Tag Archives: gluten free

Chocolate Donuts with Peanut Butter Frosting

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Chocolate Donuts with Peanut Butter Frosting

I had some organic peanut butter, without any palm oil, and was really in the mood for something chocolate and peanut butter, but different than the usual “peanut butter chocolate chip cookies” or something of the like. Mini donut maker joins the party and BAM! Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free mini donuts.
I personally could have had the donuts themselves be chocolatier, but with the mini chocolate chips added on as decoration at the end, it was a nice balance. Sidenote: I very much adore chocolate, so basically everything can have more chocolate and be good by me. hahaha.





Donut Batter
3/4 cup GF Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 baking flour)
3 TBS vanilla protein powder (I used Vega Vanilla)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (if you don’t have it, it will be ok without)
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or cane sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3 TBS natural peanut butter (mine had no palm oil, so it was runny)
6 TBS nondairy milk

Frosting
3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance, Soy Free)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons nondairy milk

Donut Directions:
Mix all the donut batter ingredients together and spoon out over a preheated donut maker. Cook according to donut maker’s instructions, I left mine in for at least 1 min after the light turned green. You could easily bake these in a donut pan or turn them into cupcakes, but I don’t know exactly what temperature or for how long you would need to cook them.

Frosting Directions:
Melt the butter at least half way, or have completely room temperature. Add the peanut butter and milk, mix until completely combined then mix in the powdered sugar.

Allow the donuts to cool for 5-10 min. Take donut and dip into frosting, twist and lift up. Frosting should cover half of the donut. You will have left over frosting. I pressed in some mini chocolate chips on some of the donuts for visual affect and to have a bit more chocolate.

Happy Donutting!!

amber chakras black

P.S. This is what I had to do with them, so I didn’t eat them all. I see and have a taste in my mouth = I want to eat. Hide them from sight makes it a lot easier not to keep stuffing in your mouth. 

Vegan Soy Free Ricotta

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1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 30 min, then drained
1 cup coconut flakes, soaked for 30 min, then drained
2 garlic cloves
2 tbs nutritional yeast
juice of half a large lemon
1/4 cup plain non-dairy milk (I used coconut almond)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5-8 fresh basil leaves
1 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:
Place all ingredients into blender or food processor. Blend on medium-low for about 3 min, scraping down the sides as necessary.
Will thicken after it has been refrigerated for an hour or so.

Great to have with pizza, lasagne or eggplant stacks/rolls.

 

-Amber

Homemade Vegan Gluten Free Oreos

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Homemade Vegan Gluten Free Oreos

I have to start this by saying, this isn’t a healthy recipe. I’ve veganized and made gluten free a childhood favorite that was OFTEN made around Christmas time. I loved these things! The last several years I have made them during Christmas time and always get very positive feedback on them.
What can I say, they are really good! Again, not healthy, just uses ingredients that are a bit better for you, edible by people with gluten sensitivities and no animals had to get hurt in the process. Wins all around!


So, I’m FINALLY posting the recipe!


I haven’t wanted to share it for a few reasons. One would be that I haven’t found a good vegan store bought cream cheese that doesn’t use soy. Daiya makes one but it makes your frosting taste weird. I’ve tried it. I’m really hoping that since Follow Your Heart has been making so many things soy-free lately, they will change their cream cheese recipe as well. Not at this point.


So, remember, this is a conversion recipe (not my favorite thing to do) so, there are a few things that if you happened to be an egg eater because maybe you have your own chickens and wanted to use those, you could. If you don’t want it to be gluten free, you don’t have to. But I know the consistency would change. I will make some edit notes at the bottom, so if you look at the recipe and don’t want to follow it, check out my notes at the bottom.

cookies paired up waiting for frosting/filling

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Cookie:
2 Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mixes (I like to use 2 different brands, just to give it a little depth. Bob’s Red Mill is a good one)
3/4 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance soy-free sticks)
3/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, softened
*6 Tbs aqua faba (Chickpea liquid)
**2 tsp The Vegg Egg Replacer
**1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cookie Directions:
I highly recommend using a stand mixer. Mix the vegan butter and coconut oil with the aqua faba, The Vegg & water for at least 3 min until they are blended. Slowly add in half of one cake mix and blend it in before going on to the rest of the mix and onto the next one. This helps it so you don’t get a puff of chocolate powder all over the kitchen.

Scoop dough into 1-2Tbs balls and place on a cookie sheet, flatten down slightly. They will flatten out using the ingredients in the recipe, so make sure there is space between them.

Bake at 350F for 8-10min.  If you have a gas oven it will be much closer to 10 (with 2tbs of dough for each cookie) whereas of you have an electric oven, less time is needed.
Allow to cool for several hours minimum. I’ve found it best if I let them cool for an hour, pair them off and put them in the fridge to sit for a day before I frost them. The cookies respond very well to being in the fridge, they are firmer and hold together better.

Frosting:
1, 8oz container of plain vegan cream cheese (Tofutti or Follow Your Heart I’ve found to be the best) left out to soften for at least 20 min
1/4 cup vegan butter (like earth balance) also left out to soften
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (if you want to make mint frosting add 2 tsp peppermint extract. I usually split my batch and add 1 tsp and some red food coloring)
–1 Tbs nondairy milk, if needed only if frosting is very dry (I’ve never needed it while making the vegan version)

Frosting Directions:
In a mixer using a whisk attachment OR using handheld beaters mix together the vegan cream cheese and vegan butter. Once they are completely blended, slowly, and I mean slowly, add in powdered sugar. I usually do it about 1/4 cup at a time, let it mix in completely and then add in another 1/4 cup and repeat.
Frosting should be thick enough than it doesn’t all drip off the beater. Refrigerate for 30+ minutes.

Cookie + Frosting (Combination) Directions:
Take the paired off cooled down (preferably cold) cookies and use 1-2 tbs frosting between the two cookies. Press down on the two cookies slightly to make the frosting slide most of the way toward the edges. When the cookies sit and warm up, they will spread more. If you aren’t eating them immediately, I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend storing them in the fridge, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. It will help the cookies set up and make it so the frosting doesn’t squish out quite so much. Helps them travel much better if you are bringing them somewhere.

NOTES: 
GLUTEN FREE: If you don’t want to use gluten free chocolate cake mix, you can use it’s gluten counterpart, but will likely have to make HALF the fat (butter/coconut oil) be from plant based shortening so that it will hold up better. Otherwise the cookies will spread more.

*AQUA FABA: I like using 2 different types of egg subs to have it hold together in different ways. I promise it won’t taste anything like beans by using the chickpea brine, don’t be afraid of it! But if you really don’t want to, you can use whatever your other favorite egg replacer is.

**THE VEGG: swap easily for a flax egg (1 tbs ground flax blended with 3 tbs warm water). I haven’t tried, but would imagine VeganEgg would work as well, but I believe you will have to cook the cookies a lot longer. All of my experiences with VeganEgg have required 1.5-2x’s the normal cooking time

**For those of you that prefer to use eggs, you can skip the Aqua Faba & The Vegg and use 4 eggs in their place.

 

Happy eating!!

amber chakras black

 

Vegetable Soup

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Vegetable Soup

It’s a rare rare thing when I get the desire for soup. I’m not a soup gal, never have been. However I do love my veggies and something nice and warm. This isn’t really the traditional soup. It has a bit of a curry flair to it since it has turmeric in it. You know how good turmeric and ginger are for inflammation? Excellent!! Plus all these veggies?! Can’t go wrong. The taste is great too!

Oh and speaking of turmeric, if you use a spoon that isn’t metal or stain resistant, you will have a spoon that is orange on the bottom. Consider yourself warned!

Also, if there are some vegetables you don’t like in this, don’t add them! It’s a really flexible recipe. I’ve made it with butternut squash in, also with no cauliflower or broccoli. I’ve tossed in some lentils or quinoa or even bean sprouts. Have fun!!

My picture is after I had let the soup sit for several hours and I had it again for dinner. So the colors started meld together a lot more.



1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbs coconut oil (if you don’t have any, I’ve used olive oil in place & its fine)
1 large zucchini, diced
2 carrots, diced
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup cauliflower broken in small pieces
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup broccoli broken in small pieces
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded collard greens or kale
1 cup almond-coconut milk (or coconut milk beverage)
3 Tbs coconut butter
1/2 lime, juiced
2 tsp cumin powder
1 Tbs coconut aminos or soy sauce
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 inch fresh ginger, finely chopped (or 3 tsp ginger powder)
dash of cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 green onions, finely sliced, divided in half
3 Tbs fresh mint, finely sliced (you can use fresh basil or cilantro instead)

In a medium-large pot saute onion, garlic carrot and red pepper in coconut oil.
Cook until onions become clear, then add the broth, heat to a low simmer.
Now add the zucchini, celery, and cauliflower simmer (low) until they are only slightly tender.
Next put in the almond-coconut milk or whatever nondairy milk you prefer to use, along with the coconut butter.
Now add in the broccoli, cabbage and whatever green you chose. Shortly after it’s time for the lime juice, cumin, salt, aminos, turmeric, ginger and half of the sliced green onions. Stir all together until spiced are dissolved.
Mix in well, then turn off the heat, sprinkle in cayenne pepper. If you like it hot, you can add more cayenne.
Allow to sit for 5 min. Serve and garnish green onion and mint.

Hint: If you like something to taste more like garlic, add the garlic closer to the end. The longer it cooks, the less potent the taste is. Same goes for if you are using fresh gingerroot. Sometimes I do the majority in the beginning and then add another little bit before the ending.

-Amber

Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding

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Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding

Can’t let some good (not cheap) plant based gluten free bread go to waste! Plus since the first time I tried some of this bread as toast, I thought about how it would be perfect for a bread pudding. So I did a good amount of bread pudding research, both vegan and not. I discovered, most traditional ones had way too much oil and way too much sugar for my liking. Luckily when I looked into pumpkin bread pudding, the oil was reduced. But I did it with minimal oil. I think you could almost omit it if you were trying to do things oil free.

I found this awesome plant based gluten free bread from Little Northern Bakehouse at Sprouts in the refrigeratorated bread section, it’s also at Mother’s Market if you are in Southern California. The best vegan gluten free bread I’ve had from a store. 



6 pieces of stale bread, ripped into small chunks

3/4 Cup Pumpkin (cooked)
1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
2 TBS Coconut Oil (softened)
*4 TBS Aqua Faba (chickpea water)
1/2 TBS Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
3/4 Cup Nondairy Milk of choice

Optional Chocolate Drizzle
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2-1 TBS nondairy milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

*Aqua Faba is the water/liquid that is drained from a can of chickpeas, it works as an excellent egg replacement that has no taste.

Directions
Heat oven to 350 F.
Place bread chunks into a glass pie container or square pan, a brownie (rectangle) pan will likely be too big. If the bread it’s stale, you can leave it out for a few hours and it will help it get stale, or you can stick it in the oven for 8-10 min (at 350) to help dry it out some.
In a separate bowl combine ingredients from pumpkin through cinnamon. After they are combined then add the maple syrup and nondairy milk. This just makes it so that the coconut oil doesn’t clump up.
Once all mixed, pour over the top of the torn pieces of bread. I like to make sure all of the bread has been coated with the pumpkin liquid, but isn’t all underneath it.
Bake for 45-50 min or until top has sufficiently browned.

For the optional chocolate drizzle:
While pumpkin pie bread pudding is in the oven, get a cereal size bowl half way full of water and microwave it for 1 min. Don’t worry, you aren’t going to be using it for anything other than a heat source. In a smaller bowl (to fit inside the cereal bowl) place chocolate chips and other ingredients. Take that bowl and allow it to be surrounded by hot microwaved water, just make sure there isn’t too much water that it will come into the smaller bowl. If there is, pour some out. Let the chocolate mix sit for a couple minutes to give the chocolate time to melt. You may want to even just set it on the stove while the bread pudding is cooking. After a few min, softly stir the chocolate around so it starts to mix together. If you have to take it out of the larger bowl so water doesn’t get in, that’s fine but know it will cool it down, so you will have to put it back quickly. I make sure there isn’t too much water but that my small bowl is surrounded, and then just keep stirring. Takes like 2 min (maybe more if you have big chocolate chips) and you have a chocolate sauce that you didn’t have to worry about burning on the bottom of a pot.

After you take the pumpkin pie bread pudding out of the oven, allow to cool for at least 5 min and then add drizzle if you are adding it. If not, it would be served will with coconut whipped cream or nondairy ice cream. But I happen to think it’s great alone as well!!

-Amber

Creamy Mango Vinaigrette

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Creamy Mango Dressing two ways. First Mango Orange, which is a bit sweeter and creamier. It doesn’t taste like orange though, just bright cheery mango dressing. The Mango Lime is a great vinaigrette that has just the right amount of sweet with a nice amount of tart. It doesn’t taste like lime, it has more of a blended vinaigrette with some sweet. I’ve actually made it using lemon juice instead of lime, but like lime better. Feel free to give lemon a try though!

Creamy Mango Tango Dressing 2 ways

Mango Orange Vinaigrette (makes about 9 oz)
1 cup mango
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (to make it oil free, use favorite nondairy milk)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1-2 inch piece of ginger
1 TBS maple syrup
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

OR

Mango Lime Vinaigrette (makes about 9 oz)
1 cup mango
2 limes, juiced
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 TBS water (to make it oil free, use favorite nondairy milk in place of oil & water)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1-2 inch piece of ginger
2 TBS maple syrup
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

 

Directions:

Put all ingredients in your blender and blend medium to high until completely smooth. I let mine blend for around 30 seconds.
Want to know how to best cut a mango? watch this handy 3 second fast motion video.


 

amber chakras black

Oatmeal Cookie Healthy Banana Ice Cream

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I adore ice cream and all things that behave similar to ice cream. So, frozen bananas blended with other stuff that end up seeming like ice cream, count me in.  This is an easy blender recipe with not many ingredients, keep things simple.

After it was all blended, I put it back in the freezer for 30 min to harden a bit more

ready to eat

now REALLY ready to eat! Topped with cacao nibs and mulberries

  • 2 frozen bananas, in chunks
  • 1/4 cup (or less) rolled oats (I did less)
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup nondairy milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (or less) nondairy chocolate chips
  • optional 10-15 drops of vanilla stevia

 

Toss everything except the chocolate chips in the blender and blend. I used a Blendtec Twister Jar and the ice cream setting on the blender, worked out perfect. If you don’t have that, any other high powered blender will work, you just may have to turn off the blender to scrape down the sides then turn it back on again couple of times. Blend until smooth, put the chocolate chips in and blend for about 5 seconds.

I put mine in the freezer after I made it, to harden up a little bit while I was cleaning up my mess and such. I topped it with cacao nibs and dried mulberries too!

p.s. if you haven’t had dried mulberries over ice cream/smoothie bowls/acai bowls/etc, you should! They get hard and crunchy and are amazing!

 

amber chakras black

Restaurant Review: Simply Pure LV

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Restaurant Review: Simply Pure LV

Chef Stacey Dougan is the mastermind behind Simply Pure Las Vegas, located on the bottom level in the container park in downtown Las Vegas. Just a short walk from the Fremont Street Experience. There isn’t much space inside the restaurant, it reminded me (and my husband) of something between a food truck and a sit down restaurant. That was the case with the menu as well. They have additional seating outside as well that is shaded.

The wall when you walk in the door

 

outside of the restaurant, you can see me sitting on a chair in the reflection outside

This was the first time I’ve been to Simply Pure, but full disclosure, we hired Chef Stacey to cater our wedding a year ago, after we met with her and had her cook us up some sample food items that we ended up loving and felt like they were in line for what we wanted for our wedding food. Feel free to check out my post on all the wedding food and how we did the wedding celebration to be remembered: Vegan Vegas Wedding!  Some of the things we had on our wedding menu that were similar to what was on the Simply Pure menu. When we visited, we made sure she was there, then we chatted with her for a little bit.

I believe Simply Pure started mostly as a Raw Restaurant, but has added more cooked things in.  Here are pictures of the menu. I’ve found that the website and the actual menu on site are different.


Someone had ordered a juice ahead of me, immediately after he tasted it was saying how great it was asking if anything else was added because it seemed so good. That’s always a great thing.

I guess when Bill Clinton went there a couple months back, after talking to Stacey I learned that he ordered the enchiladas, but didn’t get to eat them there because of all the people/press there for him, so he ended up getting the Nachos Grande. There was a repeat order later from him/Hilary so, obviously it was enjoyed.

I’m not really a proponent of soy, and the Nachos Grande uses TVP, which is all soy. On the menu it’s listed as “vegan protein *beef*” and the “vegan cheddar cheese” listed is also soy based. Cool thing is, she makes it herself, so it’s not the super processed kind of soy cheese, but just good to be aware. You can always get the cashew nacho cheese in it’s place. That’s what I got on my half order of nachos. I swapped out the TVP (textured vegetable protein… AKA soy) for the vegan chicken used in the chicken salad lettuce wraps. That is made from almonds and cashews, it’s a crumble as well, it doesn’t have any feel like traditional chicken, just FYI. To me, that was not a bad thing at all. So, it had nacho sauce, chicken crumble, pico and avocado.     I would get the nachos again. Getting the chicken crumble added to it would really depend on the day. As a kid I only wanted nacho cheese sauce on my nachos anyway, never any meat. I wish they had the option for beans in place of or with whenever the *beef* is used. I think that would be a nice uncomplicated addition to the menu.

half order of the nachos, subbed *beef* for ‘chicken salad mix”

I got the Thai Basil Springs Rolls. They come with rice vermicelli noodles, shredded cabbage, carrots and fresh herbs wrapped in rice paper. These are the fresh roll style, not the fried kind, if you were wondering. Came with a side of sweet chili sauce. Personally, they had too much noodles and not enough veggies in it to get a “LOVE” by me. The flavor was good though, just was like 75-80% noodles and I love my veggies.

Thai Spring Rolls

didn’t order ‘to go’ this is just how they came

Green Chili Enchiladas were on our wedding menu and my husband got it when we went to Simply Pure as well. All our guests were in love with them, as was he. I don’t care for anything that FEELS like meat in my mouth, so I can only handle like one enchilada eaten with other things as well. It was a discussion before the wedding if she should add more veggies to ours or leave it. He voted LEAVE IT I LOVE THIS! So, that is what happened.  When I say our guests loved them, I really mean it. People were asking us both about them saying how good they were and wondering if they were vegan or not.  Winner!

Green Chili Enchiladas that come with a small side salad

amber chakras black

Raw Pizza Dip

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Raw Pizza Dip

This can be used as a pizza (flavored) dip, or a spread. Of course, it’s vegan and gluten free, but it’s also raw, nut free and oil free. It goes great as a dip with random veggies. I like it with bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and celery. Of course it’s fabulous with crackers or chips as well.

Tonight I made a raw pizza and used this as the spread over the crust and then topped it with a bunch of pizza type veggies. It was perfect for it! Plus, quite easy to make. So of course, had to make sure to share the recipe here!


Ingredients

  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes (not in oil), soaked in 2/3-3/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup saved sundried tomato soak water
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds (shelled)
  • 1/4 cup raw pepitas/shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil
  • 3 cherry tomatoes
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 TBS coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions:

Soak the sun dried tomatoes in warm water for about 20 min, longer if you have really hard tomatoes. Save the soak water because you will use it in the recipe.  Put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender. Process until everything is all mixed in. It will be mildly thick. Feel free to add more soak water if you want it thinned out more.

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Thought I would share my raw pizza process too. I got a wRAWp raw pizza crust this week at Mother’s Market (Grocery Store here in Orange County) and was excited to test em out! Random sidenote: wRAWp is a SoCal company. I liked the crust, it certainly doesn’t taste like real pizza, but I was impressed at how well it held up, while not being hard/crunchy. I thought that after spreading the pizza dip over it and letting it sit for over 30 min that it would begin to get semi soggy. Nope. Held up just great.

When you make a RAW pizza, you want to make sure you slice your veggies thin, it makes it easier to eat and seem more like ‘pizza’. On my pizza I used the pizza spread, torn massaged kale, red bell pepper, grape tomatoes, shallot and basil then sprinkled some oregano and black pepper over the top.


Hope you enjoy it!!

amber chakras black

Pear Kale Quinoa Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing (oil free)

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People often wonder how I get my kale salads to turn out so much differently than they do. So, I made a little video of what I do to the kale when I make a salad.

Creamy Dill Dressing

  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or more water)
  • 1/2 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 TBS stone ground mustard
  • 2 TBS nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill (doesn’t need to be chopped)

Toss everything except the dill in the blender and blend on medium high until smooth, I ran my blender for 1 min 30 seconds. Then toss in the dill and blend on lowest setting for 20-30 seconds. It makes it so you can still see the dill specks in it. You can blend it all the way in and make the dressing all green, only difference is the look.

 

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 bunch green kale, torn
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (1/4 uncooked quinoa cooked in 1/2 cup water)
  • 1 pear, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, small dice
  • 2 TBS dried cranberries
  • coconut bacon, sprinkled over top
  • avocado, optional
  • Creamy Dill Dressing

 

Instructions

This is how I make it, but really however you feel like putting it together is fabulous.

Tear up the kale in to small pieces in a large bowl. Toss kale in 3 TBS or so of dressing, then add quinoa and toss again. This makes it so that the quinoa sticks to the kale. Next put all the other ingredients over the top (except the coconut bacon), add another 2-3 TBS dressing and toss again. Plate and serve topped with coconut bacon.