Tag Archives: gluten-free

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

I’ve always loved cookbooks, something I get from my Mom.  Becoming vegan was not only a lifestyle change, it was the perfect reason to collect a few more cookbooks!  One of them, Veganomicon, was recommended by a vegan friend for both “the great recipes and the snarky commentary.”  An unbeatable combo, indeed.


The other day, my neighbor told me how she wanted to make a summery meal and decided on black bean burgers.  She made her beans from dried, cooked in a crock pot with veggies and mashed them all together with some flour and voila, yummy vegan burgers that held together and were, well, burger-y!  Being a last minute sort of person, and a person who occasionally shares recipes and therefore needs specific measurements, I went looking for a similar-sounding recipe that started with canned beans.  Veganomicon to the rescue!  I stayed fairly true to the recipe, just changing out gluten-y parts for gluten-free.



  • 2 cups cooked or 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup chick pea/garbanzo flour
  • 1 tsp chile powder (I used ground chipotle chile powder–smoky, hot, wonderful!)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste (or ketchup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional, but if you love cilantro, definitely put it in!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1/2 small onion, grated using the large holes of a box grater
  • cooking spray
  • buns (I used whole wheat, use gluten-free buns to keep the completed burger gluten-free)
  • toppings of your choice–black beans always remind me of Mexican food, so that’s the direction I went: whole green chiles, avocado, red onion, tomato, lettuce.  Think burrito on a bun.  🙂

Drain and mash the beans in a bowl with a fork or potato masher until mostly smooshed with a few half-beans left.

mash beans

Put all the other ingredients into the bowl, mixing with a fork, and then kneading with your hands until uniformly mixed.  Add a bit more chick pea flour if the mixture is unbearably sticky.  A little sticky is OK.

add everything

Divide into six equal pieces and roll each into a ball.  Place the balls onto parchment or wax paper and flatten with the palm of your hand.

divide into 6

flatten into patties

Spray a large fry pan with cooking spray and pre-heat over medium heat.  The patties will want to stick to the paper–rip the paper around each patty and use the paper to transfer them to the pan.  Cook 3 patties at a time, 5 minutes each side.  Patties should be very firm when cooked.

cook 3 at a time

Slather a warmed or toasted bun with the spread of your choice and dress your burger with however many fun condiments you wish.  OMG sooooo yummy!


The recipe says these burgers freeze well once cooked:  pack them in a resealable plastic bag with waxed paper between each patty.  Reheat in a 350F oven for 25-30 minutes.  (I’m gonna try microwaving them like pre-packaged frozen veggie burgers.)   Bring on the summer BBQ meals!  Let’s have another look at this uh-maze-ingly yummy burger…


This recipe is soooo yummy, I marked up the page with 5 stars and the small changes I made.  Do you make notes in the margins of your recipe books?


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Filed under dairy-free, dinner, Gluten-free, lunch, Potluck, recipe, Vegetarian

“Cheesy” Broccoli Mashers

Potatoes are my ultimate comfort food.  I love them baked, fried, mashed, boiled, stuffed, scalloped,… I don’t think I’ve encountered a potato I didn’t like.  Aside from being comforting and yummy, potatoes are nutritious–containing almost half your daily requirement for vitamin C in a single potato!   This post is really more of a technique rather than a recipe–think of what you’d stuff a baked potato with–and mashers can be your go-to side dish in no time.


Just a few ingredients, a couple of pans and you’re on the way:


  • 4 medium red or yellow potatoes–“boiling” potatoes work best for mashers–washed and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 bunch of broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 packet of vegan cheese sauce, (purchased at a natural foods grocery) prepared according to the package, thinned with 1/2 cup soy milk
  • extra soy milk to adjust the texture of the mashers

Cut your veggies into pieces of a similar size, cover with water and boil until potatoes are fork tender.  I don’t peel the potatoes to keep as much of the nutrition intact as possible.

chop and boil

Prepare the cheese sauce and thin it a bit with non-dairy milk.  Set aside.

prepare cheese sauce

Drain the veggies and place back into the hot pan to cook off any left-over water.  Add the cheese sauce.

drain and add sauce

Mash everything together, adding a bit more non-dairy milk to adjust the texture to your preferences.  I like to leave my mashers a bit chunky.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Serve as a side dish!  Mashers are a yummy and nutritious alternative to chips or fries with (veggie!) burgers.


What will you put in your mashers?


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Filed under comfort food, dairy-free, dinner, Garden produce, recipe, side dish, Vegetarian

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.


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


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.


Cut into the size pieces you want and enjoy!


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.


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.


  • 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.

yum 1

My guests were pleased!

yum 2

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.

yum 3

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





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

Sweet-Tooth Saturday: Chocolate Shortbread Cookies (gluten-free version)

The schools I worked in each had a tradition of “treat days” the week prior to Winter Break.  The theory is, if you feed the teachers, they won’t eat the students.  (So far, so good.)  One year, a collegue brought in these absolutely killer chocolate cookies.  I asked for the recipe and have been making them ever since.  Perfect with coffee, perfect with red wine, perfect all by themselves.

I made these gluten-free for a friend, using a one-to-one rice flour mix substitute for regular flour.  (You can use regular flour in place of the rice flour mix if you don’t need them to be gluten-free, and leave out the xanthan gum.) 

  • 1 cup rice flour mix (recipe follows slide show)
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper (Yes!  Trust me!!!)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened (use 1/2 cup grapeseed oil to make this recipe dairy-free as well)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP sugar (plus more for coating the cookies)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Before I launch into the recipe, I thought it might be nice to have some music to cook to.  For this recipe, I’m thinking Dean Martin; Sway in particular.  Enjoy!

Sift flour mix, cocoa powder, cinnamon, pepper, salt, and xanthan gum into a small bowl. 

Cream together butter and sugar.

Add vanilla and mix to combine.

Stir in flour and cocoa mixture.  Use your electric mixer.  Using a spoon or spatula just doesn’t work.  I know. 

I tried and ended up getting the mixer back out!  The dought will be dry and crumbly at first.  When it starts coming together, knead it until dark and supple.

Roll out between two sheets of waxed paper, to a thickness of approximately 1/4-inch thick.  Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 275F.  Lightly butter (OR line with parchment paper or silpats) one or two baking sheets.

Cut out the cookies with a 1 1/2-2-inch cutter.  I chose a little heart, because my very wise sister mentioned the other night that some people (like her) live in places where it is difficult to find certain ingredients, and if you want to plan something special for an occasion, Valentine’s Day for instance, you need a bit of a head’s up.  So those of you already making plans, this is an awesome Valentine’s cookie!  Pierce each cookie twice with the tines of a fork.

Place sugar on a plate or in a bowl wide enough to fit the cookies.  Lightly press each cookie into the sugar so that the sugar clings to the surface.

Collect the trimmings back into a ball,

and re-roll (still between waxed paper).  As the dough warms up, it will be more difficult to work with.  Coat your cutter in sugar before each cut.  Re-refrigerate if needed.

Arrange cookies, sugar-side up, on prepared baking sheets, spacing at least 1/2-inch apart.  (1-inch is better, I wanted to squeeze them all on one sheet.)

Bake 40 minutes, or until crisp and firm.  (Halfway through the cooking time, switch pans from top to bottom, front to back, for even cooking.  Not necessary if you have a convection oven.)

Cool on the sheets on racks for 5 minutes.

Remove to racks to cool completely. I highly recommend eating at LEAST one at this point.  Your kitchen, probably your whole house has been smelling like a chocolatey fudgy wonderland for the last 10 minutes or so.  You DESERVE one (or more) right now.

Then, arrange on a cute little plate, brew up a cuppa and indulge in the crisp, melt-in-your-mouth uber-chocolatey yumminess.  Do you taste the pepper there in the background?  Isn’t that uh-maze-ing?!

I posted a picture of the chocolate shortbread cookies yesterday on Facebook and a friend commented that it made her want to lick her phone.  They truly are THAT yummy!  I took this batch up to one of our favorite wineries for a little party today.  So perfect with red wines; especially the spicy Petite Syrah….oh, yeeeaaahhh!  Yummy!

So what did you think about the music selection?  What would you pick to go with these cookies?

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  • 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.


Filed under dessert, food gifts, Gluten-free, Holiday foods, recipe, wine

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

Zeb’s Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pecan Biscotti

Fall somehow compels me to cook, bake and consume pumpkin.  My friend Kellie (aka Zeb) is also a pumpkin lover, but cannot tolerate gluten.  While catching up on one of my fav food blogs, I spied a recipe for pumpkin biscotti–and a grand culinary convergence occured in my kitchen!  In the back of my mind, I remembered a gluten-free flour mix that could be substituted one-for-one in place of wheat flour….I just knew I could use it and make the pumpkin biscotti gluten-free!

First, I needed to make the flour blend.  In Gluten Free and Easy, the author, Robyn Russell shared a blend she spent years developing: 2 cups white rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch (produces a tender, moist crumb), and 1/3 cup tapioca flour (lends a springy texture, promotes browning and makes a crispy crust).  I made a double batch and stored it in a canister.

 You can find the ingredients for the rice flour blend at natural foods stores and larger supermarkets.  While you’re there, pick up some xanthan gum (pricy but goes a long way); it’s a great gluten substitute–holding particles together in baked goods, and helps keep them moist.  (NOTE:  I’ve been told Natural Grocers Bulk flours are made in a facility that also processes flour with gluten.  If you have a high level of gluten intolerance, be sure the flours you select are clearly marked gluten-free.)

  • 2 1/2 cups rice flour blend
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (the inspiration recipe used 3 cups of whole wheat flour, I wanted to get some of that whole-wheat nuttiness and texture, so instead of substituting one-for-one, I used almond flour for part.)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie filling.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped (The original recipe had walnuts; Mom just sent me fresh pecans from New Mexico, so I just had to use some!)

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

Add rice flour blend, almond flour, xanthan gum, sugar, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, cloves and ginger to the bowl of a mixer (or large mixing bowl).  Mix until thoroughly combined.

Add eggs, vanilla and pumpkin puree.  Mix well.

Add pecans and continue mixing for a few minutes, scraping down the blade as needed, to be sure pecans are distributed evenly and the batter/dough has an even texture.

Using your hands, form the dough into a loaf on the baking sheet (think biscotti in your head for the proper width).  The dough will be sticky, and your loaf will not be perfect.  No problem–the biscotti will be yummy!  I promise!

Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and firm in the middle.  Cool for 15 minutes.

Transfer loaf to a cutting board, and using a serrated knife, cut 3/4 inch slices.  Lay them on their sides and return to the baking sheet.  Reduce temperature to 300F and bake an additional 30 minutes or so–until they are as dry as you like, and golden brown.  Flip them over about half-way through the baking time.

(I cut off the rounded ends of the two end pieces so they would lay flat and ate them….shhhhh!)  Your kitchen will be smelling all pumpkin-spicy wonderful!

Cool completely on wire racks.  This will also help dry the biscotti.

Now.  Go put on your flannel jammies (you know, your favorites–the ones with the cowboys on ’em) and a big pair of wooly socks. Pad on out to the kitchen and brew yourself a cuppa; maybe sprinkle it with a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set out some of these yummy biscotti.  Dip.  Crunch.  Sip.  Yummy!  Not too sweet, nice texture, just the thing with your coffee.

Pack some up and share the taste of fall with your pumpkin-loving friends; maybe drizzle them with melted white chocolate?!   I’ll be making these again soon–they’re super easy and don’t seem to last long!

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Filed under breakfast, comfort food, dessert, Gluten-free, recipe

Sweet-Tooth Saturday: Gluten-Free Carrot-Zucchini Mini-Muffins

What a long title!  It took me all the way to Sunday to write it and THAT’S why this post is a day late….yeah…it has nothing to do with eating take-out from one of our favorite Mexican Restaurants, feeling stuffed and sleepy, and going to bed.  I know I should have stayed up late and blogged for you my dear readers but, y’know, life happens!  : )

Today we were invited to some friends’ for coffee on the patio and I decided to make somethin’ yummy, breakfast-y and gluten-free  (one of the friends is gluten-intolerant).  I also found a few more zucchini in the garden–what a surprise!  This recipe was on Food Network yesterday and it caught my attention because of the zucchini plus the added bonus of being gluten-free.

Check out how cute these little muffins are:

The grape seed oil, almond flour and brown rice flour can be found at natural groceries or at larger groceries in the baking aisle.

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup grape seed oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 grated (small) zucchini (about 1/2-3/4 cup)
  • 1 grated carrot (about 1/2-3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced (the original recipe called for raisins)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 36 mini-muffins with paper liners. (The muffins are very difficult to remove from the pans if you don’t use liners!)

Mix almond flour, rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon together.

Whisk together maple syrup, oil and egg.

Add grated carrot and zucchini to the wet ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet.

Stir the apricots in until evenly distributed through the batter.

Use a small, 1-TBSP scoop to place batter in the 36 lined mini-muffins.  Bake for 15-18 minutes–until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with just a couple moist crumbs attached.  The centers will be a bit flat or curved in.  Cool in pans on racks.

Frost with a cream cheese-honey frosting, sprinkle with powdered sugar, or leave them plain, like I did. 

Light, moist, perfect little bites of good-for-you yumminess. They are a bit on the delicate side, and were a bit difficult to get out of the liners all in one piece.  I’ll do a bit more research on gluten-free baking to see if I can find an ingredient to fix that–xanthan gum maybe?  It ought to be yummy experimenting!

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Filed under breakfast, dessert, Garden produce, Gluten-free, recipe

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