward, I discovered that the recipe for Black Bean Tostadas was in the Sundays at Moosewood cookbook. So I tried cooking it. It came out well.

beans for tostadasOver the years I have adapted it in many ways, and made it my own. I am not sure that anybody at Moosewood would recognize this recipe the way I make it.

That trip to Ithaca was twenty five years ago. I am sorry to say that I have lost touch with Rob.

Ann Arbor now has several excellent vegetarian restaurants — but I still think fondly of that crazy weekend road trip to the Moosewood.


The original version of this recipe was served on a crispy round corn tortilla. I’ve always found tostadas very hard to eat without having food go flying in all directions. So I changed this recipe to use crushed corn chips instead of a tortilla. I’ve played around squashed corn chips for tostadaswith the ingredients to meet my family’s food needs. And I have speeded it up, so that the whole meal can be cooked in 30 minutes.

My kids like this meal served with the corn chips on the side and all the parts of the meal in separate piles. I like it all heaped together, with avocado and salsa strewn throughout.


This recipe is dedicated in memory of Sue Talbert, who liked this recipe. Sue passed away last year, far too young.

Here is Sue’s version of this recipe.


Jan Wolter says that when he eats this recipe, he tries to put lots of liquid on the corn chips. Normally soggy corn chips don’t taste so good, but in this recipe they are transformed into something altogether different and very yummy. I know soggy corn chips sound really awful — and some brands are — but I hope you will trust me that the right corn chips are transformed in this recipe.

Black Bean TostadasSome brands of corn chips work better than others in this recipe — they have to mesh with the sauce in just the right way, and some brands do that better than others. I like Guiltless Gourmet blue or white corn chips, but the last time I checked, Guiltless Gourmet could not guarantee that their chips were gluten-free, so I don’t buy that brand anymore. Whole Foods white corn chips are good in this recipe too.

Tip: At our house, we don’t always have fresh orange juice on hand, but we keep some frozen concentrate in the freezer. For this recipe, I mix up a micro-batch of orange juice from concentrate, just enough to use in this recipe: six tablespoons of concentrate plus one cup and two tablespoons of water makes exactly the amount of orange juice needed for this recipe.

Black Bean Tostadas
 
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Black beans and orange juice taste surprisingly good together. In this recipe they are served on top of crushed corn chips, with avocado, lettuce, and other toppings.
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: vaguely Mexican
Serves: serves 6
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 3 cans of black beans (4 1/2 cups, cooked), rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
  • EITHER 2 tomatoes, chopped, or 2 red or yellow bell peppers, chopped
  • corn chips (blue ones are good here)
  • 2 ripe avocadoes
  • shredded lettuce
  • optional: grated cheddar or Monterrey Jack or mozzarella cheese
  • optional: unsweetened yogurt or sour cream
  • salsa
Instructions
  1. Put the beans and orange juice in a pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the oil, cumin, coriander, and tomatoes or bell peppers, and stir.
  3. While the beans warm up, wash the lettuce.
  4. Mash the avocadoes into a very simple one-ingredient guacamole.
To serve:
  1. Put two handfuls of corn chips on a plate. Crush the corn chips with your hands, into pieces about an inch wide or smaller.
  2. Put a big scoop or two of the bean mixture on top, taking care to get the corn chips wet.
  3. Add lettuce, salsa, guacamole and other toppings.
  4. Serve!

 

 

 

Chocolate Nanaimo Pumpkin Pie – no bake, healthy, and vegan!

Chocolate Nanaimo Pumpkin Pie

Chocolate Nanaimo Pumpkin Pie

I’m a big fan of Chocolate Covered Katie’s healthy dessert blog. Last August, she published her version of a Canadian dessert called Nanaimo Bars. I tried making the recipe. My family and I liked it!  I liked it so much that I made it again and again, adapting it to my own way of cooking, and experimenting with variations.  In the summertime, I made Strawberry Nanaimo Bars and Blueberry Nanaimo Bars. I love chocolate, but it doesn’t always love me back, so I also invented an alternate chocolate-free topping, made with strawberries and cardamom.

Finally, autumn arrived, and gorgeous pumpkins. First I made Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread. Then I made Chocolate Covered Katie’s truly wonderful no-bake chocolate pumpkin pie — another of Katie’s recipes that I completely adore.  But still I had more pumpkin to use. So I invented this recipe — a yummy collision betweenChocolate Nanaimo Pumpkin Pie Katie’s Nanaimo Bars and a pumpkin pie.

Everybody who tried it said this pie was seriously delicious! Jan Wolter called it, “Brain-meltingly yummy!”Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

I used fresh pumpkin in this recipe, but it should work fine with canned, too. Here is how to cook fresh pumpkin.

If you would like, you can replace half of the cocoa powder with carob powder.

In case you were wondering, Nanaimo is a city in Canada.  :-)Chocolate Nanaimo Pumpkin Pie


Edited to add: I’ve had a request for a nut-free version.  You can make this pie nut-free by replacing the nuts in the crust with an equal amount of sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (without shells).  In the filling, replace the cashews with cannellini beans or other cooked white beans, and add another 1-2 dates.

 

Nanaimo Pumpkin Pie -- gluten-free, vegan, no refined sugar, healthy, quick, no baking -- and awesomely yummy!
 
Prep time
15 mins
Total time
15 mins
 
Quick, delicious, vegan, no-bake pumpkin pie.
Author: Valerie Mates
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 pie
Ingredients
Crust:
  • 3/4 cup of nuts, such as a mix of almonds and walnuts
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup raisins
Filling:
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup cooked white beans (eg. cannellini beans) -- or more cashews
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 7 dates with no pits
  • 2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin
Topping:
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (or 1/4 cup cocoa powder plus 1/4 cup carob powder)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Place all crust ingredients in a food processor. Blend until everything is in small pieces, about the size of pin-heads, and maybe starting to stick together a tiny bit -- but don't blend it all the way to nut butter.
  2. Put the crust into a pie plate. Use your hands to press it down into the shape of a pie crust. Just put the crust on the bottom and sides of the pie plate -- don't put crust on top of the edges of the pie plate.
  3. Next, place all of the ingredients for the filling in the food processor. Blend it for several minutes, until the mixture is very creamy and smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Use a spatula to smooth it out as flat as you can. There should still be about 1/4 inch depth between the top of the filling and the walls of the pie plate to make room for the topping. If the filling is too tall, scoop some out, then smooth again.
  5. In a heatproof glass measuring cup or other microwaveable container, put the ingredients for the topping. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. If the coconut oil is not melted at this point, microwave again and stir again.
  6. Pour the topping over the pie. If the pie isn't covered evenly, tilt it gently or use the back of a spoon to gently spread it around to get the topping to cover everywhere.
  7. Refrigerate for several hours.
  8. This pie is very rich. I recommend serving it in wedges that are about an inch wide at the widest part.
3.2.2807

 

International Enchiladas

International Enchiladas

international_enchiladasThis is a special occasion recipe. It takes time to prepare, but the results are very much worth it – it is a truly wonderful food, quite possibly the yummiest dinner recipe I’ve ever made.

I invented this recipe when I found a yummy-looking recipe for Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas on the Internet, back in the 1980s when nobody had heard of the Internet.  I converted the recipe to be vegetarian by replacing the chicken with an addictively delicious recipe for Fried Spiced Tofu, from the cookbook “Diet for a Small Planet“.  And I replaced the chili powder with curry powder, which blends harmoniously with the creamy white sauce for a fabulous taste combination.  This recipe was originally called Tofuladas.

I’ve been making this recipe for so long that it has a lot of variations included.  I usually make it corn-free, dairy-free, tomato-free, and it can be vegan.  Every one of these variations is delicious!

Serve this with a salad, or cooked broccoli.

Cooking time: 70 minutes + a few minutes of broiling — but worth the time it takes!

International Enchiladas
 
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My favorite special-occasion dinner! Salty, curried tofu, rolled up in tortillas, with a cheesey sauce that can be vegan, and a creamy curried white sauce on top. Yum!!!
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: International
Serves: serves 4-6
Ingredients
Tofu:
  • 2 pounds tofu
Red Sauce:
  • 1 can Campbell's tomato soup OR 1/2 of a little box of Imagine Organic Creamy Tomato Soup OR (1-2 tablespoons of pesto + 1 cup baby carrots, rinsed, 3 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1/4 cup water -- blended until smooth)
  • 1-2 tablespoons curry powder
White Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch or flour
  • 1/2 cup nondairy milk, or cow's milk, or homemade cashew milk, or water
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened yogurt, or more nondairy milk
  • salt
  • pepper
Cheese:
  • 6 ounces of Monterey Jack cheese (about 2 cups), shredded OR 1 cup of "lasagna cheese"
Tortillas:
  • 20 corn tortillas OR two batches of crepes
Instructions
Tortillas:
  1. If you are making tortillas, start on that first.
Tofu:
  1. Cook 1 1/3 blocks of tofu according to the Golden Curried Tofu recipe. Do not wash out the pot; you'll be using it for the white sauce.
Cheese:
  1. While the other parts cook, grate the cheese, if you are using cheese, or use the remaining 2/3 of a pound of tofu in my vegan lasagna cheese recipe.
Red Sauce:
  1. If you are using tomato soup, mix the soup, curry powder, and about 1/4 soup can of water. If you are using the blended mixture with the pesto and carrots, also blend in the curry powder.
White Sauce:
  1. Put the oil in the pot you used for the fried spiced tofu. Add the potato starch or flour and stir to mix thoroughly.
  2. If you are using flour, stir and heat it until it is bubbly. (Potato starch does not need heating.)
  3. Stir in the milk and water.
  4. Simmer slowly until thickened.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Stir in either unsweetened yogurt or more milk.
  7. Simmer until heated through.
  8. Remove from heat.
To assemble:
  1. Set out a 9x13 inch baking pan and an 8x8 inch baking pan. Take a tortilla and spread a dinnertable tablespoon of red sauce on one side. Turn the tortilla over and repeat. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the tofu down the center of the tortilla. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of the cheese over the tofu. Roll up the tortilla and place seam side down in the pan. Repeat for each tortilla.
  2. Pour the white sauce over the enchiladas, and sprinkle with any remaining cheese.
  3. Place under the broiler until hot and bubbly and the cheese is starting to brown. Serve immediately. This dish reheats nicely.
  4. Serves 4 to 6.

 

Banana Claw – Decadent Vegan Ice Cream

Banana Claw ice cream

Back before we had kids, their dad and I used to like to go to the ice cream store and get a type of ice cream called Bear Claw. Bear Claw ice cream is a very rich chocolatey ice cream, with ribbons of caramel, and chocolate covered cashews.

I’ve been making vegan ice cream from bananas. I can’t eat Bear Claw ice cream anymore, so this is my healthy vegan adaptation of it. My daughter Kendra says we should call it Banana Claw.

This whole recipe is easy achocolate and cashewsnd quick. Once your bananas are frozen, the entire recipe takes about 15 minutes to make.

To freeze bananas: Choose bananas that are ripe, with freckles, but not totally brown. Bananas that are overripe and would work great in banana bread will make this recipe taste too banana-y. So pick bananas that are freckled, so that they are sweet enough, but not overripe. To freeze, break the bananas into chunks and put them in a container in the freezer.

cashews going into the bagMaking chocolate covered cashews is easy: Melt chocolate chips, stir together with cashews, and put them in the freezer for a few minutes. Ziplock bags are very non-stick, so they work great for freezing the cashews. The chocolate ends up on the cashews, not on the bag. Tip: To make it easier to spoon the mixture into the ziplock bag, you can put the bag into a glass or mug and fold its sides down over the rim. Then the glass will hold the bag open for you.

bananas avocado food processorThe caramel layer is my version of the caramel in Vegan Richa’s Salted Date Caramel Chocolate Pie with Almond Coconut Crust — a very decadent and wonderful vegan recipe.

just the ice creamI don’t normally use much salt, but it tastes really good in this caramel, and it’s only a small amount. If you happen to have fancy salt available, such as Himalayan Sea Salt, this is a good recipe to use it in.

cashews after freezingBanana ice cream is very easy to make: Blend three frozen bananas with whatever flavoring you like: fruit, or cocoa powder. An optional avocado adds extra richness.

And voila! Healthy fruit and nuts are magically turned into a rich and delicious ice cream.


Edited to add: I’ve had a request for a nut-free version. For nut-free, omit the cashews or replace them with pumpkin seeds (without shells). And leave out the almond butter.

more banana claw

Banana Claw - Vegan Ice Cream
 
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A rich vegan ice cream, made from bananas, full of caramel, laced with chocolate covered cashews.
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 1 pint
Ingredients
Chocolate Covered Cashews:
Caramel:
  • 5-6 dates (with no pits)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
Ice Cream:
  • 3 frozen bananas, broken into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 perfectly ripe avocado (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
Chocolate Covered Cashews:
  1. Melt the chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave, by heating for 30 seconds and then stirring. Repeat until the chips are melted.
  2. Stir in the cashews.
  3. Pour into a quart-sized Ziplock bag.
  4. Squeeze out the air, then zip the bag.
  5. Use your fingers to spread out and separate the cashews throughout the bag.
  6. Place the bag in the freezer.
Caramel:
  1. Blend all caramel ingredients in a blender or food processor, until completely smooth.
Ice Cream:
  1. Blend all of the ice cream ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Remove the bag of cashews from the freezer.
  3. While the bag is still closed, use your fingers to break apart the cashews, so that they are separate and not stuck together.
  4. Pour the cashews into the ice cream, and gently stir them in.
  5. Put half of the ice cream into a freezer-safe container. Smooth it out. Spread the caramel evenly on top. Add the rest of the ice cream on top.
  6. You can eat the ice cream now, though it will still be soft, or leave it in the freezer to firm up.

 

Potoccoli – a meal of potato, egg, and broccoli

Potoccoli

Potoccoli is made of potatoes, broccoli, and eggs. It is not glamorous, but it is soothing and nourishing.  Potocolli is intended as a main dish, but I could eat (and have eaten!) it for breakfast… and lunch… and dinner.

Everybody has their own favorite comfort foods. Potatoes are mine. When my digestive system is unhappy, Potoccoli is my magic wand of happiness.

I invented this recipe years ago. It has been one of my favorites ever potato cubessince then, because it is easy to cook and I usually have the ingredients on hand. I picked it to be the first dinner recipe in my new blog because the recipe is entirely my own invention, and because I have loved it and been nourished by it over many years. The name is a combination of the words potato and broccoli. Its alternate name is Potatoccoli — adding another syllable.

At the store, if you have a choice between “broccoli cuts” or “broccoli broccoli floretsflorets,” florets work better in this recipe.

This recipe relies on good potatoes. I like Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes in this recipe, but any type of potato should work. Potatoes are grown with a lot of pesticides, so use organic potatoes if you can.

five eggsI aim to post a vegan version of each recipe on this blog — but this recipe is an exception. I am not sure it’s possible to make Potoccoli vegan and still be Potoccoli. Possibly the eggs could be replaced with scrambled tofu, or cashews blended with water and oil and salt — but I have not tried it.

This is a very flexible recipe. I never measure any of the ingredients in Potoccoli — estimating works fine. I like to use equal amounts of potatoes and broccoli, but you can vary this to suit your own preferences.

Potoccoli
 
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A quick and yummy dinner of potatoes, egg, and broccoli.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds of nice potatoes -- Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn work great in this recipe
  • 1 pound frozen broccoli florets
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 eggs
Instructions
  1. Cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Place them in a pot. Add just enough water to cover them. Heat over medium-high heat until the water boils. Pour on the broccoli florets, still frozen, and leave them sitting on top without stirring. When the water boils again, turn the heat down to medium and cover the pot so that the steam from the potatoes will cook the broccoli.
  2. Boil for 10 to 12 minutes, until you can easily pierce a piece of potato with a fork and it seems soft.
  3. While the potatoes cook, beat the eggs in a bowl.
  4. Drain the potato-broccoli mixture in a colander in the sink.
  5. Put the mixture back in the pot. Add the oil, then sprinkle on the salt, then pour on the beaten eggs.
  6. Stir the mixture with a big flat-handled metal spoon. Cover the pot with the spoon still in it, so that the spoon gets heated along with the mixture (so that uncooked egg doesn't stay on the spoon and get back into the food). The spoon should be in the middle of the mixture, not touching the bottom of the pot where it might overheat. Be careful - its handle may get hot.
  7. Heat the mixture on medium, checking and stirring every 1-2 minutes, leaving the spoon in the mixture.
  8. When all of the egg looks dry like scrambled egg, not runny anymore, the Potoccoli is ready.
  9. Serve!

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies – no gluten, dairy, or refined sugar!

chocolate chip cookie with a bite taken out of it

I searched far and wide for my perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe — and I have found it! This recipe has no gluten — indeed no grain or flour of any kind — and it is sweetened with dates instead of refined sugar. It makes delicious chocolate chip cookies that start out soft and stay that way.

cookie doughThis recipe is based on the Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe from the blog Cooking a la Mel. But I’ve modified the recipe to use nuts instead of quinoa flour, replaced coconut oil with canola oil, and left out the refrigeration stage.

dough before bakingFor making blobs of cookie dough, I use an OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop that I bought on Amazon. It makes it easy to turn out a zillion perfect blobs of cookie dough in no time flat — although you can also use a tablespoon to scoop the dough and another one to scrape it off the first one, and that will work fine too.

baked cookiesYou can make these cookies vegan by replacing the egg with a flax egg instead.

My pick for chocolate chips is Equal Exchange, because they are dairy-free, organic, and fair trade.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Awesome gluten-free chocolate chip cookies: made from healthy ingredients, stays soft, and tastes fabulous!
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 18-22 cookies
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pumpkin seeds (without hulls)
  • 1 cup dates, with no pits
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg (or replace with a flax egg to make it vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips, such as Equal Exchange semisweet
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients except for the chocolate chips into a food processor.
  3. Blend for several minutes, until the mixture looks someplace between dough and wet sand. The largest pieces should be the size of the head of a pin.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Place blobs of 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough on a cookie sheet. Flatten the blobs into round cookie shapes. You can put them close together -- they don't expand much during baking.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Tastes best after cooling. Yum!