Summary: This meal is vegan, gluten-free, and amazing. Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins. They are the perfect autumnal dish. The addition of homemade peanut sauce creates an additional, zesty flavor that will have your friends and family members coming back for more.

sweet potatoMost of the time, we have no idea what to do with sweet potatoes. When we were growing up, our parents treated them as a holiday side dish. Often, they were served from a can and doused with marshmallows. We endured this travesty because we didn’t know any better. Later, we discovered the fresh variety, but remained clueless about how to prepare these hardy, delicious vegetables. They were relegated to the background, and we rarely consumed them, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So, when we discovered this recipe for roasted sweet potatoes with red peppers and spicy peanut sauce, we became excited. This meal is vegan, gluten-free, and amazing. Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins. They are the perfect autumnal dish. The addition of homemade peanut sauce creates an additional, zesty flavor that will have your friends and family members coming back for more.

SAUCE INGREDIENTS
½ cup creamy peanut butter (organic and sugar-free, please)
¼ cup tamari (not commercial soy sauce, which contains wheat)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
I teaspoon grated, fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons water

ROASTED VEGETABLES
2 sweet potatoes, cubed and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
¼ teaspoon cumin powder
Dash of sea salt

GARNISHES
2-3 green onions, chopped
Crushed peanuts
Chopped fresh cilantro
Sriracha sauce

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes with 1 ½ tablespoon of oil and add cumin and a pinch of salt. Place in large pan or cookie sheet, spreading pieces so they don’t overlap. Roast on center rack of oven for a total of 40 minutes. While the potatoes are roasting, toss chopped red pepper with salt and ½ tablespoon oil and arrange in smaller pan. About 15 minutes after you put the potatoes in the oven, place the pan with the peppers on the top rack of oven. Take this opportunity to turn the sweet potatoes over. Continue roasting the potatoes and the peppers for 25 minutes (total time for potatoes 40 minutes, total time for peppers 25 minutes), turning the peppers over after 10-15 minutes. Vegetables should be slightly browned and caramelized around the edges.

Meanwhile, cook 1 ¼ cups brown or white jasmine rice on stovetop or rice cooker until water is absorbed. Prepare the sauce in a large bowl and set aside. When rice and vegetables are done, scoop rice into dish, top with roasted vegetables, and then pour a generous dollop of peanut sauce on top. Add liberal amounts of your favorite garnishes and dig in!

This meal serves 3-4 people and can be served alone or with your favorite beverage. It’s hearty and delicious, and we doubt that you’ll have any left over. Perhaps you should make some more tomorrow.

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Summary: Now that pumpkin spice season is officially here, you might be feeling great despair, thinking you won’t be able to partake of any delicious goodies. Fear not, because when you try these amazing vegan, gluten-free muffins, you’ll wonder why you put up with ...

muffins

Now that pumpkin spice season is officially here, you might be feeling great despair, thinking you won’t be able to partake of any delicious goodies. Fear not, because when you try these amazing vegan, gluten-free muffins, you’ll wonder why you put up with the conventional kind for as long as you did.

Beware, however – once you bake a pan of them, your family won’t stop begging you for more. If you don’t mind opening that Pandora’s box, here’s the recipe:

10 oz pumpkin puree (that’s about ¾ of a small can)
½ cup olive oil
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
¾ cup real maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup!)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free flour (there are many varieties, but Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 flour is our favorite)
2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it’s aluminum-free)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger (for a treat, try fresh ginger, and use a fine grater)
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon sea salt

Optional ingredients:
1 cup walnuts and/or pecans
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
½ cup poppy seeds

Mix together the wet ingredients in one large bowl and the dry ingredients in another. Beat wet ingredients to a thick froth and combine with dry ingredients. Grease muffin tin with olive oil or natural, organic vegan margarine. Pour batter directly into compartments, filling almost to the top. Place the entire concoction into a 395 degree, pre-heated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. If you can stand additional bliss, brush the tops of the muffins with maple syrup about five minutes prior to removing them from the oven. Your house will smell so divine that you won’t want to leave for hours!

Makes one dozen muffins. You can eat them as is or slice them open and put a bit of natural margarine (like Earth Balance) in the center. Or try it with some vegan cream cheese (Kite Hill is the absolute bomb). The possibilities are endless, really. We don’t recommend that you devour all twelve of these muffins at once, but we won’t try to stop you, either. They’re great for breakfast, snacks, or even for dessert. You’d better invite all your friends over, if the aroma emanating from the windows isn’t enough to lure them to your door. Be aware: this is not a diet food. Bon Appetit, and happy autumn!

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Summary: It's that time of year to get in your last minute holiday shopping. As both vegan and gluten free lifestyles are growing in popularity, and necessity, so are new products that appeal to both worlds. Vegan and gluten free sweets and treats are now increasing in popularity and make an excellent stocking stuffer.
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It’s that time of year to get in your last minute holiday shopping. As both vegan and gluten free lifestyles are growing in popularity, and necessity, so are new products that appeal to both worlds. Vegan and gluten free sweets and treats are now increasing in popularity and make an excellent stocking stuffer. Here are our five favorite vegan and gluten free stocking stuffers:

1. Gluten Free Chocolate Covered Pretzels – these delicious treats are the perfect marrying of sweet and salty. Gluten free pretzels are covered by vegan chocolate, to make a perfect holiday snack.

2. Organic Nectars Organic Raw Cacao, Chocagave, Organic Chocolate Dessert Syrup – this decadent chocolate dessert sauce is the winner of the 2008 Sofi™ silver for Outstanding Dessert Topping. This delicious topping is a mix of raw cacao powder, raw organic agave syrup, and organic nectars. Because it is low-glycemic, it is suitable for that diabetic gift recipient on your list!

3. Lazy Day Chocolate Orange Slice Truffle – treat your gift recipients to a crunchy cookie that is smothered in creamy belgian chocolate.

4. Sweet Pete’s All Natural, Gluten Free, Vegan Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels – the combination of caramel and salt is widely popular these days, and there is no need for those who are vegan and gluten free to be left out. The caramels are made with vegan coconut milk, covered in dark chocolate, and then sprinkled with sea salt. These are sure to be a hit!

5. Yummy Earth Organic Candy Drops Wild Peppermint – it doesn’t quite feel like the holidays without some minty treats! These peppermint candies are free of dyes, chemicals, pesticides, gluten, and animal ingredients.

Most of these products are available in bulk, which means you have the option of buying a bigger shipment, and dividing them up amongst friends and family to give you more bang for your buck. We’d love to hear from you – what are your favorite vegan, gluten free stocking stuffers?

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