Tag Archives: dairy-free

Whole Lotta Love Very Veggie Lasagna

Lasagna is popular around my house.  It’s one of those meals with a whole lotta love baked right in.  Where does that love live?  In the tomato-y sauce?  The savory fillings?  The cheese?  I worried a bit that the love came from the cheese, when I decided to make a vegan pasta.  Once assembled, baked and tasted…..no more worries!  All the love was still there.

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I gathered up a rainbow of veggies from my fridge, noodles, sauce and nutritional yeast and tofu for the spectacular roasted cauliflower “ricotta.”

ingredients

For the ricotta: (From a recipe in Appetite For Reduction)

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I used my current fav ingredient–truffle salt!)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • cooking spray

For the rest of the lasagna:

  • Your choice of veggies that YOU like.  For example, I used:
  • 1/2 each 4 different colored bell peppers, rough chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped into quarter-moons
  • 1 small yellow squash, chopped into quarter moons
  • 2-3 cups assorted sliced mushrooms (I have button, cremini, and shitake)
  • 9-12 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package  (These rice noodles were more narrow than the noodles I usually use, so I needed 12 rather than the usual 9 to cover the width of my 9×13 pan for the three layers)
  • 1 quart prepared pasta sauce  (I used my zesty pasta sauce)
  • 1 package vegan alfredo sauce, prepared according to the package (optional)
  • veggie broth for sauteing veggies

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a sided baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon sheet or spray with cooking spray.

Prepare the lasagna noodles according to the package instructions, drain and set aside.

Prepare the vegan cheese sauce, if using, and set aside.

Chop the cauliflower into 1/2-ish pieces.

chop cauliflower

Place on prepared baking sheet, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt.  Toss with your hands to distribute the salt evenly.  Spray with cooking spray one more time and spread in an even layer and bake for 10 minutes.

season and roast

Flip it with a spatula, and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes–until lightly browned, tender and yummy.

perfecty roasted

While the cauliflower roasts, drain the tofu, squeezing out as much of the moisture as you can.  Wrap in in a clean kitchen towel to squeeze out some more.  I’m learning that the key to tofu is getting it as dry as possible.

press moisture from tofu

Use your hands to crumble the tofu so it resembles ricotta.  Add another 1/4 tsp salt, the nutritional yeast, lemon juice and pepper. Mix and set aside.

season crumbled tofu

Remove the cauliflower from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 375 F.

Add the roasted cauliflower to the tofu crumble and mash it into the tofu with a fork or a potato masher.  (Steal a little taste here, this is yummy enough to eat by itself!)  Set aside.

mash cauliflower into tofu

Heat about 1/4 cup veggie broth in a large skillet.  Chop the veggies and add to the skillet.  Saute until they’re cooked to your liking.  I like them just getting soft, but with a little crispness left.  Aren’t all the colors pretty?  It’s super healthy to eat lots of different veggie colors.  Season with salt and pepper.

saute veggies

Add the mushrooms and cook til almost soft.  Add additional veggie broth as needed.

add mushrooms

Lightly coat the bottom of a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.  Spread 1/4-1/2 cup of the pasta sauce over the bottom of the pan.

spread sauce in pan

Stir the rest of the sauce into the veggies.

add sauce

Form a layer of noodles (3 or 4 depending on the size of the noodles) and top with 1/2 of the veggie-sauce mixture.

layer noodles and half veggie sauce

Form another layer of noodles and spread about 3/4 of the ricotta evenly over the top.

layer noodles and most of ricotta

Add one more layer of noodles and top with the other half of the veggie mixture and the remaining ricotta.

top with remaining ricotta

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove foil and spread the vegan cheese sauce on top, if using and bake an additional 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

baked

Cut into the size pieces you want and enjoy!

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This lasagna is vegan, low-fat and gluten-free, due to the rice noodles.  No meat.  No dairy.  No gluten.  Very little fat.    Absolutely no loss of yum.  This is some seriously healthy, seriously yummy, whole lotta love lasagna.

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Even better the next day.  What veggies will be in YOUR lasagna?

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Filed under comfort food, dairy-free, dinner, Gluten-free, recipe, restaurants, Vegetarian

Flourless Chocolate Cake

We had friends over New Year’s Eve for dinner, games and champagne.  I wanted to make a special, decadent dessert for this special evening.

pwdered sugar

Special, decadent AND gluten-free as well as dairy-free to accommodate the dietary needs of our guests.  I adjusted a recipe from the cookbook, Gluten Free and Easy by Robyn Russell.

ingredients

  • 14 TBSP dairy-free margarine, such as Fleishmann’s
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup light vegetable oil (I used canola)
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • powdered sugar for serving

Preheat oven to 350F.

Trace the bottom of a 9″ springform pan onto parchment paper, cut out the shape.

trace onto parchment

Grease the inside of the pan, including the bottom with dairy-free margarine.  Place the parchment circle in the bottom of the pan and grease it, too.

grease and line

Melt the butter and oil over medium-low heat.

melt butter

Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth.

add cocoa

In a large bowl, mix egg yolks and sugar until thick.

mix eggs sugar

suar and egg yolks thickened

Add the chocolate mixture and beat until fully combined.

add cocoa mix

well combined

In a clean glass or metal bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.

stiff peaks

Place half of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and gently fold in.  This will be a bit difficult at first, but hang in there!  Add the rest of the egg whites and fold in until fully combined.

fold egg whites in

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

pour into pan

Bake 45-50 minutes or until the center is set.

bake until set

Allow the cake to cool and fully set up in the pan.  Your cake will probably fall some and develop cracks in the surface–it’s supposed to look this way.  🙂  When fully cool, gently turn it out, remove the parchment from the bottom and place right side up on a serving plate.  Dust with powdered sugar prior to serving.  I placed a doily on top of mine before dusting to create this pretty pattern.

powdered sugar 2

Ta-Da!  Beautiful, right?!

pwdered sugar

Fudge-like, dense, rich, perfect for a special occasion.

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My guests were pleased!

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Clementine cuties are wonderful this time of year, and perfect with this cake.  Ice cream would be lovely, or whipped cream, or coffee, or……another slice.

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No need to wait for a friend with special dietary needs.  😉

 

 

 

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Filed under comfort food, dairy-free, dessert, Gluten-free, Holiday foods, recipe

Lentil Soup and Corn Bread (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free!)

Vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free….but most of all, a warm, hearty and seriously yummy winter comfort food dinner.  I have good friends, who between them, have these food requirements.  I love to have friends over for dinner, and these two really challenged my usual repertoire.  Advice from a  few gluten-free cookbooks and a search of recipes I usually make, resulted in this really wonderful combination!

The soup couldn’t be easier, and the corn bread is adapted from my cooking bible, The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.

For the Lentil Soup:

  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water (to start–you will probably add more water later to adjust the thickness of the soup)
  • 2 cups lentils, rinsed
  • 1-16oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup rice (I used a wild rice mix.  My original recipe calls for 1 cup barley–a product with gluten.  If you can have gluten and prefer barley, by all means use that instead! I was also thinking quinoa might be yummy…)
  • 2 cups chopped onion (1 large or 1 1/2 medium onions)
  • 2 cups chopped celery (1 celery “heart”)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (4-5 carrots)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola.)
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 2 packages frozen chopped spinach, partially thawed.

NOTE: Check all packaged ingredients to be sure they are gluten-free.

Place everything EXCEPT the spinach in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 50 minutes to an hour.  Leave the spinach packages sit on the counter to start thawing.

After the 50-60 minutes, add the spinach.

Stir to combine, cover and continue to simmer until lentils are tender and rice (or barley) is cooked through; an additional 10-20 minutes.  At this point, you can let the soup sit at a low simmer or in a crock pot until you’re ready to eat it.  How easy-peasy is that?!

For the Corn bread:

  • 1 cup rice flour blend (recipe below, after the slideshow)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 tsp powdered xanthan gum
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup unflavored almond or soy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil

Preheat oven to 425F.  Grease a 9x9x2″ pan with a vegetable shortening.

Stir rice flour blend, sugar, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum together in a medium bowl.

Add corn meal, stir to combine.

Add eggs, almond milk and grapeseed oil; stir until just smooth–do not over-beat, or your corn bread will be tough.

Pour batter into the pan. 

 Bake 20-25 minutes–until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Cut into slices and serve with the Lentil Soup!  Yummy!

I ended up adding an additional 4 cups of water to my soup, and it was still thick and hearty.  The corn bread–my first attempt at making it gluten-free–turned out crispy on the top, with a light, tender texture inside.  It was way yummy, and tasted just like corn bread with regular wheat flour! 

This meal would be delicious with just the fam, but was extra yummy spiced with conversation, laughter and good friends.  ❤

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Rice Flour Blend:

  • 2 cups white rice flour
  • 2/3 cup potato starch
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour

Mix all the ingredients thouroughly and store in an air-tight container.

All of these ingredients, and the xanthan gum, can be found at health food stores and larger supermarkets.

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Filed under comfort food, crock pot, dairy-free, dinner, Gluten-free, lunch, Potluck, recipe, Vegetarian

Rosemary Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies

Pour a cup of coffee and enjoy a couple of these tender, chewy, flavor-y, yummy cookies.  Mmmmm.  Not too sweet.  The hazelnuts make them crunchy.  Rosemary’s savory pine-y flavor adds that something special.  But the real topper?  These amazing cookies are gluten-free!!!!!  Who knew gluten-free could be this yummy?!

I have a wonderful friend who happens to be gluten-intolerant.  We get together once a week for coffee out on her patio, and I wanted to bring along a little something for us to enjoy together.  So I bought a cookbook of gluten-free recipes:  the Gluten-Free Almond Flour cookbook.  It’s full of beautiful photographs of yummy recipes!  The recipe for these cookies is on page 105.

 

  • 2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour  (NOT almond meal.  Find it at natural foods stores.)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1 TBSP finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 5 TBSP agave nectar
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract

I decided to chop the hazelnuts first and then toast them to get a toastier flavor.  I used an impact chopper thingy from Pampered Chef, which made uber-quick work of the nuts.

Toast the nuts in a large, dry skillet over medium heat, stirring every now and then.  I chopped the rosemary as the hazelnuts toasted.  Let me tell ya, the aroma of the rosemary combined with the roasting nuts was absolutely divine!  Try it.  The hazelnuts are toasted when you can smell them and they take on a bit more color.  Turn the heat off and leave them in the pan for now.

Combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, hazelnuts and rosemary in a bowl.

Whisk grapeseed oil, agave nectar and vanilla together in a separate bowl.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.

Roll the dough into a large log, 2 1/2 inches in diameter.  Wrap in parchment paper and place in the freezer for 1 hour, or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

Remove the log from the freezer and cut it into 1/4 inch slices with a wet knife.  I found the knife squished the log and I needed to reshape the cookies a bit. (Maybe I should have left the log in the freezer a bit longer?)  Place slices onto the lined cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between them.

Bake for 7-10 minutes, until brown around the edges.  Let cookies cool on the cookies sheets for 30 minutes.  You’ll end up with 18-24 cookies.  Serve and savor with a cuppa!  Yummy!

This cup and saucer is another china pattern that belonged to my Great Aunt Katrine.  My mom thinks this is the one Aunt Katrine gave to her sister-in-law, my Grandmother (Dad’s mom).  Katrine ended up with them after Grandma’s passing.  I love having these connections to my past.  I use old china and crystal whenever I can, I deserve the good stuff, right?!  So do you–if you have “the good dishes” hiding out in a box or a closet, go get ’em!  Make an everyday meal or snack special.

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Filed under dessert, Gluten-free, recipe