Safe Treats Buffet. And The Kids Like Them, Too!

With Coriander Honey Roasted Chickpeas in the center, our dairy and gluten sensitive household can eat all the treats shown. I used an espresso cup to display the dum dums. Here are the ingredients for the candies and gum:

And my apologizes that this post won’t apply to the corn allergic. I will research corn-free candy soon. In the meantime, these are dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, mostly soy-free (double check), peanut-free and nut-free.

Treats

Rock Candy: 

Sugar, water, flavor via extract or oil.

If you are sensitive to flavor extracts or oil, please check the full ingredients from the store where you purchased the rock candy.

Dumdum Lollipops:

Ingredients (from their website):
Sugar, Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Salt, Artificial Flavor, Color Added (Includes Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 1). Store in a cool dry place. This product does not contain peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, or gluten. It has been manufactured on dedicated equipment. There is a trace amount of soy oil in the lubricant that we use in our cooking kettles. This soy oil has been refined, bleached, and deodorized and all of the proteins have been removed. www.SpanglerCandy.com

Starburst Candy: (not for people with corn allergies) 

Ingredients (from their website):

INGREDIENTS:CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, APPLE JUICE FROM CONCENTRATE, GELATIN, FOOD STARCH-MODIFIED, CITRIC ACID, LESS THAN 1.5% – PECTIN, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, COLORING (RED 40, YELLOW 5). GLUTEN-FREE.

http://www.wrigley.com/global/brands/starburst.aspx

Double Bubble Gum: 

Ingredients in Dubble Bubble gum include dextrose, corn syrup, gum base, tapioca dextrin, titanium dioxide, confectioners glaze, carnauba wax, cornstarch, artificial flavors and colors. Based on the two ingredients in the top positions on the nutrition label, sugar makes up the majority of this product.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/278081-nutritional-information-for-dubble-bubble-gum/#ixzz2aYDzKO4R

The Popcorn is air popped and the Candied Honey-Coriander Roasted Chickpeas was adapted from a recipe I found here: http://www.getoffyourtushandcook.com/2013/06/roasted-cinnamon-sugar-chickpeas.html

I added coriander and used honey instead of agave nectar. I found that the chickpeas roasted unevenly, so I would recommend moving them around often and not taking them out until they are almost burnt. The lighter ones weren’t as crunchy.

The Easy No-Bake Allergen-Free Cheesecake that You’ve Been Looking For. Almost Perfect. Accepting Challenges.

Foodie Challengers: Can you bring this allergen-free cheesecake to perfection? I developed this today but the filling needs refinement. It needs a creamier texture and stronger “real cheesecake” flavor. For some reason, the flavor weakened significantly during the chill and set process. It tastes like a mild vanilla jello. It’s good on it’s own (maybe for flan?), but otherwise, the crust overpowers it.

As for the crust, it is absolutely perfect and should remain unchanged. It has a really great graham cracker flavor and texture. When I ate a slice of this, the combination of the crust with the strawberries made me feel like I was having a cheesecake experience. It is the closest thing to cheesecake that I’ve had in years.

The filling really needs the most help, it needs a richer texture and deeper flavor. Ready to take on the challenge? Here are the requirements of the challenge:

1. it must use products that you can get from a store (not special ordered online)

2. it must be no-bake. And it must be free of dairy, eggs, soy, corn, peanuts and tree nuts.

So, should a solid fat be added such as earth balance or organic non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening? What about more nutritional yeast for the distinct cheesy flavor? Would a homemade condensed unsweetened milk help? Pureed bananas? Corn-starch-free melted marshmallows? Maybe?  What are your thoughts?

Anyway, if you like a milder, lighter, flan-style filling, you might want to stick with this recipe as is. It’s not bad at all. I had two slices of it and feel happy. But it could be better. And I look forward to hearing what you do with this.

Here’s the recipe:
No-Bake Crust

Coat the bottom of a spring form or cake pan with wax paper or a little oil.

In a food processor, process gluten-free chocolate rice crispy cereal until you have 3 cups of very fine crumbs. The finer, the better.

Then add crumbs to a bowl along with 1/2 cup of maple syrup. Mix until crumbs are all coated and it sticks together. Then press into the bottom of the pan. Cover and refrigerate.

The Cheesecake Filling

Boil 1/2 cup of water.

In a bowl, add 2 envelopes of non-flavored gelatin. Stir the boiling water into the gelatin and stir until dissolved.

Then add 1/2 cup sugar and stir until dissolved.

Add 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 tsp vanilla, the juice of 1/4 of a lemon and stir.

Then add a pinch of salt and 1 15 oz. can of full fat coconut milk.

Pour into the prepared crust, cover and put in refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.

That’s it! What do you think would make the filling richer and creamier?

Easy Chocolate “Doughnut” Cake

Simple Chocolate Cake with Icing

But with a much more lively milk chocolate taste. This recipe is adapted from a standard quick and easy chocolate cake recipe. The icing consistency was an accident. I was going for a thicker decorator icing but this actually worked very well and really reminded me of going to a bakery and getting a chocolate cake doughnut. If you have a doughnut shaped pan, this cake recipe would be perfect for that!

This cake is free of all eight common allergens. The icing is made of pureed beans, confectioner’s sugar and almond milk. If you are allergic to legumes, you could puree a fruit of your choice or use a mixture of jam and your favorite non-dairy milk. Ooo… that just made me think of doing a strawberry icing with this.

The Cake

I. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly coat an 8-inch square or round cake pan (or your doughnut pan) with vegetable oil.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together:

– 2 cups of your favorite GF flour mix

– 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum

– 1/4 cup of cocoa

– 2 teaspoons of baking soda

3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together:

– 3/4 cup of mashed banana or applesauce

– 1/4 cup of canola oil

– 1 cup of brewed coffee  (Note: coffee intensifies the chocolate flavor.  No coffee? No problem, use water or non-dairy milk)

– 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

4. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until well blended and pour into the pan. Bake until toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. With a doughnut pan, I recommend checking to see if it is finished baking after about 15-20 minutes.

After cooled, cake can be wrapped up and kept at room temperature for about three days.

The Icing

1. In a small food processor, blend until as smooth as possible: 1 cup of white beans such as cannellini or navy, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/8-1/4 cup of non-dairy milk.

2. Pour the bean puree into a mixing bowl and add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 pound of confectioner’s (aka: powedered) sugar (example: about 1/2 of a bag of Dominoe’s powdered sugar).

3. Blend until smooth and thick but drippy.

4. Transfer to a small bowl. When you slice a piece of cake, drizzle the icing over the slice and enjoy.

The icing can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for about a week. It also goes great on cinnamon buns or buttery cinnamon toast. Yum!

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chickpea Choc Chip Cookies

These cookies are totally free of peanuts, nuts, eggs, gluten, wheat, and dairy.

Why the chickpeas? I ran out of shortening and earth balance but had everything else to make chocolate chip cookies. I really wanted to experiment with an egg-free cookie recipe. But without the fat, I was a little stumped. Could I still do it? Most recipes call for so much of said fat, really, the fat only does two things: add volume and softness. I remembered seeing some posts in my Facebook feed from raw food pages about making chocolate chip cookies using chickpeas. So, I thought I’d try pureed chickpeas and canola oil to replace the fat and 1/4 cup of applesauce to replace the eggs.

After deciding on these replacements, and consulting volume of ingredients from two cookbooks, this is what I came up with: a thick, cake-like chocolate chip cookie that, when paired with a tall glass of non-dairy milk, makes for a very comforting treat. The family raved.

I made these very large because I knew my son would get a kick out it. But you can use this recipe for any size and thickness that you want since these don’t spread out at all like the traditional wheat and butter cookie.

Ultimately, there are five really great things about this recipe: 1. They taste great, just like traditional chocolate chip cookies (my fiance did not know I used chickpeas until I told him). 2. They are totally free of the eight most common food allergens. If there is a legume allergy, use silken tofu instead of chickpeas (do not use tofu if there is a soy allergy) 3. You can eat this raw without worry of salmonella poisoning from eggs. Idea: Stir the dough into your favorite ice cream! (Oh yum) 4. You have the benefit of having total control over the size, shape and thickness of these cookies. 5. You don’t have to buy  expensive fats such as shortening, earth balance or peanut butter, and thus a bit more economical.

So, here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease two large cookie sheets.

In a small food processor, add:

1 15-oz can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained.

1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup of canola oil

2 teaspoons of vanilla

Blend until mixture is very smooth and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together these dry ingredients:

2 cups of your favorite gluten-free flour blend

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (if your flour blend does not have it)

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 cup of dark brown sugar

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

Stir together the dry ingredients and then add the chickpea puree. Stir and then you may have to use your very clean hands to squeeze and mix the dough until it all comes together.

Add 1 cup of Enjoy Life or other non-dairy chocolate chips and mix.

Shape cookies and flatten to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake on a rack that is closer to the top as these cookies brown quickly on the bottom. Bake for 11-15 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the cookie. They are done when the edges are golden brown. If you want the tops of the cookies a deeper brown color, finish them under the broiler for just one minute.

Serve warm with a tall glass of cold rice, hemp, soy or other favorite non-dairy milk.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green TomatoesConsidered a Southern dish, it really doesn’t matter where you are from to enjoy this. Pluck some green tomatoes from your garden, fry these and it’s like having mild fried pickles with a fork. Oh, it’s so good. Not everyone likes these, but if you are looking for an allergen-free version, this is it.

Note that these are usually made with cornmeal, but the rice flour in your standard gluten free baking mix will add the sought after grainy texture.

How to make:

In a deep plate or dish, add 1/2 cup GF flour mix, salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon of onion powder.

In a large skillet, fry bacon and set aside the bacon

If necessary, add enough canola oil to the bacon grease to bring the oil up to about 1/4 inch of your slices of tomatoes.

Slice your green tomatoes in 1/2 thick slices and lightly coat each side with the flour mixture.

Gently set into the hot oil and don’t move it. Let it fry on a medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip and cook the same way on the other side.

Remove from skillet and keep warm in the oven if you like.

If you want to add a sauce, I recommend mixing 1 cup of mayo or veganaise with salt, pepper, onion powder, a little mustard, a dash of apple cider vinegar or louisiana hot sauce (or your favorite hot pepper sauce).

It’s that easy. Enjoy!

Salmon Fagioli w/ Sauteed Balsamic Tomatoes

One word: Delicious.

Additional words: Made entirely from ingredients purchased at ALDI, plus tomatoes from neighbor’s garden.

To make the Sauteed Balsamic Tomatoes:

In a large skillet, heat just a little olive oil or spray with a thin coat of olive oil. Cut up tomatoes in large chunks or halve cherry tomatoes, enough to fill the large skillet (about 15 large cherry tomatoes, or 4 regular sized tomatoes, or 2 pecks of grape tomatoes).

Saute tomatoes with a little salt, balsamic vinegar (not a lot) and a very tiny bit of sugar. Do this until tomatoes are wilted and the juice from the tomatoes becomes thick.

To make the Salmon Fagioli, add the following to a soup pot:

1 can salmon, undrained

1/2 of a 32-oz container of chicken broth

1 cup of water

1 white onion, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

2 potatoes, diced into 1-inch bite sized pieces

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 10-oz can of mushrooms (or fresh if you have them)

1 14-oz can of white beans

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp ground sage

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp ground mustard

salt and pepper to taste

Boil and bring to hard simmer. Add 1 cup of gluten free pasta and cook until the pasta is done.

Take off of the heat and serve with the sauteed tomatoes. My fiance preferred this without the tomatoes but think the tomatoes would be great in a bruschetta application. So, I guess it depends on your taste (which is why I kept the tomatoes separate). My son doesn’t like tomatoes, but loved the addition of nutritional yeast to give this soup more of a Fish Chowder flavor.

“Just Peachy” Ice Cream

In the late summer, peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums and various stone fruits are in season. This is my favorite time of year because these stone fruits are my absolute favorite. I love peach pie, peach smoothies, peach sorbet, peach ice cream, peach jam. Yummmm.

In the days when I could eat real ice cream and frozen yogurt, I was always annoyed that I needed to work my way down into a pint to get another bite of a frozen peach encased in ice cream. And when I couldn’t eat ice cream anymore and I had to pay $7 or more for a pint of disappointing non-dairy ice cream, it was all good cause for me to respond with a sarcastic “Just peachy,” (if anyone were to ask how my day was going). Well, now that I’m in control of my own ice cream, I can say “Just peachy,” with a little happier tone in my voice. All it takes is a can of coconut milk for $1.79 blended with some inexpensive fresh or canned fruit, and the cost for a pint comes down from $7.00 to about $3.00. It’s so nice to afford this summer treat again.

“Just Peachy” Vegan Ice Cream

4 ripe apricots, peeled and chopped

1 14oz can of peaches in syrup (or the equivalent of fresh peaches)

1 14oz can of coconut milk (NOT cream of coconut) – always double check the ingredients

1 cup of corn syrup or 3/4 cup of sugar

1 tsp vanilla (gluten free)

In a food processor, blend all of the ingredients together. Transfer to an ice cream maker and run it according to your manufacturer’s directions. Freeze and enjoy the next day. Make sure you make more ice cream before you run out of that batch.

Chicken Shepherd’s Pie

Image

I hope this savory shepherd’s pie, free of the eight common food allergens, is something you find delicious, comforting and satisfying. I want to tell you a secret about the mashed potatoes: keep the colander in the cabinet and don’t pour out all of the potato water. Leave about an inch of the potato water in the bottom of your stockpot as your liquid for mashing. There is a lot of flavor in that water (and also nutrients). Also, it’s easier and less expensive than using a milk substitute. As you know, I’m a fan of spending as little of my money on special ingredients as I can, so I used olive oil instead of earth balance, at least for the potatoes. Many of these ingredients are from ALDI. I shop there for many things so that I can save my money for things like the special ingredients I can’t do without. Okay, enough chit-chat, here is the recipe:

Peel, wash and put your potatoes in a large stock pot with boiling water. You only need about 6-8 potatoes but I make a whole bunch to save for leftovers. Start boiling your potatoes (Idaho potatoes work best for mashing but feel free to use what you have on hand). While those are cooking, prepare your chicken filling.

Image

In a deep skillet add:

One package of chicken tenders (about 2 pounds) – you can even put them in frozen, they’ll just have to cook longer until done. I do this all the time since I’m not a fan of using the microwave. If you have only chicken thighs or legs, or you’d rather do this with beef, lamb or pork, go for it!

1 yellow or white onion, medium diced

1 green bell pepper, medium diced

8 fresh mushrooms, sliced

4 stalks celery, small diced

10-15 baby carrots

water for simmering (the water will pick up flavor of everything, no need for broth)

1 tsp dried sage

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp onion powder

1-2 tsp salt

fresh cracked pepper to taste

Cover and simmer over medium heat until your chicken is cooked all the way through and your carrots and celery are tender. Watch and add more water if needed as you don’t want it to burn. When done, lower temperature and add:

1/4 cup of earth balance or olive oil

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp yellow or dijon mustard

If you don’t have the earth balance or nutritional yeast, don’t fret, this will still taste good!

Stir and keep warm while you prepare the potatoes as follows:

Image

Drain the potato water until you are left with about 1 inch of water at the bottom. Keep the water in there. Add 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 Tbsp onion powder, 1-2 tsp salt and cracked pepper to taste. Always taste and be sure you like it.

Set your oven to broil (or 500 degrees Fahrenheit) and then assemble the pie. Add the filling to an 8-inch or 9-inch pie dish, top with enough mashed potatoes to cover and then sprinkle 1/4 cup rice flour or your favorite gluten free flour blend on top. Using a pastry brush, lightly drizzle 1/8 cup of olive or vegetable oil over the the flour, getting as much of the flour oiled up as you can. Dust with paprika, salt, pepper, and ground mustard. I found a spice grinder at ALDI for poultry and I love it for this application (it has all of the spices I just mentioned and no bad additives).

Put your oven rack to the top of your oven, put in your pie and broil for 5-15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Depending on the type of oil and flour you use for your topping, this time can vary so keep a close watch on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Serve with chopped fresh rosemary. If you don’t have fresh rosemary, dried rosemary or dried Italian seasoning would also work.

If you have any questions, let me know. Happy Eating!

Totally Allergen-Free Banana Bread

Banana BreadThis tastes sooooo good. And I’m so excited about this accomplishment because I’ve been working on this for almost a week. This has zero allergenic foods, meaning it is gluten free, diary-free, egg-free, soy-free, corn-free, peanut-free and nut-free. No coconut, either. I promise you that I test my recipes before I post and the picture of this bread was just taken after we devoured a couple of pieces. My son’s friends are over and they begged for another. I will have to guard the rest for sweetheart since he’s been wanting me to make another banana bread for him and I need him to taste this. I think it actually came out better than the egg version I made last weekend. So far, the biggest challenge has been baking things without eggs. A friend suggested applesauce and upon reading more about it, the pectin in the applesauce helps act as a binding agent the way eggs do. Flaxseed meal mixed with water is suggested in some recipes as an egg replacer but if you are trying to avoid treenuts or soy, you may have to be extra careful with flaxseed meal. I have also used Ener-G egg replacer but that is just one more expensive special product to buy, and as you can relate, it is expensive enough to buy different kinds of flours. So, if I can use oil and applesauce instead of Earth Balance and Ener-G egg replacer, all the better.

Enough chat. Here is the  the recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat an 8 inch loaf pan with a little bit of canola or safflower oil (do not use the spray if you are avoiding soy because most oil sprays use soy lecithin). If your applesauce is cold, warm the 1/2 cup of applesauce in a saucepan on low heat while you prepare the ingredients. (Warm ingredients help fats coat the flour and improve performance of leavening ingredients).

In a large bowl, mix together the following:

  • 2 cups of gluten free flour mix (either use your favorite one for quick breads or you can use mine as follows: 6 cups superfine brown rice flour + 2 2/3 cup potato starch + 2/3 cup tapioca flour or starch + 2/3 cup sweet rice flour OR an addition of 2/3 cup tapioca starch if you do not have sweet rice flour).
  • 11/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum

In the saucepan of warm applesauce, mix the following wet ingredients together:

  • 1/2 cup applesauce (warmed up if cold)
  • 1 cup of mashed bananas (about two very large ripe bananas or 3 small ones)
  • 1/3 cup of oil

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in the center of the oven for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Enjoy warm with some soy free Earth Balance or cooled down – however you like, right?

Homemade Italian Meat Sauce

Brown 2 pounds of ground beef. Add one diced white or yellow onion and one diced green bell pepper. Saute until onion starts getting a little softer. Then add 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and an 8 oz can of tomato paste. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic. 1 bay leaf. A good dusting of onion powder and garlic powder. 1 heaping Tbsp of Italian seasoning. About a 1/2 tsp (I think) of freshly cracked coarse black pepper. Salt – taste and make sure salt level is right. Cover and let simmer to develop the flavors while you cook the pasta.

20130101-184959.jpg