11.23.2016

Cranberry Orange Biscuits {gluten free + vegan}

I have a memory from my childhood of these delicious cinnamon raisin biscuits that my mom would take me to get from a fast food restaurant. They were soft, flaky, slightly salty with pops of sweet raisins, and topped with a sweet, creamy glaze.

I have always wanted to recreate those glorious biscuits but dairy- and gluten-free, of course. But I decided I would mix things up a bit and use tart, fresh cranberries instead of raisins, and add in bright orange zest for a pop. I didn't make a glaze for these, but they would be amazing with a simple powdered sugar/dairy free milk icing drizzled over the top.

11.22.2016

Brussels Sprouts, Pear and Candied Pecan Salad {dairy + gluten free}

It's not too late to add another yummy side dish to your Thanksgiving menu. Light and full of flavor, this salad is filled with fall flavors like pear and candied pecans. I've been enjoying this salad as a main dish for lunch the past few days and it is so good!

11.21.2016

Overnight Mashed Potatoes {gluten free + vegan}

Thanksgiving is officially two days away. I would imagine most of you already have your menu planned, if you are doing the cooking. But if you're at all like me, I often find myself scrambling to throw things together at the last minute. I also like to put a spin on traditional recipes whenever possible. This recipe solves both of those issues for me.


I remember my mom making "refrigerator potatoes" at some point in my childhood. They were super flavorful and probably the best mashed potatoes I had ever had. I remember requesting them frequently after that. I haven't thought of those mashed potatoes in years. It wasn't until this year, when planning my contributions to multiple Thanksgiving meals, and looking back through past recipes that I decided this would be a delicious twist on the usual mashed potato dish.

When my friends at So Delicious Dairy Free asked me to create a recipe using their Dairy Free Yogurt Alternatives, I knew this would be the one. The Unsweetened variety is a spot-on substitute for sour cream. We've been loving the new, larger containers for measuring out what we need for recipes. My kids are fans of the Vanilla flavor and would eat it for every meal if I let them. Which I'm not really opposed to! It is such a healthy alternative and I can't blame them...it's delicious!



If you're more of a sweet potato fan, my Sweet and Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes are amazing too. But I know that potatoes are one of those dishes where many are divided. If you are more of a traditional potato fan, this is absolutely the way to go.

One of the best parts about this recipe (besides how flavorful it is) is how easily it can be put together, refrigerated overnight, then baked before serving. And if your oven is full of other dishes already, you can absolutely put the potatoes in your slow cooker instead, and heat them on low for a couple hours before serving as well. We all know how big a fan I am of simple, throw together meals that taste delicious!

Overnight Mashed Potatoes {gluten free + vegan}

2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
4 oz. dairy-free cream cheese alternative (such as Daiya)
1/4 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk of choice 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp dairy-free butter, optional 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium high heat. Cut the potatoes into cubes (you can peel them first or leave the skin on). Salt the water liberally and add the potatoes. Boil until fork-tender, approximately 6-8 minutes. Drain water and mash the potatoes slightly.

Add the unsweetened yogurt alternative, dairy-free cream cheese, dairy-free milk, garlic, onion powder, parsley, salt and pepper. Continue to mash until completely combined. 

Spray a 9x13 pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly in the pan. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator overnight or until one hour before serving.

Prior to serving, remove the potatoes from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes with the foil covering the pan. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Top with dairy-free butter and serve hot.


11.18.2016

Sweet Stir-fry Chicken + Veggies {dairy + gluten free}

Do you ever feel like you make the same three meals on repeat and need a menu revamp? I feel that way frequently and find myself trying to come up with loads of new meal ideas and then blow my budget on all of the ingredients to put just a few of them together. 

When I can sit down and make a meal plan, then make my grocery list from that, I feel like my life is so much more organized. But I have learned through the years that I really need to pick one new meal idea each week or even every other week, then stick to tried and true, easy to throw together, family favorites the rest of the time. This revelation has truly changed the way I grocery shop, and even the way I cook. I can easily swap certain ingredients for others which mixes it up just enough to feel different and not blow my budget. 

Some of our usuals that are easily interchangeable:
  • Mexican (soft or crunchy tacos; fish tacosshredded pork quesadillas, nachos or taco salads)
  • Italian (spaghetti, lasagna, goulash, chicken alfredo, pizza casserole, pizza bites)
  • Meat/Veggie/Starch (all roasted on a pan in the oven, or slow cooker meals are my fave!)
    • chicken/brussel sprouts/sweet potatoes
    • chicken/broccoli and cauliflower/rice
    • smoked sausage/peppers and onions/roasted potato wedges
    • pork loin/green beans or asparagus/mashed potatoes
  • Sandwiches (pulled pork, shredded chicken, sloppy joes, or burgers)
  • Grilled kebabs/kabobs in warmer weather (Hawaiian pork, shrimp boil, chicken fajitas, steak)
The best part about any of these meal ideas is that you can really just pick up whatever protein, vegetable, and starch or sauce you feel like having, and make any one of these meals on a whim. I like to stock up on marinara sauce, gluten free noodles, rice, tortilla chips, and any other ingredients that I use for sauces to just have on hand at any moment. Then I pick up meat when it is on sale and throw it in the freezer. Then I really just have to make sure I have fresh produce to go with everything else. 

Having this plan in place has really helped to cut back on the amount of money I spend at the grocery store, as well as the number of trips I have to make. I usually make one monthly trip to specialty stores to pick up all of our dairy free cheeses, butter, and specialty gluten free products that aren't sold at every store. I make one trip to Aldi or shop the sales at my regular store for pantry items and meat. 

Then I just have to make a run for produce and anything that I feel like grabbing on my weekly/bi-weekly shopping trip. I also build days into our menu to go out for dinner, or when we're just sticking with leftovers or doing a "fend for yourself" night to give myself an occasional break from cooking. 

One of the other easy ways to switch up flavors is to add a sweet and savory sauce to your meat and veggies. This Sweet Stir-fry Chicken and Veggies recipe has been a family favorite for many years. It's fast and delicious, and the kids just love it. Most of the ingredients are things I always have around and can just throw together quickly on a weeknight. 


11.16.2016

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Almond Buttercream (gluten free + vegan)

When you have food allergies or intolerances, it's imperative that you have a good, go-to cake recipe that it easily thrown together. It seems like we are always having to prepare a safe dessert or treat for impromptu parties. While I love trying to come up with new ideas, sometimes I don't have the time to plan ahead and am scrambling to come up with something in a pinch. 

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