Triple Carob Glazed Donuts (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free, vegan)

Sometimes you just want something “good” for breakfast instead of the usual smoothie.  This is one of my go-to recipes when that happens to me.  This is not a very sweet donut so if you like your donuts sweeter, just increase the amount of monk fruit powder in the recipe.  But I find that the glaze gives it all the sweetness it needs. This recipe makes six donuts.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a donut pan (be sure to grease the center as well so your donuts don’t stick in the middle.

In a medium bowl combine:

  • 1 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca (or arrowroot) flour
  • 1/4 cup sweet sorghum flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup carob (or cocoa) powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon monk fruit powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup unsweetened carob (or chocolate) chips

In a second small bowl combine:

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup club soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix by hand until combined (be sure to scrap the bottom of the bowl so that you get all the dry ingredients mixed in; I only say this because I frequently find when I scoop out the dough into the gallon zip bag that there’s dry on the bottom of the bowl).  Scoop the dough into a gallon ziplock bag.  Cut off a bottom corner and pipe into the prepared donut pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Try to make all the donuts the same size so that they all cook at the same rate.

Remove the donuts from the oven and let sit on the counter for a couple of minutes while you prepare the ganache (see recipe under Sauces…).  Loosen the donuts from the pan and turn onto a cooling rack.  Dip each donut into the ganache to coat the tops.  

TIP:  You’ll probably have some ganache left over — make some truffles letting the ganache firm up in the refrigerator and then roll (about a tablespoon or two) into a ball and then roll in ground nuts, flax and chia seeds, hemp hulls, coconut, or carob powder.  

Carob (or Chocolate) Ganache (dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan)

If you want a quick and easy, but still very tasty, topping for ice cream or cake, here’s a simple carob ganache recipe.  If you like things a little sweeter, add a little more monk fruit powder.

Heat in a small saucepan:

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice 

Put in a small bowl:

  • 1 cup unsweetened carob chips
  • 1 teaspoon monk fruit powder

It only takes a minute to heat up the milk.  When it is hot, pour it over the chips.  Stir vigorously for a couple of minutes to melt the chips and incorporate the milk.  Add:

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Stir to combine.  Your ganache is ready.  Use quickly as it will harden up in just a few minutes.  To use as “Hot Fudge Sauce” simply increase the milk to 3/4 cup.

Spice Cake with Parsnips (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, refined sugar free, vegan)

My mother always made a spice cake for my sister’s birthday.  It was her favorite and she would have loved this one.  Its light and moist texture will make even the pickiest cake eater happy.  Topped with a spiced cream cheese frosting, its a delight.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  You’ll need:

  • 9×13 baking dish, lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 cup cooked and pureed parsnips (steam the parsnips until tender; blend in food processor with a little water, up to 1/4 cup, to make puree; you’ll need approximately 1 pound of parsnips to make a cup of puree)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice or nutmeg (I don’t like nutmeg so I usually use allspice but if you do like nutmeg, feel free to use it instead of the allspice)
  • 1/2 cup date sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lucuma
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax combined with 1/3 cup hot water, cooled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup club soda
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts (or if you can eat them, chopped walnuts)

Before beginning anything else, combine the ground flax and hot water so that it can stand for about 5 minutes and cool for later use.  Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk to aerate and set aside.  Combine the parsnips, oil, date sugar, lucuma, vanilla, baking powder and flax gel and beat to combine with a hand or stand mixer.  Add to the dry ingredients along with the milk and club soda and beat until well combined.  

Spoon into the prepared baking dish.  Mixture is quite thick so needs to be spread evenly in the pan.  Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Remove and let cool on the counter for an hour before frosting.

To make the frosting, combine:

  • 1/4 cup of vegan margarine
  • 10 ounces of non-dairy cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon monk fruit powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or allspice

Using a hand mixer, beat until smooth and ingredients well combined.  Frost the cake and top with hemp hearts or chopped nuts.  

Turkey Tetrazzini (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free)

After Thanksgiving, my mother would always make turkey tetrazzini.  She added, of course, cream as well as either white wine or sherry.  Since I can’t use those things, here’s my version without all that fat or any alcohol.  Feel free to use whatever pasta you have on hand.  I used a tortiglioni made from buckwheat flour that a friend recommended but I usually use spaghetti which is the more traditional pasta used in this dish.  

You’ll need:

  • 8 ounces of gluten-free pasta cooked al dente
  • 2 cups of mushroom soup (see recipe under Soups and Salads or follow directions below — you will need additional ingredients to make this mushroom sauce)
  • 8 ounces of sliced or diced mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 1 1/2 cups diced turkey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon died thyme
  • 3-4 quart baking dish
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 2-3 tablespoons avocado (or other) oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons shredded non-dairy cheese
  • cooking spray for the baking dish

If you don’t have some mushroom soup already to go, use this simple alternative:

In a medium skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil.  Add diced mushrooms, celery and mushrooms.  Cover and simmer over medium low heat about 5 minutes until vegetables are tender.  Add 3 tablespoons gluten-free all purpose flour (or brown rice flour) and stir to incorporate.  Cook for a minute to begin cooking the flour.  Add 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you don’t have any vegetable stock) and 1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice (except soy which will not thicken).  Add the herbs and combine.

Combine the vegetables, pasta, sauce, and turkey in the skillet.  Pour into the baking dish.  Combine the bread crumbs and oil.  Spread the shredded cheese and then the bread crumbs over the top of the casserole and bake for approximately 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  

Carob Fig “Truffles” (dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan)

I made filled chocolates for over fifty years until a few years ago when I realized that no one in my family or circle of friends could eat them anymore for one reason or another.  So now I cover different flavored Oreos with chocolate for my grandson and my great-nieces.  I have a friend, however, who asked me to please find a recipe for a candy that she can eat that’s healthy but still decadent enough to call candy.  Here’s what I came up with.  Don’t like figs?   Not a problem, use dates (don’t soak them) or prunes instead.  If you use dates, the mixture will be much sweeter.  If the figs or prunes aren’t sweet enough for your family’s taste buds, add a few dates to sweeten it up.

You’ll need:

  • 12 ounces of dried figs (or you can use fig paste or jam made with fresh figs in season; no need to soak those)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup protein powder
  • 1/4 cup carob powder (if you can have chocolate, feel free to use cocoa)
  • 1/4 cup tahini (or if you can have it any nut butter will work)
  • zest of 1/2 an orange
  • juice from 1/2 orange (around 2 tablespoons)
  • pinch of salt
  • hemp hulls, coconut flakes, carob or cocoa powder, toasted sesame seeds, for rolling the truffles in
  • Remove the stems from the figs and put in a bowl, cover with hot water and let soak for around an hour.  Drain and put in a food processor along with the protein powder (start with 1/4 cup), carob powder, tahini, zest and juice, and salt.  Blend until smooth.  If mixture is too wet, add the remaining protein powder.

Scoop out tablespoons full and with wet hands, roll them into balls (I had a small bowl of water next to where I was working so that I could wet my hands as needed).  We want these the size for one to two bites so if a tablespoon is a little big, reduce the amount for each ball.  I would say I used around 2 teaspoons per ball.  Place them on parchment or waxed paper as you roll them out.  It should make between 16 and 24 balls.  Roll each ball in your choice of hemp hulls, coconut flakes, carob or cocoa powder, or toasted sesame seeds.  Refrigerator for up to a week.  

I found these very dense and rich so I could only eat 2 at a time.  And, of course, oh so delicious and gooey.  A great substitute for candy with all that sugar.  Sweet and gooey without any sugar except the one naturally found in the fruit.  


  • 12 ounces of prunes instead of figs — these don’t need to be soaked
  • 12 ounces of dried mango — cut into small pieces before soaking and don’t add any additional liquid to the food processor
  • 12 ounces of dried sweet dark cherries — again, no need to soak these but may need a few tablespoons of water to loosen the mixture (I covered these with chocolate ganache)
  • 12 ounces of dried dates, pitted of course — don’t soak them but again they may need a few tablespoons of water if too thick
  • 12 ounces of dried apricots — soak and again, don’t add any liquid to the mixture (I rolled these in ground almonds)

Creamed Onions and Peas (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)

My mother always made creamed onions for Thanksgiving and Christmas and it was one of my favorite side dishes.  I’ve taken the fat, dairy, and gluten out of it but I think its just as good as the original.  I’ve taken it to holiday dinners and everyone always enjoyed it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a casserole dish.  In a quart saucepan combine:

  • 3/4 cups non-dairy milk (don’t use soy but any other will work but remember this is a savory dish so you don’t want a sweeter milk; hemp or rice work well)
  • 3/4 cup of the juice drained from your jarred small white onions (or if you’ve used fresh small white onions that you boiled first, use 1 cup of the boiling liquid) [if you don’t have 3/4 cup of the drained liquid, add non-dairy milk to make up the difference]
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown rice flour

Whisk into the milk and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.


  • 12 ounces of frozen peas

Once you’ve drained the peas, add them along with 1 15 ounce jar of small white onions (after you drain the liquid into the sauce above) (or 1 1/2 cups if you used fresh ones) to the sauce.  Mix well and pour into the greased casserole dish.  For a topping, you can use 1/2 cup of gluten-free bread crumbs mixed into 1/4 cup of olive oil with some herbs, salt and pepper OR 1/2 cup of shredded non-dairy cheese.  Or, even better, use the onion and bread crumb topping used for the Green Bean Casserole but mix in a 1/4 cup of shredded non-dairy cheese.

Quinoa and Wild Rice Stuffing (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, vegan)

My father and older brother used to spend the fall hunting birds such as grouse, pheasant, and quail.  All of these birds are quite small so none alone would make a meal for six people so my mother would save them up all fall and for New Year’s Eve, she would bake them with a wild rice and artichoke stuffing.  Here’s my version.  Serves 6-8.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup cooked wild rice (be sure to get just wild rice, not a wild rice mixture.  This took me some hunting but I did manage to find a small bag in my local grocery)
  • 2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 3 stalks of celery diced
  • 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms
  • 8-10 small baby artichokes, cooked (I used jarred in water and they worked fine) and quartered – if you can’t find baby ones, use artichoke hearts but trim the tops to remove any tough pieces
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 quart baking dish, greased
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil

Heat the oil in a medium skillet and add the onions, celery and mushrooms.  Simmer over medium heat until tender.  Add the rice and quinoa and mix thoroughly.  Pour into the greased baking dish and pour the vegetable stock evenly over mixture (if you prefer, you can use turkey or chicken stock instead).  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes uncovered.

Duck L’Orange (dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free)

I love duck, its my favorite poultry.  This Thanksgiving, now that I’m alone and this being my first holiday without my husband, I didn’t want to do the traditional Thanksgiving feast that would give me more leftovers than I could possible eat so I decided, when I saw them in Whole Foods the other day, to cook myself a whole duck.  I usually stick to duck breasts (see recipe under Entrees) but I’ve had duck l’orange several times and really enjoyed it but it’s so sweet the issue was how to do it without the sugar.  Here’s what I did. You’ll have to forgive me for not including an image; I got so excited about this that I cut it up before taking a photo!  And it was delicious – the skin was so crunchy and full of flavor thanks to the spice mix and the meat so juicy and flavorful.  I served it along with creamed onions and peas and a wild rice and quinoa stuffing which was really good with the orange sauce (see side dishes for both these recipes). Makes 2 generous servings.

You’ll need for the duck:

  • 4-6 pound duck
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1 orange cut in half
  • 1 large onion cut in eighths
  • fresh thyme sprigs
  • fresh marjoram sprigs
  • 1 cup stock, chicken or if you can find it, duck
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2-3 stalks of celery
  • a large baking pan, preferably with high sides to reduce fat spattering
  • gravy separator if you have one
  • meat thermometer

You’ll need for the orange sauce:

  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup stock
  • 1 tablespoon vegan margarine
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free flour (all purpose or brown rice works best)
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.  Prepare the duck by cleaning out the cavity and drying the skin.  Mix the salt, coriander, cumin, pepper and dry thyme.  Rub the outside of the duck with the spice mixture and sprinkle some inside as well.  Add 1/2 of the orange , 4 wedges of onion, the springs of thyme and marjoram to the cavity.  Place the cleaned celery, carrots and other 4 wedges of onion in the baking dish in a line so that they raise the duck off the bottom of the pan (we’re using them like a baking rack).  Put the duck in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes (you might want to be sure to turn on your overhead exhaust while you’re doing this to avoid the smoke alarm going off like it did in my house even though I didn’t see any smoke).  While the duck is searing, mix together the juice of the other 1/2 orange with the 1 cup of stock.  

After 20-30 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and add the stock mixture to the bottom of the pan.  Continue to cook for approximately 1-1/2 hours until duck reaches 170 degrees internal temperature in one of the thighs using a meat thermometer.  Remove from oven and baking dish.  Be sure to tilt when removing from the dish so that the internal juices can run into the baking dish.  Carefully pour the baking dish juices into the gravy separator.  While the duck is cooking make the sauce.

In a small saucepan, heat the orange juice and honey along with the vinegar, salt, orange rind and stock.  Simmer until the duck is cooked.  Add duck juices drained from the baking dish without the fat.  If you don’t have a gravy separator, using a spoon, remove the fat from the top of the juices.  If the duck juices don’t equal 1 cup, add stock to make up the difference. 

Mix together the margarine and flour into a paste.   Add to the simmering sauce using a whisk so that you don’t get any lumps.  Continue cooking sauce until thickened, only a couple of minutes.  Its now ready to serve.

Pumpkin Spice Stuffed French Toast (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, vegan)

I’ve always wanted to try stuffed French toast but how to make French toast without eggs was the dilemma.  Here’s the solution.  It takes a bit of forethought but its well worth the effort.  Makes four servings.

You’ll need:

  • 8 slices of gluten-free bread, the thicker the better
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon date sugar
  • 6 ounces of non-dairy cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 cup cranberry compote (see separate recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Spray a 8×10 inch baking dish.  Mix:

  • 6 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon date sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Using a fork, mix until well blended.  Spread on all 8 slices of bread.  Heat the milk and add the ground flax.  Let cool until just warm.  Add the baking powder, salt and vanilla and whisk to combine.  Spread some of the cream cheese mixture on each of the bread slices.  Add a tablespoon of cranberry compote to 4 slices.  Top those slices with the other 4 slices of bread.  Place in the baking dish.  Top with the milk mixture.  Let sit 15 minutes and then turn the bread over so that the other side can absorb milk mixture.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Turn the bread over again.  

In a 10-12″ skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or your oil of choice).  Add the 4 bread pieces and cook over medium low heat for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown.  Turn over and repeat.  The slices may slip slightly from the cream cheese stuffing getting warm so be careful in turning.  Here we want to allow the milk mixture to cook along with the bread but not overheat the middle cream cheese mixture which will then run out of the bread thereby taking away the “stuffed” part of the French toast.  So keep the heat fairly low even it takes slightly longer to cook.  When done, slice each diagonally and top with more cranberry compote or maple syrup if preferred.

Alternatives:  If you don’t like pumpkin and cranberries here are some alternatives.  Use instead of the pumpkin, apple or pear sauce (preferably chunky) along with a berry jam or apple butter.  OR delete the pumpkin from the cream cheese mixture and use strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, or cherry jam instead of the cranberry compote.

Maple Glazed Roasted Squash with Kale (dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan)

This reminds me of my mother’s baked acorn squash where she’d half them, remove the seeds, fill the cavity with butter and brown sugar and then bake them.  So buttery and delicious.  This is a fairly easy recipe once the squash are sliced.  Some grocery stores will now do this for you so ask (they can probably slice them more evenly than I did mine!).  Feel free to use one large or a variety of smaller ones depending on your taste.  In my case, as in the three squash mash from an earlier blog, I used my favorites – butternut, buttercup and acorn.  The sweetness of the maple sugar only adds to the velvety sweetness of the squash with a note of maple thrown in.  So simple and so good.  Be sure to reduce the heat half way through the cooking process to keep the maple glaze from burning.  Serves 6 depending on how much squash is used.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a steamer pan add:

  • 1-2 bunches kale, cleaned with larger stems removed

Steam until softened, 5-12 minutes depending on how much kale you have in the steamer.

Half the squash and remove the seeds from:

  • 1 small acorn
  • 1 small butternut
  • 1 small buttercup

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.  Slice the squash into equal slices.  Arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Be sure that end pieces with mostly skin are skin side down.  Mix together in a small bowl:

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive or avocado oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I used only 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a 1/8 teaspoon pepper)

Pour the glaze mixture evenly over the squash.  Flip over the squash so that the end pieces with mostly skin are skin side up.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and flip so that pieces with flesh on both sides are now turned over.  Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until squash is soft, approximately 15-20 more minutes.  If you have thicker pieces that need more cooking, remove the cooked pieces and add the kale in the places where there’s no squash (I moved all the thicker squash slices to the edges and put the kale in the middle of the baking sheet).  If all the squash is removed, simply add  the kale to the baking sheet and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Arrange the kale on a serving dish with the squash slices on top.