Monthly Archives: October 2013


Yay for cool temperatures finally! I’m so excited to be baking almost every day now. I was tempted to make a meatloaf that my family would love, and of course be allergy-friendly. Without the eggs, it was a little challenging, but this one was a success! My daughter who is very picky finished all of hers! And my son, who is the allergic child, loved it too and came back for more. My husband was the only one who missed the egg at all, and I will try to use 2 tablespoons flaxmeal as my egg replacer next time.

1lb ground beef
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
Small bunch of fresh parsley
Approx 3/4 C of leftover basmati rice
1 tablespoon flaxmeal soaked in 3 tablespoons rice milk (or water)
1/2 C quinoa flakes
1/4 C coconut flour
sea salt and pepper to taste
grapeseed oil for oiling the loaf pan
Ketchup (optional) to spread on the top

Combine the small onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and fresh parsley in a food processor until the onion is finely chopped. Add leftover rice and pulse a few times to break up the rice into slightly smaller pieces.
In a large bowl, combine ground beef, mixture from food processor, soaked flaxmeal, quinoa flakes, coconut flour, salt and pepper, and mix by hand. It’s fun to get your hands in there! This step reminds me of a sensory processing project, but for adults!

Lightly grease a loaf pan with grapeseed oil (I also like to use coconut oil or olive oil). It looks so pretty in the loaf pan! I love that there is so much green in it!

At this point, you can add the optional ketchup or tomato paste to the top of the meatloaf. I baked this at 350 degrees for 1 hour, with foil covering the top. If you get too much moisture in the pan, you can remove the foil for the last 10 minutes.  Don’t forget to bake some sweet potatoes too! Yum!


Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween

Halloween is just a few days away! What a fun time of the year. It is a nervous time of year for a mom of a child with a food allergy, or many food allergies. Time to get into high gear for baking and making alternative foods to bring with me for all the parties we are invited to this week, and there seems to be no lack of good times! For my son who is only 2, I want to make sure that he experiences this time of year with joy.  I also didn’t want to spend all my time in the kitchen, so I used a tried and true recipe, my banana oatmeal muffins! These worked great as mini muffins! The original post with the recipe is here.

mini oatmeal banana muffins raisins

This time, I used a lined mini muffin pan, and I baked these at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. For my add ins, I used a half cup of sunflower seeds and a half cup of raisins. I have 2 parties to go to in the next 2 days, and I’m hoping these last that long!! Kids and husband have already requested seconds!!

mini oatmeal banana muffins

Our jack o lantern

Check out our carved pumpkin and our preschool art projects too!

Gluten Free “Ultimate” Ginger Cookie


I love the flavors of fall! This ginger cookie works great from October until the end of the Christmas season, and will be making guest appearances on the dessert table for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!

I adapted the recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, who I love. If you don’t have an allergy problem, following her recipe should be simple and easy. The ginger is powerful enough in this recipe that I don’t miss any of the substituted ingredients, making it a perfect recipe for a mixed gathering of people. It’s vegan, gluten free, nut free, and delish!

1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 cup potato starch
1/4 cup teff flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses, I used organic
1 Tablespoon flaxmeal soaked in 3 tablespoons warm water
1 package crystallized ginger, 3.5 oz, chopped fine in food processor
Splash of rice milk (optional)
Granulated sugar to roll cookies in at the end.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add in the soaked flaxmeal, grapeseed oil, unsulfured molasses, and processed ginger. My mixture was a touch dry, so I added a splash of rice milk until it came together nicely. Next, roll teaspoon size balls of batter in granulated sugar, flatten balls slightly, and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.
Bake for 13 minutes. Cool slightly. These are delicious still warm!
Yields approximately 30 cookies.

My kids loved to eat the cookies and the batter. Have I mentioned how much I love vegan batter??


Wild Rice Stuffing with Mushrooms, Pepitas and Dried Cranberries


Who doesn’t love stuffing? This Thanksgiving, I’m trying it two ways. Our cornbread stuffing will be gluten, egg, and dairy free, but will have chicken broth and giblets.  Our wild rice stuffing will be vegan!

This wild rice stuffing was pretty easy to make, and I prepared it as a weekday meal stuffed in the hollow of a baked acorn squash. This could easily be a side for so many dishes in the fall!



1 cup dry wild rice
2-3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 tablespoon Earth Balance original spread or olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
2 cups mushrooms, finely chopped. I used baby bella and shitake
A large handful of dried cranberries, to taste (the more, the sweeter)
A large handful of pepitas, to taste (the more, the crunchier) (if you can eat nuts, pecans would go well here)
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Cook wild rice according to package directions, substituting the low sodium vegetable broth for water. Saute onion and celery in Earth Balance spread or olive oil until they are soft and onions are translucent, about 8-10 minutes, being careful not to brown any of the veggies.  Salt and pepper to taste. Add the mushrooms next, and continue to saute an additional few minutes until mushrooms are cooked. Add cranberries and pepitas next, turning heat to low. An important note, any salt you add will take moisture out of the mushrooms, so a little will go a long way here.

Mix the rice in last, once it’s done. It’s ok if a little bit of the liquid remains. Stuff your favorite fall squash, or use as a side. If you’re not vegetarian or vegan, you can also stuff a turkey!


Family reaction: I personally love it and want to make it again. My husband, sadly, does not like mushrooms and was not thrilled.  He loved the combo of wild rice and cranberries though, and he did not like the added pepitas for crunch. Mind you, they’re not nearly as crunchy as pecans, which I often see in this type of recipe.
My son didn’t like it either, and my daughter never eats food all combined like this. She likes them to be separate.  My son did love the acorn squash that I stuffed it in, so that was a win! Look on the positive side, I guess!



Wandering through my local supermarket with my gluten free, egg free, dairy free son, I saw down on the bottom shelf of the gluten free isle a box of rice lasagne noodles. I was curious and picked them up. Nate started screaming for some of his favorite gluten free cookies, Mary’s Gone Crackers Ginger Cookies, and I casually tossed the noodles into my cart. I also collected a beautiful, large local grown cauliflower head, and some lean ground beef. A thought began to form about making lasagne TONIGHT! I thought I was crazy, I had no recipe and never made any lasagne besides the big heavy Italian beast from my New Jersey heritage. Lasagne which was layered with ricotta cheese, extra parmigiano reggiano, hand grated of course! And tons of gooey cheesy mozzarella. Plus a meat sauce that was rich and thick and garlicky.

Enough with the past, I thought! I will make a lasagne that everyone in my family will enjoy! (This is an impossible feat since my daughter detests red sauce, but that is a sad story for another day!)

At home I happened to have an opened package of light silken tofu. It was not my favorite food, since I had wanted to make dip with it, and it was gross. I decided to make an entirely experimental white layer simply from mashed cauliflower and tofu! And I have to tell you that it WORKED!! I had no recipe and no idea what I was getting myself into. I had only seen mashed cauliflower on a paleo blog and never tried it before, so this began as wishful thinking. I know it was a success because my husband said to me while eating it “how did you get it to look like ricotta?”! Ahhh he made my day!!

This lasagne is very light, we ate 3/4 of the pan, just myself, my husband and my son. There is definitely room for seconds with this one!

1 package of Tinkyada Organic Brown Rice Pasta Lasagne, cooked according to package directions
1 jar tomato basil sauce 24oz
1 package lean ground beef, approximately 1 lb
1 package light silken tofu, well drained
1 Tbsp Earth Balance spread, original
1 Large head or 2 small heads cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
Garlic powder
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
Fresh herbs if available (I used some leftover sage in mine!)


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

I like to multi-task this because making lasagne is like riding a bike for me. Again, it’s that New Jersey thing. Now start boiling 2 pots of salted water, a large one for the lasagne noodles and a medium one for the cauliflower. On a third burner on your stovetop, heat olive oil over medium heat and add your beef. Season beef to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder. Once beef is more than halfway done, add onions and continue to saute, stirring occasionally, until onions are transparent, approximately 8 minutes.

Add coarsely chopped cauliflower to it’s pot of water, and boil vigorously, covered, approximately 8 minutes. Once the water is boiling for the noodles, add them. Be careful not to overcook the noodles, I even recommend taking them out 1 minute earlier than the package directions since they will be baked also.

While everything is cooking, lay a long piece of parchment paper out.

By now, the meat should be done. Add your jar of sauce to the meat and mix to combine, turning the heat off.

Next carefully drain your lasagne noodles into a colander, so that none of the pieces break. Carefully pour cold water over them. Once the noodles are able to be touched (but don’t wait too long or they stick together!), carefully lay them out flat on the parchment paper. This step was ingrained in me from my childhood! My sister is an expert at this.


Next prepare the white layer that is subbing for the cheese. Drain the cauliflower well, and mash with a potato masher. Also drain well the silken tofu. Add the tofu and 1 Tbsp Earth Balance spread to the cauliflower and continue mashing. It does not combine but looks almost curdled. Once baked, this is what gives it the look and feel of ricotta! Add black pepper and fresh herbs if desired.

The fun part – layering! In a lasagne dish, start by spreading a thin layer of the red sauce on the bottom. Next, lay out 3 noodles length wise. Then spread half of the white layer, then spread out half of the red sauce layer. Repeat once. End on a noodle layer, and if you have a tiny bit extra of either white or red sauce left, spread over the top. Cover with foil. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.

This lasagne, I want to repeat, is light. Great for dieting perhaps? The tofu and cauliflower simply isn’t cheese, but it is a delicious meal. Nathan loved it and repeatedly asked for more! So success? Yes!!



In this last picture, you can almost hear him saying “mmm… more!”