Rainbows — edible, adorable, easy, can be gluten-free and vegan

Edible Rainbows!

Cut-up peppers
In the spring, someone posted a picture on Facebook showing edible little rainbows of different-colored bell peppers on top of maybe bread, with cute little white clouds at each end of the rainbow — and it captured my imagination. The picture was simply a photo, without a recipe or any information about who had cooked it. Intrigued, I kept thinking about them until I tried out a way to make them. After some experimentation, I came up with a version that tastes great, is healthy, and looks adorable.

Pizza-dough basesWarning: Edible rainbows are very susceptible to puns. They are also fun to talk about. We laughed the first time we said, “Kendra ate two rainbows for breakfast.”

For the base, you can make this with any type of pizza dough that works for you, or you can use the recipe that I’ve posted here, which is gluten-free.

Pepper arcs arranged on base

Pepper arcs arranged on base. You can see that I intentionally broke the red stripe to make it more arc-shaped.

I’ve been happily using all-purpose Chebe Mix to make really good pizza dough for years, but it isn’t organic and we try to eat all-organic. So I am happy to report that I finally figured out a from-scratch recipe that comes out similar to Chebe dough, so you can make it with organic ingredients if you choose to do that. (I do.) Bonus: I also made the dough pourable, so you mix up a batter and pour it into pizza shape, rather than needing to take the time to knead it and individually roll out circles, so it is much quicker and easier — a big improvement all around.

Edible rainbow

Super cute!

A friend said this is Unicorn Food. I like that. :)

Anyway! Here is the recipe:

Rainbows -- edible, adorable, easy, can be gluten-free and vegan
 
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Extreme cute edible vegetarian rainbows! Fairly easy to make, wildly adorable, healthy, and yummy! This is one excellent recipe!
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Serves: Serves 4-8
Ingredients
Base
  • EITHER: your favorite pizza dough, enough for two pizzas
  • OR: The following ingredients
  • 2 cups tapioca flour (note that if you buy "Letz Do Organic" brand, a box holds 1 1/2 cups, so you will need to start a second box)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (or 2/3 teaspoon baking soda + 2/3 teaspoon cream of tartar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup canola or olive oil
  • 6-7 tablespoons of water (start with six, add the other one if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 eggs (or, if you prefer vegan, you should be able to replace them with flax eggs, but I have not tried this recipe that way)
Peppers
  • 4 bell peppers -- one each of red, orange, yellow, and green (if you have a choice, red should be a wide pepper, then orange, then yellow, and green should the skinniest -- but if your peppers aren't in those sizes, it's fine)
Clouds
  • For an alternate nut-free version: Use a batch of my creamy white dressing
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions
Base
  1. Preheat the oven to the temperature recommended for your pizza dough recipe.
  2. If you are using my dough recipe, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then, except for the water, put all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Add six tablespoons of water and stir. This should make a batter that is thick but pourable. If it is not pourable, add the other tablespoon of water and stir again.
  3. If you are using my dough recipe, use two awesomely nonstick cookie sheets, or regular cookie sheets with silicone mats on top. Make 16 tiny pizzas, using one dinnertable tablespoon of batter for each pizza, and spreading out each one into an oval about 2-3 inches by 3-4 inches. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. If you are using other dough, roll out blobs of dough to be about 2-3 inches by 3-4 inches and the thickness of a pizza crust. You may have extra dough left over. Bake according to the directions for your dough.
Peppers
  1. While the bases bake, cut up the peppers. Cut a circle around the stem and remove the stem. Now, with the hole where the stem was at the top, look at the ribs of the pepper. Cut from top to bottom along three of the ribs that are spaced on different sides of the pepper, ideally dividing the pepper into thirds -- but it is okay if the ribs aren't spaced evenly and your three pieces aren't very exactly equal. Trim off any seeds and ribs on the inside of each section, and rinse it out.
  2. Next, cut off the uneven part on the top of each section, then cut crosswise across each section about 1/4 inch apart, so that you get six arcs. There will be a bit of extra left over at the bottom. (If your pepper is especially large or small, make your cuts a little bigger or smaller than 1/4 inch apart.) The idea is to end up with 18 arcs of pepper in each of the four colors.
Clouds
  1. Use a good blender to blend all Clouds ingredients until they form a very smooth cream. My food processor doesn't make this smooth enough, but my blender does.
Assembly
  1. When the bases are baked, put four arcs of bell pepper on top in the shape of a rainbow, with red, orange, yellow, and green going from top to bottom. It's helpful to press the arcs together to get them closer together. For arcs that aren't arc-shaped, feel free to break the piece as needed to make it more arc-shaped. You should have a couple of pieces of each color of pepper left over at the end; you can break those into pieces and use them to extend short arcs to be longer.
  2. Next, use a dinnertable teaspoon to plop about a teaspoon of the cashew mixture at each end of the rainbow arcs (that is, use two teaspoons of cashew cream, one teaspoon on each end of the rainbow).
  3. Makes 16 rainbows. Serve 2-4 rainbows per person.

 

Cookie Dough Dip – healthy, gluten-free, vegan, safe to eat, and awesomely yummy!

chocolate chip cookie dough dip

cookie dough dipThe original person to think up the idea of making edible healthy cookie dough is Chocolate Covered Katie — a blogger who specializes in healthy vegan desserts and who makes amazing recipes!

I have simplified her recipe and made it even healthier. This recipe takes five minutes to mix up. You need a good food processor or blender. And then you can eat (safe) raw cookie dough! Yum!!!!!

The dough that this makes does not taste exactly the same as cookie dough. But the color is right, it’s sweet, and it has chocolate chips, so as far as I’m concerned it’s good! My kids and I really love this recipe.

chocolate chip cookie dough dipThis afternoon, after I took the photos for this recipe, I asked my kids, “Who wants to eat the photo models?” They knew I was making cookie dough dip, so they came running.  :)

Cookie Dough Dip - healthy, gluten-free, vegan, safe to eat, and awesomely yummy!
 
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Healthy, vegan, gluten-free cookie dough that you can eat raw -- in five minutes! Awesomely delicious!!
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup dates (about six), no pits, and check for (and remove) any dried bits of stem on them
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, such as cannellini beans, great northern beans, or navy beans
  • 1/3 cup of chocolate chips (I like Equal Exchange organic semi-sweet chocolate chips)
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients except for the chocolate chips into a food processor or blender. Blend until a smooth dough forms, which will take several minutes. Depending on your blender, you may need to add extra water to get everything to blend evenly.
  2. Stir in the chocolate chips, and serve!
  3. For serving, you can eat it with a spoon like a pudding, or dip in graham crackers to eat it with.

 

Knishes – cute packets of potatoes in dough – gluten-free and vegetarian – warm and delicious!

Knishes
a rolled-out knish

A rolled-out knish, with filling on it,
ready for crimping.
I adore this little rolling pin —
it is very easy to use.

Here’s a family favorite recipe that I’ve been meaning to post for years: Knishes! A knish is a dough-wrapped packet of filling. The filling is often potatoes, though my kids prefer them filled with vegan cheese, instead, or even gluten-free pasta.

Knishes are a Jewish food, but even though I am Jewish and grew up in New York City, I never encountered them until I was an adult.

A potful of the potato filling

The potato filling

This recipe was originally developed by the author of Gluten-Free By The Bay. I have simplified the recipe, changed it around a bit, and multiplied it to make more food.

My family and I really love this recipe, even including my picky kids! I hope you will like it too! Also, it’s a great recipe to make for guests.

 

Another knish underway

Another knish underway.
There is a crimped knish on the right, ready for baking. You can see that I rolled the dough a little too thin and so it has holes.  You can click on the photo to zoom in and see the details of how the crimping looks.  Also, that one is a bit long — they should be shaped more like a semicircle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knishes - cute packets of potatoes in dough - gluten-free and vegetarian - warm and delicious!
 
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Knishes are beautiful packets of dough filled with your choice of mashed potatoes, cheesy filling, or anything else. People are always impressed when they see these. And, they are gluten-free!
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: Jewish
Serves: 12 knishes
Ingredients
Dough:
  • 4 1/2 cups (3 packets) All-Purpose Chebe Mix
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons oil (I use canola and/or olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup water, milk, or vegan milk
Potato Filling: (I like to make lots of extra to eat as a side dish for days afterward)
  • 3 cups fresh red chard or spinach, washed, stems removed, and chopped, OR 1 cup defrosted frozen kale
  • 3 large baking potatoes
  • 1/4 cup oil (canola and/or olive)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper (optional -- I leave it out)
Cheesy Vegan Filling:
  • 3/4 pound firm tofu OR a combination of 3/4 cup cashews, 3/4 cup sunflower seeds, and 6 tablespoons of water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried herbs, such as basil and oregano
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 box frozen spinach, defrosted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. If you are making the potato filling, cut the potatoes into one-inch cubes and put them in a pot. Add enough cold water to cover them. Heat to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and boil for 10-12 minutes, until the potatoes are easy to pierce with a fork. Drain and return them to the pot. Add all the other ingredients for the potato filling except for the greens. Mash the potatoes. Then stir in the greens.
  3. If you are making the cheesy vegan filling, mix all ingredients in a food processor or a big blender.
  4. To make the dough, mix all of the dough ingredients and knead them together into a soft dough. If the dough is dry and not cohesive, you may need to add water -- just a teaspoon at a time, because it can go from too dry to too sticky very quickly. I use the dough kneading attachment on my food processor to do the kneading -- it works well for this.
  5. Divide the dough into twelve equal pieces. (I like to roll it into a log, then cut the log into quarters, then cut each quarter into thirds. But you can divide it any way that works for you.) Pick up each piece to check its size, and pinch small blobs off the biggest pieces and add them to the smallest pieces, to even out the sizes.
  6. Use a rolling pin on a nonstick surface to roll out the dough into a 6 or 7 inch circle. Avoid making the circle bigger than that, because the dough will get holes in the middle. Check that the circle can be lifted off the surface, then add 2-4 tablespoons of filling in the middle. When in doubt about how much filling to put in, use less filling, so that it doesn't squirt out the sides. Fold the circle in half, with the filling inside. Use a fork to crimp around the edges and make evenly spaced fork-lines that go about from the edge about 1/4 inch inward. Gently press on the top of the knish to distribute the filling inside the sealed-in area. Repeat for the remaining pieces of dough.
  7. Place each knish on a baking sheet, leaving some space between them for expansion during baking.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Eat them carefully -- the filling gets incredibly hot.

 

Egg Pinwheels – no gluten or dairy, and super cute!

Egg Pinwheels
The egg mixture

The egg mixture, after whipping and stirring in all ingredients.

This adorable recipe is fairly easy to make. You do need a food processor or mixer that can whip eggs, and a very non-stick cookie sheet. Then you are good to go!

I originally found this recipe on a site that does not exist anymore. I’ve adapted it to be gluten-free and healthier, and made it much simpler.

Ready to roll

The egg mixture, with Filling Option 1 spread on it, ready for rolling up.

My kids really like this recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

Slicing with dental floss

After baking, slicing with dental floss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After slicing

After slicing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to serve!

Ready to serve!

 

 

 

 

 

Egg Pinwheels - no gluten or dairy, and super cute!
 
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This super-cute recipe is fairly easy to make if you have a way to whip egg whites and a very nonstick cookie sheet. Yum!
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Serves: serves 3-4
Ingredients
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of gluten-free flour mix (I use 2 tablespoons potato starch + 2 tablespoons of garbanzo flour or quinoa flour or brown rice flour) -- or if you are not gluten-free, then use regular flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups of filling - see three options below
Filling Option One:
  • 1 cup "lasagna cheese" (or real cheese)
  • 1 package defrosted frozen spinach
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into small cubes
Filling Option Two:
Filling Option Three:
  • I haven't tried it, but I think a mixture of greens, pesto, and tiny cubes of potatoes would be amazing in these.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread a thin coating of oil all over the inside of a very non-stick cookie sheet that is about 11 by 15 inches.
  2. Separate the eggs. Put all twelve egg whites into a food processor or the bowl of a mixer, and use the whipping attachment to whip them until they are stiff.
  3. Discard eight egg yolks (I know, that's hard to do, but a dozen of the really nice eggs costs about $4, so it won't break the bank). Add the remaining four egg yolks to the egg whites, along with the flour mixture and salt. Gently mix everything together with a spatula.
  4. Pour the egg mixture onto a cookie sheet, and use a spatula to spread it all the way to each edge and smooth it out so that it is about the same depth everywhere.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, until the eggs start to brown.
  6. While it bakes, mix up your choice of filling ingredients.
  7. Remove from the oven, but leave the oven on.
  8. Gently use a spatula to loosen the egg rectangle from the cookie sheet. Be careful -- it is hot!
  9. Once the egg rectangle is detached, carefully flip it upside down.
  10. Spread the filling mixture evenly over the egg rectangle, leaving about an inch bare along one of the long edges.
  11. Carefully roll up the rectangle, rolling toward the bare edge. Keep rolling until the edge is underneath the roll. I find it convenient to put the roll on a diagonal on the cookie sheet, so that if filling comes out the ends it lands on the cookie sheet.
  12. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  13. Cut through the roll to make it into eight spiral pinwheels, and serve. You can do the cutting with a knife or a sharp spatula -- or by looping dental floss around it and pulling the loop shut, to cut through the log. Fun!

 

 

 

 

Dessert Nachos – healthy, vegan, gluten-free, and awesomely yummy!

Dessert Nachos

Dessert NachosHappy Birthday to this blog! Today it is three years old!

Recently I was flipping through cookbooks and I spotted a recipe for “dessert nachos” — where you thinly slice up an apple as the chips, then add caramel as the sauce and sprinkle on toppings.

That got me to thinking about trying it with the healthy vegan caramel sauce from the recipe for Banana Claw ice cream.

I tried making some, and my daughter and I liked it so much that I have been making it again every morning lately. It is a little addictive.

The best part is that it is so healthy that you can eat it for breakfast.

YUM!

I thought about saving this recipe to post in the autumn, since apples are not in season right now. But it is too good to wait.

For recipes that are in season now, I long all year for Chocolate Chip Fresh Cherry Bread. There’s also Zucchini Brownies. Also, Fresh Fruit Pie With Chocolate Brownie Crust is in season now and totally awesome!!! Yum!!!!!

Dessert Nachos - healthy, vegan, gluten-free, and awesomely yummy!
 
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Great as a dessert -- and healthy enough to be breakfast! Thinly slice up an apple as the chips, then add healthy vegan caramel as the sauce and sprinkle on toppings. YUM!!!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert or Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 small servings or 2 medium ones
Ingredients
  • 1 apple
  • 5-6 dates (with no pits or hard bits of stem)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons almond butter (for a nut-free version, try sunflower seed butter or soybutter instead)
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt (optional but really good!)
  • Toppings such as 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, coconut bits, pomegranate seeds, etc.
Instructions
  1. In the smallest jar of a reliable blender, using a nut-butter blade if you have one, put the dates, almond butter, oil, water, and salt. Blend until very smooth. If the mixture isn't getting smooth easily, add a couple of teaspoons of water and blend again.
  2. Slice the apple into many thin slices.
  3. Divide the apple among four plates (for small servings) or two plates (for bigger servings). Add the caramel sauce on top, then sprinkle on the toppings.

 

Tiramisu in 14 minutes – healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, and can be vegan

Tiramisu
cake slices

Chocolate chip pumpkin bread, cut into twelve “ladyfinger” sticks for this recipe.

Last August my kids and I visited Toronto.

Usually when we travel, I am fanatical about planning ahead so that we will always have gluten-free food available. But this one time my teens talked me into winging it. We had the impression that every street corner in Toronto had one of those restaurants where you order a bowl of plain rice and then pick three toppings from one column and four toppings from the next column, and many of this type of restaurant can make safe gluten-free food. So in the morning we went to the Royal Ontario

cake after dipping

Cake after dipping

Museum. In the afternoon we planned to go see Castle Loma. Our map made it look like these places were about three blocks apart, so we decided to walk from the museum to the castle, eating lunch at a bowl-type restaurant along the way. Alas, our map was not to scale. It was far more than three blocks from one place to the other. We walked for a really long time through an endless residential neighborhood that had no stores or restaurants of any kind. Finally we found a tiny grocery store. Hungry and tired, we bought mainstream GMO-filled potato chips and ate those for lunch sitting on the sidewalk outside the store, occasionally interrupted by people

Cake with cashew cream added

Cake with cashew cream added

who needed us to move out of the way so that they could get in or out of the building. Definitely not our best meal ever!

When we started walking again, we almost immediately found an organic gluten-free mostly-raw restaurant called Live Organic Food Bar. It looked intriguing, so my kids and I went in. Having just gorged on potato chips, we weren’t very hungry, but I really wanted to try the food there, so we ordered desserts. I ordered an expensive little tiramisu that was AMAZING!!!! It had been maybe fifteen years since I last ate tiramisu, and

Finished tiramisu

Finished tiramisu

getting to have it again was a real treat.

Weeks later, at home again, I kept thinking about that amazing tiramisu. It wouldn’t be easy to go back to Toronto for more, so I decided to create my own. I had a tiramisu recipe that I had loved many years ago, so I used that as a starting point.

To my surprise, the tiramisu that I invented is very fast to make, over-the-top healthy, and over-the-top delicious!!!

Tiramisu in refrigerator

Tiramisu in refrigerator – these glass containers are great for making tiramisu. You can pop on the lid and store it easily in the refrigerator.

Traditional tiramisu is made with ladyfingers — long, thin cakelike cookies that are shaped like very large fingers. In this recipe you can use a wide variety of baked desserts cut into finger shapes, as the ladyfingers. I think cookies would work well too. I suggest using something that is not all-chocolate — though actually that too might be interesting. I have done this with Corbin’s muffin bread, and with chocolate chip pumpkin bread, but you could also use storebought cookies or cake or banana bread. Also I have seen gluten-free ladyfingers available at the store, though they don’t look at all healthy. The finished tiramisu will taste like whatever baked good you choose, so you should choose a baked item that you think would taste good inside tiramisu.

TiramisuIn the pictures, I used the super-healthy version of chocolate chip pumpkin bread — the second recipe on that page. That version has no refined sugar, and I add a lot of veggies, so in the pictures you may notice that the cake part looks a little green. That’s kale. It made an awesomely healthy tiramisu that tasted fantastic to me, but if you or your eaters are at all skeptical about kale in tiramisu, you can totally make this with some other baked item. Not everybody is as crazy about kale as me, and I completely respect that. You can make a very excellent tiramisu with this recipe without any kale, if that’s what you prefer.

Anyway, I hope you will try this recipe.  It makes an amazing tiramisu!

Tiramisu in 14 minutes - healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, and can be vegan
 
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This tiramisu takes only 14 minutes to make. It is delicious, and can be healthy, vegan, and gluten-free. Yum!!! Warning: Addictive!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: gluten-free
Serves: 3 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 slices of baked goods, such as cookies, banana bread, Corbin's muffin bread, or chocolate chip pumpkin bread, or about 3 cups of cookies
  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 5 dates, pits and any bits of stem removed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 mug of coffee or espresso (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon brandy or cognac (optional - I leave it out)
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Brew a mug of coffee. (I have an ancient one-cup-at-a-time coffeemaker that makes it easy to brew just the right amount.)
  2. In a good blender, mix the cashews, water, dates, vanilla extract, and optional brandy or cognac. Blend until creamy-smooth. When the coffee is ready, add 1/2 tablespoon of coffee and blend until mixed.
  3. If you are using baked goods from a loaf, cut each of the four slices crosswise into three sticks, so that you end up with twelve finger-shaped sticks of baked goods. If you are using cookies you can skip this step.
  4. Pour the coffee into a small bowl, such as a cereal bowl. Have a fork and a loaf pan handy.
  5. A few at a time, put half of the baked goods into the coffee (that would be six "ladyfingers" or half of the cookies), then immediately use the fork to scoop them out again and put them crosswise into the loaf pan.
  6. Evenly pour half of the cashew mixture on top.
  7. Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of baking cocoa evenly everywhere on top.
  8. Make a second layer: Dip the other half of the baked goods in the coffee, put them into the loaf pan, spread on the rest of the cashew cream and sprinkle on the rest of the baking cocoa powder.
  9. In theory you should refrigerate this for a few hours at this point, but it is really hard not to just dive in and start eating. It firms up a bit in the refrigerator, but even when it is liquidy from being freshly made it is still good.

 

Matzo Ball Soup – gluten-free and dairy-free for Passover or anytime!

Matzo Ball Soup - gluten-free!

Matzo Ball Soup - gluten-free!When my family went gluten-free, I thought that for sure we would never have matzo ball soup again. But I found a dumpling soup recipe that reminded me of matzo ball soup and from there I invented this recipe. Yum!!!

If you are cooking for Passover, you may want to also see my recipe for a gluten-free, vegan Matzo Mina — my favorite main dish for Passover. It is a bit like a spinach artichoke lasagna, but with the noodles replaced with gluten-free matzo. Yum!!!

Happy Passover!

matzo ball dough

Matzo ball dough, so you can see the consistency. When it’s perfect, it should be like toothpaste or cookie dough.

 

 

 

 

matzo ball soup

 

Matzo Ball Soup - gluten-free and dairy-free for Passover or anytime!
 
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Gluten-free dairy-free matzo ball soup! Yum! Lightning-quick and made from scratch! Happy Passover!!!
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: Jewish
Serves: serves 4-6
Ingredients
Soup:
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • optional but good: 2 cans white beans (navy beans, cannellini beans, or great northern beans, etc.), rinsed (15-ounce cans)
  • 1 cup sliced carrot circles
  • 2-3 stalks celery, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, rubbed between your fingers and broken into bits
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
Dumplings:
  • 7 tablespoons flour or gluten-free flour (I use 2 tablespoons of brown rice flour, 2 tablespoons of potato starch, and 3 tablespoons of garbanzo bean flour)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (or 1/6 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/6 teaspoon cream of tartar; I don't have a measuring spoon for 1/6 teaspoon, but this recipe works fine if you estimate the amount)
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients listed under "Soup" into a big pot that is at least ten inches wide, so that there is enough space for the matzo balls to cook. You don't need to measure any of the soup ingredients -- just estimating is fine. Heat to boiling, then lower to a simmer.
  2. Mix all of the dumpling ingredients in a small bowl, such as a cereal bowl. The consistency of the dumpling dough matters a lot to the success of the recipe; the mixture should be the consistency of toothpaste, or wet-ish cookie dough. If it is too wet, add more flour -- I usually add garbanzo flour. If it is too dry, add some water. Keep adjusting the consistency until it is perfectly like toothpaste.
  3. When you are satisfied with the dough, drop marble-sized blobs of it into the soup. They will expand as they cook. The matzo balls will cook on one side, then stir to flip them to the other side so that both sides get a chance to cook.
  4. Serve hot.

 

Zucchini Brownies “Zeebies” – gluten-free, dairy-free, and healthy!

Zucchini Brownies


tower of zucchini browniesHappy Zucchini Season!!!

I have been making this recipe for years: Brownies that are full of zucchini!!! My kids clamor for more! All four of us love them, zucchini and all!

I love zucchini. All three of my kids hate zucchini, but all three kids love these brownies!

If you use the version of the recipe that is sweetened with dates instead of refined sugar, then this is one healthy recipe. I even ate it for breakfast this morning. Yum!

The initials for Zucchini Brownies are ZB, so my family calls these “Zeebies.”

The original recipe that this is based on is Cassie’s Zucchini Brownies from allrecipes.com, though my version is fairly different. I big pan of zucchini browniesmade it gluten-free, added lots more zucchini, replaced the walnuts with chocolate chips, removed the salt, and added an option to sweeten it with dates instead of refined sugar.

Tip: These brownies look much better if you use a classic green-colored zucchini in them. Yellow summer squash tastes fine too, but looks a little alarming.

Here is the recipe!

Zucchini Brownies "Zeebies" - gluten-free, dairy-free, healthy, and can be vegan!
 
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My zucchini-hating kids adore these brownies. They are healthy and delicious, gluten-free, and can be vegan. YUM!!!
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24 brownies
Ingredients
  • EITHER 2 cups of all-purpose flour, or 2 cups of gluten-free flour mix (I use 1/2 cup each of: teff flour, quinoa flour, potato starch, and garbanzo bean flour -- but any flour mix should work)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • EITHER 1 cup of white sugar OR 1 cup of dates, pits removed
  • EITHER 2 eggs OR 2 flax eggs
  • 2 to 6 cups grated zucchini -- don't salt it or drain it or anything, just grate it. A food processor is perfect for speedy grating.
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as canola
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. If you are using flax eggs, mix those up first, and let them sit for a couple of minutes.
  3. Oil the bottom and the bottom inch of the sides of a 9x13 inch baking pan -- a "lasagna pan".
  4. If you are using dates as the sweetener, put them into a food processor together with the eggs or flax eggs. Blend for several minutes, until it looks like a creamy and smooth mixture with some bits of date-skin in it. Then add the oil and blend just until mixed.
  5. Now put all of the ingredients, including the dates (if you are using them) and eggs or flax eggs, into a large mixing bowl. Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly. Check for pockets of unmixed flour, and stir those in too.
  6. The wetness of the mixture should be someplace between a dough and a batter. If it seems too stiff, stir in some water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, until it has the wetness of a dough.
  7. Put the mixture in the greased pan. Smooth it out with a spatula, so that the surface is flat and the mixture evenly covers the whole bottom of the pan.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes.
  9. Let cool, or serve hot -- just beware that when it comes out of the oven it is really molten hot, so I suggest letting it cool for at least a few minutes to stay safe.
  10. Cut into squares or bars.
  11. Tastes great either warm or at refrigerator temperature.

 

Pasta, Beans and Greens – a lightning-fast, yummy, healthy, vegan dinner

Pasta, Beans, and Greens

My family is finishing two very busy weeks. My eighth grader, Kendra, was in a national Quiz Bowl tournament in Atlanta, and then she played the role of Audrey in the Shakespeare play “As You Like It” — so the last two weeks have had long, daily rehearsals, followed by a weekend of performances. But the final performance was this afternoon, and now Kendra is free! — Well, free except for assorted daily homework, two term papers, an amazing week-long field trip, and graduation — followed immediately by a week of gluten-free summer camp. Whew!!!

So, in celebration of our crazy-busy two weeks, I am posting a recipe for a dinner that takes about fifteen minutes to cook — depending on how fast your stove can boil a pot of water — and is nutritious and delicious: Pasta, Beans and Greens. This is my go-to recipe for anytime I need a healthy dinner to be on the table quickly.

This recipe is adapted from the cookbook Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites: Flavorful Recipes for Healthful Meals — a family favorite cookbook of ours.

My kids range from “somewhat picky” to “world-class picky.” This recipe is unique because it is one of only two dinners that all of my kids will eat. (The other one is Potato Pancakes — yum!)

A variation: Consumer Reports found that there is arsenic in rice, so I am always looking for ways to reduce the amount of rice-based pasta in our diet. My kids won’t eat this variation, but I have found that I can replace the pasta in this recipe with tofu cut into long thin rectangles that are about 1/4 inch wide, 1/4 inch tall, and 3/4 inch long. Prepared this way, it is an even faster and healthier version of this recipe.

Pasta, Beans and Greens - a lightning-fast yummy healthy vegan dinner
 
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This dinner recipe is quick, fast, yummy, gluten-free, and vegan! And, all of my kids will eat it!
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Serves: serves 5
Ingredients
  • 1 pound short chunky pasta, such as elbows, tubes, or fusilli - gluten-free if you like
  • 2 15-ounce cans of cooked beans, such as kidney and pinto beans
  • either 1 bunch of fresh kale or other greens -- or 2-3 cups of frozen, chopped kale, defrosted
  • 1 lemon
  • a few tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (optional)
  • salt and/or gluten-free soy sauce to taste
Instructions
  1. Start boiling water for the pasta. When the water boils, cook the pasta in it.
  2. Get out a big mixing bowl for serving the food in.
  3. While the pasta cooks, if you are using fresh greens, shred the greens into small pieces (a bread-slicing knife works well for this), then add them to the pot where the pasta is cooking for the last couple of minutes of cooking. Or, if you are using frozen greens, defrost them by microwaving them in the big mixing bowl. This takes 5 minutes in my microwave, but microwaves vary so be alert.
  4. Rinse the beans (I like to put them in a strainer and run cold water through), then add them to the big mixing bowl.
  5. Juice the lemon, and add the lemon juice to the bowl.
  6. Add the oil and basil to the bowl.
  7. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the bowl.
  8. Stir everything together thoroughly.
  9. Serve, with salt and soy sauce available for each person to stir in to their food. If you are using soy sauce, about 2 teaspoons per serving is a good amount to start with.
  10. Yum! Warm and quick!

 

Salad Dressing – gluten-free, vegan, made from tofu, rather addictive!

Creamy White Salad Dressing

Creamy White Salad DressingThis recipe is very loosely based on the Moosewood Restaurant house salad dressing — though I have changed it so much that the people at Moosewood might not recognize it.

It is creamy and high in protein and all-around delicious!

The texture is very thick, more like a pudding than like a salad dressing — though it tastes like a salad dressing or like sour cream. It is not sweet like a pudding. I think that pudding-thick salad dressing works really well — it sticks well to salad, even if the leaves are damp. But if pudding-y salad dressing is not your thing, you can add water or oil to thin it to a consistency that works for you.

Creamy White Salad DressingI like this dressing on salad, as a topping on on Golden Crispy Tofu, as an ingredient in Southwestern Twice Baked Potato casserole, as a topping mixed with roasted winter veggies, tossed with roasted eggplant from Riz Bi Har, and as a much healthier replacer for sour cream in other recipes. I find it so addictive that every time I make a batch, once it is out of the blender, I find myself going after every last dab that I can get out of the blender to eat it straight. It is that good!

The high protein content of this dressing means that you can put some on some fresh leafy greens and have a complete meal in minutes, especially if you buy prewashed salad that doesn’t need any rinsing or washing. Or you can dress up a salad by adding any of the following: beans, cubed cooked Creamy White Salad Dressingeggplant, protein items, other veggies, artichoke hearts, nuts, seeds, dried cherries — or whatever else you have handy that could be tossed into a salad.

Yum!

Salad Dressing - gluten-free, vegan, made from tofu, rather addictive!
 
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A creamy, thick, white, vegan, protein-rich, highly addictive salad dressing that goes well with practically everything! Tossed with some leafy greens it makes an awesomely quick meal. Also great in recipes, or as a replacer for sour cream.
Author:
Recipe type: salad dressing
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 block (14.3 ounces) silken tofu (I like Mori-Nu organic)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons canola and/or olive oil
  • optional: a handful of fresh spinach or lettuce or other greens (makes dressing a gorgeous green!)
Instructions
  1. No need to measure ingredients -- guessing at quantities is fine. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  2. As written, the recipe makes a thick, creamy, pudding-like dressing. If you prefer a thinner dressing, add some water or oil and blend again.
  3. Serve over anything.
  4. Yum!


This recipe has been shared at Gluten-Free Fridays.