Category Archives: carrot

Herb Tofu Scallion Spread is Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Delicious on Crackers or Bread

You’ve undoubtedly had the disheartening experience of going to a potluck and encountering a slew of dairy-based dips and spreads. This can be frustrating if you’re doing your best to follow a vegan, gluten-free diet. Don’t despair! Here is a delicious, creamy spread you can make from tofu that tastes just as good as the dairy-based variety! Even your non-vegan friends will love it. They may even beg you for the recipe. The spread is healthy, since it utilizes basil and Italian parsley, herbs that are rich in vitamin C. The tofu adds protein and calcium. Much healthier than your average spread, and so easy to make!

INGREDIENTS

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 14-ounce package of firm tofu, drained
2 teaspoons white miso (make sure it doesn’t have soy sauce, which contains wheat)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup water

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS

black olives
capers
sliced zucchini
salad mix
carrot sticks
gluten-free crackers or bread

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan on medium setting. When oil is hot, add chopped garlic and fry for about one minute. Pour in scallions and red pepper and continue frying for about 2-3 more minutes, until the scallions are bright green. Remove from the burner and set aside.

Crumble tofu into a blender or food processor. Add the basil, parsley, sea salt, lemon juice, miso, and water (try less than 1/4 cup of water at first, then add more if mixture is too thick). Pour in the scallion/red pepper/garlic mixture and continue blending until your mixture is creamy and frothy. Scoop mixture out of the blender or food processor and transfer to a medium-sized bowl.

Serve with crackers, wedges of gluten-free bread, and condiments like black olives, capers, salad mix, carrot sticks, zucchini slices, etc. Really, the possibilities are endless. You can make an entire meal out of this tofu spread if you so desire. It’s much heartier than you might imagine.

Serves about 4 people, depending upon whether you transform this spread into a main dish or serve it as an appetizer. You can cover leftovers and store them in your refrigerator for up to three days. You don’t need to tell anyone that it’s made from tofu — unless you feel like it, of course. Your friends will be astonished! You’ll want to make this simple but elegant spread again and again.

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Baba Ghanoush — Naturally Vegan, and a Cinch to Prepare!

You’ve most likely had hummus, but have you tried its sweeter, lighter cousin, baba ghanoush? Baba ghanoush is a lot like hummus, since it has a tahini base. However, instead of adding garbanzo beans, this recipe utilizes roasted eggplant. The result is equally delicious. Our light but zesty meal is easy to make, and perfect for warm summer nights. You can serve it with gluten-free pita bread or with gluten-free toast points sprinkled with thyme, olive oil or vegan butter, and a bit of granulated garlic. We feel confident that you’ll love this dish either way.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-sized eggplant
2-3 cloves minced garlic
juice of one large lemon
4 tablespoons tahini
sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped cilantro, parsley or basil (We used basil, yum!)
small amount of water

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS

roasted gluten-free pita bread
regular gluten-free bread
chopped thyme
chopped garlic or garlic salt
olive oil or vegan margarine/butter such as Earth Balance
sliced vegetables such as carrots, celery, zucchini, green or red peppers, etc.

INSTRUCTIONS

Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds and place in a large, flat pan or cookie sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and olive oil and broil in oven for 5-10 minutes. Watch carefully so the slices don’t burn! They should be pulpy and slightly browned. Peel skin from eggplant and either eat, compost, or discard.

Cut the eggplant pulp into small pieces and place in a blender or food processor. Add the tahini, a dash of sea salt, herbs, lemon juice, and combine thoroughly. If your mixture is too thick, add a bit of water until it becomes creamy and smooth. Pour into a bowl, cover tightly, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Serve with sliced vegetables of your choice, and gluten-free bread or toast points. To make toast points, slather bread with a liberal amount of olive oil or vegan butter/margarine. Sprinkle with chopped thyme and granulated garlic. Broil in oven until the toast is brown and slightly crispy around the edges. Cut the toast in half and serve!

This recipe serves 2-3 people. If you have more guests, feel free to increase ingredient portions accordingly. Great as either a main or a side dish. Get creative! You can add falafels, hummus, or other Middle Eastern cuisine to make a larger meal. Keeps well in your refrigerator for several days. Homemade baba ghanoush is so much more delicious than the store-bought variety! Once you’ve prepared this version, we feel confident you’ll agree.

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It’s So Easy to Create Your Own Falafels From Scratch!

We’ve been eating falafels for years, both with pita bread, and without. These crispy disks are delicious served with a variety of vegetables. However, most of the falafels in restaurants are deep-fried, and the ones you make at home are usually products of a powdered mix. Creating this naturally vegan, gluten-free concoction from scratch is surprisingly easy and fun. Real, homemade falafels taste much better than the stuff that comes from a box! Try the recipe, you will be amazed.

INGREDIENTS
1 15-ounce can chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)
1 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped and packed
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped and packed
1/2 cup diced red or yellow onion (red is especially zesty)
1/3 cup gluten-free flour (we used a combination of garbanzo flour and brown rice flour)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum-free, please)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt (not the iodized variety)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
5-6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup water
olive oil for cooking
Vegetable garnishes, such as chopped tomatoes, sliced avocados, shredded carrots, chopped onion, additional sprigs of parsley and cilantro, lettuce, etc.
Gluten-free pita bread (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Pour chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, chopped onion, flour, lemon juice, water, baking powder, garlic, and spices into blender or food processor. Combine thoroughly until mixture is thick and creamy, but not stiff. You can add more water if it’s too thick, or more flour if it’s too runny. Pour into large bowl and cover. Place bowl in refrigerator and chill for approximately 1 hour. It should achieve a nice thickness by then.

Remove falafel mix from refrigerator and heat olive oil on stovetop. Your burner setting should be medium high, but not so hot that it will smoke or burn. Scoop rounded tablespoons of falafel mix from bowl and drop into hot olive oil, one at a time. Fry them until they’re slightly crispy and brown around the edges, then flip and fry the other sides. Remove from heat and set on napkin so excess oil will drain away.

Serve with vegetables and toppings such as hummus, baba ghanoush, plain coconut yogurt, or tahini with lemon juice. Great either as a sandwich or a salad. Feel free to experiment! Serves 3-4 hungry people. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator or frozen for later. These falafels are great in lunchboxes! You’ll never want to make them from a box, ever again, and neither will any of the members of your family. Enjoy!

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Start Your Day With These Delectable Vegan, Gluten-Free Morning Glory Muffins

Morning glory muffins have been a favorite of ours for many years. However, when we started pursuing a vegan, gluten-free diet, we discovered that many of our favorite coffee shops had left us out in the cold when it came to these delectable muffins. Almost all of the recipes use butter, eggs and/or milk. This makes them decidedly off-limits. If you love morning glory muffins as much as we do, you may have experienced this depressing scenario, yourself. Have no fear! We’ve discovered a recipe that utilizes your favorite ingredients — raisins, walnuts, apples, etc. However, it substitutes flax seeds for eggs, and coconut oil for butter. The result is a melt-in-your-mouth concoction that will leave you wanting more!

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons flax seeds plus 6 tablespoons water
1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour blend (lighter is better)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cloves
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup non-dairy milk (almond is great!)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 apple, peeled and cut into small chunks
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup raisins (use golden variety for a special treat)
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix the flax seeds with water and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg or cloves. Melt coconut oil on stove and combine in a second, larger bowl with flax mixture, coconut oil, vanilla, applesauce, coconut sugar, and non-dairy milk. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, stirring until thoroughly combined. Your batter should be moist but not runny. Add carrots, walnuts, raisins, apple chunks, and coconut and make sure they’re evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Grease a 12-muffin pan with additional coconut oil, or use paper liners. Pour the batter into each receptacle. Bake in a pre-heated, 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Your kitchen will smell good enough to eat! The muffins are done when you stick a fork or toothpick in the middle, and it comes out clean.

If you play your cards right, you’ll have twelve muffins that are more or less the same size. They’re great for breakfast, lunch, or as a mid-afternoon snack. Though small, they’re surprisingly hearty and really pack a wallop! You can eat them as is (scrumptious!) or with a dab of vegan butter. If you invite folks over to your house for muffins, they’ll be your friends for life. Enjoy!

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Absolutely Delectable Vegan, Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

If you’ve been following this page, you’re probably aware that vegan, gluten-free desserts are much tastier than the poor rep they so often receive. They are way more delicious and complex than the nut and seed bars you probably ate when you were first exploring vegan cuisine. This incredible carrot cake contains no gluten or animal products whatsoever, and you’ll be in heaven at the first bite. Granted, the recipe calls for two different kinds of sugar. But sometimes, you just have to live on the wild side.

CAKE INGREDIENTS
I cup unsweetened applesauce (organic is best, as always)
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup plant-based milk (we used a mix of coconut and almond, sensational!)
1/3 cup tapioca starch
2 ½ cups oat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda (aluminum-free, please!)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger powder
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ cups grated carrots
½ cups crushed walnuts and/or pecans

FROSTING INGREDIENTS
¼ cup vegan butter or margarine (the good kind, like Earth Balance)
4 ounces (approximately ½ store-sized plastic container) vegan cream cheese
2 ½ cups organic powdered sugar

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large bowl, stir together applesauce, coconut sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and milk. Combine thoroughly, then add tapioca starch, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Continue stirring everything together until your batter is thick and creamy. Add carrots and walnuts.

Grease 8X8 pan with vegan butter or coconut oil. Pour in batter and slide pan into your oven. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Be sure to employ the fork or toothpick method to make sure your cake isn’t runny in the middle. The aroma will make you drool with anticipation! Remove from oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, prepare your frosting. Mix vegan butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar together in medium-sized bowl and beat until creamy. Remove cake from pan and place on large plate. Swirl the frosting evenly across the surface of the cake. For an extra bit of dazzle, sprinkle crushed walnuts on top of the frosting.

Serves 6 guests. Please refrain from consuming this entire cake by yourself at one sitting. Obviously, this is not a diet dessert, so utilize caution. You’ll be astonished by how good a vegan, gluten-free carrot cake can taste, and your friends will be, as well. Enjoy!

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Potato and Vegan Sausage Soup: Hearty and Delightful

We are obsessed with soup this winter and have been trying out various varieties—for our own comfort as well as for the readers of this site. A warm, nourishing broth is a must for these cold, dark January days. We especially love potato soup and were thrilled to discover this simple but delicious recipe. It’s inexpensive and only takes about 45 minutes to prepare.

You can use any kind of potato your heart desires—russet, red or white. You might even try the recipe with sweet potatoes. We created this soup with red potatoes, a favorite of ours. The addition of vegan sausage makes the dish hearty and delightful. The coconut milk adds a subtle but creamy sweetness. Try it, we think you’ll love this soup as much as we do.

INGREDIENTS
½ cup vegan butter or margarine (we used Earth Balance, and it worked great)
2 small onions, diced
2 chopped stalks of celery
3 carrots, sliced into thin rounds (for color and variety, buy a bunch of multi-colored carrots. Our bunch had yellow, orange, and purple!)
8 cups water
2 cups vegetable stock
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt (NOT the iodized variety!)
1 ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoon cumin
2 cups diced potatoes
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
4 sliced vegan sausages (check labels to make sure there is no wheat or soy sauce, which contains gluten).
Dried parsley, oregano, and/or cilantro for topping

INSTRUCTIONS
Melt butter or margarine in large soup pan and add onions, carrots, and celery. Sautee for about 10 minutes until vegetables start to soften. Add potatoes, water, vegetable stock and spices and simmer for about 15 more minutes. A wonderful aroma will fill your kitchen! Ahhhhh……

Add coconut milk and sausages and continue simmering for another 10-15 minutes, until all vegetables are completely cooked through. You can do a taste test to make sure that none of them are hard. Don’t let them get mushy, though! Remove pan from stovetop and serve in the most colorful bowls you can find. Sprinkle liberally with dried spices, and/or a dash of hot sauce, if you dare. Or try some grated vegan cheese.
potato soup

We like this soup with a side salad and a loaf of fresh, gluten-free bread. Your guests will agree. Serves 8 people. If you have fewer guests, freeze the soup or refrigerate for up to four days. Stay warm!

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Review of the Conscious Cleanse and Sherpa Spinach Dip Recipe

We’ve been excited to get our hands on the Conscious Cleanse book ever since we heard about it. The Conscious Cleanse isn’t the kind you may be used to, where you feel deprived, and end up hungry and miserable. What it does do is take certain foods out of your diet that you may not even realize you are reacting to, so that you have a full picture as to how your body reacts to those foods.

Forbidden foods on the list may surprise you, such as oranges, strawberries and tomatoes. Many people react to foods like these without even realizing it. The good news is that there are a ton of options on the foods that are allowed.

Before you start thinking that this is going to be a book that just tells you what you can and can’t eat, worry not – it is so much more than that. The Conscious Cleanse gives you a rounded way to take care of yourself in every way, body and mind. It is a commitment to build up to slow change, and includes ways to slowly remove foods and beverages from your diet, rather than shock your system.

Full disclosure, we were a little daunted at the thought of giving up caffeine while on the cleanse, but we transitioned slowly off of it. We were surprised at the difference we saw just from reducing caffeine: *more* energy, more calm, less stress and less stress eating.

Here is a recipe that is the perfect example of the delicious dishes that fit within the cleanse.

Sherpa Spinach Dip

4 cups spinach
1 large avocado, halved and pitted
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 small clove minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon curry
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon fresh peeled and chopped ginger
A dash of cayenne
Sea salt to taste

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Serve immediately with carrot sticks.

Get your own copy of the Conscious Cleanse, and let us know what you think!

conscious cleanse

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