Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (dairy-free, sugar-free)

This is a very easy recipe.  In a medium bowl, place:

  • one container non-dairy cream cheese (Daiya, Kite Hill, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup pureed strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar (more or less depending on how sweet your family likes their frosting)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

With your hand mixer on low, mix; as it comes together, you can speed up your mixer to add more air to the frosting.  If the mixture is too thick, add more strawberry puree; if it is too loose, add more non-dairy cream cheese.

Strawberry Cream Pie (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free)

 

 

My husband doesn’t often enjoy my “special” recipes but this is one he flips over.  Its one of his favorite things about strawberry season.  Over the years, I’ve tried a number of different pie crust recipes trying to develop a really tasty, flaky, gluten-free pie crust.  I haven’t been very successful.  I’ve found the tastiest gluten-free pie crust, but not sugar-free, in my local supermarket’s frozen-food section, Wholly gluten-free by Wholly Wholesome.  Although not sugar-free, it has a very low amount of sugar, just 2 grams per serving.

Pre-bake pie shell in 375 degree oven following directions on the reverse of the label.  Let cool.  While that’s cooling make the cream:

Put in a 2 quart pot:

  • 1 1/2 cups rice milk, or your favorite non-dairy milk [DO NOT use soymilk]
  • 3/4 cup granulated fructose or 1/2 cup agave nectar, or 1 Tablespoon stevia

Bring to a boil.  While its heating, blend:

  • 1/2 cup of your non-dairy milk with
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch

When the milk is boiling, whisk in the cornstarch slurry and continue whisking until the mixture thickens.  Take off the heat and add:

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite margarine

Blend until well mixed and margarine has melted.  Cool.  When the cream is almost cold, pour into the baked pie shell and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

You can either use one cup of strawberry jam as a topping for this cream, or use the following:

In a small pot mix

  • 1 cup mashed strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.  If you remove this from the heat when it starts to thicken instead of waiting for a boil, you’ll have a looser topping like mine above.  If you let it boil, you’ll have more like a the strawberry jam consistency.

Top with your favorite non-dairy whipped topping or you can decorate with strawberry cream cheese frosting.

 

Strawberry Jam (sugar free)

This is one of my favorite times of the year — strawberry season.  What a wonderful treat fresh picked strawberries are; they make so many great things, so much more than just strawberry shortcake.  Here’s a delicious and easy recipe for sugar-free strawberry jam.

Wash and hull:

  • 9 cups fresh strawberries

You can either mash them with a potato masher or puree them in your food processor; it all depends on how smooth you want your jam.  If you like pieces of strawberry in your jam, use the masher.

Follow the instructions on Pomona’s Universal Pectin to make calcium water.

Put in a 3 quart or larger pot:

  • 8 cups strawberries, pureed or mashed
  • 4 teaspoons calcium water

Bring to a boil.

While you’re waiting for the strawberries to heat, combine:

  • 3/4 cup agave nectar with
  • 4 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin

I find the pectin mixes best into the nectar if you add the pectin to the agave rather than adding the agave to the pectin.  Use a small whisk to blend.

When the strawberries are bubbling, stir in the pectin-nectar mixture.  Continue heating for several minutes (2-3) to dissolve the pectin.  Remove from heat.  Pour into water bathed jars.  This should make 4 pint jars and a 1/2 pint jar.

You can either put these filled jars into a water bath for 10 minutes or, I prefer the easier method of just letting them cool completely and then placing them in the freezer.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten, dairy, egg, and refined sugar free)

In fact, these cookies have no flour in them at all.  Here’s what you can do with the chickpeas you have left over when you use the agua fava (or aquafaba; bean water) in a recipe.  These are pretty good although not as chewy as the high calorie version and they can be quite soft.  Adding a nut butter, I use tahini since I’m allergic to nuts, gives them a great flavor.  I like to freeze them because they taste really good frozen; it adds the chewiness that you get in regular chocolate chip cookies.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees; cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with a non-stick spray.

Put in your food processor

  • 12 oz can of garbonzo beans drained
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup nut butter or tahini
  • 2 scoops protein powder (I really like the Garden of Eden Vanilla in this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates (Whole Foods has a store brand of chopped dates that are coated in oat flour instead of the traditional sugar)*
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder

Blend until the garbonzo beans and dates are pureed into the mixture.  I watch until I don’t see any more lumps and then blend it for  several more minutes since its not the most pleasant experience to bite into a large chunk of chickpea when eating a cookie!

Stir into mixture 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use Chatfield Carob Chips) [be sure to check the package for allergens such as dairy and sugar].  Drop by tablespoons (or 1/4 cup measure) onto the prepared cookie sheet and then, with the back of a wet spoon, flatten cookies.  Bake for approximately 12-18 minutes depending on how large or small you make the cookies.  Makes between 10 to 20 cookies depending on size.

*If you don’t like the taste of dates or they have too much sugar content, you can use 1/4 cup of agave, honey, or coconut nectar in this recipe or 1 tablespoon stevia.  If you add one of the nectars, be sure to decrease the water to 1/4 cup.

Tip:  I’m really bad about flattening cookies; these work as bars just as well so I usually spread the batter in a 9×9 or 8×10 greased pan and increase the baking time to 20-25 minutes.

Potato Salad 2 Ways (dairy-free, egg-free)

German style Potato salad.  I like to use the small multi-color potatoes because they make the salad more interesting.  And you don’t have to peel them, just cut them into quarters and cook.  For this recipe,

  • Use a half-pound of these potatoes.
  • While they cook, dice up a couple of stalks of celery and some scallion (I use scallion instead of onion because it adds the flavor of onion but doesn’t give me the digestive issues that raw onions give me).
  • Cook 2-3 slices of bacon, chopped.
  • If you don’t have a vinaigrette already made, mix up one of your favorites or use a bottled vinaigrette.
  • Put about 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette in a medium sized bowl, add the celery and scallion along with the crumbled bacon.
  • When the potatoes are cooked. drain and put them directly into the mixture.  Adding them when they are hot helps the potatoes absorb the dressing.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • You can serve this hot but I prefer to let it sit overnight and let the flavors meld. I often leave the bacon bits out until I’m ready to serve this so that they stay crispy.
  • Makes 2-3 servings.

Traditional Potato Salad.

One of my favorite parts of the potato salad my mother made was the hard boiled eggs.  Since I can’t eat eggs any longer, I simply

  • mix together cooked potatoes (1/2 pound of the small potatoes and perhaps, if I’m feeling like it, a diced small sweet potato),
  • diced celery and scallions, along with some crumbled bacon.  Dressing consists of:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (see my recipe for vegan mayonnaise under dressings)
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of my favorite herb blend (McCormicks or Mrs. Dash)
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

If you can still eat eggs, by all means add 1-2 diced hard-boiled eggs.  This makes 2-3 servings.

Cole Slaw Two Ways (dairy-free, egg-free)

 

 

With a small cabbage (I like to use Chinese cabbage), remove outer leaves and cut in slides or wedges.  Put in your food processor and pulse until medium dice (depending on what you like, me I like to taste the cabbage but I know people, like my husband, who like cole slaw finely diced).

Put in a medium to large bowl depending on how much cabbage you have and add:

  • 1/2 cup diced scallion
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots

To make the dressing, put in a small bowl:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise (see my recipe for egg-free mayonnaise)
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar

Stir until mixed and add to the cabbage mixture.  Depending on the amount of cabbage you have, you may need a  little more or a little less mayonnaise.  Salt and pepper to taste.

If you’d rather not have a mayonnaise-based cole slaw, here’s a vinaigrette to use instead:

Blend together:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite mustard

I use a canning jar and shake it until emulsified.

Egg-Free Mayonnaise

Its been quite a few years since I was able to use mayonnaise products since I became allergic to eggs.  Most mass-produced mayonnaise also includes oils that I can’t have like canola or soybean.  About three years ago, I learned about agua fava, the liquid that you drain off the can of beans, like garbanzo or kidney, which can be used as an egg substitute.  I resisted this for quite a while since I didn’t relish the idea of using this liquid — really turned me off in fact.  Last year, I really wanted some cole slaw and was tired of my vinaigrette version.  It tasted like the Cain’s mayonnaise I grew up with!  I was thrilled.  So, with summer approaching and the time for cooler foods, here’s my recipe for egg-free mayonnaise using agua fava and some salad recipes to go with it. And the great thing about it is that you don’t have to worry about it spoiling like you do egg-based mayos.

Put in a blender:

  • 1/3 cup agua fava
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (I like the rice vinegar but feel free to use your favorite, or lemon juice if you like)

Start blender on a low setting and begin slowly, and I mean really slowly, drizzling in oil.  You’ll add 1 cup of oil total for a thick mayonnaise, or 1 1/4 cup for a thinner dressing.  I like to use 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup avocado oil.  Makes me feel less guilty using oils that are actually good for us.

Makes a little over 1 cup of mayonnaise.  Use in your favorite recipes.  Most people won’t be able to tell the difference between this and the mayo you buy.

Rice Milk

Yes, you can make your own rice milk and its actually very easy to do, and much less expensive then buying quarts of it at the store.  You also control the amount of fat and sugar in the rice milk.  Here’s the basic recipe.

Add to a blender

  • 6 cups of cool water
  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice (you can use white rice if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons of agave nectar*

Blend until smooth, it takes quite awhile, I usually blend it for approximately 8-10 minutes.  Pour through a small sieve to get out residue of the rice that did not blend.  Store in the refrigerator; this will last approximately 6-7 days.

*Optional; you can also increase or decrease the agave depending on how sweet you want the milk; for savory recipes, use less agave and for dessert recipes, use a little more if you want.

To make vanilla rice milk, add 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy (dairy-free, gluten-free)

 

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Grease 8×10 pan.  To make biscuits blend:

  • 1/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup sweet sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum

Add and blend using a pastry cutter or fork

  • 1/4 cup softened margarine

Mix in

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup rice milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk), should be thick and a little sticky but not too dry
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

Spoon into pan; makes 6 medium sized biscuits.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.

 

To make sausage gravy, fry in a non-stick skillet

  • 1 pound lean turkey sausage (if you use pork sausage, drain off fat before proceeding)

When cooked, add

  • 2 cups of your favorite non-dairy milk (DO NOT USE SOY MILK)

Whisk until smooth

  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free all purpose flour (depending on the milk you use, you might need to use more than 1 tablespoon but no more than 2 TBS should work)
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk, except soy

Add to pan; whisk until smooth and thickened; this should only take about 2-3 minutes over medium heat.

 

 

Pasta and Cheese (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)

Doesn’t everyone love a good pasta and cheese?  For those of us who are allergic or sensitive to dairy this is one comfort food we thought we’d have to give up forever.  However, today with all the non-dairy cheeses that are available, making a pasta and cheese dish is quite easy to do.  And if you want to lighten it up, substitute cauliflower rice for half the pasta.  You could also use chopped broccoli.  This one is very creamy and luscious.  Here’s how I make it.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups of non-dairy milk
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces of cheese (Daiya, Kite Hill, etc.)
  • 8 ounces of pasta
  • Topping of cheese or gluten-free breadcrumbs mixed with a fat such as olive oil or your favorite margarine

In a 2 qt saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups of your favorite milk (I use Tempt hemp milk; its strong flavor holds up to the cheese).  Add 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper and 12 ounces of Daiya Classic Cheese blend or your favorite non-dairy cheese (you want to use grated cheese here).  When milk gets hot, reduce heat to low.  Stir frequently to blend as the cheese melts.

Heat 4 qts water in a large pot.  When its boiling, add 8 oz of your favorite pasta (I used Ancient Grains Supergrain rotini but I often use Lensi Chickpea pasta, or  POW) along with 1 teaspoon salt.  Cook according to package directions, drain.

Grease a 2 qt casserole pan, add cooked pasta and about two-thirds of your cheese sauce.  Stir to mix.  I top it with a couple of slices of Daiya Provolone but you could also use a mixture of margarine (or oil) and gluten-free bread crumbs (my husband’s favorite).  Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.